Fidel G. Pierra Cuba
UNIVERSITY OF FLORIDA LIB R ARIES
THIS VOLUME HAS BEEN
MICROFIC BY THE UNIVERSITY OF FLORIDA LIBRARIES.
PHYSICAL FEATURES OF CUBA, HER PAST,
PRESENT and POSSIBLE FUTURE.
Fidel G. Plerra_... _._ 5
EX-SECRETARY OF THE PAN AMERICAN CONGRESS,
EX-JOINT-PARAGUAYAN COMMISSIONER TO THE CHICAGO WORLD'S FAIR ETC.
PUBLISHED BY THECUBAN DELEGATION IN THE UNITED STATES
S. FIGUEROA, SPANISH PUBLISHFRi/
284 PEARL ST. NEW YORK
THIS IPT "AS BEEN ml c Rc.,:
BY TW El!SITY OF
FLORIDA L 3RARIES. MAP Ll-,
PHYSICAL FEATURES OF CUBA, HER PAST,
PRESENT and POSSIBLE FUTURE.
The island of Cuba is the most westerly of the West India group and the largest. It lies between the Caribbean Sea and the Gulf of Mexico, and between lat. 19.50 and 25.10N., and Ion. 74, 7 and 84.58 W. Greenwich. It devides tbe entrance to the latter into two passages, that to the north-west being about 130 miles between Cape Hicacos in Cuba and Cape Sable on the coast of Florida, and the southwest passage of about the same width between the Cape of San Antonio of Cuba and the Cape of Catoche of the peninsula of Yucatan. On the north-east, east and south-east, narrower channels separate it from the Bahamas, San Domingo and Jamaica, the distance being, respectively, 70 and 85 miles.
Cuba is long and narrow, somewhat in the shape of an irregular crescent with its convex side towards the north. Its length, following a curved line through its centre, is about 730) miles, and its narrowest part, a little to the west of Havana, is about 20 miles. The area, including dependencies, is over 47,000 square miles. It is, therefore, over one third larger than Ireland, about four fifths as large as England and Wales, one third larger than the Kingdom of Portugal, three times 4 as large as Switzerland and a little larger than the combined area of the States of Rhode Island, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, Vermont, New Jersey, Delaware and Maryland. The length of the coast line i's about 2,200 miles. On the north side about one half and on the south about two thirds of the coast is free from keys and reefs, and of easy access. There is no other island of its size having so many ports as
Cuba. Including sheltered landings there are over 200. About one half of these are accessible to vessels of 800 to 1,000 tons, and some 40 to ships of any size. Among the finest are those of Bahia Honda, Cabafias, Havana, Matanzas, Cardenas, Sagua la Grande, La Guanaja, Manati, Malagueta, Puerto del Padre, Gibara, Banes and Nipe on the north coast; and Guantanamo, Santiago de Cuba, Manzanillo, Canto, Santa Cruz, Saza, Tunas, Casilda, Cienfuegos, Cochinos and La Broa on the south coast. Sixteen of them only axe open to foreign commerce. On the north side, extending from Nuevitas to about Matanzas, and from beyond Havana toward the western extremity, there are some 570 isles and keys, among which Cayo Romano (172 sq. in.), Coco (28) Turiguaco (51) and Cruz (59). On the south coast, to the west of Cape Cruz and extending to Cape San Antonio, there are some 730 isles and keys and the island of Pinos 614 square miles.
The eastern part of the island is mountainous and rugged. The principal range is the Sierra Maestra, which extends from Cape Maysi to Cape Cruz. Its greatest elevations are the Pico Turquino, about 8,000 feet; the Gran Piedra, 5,200; the Ojo del Toro, 3,000, and the Yunque 2,900. From this Sierra a ridge of much smaller elevation follows nearly the central line of the island, rising in the centre of it and toward its western extremity to 2,600 and 2,900 feet.
Over 200 rivers, besides innumerable rivulets and torrents, water the island. They are all short but generally remarkable for the clearness and purity of the water. The largest of all is the Canto, in the province of Santiago, with a course of 150 miles, of which some 50 are navigable for small vessels.
The geology and mineralogy of the island are yet but imperfectly known. The Government.has never paid any attention to matters not offering inmediate pecuniary results for the Treasury, and if anything is known about those two subjects it is due to unaided private effort. There does not seem to be either gold or silver, at least in sufficient quantity to repay the labour of search; but of iron some fifty groups of mines have been lately discovered and it is believed that the deposits extend all through the province of Santiago and into that of Puerto Principe. Two of those groups are now worked by two American companies with very great profit, the ore being exceedingly rich and the quality of the metal equal to that of the best Swedish iron, which, as is known, has no superior. In the same province very large deposits of manganese ore have been discovered, estimated to contain millions of tons. The ore is rich, yielding in some cases 581/0 of a metal of exceedingly superior quality. Considerable quan-
tities now come to this country. Large deposits of copper ore are also found in the Sierra del Cobre, about twelve miles from Santiago. One of the mines was worked by an English company with great profit for many years, and there are three or four others yet untouched.
The uncleared forests of the island cover an area of over 17,000,000 acres, and over forty species of very fine hard and cabinet woods abound in them. Among others, mahogany and cedar of the finest quality. Of the former, that known in the trade as bird's eye, has sold in New York as high as $850 per thousand feet.
The indigenous fauna of Cuba, excepting the birds, is not remarkable. The largest quadruped known, the deer, is fast disappearing. The jutia, a rat shaped animal of about a foot and a half long, abounds in the eastern and central part. The meat, when properly prepared, is not unpalatable. There are over 200 species of birds; some of a very fine plumage and of very sweet notes. The Cuban
mocking-bird has no rival. When properly trained, some can repeat the leading voice of a whole opera, and even as high as $500 has been paid for one of them. There are very few birds of prey. Three species of snakes are found, all harmless. The sting of the scorpion has no consequence whatever except smarting a little. The forests being free from all beasts of prey and poisonous insects, one may sleep in the midst of them in perfect security.
The rivers, bays and inlets of Cuba are supplied with fish, some of which are very fine. The reefs and shallows abound in turtle; the iguana is common, and in some parts of the island the crocodile and the cayman are found. There are great quantities of white land-crabs which make a very nice food.
The climate of Cuba is generally believed to be both very hot and insalubrious. It is not so. The average temperature at Havana during July and August, the hottest months, is 82 Fahr, and the extremes 88 and 76. In the coolest months, December and January, the average is 72, the maximum 78 and the minimum 58. Outside the city it is yet lower. It is the same in the central part of the island. In the city of Santiago, in the eastern part, it is a little higher; but a few miles fron the city it is lower. There are only two marked seasons in Cuba: the dry and the rainy. The former extends from November to May; the latter from May to October; but during the dry season there are occasional showers which afford the soil the necessary moisture.
Excepting a few localities where malarial fevers prevail, the cli-
mate is very healthy. In the country districts of the eastern and central parts of the island it is both very pleasant and salubrious. Yellow fever is unknown there, as yell as in all places a few miles from the sea coast. The lack of sanitary conditions is the main cause of the prevalence of that disease in the cities, and especially in the large ones. New Orleans was once upon a time worse than Havana; but since the improvements there introduced by General Buttler the city has been relieved from that terrible scourge.
The island contains 35,000,000 acres of land of which 2,000,000 are under cultivation; 7,000,000 are either barren or of inferior quality; 17,000,000 are virgin forests, and 9,000,000 are natural pastures.
To say that Cuba is a rich conntry,to say even that she has been most prodigally endowed by nature with all the elements that may be readily transformed into positive wealth by the minimum of human industry and skill, however much it may imply, gives only a faint idea of the real facts. In this respect Cuba has no equal in America, and perhaps none in the whole world. Some of her productions, as the tobacco, are unrivaled; and this one to such an extent that a hundred pounds of fine Vuelta Ahajo cigar wrappers bring about $300 more than the best of .any other country. The principal productions are sugar, tobacco, coffee, cocoa, bananas, cocoanuts, wax, cedar, mahogany and other woods. Some years the total exports of these have amounted to over $83,000,000, of which some $68,000,000 of sugar and molasses, and some $9,000,000 of tobacco in various forms. There are 32 species of the palm tree, the woods and the leaves of the majority of which could be transformed into useful articles of commerce; but so far only two have been utilized. The "1yarey" palm whose leaves are used in the country for the manufacture of very pretty and very durable hats and baskets, and the "1palma real" (royal palm) from which excellent boards are made. They last three or four times longer than those of the best yellow pine, and Are largely employed in the construction of the houses of the small farmers. The leaves are used for roofing.
There is a great variety of fruits in Cuba. Among them three species of oranges, one of them as fine as the finest Florida or California. Three species of pine apples, including the one commonly known as the sugar loaf which has -no equal in the word, except that of Pernambuco, Brazil. This species is raised only for home comsumption. The sapodilla, the brown and green star apple, the red and yellow mamey, four species of the anona, two species of the guava, two species of prunes, several species of the mango, are all most delicious fruits, besides over a score of others, also excellent, and a multitude of
berries which are little used being considered only goods as bird's fruit. Not as fruits in the ordinary sense, but closely allied to them, must be mentioned the alligator pear, of which there are several varieties, and two varieties of the bread fruit, which, when boiled, is
far superior to the potato as a nourishing food.
All the garden vegetables raised in this country find a very
propitious natural soil in Cuba. The potato is equal to that of Bermuda or of Peru. Of the sweet potatoes there are several varieties, two of them superior to the best produced in the United States. There is, besides, the yam, a very nutritious tuber, the cassava and the plantain. This latter, when dried and reduced to powder, has been found to contain, weight for weight, more nourishing
elements than any other known food.
The total population of Cuba is 1,631,000 of which 950,000 are
white Cubans, 600,000 colored Cubans and 160,000 Spaniards.
F This chapter may be fitly closed with the words of an American
traveller, Mr. Maturin M. Ballot. Hie says:
"Probably no place on the earth has a finer or more desirable climate than
has the main portion of Cuba; with the clear atmosphere of the low latitudes, no mist, the sun seld om obscured, and the appearance of the stars and skyat night far brighter and more beautiful than at the north. The atmosphere does not seem to lose its transparency with the departure of day. Sunset is ever remarkable for its soft, mellow beauty here. The climate so uniformly soft and mild, the vegetation so thriving and beautiful, the truits so delicious and anbundant, seem to give it a character almost akin to that we have seen
described in tales of fairy lands."
H is to r y
"This is the most beautiful land ever beheld by human eyes."
So wrote Columbus in his diary on the 28th of October 1492, when for the first time he reached the Cuban shore at a place between Baracoa and Gibara on the northern side of the island. The peaceable and inoffensive Indians, standing on the sea shore, gazed with amazement npon the "white wings of the big canoes" unsuspecting that their appearance was an ominous portent. Within a very few years, the companions of the "white men descended from heaven" were to return in military array ready for conquest, and the beautiful country of the Cubans was to. be the theatre of wanton bloodshed and carn age.
The inhabitants of Cuba, as well as those of San Domingo, were of
a very mild disposition and lived quietly and happily, satisfied with
their condition and unconscious of the possibility of a better one. They were hospitable and honest, traits of their character which the Spaniards frequently mention with surprise and admiration. They could not realize that "heathen savages" should be endowed with them.
The conquest of the island was seriously undertaken in 1511. The expedition was organized in San Domingo under the command of Diego Velazquez, and numbered about three hundred men. Among them were Hernan Cortes, the future conqueror of Mexico, and the celebrated father Las Casas.
The harsh and brutal treatment imposed by the Spaniards upon the Indians in San Domingo had caused many of them to cross over to Cuba where they expected to live in security and peace. Among them was the chief Hatuey, whose name stands upon the pages of History as a monument of courage and patriotism as well as of Spanish ferocity and cruelty.
As soon as he learned that the Spaniards had landed in Cuba, he collected his warriors and proceeded to oppose the invaders; but the struggle was a useless one. The weapons of the Indians consisted of arrows pointed with a fish bone and of a club the end of which was hardened by fire, while the Spaniards, besides protecting their bodies with doublets of cotton, which the weak points of the Indian arrows could hardly penetrate, were provided with excellent swords, powerful crossbows, some fire-arms and a number of horses. After several encounters Hatuey fell into the hands of the Spaniards and was condemned by Velazquez to be burnt at the stake. When already tied to it and just as the faggots were to be lighted, a priest approached him to pray that he might go to heaven. Hearing this, Hatuey inquired to which of the two places the Spaniards went when dead, and having been told that they went to heaven, he roared out: "then let me go to hell."
The first city founded by Velazquez was Baracoa. During his administration the towns of Bayamo, Sancti-Spiritus, Puerto Principe, Trinidad and Santiago were founded. This last by Velazquez himself.
