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XI. THE LEAGUE OF PATRIOTS

 

I

 

We gather at this Assembly1 to fulfill one of our duties as Puerto Ricans, to work for the social, economic, and political betterment of our people.

We believe there is nothing better for this objective than the platform that the League is already developing, with the establishment of night classes and Sunday lectures as well as the foundations for a municipal institute in Juana Diaz. The same will be done in other towns.

The political objectives of the League of Puerto Rican Patriots are the prompt change from a military to a civil government, the establishment of a temporary government as soon as Congress assembles, the quickest elevation of Puerto Rico to the category of a State, reserving the right to a plebiscite for when the political situation of the United States is favorable to it.

The League's political objectives mean little in comparison to its social purpose.

At this moment in our country's life, it principally is about preparations so that the present generation can make efforts to improve its habits and increase its knowledge, so that future generations can empower themselves with all the resources which liberty places in our country's hands.

    To achieve this purpose, it is essential to establish public instruction in all grades and at all levels, for boys and girls, men and women.

    It is essential for education to be simultaneously social, civic, and military.

It is essential to precipitate and facilitate the practice of political, economic, civic, and cultural institutions which give all people the aptitude, ability, and spontaneity necessary to live an active life, improve public health and exercise the initiative that must be applied to all the necessities of individual as well as social life.

There are three levels of public instruction: Primary education, which should be given in kindergarten and public schools;

 

I Assembly of the representatives of the Island town councils held in the San Juan Municipal Theater on October 30, 1898, at which Hostos and Dr. Rafael Cestero represented the Juana Diaz town council and presented this supplement to the report of the forum on public instruction. See El Pais, San Juan, P. R., October 30, 1898.

 

 

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Secondary education, which should give practical scientific, civic, and technical knowledge;

      Professional education, which should give concrete knowledge of law, medicine, engineering, and technology; and University education, which should give all the knowledge of each of the general branches of the positive sciences, not for practical reasons in life, but for reasons of culture for the mind.

      For the formation and provision of a teaching profession, apt for this education as well as military education, there should be:

Normal schools for teachers.

Normal schools for professors.

Normal schools for university instructors.

Military schools.

Naval schools.

    This gradation is not excessive when considered the way to provide a thorough education.

For this purpose, in each of the towns where it operates, the League will begin by founding a night school, a municipal institute which comprises reformed primary and secondary education, Sunday lectures, a daily publication of general culture, and as many rural schools as possible.

Normal schools for gentlemen instructors will be founded in four of the provincial capitals, and normal schools for lady instructors will be founded in the three remaining capitals.

As long as the League does not have the resources necessary to establish special institutes for military and civic education, the municipal institutes will provide this necessity, supplying the practical part of said education.

 

II

 

 

The League will aid in facilitating political culture by contributing to the establishment of rural municipalities which, in their tasks of election and administration, will put the abilities of the peasants into practice, abilities which necessarily go with the work being accomplished.

The institution of reserve banks and cooperative societies fm production and consumption is so urgent for the moral and economic improvement of the Puerto Rican populace-that which lives in urban groups as well as that which teems in the country-that the League would fail in its purpose of uplifting national character if it did not work to establish these truly lifesaving institutions.

 

 

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The foundation of gymnasiums and firing ranges, which, when related to the duties of citizens, are true civic education, is no less a part of the purpose of the League.

The League of Patriots is seeing that the workers in the country and in the cities have no resources whatsoever against the three vices which undermine them, nor places they would want to call home, nor diversions which keep them away from the taverns, nor social gatherings, landscapes, or places in the countryside which they can enjoy and which would keep them away from gambling. To establish societies with the purpose of building clean homes for the workers; to induce men with initiative to establish popular diversions; and to make an effort to constitute a society of national choruses which sweeten the customs and harden the will to be good citizens are cultural ends which the League will realize.

It is obvious that such a great task cannot be completed in a day, nor in a year, nor in a generation, since it is the work of the entire life of a people. This is precisely the merit of the purpose: until now coalitions of men have had passing motives and transitory objectives; from now on, with the League of Patriots, these coalitionists will have work for the rest of their lives.

Because of corruption from colonialism, not even the most cultured men of Puerto Rico (and there are many more than patriotism had the right to expect after such a disastrous domination as the Spanish domination) have the initiative for anything, neither to rely completely upon themselves, nor to cease to expect everything from the representatives of power. Since what is needed today is exactly the opposite, whether in order to live within the 'Union of the United States of America or to live subject to the will of the U. S. Congress, it is mandatory to acquire the two strengths of which colonialism has deprived our society by restraining the exercise of the rights which strengthen a person's individual and social activity.

Recognizing this evil, the League of Patriots also recognizes that it is impossible for, our country to function as an active part of the United States as long as it has not acquired the habits of relying totally upon itself and of exercising its initiatives. Hence this addition to the League's platform.

 

 

Puerto Rico, November 1, 1898

 


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