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Vol 3 No,17
SUNDAY APRIL 29, 19730oR T e ST:UY OF MAN
"2 EAST 78 STREET
NE? YORK 2J NK
LAST Saturday April 21 at Daaga Hall, Raffique Shah
finally brought his regiment of ex-soldiers up to the centre
of stage. Knowing that if this was theatre, it was the grim
theatre of a revolutionary upheaval, a large contingent of
Tapiamen duly took their place amidst the ranks. Without
any premeditation whatsoever, we simply sensed the grave
political meaning of the occasion.
Ivan Laughlin, Syl Lowhar and Allan Harris; Brinsley Samaroo,
Augustus Ramrekersingh and Arthur Frederick; Jerry Pierre and
Dennis Pantin; Lloyd Best and Taylor, all were there. It could
easily have been an afternoon in 1969. Such, at any rate, was the
mood. Expectancy and cautious optimism.
Even the New Beginning
cadres took the time to surface
from their Marxist cellars.
Raymond Watts, Booker Rennie,
Efebo Wilkinson. They were
there displaying the acts of the
now remote apostles of the
revolution: Wally Look Lai,
Franklyn Harvey and C. L. R.
James, of course.
A more humble James Mill-
ette was there, buttonholing
men in corners to urge on them
the fearless paper a big
change from the days when
UNIP stood so stridently aloof
and rooted for "conventional,
that is to say, for electoral
Gone were Desmond Allum,
and Earl, the Baker, Lewis;
gone Willie Bain and George
Dhanny and Oli Mohommed-
and all those numerous Moko-
men who have failed to stay
)the distance. Revolution is a
Present was Delano Malik,
elegant, tall and thoughtful;
McKarm, panman and orator,
detained in 1970. Inevitably
on the scene were George
Weekes, Joe Young, Clive
Nunez, unionists militant for-
ever; Errol Balfour, Winston
Suite: URO men; Allan Alex-
ander, attorney of the soldiers;
and wandering Humphrey, John,
Mixing in the gathering were
RaoulPantin, Errol Pilgrim and
Nizam Ali, still unmistakably
restless media-men, if wiser and
more measured than yesterday.
Certainly no report of this
distinguished assembly of radi-
cal. forces has so far made the
news let alone hit the headlines
as it would certainly have done
in 1969 or 1970.
In this the second, harder
and constructive phase of the
February Revolution, the press
is much fnore cautious than it
used to be. It is a much more,
difficult ,game t_.o judge this
time and mistakes could turn
out very dear. You see the
caution in the coverage of the
National Convention, now tak-
ing place at Chaguaramas.
Well, in a curious kind of
way, that gathering on Saturday
last was the missing part to
Chaguaramas. We met to take
position on the future.
In some ways, the Assembly
was strangely reminiscent of
that fateful April evening in
1969 when Joe Young had
summoned to the Transport
House the various spokesmen
and representatives of the op-
Absent this time round were
Jamadar and Lequay. Farqhuar,
MASA Khan and Stephen Maraj.
Conspicuously absent were
Granger and Darbeau, front
bench leaders of the NJAC.
Times have changed.
Over the four years, political
fortunes have fluctuated widly
up and down leaving only the
central issue stubbornly refus-
ing to blow away. By what
method are we going to move
Is it feasible to deliver
Williams and his bunch a knock-
out blow? And even if we
knew the way to do it, would
that be the best way to pro-
On the second of those
two historic evenings when we
assembled up in Joe Young's
den, Lloyd Best, speaking for
the best part of an hour on
behalf of Tapia, urged the
gathering that "we should plan
to go the distance and to win
the game on points".
That we should build a radi-
cal newspaper, establish machin-
ery to co-ordinate the opposi-
tion forces, and to put in place
a service organ to succour and
nurse the disadvantaged working
Jamadar and Lequay agreed
but it was "not politic" in such
a militant meeting, they said,
to advocate a strategy so
Weekes remarked how brilli-
antly the case was argued but
we did not have the time to
plan and wait he claimed.
Gowadan, Granger, Darbeau,
Nunez all wholeheartedly took
that view. Only David Murray
of:the men who later were to
lead in February joined the
puny Tapia voices.
And now four years of water
have come and gone beneath
the bridge and the Movement
once more has to take a stand.
That no doubt is why 300
people came. They came to
an evening of reflection. They
came to hear what Raffique
had to say.
IT WAS a good thing
that the Vanguard of the
1970 movement did not-
take control at that time
since the situation would
have been much worse than
the chaos which now pre-
So claimed Winston Lennard,
a revolutionary trade-union
leader, in a speech in which
he called for "sober reflection"
during an Ex-Sol grounding
at the St. Augustine campus.
The grounding was held to
mark the Third Anniversary
of the April 21 Mutiny at
Lennard was the main speak-
er for the first half of the
programme. He made this
point in reference to the charge
that the intervention of the
soldiers was meant to seize
the initiative from the leader-
ship of the mass movement.
He labelled the charge as
"unfounded, immoral and mali-
cious". And he argued, "the
uprising by the soldiers was
a genuine expression of revo-
lutionary involvement. Certain
people refused to allow them-
selves to be used by the agents
of the system to undermine
or even to defeat the accelerated
But, he noted, the charge
was understandable since the
mass leaders were themselves
reactionary in so far as they
were still enslaved by the old
And this fact he felt to be
at the core of the problems
of the struggle, and was in
large measure responsible for
the eventual fragmentation and
disarray among those who had
risen to revolutionary status.
For while the Vanguard
understood how "to take physi-
cal revolutionary action" it
failed to see that all action
must lead to new values.
The preoccupation of the
leadership with taking back
"our oil, our sugar, and our
land" led it to neglect "to
educate the people so as to
avoid the pitfalls and traps
of the very same values which
have continued to enslave us
spiritually and mentally".
Lennard claimed that the
leadership lived the struggle
mainly from the platforms,
and not with the suffering
masses. This was abstract in-
Leadership had to be proven.
It was just not enough to lay
claim to it. "We must first
engage in self-liberation."
The biggest problem the
struggle faced was the existing
dogmatist attitude as to how
it must be pursued.
In this regard, he saw, the
greatest enemy of the struggle
as coming not from Williams
or the C.I.A. but from within
the struggle itself, "because of
the attitudes and values in
the so-called Vanguard or
Continued on Page 10
Our printing-plant opens at The Tapia
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7117 Tunapuna, from Friday, May 10.
Kindly phone orders to: 662 5126.
PUBLISHING .OFFSET PRINTING EDITING SERVICE
PAGE 2 TAPIA
FOR ALL the battering that we have taken,
a lot of us still retain what Gordon Rohlehr
has so aptly called our sense of possibility So
we went in hope on Saturday 21 to hear what
Raffique Shah would say.
Shah's appeal as an important figure in the
movement only partly rests on the reputation
he has gained as a man of both fibre and
method. He is the one who took charge at
Teteron, who emerged as the most articulate
spokesman for the brothers at the Court
Martial, and who religiously ran three miles
daily round the mini-courtyard while in jail.
More solidly, his appeal rests on our hope for an
organic unity among our African and Indian peoples,
a hope that has grown to large proportions ever since
the Black Power Revolt against the Afro-Saxon
Government completely demolished the old regime
of race, until then sustained by the notorious Williams
and Capildeo accord of 1962.
So we went to the evening of sober reflection,
pleased to see a considerable number of young
Indians present and encouraged by Winston Lennard's
early effort to reach out for a truly honest appraisal
of the movement's record. Both are elements which
we sadly lacked in 1969 and 1970 but the revolution
is maturing now it seems.
Lennard rambled on at length as if he was a man
distracted. He seemed somehow tortured by his own
reflections, his concern to chastise Granger and NJAC
amounted to near obsession, his criticism of his own
attitudes in 1970 was perhaps much too scanty and
he made no concessions whatsoever to those whose
ideas he was at last adopting.
Still, for all that, he uttered sundry intriguing
truths not the least of which was that grass-roots
change begins not in the public square with some
abstraction called the people, but right in your place
of life and work, with you yourself, your family and
Following Lennard we wanted honest answers
to direct questions. What had actually happened
during the Revolt of April 1970? In what sense has it
been a successful undertaking? What is the balance
sheet of gains and losses? What lessons have we learnt
from 1970 about the part the military must play in
the resolution of the crisis?
