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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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with this course, even those who, at bottom, may not wish to lose the present profits of slave labor, but who have the intelligence to understand that the spirit of the age cannot longer tolerate human slavery. The logical conclusions from these facts are too apparent for our colored people to overlook. Their race in Cuba will remain in slavery unless the native Cubans, black and white, succeed in their present efforts to throw off Spanish authority.
[From the New York Sun, December 10th, 1872.]
SYMPATHY FOR THE CUBAN PATRIOTS.
THERE are now in Cuba more than three hundred thousand Africans held in the most cruel slavery. The continuance of their bondage depends on the perpetuation of Spanish rule over the island. The Cuban patriots are all abolitionists. The revolution which began in the Eastern Department more the four years ago, and has never ceased to be maintained with hope and determination, has actually freed more than sixty thousand such slaves; and when it spreads over the Western Department, it will free them all. The Constitution of the republic of Cuba prohibits slavery altogether, and guarantees equal civil and political rights to all citizens without regard to race or complexion; and for four years, without arms, without ammunition, without medical supplies, amid sufferings intolerable, and barbarities that no pen can describe, the Cubans have been fighting to put this Constitution into force.
In this unprecedented struggle the American Government, though in the hands of Republicans who have pretended to be hostile to human slavery, has steadily exerted all its powers to put down these heroic abolitionists, and to preserve the authority of Spain, and with it slavery and the African slave trade in Cuba. And while our Executive and Congress take this course, scarcely any of the thousands of able and accomplished philanthropic men and women in this country, who of yore labored for the abolition of slavery, and felt in their inmost souls the evils and abominations which that institution imposes upon its victims, have expressed any sympathy with the abolitionists of Cuba, or by thought, word, or deed done anything to encourage or aid them in the prosecution of their holy task.
But now there are signs of a better state of feeling among us. The colored men of this country, themselves formerly slaves, or the descend ants of slaves, seem at last disposed to take up the burden of their brothers in Cuba. A meeting is to be held at the Cooper Institute in this city on Friday evening, in which a number of our most cultivated and estimable colored people are to take a prominent part. On behalf of the Cubans, we welcome their sympathy and their assistance. They do not come forward a moment too soon. We will not say that it is a shame to them that they have not spoken before, for we know how much they are influenced by the Government and by the official action of the Republican party. God grant that their efforts now, tardy as they are, may not be fruitless! for if ever there was a cause which appeals to humanity, and which should awaken a living response in every heart, it is the cause of freedom and equal rights in Cuba.
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