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Slavery in Cuba. A Report of the Proceedings of the Meeting, Held at the Cooper Institute. New York City, December 13, 1872.

1872NY-Cuba-New-York_Proceedings-page9.pdf

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9

butcheries, and every species of inhuman treatment, had melted away, Spain fell still deeper and filled her cup of infamy to running over by entering into the African Slave Trade, in order to repeople the islands with Afric's more hardy sons, and who are with her to-day. God grant it may be our province to divest her of this portion of her little greatness, and she be made to respect the spirit of the age, which can tolerate nothing but liberty. Now that our race enjoy all the rights of freemen in our Republic and, as a consequence, are respected as men everywhere, it is meet and proper that we should use all our efforts to ameliorate the condition of our brethren in other lands, and endeavor to destroy slavery wherever it exists. Let the colored people of America avail themselves of the sacred right of petition to assist the struggling patriots of Cuba, and disenthrall from the most tyrannical slavery five hundred thousand of our brethren now held as chattel slaves by the government of Spain. The history of our government is full of instances of the sympathy of the Republic being extended to people struggling for the right of self-government. Notably and prominent as instances stands out the conduct of our government toward the South and Central American Republics, when they were endeavoring to throw off the Spanish yoke. These powers on the central and southern portions of our continent, in relation to Cuba, followed the precedent created by our own people, and took occasion as early as 1869 to concede the Cuban Republic belligerent rights (applause), and in one case, that of the Republic of Peru, recognized the independence of the Cuban Republic. International law, undoubtedly, prescribes a certain line of conduct in dealing with foreign governments during a revolution ; much is required of the revolutionists in order to entitle them to a favorable recognition. The prudent statesman, no doubt, will exact the last requirement before he will advocate their cause ; but high above all other laws stands that of right and justice. I hold that that is not law which has not justice for its basis. I repeat, a motion for freedom is always in order, and demands the support of every man. The philanthropist should not be swallowed up in the statesman. Wherever oppression is—wherever a system of human slavery exists—there exists a crime against God and man, revolting to the inborn sense of every son of freedom.

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