And how do the ideas about the military fit into
the larger strategy of change involving trades union
organisation in sugar and presumably elsewhere and
including collaboration with political groupings such
as UNIP and possibly others by extension? The
Assembly wanted Shah to answer.
The candid answer was that in 1970, the soldiers
were politically immature and committed many
errors. "Maybe we were right, maybe we were wrong".
But, said Shah, we decided not to go into Port of
Spain and unluckily we also decided not to return the
fire because, as it turned out, detainees were on one
of the Coast Guard boats.
Nevertheless, our big gain was that the government
was effectively prevented from using the army as a
repressive tool against the people. With this repeated
punch-line we can of course find no cause for
quarrel. The onliest thing is that the whole story
is a very much larger one.
To derive the full lesson from this experience
we need to speculate in depth on what would have
happened if the Army had gone to Port of Spain and
assumed political control of the whole country; or
if it had stayed in Teteron and not been betrayed
but had retained military mastery of the base.
Did the political conditions exist for surviving
intervention by the Americans and Venezuelans? If so,
what does Lennard then mean when he says that the
movement had not altered old values, that the struggle
had been conducted mainly on the platform and that
people had not been touched to any great degree?
A related query requires us to ask here by what
,means would the movement have governed if office
had changed hands in March or April 1970? What
were the plans that the country would have been
asked to back? What was its ideological orientation?
Black Power? How would the Indian population
have been persuaded to dedicate itself to work for
that cause without subversion? How indeed, would
the African population have been persuaded? What
would we have done with the other minorities?
What cadres would we have had to run the
State? Were they organised and committed to the
personal costs and sacrifices involved? Did we expect
men to emerge somehow? And if men can emerge in
this overnight fashion, why is it then that the now
for now PNM Movement of 1956 did not find these
men? Or is it that we are somehow better and
morally superior men to those of 1956?
SUNDAY APRIL 29, 1973
theory of change
-: r. C
=--- -- --
t~C -- -
Is it that our method was unconventional and
different? Would we not have ended up living
by bribery, intimidation and much more coercion
and repression than anything Williams has been able
to achieve in 16 years? Lennard, Vice-Chairman of
NJAC at a crucial period, seems to think that if we
had succeeded it would have been a real disaster.
That is if we had succeeded. According to Shah,
we failed in that control of the army was lost after
a few days. And this failure had a consequence
which we can hardly afford to miss. True Caesar was
unable to use the army to brutalise the population
but has he not been able to establish the wicked-
est police regime this country has ever known with
legislation ranging from the Sedition Act to the IRA
and with a new brand of manipulation of the Courts?
And are we not the ones responsible for giving
him the pretext for that? Have we not given him
the game on a platter by our strategy both on the
civil and the military front? If so, the only honest
ahing we could now do would be to admit it and to
ci -ry out a drastic overhaul of the theory of change
that we have.
On Saturday the informal assembly of radical
forces was able to assess some of Raffique Shah's
thinking His view that we should have a People's
Army was already well known. What was more
important here was the philosophical spirit of the
presentation. And that was not convincing.
Shah tried to persuade us that the brothers in the
army are of a higher intelligence than their counter-
parts in the police and in other countries. This is
treading very dangerous ground since, apart from
the questionable validity of the claim, the suggestion
seemed to be that you can explain political behaviour
in terms of superior and inferior intelligence. You
have to come better than that if we are to make
sense of all that the groups and interests are doing in
Trinidad and Tobago today.
The impression Shah left with us was that he has
not thought deeply either on the complexities of
change or on the role of the military in politics.
His view of the army service as an opportunity for
combat was quite remarkable and his preoccupation
with the military potentials of the army very surprising
in the light of his proposals for people's army. In
general the analysis of the military around the world
was entirely superficial.
To urge that the Trinidad case is somehow
unique in that here we intervened on behalf of the
people is sheer fantasy. The road to hell is paved with
good intentions and every army thinks and declares
that it is intervening to save the people from doom.
To say that Wilson failed to intervene in Rhodesia
because the conservative officers were unwilling to
fight their white kin is a puerile simplification of an
extremely complex matter. We who are interested in
liberating black people in the Caribbean from the
shackles of a racist civilization cannot afford these
comfortable half-truths. We have to be clinical about
the irrationalities and the contradictions of race in
politics... both ways.
Equally, we have to be clinical and cool in our
interpretation of the part that social class plays in the
politics of change. It is here that Shah has made
perhaps his most important contribution without
knowing it. In passing, he noticed that the soldiers
who were able to enjoy what radicals like to call "a
bourgeois middle-class existence" in the army, still
saw themselves as belonging to the underworld of
disadvantage inhabited by their less privileged brothers
and sisters, mothers and fathers.
The fact of the matter is that a bourgeois class is
not formed by giving black people two A Levels, a
University degree and a highly paid job in the
technocracy. It took 700 years or more, the Christian
Church, the feudal lords, long-distance merchant-
trade and the emergence of kings and nation-states
to form a bourgeois class in Europe. And that class
emerged in a particular and peculiar relation to
capital, technology, decision-making and political
power. You cannot reproduce that in the Caribbean
by a college-exhibition programme.
We are in our own historical situation, not far
from slavery and indenture, the racism of the colonial
experience still fresh in our minds. Men of all incomes
and statuses sometimes, indeed quite often, as in
1970, act in concert without any sense of differences
in class. We cannot proceed with any simple imported
Marxist, European theory of class.
From the position he has taken, Shah stands in
conflict with those apostles of change, most of them
who have run away from the firing line to advocate
class-war behind the relative security of State Depart-
ment protection in New York and Washington. He is
in conflict with them but his ground is solid in this
The supporters of "class-politics" are looking for
a simple formula of mobilization, one that would
relieve us of the tremendous responsibility of building
a solid movement by persuading people of its
objectives and committing them to its work. Accord-
ing to them, capitalism decides everything, who is
friend, who enemy; it predetermines the revolution.
This is the same breed which collaborated with
Batista and described Castro as a "middle-class
Continued on Page 11
SUNDAY APRIL 29, 1973
TAPIA PAGE 3
THE SOLDIERS w]
took part in the 1970 Arn
mutiny were political bab
who made the mistake
trusting Williams ai
For this mistake the
paid with blood, sweat
tears, betrayal and jail.
This admission came frc
Raffique Shah, one of t
leaders of that revolt at Tetero
Bay, on April 21, 1970.
It came on Saturday Ap
21 gone, at a "day of serio
reflection", organised by E
Sol, (the organisation of e
soldiers), three years after t
Between then and now, t
soldiers who had revolte
faced trial, were convicted al
eventually freed after Shah an
La Salle won their appeals
the Privy Council.
In a nearly two-hour-lo:
speech, Shah outlined the bac
ground to the revolt, the actL
revolt, the-suecesses an failure
of that venture and the ro!
The major part of this stall
ment was similar to Shal
speech at the court martial an
printed by Tagia in 1970. (Yo
Turn To Choose).
Early on the morning
April 21, 1970, top office
of the Regiment under tl
then Colonel Johnson, held
meeting and made certa
Lt. Rex La Salle was to
to Nelson Island without m
or arms (the political detained
were taken to the island th
same day), Lt. Michael Baz
was to be sent to Tobago, aga
without men or arms, wh
Lt. Shah was to go into Pc
of Spain with armed troops.
When the young lieutenan
learnt of the declaration
the State of Emergency an
the orders,. they, decided
arrest the senior officers
Shah emphasised that th
was a spontaneous decisic
made on the actual morning.
However, the two lieutenan
were over-powered and put in
Shortly afterwards they we
freed by the rank and fi
soldiers and the senior office
fled the camp.
It was then decided
mount a convoy to Port
Shortly before Staubles Ba
the coast guard boats begin
shelling the hill along the road
Private Clive Bailey w
killed by sharpnel from a freak
The soldiers decided to re-
turn to Teteron and set up
defences although they had
the weaponry to attack the
coast guard boats.
