In sharing the original French version as well as Spanish and (first-ever) English translations of “Speech at the Masonic Lodge of Port-au-Prince” (ca. 1870–71), the author argues for the importance of the work of Afro–Puerto Rican activist Ramón Emeterio Betances in the history of Caribbean decolonization. This speech represents a unique inter-Caribbean intervention in the anti-imperial struggle of the time. With the Cuban Ten Years’ War against Spain in the background, Betances, in contrast to his fellow Cuban and Puerto Rican activists, advocates a vision of Caribbean sovereignty that is inclusive of Haiti. Although the limitations of revolutionary masculinity and regional sameness are evident in the text, Betances proposes a politics of unity beyond nationhood that interconnects with later decolonial projects of coliberation.
“The Antilles for the Sons of the Antilles”: On Translating Ramón Emeterio Betances
Khalila Chaar-Pérez is an independent scholar of modern and contemporary Caribbean cultures and politics. Her writings have appeared in Revista Iberoamericana, Global South, Revista Canadiense de Estudios Hispánicos, Small Axe, and the anthology Uncle Tom’s Cabins: A Transnational History of America’s Most Mutable Book (2018).
Khalila Chaar-Pérez; “The Antilles for the Sons of the Antilles”: On Translating Ramón Emeterio Betances. Small Axe 1 November 2021; 25 (3 (66)): 160–165. doi: https://doi.org/10.1215/07990537-9583516
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