Full Citation
Permanent Link: http://ufdc.ufl.edu/UF00072147/00131
 Material Information
Title: Tapia
Physical Description: no. : illus. ; 43 cm.
Language: English
Publisher: Tapia House Pub. Co.
Place of Publication: Tunapuna
Creation Date: October 13, 1974
Frequency: completely irregular
Subjects / Keywords: Politics and government -- Periodicals -- Trinidad and Tobago   ( lcsh )
Genre: periodical   ( marcgt )
serial   ( sobekcm )
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: UF00072147:00131

Full Text

70R THE C:1C[!' Oi F
162 EAST 78 S>:EET
P"W YORK 2L. rt Y.


TAPIA has now entered
into the lion's den. We
are determined to fight
this iniquitous regime
anywhere, anytime, with
whatever weapons they
dictate and even in the
arena of their own choice.
They may run, we have
said, but they cannot
Tapia has for a long time
insisted on the fundamental
constitutional nature of the
continuing crisis which our
country faces. We have re-
peatedly called for the con-
vening of a Constituent
Assembly of the Nation.
That is clearly the most
democratic way to settle the
questions of the type of
society in which we want to
live and the type of Govern-
ment to which we will con-
For their part the Govern-
ment has repeatedly fled from
what they undoubtedly re-
cognise as a deeply revolu-
tionary proposal, designed to
give, for the first time in our
history, sovereignty to the
voices and the wishes of the
They have resorted instead
Sto grandstand plays, empty
charades and meaningless
promises. When all these have
failed they have not hesitated
to turn to terror.
Their latest proposal to
take the Constitution issue to
a Parliament, which until now
they have dominated, is' the
clearest and most sinister sign
yet of the dictatorial designs
they have on the country.
It would be a grievous
error for Tapia and for the
country if we were to allow
them to get away with that.
Their latest move has made
the options startlingly clear
The only choice open to
rational opposition now is
either to resort to violent
confrontation or to enter into
their lair and there attempt
to block their evil intentions.
Tapia has never ruled out
the possibility of violence.
We understand the possibili-
ties inherent in a revolution-
ary situation as well as any.
But even if we had the means
we could not be the ones to
plunge our people- into the
agonies of civil war.
We leave that criminal
irresponsibility to those who
would monopolise the power
of the State. Our choice is
clear. We will explore every
other option to the bitter,
bitter end.


IO. ...

I van Laughlin Community. Hamlet Joseph Member of
SRelatiom Secretarn. thic Ex\ecu th-e



Q. Why is Tapia taking the conven-
tional step of entering the illegiti-
mate Parliament of 1971?
A. We are continuing to follow the
constitutional issue around as we have
been doing all along. We have never
ceased to try and block the sinister
design of the Government to establish a
Parliamentary dictatorship. The Govern-
ment has been moving stealthily in this
direction for many years now but the
Prime Minister's statement on the
Constitution, two Fridays ago, marked an
altogether new stage in the development
of the dictatorship because he simply
threw the Wooding Report out of the
window and went for a one-party mono-
poly of the discussion.
It is the climax of the difficulties
caused by the Government's refusal to
make electoral and constitutional reforms
before the 1971 election and of its deter-
mination after that election, to stop any
attempt by the Wooding Commission to
involve the country in a full and free dis-
Q. But why.enter Parliament?
A. The moment we appreciated, to our
horror, that the Government was dis-
owning the Wooding Report, we lknew
that the time had come for drastic

measures. Tapia had two choices. One
was to prepare for a military response -
in some ways that is the nounal res-
ponse to a closing-off of the discussion.
The only other possibility was to get
into Parliament but that was a choice that
we had rejectedmany times over. But when
the opportunity came, we had nohesitation
whatsoever in accepting it and preparing to
fight the. PNM right on its own home
ground, so to speak, right in the illegiti-
mate Parliament itself.
Ihe constitutional issue is too grave,
too fundamental to be abandoned, to be
sacrificed on the altar of a one-party mono-
poly of Parliament by the PNM.Tapia is
certain that we are doing what is rigit to
take the struggle for our freedom right into
the lion's den. We will fight to the bitter
Q. Will this step not legitimate
the illegitimate Parliament and
help the Government's designs
A. It will help the government only if
Tapia and the people fail to take the
correct political stand. We are not so
arrogant as to believe that our mere
presence will transform Parliament into
a real Parliament. A real Parliament can

only be an assembly of all the valid
representatives of the people, convened
in their rich variety, bringing their
different opinions to bear on the pro-
cesses of governing the land.
The source of the crisis is that there
is no such body, no such assembly, in
Trinidad & Tobago today. The end of the
crisis awaits the emergence of such valid
representation. And what Tapia's presence
could do is to hasten that glorious moment
when we will set our people free.
Our aim is to go give focus and vigour
to the opposition voices and by doing so,
hopefully to create conditions under which
the little people will force the Government
to concede those constitutional and elec-
toral reforms which we need and to con-
cede them in such a way as would ensure
tie expeditious establishment of a legiti-
mate Parliament, capable of speaking for
our people for the first time in perhaps
nearly a dozen years.
Q. In what way will Tapia's presence
make this important difference?
A. -- We intend to move immediately to
block the attempt now being rumoured
to impose another state of emergency
to intimidate the civil servants, solve

Continued on Back Page

Vol. 4 No. 41

25 Cents


senator PAGE 2

Negr itude

warmth of

the soul

Tapia stocktaking thisSunday morning

10 a.m. at the House Just like the old Thursday nights. Full participation.
662-5126. 82-84 St. Vincent Street" Tunapuna.



The scriptures

have been



As some would have it, in deciding to take part in the
meetings of the Constitutional Commission, Tapia has
turned its face around. We plead guilty ... What we
have chosen to do is the only thing which a reasonable
citizen who knows the price of blood can do ... Every-
where we've walked across this land of ours, we've heard
a single chorus; either we must change the old regime in
peace or have it changed one day in war .
The hunted men who rule this country have armed them-
selves with every means of terror. But is that not the
reason why we the the people must strive to change the style
and place of contest? Why we must fight them on the
ground of thought and free opinion? At the momentthe
Constitution Commission is that ground. Tapia has never
held that the Commission or the Government was "illegal".
What we did say and we still believe is that the Constitu-
tional Commission was illegitimate; that it could win moral
authority to function only if it made itself the servant of
the people. Tapia, July 30, 1972 On Going to Arima.
... the climax of Tapia's involvement in the constitution
reform exercise. James Millette, On Tapia's Move to the
Senate, Express, October 9, 1974.
We are following the constitution issue around as we have
been always doing ... to protect the constitutional future
of Trinidad and Tobago. The constitutional issue is too
fundamental a matter, too much a matter of life and death,
to be sacrificed on the altar of a one-party monopoly of
Parliament". Lloyd Best, Trinidad Guardian, October 8,
1974. On Tapia's Move to the Senate.


What we completely fail to understand .... .is the extra-
ordinary about, face of Mr. Lloyd Best and his group
Express, Oct. 8 1974.
The Tapia Group has merged themselves as part of the
grand design of the Government. Ramdeo Sampath-Mehta,
Leader United Freedom Party, Express, October 9, 1974.
On Tapia's Move to the Senate.
It is a question of values. You cannot build a nation without
principles. If politics, could not be principled, I would not
be in it. ANR Robinson, Leader Democratic Congress,
October 8, 1974. On Tapia's Move to the Senate.
Mr. Best once again has shown political courage and a
desire to put country before party. Alloy Lequay, Leader,
United Democratic Labour Party, Trinidad Guardian,
October 8, 1974. On Tapia's Move to the Senate.
Mr. Best's whole public career has been one of here today
there tomorrow Vernon Jamadar
Tapia has been "the most coherent and consistent"
Roy Richardson

Mr. Richardson was probably sincere in his appointment of
the Tapia trio Express Oct 9. 1974
Dr. Charles branded him (Richardson) as "the arch-opportun-
ist in the country". T Guardian, Oct. 9. 1974.
A man like Best put himself at the mercy of Roy
For a group like Tapia to be ensnared by the manoeuvres of
Roy (Richardson) is really too much to believe" -
Dr. Horace Charles. Trinidad Guardian, Oct. 9, 1974.
Mr. Best, as leader of Tapia and by virtue of having three
members in the Senate may well be considered to "com-
mand the support of the majority" of members of the
Senate in opposition to the Government, and may well
become the "Leader of theOpposition"in Parliament. Even
though he sits in the Upper House, his personality is one
that "tends to override and dominate". Express, Oct 9.1974
Being another PNM fragment, the UPP is only the latest
and most ridiculous specimen of these pick-up-sides in the
morning press. They must be the last of a dying breed.
Tapia, July 30, 1972. On Going to Arima.
Well, I am not interested in putting Millette or any one else
in his place. If that is necessary, the population will cer-
tainly look after it. Lloyd Best, Nov. 14, 1968. When
the New World Group Split.
Dr. Millette, ... Chairman of the local New World Chapter
six years ago when Best broke away charging him for taking
the group into politics, said that it "is absolutely clear now
that the scriptures have been fulfilled". Express, October 9,
1974. On Tapia Move to the Senate
S /.



STOP and consider the people who are
criticising Tapia's entry into the Senate.
First of all, there are the professional
politicians who for donkey's years have
been muddying the political waters here
and propping Williams up; they arc jealous
and indignant that unconventional politics
has finally broken through.
The unconventional politics not of violence
or of mindless non-committal romanticism, but of
participation and involvement, open discussion,
plan and programme, policy, organisation and
haidwuk. The unconventional politics of facing
reality, speaking the truth and putting country
before party.
This Tapia brand of unconventional politics
"departs from looking for a man and seeks
instead to change the system". (Tapia, January
13, 1971, But who we go Put?) This politics has
now broken through and inevitably, it "passes
along the constitutional road",as we reminded
our people at our Fourth Annual General As-
sembly on April 7, 1974 (Prospects for Our
Nation p. 14).
The professionals and their editorial allies
know very well that we will be moving rapidly
now to finish off the old regime; they know it
is the end of all the third-rate, store-front
politics of press releases and stinking yellow
journalism. These eunuchs have no significance
whatsoever and everybody knows it.
Then, secondly, there are the saints scan-
dalized by the professional world of sin and
sinners. Those are the people whose religious
faith in a new hope blinds them to the modalities
of politics the art where statesmen survive
with their integrity only if they bring to limited
choice, the will, as Castro put it, when he was
blocked by Batista's coup from running for the
Senate, to take their courage in their hands.

"In stating a purpose, the first condition
of sincerity and good faith is to do pre-
cisely what nobody else ever does, that is,
to speak with absolute clarity, without
fear. The demagogues and professional
politicians who manage to perform the
miracle of being right in everything and in
pleasing everyone, are of necessity, deceiv-
ing everyone about everything. The revolu-
tionaries must proclaim their ideas
courageously, define their principles and
express their intentions so that no one is
Deceived, neither friend nor foe".