Shah pointed out that this
may have been predestined
since the political detainees
were on board of the coast
On April 22, the soldiers
were contacted by the Govern-
ment and on the third day
negotiations began with Govem-
ment officials headed by the
Attorney-General, Karl Hudson
The 'Femands of the soldiers
were: the return of Serrette to
head the army, a Commission
of Enquiry into the running of
the army, and the appointment
of Shah and La Salle to com-
ur, At this point, Serrette joined
ers the Government team.
he His appointment as Com-
la manding Officer appeared in
in the official gazette, the commi-
ssion of enquiry was appointed
go and La Salle and Shah were
en made acting company com-
at ,On May 1, Serrette asked
zie the three lieutenants to accom-
ie pany him to Port of Spain for
)re questioning by the police.
He explained that the Gov-
ernment wanted it to appear
that they were conducting an
enquiry into the incidents and
that the soldiers would be
of Shah revealed on Saturday
id last, that he told Serrette at
to this point that they had made
of an agreement with the govern-
ment and if the police wanted
us him for questioning they would
on have to come up into the hills'
and get him.
ts At this point, Shah said,
to Serrette began to cry again.
Captain Desmond Whiskey
re .took him aside and told him
le to listen to the old man
What happened since this is
of Not only the three lieu-
tenants; but some 85 members
y, of the regiment faced original,
an charges of mutiny and/or
as They were tried, some were
Assmby o :rdiclores
D aa a H ll:
freed, the officers and several
other men were convicted and
given heavy sentences. La Salle
and Shah won their appeals to
the' Privy Council on the
grounds that the mutiny was
condoned by the Commanding
The Attorney-General, act-
ing under his "sole right of
discretion under the constitu-
tion", decided to free all the
What caused the revolt?
Shah argued that the main
reason for the revolt was the
refusal of the soldiers to come
into Port of Spain to brutalise
their black brothers and sisters
to save a minority and un-
The soldiers understood and
related to the street demon-
strations, many of them actually
took part in the demonstra-
Shah pointed out that al-
though the soldiers were rela-
tively well-paid, although there
was plenty of food in barracks,
the soldiers still went home to
see their mothers, fathers, and
brothers and sisters ketching
Every soldier had a relative
or friend in the demonstrations,
and knew'the frustration) and
oppressionwhich was the motor
of the street politics.
However, there were also
problems internal to the army:
inefficiency, untrained senior.
officers, discrimination and so
The soldiers had been con-
fined to barracks for much of
the previous three-month pe-
riod, staying around barracks
with nothing to do and there-
fore resorting to playing cards,
liming and eventually smoking
The young officers, trained
at 'Sandhurst and elsewhere,
were becoming frustrated serv-
ing under the untrained party
hacks appointed by Williams
to the senior army posts.
The combination of internal
frustrations and the fact that
the soldiers felt the oppression
of the society as much as the
unemployed, the students and
the workers, were the under-
lying reasons for the revolt,.
Was the revolt a success or
Shah argued it was both.
The failure was that the
soldiers allowed themselves to
be betrayed by Serrette and
As a result of this, people'
say. that if' you armed soldiers
could not move the man, then
who is we, we doh even have
The success was that the
army did not come into Port.
of Spain to brutalise the masses.
The revolt also showed the'.
people of the country that one
could stand up to the power. of.;
the regime and this has inspired
several young people to defend
themselves against the power
of the state.
Shah then reflected on the
entire basis of the Regiment.
It was formed as a pre-
condition set by the British
Government for the Indepen-
dence of Trinidad & Tobago.
The rules and regulations
were taken directly from British
Williams ignored the army
for years, after the Defence
Force received a vote under
The Teteron Bay Barracks
at the back of Chaguaramas was
the worst possible spot for an
army headquarters. There was
only one road in or out, and it
was surrounded by sea and
Shah feels that the intention
was to isolate the army from
Williams began to take on
the army with the growth of
coup d'etats in the former
British colonies in Africa.
Continued on Page 9
*Although the soldiers were relatively well-paid,
although there was plenty of food in barracks, the
soldiers still went home to see their mothers, fathers.
and brothers and sisters ketcliing'alse. Eeery soldier
had a relative or friend in the demonstrations, knew
the' frustration which was the motor of street politics,
and felt the :oppression as much as the student, the
unemployed and the worker
June 30 '73
SUNDAY APRIL 29, 1973
Ora n t euGr
factory hands at Orange
Grove National Company
downed their tools for 16
hours on Wednesday 18.
Yet it was a strike with
a difference. For perhaps
the first time in the coun-
try's history workers struck
against what they consider
to be an intolerable mis-
management of tax-payers'
In addition the strike was
meant to bring to the notice of
the powers-that-be long-stand-
ing grievances over conditions
of work, brutality, unfair prac-
tices in the field, and unceasing
harrassnient from certain com-
Workers know that the All-
Trinidad Union is useless so
in the absence of any effective
bargaining body, and of any
grievance procedure, the strike
proved to be asnecessary as it
Only thus could the com-
pany be made aware of how
the workers feel about inade-
quate toilet facilities, about
having to squat on the floor of
the factory compounds to eat,
about the unbearable lack of
privacy while changing clothes.
For the field worker condi-
tions are even worse. He is just
not considered as one with
even the most basic of sanitar\
needs. Water is too obvious a
necessity to beneglected but
very often it contains soot
from burnt cane.
The sanitary disposal of fae-
ces is a question not even
raised. The assumption is that
cane cutters or cartermen could
work from'6.00 a.m. to 2.00
p.ri. for an entire crop without
even one day having the urge
to go off.
The biggest issue for cane
cutters is deciding what con-
stitutes a task. More cane now
has to be cut per task since
the number of.rows per bed
has moved from four to five.
SBefore time, the task \as
'decided upon b' `eiehinrig the
cane. The task therefore con-
tained less or more rods depen-
ding on whether a field was
made Up of heavier plant cane,
or of lighter ratoon cane. For
ratoon cane, less weight was
allowed for a given task be-
cause of the thickness of the
Nowadays, workers are sim-
ply required to cut so many
rods per task. The result is that
-more sweat is extracted from
the workers for the increased
Workers are also opposed to
the practice among certain dri-
vers of walking the measuring
rod in a way which takes away
from the actual length of the
The surplus rods resulting
from cheating the workers are
tacked on to the tasks of a
favoured worker who then
draws the income and splits it
with the drivers and their
cliques. This practice is known-
as the sou sou pool. '-
On top of all that .there is a.
code of discipline draw n up by
the Personnel Manager as a
means of guiding "all con-
cerned on the nature of dis-
ciphnary action which will nor-
mally be taken for -he offences
After listing some 37 offen-
ces, the code warns that it "is,
not exhaustive and may be
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PAGE 4 TAPIA
added to as the occasion arises".
The effect on the mind of
the worker has been tremen-
dous. Jobs are-hard to find. The
prospect of losing your job is
viewed with great fear so the
:ode is in fact nothing but a
flagrant act of intimidation.
Workers claim that the code
is part of a hare-brained scheme
to improve efficiency. In prac-
tice,. this efficiency drive has
already led to wanton waste
of funds and materials.
Numerous instances have
been cited. For one there is
the remodelling of Boiler No.
4 and the addition of a furnace
to burn oil instead of gas. This
has not in anyway helped the
aim of increasing output.
Also noted is the condem-
nation of one of the vessels
used for boiling syrup just for
want of proper tools to clean
it. The new one did no't ork
for more than a week, and led
to an entire month's shut down
of the factory during the 1972
This waste of time and
money, workers have pointed
out, could have been avoided
if only tools were purchased
to clean the, old quad.
Not satisfied with this, and
refusing to heed to the advice
of certain foremen, Assistant
Manager Tello went and con-
structed a big new trough to
correct a minor defect in the
system for transporting the
isuar from the pans to tihe
And, because the trough
itself was badly constructed,
a considerable quantity of sugar
remains in it instead of flowing
into the storage containers.
Cleaning this trough to re-
move the sugar means addition-
al cost for the company and
has become a standard joke
among factory workers.
Not surprisingly, there have
been complaints from overseas
buyers about the drop in the
quality' of the famous Orange
Grove yellow crystals.
Workers believe this to be
caused by 'too much meddling
in the job of the chemist.
Now the great fear is that
the company may never reach
its target of 14,000 tons for
tis' crop. For out of a crop
period of 22 weeks, 13 have
already gone and the yield so
far is only 6,400 tons.
Orange Grove is in serious
trouble. But the workers feel
that the solution lies in their
When they returned to work
last Thursday, they seized the
opportunity to run the factory
by themselves in the third shift.
And they ran it flawlessly too.
