Full Citation
Permanent Link: http://ufdc.ufl.edu/UF00072147/00162
 Material Information
Title: Tapia
Physical Description: no. : illus. ; 43 cm.
Language: English
Publisher: Tapia House Pub. Co.
Place of Publication: Tunapuna
Creation Date: May 18, 1975
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: UF00072147:00162

Full Text

fZSE'At .X..t-I I":JTi TI"'
For THi. S:.T ., o SundayNDY MAY 18. 1975
if12 LA-,i 78, ST-,t.l



a dem two production
Naparima Bowl 28 may 8.30
tickets $4.00 from Stephens High st

Little Carib Theatre 29,30,31may 8.30
tickets $400 avaitale at door from 3.00 pm

tancelot layne,
toby" tobas
edison quarliss

ken corsbie
marc matthews
henri muttoo

A WRITER in a letter to
the Trinidad Guardian earlier
:this week declared himself
to ,be somewhat confused
and of the opinion that
the Prime Minister and his
Government were some-
what schizophrenic in
-then .i3 iL I 2.L ..... .,rIds tile
multi-national corpora-

' Th.- .writer- was.referring
to the fact that tie Prime
Minister was inviting an
impressive host of multi-
nationals to come here
and develop pus, while, al--
most in the same political
breat}, declaring that this
country and indeed the
entire Caribbean stood
threatened by imminent
That writer must today be
an eveA more confused in-
dividual and no doubt even
more certain of the schizo-
phrenic state of this Govern-
ments mind. For in referring-
to the. recolonisation threat
the Prime Minister was- at pains
to castigate his Caribbean'col-
leagues, particularly in Jamaica.
and Guyana, as well as to
point an accusing finger at
Venezuela and Mexico for
harbouring imperialist tenden-
Yet, on Wednesday this
week, at the close of the much
celebrated, 16th session of the
Economic Commission for
Latin America, (ECLA), the
Prime Minister after describ-
ing the conference as "most
astounding" went on to state
"What we have seen here is
the full emergence of a
powerful and dynamic
Latin American personality,
fully competent to stand
on its 0wn two feet, speak
for itself and deal with its
own particular problems. It
has shown no malice in its
attitudes and no truculence."
He also went on to speak
of a new stage in Caribbean

".._i D,' I


For to focus attention
within the land at all is to
reveal the absolute stagnation
that exists. The Government
is doing nothing and does riot
have a clue as to what to do.
So the Latin Americans
who were a few days ago the
villains in the piece are now
the blue-eyed boys, the other
Caribbean leaders who were a
few days ago agents of Imper-
ialism are now proud posses-
sors of a Caribbean identity.
After having broken the
Bamboo curtain twice, Wil-
liams now turns his attention
to the Iron Curtain and then
on to Cuba and after that if
South Vietnam invites him
you can bet your bottom
dollar he going.
It is all painfully obvious
and somewhat depressing.
Williams does not even have
the originality to come up
with a new dodge. If he is
such an assidious disciple of
Richard Nixon he should
remember that after all the
euphoric junketings abroad in
the end Nixon still had to go

development and co-operation
and in th? recognition of a
Caribbeau identify.-This but a
week after exploding that
some of the Caribbean Gov-
ernments seemed to welcome
It is understandable that
soxreone viewing these wild
swings in the Governments
foreign policy pendulum
and in its apparent ability to
hold mutually exclusive posi-
tions at the same time should
search for a rationale in the
area of abnormal psychology.
Until however this Goverpment
is officially certified our judg-
ments must remain on the
political plane.


This is one common fac-
tor which links all the
raunchy rhetoric which has
been forthcoming from
Williams and that is its exclu-
sively external focus. In part
this is the natural consequences
of Williams' philosophical
orientation, Faced with the
unexpected (to him) potential
of the oil bonanza, William's
first reaction was one typical
of colonialist impotence. Our
oil was to be used as a defen-
sive shield..
When the vital importance
of our oil and the immense
opportunities it gave for
radical social and economic
changes finally penetrated the
dense fog of historicity that

ing but are now demanding
much more stringent prices for
their assistance.
Faced. with this total col-
lapse of his entire oil initiative
Williams as usual cannot con-
ceive of admitting his mistakes
and ends up indicting every-
body of perfidious intentions
but himself.
Paradoxically, however, it
is his very ignominious failure
on the outside that forces him
now to keep his attention
there, and by his antics, hope-
fully the 'attention of the
country as well.


Williams' desperate game
now is to create ,such a cloud
of smoke on the outside that
our ; attentions might be
diverted from the fires that
rage inside. Not even the fact
that the U.L.F. delivered itself
into his hands. like babes in
the woods gives him the
opportunity to return home.

permeates his- mihd, his
immediate reaction was to
look abroad for the plans and
the instruments of regenera-
Clinging faithfully to a con-
ception of economic growth
that is calculated in terms of
massive capital investments,
incapable of understanding
that the essence of a truly
liberating technology is its
indigenous gestation and far
too shortsighted to perceive
that the greatest longterm,
possibilities lay in a concerted
agricultural redevelopment
drive, Williams dusted off his
mendicants shoes and went
Wined and dined from
Sumitome Japan to Tenneco
Texas, Williams never once
looked inward to Trinidad
and Tobago. And as far as the
Caribbean was concerned he
played politics with the one
worthwhile scheme he had in
this area, announcing a set of
totally unrealistic plans for
the joint 'Guyana-Jamaica-
Trinidad and Tobago smelter
and finally ruined whatever
possibilities there were for
this by his total lack of
grace and sensitivity in dealing
with his Caribbean colleagues.
In the event not only did
Jamaica find a more reason-
able arrangement with Mexico
and Guyana one with Vene-
zuela, but the world energy
situation was changed-to the
extent that the multinationals
are no longer falling over
themselves to be accomodat-



Next Week

The Philosophy


Rabindranath Tagore

__ __

Vol. 5 No. 20

30 Cents

SUNDAY-MAY 18, 1975

Recolonisation: Denis Solomon

A Twenty Year Odyssey


The tradition that has grown up in regard
to talks given in this Library is to begin with
a grandiose historical resume of the back-
ground to the question. There is nothing
wrong with putting a subject in its proper
context, but the trouble is that this tradition,
begun in the debates between Eric Williams
and Dom Basil Matthews, progressive through
the era of the University of Woodford Square,
has spawned the obnoxious custom of un-
disputed and unquestioned ex cathedra pro-
nouncements that have corrupted our political
culture; the latest performance of this kind
took place in San Fernando on April
There is a sociologist called Bernstein who
claims that language as it relates to society can be
classified into two codes what he calls an 'elabor-
ated code' and a 'restricted code', The 'restricted
code' conveys a minimum of information, is minim-
ally concerned with the exploration of the world
through language, and serves largely to reinforce the
socially determined roles of the interlocutors.Its is
the code typical of uneducated use of language.
The elaborated code is the code typical of
educated users, and its characteristics are that it uses
language as a medium of investigation and manipula-
tion of the environment, of exploration by the
speakers of the world outside and inside themselves.
According to thistheory, the elaborated code is
the form of communication proper to the realm of
study and research, to higher education, Parliament,
university. Yet the communicative events contrived
by the PNM in the 'University' of Woodford Square,
on Television, in eight-hour speeches in the House of
Representatives, at Point Fortin and in San Fernando,
were in fact perfect examples of the restricted code,
because rather than expand the universe they shrank
it; rather than investigate the facts they invited
admiration of spurious erudition; and rather than
explore the relationships between speaker and
I _

listener they confirmed the relationship between
governors and governed. They were one-waycom-
municative events, and as such they were typical of
the political culture they helped, in fact were designed,
to perpetuate.
For all that, people are people. They have eyes
to see and ears to hear. You can bramble all of the
people some of the time, and some of the people all
of the time, but not all of the people all of the time.
Over the years, as the unfulfilled promises accumul-
ated, the history became more and more irrelevant,
the statistics more and more indigestible, the excuses
more and more frail, the accusations more and more
strident and petulant. Since 1969, 1971 at the very
latest, they have ceased to impress anyone.
So that when Tapiahas meeting in the Library,
and when I begin my exposition with a historical
resume, it is important that you see where we follow
the tradition and where we depart from it. We
follow it in the sense that political education is a
desirable, a noble objective; we depart from it in
that with us it cannot become a bramble because the
essential content of our educational message is not
messianic pronouncement but popular participation;
not professorial lecture but seminar discussion. In
token of which I stand before you not in a pontifical
but a Socratic role; surrounded, moreover, by the
greater part of the Tapia national executive, whose
function, along with mine, is to answer questions,
initiate discussion and respond to criticism.

So to my historical exposition. We are in the
midst of gigantic revolt against the effects of North
Atlantic technological civilisation, against the in-
ability of civil society to harness technology to
human ends. This revolt is the fundamental cause of
the conflict it is at the root of most international
and domestic problems. The ideological struggle
between the socialist and capitalist camps serves
only to disguise the central issue because the revolt
is raging equally inside both of these ostensibly
opposing camps.

