Full Citation
Permanent Link: http://ufdc.ufl.edu/UF00072147/00194
 Material Information
Title: Tapia
Physical Description: no. : illus. ; 43 cm.
Language: English
Publisher: Tapia House Pub. Co.
Place of Publication: Tunapuna
Creation Date: January 4, 1976
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: UF00072147:00194

Full Text

-. N 1U Y,;.: A JY4 13,o : ''~



-Wn dg as- fno,- i ceg

' S*.i C H.0 -STe.54.
1O'. M. S


30 Cents

Vcd. 6 No. I






THE poem "Lavcntille"
by Derek Walcott has
always disturbed me a
little, partly because, I
now realise, it invites one
to a species of "comfort-
able radicalism".
This is the height of
poverty for the desperate
and black", we read and are
charmed by the image. What
a slick, neat way to describe
the slum on the hill.
The truth is that the god-
father of the poem, obviously
middle-class, obviously agnos-
tic, is playing out a role and
is inviting us the readers to
share this role. This role is
one "of hopelessness and
rage/at their new apish hab its."
I call it a role, because
unless the godfather is a
foreigner, a stranger to West
Indian habits, he knows and
expects that when he goes to
a christening the people going
to be dress ip and in fact
that the people are all the
more likely to dress'up with
gloves and thing because the
godfather is a respectable and,
to use the words of Ken
Ramchand (Tapia Dec. 14)
"educated, middleclass writer".


If you are an educated,
middleclass writer, you are
probably an agnostic, so if
you agree to turn up in the
role of.godfather (clearly one
of the more patronising ways
for you to turn up in
Laventille) you are playing
grave-faced godfather, the star
boy role opposite the villain,
that "black fawning verger
his bow-tie akimbo,grinning."

Lloyd King responds to Kenneth Rainchand review of Derek
Walcott's Poem "Laventille", in Tapia Vol. 5 No. 50.

Fitting in with his mood,
the god-father sets up the
stage so that the reader can
get into the act. The people
of Livenlille lead lives which
"revolve round prison, grave-
yard, church".
Well, of course, if the
Laventille referred to is the
one inPort-of-Spain,we know
that the people's lives revolve
around other things as well
such as playing mas' at
Carnival, feteing, liming on
the block, working in Special
Works Programs where they
sometimes knock off at nine
in the morning, because as
Senator Hamlet Joseph tells
us, there is no material to do
the job properly.


By the time the godfather
is telling me that these slum
dwellers on the hill and
presumably those in the flats
next to the Beetham Highway
as well, are "those I deeply
loved/once," whose "love
twists withinme like a knife,"
I think, and it is no comfort
to me, that I can put a name
on the fellah; he is none
Other than The Ugly Intel-
The Ugly intellectual lurks
in all of us who are relatively
well-off, usually well-educated,
who get trips regularly to
England, to the U.S.A., to
Brazil, so that we have even
seen Rio's favelas.

But when we look around
us we see "lives fixed in the
unalterable groove of grind-
ing poverty," and particularly
if we cannot be classified as
"merchant, middleman, magis
trate, knight,"we are hounded
by guilt feelings, since really
there is no easy bridge ovei
troubled waters, (the last one
having fallen flat on its face
though still bobbing in the
water-on a cushioned raft of
The saving difference
between the ugly intellectual
and the Party Politician is
that th ough both.m ust assume

the gxod-fatier role, the former
is not seeking the votes of a
Nevertheless, the literary
intellectual is in the game
of manipulating feelings,
because.when, as Ken Ram-
chand says, "he remembers
how far he has travelled
compared with those church-
goers," he feels as if he had
suffered "some deep amnesiac
Because the question for
him and for many of us, is
which travel plan we are
associating with. When we
say "middle passage"we like to

believe that the journey and
"the retching waters where
our souls were fished/for this
new world" means the ances-
tral voyage from Africa,
when in fact, that voyage was
none other than the voyage
to England and the ethos of
British Empire now becomes


So the intellectual walks
up the hill to be crucified on
Mount Laventille and to live
and tell us about it from his
"swaddling cerements". And
to tell us in a manner which
precludes the .use of "the
dialect, of the race" ah!
that deep amnesiac blow.
I see Walcott's poem as an
important exploration of
certain middleclass reactions
to black poverty, showing
especially how unhealthy such
reactions can be.
When the people of Laven-
tille are smart enough to
start rejecting impositions
from outside, I suspect that
they will run out not only
the supercilious brown curate
sent by the Church of England
God father, but also the brown
intellectual showing his stig-
mata and telling how much
he suffered as a result of his
love for them.
Walcott's genius derives
from the fact that aswe read
his poem "something inside
is laid wide like a wound."


It huddled there
steel tinkling its blue painted metal air,
tempered in violence, like Rio s favelas,

with snaking, perilous streets whose edges fell as
its episcopal turkey-buzzards fall
from its miraculous hilltop

down the impossible drop
to Belmont, Woodbrook, Maraval, St. Clair

that shine
like peddlers' tin trinkets in the sun.
From a harsh

shower, its gutters growled and gargled wash
past the Youth Centre, past the water catchment,
a rigid children's carousel of cement;

we climbed where lank electric
lines and tension cables linked its raw brick
hovels like a complex feud,

where the inheritors of the middle passage stewed
five to a room, still clamped below their hatch.
breeding like felonies. ,

whose lives revo've round prison, graveyard, church.
Below bent breadfruit trees
in the flat, coloured clt', class

lay escalated into sltmrcturcs still,
merchant, middleman. magistrate. knight. To go downhill
from here wds to ascend.