The system of "repartimientos" introduced by Columbus in San Domingo was followed in Cuba by Velazqaez. It consisted in the allotment of land to each one of the Spanish settlers, and with it a number of Indians to till it. These were called free but were in fact slaves. Those captured in war, or made so to appear, were sold as slaves. This was the beginning of domestic slavery in Cuba. Those Indians not so distributed, or sold were compelled to pay a tribute in
gold dust sufficient to fill two hawk bells. As gold has never abounded either in Cuba or San Domingo, the tribute was an exceedingly heavy one.
Although the Indians were physically well developed, as they were not inured to continuous hard labor, the task imposed upon them by their ruthless Spanish masters carried them off to an early grave. The mortality was so great that in about half a century almost the whole native population of the island had disappeared. Some of the estimates place the number of inhabitants of the country at that time at 800,000; but the most conservative reduce it to some 300,000. Even if their number was that of this latter figure, what a frightful destruction of human life in a few years I
The reader is no doubt familiar with the history of Spanish rule in Italy, in the Low Countries and in what now axe the Republics of Spanish America. Let him recall to his memory the acts of oppression and tyranny committed by Spain in those countries during her domination, and the scenes of bloodshed and carnage with which it came to an end, and he will have the background of the picture of Spanish rule in Cuba.
During three centuries Cuba was condemned by her oppressor to isolation and neglect. In consequence, two hundred years after the conquest her population did not exceed 50,000 souls, and one hundred years later it had scarcely reached 200,000. Her inhabitants were forced to live in poverty and ignorance. In poverty, to such an extent, that famines were of frequent occurrence. Imagine, famines in a country blessed with one of the most fertile soils known and over which a perpetual summer smiles! Cut off from all communication with the rest of the world, the Cubans only knew of its existence by the repeated attacks of the pirates which infested the coast of the island and despoiled them of their scanty means of subsistence, and not frequently destroyed their villages by fire. Even interior towns, as Puerto Principe, were not free from those attacks and Havana was once captured. The mother country could isolate and neglect the Colony, but was not able to defend it against its enemies nor willing to allow the inhabitants to provide themselves with means for their defense.
During her rule of four hundred years, Spain has Dot taken a single step tending to the development of the country or to the wellbeing of the people. Worse yet: her centralized, complicated and inefficient administration, dominated by a blind spirit of routine, has always looked upon every reform as a dangerous experiment, and unwilling and incompetent to act, has been a perpetual obstruction to all
individual action even in private matters. But so soon as private effort and perseverance have succeeded in bringing into life a new industry or in developing those which have been languishing and decaying, the omnipresent hand of the government has demanded a new tax or an increase of the existing one. Of all the products of the Cuban soil, tobacco was the first one which acquired some importance at the beginniing of last century. The government at once so taxed and monopolized its cultivation, sale and manufacture that the planters in despair rose in arms several times and more than once destroyed their fields rather than submit to exactions which not only deprived them of their profits but even of part of their labor.
In 1762 the city of Havana was captured by the English and held for about eleven months. While occupied by them the port was opened to foreign trade, and for the first time the inhabitants of that section of the island had the opportunity of experiencing and appreciaxing its advantages. When the city was surrendered to Spain the same old system was continued; but the eyes of the Cubans had been opened and they became impatient of the isolation to which they were condemned by the stupidity of their rulers, and some of the most prominent among them began to make earnest efforts to remedy the evil; but without any success until the beginning of the present century. At the same time, a desire for education began to be felt by the well to do classes of the Cuban people, and there being no institutions in the country which could satisfy it, a considerable number of youths were sent by their parents to the United States. But the Government, considering such a proceeding not only improper but exceedingly dangerous, by Royal Decree issued at Madrid in 1799, ordered that all Cuban parents should be disuaded from continuing a practice from which only evil consequences could be expected. In 1828 the Royal Decree was reissued in a severer form, ordering that parents disobeying it should be punished, that all youths then in the United States should at once be brought back to Cuba, and that they as well as those who had previously received their education in that country should be placed under police surveillance and a careful record kept of their opinions and conduct.
As already stated, during the first three centuries Cuba was condemned by her metropolis to isolation and neglect. During the next one the conduct of the mother country toward the colony may be epitomized in these four words: violent subjection and plunder. It is a century of conspiracies, uprisings and revolutions provoked by thc galling yoke of the oppressor. There was one in 1823, another in
1826, another in 1828, another in 1830, another in 1848, another in 1850, another in 1851, another in 1855, then the ten years war of 186878, an uprising in 1879, another in 1885 and the present war which
began on the 24th of February 1895.
The full significance of that condition of perpetual unrest and
even open rebellion may be fully appreciated when it is remembered that the Cubans, far from being a warlike people, are very peaceable and of an exceedingly mild and amiable disposition. The Spaniardsthemselves have so declared more than once. One of them, General Vargas, used to say that he knew of no people so easy to govern as the Cubans. "1Treat then courteously and kindly," he said, "1let them go unmolested about their business, do not interfere with their amusements and you can do with them almost anything you like."
But under the Spanish Government they have yet -lo learn what
it is to live in peace and security. That condition and the blessings which flow from it have never been known to the people of Cuba.
Slaves under military rule, they have dragged a miserable existence, J in perpetual dread of that infamous power which has respected no right,
and disposed, without limitation or restraint, of their property and
lives to suit its convenience or to gratify its rancour.
Let us review a little more in detail the history of the nineteenth
As is well known, during the reign of Phillip II, in the sixteenth
century, the government of Spain was transformed into a pure despotism, and so continued until the beginning of the present one. In 1808 the Peninsula was invaded by the armies of Napoleon, and the King and the royal family having been conveyed to France and there retained as prisoners, a national Junta was organized for the defense of the country against the invaders during the absence of the King.
In 1810 the Junta issued a decree convening the national Cortes and authorizing and directing the people of the Spanish possessions in America to elect deputies to represent them. Cuba sent two. In 18 f2 f a constitution was adopted by the Cortes, the first article of which
declared that the Spanish Nation was composed of all the Spaniards of both hemispheres, and therefore the inhabitants of all those countries were entitled to representation in the Cortes. When the stupid and brutal Ferdinand VII ascended the throne in 1814, the constitution was abolished; but after a reign of terror of six years he was compelled to accept it, and upon its re-establishment Cuba elected and sent to the Cortes four deputies. The triumph of the Spanish liberals was, however, of short duration, for in 1823 the constitution was again over-
thrown and despotism prevailed until the death of the King in 1833. A new constitution was then adopted. It had a very ephimeral existence, and in 1836 the one of 1812 was for the third time revived. Cuba elected and sent to the Cortes four deputies. Three of them arrived at Madrid in the beginning of 1837, presented their certificates of election and were refused admission. Why? It is a somewhat long story; but we will endeavor to summarise it.
The Spanish deputy, senior Sancho, who had been one of the commissioners appointed by the Government to draw the decree summoning the Cortes, in a speech before them on April 3d 1837 said:
"It is said that the Government has changed its opinion. Some of the deputies may believe that such a change has taken place. I believe that it is not so, and no one is better informed than I am. The Government never entertained the opinion that the American deputies should be called. On the contrary, it has always looked upon it as an evil which should be remedied as soon as possible.
"When the question of American representation was considered by the Government, what did it decide ? First, that the constitution should not be extended- to those countries ; second, that as few deputies as possible should come from them. The Government did all it could to diminish such a calamity as that, and if it did not decide in a final way that the constitution should in no manner be extended to the American provinces it was because it knew that the general opinion was not yet entirely formed upon that point; but it knew well that all practical men familiar with the condition of those countries were opposed to the extension."
The Cuban deputies having entered a protest against their exclusion, a committee was appointed by the Cortes to examine into the matter and to make such recommendations as they migh deem proper and convenient. The report presented by the committee was very short, and merely stated that having carefully considered the matter, they recommended that "in future the American and Asiatic provinces should be governed by special laws, and that their deputies should not be admitted into the Cortes."
The report and recommendations were adopted, and Cuba was deprived of her right of being represented in the Cortes.
But before proceeding any further let us glance at the political and social changes that had taken place in Cuba during those years. In those changes we shall be able more clearly to discern the real motives which prompted the action of the Government and the Cortes.
Until about 1820 the two elements of the white population of the island, the Spanish residents and the Cubans, had lived in peace, har-
mony and friendship; but, through the influence of the Government and of the Spanish monopolists, those pleasant relations underwent a radical change, and no one contributed more directly to it than General Tacon, one of the worst despots that have ruled the island, who came to Cuba in 1834. He exerted himself to the utmost in order to create the deepest possible division between the Insular and Peninsular elements of the population, and he succeeded to such an extent that when he left the country the hostility between them bordered almost upon open aggresion. The Spanish monopolist and their followers became the unconditional supporters of the Government. They directed and not unfrequently entirely controlled its action, while the Cubans, having lost all influence, were degraded to the position of a conquered race, without any rights and unworthy of all consideration..
If Cuba was represented in the Cortes, the power wielded by the Spanish monopolist and their followers might find some opposition and suffer some curtailment. 'Under the regime then existing in the island, which we shall presently describe, complaints and protests made by the Cubans were easily smothered and silenced; but in the Cortes the Cuban deputies must be heard, and the Spaniards knew that they were able men, as able as the ablest they could bring forward, and of the highest character. Moreover, representation in the Cortes implied a liberal rule in Cuba, and such a change might prove detrimental to the interests of the Spanish monopolists as well as to those of the home government. The former, therefore, exerted themselves to the utmost in order to prevent any change taking place, and they were cordially supported in their efforts by General Tacon, who was a strong 'advocate of military rule and unceasingly represented to the Madrid Government that under any other the island would soon he lost to Spain. No more convincing argument could be offered to the rulers in the Peninsula. Cuba had been contributing for several years past very large sums of money to the empty national Treasury; they were very much needed, and the possibilities of extorting yet larger ones were well understood. The Minister of Finance, in a speech to the Cortes on March 25th 1837, protested against any change "endangering the considerable contributions with which those countries are now relieving the wants of the mother country." The Government was both willing to be convinced of the impolicy of making any change and ready to trample upon right and justice if by so doing a large revenue was secured. The protests of the Cubans were disregarded and thrown aside with contempt; the claims of the Spanish monopolists were readily received and cheerfully admitted, and from that day to this, in joint
partnership with the Government, they have continued to loot the country without restraint and without mercy.
Let us now proceed briefly to describe how Cuba has been governed by Spain and her accomplices in the nefarious work.
On the 28th of March 1825 the following royal decree vas issued at Madrid:
IHis Majesty, the King, our lord, desiring to obviate the inconveniences which might result in extraordinary cases from a division of command, and from the interference of powers and prerogatives of the respective officers; for the important end of preserving in that precious island his legitimate sovereign authority and public tranquillity through proper means, has resolved, in accordance with the opinion of his Council of Ministers, to give to your Excellency the fullest authority, bestowing upon you all the powers which by the royal ordinances are granted to the governors of besieged cities. In consequence of this his Majesty gives to your Excellency the most complete and unbounded power, not only to send away from the island any persons in office, whatever be their occupation, rank, class or condition, whose conduct, public or private, may alarm you, replacing them with persons faithful to his Majesty, and deserving of all the confidence of your Excellency; but also to suspend the execution of any order whatsoever, or any general provision made concerning any branch of the administration as your Excellency may think most suitable to the royal service. "
*That royal decece has not yet been revoked and is in full force. It isthe fundamental lawby which the Cuban people has been and is ruled at the present day. No Persian satrap or Roman proconsul was ever clothed with such unlimited and unbounded powers. It would be impossible to make them more absolute. The Captain-General is even authorized to disregard and set aside any law that may be enacted by the Sovereign: his will is paramount and supreme. Hle is the Comander-in-chief of the Army, the Chief of the Civil Administration, the Legislator and the Supreme Judge. He enacts, interprets, applies and executes the law. His edicts, always begin: "I order and command," and his orders and commands must be obeyed in silence' and at once. The mildest complaint is considered by him as a lack of respect to his authority, and not unfrequently resented as a personal insult. Using and abusing those extraordinary powers, the CaptainGeneral have ruled the country with an iron hand. On the merest suspicion, or prompted by prejudice or dislike, they have, without any form of trial, imprisoned persons, banished them from the island, deported them to the penal colonies of Africa or ordered them shot, and moreover, confiscated their estates and reduced their families to
poverty and destitution. During the last seventy years there is not one single Cuban family some one of whose members has not suffered persecution or death.
Deprived at home of the means of protesting against their oppressors, or even of complaining of their sufferings, the Cubans have expended large sums of money supporting publications in foreign countries, in the United States, France and elsewhere, and even in Madrid when circumstances permitted it, in order to lay their grievances before the world, and specially before the mother country and the home government. And when on some extraordinary occasion they have been allowed to make direct representation of their sad condition, they have, with great moderation and self-control, availed themselves of the opportunity, and endeavored with incontestable facts and irrefutable arguments, to show that it was as much in the interest of the mother country as of the colony that reforms should be introduced into the the political and economical regime of the island; and clearly setting forth those reforms have pointed out haw they would tend directly to the development of the vast natural resources of the country, and how, in the ensuing prosperity, the revenue derived by the home government would increase and yet be less burdensome to the Cuban people. Such representations, however, have never borne any fruit, for both the mother country and her government have utterly disregarded them.
