Full Citation
Permanent Link: http://ufdc.ufl.edu/UF00072147/00209
 Material Information
Title: Tapia
Physical Description: no. : illus. ; 43 cm.
Language: English
Publisher: Tapia House Pub. Co.
Place of Publication: Tunapuna
Creation Date: April 18, 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: UF00072147:00209

Full Text
Hrs. Andrea Talbutt,
Research Institut for
Study of Man,
162, East 78th Street,
New York, N.Y. 10021,
Ph. Lehigh 5 8448.
U.S.A. _I





C.L.R. JAMES flew out
to London early last
week Tuesday morning
and throughout his one-
week stay in Trinidad he
turned down repeated
requests for interviews.
The reason' James
wanted to make no
waves which would inter-
fere with the making of
a BBC TV Documentary,
based on his cricket book,
"Beyond A Boundary ".
The film, final sections
of which were shot during
last week's second Test
Match between the West
Indies and India, is sche-
duled to be run on BBC
television on July 8.
Personal approval for
the project had to come
from Prime Minister Dr.
Eric Williams, however,
before the film could be
shot in Trinidad.
When BBC Producer/
Director Michael Dibbs
came to Trinidad last
January to begin pre-
liminary work on the
film, the BBC got a
letter raising objections
from James Alva Bain,
chairman of the, Gov-
ernment-owned media
Details of the Bain
letter have not yet been
disclosed. But as a result
of the letter, the BBC
turned to diplomatic
channels to get the film
The British High Com-
mission in Port-of-Spain
had to be brought into
the picture.
And it vas only after
the High Commission and

the BBC provided certain
guarantees, also undis-
closed, that Dr. Williams
gave the project his
personal blessing.
It would appear from
James' silence during his
stay here, however, that
the "guarantees" included
that he should come to
Trinidad for the purpose
of making the film and
nothing else.
James, an avowed
Marxist, worked, with
Dr. Williams when the
PNM Government was
first launched in 1956.
The two broke on around
1961 several issues in-
cluding that of the
American presence in
In 1965, when James
returned to Trinidad from
a long stay abroad, he
was placed under "house
In 1966 James con-
tested the general elec-
tions as a candidate for
the Workers & Farmers
Party (WFP), which was
soundly beaten at the
During his stay in
Trinidad last week, James
was badgered by calls
asking him to give inter-
views or to talk to
various groups of people.
He turned down most of
these invitations.
However, it is under-
stood that James may
return to Trinidad in
another six weeks for
what was described as
"a proper trip".

TAPIA meetings con- p.mn
tinue to be held in
different parts of the 0
country. 23,
On Thursday 22, hon
April in Covigne Road, spe;
Diego Martin, there mee
will be a public meet- Tun
ing, starting at 6.30' con


)n Friday, April
Tapia will be
king a return to
neground so to
ak, when a public
eting is held in
Lapuna, at the
ner of Tunapuna

Road and the eastern
Main Road, starting
6.30 p.m.
Then on Friday,
April 30, in the Croisee,
San Juan, the Tapia
banwagon will stop
for a session with the
people of San Juan -



IF EVER the hou
at hand it is ni
Lloyd Best, spE
ing toTapia's Foun
tion Convention
Port-of-Spain on P,
Sunday last we
urged his listeners
see that the elect
is upon us.
Referring to th
who were speculate
that no election mi
be held, Lloyd B
said that in any c
it was Tapia's duty
be prepared what


r is the outcome.
ow. To that there was
eak- loud applause which e
ida- quickly subsided into i
in grave silence when the c
aim Tapia Secretary began c
*ek, to review the pattern (
to of election day an- b
:ion nouncements over the I
last decade.,
ose "It is now or never," t
ting intoned Best. "If we I
.ght let the old regime sur- t
3est vive we may be forced i
case to regret it forever.
'to "It is time for a t
ver change a change in t



- 25 Aug.
- 11 Oct.
- 7 Nov.

- 22 April
- 14 May
24 May


our time!"
Best observed that
events have been mov-
ng to a speedy con-
clusion, which could
only mean shortening
of that critical interval
between Dissolution
Day when Parlia-
ment is dissolved on
the advice of the
Prime Minister and
Election Day, D-Day
"There is not time
to tarry," Best cau-
:ioned." We have come
a long way. We are on
the last leg, the most
difficult of all, out of
the desert. We have
come a long way to-
gether, brothers and
"Hand in hand, in
hope and in faith and
n trust, let us find
the strength and
the courage to go for-
ward to the end and
win I our way to

Vol. 6 No. 16


3U Cents

ii'iU r~I~~











'THERE IS one and only
one way out of our
present slough of des-
pond, the Nation must
put its trust once more
in a single viable opposi-
tion force".
This was how Tapia
Chairman Denis Sjolomon
put the stark reality of
the political situation to
his audience as he
delivered the opening
at last Sunday's Founda-
tion Assembly.
In an address which
-took his listeners from
the political situation in
Trinidad and Tobago to.
the writings of the Bha-
gavad Gita, Solomon
sought to explain the
philosophy of political
education and action
which underlay the Tapia
. Reminding the audience
of the promise of politi-
cal education which the
PNM made in 1956, the
Tapia Chairman insisted
that its failure was due
to the fact that the PNM
had a concept of political
education which left no
room for politics.

The life of a nation,
he said, was always a life
of action, a life of doing
and making.,
Supporting his state-
ment, he reminded his
listeners of the words of
the Bhagavad Gita: "Illu-
mination resides not in
the renunciation"- of
action but in the purity
of action."
In. contrast to the
PNM, Tapia's brand of
political education has
been indistinguishable
from political involve-
From the bus strike
in 1969, to the February
Revolution of 1970, to
the participation in the
Senate in 1975, Tapia's
has been an involvement

which has endeavoured
at every phase to throw
light on the politics of
the moment and to
clarify for people their
condition and its causes.

Turning to the present
political situation, the
, Tapia chairman insisted
that nothing so illumin-
ated the nature of Tapia's
brand of political educa-
tion by involvement as
its participation in the
search for opposition
Tapia, he reminded
the gathering, had be-
come involved in several
attempts at opposition
unity but that on every
occasion our position had
been the same.
Tapia had insisted in
calling not for "Unity"
but for "Joint Action"
on such eminently realis-
tic goals as Radio and
Television Time for
Opposition :Parties.