Our Movement must evaluate Caribbean
society in relation to the civilisation of the North
Atlantic from the time of the Middle Ages. We need
that large perspective to see how we are affected by
current world conflict and to cast the proper role for
Our Caribbean homeland is a creature of the
North Atlantic expansion. At the end of the 15th
century. Western Europe broke out of the siege to
which it had been subjected by the triple force of the
Christian religion, the feudalism of the Frankish
Kings and the Islamic roadblocks of the Mediterranean
commercial routes.
The merchants who eventually established the
Caribbean slave plantations were in the forefront of
this outward movement having joined with regional
rulers to establish separate nation states driven by
expansionist commercial capitalism.
The key to this entire process was galloping
technological change. The leap was strictly a technol-
ogical one which has not advanced perhaps it has
not even sustained the human quality of our
One intellectual result of this has been the
idealisation of "science' by which people really
mean technology as the unique source of all
human progress. The next logical distortion was to
make Europe the fountain of scientific inquiry so
that the parading of scientific achievement became
not only the ideology of European liberation but
later, the instrument of European domination.
Science has not controlled European mercantile
and political expansionism nor led to efficient
exploitation ;ind utilisalion of the world's resources,
nor altered the organisation of world economy and
society in the interests of greater humanity.
Expansion had taken place before by the
Romans, the Mongols, the Mohammedans but
what characterized this particular phase of expansion
was the rapidity, the completeness and above all, the
almost total absence of social control. The Enterprise
of the Indies has been a saga of blood and
thunder, of murder, rape and plunder. The resulting
- "- I

West -Indian Social Sciences Index

. New World a Moko a Tapia

a Savaceu

1963- 1972

Subject and author ent-ics in one alphabetical sequence
Comprehensive coverage of all articles
Supporting cross references

Professionally prepared by a librarian at the University of the West Indies, St. Augustine,
the Index includes an Introduction by Dr. Gordon Rohlehr, Head of the English Depart-
ment,which places the publications in a social and historical context.

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_____ ~_~

Mt2 T-A-.PtA.-,IA

industrialization of the North Atlantic, achieved
through a colossal transfer of material resources and
a tremendous dislocation of traditional social organi-
zation, was bought at a fantastic price.
From our point of view in the Caribbean, we
Must acknowledge three basic forms of colonisation
by the maritime nations of Europe. Large scale
settlement by Europeuans in such countries as
Canada, Australia and New Zealand, the conquest by
a European elite over entire indigenous populations
such as in India. Indonesia and Africa East, West and
South: and the extermination of whole indigenous
peoples followed by the importation of new hewers
of wood and drawers of water for the benefit of a
transient metropolitan ruling class. This third case of
pure exploitation is most richly illustrated in the
Caribbean Ocean Sea.
Of course, there were combinations. The
United States is a combination settlement and ex-
ploitation; Latin America; so misnamed, is a com-:.
bination of of settlement and conquest.
Amongst the colonies of exploitation, Trinidad
(not Tobago), with its restless, rootless and volatile
mix of newly-come migrants is the example par
excellence. The degradation of both colonised and
colonizer, a feature of the entire Enterprise, has been
as coriplete as can be among us. Wallowing in self-
contempt has been for us an established way of life.
We have worshipped the large-scale social,
political and economic organisation which more
effective technology and improved material standards
of living have offered as a substitute for a better
Among us urbanisation, the break-up of the
extended family with its consequences in rampant'
individualism, and the uprooting of religion and
culture from their cosmic moorings with all the
twisting of creative, expression which that brings, all
of these are.basic planks of our daily existence. And
now the policy of pioneer industrial growth which
we have been so fiercely pursuing since 1950, has
anchored this colonial legacy to the giant multi-
national corporations in our midst.


hr the wider world, the consequence of-these
arrangements has been alienation, misery and psychic
--hame of--which the proletarianization, noted by
Marx.is merely one particular form, important mostly
for.the dispossessed within Europe itself. But basic to.
all the forms of alienation are the twin disabilities of
arrogance and impotence arising from the disruption
of the pattern of organic growth.
On the one hand, we then have a fool's paradise
where nature is thought to be totally in control of
man and on the other a fatalistic resignation to a
complete domination of man by nature. The clap-
trap about developed and developing countries is the
current mirror of this completely false distinction.
Other symptoms of the basic sickness are
racism, religious bigotry, class snobbery and the
totalitarian centralization of power.
These .are the conditions against which we in
the-movement have launched our revolt. Yet our
revolt is by no means the first. The reaction against
imperial capitalist expansionism is as old as the
expansionism itself. Who has forgotten the heroic
stand made in Santo Domingo in 1519 by Enriquillo,
the West Indian boy from Dominica, first in a long
line of Caribbean political leaders?
The North 'America, French and Latin Ameri-
can Revolutions have all been attempts to break the
stranglehold of Atlantic technological civilization.
But to whatever extent they may have cleared the-
ground for further revolt, none of them was in itself
: ThieNorth American Revolution did not des-
troy African slavery and did not therefore cure the
cancer of Aierican racism against which die battle
is raging still. The French Revolution was bourgeois,
it was not egalitarian; and the Latin American inde-'
pendence movements have had almost exclusively
elitest results.
The next phase of the revolt was the growth of
the socialist idea in Europe, an idea which went hand
in hand with the literary philosophy of romanticism.
Both arose out of the search for a more humane life
but the socialist solution has placed too heavy an
emphasis on materialism, the Romantic solution on
the imagination and the senses. The one was too
objective, the other too subjective.
The dialectical materialism of-Marx has led to
Stalinism and to the same conception of large-scale
industrialization, economic imperialism and arms
proliferation as has the capitalist organisation of the
United States. The romantic individualism and cult
of sensibility, so evident in the life of Shelley in
whom it was allied to a fundamental irresponsibility
Byron whose political idealism was mere quixotry
and Nietzsche, the doctrinal father of caudillismo,

SUNDAY MAY 18, 1975
has led by varying paths to Napoleonic'dictatorship,
to Hitler and, through various-literary and religious
nanifeslations in the 19th century such as Transcen-
dentalisn and theWalden Community to the present
Hippie Cults with their emphasis on communal living,
drugs, exotic religion and sex.
What our Governments have failed to do is to under-
stand their place in the total reaction against the
dehumanisation wrought by North Atlantic technol-
ogical expansion, a reaction of which their leaders
have themselves been a part.
Devoid of original thinking and adapted only
to the college-exhibition regurgitation of metropolitan
orthodoxy, the PNM has insisted on seeing Trinidad
and Tobago as merely a passive part of something
going on in the World as a whole; they have spinelessly
accepted definitions of ourselves imposed by opinion-
makers on the international stage and their robber-
talking spokesman has studiously ignored the necessity
to understand ourselves as lhe first step towards
building with our own resources.
The Tapia Movement now has to clear this
deadwood away;. Just as we have discarded all the
blind interpretations of reality which see only
"masses" and "bourgeoisie".and class-consciousness
but can never see a revolution while it is actually
taking place, so now we must reject all the calptrap
about MDC's and LDC's, about developing countries
and intermediate technology so dear to the colonised
mind; and now the new shibboleth of recolonisation.
Tapia must make a new interpretation of the
history being made around us. Trinidad and Tobago
does form part of a larger movement but our revolt
must find its fuel here and then in the West Indies.
Because the Tapia Movement is satisfied that
man is a responsible being, we can never permit our-
selves, in our approach to the people of this country,
in the discussions that we hold, in the style and
content of our newspaper and publications, the
manipulative zigzagging that is so much a part of the
actions and statements of the political parties and
the editorial scribes and, most shameful of all, of
the government, which has consistently substituted
such facile cynicism and defeatism for action.

These are the ways in which history shows us
the relationship between our\immediate experiences
and our interaction with the outside world. And
contemporary history i- the history which I have no
need to- expound because we have all shared in it -
explaifs to us why the reactions of our Government
has been the same'to problems of external politics as
to those of internal politics; cynicism and defeatism
instead of intelligent idealism, a defensive rather
than a constructive approach to the use of our
_natural resources; a disrespect of.self that leads
inevitably to vilification of others; and above all a
perpetual search for excuses that attributes all our
woes to the machinations of a succession of foreign
ddvils and which forms the content of all com-
munications on foreign affairs.
To quote.,Tapia Vol. 5 No. 16 of April 20th
talking about Williams' Point Fortin speech:
The speech also demonstrated that when it
comes: to. the matter which has excited the most
urgent public interest, the question of national
control of the petroleum industry, Williams
prefers to lead us on a trail of confusion that
reaches from Abu Dhabi to Indonesia. There is no
attempt to open up the issues, as they relate to
Trinidad and Tobago, fairly and'squarely. Playing
on our ignorance, he pretends to a familiarity
with events world-wide, that reveals only his
contempt for thepotential of this country and the
crashingly colonial and conventional cast of his
What kind of negotiations can we expect with
Texaco on the question of participation if we
start from the defeatist perspective that this
country is the "weakest link in tho international
petroleum chain "? Concluding his garbled review

of the world oil situation, Williams almost sighs
with relief when he says that "this would have
been the worst time for dealings with the Trinidad
situation where nobody would have cared what
happened to Trinidad and Tobago" because our
output of petroleum is so small. Praise be for
lidling prices and Dr. Kissinger counter-offensive.
And so on to the inescapable conclusion that we
cannot live without the corporations; a conclusion
bolstered, of course, by the inevitable colonial's
crutch of an outside reference: "If Indonesia
could do it, we could do it too ".
Again we see here Williams'political technique
of attempting to crush us with our own weakness
of feeding our sense of impotence and our convic-
tion of smallness and backwardness in order to
cover-up the colossal incompetence of his Govern-
ment. Williams has survived for two decades by
systematically denying us the information we
Seed to make proper judgments. (And he knows
what lie is doing, that is why he shrewdly con-
cedes in private that Tapia, enjoying no multitudin-
ou s flowing but equipped with: vehicles of
gteiinue polilncal education, is the most revolu-
tionary force in the country.)
He is. now gambling that we are too stupid to
know that if today we, or Abu Dhabi or what
have you, find it difficult to exercise effective
control over our natural resources, that has
nothing to do with a pre-ordained state of nature,
and everything to do with our own failure to
take the necessary steps to prepare ourselves for
effective .control.
Trinidad has been in the oil business since
1911. Williams has presided over our destinies for
twenty of those years. Why is it today we not only
lack a corps of men and women trained in the
skills needed to monitor, control, take charge of
oil, but even worse, we have no notion of what
kind of skills we reed to harness, to create the
basis for control?