In 1865 the premonitions of an approaching revolution were so distinctly felt all through the island, that the home goverment consented to and directed the election and the appointment of commissioners who should proceed to Spain to report about the general condition of the country and to recommend such reforms as in their judgment would satisfy the aspirations of the enlightened classes of the people. Sixteen of the most eminent Cubans were elected, and together with the commissioners appointed by the Government, they met at Madrid the following year. A series of questions were submitted to them and they were most carefully considered and answered. As soon as the report and recommendations were handed in the commissioners were dismissed. Did the Government take any action upon them? Not at all. They were simply consigned to the archives and to oblivion. The whole proceeding was a prearranged farce by the Government of Spain and its representative and allies in Cuba. But the Cubans had dared to ask for reforms and must be punished for it. The following year the taxes were increased, and to such an extent, that in some parts of the island the land owners,
unable to pay them, presented themselves in a body to the Authorities for the purpose of surrendering their property.
This new outrage hastened the revolution of 1868. The Cubans were not prepared for it; they had no arms, no anumnit ion, no equipments, in fact, no war material of any kind. They had no other weapons than fowling pieces and machetes. But the country people were restless, they could not be restrained, and the uprising took place. The war lasted ten years; it cost the country some 45,000 lives and over $1,000,000,000. Some districts were left entirely depopulated and in rains. Spain lost over 190,000 men. In money the war cost her nothing; all the expenses were paid by Cuba. Some of the Spanish military commanders and civil officials made by it fortunes running up into the millions. Daring the ten years about 13,000 estates belonging to Cubans were confiscated, among them some 1,000 belonging to ladies whose only offense was to sympathize with those who were defending their rights and their lives. The work of assassination was carried on by the Spanish Government in an appalling manner. Between December 8th 1868 and November 10th 1873, no less than 2,927 political prisoners were executed; and between March 1st 1869 and November 7th 1873, 4,672 persons were reported captured by the Spaniards and nothing has ever been heard of their fate. These figures have been compiled from Spanish official documents and may be verified by referring to the peculiar book of our Cuban bibliography, entitled the "Book of Blood," the contents of wich have been furnished by Spanish butchery.
When Spain became convinced that she could not subdue the revolution by force of arms she resorted to treachery, and selected General Martinez Campos as her instrument. He came to Cuba and succeeded in placing himself in communication with some of the leaders of the revolution. He represented to them that the struggle was a hopeless one both for the Cubans and for Spain, and that he had come to put an end to it through a compromise, being fully authorized by his Government to that effect. An -agreement was finally made whereby the Cubans were to be granted at once a limited self-government, the powers of which were to be gradually increased. Martinez Campos was probably acting in good faith, but his Government was not. The Cubans were autborized to send deputies to Madrid; but under such a peculiar electoral law that they have at no time been. able to elect more than six, and some times only three, of their countrymen to represent them in the Cortes, where for sixteen long years they wasted their time asking for the promised self-
government without the least attention having been paid to their demands. One fine day, as if dropped from the skies, Minister Maura appeared with a scheme of government for Cuba. The Cortes at once declared it to be too liberal and rejected it. Then Minister Abarzuza presented to the Cortes another plan. This was approved; but what is it? A Council of Administration composed of thirty members, of which fifteen elected by the people and fifteen appointed by the Government. The Captain General to be the president of the Council with the casting vote, the veto power, and the power, most extraordinary indeed, of suspending any number of the members, not exceeding the majority of them, for any length of time, and without thereby invalidating the proceedings of the Council. Under the electoral law in force in Cuba, the composition of that body would have been as follows: the Cubans, numbering over 1,400,000, would have had 2 representatives; the Spaniards residing in the island, numbering only 160,000, would have had 28 representarives. Moreover, no act of the Council should be valid until approved by the Cortes. Such was the famous Abarzuza Law. The Spaniards have had a great deal to say about it. They have called it self-goverment and many other things except what it really is-a most contemptible fraud. But the Spanish Government had a purpose besides that of political deception. There are scattered over Europe some two hundred millions of bonds issued by Spain. They are, of course, part of her national debt; but as the interest on them is paid from the revenue derived from Cuba, they are distinguished by the appellation of "Cuban Bonds." It was the intention of the Spanish Government, and negotiations had already been opened with European bankers, to float a loan oi $300,000,000 for the purpose of redeeming the so-called Cuban bonds, now outstanding, and of getting some cash for the empty Spanish Treasury. The transaction was to be submitted to the proposed Cuban Council of Administration for approval, and this would would have been easily obtained as the Government could command a majority at any time. But what would have been the result for Cuba? Certainly a very serious one, for in case of her becoming independent she would have been responsible for that debt by having approved it. As matters stand now, Spain alone is responsible. Cuba has no debt of any kind. The Cubans were not long in detecting the whole extent of the fraud, and wearied of waiting for the promised reforms, crushed by taxation, and threatened by universal bankruptcy, decided to fight for their rights and for their liberties, and again raised the standard of revolt against their opprossors on February 24th of last year, this time with the firm resolution either to succeed
in driving them out of the island or to reduce it to ashes and perish among the ruins. But let us add here that for the peaceable and honest Spaniards, whether they are property holders or humble laborers, there will always be room and security under the flag of free Cuba, for the Cubans are fighting only against the Spanish Government.
Sketch of the present Cuban revolution from its
beginning until December 1895.
If the failure of the uprising in 1885 did not entirely discourage and disconcert some of he most important leaders of the Cuban revolutionary party, it had at least a very depressing effect upon the majority of the people, and the idea of any other immediate movement was very generally given up. A little foresight and wisdom on the part of the Spanish Government could then have secured a long term of peace and tranquillity; but instead of meeting the general discontent with a more liberal policy and a few concessions, it continued its mad career of opression and tiranny until the spirit of rebellion was again aflame.
During some years, however, the people evinced so little disposition to support any attempt at insurrection or even to consider any plan submitted to them, that many of the leaders in Cuba and abroad began to lose all hope of accomplishing anything at least during -the life of the generation which had seen the the last failure. At this critical moment, when all saw around them nothing but darkness, a man full of that faith which knows no impossibilities, came forward and offered himself as the leader of the new movement; -but the man who comes into this world charged wish the mission of performing a great and good work is seldom understood and valued until his mission is accomplished and his task is finishe 'd. Endowed with a vision which transcends the horizon of his contemporaries, where these see nothing but shadows and darkness, he clearly discerns the trembling rays of light which announce the near appearance of the rising sun, and encouraged by that perception, while others wander about in a vain search for the path leading to the goal which perhaps they as well as he are striving for, he pursues his course regardless of admonition, indifferent to advice and unmindful of all censure. Then, the men who are considered and deem themselves wise and prudent, surprised by his persistency, astonished at his firmness and aunoyed by his indifference to their counsel and to their warning, utter the word, the terrible word of
condemnation, and withdraw to hear the applause of the little minds below. Their work is done: the seer has been branded: he is a visionary His clearsightuess, his inspiration, his faith are no more than the idle play of an over excited brain!I Prudence and wisdom would cease to be such if they were not somewhat short-sighted!I
Such was the fate of Jose' M~arti, the great Cuban leader, at least during a good part of his. useful career. But he was not the man to be discouraged by adverse opinions or criticisms. To the learned and distinguished who attempted to convince him that he was wrong in believing in the possibility of a revolution, because the people wanted nothing but peace and rest, he quietly answered that they, not he, were wrong; that he clearly saw the revolution coming, while they were insensible even to their own surroundings; that they were standing upon a volcano and failed to perceive the smoke which was already
-issuing and the flames which were leaping about, all of which he was seeing with a clear and distinct vision. His conviction that the revolution was coming very soon was so profound and so deeply seated that nothing could in the least affect it, and he devoted all his energies and all his talents to prepare the people for the inevitable event. Finding -no decided support among the higher classes, he addressed himself to the humbler ones. His fervid, picturesque and captivating oratory (for he was a great orator) readily won their ears, enlisted their attention, awoke and stimulated their faith, excited and inflamed their patriotism, and gave him such a control and direction over their will that they soon accepted his words as a gospel and his wishes as a law. Having advanced thus far, knowing tbat the previous failures had been due to lack of proper organization, he applied himself with unceasing activity to bringing together into clubs all the Cubans in the different cities of the United States, iMexico, Central America and Colombia for the purpose of collecting and accumulating funnds and- of carrying on a well directed propaganda in favor of the cause of their country. As his starting point he had the Club de los Independientes, founded in 1887 in New York by Juan Fraga, one of the few Cubans who never lost faith in the success of the cause even in the times of greatest discouragement and despondency, and who on that account deserves, special mention no less than for his honesty, his modesty and his dIevotion to his country. The work of Marti was completed. in a few years and soon began to bear abundant fruits. Funds were accumulated, newspapers were published and an active propaganda, a propaganda of education and preparation, was carried on, inspired and effectively conducted by Marti. The scattered Cuban
emigrants were formed into a compact body, and, under his influence and direction, acted as a unit. Every Cuban artisan, for the organization was essentially one of Cuban wage earners, however small his salary or small his income, made a weekly contribution to the general fund. For many of them it meant to deprive themselves and their families of necessary comforts and even more; but the contribution was nevertheless cheerfully made and with unfailing regularity.
Within the island the organization was perfected as far as circumstances allowed, not only for the purpose already stated, but in order to collect and transmit information in regard to the opinions and sentiments of the Cuban people, the general condition of the country, the strength of the Spanish army and its distribution, and specially with the object of ascertaining and knowing the leaders and their followers, who, when the moment arrived, could be implicitly trusted to second and support the movement. In this great work of organization and preparation Mr. Marti was ably and efficiently seconded by his secretary, senior Gonzalo de Quesada, and by senior Benjamin J. Guerra, the Treasurer of the party.
When Marti thought that the opportunity to act had come, he issued an order fixing the date. How well considered and timely it was events have fully shown. Two months after the outbreak he landed in Cuba and lost his life on May 19th 1895 fighting for the freedom of the country he loved so well. But his great work had been accomplished.
The uprising took place on the 24th of February, 1895, in the Province of Santiago de Cuba and in other places. During the first month the success of the movement was rather doubtful, and it was only saved by the firmness and resolution of some of the chiefs, especially by Mr. Bartolome Mas6 and Guillermo Moncada, who, although they saw that the people did not respond as quickly as it was expected, refused to listen to any proposition to give up the attempt.
On the 31st of March General Antonio Maceo, his brother Jose, Flor Crombet and Agustin Cebreco, all veteran leaders, with 22 others, landed at Duaba, near Baracoa, and as soon as they joined those who were already in arms, and the news of their arrival reached Santiago and other cities, the aspect of things changed, and men who until then hesitated to support the movement began to join the army.
On the 11 th of April General Mtximo Gomez and Mr. Marti with six friends landed at the southeastern extremity of Cuba, and having joined Maceo, a general plan was arranged whereby General Maceo was to remain in the Province of Santiago, and General Gomez
was to proceed to Camagiiey as General-in-Chief of the Army.
On the 25 th of July the expeditions commanded by Roloff, Sanchez and Rodriguez landed in the Province of Santa Clara, not far from Trinidad. They numbered about 250 men with a tolerably good supply of arms and ammunition, and found the people of that section of the country ready to join them. From this moment the success of the revolution was entirely assured. Maximo Gomez estabablished his headquarters not far from the city of Puerto Principe, and devoted himself with great energy to the organization of the army and to devising a general plan of campaign.
The first encounter between the Spanish Army and the Cuban forces took place in the Province of Santiago, at Los Negros. The Cuban were led by Jesus Rabi, now a brigadier general, and in which, although the Cubans were very poorly armed, the Spanish forces were routed. The second encounter was at El Guanabano, the Spaniards commanded by Santoscildes and the Cubans by General Mas6. The Spaniards were again routed having lost 200 men. The Cuban loss was 35. The next important move made by the Cubans was the simultaneous attack of the villages El Cristo and El Caney and of a railroad train carrying arms and ammunition. Both villages were captured by the Cubans and the barracks destroyed. The train was also captured with 200 rifles and 40,000 cartridges. These operations were directed by General Maceo. Next came the attack and capture of the fort of Ramon de las Yaguas where the Cubans took possession of 150 rifles and 30,000 cartridges. Shortly after-they attacked and captured the small port of Campechuela, which they hald for two or three days. Another important encounter was that of Yaguaranas where the Spaniards were routed leaving on the field 77 dead, arms, ammunition and baggage. After some other minor encounters, about the middle of July, the important battle of Peralejo was fought. The Spaniards were commanded by General Campos himself and the Cubans by General Maceo. The former was utterly routed losing over 400 men, among which, one of their generals, Fidel Santoscildes, and Martinez Campos himself came very near falling into the hands of the Cubans. Next came the capture of Baire by the Cubans. Afterwards the battle of Descanso del Muerto, where the Spaniards suffered heavy losses and abandoned arms, ammunition and baggage.