In so doing, Solomon
stressed that Tapia had
succeeded in making each
successive attempt at
unity serve the additional
function of bringing
greater clarity to the
country on where each
party stood, if it stood
anywhere at all, and on
the viability of each
type of option.



through this
clarity, only
this process of
education through
invOi,'- .lv im J

could the people get the
insight and the informa-
tion which they needed
to escape the the des-
pondency which came
from the present opposi-
tion fragmentation.
A two-party system,
he explained to his
listeners, is not really a
two-party system. It is a'
system 'in which two

parties predominate.
He pointed out that in
Britain at every election
there were usually more
than a dozen parties, but
only two which were
perceived as viable alter-
natives' to each other.
The Tapia Chairman
declared: "It is the
hope, indeed the convic-
tion, of Tapia that sooner
-or later the perceptions'
of the country in relation
to its condition and its
needs and of the capaci-
ties of the parties to
satisfy them, will make
such clearcut demands
on the existing opposi-
tion parties that they
will be forced to con-
form to the nation's
requirement either by
the formation of a mas-
sive united striking force
fully committed to a
clearcut programme of
reform, or else by the
virtual elimination of all
but one of these parties."
In either case the Tapia
dream will live on. For
the Tapia programme was
the only one capable of
winning the trust of the
population once again,
he concluded.

26a Rarninar St. Morvant

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THIS IS the first in a series of
articles by MICHAEL HARRIS
which will focus on issues in the
international world. In this article
Harris looks at the threat to
world place posed by the
enduing Middle East problem
which he sees as having started
with '-the imperialist implantation
of a Jewish state in the heart of
Arab country. Next week:
BACKDOOR." (Michael Harris,
is Shadow Minister for External
.TO REMIND ourselves
of the Balfour Declara-
tion of 1917 is to remind
ourselves as well of the
fact that the 'Middle
East" question has been
on the forefront of the
international political
stage for more than half
a century now and that
all the manifold issues
which are facets of the
question are no nearer to
a solution than they ever
Nahum Goldmann,
President of the World
Jewish Congress since
-1951 and widely ack-
nowledged as one of the
Fathers of the State of
Israel, writing in the
October 1975 issue of
Foreign Affairs stated
that "the situation in the
Middle East remains ex-
plosive and may lead to
a crisis in the near future,
which would not only be
a disaster for the peoples
of the area but might
result in a world con-
From which ever pers-
pective you choose to
look at the Middle East,
and there are many, that
gloomy forecast seems to
be confirmed.
From Cairo to Tel
Aviv, from Amman to
Damascus, from Tripoli
to Beirut, there are
manifest signs of turmoil
and tension, frustration
and fear, and anyone of
dozens of issues might
provide the spark that
once more ignited- the
Middle East.


The core of the Middle
Eastern question is of
course the antagonism
which exists between the
State of Israel and the
Arab countries which
surround it. The original
cornerstone of this anta-
gonism was the Balfour
Declaration q u o ted
Goldmann has des-
cribed the Zionist idea
of the creation of a
Jewish State as "one of
the most revolutionary
ideas of modern history".
It is a strange claim to
make particularly when
he goes on to admit that
"from a general point of
view, the Zionist demand
for a Jewish state was in
ffull contradiction with-
all principles of modern

occupied territories.
But by the same token
the military success of
the Israelis must have
filled the Arabs with so
much bitterness that
their opposition to Israel
took on the added dimen-
sion of being necessary
simply to assuage aq
injured pride.
In addition to these
factors which relate
directly to relations be-
tween Israel and the Arab
states are those factors
which spring from the
internal conditions with-
in each of the states
All of the countries


to disaster
*~~~~~ B^ BS^ SSIL

t H-

Her Majesty's Government view with favour the establishment in
Palestine of a national home for the Jewish people, and will use their
best endeavours to facilitate the achievement of this. object, it being
clearly understood 'that nothing shall be 'done which may prejudice
the civil and religious rights of other non-Jewish communities in
Palestine, or the rights and political status enjoyed by Jews in any
other country.
From the Balfour Declaration of 1917

history and international
But this fact was not
lost on the Arabs. It was
obvious that the dream
of Jewish state could
only be achieved at the
expense of the Palestinian
Arabs. As early, as 1921
Winston Churchill is
reported to have stated
in the House of Com-
mons that, "the cause
of unrest in Palestine,
and the only cause, arises
from the Zionist move-
ment and our pledges and
promises to it".

So that to this day the
heart of the Middle -East
question remains the act
of establishing, within the
Arab world, not only a
non-Arab state but an
exclusively Jewish state,
and the consequent dis-
placement of hundreds of
thousands of Palestinian
Arabs from their home-
But the intervening
years' since the Balfour
Declaration and more
particularly since the UN
partition of Palestine in
1947 have witnessed
numerous developments
which have to be
added to any realistic
appraisal of the situation
in the Middle East today

and without which one
could never appreciate
the intractability of the
For example, one
must pose the question
of to what extent the
second World War and
the Holocaust have intro-
duced into the Jewish
psyche what Goldmann
calls a "persecution
mania" anfd a consequent
unwillingness to trust in
any settlement that does
not afford thlemnabsolute
security? ,
But beyond that even
is the fact that the inter-
vening years have witnes-
sed four Arab-Israeli wars
all of which have served
to change the nature of
the situation and to drive
the participants into more
strident and uncom-
promising positions.

Israeli military success
in 1956 and 1967, for
example, not only brought-
vast territorial gains hut
must have engendered
visions of total military
domination of Palestine
for all time to come
Indeed only this could
explain the Israeli policy
of "fait accompli" li.
the establishment of
populated setllemen f iH

are faced with internal
social, economic and
political conditions which
not only affect their
capacity to deal and
their attitude in dealing
with matters of foreign
policy but at times dictate
their .foreign policy.
Sadat, for example, is on
record as saying that
Egypt went to war in
1973 because of its
desperate economic con-

His whole foreign
policy approach since
then has also been
dictated by Egypt's
internal economic pro-
blems which it is re-
ported have deteriorated
further since 1973.