Those words of Castro mirror exactly what
has been Tapia's policy all along. When we split
with Millette to a torrent of abuse in the morn-
ing papers; when we opposed the excesses of
Black Power in 196970;/when we joined the
Wooding Commission in 1972 (at Arima) and
when we spoke out against irresponsible trades-
union leadership on the issue of the current PSA
claim for pay.
And now that we have entered the Senate,
both sinners and saints find themselves united in

moral indignation. James Millette says quite,
frankly that our move is the climax of our in-
volvement in constitutional reform and that is
precisely and simply the point.
We went to Arima for the same reason. If
the Express said then that that was an about
face, they cannot now in honesty repeat the
charge. At that moment, the Wooding Commis-
sion meetings were the ground on which it
seemed we could engage the country in a clarifi-
cation of the fundamental, constitutional issues of
life and death. But both the PNM and some
other political interests, in one way or another,
poured cold water on the proceedings.
The result is that the Government has been
given the chance to take the issue to the illegiti-
mate Parliament and settle the question by
itself. The settlement will be illegitimate but
like the Parliament it will be legal nonetheless.
Those of us who see that we shall have to
repudiate such a settlement afterwards must
therefore appreciate the need for the moral
authority so to do if we genuinely want and
fully understand the need for a revolutionary
reconstruction of the State. Such moral author-
ity cannot be won by simply abusing the corrupt
regime from the shadows but only by systematic-
Sally exhausting the constitutional options.
Tapia's presence in Parliament, as our
presence at Wooding's hearings, will ensure that
the case for a participatory State is put and heard
by the entire nation in a way that it has-not
been heard to date.

if the Government then proceeds to its
own private Constitution, the country will know
exactly what it has to do and what cause it has
to back. It might be argued that our strategy
is misguided because the PNM may simply bor-
row Tapia's constitution and in that way steal
the movement's thunder. But would not that be
a victory for the country?
Or you may say that Williams is going to
railroad over Tapia's proposals. But then will the
country not see that and deal with it at the next
elections or if the elections are rigged, by any
means necessary ?
In other words, whatever you may say
about the assumptions of Tapia's strategy, they
always put the country first and they take for
granted the capacity of both our movement and
our people to intervene successfully on our
behalf. The opposition to Tapia on both sides is
based on a sense of powerlessness and impotence,
an incapacity to see success.
In this paralysis of impotence, people are
blinded to the total predictability of Tapia's
actions -- we invariably take the option which
is rational, secular and constitutional. That is the
most revolutionary course in this culture of
magic, religion, disorder, gangsterism and Doctor
Tapia assumes that Caribbean man is free.
equal and responsible. Everything we do reiter-
ates the point from yet another angle of vision.



S Stephens


We agree with ANR Robinson that it is a ques-
tion of values; that without principles you can-
not build a nation. We hope the DAC agrees as
The Tapia principle is that the constitu-
tional issue is the paramount one. We insist that
at this moment, the only place left where we can
pursue this issue, which Tapia first made and
have all along fuelled by our determined
participation, is the Senate where the Govern-
ment has announced that the debate will be
initiated. It is our meet, right and bounden
duty to be present on the day. And we will be.
Parliament remains illegitimate and we have
said so. The UPP is a pick-up party. We said so
in 1972 and we still hold the view. By yielding
his place to Tapia, Mr. Richardson is saying by
action that he shares our view. Otherwise his
move makes no political sense in our book.
We hope that we will persuade Mr.
Richardson's entourage and indeed, the entire
opposition -to the old regime including those
now in the ruling party that we must embrace
unconventional politics, plans for constitution
reform and for national reconstruction. We are
offering them leadership, organisation and pur-
pose. And we have accepted the opportunity to
make that offer to the entire nation from the
legal platform of Parliament, however illegiti-
mate it may be.

Which revolutionary could be so pro-
foundly lacking in historical insight as not to
appreciate that the legitimate new Parliament
which we so despairingly seek will arise only
when the complete absurdity of the old is
driven home to the people?
Robinson and Jamadar boycotted the
1971 election out of opportunism, fear and the
confusion arising from their overnight marriage
and divorce. Millette boycotted it because his
grand design with George Dhanny for "conven-
tional, that is to say, electoral politics" had even
then been shattered by imitation Doctor Politics.
Little surprise that none of these jokers knew
what to do when the boycott finally succeeded.
Instead of articulating demands for constitu-


*V IP II -

Tapa House 82-84 St Vihcent Stmret Tunapun


tional reorganisation, they predictably went to
petition the Governor-General for an early
Tapia boycotted the election on principle.
Since 1969, to the puzzlement of William
Demas, we had made the issue first priority and
in March 1970 we had called for a Constituent
Assembly. Then in the Petit Careme, we had /
announced our banner of "No Election without
Representation". Robinson was meantime or-
ganising an electoral party of dedicated citizens.
He could not appreciate, as we did, the signifi-
cance of leaving Williams alone with the power
of Parliamentary decision. If he had, he would
have hastened to build a party like Tapia, cap-
able of being respected even by opponents such
as Rov Richardson, Alloy Lequay and smaller.
Confident in our competence, our consis-
tency and our strength, Tapia had the patience
to boycott on principle and to wait for develop-
ments. Williams' failure to get his "massive turn-
out" won recognition for the constitutional
issue and we duly got the opportunity, it
seemed, to convene a Constituent Assembly
under the chairmanship of Sir Hugh. As it turned
out, the Commission was too conventional and th<
Government was both brazen enough and skilled
enough to avoid that outcome, thanks also to the
professional opportunists who never put party
below country.
In other words, Williams has proven to be
a considerable opponent and has managed to
keep his position out of the ultimate danger.
Until now. Having announced that he will initi-
ate the debate in the Senate, he has named the
time and the place of confrontation when the
entire country will be listening. Tapia has out-
manoeuvred him by opting to be present and at
a time when the country is again politically on
The Government's only hope now is to
adopt Tapia's position or something like it. We
fully expect such a capitulation this coming
Sunday. As usual we are naming the shots before
the play. As we have named them all along. Any-
one who doubts the coherence, the consistency
and the integrity of our Movement has only to
consult the record in Tapia.
They will see that we have' sometimes
erred and incurred the wrath of friend and foe
alike. We can only hope that they also find that
we have done so with honour.

Mr R chardson's statement

S For some time I have
watched with growing con-
cern the fragmented state of
the Opposition in the country.
I have tried quietly and
unceasingly to help to unite
the various forces in opposi-
tion so that the process of
government by default should
The Prime Minister's state-
ment on Constitution Reform
has created a psychological
crisis which cannot be ignored.
His Statement shows an inten-
tion to manipulate public
opinion and to muzzle the
full and free expression of
opinion which our people
with their great tolerance, do
not deserve.

A debate conducted in the
House of Representatives and
the Senate as at present con-
stituted will make a farce of
the democratic process.
Such a debate will make
the whole exercise of the
Wooding Commission an
irresponsible waste of public
All who went before the
Commission, in good faith,
to give their views, will feel a
sense of debasement.
Such a debate will give us
a one-party constitution and
will predictably give rise to

public dismay and pose
threats of another constitu-
tion after P.N.M.
We must try to avoid this.
After carefully surveying
the opposition scene and
taking the views of the differ-
ent parties into consideration,
I have come to the conclu-
sion that on this matter, this
paramount issue, that the
Tapia House Group has been
the most coherent and con-
This being so, I conceive
it to be my duty to ensure
that, whatever disagreements
exist between Tapia and the
U.P.P. on the other issues
facing the country, to give to
this group an opportunity for
its voice to be heard through-
out the country.
I have therefore, asked
Tapia to come into the
Senate. I had, on twoprevious
occasions, actively considered
the appointment of Mr. Lloyd
Best, whom, however, I did
not approach on the first
occasion because I had
learned that he would decline,
and who, on the second
occasion did decline to me.
Tapia is, however, no less
than I, convinced of the
gravity of the crisis, and they
have agreed to accept my
offer to serve in the Senate.

Continued on Back Page


NAMEt -------------------- ---

ADDRESS -----------------------

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1-----1---1----- ---__ -^~-----




L s,

S.,, S -*, p p a

"IF A political group in
Guyana wants to print
S anti-government stuff, it
can do so here. But the
Government- will not
permit it to come in from
outside. We regard it as a
direct interference in our
domestic affairs".
Those were the words
attributed to Mr. Kit Nasci-
mento, Minister of State in
the Office of the Prine
Minister of Guyana, in the
Sunday Guardian of October

Mr. Nascimento was coihi-
menting on the seizure by the
Guyana Government of the
two-page newspaper DAY-
CLEAN, printed in Trinidad
by the Tapia House Printing
Co. Ltd., for a combination
of political groups in Guyana
comprising ASCRIA, Ratoon,

Infomration from the
publishers in Guyana reveals
that the Minister responsible
for Public Safety has been
given sole discretion to decide

whether imported publica-
tions are inimical to the
to the interests of the Gov-
ernment of Guyana. He is
now empowered to exclude
such publications under an
amendment to the same
Customs Law which covers
restrictions on consumer
items such as potatoes and
This move by the Bum-
ham Government is only the
latest in series of repressive
measures designed to stifle
independent opinion. The
publishers' decision to print

DAYCLEAN in Trinidad was
in fact dictated by the diffi-
culty in procuring a licence
to purchase printing equip-
ment and newsprint as
required by the Government,
or of having a guaranteed
supply of newsprint in the
face of possible political
intimidation of suppliers.
On Pages 5 and 8 of this
issue of TAPIA we publish
the entire issue of DAY-
CLEAN and allow our readers
to judge for themselves the
validity of the action taken
by the Burnham Government.

