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PERMIT NO. 73
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Published quarterly at 180 Hostos, B-904, Hato Rey, Puerto Rico, 00918 Summer, 1970 Vol. 2, No.2
Mauhes River. From "A Journey in Brazil," by Louis and Elizabeth Agassiz. Praeger reprint, 1969.
He is dead now and most of hiis, "
died with him, but almost no one
grieves and many are relieved to see
them gone. Their values and orien-
tations were too different -- opposing
and perhaps threatening modern
convictions and they could no longer
communicate or compete with those
who Know the Answers. Beset from
every side by pressures to conform,
Walker learned and accepted most of
the Christian principles, but he could
not forsake his other gods or deny their
pagan truths. He died as he had lived,
caught between two worlds and
rebuffed or rebuked by each for his
by Donald W. Hogg-.
commitment to the other.
Walker's passing means little in
itself, perhaps he had led a long and
full life and his body was exhausted.
But his life and death epitomize the
decline and demise of a delightful
religion, which, in contrast to most
Christian variants, emphasized the
enjoyment of life .and offered
amusement and gratification to believer
and non-believer alike. At its
ceremonies the gods spirits of former
leaders and cult dignitaries -- returned
to possess the devotees and enjoy
material diversions like dancing and
singing, feasting and drinking, and
entertaining an audience with their
ELEGY FOR A CHRISTIAN PAGAN, Donald W. Hogg.................... 1
THE RASTAS, Roy S. Brice-Laporte........................................... 3
BLACK POWER & DOCTOR POLITICS, Lloyd Best......................... 5
FRENCH WEST INDIAN AUTONOMY, Gerard R. Latortue............ 8
WE WISH TO BE LOOKED UPON, Ursula M.von Eckardt.................... 10
IMAGINARY BEINGS & CRONOPIOS, Kal Wagenheim........................ 11
TROPICAL HAMLET, Carlos Alberto Montaner.................................... 12
APUMARCU, THE POTTER, Abraham Valdelomar............................... 13
RECENT BOOK.................................................. ......................... 15
LETTERS, Gerald Guinness......................................................... 16
Elegy for a
- ~---- -"''~------
- --- '
-------- -----, -----
I--- _-- --- -- -
- -- -- ---- ------- ---
-~-- -1'~' =---- -~ -~ ;--_-~
~~ -_~~ T~I~`-L~i~
In order to guarantee editorial free-
dom Caribbean Review (while accept-
ing ads), hopes to be self-sufficient
by subscription income and thus
answerable only to its readers. We
urge readers to subscribe for the long-
est period possible, hopefully lifetime
at $25, to provide us with needed
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tutions have helped sponsor this
publication by sending us lifetime
subscriptions: David Snyder, Robert
A. Shuman, Philip A. Flemlon, Mrs. F. S.
Harris, De Hostos Memorial Library
(gift from G. Agulrre).
Summer 1970 Vol. 2, No. 2
Barry Bernard Levine
Caribbean Review, a books-oriented
quarterly journal, is published by
Caribbean Review, Inc., a non-profit
corporation. Mailing address: 180
Hostos, B-904 Hato Rey, Puerto Rico,
00918. Available by subscription only:
J year, $3; 2 years, s..50; 3 years, $7.0;
lifetime, S23. Advertising accepted (see
rates elsewhere in this issue). Unsoli-
cited manuscripts (book reviews, trans-
lations, essays, etc.) are welcomed but
should be accompanied by self-addres-
sed stamped envelope.
DONALD HOGG teaches
Anthropology at the U. of
Puerto Rico and has done
extensive research on Jamai-
can religion. The cult de-
scribed in his paper is the sub-
ject of a forthcoming book
by him ...ROY S. BRICE-
LAPORTE is with tfe De-
partment of Sociology and
the Afro-American Studies
Program at Yale University
..... LLOYD BEST teaches
at the U. of the West Indies
in Trinidad, is a founder of
the New World Group, and
leader of the Tapia House
Group, one element of the
new political movement in
Trinidad.... URSULA M.