The middle passage never guessed its end.
SThis iv the heights povertyy
for the desperate and black;

climbing, we could look back
with widening me. *mory
on the hot, corrugated iron sea
whose horrors we all

shared. The salt blood knew ii well.
you, me, Samuel's daughter, Snmuel.
and those ancestors clamped below itv grant

And o limbing steeply past the wild
gutters, it shrilled
in the blood, for those who suffered. \'wi n:tce killed,

and who survive.
What other gift was there to give
as the godparents of his unnamed child.'
Yet outside the brown annexe of the church, the
stilling odour of bay rum and talc, the particular.
neat sweetness of the crowd distressed

that sense. The black,'fawning verger
his bow tie akimbo, grinning, the clown-gloved
fashionable wear of those I deeply loved

once, made me look on with hopelessness and rage
at their new, apish habits, their excess
and fi'ar, the possessed, the self-possessed:

their perli mne shrivelled to a childhood fear
,'f Sahbath graveyards, christenings, marriages.
that muggy, steaming, self-assuring air

of tropical Sabbath afternoons. And in
the church, eyes prickling with rage,
the children rescued from original sin

by their God-father since the middle passage
the supercilious brown curate, who intones,

healing the guilt in these rachitic bones,
twisting my love within me like a knife,
'across the troubled waters of this life ..'

Which of us cares to walk
even if God wished
those retching waters where our souls were fished

fJr this new world? Afterwards, we talk
in whispers, close to death
among these stones planted on alien earth.
the ceremony, the carefil photograph
imoed out of range before the patient tombs,
we dare a laugh,
rinial, desperate words,
born hkc these children from habitual wombs,

f-fom lives fixed in the unalterable groove
of grinding poverty. I stand out on a balcony
and watch the sun pave its flat, golden path
ac,,ross tic(' rooms the aerials, cranes, the tops
S(l' fruil i tres crawling downward to llce i ;:v
Something inside is laid iidde !ilAc a i, :

SO ne c 'i /pa'. tall a il. s I, t H .'
S i' (( p aic'nesiac b/ow,. I, le]ft
soine lUI. i: it lilte we never lfou/J.
cusiits I id gods that are not horn again,
.oinc crib, ., ine grill of light
clanged shut on Ii in bondage. and withheld

s .from, that world below us and beyond.
and in its swaddling cerements we're still bounl.


-.d mhft



THE latest manifestation
of U.S. cultural penetra-
tion in Latin America
started in January 1975
with the redistribution of
the TV series. Sesame
Street II, already trans-
mitted to some countries
in the area.
Back in 1969, although
alamned by the development
of the technical means of
manipulating public opinion
in the hands of the big con-
sortia, experts in the field
stated that U.S. imperialism
still had not gained the indus-
trial control of education.
A year later, the situation
had changed radically. In
1970, the United States re-
vealed the existence of a
children's TV workshop
financed by private institu-
tions and the U.S. Govern-
From that industry came
the series called Sesame
Street (Plaza Sesame in
Spanish and Villa Sesame in
Portuguese), financed by the
transnational Xerox.
By 1972 and in spite of
the resistance of certain sec-
tors, Sesame Street had been
transmitted to most of the
countries in Latin America.
In some countries, the
series was transmitted more
than once and the Peruvian
Government, for instance,
through its Education Min-
istry, prohibited the series.
Said the Peruvians:
"The series utilizes mecha-
nical techniques of memo-
rization and not reason. In

addition, it teaches the
child a totally rigid, invari-
able and depersonalized
concept of order. It also
gives a completely false
idea of reality, and gives
the children unconscious
motivations of extremely
dangerous fear and inhibi-
tion. "'
Thus, apparently unoffen-
sive cultural products, such
as the comic strips and TV
series manufacutred in the
United States, foml part of
the overall context of social
research manipulated by the
elite of the U.S. power struck
The elaboration of a large
part of capitalist cultural
products is in the hands of
powerful interests which have
organized themselves into
veritable world-wide com-
munications industries.
Their objective is to impose
on the world cultural stand-
ards which imply ignorance
of the existence of class
struggle, the consolidation of
myths and other diversionist
variants, all to foster confor-
mity with the predominant
ideology, iron-clad and subtle
at the same time.
Walt Disney Productions,
for example, is today a
genuine empire. Its activities
include the daily press, TV,
films, two gigantic amuse-
ment parks and millions of
That is why Fortune
Magazine, when it listed the
500 most important industrial
companies in the U.S. in
1972, included for the first

time several U.S. film and
radio broadcasting companies.
"It is affirmed that in cul-
tural shows the principal
ingredient is, in essence,
neutral and inoffensive, It is
said that their objective is
merely to amuse," said Herbert
I. Schiller of Le Monde
Diplomatique, in February


