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Permanent Link: http://ufdc.ufl.edu/UF00072147/00053
 Material Information
Title: Tapia
Physical Description: no. : illus. ; 43 cm.
Language: English
Publisher: Tapia House Pub. Co.
Place of Publication: Tunapuna
Creation Date: April 8, 1973
Frequency: completely irregular
 Subjects
Subjects / Keywords: Politics and government -- Periodicals -- Trinidad and Tobago   ( lcsh )
Genre: periodical   ( marcgt )
serial   ( sobekcm )
 Notes
Dates or Sequential Designation: no. 1- Sept. 28, 1969-
General Note: Includes supplements.
 Record Information
Source Institution: University of Florida
Holding Location: University of Florida
Rights Management: All rights reserved by the source institution and holding location.
Resource Identifier: aleph - 000329131
oclc - 03123637
notis - ABV8695
System ID: UF00072147:00053

Full Text





SUNDAY APRIL 8, 1973


Il I~ /i eLs~ ~


r I


THE ISSUES in constitutional reform are
still slipping through our fingers and many
people do not even regard the National
Convention as important. That is why the
attendance is so small. And there is no clearer
evidence of the revolutionary crisis than this
non-involvement of people at a time when all
is falling down. So spoke Tapia Secretary
Lloyd Best, in full flight while addressing the
Chaguaramas Conference.
The greatest sin of the Commission has been a sin
of omission. The Models need to be supplemented by
a specific and concrete analysis of the reasons for the
constitutional and political breakdown in Trinidad
and Tobago today.
An analysis of how the present system has worked
vould tell us what we need to adjust and what we do
not dare to amend because it would offend too
greatly against habits ingrained in our people.
A radical departure from what people understand
could be an extremely dangerous thing. People would
get lost; the high priests and the highway robbers
would then take over and we would be back in the
hands of an elite. Gandhi always used to say that
half a step forward was enough.
When we look at our system, the main problem is
obviously domination by the Executive. From the
earliest days in the West Indies the Central Govern-
ment has dominated Local Government and within
the Central Government the Executive has dominated
the Legislature and the Courts.,Within the Executive,
the Chief Executive, that is to say, the Governor or
the Premier, the Prime Minister has always enjoyed
a predominating role. He was Caesar, King and Czar-

s E

In Trinidad and Tobago today, in spite of the
mask of Monarchy, the Prime Minister was in fact
the source of all power. He is:-

K The real Monarch, the ceremonial head
whom people wanted to grace their important
occasions;
The Head of the Executive;
The Political Party Leader;
The Leader of the Legislature;
The Commander in Chief of the Armed
forces, the only one to give marching orders;
The Chief Diplomat, the only one who
would be trusted to negotiate for the nation at
top-level international conferences; and
Chief decision-maker general.
This is the way we have grown up. The Prime
Minister has tremendous power and people are already
accustomed to that. Even the radical opponents of
the ruling party expect the Prime Minister to inter-
vene whenever there is a problem to be solved and
they hold him and him alone accountable for all the
evils of our time. They keep writing him open letters.
In formal terms, much of the Prime Minister's

power could not at bottom be helped .. it was not
very different in other countries. But we need to
identify exactly what power could be curbed by
constitutional means and what could be limited by
other kinds of changes.


HIGHWAY





ROBBERS


LLOYD BEST
The Prime Minister has enormous power of patron-
age. He is now spending an overall budget of $586
million a year with which you can buy practically
anything you want.
The most ominous development in recent times
has been the control of employment being achieved
by public sector and government spending every year.
Over 80,000 people or 25% of the labour force now
depend quite directly on the State for work.
On top of this the Constitution endows the
Prime Minister with comprehensive powers of ap-
pointment. This is one thing we can correct by the
Constitution, but the rest is a matter for Tapia's
economic policy of localisation We insist on
putting economic control in the hands of the people
in the local areas rather than on nationalising business
and making the central government and the Chief
Executive even stronger.

E N

Secondly, the Prime Minister also enjoys enormous
power of publicity. Formally, the Government owns
some of the broadcasting media; informally, the rest
of the media are mortally afraid of treading on the
toes of authority.
Right at the present moment, the Prime Minister
is using his power of publicity to disrupt the work
and kill the hopes of the National Convention. We
have to see what the Constitution could do to give
more equal publicity to Opposition and dissenting
opinion.
Thirdly, the Prime Minister enjoys a large measure
of political as distinct from governmental control.
It would be wrong to say that PR would make the
country one constituency and place the Political
Leaders in charge of the candidates' list. Effectively,
this is already true.
So-called parties are the property of their leaders
... lock, stock and barrel; candidates are the leaders'
candidates; party politics is a total farce. This would
be so as long as the country continued to fix its
gaze on personalities rather than programmes.


DENNIS SOLOMON


Opening the batting for Tapia


Tapia alone has been insisting that we break away
from such Messiahship and Doctor Politics.Every-
one else seems to be offering so-called charis-
matic leaders and magical figures.
The PNM case has shown that this kind of move-
ment permits no disagreement within the party itself.
Ask Elton Richardson or Solomon or Ccnstantine or
Bernard Primus or any of a thousand people. This
kind of political control when combined with the
publicity and the control of patronage under the
constitution, is what transforms the Prime Minister
into a monster.
The inevitable consequence is the impossibility
of organising opposition. Almost nobody in the
country has the means of sustaining opposition for
long because the cost of doing so is now pro-
hibitively high.
The University has now become a most important
source of dissenting Opposition leadership because,
as a regional institution, it is still comparatively free.
It has produced the beginnings of NJAC, UNIP and
Tapia. The only other source of unflinching opposi-
tion has been organized labour which today has been
practically crushed.




They say that the DLP has been completely
irresponsible. They deplore that the Black Power
Movement has adopted the politics of the most direct
confrontation. But how could the DLP have- or-
ganised better when opposition simply doesn't have
the bread? When the Government has so much power,
what could NJAC and the new Movement have done
but huff and puff in the square and try to blow the
regime over in a few weeks?
When we come to re-write the Constitution, these
are the matters we have to bear in mind. We must ask
if the reforms which we are proposing will allow
economic reorganisation to free the people. Will
they introduce new conventions into politics and
bring leaders under popular control?


Strong Local Government: Island-w.de
municipalities. Review every 20 years.
Home Rule for Tobago: Special powers
for this Regional Government
Bill of Rights with special reference to
government employees and to marches,
meetings, publications, States of Emer-
gency, Sedition & Summary Offences.


* A 72-member House of Representatives
* A Prime Minister and Cabinet as the hub
of the system as at present
* A figure-head President elected for six
years who will be Chairman of the Senate.
* A Senate or Permanent Conference of
Citizens appointed by all identifiable com-
munity interests with the right of recall


* A Panchayat of both Houses to vote on
first reading of all except money bills.
* Appointments to be made by Prime
Minister alone in somecases, to be made
by Senate where watchdogs on Executive
are concerned, by both where mere re-
straint on the Executive is needed.
* Senate to undertake Commissions of En-


quiry. National Consultations, National
arbitrations e.g., over wages.

