Full Citation
Permanent Link: http://ufdc.ufl.edu/UF00072147/00180
 Material Information
Title: Tapia
Physical Description: no. : illus. ; 43 cm.
Language: English
Publisher: Tapia House Pub. Co.
Place of Publication: Tunapuna
Creation Date: September 21, 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: UF00072147:00180

Full Text


-\ -c' LA-.. ?; i 0~';.


THE Auditor General has spoken, the Public Accounts
Committee has commented and another investiga-
tion into Special Works has graced the shelf. And
suddenly morality in public affairs is a big thing again.
This time under the guise of public accountability.
But when you check it out is the same old bobol. A
rose is a rose. Same old khaki pants.

In 1957 we heard that
"the past few years have
been characterized by
indiscriminate spendt-;--
and injudicious prolifera-
and a gross abuse of
perquisites and allowances
all of which combined
are economically un-
sound, politically impos-
sible and morally
indefensible ."
Since then plenty water
flow under that famous
bridge of the Exchequer
and Audit Ordinance
which was going at long
last to wash out the
Augean Stables and
banish into oblivion the
age of Boboloops-(Albert

Between 1956 and
1958 th!er were only
100 incide~- c "theJ.
losses and serious irregu-

of 1974, there were 563,
an increase of only
But this increase is by
no means a fantastic
escalation; it has not
come upon like a thief in
the night. Already by
1959 the yearly number
of irregularities had
reached 111 for the one
year alone more thanthree
times the figure for
By 1968 it was 335.
The termites have been
there for the longest

Cau g

CAN Irish potato
boil? T'-.- was just one of
the questions which a
receptive crowd heard a
team of six Tapia speak-
ers pose at a public
meeting down the foot of
Tunapuna Road last
The meeting marked
the start of a new phase
of public campaigning
that will take Tapia into
Diego Martin, Santa Flora,
Fyzabad, La Brea and
Sangre Grande within the
next week. The campaign
was led off by Mickey
Matthews, Allan Harris,
Hamlet Joseph, Michael
Harris, Beau Tewarie, and
Lloyd Best speaking in

that order.
The question on potato
was posed by Mickey
Matthews. And was used
to illustrate the dilemma
people across the country
faced when personally
confronted with the pro-
blems of social and econ-
omic change.
Matthews said he had
been asked the question
by some Brothers from
Fyzabad in relation to
the possibilities of home
grown Irish potatoes.
People, he said, were
somehow lacking informa-
tion necessary to the suc-
cessful pursuit of
agriculture; we still en' no

if cassava
because we

could boil
planting by

Matthews went on to
outline Tapia's proposals.
He argued that the pro-
blem of unemployment,
housing, and inequality
could not be solved with-
out reorganizing the large
plantations in agriculture
and taking over control
of the foreign corpora-
tions in oil.

He called for import
controls that would pro-
vide employment opport-
unities for people in
agriculture and for the
Drag Brothers.



Inside Story



Lennox Grant

Re-printed by courtesy of the Express

Tapia Booklet No. 13


30 Cents

Vol. No. 38

classic case in point. The
Govt has in its position
birds of a feather fleece competent technical re-
together. porting on losses in
Still, the great danger revenue.
in all this is that the There is no need for
/ public will get carried the Auditor General to
while gnawing at the away by a chickie-chong" copy any report to the
belly of public morality, problem involving mis- Prime Minister for the
Killing we softly over the appropriation of only Cabinet to know that
years. $404,629 in the first half royalty rates are too
The only reason for of 1974. low;
the current wailay-wailay The raging mad bull throughput-tax is too
is that the Doctor taking never comes to the atten- low;
before before before take tion of the Auditor corporation-tax is too
he in the campaign for General. The money lost low;
the forthcoming general on low productivity and the sampling of
elections. loss of materials is prob- the quality of oil is
Hercules is again the ably chicken feed cor- hopelessly inadequate;
spokesman for public pared to the amounts the monitoring of pro-
accountability while the quite properly diverted duction, exports and
poor civil servants must through inflated pay- imports is full of loop-
take the rap. Is the ments to favoured con- holes;
biggest bramble you tractors and above all, so that in sum, the big
could evr imagine, through failure to tax companies are generating
Th0 constitution i t excessive cash and profits.
position is certainly very app .M ,P ,_The M-s
,.r.,mr. ',J:arge It is a simple difference the Minister of Petroleum
of the Ministries are not between thief and take. have the information right
the Permanent Secretaries Thiefing is against the on their desk. And their
but the Ministers. The law; taking is a proper failure to act will have
accounting officers under pioneer industry where cost this country any-
the Exchequer and Audit tax holidays, duty re- thing like $800m between
Ordinance are subordi- bates and generally slack 1971 and the end of this
nate and responsible to financial administration year. That kind of money
them. split colossal profits can only continue to flow
The Captain of the between politics and down the drain if one of
entire outfit is no less a corporate business, those drains has a Swiss
person than Her Majesty's The oil industry is the Embankment.
First Minister, the Right
Honourable Companion 40 Cents
of Honour.
There is no question
as to where the blame r
-must fall. In any case,-


Bobol Is A Form Of



IT would be foolish for
us to revel in the evi-
dences of bobol in the
public sector on an ever
increasing scale. Many
take' it for granted that
bribery and corruption
are now the cardinal
principle of statecraft.
The question we must
ask is why?
Part of the reason
certainly is the colossal
increase in the size of the
State Sector. Expenditure
in the Budget of 1956
was less than $100m. By
1970 it was $371. -In
1975 the estimates are
not a very good guide but
revenue is now of the
order of,some $1300m.
Plenty corn to feed
plenty fOwi .with the elec-
tions coming t x..S e,
Up to 197$ .he pre-
sent Government in 17
years spent abou'fS4500hi
an average of $260m per
year. With the onset of
the oil bonanza at the
beginning of 1974, they
will dispose of $2,000m.
by the end of the current
year, an average of fully'
one billion dollars per
When this administra-
tion finally collapses, it
will be handling money
on a scale 15 times larger
than when it first acceeded
to office. It is a true say-
ing and worthy of all
men to be believed that
bigger they are, harder
they fall.
The outward visible
sign of the developing