If recolonisation is a danger, it is a danger in
that politics, like everything else, abhors a vacuum,
and that if a vacuum exists where a West Indian
nation should.be, then the remedy is not to curse the
Venezuelans, the Mexicans, the Canadians, the
Jamaicans and the Cubans for doing what comes
naturally, but to take positive steps to build a West
Indian nation, and to equip the region, starting with
ourselves, with the political and technical wherewithal
to deal with the world outside.
The dire warnings that Williams is now/issuing
about Venezuela and Mexico, Canada and Cuba, his
call for agencies to control transnational corpora-
tions, would be plausible if they could be shown to
be frustrating efforts made by him to direct our
foreign policy towards Caribbean integration,
towards an economic future based on control by
the Caribbean of its own resources.
But in fact these complaints come precisely at
a time when Williams is inviting a whole host of
multinational corporations from the USA and Japan
to do the work of industrialisation for him. Who is
he then to criticise Jamaica for talking to Mexico, the
'LDC's for getting a loan from Venezuela? In a way,
it. makes a lot more sense to have Venezuelan invest-
mert than to have Japanese or American.
And above all, what are we to think of com-
plaints about Venezuelan economic penetration of
the Caribbean coming from the man at whose invita-
tion Venezuelan warships stood by off the coast of
this country ready to land troops to shoot citizensof
Trinidad and Tobago?
To put it another way how can Williams hope
to free himself from the undue influence of any
country when his policy toward that country has
been one of bootlicking self-abasement altertifting
with irresponsible verbal tirades?
As early as 1962 Williams' combination of
authoritarianism and subservience astonished the
civilised world when he summarily handed over to
the Venezuelan government a group of hijackers who
had landed a plane at Piarco and demanded political
asylum. Deny them asylum, yes; deport them else-
where, yes; try them under whatever laws you may
have on your books; but do it in accordance with a
clear policy 'and with full concern for your own
national sovereignty. Do not, under any circum-
stances,merely hand them back unceremoniously
for the purpose of currying favour with a particular
regime. Everywhere in the world, and in Latin
America particularly, the question of political
asylum as it relates to national sovereignty is an
extremely delicate one, and precedents set ill it are
hard to get away from.
Continued on Page I 1.

SUNDAY MAY 18, 1975

completed its second run at the
Little Carib Theatre on Sunday
30th March, a run which was
very successful despite the set-
backs posed by the country's
industrial crisis. As Walcott
observed in a short commentary
(Trinidad Guardian, March 22),
this second production of the
play barely three months after
the first represented a new
attempt to introduce continuous
theatre in the region. The Joker
was well able to carry off this
We are accustomed to a
high standard of theatre from
Walcott, however controversial
in content. But he has certainly
found fresh levels of accomplish-
ment in this musical, responsible
for the tremendous reception it
got from its large audiences. The
play reached out, in fact, to
expand the country's theatre
audience. Already its musical
score has passed into our every-
day experience, much as the
music of Carnival does. It is a
sure sign of the way in which
good theatre becomes part of a
people's cultural experience. This
is a measure of the strong
regional appeal of The Joker.
When we consider that Walcott
is adapting an original distant both in
time and setting seventeenth cen-
tury Spain this regional appeal
becomes all the more impressive, even
curious. It is necessary to take a close
look at Walcott's effort in recasting
the original, to appreciate the factors
which were responsible for this
remarkable achievement.


Walcott is working to two main
principles in adapting De Molina's El
Bulador de Sevilla. Firstly, he frees
the timeless significance of an ancient
legend, and, releasing a theme close
to the spirit of modern times, angles
it to draw out an intrinsic relevance
to our own situation. Secondly, he
exploits the dramatic style of the
musical to serve this basic purpose. Its
open, non-naturalistic form allows him
to ply between foreign and local
strains to bring out this relevance in
"seamless transitions". It is a techni-
que which serves to bring out the
parallels by showing sameness in
The "difference" is always the
more immediate feature in this kind
of fusion, and it accounts for the
single most original element in the
play: the use of native creole rhythms
drawn from West 'Indian folk forms,
song and dance. They are imaginatively
exploited to distill the relevance of
the Don Juan legend to the native
experience, in our own terms and
modes of expression. The play is
working all the time to find rhythmic
counterparts between the foreign and "
the local.
Thus, at the centre of the play,
is the figure of the stickfighter, the
local counterpart to the Spanish
courtier. The spirit of Juan's triumph
is caught in the rhythms of the local
stickfight, corresponding to the
sword-fight of the Spanish original.
This is not to overlook the combina-
tion of foreign and local elements
present especially in the musical
content of the play. Many remained
unhappy with this combination,
resulting from the joint of effort
of Walcott and Gait McDermot.
But the point is that this blend
is well subordinated to the underlying
effort to realise the correspondences
in native rhythms. The play is control-
led in such a way that all the major

The Joker of Seville

A Review by

Pat Ismnond

Nigel Scott as Don Juan rebelling against rigid formulas and eplodig repressive sinecures
Nigel Scott as Don Juan rebelling against rigid formulas and exploding repressive sinecures .


Brea 1/1*i9 r /

' '- --


climaxes where foreign and local
coalesce are rendered in West Indian
terms. The shipwreck sequence which
brings Juan to the New World is
dramatised in terms of the middle
passage experience. The celebration
of Tisbea's rape, where the New
World takes up the burden of Juan's
quest for freedom, is patterned on
local forms of possession cults. Juan's
climactic" duel with Don Gonzalo, the
embodiment of repressive traditions,
is symbolic of his will to triumph
over adversity: it is performed to the
ritual strains of the stickfight. This is
an important aspect of the play to
which we will return later.
Walcott retains the framework
of De Molina's plot to free the
universal significance of the legend. It
serves as the base from which he
appropriates the wider meanings.
Juan, the rebel courtier of Seville,
makes a career of seducing women.
He offends, thereby, against the
Spanish codes of honour and chastity.
But Juan's sexual exploits serve a
positive purpose. In engaging his
women in these violations he brings
out into the open the libido, the in-
ordinate appetite which is the root,'
element of all human desire. Its
excesses and desperation are provoked
by the very fact of human limitations
and denials, and are thus existential.
It begins from the lust for an impos-
sible completion, fraught with the
fears and anxieties posed by these
The violation which Juan
practices mirrors this existential truth.
The Spanish tradition of honour
shortcircuits and conceals this disturb-

ing truth. Its codes of propriety and
chastity are held out as absolutes
which fix men's rightful place above
the reaches of appetite. Libido is thus
proscribed as unnatural: which means
that the code is erected on a principle
of repression and self-deception. There
is a basic human failing responsible for
this deception. It is the desire to find
a definitive system which will rule out
the contradictions, and thus provide a
sinecure. The Spanish code is such a
sinecure: a substitute for God. In the
king's words to Isabella, honour "isn't
owned by you or me, it is the word of
God". It must be upheld by the God-
given rule of Justice, whose necessary
instrument is merciless vengeance.