*New Electoral Rules: Multi-party or Senate
control of the Elections and Boundaries
Commission. Lower voting age. Publicity
for Opposition. Either ballot boxes or
voting machines.


op-


1%I


II ,


Vol. 3 No. 14


15 Cents


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SUNDAY APRIL 8. 1973


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On a BWEE flight to anywhere it's
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Shoes slip off. And starchiness.
And it's easier to smile. For you're
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of laughter that come so easy to people of
the sun.
We don't want to lose this thing we
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And when we see you like this, we know
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That's why we're working harder. Every
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A ft On a BWEE bird to anywhere.
W IA Going the extra mile Because w have something to prove.
International


I


PAGE 2 TAPIA




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THE THIRD of the Four
Model Constitutions pre-
sented for discussion by
the Wooding Team of Con-
stitution Commissioners is
a "blueprint for dictator-
ship." Lloyd Best, in a
telling intervention last
Tuesday, brought many
delegates round to this view
and won from the audience
much applause and many
congratulations.
The Tapia Secretary said
that the time had come to rip
away the veil of superficiality
and come down to fundamen-
tals.
The great danger in this
constitutional crisis was that
we would let anger, indignation
and rage cloud our judgment.
We once placed our trust in
the old contract and now
that it had been broken, our
only concern was with the
hurt and we were tending to
make simple diagnoses and
chase simple remedies. "I am
horrified to see that many
responsible men have been lin-
ing up ritualistically behind
Model III the cry for which
has become a veritable incan-
tation". Tapia wanted the Con-
vention to take another look.

SPLINTER

One attraction of Model III
was that it envisaged a Legisla-
ture elected in part by Propor-
tional Representation. It met
people's entirely legitimate de-
mands for a more equitable
distribution of seats in the
House and that was good "even
if it meant breaking up the
majority of the ruling party -
which we were entitled to do."
What Tapia feared about
proportional representation was
that it would do more than
give seats commensurate with
voting strength; it would also
encourage more Doctor Poli-
tics and reinforce the present
tendency of petty leaders to
form overnight splinter parties.
Unless there was racial voting,
which no one really wanted,
the result might be even more
fragmentation of the Indian
community.
In that case, the people
who over the last 16 years felt
most left out of ,government
would continue to be left out
in the cold.

COALITION

Besides, continued Best to
the most attentive audience of
the Convention, Proportional
Representation could lead to
unstable coalition governments.
If we were going to insist
on this method of election, we
would therefore need to ensure
that other means were available
for promoting solid national
parties and responsible leader-
ship and for strengthening gov-
ernment and opposition coali-
tions. He could not see such
means in Model III.

Instead, Model III possessed
another feature tending towards
instability. There were two
competing sources of power -
a President and a Prime Minis-
ter, both of whom were to be
elected by the people and there-
fore to enjoy equal legitimacy:


TAPIA PAGE 3
a h, -, ,_. :


SUNDAY APRIL 8, 1973
-mu -


MODEL


FOR DICTATORSHIP


Since it was possible for the
two to be of different parties,
government could become im-
possible and open the way for
a dictator to intervene and
save the day. The Constitution
should avoid having two en-


THE PRESENT con-
stitutional crisis in Trinm-
dad & Tobago is like a
tabanka. Our historic
duty at the National
Convention is to pick
up the pieces of a bro-
ken dream.

It is misleading to say
that in 1962 we adopted the
Westminister model uncriti-
cally from the Mother Coun-
try. What we did was to
give almost unbridled power
to a Chief Executive whom
the large majority of the
people at that time trusted
and loved even the
Opposition connived in the
deal in a certain kind of
way.

Now all sorts of com-
munity groups are engaged
in the agonising task of
making a fresh start. And
because the constitutional
question falls in the realm of
imagination and sensibility
and not so much in the
realm of logic and intellect
it is very difficult to reach


tirely different poles on which
the confidence of the system
rested it was not good con-
stitutional practice.
Some of the deficiencies in
,Model III could be met by
Tapia's proposals. The Tapia


Executive would clearly be
dominated by the Prime Minis-
ter with the President being
no more than a necessary clerk.
The Tapia Conference of
Citizens could be given the
power to make it a real check
on abuse by the Executive
drawn from the ruling party
or ruling coalition in the House
of Representatives.
The Tapia Conference of
Citizens would be a "big macco
house of ordinary people repre-
senting a comprehensive set of
interests some politically
aligned, some not." It would
have power in appointments.
in investigation, in publicity as
well as in influencing legisla-


T&T HAVE A TABANKA


precise and simple solutions.
Before we decide to trust
a social contract once again,


we have fist to see how the
political crisis would resolve
itself. We have to see a


movement which could raise
our noses.
As the entire community


struggles to see which way
to turn, we have become a
house set against itself.


tion.
Its moral weight would be
so great that the parties in
the House of Representatives
would be forced to work for
alignments among the com-
munity groups. That is exactly
what is needed to offset the
tendency to splinter parties
which is caused by our habits
and which would be reinforced
by Proportional Representation.
Since the community groups
would all have parliamentary
representation in this Perma-
nent Conterence of Citizens,
there would be much less fear
among the people about being
victimised for being involved
in politics .


We have ceased to trust the
institutions not the
Army, not the Courts, not
the University, not the
Police, not any one you
care to name.
We are a cacophony of
conflicting claims. Of action
committees and congresses
of every vintage; self-styled
grass-roots organizations;
revolutionists and counter-
revolutionists; monarchists
and republicans; constitu-
tionalists and insurrection-
ists; professional organiza-
tions and community inter-
ests of every conceivable
kind.
Housewives are demand-
ing recognition, concerned
clergy, militant trades union-
ists, intellectuals and stu-
dents, civil rights lawyers,
cane farmers and workers,
journalists, calypsonians,
steelbandsmen, architects,
surveyors, all bent on de-
fining their new place in
the sun ...
Lloyd Best addres-
sing the Constitutional Conven-
tion on Tueday April 2, 1973.


THREE A BLUEPRINT


SAYS

LLOYD BEST


FAULTS OF MODEL III

PR could cause splintering of parties, Doctor
Politics, unstable coalitions among government and
opposition parties in the House of Representatives
and could make effective government impossible.

The President and the Prime Minister could be
of different parties and get in each other's way.

The President and the Prime Minister are both
to be elected by the people. Which would be the
undisputed personification of the popular will and
the symbol of national unity?
Frustrated government could pave the way for
a Dictator.


WHAT IS THE ISSUE?
* Monarchy or Republic?
* Head of Government or Head of State?
* Two Houses or One?
* Westminister or US Model?
* PR vs First-Past-The-Post?
* Ballot Box or Voting Machines?
* Model I or II or III or IV?

These are all secondary issues. The real issue is:-
how to limit the Executive abuse of power in
our particular situation and
how to ensure that the opposition has
freedom to survive and to organize.








SUNDAY APRTT. 1973


KENYA-


KINGS OF


-THIR9WORL


AFRICAN SPORT


ATHLETICS in Africa
means Kenya, a synonym
for victory all over the
world.
Kenya, with 582,000
square kilometres and 10
million inhabitants, is terri-
torially the 18th largest
country in Africa and tenth
in population. But her
athletes have won more
than half of all Africa's
Olympic track and field
medals.
The ascent of Kenyan
athletics dates back to 1964,
when Wilson Kiprugut won a
bronze medal in the Tokyo
Olympics.
These were the Games in
which Abebe Bikila shocked
the world with a marathon


gold which centred the athletics
World's attention on Ethopia.
Four years later, the Mexico
Games were the scene of the
long-awaited African explosion.
With the first really big African
turnout for an Olympics, the
continent took 12 medals, in-
cluding five golds.