affluence of the Govern-
ment sector is the escala-
tion of public control.
Most of the utilities are
now under central domi-
nation electricity.
water, bus and air trans-
port. natural gas,
telephones, external
communications, TTT
and the Na t i o n a
Broadcasting Service.
Then there is half of
Caroni, the whole of
Orange Grove, half of
Tesoro and all ofTrintoc,
the National Commercial
Bank, part of several little
hotels, the entire Hilton
hotel. Then there is the
lime factory, the flour
mill, Trinidad Printing
a-nt- gi Lp-aRng-.n and_a.
vast number of manu-
facturing enterprises effec-
tiveiy controlled by the
Development Finance
Company or the Indus-
trial Development Corpo-
The true value of this
gigantic investment is
probably half a billion
dollars. This sudden
upsurge of the public
sector requires a quality
of public administration
and financial control
totally alien to the slip-
shod habits inherited
from victorian colonial
Not even the Exchequer
and Audit Ordinance, a
modern piece of legisla-
tion in the context of the
national movement of the
50's, envisaged-the com-
plexities of a neo-colohial

welfare, state, milked
by a never-sec-con i-see
oligarchy of privileged
elit es.
You might say that
these problems are inihr-
ent in where we are
coming from and there is
no doubLt whatsoever tla/t
we have had to come
Irom far. Yet the fault is
not altogether in our
stars. much too mulch of
the breakdown of admin-
istration is very i mncl I ourll






--\AI. \ A II
vy- vy ilI




In Gold

First of all, there is
simply too much power
in the hands of the
Executive as distinct from
t h e Administrative
Branch. There is no
reason in the world for
so many of the crucial
jobs in the public service
to be within the patron-
age of the Prime Minister
and the political branch
of government. That is
strictly speaking a con-



pa .; .-- W


'sl Illolial lprobliicln l ill
from the fundamental
l w,,

Ior dedication, then we
will exact our reward in

Ultinmtely then, the
Secondly. on the polh- root cause of this swiftly
Hcal plane there is also ratooning immorality is
no reason In the world the exit of national
1or t) ian y appoint- purpose somewhere in the
incitsl to the Public career o[1 the pre-
corporations and Statu- independence national
tory Bodies to be treated movement.
as exclusive preserves of Somewhere a dream
the governing party. was shattered and all the
Centralisation may in- thiefing and the taking is
crease official political no sign of excessive pruri-
inIfluence but it makes no ence among Trinidadians
political sense because it and Tobagonians but a
sabotages the viability of wilful and wutliss picking
opposition forces, breeds up of the pieces.
a mentality of irrespons- We lack the political
ible riot politics and education and political
above all, it deprives the experience and even the
current administration of political resources to cope
feedback regarding the with the inexplicable
Government's policies and degeneration of the
programmes. movement in which we
The most damaging had invested so much.
result of the centralisa- The mad scramble for
tion of comprehensive the material gains of
patronage in the hands office is but a testament
of the central Govern- of betrayal.
ment, the Cabinet and in We will not wallow in
particular the Prime. this .degradation forever;
Minister's office is that it is only a passing phase
there is a paralysis of while the resources for a
initiative and decision- counter-offensive are
making in the entire created by bitter political
public sector. The whole experience and the pas-
of the bureaucratic and sage of necessary time.
t...echnocratic classes are Yet we must hasten a
red'uter to the 'ai o" cal
mice, incapable ot accept- constitution refi&
ing responsibility in the the unconventional poli--"
face of such a pervasive tics of principle and in
political presence. sw~piig economic re-
People are everywhere organisation.
afraid to act, afraid to There has to be a
even talk. The one option different spirit abroad in
they are prepared to our land, a wind of cul-
exercise is to speak when tural revival, moral
spoken to; to answer resurgence and spiritual
when called. The inevit- regeneration.
ableprice of such emascu- The nation must be
lation is an escalating born again, with a new
demand for bread. If we Caribbean man, a new
cannot do it for love, if family, a new Caribbean
there is no inspiration or race. But for everything
higher purpose, no com- there is a moment when
mon devotion or cause the time is right.
U. ~~




I\MPI'LOYIRS You must hai\v
vounr emi|loyees' N.I. cards for stamp ng.
Collect them l from \your Local N.I.
OIIICI S Do)m'i \;:il fI i deli'ric

other information
district NIB office

For fur
See your






H. Joseph

istrative Secretary, argued
that any party "which is'
offering itself as a prospec-
tive Government must
demonstrate that it has a
comprehensive grasp of
the issues."
Our recent experience with
PNM rule has set uis back
rather than advanced us on
the road to freedom. It was
enough to judge that from a
look at the state of the roads.
of unemployment. and
of West Indian nationhood.
The result of all this
backwardness was that we
had lost a sense of progress
which, to right, would take a
generation of effort of
hardwuk. And to share in
that extremely hardwuk was
the major promise that Tapia
was making to the people of
the country. He sees it as one


SLNI: Ay ajLPTLMJilP 21. I'-1 5

A. Harris B. Tewarie l darris At Tunapuna Meeting



Allan Harris

of the main aspects in Tapia's
vision of a new society.
But to argue thus is "to
repudiate the idea that we
need a special class of men to
run the country." That too
was manifest in Tapia's
demand for constitutional re-
forms that sought to answer
the cry of 'Power To The




S -T today

EDUCATION isn a, fae- -f--a---E4tteation
the bed for revolt Plan that showed some
amongst the, young light on what was
people of our country required. Yet it was the
warned Beau Tewarie at a biggest crime of the
public meeting in Tuna- Government that it did
puna on Tuesday last. He not know where to start.
pointed out that the While for example the
system, was creating PM, last year August des-
people who are un- cribed the system as one
employable a source that increased the number
of much unemployment, of students who would
This state of affairs be unemployed, under
was happening in the political pressure in 1975

Our cover ge of


unsurpassed anywhere

for focus and point.