VON ECKARDT teaches at
the U. of Puerto Rico and is
co-author with R. Fernandez
Marina and E. Maldonado
Sierra of the book "The
Sober Generation: A Top-
ology of Competent Adoles-
cent Coping in Modern Puerto
Rico," UPR Press, 1969....
CARLOS ALBERTO MON-
TANER, a Cuban residing in
Puerto Rico, teaches at Inter-
American University and
writes fiction, poetry, and
antics. Christian sects, however, cannot
abide such merry, fun-loving com-
petition, and their pressures and
denunciations have decimated the
pagan adherents and all but obliterated
their activities. Walker's death meanit
the dissolution of his group of followers
and the end of pagan ceremonies in the
At the last, then, he had little choice.
His soul could hope at best for heaven,
if Christians there show more tolerance
than do those here on earth, but it could
not come back and dance. His gods and
predecessors had not even that hope.
Their only afterlife was here on earth
with their devotees, and with these gone
they could find only oblivion. Their
passing marks the end of yet another
perspective on life and way of coping
with its perennial problems. It is too
bad that they could not remain to teach
their way of living to those who would
choose it, and to enrich their lives and
give them pleasure. And it is ironic that
our progressive and liberal world
cannot tolerate such alternative
viewpoints and feels compelled to
banish even their memory.
Francis Walker was not born to the
gods, nor did he come to know them for
many years of his life. Indeed, they
avoided him they did not seek to be
fathers of the immature, but rather to
act as partners or associates of
responsible and worthy adults. In the
world of Walker's childhood, in the
mountainous interior of Jamaica
during the last years of the nineteenth
century, there were many gods and
religious persuasions and most in-
dividuals were free to shop around. The
Christian sects had great influence even
then, but the Myal and Kumina cults
with their African gods still held the
allegiance of some, and the ghosts of
Africans and escaped slaves had many
devotees in the creole Convince cult.
Other religions combining Christian
and African traits in varying
proportions paid lip service to God and
Christ but devoted their primary
concerns to lesser deities. Archangels
and biblical prophets sustained the
interests of Zion Revivalists, for
example, while the more 'pagan
Pocomanians dealt mainly with ghosts
and nature spirits.
As Walker grew toward manhood he
became acquainted with these and
other religions. His father was dead,
and he stayed with relatives of different
persuasions while his mother worked.
She belonged to a Christian sect, but
like most of the rural Jamaican poor of
that time accepted the other religions as
valid and important and showed a
healthy respect for their gods. With,
relatives or friends Walker would travel
miles to enjoy major ceremonies, which
ranked high among the few recreations
available to them, and would discuss
them for days afterwards. But he joined
none of the groups before he was
grown, and none insisted that he
Among the most colorful and in-
teresting ceremonies were the "Tables"
of the Pocomania cult. Held for special
purposes in the consecrated yards of the
Shepherds, or cult leaders, they cen-
iered around long tables laden with
fruits, wine, soft drinks, cakes, and
breads baked in fanciful shapes, and
decorated with flowers,, shrubs, and
candles. They began solemnly, with
Christian hymns and prayers, but soon
progressed to formalized dancing and
special songs designed to call the pagan
spirits. Then pandemonium reigned for
a time as the gods arrived to possess
their devotees whq got knocked about
violently by the initial shocks and rolled
or stumbled around dazedly while the
spirits got settled. Attendants hurried
to help them and restore order, then
dressed them ritually in the special
uniforms required by each spirit. These
ranged from long, flowing, brightly
colored robes, elaborate jewelry, and
ornate headdresses for cult leaders to
simple sashes or belts for lesser func-
tionaries. The cult singer began one of
the chants which set the tempo and
rhythm of the next ceremonial phase,
and one by one the gods joined the
circle to dance. The group was now off
on a journey through spiritual places, in
each of which one of the gods had
special duties or functions symbolized
by a solo performance by his devotee.