MAJOR ROLE

Kenya played a major role
in the African success, with
eight medals including three
golds. Kenya's Kipchoge Keino
also became the first African
to hold an Olympic record
(3:34.9 for 1,500 metres).
Three years earlier he had
been the first to set world
records, with 7:39.6 for 3,000
metres and 13:24.2 in the


5,000.
At the 1970 British Com-
monwealth Games in Edinburgh,
Scotland, African athletes won
15 medals, including four golds.
Kenya proved tops once again
with nine of the medals, in-
cluding all the golds.
At the recent Panafrican
Games in Lagos, the Kenyans
reaffirmed their superiority with
23 athletics medals, including
seven golds, eight silvers and
eight bronze.
And the" Kenyan triumph
was achieved with some of their
Olympic stars missing. Julius
Sang (Munich bronze in 400
metres), Mike Boit (bronze in
800) and Robert Ouko (member
of thegold medal4 x400 team)
are all studying in the United
States.


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In Lagos the Kenyans did
not just give a show of super-
iority in their traditional
speciality, the middle distances.
They also won bronze medals
in the 100 and 200 metre
sprints, gold in the 110 hurdles
and silver and bronze in the
10,000 where they beat the
Ethiopian favourites.
As well as established figures
such as Ben Jipcho, winner of
the 5,000 metres and the 3,000
metres steeplechase (in the
latter, he equalled the world
record with a time of 8:20.6);
Charles Asati, gold in the 400
metres; Paul Mose, silver in the
10,000 and bronze in the 5,000;
and William Koskei, silver in
the 400 metres hurdles behind
world record holder John Akii-
Bua of Uganda, Kenya came
up with some new stars.
COSMOS SILOI
The brightest of the new
stars is undoubtedly Cosmos
Siloi, who won the 800 metres
with 1:45.53, only one second
away from the world and Olym-
pic records and one of the six
best times of last year.
The only upset for Kenya
came in the 1,500 metres when
Kipchoge Keino who did not
compete in any other events -
went down to the unknown
Filbert Bayi of Tanzania.
Perhaps the most surprising
feature of Kenya's triumphs is
the apparent case with which


-Read


their athletes notch up top
international successes.
Shortly after his Panafrican
Games world record-equalling
performance, Jipcho said that
he ran only six miles a day in
training for the Games. "That's
enough for my body," he said.
Despite the relative lack of
international competition ex-
perience and the absence of
quality facilities, the Kenyans
continue to astound their
American and European rivals.
CRITICISE
"Most of the Kenyan athletes
just don't train as much as
their counterparts from other
parts of the world," national`-'
trainer Hassein Ali said in Lagos.
"A lot of people criticise
our training methods. They say
we don't impose the kind of
work loads to which European
and Arferican athletes are ac-
customed.
"But we don't do too badly
all the same," he says grinning.
"Maybe some of our critics
would benefit from copying
our training methods."
Ali, who studied physical
education in Leeds, England,
was a 'not too bad" athlete
who became a badminton and
volleyball coach before going
back to athletics. There could
well be truth in what he says:
the results speak for them-
selves.
PRENSA LATINA


TAPIA


Hassein Ali, Kenyan National Athletics Coach.


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PAGE 4 TAPIA


rw


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T14F ~










THOSE AMONG us who
have been working in our
diverse ways for a fuller
control of commerce by
nationals must indeed be
gratified by the emergence
of Creative Advertising
Limited.
This new company marks
an attempt by Clive Bradley,
Ken Chee, and Gerry Besson to
carve out a niche for nationals
in the advertising world which
is dominated by locals in all
other departments save the sig-
nificant exceptions of owner-
ship and control.
And it is the need to break
this stranglehold, Besson in-
forms us, which provides one
of the more powerful incentives
for the trio to hew wood and
to draw water for their own-
selves.

LLOYD TAYLOR

Besson again puts it thus:
'The time has long passed
when black people appearing
in ads had either to be heaving
bales or serving drinks. Most
of the successful companies
have benefited from advertising
created by local men. There's
no reason why the people who
work for foreign advertising
agencies ought not to be con-
trolling these agencies them-
selves".
Additional motivation for
the venture has come from a
desire to provide advertising
with more local images, and to
offer specifically corporate
identity advertising. This latter
service is advertising geared to
enhance the images of com-
panies, and it is a service which
can be made available in addi-
tion to merchandising and pro-
duct advertising.
Yet the entry of Creative
Advertising into what is literally
a foreign playground was not a
particularly easy one. It has
had to prove that it can more
than hold its own. And to
ensure financial rectitude it has
had to meet pretty stringent
terms laid down by the Media
Association.
BUDGETS
At no time must its assets
exceed its liabilities by less than
$15,000. It must have, as well,
not less than five clients two of
whom must have advertising
budgets of $1,000 plus, and the
others, over $10,000 each.
All this, Besson explains, is
a consequence of another local
advertising company going
bankrupt while heavily indebted
to a number of interests.
Yet this hurdle these enter-
prising nationals have been able
to surmount.
This is a noteworthy achieve-
ment if only because it gives
the lie to a widespread belief
that there is a dearth of local
entrepreneurship which is res-
ponsible for the persistence of
foreign domination of business
here.
And this point is perhaps
more easily clinched by the
fact that Bradley, Besson and
Chee at 63, Rosalino Street,
upstairs Kong's Drugstore, where


the company is housed, can be
found discharging more or less
the same functions they did
when they were employed in


Creative Advertising in fact
marks a blow struck for national
enterprise, reducing as it does
the income inequalities between


Our advertising


the service of a foreign owned
agency. The one key difference
now is that they are managing
an enterprise as well.


A/


locals and foreigners in the
world of advertising.
Yet this undoubted advance
is a rather negligible one, as the


really big money spinners in
the advertising business remain
more or less in foreign hands.
For even in the secondary flow


of advertising revenue one finds
that by far the greater share
accrues to the Guardian, the
foreign owned press, as opposed


SUNDAY APRIL 8, 1973


LOCAL ADVERTISING




COMPANY FORMED


TAPIA PAGE 5
to other nationally owned
newspapers.
INEQUALITIES
There remain, as well, in-
equalities between large and
small media. And as we go
further down the chain of ad-
vertising revenue one finds un-
necessarily large inequalities be-
tween profit earners and
wage or salary earners. But
Besson and those who are en-
deavouring to chart a new
course can hardly be expected
to bite off more than they can
chew.
The final liquidation of these
imbalances is a matter for gov-
ernmental policy, and a popu-
larly backed programme for
radical change.


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PAGE 6 TAPIA











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SUNDAY A


~~r' ~~i~


THE QUESTION has often been asked:
why is it that although we are completely
surrounded by the sea fish and other sea foods
continue to be scarce and expensive?
There is no single answer to the question.
We have to look partly to physical and bio-
logical factors for explanation of the basis
of productivity of the sea, and we have also to
consider social and economic factors. I shall
deal mainly with the former but I emphasize
that the latter are almost of equal importance.
If one consults the FAO Year Book on Fisheries
Statistics over the past eight to ten years, one will note
that the country with the largest production of fish
is Peru! How does a poor, backward South
American country manage to claim this performance?
It does so, not by any special effort or hard work,
but merely by its geographical position. Although
time does not permit me to go into details of the
factors responsible, the prevailing oceanic current in
those latitudes on the western coast of South
America is offshore.
This has one marked effect; cold nutrient-rich
water is drawn up to the surface and this gives rise to
sustained blooms of phytoplankton which form the
base of the anchovy and sardine fishery there. Tuna
Seabirds and American fishery interests are attracted
there by the vast shoals of these fishes.