As far as they are concerned
they need no big time experts
to assist them. What remains
in doubt is whether their point
will ever be taken by the in-
competent management which
the Government has installed.
SUNDAY APRIL 29, 1973
CUBA IS MAKING
TAPIA PAGE 5
A STATUE divides this
splendid view of the sea
in two, as if it were a
bronze sentry guarding the
entrance to the bay, in
front of Havana's Morro
Castle: the statue is of a
Dominican, without whom
the history of Cuba could
not be written, Maximo
I have been standing in front
of this strategically placed win-
dow for five minutes, waiting
for Captain Medardo Lemus
Otano, National Prison Director,
to interview him after my four-
day tour of the country's main
Lemus Otano looks around
35 yeats old. His black hair is
going thin and he wears an
olive-green uniform. He smiles
'and asks me to begin.
What does penal re-education
"From the theoretical-and
practical point of view," Lemus
answered, "penal re-education
is one of the fundamental bases
of the Revolutionary State's
criminal policy. it consists of
the treatment given to the
prisoner in order to change his
conduct and habits so he may
be restored to society.
"The work of re-education
in our prison units includes all
educational, political, work, art-
istic, sports, recreational, cul-
tural, and disciplinary activities.
it also includes emulation plans
How is the prisoner's work
,"Resolution No. 11, signed
jointly by the Ministries of
Interior and Labour, establishes
a work and wage regime for
prisoners, starting from the pre-
mise that work is an important
"The Resolution establishes
that work is compulsory for all
prisoners, both common and
counterrevolutionary, with the
exception of those who cannot
work and women after the
seventh month of pregnancy.
"The prisoners who work
receive salaries according to
the types of work they do, the
same salaries as the Ministry of
Labour fixes for other workers.'
What about the counterrevolu-
tionary prisoners who do not
accept the Re-education Plan?
"When the Re-education
Plan was established in Cuba,
two currents arose among the
prison population: the majority
enthusiastically accepted the
Re-education of prisoners
Pay for prison work
Full study of prisons
Aid to families
After prison employment
Responsible Prison Dep't
Plan; a minority opposed it.
According to the present Pro-
gressive System, which grants
gradual rights to the prisoners,
non-compliance with these regu-
lations means non-advancement
of the prisoner, he remains
static in the same conditions
in which he was when he
What is the Prisoners' Council?
"The Prisoners' Council is
a new institution in Cuban
prisons. It is composed of
prisoners who are selected by
prison authorities on the basis
of their conduct.
"In other words, it is an'
organisation that represents the
prison population, and' is con-
trolled and guided by the prison
authorities, allowing for vertical
communication between the
prisoners and the Council of
What does prison classification
"Prison classification con-
stitutes the organised expression
of a prison to achieve the re-
education of the prisoners. It
stems from the fact that our
prisons contain adults, young
people, women, old people,
sick people, people who have
been sentenced for different
antisocial behaviours, people
who are dangerous to a greater
or smaller degree.
"This institution, character-
istic of practically all prisons
in the world, imposes the segre-
gation and .compartmentaliza-
tion of the prison population
by means of the application
of strict classification criteria,
to guarantee control and indi-
vidual' treatment of each
Are there any scientific in-
stitutions -that, are studying
Cuba's penal system?
"We saw the, 'eed to create
a scientific-technical body, to
complement the work of
the organs of justice and the
"In the old Principe Castle,
for instance, which will soon
disappear as a prison, we created
the Centre for the Investiga-
Captain Medardo Lemus Otano,
National Prison Director of Cuba.
tion, Evaluation and Orienta-
tion of Prisons, the first scienti-
fic institution of this type in
"The principal functions of
this center ,derive from the
need to evaluate the prisoners,
from a psychiatric, psycholo-
gical, pedagogical, sociological
and juridical point of view.
"This study of the prisoners
is aimed at giving them a more
adequate treatment and, at
starting scientific investigations
to permit the creation of a
penal criminology which ex-
presses the reality of our
How does the Re-education
Plan refer to the prisoner's
"During the process of re-
education we work not only
with the prisoner but also with
his relatives. Through the Aid
Plan of the Municipal Adminis-
trators, we solve many of the
problems brought to us by
the families of prisoners, such
as economic aid, scholarships
for the children, and other
How does the prisoner go back
to society when he finishes
serving his sentence?
"We have an institution
called the Bureau of Post-
institutional Treatment which
is in charge of the social re-
integration of freed prisoners.
"Once the former prisoner
is back on the street, the
Bureau gives him a job, accord-
ing to his skills and physical
capacity. Fof a time, his con-
duct is observed, in coordina-
tion with other organizations."
What are the duties of the
Prison Establishment Office of
the Ministry of Interior?
"In this complex executive
process we try to neutralize,
re-educate, rehabilitate and re-
socialize the common- and
as well as to provide for the
well-being and control of the
PRENSA LA TINA
p :.i*"~ r,"' ,;.-.'.. -...,
wanted her to
makes it easy -
and an ideal
& HlAVE A DEMONSTrRATION TODAk
I NATIONWIDE AGENTS AND STOCKISTS
PAGE 6 TAPIA
AS A COMMENTARY on the contemporary
scene in Trinidad and the rest of what is today
termed the Commonwealth Caribbean, the
quote may be regarded by many of us as being
quite apt. In fact, it is a commentary on the
situation in the British Caribbean in late 1919.
The writer was the American Consul in
Port of Spain.
In this and subsequent articles, I wish, on
the basis mainly of data located in United
States archives in Washington, to throw some
light on socio-economic conditions in our
region during the inter-war years.
The inter-war period is a very important one in our
recent history, one of the great events having been
the series of disturbances that swept through the
British Caribbean and that advertised in a very drama-
tic manner the depth of the malaise in the colonial
situation that obtained after a century of emancipa-
tion. Butler and Rienzi in Trinidad, Bustamante and
Manley in Jamaica these are some of the better
known men thrown up by the events of-the 1930's.
But the conditions that produced the upheavals of
the 1930's had their antecedents further back in time.
Certainly back to the immediate post World War I
period as I intend to show and, equally certainly,
before that. Likewise, the leaders, of the 1930's had
their pace-setters. Despite some excellent contribu-
tions by scholars such as Brinsley Samaroo and
Trevor Munroe in recent times, I feel that we are yet
to unravel the dimensions of the stirring and
developments in the region between the wars.
I wish to suggest that, to be really systematic,
such forthcoming studies must tap American archives.
The colonial orientation of our education, plus
other factors such as the high costs of researching in
the United States'compared with Britain, have pre-
vented us, generally speaking, from consulting those
records. However, it is hardly necessary for me to
state their importance to us.
The United States today is the dominant element
in the life of our region and indeed of the wider
Western Hemisphere. That has;been so from the turn
of this century as far as Cuba, Puerto Rico and the
'independent' republics in the Caribbean Sea and on
the Central American mainland are concerned. How-
ever, as far as the European-owned Caribbean, British,
French, Dutch and Danish, is concerned, the Ameri-
can presence became a reality for the first time from
World War I. Those years marked the beginnings of
that new American interest in the 'dependent' Carib-
bean that resulted in the economic, and politico-
strategic penetration.of the territories by the end of -
World War II.
The bauxite of the Guianas and the oil of Trinidad,
Venezuela, Aruba and Curacao, and Colombia were all
dominated by American capital in that period. Civil
aviation in the Caribbean became a virtual monopoly
of the American-controlled Pan American Airways.
And, as the American Consul in Kingston, Jamaica,
observed of that country by 1931, everywhere there
were marks of growing American penetration: the
popularity of American goods, especially of cinema
films and motor cars, local consumption of which was
over 99% and 95% respectively; 'the tremendous local
interests of American shipping and of the powerful
United Fruit Company'; the tourist trade; the in-
fluence of American radio and magazines; the activities
of American philanthropic organizations such as the
Rockefeller Foundation which was then apparently
sponsoring an anti-hookworm campaign in Jamaica;
the operation of the local tramway and electricity
system by .an American engineering firm; the service
of the .United States Weather Bureau; and the
development of air links.
What was true of Jamaica then was also probably
true of other territories in the British Caribbean as
well as in the French and Dutch in varying degrees.