At rivers and lakes, for example, the
Mermaid would leave the group to
bathe, greet the water spirits living
there, and clear the way for the group
to cross. The girl or woman whom she
possessed the "Water Maid" -- would
at that point repair to a pool at the
charge, which helped considerably, for
the leader had great prestige and in-
fluence among the Pocomania bands of
the area and in the community
Hunters are forest spirits and at the
same time the ghosts of former
Pocomania leaders whom these spirits
possessed. Among the most important
and popular of the cult's gods, they
specialize in seeking out and destroying
evil spirits and other destructive forces
that threaten the traveling band. While
performing these duties the spirit in his
devotee leaves the circle of dancers and
whirls around outside it, bent double at
the waist, thrashing his arms, and
grappling vigorously with unseen
demons. He barks and growls while in
action, showing his canine nature. This
performance functions physically to
keep the audience at a distance,
allowing the gods room to dance. He
also clears paths through the ring of
onlookers so that the spirits can come
and go freely.
In eighteen months Walker had
mastered these actions and duties and
had gained the official title of Hunter.
His training continued, however, for
Leslie was preparing him for still higher
status. He intensified his studies,
learning subjects such as ceremonial
design and direction, cult group ad-
ministration, management of spirits,
and-Obeah. The last is a West Indian
type of magic, used mainly for curing
but also for catching thieves and
husbands, winning court cases, and
many other purposes, which works
through the invocation and
collaboration of ghostly associates.
Most Pocomania leaders practiced it,
and many found it quite profitable.
Walker's involvement with Leslie
had for some months extended to his
daughter, and about this time he
married her and moved with her into
one of Leslie's houses, where he could
devote more time to his work. In
another year he was ready for
promotion, and in August of 1909, at
an elaborate three-day ceremony, he
passed oral and practical examinations
before cult leaders from all over the
area. Leslie gave him the crown which
conferred the rank of Shepherd and
He was confused and distressed at
first and remembered nothing of his
early trances. But Father Leslie, the
leader of the band, counseled him
patiently, taught him about the cult
and its spirits, and trained him in his
new role. The Hunter helped too,
appearing to him in dreams and visions
with directives, advice, and "teach-
ments" which Leslie interpreted and
explained. Walker learned rapidly and
-within a year 'was traveling with the
group on its spiritual journeys, being
possessed by various spirits, and en-
joying these experiences thoroughly. He
came to love the Hunter as his special
friend and personal guardian, and
Leslie as his teacher and advisor. Leslie
'took a strong liking to his young
From "The Carrata," a novel by B. Traven. Hill & Wang, 1970.
corner of the yard to wash, sprinkle her
companions, perform a complex and
erotic dance, and roll about in the
water. After some hours of such activity
the dance stopped for a ceremonial
feast at the Table, after which the
dancing resumed and continued
through the night.
The spectators enjoyed all this
immensely, and felt free to remark and
laugh at the antics of the devotees and
their spirits. There was danger,
however, for the gods looked out for
prospective followers and would
sometimes possess an unsuspecting
onlooker to thus initiate "him into cult
membership. They demanded due
respect and, as if to insure it, were
especially likely to choose scoffers and
hecklers for possession. Walker learned
this principle abruptly and forcefully
when he was.22, and the experience set
the course of L.. subsequent life.
At'that time, 1906, the largest and
most active Pocomania band in the
eastern Jamaican mountains flourished
only a few miles from ,Walker's home.
He had enjoyed many of its ceremonies,
knew several cult members, and felt
quite at ease maybe even a bit
superior among them. One Saturday
night in August, having exhausted cash
and credit at a local rum shop, he and
some friends went to a Table, looking
for excitement. The ceremony was in
full swing when they arrived, and the
gods were already dancing. They joined
in the fun and tried hard to impress
some girls who were there. Walker had
had his share of rum, and forgetting
that the devotees he knew were now
gods, became a bit too boisterous in his
irreverent enthusiasm. The gods were
tolerant at first, but finally lost patience
_with him. A Hunter spirit dove into his
brain, flipping him over backwards
onto the ground as the other spectators
scrambled out of the way and at-
tendants came to watch over him and
prevent injury. The Hunter rolled him
slowly about the yard for the rest of the
night, establishing control of his body,
and he remained in deep trance for
three days while the spirit explored him
and tested his compatibility. Satisfied
finally, he left, and Walker awoke to a
new life as a Pocomanian.
entitled him to lead a group of his own.
