I. LETTER TO THE
EDITOR OF THE "DIARIO CUBANO"
Mr. Editor of the Diario Cubano.
My friend: I am so
willing to please you that I shall give you more than you have
requested. You have asked for a signed explanation for what you call
a speech and what I call my admonition, and I declare under my
signature that those who have listened to me, and say that I have
expressed ideas or heed feelings other than those which are
ever-true to my conscience, have not listened well.
My conscience tells me
that my life's greatest desire, the absolute independence of the
Antilles-so very possible because of the geographical and economic
conditions of these societies-would be a difficult task for the
generation destined to conquer it, which has already heroically
begun to conquer it, if this generation is not cured in time of two
vices with which despotism has infected our people. From the first
vice, an inevitable product of the pathetic principle of authority
that smothered our human dignity in addition to our liberty, comes a
false idea of liberty. The second vice, a cursed creation of
autocratic government, produces the habit of entrusting others with
what we should do for ourselves. The first breeds anarchy; the
second begets dictators; they complement each other, and wherever
systematic hatred for authority produces anarchy, the people have an
idol that enslaves them; and wherever there is political idolatry,
there is a latent or patent state of anarchy. A society that suffers
these evils is not free. And if I want the absolute independence of
the Antilles, it is because I want to prove to our slanderers that
the Antilles can be free.
It is clear that, having
such aims and ideas, I oppose everything that is against them. This
is why, at all times and in all places, I admonish those Cubans who
love nothing else or believe in nothing else but ideas.
Therefore, in Irving
Hall, I began speaking about our principal idea independence.
Those who oppose independence are our enemies. Do those who,
disregarding the right of legitimate authority, attempt to divorce
us from independence, oppose us indirectly? Then they are our
enemies. Does the conduct of that same authority oppose it? Then it
is your enemy. Fight the former by opposing them with the right of
the latter by making a public, clear, and obvious opposition to it,
going as a group and saying: "You are going astray; you either fail
to do this, or you exceed in that. Do what is necessary, refrain
from what is
disregarding people and following my ideas, I speak neither for
nor against the Junta, for or against anyone. The day I descend to
favoritism, and do myself the injustice of supporting personal
interests, I will have put my patriotism at the level of people,
and the average height of five feet is too short for my ideas.
Perhaps those who abandon
themselves to their passions think it is possible to speak more
clearly. May the man who is steadfast in his ideas be the judge.
And as I suppose you are more
loyal to your ideas than to your passions, judge the words of
your humble servant,
Eugenio M. Hostos