In rebelling against its rigid
formulas, Juan exposes the lie on
which the Spanish code is founded.
He explodes its repressive sinecures to
come into stark confrontation with
the chaos of our natural subjection to
these appetites. He gains freedom to
indulge them fully. It is through this
very course that he comes to recog-
nise the moral challenge they pose as
the sole medium of human struggle
for fulfilment. This is the kind of
awareness Juan arouses in the women
he violates. Their loves, broken free
from the prescribed codes of chastity,
assume their true incontinent and
troubled features.
Significantly, most of the


women had been planner, ;i r -c:rec
meetings wii their lv:\: ;(o take
what was theirs "a JitBie L.'fCo-'_" ie
rules allowed. Juan takes :: place of
these lovers to show up the true
image of these desires in its most
naked guise. The freedom Juan brings
them is thus two-sided and complex.
It begins with the freedom to enter
fully into the violations, and from
there to face two final possibilities:
either to succumb to the threats and
destructive forces of these violations:
or to take up the challenge of finding
a measure of love within those tragic
necessities, without hope of any
outside justification. It is the choice of
losing or finding themselves.
This is the fundamental moral
dialectic at the heart of the play, and
it represents Walcott's abiding pers-
pective on the meaning of freedom.
Freedom carries this dual burden: it is-
the choice either to lose or find


The relevance of the' Don Juan
legend to our own situation begins
from here.The dialectic is presented in
terms of Women's Liberation, but the
whole issue of paternalism versus
independent, self-detcrministic effort
is one which includes but goes Ifurther
than Women's Lib. If, in theliier-
archies of society's establishments,
women are subjugatledl to niien. men
higher upi le scal ie a ie unless sub-


' ^-. "

and,-.a,"l'C/c i /t

SUNDAY MAY 18, 1975

jugated .to the paternalistic principle
which runs through the system. In the
terms of the play the need for libera-
tion applies as much to men as to
women. The women, representing the
creative principle, serve a mainly
symbolic role in The Joker.
Juan's role in arousing this
awareness is at once demonic and
beneficent, since he must violate in
order to free. His penetration of the
contradictions involve bitterness and
outrage, at the absurd gap between
human aspirations and limitations.
Juan takes up the challenge defiantly.
He assumes the character of the joke
Splayed by existence itself, his irrelev-
ant attitudes reflecting its mockery.
The strategy of the joker is to
laugh in the face of this grave
mockery. The defiance of his laughter
carries the will to exult over it "to
change to elation each grave situation"
-though the strains are perhapsimore
mocking than exultant. The blend
finds expression in the devilish charm
of Juan's personality. Nigel Scott
captured its impish spirit very effec-
tively, though at times the effort to
sustain that dynamic left him some-
what breathless, and 'blurred his
Yet, while the affirmative pur-
pbse of Juan's role as the joker
prevails in the play, he is himself
doomed as an individual to a tragic
end. It is an ironic twist in the drama.
The irony of the situation is that
Juan has become immured in the
very resistance which is supposed to
free him: he cannot move beyond it.
It has hardened into the unyielding
force of the. superman, from the very
intensity with which he penetrates
the mockery. The struggle becomes a
matter of matching his own force
against the odds, to overwhelm or-be
overwhelmed by them an effort in
which he -is destined to be the loser.
He cannot find the strength of
humility, which is the strength of
'surrendering' to creative choice with-
-in the pattern of tragic necessity.
Thus, when he tries to repent
towards the end, the voice of a
woman comes to counsel this humility
and love in surrender. But, "irresolute
and proud/ (he) can never go back"
(Walcott, "Crusoe's Island"). In the
course of this 'proud struggle he has
become "not a man, but. a force" as he
puts it, drained of humanity. Incap-
able of destroying the odds, he falls
victim to the rigours of a hell which
he himself has allowed to become


It is important to understand
the meaning of Juan's failure in the
dialectic of the play. Walcott is not
adhering to the anachronistic code of
Vengeance. Juan's error is at the
opposite extreme of the imprison-
ment in codes. The true principle of
moral freedom, the principle which
comes to fruition in the women, lies
in the middle ground between these
two negative poles the imprison-
ment in codes, and Juan's unyielding
It is this positive principle which
the joker pursues in spirit, and it
prevails to affirm tfe values of the
play. Juan the joker th'Us survives as
the genius of this message: to find
elation in facing the challenge un-
flinchingly, without self-pity, sans
humanite. The burden is expressed in
the theme song Sans Humanite, with
which the first production concluded
(it is replaced by Little Red Bird in
the second production to stress the
theme of freedom). It is Walcott's
own emphasis, and represents the
meaning he distills out of the timeless
theme of freedom preserved in the
original legend.
What authentic bearings does
this theme have on the West Indian

situation? This is the motivating
concern behind Walcott's adaptation.
In passing on to this final question, it
is impossible to miss the close link
between Juan's rebellious role and
the spirit of modern times. Juan's
effort as arch-rebel is the paradigm of
modern man's effort to resist ortho-
doxies and establishments in order to
confront existential contradictions
and the imperatives of choice.
The twentieth century motto
"God is dead" heralded this aware-
ness which does .not necessarily
extend into existentialist doctrine. To
the existentialist, the contradictions
spell an absurdity which undermines
man's very being and leaves him a
.non-entity; to the existential joker the
chaos means a mockery he must elude.
The one begins from the sense of life
as a void; the other from a sense of
active crisis which never questions the
reality of life. But-whether or not it
ends in existentialism, modern belief
finds its point of departure in the
recognition of an existential challenge.
The legend of Don Juan thus
speaks' immediately to the modern
consciousness on the most essential
levels. The Juan who sets out to wage.
love, not war in defence of creeds, is
truly close to the spirit of modern
times. This "timeli-ness" is a measure
of his timelessness, and the latter, the
basis of his shifting persona in the
play. He is 'nobody' and everybody (a
recurrent motif in the play), belongs
nowhere and everywhere. He moves
with ease from Spanish to West Indian
setting, glances in passing at the con-
temporary metropolitan scene.
To Walcott, this intrinsic relev-
ance of the Don Juan legend applies
uniquely to our own situation as a
people emerging out of a certain
history. The challenge which the
joker uncovers is the very challenge
that the denials of history have left
us to face; th'l promise of freedom
which this challenge holds is uniquely
our own promise as a New World
The middle passage experience
dispossessed the peoples of the region
of their parent traditions, especially
the black man of his roots in Africa.

Its corruption and violence were,
moreover, a product of the collapse
of the Old World civilization, the
failure of the traditions of the master.
We were shipwrecked onto these
shores with this breakage. As victims
of these dual privations dispossessed
of parent traditions and left only with
a heritage of broken values we are
truly in a position of "traditionless-
ness", a new race existing outside
cultural establishments.
A people, therefore, who are in
a unique position to see through the
falsehoods and constraints of such
systems, and who must, to use the
popular phrase, "do their own thing".
To put it another way, we ,start off
with an advantage over the Old World
Juan. While he has to go through the
process of stripping the customs bare
to expose the truth we are already

Z-e --v

Kt the Ol Worl
unta Kintg as Tisbea seeking the respectabilir rthar belontgs to the Old World

placed in the original condition
through history. The condition is a
predicament; but, as with Juan, this
very predicament becomes our advant-
Without any props to rely on,
we are open to a more intense experi-
ence of the chaos, and a greater
lucidity into its imperatives. In this
lies the potential advantage of being
roused to the authentic challenge, as
in Juan's case. Catalinion, Juan's
servant, is referring to this advantage
when he rebukes Anfrisofor betraying
the promise of his freedom. Anfriso
is the freed slave who aspires to
remake himself only in the image of
Spanish bonour. Catalinion says "You
have a chance to remake things,
instead you accept them. That's


Old and New World Juan thus
meet at this point in The Joker. The
Spanish =Juan passes from- the Old
World scene to the New in the middle-
passage sequence. The image of ship-
wreck combines both the Old World's
crisis of disillusionment and the
ravage and destitution of the New
World. Juan looks to a fresh under-
taking of the challenge in a setting
bare of all the old illusions and
props. His encounter with Tisbea is
the symbol of this new effort. Their
sexual relationship signifies the rape
of the New World, and its awakening
to experience. In Tisbea Juan looks
forward to ideal resources which have
been missing from his earlier con-
quests. He looks forward to a "simple,
unremorseful Eve" that is, an
innocence free from the repressive
guilt and recriminations built into
man's orthodox compromises, and
capable of a fearless, native vitality
in meeting the strife.
But what Juan actually finds
falls far short of this expectation. The
new region has betrayed its promise,
and failed to exploit its potential.
The Joker is thus engaged in a close
critical focus on the region, as it
examines the parallels between the
mistakes of the older societies and
our own. The New World too yearns
for sinecures, for the earnests of
success deceptively meted out in
codes and customs. At root the
yearning harbours the same failing
identified in the Spanish code. It
withholds independent confrontation
with the existential challenge, and
involves the same kind of deception
perpetrated in the Old World creeds.
Walcott's general critical out-
look on the society is based on a view
which begins from this insight that
"society has taken the old direction".
This is what continues to impel- the

colonial towards the values and
customs of the former master. They
still exert fascination as measures of a
tangible prosperity. Tisbea seeks her
self-esteem in the proprietorship of
marriage to Juan, equating this esteem
with its codes of respectability and
stability. Juan, encountering the same
disillusionment, has "wasted a trip":
"Old World, New World, they're all
one". The Ballad of the Middle Passage
sums up the common failing which
makes Old and New World One:
................... but I'm
not sure, now I'm alive
which is the worse disaster, for

this New World, its promised
is nothing but the Old one, as
long as men are beasts and beasts
still bear their master's burden.

The issue is further examined in
the case of Anfriso, who eventually
attacks Juan in the form of a mad
bull-fighter. Anfriso, is the.prototype
of the freed native who pursues
realisation and dignity in the traditions
of the master. In the play he makes
a symbolic journey to the Spanish
motherland to secure its faith. He
finds instead only the mockery and
travesties of this ideal in the Old
World. He has been duped and
deceived which is what his image
as the mad bull-fighter signifies. Juan
stands generally for the shattering of
these illusions. To the distracted
Anfriso Juan is the despoiler respons-
ible for his betrayal and deception. He
seeks revenge on Juan, still harbouring
the illusion that he is defending the
principle ofhonour. But Juan expresses
the truth as Anfriso falls: "It is not
honour but madness kills for the
revenge of cuckoldry". Anfriso falls
victim to his own self-destructive rage
and distraction when he is duped by
his own misconceived ambitions.