But Egypt is not alone.
Israel, too, is faced with
mounting political and
economic tensions at
home. The heavy burden
of maintaining a constant
state of military prepared-
ness, the reported sense
of discrimination felt by
by the Oriental Jews, the
reported alienation of
many of her young
people and the decline
in the numbers, of new
immigrants are all pro-
blems which seriously
undermine her strength.
Paradoxically, though
not surprisingly, the res-
ponse on the part of
Government and estab-
lishment has been'to
resort to even more
intense whipping of the
threat to the security of
the nation and. to a
plethora of statements
about the dire conse-
quences to "a nation
divided against itself'.
Finally, we cannot
ignore in the situation
the effect of the super-
power roles and their
interests particularly
after the OPEC Oil
breakthrough of 1973.

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Children $3



F= 01 0 F-.. 7m
-FiVA VA a a --i m
N JL- 16- J-


Superior to sing on new


THE EIGHT calypson-
ians who will appear on
the programme of the
first ever National Calypso
Theatre. which opens at
the Legion Hall, Port-of-
S4ain this weekend will
each be singing at least
one fresh song composed
since the end of the
1976 Carnival season.
This is the aim of the
management of the
Theatre who are deter-
mined to feature "timely
timeless" songs during
the first six-month run
of their all-yeqr calypso
Revealing this last
week the Lord Superior,
founder, producer and
director of the Theatre,
announced that "vulgar-
ity" will certainly not be
encouraged for it's "not
Superior himself will -
be singing a "renovated"
calypso on Trinidad &
Tobago going Republic.
Also to be excluded
from the programme are
calypsoes dealing specific-
ally with Carnival.

-Superior promised
that the Theatre will be
operated in part as a
"training ground" for
up-and-coming calypson-
ians. These will be en-
couraged and coached
to give of their best in a
situation where the
management will be
watching and carefully
guaging impact and per-
formance with a viewto
"phasing in and phasing
out" a large number of
"My thing is wanting
to see as many calypson-
ians as possible em-
ployed," said Superior.
Apart from giving
exposure to young
calypsonians, the Theatre
will feature established
"stars" whenever possible,
and preferably at month
Superior and National
Calypso Theatre Public
Relations man William
Doyle-Marshall t o 1 d
TAPIA last week that
their programme will
include a "Nostalgia
Spot" for-the presenta-
tion of old calypsonians.
The Theatre managers,
however, emphasise the
opportunities provided

First ever




opens ot

for calypsonians who are
still on the make.
As each singer will be
expected to perform at
least two songs, he (or
she) will be expected to
be able to develop skills
in holding the interest of
an audience for a longer
period onstage than they
* would be allowed during
the Carnival-Calypso
The Theatre is there-
fore providing a challenge
to young singers to
"bring 2ood songs",
Superior said.
"They must either
please the audience or
please me. They must
please somebody."
But calypso is not all
that patrons of the
Theatre will be ,treated
to. It is planned to put
on comedy in the form
of dramatic skits, folk
singing- and dance and
This weekend's show,
for example, will feature
apart from eight
calypsonians the Fric-
tions singing group, the
Carlton Francis Dance
Company and-famed pan-
man Bertie Marshall as a
soloist on his Bertfone
The Theatre manage-
Tnent will be on the
lookout for a variety of
compatible entertain-
ment to book for appear-
ances at the Legion Hall
whenever such items
become available.
MusIc will be provided
by largely the same
group employed at the
Regal Tent (which
Superior will continue

to co-manage with
Calypso King Chalkdust
during the Christmas-
Carnival season) and will
be co-ordinated by guitar-
ist Boyie Mitchell.
A special feature of
the orchestra will be the
use of a steelband instru-
ment to take the place
of keyboard instruments.
There will be no brass;
the group will comprise
three saxes, guitar, bass
and percussion. The
Frictions will do back-up
Asked about the res-
ponse of calvnsonians to
the year-round tent idea,
Superior said that most
had expressed themselves
as "very hapoy that
someone is brave enough

to take that chance."'
The National calypso
Theatre which will, be
opened this weekend by
the Nigerian High Com-
mission His Excellency
Emmanuel Kolade will
be the third venture in
which Superior has sought
to employ his talents as
a performer and entre-
preneur who is committed
to development of the
national culture, and to'
the provision of a better
deal for the people
involved in it.
His pioneering creole
restaurant and nightclub
ran for nearly two years
in La Puerta, Diego
Martin, before he was
forced to close down
under "pressure from

police and thief"'.
Since 1972 he has been
involved in the running
of the Regal Tent which
he founded together
with Chalkdust and the
Mighty Duke.
For the year-round
Calypso Theatre -starting
this weekend, Superior
(also called Andrew
Marcano) has installed
his own sound system
and "professional thea-
trical lighting."
Working on the idea
of getting trade unions
involved in the support
of the Theatre, Superior
and Doyle-Marshall wrote
six unions and the
Labour Congress urging
that the existence of the
Theatre be brought to'
the attention of union
A small group repre-
senting the OWTU, TIWU
and the National Union
of Domestic Employees
(NUDE) got together at
the Holiday Inn last week
and worked out details
about discounts in the
ticket prices, to be made
available to bona fide
union members.
For the moment the
National Calypso Theatre
and many well-wishers
look forward to a packed
Legion Hall over Easter
Saturday, Sunday and
Monday, where there is
accommodation -for just
under 400.
The Theatre this week-
end features calypson-
ians Relator, Poser,
Explainer, Diamond,
Pretender, Organiser,
Power and Superior. (L.G.)

