Spain and the United States were having diplomatic and political differences, therefore the Spanish colonial government did not pursue Cofresí or his crew as long as he assaulted American ships. The government felt that Cofresí's actions were patriotic.  This situation changed because of various factors. Spain had lost most of her possessions in the New World and her last two possessions, Puerto Rico and Cuba were faced with economical problems and political unrest. Cofresí was influenced by the separatist faction which was supporting Puerto Rico's independence from Spain.