PHOTOSYNTHESIS

It is now necessary to explain the basic phenomenon
of productivity in the marine environment. The base
of all production is the phytoplankton. These are tiny
microscopic plants. These plants utilize carbon dio-
xide, solar energy, and inorganic nutrients such as
phosphates and nitrates to form simple sugars. This is
the process of photosynthesis which O level Biology
students learn about.
Each of these factors is potentially limiting but in
fact only nutrients display wide variability. Thus
availability of nutrients would appear to be respon-
sible for the wide variation in production of phyto-
plankton shown throughout the oceans.
The fate of the phytoplankton, which may be
termed producer organisms, is to be eaten by
zooplankton or small fishes, which are consumer
organisms. These in turn are eaten by larger predatory
fishes such as tuna and mackerel. As a general rule,
the higher the level of production of phytoplankton
the higher will be the numbers of the consumer
organisms.
Attention may now be turned to the Caribbean
area and its marine resources. Viewed from the point
of view of physical oceanography, several reasonably
clearly defined areas may be seen. The greater part of
the Caribbean is the Caribbean sea proper with its
chain of islands.
The area is characterized by nutrient-poor water
and abyssal depths, and by beautiful ultramarine
waters. Although the islands may show comparatively
rich varieties of marine life close to shore, primary
productivity is extremely low.
The beautifully transparent waters of Jamaica,
Antigua and Barbados are no more than a reflection
of the level of productivity. This part of the Carib-
bean may truly be described as a marine desert.


Another area which can be clearly defined is the
coastal zone of Venezuela/Colombia which in many
ways resembles that of Peru and Ecuador. The
distinctive feature of this area is the prominent up-
welling of cold nutrient-rich water froni the floor of
the Caribbean basin. Compared with the coastal
waters of Jamaica and Puerto Rico, these waters are
characteristically milky green. They are extremely
rich and support extensive sardine and anchovy
fisheries.

WATER MOVEMENTS

A third area which has received some attention is
the continental shelf between Trinidad and Brazil.
Physically this is quite unlike the other two men-
tioned. This area is comparatively shallow, extending
seaward perhaps to depths of 40 to 50 fathoms and


for about 3,000 miles. The distinctive feature of this
area is the characteristically muddy brown opaque
waters, but waters which offer the highest productivity.
Why should there be such diversity in oceanic
conditions? The answer to this question lies, as far as
we know, in the major water movements in the
Atlantic Ocean.
Apart from the comparatively minor currents
associated with tides and coastal waters, there are
major oceanic currents which are driven partly by
wind, partly by earth spin, partly by temperature and
partly by land influences.
These currents can be of considerable dimension,
sometimes hundreds of miles wide, and persist in
time. Such a current is the Gulf Stream of which we
learn in elementary geography. Another is the South
Equatorial current. It is a hard fact of life that this
current is responsible for the generally low level of
productivity of the Caribbean Sea.
The South Equatorial current originates from
a massive upwelling of nutrient-enriched
water off the coast of South West Africa. Needless to
say, because of its nutrients, levels of productivity
are high, and this is reflected in the general level of
advancement and production in the fishery industry
of the Republic of South Africa. The South Equatorial
current moves gradually across the South Atlantic,
generally in a north-westerly direction.
In the course of this passage, which takes several
months, a highly significant process takes place. This


is the gradual removal of much of the nutrients by the
phytoplankton, much of this returning to the floor of
the Atlantic in the bodies of dead organisms.
By the time this current arrives off northern South
America it is already much depleted of nutrients, and
by the time it enters the Caribbean it has virtually
nothing. The beautifully transparent Caribbean Sea,
much admired by travel writers and tourists, is
probably one of the least fertile parts of the ocean.
To add to the problem of the generally low level
of biological productivity, there is also the problemof
the form of the Caribbean basin. Continents have
shelves, which are platforms of varying widths, and it
is usually on these shelves that trawl fisheries have
developed.
And while mainland countries, at least on the
Atlantic side in these latitudes, have continental
shelves capable of supporting fisheries, the Antilles


have the narrowest of island shelves. P
In Jamaica the widest part of the island shelf is b
less than five miles. In St. Kitts for example within P
one half mile of the shore the water depth is about S1
one half mile. In countries such as these, fisheries
development must therefore be based principally on o
coastal-surface species rather than on bottom-dwelling L
species.


NATURAL FORMS

As has been pointed out earlier, the oceanic waters
in the Caribbean are of low productivity so that any
pelagic fishery which is developed must necessarily
expect lower returns for any unit effort.
Lacking nutrient-rich waters which support pro-
ductive pelagic fisheries or shelves qnd riverine depo-
sits which support trawl fisheries, the prospects for
the Caribbean island would appear gloomy. The
picture however is not entirely hopeless, particularly
if we look to the south-east, as have the Americans,
the Japanese and Koreans, to name a few.
One influence of the South Equatorial current is
that it deflects to the north-west the outflow of the
major rivers from the Amazon to the Orinoco. This
has two important effects:
Firstly over the years there have been built up on
the continental shelf of northern South America,
river-borne deposits rich in organic matter.


~c~AJTr;
+-.
r








TAPIA PAGE 7


7)5i

*1



ii:


Secondly, these rivers bear in them inorganic
nutrients drawn from the land.
As a result of these two factors, there is available
to Caribbean peoples, and to others who have
recognized it, a fishing ground of approximately
five miles' width extending for a length of almost
2,000 miles.


FISH INDUSTRY

The main potential is for shrimp, which are first
stage consumers, feeding on organic matter in the
mud, and bottom-dwelling fishes, which are second
stage consumers feeding on shrimp and other in-
vertebrates.
SThe principal fish are salmon and croaker. Admit-
tedly, neither of these fish can really be considered

4 _


premium species, except if they are carefully handled,
but they do represent a major source of cheap
protein, either for direct consumption or for use in
stock feeds.
To give some indication of the size of this resource,
one need only refer to the numerous reports of the
UNDP fisheries programme in the Caribbean. This
programme, which has been largely one of explora-
tion, has produced catch rates ranging from 300 800
pounds of marketable fish per hour, and while
such catches may be lower than those for similar
trawl fisheries in the North Sea or off Peru, they are
well above the limits of economic viability. The
potential has been variously estimated to be from 20
to 200 million tons per year, but I suggest that such
figures must be treated with caution.


PROCESSING

If there is any doubt about theoretical projection,
there is absolutely no doubt about actual performance
Up to the Brazilian intervention, to which I will refer
later, the trawl fleet fishing the Guyana and Brazilian
shelf for shrimp numbered in excess of 500 ships.
These are highly mechanized shrimp trawlers costing
approximately $250,000.00 each. There was even
one factory trawler on the grounds for severalmonths
We, of course, have played a role in the develop-


AniRY'' u-' ,,
?~ h," ~
+ ~:~~ :lr


ment of the shrimp fishery, although it must be
admitted that this has been minimal. Shrimp has to
be partly processed at sea, collected together for
further processing at some shore based facility, and
then exported to the markets of consumption, namely
the United States and Japan.
This is where the Caribbean people come into the
picture: we provide the shore facility, which provides
some jobs, and we provide some of the lower ranks
of the crews which operate the trawlers. It is difficult
to get hard figures on the subject but a rough guess is
that we get perhaps 60 cents on the pound of shrimp
wholesaling at $4.00.


