The octopus (colonial rule) still sleeps on (top of) some (Latin American) republics; but others, in contrast, drain the ocean from their lands with a furious, sublime haste, as if to make up for lost centuries. Some, forgetting that Juarez (Mexisco's reform leader) rode in a mule-drawn coach, hitch their coach to the wind and entrust the reins to a soap bubble; poisonous luxury, the enemy of liberty, corrupts the frivolous (silly) and opens the door to the outlander. In others, where independence is threatened, an epic spirit produces a heightened manliness. Still others spawn a rabble-in-arms in rapacious wars against their neighbors.
But there is yet another danger which does not come from within, but from the difference in origins, methods and interests between the two halves of the continent. The hour is fast approaching when our America will be confronted by an enterprising and energetic nation (the United States) seeking close relations, but with indifference and scorn for us and our ways. And since strong countries, self-made by the rifle and the law, love and love only strong countries...the pressing need for our America is to show herself as she is, one in soul and purpose, swift conqueror of a suffocating tradition....The scorn of our formidable neighbor, who does not know us, is the greatest danger for our America; and it is imperative that our neighbor know us, and know us soon, so she shall not scorn us, for the day of the visit is at hand. Through ignorance, she might go so far as to lay hands on us. From respect, once she came to know us, she would remove her hands. One must have faith in the best in men and distrust the worst. If not, the worst prevails. Nations should have a pillory (punishment) for whoever fans useless hates; and another for whoever does not tell them the truth in time.
Question 2. Besides the dangers the Spanish American republics face from within, what does Marti see as the main danger from outside?