U U~




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September 1974

WEU5U5I5UUIEWWI VWV WWm pU'WWrg,.,. Z'S'U~E.@4 333 r i, VE,,~_ PU4 a U~-UIUUU#U *

m e

Is ha

ment has opposed the
appointment of Walter
Rodney, a young and
outstanding Guyanese
Historian, to a post at the
University of Guyana. It
is widely accepted that
the Government's opposi-
tion to Rodney is
On July 10, 1974 the
Appointments Committee
had voted to appoint Dr.
Rodney to the post. On
July 26, the Appoint-
ments Committee met
again because a Govern-
ment Minister on the
Committee wanted the
item raised again. The
members of the Appoint-
ments Committee did not
change their stand. The

Government Minister
declared that Rodney was
not wanted, as he was a
"trouble maker" unsuit-
able for work in a
developing country like
The Government has been
making a song and dance
about education for de-
colonisation. There is an
Afro-American here heading
the unit producing new
readers for young children.
Now, one very competent
in the de-colonisation of
History has been told that
there is no place for him at
the University of Guyana.
Rodney is perhaps the
youngest authority alive on
African History, in particular,
West African history. He
wrote. The History of the
Upper Guinea Coast where

slaves came from the Western
Hemisphere. He wrote
Groundings with my brothers
and recently How Europe
underdeveloped Africa In
this last book, Rodney ex-
plained the historical reasons
for underdeveloprhent and
made them very clear. He
gave much evidence out of
Africa for his' argument. He
showed similarities in the rest
of the Third World.
Groundings with my
brothers was written after
Rodney's expulsion from
Jaminca d '. "k dthe nio-
colonial Sherier Government.
He was expelled because he
spent his spare time teaching
the downtrodden their dignity
and their destiny. No group
of parasitic, puppet leaders
will want their slaves to be
instructed on these lines.
The Guyanese people of


THE National Assembly of
the Co-operative ReDublic
of Guyana recently insulted
all the nation's workers
and old people, while
Ministers keep on talking
about "socialism" and
practsing exploitation.
Parliament passed a law
reducing the pensions age
for MP's and Ministers
from 50 years to 40 years
and increasing their pen-
,lons too
The country's workers
,ave been fighting for their
pensions age under the
National Insurance Scheme
to be reduced from 65 to
60 years. They have not
won that point yet But
the big boys who always
took the best for them-
selves have fixed up their
own pension at 40 years.
They can retire at 40 and
live a second life on their
Look at Nixon today
disgraced into quitting the
Presidency, He has made peace
with the Soviet Union and
People's China. He claims to

have brought the Arabs and
Israelis together. But look at
his record in terms of domestic
politics. His government was
characterized by racism and
corruption. This is the PNC's
The minimum wage of a
government labourer in Guyana
is $5.50 per day. If he has a
family of 5, the food alone will
cost him not less than $5.50
a day. His government bus
fares have gone up by 71 per
cent. Short drops for his
children have gone up by as
much as 100 per cent. The
labourer has to work 30 weeks,
or 7 months before he can
earn what the Prime Minister
gets for entertainment allow-
ance (one thousand dollars) in
one month.
If the government worker
steals from the Govemment, he
will be dismissed and put be-
fore a court and probably
jailed. If a Minister steals he is
promoted and given more
power. Why? Because they are
building a class society. The
Prime Minister is the chief
builder of the class society.
PM Bumham said in a radio
interview on September 16,

1971, "There is a lot of cor-
ruption at the lower levels of
the Police Service."
An old age pensioner told a
DAYCLEAN reporter, "We are
reduced to begging again be-
cause of the rising prices. We
are on the begging list." Old
age pension is paid at the age
of 65. The Mayor of George-
town in a broadcast appealed
to people not to go to the
refuse heaps for food. There is
starvation in most streets of
the towns and in the villages
and plantations.
People are crying out for
hunger, but the political elite,
the bellyfuls, reply, "Go in for
agriculture." It is easy for a
person with high income to
"go in for agriculture" to ease
his cost of living. But how will
a starving man begin to farm?
As there are no facilities, he
finds it easier to steal like
certain big boys.
Naked oppression is on the
backs of the people. Every
week is "more weight" so that
we can support a fat, corrupt
set of tricksters.
What coming next after
pension bill? Give us this day
our daily burdens.

all races showed strong re-
sentment at the banning of
Rodney from their University,
and made no secret about it.
The workers of all races feel
a sense of solidarity with
Rodney whom they regard as
a person interested in their
freedom. They see it as a
most barefaced attack on the
freedom to learn and to
The better schooled
Middle Class regards the ban
on Rodney as absurd and a
sign of misuse of power. They
see it as part of a whole
scheme to suppress ideas, to
control persons, reduce educa-
tional standards and as a
violation of the constitution
of Guyana.
There have been several
acts of silent repression in
Guyana. They have been
committed by Government
and its allied businesses.
In 1971 W. Tafawa, a mem-
ber of ASCRIA was dismissed
from the Co-op Bank after
ASCRIA ha d launched its cam-
paign against corruption.
A policewoman in March
1973 was dismissed on the
orders of the political chliefs
because she talked in public to
a member of a certain organisa-
There is no officially ban-
ned organisation in Guyana,
but some of them are
treated as though they were
illegal. Persons applying for
jobs at Congress Place (P.N.C.
headquarters and the real
labour exchange), are asked
whether they belong to
In 1971, October 4, Josh
Ramsammy, U.G. Lecturer,
was shot in broad daylight
while on a visit to the
National Co-op Bank which
he preferred touse. Every-
body, except the police,
knows who hired the would-
be assassin. The Prime Min-
ister gave an interview to a
delegation of protesters. The
Prime Minister issued a joint
statement with them in which
he declared his determination
to catch the offenders. To
this date not a man has been
even questioned by the
A night-time attempt to
kidnap Clive Thomas, also of
the U.G; by the P.N.C's
death squad, luckily ran into
problems and did not suc-
A civil servant named
Patrick Westmas was dismissed
under strange circumstances
after his brother, an architect,
had appeared to testify in the
Ormbudsman inquiry against a
Minister. He had been em-
ployed at Black Bush Em-
polder when the same
Minister visited. On hearing
his name the Minister
marked "0, you is one of
See Back Page

Working Peoples
Vanguard Party,
Ratoon, IPRA and
ASCRIA have helped
to bring out this
Paper as a joint
effort. Because of
the muzzling of the
Press in Guyana,
printed in TRINIDAD.

ALL Guyana wants to
read papers that will speak
for the people, come what
may. This broadsheet is a
paper like that. You can
see why it is called DAY-
Our task is to explain to our
people the oppressive system in
Guyana, to attack it, to show
that it can be replaced by
another SYSTEM .We have no
interest, therefore, in attack-
ing this or that person, this or
that minister. We regard them
as obstacles ii the people's
At the same time, if any
person in a position of public
trust betrays that trust, or uses
it like a con-man, we are
going to expose the deed as far
as we can so as to explain to
the people what the rotten
system permits.
We are going to be the
voice of the oppressed and
exploited sugar worker, the
oppressed and exploited baux-
ite worker, the exploited and
oppressed carpenters, the hard-
pressed housewife, the drifting
unemployed, the social "out-
casts", the farmers of all kinds
including rice and pig farmers.

We are going to be the voice
of the domestic workers, the
hospital workers, the teachers,
the trench cleaners, the shop
assistants, the government
workers,the charwomen. We
speak for the victimised, the
forgotten aged, the artists, the
interior dwellers, the enslaved
Because it is part of the-
system to abuse and ill-use
human beings, we will speak
out against all human indigni-
ties against citizen and police.
What then is our political
This paper is fighting
among the people for a new
SYSTEM, a new social order.
In this' new system the law will
Those who are deprived of
their rights will have them
enforced by the law of. the
system. No one will have the
right to take away the rights of
another except by judgement
of a court.
We are sure that the masses
of Guyana will always support
liberation policies. These are
policies which aim at removing
mind control, party favouritism,
one man rule, racial domina-
tion of one kind or another,
victimisation, suppression of
culture, discrimination, open
and secret oppression and
exploitation, oppression and
exploitation by foreign govern-
ments and companies.
We therefore support a
system of mass democracy and
See Back Page

VoL No. 1,


0 a a



IF THE CATCH-ALL phrase "without need of
introduction" could be applied to any Latin
American writer, it would certainly be Alejo
Carpentier, who since the publication of his
first great novel, E IReino de Este Mundo (The
Kingdom of this World) has occupied a privi-
leged place among Spanish letters.
Today, after ten years of "silence",
Carpentier has recently published a new novel,
El Recurso del Metodo (Recourse of Method)
which, according to the few privileged people
who were able to read the manuscript, opens
up a new era in the literature of the continent.
At the age of 70, when many writers are
dreaming of retirement, Carpentier appears with a
work that will be a new model for the novel and he
tells us that inside his magician's hat are two new
novels which will be published before the end of this
It has, therefore, not been a decade of silence
that has separated El Siglo de las Luces (published
in English under the title of Explosion in the
Cathedral) from his most recent novel. As Carpentier
himself told Prensa Latina, "they have been ten years
of reading, of taking notes, of working."
The interview took place in the Cuban Embassy
in Paris, where Carpentier holds the post of minister-
counsellor in charge of cultural affairs. His words are
always apt and his knowledge immense. The author
goes back to Lazarillo de Tormes to explain the
theme of Recourse of Method; he speaks of the
Latin American dictators, Vivaldi and the Spanish
Civil War and adinits his playful choice of book

Time goes by fast when you talk with Alejo
Carpentier. Listening to him, you can see why some
critics claim he is the greatest Cuban novelist of all
times and one of the most important on the American
continent. Let us, therefore, see what he has to say.
PRENSA LATINA: Your novel, Recourse of
Method, has just been published, your first work in
ten years. Could you tell us what it's about and how
it fits within the context of the rest of your literary
ALEJO CARPENTIER: I should first have to
give you some background. In an essay published in
one of my books called Tientos y Diferencias (Grop-
ings and Differences) published by the University of
Mexico some time ago, I said that in my opinion the
Spanish picaresque novel was the father of the
modem novel.
Other novels had been published, of course,
before Lazarillo de Tormes, which in 1554 marked
the birth of the picaresque novel. There is the Golden
Ass of Apuleius, Daphnis and Chloe, Satiricon, and
a great many other works we can consider novels.
We also have the novels of knight errantry.
But in regard to the early ones, they were isolated
cases which did not give birth to the novel.
In regard to the novels of knight errantry, to
speak in "grosso modo" of a literary genre which was
very popular and which through an ambivalent pro-
cess gave birth to that gigantic novel which is El
Quixote, we should not forget that Amadis de Gaule
and other novels mentioned in El Quixote were in
reality the poetic magnification of a folklore which
flourished among the people.
In other words, there was no novel in the strict
sense of the term.
With Lazarillo de Tormes a fabulous novelistic
movement began, so fabulous that it lasted for more
than two and a half centuries. First came Lazarillo,
then El Diablo Cojuelo, El Buscon, and Marcos de
Obregon by Vincente Espinel. These works are novels
vhich and this is-unusual, unheard of with the
same objectives, with the same principles, arrive in
Latin America through a natural process of ballistics.
The first great novel written in Latin America
was Periquillo Sarniento by Lizardi, which was
published in 1830. It was both the last great picares-
que novel and the first great Latin American novel.
What were the characteristics of the picaresque?
A realistic ,nvwl which depicted an environment
firmly anchored in its surroundings. A picture of
customs, a portrait of the era, a vision of the world
at a certain period, centered around a real live person

who is the "picaro" or rogue.
Who is the rogue? A man with no specific
trade who is looking for a way to make his living. The
man who wanders about working in one ,lace one
day, sitting in a palace the next day, descending to
the kitchen another day, a ruined gentleman's valet,
a musician, a vendor of potions, etc. A than, in short,
who takes things as they come.
Something has always called my attention: the
Spanish picaresque the first great universal novel-
istic movement and I think this is absolutely
indisputable takes root in America as it develops.
Quevedo, in his story of the miser, El Buscon,
tells us at the end of his novel that Pablo is on his
way to America to look for a remedy for his ills and
"I decided to go to the Indies to see if by
changing worlds and lands I could better my
luck, but things were worse, because he who
changes only the place and not his life and
habits never betters his condition".
For years I dreamed of writing a novel which
would be called Picaresque, a modernized novel
about the adventures of Quevedo's character in
But observing the rogue in America, I realized
one day that the Spanish rogue ingenious, tricky,
lying, boastful, engaging sometimes when he goes
to America and he went there in fact, as we can
see from Lizardi's novel grows larger in a larger
In an immense continent, with immense rivers,
immense mountains, immense lands, the rogue
developed new characteristics and stopped being that
half-educated and domic figure a character from a
farce and became, first, a politician, the early day
version of today's petty politician. Later, he became
the president who was elected in fraudulent elec-
tions, the general who made coups and finally, the
civilian or the general who became the dictator.
In other words,the Spanish rogue passed from
a secondary sphere to a historic sphere, to our own
misfortune, since in the continent where we live the
gallery of dictators is something so monstrous that it
is mind-boggling
One Latin American country, since the days of
independence, that is, a little more than 150 years,
has had 37 dictators. A Caribbean country, until very
recently, has had 27. Two other Latin American
countries, and two of the most important ones, have
had 20 apiece. There are dictators who have been in
power for 35 years. We have one in the Caribbean
who stayed in power for 31 years, in short, in a little
more than a century and a half, we have had more
than a thousand of what Miranda, the precursor of
Latin American independence called mutinees and
palace revolts.