The increase in numbers during July and August in the Army under Gomez in Camagiiey, and in the one in Santa Clara commanded by Roloff, Sanchez and Rodriguez, encouraged General Gomez to prepare an important movement toward the West, and he announced
that by Christmas he would be with his army near Matanzas and Havana. At the same time he issued an order to all the planters of Santa Clara, Matanzas and Havana, forbidding the grinding of sugar cane this year.
General Martinez Campos then answered that the sugar crop would certainly be taken in this year and that he would see to it, promising that by the 1st of December there would not be a single rebel left in Santa Clara Province.
About the beginning of October General Gomez began to prepare for his march to the west and ordered General Maceo to join him as soon as posible. Some weeks later it was reported by the Spaniards that General Maceo was dead; then that his army had been dispersed, and later that nobody knew where he and his army were. At that time General Maceo was going over the distance of 300 miles at forced marches to join General Gomez. They met about Placetas, in the Province of Santa Clara, and continued their westward march carrying before them everything which obstructed them in their forward movement, and by Christmas Eve both generals were establishing their headquarters within a few miles of Matanzas and Havana, while General Campos was flying to Havana, as he said, to direct operations from the capital. When General Martinez Campos entered Havana on the 25th of December he did not know where or how was his army, as all commucation between himself and the various divisions had been cut off by the Cubans. Gomez's promise had been made good, while General Campos, as he himself declared in this speech at Havana, had been entirely undone by those of whon he had spoken so lightly..
The Provisional Government of Cuba was organized at Jimaguayu, province of Puerto Principe, on the 18th day of September 1895, in accordance with the Provisional Constitution adopted on the 16th of same month by the Constituent Assembly there convened, composed of representatives from all the provinces of the island. The Provisional Government is composed of a Presidont, Vice-President, Secretary of State, Secretary of the Treasury, Secretary of War and Secretary of the Interior.
In the Provinces of Santiago, Puerto Principe and Santa Clara the civil government is fully established, and to some extent in those of Matanzas and Havana.
The President of the Republic, Mr. Cisneros Betancourt, is an ex-marquis, who, during the previous revolution, threw up his title of of nobility and joined the movement, his estates having been in consequence confiscated by the Spanish Government. Mr. Mas6, the
Vice-President, is an old and tried patriot admired and loved by all his countrymen. The different secretaries are all professional gentlemen belonging to very prominent Cuban families, with the exception of General Roloff, Secretary of War, who, although a native of Poland, has lived in Cuba since he was a mere youth. He took a very active part in the Revolution of 1868-78 and won his promotion in the army through his bravery and military talents.
General Maximo Gomez was born in San Domingo in 1836, but has lived in Cuba for many years, married a Cuban lady, and is in feeling, ideas and aspirations a true Cuban. When the war of 1868 broke out he entered the Cuban Army as a sergeant; but his military abilities soon secured for him promotion and advancement and he was raised to the rank of a major general. When peace was restored, he left the island, and went to live in San Domingo, but always kept a watchful eye on the events of Cuban politics, and held himself ready to offer his sword to the patriots cause whenever needed. In the face of his late military triumphs it is unnecessary to say anything in regard to his great merits as a military leader; he has shown it himself to the world in a way that admits of no doubt.
General Antonio Macco was born in Santiago de Cuba in 1848. He was brought up in the country and was an humble peasant when the revolution of 1868-78 broke out. He joined the ranks as a soldier and his bravery and military abilities soon brought him to the front. At the end of the struggle he found himself a major general. He has in his body 25 wounds by bullet and bayonet. At the restoration of peace he left the island and went to live in Costa Rica from where he came to Cuba in March 1895. .Although he had no educational opportunities during his youLth, he is endowed by nature with such good parts, that in after years he has been able to improve his faculties and is to-day a man possessing general information and a sound judg*ment on all matters connected with his profession.
The Spaniards have asserted again and again that whatever may have been the political condition of the Cuban people previous to 1878, since then they have not only been allowed to send representatives to the Spanish Cortes, but they have enjoyed many liberties, almost as many, they have said, as are enjoyed by the people of the United States.
As to representation, please note that under the electoral law in force in Cuba, which, of course, like every other law may be suspended or -modified at the pleasure of the Captain-General, the resi dent Spaniards have almost the absolute monopoly of the electoral franchise.
We quote from a pamphlet by our eminent writer Enrique Jos4 Yarona:
.'In order to render the native Cuban powerless in his own country, Spain, legislating for Cuba without restriction, as it does, had only to give him an electoral law so artfully framed as to accomplish two objects: First, to reduce the number of voters; second, to give always a majority to the Spaniards, that is, to the European colonists, notwithstanding that the latter represent only 9.3 per cent, of the total population of Cuba. To this effect it made the electoral right dependent on the payment of a very high poll tax, which proved the more burdensome as the war had ruined the larger number of Cuban ~proprietors. In this way it succeeded in restricting the right of suffrage to only 5 3, 000 inhabitants in an island which has a population of i,6oo,ooo; that is to say, to the derisive proportion Of 3 per cent, of the total number of inhabitants.
"1In order to give a decided preponderance to the Spanish European element, the electoral law has ignored the practice generally observed in those, countries where the right to vote depends on the payment of a poll tax, and has afforded all the facilities to acquire the electoral privilege to industry, commerce and public officials, to the detriment of the territorial proprietors. To accomplish this, while the rate of the territorial tax is reduced to 2 per cent., an indispensable measure, in view of the ruinous condition of the landowners, the exhorbitant contribution Of $25 is required from those who would be electors as free-holders. The law has, moreover, thrown the doors wide open for the perpetration of fraud by providing that the simple declaration of the head' of a commercial house is sufficient to consider all its employees as partners, having, therefore, the right to vote. This has given us firms with thirty or more partners. By this simple scheme almost all the Spaniards residing in Cuba are turned into electors, despite the explicit provisions of the law. Thus it comes to pass that the municipal district of Guines, with a population of 13, 000 inhabitants, only 500 of which are Spaniards and Canary Islanders, shows on its electoral list the names Of 32 native Cubans and Of 400 Spaniards-only
0.25 por cent, of the Cuban to 8o per cent, of the Spanish population!
11But, as if this were not enough, a so-called Permanent Commission of Provincial Deputations decides every controversy that may arise as to who is to be included in or excluded from the list of electors, and the members of this Commission are appointed by the Governor General. It is unnecessary to say that its majority has always been devoted to the government. In case any elector considers himself wronged by the decision of the Permanent Commission,
he can appeal to the "Audiencia" (higher court) of the district; but the "Audiencias" are almost entirely made up of European magistrates; they are subject to the authority of the Governor General, being mere political tools in his hands. As a conclusive instance of the manner in which those tribunals do justice to the claims of the Cuban electors, it will be sufficient to cite a case which occurred in Santa Clara in 1892. where one thousand fully qualified liberal electors were excluded at one time, for the simple omission to state their names at the end of the document presented by the elector who headed the claim. In more than one case the same "Audiencia" has applied two different criteria to identical cases. The "Audiencia" of Havana, in 1887, ignoring the explicit provisions of the law, excused the employees from the condition of residence, a condition that the same tribunal exacted before. The same "Audiencia" in 1885 declared that the contributions to the State and to the Municipality were cumulative, and in i887 it decided the opposite. This inconsistency had for its object to expunge from the lists hundreds of Cuban electors. In this way the Spanish Government and tribunals have endeavored to teach respect for the law and for the practice of wholesome electoral customs to the Cuban colonists!
"It will be easily understood now why on some occasions the Cuban representation in the Spanish Parliament has been made up of only three deputies, and in the most favorable epochs the number of Cuban representatives has not exceeded six. Three deputies in a body of four hundred and thirty members! The genuine representation of Cuba has not reached sometimes 0.96 per cent. of the total number of members of the Spanish Congress. The great majority of the Cuban deputation has always consisted of Spanish Peninsulars. In this manner, the ministers of "Ultramar" (ministers of the Colonies), whenever they have thought necessary to give an honest or decent appearance to their legislative acts by an alleged majority of Cuban votes, could always command the latter, that is, the Peninsulars.
"As regards the representation in the Senate, the operation has been more simple still. The qualifications required to be a Senator have proved to be an almost absolute prohibition to the Cubans. In fact, to take a seat in the higher house, it is necessary to have been president of that body or of Congress, or a minister of the crown, or a bishop, or a grandee of Spain, a lieutenant general, a vice-admiral, ambassador, minister plenipotentiary counsellor of state, judge or attorney general of the Supreme Court, of the Court of Accounts, etc. No Cuban has ever filled any of the above positions, and scarcely two or three are grandees. The only natives of Cuba who can be senators are those who have been deputies in three different Congresses, or who are professors and have held for four years a university chair, provided that they have an income of $I, 500; or those who have a title of nobility, or have been deputies, or mayors in towns of over 20,000 inhabitants, if they have in addition an income of $4,000 or pay a direct contribution of $8oo to the Treasury. This will increase in one or two dozen the number of Cubans qualified to be senators.
In this manner has legislative work, as far as Cuba is concerned, turned out to be a farce. The various governments have legislated for the island as they pleased. The representives of the peninsular provinces did not even take
the trouble of attending the sessions of the Cortes when Cuban affairs were to be dealth with; and there was an instance when the estimates (budget) for the Great Antille were discussed in the presence of less than thirty deputies, and a single one of the ministers, the minister of "Ultramar," (Colonies) (session of Adril 3, 1880).
"Throughthe contrivance of the law, as well as through the irregularities committed and consented in its application, have the Cubans been deprived also of representation in the local corporations to which they were entitled, and in many cases they have been entirely excluded from them. When, despite the legalized obstacles and the partiality of those in power, they have obtained some temporary majority, the government has always endeavored and succeeded in making their triumph null and void. Only once did the home-rule party obtain a majority in the Provincial Deputation of Havana and then the Governor appointed from among the Spaniards a majority of the members of the Permanent Commission. Until that time this Commission had been of the same political complexion as the majority of the Deputation. By such proceedings have the Cubans been gradually expelled, even from the municidal bodies. Suffice it to say that the law provides that the derramas (defficiency assessments) be excluded from the computation of the tributary quotas, (fixed rates) notwihtstanding that they constitute the heaviest burden upon the municipal tax-payer. And the majorities, consisting of Spaniards, take good care to make this burden fall with heavier weight upon the Cuban proprietor. Thus the latter has to bear a heavier taxation with less representation.
"Under such a policy of elimination the scandalous case has occurred lately of not a single Cuban having a seat in the "Ayuntamiento" (Board of Aldermen) of Havana. In 189i the Spaniards predominated in thirty-one out of thirty-seven "Ayuntamientos in the province of Kavana. In the city of Guines, with a population of 12,500 Cuban inhabitants, not a single one of the latter was found among its councillors. In the same epoch there were only three Cuban deputies in the Provincial Deputation of Havana; two in that of Matanzas, and three in that of Santa Clara. And these are the most populous regions in the Island of Cuba.
"As, on the other hand, the government of the Metropolis appoints the officials of the Colony, all the lucrative, influential and representative offices are secured to the Spaniards from Europe. The Governor General, the regional and provisional governors, the "intendentes," comptrollers, auditors, treasurers chiefs of communications, chiefs of the custom houses, chiefs of administration, presidents and vice presidents of the Spanish Bank, secretaries of the government, presiding judges of the "Audiencia," presidents of tribunal, magistrates, attorneys-general, archbishops, bishops, cannons, pastors of rich parishes, all, with very rare exceptions, are Spaniards from Spain. The Cubans are found only as minor clerks in the government offices, doing all the work and receiving the smallest salaries.
"From 1878 to this date there have been twenty governors in the province of Matanzas. Eighteen were Spaniards and two Cubans. But one of these, Brigadier General Acosta, was an army officer in the service of Spain,
who had fought against his countrymen; and the otaer, Seflor Gonzalez Mufloz, is a bureaucrat. During the same period there has been only one native Cuban acting as governor in the province of Havana, Seflor Rodriguez Batista, who spent all his life in Spain, where he made his administrative career. In the other provinces there has never probably been a single governor born in the country.
1In 1887 there was createda councilor board of Ultramar (Colonies) under the Minister of the Colonies. Not a single Cuban has ever been found among its members. On the other hand, such men as General Armifian and Pando have held positions in it.
" The predominance of the government goes farther still. It weighs with all its might upon the local corporations. There are deputations in the provinces, and not only are their powers restricted and their resources scanty, but the Governor General appoints their presidents and all the members of the permanent commissions. There are "Ayuntamientos" (Boards of Aldermen) elected in accordance with the reactionary law of 1877, restricted and curtailed as applied to Cuba by Sefior Canovas. But the Governor General appoints the mayors, who may not belong to the corporation, and the governor of the province appoints the secretaries. The government reserves, moreover, the right to remove the mayors, of replacing them, and of suspending the councillors and the "Ayuntamientos," partly or in a body. It has frequently made use of this right, for electoral purposes, to the detriment of the Cubans.