The British authorities in Jamaica, we are told, were
not at all happy over the growth of American in-
fluence and power and the view of the American
Consul was that there existed in a 'veiled and subtle'
manner 'a definite policy against further American
penetration'. In Martinique and Guadeloupe, there
were grumbles' by the French authorities about the
'growth of the dollar'. However, there was not much
that the European colonial powers in the area could
do about the trends.
World War II marked a further and, in many ways,
a decisive phase in the process of American hegemo-
'THERE are serious indications from many directions that Trinidad,
and 'perhaps the British West Indies, are or
'liable to burst into eruption at any time'.
nization. An American military presence was estab-
lished in the British, French and Dutch Caribbeans
during the war years. The Caribbean Commission, a
sort of'Alliance for Progress' organization of the four
colonial powers in the Caribbean: the United States.
Britain, France and the Netherlands, owed its creation
to American pressure. It was instrumental in laying
down the strategy of industrialisationn by invitation'
which is today the subject of such criticism by a
school of West Indian economists.
However, it is my view that we are far from
examining for ourselves the multi-dimensional aspects
of the penetration of American power and influence
Into our territories in the crucial inter-war years. It is
time for a change. This series is a contribution in this
direction. The focus is on social history and on some
evidence of American interests in and concern about
the unstable socio-economic situation in the British
Caribbean between the years. At the same time, I
wish to indicate a few- ways in which American
policies helped to worsen the same conditions that
worried them somewhat.
Basic tensions of long-standing in the conditions of
the black section of British colonial society and
between it and the white status quo categories became
aggravated during World War I. In particular, the
cleavage between spiralling living costs and declining
wages, between increasing social welfare needs and the
penny-pinching practices of British colonial financial
policy grew sharper and sharper. The war produced a
price spiral for commodities and the British Caribbean,
the commodity producer par excellence, tried to cash
in on ihe boom as best the\ could.
Some statistics for' Jamaica reveal that, despite
the effects by 1917/18 of the British blockade and
the vicious German submarine warfare on Allied
trade, export values w re maintained evert though'
there were falls in volumes owing to the general spurt
in prices for commodities, especially cocoa and coffee.
The country, however; failed to cash in on the rise in
sugar prices as it should have on account of.drought
conditions which caused a drop in production of
6,000 tons from the comparatively small figure of
1917 to 26,000 tons in 1918. That, however, was
one side of the coin.
Commodity prices went up, but the rise in prices
for imports of the most basic items was even more.
While a factor in this was clearly sheer exploitative
greed by the merchant categories in the colonial
society, a more fundamental cause,was the enforced
shift of dependence for imports from Britain to the
United States and to Canada as the blockade and the
Battle of the Atlantic began to register themselves in
Again, figures for Jamaica tell something of the
mechanism at work. Shipping entries at Kingston, we
hear, fell from 901 to 772 between 1917 and 1918.
'Statistics of direction of trade for the immediate
post-war years, reproduced in the Gleaner from the
FinancialNews in February, 1921, indicate that 67.6%
of total imports were drawn from the United States;
9.6% from Canada; and 18.1% from Britain.
in contrast, the percentages for exports were as
follows: Britain: 50.2; the United States: 23.3; and
Canada: 14.4. The extraordinarily high percentage
Sfor imports from the United States clearly reflects.
some of the distortions effected by the warand which
were still continuing into the post-war years. By way
of further confirmation of what occurred during the
war, we can also note that when the food situation in
the Dutch territories in the area became extremely
desperate by 1917/18, the United States War Trade
Board, working in conjunction with a Netherlands
Government Commission in Washington, had to step
in and channel assistance.
With the return of peace in 1918, the cost of
living index in the British Caribbean territories con-
tinued to rise, while the economy as a whole entered
a'depression that was to persist throughout the inter-
war period as the market price for commodities,
a social volcano
especially sugar, plummeted, in the case of sugar
largely due to the policy of the United States which
dominated Cuban sugar and, with it, the world
market. Throwing some light on the post-war situation
in British Guiana are some quarterly *reports of the
American Consul there.
We hear that in June, 1920, the Colonial Govern-
ment set up a Commission to investigate the extent of
the rise in the cost of living. One month later, the
Commission reported that the cost of necessities of'
life 'in the colony had gone up on average by 118%
since 1914. The percentage rise. for house rents,
clothing and food were given as 50, 200 and 120
respectively. By early 1921, conditions had worsened
and were described by the Consul as 'in a very un-
settled state'. He noted that the decline in the market
price of sugar 'will greatly dinnnih the amount of
moneo received' in the colon).
One immediate result was a cut-back in the wages
of the'mainly East Indian plantation workers whom,
he stated, were in an angry mood over that action.
That the malaise was not confined to the British-
owned possessions' in the Caribbean, typified by
British Guiana above, emerges from the data, sent to
Washington at the contemporary period by the
American representatives in Martinique and Guade.
loupe, that the franc was exhibiting considerable
weakness as a result of the state of ,post-war
It was conditions such as the above which were a
Factor in the political stirring which manifested them,
selves in the British Caribbean in the post-World War I
years. There were disturbances in British Honduras,
in July, 1919 and again in 1920; in Jamaica on two
occasions in 1918 and also in 1924; in Trinidad in
late 1919/early 1920; in St. Lucia in February, 1920;
and in the Bahamas in December, 1922. The list may
well be shown to be longer.
On the face of it, such a pattern of disequilibrium
matches that of 1935-1938 in the British Caribbean.
It is one of the tasks of West Indian scholarship to
fird out more about those disturbances that occurred
in the British Caribbean just after World War I. The
following from American archives tell a bit of the
disturbances in British Honduras in July, 1919 and in
Trinidad later in that same year.
The agitation in British Honduras was organized by
a group of returned Jamaican soldiers., apparently
resident in the colony. It took in a segment of the
urban, black unemployed and underemployed popu-
lation and it led to riots in the downtown area of
Belize in which the windows of stores etc., were
smashed and looted. The gravity of the situation
compelled the colonial authorities to send out a radio
SOS for help.
This was picked up by United States naval
authorities in the Caribbean and, after clearance
first of a series by
APRIL 29, 1973 TAPIA PAGE 7
RESPONSE TO WEST
from Washington, the American naval vessel, Castine,
raced to Belize to render help to the British colonial
authorities. On arrival at Belize on July 29, 1919,
the Castine met a British cruiser, Constance, in, the
harbour and was.informed that a party of some 120
men was already on shore and bringing the situation
under control. It transpired that the British ship was,
by chance, holding target practice off the Swan
Islands not far from British Honduras, had also inter-
cepted the radio message from Belize for assistance,
and had headed for the British colony.
There are three points about the preceding on
which I wish to comment. Firstly, the information
that the leaders of the protest movement in British
Honduras were returned soldiers. This is in line with
what we know of the part played at that time by
returned soldiers in the disturbances organized.by the
Workingmen's- Association in Trinidad and in the
'reform movement' in Grenada led by T. A. Marry-
show and others.
The phenomenon must have been Caribbean-wide
and probably Empire-wide, particularly ia'those parts
of the Empire in Black Africa and in Asia. Here in
the Caribbean, there is some evidence that in the
French territories the Anciens Combattants or the
Veterans' Organizations were something of a force
to be reckoned with in the politics of Martinique
Like the experience which Franz Fanon and black
Frenchmen of his generation had of the racist regime
clamped by Admiral George Robert, the Vichy High
Commissioner, on Martinique, Guadeloupe and French
Guiana between mid-1940 and mid-1943, the black
British who went to fight for 'King and Empire' in the
First Great War (and in the Second too) discovered
what it meant to be black. The experience left them
bitter 'and on their return home they sought to
channel their resentments into protest movements
against the colonial system.
The second point worthy of note is that the re-
turned soldiers involved in the protest movement in
British Honduras were said to have been Jamaicans.
Among British West Indians then, Jamaicans were the
most mobile, emigrating in significant numbers to the
United States, to Panama, to Cuba and elsewhere in
search of opportunities not open to them in their own
Marcus Garvey was typical of the black Jamaican
of his day. Frustrated in his land and finding himself
scrunting, he sojourned for a while in Costa Rica,
Panama, Nicaragua, Honduras, Ecuador, Colombia-
and Venezuela before moving on to the United
States. He found black people in all of those places
and some of them, as in Panama, were Jamaicans.