Keep abreast of the

real currents in the

Caribbean Sea.

Trinidad & Tobago
Other Caribbean
North America
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Bound Volumes 1973
Bound Volumes 1974

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Back Issues Available
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Tapia, 82,St. Vincent St. Tunapuna,
Trinidad & Tobago, W.I. Telephone 662-5126.

For example, there would
not simply be one other
municipality in Point Fortin
as the Prime Minister was
proposing. But a seriesof them
numbering anywhere between
18 and 25 and all equipped
with the political authority
to administer police, educa-
tion and other social services
in the local areas.

in this regard we had as
well to revamp, the current
rubber-stamp Senate to ensure
that people are brought into
closer relationship with the
happenings at national govern-
ment level. For this we needed
a big -- Macco Senate. Where
all kinds of people are
SHad we such a Senate in
1970, argued A. Harris, then
the popular misgivings vented
by scores of people over the
Public OrderBill could not
have been lightly treated by
the Government.
Equally important was the
need to close the gap.between
brother and brother "as it
relates to race, colour and


But our vision of a new
society must be seen in the
context of West Indian
Nationhood in the Caribbean
Sea, not for the purposes of
conquest, rather for the sur-
vival of Caribbean peoples.
"The inequality gap is
widening beyond our wildest
dreams," Hamlet Joseph
pointed out. People had been
moving one way in two
camps: The poor was growing
poorer and the rich, richer.
With just 15 to 25 per cent of
the population, a very few
raking in the gravy of the
land. Poor housing, no jobs,
the frequent occurrence of
epidemics, poor nutrition
were cited by Joseph as mani-
festations of inequality.

a tio n mote eqlit ~lt% d Id hIo' such 1 ith the elite or
to make the \ s .tern create prestige schools since
employment their activities con-
e vl He argucd for opening handed respect from the
g Revolt "m p" --- -"""-
Siup the CdJucation >.Nstem population. Such schools
b\ usini the a'adable should include St. Mary's
facilities for longer hours college, Presentation.
and by the integration of Abbey School, St. Joseph
industry. youth camps Convent, and St. Georges
n dt and sIch l_:e n,:, College.
s Y ou th general, pooling of
resources. The accept here enally there must be
must he on th, ,reatioa cdecentralisaton to re,,n.
- -re-was- prepare-to -lace of a system in which the conflict between
100% of the Junior sharing will be the norm. teachers in the localities
Secondary graduates He called for a change and the Ministry of
plump into frustration. in the certification of Education in Port-of-
Students were in fact graduates to be accom- Spain. He argued that
going into a frustrating panied by an upgrading the teachers and princi-
school system to come of technical education pals must be able to
out into a frustrating within a mixed system of decide the day to day
society. What the educa- training. So that it would issues that crop up in
tion Plan needed was a become possible for schools. This would avoid
plan to make it work. students to leave at one the inevitable delays
Turning to the need point in one branch of caused through waiting
for an alternative set of education and go into on the Ministry for
schooling \requirements apprenticeship in industry action.
Tewarie said that the or a mechanic shop and That.spelt the need for
country had to concen- vice versa. a local school board
trate on how exactly to Above all Tewarie operating within a frame-
maintain quality as dis- called for the introduc- work of local govern-
tinct from quantity tion of experimentation, ment to which it would
education, how to pro- It would be best to start be resDonsible.


31 Abercromby St. P.O.S. Phone: 66 62-31644

Mons stewed chicken and lentille peas
Tues. stewed melongene and beef
Weds. pigeon peas,rice and salt meat
Thurs. cow heel soup,ochro and rice
Fn. coo coo callalooo and fish
Deserts and coffee included in meals.

Take Home Service Offerd

Drop in. you'll be at home wit h us


Hamlet Joseph

THE experiment by the Regal Calypso Tent
to produce a mid-year programme of calypsoes
for Independence, has been a success from
several angles. It was, first of all, an expression
of the slowly growing faith in our own capa-
city to develop our own cultural resources, of
which the Calypso is but a minute fragment.
Secondly, this act was a truly independent Diggin Horrors (1975) have had to adjust and com-
one, unsponsored by the State, and supported ment on the serious issues confronting the nation,
only by the handful of small businessmen who while at the same time striving to retain the image of
advertise in Calypso tents and the people who the calypsonian as light entertainer in a world of
turned out in large numbers and responded comedy.
with enthusiasm to a wide variety of calypsoes. In spite of this war against illusion, the old
Senusiasm to a .wide variety of ca soes fables about Trinidad being a paradise have survived.
Several singers were encored each night, from Thus in the Regal show, one could still hear the
raucous Traveller to soft-voiced Explainer, Mighty Bingo cataloguing our vast natural and human
from massive Power poking fun at the "cock- resources in his The Meaning of Independence, and
fight" scandal, to fragile Organizer, singing Vallee listing senior and junior achievers in sport,
about My Funky Daughter. culture and scholarship in his The Greatness of
Singers from other tents joined the
experiment at the Regal. There were Stalin
and Valentino, two of the leaders in the drive
since the mid-sixties to transform the Calypso
from a vehicle of light entertainment into a
medium in which the pressures of the time
and the ongoing energies, of survival both find
lucid and moving expression. There was King
Kwabena of St. Thomas, a diffident, sincere
singer, with a great sense of the dramatic, l
singing two calypsoes which took one back to- .
the spirit of 1970 in Trinidad. These calypsoes ..
told of hardship, in a society whose values had e s : G
become totally distorted by racism, a tourist-
oriented economy and a lack of ethnic pride.
or national sense of purpose. According to
The. cost of living up high
But the chance of living right down. Chalkdust .... altered euphoria
Kwabena's whose modest presentation was refresh-
ingly different, was given a great reception by the Trinidad. A minimally different definition of what
crowd, and although the examples of discrimination Independence should mean came from Young
in the court cases illustrating the difference between Diamond, whose faith in the future was based on the
-the way whites and blacks are treated were unknown idea that "We got oil and oil don't rotten". The
to Trinidadians, what he had to say was sufficiently aggressive kalinda rhythm and format of the chorus of
similar to make one feel that one would be at home" that calypso expressed a youthful exuberance that
in the Virgin Islands, British or American. was- reckless of the tedious hard work that will be
Nowhere else,except at the Calypso semi-finals necessary before the nation commands its own
each year at Naparima Bowl that as.b-o reaysyste w..- ch:
systematically eliminate all voices that comment on An entirely rifficint ,ot. w.. ,r' .. i,, the
what Maestro last year termed "the state of the slow moralising Get Up and Get sung by the Mighty
State" and sometimes at NJAC cultural rallies, is Clipper, who defined "colonialism" in the down to
one afforded the opportunity of hearing Chalkdust, earth terms of inefficiency and indifference, and
Stalin, Smiley and Valentino on the same stage. independence as the will to exchange the platitude of
Sooner or later, Maestro, Relator and Psycho will "All good things come to those who wait" for the
join this river of man, and we will be able to appreci- tougher "By the sweat of thy brow thou shalt eat
ate the spectrum of possibilities which these singers bread". It was the Prime Minister's 1962 Indepen-
represent, as in their widely different styles, they dence sermon all over again, and its sombre senti-
explore the pressure of the time. ments were qualified by the calm, unpretentious Lord
Crooner, who showed that hard work does not
necessarily bring a fair reward either. His calypso
was, like Sparrow's Ah Diggin Horrors, a list of the
adverse conditions against which survival is being
ILLUSION eked out, and culminated in his criticism of a political
system in which:

