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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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percent, interest, and pledging for the payment of interest and principal of the loan the proceeds of the war tax, estimated at five millions a year, and the surplus derived from all other sources of revenue, ordinary and extraordinary. It next appears in the report of the Colonial Minister that the Cuban Treasury owes the Bank of Havana fifty millions of dollars: that twelve millions of this sum were borrowed to pay the expenses of the several expeditions against St. Domingo and Mexico, and that the remaining thirty-eight millions have been advanced by the bank toward the expenses of the Cuban insurrection. The whole fifty millions, it further appears, was advanced by the bank in paper money, the universal plan in times of war; but the large addition, ten millions, thus made to its paper money, has, it appears, brought things financially to a crisis in that section of the island held by the Spanish forces. This, too, is one of the inevitable consequences off a protracted war.
But it further appears that the amount raised in Cuba by taxes and imposts during the last fiscal year was twelve millions, which deserves a moment's attention. The whole population of Cuba is within a million; but we will say it is one million. Of this aggregate the black element numbers half a million, of which four hundred thousand are slaves. One-fourth at least, we suppose, of the white element is actively identified with the insurrection, which leaves a white population of some three hundred and seventy-five thousand, men, women and children, or say seventy-five thousand taxpayers, to raise these twelve millions of money, and with the island suffering all the evils from a protracted and still existing civil war. Of course under this condition of things there is a financial crisis. This loan of sixty millions is intended to clear of all the accumulations of colonial debts to the Bank of Havana, first, for the amount advanced for the Spanish contingent to the late Emperor Napoleon's Mexican expedition; secondly, for the sum advanced to meet the expenses of the Spanish expedition for the reconquest of St. Domingo, and then ten millions are to be paid into the Cuban Treasury for the prosecution of the war against the insurgents and for the other current expenses of the next fiscal year.
But after meeting all these requisitions there will be thirty millions of paper money due the Havana Bank, and to raise this sum the embargoed estates on the island are to be leased for a term not exceeding six years, and the proceeds, with certain Treasury credits and the income from Crown property, are to be applied to this redemption. But as these sources of revenue have not hitherto produced anything, we apprehended that the bonds issued upon such collaterals are not likely to command a high premium in the market. Subscriptions are to be invited to the loan in Havana, Madrid, Paris and London. New York is not to be favored with these attractive bonds, and doubtless she is excluded from the favored cities for very good reasons. The loan is to be managed by fifteen commissioners, but the Captain General my suspend at pleasure any action of theirs on the subject. In the presence of this inviting scheme let our Credit Mobilier and Credit Foncier enterprises hide their diminished heads; but let all inclined to venture into this Spanish Cuban loan of sixty millions first read up the rise, decline and collapse of the South Sea Bubble.
Such as we have presented it is substantially the official exhibit of the finances of Spanish Cuba. It is, too, in this condition of affairs, as our Minister at Madrid puts it, that, after a four years' war without quarter,
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