At the same time, the fact
that an amusement program
can contain an ideological
content is deemed false.
However, for the past 50
years Hollywood has been
manufacturing the dreams of
free enterprise for almost
the entire world," he empha-
Social researches in the
United States, have, from the
times of John F. Kennedy,
the essential mission of
recommending how foreign
policy should be conducted.
It was Kennedy who said
that the U.S. public image
abroad was being affected by
an ethical crisis which was
damaging the image the

empire wanted to show to
the rest of the world.
Robert MacNamara, presi-
dent of the World Bank,
was given the difficult task of
turning the Social Sciences
into an efficient instrument
of imperialist domination.
U.S. errors in the analysis
of the possibilities of triumph
in the frontal clash with the
nascent Cuban Revolution at
the beginning of the sixties -
and its precipitated decision
to "teach a lesson" to the
Third World with the destruc-
tion of the Vietnamese resist-
ance are presently regarded
as vital factors in ie U.S.
decision to manipulate the
Social Sciences in its favor.
The truth is that there is
no neutrality in the social
research carried out by the
United States, and the techno-
crats know it, in spite of the
fact that they declare the
contrary. Occasionally confes-
sions are made that reveal the
partiality of the Social
Saxe-Fernandez in his
book Social Science and
Preventive Counterrevolution
in Latin America quotes the

following paragraph from
General Austin W. Betts, of
the U.S. Army Research and
Development Section:
"Generally, our experience
has been that some re-
searchers,who work for the
universities or for the
Army under contract, are
sincerely and positively
devoted to a purpose: the
development of knowledge
But they should under.
stand, and the majority do,
.that that knowledge wil'
probably be used to
strengthen our military
Wherever the tentacles of
the economic transnational'
reach, we can find the U.S.
publicity agents trans-
nationals in their own right
- private networks aimed at
the production and distribu-
tion of information which
serves exclusively the interests
of the monopolies, in their
attempts to find arguments
that justify their existence
and world expansion.

(Prensa Latina)

Paraguayan Economy "takes off"





PARAGUAY is one or
the most backward coun-
tries in Latin America
when it romes to indus-
trial development. This
backwardness coincides
with the long reign of
General Alfredo Stroes-
The country's only two
industrial censuses were taken
in 1955 and 1963. According.
to the first, there were 2,723
firms employing 34,449
workers, while the second
registered 2,450 and 28,783,
Thus the average number
of workers per "factory" fell
from 12.4 to 11.7 in nine.
Eighty-eight percent of the
factories are in fact tiny craft
shops employing 10 percent
of the sector's labor force,
while 10 percent are classified
as "small", employing 30
is hardly a dynamic sector
of the economy. At its worst
moments, the number of
workers employed and even
installed capacity decreased,
with the foreign corporations
the beneficiaries in one way
or another.
The past and present
situation of this sector is the

direct result of the anti-
industry policies of the regime,
which has undercut the feeble
attempts on the part of
Closely involved in this
are officialized contraband,
bribery, all manner of cor-
ruption, plus tax benefits
favoring Brazilian interests.
While during the sixties
some factories producing for
export barely survived, in
comparison with the upsurge
in the road building and the
non-productive commerce and
services sectors, many of the
national finns producing for
the domestic market went
bankrupt because of the
impossibility of competing
with contraband and.official


This was the case with
the textile, alcoholic bever-
ages. match and cigarette
sectors. which paid the "price
of social peace," Strocssner's
description of contraband.
Most of the facotires
operating in Paraguay, that
are wholly or mostly foreign-
owned, engage in the trans-
formation of raw materials
for export. Outstanding
among them are canneries

and other food processing
plants in the meat, cooking-
oil and sugar sector, as well as
The share of nationally-
owned industry in the gross
domestic product (GDP) is
expressed in the following
indices: in 1956 it was 17
percent, to fall to 15 percent
in 1962, remaining at 16
percent for the past seven
With the application of a
national 'plan for economic
and social development for
1971-75. P;: :uiv:, industry

is expected to reach an 18
percent share in the GDP.
This relative growth could
be taken as a sign of recovery
of national industry were it
not for the gross disadvantage
as compared with the trans-
national corporations, and if
it had a stable domestic
market free from the unfair
competition of government-'
sponsored contraband.


These points are precisely
at the heart of the requests
to the government made by
the Industry and Commerce
Federation (FEPRINCO) and
the Paraguayan Industrial
Union (UIP).
To promote this industrial
"takeoff", the Stroessner
regime enacted at the end of
1970 Law .216 on foreign
This legislation grants
numerous facilities to foreign
capital, including a ten-year
exemption from such taxes
as income tax and on the
imports of capital goods which
the state deems necessary.
Along with that law, the
recently decreed Law 416
on foreign banks and other
entities increased the amount
ofremittances legally permit,

ted, in keeping with the
demands of the private bank-
ing sector which is completely
controlled by foreign in.
Under these measures,
since 1973 there has been a
massive influx of new direct
investments, to the detriment
of local business interests
This process was acceler-
ated in 1974 with the incen-
tives afforded by the big
:national and bilateral hydro-
electric projects of Itaipu,
Yacireta-Apipe, Corpus and
Likewise the eixstence of
insufficiently exploited natural
resources, that are in great
demand\intemationally such
as wood, and the presence -'
a labor reserve that mak&
extremely low wage levels
possible, constitute some of
the 'incentives provided by
the Paraguayan government
to foreign investors.
These advantages include
an expected increase in
demand for products such as
cement, lumber, steel for the
above-mentioned dams, and
the road networkwith Argen-
tina and Brazil.
Figures from the Industry
and Trade Ministry indicate
Cont'd on page 6

Focus on...r
* .3]