Walcott is dwelling here on the
self-betrayal and moral suicide in-
volved in this adoption of the master's
burden on the part of colonised
peoples. The basic moral complex
being examined in this context reflect
on failings that may still be embedded
in the attitudes of the society. This is
of fundamental significance. In revolu-
tionary times, when we no longer pay
deference to foreign values and
customs at least ostensibly we
like to think that we have passed that
stage of servitude and dependence.
We may not have gone so far beyond
that stage as we imagine, which is
part of what The Joker is saying.
But over and above this, there

Continued on Page 9




Speeches Show

SUNDAY MAY 18, 1975

Reports of Gel



THE Second Sitting of
the Tapia Annual General
Assembly sent people
home thinking very
deeply, after a day of
unusually frank exchange
on the platform and
some hard hitting critic-
ism. Some comments
heard after referred to a
healthy exercise in dem-
ocracy, others revealed
members who had no
taste ..for very candid
The occasion contrasted
greatly with the almost
euphoric Sunday of speechify-
ing.and communion that had
been the First Sitting on
March .. last. Doubtless
at the SWWTU Hall, there
were the echoes of the soulful
presentations by Pat Downes
and Sheilah Solomon the
exciting vision sketched by
Ivan Laughlin and the scintil-
lating oration of Michael
Harris plus all the usual

This time, there assembled
a more limited gathering of
members in closed session,
engaged strictly on the dis-
cussion of internal business.
None of the lavish lunch of
March. A soft drink, black
pudding and bread or cheese
if you want.
Chairman Lowhar opened
and reported at length on
the responsibilities in the
National Executive. He ela-
borated the position he had
first outlined at the corres-
ponding session last year and
which had been the subject
of a too-extended discussion
at the Executive thereafter.
In 1974 Lowhar had
deplored the failure of the
Executive- to come up to
mark. The unsatisfactory
working of that -Agency, he
thought, had persisted into
1975 with too much decision
centred in the Secretariat.
The Chairman felt that,
for one thing, more pre-
meeting discussion was called
for a matter in which the

Secretary should be more
involved. The Chairman's
part, he thought, was to
defend the democracy of the
Lowhar explained that he
did not therefore fancy an
Executive Chairman for
Tapia something which
had been avoided thus far.
He had not been encouraged
by the experience of other
political organizations with
Executive Chairman inclined
to be active.
The Chairman warned
that it is not possible to
build a democratic organisa-
tion by autocratic means.
Lowhar informed the
General Assembly that last
year he had personally
written to the Executive
offering to be relieved of his
duties but he had not meant
to stage a Second coming in
the tradition of Doctor
In 1975-76, he did not
wish to be considered for
another term as Chairman.

Lowhar praised the work of
the organisation and made
special mention of the Fund
Raising Committee.
Following the Report of
Treasurer Angela Cropper (see
opposite page) Secretary
lUoyd Best described the
occasion as one particularly
not suited to railroading the
membership into positions
by playing on any doubts
and fears.
Tapia, he continued, had
had to be making fundamental
choices as the national crisis
had developed apace. We had
reached a stage in which
Doctor Politics had passed
through a Direct Docracy
without either parliament or
party into a-third phase of
Bendevolent Doctatorship.
Now' the troops had been
set out to graze on the hopes
of the bewildered country.
At this stage, as the incom-
petence and the ineptitude
of the Government expos-ed
themselves, people are being

forced to say where they
stand and therefore all the
institutions were splitting up
especially the Church.
Tapia necessarily had its
own strains and stresses in
relation to the national crisis.
We had been taking position
on the recent upsurge of
trades union politics in the
South of the country.
At a Council meeting
before the celebrated religious
procession, we had sought to
take measures to help the
opposition forces to avoid a
repetition-of the mistakes of
1970. The old protest politics
had nevertheless prevailed.
The Secretary said that
the idea of confronting the
Govt. without first preparing
political organisation was
tantamount to doing no
work during the year and
then hoping to sway the
General Assembly with a
Best urged that a clash'of
values even inside Tapia
Continued on Page 8

A. Kamrckersiglh Shecilah Solomon
1st Vice Chairman

eau I ewarte
Community Relations Sec.



Allan- Harris Administrative Sec.

Syl Lownar

Education Sec.


reral Assembly

Treasurer Reveals Poor Financial State.

THE financial position
of the Tapia Group
continues to be extremely
poor. This was revealed
to members of the organ-
isation at last Sunday's
Annual GeneralAssembly
by outgoing treasurer
Angela Cropper.
The treasurer explained
to members, that the income
of the group was held in two
accounts, the Group Account
and the Special Fund
Account. Income to the
Group Account derived from
membership fees and dues
continued to be very small.
The treasurer revealed that
for the past administrative
year membership fees and
monthly dues collected
amounted to only $215.00.
.I.,i, out that the
amouiitiing ofi dues outstand-
ing for the period amounted
to more than eleven hundred
dollars the treasurer called
on inembers to shoulder their
responsibility for the payment
of their dues.
The Special Fund, she
iiislMB 'iiiiirr ,^..~

went on to explain, is made
up of pledges, donations,
gift and income from fund-
raising activity. ,The monies
in this fund are supposed to
be used for the acquisition
of group assets like land,
equipment, furniture etc., as
well as to make capital reduc-
tions on outstanding debts
incurred by the group.


The treasurer then revealed
that while for the past year
more than seven thousand
dollars had been credited to
this account these sums
continue to be used in areas
other than those for which
they were intended.
The main reason for this
she revealed was the con-
tinued need to subsidise the
operations of the paper. She
stressed that. "The paper
should either pay for itself
or theoretically the cost
should be borne by the

i._ i

group account." But under
present circumstances, she
added, the group account
was clearly incapable of
financing the paper while for
two main reasons the paper
continued to have little
chance of becoming self-
The first reason, she

pointed out, was the diffi-
culty in obtaining com-
mercial advertising. The
obviously political nature of
the paper, the announced
policies of the group and the
hard line taken on many
issues were some of the
reasons she felt why business-
men were reluctant or
opposed to advertising in
the paper.
In addition, she explained,
the circulation of the paper
could not be compared with
that of the dailies or the
other weekly, again because
it was a frankly political
paper and also because it
devoted itself to a serious
commentary on the issues
and clearly was not a form of
light entertainment.
"For these reasons ex-
penses incurred in printing
the newspaper continue to
far exceed receipts, resulting
in larger commercial bank
overdrafts and mounting
credit from suppliers." This
situation, she warned could'
not continue indefinitely.

The treasurer went on to
make an appeal to all mem-
bers to lend their support to
attempts to improve the
financial position of the
group in whatever way they
could. She then outlined 10
ways in which each member
could do their bit to help.
1) By selling the paper
2) By paying membership
dues regularly and on time.
3) By canvassing for dona-
tions and gifts.
4) By making a personal
pledge of whatever amount
and paying it regularly.
5) By selling Tapia jerseys
and other items:.
6) By assisting the Fund
raising committee in its
7) By organising fund-
raising ventures of your own.
8) By donating your time
and services to the office.
9) By soliciting jobs for
the Printing Co.
10) By recruiting others
who are prepared to work in
fund-raising activity.

_, r:..i,.
...:_. .:


2lod lie Chlaimdlh
2nd Vice Chairman

Business Manager

Voliey Pierre

Lennox Grant

I ..'~ I. .,.


SUND)AY MAY 181, 1975


l'rnTesM Icssiar



A Testing

From Page 6
- could not be avoided, a
clash between the politics of
work and systematic building
and the politics of magic and
huffing and puffing.
The Secretary said he
noticed that new people with
new potentials were emerging
.in Tapia. A certain amount
of rivalry- between interests
was bound to be present. The
only reasonable thing was
that those who remained in
positions did so in relation to
work accomplished every day,
every week, every year.
The ranking of men in
relation to work was a matter
for the rank and file alone.
To do it properly, the Secre-
tary- said that he had pro-
posed certain electoral re-
forms for Tapia.
Commenting on actual
work in Tapia, Lloyd Best
said that morale in the organ-
isation could not have been
higher. The Assemblies had
been consistently of high
quality even if they had also

SUNDAY MAY 18, 1975


been consistently smaller
than anticipated a matter
which we needed to consider
very hard.
The Council of Repre-
sentatives had settled down
well in spite'of the fact that
local groups were still all the
time being formed. The local
groups were stirring strongly
now in certain areas even
with -much fear of politics
stalking the country.
Tapia could definitely
work ,on the basis of con-
stituencies and he was
optimistic, said the Secretary,
of further gains to come .
if only the work were
Best said that he wanted
to join the Chairman in
'paying special tribute to the
Fund Raising Committee for
the breakthrough it had
made. The other Committees
needed to be more active.
Local leaders had made an
excellent effort but the
National Executive was carry-
ing too much deadweight.
Work, concluded, the

Secretary was the key and
that raised the question of
political values and of
political method. Tapia
people had to choose
between competing values
inside the organisation as well
as outside.
Following the Reports at
last, Sunday's Assembly, dis-
cussions took up many
pointed issues. The Editorial
policy of the paper was
queried in relation to report-
ing on the political situation.
To the functioning of the
print-shop; to the working of
the Executive and other.