He did not form a new band, however,
but continued to assist Leslie, who was
growing old and tired, and began to
direct ceremonies in the leader's ab-
Leslie died in 1913, leaving Walker
his Obeah practice and leadership of
the band. At the memorial ceremony
honoring the dead Father some months
later, Leslie's ghost possessed him,
confirming his leadership, promising
continued guidance, and offering his
help in the Obeah work. His prestige
and power thus enhanced, Walker
looked forward to a successful career.
He also prospered materially, through
the properties his wife had inherited,
and gained respect in the community as
For twenty years Walker poured his
energies and talents into Pocomnania,
and as the cult group flourished his
prestige and influence grew. His career
reached its peak in 1932, when the
other Shepherds of the area elected him
Father, the highest rank in the cult. But
the forces of Christianity, working
against him, grew steadily stronger.
Denunciations of paganism became
more prevalent, the African cults
dwindled and died out, and the status
of Pocomania sank ever lower.
Walker's prestige suffered, for the more
"enlightened" and progressive villagers
would no longer accept him. Ever more
insistent exhortations to become
Christian and "save your soul" raised
doubts in his mind about the adequacy
of Pocomania as a complete faith. His
son died and then his wife, and
although their shadows came back to
him as familiars he worried about the
fate of their souls, which seemed to be
different entities. Some years later,
hoping to resolve these conflicts, he
married a Christian woman, but she
died only three months after the
wedding, plunging him even deeper
into guilt, doubt, and despair.
Finally, Walker joined the
Presbyterian church. Still spurred by
ambition, he worked diligently for this
prestigious sect, and in a few years
attained the rank of Elder in the local
congregation. He regained respect in
the community, took a third wife, and
for a time enjoyed security and
satisfaction. But in 1949 his world
crumbled again. The church officers
had learned with horror that he still
conducted Pocomania ceremonies in
his yard and threatened to expel him.
Walker did not understand. He con-
sidered himself a good Christian and
saw no conflict between the sect and the
cult. In fact, he thought of the cult as a
kind of subsidiary branch of the
church. He had even obtained a
"license" from the regional church
office to hold cult ceremonies. It read:
"This is to certify that Mr. Francis
Walker is an Elder of the Marlborough
Presbyterian Church and is entitled to
hold open-air religious meetings.
H. S. Schleifer,
J. P. and Synod Elder of
the Presbyterian Church."
But the officers were adamant, and
expulsion would mean the loss of his
new-found respectability, ihe dam-
nation of his soul, and probably the
deaths of more loved-ones. With great
reluctance and apprehension, Walker
renounced the cult and disbanded the
local group. The gods were hurt and
outraged. Still, they understood his
problem and at first treated him kindly,
giving him only minor maladies:
headaches, shooting pains, belly
cramps, and heartburn. When he' did
not respond to this treatment, however,
they took stronger measures and struck
him with progressive paralysis. In a
year he had become noticeably crippled
and in two was completely bedridden.
The Obeah spirits refused to help him,
of course, and neither bush doctors,
faith healers, nor modern medical
specialists could cure or even arrest his and distaste. He was subverting the other go
condition. He lay close to death before, religion, compromising the gods, and band ne
in desperation, he let his wife call local devitalizingg ceremonies. His prestige Thus
cult members and nearby Shepherds among them declined as he continued, pagan
for a major Curing Table. The gods and one by one the other Shepherds Revival,
came to dance and, possessing Walker withdrew their support, although it it seer
in turn, knew that he would serve them meant their own demise as leaders. tolerate
again. They withdrew their affliction Without the cooperation of visiting passing
immediately and he was well, though bands and' gods his Tables lost much of made th
still very weak, within a day. their color, vitality, and interest to poor mc
Thoroughly chastened and resigned spectators. As a result, dissatisfactions they cai
to life as a Pocomanian, Walker set and dissension grew within his own one to
about re-forming the local cult group. group, until first more conservative alternate
Many of his followers had strayed, members and then others began them, a
however, and growing Christian in- defecting or drifting away. Walker Christia
fluences left few potential initiates or realized then that his compromise could religion
others who would help him build a not endure and that the cult and its bors- ca
successful band. The cult was losing gods were doomed. preach