Much more than

Christmas on

Sesame Street


'1 many people the
most astounding fact
about this Christmas
season was the wild aban-
don with which people
seemed to spend their
money. The businessmen,
it is said, never had it so
good. And this in spite
of the merciless inflation
which drove prices higher
than ever before. It was
like ole mas in town.
It woula oe interesting
to speculate upon the
"whys" and "wherefors"
of this orgy of spending.
Certainly there was a lot
of money floating
around. Backpays and
COLAs increased the
amount of hard cash
which was in circulation
during the season by
millions of dollars.
In addition, inflation when
it is a persistent condition of
life, does not tend to en-
courage saving. In fact it
does just the opposite. It
encourages people to spend
at present prices, whatever
they are, in order to avoid
any additional increases.
But among the whole host
of reasons which could be
adduced, place must be
found for some consideration
of the psychological state of
the population in this the
last Christmas before the
next general election. The
fact is that underlying much
of the abandon must have
been the idea, eat, drink and
be merry for tomorrow we
... .. and that is just the
point. No one knows what
the morrow will bring.
Indeed about the only
thing which all the political
pundits in the country, and
these days there are many,
seem to agree upon is that
the coming General Election
will be the most crucial in
our entire history.

1976 promises to be the
year of decision in more ways
than one. Whatever the out-
come, the election will decide
much more than the elemen-
tary question as to which
party will preside over our
destinies for the next five
The fact is that the elec-
tion, when it comes, will, in
all probability mark the
culmination of a decade of
constant and enduring uphea-
val and crisis in the social
and political life of the
,For many it has been
difficult enough, living
through this process, to
recognize it for what it is.
The prudent man will not
dare state with any degree
of assurance just what the
final outcome will be.,
For what we have been
witnessing these past ten
years has been the attempts
of our people to find *ome
form of political and social
foundation from which a
concerted attempt at nation-
building can be launched with

some minimal degree of
stability and order.
In short, as Tapia long ago
pointed out, we have been
undergoing a constitutional
crisis. Yet we must never
forget that the range of
choices open to people are
never present in terms of
constitutional models. Only
those minds inextricably
locked within the confines of
colonialist thought would
dare equate constitution"
building with legal draught-

Constitutional structures
have always been and will
always be determined in the
nitty-gritty of the political
process and hence by the
nature and range and ideol-
ogy and skill of the political
options available to people at
any given point in time. This
is why a people always get
the constitution they deserve.
No more no less.
And while there is really
no way of telling, until a
final settlement is arrived at,
just how much we as a
people have added to the
sum total of our political
experience, what we can say
for certain is that those
political forces which occupy
the stage today constitute
the boundaries of our possi-
But the boundaries only.
Notwithstanding those who
would speak in despairing
terms about a "wilderness of
no choice" the real probabi-
lities are usually, and certainly
in this case, much narrower
than the boundaries which
Perhaps the only other
certainly in this context is
that the New Year will be a
year of change. Even if the
present Government were to
be to returned to office, that
fact alone will make it
impossible for them to
continue in much the same
way as they have been going.
The point being that what
exists now is flux, uncertainty.
This cannot last. It is inevit-
able that we shall end with
something concrete. Concrete
vision or concrete nightmare.
Any account of the real
political forces on the stage
today cannot fail to include
the present ruling Party the
P.N.M. Not however on
account of their political
resources which are painfully
few and disappearing fast.
' In the first place it is clear
to everybody in the country,
save perhaps those few whose
eyesight, and insight, was
destroyed in the blinding
light which accompanied the
birth of the movement back
in '56, that as leaders, as
administrators, as managers
they have demonstrated their
total incompetence many
times over.
One needs only to look
around at the complete mess
in which this country finds
itself after twenty years of
P.N.M. rule to find the proofs
for this. Their latest attempt
at budgeting, personally

supervised as it was by the
"master" himself, and involv-
ing as it did such colossal
sums of money, is but the
latest testament to their
monumental incapacity for-
In addition there can be
no doubt that the Party is in
a shambles. The internecine
warfare, the external mani-
festations of which are the
resignations, the reshuffles
and the retrenchments, is
obviously becoming more
and more intense.
This is only tobe expected.
For a long time now the
Party has been dominated.
by a rapacious bunch of self-
servers and sycophants, most
of whom, jumped on its
bandwagon long after most
of those who had worked to
build the Party in the early
days had been brushed aside.
When a Party composed
of such "a bunch of ideol-
ogical transients" grows weak
two things usually happen. In
the firstplace all theparasites
get nervous. Those who are
living high on the hog begin
to calculate just how much
longer they can hold on to
the good times before it
becomes too dangerous and
they have to jump off to
save their own skins.
At the same time those
who have so far only been
knocking at the door of
pecuinary opportunity be-
come desperate and intensify
their efforts to get a piece of
the action before the whole
structure caves in.
This state of affairs is
of course exacerbated by
the' nature of the Party. As
the infamous resignation gam-
bit of 1973 demonstrated
beyond the shadow of a
doubt, the Party is utterly
and completely a "Doctor"
Party. Owned, controlled
and run by one man.
Indeed one might argue
that the bunch of mercern-
aries who now ,occupy its
inner core could only have
entered in because the Party
was a doctor Party in the
first place. Be that as it
may the fact remains that
Williams has not hesitated to

use the cupidity of those
around him to perpetuate
his complete dominance of
the Party.
The price of pecuniary
gain under the umbrella of
the Party is complete and
total self-anniliation politic-
ally. It is an even better
practice than submitting an
undated but signed resigna-
tion. Kari Hudson-Phillips
and A.N.R. Robinson will
undoubtedly confirm this.
But the point is under
such conditions where one
man dispenses and all the
rest merely try to gain his
favour we have a situation in
which the intrigues of the
Palace can destroy the court.
It is very likely that we
have not seen the last of the
The irony of the situation
of course is that it may yet
prove to be the death of
both court-jesters and King.
As far as the court-jesters
are concerned, even though
all can see the weakness of
the party, their own cupidity,
and the fact that they rely
so exclusively upon the King
for political initiative, will
force them to hold on until
the "Doctor" makes his last
brilliant move to save the