Denis Solomon argued
against the ranking proposed
by the Secretary and wonder-
ed whether it would be wise
to extend the size of the
National Executive. He
warned that in the discussion
of Tapia affairs, no inter-


co m-tte

Baldwin Mootoo
MEMBERS -of the Fund-
raising committee came
i, for fulsome praise at
last Sunday's General
Assembly. Both the
Chairman,. S_1 Lowhar
and the Secretary Lloyd
Best took time off in
their addresses to extend
their sincere thanks to
the committee for the
work it is doing.
The Cominittee which has
been operating in-its present
format for the past six
months or so is still small,
composed only of about six
regular members. Yet, under
the vigorous chairmanship of
Baldwin Mootoo the com-
rmittee has succeeded in
opening up many avenues for
exploration and its scale of
activities grows wider every
If- ...

The first major enterprise
upon which the committee
embarked was an Old Year's
Night fete at the home of
Sydney and Paula Williams.
Although the attendance at
the fete was smaller that
anticipated the fete is still
well remembered by those
who attended for its magnifi.
cent setting and its absolutely
delicious food.
Since that time the Com-
mittee has been engaged in
numerous activities including
catering for all large Tapia
occasions as well as organis-
ing semi-monthly cake-sales
the latest and most success-
ful of which took place just
a week ago on the occasion
of mothers-day.
In addition individual
members of the committee
have been responsible for
staging on their own initiative

fund-raising efforts which
have met with much success.
The Committee is also in
charge of soliciting and col-
lecting monthly pledges from
Tapia members all over.
The greatest problem
facing the committee at
present is its small size. The
present scale of activities has
stretched the human re-
sources of the committee to
its fullest.
Tapia members are en-
couraged to consider
volunteering some of their
time and energies to aiding
the work of the committee,
particularly with the organisa-
tion in such desperate need
of funds.
Other members of the
committee are Angela
Cropper, Paula Williams, Pat
Downes, Junior Wiltshire,
and Lynette Atwell.

pretation could be said to be
the one truth.
Augustus Ramrekersingh
felt that the members of the
Senate had not been consult-
ing the other branches as
fully as was necessary. He
criticised one release to the
press by the Secretary which
he felt could have been mis-
interpreted as- it went and
could have profited from
Dennis Pantin hoped that
Tapia would not make such
mistakes as to produce z
mistakes as to produce
another monster like the
present national movement.
Michael Harris said that

he would be brief because all
that he wanted to support
was work. Tapia was not a
Church and those did not
want to work should simply
go to Church.
Lennox Grant deplored
the growth in ill-humour
which had appeared in Tapia
in the recent time of crisis
and said he did not go for
too much of the' current
cross-talk. He wanted instead
to focus on a great deal of
looseness in the Executive
for which we have all been
responsible and which must
be tightened up in future.


Participatory Democracy C.V. Gocking
We are in a State Ivan Laughlin

1 Black Power and National Reconstruction
Lloyd Best
2 Black Power in Human Song Syl Lowhar
4+5 Constitution Reform Tapia's Proposals
Government and Politics in the West Indies
Lloyd Best
6 The Machinery of Government and Reform
of the Public Service Denis Solomon
Constitution of the Tapia House Group and
Related Documents
1 Democracy or Oligarchy? C.V. Gocking
2 Power to the People
3 Tapia's New World
4 Prospects for our Nation Lloyd Best
5 Whose Republic?
6 Honourable Senators ,
Bound Volumes
Vol. 1 (Nos. 15 23)
Vol. 1 No. 26 Vol. 2 No. 13
Vol. 3 (1973)
Vol. 4 (Nos. 1 26)






Tapia House 82-84 St 'Vincent Street Tunapuna.



IS SteSPANhens

he Jok er of Seville

From Page 5

is an implicit point which extends
outside this immediate context.
Walcott believes that the same funda-
mental failing may still be at work in
our righteous devotions to Black
Power and the cult of Africa. lHe has
one insistent reservation about these
revolutionary directions. They may
still serve as substitute ideals replacing
those of the master, and answering to
ite misguided needs for absolute
props. This has earned him the
reputation of being insensitive to the
needs of the region, but it deserves
serious reflection.
He puts the case in an important essay,
"What the Twilight Says which sums
up his position: "The African escape
is escape to another dignity. .... The
West Indian mind prefers to narrow
its eyelids in a schizophrenic day-
dream of an Eden that existed before
its exile. Its fixation is for the breasts
of a nourishing mother".
Walcott has made die most
penetrating study of this complex in
the figure of Corporal Lestrade, a
central character in his climactic
play, Dream on Monkey Mountain.
Lestrade is representative .
endemic, schizopirenic split betvc.:
black and white in the cotoni'
psyche. Lestrade is ungrounded: :
switches from total dcpendqnice on "
white Order to a black one as -imje-
change in. the region. hI the coion.i;
era he finds his ballast in white ;n
lure. He is commiteLd to its law as n.i
sole means of eradicating thei con !:.,
and conitradicdons which make i'
disorder. The black man must b:

T 1 1

When lie switches over to Black
Power in revolutionary times, it
holds the same basic value for him.
The externals change but die ethic
remains the same: lie looks to the
black code to regulate an Order
obliterating all native contradictions.
It entails tie same evasion of choice in
struggle and shortcircuiting of self-
deterministic effort. It is a valuable
criticism, one which urges a moral
stock-taking necessary to reinforce
revolutionary purpose, and set it along
the right tracks. What is says, finally,
is that it is just as easy for ite black
nu:m to we:! a black mask as it is to
wear a white one which is an even
ri-e we'irdi st:tte of affairs. Blackness
cten remains artifice rather than true
The Joker's concern with servi-
tude to white values is thus far from
irrelevant to the current movements
in the society. It also raises the
question, as earlier observed, whether
the region has gone so far past that
servitude at this stage. The play moves
to take a direct look by contrast
wvil -ihe symbolically ordered Tisbea
rad i'.. iso incidents -- at local atti-
,e' iic'd ieaitures where the failing.
;:ir.ivh,.s in various guises and disguises.
C.'. ?e' such a close-up of the society
i thie wedding festival Juan storms
'rig his exile to Lebriya. The
i-.i d wedding is celebrated in
,:o1iy pageantry: all the country
i.ok don the finery of dukes and
::,, i.,,.s for the occasion. The
siCeic!e is a very West Indian one in
ite, spirit and character, and mirrors
': ,ve flair for pageantry and play-
the grand scale. The scene
is .. i,,; modelled on certain French

creole flower festivals surviving in St.
La Rose andMargu'ritd represent
rival loyalties, which are draimaised in
terms ol'a feud between royal factions.
West Indians have always had this
tendency t(. adopt the modes and
styles of 'high' culture to satisfy their
natural love of fantasy. This genius for
mimicry carries its creative aspects.
There is imaginative vitality in the
invariable effects of comedy and
parody present in such play-acting.
But these more happy effects
stem from a susceptibility which is
quite deeply entrenched in our serious
intentions and objectives. Mimicry is
not only a matter of play-acting but
becomes woven into the very life-style
of the region. The styles a'nd fashions
of more "sophisticated" societies are
cultivated as standards of advancement
and social mobility. They are exploited
as means to those ends. It is a
bourgeois mentality to which the
common man, no less than the
middle class, is prone.
To, the canaille at Batricio's
wedding, the pageantry has market-
able value. Batricio's profit-minded
attitudes reveal this-quite clearly. He
measures his worth in terms of the
borrowed dignities his money can
buy; and these illusions, vulgar though
they remain, are just as frenetic as
the more "noble" aspirations of
Arifriso. They represent "another
kind of lust". We get a freeze of the
pageant as .-uan makes a critical
appraisal of these buried motives. (The
second production was considerably
improved by the freeze technique,
which 'served to highlight these
critical perspectives). Juan is the

detached spectator commenting on
the scene:
.... just like the bourgeois
because their bfrced prosperity
is based on what goes on at
all that shrewd eccentricity
is profit, they still sell you short.
. they despise the age
They live in like their own
so, they dress up in the image
of dons, princes and duchesses.
4.sn't that another kind of lust?
To curse the court, then say 'Let
dress up like those who grind us
in the dust".

Juan has earlier exposed another
travesty nestling in the bourgeois
pretensions to propriety and respect-
ability. The society still depends on
borrowed formalities and sophistica-
tions to maintain the illusion of being
The New World that Isaw
wasn 't Eden. Eden was dead
or worse, it had been converted
to modesty. No Indian goes
naked there. They're all dressed
to kill.

All these concerns derive from
Walcott's fundamental-irrsight into a
new society "taking the old direction",
and leaves the relevance of The Joker
intrinsic. They all radiate from one
central perspective, contrary to Denis
Solomon's criticism that Walcott "has
never been able to resist an incidental
theme" (Tapia, 8 December 1974).

To be Continued.