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Part of crowd at Founding Assembly

The following is an abridged version of a
statement given by Lloyd Taylor at last
Sunday's Assembly
TODAY IS Foundation Day for Tapia.
Yet it may not be widely understood
that founding the political party will
make no qualitative change to our
We need however to mark the
occasion as one that is special ff -s all.
Every milestone like this one -st be
celebrated as an important ingredient in
the psychology of mobilising large
Tapia's path has been unique. Build-
ing as we have done from the inside we
were interested in constructing a move-
ment for change that is an advance on
the old politics of a few leaders manipu-
lating the many party supporters and on
the old politics of agitation.
Instead we have been
wanting to practise people
in the ways of community For if we think the
building and participa- past eight years were
tion. We therefore pro- difficult ones the future
ceeded with an inter- is not going to be a bed
mediate po 1 itica 1 of roses. Actually taking
organisation having one power and orchestrating
foot in politics and a programme of radical
another in community change for the little
activity, people will probably
Much more important make us greyer in one
for us than merely cele- year than the past eight
rating is the need. to years have made us.
focus on the future. Then Today we are merely
we shall be having many readying ourselves to take
more acts that will bring a plunge from 1 which
into bolder relief the there is going to be no
political machine that we return for Tapia as a
are building. collection of kindred

From now on we will
be labouring under in-
creasingly- difficult cir-
cumstances because the
old regime and its power
elites would make sure
we have "a fight to the
To my mind the condi-
tions and the difficulties
under which we have to
labour in the past years
all spring from one com-
mon root. Which- is the
existence of a set of
constitutional and admin-
istrative arrangements




that make difficult the
exercise of the individual's
right to total political
Examples of these
difficulties are legion..
One is the so-called
political apathy, despite
the enjoyment of the
right to vote, the right
to join political parties
and the right to partici-
pate in 1p political


There is, too, the lack
of a vibrant.public opin-
ion, a braindrain or a
shortage of talent in the
politics of the country
affecting both opposing
and governing political
parties. Then there exist
large numbers of people
declaring themselves to
be opposed to the govern-
ment but still saying that
Williams will win.
In addition, the new
movement for change
remains fragmented with
no apparent common aim
but the desire to take
power from Williams.
The most damaging
political consequence
flowing from that crisis
is that the emergence of
the political alternative
for people to see and
identify as such is being

held up. And that is the
real political strategy of'
the old regime.
in that context wAat is
the right to vote if all we
are able to see is a wilder-
ness of no choice? It is in
that sense that the Con-
stitution, as described by
C.L.R. James since 1962,
is an "embattled fortress
for government against
the people."
And that is just what
we are up against when
we kindred souls meet
in our separate ways to
create a political alterna-


The Republican Con-
stitution and the com-
ments on it .coming from
all quarters save Tapia,
remain completely silent
on the question of politi-
cal participation for the
many. That question
shifts our focus above
and beyond the rights we
have to join political
parties and to vote.
An organisation such
as ours suffered no small
way. from the, tight and
unqualified restriction
placed on political parti-
cipation of public servants
and teachers.
Not satisfied with
Cont'd on Pg. 8

'~rc -i~---rs~pa~arra


'i t),N A



FOR A number of ethical and pragmatic reasons, the case is over-
whelmingly for reform. The proposition is simply put of course and
some amplification is in order. First of all, the remarks in this article
apply to the Commonwealth Caribbean. They may be relevant or
irrelevant to other places but determining this is not at all a preoccu-
pation here.
Clearly, to begin with, the choice of reform or revolution
could in practice be unavailable. Where a regime leaves no channels
open for dissent to be aired, or for its own displacement by dissent-
ing elements commanding greater public confidence than itself, then
the choice is otherwise, of submission or resistance. Since violence is
such an evil, the onus is on dissenting elements to establish this.
The argument above, however, is incomplete without further
elaborations which are important but of doubtful application, we
think, to the Commonwealth Caribbean situation. We may note
firstly that, even of Guyana, it may be supposed that regional politi-
cal realities and censure, local political configurations and advancing
social forces can increasingly be counted on to defeat a will for
majority oppression on ethnic grounds. Such oppression naturally
negates the otherwise ethically superior claims of representative
majority government. The second and very important assumption
here, and throughout this piece, is that the West Indian populations
are, and have been for some time, relatively sophisticated ones. (This
is a large topic which cannot bear elaboration here. Fortunately, the
necessity for this is much reduced by the universal assertion of this
conviction by: political forces in the Caribbean. The conviction
concerning the maturity of the Trinidad and Tobago populace, in
particular, is of course frequently expressed today in the slogan "the
28% Government", implying a popular distinction as between legality
and legitimacy. Incidentally, this is a perilously narrow and even.
unstable basis for supposing maturity. Whether the assumption of
popular- political maturity is actually implied in the programmes or
style of political groups asserting it is subject to further debate). The
West Indian populations,, however, are sophisticated enough, it is
supposed here, to resist, particularly, transparently fraudulent

demagoguery, the other peril to the ethical claims of majority gov-
The only other live consideration in the Caribbean emerges
from the exacting character of economic development where, it
might be argued, the extended period of sacrifice might induce a
faltering of public support before crucial structural transformations
are achieved. Actually, such faltering is highly unlikely in the Carib-
bean unless the reformers themselves surprisingly exhibit great in-
competence in which case the possibility arises for the public that
the sacrifices are in vain.
Fatal loss of support is unlikely for quite a large number of
reasons. One of them is the thoroughly disappointing performance of
most of the current Commonwealth Caribbean regimes, the main
beneficial result of which must eventually be the popular conviction
that there is no alternative to the painful changes of refonn only
the painful retention of the present.

Another basis for optimism is the nature of Caribbean geo-
graphy and social history. The small size of the territories, resources
of local speech, significant social classlessness (by many indices), inter
alia, allow the leaders and articulators of reform intensive physical
and psychological access to the populace. In fact, colonial and post-
colonial history has been such that the mere novelty of a leadership
willing to endure material sacrifice rather than merely preach it will
probably go a very long way in persuading the under-privileged, who
are the great majorities, to long-term conversions to reform agendas.
Perhaps it is sufficient to enumerate just two more factors.
In some other societies, one may well doubt the public's will or
capacity for sacrifice. In some places, material existence is already
below meaningful survival measures and further sacrifice is not con-
sciously entertainable at levels of personal decision. In more develop-
ed countries, the public is probably fully attuned to the notion that
serious sacrifice is vain since it may soon be stultified-by technological
breakthroughs. (For example, this is essentially still the popular
approach to the fuel crisis, justifiedly or not). These reactions, or the
sort of weariness that incapacitates societies assailed by too frequent