IAs may be seen, the crafty policy of Spain has closed every avenue through which redress might be obtained. All the powers are centered in the government at Madrid and its delegates in the Colony; and, in order to give her despotism a slight varnish of a representative regime, she has contrived with her laws to secure complaisant majorities in the pseudo-elective bodies. To accomplish this purpose she has relied upon the European immigrants, who have always supported the government of the Metropolis in exchange for lasting privileges."
How far the resident Spaniards monopolize the electoral franchise is shown by the single fact that, although in every 100 of the population there are only 10 Spaniards as against 90 Cubans, for every representative elected by the Cubans the Spaniards elect at least 7 and sometimes 10. In the other words: the 1,450,000 Cubans are represented, when most successful, by 7 deputies, and sometimes by only 3, while the 160,000 Spaniars residing in the island have been represented by 23 deputies and sometimes by as many as 27, the total number being 40. Such facts need no momentary.
As to liberties, we will mention a few of those which thtrpeople of Cuba do not enjoy.
No freedom of locomotion.
No Cuban, whether man, woman or child, can venture out of his house unless provided with a government licence which costs yearly from 25 cents to $50. If he does, he is arrested. Even beggars are not exempted.
No Personal Security.
The Cubans do not enjoy personal security. In the midst of the most profound peace and without any process of law, they may be arrested, cast into prison or deported. We quote again from senior Yarona's pamphlet:
"Personal security is a myth among us. Outlaws, as well as men of law, have disposed at will of the property, the peace, and the life of the inhabitants of Cuba. The civil guard (armed police), far from being the guardians, have been the terror of the Cuban peasants. Wherever they pass they cause an alarm by the brutal ill-treatment to which they subject the inhabitants, who, in many cases, fly from their homes at their approach. Under the most trifling pretext they beat unmercifully the defenceless countrymen, and very frequently they have killed those they were conveying under arrest. These outrages became so notorious, that the commander-in-chief of the civil guard, Brigadier General Denis, had to issue a circular, in which he declared that his subordinates "under pretext of obtaining confidential information, resorted to violent measures," and that "the cases are very frequent in which individuals arrested by forces of the corps attempt to escape, and keepers find themselves in the necessity of making use of their weapons." What the above declarations signify is evident, notwithstanding the euphemisms of the official language. The object of this circular was to put a stop to these excesses; it bears the date of 1883. But the state of things continued the same. In 1886 the watering place of Madruga, one of the most frequented summer resorts in the island, witnessed the outrageous attacks ot Lieutenant Sainz. In 1887 occurred the stirring trial of the "componte," occasioned by the application of torture to the brothers Aruca, and within a few days were recorded in the neighborhood of Havana the cases of Sefior Riveron, who was stabbed in Govea by individuals of the public force; of Don Manuel Martinez Moran and Don Francisco Gelanena, who were beaten, the former in Calabazar, and the latter in Yaguajay; of Don Jos6 Felipe Canosi. who narrowly escaped being murdered in San Nicolas, and of a resident of Ceiba Mocha, whom the civil guards drove from his home.
"This was far from the worst. In the very centre of Havana, in the Camp de Mate, a prisioner was killed by his guards, and the shooting at Amarillas :and murders at Puentes Grandes, and Alquizar, are deeds of woeful fame in the
country. The administration of General Prendergast has left a sorrowful recollection for the frequency with which prisioners who attempted to escape were shot down.
"While the armed police force were beating and murdering peaceful inhabitants, the highwaymen were allowed to escape unscathed to devastate the country at their pleasure. Although tree million are assigned in the budget to the service of public safety, there are districts, such as the Province of Puerto Principe, where its inhabitants have had to arm themselves and undertake the pursuit of the bandits. The case has occurred of an army of five or six thousand troops being sent to pursue a hanful of highwaymen within a small territory, without succeeding in capturing them. Meanwhile a special bureau was established in Havana for the persecution of highwaymen, and fabulous sums were spent by it. The best the government succeeded in doing was to bargain with a bandit, and deceive and kill film afterwards on board the steamer Baldomero Iglesias in the bay of Havana.
"Nevertheless, the existence of highwaymen has served as a pretext to curtail the jurisdiction of the ordinary courts, and submit the Cubans to the jurisdiction of the courts- martial, contrary to the Constitution of the State, which had already been proclaimed. In fact, the Code of Military Laws (Codigo de Justicia Militar) provided that the offenses against persons and the means of transportation, as well as arson, when committed in the Provinces of Ultramar (the Colonies) and the possessions of Africa and Oceania, be tried by court martial.
"It is true, however, that an explicit legal text was not necessary for the government to nullify the precepts of the Constitution. This was promulgated in Cuba with a preamble providing that the Governor General and his delegates should retain the same jiowers they had before its jiromulgation. The banishment of Cubans have continued after as before said promulgation. In December of 1891 there was a strike of wharf laborers in the Province of Santa Clara; to end it the Governor captured the strikers and banished them en masse to the island of Pinos.
"The deportations for political offences have not been discontinued in Cuba, and although it is stated that no executions for political offences have taken place since 1878, it is because the government, has resorted to the more simple expedient of assassination. General Polavieja has declared with the utmost coolness that in December i88o he had 265 fiersons seized in Cuba, Palma, San Luis, Songo, Guantanamo and Sagua de Tanamo, and transpiorted the same day and the same hour to the African Island of Fernando Poo. At the close of the insurrection of 1879-188o it was a frequeut occurrence for the government to send to the penal colonies of Africa the Cubans who had capitulated. The treachery of which General Jose Maceo was a victim carries us to the darkest times of the war of Flandes and the conquest of America.
"Cuba recalls with horror the dreadful assassination of Brigadier General Arcadio Leyte Vidal, perpetrated in the bay of Nipe in September of 1879. War had just broken out anew in the Eastern Department. Brigadier General Leyte Vidal resided in Mayari, assured by the solemn promise of the Spanish com.
inander-in-chief of that zone tnat he would not be molested. One month had elapsed since the uprising, however, when having gone to Nipe, he was invited by the commander of the gunboat -"Alarma to take dinner on board. Leyte Vidal went on board the gunboat, but never returned. He was strangled in a boat by three sailors, and his corpse cast into the sea. This villanous deed was committed in compliance with an order from the Spanish General Polavieja. Francisco Leyte Vidal, a cousin to Arcadio, miraculously escaped the same tragic fate.
" IThe mysterious death of Cubans who had capitulated long before have been frequent in Cuba. To one of these deaths was due the uprising of Tunas de Bayamo in 1879.
" 1If the personal safety of the Cubans, in a period which the Spaniards would depict with brilliant colors, continues at the mercy of their rulers, who are aliens in the country both by birth and in ideas, have the Cubans' honor and property any better safegard? Is the administration of justice good, or even endurable? The very idea of a law suit frightens every honest Cuban. Nobody trusts the honesty or independence of the judges. Despite the provisions of the Constitution, without warrant and for indefinite time, imprisonments are most common in Cuba, The magistrates can tighten or loosen the elastie meshes of the judicial proceedings. They know well that if they curry favor with the government, they can do anything without incurring responsibility. They consider themselves, and without thinking it a disgrace, as mere political tools. The presidents a nd attorneys general of the I"IAudiencias (Superior Courts) receive their instructions at the Captain General's office. Twice have the governors of Cuba aimed at establishing a special tribunal to deal with the offences of the press, thereby undermining the Constitution. Twice has this special tribunal been established. More than once has a straightforward and impartial judge been found to try a case in which the interests of influential people were involved. On such occasions the straightforward judge has been replaced by a special judge.
IIn a country where money is wastefully spent to support a civil and military bureaucracy, the appropriation for the administration of justice does not reach $500,006. On the other hand, the sales of stamped paper constitute a revenue Of $750,000. Thus the State derives a pecuniary profit from its administration of justice.
1Is it then a wonder that the reforms that have been attempted by establishing lower and higher courts to take cognizance of criminal cases, and by introducing oral and public trials should not have contributed in the least to improve the administration of justice ? Onerous services have been exacted from people without proper compensation as gratuitous services. The government so splendidly liberal when its own expenses are in question, haggles for the last cent when dealing with truly useful and reproductive services."
No freedom of thought and expression.
The Cubans do not enjoy freedom ef thought and expression. The newspaper writers Cepeda and Lopez Brifias were banished from 4he country because they attempted to criticise the Government, while senior Manuel A. Balmaseda was tried by court martial in November 1891 for having published an editorial paragraph in "El Criterio Popular" of Remedios respecting the shooting of the medical students by the Havana volunteers in 1871. The newspaper "El Pals" has been suspended several times and the editors subjected to criminal proceedings for having mildly pointed out glaring abuses. On one occasion simply because it called attention to the fact that the son of the president of the Supreme Court was holding an office against the law.
No right to hold public meetings.
The Cubans do not enjoy the right of holding public meetings. They may ask the authorities permission to do so, twenty four hours in advanceand it may be granted or denied. If granted, and this is very seldom the case, an official is deputed to be present with power to order the discontinuance of the meeting whenever he may think proper. Even associations are forbidden to hold general meetings. Such has been the case with the Association of Planters and with the Association of Artisans. Further yet. If a Cuban wishes to hold a reception at his house he must first obtain a license and pay for it, otherwise there will be trouble for him.
No rigtht to elect those who govern.
The Cubans have no right to elect those who govern them. From the Captain-General downward, all the officials are appointed in Spain, and the appointees are, of course, Spaniards. Only a few minor clerkships are help by Cubans.
The Cubans have neither vote nor voice in the imposition of the taxes or in the expenditure of the revenue. All that is done for
them in Spain. They are taxed every year to the extent of 26 or $30,000,000, (1) of which only some $700,000 are appropriated for internal improvements in the island, that is, for the construction and repairs of roads, of public buildings, telegraph lines, harbor improvemnents, sanitary works, lighthouse expenses etc. As a rule scarcely one half of that amout is disbursed, namely, so much only as is necessary to pay the salaries of the officials composing the various board 's or commissions. The balance is diverted to other purposes, or in plain English, is stolen. During the last twenty five years not one foot of highroad has been constructed or one yard added to the telegraph lines, while even the harbor of Havana has been so neglected that the enormous amount of filth accumulated in it is a perpetual menace to the health of the the city and even to that of the cities on the Atlantic coast of the 'United States. That fifth is the main cause of the prevalence of yellow fever at Havana. The Balance of the revenue is disposed of as follows: $11,500,000 to pay interest on the debt of Spain; $7,000,000 to pay for the Army and Navy of Spain, and $8,000,000 for salaries to Spanish employees in the island and out of the island. Out of the 26 or $30,000,000 of expenditures not one cent is disbursed for public education. The municipalities are supposed to take care of this, but as the general government exhausts all the sources of revenue the former lack even the means wherewith to meet the current expenses of their offices, and public education is entirely neglected. There is no school accommodation even for twenty per cent of the children of school age.
The figures already given do not represent the whole amount of revenue yearly contributed by Cuba. They represent only the sum officially reported as collected. In some cases only forty or fifty per cent. of the amount actually paid goes into the Treasury; the balance is divided among the officials. Duties on imports is the principal item of the revenue. Some years barely forty per cent of the merchandise imported into the island has been declared at the custom houses. In, 1887 the frauds were committed in such open and scandalous manner that the Captain-General, either to save appearance or because he was
(1) Note: In 1879 the amount was $46,000,000; in 1880 $46,600,000; in 1883 $86,000,000; in 1884 & 1885 over $34,000,000 each year and in 1886 over $31,000,000.
not treated to his satisiaction in the division of the spoils, one day invaded the Havana custom house with his soldiers and arrested and removed all the employees; but not one of them was punished, a thing not to be wondered at. In 1891 there were over 350 employees, high and low, convicted of fraud and every one escaped without punishment. If condemned they might make revelations compromising high personages in Madrid, including the Ministers of the Crown, who participate in those frauds. Adding the two items mentioned, that is, revenue paid into the Treasury and revenue stolen, we arrive at a total of some $50,000,000. This is not all. The Cubans are compelled to buy of Spain some $28.000,000 annualy of merchaneise which they could get elsewhere, principally in the United States, 20 or 25 per cent cheaper if the custom's tariff did not favor Spanish manufactures to the extent of 250 to 600 per cent. Adding together those various items, and other smaller ones that we omit, we find that the total contribution of the island of Cuba to the mother country is no less than 55 or $60,000,000 per annum. Before the outbreak of the present war the country was in a state of general bankruptcy; the cause is plain. The Cuban people were paying into the hands of their masters about the whole annual revenue of their industries.