The tent opened with Lady Christina singing
the calypsonian's anthem, Sniper's Portrait of Trinidad
(1967). The euphoric picture of Trinidad painted in
that calypso has long been altered by Chalkdust in
We e Ten Years Old (1972), where the emphasis was
rather on what remains to be accomplished before
we can consider ourselves independent, than on the
slogans which say that we own oil, sugar, a fabulous
lake of pitch, and our culture is steelband and
calypso. Indeed, the escapism and romanticism
typical of calypsoes about Trinidad in the first five
years of Independence, have been deliberately
attacked by a number of the younger singers, whose
emphasis has been on the realities of our social and
political life. Hence Stalin's New Portrait of Trinidad,
(1973) where our possession of the Pitch Lake is
placed alongside a statement on the state of our
roads, or his Steelband Gone (1974), where the fact
that we invented the steelband is contrasted with the
situation of poverty and unemployment among the
very people who created the new sound. Hence too,
Valentino's Dis Place Nice (1975) whose attack on
any illusions we may have nurtured that our present
masquerade constitutes freedom, is bitter and
These are only a small proportion of the
calypsoes which since 1968 have been forcing the
society to examine its face and skeleton. Most of the
the fifty calypsoes sung by Chalkdust, even his trivial
Buy Local pot-boiler efforts, do this. There are over
a score by Valentino, at least fifteen by Stalin, a few
by Maestro, the best of which was his seven or eight-
stanza effort on the political confusion in Trinidad,
Trinidadians Don't really Know what They Want.
(1974). Indeed, the tremendous effort at self-defini-
tion which these calypsoes represent, has meant that
older singers such as Kitchener No Freedom (1972)
Jericho (1973) and Sparrow Sedition (1975) Ah

Parliament making laws contrary to me and you
While our buses are daily dancing the bugaloo.
And men like Inskip
Sit down in we Senate
And a they can suggest is dictatorship.
Smiley, Valentino Stalin "and Chalkdust in their
different ways measured the strength which would be
necessary in this struggle to survive. Smiley in
Contempt of Court recapitulated on his 1974 theme,
The Law For One is the Law For All, and welcomed
the fact that a lawyer had been jailed for contempt
of court. Mentioning other people in high places who
had broken the law, Smiley hoped that things would
soon reach the happy state when whosoever broke the
law wouldbe jailed in much the same way as normally
happens to the man on the street. This has been one
of the constant themes of protest calypso since the
inception of the form. It was articulated by Patrick
Jones in the twenties who, at the risk of being
charged for sedition, sang:

Class legislation is the order of the land
We are ruled with an iron hand.
Britain boasts of democracy,
Brotherly love and equality.
But British colonists have been ruled in perpetual
Sans humanite
In tmes of social and political tension, calypsonians
return increasingly to this theme of law and justice.
Psycho in his Jail Them (1970) stated the democratic
ethic that "a criminal is a criminal",and declared
that he would jail whoever "try to keep the law and
thev fail 'J
The calypsonian in this respect represents the
spirit of retribution which is the constant counterpart
of social injustice and "class legislation". Valentino

expresses this same spirit in a more silent and dreader
style. Comparing the political leadership of Trinidad
with that.of Grenada, he refuses to allow Trinidad
the luxury of feeling that the situation here is
different in anything other than degree. He questions
the notion that freedom can exist in islands where
"they are killing we slowly, they are killing we softly,
they are killing we surely" either by bullets.or
frustration. In such countries, Independence becomes
little more that the romantic fairy-tale illusion of
power, reinforced by systematic brutality.

The Statec

And they using brute force to stay in the
Romance Castle
The Independence of Grenada is an example.

Underlying all of Valentino's calypsoes is a desperate
faith, and hope for the downfall of oppression, which
is part of the unarticulated and unorganized spirit of
the times.
It was there in a less direct way in Explainer's
When Basil Comes, where with a grim mixture of
laughter and seriousness the calypsonian considers
what will be the position of a number of people at
the moment of death. The arrogant man of affairs
who is accustomed to ordering people around, will
want to send Death back to make an appointment.
The crooked dealers and irresponsible politicians,
trigger happy lawmen, will be in an embarrassing
position. The good husbands will explain that
"though they were a little wild/They always used to
maintain their outside child." Even youthful arrog-
ance is satirised here. The young will tell Death to
check out "those with dribble running down their
mouth." The most comforting fact was that Death,

reputation for honesty and a sense of equality
unusual in our little world.