I thought, then, that the rogue had grown in
dimension and in my novel I wanted to portray him
-as the dictator. My main character has no name, he
is simply called "The First Magistrate" He could be
from any country, or from one of the islands, or
from Central America or South America. The country
he rules has the geographical characteristics of all the
Latin American countries, and as my publisher
Amaldo Orfila Reynal said in an interview he is a
man who could be from anywhere, who we can all
recognize as familiar if we read the tragic, bloody
and terrible history of our continent.
A history that is also the present because, as an
example of the picaresque, in my novel I describe the
confiscation of subversive or "red" books ordered by
the bloody president-dictator Gerardo Machado of
Cuba in the 1930's. A captain who I mention in my
novel by name went to the book stores and he con-
fiscated Stendhal's The Red and the Black, Anatole
France's The Red Lily, Alexander Dumas' The Knight
of the Red House, and every other book that had the
word "red" in the title.
I hesitated about putting this episode in my
novel because it seemed to be incredible, unreal, but
20 years later, exactly the same thing happened in a
Central American country, the very same books were
confiscated, and even more recently the very same
books were burned in the public plazas of a South
American country.
PL: How do you portray the main character of your

novel, that typical dictator you have just told us about?
AC: I simply call him in the abstract, "The First
Magistrate", because in general the president of a
Latin American country is called the first magistrate
of the nation.
Now then, in regard to the dictators of Latin
America, we must speak of three types. There is the
pistol-packing, whip-cracking general, a character
whom Alcides Aiguedas described in an admirable
book as "The Barbarian Chief'. An example would
be Lopcz of Paraguay who unleashed a senseless war
to satiate his stupid ambitions, or Melgarejo with his
horse Holophernes, or Juan Vicente Gomez who was
incapable of writing a simple letter and when he had
to write down something, did it with the handwriting
of a six-year-old child.
Then there is the plain dictator, like Machado
in Cuba, completely ignorant, but he received the
title of Doctor Honoris Causa from a university
shackled and dominated by him, just before the entire
student body rose up in rebellion very courageously
and helped oust him. Honoris Causa of what, I would
like to know?

And there is a third type which is more com-
plex and more interesting the Illustrated Tyrant. An
example is Estrada Cabrera of Guatemala, who after
he filled the jails of his country with people, built
no less than a temple to Minerva and took great
pains to give a royal welcome to Santos Chocano
(who would later kill one of the most admirable
young men America has ever produced, Edwin Elmore).
The Illustrated Tyrant is also Guzman Blanco,
who has some culture, he reads famous books, has a
house in Paris, travels, discusses opinions, etc., and
gives the impression that he protects the arts, letters,
and in the long run, through other hands, through his
henchmen, he commits the same crimes as the pistol-
packing general or the plain dictator who dosen't
even know how he came into power.
That's my main character, with all the furnish-
ings that go with this type of individual who un-
fortunately is frequent in our history.
My dictator- has children. The oldest is an
ambassador to Washington, another is an international
play-boy who gives his father a lot of head-ache. Then
there is the pretty daughter who lives the life of a
millionaire snob in Europe, in reality despising the
country she was born in. Then there is an entire
world of diplomats, ambassadors, businessmen,
VIP's, etc. who constitute the court because court
is the appropriate word in this case until the day
when the mechanisms break down and destroy the
individual who no longer serves their political and
economic interests. That's the main character.
My novel begins in 1913, but its action -
through a synchronization of events and epochs -
goes up to 1927, with allusion to several historical
But later there is a period which brings my
main character through the thirties and forties and a
brief epilogue of two pages which is called "1972".
That's the general outline of the book. As my
editor Orfila Reynal said, I've tried to create a gallery
of archetypes, typical characters in the contemporary
history of America. My readers will tell me if I've
achieved that.
PL: Just as there is a character that portrays the
Latin American dictator, does your novel have, let us
say, an anti-hero, some Latin American leader who
struggles against the oligarchy, against imperialism?
AC: Of course it does. I'm glad you asked me that
question because the dictator is opposed by the young
students. There is a character who I abstractly call
"The Student", and who is patterned after some of
the young people who initiated the era of the great
struggles against the dictatorships of-the continent.
There is a character in the novel who is exactly
the opposite of the dictator. Those who know some
Latin American history will recognize in The Student
certain figures which the youth of Latin America
today venerate as precursors and teachers. In other
words, the man who does not accept the order of
things and advances towards the future.
The novel even has an important chapter in
which The Student is face to face with the The First
Magistrate and adialogue*akes place between two
opposing concepts of history, two generations. The


dialogueisbased entirely on articles, conversations,
events which prove in words, in writings, that the
youth of Latin American have grown in awareness
and stand in opposition to the dead weight of the
anachronistic and absurd dictatorships which still
exist on our continent.
PL: In general, when people read the title of your
new novel (Recourse of Method) the first thing they

AC: Well, in this case, I have to admit to being a
rogue, nothing to do with the Spanish rogue but only
a personal roguishness of mine. I usually, but not
always, give my books titles which may or may not
have a relationship to the contents. For example,
The Kingdom of this World is called that way because
it is an inversion of "the heavenly kingdom" of the
theologians. When I published Explosion in the
Cathedral which in the original Spanish is called The
Century of Light, my publishers shook their heads
and said: "It sounds like an essay on the 18th century,
it dosen't sound like a novel." I gave the book that
title because the Century of Light which is considered
to be one of reason, philosophic thinking, peace and
calm and everything else you can thing of, is really
one of the bloodiest centuries we've ever had an
economy based on slavery, repression, physical
punishment, witchcraft, slaughter of Protestants, etc.
So, the title is sarcastic.
In reference to Recourse of Method, the title
refers to Descartes' Discourse of Method ,because I
believe that Latin America is the least Cartesian
continent that you can imagine. Discourse of Method
and Recourse of Method, because the chapters 22
in all are linked to each other, in an organic way,
by Descartes' reflections taken from his Discourse,
Philosophic Meditations and Treatise on Passions,
which in spite of the rigidity of his thinking, are used
to justify some completely insane acts.

In other words, there is a constant opposition
between Cartesian thought which badly used could
justify the worst excesses, that is, the opposite of
what Descartes really thought, and what has too
frequently been seen in our own continent.
PL: Could you define yourself as a writer and also
give us a brief description of your literary evolution?
AC: I'll try to do that very briefly. Literarily, I
appeared in my country around 1924-25, at a time
when we thought that a certain localist literature
could solve the problem of Latin American expres-
sion. The problem was well focused and proof of it is
that this literature has given us undisputable works of
genius, such as Don Segundo Sombra.
I was imprisoned in 1927 and I wrote a Cuban
local-color novel called Ecue Yamba O. I've never
wanted to republish it, however, some pirate editions
have appeared in Argentina, without my consent. In
this novel written in 1927 in prison I had signed a
manifesto against Machado along with Ruben
Martinez Villena, Juan Marinello, Roig de Leuchsen-
ring and others I thought I would be able to
resolve a certain problem of expression.
Then I went to Paris and made contact with a
surrealist group. The surrealists invited me to col-
laborate in their magazines, to work with them. I was
about to do it but suddenly I thought that I as a
Latin American have nothing to give to surrealism.
Surrealism exists fully; it is an accomplished form, it
has done what it set out to do. No, I thought. I
must search in Latin America for the things that have
not been said, the words that have not been spoken.
In the letters written by Heman Cortes to the
King of Spain there is a phrase which always impres-
sed me greatly. Cortes more or less said: "I would
like to speak of other things in America, but I do not
have the words to define them, nor the necessary
vocabulary to do it."
And one day I realized that it was that vocabul-
ary and those words that we had to find. We had to be
able to name the things that Cortes couldn't name to
the King of Spain and we had to find a metaphorical
vocabulary (not necessarily localist), rich in image and
color, baroque especially baroque to express
the marvellous world of America. The realities hidden
behind the visible things, the entrails of the invisible,
the latent forces that move on our soil, our telluric
And within my possibilities, with my first