Yet, partly because he
does not have around him
men of any competence or
political acumen, any move
which the "Doctor" makes
has a very limited chance of
success. Only the hacks can-
not perceive this and they
will keep waiting until judge-
ment day for that move
which is intended to be the
"real" coup de grace.
So that if the P.N.M. is

not to be dismissed from
the reckoning it is not be-
cause of any organisational
or political strengths. They
are in the reckoning simply
because, in the first place,
they are the Government of
the day.
By virtue of this fact they
possess certain resources
which cannot be lightly
regarded. The first of these
is money. The purse-striigs of
the State.
The importance of this is
not really to be found, at
least at this stage, in their
ability to grease the pockets
or, more literally, the fingers
of' the voters. For in this
context they have reached,
what the Tapia editorial last
week termed, "the natural
limits of chicanery". In
short they have bribed too
much, for too long, to success-
fully do so any more.
The importance of the
money-purse at thip-point in
time is simply that it takes
money to run an election
campaign. And to the extent
that they have, or have
access to large amounts of
money and the other opposi-
tion forces do not, then
clearly that is a factor in
their favour.
Closely allied to this, and
also steaming from their con-
trol of the State, is the con-
trol which they have over
the economic livelihood of so
many of the population.
Over the years the State
has invested massive amounts.
of money in all sectors of
the economy with the result
that today possibly over
forty percent of the jobs in
the land are directly control-
led by the Government.
The significance of this
of course lies in the fact that
it limits the open participa-
tion of a vast number of
people in political activity,
for the opposition, for fear
of victimisation.
And, given the realities of
a political situation in which
numbers are the most widely
accepted indicators of
strength, such a situation
clearly can work to thedetri-

,~ ~ ~ I- I

L_ I LI ---- 1--3~- pi = L~

ment of the opposition
forces. Although in this case
it may be a two-edged sword.
For clearly the Government
itself is in no position to
accurately assess the gains
being made by any opposi-
tion party.

The two final major
advantages which the ruling
party gains simply by its
control of the state are the
almost total dominance
which it exercises over the
broadcast media and its comn-
plete capacity to control and
manipulate the laws of the
As was pointed out
earlier the prevailing condi-
tion in the politics of the
country is one of flux and
uncertainty. With the old
constitutional order clearly
disintegrating before their
eyes and no new structure
yet crystallised, the majority
of the population are under-.
standably confused.
Suchl state of confusion
would tend to work in favour
of the "status quo". That is
with a political order which
people- admit is bad but
which nonetheless is tangible
and comprehensible. Thus as
Denis Solomon has said the
Government has a vested
interest in Public ignorance
Their adamance in refusing
to allow rad:o and Television
time to any of the opposition
forces is but the most glaring
of the ways in which they
seek to starve the public of
meaningful information.
But equally as reprehens-
ible is the fact that after so
many years the radio and
television stations still inun-
date the airwaves with the

most mindless imported trash
they could find, and that
the Chairman of the Board
of the State-owned media is
a man of such ante-diluvian
views as to make him a total
anachronism in this day and
Here it may be useful to
point out that the unwilling-
ness of the Government to
call the election long before
now, inspire of what they
call the "splintered opposi-
tion" is precisely that to do
so is automatically to focus
the attention of people on
all the political alternatives
and what they have to offer.
And precisely too because
the Government by shutting
off information to people
has succeeded in shutting
itself off from information
about the people, they cannot
know how receptive the
population will be at such a
time and hence have been
afraid to risk any election
without some guarantees.
There are of course none.
Their ability to use' the
Laws of the land to their
own advantage is less a
function of their control of
the state than of the fact
that they control the Parlia-
ment almost totally. And it is
an extremely important re-
When one considers the
whole host of repressive
legislation, passed by this
Government particularly since
1971, and considers the
instances in which such Ac,
like the Summary offences
Act and the Sedition Act
have been brought into play,
then one realises that the
main purpose of all these
pieces of legislation is to
restrict the possible courses
of Political action available
to the opposition forces and
indeed the people as a whole.

The second major reason
why the Government remains
a force to be reckoned with
has to do with the fact that
as incompetent as they are,
most of the opposition forces
around are even more in-