PROTECTION


Two years ago the Brazilians took unilateral action.
S They closed their shelf, up to 200 miles to sea, to
foreign fisheries.
It is of course impossible to go into the Brazilian
reasons for this action, but one possibility is that they
recognized that unless they did so they would end up,
h like Trinidadians, Barbadians and Guyanese, simply
as processors of shrimp. Another possibility was that
they recognized that uncontrolled exploitation of the
shrimp grounds would lead to irreparable damage to
fish stocks.
It is noteworthy that for each pound of shrimp
landed, up to ten pounds of fish is destroyed. What-
ever their reasons, the Brazilian continental shelf was
closed. This was followed by confrontation at sea, and
furious diplomatic activity, at the end of which
Trinidad obtained limited concessions to operate
fishing trawlers in brazilian waters.
Later, the United States was able to obtain
licenses for 375 of her trawlers to operate in the
same waters. The status quo is currently being main-
tained on the basis of yearly negotiations.

ALIENATION

It is my view that with regard to the fisheries of
the Guyana shelf we have allowed ourselves to act
purely for short term gain, and largely under the
influence of American commercial interests. There is
no doubt in my mind that the trend among South
American countries is toward a 200 mile limit as far as
natural resources are involved. The only major
countries recognizing less are Colombia and Venezuela
and there is every indication that these will follow
Brazil.
Thus, in order to preserve a few jobs in shrimp
processing, we are prepared to align ourselves with
American shrimp interests in opposition to regional
interests, and thus we alienate ourselves from Brazil.
Surely a more enlightened policy would have been
to seek the formation of an international control
commission consisting of Trinidad, Grenada, Guyana,
Surinam, French Guiana,, Venezuela and Brazil, to
regulate the exploitation of the fisheries of the
continental shelf.
Instead, by our action we leave the gate to the
shelf wide open for the free entry of metroploitan
commercial interests, and for the completely un-
controlled exploitation of the only significant living
marine resource of the region.


-In~l~
''
:/I ,-II
'I''


?RIL 8. 1973


IIr
''Ilk


Round trip back

Closing from the sea,
past anchored tankers rusting in the rain,
one ketch collapsing canvas, in your lee
The travelling headland and the dull
heave of the bell-buoy goaded by your wash,
its crusted, turtle-
back awash,
The town from memory appears
in the swept, baptismal air,
not as it was,
A grimy port for mariners,
draft dodgers, in transit visitors,
commissioned writers darkening at the gills
And home to, say, ten thousand-odd black souls,
But self-contained, monadical and dumb,
some
boyhood idyll rusting for the prose
of an elation holier than these,
Melville's,
or Stevenson's maybe.
'0 island Eden, by what sea
our romantic agony!'...
But, nearer now, the skiffs that list
cadaverous among the shoals
of garbage drifting ripple-creased
And frayed, like excavated scrolls
from some ephemeral continent,
that severed rock, some monument
The sea reclaimed, an orphanage
now for the transitory gull,
herons, the occasional

Pelican: had you forgotten these?
And now your craft's deep tidings shake the pier
and ocean-leaning shanties.
Her house, there...
Funny how the past takes place in rain.
Once, a shadowon the beach, you watched
her knotting seines here, distant, lost.
Composed as a child, yet earthen-eyed.
She was the coast
for which your tossed craft tried

Now, as in the lacing rain,
all unforgetting things:
this yard this shack
On stilts the weather honed
to supplicating fingers, that dead tree,
resurface with the boyhood you once owned,
Her wet mouth blooms
and vanishes: the wings of her cheekbones
beat in your face!
Her race
abandoned on the Siren's call!
That foam-thighed, apocryphal
Nfmph who turned into a weir,
into another country,
your grinding, sickening landfall, over there!
Once more the ship is moving and the heart's
coherence trembles, trembles and departs
as the bow-wave mounts. From the stern
You watch the wake, its compass that must widen,
however groundswells run,
the heart stiffen,

To an arc describing'village',
a bay's mouth miming 'home',
and turn
As a late sun gilds the rooftops of the poor,
and wharf post-office, market, Shorty's bar
shine like staked martyrs -
Leave that alone.
The ocean rolling sideways on its chain
disgorges its bereavement, but our first stars

Have swum clear, growing lucid in their pain.
The headland ends,
the landgrown, landbound

Love goes into declension where
the lives you left meander to the sea.

So, sleep.
This coast shall keep you, grounded though you tread
in nightmare now across some whitening plain

Or insubstantial city, when the snow
must numb beyond our waning love or pity,

Who cannot cry, forgive us, for the rain.
WAYNE BROWN
(for a West Indian writer in exile)







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(TRINII)AD&L 10 O\(,() I II)


SUNDAY APRIL 8, 1973


PAGE 8 TAPIA










SUNDAY APRIL 8, 1973




ROLES REVERSED IN


PERL
PERU is a country on
the Pacific coast of Latin
America which has a mili-
tary government, has nation-
alized American-owned oil-
fields and sets its offshore
boundaries two hundred
miles into the Pacific in
order to secure its own
fishing rights.
This is probably as much
as the average newspaper
reader in Trinidad is likely
to know, at least for con-
versational purposes. We
ought to know more, be-
cause like Chile and Cuba,
the Peruvian regime is
trying its hand at social
engineering and economic
independence, but on a
far more moderate scale.
The military government
which is now described as a
revolutionary government has
moved to break the American
blockade on Cuba and has a
willingness to talk trade with
the Chinese. On the home
front, it has cautiously pro-
moted agrarian reform in some
cases in the very areas in which,
as national Army, it has moved
to liquidate guerilla groups who
attempted forcibly to dispossess
landowners and give land to
the Indians.

IRONIES

This is one of the ironies
of the current Latin American
scene, for a somewhat similar
phenomenon is developing in
Uruguay. There the Army was
called in to deal with the
urban guerrilla group, the Tupa-
maros, a movement which it
destroyed. But in rooting out
the Tupamaros, often by the
use of torture, the Army
officers discovered from the
documents of their enemies
and victims the extraordinary
corruptionof the classes
of Uruguay and began to call
for change. The prosecutor
has turned devil's advocate.
And this is at the root of the
recent crisis.
Uruguay and Peru are in
many ways quite different. In
the area that has become Uru-
guay, there was a quite meagre
indigenous population and the
Uruguayan intelligensia have
always tended to turn towards
Europe. Peru on the other hand
was at the core of the great
Inca Empire which the Spaniards
destroyed in order to extend
their own imperium. A classic
situation then ensued with cer-
tain familiar relationships being


TAPIA PAGE 9


LLOYD KING


established between settlers and
natives. The result which was
in no way affected by Indepen-
dence in the nineteenth century
has been the perpetuation in
time of an unimaginably anti-
quated social system in which
the Army largely functioned as
an internal imperialist force to
keep down the natives.
Except, of course, that the
settlers have long ago also be-
come natives. There is a cultural
division the dominant his-
panic-Western norm versus the
indigenous quechua orientation
of the mass of the Indians who
do not speak Spanish which
is reinforced by the geographical
division of the country.

CRIOLLOS

On the coast, la costa, you'
have the Spanish-speaking criol-
los, descendants of African
slaves, and of Chinese indentured
labourers. In the highlands,
la sierra, there are the majority
of the quechua-speaking Indians
and mestizos/criollos who are
bilingual. The third region is
la selva, the Peruvian sector of
the Amazon region, largely un-
inhabited but enormously rich
in oil deposits.
The history of Peru's exter-
nal relations tends to be a long
account of how foreign capital-
ists and their branch-plant local
companies have exploited,
raped, penetrated, etc., the
country's natural resources,
The general title of any
account would carry a familiar
heading. How European and
U.S. capitalism underdeveloped
Peru. Its internal history fits
in quite well with the external
one: how the white Hispanic
ruling classes have, either in
conjunction with foreign capi-
talists or otherwise, underdeve-
loped, eaten raw, mutilated
and acted to keep in a state of
suspended animation, all the
other racial/social groups.

