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About The commoner. (Lincoln, Neb.) 1901-1923 | View Entire Issue (May 31, 1901)
our. country will require some custom
house revenue and your own sugar and
tobacco growers would never consent
"But this is not altogether a ques
tion of business. The sentiments of
the people must he considered also.
The people must be trusted. If our
government should fail of its duties
then will he the time to talk of annex
ation. "Fair and generous treatment now
will he of ultimate advantage to the
United States. The people of Cuba will
stand by the convention when it re
jects the Piatt amendment, as it sure
ly will. The -whole island has spoken
and the convention, even if it desired
to do otherwise, must reject the hu
miliating conditions offered. There
can be no mistake about the sentiment
of the people.
"The Cubans do not have complete
confidence in the governor-general.
They fear that his reports are more or
less colored to meet what are thought
to be the views of President McKinley.
"Attendance upon the receptions of
the governor-general has heen cited as
evidence of political sympathy. What
sheer nonsense! Cubans attended the
receptions of the Spanish governor-
general also, but revolution came. Gen
eral Brook was personally very pop
ular. He did not protend to diplomacy.
He was bluff, honest and truthful.
"Americans who come here do not
go about getting information in the
right way. , Mr. Root, General Miles
and others high in authority except in
a purely formal way and for a very
brief time, met only. officials. Subor
dinate officials, a,s you know, are usual
ly complacent and apt to give their
superiors pleasing information only."
Nearly all the Habana newspapers
print an "English section. In the Eng
lish side of La Lucha for March 23 was
printed a cablegram from Washington
which gavo an account of tho roport
made 'by Representatives Dovenor,
Mercer and Burton upon their return
from Cuba. Dovenor and Mercer were
quoted as saying that the Cubans were
"playing a big bluff," and that they
would accept the Piatt amendment.
Commenting on it, La Lucha said: "It
is interesting to remember that these
gentlemen were here for five days, dur
ing which they were dined by the mili
tary governor and guided by him, in
special trains, over the Island that they
might learn the true situation."
This serves to show how the people
of ' tho United States have been de
ceived as to the Cuban situation.
Many Cubans feel or profess to feel
great uneasiness over the commercial
future of the island. They point to the
case' of Porto Rico, vhich, despite the
two years of unquestioned American
control, is in a pitiful condition. They
say that the plantations are not so pro
ductive as formerly and that her su
gar industry is doomed by duties to the
country which should be her protec
tor, that the workmen are so unsatis
factorily employed that they are emi
grating to other countries and ask jf
there is any reason to believe that Cu
ba will be more considerately treated?
Yet in spite of the pessimistic view
of the Cubans I believe that condi
tions in Cuba must be gradually im
proving. New land is being brought
under cultivation. Improved farm ma
chinery is being imported and peace
and quiet, albeit the peace and quiet
of military control, does offer oppor
tunity for regular employment, hy
which means only can the island be de
veloped. Cuba has no debt and the fear ex
pressed in the United States that she
will assume part of tho obligations of
the kingdom of Spain is silly. Start
ing without debt and having almost
unparalleled riches of soil and climate
I can see no reason why her future
should not be prosperous and glorious.
I mean glorious in tho peaceful arts.
The island has had its share of tho
horrors of war and will not lightly
rush into turmoil. The people im
pressed me as yearning for peace and
The future physical development of
the island has undoubtedly been made
easier by some of the street and road
work executed under military super
vision. The military road being built
in Santiago by General Whitside will
under any government be a blessing to
the island. General Whitside by his
devotion to duty and unfailing cour
tesy to tho people has endeared himself
to the people of the eastern end of tho
Ultimately Cuba will become a part
of the American union. It is decreed
in the land hunger of the Anglo-Saxon,
by geography and by the necessities
of commerce and in the 20th century
the demands of commerce will not be
By the standard already set up Cuba
is entirely fit tp be a sovereign state of
the American union, Yet there is the
one serious drawback of the race prob
lem. Because of that her coming would
enlarge and further complicate our al
ready bothersome social questions. In
spite of the views of Messrs. Cisneros
and Zaldo Cuba has a race question.
It would not clarify our troubles to
add hers. Therefore if my vote could
bring about or defeat annexation I
would give Cuba my blessing and send
her about her business. This though
she begged for admission to the Am
erican union. And yet I find myself
dreaming of an orange grove and a
sugar plantation with an avenue of
stately palms leading to a broad cool
veranda. I wonder if any annexation
ist has better or more honest reason?
JAMES L. SLAYDEN.
The Woman Who Trusted, a story of
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