favor everywhere and declining rapidly. Old now he had passed 70 -- and pagans
Other local groups in the area were now troubled again by sickness, Walker freedom
so small that several had to cooperate in gave way to despair as his final attempt to choo
order to hold adequate ceremonies. and only hope to reconcile Christian such lin
Walker could not face a future of and pagan forces crumbled. All his in this e
diminishing prestige and respect with efforts had accomplished nothing, and progress
such a doomed and discredited set of he had lost favor with both sides. He educati
heathen outcasts, nor could he sincerely lost interest in the band and its ac- support
side with paganism against tivities and withdrew more and more small i
Christianity. He was a Christian too, into apathy. During his last years he protest
although the church would not have held only occasional desultory prayer Jamaica
him, and he needed deeply the approval meetings and the annual Table that the slave th(
and esteem of the community. His only gods required. The band, now the last all. Thu
alternative was tb make the cult itself in the area, dwindled further but these ins
respectable to Christianize it and thus survived, remarkably, while he lived, them, hi
gain creditable followers. He attempted His death in 1960 marked the end of Can we ]
this, gradually and in part un- pagan hopes. The group held a day cream
consciously, by placing increased Memorial Table for him soon af- Walkers
emphasis on the more Christian aspects terwards, but neither Walkernor the peace a
of ideology and ritual and by con-
cealing, from himself as well as from
others, some of its more pagan features.
He also borrowed extensively from
Zion Revival, a cult similar to
Pocomania but more nearly Christian The R as
and thus more popular and successful.
Christian hymns and prayers, Bible
readings and interpretations,
declarations of faith, and the like
played increasingly larger parts in
ceremonies, and "prayer meetings" THE RASTAFARIANS: A Rasta.
devoted to such rites became bi-weekly STUDY OF MESSIANIC CULTISM Kingstol
events. The archangels and biblical IN JAMAICA. Leonard E. Barrett. official
prophets of Zion Revival Christian Intro. by Donald W. Hogg. 238 pp. Britain.
spirits began attending Tables to Institute of Caribbean Studies, "dread
possess their "converts" and became Caribbean Monograph Series No. 6. U. remind
progressively more important in the Puerto Rico, 1969. $4.50. insane,
band's activities. Spiritual journeys Rasta, Rastaman, Rasman, occasion
went more and more to biblical lands. Rastafarian all of these terms I recalled and Cc
The Pocomania gods still came to hearing in my youth in Panama from passed i
dance, but later at night and less visiting Jamaican contractors and my dis one.
frequently, and as often as not unin- compatriots of Jamaican origin who me no gl
vited. Such Christian and near- may have returned from a recent visit sa. Yes,
Christian trappings attracted new to the "Isle. of Spring." Rasta, but me
members, and as the group grew so did Rastaman, Rasman, Rastafarian came States
Walker's prestige in the community. to mean to me a worthless vagabond, a whitema
But neither ever flourished again as religious fanatic, a dangerous drifter I cont
they had in previous years, and the black, bushy-head, broke and dirty. It why I ha
gains that these changes effected in one was not until my studies in Puerto Rico walked
sphere meant losses in another. that the sociological-historical man said
Other Pocomanians of the area had significance of the group was brought States.
enthusiastically welcomed Walker back to ny attention and as early as then I know?) ]
after his illness, for his leadership and recognized the interesting parallels that pretty, p
cooperation promised strong support could be drawn between the Black so, too,
for their waning bands. But they Muslims and the Rastas. sport coa
viewed his shift towards sectarianism As for personal contact I remem- Rasta sa
and Zion Revival with growing alarm bered well my first encounter with a It was
by Roy S. Brice-Laporte_
I was on a main street om
n I1962) a few weeks after the
granting of Independence from
I saw this man with muddy
locks," dressed in rags
ul of the impoverished, usually
West Indian drifters that one
ally encounters in Panamanian
)sta Rican coastal cities. As I
him he blurted out: "Look at
'e a dress like 'merican. Laas
lad me no brainwash lik a him,
dem say in Etiopia-de eat man
prefer go dere anytime dan go
and be brainwashed by de
inued to walk, perturbed as to
d elicited such a response. As I
on, a more casually dressed
i to me, "You a man from the
Ah know. (How did they
Don't mind 'im, man. You look
pretty, pretty." And I believed
dressed in my blue-checkered
it and my blue slacks, until the
lid his piece.
s hot as hell. But, I kept the
ds returned to dance at it. The
ever met again.