series of Latin American novels which began with
The Kingdom of this World and closes withExplosion
in the Cathedral, I tried to do this work, this task.
Later, some people said I was silent for a long
time before, several times. Between my first novel
Ecue Tamba 0 and The Kingdom of this World, I
was silent for ten years and between Explosion in
the Cathedral and Recourse of Method, I was silent
for ten years.
But they have been ten years of writing, reading
taking notes. The result is that not onlyhave I given
my publisher a novel which has just appeared, but I
also sent him a second novel by mail a month ago and
I will send him a third before the end of the year. I've
always worked like this, on two or three books at the
same time, and I've always been looking for a way to
express Latin American reality.
However, beyond appearances, beyond the
typical costume, the peasant fiesta all of which are
very interesting and I've studied them in my book
Music in Cuba I want to express the essence of
Latin America. And I am not the only one. If you
look at the works of the men we admire in Latin
America, those who have really done something
important in the past thirty years, you'll see that
they're all doing the same thing I'm doing. Every-
body does what he can and-F'm-doing-the job I've set---
PL: You spoke of two novels which will be published
this year. Could you tell us their titles, their themes?
AC: Right now my publisher has my novel which
will be published in some three months. It's called
Concierto Barroco (Baroque Concert). This book has
nothing to do with Recourse of Method, but I'll say
something about it.
You know how much everybody admires the
marvellous 18th-century composer Antonio Vivaldi,
and how that composer ignored for more than two
centuries, incredible as it seems was resuscitated
in the 1930's and 1940's thanks to the work of some
Italian musicologists. Now this "Four Seasons" is
tremendously popular.
Well then, one day I was talking with a great
Italian composer of this century, Francesco Melipiero,
a maestro of maestros, in 1936 in Paris (I had worked
on a record of his because I was for a time a sound
engineer and recording specialist) and he asked me:
"Did you know that Antonio Vivaldi, many of whose
forgotten works we're now unearthing from under
the dust, wrote an opera about the conquest of
I said: "No, it's the first I've heard of it." Well,
time went by and through a strange coincidence, two
years ago I started to investigate that opera which was
put on in Venice in 1733. It's called "Moctezuma"
and Vivaldi wrote the music. I kept on searching and
I found an extremely interesting book by a poet
called Alvise Giusti I have a photostatic copy of
it; I think there are only two copies in the world a
novel centered around the first Latin America opera
where, of course, the Mexicans, that is, the Americans,
play a very noble role.
That's how I got the idea for a novel called
Baroque Concert whose action begins on the day the
opera makes it debut and ends practically with today.
In other words, its.action lasts for the same amount
of time that Vivaldi was forgotten. That's the first
The second novel which I will send to my
publisher at the end of this year or the beginning of
next year, is a long novel whose action begins during
the Spanish Civil War in the international brigades,
chiefly the Abraham Lincoln Brigade where many
Latin Americans fought. I knew many of them al-
most all and I accumulated a lot of documents on
that period, and I can tell you that this aspect of the
Spanish Civil War in which many Cubans and

Mexicans fought has hardly been touched in
novels. Mine begins I don't want to say any more
for now in 1937 and ends with the Battle of
Playa Giron in Cuba. That is, I close it with a vision
of the first defeat of imperialism by a Latin American
army and nation.
PL: What is your opinion about present-day Latin
American literature? What do you think of the move-
ment that some people have described as Latin
America's literary "boom"?
AC: I think you shouldn't confuse Latin American
literatures with what has been called the "boom."
Above all, you have to look at the serious, conscious
and extraordinary production of some young people
who are still unknown, who have written magnificent
I've met some of them from Mexico, Argentina
and other countries, through their essays, books I've
read as a judge in the Casa de las Americas contest,
books which are still unknown.
I say that you shouldn't reduce Latin American
literature to the so-called boom. "Boom" is the name
given to the success, the rapid diffusion and transla-
tion of the works of a handful of Latin American
writers, at a given moment, by different publishers
in Europe and America.
Those writers are good, of course. Everybody
has contributed to what I would call the "de-
regionalization" of Latin America, with their tech-
niques, their themes and their way of focusing pro-
Right now, I don't want to judge the quality of
those writers, but it seems to me that the word
"boom" is extremely ill-chosen to describe something
that is being presented as a movement, which it is not
because it lacks a central articulation. It has no back-
bone, it's merely an outburst in different parts of
Latin America of people from a vacillating genera-
tion, people between 35 and 60 or so years old who
have written modem novels with modern techniques
and modern subjects.
"Boom" means "the ephemeral", that which
does not last long the discovery of a gold mine
which leads to the construction of a city, but six
months later the mine dries up and the city dis-
appears. There's even a famous movie with the title
"Boom Town". It is an avalanche of gold, the trek to
Alaska, it is what lasts for one day only. I really think
that using the word "boom" is not very complemen-
tary to Latin American literature.

But for now, let us admit the existence QfLthis.,.

that almost all who speak of the "boom" have left
me out of that category, that petroleum deposit
which suddenly appeared, and I'm very happy with
that. In any case, we should remember thatthisis not
the first "boom".
The world witnessed a "boom" in the Russian
novel in the-last years of the 19th century. That was
the discovery of Tolstoy, the great discovery of
Dostoievski, Checkhov, etc.
Around 1910 there was a "boom" in Scandi-
navian playwrights: Ibsen, Strindberg. All the great
actors played in Scandinavian plays, a great discovery.
In the thirties there was another "boom" in
the U.S. novel: It was discovered that John dos Passes
had written a masterful novel called Manhattan
Transfer 600 pages all about New York. It was
discovered that Hemingway had written some novels
which were extraordinary for their brutality of style,
for their directness, for the pitiless manner of narrating
and for the willful triviality of the dialog. A prodigi-
ous writer called William Faulkner was discovered
along with Erskine Caldwell, Sherwood Anderson,
etc., to name only a few.
Suddenly, Europeans discovered those writers,
There is a "boom" but the works are already written,
they need only translation. So, five, ten, fifteen, or
twenty novels of those that constitute the U.S.
"boom" in the thirties are translated.
People have wanted to compare the so-called
Latin American boom of the past ten years with the
earlier booms (Russian, Scandinavian, that of the
Soviet novel too, when the Occidente (West) Magazine
in the twenties began to publish Ivanov, Leonov,
Babel, the early Soviet novelists and short story
writers), but this comparison is false for a simple
reason: the works have already been written.
In my opinion, the weakness of the Latin
American "boom" is that in general it is based on
authors who have written one or two novels, at most
three or four books.
In the U.S. "boom" you only had to translate
what was already written and you had loads of books
to give the public. Today, too many writers of the
Latin American "boom" are working for the "boom"
and that explains why there has been a vertical drop
in the quality of some o f their works.
I hope the "boom" continues, but it is very
dangerous to produce for the maintenance of the
"boom". It's easier to shore up than to build.

_1_1 __

A le-tter to the T.U.C

OpposeBurden on workers


Dear Bro. Pollydore,
We feel that the time has
come when the Guyana Trades
Union Congress leadership must
demonstrate by more meaning-
ful action its commitment to
the workers it claims to
represent, and in whose name
it engages in discussions, so
often, with the Prime Minister
and his Ministers.
We know that the T.U.C.
leadership, acting in the name
of the organised workers, once
again endorsed the People's
National Congress at the July
16, 1973 general election as
the party of its choice.
However, justice demands
that, in the face of the severe
burden which the workers
today have to bear while a
small political elite fortifies
itself with salary increases and
improved pension benefits, the
T.U.C. leadership shows, by
action, whether its loyalty to
the P.N.C. is greater than its
loyalty to the workers.
Since your Executive Coun-
cil cannot be unaware of the
problems facing the people
amidst a litany of unfulfilled
promises by the Government,
then we ask that the T.U.C.
leadership comes forward with
tangible and meaningful sup-
port against the Government's
declared intention to remove
the subsidy on that very impor-
tant commodity, flour.
In the face of a diminishing
dollar (the domestic purchasing
power of which has been falling
at the rate of 13 to 15 per
cent since 1972); a decrease in
real per capital income (1973's
drop of 3 per cent was thrice
that of the previous year);rising
unemployment, now estimated
conservatively to be no less
than 22 per cent, the T.U.C.
seems unable or unwilling to
act decisively.
This apparent inability to
take meaningful action is
becoming more glaring with
every abuse of power, every
act of injustice against the
workers who are members of
unions affiliated to the T.U.C.
The summary dismissal of five
women workers of the Guyana
-Telecommunications Corpora-
tion is too well known to the

public to warrant any further
comment at this stage. What
happened to the "Hello Girls"
and their union president, Mr.
Selwyn Felix, subsequently,
must have caused a turning in
the grave of Hubert Nathaniel


From Page 1
them". The next two days
or so, Westmas was dismissed.
Mohammed Insanally, a
lecturer at the University of
Guyana was dismissed when
the University, acting under
orders from the PNC, failed
to renew his contract.
Lennox Williams, who be-
came an officer cadet late
1973, was dismissed after a
month in training. His officer
told him that the Office of
the Prime Minister had advised
that he was a member of
ASCRIA and had ordered his
dismissal from the Guyana
Defence Force.
The silent executions of
Ric Mentus and Ricky Singh,
political reporter of the
Sunday Graphic, are well
known as the work of the
PNC. So too was Fr. Harold
Wong driven from the editor-
ship of the Catholic Standard
under PNC pressure.
Most recently Winston
Seepaul of the Working
People's Vanguard Party, was
dismissed by Banks D.I.H.
soon after he had picketed
the P.M. on May Day, 1974
at Critchlow Labour College.
The Government's ban on
Rodney fits in quite neatly
with the style of repression
in Guyana. How the so-
called upper-class revolution-
aries from Afro-America who
advise the Prime Minister can
accept the silent execution of
progressive Guyanese in their
own land, tells a lot about
the self-respect of those glass
and bottle fighters. THEIR
The attack on Ramsammy
was tc be the start of the
violent removal of radical

The flour subsidy, it must
be remembered, is being re-
moved at a time when the
Government, having badly mis-
managed the national economy,
is making socialism a bad
word in Guyana by increasing
the cost to the people of every


leaders at all levels. The
regime intended to approach
its killings on a colonial
divide and rule basis. It
hoped that the African popu-
lation would be silent at the
attack on Ramsammy. But
this did not happen. ASCRIA
exposed the plans of the
regime and attacked the re-
actionary use of violence.
The PNC realized that it
had misunderstood the divi-
sions among the left. It had
to revise its plans for violent
elimination. It made a more
long term plan, through the
SAS unit of the Guyana
Defence Force and the
National Service. Meantime
it attempted the use of black-
talking international assassins
who could infiltrate Black
Power movements. As is well

service air, sea, road, electri-
city, telephone, etc. for
which it assumes ownership
and control.
The removal of the subsidy
on flour will have a traumatic
effect on the budgeting of
every housewife. On top of
this, the State bus service has
increased fares in the rural
areas by 71 per cent, while in
the City bus fares have gone up
by 50 per cent. Electricity bills
have jumped by 25 and 96
per cent, depending on the
tariff. And if these increases,
within the past three months
were not enough, the Govern-
ment is now moving to increase,
by 33 per cent, the cost of
travelling on the State-owned
So not only will the poor
people's children have to pay
more to reach their schools
where fees and the cost of
books are already very high,
but they also have to pay more
for their sandwiches, with the
proposed removal of the flour
In spite of all this, the
Government insensibly rushed
through legislation last week to
reduce pensionable age of
politicians in Parliament from

known, this plan backfired.
The SAS and other secret
political operations have been
for some time making a list
of persons for elimination by
the death squad. In every dis-
trict "those who stand up"
and show any opposition tc
corruption, rigging and brain-
washing have been listed for
elimination by the regime's
agents. The army's special
branch death-squad was first
established with oaths and
pledges in the office of a
very important person in
The regime hoped that it
could blame the PPP for any
ASCRIAN who was wiped
out, and ASCRIA for any
PPP activist or any Ratoon
activist who was wiped out.
There is much panic in the

50 to 40. This is a calculated
affront to the working people,
heightened by the fact that
the T.U.C. has sb far failed to
bring about a reduction of the
pensionable age from 65 to 60
in respect to workers' N.I.S.
As things are, it would seem
that the T.U.C., in maintaining
its relationship with the P.N.C.
is being made to appear as a
supporter of the oppressive
policies which are affecting the
We call upon, the T.U.C.
leadership to mobilise the
workers to oppose, in particu-
lar, the removal of the subsidy
on flour, and, in general, to
put a stop to the flagrant
attacks on workers' rights and
H Yours faithfully,
Brindley H. Benn, Working
People's Banguard Party (ML).
Eusi' Kwayana, African
Society for Cultural Relatons
with Independent Africa.