Au! o any

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Of people who know
how to cope

with rising





SUNDAY MAY 18, 1975

SUNDAY MAY 18, 1975


WHEN Independence
was achieved by the
Latin American coun-
tries, the nations had
been declared, rather
than formed, and Spanish
imperialist ruling cliques
were replaced by Latin
American ruling cliques.
The Viceroy with his
dictatorial powers was
substituted by a military
or civil caudillo but
without the constraints
imposed on a viceroy by
'the metropolis. And the
landowners, the Catholic
clergy, the lawyers, the
businessmen, in a word,
those sectors who con-
sidered themselves posi-
tioned to fill the vacuum
left by the metro-
colonial Civil Servants
started jockeying for
This naked manoeuvering
for power was ideologically
disguised by the rhetoric of
independence and by the
genuine determination of a
literate minority to uncover
and define the distinctiveness
and originality of American
experience, landscape,
language and peasant type.
The results of this adven-
ture in the formation of
nationalist sensibilities were
often contradictory and con-
fusing, apart from being
limited to the literate
minority. This "progressive"
minority wished to turn
away from the Hispanic herit-
age, conceived of as retrogres-
sive and medievalist, and to
achieve modernity by immer-
sion in the precepts and
artistic modalities of the
French. They became'at least
intellectually hispanophobes
and francophiles. In fact

Critical Approaches To Ruben Dario

An Underdeveloped Poet?"

some could positively be
accused of francomania.
This often led to a disas-
trous divorce between langu-
age and reality. Ideal
constitutions were written
and rewritten with the
expectation that by some
magical means political
sophistication would thereby
be achieved, completely
without reference to the
illiteracy and crushingly
feudal conditions of the
majority of the populations.
A French writer, Chateau-
briand,had written stories in
which idealized Indian heroes
featured. This kind of writing
gave rise to poems and
stories in Latin America in
which heroic Indians con-
fronted cruel Spaniards,
while the downtrodden des-
cendants of these heroic
Indians were being treated
like pariahs by the descend-
ants of these cruel Spaniards
who formed the creole
populations of the countries
In fact, all the evolution-
ary theories with their racist
underpinnings which eman-
ated from Europe in the
nineteenth century found a
receptive audience in Latin
America giving the ruling
classes a further sense of
right in exploiting the Indian.
negro and mestizo masses.
As a corollary, governments
in many countries promoted
European, mainly Italian,
Above all, from the point
of view of cultural perspec-
tives, Spanish-s p e a k i n g
America discovered that it
was Latin, that is to say the
appeal of French culture was
related to the fact that
Spanish-speaking Americans
formed part of a Latin dias-
pora, including France and
Greece and Rome and
Catholicism, which was
separate in genius from the

rvp YvI

The symbol
that represents
an outstanding
record of:


Head Office: 29 St. Vincent Street, Port-of-Spain, Trinidad
Telephones: 31421-7
Bnch offices tmughout Trinidad and Tobap, the Caribbean and in London.

Anglo-protestant diaspora,
stretching from Germany to
England and across to North
In so far as French
Romanticism had stressed the
significance of local history
and idiosyncracies of place
and time, it helped to
promote what was called
"americanismo literario",that
is writing in which theme,
landscape and language were
In politics, French liberal-
ism provided many of the
slogans, particularly of an
anti-clerical kind, which made
Latin American liberals feel
justified in their struggle
against conservatives.
Among the more sensitive,
French liberalism also in-
troduced genuine habits of
scepticism in regard to
religious beliefs. These are
the conditions under which
Ruben Dario, the' first inter-
nationally recognized Spanish
American poet, suddenly
emerged from one of the
most provincial and least
significant of Latin American
Republics, Nicaragua. And,
what is more amazing, he
made his name by writing
poems which bore not a trace
of American landscape, feed-
ing instead on nineteenth
cenlllury Fr"nc li(ei.juLt'.
Dario was the first Latin
American poet to be assigned
a place of unqualified impor-
tance in Hispanic letters and
emerged as the principal
figure and leading light of a

literary movement, Modern-
Since that time in the
1880's, his work has gener-
ated polemic. Can he be
called an "american" poet?
Was he really a great poet or
largely a provincial, under-
developed Nicaraguan aping
French models? Was he not
largely an alienated self-
indulgent sensualist with a
gift for the music of langu-
As a model to look back
upon, he has been compared
unfavourably with the great
Cuban patriot and writer,
Jose Marti. For there is
another requirement which
has been associated with
Literary americanism: namely
that no writer should evade
the obligation to include
social protest in the light
of the injustices which have
endemically plagued Latin
American societies.
And Dario thundered but
once against the U.S. capital-
ists who were accelerating
their penetration Southwards
Nevertheless, Dario is seen as
the fountainhead of modern
Latin American and indeed
Spanish verse.
In Critical Approaches to
Ruben Dario, Prof. Keith
Ellis of the University of
Toioato, currently External
Examiner in Spanish to the
University of the West Indies,
has done an excellent job of
critically assessing the merits
and demerits of Latin Ameri-
can critics who have dealt


polemically with Dario's
work over the last eighty
years or so.
With unusual tact, he has
shown up the methodological
weaknesses of much of that
criticism and highlighted
the more penetrating com-
Ellis' book, therefore,is a
useful reference work for
anyone interested in Dario
My only complaint is that
Prof. Ellis does not go far
enough in substantiating his
own conviction that Dario
was a great and important
writer, and in indicatingsome
of the ways in which Dario
affected the writing which
came after.
Certainly, for example,
Dario was the first Latin
American writer to proclaim
his belief in Art as a primary
concern and his belief in the
importance of the artist,
resisting the idea that the
artist must give pride of place
to the politics of his time.
Reacting to the torrent of
second rate literary criticism
in Latin America, Prof. Ellis
quite rightly stresses that
close critical readings of
individual poems are of the
first importance in assessing
the quality of a writer's
work but I cannot help
feeling that this led him to
undervalue somewhat the
critic's responsibility to
meditate on the relation
between art and the society
at which it is directed.

N.J.A.C. opposes "Sabotage "Bill

THE National Joint Action
Committee totally rejects the
latest piece of legislation
proposed by the Government.
We do so because this law
represents the most savage
violations of our human
rights and is structured to
destroy the basic principles of
Furthermore, the haste
with which Government in-
tended to pass this barbaric
law shows its obvious con-
tempt for the Black Masses
and exposes the 'hypocrisy'
'of concern boastfully pro-
jected in the recent strike-
N.J.A.C. says that this law
must not be enforced
(1) it dismisses the time-
worn legal principle of 'com-
plete innocence until proven
guilty' and replaces it by 'a
balance of probabilities';
(2) it violates the rules of
evidence since it gives the
prosecution the complete
right to adduce any evidence
necessary to secure a convic-
(3) it infringes the rights
of citizens to a fair trial since
it removes the right to appeal;
.(4) it opens the way for
the complete strangulation of
militant workers organisa-
tions since it is so structured

to impose heavy fines or jail
terms on union leaders for
action taken to resolve indus-
trial disputes;
(5) it would legally sanc-
tion victimisation, political
frame-ups, since it gives the
police the right to arrest
citizens for possession of
simple domestic materials
which can be maliciously
interpreted as 'explosives';
(6) it would dispossess
citizens since the property of
citizens can be seized to pay
compensation to the exploit-
Against the above back-
ground, N.J.A.C. says boldly

that there is no democracy in
Trinago and that those res-
ponsible for the drafting of
this law are guilty of crimes
against the people.
We call on all organiza-
tions and people who
genuinely cherish human
rights to take a stand against
this further rape of our basic
rights. N.J.A.C. as an organisa-
tion committed to the pre-
servations of human rights
vow to continue fighting to
ensure that those crimes
against the people do not go

P.R.O. N.J.A.C.






Available at the House Ring 662-5126

Tank Top



U~I~ IL~ _~~I

~aB~~ g~~~~Z~M~~




From Page 3
Frequently since indepen-
dence the Trinidad and Tobago
Government has sent ships
of the Coast Guard to assist
the Venezuelan authorities in
deporting Trinidadian immi-
grants the Venezuelans didn't
want. One country does not
assist another to get rid of the
first country's citizens, whe-
ther they are in the second
country legally or illegally. One
may not condone illegal immi-
gration into another country
but one is not obliged or even
expected to assist that country
in coping with it to the dis-
advantage of one's own citizens.
A government should seek
only to protect its citizens
abroad, to the limit of its
capacity, not to harrass them
The negotiations over the
Venezuelan 33 1/3% Antillean
Tax were as big a sellout on
the part of the Government of
Trinidad and Tobago as were
the Chaguaramas negotiations
with the USA. Nor have we
been successful in getting the
Venezuelan Government to
reconsider the clause in its
immigration law which states
that the first exception to the
list of permissible immigrants
shall be 'personas que no sean
de la raza blanca' 'people
not of the white race'.
Is it any wonder then that
the Venezuelans regard us as 'a
bunch of colonials' when the
colonial behaviour of our inde-
pendent government seems
calculated to give the whole
world that very impression?
Not only has Williams now
__iuea--~~uque--4tands-- -offtt
the Caribbean' to the same
country whose military inter-
vention he was courting a mere
five years ago, and to whom
he has repeatedly sold out our
sovereignty in the interest of
'friendship', but he is now
meddling in the affairs of
another country by inviting
Venezuela to keep its hands
off Guyana (the Guyana-
Venezuela border dispute has
been in existence for about a
hundred years).
Does he not know that he
is doing his friend Burnham no
favour by raising the issue,
since the Venezuelans, influ-
enced by the Americans, have
tacitly agreed -to let it lie
dormat as long as Burnham
and not Jagan is in charge?
How can he criticise Mexico
for joining Caribbean countries
in planning joint shipping
ventures when the record of
his government in shipping is
less than zero? The Govern-
ment did not even publish the
ECLA reports on shipping, let
alone act on them. Even
though the reports were
written for ECLA by the
Royal Dutch Steamship Com-
pany, Bookers and Furness
Withy, it was possible to see
from them, without too much
reading between the lines, that
the future of shipping in the
Caribbean depends on revital-
isation of small ships, rational-
isation of routes and develop-
ment and construction of
vessels suitable for operating
in and out of small shallow
harbours, because of the
increasing size of ships plying
world routes and the decreas-
ing frequency of their arrivals
in Caribbean ports.
Continued next week

MAY 27TH-28TH 1975


This is a $5 million issue. The 6% bonds 1982./85 can
be purchased at T.T. $96.14 percent with a running
yield of 7.02% per annum, and gross redemption yield
of 7.30% per annum.

