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the Cuban home industries take no large amount of goods for further manufacture. The standard of life is comparatively low, and though the foreign trade has in the last decade shown a remarkable growth, Cuba is not even now a country with a widely expansible market.

Especially in Cuba's export trade the United States holds a dominant position. Of the entire exports the United States takes now about four-fifths. Our relation to Cuban export trade is thus summarized in a recent report to the United States Government. “Aside from Cuban cigars and tobacco, which the world demands and obtains despite American necessities or the market, and raw sugar, which England often buys in view of European market conditions, practically all of the exports go to the United States.

Of the import trade the United States furnishes between fifty and sixty per cent. What does not come from the United States has been characterized as "business not obtainable on account of natural conditions." 3

Evidently, the United States occupies a position in Cuban trade which makes the commercial relations with the great republic most important of all Cuban foreign interests. In exports it controls more than four times the amount taken by all the rest of the world combined, the other countries in the order of importance being the United Kingdom, Germany, and France. In imports its position is not so commanding, but it sends to Cuba goods of greater value than all the rest of the world together, the other countries of rank being the United Kingdom, Spain, Germany and France.

* Commerce Reports, Supplement, May 10, 1915, shows that the United States took 80 per cent. of the exports in 1913 and 83.14 per cent. in 1914. In the latter year the declared value of exports to the United States was $148,263,623, of which sugar and its products accounted for $117,828,568, tobacco and tobacco products for $17,514,085.

2 Commerce Reports, Supplement, May 10, 1915.
3 Daily Consular and Trade Reports, May , 1913.



None of the developments in the Caribbean in the last decade is more striking than the changes which have occurred in Porto Rico. None of the political experiments of the United States has proved more successful. To be sure, the conditions which confronted us on assuming control were exceptional in the West Indies, and in reviewing what has been done, we must not lose sight of the fact that the opportunity was quite as unique as has been the use made of it. Most important among favorable conditions was the large percentage of people of white blood among the population. The census, taken under the direction of the Secretary of War in 1899, showed that of the total of 953,243 persons in the islands, 589,426, or approximately twothirds, were listed as white; 304,352 were mestizos, 59,390 were negroes, and 75 Chinese. This was evidently a population from which much more could be expected than would have been the case had the colored races predominated. A comparison with Jamaica suggests itself. In area, Jamaica, with 4,200 square miles, compares favorably with Porto Rico, with 3,606 square miles. The population of the former in 1911 was 831,383, of the latter in 1910 was 1,118,012. But the racial composition of the two islands shows a strong contrast. In Porto Rico, about two-thirds are white, one-fifteenth negroes, and the rest mestizos. In Jamaica, one fiftythird are white, about three-fourths are negroes and nearly one-fourth are “colored,” East Indians, or Chinese. In other words, in Porto Rico there are two people of white skins to one of colored or black; in Jamaica, there is one white man to every fifty-two colored or black.

Another advantage of Porto Rico is the high average fertility of the island which enables the maintenance of a dense population on what, for the Caribbean, is a comparatively high standard of life. Americans find it hard to believe that Porto Rico, with 325.5 persons to the square mile, is, with the exception of Rhode Island, Massachusetts, and New Jersey, the most thickly populated of all our states and territories. Unlike these states, the high population per square mile is not explained by the presence of large cities, for while the people of Rhode Island, for example, are 96.7 per cent. urban, that is, dwellers in cities of 2,500 inhabitants or more, the people of Porto Rico are 79.9 per cent. rural.

But, even with these advantages, what Porto Rico has done is exceptional. The commercial performance of these people in their narrow quarters in the last fifteen years should make us revise our current ideas as to the possible productiveness of tropical colonies. The development of Porto Rico was and still is agricultural, in fact there seems to be small likelihood of the discovery of any great mineral resources, and manufactures are not important. Even the simple industries which do exist, tobacco manufacture, hat making, fruit canning and linen embroidery, are dependent, with the exception of the last, on agriculture. The island, like the rest of the West Indies, is destined for years to come to be dependent for its manufactured products upon other countries and must pay for them in agricultural products, chiefly sugar, tobacco, coffee and fruit.

To the general rule that the West Indian communities produce few, but distinctive crops, Porto Rico is no exception. During the Spanish régime it was a coffee island. But the days when Porto Rico's chief product was coffee have passed, probably never to return. The new American régime has meant favorable tariff rates to the United States, the abolition of repressive taxation, the establishment of order and, most important, the willingness of capital to enter the country to develop the resources. The old sugar estates with their wasteful mills run by mule power or windmills and their open evaporating pans are disappearing all over the West Indies, and in Porto Rico the typical sugar factory is now operated with steam machinery and the sugar is produced by the vacuum-pan process. Sugar has replaced coffee as the chief source of wealth. Under the influence of the conditions created by American occupation the sugar exports of the island have risen remarkably. Sugar exported in 1901 was worth $8,583,967; in 1912, $49,705,413. The average exportation now is six times what it was in the ten years preceding annexation. Due to favorable tariff rates, practically all of Porto Rican sugar has heretofore come to the United States.1

Commerce Reports, May 25, 1915. In 1914, we took 641,755,000 pounds valued at $21,000,000.


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