crises, do not typify the Caribbean. (The Irench people's ;pp roach
to the signs of the Second World War after the human devastation of
the First, and after prolonged economic stasis, is an example of the
weariness one means.)The psychology in the Caribbean, for a number
of reasons, is of possibilities to be explored, of youth. Recent nation-
hood and the visual impact (except in periods of high emigration-)
of what is really a negative in the society, that is, the early death of
older people and -a consequent youthful aspect to the population,
have been obvious factors.
The last consideration we may choose to mention, that earlier
made local popular sacrifices difficult to sustain, was the frequent
large opportunities to migrate to Latin America, North America and
the United Kingdom.
The pointhere is that the people do not have to be dragooned
into making sacrifices by a Kemalist or left-wing dictatorship. They
can be persuaded to.
A belated word on what the terms "reform and "revolu-
tion" imply in this piece. Actually, the ultimate social objectives of a
revolution and reform movement may be quite similar. And a revolu-
tion may even manage to avoid violence. (Naturally, a movement
where violence is regarded as of intrinsic value, of existentially
purgative or creative value, or as anything but a reluctant and des-
perate last recourse is very distant from what is termed reform in this

I f one asks the difference between a reform movement and
a revolutionary one which appear to share similar social goals, the
clue must lie in the latter's willingness to suspend representative
institutions, at some stages at least, to artificially foreclose the options
of reversal of its legislation beyond any requirements of the legisla-
tion's effectiveness. Such steps may perhaps be necessary in other
populations but not, it appears, in the Commonwealth- Caribbean.
To declare the political maturity of the common man in these
islands but yet artifically foreclose his otpions would be self-con-
Where conditions allow, as they certainly appear to in the
Commonwealth Caribbean, representative institutions and all they
imply must be preserved and nurtured. Popularly endorsed curtail-
ment of various traditional rights may even legitimately occur under
such conditions wartime conditions are a safe analogy but
obviously they must represent popular sentiment, be minimal and
highly reversible.
The reform agenda in Caribbean conditions must naturally
imply drastic change. Its-moral inspiration must be egalitarianism
the fundamental equality of human beings, the recognition that there
is no moral basis for excessively large rewards for gifts even of
intellect or personality. These and all other attributes are accidents
of birth, parentage, peers and chance. They are gifts they are not
earned their fortunate recipients do not deserve further gifts i.e.



and ho\

can be

large incomes for being gifted. Differentials will almost certainly
have to exist but they will have to be far more modest, and will need
other justifications e.g. the practical one of discouraging loafing, or
to reward working at certain uncongenial occupations e.g. dangerous,
foul or stressful ones. The very probable alternative to some signifi-
cant reform of this nature will not be the fortunate continuing to
enjoy their good fortune, but instead a society of growing fear and
tension, culminating in a revolution, compromised perhaps bly an
acquired taste for violence or for unnecessary regimentation or
As for the specific transformational tasks in these territories.
it is not at all clear wherein lie the intrinsic advantages of violent

ls~l~ Il i C L~~ r I, It ; 9 r


1 ___________~1 1 Ic- ~IC~~-~'C

revolution. The effective remedies for local problems available to
revolutionaries are no more nor less available to reform regimes. And,
as we shall see, the possible, probable and certain costs that would
accompany revolutionary triumph are much longer.
Let us specify three major issues. The tourist industry, on
which much passion is spent, may be quickly disposed of. This
appears absurdly easy to reform and control without benefit of
violence or threat of it. (This has been discussed elsewhere). The
notion that the tourist industry is unavoidably psychologically
destructive is hard to entertain. Both Cuba and China welcome
tourists without any social perilrthat one hears of. Yet Havana and
Shanghai were the two cities in which, pre-eminently, foreign tourists
and transients were formerly associated with the degradations of
pornography and prostitution. As for habits of servility, Cuba was
also once a slave society and coastal China semi-colonized.
The second issue is land reform with limited, selective, or
no compensation. Actually, land redistribution is a measure whose
ethics and necessity are acknowledged even by reactionary regimes
in underdeveloped, countries. Naturally, they rarely attempt it
because of their limited commitment and precarious political-base.
It is the sort of reform that a reactionary regime is unlikely to
meet, certainly in the CommonwealthWest -Indies, significant resis-
tance. For in these territories, the owners of large tracts of land have
-already been ideologically dispossessed. The private use of large
tracts, unless assigned -for national purposes by a modern reform
regime, is no longer regarded as morally legitimate.
(The case is highly analogous to another of the last century.
Large tracts of land in exclusive possession amidst a land-hungry
population will be no more mourned by their owners at their loss
than -slaves at the Brazilian Abolition. The owners pretend moral
outrage before the eve... in the hope of compensation, but have
secretly been more- than half-converted to its illegitimacy. The
abolitionists. overestimated the slave-owners' outrage just as both
revolutionaries and reformers probably do the landowners' today).
In the Caribbean, much land is owned by British absentees.
They are thoroughly familiar with limitations on land ownership at
home. As persons from a community which has been abundantly en-
riched in the pastby their long career of land ownership in the Carib-
bean, and ones who must have great difficulty in supposing that
they have "earned" these acreages or "deserve" further wvealth,-it is
extremely difficult to see how they will manage to summon up
genuine moral indignation or adduce arguments convincing even to
themselves. A safe conclusion is that thepenetration of Liberal ideas,

in the

an: How

v much


even occasionally Radical ones, is sufficiently large today in the
intellectual world of most Northern chancelleries to make retaliation
for seizure of old properties in ex-coloiial territories an expression
less of indignation than of concern for national .prestige. Skilful
diplomacy could obviate it.
This is a convenient place to reflect on the new West Indian
"middle class" which will clearly suffer some dispossession. This
class has, somewhat unnecessarily it seems, become a primary demon
of local revolutionary discourse, undoubtedly partly owing to its
place in foreign classical revolutionary treatises. In the Eastern Carib-
bean, certainly, the.notion that this class is profoundly opposed to
radical egalitarian social change is probably quite ill-founded. That.