The part played by such resident Jamaican and
other West Indian colonies in foreign countries,
including the United States; the organizations, if any,
they formed; the links, if any, they established
between themselves; the degree to which a man like
SGarvey himself influenced and inspired them with his
ideas of pride in race these and other things still
remain to be researched properly by West Indians.
As I shall indicate in this series, there are two
aspects of the troubles which broke out in the British
Caribbean in the 1930's which need to be examined:-
(a) the extent to which the restrictions
of outlets for migration from the British
Caribbean to the United States, follow-
ing the passage of the 1924 Immigration
Act, and also to Panama and Cuba
augmented the pressures building up in
the territories; and
(b) the role played by West Indian organi-
zations and individuals in the United
States in the unrest of the period.
Thirdly and finally, it should be of some interest
that an American naval vessel was despatched to
British Honduras in response to an appeal for help
from the British colonial authorities. True enough,
the American Marines on board did not have to go
into action as, by a strange coincidence, a British
cruiser happened to have been in the vicinity and,
having intercepted the distress message also, to have
raced to Belize ahead of the American ship.
This was indicative of the growing policing role
which the United States Navy was playing in the
Caribbean by that date.
Watts has shown that at the conclusion of the
Armistice, high policy-making boards of the United
States Navy Department were captured by a group
of naval officers who subscribed rigidly to the theory
of Admiral Mahan on the origins of economic wars
and deduced from it that since Britain had met and
defeated Spain, Holland, France and Germany in
turn, it was incumbent on the United States, as
Britain's new rival, to watch her every move.
Lastly, they wished to see a Pax Americana replace
completely the' old Pax Britannica in the Caribbean
That the Belize episode was not an isolated
example of a growing American naval role in the
Caribbean then is evidenced from the following about
the upheaval in Trinidad in late 1919/early 1920.
Trinidad was also the scene of disturbances towards
the end of 1919 arising from the post-war depression.
The organizing body as Brinsley Samaroo has shown
was the Trinidad Workingmen's Association and
beginning among the workers in the southern oil belt
strikes, accompanied by violence, spread to the dock-
workers and Government employees in Port 6f Spain
and to various categories of agricultural workers in
other parts of the colony.
The seriousness pf the crisis forced .the Colonial
Government to ask for British military forces inthe
West Indian station to be sent to the colony. Throw-
ing some light on the situation are a series of
despatches from the Acting American Consul in
Port of Spain to Washington.
Having revealed that a trusted coloured employee
of the General Asphalt Company of Philadelphia,
which owned the asphalt at Brighton and which was
the target of the unrest in the South, 'had infiltrated
the local branch of the Trinidad Workingmen's
Association and had reported that the intention was
to begin a strike for higher wages etc.', Acting
Consul, Henry D. Baker then made his perceptive
observation about the situation in Trinidad and in the
British Caribbean quoted at the beginning of this
He then went on, almost inevitably, to remark on
the fears among the whites about a breakdown of law
In that connection, mention was made of an inter-
view between the Governor of Trinidad and Tobago
and the manager of the General Asphalt Company in
the course of which the Governor allegedly stated'
that the Colonial Government had no confidence in
the local, police force which was predominantly black
and advised the asphalt and oil companies.to establish
a white militia.
As if to show that he meant business, the Governor
provided twenty-five rifles and eleven rounds of
ammunition for use by the militia!! That, by itself, is
a remarkable index of the racist reaction of the
authorities, backed by the expatriate and local white
interests, to what was clearly perceived as a 'black
We find Baker writingon December 9, 1919.
to the State Department that in the event of any very
serious crisis enveloping the colony he would be glad
to know if it would be possible to have any
American naval vessel despatched to it on a direct
wireless call for assistance to Puerto Rico, St. Thomas
(United States Virgin Island) or Panama. Of course,
he said, he would not suggest that any United States
Marines should be landed in the colony 'except with
the consent and wish of the local authorities'.
Nevertheless, in case of really serious emergency
developments, he wished to know whether any
American naval assistance could in any condition or
situation which he hoped would never arise be sent to
Trinidad to render any desired assistance to the local
authorities in saving lives and property.
The above tells eloquently enough what action
the Acting Consul was recommending to Washington:
intervention, preferably at the invitation of the
British authorities, but 'in the threatened massacre of
white people', to use his own words in a separate
message, without it.
In anticipation that his recommendation would
meet with a favourable response in Washington, Baker,
in a follow-up telegram of December 11, 1919, gave
certain advice on how best to proceed and on how
American forces should conduct themselves.
He reminded Washington that during a visit of
the United States Atlantic Fleet to Port of Spain in
March, 1919, drunken American sailors had touched
off some local disorders. He warned any repetition of
such conduct if it should be found necessary for
American warships to come to Trinidad again- on
account of 'the unrest at present existing here and
the special danger from serious racial disturbances'.
He then went on to advise that in case there should
be any rioting in the colony at the time of the arrival
of any American warships'such as happened here last
week', care would have to be taken to avoid any
appearance that such a visit could be construed as in
any way an intervention in the internal affairs of
No forces should be landed 'should it appear as if
the object of the landing could be misinterpreted or
not entirely welcomed by the local British authorities'.
Nevertheless, the instructions to be given to the
commanders of the American warships should, he
advised, not be water-tight and room should be left
for them to act as they might judge on the basis of the
on the spot situation.
By the date of this last-mentioned telegram -
December 11, 1919 a build-up of British naval and
military forces was underway. In a telegram dated
December 22, Baker reported that an all-white force
of 300 men was due in Trinidad shortly from Jamaica
probably a garrison.
A British warship, the 'Temeraire', had already
arrived with 670 officers and rank and file and Baker's
view was that the naval strength already in the island
and the military forces on their way, together with the
local white vigilante groups, 'should entirely ensure
proper protection of the Colony in the event of any
(new) outbreaks or other attempts at rioting'.
He was wrong in this for as Brinsley Samaroo has
shown, despite the enactment of the Strikes and
Lockout Ordinances banning strikes and providing
for compulsory arbitration in wage disputes and the
presence of the considerable British forces in the
colony, the strikes and the violence continued into
the first two months of 1920.
It was against that background of continuing unrest
in Trinidad that the Battleship Division 5 of the
United States Atlantic Fleet arrived in the island
toward the end of February, 1920.
Whether or not the Americans were finally invited
in by the British authorities, we cannot say. We do not
think it'important. What is important is the fact of
.L w m
PAGE 8 TAPIA
VENEZUELA does not plan any track and field
trip to Europe this year, Doctor Carlos Felice Castillo,
president of the Venezuela Athletics Federation,
Revealed to! Prensa Latina here.
"But," he said, "the 1973 programme contains
a lot of international meets in different Latin
American countries, including the Central American
and Caribbean championships in Maracaibo this July.".
Doctor Felice Castillo, a former head of the National
-Sports Institute, is enthusiastic about the forthcoming
"I am sure that the Central American and Caribbean
championships are going to be a big success for a nuinber
of'reasons," he said. "They are to take place in the
Maracaibo Sports Centre which was built for the Sixth
Bolivar Games and has a magnificent six-lane track."
The Venezuelan sports boss
added that the participants "will
be housed in the sports centre
buildings, which are being adap-
ted for residential use."
Felice Castillo also indicated
that the wind normally blows
in favour of runners on the
Maracaibo Tartan track and
that, as long as it stays within
legal limits, this could help
sprinters to beat most of the
He recalled that Venezuelan
sprinter Felix Mata had clocked.
9.9 seconds for the 100 metres
on the Maracaibo track.
"It was not recognized as
a world record because the
wind was over the limit, but
it is -not always, and runners
like Mata, the Cubans Pablo
*Montes and Hermes Ramirez,
Jamaica's Donald Quarrie and
others will have a great chance
of becoming world record-
"The meet is programmed
for the end of July, to co-
incide with the 150th anniver-
sary of the Battle of Maracaibo.
"At least, that is the date
we got from the Central Ameri-
can and Caribbean Confedera-
tion, which is headed by
Ricardo Perez Sarria of Cuba,
and we are working full steam;
ahead to make it a great show."
Felice Castillo reckons the
competition will be of high
quality because of the presence
of athletic powers such as Cuba
and Jamaica, as well as Puerto
Rico, Mexico, Panama, Colom-
bia and Trinidad & Tobago.
"The Cuban athletes are
going to arrive a couple of
weeks before the championships
begin so they can get used
to the climate and the Tartan
track," he said.