BLACK MUSLIMS

We all know that both the
Black Muslims in the States and
the Rastafarians have apocalyp-
tic visions of the reversal of
patterns of domination when
the Kingdom comes. The under-
dog shall inherit the land, and
blessed are the black in body
and in spirit.
In a rather similar fashion
it has been found that some
Peruvian Indians have elaborated
myths of reversal. In one
recorded case, a myth was
elaborated in which the dis-


possessed hero-god would re-
turn to rescue Iis people, setting
up a Heaven and Hell. Indians-
become-white would be in
Heaven and whites-become-In-
dians would be subjected to
eternal punishment.
The Peruvian writer who
has best explored the politics
of domination with the specific
awareness of the Indian in
mind is Jose Maria Arguedas,
whose work is unfortunately
not available in translation.
INSIGHTS
Arguedas was peculiarly fitted
to offer the kind of insights
into Indian consciousness which
one gets in his work. Although
the son of whites, (his father
was an itinerant lawyer in the
highlands), Arguedas, as a
motherless child, was semi-ad-
opted by an Indian community
and grew up speaking quechua
only until age nine. He was an
Indian with a white skin.
His "Indian" consciousness
isolated him from his classmates
but also fired in him the dream
of a new kind of community
for his country.
This new community could
only arise when the Indian
communities were freed from
their ancestral burdens. His
finest novel was called Los
Rios Profundos (The Deep
Rivers) in which he depicts life
in a boarding school in the
sierra run by priests who foster
isolation from the community
and savagely seek to frustrate
a young boy's attempts to
communicate with the neigh-
bourhood Indians for whom
he feels a deep empathy. The
result is a deeply moving work.
Arguedas was a populist,
that is, an intellectual who is
moved by a profound convic-
tion in the intrinsic qualities
and values of ordinary people.
The spontaneity and genuine-
ness of the folk are juxtaposed
to the pretentiousness and dis-
torted value system of the
dominant class.
LUCIDITY

Arguedas related to the In-
diand he cared about so passion:
ately with admirable lucidity
and this it is that enabled his
work to escape the mere pam-
phleteering role that has been
the fate of so much Latin
American writing. His novel
Yawar Fiesta (Blood Fiesta)
is a warning to every reformer.
In this novel he shows how,
influenced by liberal propa-
ganda, the central Government


attempts to save the Indian
from himself by outlawing a
rather savage bullfighting cus-
tom in the highlands. On a
particular holiday, a fierce bull
(to whose back a condor [an
Andean vulture] had been tied
to tear at his flesh and infuriate
him) was let loose in a ring
with Indian bullfighters who
had eventually to destory the
bull by blowing out its chest
with a stick of dynamite thrown
at the animal when it was but
inches away. It was a sport that
resulted in the death of many
Indians.
EDICT
The result of this edict
handed down from The Top
is confusing indeed. It leads
to an alliance between an
officialdom who despise the
Indians and a group of young
students and emigres from the
area who are interested in their
well-being:- both groups deter-
mined for quite different reasons
to stop the fiesta over
against the Indian communities
themselves and a tough old
landowner who treats and has
always treated his Indian serfs
in the worst sort of way.
Arguedas shows that this
process ot intervention from
above is doomed to failure
precisely because it focuses on
a barbarous custom while leav-
ing a far more barbarous social
system intact, a system whose
mutilation of the Indian is
altogether more terrifying than
the death of a few of them in
a bullring.

INSINUATE

And he goes even further
because he manages to insinuate
in a quite subtle fashion that
the Peruvian nation is losing
for itself all these reserves of
courage and audacity which
the Indian proves that he has
simply because of the deter-
mination of the power structure
to keep the Indian in his place
as underdog.
In advancing his perspective,
Arguedas took issue with two
political organizations which
over the years claimed to be
champions of the oppressed.
One was APRA, the Popular
American Revolutionary Alli-
ance founded by Raul Victor
Haya de la Torre and the other,
the Peruvian Communist Party
founded by Jose Carlos
Mariategui.
The philosophy of APRA
is known as Aprismo and its


founder, Haya de la Torre, must
figure prominently in any his-
tory of Latin American politics.
Originally Aprismo set out
to attract continent-wide sup-
port as an unconventional Latin
American movement which
would oppose the penetration
of U.S. big business imperia-
lism on all fronts, and seek to
build a genuine Latin American
bloc consciousness. In fact,
with his Peruvian background,
Haya de la Torre asked all
Latin Americans to found a
new consciousness by identi-
fying with the American
Indian.
Eventually Aprismo lost its
continental ardour and became
involved in the conventional
politics of Peru. Where once,
on the continental front, the
movement had been regarded
by the incipient communist
Parties as an unconventional
alternative, it now became a
form of left-wing politics in
Peru to be combatted by Peru-
viar) and non-Peruvian vested
interests.
ELECTIONS
The Apristas won the elect-
ions on a number of occasions
but the military never allowed
them to take power. In the
sixties, following on the success
of the Cuban Revolution, an
attempt at overturning the
system was made by guerilla
groups. The guerrilleros felt
that conditions in the sierra
were so dreadful that they had
only to announce themselves
as saviours for the oppressed
groups to support them in the
struggle.
As was the case with Che
Guevara in Bolivia, they got
little support and were soon
wiped out by the Army. The
Latin American guerilla move-
ment has been killed off for
various reasons. One reason is
that the habit made famous by
Che Guevara of keeping a diary
caught on everywhere. And
captured diaries, carefully stud-
ied by the military aided by
U.S. strategic advisers, soon
put the Armed Forces in a
position to control guerilla
activity.
Having wiped out the gue-
rilla groups, the new revolu-
tionary military regime which
took over in 1968 has absorbed
the populist slogans of the left
wing groups. Whether it will
evolve a vision of social en-
gineering to transform Peru-
vian reality, only time will
tell.


UNCLE SAM

BAR

PREMIER CATERERS FOR

DANCES. PARTIES, ETC.,

AT THE MOST MODERATE PRICES.
E.M. Road, Sangre Gmnde,










PAGE 10 TAPIA SUNDAY APRIL 8, 1973




New pan sides can





compete with combos


ARE THERE people in
the country who love steel-
band enough to put "dey
money where dey mouth
is?"
Ace steelband tuner and
innovator Bertie Marshall
hopes that there are and
that they will come out
and underwrite the cost of
his latest instrument.
If we are to believe know-
ledgeable panmen like Rudolph
Charles and Curtis Pierre, who
have given their endorsement
to the experiment (so too, in-
cidentally, has Pan Trinbago's
President Roy Augustus), Ber-
tie's new idea will have the
same dynamic effect on the
steelband world as did his
"soprano pan", double-tenor
and covered stands.