The plethora of political
parties in the country today
is not in itself a problem.
Indeed if all the parties which
existed today were repre-
sentative of different ideol-
ogical viewpoints and seeking
to win support for these
then we could be exceedingly
sanguine about the political.
future of the country.
The problem is that most
of these so-called alternatives
are really painfully blotched
carbon-copies of the P.N.M.
and subscribe in one way or
the other to t-:e conceptions
of politics and of people
which the P.N.M. holds and
of which it is the past-master.
Indeed, they all, with
few exceptions, are as much
defenders of the status-quo
as is the P.N.M. and can
hence pose no threat to that
Party. But, in so far as in
their political incompetence,
their organisational non-
existence and their ideol-
ogical incoherence, they are
all obviously worse than the
P.N.M. which is at least still
held together by having
something to do, then do
they, all provide respectability
to the P.N.M. by comparison.
The fact is that the past
is always the main component
of the present. It is therefore
not surprising that as the
country goes through the
long traumatic experience of
forging new institutions there
should be found mingling on
the national stage both the
forces of the old order and
the forces of change. The
task and the challenge of
political judgement is to
separate the one from the

iUARY 4. 1975

Perhaps nothing so charac-
terises the methods of the
old than the nature of their
arrival on the political stage.
Without exception the con-
ventional forces in the land
are all products of the
instantaneous gestation of a
press conference.
Anyone with political
ambitions, as distinct from
political insight, can get up
one morning, call a press
conference and declare that
he or she has a "party". All
this does of course is betray
their ignorance of what a
political party really is.
A political Party is a
collection of interests. Within
the boundaries of its ideol-
ogical principles however
wide or narrow there may be,
it must, if it is viable, serve
as the vehicle of advance-
ment for a variety of com-
munities, organizations, insti-
tutions and the people who
belong to these.
Whep there appears such
a recognisable and coherent
collection you have apolitical
party. Until then all one has
is a political hope, in most
instances, without a hope in
the world.
The next characteristic of
most of the conventional
parties, springs directly from
the manner of their forma-
tion. And this is that without
exception they are of an
extremely transitory nature.
They appear, make a noise,
and then disappear.
The people of this country
should understand thispheno-
menon better than most. We
have had a long experience
with political gadflies.
"Parties" spring up as the
first scent of elections tinges
the air, and then after learn-
ing from bitter experience
that overnight creations are
not going to fool the elector-
ate, they quietly fade away.
The experience of the
Liberals, the-W.F.P. and the
1971 creation of Bhadase
Maraj are all testaments to
this fact. There is no reason
in the world why most of the
alphabetical creations float-
ing around today should not
suffer the same fate.

All the L.A.Ps and the
W.I.N.Ps and the U.N.I.Ps
and the U.F.Ps and what
have you are but different
faces of the same old dis-
credited political style.
Another characteristic of
conventional forces is their
love of marriages and mergers.
There is of course nothing
wrong with different parties
who can find large areas of
meaningful agreement coming
together for their mutual
But, if the parties are
viable in the first place, then
these areas of meaningful
agreement will be seen as
they pursue their political
work. So that by the time
any merger takes place it is
the natural outcome of a
collaboration ,in many areas
of political life.

r:Rn i ... LAI
Nonetheless precisely
because that is the nature
of conventional politics there
is little question that we
shall see before long one or
mqre of such electoral
marriages, announced with
the appropriate fanfare in
the press. But who at this.
stage will be taken in by any
such frankenstein.
Finally, no account of the
political possibilities which
face our country in this its
Year of Decision can afford
to leave out the vital question
of organisation. It is perhaps
the most vital criterion.
The nature of the situa-
tion in which we exist, with
a completely unpopular Gov-
ernment which nonetheless,
still has the capacity to con-
trol the political lives of so
many people,isgoing to make
the final resolution a blind-
ingly swift one.
It is not simply that the
Government, or rather Wil-
liams is the only one who
can know with any certainty
the date of the election,
although that is certainly a
consideration. More impor-
tant however is that the time
which is going to be given
between the announcement
of any election and the
actual date is going to be
exceedingly brief.
In such conditions only
those forces have taken
the time tobuild an organisa-
tion, so practised in the
routines of political campaign-
ing that it can, almost at a
moments notice, launch a
campaign of such intensity
that it is in every part of the
country every hour of the
day, which stand a ghost of
a chance.
How many of the forces
on the public stage have such
an organisation in place? The
fact is that one political force
has even seen the need for
such a permanent structure.
In the end there is really
no great range of choice
when we the sovereign citi-
zens come to answer the
question "For whom will
the bells toll."
Michael Harris

This however is a com-
pletely different state of
affairs from one in which
two or three "party"leaders
go into a conference room as
representatives of three dif-
ferent political entities and
emerge after a few hours as
members of one "solidly
united force."
Such a creation can be
neither solid nor united and
is no force. The most vivid
instance of this of course is
the marriage of the ACDC-
DLP in 1971. It was a purely
electoral connivance with
neither ideological, political
nor personal affinities
amongst its various parts.
And when the moment of
"truth" came the new "party"
naturally splintered into
several parts.


~c I --II --I I -- -- I I



TeiBi bc'

I HAVE no quarrel with
people receiving money,
especially when it goes
to poor people. But 1
always question the
motive behind the giving
of it, the how and the
These are hard facts of
life we have to face. We may
be poor. We may be hungry,
we may be in need, but
when money is being used
by those in power for the
buying and selling of the
rights of men, in the interest
of the few, then wherever
you are your duty is to speak
The issue of the paying
out of back-pay to Special
Works employees is one that
calls for an examination of
truth. The first thing we have
to look at is that negotiators
for the new three-year agree-
ments between N.U.G.E. and
Government started some-
where around the middle of
last year, and was delayed
and delayed, until conclusion
was finally reached sometime'
in January this year.
From the time that the
negotiations were concluded
there is no logical reason in
the world why the new rates
could not have been imple-
mented in February or March,
instead of eight months after
as they did.
But there are political
reasons for this. In the first
place the Union itself prefers
it this way since it makes it

From Page 3

that in 1974, authorized
foreign investments came to
67.7 million dollars, of which
415 million were used for
importing capital goods for
new mixed ventures.
For the 1976-1977 period
about a billion dollars of
investments are expected,
most of them from US and
Brazil-based corporations.
They will go largely to paper
and cellulose, steel, aluminium
and food processing. Out-
standing are plans for Side-
par, a steel plant with 60
percent Paraguayan capital
and the remainder Brazilian.