Thomas, Ratoon

Bhagwan, Indian
Revolutionary As-

PNC's ranks after the mass
rally in Georgetown on the
Rodney issue on August 18.
This rally was the largest for
several years, attended by
thousands of people. One
reason for this panic is that
the PNC can no longer,
easily, after that, play off the
revolutionary masses against-
each other on a racial basis.

The. tactic of the PNC,
whether Green is General
Secretary, or not, is silent
execution. Walter Rodney is
the latest victim of the policy
of silent execution. Violent
elimination is being more
carefully prepared.
The Rodney issue, as time
will show, is also a fatal
blunder on the part of the
PNC government.

Our's is a peoples fight

From Page 1
organised peoples' power in
which worker, doctor, farmer,
housewife, artist will have a
positive role. NO ONE BUT
We stand for true socialism
in theory and practice and not
for mock socialism. Our rulers
call the feudal-capitalism under
which we live "socialism". If
people abroad want to accept
that, let them carry on. They
are only defining themselves.
But this con-man's trick can
confuse the people and make
them develop faith in imperial-
All of this means that we are
revolutionary; that is, we are
not aiming to change clouds
into clay, or dust into gold,
but we aim to change com-
pletely all relations of oppres-
sion and exploitation open or
secret, into freedom, so ordered
as to defeat attempts to bring
back exploitation.
The rights of the people
will be restored and preserved
if the people take into their

hands the cause of liberation
and uphold it to the end. On
the other hand, we can be
enslaved if the people let fear
get the upper hand and allow
themselves to be enmeshed in
racial conflict and to be con-

SEVERAL of Guyana's long
standing anti-imperialist or-
ganisations and radical indivi-
duals came together to pro-
test the Government's ban in
Walter Rodney before a giant
rally in Georgetown.
The PNC supporters at the
rally panicked and apparently
threatened the regime for the
first time.
Burnham, the "Kabaka"
decided on a manoeuvre. He
decided on two tactics both
of which were out of keeping
with, his oppression policy of
the past few years.
It was decided to make the
unpopular Hamilton Green,
who led the Government's
delegation to the Sixtli Pan-
African Congress, I scape-
goat. Green is only the most

fused by the lies of the
Therefore, a broad campaign
of TRUTH, as a means of
exposing the criminal designs
of the oppressors, is now of
extreme importance.

clumsy PNC minister but not
the one who has benefited
most. He served a master all
along. Who is the master?
The second tactic was to
drop the price of split peas
by 15 cents a pound. Split
peas, tons of it, has been
lying at the ETB unsold for
months, because the price was
too high. This is an attempt
to sell it. He also cut the
price of pickled meat and
promised that milk and flour
would be kept from getting
On the moral front, Burn-
ham again promised a Code
of Conduct. This time he
fixed a date, December 14,
lie is shutting the stable door
after the horse has escaped.

Printed by The Tapia House Printing Col. Ltd. 91 Tunapuna Rd. Trinidad for I.P.R.A., RATOON, W.P.V.P. and ASCRIA of Georgetown, Guyana.

rime's shame




As I stood alone
One rainy night
And gazed around
At the earthly light
As lonely as I can be
Earthly beauties I can see
The swaying trees
With breeze in its flight
The tapping of rain drops
That lonely night

Memories of things
I had forgotten entirely
Came back to me abundantly
As I listened to the rain drops
And swaying of trees
That hums with the passing breeze

As I stood alone
On that rainy night
I looked up and there
Were no stars in sight
They were all shaded
With clouds in its height
For I will always remember
That lonely rainy night.


Ihave worked among many men
And I know who I could
Choose as a Friend
As I read their faces carefully
Beneath thesurfaces I can see
And know who could be friend or foe

I have seen men under stress and strain
Under those who seek for selfish gain
I have seen men carrying news
Those of whom I cannot choose
They make the bosses very amused
They are not worthy to latch my shoes

Matters become worse this way
When slave masters use
Whatever news-carriers say
And force us to go along like prey
Carrying out our chores day after day

Cost of living is very high
And what's the reason I wonder why
And how long it will keep this way
To serve our family
With such small pay

And even those who are under stress and strain
Conniving against those
Who are bearing the same
They should be ashamed
Rain falls on the JUST
And the UNJUST, the same

I work with men of deceit
They, too, once had nothing to eat
And still cannot stand
On their own two feet
I work with men that will smile with you
And when things go wrong
Put the blame on you

I have worked with some
Who have been given responsibility
But they haven't the knowledge
To function with maximum efficiency
And carry out their duties effectively
Without being a liability to somebody

Yet theyhave been placed above you and me
Who have the capacity
Tofunction on our own knowledgeand ability
Yet they are the ones
Who get the praise
When, in fact, they are
Completely out of phase.

Clifford W. Lezama




On a visit to India in May
this year, President Senghor
accepted an honorary fellow-
ship of the sahitya akademi in
New Delhi. This excerpt from
the address which he gave
on that occasion was first
published in Indian & Foreign
I BELONG to that small group
of students who in the thirties
in the quarterr latin" of Paris
launched the negritude move-
ment. The idea since, spread over
Africa, crossed the Atlantic and
reached the Pacific islands, as it
will be proved at the second
world festival of black arts, which
will take place in Nigeria in 1976.
I wish to begin by saying a few
-words on the very concept of negri-
tude. Our English-speaking brothers
translate it either by blackness or
simply by negritude. We should
particularly not confuse this latter
word with that of nigritude, which the
Harrap's dictionary translates into
noirceur (or "of a black colour")
in French. The point here is less the
colour of the skin that the warmth of
the soul.
The word was quite rightly
coined by my friend, the West-Indian
poet, Aime' Cesaire. He, as well, could
also have said negrite, for the suffixes
- ite and itude, derived from the latin
suffixes, itas and itudo- have roughly
the same meaning. If Cesaire chose
the suffix itude it was because it had a
more concrete and more vital mean-
In as much as the word latinite
("latinity" in English) expresses a
concept which defines the qualities of
latin civilisation, the word negritude
expresses the same for the whole range
of values of civilisation of all black
peoples in the world.
If we consider the example of
black Africa, the first among these
values, which is of a philosophic
nature, is that for all black people the
soul is "encamated" within the body
and more generally the spirit within
the matter. In other words, the matter
and the spirit are in a dialectical
relationship, bearing in mind that it
was the spirit which first informed the
In the field of politics, I shall
point out the pattern of community
mindedness. In the traditional negro-
african world, the society was made-
up of concentric communities, scaled
up one over the other, from the family
cell to the kingdom and in which
various socio-professional groups were
linked up with each other by a system
of reciprocal integration.
In the field of arts, the values of
negritude can be essentially summoned
up in the rhythm and the symbolic
image. I generally define the negro-
african work of art poem or narra-

...explains Senghor

tion, painting or sculpture, music or
dance as an image or a set of
rhythmical images.
Symbolic image did I say. In
Nigritia, every work of art is an image-
with-a-sign, with a signification, that is
to say, a meaning. Thus the negro-
african poem is a network of "meta-
phors". The meaning of the analogical
image, however, is efficiently expres-
sed I was tempted to say elucidated
only by the rhythm.
You do know of the negro
rhythm since it conquered the world
through jazz and modem music. It is
altogether unity within diversity, a
repetition which does not repeat
itself, a step aside within a regular
movement the swing as the Ameri-
cans call it.
I have often been asked mostly
by readers in doctoral thesis which
influences had marked me.
Like any other young man
learning his trade, I began by imitating
the poets I used to read and whose
works had been explained to me
during classes: the romanticists first,
then the French symbolists. Yet I did
not feel at all at ease in my first lines,
written in French. The French rhythm,
with the same number of syllables for
all verses of a poem, dissatisfied me
quite particularly. This until I dis-
covered the negro-african poems and
first, those of my native village: the
community of Joal-Fadiouth.

My initiators, those I call my
Three Graces, were our village poetes-
ses, Marone N'Diaye, Koumba N'Diaye
and Siga Diouf. It was when I trans-
lated their poems that I better under-
stood the values of negritude. As a
matter of fact their poems are always
a texture of metaphors, and I had to
have them explained to me. Besides,
they also are rhythmical poems which
can be either sung or recited.
And their poems chanted the
virtues of the gods and of black men
- their feeling for the divine, their
feeling for the community, their feeling
for beauty. For a beauty which is
harmony, like in these verses:
Qui l'a emporte'
0 qui a emporte'
L hommee a la peau moue
Beau Sur l'arene
Et beau les yeux fermes -
Who killed him,
O who killed him,
The man with the dark skin,
Handsome in the arena
And handsome with his eyes closed?
Indeed, the very meaning of the
Serer word Jag is "harmonious".
As you noticed, some of the
values of negritude are similar to

those if indianity. Only it so happens
that in the case of India, these values
were rethought and assimilated by the
Aryan reason. In other words indianity
is a symbiosis of the complementary
values of the Aryans and Dravidians
- with monogolian grafts which gave
them a more subtle fragrance of their
Ancient Egypt, the mother of
civilisation, was somehow like that:
the symbiosis between the values of
the "Ethiopians", as the Greeks called
the black, and the values of the "moors"
as the same Greeks used to call the
white with a darker skin.
It was the same symbiosis which
I found in reading the great Rabin-
dranath Tagore, with, once again, a
subtle dialect of the soul. This, in-
deed, left a deep influence on me.
Somehow I sinned in presenting
to you the negritude movement as. a.
linear movement, like the regular lines
of the discursive reason of Europe. In
reality, ourmovement developed like a
drama in three stages.
We began by being violently
opposed to the European reason, I
might even say to Indo-European
reason, which is discursive but dicho-
tomic. Then, the experience of nazism
cured us and we parted from "negri-
tude ghetto" or, as Jean-Paul Sartre
puts it, from "anti-racist racism".
We then discovered that the first
great civilisations, which were bor
in the latitude of the Mediterranean
- from the Egyptian to the Arabic
civilisation, through the Indian and
Greek civilisations had all been
civilisations of cultural miscegenation
and first of biological miscegenation.
For us, therefore, negritude
today, consists in grounding ourselves
deeply in the values of the black
peoples but, at the same time, also in
opening ourselves to other civilisa-
tions: to the European civilisation for
sure, which though furthest away from
us, marked us a lot historically but
also to civilisations that are closer to
us, like the Indian civilisation and the
arabo-berber civilisation.
My closing remark will, there-
fore, be a wish: a wish that this meet-
ing might not simply be a "rose in the
spring", but the "sowing of seeds"
which will yield, in a few years, the
most abundant harvest. Our respective
civilisations the Indian and the
African civilisations are, once again,
symbiosis between the north and the
south. It is now high time that we
should supplement them with a yet
more enriching symbiosis between the
east and the west, between Asia and
Africa, in order to create a large
harmonious symphony that would
spread all over our planet earth.