BACKGROUND

What is more, since it focus-
ses on the unwieldy size of
the average steelband, its ad-
vantages can be easily appre-
ciated by the man in the street.
As practically every Trini-
dadian must have observed,
the main reason why steel-
bands are so large is the num-
ber of background pans (basses,
cellos) used.
What Bertie has designed,
therefore, is a bass or cello
that is half the normal depth,
stands on collapsible and ad-
justable legs (it can thus be
dismantled like a drum set) and
what is more important, has
the volume of four or five of
the ordinary basses.
And since Bertie is using
techniques that he experiment-
ed with on the "Bertfone"
the new-style bass (or cello)
is a truer instrument.
Conceivably, therefore, one
could have a steelband of only
six men giving the same volume


koI iiii 11111y


KEITH SMITH


IA


An artist's impression of Bertle Marshll's New-Style Background Pan (Hollister Savige)


of sound as the ordinary 30-
man side, or alternatively for
those who find that steelbands
are too loud as it is, volume
could be reduced (electronic-
ally) to match the intimacy of
the surroundings.
The major practical effect
of all this is that it makes the
steelband more employable
since:-
(1) The reduction in size
and cost affords the steelband
an entry to weddings, christen-
ings, small club get-togethers,
house parties and the like.
(2) The problem of trans-
porting a professional pan side
to venues in the Caribbean
and further abroad is sharply
reduced.


Bertie assures the traditional-
ists that the new-style pan side
he has in mind does not do
away with the conventional
steelband. Rather, it comple-
ments it.


VOLUME

'Larg steelbands will still
be necessary for Panorama in
the big, dusty Savannah, for
Carnival and wherever the
sound has to cover a tremen-
dous amount of space.
"But what I am thinking
about are those many small
jobs which crop up during
the year and for which the
30-40 man side will find it


uneconomical to play.
After all, it is not so un-
usual. In the world of con-
ventional music there are big
bands and small bands, and
they both have their functions.
"Since we play conventional
music, there is no reason why
steelbands must, by definition,
be large.
"Indeed if we are really
serious about making money
with our music, we should see
to it that we have a similar
parallel here.
"In addition there are things
you can do, musically, with
a six-man steelband that you
couldn't possibly do with a
30-man side for instance it
is bound to result in the rise of


soloists, and we have seen
that these are becoming scarcer
and scarcer as steelbands be-
come larger and larger.

REDUCING

"I would urge even the
large steelbands to have a set
of these pans on hand so that
they too can play at the smal-
ler parties and the free-for-all
sessions which we ourselves
must organize in the same way
as, say, jazz musicians."
The process of reducing the
steelband's size Bertie calls
"miniaturization". To get it
off the drawing board he needs
certain things including alu-
minium, stainless steel, pedals,
springs, resonators, amplifiers,
pre-amp and microphones.
He is appealing for a sponsor
or sponsors who would be
prepared either to provide the
equipment or the money to
buy it.
It will take him, he says,
between six months and a year
to complete the first model -
and then it is the property of
the people of Trinidad and
Tobago to do with it what-
soever they will.

PRODUCTION

After the first one, other
can be easily mass-produced
and steelbandsmen will be able
to "play rather than pound
pan," Bertie promises.
"And what's more, such a
pan side will cost no more than
the ordinary combo," he adds.
He asks no money for him-
self during the months he will
be engaged in producing this
model, but it will be a pity
if we cannot make this some-
thing more than a labour of
love for him.


JULES FETED BY ALL STARS


THEY psid tribute to
Neville Jules on Saturday
- scores of panmen ga-
thered together at the
Catelli All Stars pan yard
at the car park on St.
Vincent Street.
The invitation had said
that the occasion was to
celebrate "All Stars" win-
ning of this year's Pano-
rama. It turned out to be
in celebration of Jules, who
had been brought back
from the United States for
the event.
It was fitting that it should
be so, for not only "was Jules
All Stars" as one enthusiastic
panman put it, but in another
country somebody who had
made as great a contribution as
Jules to that country's


culture, would be a household
word.
Jules' name is certainly not
that. And yet ever since All
Stars grew out of Fisheye's
"Cross of Lorraine" in the late
forties, it had been Jules lead-
ing All Stars in times of war,
and as we entered the quieter
sixties, in times of peace.

CONTRIBUTION

Throughout that time, Jules
led the steelband movement in
the country. Really, the con-
tribution made by Jules and
All Stars during steelband's
formative years was staggering.

It was Jules who introduced
bass pans into the steelband.
It was Jules who introduced


the cello and guitar pans as
well.
It was Jules who borrowed
the drum-set and tumbas from
conventional orchestras and in-
corporated them into the steel-
band.

CONCEPT

It was Jules who first put
rubber on pan sticks and it was
Jules who with All Stars intro-
duced the concept of the
"Bomb'.
That is why the celebration
on Saturday night drew so
many pan aficionados crack
footballer Everard Cummings,
Eddie Hart who has been in the
band some 16 years, Valto,
Ellford, Bubbles, Lolly, Arka-


die, scores of others able to
reel off pan history because
they have lived it.
And yet in the inscribed
testimonial presented to Jules
on the night the aspect of Jules
that hailed was not his creati-
vity as much as his leadership.
Two years ago, Jules gave
up this leadership of "All Stars"
and like so many other steel-
band leaders is trying his for-
tune abroad. But to a man
friends and members of the
band continue to call him
"Cap".
On Saturday Jules gave the
assurance that he would be
back here to stay perhaps
in less than two years, to take
where he left off with the
steelband that is so much a
part of pan lore in Trinidad
and Tobago.


CULTURAL


FUSION


THE Old Boys' Associa-
tion of Hillview College invites
the public to a grand cultural
fusion of songs, dances and
fashions.
The show, which is being
held in conjunction with the
PTA's grand bazaar on Satur-
day April 14, 1973, will be
followed by a "Total" fete.
U
Action starts at 12.00 noon
and admission is free (except
for a small cover charge for
the fete).
All proceeds go towards
the Hillview College Library
funds.









THE CONSOLATION that Black is beautiful is no
longer enough for the Black man. It is now necessary to
prove to everyone that not only is being Black where it's at
but that Black is as powerful and has its soulful counter-
part to anything whites can produce.
The American film industry is on to a new gold-mine.
To match the ever rising stream of Black consciousness,
they have come up with a spate of Black-casted films and
Black heroes.
While Blacks may be congratulating themselves on making a
breakthrough into the film industry, the producers are keeping a


cold eye on the cash registers.
The trend started notably
with Bahamian Sidney Poitier
and his lead roles in films like
"Lilies of the Field", "Slender
Thread" and "Patch of Blue".
But today' Poitier might be
classed by the character Shaft
as a "black honkey".
In "Lilies of the Field",
Poitier played the "good nigger"
to a group of nuns. The only
reason for his acceptance in
the white world of "Guess
Who's Coming To Dinner" was
his superior position as head
of WHO. Even then producers
did not dare screen any ex-
tended love scenes.

BLACK ROLES

So Poitier was taken through
a succession of roles to help
salve the Black ego. The hip
teacher in the blackboard
jungle of "To Sir With Love",
the black super police detec-
tive of "They Call Me Mr.
Tibbs" and lately with fellow
West Indian Belafonte in a
black "western", "Buck And
The Preacher".
In their haste to place the
black man in the adventures
sf the West, producers scorn
probability, pay little respect
to history, and virtually bank
all on that "willing suspension
of disbelief" created by the
cinema screen.
Thus, in the post American
Civil War period of "The Mc
Masters", an ex-slave could
partner his former master,
marry an Indian squaw, escape
a lynching and with dogged
determination, go back to the
land that belongs to him.
The message was to tell the
West that Nigger Charlie was
not running' no more. And be-
lieve it or not, Nigger Charlie
managed to kill his slave mas-
ter, his pursuers and a gang of
thieves for good measure. In
the end he rides off into the
misty dawn of a new adventure.

