I found both the “To Roosevelt” and the “La raza Cósmica” readings to be very pro-Latin American works. However, they each take a different approach on making their own stances on the issue. Regardless, you can still see a form of anti-imperialist sentiment in both works.
In Rubén Darío’s poem, his approach is clearly more based on literary features. The most noticeable one throughout the work is his use of contrasts, highlighting the fact that despite its positive aspects, the U.S. is still a nation with no God. Perhaps these words may not have as much impact nowadays, with Atheism on the rise, but back then, considering not only the fact that people were much more religious, but also, that Americans were highly defensive of writing “In God We Trust” on their money, for instance, the poem can be seen as much more impactful. Furthermore, it sheds light onto this view that the U.S. is a very superficial nation, focused solely on profits, and on what’s best for the economy, and not necessarily the people.
“La raza cósmica” on the other hand, takes another route. Rather than focusing on the anti-imperialist speech, it finds hope in the diversity that is beginning to shape Latin America. This diversity comes from the newly-arrived immigrants, the descendants of slaves and natives, mestizos, and many more. His argument, is that this “melting pot” of different cultures and ethnicities from all around the world will create a kind of “fifth race”. That being said, we can see that his pro-Latin American speech revolves around a more racial argument, specifically, that Latin America will produce the thinkers of tomorrow because the whole world will be mixed-up in here.
Of the two, I really found the “To Roosevelt” poem to have a more profound impact on me, compared to José Vasconcelo’s work about the cosmic race. The main reason being was the fact that I found it to be quite shallow and ironic for José to focus on race, when in reality, I believe, what makes Latin America a great potential power of tomorrow, are the mixture of cultures, rather. In addition, Darío’s poem, to me, sent a powerful message to a very powerful and affluent country in the region at the time, and I find that admirable.