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Scripto | Transcribe Page
Slavery in Cuba. A Report of the Proceedings of the Meeting, Held at the Cooper Institute. New York City, December 13, 1872.
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has been plainly answered. The present laws and practices of the Cuban Patriots gives us every assurance that they are the party of freedom. As we have already said, they immediately, at the outbreak of the revolution, declared that "all the inhabitants of their Republic are absolutely free." We find from authentic and reliable sources that an actual state of freedom exists among all classes, that the colored inhabitants battle side by side with the white, holding the rank of officers, and in numerous instances, colored officers commanding white troops. As an evidence of the animus of the Spanish Government in this connection, whenever these colored soldiers are captured in battle they are immediately remitted to a condition of servitude. In support of this assertion I will read an extract from the speech of Senor Eduardo Benot, in the Spanish Senate, October 18th, 1872. He says: "Spain has reserved to herself the sad privilege of upholding slavery; but the fact is, my "lords, that ever since April, 1869, the insurrectionists have "made a constitution, and in one of its articles is decreed the "immediate abolition of slavery. The insurrectionists, from "the very fact of being so, have set their slaves free; but the "Government, in virtue of the extraordinary proceeding of "appropriation, has been converting these freemen into slaves, and their number has already reached the respectable "total of 50,000 men or more. What then does the Government intend to do with these 50,000 slaves, and why does "Spain keep free men in slavery, thus making slaves of men that are free instead of giving freedom to slaves." The laws and practices of the Spanish Government convince us and the civilized world that they have not imbibed, in the least, a taste for free institutions. Spain, true to her ancient history as foremost among the most barbarous of all nations who profess to have founded government on the divine precepts of our Lord, she clings tenaciously to an institution which has always followed in the wake of her victories and authority. She it was, who having grasped the islands of the Gulf and a large portion of the American continent, introduced such severities as killed off entirely the native inhabitants of the islands, and almost every aboriginee in the vast continental territory under her rule, and when the native element, under the pressure of hard taskmasters, inhuman
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