This grimly funny calypso is simply another
expression of that desire for a levelling agent, some
form of corrective retribution for the unchanging
injustices. If one were to consider Shadow's King
from Hell in this light,;one would find that the same
sort of sentiments are being expressed. Hell is the
place where Shadow will do unto others exactly what
they have been doing to him. Explainer's advice to all
and sundry to "confess before Death comes" is based
on the belief that the moment of death is one in
which conscience is reawakened. Stalin sees it as being
more important to deal with a system which is
without particular conscience, and therefore without
a sense of shame or the capacity for humane action.
Independence is a constant battle against this sort of
stony callousness, in which artist and citizen are
required to bear the burden of conscience in the
here and now, rather than when Basil Comes.
Stalin's Nothing Is Strange captured that weird
sense which one often has these days, of living in the
grips of absurd cruelty, where the struggle to make
sense of experience seems to lead only to further
engulfment in defeat. Its chorus:

Nothing, nothing ent strange
In the land of a man out for change

suggested that the bewildering sea of "horrors"
described by Sparrow has become the destructive
element in which the people will either sink, or learn
to swim. The system is described as "a vulture about
to attack its victim". This accusation is illustrated by
the fate of Gene Miles, whom Stalin resurrected as a
symbol of courage, reduced "worse than any beggar
in town", ridiculed and "murdered". She was also
projected as a symbol of the committed woman a
concept which has developed since 1970 through the
NJAC and NUFF, and in a less dread way through
The phrase "Nothing ent strange" and the
repeated line "any number can play" together suggest
not only the haphazard way in which one may be
destroyed in a lunatic time, but the even more frighten-
ing fact that when things get to such a pass, that no
cruelty, no act of inhumanity surprises, then some
people will move beyond the horrors and the blues.


At that point, not only is the will to survive and
overcome reborn, but with a dreader resolution. This
is why the guerilla movement was not absurd, but a
serious symbol of what lies beyond the horizon of
cruelty. According to Stalin, whose calypso, like
Valentine's Barking Dogs actually illustrates how the
guerilla spirit is born, a people who have so thoroughly
lived with struggle and death, grows accustomed to
dying and being reborn over and over again.
It is interesting that he employs the communal
"I" to describe how he "died" in Africa, was shot
down in 1937 striking with Butler, and killed in 1970

f The State

marching with Daaga. Here the artist regards himself
as the reincarnation of the soul of his people, which
is what survives the individual death. This idea was
present in Peter Blackman's My Song Is for All Men
(1952), Martin Carter's Poems of Resistance (1953),
in early poems of Eric Roach such as "I Am the
Archipelago", with the greatest complexity in Brath-
waite's trilogy The Arrivants (1967-1969), and before
all of these in Cesaire's Return to My Native Land
which had been completed since the late 1930's. This
idea also lies at the core of all Afro-Caribbean
religions, whose basic aim is to reclaim the affirmative
life-force of the dead for the resuscitation and the
psychic health of the living. It is an idea in which
resides great revolutionary hope, though our poets
have already explored the possibility that even this
hope-beyond-the-blues may be defeated. Martin
Carter burned out in despair since the mid-fifties, and
by the early sixties was seeing visions only of "slow
funerals, broken tombs, and death designing all," Eric
Roach stared hard at "the circus guarded with tear-
gas and guns" (Poem for This Day, Tapia Sunday,
Dec. 17, 1972) and imagined the even harsher
absurdity of being regenerated into a world where all
our individual deaths "this grisly century" have led to
nn rp-,i,-h .. .1'
Don't mock me about dreams
lam too old.
Don't sneer of prophecies
count me among the numberless dead
this grisly century.
I've eaten so much history that I belch
boloms of years to come.

(Hard Drought, Tapia, Sunday, April 22, 1973)

A bolom is the spirit of a stillborn child, which
hovers in limbo, unable to be born or die, and Roach
foresaw all the years to come as offering promise of
some futility.

Stalin, however, has so far managed to preserve
the balance between blues and rebellion, between
reception of the crippling power of the system, and
II _

It is also due to the authority, sinceiity'and exuber-
ance with which he puts his song across. In Stay off
the Corn, a calypso which reverses the ethic of
Sparrow's road-march Drunk and Disorderly, Stalin
sings with the gut-bucket strength of a Baptist preacher
in full cry against the evils of the demon drink. It had
the crowd singing and could easily itself become a
road march.
One noticeable fact over the last few years, has
been the slow rebirth of the minor calypso, both in
the traditional format which Lion resuscitated in his
Long Time Carnival (1975), and as a more elaborate
form to suit the growing complexity of this age. Off
hand I can think of tunes such as Chalkdust'sReply to
the Ministry (1968), We Are Ten Years Old (1972),
Composer's Worker's Lament (1971), Smiley's What
is Wrong With the Negro Man, (1971), Snake (1974)
Cost of Living (1975); Stalin's No Other Man, (1972)
Steelband Gone (1974), De Ole Talk (1974) and
Nothing Ent Strange (1975); Valentino's Dis Place
Nice (1975); Superior's Why I Come Back (1974);
Lion's Long Time Carnival (1975); Sparrow'sSedition
(1973) and Ah Diggin Horrors (1975) and a number
of others where there is alternation between minor
and major. Nearly every one of these calypsoes is
concerned with political protest. If one bears in mind
Andre Tanker's Ah Come Back Home, and Lancelot
Layne's chants many of which are in the minor mode,
one will realise that singers and musicians are tunnel-
ling back to the original source of soul in Calypso, in
answer to the need to express a desolation which
they know to exist at the centre of things.