"' MV


Not National Consultation

but new leadership

Bhoendradatt Tewarie

THE Prime Minister
is holding what he calls
a "National Consultation
on Education" on Oct-
ober-15, 16, 17. Another
meaningless political man-
oeuvre. Consultations on
education under various
other names have been
held before with the same
result more heartbreak,
more despair.
At a time when Tapia
has been seriously ques-
tioning government's edu-
cation policies and
planning and when we
have exposed the system
in all its ridiculous
aspects, when we have
been calling for meaning-
ful discussion and radical
reform the Prime Minister
intrue doctor fashion and
following his policy of
onemanship is going to
host a meeting at Cha-
guaramas and chair a dis-
cussion over several
This consultation is yet
another attempt by Williams
and the intellectually bank-
rupt PNM regime to bam-
boozle the people of this
It is significant that while
the Prime Minister is unwilling
to call a "consultation" on
the constitution issue he is
going out of his way to have
one on education.
What is the gimmick? It
has to do with what Lloyd
Best has termed "controlled
participation". It is another
attempt by Williams to give
the illusion of democracy
while maintaining total and
absolute control.
Let us not be fooled. All
decisions that are to come
out of the consultation have
already been made. Any one
going to the consultation in
the hope of affecting policy
decisions on education has
got to be dreaming.
Williams does not trust

the people of this country
andtime and againhas demon-
strated his contempt for the
people, so that he would
never allow then to influence
him in anyway, except in a
case where it is politically
expedient to do so.
The decisions have already
been made both at party level
and at the national level.


Williams can ill afford
democracy here. No one
knows this as well as he. But
he also recognizes the neces-
sity of creating the illusion of
Nothing so demonstrates
Williams' policy of Oneman-
ship as his desperate insistence
on chairing the forthcoming
In any government that
has some kind of method and
which is comprised of men
capable of holding office
and execuung the responsibi-
lities of that office, the
Minister of Education would
have been the logical choice
as chairman.
But Williams is just as con-
temptuous of his ministers
as he is of the people.He
feels certain that the Minister
of Education is incapable of
handling the consultation.
And perhaps the minister
himself shares this view. So
he has taken over completely
from him. Afraid that other
people will bungle, he has to
have his hands in everything.
More than that however
he wants the national eye to
focus on him at this time and
this is one way of ensuring
that it does. He is hoping to
come off as the grand liberal,
the benevolent master, the
leader who bends to the will
of the people.
After 18 years, however,
the national eye is much more
discerning and Williams in-
finitely more predictable. The
people will not be fooled.
Williams, of course, is
hoping to control the pro-
ceedings and the outcome of
the Consultation by his mere
presence. But he has further

ensured that participation will
in fact be limited and con-
trolled by introducing two
other factors.
While all schools may be
represented, their represent-
ation is limited to:
(a) The Principal
(b) One parent
(c) One teacher
(d) One student.
With a few exceFpions
most principalsseethen role as
heing only to represent the
Ministry of Education. they
carry out policy, they have
little interest, having been
conditioned into seeing their
role as a limited one for so
long, in making policy.
It is questionable whether
the individual teacher, parent
and student will represent
staff, parents and student-
body views. This would mean
discussion before attending
the consultation and would
seem to be feasible only in a
few instances. People attend-
ing the consultation there-
fore will most likely express
their own views.


Considering the number of
participants in relation to the
population, this is unfair.
Participation is further
controlled by the terms of
The terms of reference
relate to more immediate
problems that exist in the
present school system. Prob-
lems which Tapia has raised
long before Williams acknowl-
edged that the plan had
They are geared to design
stop gap measures tomaKe the
system workalittle smoother,
and stifle the present critic-
isms at least until after the
elections. Whatever decisions
are made and plans effected
will have beendecided, Williams
will say, at the consultation.
Williams and the PNM gov-
ernment therefore cannot be
blamed if the plan fails again.
This is the thinking behind
the Consultation.
The Consultation there-
fore is not concerned with

education at all. It has to do
with the present school sys-
tem. And it has nothing to
*do with consultation, merely
with politics, and moreover
with the discredited politics
of the Colonial days:
If Williams and hi~ intel-
lectually bankrupt regime
had any genuine interest in
education they would have
had a free assembly of citi-
zens where all those who had
an interest in education
could come. together. It
would have been publicised
long in advance so people
cotuldU 'iCii:) 0 6iCi own co m1
munities and districts and get
some ideas together.


At such a conference the
people themselves would have
decided on the terms of
reference, not have them
imposed as they are going to
This would have been a
genuine consultation on
EDUCATION. In such a con-
sultation education as it
relates to the individual in
our developing society would
have, come under close scru-
tiny. The present system
would have been examined.
Cultural conditioning through
the education system would
have been taken into account.
The immediate needs would
have featured prominently.
And a long term plan based
on meaningful projections
into the future would have
been a must. These would
have been the larger areas.
Each section of the educa-
tion system would have been
considered independently
from Pre-school onwards.
After dealing with each of
these independently some
kind of overview which would
have attempted to effect
integrated planning in educa-
tion and with other areas
related to education would
have been attempted.
And the possibilities of ef-
fecting structural changes in
the society though education
would have been a significant
But this .government,
devoid of ideas, afraid of
change, cagey, limited in
approach and myopic in
vision has in turn limited the

consultation in scope and
possibilities and will on the
15, 16, 17 of October do the
nation yet another disservice.
If the 1959 plan had been
followed to the letter many
of the problems that we now
face in education would not
The plan was not accepted
and such of the subsidiary
recommendations as were
selected were never followed
through. The attempt to
diverslIy the secondary school
system by introducing Moder
Secondary and Comprehen-
sive Schools alongside the
existing Grammar Schools, in
the early sixties, was hastily
abandoned when it was
realized that this necessary.
cestilcturing of the system
may have incurred serious
political costs: The experi-
ment collapsed and the new
schools became Grammar

The problem that we are
really facing in education
therefore is not that of a
good or bad plan. It is a
problem of leadership.
Plans alone can solve
nothing. The best plans will
fail without direction and
leadership. And this govern-
ment has no direction and no
leadership not in education
and not in anything else.

A thorough examination
of the educational crisis in
this country will reveal that if
dollars,time and energy spent
on Youth Camps, Community
Centres and the Best Village
programmes had been spent
on education the Government
would not today be scrambl-
ing to find a plan of action.
18 years of misgovernment
and miseducation cannot be
undone in three days.
Finally, if in 1960 Gov-
emment lacked the political
strength and the moral
authority to effect what was
in essence a reasonable plan
at the time, the government
is in an even more difficult
situation to do anything now.
For there is hardly any
political base now and what-
ever there is will disintegrate
soon. Moral authority is out
of the question.
A change in education
necessitates a change in gov-
ernment. And the new gov-
ernment must have ideas as
well as vision and most
important of all, it must have
trust in itself and in the
people of this country.


Keith Smih

"KEITH, I have every confidence
in Iaxie". The young man talking
to me wasn't even a Tapia-man.
If pressed he would describe
himself as a Marxist, I suppose.
As it was he wasn't even sure
that the Tapia Senate-move was
right nne. But he was clear on
one thing his confidence in
The discussion centered around
Iaxie and his appointment to the
Senate. "Iaxie is a serious man, so
Tapia in the Senate bound to be a
serious thing". It was as simple as that.
There was not a man there rapping
that night who didn't know that the
Senate was a "rubber-stamp", "ana-
chronistic", etc., etc. But the point
made constantly was that Iaxie and
Best and Laughlin were serious men.
And if men were serious enough there
was hardly a tool that they couldn't
use to bring home the revolution.
Honesty? "Renwick is an ass",
said a brother, idly flicking a football
from foot to foot. A point with which
we all heartily agreed, since this is one
of the things the left has in common,
this total recognition of that man's
assness. "Iaxie never did a dishonest
thing either". Which, of course, led to
a whole talk about laxie. About his
endless years of continuing ketch-arse
until he get this cheker-wuk which
only serves now to finance the ketch.
"Dey say that we put Iaxie in
the Senate for window-dressing".
"Keith, yuh lie who say dat?"
"Boy, laxie is he own man, yes".
Look, the things laxie tell me
you wouldn't believe. Sometime we
)n the block liming and "laxie"
would come out in he short-pants to
buy bread in the parlour. He would
look up in the sky and make some
absurd remark and the lime mash-up
laughing. How a man could keep he
sense of humour living as he has had
to do over the years, is one of the
footnotes of tmis revolution.
Or we dey arguing about some
kind of I-olitics if you feel that
Jamadar and Millette and the rest are
the politicians in this country, you
mad and laxie would come in and

put in his piece and the lime get a new
life again.
You might be saying that he's a
good man to have in the Senate, after
all. Don't say that. That ent the point,
at all. The real tragedy of this nation
is that it have plenty laxies. Right
now I could call four fellers in we same
lime who capable of standing up in a
room and saying things in the interest
of the people that they represent. If
yuh ask laxie he could call more. The
only thing is that he's bound to leave
himself out.
I remember the evening he told
me about the pending Senate appoint-
ment. He come to me without the
usual fat grin on heface and say:
"Boy, Keith, I ent think ah
"What, boy don't talk shit".
Thus ended what might be the
shortest political discourse in history.
"All the-time dis man wukking
on the projecti-hd he never ever begin
to exploit nobody".
Yuh ever see that. What this
country come to. The fact that a man
who "heavy" in a village never try to
exploit anybody man or woman -
is a virtue. It's true about laxie, but
he dosen't consider it a virtue, I can
tell you.
I ent fooling you. All of us
accept tne Senate for what it is worth.
Except for the 'Tapia-men in the area,

I feel that people ent really know
what going on. Among these, there
are the many who trust laxie. And
although we understand that the
Senate is no big ting, we at least
some of my lime feel a kind of
psychological uplift.
Not in the sense that one of we
boys make good, but in the sense that
we know that we have similar qualities
and that be-Jesus is time somebody taki
in a way laxie's selection touches on
the village's plight.
"Yuh feel laxie go change he
"Wha kind of PNM talk is dat"'
"So he go still come out here
with he short pants?"
"What all yuh feel a Senator is.
With the money they paying he still
can't buy no terelene".
"So we have two Senators in
Laventille now?"
"Two who is the next one?"
"Wilton Hinds".
"Yes, boy
"No, boy".