The West Indian middle-class,
especially in the Eastern Caribbean,
can have no serious entrepreneurial
sense of having "earned" their
wealth or any particular sense of
deserving it. Everyone knows his high
place is nearly totally an accident
of decolonization. And nearly every-
one has gone to school with persons
equally or more talented whom he
now sees idle at street-corners
because of some mischance in the
education lottery And even as
beneficiaries of the present
system, the new middle class can
feel no certainty for the future
of their own children. They also
have, in their close relatives
and friends, strong connections
with the underprivileged. The
qualities of competence and
honesty which were traditionally
supposed to attach to government
in the region, and which must be
doubly attractive to persons of
trained intelligence, are scarcely visible
in most of the local regimes.

it would oppose such change violently part of the inspiration,
one supposes, for the taste for compulsion and violence in revolu-
tionary rhetoric seems groundless. What we may well already have,
however, is the embryo of a self-fulfilling prophecy where the.
revolutionary rhetoric of compulsion and violence creates a climate
of apprehension and violent resistance where none would otherwise
have materialized.

W ,hat are some reasons for this view? The West Indian middle-
class, especially in the Eastern Caribbean, can have no serious entre-
preneurial sense of having "earned" their wealth or any particular
sense of deserving it. Everyone knows his high place is nearly totally
an accident of decolonization. And nearly everyone has gone to
school with persons equally or more talented whom he now sees
idle at street-corners because of some mischance in the education
lottery. And even as beneficiaries of the present system, the new
middle class can feel no certainty for the future of their own child-
ren. They also have, in their close relatives and friends, strong con-
nections with the underprivileged. The qualities of competence and
honesty which were traditionally supposed to attach to government
in the region, and which must be doubly attractive to persons of
trained intelligence, are scarcely visible in most of the local regimes.
The third issue is multinational corporations. It is difficult
to see what effective remedies in Caribbean conditions are at the
disposal of revolutionaries that are not also available to reformers.
The. remedies, for revolutionaries and reformers alike, lie in con-
certed action by Third World countries and evolving opinion in the
Finally, a word on the particular difficulties of revolution in
Commonwealth Caribbean conditions. It would take a highly optim-
istic revolutionary to imagine simultaneous revolution in all the
Commonwealth Caribbean territories, or even successive ones at
quick intervals. For one thing, successful revolution in one or a few
would arouse reactionary regimes in others to furious reactive and
protective measures (i.e..probably the violence without the revolu-
tion). In that case, an early and long-tenn. casualty would be any,
serious form of Caribbean union, and, for some time, evendiplomatic
or economic co-operation. In the ensuing turmoil, without choosing
to elaborate on it, one can write off at least one territory, Belize, as
permanently lost to the Afro-Caribbean. It would be confiscated as a
threat, if revolutionary, or potential threat, if not, to the peace and
order of its nieighbours.
Other possibilities are scarcely less evident. Even laymen
know of Napoleon and Stalin, that is of what can emerge from the
violent revolution gone sour, where violence and suspicion become.
endemic as habits with their own momentum and superseding the
ideals that originally accompanied them. All these are risks to solve
problems which, it appears, reformist regimes in these territories are
no more nor less able to confront.
The last unpleasant risk is that even Caribbean -- wide
violent revolutions, simultaneous and minimally 11awed (an unlikely
combination), might merely place these islands in the forefront of
Great Power conflicts. A reform regime. even one of very similar
aims,.would be far better placed to escape this. It would certainly
not inspire the internation al and lonmestic passions that dogmnatic
orthodoxies tend to excite.

I L 18, 197-6



TMi ii

those restrictions, the
Government has moved
further to narrow the
constitutional space avail-
able for political partici-
pation marches,
political assemblies and
so on.
. In that context, too,
we. must look at opposi-
tion unity. For where
people are searching for
change and can see no
valid political alternative
emerging, where they
don't understand that
the Government intends
to deny them that clear
vision, opposition unity
appears to be the only
way out.
Our men and women
of substance and cha-
racter don't have the
economic independence
or the courage, to risk
showing their hands
openly in favour of the
valid political alternative,
thereby giving leadership
and moral direction to
the little people.
One consequence is
that full, free and unfet-
tered political participa-
tion becomes the preserve
of the power elite.
The other is -that in-
superable difficulties are
placed to block the
emergence of the party

of the have-nots, the
unorganised, the nomin-
ally represented and the
And that party is none
other than the party that
we are founding.
On the evidence avail-
able opposition unity is
illusory. We lack political
wisdom, experience and
humility, but above all,
we lack the self-knowledge
to know all our short-
For opposition unity
we need, first of all, to

make progress in under-
standing, before we can
secure progress in agree-
Opposition unity, a
practical political ques-
tion, has to be settled
by the practical politics
of going for large numbers
of supporters. Which in
our case means joining
the battle for Port-of-
We are therefore most
likely to face the elections
The period between

now and after the elec-
tions is going to be a
great testing time for us
all. Yet despite our diffi-
I can see no meaning-
ful sense in which we in
Tapia can lose or in which
the Government can win.
Two possibilities exist:
either Tapia secures vic-
tory at the polls in the
coming elections or we
force a stalemate.
There is no need to
dilate upon the first. But
the second a situation

At that point people
would be courageous
enough to make a bid
for freedom and to trans-
gress, where necessary
with impunity, the con-
stitutional and adminis-
trative arrangements
keeping us in chains.
Then, and only then,
there would be no doubt
that we constitute the
political alternative.

The first session of Tapia Assemblies is always taken up with Registration. Officiating at this desk at the SWWTU last Sunday is Tapiamai
Jeremy Mar. (third from left in spectacles).