HERO

Now comes a new hero,
out of the glossy pages of
Ebony Magazine, Richard
Roundtree John Shaft.
"Who is the man who would
risk his neck for his brother
man Shaft". So intones
the Black Moses,Isaac Hayes,
who does some of the musical
arrangements for the "Shaft"
series. The aim of this Harlem
Bond-style detective is to aid
his brother man in the fight
against the white "oppressors"
and even the black ones like
Bumpy.
Shaft then is the black
dream. He is tough, cool, smart,
handles a gun like the best of
them and certainly has his way
with women. He takes no
"talk" from whites.
So you come out of the
local cinema and smile with


satisfaction at the way Shaft
really socked it to those
whitesys. You particularly
liked the look on the face of
the white fella sent off to
make Shaft's coffee as he says,
"Make mine Black". But the
vast difference between the
real world and that of the
cinema does not shock that
much. Because the problem
here is a much subtler one

ESCAPISTS

With race problems a stark
reality, it may even be im-
possible for the dreamer to
find comfort for the bruised
ego in the Freudian world of
dreams. There is need for some-
thing even more "real" than
the escapist dream some-
thing which can be perceived
while all the senses are fully
awake. The larger, more "real"
dreamof the cinema screen.
There are, too, attempts to
understand certain other psy-
chological needs. The ghetto
game of numbers for instance.
As Shaft explains, why
stamp out numbers (or whe-
whe for that matter)? The
poor man has little hope of
becoming rich so he may as
well play for the longshot.
These films have also given
Blacks a chance to comeout of
the background of slave sets
and the bushes of Tarzan films.
Blacks can now prove their
worth as competent producers,
directors and actors.
But Shaft and his like are
basically the modern brutal-
angry-hero types in blackface,
and the story lines which link
this money-spinning theme to
the cause of black liberation
are contrived and cynical in


SUNDAY APRIL o, 973


Ho


Blacks


the extreme.
In "Shaft", the hero's bru-
talities and underworld associa-
tions are "justified" by a
cursory reference to the use of


ywood gives


the


stolen money to increase
bail fund of some nebi
incarcerated brothers, w
cause plays no part wha
in the film's plot.


SHAFT


In the same way, Shaft,
at the beginning of the film,
makes a totally unmotivated
phone call to his girlfriend, to
whom he proclaims (what she
must have known already) that
;' "I'm angry for two reasons -
I was born black and I was
born poor".
Incidentally, Shaft's girl,
like all the other women who
are selected to carry the flame
of black female beauty in these
films, is hardly black at all but
has almost totally white fea-
tures and a light brown skin.
The much publicised love
scenes between her and Shaft
are equally contrived. The re-
lationship between Shaft and
his girl is not worked into the
plot it is painfully obvious
that someone took a decision
to show Shaft and his girl in
bed together, so Shaft simply
walks into her apartment and
they make love.
In the absence of any sug-
gestion in the plot of solace
given to each other by black
men and women in a hostile
world, the attempts to "poet-
icise" their coupling by hokey
e photography are embarrassingly
ulous bad.


'hose
ever


But, ironically, what is worst
about the 'Shaft" movies is
Continued on page 12


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WORLD CUP FOOTB


IT IS difficult to under-
stand why quite a few
people cannot see why we
nmst bring home our foreign
based players to participate
in the trials that will pre-
cede the selection of the
team for the next round of
World Cup.
It is almost as if some people
want to prevent these players
from gaining selection out of
a kind of unconscious desire
to revenge themselves on the
'star" footballers for leaving
the country.
They argue that this choice
opportunity of representing the
country in this coming World
Cup round should only go to
those footballers who have re-
mained here to battle it out
on the Queen's Park Oval
ground.
Which is as dishonest a
"patriotic" argument as there
ever was. The truth is that
those footballers who are now
playing in the United States
were forced to leave precisely
because their country doesn't


Black

films
From page 11
that they are good. As a part
of the genre of spectacular
cinema thrillers, they more
than hold their own in action
and suspense.
The trouble is that
these movies are a result
of the very conditions
that produce intolerance and
oppression.
Success in the world of
which they are a part depends
precisely on the capacity not
to be influenced by them to
use them as escapist fare only.
To be able to do so in adult-
hood implies a very different
type of adventure hero in ado-
lescence, a hero whose ad-
ventures are divorced from the
basically hopeless environment
of the ghetto hustle and sym-
bolise aspirations greater than
the ambition to out-mafia the
mafia.
So, if these films are suspect
in their value as adventure
models for Black youth in the
United States (and some Black
organizations have said so
openly) how much more sus-
pect must they be for our
own young people, whose
struggle against imported values
has to be greater in every area.
There are now black heroes
in the movies that much is
true. But it is not yet possible
to say that the medium has
been enlarged by their presence.
PRINTED BY THI


KEITH SMITH


Ban the professionals?


afford them an opportunity
to live off their skills.
And most of the unemployed
many who are remaining would
jump at the opportunity to
play for financial gain in the
United States the only thing
is that the offers have yet to
come their way.
If we follow this argument
it is ridiculous to then argue
that the stay-at-home players
have a greater right to play in
the national team in the tourna-
ment in November.

ABILITY

Certainly the footballers who
are now in the United States
must be played not on their
reputations but on their actual
ability when tested against the
local players who even now are
sharpening their skills in Vernon
Bain's "Super League".
But we know enough of
Warren Archibald, Leroy de
Leon, Everard Cummings, Keith
Aqui, to name a few, to suspect
the quality of any team for
whose selection they have not
been considered.
Granted it is just possible
that we will find that these
"stars" have in fact been eclipsed
by the new meteors that the
past season has brought to lighi
- Sammy Llewellyn, Dudley
Husbands, Godfrey Harris,
Fitzroy Valentine, again to
name a few. But I, for one,
am not prepared to lay any


bets on it so put them all
to the test.
And it is no use citing that
farcical Santos-Trinidad and


Tobago match, as one letter-
writer did, to prove mat our
foreign-based footballers are not
worth their passage back home.
Conditions that evening were
hardly conducive to football
as the Brazilians themselves
admitted and even so, in
the limited time available, Archi.
bald and De Leon gave good
account of themselves.
There will be some cost
involved of course, but if the
thousands of football fans in
the country are persuaded that
our interests will be better
served by having these foot-


bailers back home, then the
money will be raised.
What is important here is
how we go about raising this


money. Ken Gait of the TFA
has suggested that the players
should be brought home "well
before November". Ideally, I
feel they should be here for the
mvhole season so that their skills
will be tested over a prolonged
period of time.
The TFA should have no
problem here since if these
players are as good as they
ought to be the thrust they
will give to those dreary night
games will be enough to bring
in crowds after all football-
hungry Trinidadians have been
crowding games that stand out


No

says


Keith Smifh

only for their boredom.
More important than that,
however, I feel that the clubs
to which these players be-
longed and for whom no doubt
they will play on their return
ought to chip in by urging
their supporters to contribute
to fund-raising activities which
they as well as the TFA should
organise.

SOLIDARITY

Again if we are serious about
this World Cup effort there is
no reason why clubs should
not get together in joint ven-
tures in a show of solidarity -
Malvern/Maple fete .Colts/
Paragon proceeds or some
part of them going into the
World Cup kitty ...
Already there is talk about
the kind of system that we will
play. Perhaps we are premature
here since whatever system we
adopt will have to be decided
by the kind of players event-
ually available for selection.
To start with the system first
and then attempt to fit the
players into it is one sure way
of ensuring that we will be
trounced by the other com-
peting nations.


On news stands throughout T'dad every Friday

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