The Venezuelan Sports In-
stitute has decided to try to
offer the strongest possible op-
position to their powerful
Two American coaches have
been hired for the athletics
Steam and middle-distance coach
Arthur Lydiard is expected to
return soon from Australia.
Says Felice Castillo: "Apart
from that we still have our
own sprint trainers. They are
-all Venezuelan, but they are
good and they have got nothing
to learn from the foreign
"They' were outstanding
track men in the past, such
as HoracioEstevez,joint world
record holder in the 100 metres;
Lloyd Murad and Arquimedes
Doctor Castillo is looking
for big things from the men's
track and field team, particu-
larly Felix Mata and Victor
Patinez, the sprinters who
showed top form in the recent
Bolivar Games in Panama.
They also have runners of-
the calibre of Eric Phillips,
Victor Lopez, Wilfredo Leon,
Enrique Rendon and others
who could be in at the finish
in the sprints and middle-dis-
"But we will have to put
a lot more work into field
events, as well as with the
women's team, to make the
SUNDAY APRIL 29, 1973
Games in Maracaibo
Praton af ___ot3S_
Felix Mata, 100 metres champ
most out of the big potential
of the young newcomers to
the national team.
, "We have Julio Alexander,
a strong 24-year-old, wh
gold in the discuss th
the Bolivar Games. He
and he is tough and he
that Venezuela could do a lot
better if we could get better
field events trainers."
Felice Castillo points out
that Venezuelan athletes are
going to have a busy year,
even if they are not going
Besides the Bolivar Games
asmMpnV and international meets in Gua-
deloupe, Martinique and Trini-
dad and Tobago; they are likely
to take part in the Barrientos
io won Memorial meet in Havana as
row at well as the South American
is big Championships, to be held this
proves October in Chile.
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From Page 3
He then decided to appoint
party hacks with little or no
army training to top posts in
*The young, trained officers-
obviously became frustrated
under these conditions.
Shah pointed out that the
officer corps of the British
army was drawn from conserva-
tive ranks and that the rule of
the army's non-intervention in
politics was as much a myth as
He argued that one of the
reasons for British non-inter-
ference in the Rhodesia break-
away bid was the fear of an
army revolt if troops were
ordered to fight their white
peers in Rhodesia.
A similar thing had happened
when the French Army opposed
De Gaulle's attempt to end the
French involvement in Algeria.
Members of the local Regi-
ment came from among the
,people and related to the de-
mands of the people.
In addition, Shah insisted,
the local soldier was above the
intelligence of other soldiers
he had- seen elsewhere; he was
not /a robot and. refused to
brutalise his brothers and sisters.
According to Shah, the re-
volt in the army was unique in
that the soldiers revolted not
to take over the power of the'-
state but against brutalising
Today, Wiliams is still afraid
of the army.
This is why the army is being
sent back to the Teteron Bay
Barracks, against the opposi-
tion, not only of army experts,
but also civil servants and the
Commission of Enquiry.
The army was drastically
below strength, most of the
young officers trained aborad
had either been cashiered or
Williams does not understand
the men in the army and neither
do the party hacks appointed
to the senior army posts.
This is why there is a police
station at the entrance to
According to Shah, Williams
is not an effective despot. A
despot who knows his army
can be effective and will be
able to suppress all opposition.
He can only be overthrown by
another armed force headed
by leaders who also understand
Shah concluded that the
soldiers had made many mis-
takes in 1970, trusting Serrette
and Williams, the indecision on
April 21, etc., for which they
had paid for with betrayal and
They were political babes'
in 1970, Shah admitted.
But in jail a man has time to
think and reflect.
Today,- they were much
more aware and prepared to
play their part in the liberation
of the people.
EIGHTY workers have
been turned away from
their jobs by Corrosion
Limited at La Romain.
Following an industrial
dispute dating from before
Carnival, they arrived at
the yard on Thursday April
19, to be told that the
Company had been placed
in receivership by the Bank
and that employment was
going to be cut back.
TAPIA understands that
Police arrested six youths in
Mayaro on Good Friday and
charged them with possessing
subversive literature and mari-
jauna, and for obscene
language and resisting arrest.
Applications for bail, the
report says, have not yet been
SUNDAY APRIL 29, 1973
LA REMAIN WORKERS
Until recently, total employ-
ment at La Romain amounted
Sto 150. The Company, former-
ly known as Linton Mark, also
has operations at Pointe-a-
Pierre, Sea Lots and Palo Seco.
It constructs storage tanks,
pipelines and related facilities
for oil companies and otler
customers including grain im-
The week before Carnival,
a dispute started when workers
protested against insanitary
conditions in the machine-shop
at La Romain ahd were told
that they were much better off
than their counterparts in
The Company responded to
the sit-down protest by issuing
slips to 29 workers, charging
that they had abandoned their
jobs and were no longer con-
sidered as employees.
The Contractors & General
Workers Union then intervened
and on Tuesday March 2, the
majority of the workers refused
to work until all employees
TAPIA PAGE 9
were allowed through the gate.
Ultimately the matter was
taken to the Ministry, where
the Company reluctantly agreed
to re-employ 64 men but stead-
fastly rejected demands for
severance pay by the others.
When pressed, this number
was increased to 71. On Tues-
day April 17, work was re-
sumed. Then out of the blue
on Thursday 19, came the
news that the Bank had inter-
vened. Workers are wondering.
- l T
AIR CONDITIONED COMFORT
76, INDEPENDENCE SQUARE
'PORT OF SPAIN
PAGE 10 TAPIA
WORLD energy consum-
ption rose 63% during the
period 1961 to 1970, at a
rate of 5.6% per annum,
with the growing use of
petroleum and natural gas
accounting for the largest
part of the increase.
In 1970, the United States,
with 6% of the world's popula-
tion, consumed 33% of the
world's energy, with each indi-
SUNDAY APRIL 29,1973
UNITED NATIONS STATISTICS REVEAL
vidual in the country using the Europe consumed only an average annual growth rate
equivalent of 11.1 metric tons a little more than one-seventh of 8.1% during the period 1961
of coal, compared with'a world of the world energy in 1970; to 1970. At present, close to
per capital average of 1.9 metric China, the third ranking 65 countries in the world are
tons. consumer of commercial energy producing crude petroleum.
These facts are contained in the world, is still very much The 'Middle East reflected
in World Energy Supplies, 1961- solid-fuel orienfed; a high rate of growth of 12.7%.
1970, published by the Statis- Between 1961 and 1970, Production leaped from 619
tical Office of the United Japan replaced the United million metric 'tons in 1969
Nations in New York, which Kingdom as the world's fourth to 697 million tons in 1970,
focuses on world energy deve- largest consumer of total energy; constituting 30.2% of world
lopments by types of fuel. In the last decade, no production for 1970.
Among facts shown in the less than 36 countries built The United States occupied
373-page compilation of statis- their first petroleum refineries. the first rank as the largest
tical data are the-follbwing:-- World production of cr'de oil producing country in 1970
Consumption of natural petroleum attained a new with 500 million tons; the
gas rose 113%, petroleum fuels record figure of 2,311 million Soviet Union was second with
103% and hydro and nuclear metric tons during 1970, against 353, Venezuela third with 194,
electricity by 73% between 2,104' million metric tons for followed by Iran with 192,
1961 and 1970. Use of solid the preceding year, or a growth Saudi Arabia 177 and Libya
fuels increased only 9%; rate of 9.8%, compared with 162 million tons.
Lennard says: 1970
Mainly from Platforms
From Page 1
The struggle had slowed
down and the task at hand
was to re-examine its position
and, determine, in which
direction it must go.
SAbout the struggle itself
Lennard took the position that
it wvas aimed to end the ex-
ploitation of man by man. And
to restore to the world the
:principles of humanity which
have: so far been betrayed,
sold out and destroyed. I:
Race, he said, wai not
enough to sustain it.
And in the pursuit of this
aim one had to humanise the
oppressors as well, but' that
this could only be achieved if
we first re-humanised ourselves.
In the opening remarks
which preceded, Lennard's
speech, the Chairman thanked
Kirpalanis, Choko, the staff
of the Moko, and the students
Guild of Undergraduates for
He cited April 21, 1970
"as a most memorable day
when we stood up against in-
justice and corruption", for
which they paid the )heavy
price of 27 months imprison-
Other speakers during the
first half of the grounding in-
cluded Nuevob Diaz of the
O.W.T.U., ex-Pte. Noray, and
Allan Alexander, defence coun-
sel for the soldiers.