Chalkdust attempted two very difficult things.
The first was to interpret Desiree Malik's courageou;
stand beside her condemned husband as the acme of
feminine virtue. To do this he had to make his praise
as excessive as the censure for which he is more
normally noted, and to omit considering the possibil-
ity that she was aware of the corruption of the world
in which she moved. His real aim was to attack more
conventional cocktail-party notions about women's
liberation. The Church, he said, recognizes evil every-
where but can't see love. The ladies of HATT, con-
cerned though they may be about women's lot, are
--. i~..othe _QQ pam y---eykeep Trt-hlffraag"
to get an encore given his line of approach, attests to
the power with which he put across his calypso. It will
_JlO.. if h11 .;T-. l r, nn.. -, I, n u1, 1-iM

the will to fight against it. Even the earthiness of his
tones, so different from Valentine's frailly-strong blue
notes, are part of this will to life. One of his long
sustained cries reminded me of an eerie version of
Billie Holiday's Strange Fruit, that song about a
lynching, which Nina Simone sings on her album
Pastel Blues. This is a new sound in calypso, and is
analagous to the field-cry in Afro-American music,
and the similar cry, wail or scream that has become
audible in reggae. It is a cry not only of pain, but of
self assertion and strange triumph. Stalin's popularity,
like that of Shadow's or the older Melody, may
reside partially in this sound of earthiness in his voice.

Andre Tanker unnelling back

ll'.' c.' Lo i i L.uuuujn iia bi c SuLLc..LJ1 L\ ',ULllil:nriS ed
b. the Jamaican proverb "If you fly with John
Crow > ou haffe nyam dead meat" that Mrs. Malik's
moral isolation on "that day in May" was not evidence
of some sort of cosmic justice working itself out.
His other calypso, A Message to George Weekes
was, like Black Hat's The March, a rejection of con-
frontation with the Police as suicidal. Unlike The
March which was pro-establishment, A Message to
George Weekes sought to outline a strategy for
survival in an age of political violence and repressed
freedoms. In a manner similar to Abdul Malik
(Delano Decoteau) in his poem "Climb to Freedom
1972", Chalkdust recommends cunning as the most
important ingredient for this new phase of the
struggle. First one must stay alive. Chalkdust does
the apparently ridiculous thing of advising Weekes to
sing calypso. The calypsonian is presented as one who
has freedom of speech unknown.to the rest of the
society. If successful, he may, like Atilla, even gain
political office. In exercising freedom of speech, he
has more chances of survival than the politician who
seeks to exercise the now illicit freedom of movement.


Under this calypso, as under others such as Ah
Fraid Karl, Who Next, Goat Mouth, and The Jackass
lies the unasked question: how long will the calypson-
ian be permitted to continue as critic of the system?
If, as Stalin claims, the system is a vulture which
attacks whoever fails to conform, then it is possible
that calypsonians are allowed to criticise because
protest which culminates in no organized action can
easily be ignored, and its uncensored existence cited
as proof of the system's benevolence. Truly sophisti-
cated societies actually subsidise the safer forms of
subversion, and call it liberalism. It is also possible
that what the audience gets from a protest calypso
is a catharsis of their own unarticulated or defeated
rebellion. The calypsonian, then, is applauded because
he displays on behalf of the people, a courage which
they have been unable to display or organize on thier
own behalf. After the tent, consciousness is heightened
and things remain the same. This is certainly not the
calypsonian's fault: for though his relationship to the
people may resemble and even at times coincide with
that of the politician, Kaiso has never been a substitute
for politics.

6 Stalin, has so far
managed to preserve
the balance between
blues and rebellion,
between perception of
the crippling power of
the system, and the will
to fight against it 7

& If one bears in mind
Andre Tanker's Ah
ComeBackHomel and
Lancelot Layne's chants,
many of which are in
the minor mode, one
will realise that singers
and musicians are tun-
nelling back to the
original source of soul
in Calypso, in answer to
the need to express a
desolation which they
know to exist at the
centre of things. I







CREOLE, Shell, Mene
Grande, Mobil, Sinclair
and other oil trans-
nationals mainly from
the United States have
been deciding the fate of
Venezuela for more than
half a century.
Before the first com-
mercial oil well was
drilled sixty years ago,
the country's economy
was based on agriculture.
There was also a gold
mining industry in the
eastern part of the
Venezuelan Guyayana
The big plantations
which produced coffee,
cacao, livestock and hides
were owned by a small
group of latifundists,
however, food consump-
tion on the part of the
population was .insuffi-
, li archs
and tlic Europcan trading ".
companies obtained enor-
mous profits from
national exports.


The exploitation of the
rich "El Callao" gold mine
produced the first big accu-
mulation and-concentration
of capital. Gold -production
first began in 1865 with
Venezuelan capital, but it
soon passed into the hands
of French and British com-
Gold brought fabulous
profits for the foreign com-
panies, as oil would at a
later date.
An example of the plunder
of Venezuelan gold is the
fact that the company which'
exploited the "El Callao"
mine obtained in 1886 eleven
million bolivars in profits, in
a country whose entire
national budget amounted to
only 33 million.
After the first two decades
of this century, Venezuela's
basic sector switched from
agriculture to petroleum aid
the transnationals started to
obtain control of the econ-

Prensa Latina

Ever since the dictator
Juan Vicente Gomez handed
over the oil fields, largely
located in Lake Maiacaibo,
to the transnationals, the
latter have been decisively
influencing the economic,
political, cultural and even
ecological development of
many regions of the country.
Lake Maracaibo, tradi-
tionally a fishing area, is
today a jungle of oil towers
and pipe lines whose leaks
threaten to turn the entire
area into a dead sea region.
During the past six decades,
the oil companies controlled
production to their advantage
and extracted from the coun-
try nearly 30 billion dollars,
without counting tax evasions
and other illicit activities.

During this time Venezuela
received only 25 billion
dollars f+rm-th-exploitation -
of petroleum.
__Half of tl e oil exports in

this pci-i.-d vwnet it l
eastern coast of the United
States, to where.the fleets of
the transnationals continue
today to carry 1.6 million
barrels of oil a day, out of a
production \of 2.4 million.
The oil transnationals,
which possess two million 200
-thousand hectares of Vene-
zuelan territory, obtained
profits of four thousand 600
million dollars last year,
according to official figures
from the Central Bank of
Up to 1970 the trans-
national kept prices low by
manipulating supply and
demand thanks to their
monopoly control.
During the decade of the
sixties, the export price for
oil was below 1.96 dollars per
This amount, compared to
present prices, now. chal-
lenged by the -policy of the
Organization of. Petroleum
Exporting Countries, meant a
loss of several billion dollars
to Venezuela.
Moreover, the intensifica-
tion of mineral oil extraction
in an indiscriminate way con-
siderably decreased reserves
of light petroleum, of great
demand on the international
Creole alone, which con-
trols around 30 per cent of

Once upon a time the giant corporations controlled the Ocean Sea.