IT WAS a matter much
to be deplored that the
press had all but ignored
the Minority Report of
the Joint Select Parlia-
mentary Committee on
Constitution Reform,
which had been written
by Tapiaman Denis
.Drawing this instance
of media misbehaviour
to the attention of the
-Foundation Assembly
Convention last Sunday,




Syl Lowhar, member of
the National Executive
and former Chairman of
Tapia, said the Report
was the climax of Tapia's
agitation on the Constitu-
tional issue.
This agitation Lowhar
said had spanned the
years from 1969, through
tIbe various phases of
\ ,ient unrest and violent
suppression that Trinidad
and Tobago had endured.
Lowhar who had him-

Syl Lowhar (seated, third rom right) is introduced last Sunday to the
Foundation Convention by Beau Tewarie, Community Relations Secretary.

self been detained on
Nelson Island in 1970,
was last Sunday charged
with the responsibility
of moving the resolution
for the foundation of the
Tapia House Movement.
His oration to the
gathering was a stirring
rallying call in which he
narked back to the days
of T.U.B. Butler with
the famous dictum: "I
have a sword in my
After the terror of
1970 and the brutal sup-
pression of the Black
Power revolt, Tapia had
called for a Constituent
Assembly of the people,
Lowhar recalled.
This, as a means of
reconstituting the state
which had shown such
deep-going divisions,
seemed the obvious solu-
"Tapia's call tfor a
Constituent Assembly
was commonsense,"
Lowhar declared. But he.
noted ruefully: "Com-
monsense is not all that
common these days.",
Tapia had established

that it's time for a
change. Yet everybody
says that the Govern-
. ment which has been
in power for 20 years
will win again.
Describing this as
"a very curious para-
dox", 'Tapia Secre-
tary Lloyd Best asked
the Foundation As-
sembly last Sunday to
see there is not the
remotest .possibility of
t h i s Government
winning again.
"If anyone here will
vote for the Govern-
ment, stand up now
and be counted," Best
challenged. ."Only
those would vote for
them who want a
continuation of pres-
sure, of punishment a
continuation of pain."
Then Best refuted

the importance of the
constitutional issue, but
-those who couldn't be
persuaded of its funda-
mental importance still
held to their view of
constitution making as a
ritualistic exercise.
As they saw it, it
involved- debates over
fine points and clauses.
In fact, so great had the
confusion of perception
become that now it
would not be far from
the truth to say-that
"nobody knows what
the constitution is in
So that Williams had
been able to introduce
the Republican Constitu-
tion in "the .most un-
Republican of ways."
Indeed so marked was
Williams' intent to keep
the population unaware of
the exercise or not under-
standing what was taking
place, that the Republican
Constitution of 1976
could be said to have
been brought in "sur-

The Govt

has less


than 28%

the widespread notion
of a "28 per cent
Government" which
he called "a very
unfortunate and very
misleading calculation,
a dangerous over-
estimation in fact."
He could not see, he
said, how any single
party could have more
than 20% of the elec-
torate firmly commit-

reptitiously", Lowhar
As such it validated
the question whether it
was intended to be a
means of preventing
As he warmed to
his theme of moving the
resolution to found the
party, Lowhar declared:
"Never before in the
West Indies has there
been an excellent chance
like this one to realise
the vision of Tapia as it
has been outlined by
Ivan Laughlin. I invite
all to share in the found-
ing of the new state."
He ended by com-
mending to the gathering
the members of the
National Executive on
the platform who had
previously been intro-
duced by Beau Tewarie,
and he referred to the
"great honour" conferred
on himself through being
asked to move the his-
toric resolution.
The resolution was
passed by standing ova-

ted to it. "I should
not be surprised at all,
he added, "if the
largest single fragment
is aligned to the Tapia
House Movement."
The fact is, he
explained, Tapia's sup-
port is not concen-
trated among any
pressure group, but
-spread across the
country in an excellent
So it would be
,'very hard to see and
measure because we
have never agitated to
bring support into the
public place; we simply
persuade our people
that we are worthy of
theit vote."
If the Government
support appears to be
bigger, it is only
Cont'd on Pg. 11



and BASdC
We've got what you
ned at minimum OOst.


-I I---=- -I --p-- _------ b -C. -~ -

- -- --.

I -I _


SUNDAY AIilI. 1 7, M 17(




week 1 was racking
my brain to- find out
what I should say to
all of you.
The problem was
not that there were
no developments, on
the political scene to
write about. Indeed
there were quite a
few. The problem was
simply and honestly
that your friend Fillip
has never been so
confused in all his life.
Until the events of
the past few weeks I
thought, in my usual
modest way of course,
that I understood
something about how
the politics of Trinidad
operated, about how
our people felt and
that therefore I could,
within modest limits,
predict certain develop-
Now, sad to relate,
I must confess that I
don't understand a

They cuss and



that is all

damn thing. Nothing
in the political situa-
tion seems to make
any sense.
No development
seems to follow logic-.
ally from any prior
Nothing in the at-
mosphere of the
moment would suggest
that a long period of -
political crisis is about
to reach its final
What I mean is that
something just isn't
right. I can feel it in-
my bones.
For example- the

Republican Bill is
passed, all that is
needed is the formal
The Representation
of the People Act is
soon going to be
The PNM say that
all their nominations
are in.
Tapia says it is now'
a political party. The
ULF says it is now a-
political party.
The United People's
Front making way-lay-
way-lay all over the
Now when I put all

that together I come
up with Elections
round the corner. Now
I have been all over
this country and every-
time I open my ears
somebody cussing Wil-
liams and the PNM
bad bad bad.
And yet with all
the signs, with all the
gambage going on,
nothing is really hap-
pen ing.
Nobody look like
they, give two hoots
about the whole
blasted parade.
-And Friends that is
a sad state of affairs


indeed. For it can
mean only one of two
Either it is the calm
before the storm. In
which case I don't
want to be around
when the shit hits the
Or it means that we
as a people have been
In which case I still
don't want to be
So please under-
stand me friends. I am
as brave as the next
man. love my coun-
try as much as the
next man.
But all the same
the earliest opport-
unity I get I going and
renew my passport.
"Just in case, friends,
just in case.

Yes, we're also into

publishing and printing...

-- i ''
S"? $. 5

The Political Alternative
Prospects for Our Nation
Whose Republic?
Letter to C.L. R. James 1964
Democracy or Oligarchy
The P.M. & the Constitution

Lloyd Best

C.V. Gocking

* Grenada Independency Myth or Reality.
(International Relations Institute, U.W.I.)
* Readings in the Political Economy of the
Caribbean (New World).

Whyi Did PNM Fail?
Another View of Tapia Method
The Inside Story of Tapia
The Machinery of Government
Black Power in Human Song
We are in a State
A 'Clear Danger


Augustus Ramrekersingh
Lloyd Taylor-.
Lennox Grant
Denis Solomon
Syl Lowhar
Ivan Laughlin
Michael Hlarris'

Social Stratification in Trinidad. (I.S.E.R.)
"Revo" -- poems by Malik
"Cheers" by Yvonne Jack.
The Dynamics of West Indian Economic Integration (ISER).