But the amount stolen in Cuba by Spanish officials is greater than what we have indicated. We have yet to state what they steal from what is paid into the Treasury. The Spanish General Pando in a speech delivered in the Cortes on March 22nd 1890, after stating in detail the numerous frauds of which there was documentary evidence, recapitulated them as follows:
"The Liquidation of confiscated states shows a deficit of $14,OOO,OOO; the defalcations in the Board of the Debt amount to over $12,000,000, without including the last one to which Oteiza has given his name. Now, adding these items to those already stated, we arrive at a grand total of over $40,000,000."
Such was the work of the few years of Spanish administrative corruption in Cuba. It was yet greater, for the Oteiza frauds were found to several millions.
The Cuban Army.
The" Spaniards have attempted to persuade the outside world that the Cuban Army is nothing but a conglomerate of bandits, assassins, ignorant negroes and foreign adventurers, and his Excellency the prime Minister of the crown, Sefior Canovas del Castillo, in a cable
despatch'published lately by one of our daily papers, reiterates the assertion. His Excellency has overlooked the fact that General Martinez Campes declared several times that one of the reasons why the Spanish troops could not operate effectively against the Cubans was that he could not obtain the necessary guides. And he could not because all the country people are Cubans and so soon as one of them is compelleed to serve as such he avails himself of the first opportunity to escape and leave the Spaniards in the lurch. The same complaint has been made in regard to coast pilots, who, with very rare exceptions, are Cubans. Do not these two single facts ahow that the whole Cuban people is against the Spanish Government? The truth is that all the Cubans are a unit against Spain: the rich and the poor, the high and the low, the white and the colored. If some remain in the cities it is either because they are serving the cause there in some way or because they have no means of leaving. In the majority of cases it is because they know that there are no arms to supply them with and nothing would be gained by their joining the Army.
There are, of course, some Cubans who, occupying official positions under the Spanish Government, allied to it by their interests, misled by prejudice or impelled by resentment, remain on the side of the oppressors of the country, despised by them and pitied by the Cubans. As there were American royalists in the United States at the time of the war for independence, so there are now Cuban royalists in Cuba; but they are very few, and if they frequently make a noise altogether disproportionate to their number it is because they command the facilities at the disposal of the Spanish Government for the propaganda of misrepresentation in which it is engaged.
The Cuban army is organized and distributed as follows:
FIRST ARMY CORPS.-AouT 6,000 mEN.
Commanded by Maj. Genera Jose Maceo,
Comprising the military districts of Cambute, Baracoa, Guantanamo
SECOND ARMY CORPS.-AouT 5,000 MEN.
Comamnded by Maj. Gen. Jesus Rabi,
Comprising the military districts of Manzanillo, Bayamo, Jiguani and
THIRD ARMY CORPS.-AABouT 3,000 iTxx.
Commanded by Maj. Gen. Jose Maria Rodriguez,
Comprising the military districts of North and South Camaguey.
FOURTH ARMY CORPS.-ABouT 5,000 MX.
Commanded by Maj. Gen. Serafin Sanchez,
Comprising the military districts of Remedios, Sancti Spiritus, Cienfuegos, Trinidad, Santa Clara and Las Villas.
FIFTH ARMY CORPS (THE INVADING ARMY.) ABOUT 14,000 mmq.
Commanded by Maj. Gen. Maximo Gomez, Commander-in-chief of
the Cuban Army.
This corps is composed of two divisions.
Commanded by Maj. Gen. Maximo Gomez.
Commanded by Maj. Gen. Antonio Maceo,
Zone of Matanzas.-ABouT 2,000 MEN. Commanded by Gen. Lacret.
Forces in the Province of Pinar del Rio. Commanded by Perico Delgado.
The Army numbers, all told, some 50,000 men.
How far the organization of the Army is effective was shown by the extraordinary march of Gomez and Maceo from the Province of Puerto Principe to that of Santa Clara, and thence to those of Matanzas, Havana, and Pinar del Rio. Gomez and Maceo had only about 12,000 men and the Spanish forces in the provinces of Santa Clara, Matanzas and Havana numbered 60,000. Poorly armed and one to five the Cubans cut their way through and so disconcerted Martinez Campos that he flew from the field into Havana fearing that Gomez might attempt to capture the city.
Treatment of prisoners.
The Spanish Government has been pleased to characterize the Cuban patriots as adventurers, robbers, bandits, incendiaries and assassins. It is not unusual for despots and tyrants to apply such epithets to those who rise in defence of their rights and their freedom; but the Spaniards have always been pecuiliarly noted for their proneness and readiness to do so. It is the natural result both of their haughtiness and of their belief that war cannot be successfully waged if it is not made bloody and cruel. Those that they cannot capture and kill they brand as felons. If by chance they fall into their hands, as they have already been outlawed, they are considered fit subjects only for the slaughter house. In that double process the Spanish officials, while they find satisfaction for their arrogance, they also expect to find justification for their acts of bloodshed and carnage.
Spain asserts that in Cuba she is fighting for civilization, law and order against savagery, lawlessness and anarchy; yet while she does not spare the life of those who fall into, her power and even slaughters non-combatants and peaceable citizens, the Cubans, guided by their humane instincts and firmly resolved not to imitate their enemies in their ferocity and cruelty, have not taken the life of a single Spanish soldier which has been made a prisoner by them. If officers, they have been treated with the respect due to their rank and have not even been deprived of their side armas. If common soldiers, the rifle and cartridges have been taken from them because they were needed. Whether officers or soldiers they have been set at liberty at once and scorted to a place from which they could safely join their own. If they have preferred to remain, and many have done so, their services have been accepted and utilized. Several Spaniards are now holding commissions in the Cuban Army.
When the Spaniiards have been compelled to leave their wounded on the field, as it happened at the battle of Peralejos and others, our surgeons have most carefully attended to them, and after dressing their wounds and giving them the necessary'nourishment, the Spanish commander has been notified to send for and take charge of them. In contrast to our conduct, the Spanish commanders attack our hospitals whenever they have an opportunity and slaughter the inmates.
Let the reader decide who are on the side of humanity, civilization, law and order: the Cubans or the Spaniards.
Able to govern themselves.
The Spaniards take special pains in assuring the world that the Cubans are incapable of governing themselves; that if left to take care of their own destinies they will soon fall into a state of political anarchy, relapse into barbarism and lose the civilization developed in the island by the influence and efforts of Spain.
That a nation which for the last three centuries stands before the world as the very picture of helplessness and imbecility in the matter of government should have the impertinence of declaring incapable of self-government a people which has 'not yet had the opportunity of showing what they are capable or incapable of in that respect, is a curious example of intellectual obliquity and ridiculous arrogance.
Spanish civilization!I It has perhaps some good elements; but if in order to preserve these all the others must be retained, the majority of which are most pernicious, then let us hope that we Cubans shall be able, at a very early day, to blot out even the last vestige of it from the island. Not that we hate the Spaniards, for we hate no people and no race, but because we love our country best, and Spanish political customs, Spanish govern-mental institutions and Spanish methods of public administration are an unmitigated curse and a fearful calamity.
We would be false to our principles, feelings and opinions if we failed to recognize in the Spaniards, as individuals, many estimable and worthy qualities. They possess them; but a Spaniard as a private man, in society or individually is a very different person to a Spaniard as a public official, in polities or as a member of a collective body. In the three former situations he appears at his best, his good qualities frequently predominate, make him amiable and worthy of esteem; in the three latter he appears at his worst, his bad qualities control him, he is haughty, overbearing, harsh, despotic and cruel. Immoral and wicked acts which in public he enthusiastically approves, in private hie bitterly, denounces. An enemy in public, a friend in private, his sincerity within the home circle is as remarkable as his duplicity on the public stage. As a ruler, to say the least, he is unendurable. Eus intolerance suffers no contradiction, his self-importance accepts no expostulation, and right and justice are for him meaningless terms when they oppose his will or thwart his desires.
But it is not our purpose to make an analysis of the Spanish character, nor to show the incapacity of the Spaniards as a nation to evolve a civilization capable of promoting and securing the well-being
and happines of those living within its folds. The present condition of Spain is a glaring example of their utter failure, and if the bracing and invigorating air of America had not infused into their descendants new and powerful elements of life, their fate would indeed be a sorry one.
We take exception to the Spaniards as judges of the capacity of the Cubans to govern themselves because their incompetency in matters of government stands recorded upon the pages of history. On the. other hand, it is easy to show that the Cubans, among various other good qualities, are endowed with those of ready adaptability to new and more favorable media, and have a great capacity for rapid and solid improvement and advancement. Of these they have given incontestable proofs during the last twenty-five or thirty years, when many of them, unable to live in Cuba, have sought a home in foreign lands, where they are found respected as honest, industrious and orderly citizens or filling eminent positions in the various scientific, artistic or industrial professions.
A few examples will prove the correctness of our assertion.
Severino Heredia, a native of Matanzas, was lately Mayor of Paris, while his cousin Jose' M. Heredia, was some time ago elected to a seat in the French Academy. Sufier, one of the most distinguished dramatists of Italy, is a Cuban. The physicians Albarrin, Landeta, Albertini, Santos Fernandez, Desvernini, graduates of the University of Paris, where they were awarded the highest honors, are names not unknown in the great capital of the civilized world, while Casanovas, a graduate of two German Universities and an eminent chemist, was induced to open his laboratory in Berlin where he died at an early age. White, a native of Matanzas, the celebrated violinist, has more than once acted as the Director of the Conservatory of Paris, and Manuel Jimenez, one of the great pianists of the world, is now the Director of the Conservatory of Hamburg.
In the United States, Pedro J. Guiteras is not unknown as a historian and general writer, nor is Luis Felipe Mantilla as professor of literature and author of various textbooks widely used in Spanish America. Dr. John Guiteras, professor of pathology in the University of Pennsylvania, is an eminent specialist in yellow fever. Aniceto Menocal, of the Corps of Civil Engineers of the United States and of the Nicaragua Canal Company, ranks high in his profession. When the Geographical Congress was held in Paris to discuss the practicability of the Panama Canal, ]Xenocal opposed the project as impracticable and predicted to De Lessep and his friends what experience
afterward made very clear. Ignacio M. Varona is a civil engineer in charge of the Brooklyn Water Works. Dr. Luis A. Baralt is professor of the Spanish language and literature in the College of the City of :New York. Guillermo Collazo, who resided for some years in New York, was so excellent a crayonist, that his portraits obtained the highest prices ever paid for that class of work. Emilio Agramonte is a well-known professor of music and chorus director of New York. Rafael Navarro is a distinguished musician, composer and conductor under whose baton Thomas' Orchestra has played more than once. Francisco Sellen is a linguist, poet and writer, who resides in New York, and whose works have been very well received both in Germany and France. Jose Marti, who for many years lived in New York, was the Cuban leader and organizer of the present revolution, and a linguist, a most eloquent orator and a very voluminous writer. His name is a household word in all Spanish America. He was killed in Cuba in May 1895 while fighting for his country.
We shall say nothing of the many Cubans holding high positions in the banking and commercial firms, banks and other institutions of New York and other cities of the United States.
In Colombia, Rafael Merchan, a Cuban, stands in the front rank as a general writer, and specially as a critic, in whose capacity he has no superior there, and Francisco Javier Cisneros, is a distinguished civil engineer, well known throughout Spanish America and not unknown in the United States and Europe.
In Peru, the former Vice-President of the Banco del Callao, was a Cuban, and so is the present manager and the managers of almost all the branches of that establishment. The President of the Banco de Lima is likewise a Cuban.
In Chili, a Cuban civil engeneer, Nicolas Tanco, is in charge of the Chilian railroads.
A Cuban civil engineer, Mr. Goicuria, well known in the Argentine Republic, laid the rails of the first tramway of the city of Buenos Ayres, while Dr. Reyes, also a Cuban, is at present professor of chemistry in the Institute of Buenos Ayres, and at the same time chemist of the national navy.
The preceeding list is, of course, very incomplete, as we have mentioned only those whose names come to our memory, as we write. Scores of others have been omitted; but those given are enough to show that the Cubans are well represented everywhere, and that they can and do push themselves to the front rank in all the professions in a proportion as large as that of any other people.
In their own country, in spite of the obstacles thrown in their way by the suspicion and ill will of the Spanish Government, they have also accomplished something, sufficient at least, to show their progressive spirit and their desire for advancement.
In natural history, Don Felipe Poey occupies a commanding position. His name and his works are known to all scientific men, while Rafael Cowley and Gomez Maza as botanists, and Carlos de la Torre, in natural history in general, are not unknown. Esteban Pichardo is noted fer his very valuable contributions on the geography of the island. Antonio Caro, as chemist, has occupied a prominent position, and Francisco Alvear and Emilio J. de la Cueva (this last an eminent mathematician), both distinguished civil engineers, have for ever linked their names with some of the most important works of improvement made in the country.
As an educator, Josg de la Luz y Caballero will, no doubt, be assigned a rank as high as the highest held by any other educator in America. He was the Cuban Socrates, and on that account was cordially hated by the Spaniards.
Jos6 Antonio Saco occupies a very distinguished place in the general history of literature. He is the author of a "General History of Slavery," perhaps the most comprehensive work on the subject, and one which was received in a very favorable manner both by critics in Europe and in this country. Saco was a man of very wide learning and a master of style.