Venezuelan oil production,
was responsible for a third of
the profits that went to the
Rockefeller monopoly (Stand-
ard Oil of New Jersey), with
more than 200 subsidiaries all
over the world.
In 1960 Creole obtained
profits in Venezuela amount-
ing to 205 million dollars,
from a production of 360
million harrels. 10 -70.
according to estimates, these
profits were doubled w\'ith the

i r :i.- 7 t 771 1M
Oil specialists have de-
Inounced iliat i he i iCiansn.-
tionals we:e not making the
re-investments required by
the industry, and that the
sector was constantly become
ing more decapitalized.

Those monopolies, accus-
tomed to the enormous pro-
fits obtained from the
exploitation of oil, apply
pressure every time the coun-
try undertakes a step' to
change the present structure
of absolute dependency in
the oil industry.
The companies have
carried out a number of man-
oeuvres against the national-
ization project now being


Eastern Main Rd., Laventille
(Nea- to Trolman street)

Galvanise, Cement,

Blocks, Tiles,


etc, etc.

studied in Congress and which
will probably take place this
Different national sectors
denounced that the Irans-
nationals are creating condi-
tions which after the
nationalization will lead to the
desertion of their technicians
to other sectors where the
foreign companies operate.
':*rp( ,ver. new investlnenis
in the oil fields have inotibcw,,
fortliconJIg, nor iv ,0xs.-

tained at an adequate level.
Leaders ofleftwing political
organizations recall the aggres-
sive campaign waged by the
.United States against Vene-
zuela and the oil producing
countries in general when the
prices of oil were raised.
This growing hostility was
highlighted by the military
threats made by U.S. President
Gerald Ford when he warned
those states that this country
would Lake reprisals if the
10 `, i,,.-is continued. to

jItf- ___________ __ _

! 1--~ ~---e --


Bw vgoe t what you
rnee -at minimurYi cost.




I ......


kw L-- .. ... ... ;l I I


FAMILIES loaded with
baggage have been turning
up in the elegant court-
yard of the Ministry for
Overseas Territories be-
hind Les Invalides in the
past few days asking for
passages to the old penal
colony of Guyana.
At the same time Min-
istry secretaries have been
wading through more
than 15,000 applications
for a share in what is at
least the tenth attempt in
450 years to open up the
original site of the legend-
ary El Dorado.,
Since interviews .,will not
start until later this month
and there are still a thousand
letters arriving every day the
families have had to be
turned away. But their dreams
of one day becoming the
owner of a tract of virgin
equatorial forest in South
America remain intact.
The plan to open up El
Dorado. first discovered by
the Spanish in 1500, is so
eccentric that the call to a
new colonising spirit has
temporarily swamped the
political questions of French
intentions. Gold was the
original lure to Guyana
but the new pioneers, with
their sights on the 50,000
square miles between Surinam
and Brazil, hope to take part


30,000 Frenchmen in

I ajor Manchester
SWd Guardia

'Wood Rush'

by the descendants of slaves
and survivors of unsuccessful
colonising attempts, including
British, Dutch, Indonesians,
Lebanese, Chinese, and Gex-
The Indonesians arrived
as part of a halfhearted
attempt to improve the
country's economy when it
became a French department
after the war. Efforts t to
deepen the port at Cayenne
were abandoned for technical
reasons and because local
labour refused to work in the
tropical climate. The only
major development is an
unsurfaced coast road and
the territory's reputation
remains that of a deadend
post for French Civil Service

in a "wood rush".
The Government's young-
est Minister, M. Olivier Stirn,
the architect of the plan, has
convinced Government that
the largely unproductive terri-
tory is the answer to the
rising cost of wood pulp. His
immediate plan is to intro-
duce 30,000 Frenchmen from
the mainland and other over-
seas teriitdries and eventually
to double the present popula-
tion of 50,000.
Fqr 100 years the coun-
try's only fame was its penal
colony, Devil's Island, which
was closed in 1947. The
50,000 inhabitants iriclude
many "retired" convicts.
The interior is inhabited by
Indians, but the coastal
region is populated mainly

Apart from providing a
base for the Foreign Legion
and a rarely used missile
testing ground, Guyana
seemed destined to wither
away until Mr. Stirn made a
pioneering visit in July.
Providing that it was possible
to move away from the coastal
belt into the formidable
unexplored forest which
covers more than 90 per cent
of the country, the Minister
travelled by motor canoe for
two days to reach an outpost
on the Surinam border.
Most of the emergency
credit of about L7 millions
which the French Government
will spend in the next year to
get the immigration pro-
gramme under way will be
dispersed in the coastal belt.
Industries and plantations are
to be developed to serve a
population which will soon be
Mr. Stirn denies that
France has any other interest
in the territory than the hope
that it-will cut wood imports
from foreign countries by a
half and eventually supply 20,
per cent of France's needs.
The colonists, he said, were
needed to develop plantations

in an area where almost conti-
nuous rainfall and tropical
heat meant that the exploited
forest could be restored every
10 years.
President Giscard d'Estaing
is giving his personal support
to the scheme after applica-
tions by two American com-
panies and a French company
to establish pulping plants.
But there have been allega-
tions from the Opposition
that the repopulation has
more subtle long-term
motives. Uranium deposits'
have been found in a disputed
area on the Surinam border
where two French policemen
were recently sent to claim
the territory for France.
The settlement ofGuayana
is obviously more than just an
anachronistic call to a pioneer-
ing spirit. France has been
impatient to get rid of its
minor overseas territories
unless they have a real use,but
it has hung on to Djibouti
for defence reasons. New
Caledonia in the Pacific for
its nickel, and Polynesia for
its nuclear testing ground.
One cynical view of the
present recruiting drive is that
the new pioneers are bound
to fail. The local population
is not known for its industry
and the French Government
would then have a pool of
cheap, white and committed
labour when the uranium
industry develops.