"Well evenselfhe is a Senator he
ent from Laventille".
I. first met Iaxie in the Vigilantes,
that high-point of community involve-
ment, when we really thought that all
we had to do was to show the powers-
that-be that our heart was in the right
place and they would move to suit.
laxie was indefatigable in that

,. .

or not

Sto be:

i The story

of laxie Joseph


I.. W x U:*Ms


You always

wanted her to



makes it easy -

and an ideal

Gift too.



period. Rallying people here and there.
Come leh we clean the canal. Let we
do this. Quietly, as was his style.
Allowing the more flamboyant
personalities to be the spokesmen.
But laxie was always there, offering
counsel and sweat. Then, when it
became apparent that in spite of the
Prime Minister's public citation all we
were going to get were some pick-
axes and some hoes, we had to articu-
late the political action that the canal-
cleaning was.
The Chairman of the group, one
fateful night, put a motion before the
Meeting in effect making it unconsti-
tutional to criticize, as he put it, "the
government of the country". Then
when we moved a vote of no-confi-
dence in him, the man addressed the
Meeting pointing out that he was in
charge of jobs in the area. We lost the
vote, of course, and overnight the com-
munity spirit that had reached such
dizzying heights collapsed.

But, mark this, of the entire
executive of that time, only laxie
continued 'to struggle to recover the
spirit and the commitment. Ever so
often taking a GCE subject, then turn-
ing around to teach it to other people,
battling in the Village Council. We were
into 1970 and like the rest of the
country members of the Vigilantes
were choosing sides.
Pressure was brought to bear.
That was a time when to be other
than a part of the front-running or-
ganization was to be suspect. Iaxie
chose Tapia, running against the tide.
Now the Senate is just another round
in a long struggle to end the ketch-
arse in Success Village.
Iaxie understood the position
early. How do you close the gap be-
tween the "haves" and the "have
nots"? That's the battle that he is
carrying to the Senate. Really,he is
our representative on the public stage.
Certainly, nobody ever hears Our
One thing is certain: that in the
Senator laxie will be carrying in his
breast all the years of pain and heart-
ache that has afflicted Laventille.
Tapiaman,. NJACman Marxistman,
same pain, same pressure. On that we
agree. So let us see how this Senate-
move is going to advance the game.
Me, I ent frighten. Like the man said:
"I have every confidence in Iaxie".

II iN~

II Iv i l I I II I III


Literature Eoo c
LloydKing Economics
Gordon Rohlehr
Victor Questel George Beckford
Denis Solomon Norman Girvan
Cheryl Williams Owen Jefferson
Derek Walcott Clive Thomas
Wayne Brown Maurice Odle
Williams Demas
Roy Thomas
Havelock Brewster
Alister McIntyre

James Millette Lloyd Best Vernon Gocking Dennis
S Forsythe Fitz Baptiste Vaughan Lewis

Books...Pamphlets...Tapia selections

Phone 662-5126 or visit aur office at
82-84 St Vincent Street Thnapuna.

... .J.... .

; ~ ~-r LC:

. r I ..........L -m-IR .-R L ......... L A


~S ii~J~iislrM-7,

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L-200 1 '7,-

c~aa~S 4~L aaasou9
'troe, JO fn
ato. c T) SI TAOXz a
'~nqT~I~"L "aJpU~I *E



TAXI FARE increases
declared over the last
week were the latest
outstanding sign of the
government's failure to
hold down prices of basic
goods and services.
The higher taxi fares came
just about one month after
the Public Transport Service
Corporation complained that
it had lost $1.5 million in
four months, and began to
retrench 540 workers.
What the PTSC calls a
loss, the Government refers
to as "operating deficits".
By any name, the Govern-
ment announced itself pre-
pared, in this year's Budget, ;
to make it good to the tune
of $14 million, $2.1 million
more than 1973, and $4.6
million more than in 1972.
- 'The-problemns of the PTSC__
no less than those of taxi-
drivers, which will lead to
increased costs to the tax-
payers and commuters, make
a mockery of the plans and

devices grandly announced in
the 1974 Budget.


Announcing its use of
increased oil revenues "to
keep down the cost of
transportation", the govern-
ment made much play of its
plans to:
* expand the bus fleet at a
cost of $12 million, and
keep bus fares constant;
* reduce purchase taxes on
taxi-cars showroom-priced
below $6,000, allow 250
more taxis on the road,
and.reduce taxi-carlicences
by 40%;
* keep down the price of
gas, kerosene and diesel
oil by subsidy costing
$31.9 million.
SNine-JR- orhl I.ot"r _l- l _
public has to face higher
taxi fares, and to look for-
ward to footing an even larger
bill for deficits of the PTSC's
1974 operations.


Not forgetting that some
540 PTSC workers will have
to look for new jobs.
It is no surprise that the
first announced and the
steepest increases came
from Eastern Main Road
taxis. With the congestion
that is the rule at peakhours
between Tunapuna and Port-
of-Spain, the real cost of
transport in this area has
been going up even faster
than the taxi-drivers can
hike their rates.

And if the margin of the
latest increases is any indica-
tion, it seems that taximen
expect the costs to go up
even faster in the coming

- n' LArruei II /U, Ule
Port-of-Spain Tunapuna
fares were raised from 35 to
40 cents.
On Carnival Monday in
May 1972, the fares went

from 40 to 50 cents.
Since last Monday we have
to pay 75 cents for the
same drop. The margins of
increases are a story by them-
selves 5 cents, 10 cents,
and 25 cents, in less than
four years.


What is noticeable, too,
is the marked absence of
defensiveness which attended
the recent increases. Taxi-
men: have not found it
necessary to chalk the new
fares on their windscreens
and dashboards, or to make
the announcements as pas-
sengers climb into the cars,
as they did before.

For their part, the public,


-rom Page 3

I have, accordingly, taken
the necessary steps to appoint
three of their members to the
Senate, .viz: Lloyd Best,. Ivan
Lauglliri.cnd Hanlet Joseph.
I hav "-herefore, asked the
-Go-vemr~General to revoke
the appointments of Senators
Tyson, Mansingh and Nelson
I wish to make it clear
that I have found this neces-
sity a painful one; but

fully conscious of the grow-
ing grimness of the climate
of industrial relations itself
a product of the inflated cost
of living have seemed pre-
pared to swallow hard and
pay the difference.
Like vendors in the market
and other self-employed
people who have no union to
argue for pay increases every
so many years, taxi-drivers
still have it in their power to
adjust their own income, and
to affect the cost of living
simply by putting up prices.
And no questions asked.
What it seems to point
to is a merry Christmas and
Prosperous New Year when
everybody will be holding
wads of backpay and front
pay dollars. and wonder-
ing what really happened.

personal considerations must
yield to the urgent demands
of the public interest.
I am not unmindful of the
fact that it might be made to
appear that, by this step,
taken purely in the public
interest, my confidence in
the members of my own
_part) is less than complete.
This is not so-
I know however, that tlhy
will understand, and that all
right thinking members of
the public will also under-
stand, that I am acting in
the best interests of all ofus,
and of our country.

The gov't can run but they can't hide

From Page .3
the WASA problem and
curb the general industrial
unrest. In a sense, the
issue of a State of Emer-
gericy makes clear the link
between the constitutional
question and the urgent
and burningissues of econ-
onic distress and popular
The real reason for the
unrest and the upheaval is
that the Government is living
in a rainbow world of.grand-
iose announcements and
remote projects. In the mean-
time, the people are punch-
drunk with chronic unemploy-
ment, wicked inequality and
devastating increases in the
daily cost of living.


It is the ignominious
failure of economic policy
over the' years and the spirit-
ual desert of the old regime
which have driven our people
to distraction and brought us
in 1974 on the very brink
of despair. These are the
causes of the apparently
irresponsible free-for-all which
we are witnessing today. We
have been robbed of our
dignity as a people and may
the devil take the hindmost,

Tapia's intention is to
put some turpentine in the
tail of Parliament by in-
troducing from the very start,
legislation to repeal the IRA
which has only brought the
law into disrepute. We want to
replace it by a whole series
of measures designed to
grapple with the problems by
assuming more love inside the
Q. What measures do
you have in mind?
A. We have already sug-
gested a Tax on Excess
Profits, Limitations on
Dividends, a Compulsory
Savings Scheme on the
higher income brackets,
and the adoption of a
scheme of Annual Bargain-
ing over the National
Income. Then there is the
reorganisation of the whole
sailing and retailing of such
strategic household goods
such as medical and
educational supplies and of
basic food and clothing.
So far as the Confer-
ence of Citizens for Annual
Income Bargaining is con-
cered, we envisage bona fide
representation for Unions,
Business,Government, Opposi-
tion andCommunity opinion.
In a small country, we have
a real advantage we do not

have the large millions of
India, Pakistan or Nigeria.
lapia's macco Senate will in
the future be the place to
conduct this very necessary
Q. What do you expect
to get from such a
Bargaining Process?
A. We anticipate that the
final bargain will yield a
package of agreements,
binding on the whole
nation for a year, and
including Productivity Tar-
gets, Maximum permissible
profit and dividend rates,
Minimum wages and
salaries, proper classifica-
tions by range, maximum
wage and salary increases,
appropriate pension and'
social security (national
insurance) payments es-
pecially for those below
the poverty line, desirable
savings levels, permissible
price mark-ups and reason-
able hire-purchase credit
Q. Will not so much
planning lead to more
A. No, not if you have the
constitutional reforms ad-
vocated by Tapia with
strong local government
and a genuinely participa-

tory Senate. Under a
democratic regime, such
vigorous economic manage-
ment is not extraordinary
and is not repressive
because people will have
the freedom to speak up
for their causes and to do
so quite often under
Parliamentary cover. What
we need to guide this
process is a Government
with the competence, the
patience, the will and the
moral authority to govern
courageously on behalf
not of a privileged oli-
garchy of grasping elites
but on behalf of the vast
multitude of little people.


That is the kind of
programme that Tapia in-
tends to press on the current
lame-duck Parliament.
In the service of this
programme, we will insist
on radio and television
time for every opposition
voice. We will leave no
stone unturned to see that
the Government publishes
the infonnation needed by
the people to assess the
progress of the country's

We need up to date
National Income Accounts:
Digests of Statistics, and
Reports of the great Depart-
ments of State especially
Education, Health and Com-
merce. We need accounts for
the public utilities and the
public corporations in trans-
port, water, electricity, tele-


We need these reports
quickly; Tapia is going to
put some dynamite in the
Government's behind. And
this we intend to do with the
fullest collaboration with
such opposition forces as are
willing to take advantage of
the strategic position we are
about to occupy inside the
Second Chamber of Parlia-
We will make it our
business to attack the prob-
lems of the country in a way
that acknowledges the sacred
trusteeship with which we
have been endowed today
It is up to the country to
translate this opportunity
into the kind of electoral
force we so desperately need
to salvage our future from