Antonio Bachiller y Morales, one of the principal apostles of education in Cuba, was a man of wide learning and a very prolific writer. The names of Josg M. Morilla, J. M. Cgspedes and Antonio Govin occur to us now; the first as authors of works on administrative law, the' second on commercial law and the third on constitutional and commercial law. All three are very estimable writers on the subjects which they have cultivated.
In sociology the Cubans have a man, Eurique Josg Varona, who has no equal in Spain. He ranks also very high as a writer on philosophy. His treatise on Logic has been very much praised by French critics. Although yet in the prime of life, besides his works on philosophy, he has published several volumes of essays, addresses and criticisms.
Manuel Sanguily is a learned and brilliant literary critic, general writer and a very eloquent orator whose name is familiar in all Spanish speaking countries. He is the author of several works and of considerable number of essays, lectures and orations of recognized excellence.
We shall say nothing in regard to the Cubans poets. One of them, Jose Maria Heredia, stands without question, and is so acknowledged by the most eminent critics, both national and foreign, at least as high as the best poet born on this continent. Three or four others are entitled to a very distinguised position among American poets, while Gertrudis Gomez de Avellaneda, the great Cuban poetess, is declared by some critics to have no equal in modern times.
Of orators and journalists, at least a score can be named, some of them of unquestionable eminence.
In conclusion, it would be easy to show that during the last thirty years, in proportion to her population, Cuba has produced, in the various profesions, two men of note to each one that Spain can bring forward. And while it is true that general education is in a very backward state, it is also true that the Cubans are endowed by nature with very good parts. They are intelligent and shrewd, readily absorb and assimilate knowledge, and are ambitions of improving themselves. They are, also industrious and thrifty. Moreover, it must be remembered that thousands of Cubans have received their education in the United States, have learned to appreciate the value of law and order, and the advantages of a good government, and their influence for good will be wide and deep among their countrymen.
That the period of reorganization may be somewhat laborious and difficult, is very probable; but there are many powerful and encouraging factors which will greatly facilitate and hasten a favorable issue. At all events, the Cubans cannot, even if they should attempt it, misgovern themselves so badly as the Spaniards have misgoverned them.
The prosperity of Cuba.
The advocates of Spanish rule in Cuba frequently point to the prosperity of the island as a proof that the Spanish regime, far from having been injurious, has been beneficial to the country.
How far that prosperity is or has ever been real, and to what extent it has been promoted by the Spanish Government, we shall presently see.
Everybody knows that sugar and tobacco are the two principal products of the island. They alone represent about ninety per cent. of the total production of the country, which, so far, is purely agricultural.
When the revolution broke out in February 1895, with few ex-
ceptions, the planters of Cuba were in a state of insolvency. In a great many of the estates work had been partially suspended, and in some altogether, because the owners, already overburdened with debts, could not obtain further advances with which to pay their laborers. The Spanish Government itself, many times declared then that the main cause of the insurrection was the economic condition of the country, and that if a great many country people had joined the Cuban army it was because they found no employment. In order to remedy the evil consequences of that condition, as far as it might be possible, General Martinez Campos, immediately after his arrival, projected several public works in various parts of the island, and announced that unemployed field laborers would find in them occupation and a means of living. Some of the works were actually begun; but as money was not over abundant they were soon discontinued, while others were never attempted not only on account of the scarcity of funds but because it was observed that with or without public works the laboring classes continued to swell the ranks of the Cuban army.
Was the condition of the Cuban planters more sound in the preceeding years?
At the termination of the war in 1878, with the exception of a few Spanish magnates who had risen to opulence through the wholesale confiscation of Cuban estates during the ten years war, and of which, by corruption and fraud, they had become possessed, all the landed proprietors of the island were, if not utterly insolvent, on the very verge of it. Hlad not foreign capital, allured by illusory returns, then flowed into the country, universal bankruptcy would have been immediate and inevitable. But fresh capital could not avert the crisis which was sure to come sooner or later under the Spanish regime. The fatal issue was delayed for a few years; but it came at last with irresistible force. From 1868 to the present day, considered as a whole, Cuba has been in a state of insolvency. For the Spaniards, those were, no doubt, prosperous times because many of them became wealthy by ruining the country.
There have been periods, of course, when the island has enjoyed relative prosperity. Such a prosperity as is possible where slavery constitutes the dynamics or moving force of the economic organism: an artificial and deceptive prosperity, brilliant and dazzling but unsubstantial and fugitive. In a word, the prosperity which the Southern States of the United States enjoyed before the war of secession. Without entering into a long and tiresome economical investigation, we find no better way of explaining to the American reader the real
nature of what has been called prosperous times, in Cuba. It is a condition whose essential elements are apparent economical wellbeing and moral and intellectual degradation.
But, except in one respect, to which we shall presently refer, that apparent prosperity has in no way been promoted or facilitated by the Spanish Government whose policy has only tended to obstruct and paralyze the vital forces of the country.
Between 1795 and 1805, in consequence of the great disturbances in the neighboring island of San Domingo, thousands of their planters, who at the time were the most intelligent in the West Indies, came over to Cuba with what they were able to save from the wreck of their fortunes in the former island, and devoted themselves to the cultivation of the sugar cane and coffee. To what extent they contributed to the development of Cuban agriculture is shown by the simple fact that while the production of sugar in 1795 was only of 31,000,000 pounds, in 1805 it had risen to 72,000,000 pounds, while that of coffee which in 1805 amounted to 6,900,000 pounds, in 1815 had reached 91,000,000 pounds. Can the Spanish Government claim any share in the promotion of that change? None indeed; but it did have in obstructing and arresting it when a few year later those French agriculturists were ordered out of the island and either lost their estates by confiscation or where compelled to sell them for one tenth of their value. Two of those estates, sold at auction by the Government, were bought by the maternal grand father of the writer of these lines and are yet the property of the family. The price paid scarcely covered the cost of the buldings.
Another even which toward the end of the first quarter of this century brought beneficial results to Cuba was the immigration, in consequence of the revolutionary war, from Mexico, New Granada, Peru and other continental colonies, of thousands of persons both of intelligence and of pecuniary means. Did the Government promote itI Far from it; those persons were looked upon with suspicion because it was feared that they might be infected with the revolutionary fever which prevailed on the continent.
But the period of so-called prosperity in Cuba is that between 1840 and 1860. It has been depicted by the Spaniards with the biost brilliant colors as one of overflowing wealth, unlimited abundance and universal wellbeing. Did the Spanish Government contribute to bring about that condition, or did it had anything to do with it except to use and abuse the advantage which it offered for greater corruption and larger plunder A simple statement will answer the question.
In the decade of 1830-40 slavery was abolished in the British West Indies, and in the next decade in the French West Indies. Their system of labor was utterly disorganized thereby and their agricultural production suffered a great reduction. So great indeed that while in 1880 the sugar exported 'from the British West Indies amounted to 112,500 tons, in 1840 it did not exceed 41,000 tons. Jamaica alone in 1830 supplied 100,200 hogsheads whereas in 1844 it contributed only 34,400. On the other hand, the production of Cuba which in 1830 amounted to no more than 97,500 tons, in 1840 had risen to 125,000, in 1855 to 381,000, and in 1860 to 564,000 tons. At the same time the consumption of that product was progressing rapidly everywhere. Sugar was becoming more and more one of the necessaries of civilized life. In Great Britain in 1844 the consumption amounted to 206,000 tons and in 1855 it had reached 416,000 tons. In the United States the American reader knows how it has increased from year to year. Cuba, therefore, had the advantage of providing a rapidly increasing consumption precisely when the supplies furnished by her competitors were rapidly. decreasing. This meant for the Cuban planters a ready market, high prices and a large profit. For the Spanish Government it meant a large field for rapine and plunder, and it so well improved the opportunity, that the Cuban proprietors, even under those most extraordinary and advantageous circumstances, were not able to capitalize scarcely anything. It would be interesting to know what influence the paternal government of Cuba had in emancipating slavery in the British and French West Indies, and in increasing the consumption of sugar in the Unitcd States and in Europe.
IBut we have said that in one respect the Spanish Government did contribute to that precarious and uncertain prosperity, and we are perfectly willing to give it full credit. It was by promoting the introduction of African slaves into the island while all other civilized nations were attempting to bring to an end, or had entirely prohibited, that nefarious traffic, and by closing the eyes to their importation even after the wicked institution had been abolished in the other West Indies, although Spain had solemnly covenanted absolutely to forbid it, and had received from Great Britain the sum of four hundred thousand pounds sterling ($2,000,000) for performing that most humane and Christian duty. When the Government ceased to charge an import duty upon the slaves introduced into the island, the CaptainGeneral and his subordinates demanded and divided among themselves a contribution of from $51 to $68 per head. What was not publicly imposed was privately exacted. The duty was paid all the same; but
instead of being turned into the national Treasury, because international obligations did not allow it to be done, it was paid into the private pockets of the high officials and the importation of slaves continued to flourish.
Such was the valuable contributions made by the Spanish Government to the prosperity of Cuba. A direful contribution, indeed, but one worthy of the contributor. Spain may pride herself upon having made it; but we Cubans, even at a time when we had the misfortune of being the owners of slaves, have always looked upon it as the greatest curse which our oppressors have brought upon us, and declared more than once not only our willingness but our earnest desire to forego a prosperity based upon the monstrous institution of slavery. The first act of the revolutionists of 1868 was to proclaim its immediate abolition.
The preceding statement of facts shows how utterly groundless are the assertions made by the Spaniards to the effect that the prosperity of the island, whatever it may have been at certain periods, was due to the efforts and the influence, of their government. Bat we have yet something else to offer in disproval of those assertions. Spaniards themselves will bear witness to the truth of our remark th-tt if Cuba has prospered it has so happened not because of the good agencies or the favor of the Spanish Government but in spite of its obstructing and enervating policy.,
In the session of April 27th 1811 of the extraordinary Cortes held at Cadiz the Spanish Minister of the Treasury, after reading an official document relative to the condition of Cuba, remarks: "1Therefore, that rich possession, (Cuba) which excites the cupidity of all the European nations, is no more than one ninth part of what it ought to be and would have been under a good and wise administration. With little diligence it might have been transformed into a powerful kingdom if to its great natural advantages the Government had joined its helping hand."
In the session of December 9th 1837 of the Spanish Cortes, the Spanish deputy, seflor Benavides, who had lived in and was familiar with the condition of things in Cuba and Porto Rico, said:
11It will be said perhaps that those provinces have prospered under such a system. No sir. Those are two distinct facts and in no way is the one the consequence of the other. Who can even imagine the deg-ree of prosperity which they (Cuba and Porto Rico) might have reached under wise laws and regulations? If we turn our regards to Cuba, are we not surprised to see how the most sacred laws are neglected and forgotten, and how the evil acquires
greater proportions every day precisely when the Government should display the greatest zeal in order to restore the empire of those laws ? Truly, Sir, the situation has been so aggravated there during this last year by a system of terror which proceeds against private gentlemen without hearing them, confiscates their estates and deports their persons to remote countries, that it is a grave charge against preceding administrations, and will be a grave charge against the present one if it does not remedy the evil."
In the same session, the Spanish deputy senior Alejandro Olivan, said:
"And here it is proper that I take notice of an objection already refuted by seffor Benavides, and a hundred times repeated,in regard to our colonies. It is said that those possessions, and specially Cuba, have reached a prodigious state of prosperity and that all innovation will expose us to leave the certain for the uncertain. In such an assertion there is both a mistake and a fallacy." Then he goes on to show why in spite of the bad government Cuba had prospered, and remarks: "It could not be otherwise with respect to Cuba: it has prospered, certainly, but it might have prospered a great deal more."
From a different point of view, the same declarations were made by senior Nicolas Maria Rivero in the session of the Cortes of March 19th 1847, while in one of the sessions of March. 1849, the Minister of the Treasury, senior Mon, declared that they "did not know anything about those countries (Cuba and Porto Rico) and had to be guided by those who had visited them."
In support of our assertion that the prosperity of Cuba was more glittering than real, and that, such as it was, the Spanish Government had contributed nothing to it, we could yet offer the testimony of a Spanish writer, sefior Miguel Rodriguez Ferrer, in 1850 and later, and of another eminent Spanish journalist and author, senior Dionisio Alcali Galiano, in 1858; but this chapter has already grown too long, and the authorities quoted fully answer our purpose, namely, to prove that from the beginning of the present century to within a few years, Spaniards of note have recognized and acknowledged a fact which the advocates of Spanish misrule now attempt to deny. Cuba twes nothing to Spain. Her rule in the island has been one of oppression, tyranny and wholesale plunder. Whatever progress in the path of civilization the Cubans have accomplished, they owe to their own unaided efforts, frequently obstructed and entirely nullified by the ignorance, pride, greed and stupidity of the mother country.
Cuba and the United States.