IS it going to be seasonal
road-repair, standpipes
installation, promises --
with no action, all over
again? The pre-Election
fooling I mean. As if we EVOLT ...
__didn' I ,-," "* -- -
c-.,nina Let's. nnt -b e

We all know we are
being ruled by force, even
though we are reluctant
to face it. In fact ashamed
to face it. If we would,
and I can't see why we
shouldn't, in one, only
one of our more quiet
moments, sit and have a
personal talk with out-
Face the problem squarely
for once.'We would surely
revolt. Yes revolt. And if we
don't rise up for others to see
and the nation to.feel, then
we would hide in our homes
and cry. Cry loudly in shame
and disappointment. Yes, we
would scream for deliverance.
Revolt A dreaded word.
Immediately we hear it, we
conjure up pictures of battle
and bloodshed. My revolution
is bloodless. Rather my
revolution is one of "hard
wuk", sweat and tears.
Our first step in this battle
to win back our, rights and
privileges is sober thinking
and deep questioning. We
must find out why we-have
broken off all "unapproved"
friendships, obey all wishes
of our superiors, and condemn
any of our colleagues if "the
party" orders us to do so.
We must find out why so
many laws are being passed "
against the have-nots. The
same people who, once in
a while, vote at General
We must find out what has
become of our freedom and
why. We are not free people
anymore. At least not all of
us. Let us find out why every-
day some new law is passed to

1U ectoriUIK
Hector Kern

take away another of our
basic rights.
Why have we resorted to
waiting for our freedom tu
come like some sudden un-
expected Auracle that will
occur without any effort on
our part? Find out why we
are either doing nothing or
cannot do anything to regain
this freedom from twentieth
century bondage.
Let us really talk to our-
selves, then and only then
would we revolt then we
would change the old habit
of supporting who is there
regardless, then we would
stop saying things like: "It's
going to be the same thing, so
why change? Let us think
positively and act sensibly.
Let us have friends, forget-
ting the strings attached to
our affiliations. We must
think of the jobless, the poor,
the scrunter, the destitute,
think of those who are getting
alarmingly and unbelievably
richer while the little people
get desperately and helplessly
poorer. Then what? Then
make a decision to let things
stay as they are, or change
them. Vote them out.
How can we do that?
Haven't you found the
change from free speech to
enforced silence to be ex-
tremely painful? "What tor-
ment it is for a living society,
used to thinking, to lose, as
from some day determined by
decree, the right to express
itself in print and in public;
year in and year out to bite

back its words in friendly
conversation and even under
the family roof".
Remember DeLeon and
others, they had to lose their
state-controlled jobs they had
to this is the price that one
has to pay for serving little
people. The price for wanting
to let people know what is to
be known not what "we"
want them to know.
It is our job now to work
towards reinstating DeLeon
and the others; towards ensur-
ing that other tongues are not
tied. Valentine look out! I.
suppose that these people are
wishing that calypso was
state controlled for?
Let us decide now whether
we would like to talk and
write and read freely the
truth. Or would we prefer to
stick our tongues in. our
cheeks and our pens in our
pockets, and swallow what
we are fed? If we want to be
freed then let us be our own
Trade Union Our People's

borated upon t
local gover
doing so he j
two macco wor
ocracy and Pot.e-
stated that we ci'i
have a good Cor;.'u-ii
because people '*
understood nor re'ipeS-
it. And while pc ':

not goin. to neotiate for
wages etc. We ae simply
going to come alive together
for our rights.
But the return passage,
which our country will soon
face -- the return of breathing
and consciousness, the transi-
Ion from silence to free
speech will also prove a
difficult and slow process, and
just as painful because of the
gulf of either incomprehension
that will suddenly yawn.
between fellow country men,
even those of the same genera-
tion, and same place of origin,
even members of the same
But all is not lost. As a
matter of fact all would be
won back, though painfully.
Only, we must work. And we
are going to work for we see
that "powerful and daring
minds are now beginning to
struggle upright, to fight their
way from under the heap of
antiquated rubbish". But even
for these brave ones it
wouldn't be very easy for
"even they still bear all the
cruel marks of the branding
iron, they are still cramped
by the stocks into which they
were forced."
We are really in a state.
On I'. -"our si L a ,,' "1'. -:'' e

healing. Our marks would
remain for generations the
-fact is "we have so shriveled
in the years of falsehood,
thirsted long in vain for the
refreshing drops of truth, that
"as soonas they fall on our
faces we tremble with joy.
We so rejoice in every little
word of -trth -o-m--tepty-su~--
pressed until now"! Now that
election time is here again.

And are they going to beg
for forgiveness? Are they
going to repent? Oh no! They
are going to give us half
tenths. They are going to lie
like hell. Are we going to give
them forgiveness? Are we
going to forgive all those lies
told over the years, because
of a few half truths and a few
handouts now. Tell me truth-
fully, or tell yourself if you
are ashamed. Are you going to
forgive all their misses, all
their inexactitudes, "even a
portion of error greater than
the portion of truth", simply
because 'something at least,
something at last has been
said!' "

Where do we go from here?
What do we do now! How
should we do it? When do we
start and why? Answer me
these questions in all honesty
then, let ,us get together in
peace with love in our hearts
to regain what we have lost.
To rebuild what was broken
To enjoy what is ours. In
short, to make ourselves a
better home. And may God
: *(i

0t Iso.laR

1"i wh

1 a I'RU -_
ma tr ve dttb&



" '* 2. \,


Talbl'tt 9
k,,drea ~ttt foT
of a treetq
stsj l Bt plas t
liev5 8448
-ph. ,
13 -S.




Begins With

1st Assembiy
Sept.28 1975








%os lBtinn general


Secretary's Address

Preparing for the coming Election


N. M. MM---M"--c ~~ -

I ~ I ~-rc~ s I ~er.s~rse IQ_ II


Reg 0 s ration