And we can do a job

for you too


662-5126, 82-84 S;. Vincent St, Tunapuna. 62-2524 1, Cipriani Blv'd P..S.



IN picture above, Assistant
Secretary Ivan Laughlin
delivers "Tapia's 25 Year
Plan for Trinidad and
Tobago" at the Founding
Convention last Sunday at
the SWWTU Hall in Port-of-
Laughlin's address was
that night broadcast for one
hour on Radio Trinidad.
Laughlin invited his
listeners to throw their
minds forward to the year
2001. He sketched a picture
not only of Trinidad and
Tobago at that time under a
Tapia Government, but of
the world feeling the growing
impact of "New World"
ideology, with the last ves-
tiges of colonialism and
imperialism finally elimin-
ated and a start towards a
more rational and humane
division of the world's
resources and power.
Laughlin's statement will
be reported in fuller detail
in next and succeeding
At far right is Allan
Harris, Tapia's Administra-
tive Secretary who delivered
a fund-raising appeal at the
At the registration table
in picture right are (seated)
Paula Williams and Sheilah

- ~~~"'
'~3' ~-


Fromr pg. 9

because of what Best
called "the facts of
power". And he asked:
"In practice, was the
Government party not
destroyed by the 1970
Black Power Revolt?"
This Black Power
Revolt had swept away
the "props" from
under the political
system, in that it had
separated the PNM
and the DLP from
their racial bases.
The result was a
sustained .constitutional
crisis, upheaval in the
agencies of state and
confusion in the public
So that the constitu-
tional crisis is basically
a political question.
What has happened
is that the people are
deficiently represented
or defectively repre-
sented, as a result of
the break up of the
two-race party system.
And since that is
what lies at the root
of the constitutional
crisis, the resolution
of the crisis must entail
the replacement of a
new system of parties.
Best described the
Government's 1976
Constitution Bill as
"the climax, the con-
summation" of all the
restrictive and repres-
sive legislation since
the Commission of
Enquiry into Subver-
sive Activities and -the
ISA of the early 1960s.
Again he called the
Republican Constitu-
tion of the PNM "a
manifesto for a party
of Privilege and power".
And both the con-
tents of the Bill and
the way it was intro-
duced bespoke amono-
poly of power and a
denial of popular
participation on the
part of the oligarchy
whom the government

C------- -L--------- ~ ---LIII---Y-L"~"-suU~I~l~~-UI~i +._ --~i~(C-

___1_~_ U

Now a





of blood

TODAY, the moment of
truth is with us; the
moment of decision.
Never have the conse-
quences of error been
more -fraught with mortal
Never has it been a
more categorical impera-
tive to introduce politics
into sport . than
today, at this grave
moment in' our history,
when the deadly game of
survival has reached the
decisive stage of blood.
It is fitting; it is fitting
that the Tapia House
Movement is assembled
here today again, from all
corners of Trinidad &
Tobago our members,
our associates, our 6up-
porters and our friends, a
throng of Tapia people,
come together for the
Third Leg of our National
*Election Convention, for
the christening of our
I welcome you with all
my heart. If I knew you
were coming, I'd a baked
a cake. And let me con-
fess I knew very well
that you were coming.
Better still, we have
duly formed the' party -
like we stop coming and
come. Let us celebrate
with mas because after
this is Lent forty
days and forty nights
we'll be fasting in the
wilds, on the hustings,
campaigning for general
The only thing that
remains to be done is the
setting of the actual date.
Current rumour has it
that it will be on Monday
the 24th of May, a repeat
of 1971.
They say the Little
King is a Whe-whe
Dreamer, that the Magic
Number is Six four plus
Well, I don't know
anm' of the Whe-whe marks
but I feel that Six is Dead
The big slogan in
politics these days is "it
dosen't matter what party
you inm your vote is your
When the mark buss
and you hear the shout
somebody's whe-whe
dream will end up as a
nightmare when he woke
up to find that he take a
six for a nine.








1. THE Government have completely dashed
the hopes of the people for dignified nationhood,
for social equality and for identity all our own,
won by a cultural revival, amoral resurgence and a
spiritual regeneration,
2. THEY have proven themselves utterly
incapable of taking advantage of the vastly im-
proved revenues from two oil booms with which
they could have promoted the enduring welfare
and upliftment of the people of Trinidad &
3. THEY have wilfully substituted crash pro-
grammes, half measures and special works for
responsible long-term planning and have imposed
intolerable hardships and inhuman burdens on the
people by an outrageous incompetence in the
management of such public utilities and public
services as water, transport, health, education,
sanitation, telephoneselectricity, drainage.
4. THEY have systematically suppressed econ-,
omic enterprise among the people in the fields of'
small-scale and kitchen-garden agriculture and of
small-scale, backyard and drag-brother industry
with the result that our economy has thrown and
continues to throw huge numbers of people -
especially the youth permanently out of employ-
ment and has created and continues to create a
widening gap in income 'and wealth between the
top 20% of privileged elites and the bottom 70%
of disadvantaged little people.
5. THEY have wantonly disregarded the valid
hopes of the people on the question of constitu-
tion reform and have imposed post-haste on th6e
sovereign people a Republic of Cabinet design?
6. THEY have deliberately disgraced and humili-
ated distinguished members of the Public Service
as part of a policy of intimidating the citizens in
the cause of central power.
7. THEY have promoted a breakdown not only
of public administration but also of peaceful and
harmonious relations at the industrial, social and
political levels by muzzling free expression in the.
communications media and by restricting funda-
mental rights and freedoms.
8. THEY have repeatedly antagonished our
Caribbean neighbours to the detriment of the
West Indian nation.
9. THEY have rendered us virtually impotent in
international affairs especially in regard to the
historic developments in the sphere of Southern
10. THE result of such a gross dereliction of duty
at almost every level of governmental responsibility
has been to maintain, our people on the brink
of revolutionary upheaval for a period of more
than seven years?