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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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The treaty agreement stipulated that the slave trade was to be suppressed, and the money to be distributed, so as to make good any loss incurred by Spanish subjects. The Spanish Government never paid a penny of that money, nor ever stopped the slave trade. It simply appropriated the British gold, and let all the obligations remain a dead letter. That will explain this extract from the Globe of Tuesday "on the Slave Trade in Cuba," and the pointed way in which Lord Granville writes:
In December last the Spanish Minister assured Earl Granville that the Spanish government, and, indeed, the whole nation, was firmly resolved to deal with the question of slavery in their colonies, but that the Cuban insurrection being still unsuppressed, the primary object of the nation at this moment was effectually to extinguish that insurrection. The question was brought before the British Cabinet, and Earl Granville then wrote to Mr. Layard at Madrid:
"The Spanish government must be aware of the strong feeling which existed in this country on the subject of slavery. It was not with us a question of merely making a representation on a matter which we had at heart, but also of insisting on the execution of positive treaty engagements. The assurances now given by the Spanish government were merely a repetition of those constantly given on former occasions. With regard to Cuba, it could not be a matter of indifference to attract or repel the moral sympathies not only of this country but of the United States. But even admitting hypothetically the correctness of the view held by the Spanish government with regard to Cuba, the same arguments which might be supposed to hold good in this instance were quite inapplicable to Puerto Rico. There, indeed, the facilities for successfully dealing with the question were exceptional. Her Majesty's government did not wish to meet Parliament unprovided with any explanation of the delay in abolishing Spanish slavery other than a mere repetition of the assurances which they have so often received, but which have hitherto invariably remained unfulfilled. If any material advance were made in the matter, such as the abolition of slavery in Puerto Rico, it would readily be accepted by her Majesty's government as an earnest that the Spanish government intends at no distant day fully to carry out the pledges frequently and formally given to Her Majesty's Minister of the total abolition of slavery in all the Spanish colonies."
The British Consul-General at Havana explodes the deceit of the Emancipado Contract. He shows that the laborer remains a slave of the worst kind, without the guarantee even of the sort of consideration which ownership imparts. He informs Earl Granville that the Madrid government is really powerless. It may issue proclamations, but they will be set aside in Cuba by the anti-Cuban faction there, now the real rulers of that distracted land.
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