Of last year's investments,
52 percent went into the
timber sector, in which there
is a strong concentration of
Brazilian-owned companies
that largely control produc-
tion and marketing.
One of the biggest invest-
ments in this sector is being
undertaken by the "UEB,"
the Union of Brazilian Com-
panies, for the installation of
a vast industrial complex in
the San Pedro department.
Interests based in another

easier for them to raise the
dues of members when oack-
pay is forthcoming.
So that they have no wish
to protest the second reason
which is that Government
likes to pay out large sums of
money to workers and also
non-workers around election
Thedanger however is that
when you pay people in sums
of such bulk the cos: is
always measured in inflation.
You 'provide and create an
atmosphere in which the
merchants are encouraged to
raise their prices, while the
workers are encouraged to
spend on consumer goods
many of which are unneces-


So that the ones who profit
are not really the workers but
the already rich businessmen.
And to pay back-pay at
Christmas time only makes
the matter worse putting poor
people at the mercy of the
This, to my mind, is a
dangerous practice, which
serves only to continue
poverty and inequality.
The other point about the
backpay is that these monies
should have been paid with
checks. For apart from the
danger of carrying around
such large sums of money,
payment in checks might
have resulted in less wasteful
spending. But of course this

neighboring country, Argen-
tina, are studying the build-
ing of an aluminium plant
and a cellulose factory, with
the latter to use Paraguay's
abundant forests (60 percent
of the country is covered with
In the lumber industry in
Amambay department, the
95 percent Brazilian-owned
Lumber Association is a big
power. It controls 50 out of
57 sawmills and provides 30
percent of the South Ameri-
can giant's lumber needs.
Last year's second-ranking
sector in terms of foreign
investments was food proces-
sing, with 11.7 percent of
total investments.
!n cooking and industrial
*oils, especially soya, the

is precisely the reason why
the money was not paid in
checks and there was a mad
rush by payclerks and other
officials to complete the pay-
sheets in time for Christmas.
The consequence of this
hastiness was however that
most of the so-called regulars
were badly underpaid. I know
of one mason who worked
the whole year and received a
little over four hundred dollars.
Much less than what he was
entitled to. I myself received
a mortal backpay wound. I
was shortpaid by about ten
In addition to all this the
most ridiculous thing about
the big payout was where it
took place. It was madness
to think that hundreds of
people could have come across
the highway, to receive their
pay without the risk of
serious accident.
In the event one mar, did
die. A worker by the name of
Jobe. After a man has gone
through the headaches and
torments associated with
working on the SpecialWorks,
and then to be suddenly cut
off from existence even
before he received his back-
pay could never be right.


The point is that it might
have been anyone of us or
many more of us. And the
reason is that Government
did not care sufficient about
the workers to place the pay,


outstanding companies are
CAPSA (owned by the
Bahamas-based Adela Invest-
ments and the Japanese-owned
CAICISA). Other line in the
industry are controlled by US
and West Europeant firms.
Other investments in 1974
went to textiles (6.1 percent).
non-ferrous metal products
,(2.7) and chemicals (1.8).


Leading the Paraguayan
investment race are Brazilian
companies including the Real
and Bloch groups, and UEB,
Independencia Decred, Lunar-
delli and Luchisinger Mador-
The UiB (Union of
Brazilian Coimpanies) hIas just

office in a Community Centre
or somewhere where ade-
quate protection could be
In addition to where the
payment was made is the
wicked fact that men were
made to wait in line until
three o'clock in the morning
to receive their money. I
wonder which bigboy would
stand up from 10 a.m. to 3
amn. the following day to
receive a handful of short
It is only when human
beings are poor that they are
reduced to the status of non-
entities. It is only when a
Government is totally incon-
siderate in outlook and
nature that the citizens could
be subjected to such wicked


I heard on the occasion
one area foreman cry out,
"Oh God! Look atmy people.
Look how they have them
running from pillar to post,
all through the rain in search
of back-pay."
The foreman was referring
tothe fact that officials have
workers running from pay-
booth to paybooth to find
out which one had their
names and then to stand in
line and wait.
In addition many were
paid in the dark, when it was
impossible to tell whether or
not you were getting the right
amount. One man went up


bought up 18,646 hectares of
land for building a sugar mill,
whose installed capacity will
be larger than that of all the
existing mills in Paraguay.
Alongside the large Brazil-
ian corporations are smaller


to the paymaster and heard
him count out 87 dollars but
when he left the crowd to
check it he found that he had
only been given $47.00.
Another woman, this time
in broad daylight, was to
receive more than thirty
dollars for a ten days she
had worked during the year.
Instead she got about sixteen


