VII. LE'ITER TO
THE EDITOR OF "LA CORRESPONDENCIA DE PUERTO RICO"
Santo Domingo, October, 1900
Mr. Editor of La
Correspondencia de Puerto Rico, San Juan.
No longer does patriotism alone
oblige us to defend our country against whomever might jeopardize
her, but conscience also orders us to do what is good, and
currently the only good thing in Puerto Rico is the cause
defended by the League of Patriots.
Nothing else is good: The North
Americans' work is evil, the Puerto.
Ricans' work is evil. The North
Americans; Impassively watching the Puerto Ricans die and kill
each other, dying of hunger and killing out of envy, are acting so
wrongly that they no longer seem like the saviors of human dignity
who appeared in history: to save human dignity they also made
liberty, the safeguard of dignity, human; they proceeded to live
it out in the most natural way in the world; they showed the other
peoples of the Earth how to do the same, and they became the most
influential representatives of the human race.
Are these the same people who
today, instead of helping Puerto Rico save her dignity and
establish liberty, are watching with cold premeditation as the
Puerto Ricans die and kill each other?
The true North Americans, the
legitimate sons of the revolution for Independence, are not
capable of that, but the ones who have gone to Puerto Rico are the
descendents of those who, originally named "Normans," men of the
North, did many of the greatest things during the Middle Ages,
albeit at the price of the greatest brutality. They are blind
forces, and when moved in a direction they move implacably,
trampling whatever may be trampled, and letting fall whomever may
fall. Some admire this in past and present history: I do not
believe brute force worthy of admiration whether I see it in
everyday history or it is presented to me adorned, adulated, and
admired in past history; however, I do believe worthy of greater
attention and concern the obvious fact that the North Americans
sent to Puerto Rico and the North Americans of the government
that sends them are proceeding in Puerto Rico like a brute force.
In which direction is that brute force headed? In the direction of
extermination. It is not nor can it be a confessed intention, but
it is an
unconfessed belief held by the
barbarians who attempt to popularize conquest and imperialism
from the Executive Branch of the United States, that to absorb
Puerto Rico they must exterminate her; and naturally, they see
hunger and envy exterminating Puerto Ricans as a fact that concurs
with their design, and they cold-heartedly allow it to happen.
If they did not have the aim of
empowering themselves forever, at any cost, of the body and soul
of the Island, they would have heard her commissioners, who in
December of 1898 made a series of propositions to the President of
the United States. The series in its entirety constituted a plan
for government, not simply as a plan, but rather
conscientiously as the only plan for government that
simultaneously corresponded to the historical spirit of the U. S.
Federation, the true governmental doctrines, the hopes Puerto
Ricans had in the United States, and the intellectual and moral
responsibility the government in Washington had assumed when it
imposed upon the United States the new foreign policy that was
condemned from Washington as contrary to the moral destiny of
Instead of a plan for government
which would have Americanized Borinquen-insofar as Americanism is
good-and which would have prepared her to effectively exercise
her independence in everyday life with the other peoples of the
Earth, McKinley and his partisans, who do not look beyond keeping
the Republican Party in power, saw nothing in Puerto Rico but a
field for exploitation they believed to be opening up to the
avarice of their supporters or to the vain glory of the American
masses. Is that good?
E. M. de Hostos