Noray called for a one-
minute silence to observe the
death of Clive Bailey who might
have been alive today had he
decided to join the loyalist
Alexander noted that in
1970 the cry for bread was
met by the cry for law and
As far as he was concerned
bread would not be granted
unless one came to terms with
law and order.
i i' l .,
SUNDAY APRIL 29, 1973
* A -CHANGE
a From Page 2
adventurer" because he first stood as a Senator and
advocated elections and rejected the Marxist method
of mobilization. They represent the same kind of
mindless "radical" dogmatism which was sure that
neither Lenin, nor Mao nor Ho could ever succeed
because the orthodox specifications for change did
not exist in their countries.
This brand of revolutionary inevitably ends up in
attempting coups and putsches because their theory
of mobilization is so misplaced that they find it
impossible to organize any movement with the
potential to sustain itself over the course of a long
and arduous struggle. You get instead bouts of
enthusiasm for a short period and then a collapse
into nothingness and disillusion. You get oscillations
from extravagant elation to despairing dejection.
This is what we have been having since 1968. We
have not been organised for anything, least of all the
militant unions. We have been trying to knock
Williams out with a wild punch. UNIP tried it the
constitutional way with a Doctor party now for now.
NJAC then tried it with self-styled unconventional
politics in the square. And then the ACDC-DLP tried
it with an overnight electoral coalition of supremely
incapable of lasting very long.
The time has come for those of us who have
retained our sense of possibility to abandon these
expedients and settle down to build. We had the
chance to bring the forces together for such a
purpose at the time of the Transport Strike in 1969.
We repudiated the possibility and. the consequences
are there for all to lament though they have not by
any means all been negative. Lennard has been very
clear on the experience.
TAPIA PAGE 11
We now have another chance to decide, We know
that nothing is more catastrophic than to play with
revolution it is just like playing with. fire. We
know that in politics there is no magic not even the'
Napoleonic magic that Shah seemed to be offering u .
when he dismissed the National Convention as "what,.
ever is going on down there at Chaguaramas'.
The solution to the crisis must necessarily be:a"
political one, even if we come in the end to civil war.
We cannot win unless we get the country mobilized
and activated to struggle for a new and better world.
,We cannot win unless the movement sets the example-
and communicates it to the rest of us by politics.
When we articulate constitutional proposals, we .
reveal what kind of world we are espousiig. Arid we
provide benchmarks for people to judge whether e"
are only saying it or whether we are actually liing'>t "
in the organizations and groups to which we belong
In so doing we ensure that sober reflection belopiw'
not merely the basis, of theodd Saturday aternooa-,
assembly but a permanent plank of a vial revoluriop-
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NO POINT having the
ring when somebody else
have the man.
So, with its 1971 nation-
alization of Demerara Baux-
ite, the Guyana government
sought to join the reality
of economic independence
to the symbols of political
And how is the marriage
going? Very well, thank you.
Giving this assurance last
Wednesday was Patterson
Thompson, chairman of Guyana
Bauxite Company Limited, the
fully Guyana government-owned
company formed after the his-
toric decision to "tek all".
Patterson was in Trinidad
to present awards which his
company, GUYBAU, had given
to the most outstanding player
of each team in the cricket
series, and he took the oppor-
tunity to speak to the local
news media "as one West Indian
R6 01 872 v
Mrs. Andrea Talbutt,
significance of GUYBAU was
surviving, and apparently, thriv-
ing. According to Thompson's
figures, nationalized bauxite had
earned for 1972 a pre-tax in-
come of $42 million (G), and a
net profit after tax and extra-
ordinary items of $13 million.
GUYBAU, Thompson said,
had accounted for the "lion's
share" of the bauxite export
earnings which were 40% of
total export earnings. ,So that
effective control of the former
DEMBA holdings meant in large
measure effective control of the
W WI V
Research Inst. for the Study of Man,
162 East 78th Street,
New York 10021, N.Y., U.S.A.
Phone TAPIA:- 662-5126; 65
The Caribbean could take
comfort from the fact that an
enterprise of the scale and
The present picture is favour-
able and future prospects opti-
mistic with a few "ifs". Thomp-
son put it:-
"Provided there are no major
currency upheavals or economic
downturns in the international
world, 1973 is expected to be
as good as, if not improve on,
But not everybody in Guyana
had been optimistic at the
start in 1971. The GUYBAU
chairman who has had 13 years'
BALANCE SHEET OF
Winston Lennard, explained
why he thought the hope for
a victory in 1970, turned out to
According to him, the move-
ment failed largely because the
"so-called" leadership was mo-
tivated by the same "reaction-
ary and decadent values which
it said must go."
He went on to draw up a
balance sheet which he felt
showed up the movement's
Taking a high place on his
listings was an attempt among
certain leaders to discredit the
soldiers' uprising of 1970.
He charged that the families
of leaders had not been serious-
ly involved, and this meant that
the movement had failed to
take the struggle into the
Yet another instance of fail-
ure cited was that of the UWI
and the intellectuals. If the
struggle is seen as a process of
education then the intellectuals
had not come up to mark.
His feeling was that some of
them resented themselves as
Lennard also criticised the
attitude displayed by the revo-
lutionaries towards the church,
and towards the attempt by
some religious leaders to come
to terms with the demands for
He felt that even if Arch-
bishop Pantin's decision to live
in Laventille may be looked at
with suspicion, it was still neces-
sary for the struggle to allow
him to prove himself.
To treat the Archbishop in
a flippant manner meant that
the leadership itself was not as
"revolutionary as it calimed to
be". This he described as a
failure of moral stock-taking .
He added that at the Ecu-
menical Consultation Roy Nee-
hall made one of the most
revolutionary speeches of our
Also to come under fire was
the programme for mobilisation
of the young people which
failed because the leadership
had been too frantic to keep
the pace up in the schools.
The weaknesses in the edu-
cational system did not allow
the rate of mobilisation to
proceed as fast as the leader-
The result of forcing the
pace was only disillusionment
among students, many of whom
were rebelling without under-
standing the real reasons why.
The schools which were once
fertile ground have now become
sterile, Lennard lamented.
experience in private business
recalled that there had been
"fear and uncertainty" among
many that the government
might be biting off more than
it could chew.
Today, the fears have proved
"groundless". There were ini-
tial difficulties. It was, as the
chairman described it, "a pretty
poor time internationally" -
the price of bauxite had struck
a low; and when GUYBAU took
over actually it discovered "con-
siderable rundown on the busi-
ness" incurred by DEMBA in
the period between announce-
ment of nationalization and
Withoug being "either im-
modest or complacent", he felt
that GUYBAU could "take
legitimate pride in our achieve-
The "achievements" include
the putting together of a staff
competent to run the industry
mostly Guyanese but with
some imported "scarce skills"
and such DEMBA expatriate
staff as elected to sti --
There has been diversifica-
tion into two new products -
dried refractory bauxite and
alumina hydrate to go with the
traditional metal grade bauxite,
alumina and calcined bauxite.
Encouraged by the more
lucrative returns possible from
calcined bauxite, Thompson
--said they had been working at
improving the quality and ex-
tending the quantity of that
product. It was expected this
year to produce 670,000 tons
of it as against the 612,000 tons
maximum of the DEMBA days.
The capital required for all
this had been gained from the
substantial cash flow GUYBAU
enjoys and from commercial
loans. Initial capital was raised
by loans (all repaid) from local
banks Chase Manhattan,
Royal Bank, Bank of Nova
Scotia and the National Co-
The company had found it
desirable to raise loans even
when they had the money, the
Asked about the possibilities
of processing aluminium he
indicated that hydro-power
studies had already been started.
He could give no information
on where the stage negotiations
to have Trinidad's natural gas
industry supply the necessary
power had reached.
With local control of decision
making, GUYBAUhas been able
to stimulate linkage industries,
for example, in securing from
other Guyanese industries such
spare parts as could be made at
home. This, of course, was not
possible with the DEMBA sub-
sidiary whose policy would be
to buy and sell within their
The national firm has also
undertaken studies to deter-
mine the possibilities for making
semi-fabricated products in
Guyana for distribution, prin-
cipally, on the Caribbean mar-
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