The question has been frequently asked whether, from an economical point of view and apart from all other considerations, it is the interest of the United States that Cuba should become a free and independent republic.
In attempting to answer the question we shall not allow ourselves to be moved and directed by the feelings and emotions of the patriot but by the cold and calculating judgment of the merchant. We address ourselves to practical business men, and we must deal with the question in a practical and business-like manner.
We believe that it is the interest of the people of the United! States both that Cuba should become a free and independent republic, and that this should be accomplished at the earliest possible moment. The grounds of our belief are the following:
There are some $50,000,000 of American capital now compromised in Cuba, of which about $30,000,000 invested in sugar estates, and the balance represented by debts due by Cuban planters and merchants to bankers, merchants and manufacturers of the United States.
So long as the war continues, the invested capital will remain unproductive and the debts due unpaid, while if it is prolonged both the one and the other may be entirely lost. Sugar and tobacco are the two principal crops of the island. Alone they amount to about ninety per cent. of the total production of the country, and there will be no sugar cane grinding and no tobacco raising while the flag of Spain continues to float over Cuban territory. The Cuban Government has so decided, and how far it is able to enforce its decision the whole civilized world is already fully aware. The purpose of the measure is to deprive the Spanish Government of almost the whole of the large revenue derived from the island, as well as to weaken its credit and incapacitate it to raise funds wherewith to carry on the war. The former object has been fully attained and the latter to a great extent. It is not probable, therefore, that the Cuban Government will rescind an order which has been attended with such good results.
If the war is prolonged, the buildings and machinery so far preserved in the sugar estates, may, through the many vicisitudes of that state of things, be entirely destroyed; the merchants of Cuba having claims against them will lose all, and the claims of their credit.
ors in the United States will meet with the same fate. To the American owners of sugar estates the loss will be immediate and direct.
Some people, however, seem to believe that Spain is responsible for those losses and will accept the claims that may be made on that account (1). For the sake of argument we shall grant that the responsibility exists, that Spain will recognize it, and that she will accept the claims, flow many years will elapse before the claims are established, liquidated and accepted? And when this latter condition is reached, where will Spain get the necessary funds to pay the claims? VVe earnestly advice all those who entertain the belief in question carefully to investigate the matter. They will soon discover that every step of the business will be attended with innumerable difficulties, to overcome wbich, if they can be overcome at all, will require a long series of years, and when the last stage shall have been reached the greatest and most insurmountable of all the difficulties will be met, namely, the lack of pecuniary means to make the claims
(i) NOTE.-What follows should be carefully read and pondered by those who entertain the belief referred to. It is one of the documents which, under the title of "Affairs in Cuba," were transmitted by the President to Congress on February xxth 1896:
" MR. UHIL TO MR. SPRINGER."
"DEPARTMENT OF STATE,
Washington, July 1st, 1895."1
"Your dispatch No. 2,517 of the 19th instant has been received. You therewith forward copy of a letter received by you from three Cuban land owners, American citizens,and residents of Sancti-Spiritus, making inquires concerning the protection of their property from seizure and destruction by insurgents
" It is a generally accepted principle of international law that a sovereign government is not ordinarily responsible to alien residents for injuries that they may receive within its territories from insurgents whose conduct it cannot control. Within the limits of usual effective control law-abiding residents have a right to be protected in the ordinary affairs of life and intercourse, subject, of course, to military necessities should their property he situated within the zone of active operations. The Spanish authorities are reported to be using strenous endeavors to prevent the class of spoliations which the writers apprehend, and notification of any particularly apprehended danger from the insurgents would probably be followed by the adoption of special safeguards by the authorities. In the event, however, of injury, a claim would necessarily have to be founded upon averment and reasonable proof that the responsible officers of the Spanish Government being in a position to prevent such injury have failed to use due diligence to do so-.
(Signed) "EDWIN F. UHL,
good. Few people have even the remotest idea of the desperate condition of the finances of Spain. Those who have faith in her ability to pay should look into it. They will find that they have been deceived by appearances, and that the late exhibition of financial strength has been but as the last flickers of the dying flame. The Treasury is empty, the annual deficit amounts to millions, the people is overtaxed to the extreme limit, agriculture is fast decaying and manufactures are struggling between life and death. Some one has said that Spain is nothing but an organized decrepitude: economically considered she is simply a carcass.
But let us suppose that Spain finally succeeds in subduing the rebellion. That years will elapse before she can accomplish it admits of no question. The rebellion of 1868 never reached the proportions of the present one. It was confined almost to the provinces of Santiago de Cuba and Puerto Principe. In that of Santa Clara *only a few and brief disturbances occurred, while those of Matanzas, Havana and Pinar del Rio remained, during the whole period, in peace and tranquility, and both the sugar and the tobacco crops were taken in with the same regularity as before; the commercial movement of the island continued more or less as usual, and the Spanish Treasury, far from having been deprived of any part of the revenue, received a larger one. Yet, in spite of all those favorable circumstances, the war was protracted for ten years, and only came to an end through a compromise. Would it be reasonable to suppose that the present one could be ended in a shorter time? And if it is prolonged for ten years, what will be left of Cuba?
Let us glance at the probable economic condition of the island at the termination of the war.
It is well known that the country was unable to bear the taxes levied before the outbreak, and even if they were not increased at the restoration of peace, they will be so heavy and crushing that universal bankruptcy will be the inevitable result. And those know little of Spanish policy and methods who suppose that at the termination of the present conflict, should Spain succeed, the taxes will be lightened. A beggared oppressor, such as Spain is, is never willing nor able to adopt such measures. Fax from doing so, Spain will throw the whole cost of thewar upon Cuba. Spain must cease to be Spain in order to do otherwise, and that will mean for Cuba a fresh burden, the magnitude of which is next to impossible to estimate at the present moment. Spain has' already wasted $100,000,000 in carrying on the war; but let us suppose, against all probabilities, that she will be able to end it
at no higher cost than $200,000,000. This is a ridiculously low figure. However, we prefer largely to underestimate it rather than overestimate it one iota. How will the obligations of the Spanish-Cuban Treasury stand?
Before the war Cuba had to pay annually the sum of $12,000,000 for interest upon a debt arbitrarily imposed upon her -by the mother country. Add the interest on the $200,000,000 of new -debt, at say, 5 per cent. per annum, equal to $10,000,000, and in those two items alone we have a yearly expenditure of $22,000,000. Before the war, the small army and navy kept there by Spain, absorbed $7,000,000. At the termination of the war, in order to keep the country in subjection military occupation will be a necessity, and an expenditure, at least of $10,000,000, will be required. Add to those items about $8,000,000 (that was the amount yearly disbursed before the war) for salaries to civil, judicial and other employes, and we arrive at a grand total of $40,000,000. In other words, after the war the budget of Cuba under Spain will not be less than $45,000,000, or some $20,000,000 heavier than before. If she was unable to meet the former, how will she be able to meet the future one? We suppose that official stealing will go on as before. How much was it then? It is a matter of record that in the customs alone at least $12,000,000 were annually stolen, and a fair estimate will place the whole yearly amount at $20,000,000. The account 'will then stand as follows: Necessary revenue to meet the expenses. .. .....$45,000,000 Revenue stolen. ...............20,000,000
Grand total,. . $65,000,000
Let us now turn our regards in another direction.
The estimated annual net revenues of all the industries of Cuba in her best years,, exclusive of taxes, were some $80,000,000. How much will they amount to after the war? Will they be more than $45 or $50,000,000? In all probability they will not reach even the lower figure; but we shall adopt the higher of the two, and the total items of the account will be:
Necessary revenue to meet expenditures and revenue
Net income of the industries of the country exclusive of
taxes. .. ..................0,000,000
It means that, -under the Spanish rule after the war, the existing capital of the island must be confiscated to the extent of $15,000,000 yearly in order to make good the exaction 's to which the country will be subjected. Such is the future which awaits American capital now in Cuba, if a worse fate does not overtake it before that stage is reached.
In the other hand, if Cuba becomes an independent republic at an early date, what will be the conditions?
Cuba has no debt. The $200,000,000 of so-called Cuban bonds are an integral part of the national debt of Spain. Cuba had neither vote nor voice, not anything whathever to do with the issue of 'those obligations, and has received no direct or indirect profit or advantage from them. They are known by the appellation of 'Cuban bonds simply because Spain bound herself to pay both principal and interest from the revenues which she might derive from Cuba.
The civil administration of the Republic, upon whatever lavish scale ofexpenditure it may be established, would never require an annual appropiation of $8,000,000 or anything like it. The general government of the Republic can be conveniently carried on with a budget of expenditures of some $10,000,000 per annum; and suppossing that it may be considered advisable to contract a few loans for the purpose of internal improvements in order to develop the country, and that a charge of $4 to $5,000,000 is added, the total will be $15,000,000. We further assume that some official stealing will take place. It will never reach the almost fabulous amount purloined by the Spaniards, and we think we can safely estimate the yearly amount of revenue paid into the Treasury and stolen at $18 or $20,000,000. Cuba is perfectly able to pay this sum annually. Under Spain she has been paying three or four times more and deriving no advantage whatever from it. Under the Republic a considerable proportion of the fixed charges will represent capital actually invested in the country- for its development.
If investments in Cuba were not unprofitable under a system of taxation which absorved more than one-half of the net revenues of her industries, will they not be exceedingly profitable when taxation is reduced to one-fourth or one-fifth of what it was? Will not then American owners of sugar estates in Cuba soon recoup the losses which they may have suffered, and American creditors of merchants and planters of Cuba have a good chance of recovering their debts?
Moreover, restrictions which now hamper and obstruct commerce between the United States and Cuba will be removed, and the trade
between the two countries will have an immediate and important development. At the present moment Cuba is compelled to buy of Spain every yeax $28 or $30,000,000 worth of merchandise, two-thirds of which at least she could obtain in the United States at a very much lower price; but to Spain she must go now because the existing customs tariffs favor the producers and merchants of Spain to the extent of 250, 600 and even 2,000 per cent. A few examples will prove the assertion. Cast iron in columns or tubes, if imported from Spain, will pay a duty of 11 cents per 100 kilos, if from the United States, $1.35; iron bars, if from Spain, 21 cents per 100 kilos, if from the United States, $2.50; iron plates, if from Spain, 26 cents per 100 kilos, if from the United States, $2.95; Metal cloth, if from Spain, $1.50 per 100 kilos, if from the United States, $24 per 100 kills. Cotton prints, if from Spain, $2.67 per 100 kilos, if from the United States, 47.26 per 100 kilos; Cotton hosiery, if from Spain, $10.95 per 1,000 kilos, if from the United States, $195 per 1,000 kilos. Flour, wheat, in fact, all farm products from the United States are subject to duties almost prohibitive. Under these circumstances, the merchants of Santander, Barcelona and other cities in Spain caxry on a profitable business buying the products of the United States, taking them to Spain and from there shipping them to Cuba as Spanish products. The unnecessary shipping charges incurred, and part of the profits realized by the Spanish merchants, is so much taken from the producers of the United States.
We have by no means exhausted the matter with which we deal in this chapter; not one tithe of the facts which can be presented have been brought forward; but enough have been offered to show that, from a purely economical point of view, it is the interest of the people of the United States that the war in Cuba should come to an end soon with Cuba as a free and independent Republic. Cuban freedom and independence means the preservation of the property owned in the island by Americans and the increase of its value, the security of the debts due to American bankers, merchants and manufacturers, new fields of profitable investments for American capitalists and a much larger commerce between the two countries.
Future of Cuba.
With a healthy and delicious climate and a fertile soil; with large forests teeming with precious and valuable woods, extensive and rich
mineral deposits, numerous and excellent harbors and a peaceable and industrious population; in close proximity to the consuming inarkets of all her products, some of which are so peculiarly her own that she may be said to hold a monopoly of them, Cuba only needs peace and a good and just government in order to become one of the important factors not only of the civilization of America but of the world.
And this is neither a rhetorical figure nor the dream of a visionary. Any one who is familiar with the vast natural resources of the country, and who has carefully observed how it has borne the obstructing and enervating system to which it has been subjected by Spain, cannot but arrive at the same conclusion. When it is remembered that Cuba has in various ways fed the rapacity of the Spaniards for a long series of years to the extent of $55 or $60,000,000 per annum, an idea can be formed of the vitality and capacity of the island to produce wealth.
Her natural advantages are so great and evident that so soon as the forbidding and paralyzing power of Spain shall have disappeared from the island, the capital and enterprise which heretofore has kept aloof, being sure of its reward, will flow into the country in order to develop and transform all the elements of latent wealth which for centuries have remained untouched and useless, and Cuba, under the beneficient influence of capital and human industry, untrammelled and free, will become an emporium of wealth and one of the most inviting and happiest abodes of man on this globe.
THIS h V HAS BEEN ..ICR U4LED
TH DIVERSITY OF ,.FLRIDALIBfRARIES.
3 1262 04038 1203
MAP FILrED MAP