I I~r I

i. K. -

I, I' I
i1 -.~
ii ;.
i.~y--~ :~

IJL' -'




This is a $10 million issue. The 7.15% bonds 1995/2000
can be purchased at TT$90.87 percent with a running
yield of 7.87% per annum, and a gross redemption yield
of 8.00% per annum.


The list of applications will be opened at 8.00 a.m. on
Tuesday 27th May, 1975 and closed at 12 noon on
Wednesday 28th May 1975. Bonds will be dated 28th
May, 1975.

The Central Bank of Trinidad and Tobago is the sole and
exclusive agent for the raising and management of this

Interest will be payable half-yearly by the Central Bank
"of Trinidad and Tobago on the 28th November and the
28th May. The first payment will be made on the 28th
November 1975 at the rate of T.T. $6.75 per T.T.$100.
face value per annum for the 6/4% bond and T.T. $7.15
per T.T. $100. face value per annum for the 7.15% bond.

The proceeds of this issue will be applied to financing
Projects in the development programme for 1975 and
to providing long term securities for insurance companies,
pension funds and similar investors.

Prospectuses and application forms may be obtained at
the Investment Division of the Central Bank of Trinidad
and Tobago, Comptroller of Accounts, Central Bank
Building, any of the branches of the commercial banks
operating in Trinidad and Tobago, Trinidad Co-operative
Bank Limited, Caribbean Stock and Bond (Trinidad)
Limited, West Indies Stockbrokers Limited, all Trust
Companies operating in Trinidad and Tobago and
Barclays Finance Corporation of Trinidad and Tobago

Applications will be received at the Investment Division
of the Central Bank, St. Vincent Street, Port of Spain,
and must be accompanied by the full amount of the
purchase price of the Bonds applied for.
The issue will be made under the Development Loans
Act 1964 (No. 19 of 1964), as amended by the Act No.
17 of 1965 and Act No. 14 of 1969.
Further information may be obtained from the Central
Bank, St. Vincent Street, Port of Spain; all banks and
trust companies or your stockbroker.

12 Noon, 28th May, 1975

Mrs. Andrea Talbutt,
Research Institut for
Study of Man,
162, East 78th Street,
New York, N.Y. 10021,
Ph. Lehigh 5 8448.






Esther Legendre

AN abstract outline of
metropolitan skyscrapers
form the backdrop at
Queen's Hall. Before it,
rising out of the orches-
tra pit in jagged opposi-
tion is the skyline of the
poor. The rusty galvanise
and boxwood of the 'tin
and tarpaper' shacks' we
indignantly deny the
existence of. Reality is
obscured in the light
blue distance from St.
Clair to the Laventille
Yet this is the backdrop
Valentino chooses ,- the
breeding ground of the steel-
band, the home of the 'Poet
and Prophet'. So what if
Canadian journalists decry
our poor? .pis music champ-
ions these people.
The curious voice that
sometimes quavers on the
off-key cries out in the
wilderness (well, Queen's

Hall' in darkness anyway -
b'ut the whole thing is just
ripe for symbolism, isn't it?)
The light go on and a-
.detachment of brothers
tramp offstage toescort, the
People's General to the silver
mike where for the next two
hours or so he would address
his people.
So Valentino is at Queen's
Hall. But all is not right. The
harsh lights that fill the Hall
are unsympathetic. Valentino
is obviously ill at. ease. The
strained quality of his voice
bears witness>to this.
Then the lights in the Hall
dim somewhat but just then
someone shoots a white hot
spotlight and the short-
sighted Prophet squints in
pain. The musicians haven't.
a clue. Valley -dosen't sing
that fast. A rash of drums
and a too insistent guitar
drown the lyrics.
But by the second segment
someone has spoken to the
eager musicians and the
lighting is still bad but
Valentino has thawed out.

Backed by a sensitive New
World Performers, 'Seven
Ancient Wonders' has all the
beauty and pride of an
anthem, recalling the past
'grandeur.and magic of the
old world.
Whoever Valentino is
championing he certainly
expresses no sympathy for
the movement of his sisters
towards liberation. 'Power
conscious women must be
tight' he states in an attack
that is as polluted as any he
previously described in
'Calypso Pollution'.
The juxtaposition is too
,obvious too to be unintended.
So is Valentino going to
champion the male in his
totally reactionary position -
the position of man afraid of
what the liberation ofwoman
might mean?
The position of the man
who does not understand the
meaning of Women's Libera-
tion therefore retreats and
back against the wall, uses a
capricious penis as his last
defense. 'Final dominance in

the bridal chamber' is he
uiddins ---?-- -..* .-. -.-;-.
Yet Poet and Prophet is a
success. Every performance
so far has drawn sell-out
crowds to Queen's Hall and
-the Naparima Bowl over the
past two weeks.

This could only prove that
' after h'ie mas the-calypsonian,,.-
who sings for his people,
poet of their joys and frustra-
tions and prophet of change
would find a place among a
people who are prepared to


Courtesy "Outlet"
Voice of Liberation Antigua
THE Mafia is probably
the biggest crime syndi-
cate in the world. Made
up mostly -of Italian
Americans, the Mafia or
the Mob as it is some-
times called, has made
big-business out of crime.
Crime is its business.
The Mafia like many of
the powerful American cor-
porations, in pursuit of more
.money, has stretched its
tentacles outside of America
into other areas of the world,
mainly, Latin Amrerica and
forsure, Antigua. -
West Indian politicians
continuing their search for
foreign capital have greeted
the Mafia with open arms
and legs. Antigua, is no Gambling
exception. place if yo
Vincent Theresa, himself
a well known Mafia operator, run. For
wrote a book, after hehad gave then
been held by the FBI, on his made thep

life with the Mafia. He co-operate
visited Antigua in 1966. This ing with tt
is what Mafia. operator For all
Theresa had to say about
and are tr
Antigua on page-172 of his This is hc
book. describes
"I found out on my first welcome i
trip there that as long as the
government got apiece of the "As so
action, they didn't give a the airpla
damn how the Cqsino was customs,

The Mafia's Isle

ou tried.

the piece the mob
n, the government
people of the island
e with anyone deal-
he Casino."
this, the Mafia were
eated like Royalty.
ow Vincent Theresa
the Mafia's Royal
n Antigua: *
on as/ you got off
ne and headed for
the first thing they

would ask was if you were
going to the Casino. If you
were, your baggage was
checked right through with-
out anyone looking at it".
Imagine that the Mafia
moves right through Antigua,
not checked by Customs,
with whatever they like,
heroin, marijuana, LSD, guns
of any and every kind.
In 1973 Ministers o'fgov-
ernment used to meet Mafia
personnel at the Airport, and

personally chaperbne6 them
to their car (I know, because,
I worked at Customs, and
received instructions to treat
the Mafia as VIP's).
Once more Vincent
Theresa' writing in My Life in
the Mafia had this to say.
"The way things worked
in Antigua was like this. There
was a fifty-fifty split on the
Casino winnings taken from
people you brought on the
junket. Everything at the
Casino was in the bag. Card
sharks, dice manipulators, all
kinds of crooks worked for
. Charlie the Blade (Chieppd's
boss) ......
There wasn't a game in
the place that wasn't rigged
and there wasn't a person
they wouldn't "take". They
rigged a game that a former
Vice President of the United
States played in. They even
took a few bucks in a rigged
game from the Premier of
the island."
But it would be wrong to
think that the Mafia only
operated at the Casino. The
Mafia has a lot of "hot
money", that is, money from
big robberies of bankTs and so
on which they cannot spend
in the United States for fear
of the money being traced.
In places like Antigua they

open businesses, small busi-
nesses, which are merely
fronts. Through these busi-
nesses the "hot money" is
passed through the local
banks and so becomes "good
For example for years the
Mafia, through Angello
Chieppa, owned a laundry in
Antigua situated at St. John's
Street and W4ppine Lane, The
laundry never opened its
Yet it was a good client of
the bank making, regular
lodgements. "Hot money"
\became good money. Many
other "businesses" in Antigua
still serve that function. Cor-
ruption at all levels. Not
politicians alone, but busi-
nesses too.
Chieppa walked around
Antiguia like he was king."
Eventually Chieppa died in
New Jersey, found in the
back of a parked car. He
must have crossed the "boss",
SHis successor in Antigua'
has not been very visible, he
works through agents and
aides including a former
minister and functioning
So it was then, that
Vincent Theresa, one of the
biggest Mobsters in the
United States gave this
opinion about Antigua.
"One of the places I took
a look at was the island of
Antigua in the British West
Indies. You couldn't have
fund a more crooked place
ifybu tried."