Friday, January 27, 2012

Juan Pablo Viscardo y Guzman, Extract from "Letter Addressed to the Spanish Americans"

Nature has separated us from Spain by virtue of an immense sea. A son who has found himself separated by a similar distance from his father would doubtlessly be labeled a fool if even in the resolution of his most trivial requirements he should be expectant of his father's approval. The son is emancipated by natural right, natural distance; and, in equal case, a large nation, which in nothing depends on another nation, and of which it reserves not the slightest need, would such a nation have to subject itself like an abject peon at another's beck and call? 

The spatial distance that divides one place from another, which in itself proclaims our rightful independence, is still minor in comparison to our true interests. We are yet in need of a government that could mediate our collective interests and distribute our resources, objectives of a genuine social unity. To depend on a government which lies two or three thousand leagues away is quite the same as to renounce its usefulness; and herein lies the interest of the Spanish Court, which does not aspire to grant unto us just laws, or to justly govern our commerce, our industries, our goods and persons, but instead seeks to sacrifice all of these to its own ambition, egoism, and avarice. In sum, under whichever aspect that our connection to Spain may be viewed, it is to be understood that our needs oblige us to terminate this dependency. We must cut this link out of gratitude to our forefathers, who did not aim to squander their efforts, nor spend their hard work soaked in blood and sweat, so that the stage of their labor or triumph should be converted into a most miserable thralldom for us, their descendants.

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