The big payout was in
fact nothing but advantage
for many of the workers.
Paymasters., security guards
and area foremen imposed
their own unemployment levy
on every person whose back-
pay they had anything to do
in getting for them. And that
day as their cups were over-
flowing with whisky so too
did their pockets overflow
with the sweat and tears of
hundreds of people.
One woman who obviously
had been forced to pay this.
levy was heard to say in a
loud voice, but with tears in
her eyes. "All yuh criminals,
enjoy yourselves. This is the
last for all yuh bitches. When
we move this Government we
go see how much advantage
all yuh go take on black

ones located in the border
areas, and engaging especially
in the lumber business. They
are supported by a massive
'influx of over 200,000 Brazil-
ians, where every year some
30,000 Paraguayans head for
Greater Buenos Aires because
they can't find jobs at home.
The massive penetration
of foreign capital in Paraguay.
to the detriment of its weak
nationally-owned industry, is
directly linked to the vast
hydroelectric potential of the
The investment current is
part of a continental trend by
global corporations. In Para-
guay it is being manifested
by ite aggressive expansion
of Blazil-based companies.

takes off"

Into Foreign Bank Accounts




Foundation to Fixtures

Call 62-44698



In January of this year I
wrote to the Exchange Con-
trol Division of the Central
Bank urging that small sums
of monies be freed from
exchange controls. It was
indicated that the present
stringent exchange control
regulations could be viewed
as an emergency measure and

Cards are a new idea in
communications, geared
to enhance the status
of our country's leading
entertainers, and designed
as "contemporary" items
which can be used
throughout the year and
for a variety of purposes,
including the promotion
of our talented artistes
The launching of this
new and novel line of
greeting cards in 1975
is seen as a fitting com-

that the Ministry of Finance
has more than adequate safe-
guards to ensure financial
stability. I was assured that
the subject was then under
However, no further word
has been received from the
Bank and no attempt has
been made to justify the
continuation of the Regula-
tions in their present form.

memoration of a year in
which the achievement
and the impact of our
artistes were at their
Designer of the cards
is Sam (langa) Rodney
jr., of Black Truth
Rhythm Band, and editor
of Camboulay Magazine,
who has applied graphic
arts and montage techni-
ques to telling effect.
The lettering of the cards
is done in a fancy
"Calypso" type. "Oxford"

Central Bank


under fire

and "free hand" style.
Among the artistes
featured on the cards
are: Shadow, Black
Truth Rhythm Band,
Valentino,, Astor John-
son and the Repertory
Dance Theatre, Mansa
Musa. Bamboo and the
Sound of Obeah, and
One notable inclusion is
that of the Guyanese
dramatic entertainers
"Dem Two"; this is in
keeping with the Carib-
bean perspectives of the

Associated in the
sponsorship of the ven-
ture are: Congo Village
Enterprise and Black
Truth Rhythm Band.
The cards were printed
by the Tapia House
Printing Company.
Sam Rodney states
that, "In the crisis which
exists in the state *of
entertainment presently,
it is imperative that
such steps be taken, and
equally important that
the public support such
an initiative." The cards
are now on sale around
Port-of-Spain and San



s Stephens

At the time I wrote the
letter I was mainly concerned
with the manner in which the
regulations affected University
students who wished to
import texts; reprints and
journals, directly from the
publishing firms. The same
rationale could also be ex-
tended to include fees to
professional societies, sub-
scription to internation-
al journals, donations, gifts,
and the costs of models,
scientific and numismatic
The futility of attempting
to control the movement of
small sums of monies was
sharply demonstrated by
recent losses sustained by the
Government and country
through the recent deprecia-
tion in the value of the
Pound. From the end of June
to the present time it is esti-

mated that the value of the
British Pound (and allied
currency)has decreased by 13
per cent against the U.S.
Dollar; 125 per cent against
the Canadian and Jamaican
Dollars, and a similar per-
centage against the Bolivar,
the Franc and the Mark.
Figures available for May
of this year showed that the
nation's holdings in Sterling
amounted to $133,000,000
(T&T), while the external
debt in Sterling was $16,
200,000 (T&T). The loss in
real value would amount to
no less than 12 per cent of
$116,800,000 (T&T) or $14
million dollars over a period
of five months.


A comparison with the
sums expended by University
students for the 1975/76
Academic Year would show
that much less is involved. The
total number of students
registered at the campus is
,under 2,500. The average sum
expended such year per
student on University Text-
books is approximately one
hundred and fifty dollars
($150). It is fair to assume,
therefore, that about $375,
000 would be spent on class-
room texts for the current
academic year by students
(many of whom are. non-
nationals). This is a mere 27
per cent of the loss sustained
by our holdings in Sterling.
The argument that the
Government has little control
over the losses is immaterial to
the topic. There is little logic
in deploying staff to restrict






Of people who know
how to cope

with rising



the movement of small sums
of monies when such heavy
losses are being sustained. An
examination of the present
operations of the Ministry
of Finance would demon-
strate .that the employees
who are controlling the move-
ment of such funds can be
more effective in.other areas
where their labours would be
more meaningful.

It is also of note that
many of the University texts
are now being sold at a con-
trolled price. If the Exchange
Control Regulations are modi-
fied, there would be little
need for resorting to such an
act since students would be
free to make their purchases
at more economical prices
from the publishing houses.
If the Ministry of Finance
wishes to place restrictions
on individual freedom it
should present its arguments
to the public in a manner
that can be understood. Why
should the consumer be
required to accept austerity
measures when considerable
sums are spent on loans to
foreign governments, on over-
seas tours and on subsidies to
CARIFTA producers? Has
Exchange Controls degener-
ated into an exercise in
futility, or is it fulfilling its
original purpose? Does justifi-
cation still remain for
demanding that the consumer
surrender his liberty to pur-
chase goods and services
from abroad?


Group issues All-year-round

Local Greetings Cards





A g a a g g g

S SUN JANU14RY 11+17