Pocomania followed the other
religions into oblivion. Zion
, already declining, may go next
ns the Christians cannot even
their own lesser gods. The
of these cults is sad, for they
e difficult lives of the Jamaican
ire bearable and enjoyable and
used no harm. They forced no
join them, but only offered
ives to those who would choose
nd they readily accepted the
ns as friends. It is ironic that a
which tells us to love our neigh-
i reject and destroy them, and
ng tolerance can leave no
to tolerate, and praising
I can allow no free alternatives
se. Not only religion imposes
citations and restrictions on us
enlightenedd age of freedom and
s; governmental, economic, and
onal institutions give it staunch
against the individual. It is
wonder that they have bred
groups, like the Rastafarians of
a who insist that they still en-
e people, to fight against them
is far the Walkers, accepting
stitutions and trying to adapt to
ave found no way of surviving.
hope that the Fighters may one
ate a world that allows future
to follow their own paths in
nd security? 0
outfit on because I remembered being
told by my middle class Jamaican
teachers in Panama of the "formality"
and "respectability" of Kingstonian
life. And I suppose by their standard
the Rasta's behavior was rude and
belligerent. But I saw it as political, not
simply rhetorical or ideological, but
also functional. His statement not only
challenged the views of the middle class
custodians of the status quo but it also
jolted me into a black perspective vis-a-
vis the cultural hegemony of Western
civilization on our thoughts and acts.
Barrett's The Rastafarians is in-
troduced as the first full-scale
monograph on the Ras Tafari
movement in Jamaica. The author is a
Jamaican and a student of religion, bat
he has sought to utilize anthropological
and sociological thinking in his work.
The scholarly effort represented by this
book deserves recognition for what it
contributes to understanding the
Rastas as well as for how it inhibits that
The monograph begins with four
chapters which treat the concept of
revitalization movement, historical-
ethnographic background on Jamaica,
the Jamaican family, and social
movements prior to the Rastafarians.
These chapters provide nothing that
serious scholars of the Caribbean would
not have known with greater
sophistication than is presented by
Barrett. However, whatever little they
could teach a more general audience is
likely to be misleading and confusing.
With reference to the Jamaican
family, Barrett stresses so much
pathology and gives so much weight to
the deficiency and conflict between
family structure and the needs of the
people, that it becomes difficult to
understand why the family forms
persist at all among Jamaicans in
general, and Rastas in particular. Is the
Rasta movement an outgrowth of the
family pathology? Does the Rasta
movement survive despite this
pathology? Or does the Rasta
movement reinforce or compensate for
this pathology? Barrett never describes
the family socialization process and the
extra-family relations of the Rastas, as
a community, a cult and a political
movement. One wonders why he ever
spoke about Jamaican family life at all.
Barrett is at his best as a scholar-
reporter. In chapters 5 through 9 he
presents rich descriptive and historical
material from various sources including
the Rastas themselves. He leaves us
with what seems to be a generally
coherent and comprehensive picture of
-the Rastafarian phenomenon.
The Rastafarian movement started
in 1930 at the beginning of what
Barrett calls the "debacle of despair"
for lower class Jamaicans. The
movement commenced soon after the
coronation of Ras Tafari (from whom it
got its name) as Haile Selaisie, Em-
peror of Ethiopia. Its early leaders all
seemed to be Jamaicans who had
traveled abroad, much like Marcus
Garvey. In fact, from the earliest period
of its emergence the movement blended
the image of Haile Selassie, the
teachings of the Holy Bible, and of
Garvey's notions of racial pride and
nationalist organization into its own
ideology. Despite the movements in-
ternational awareness, its operation
was largely in Jamaica. Its early
leaders, were increasingly successful in
their charismatic attraction of the
masses, but repeatedly fell prey to
police persecution. Barrett describes
the many demonstrations and violent -
often spectacular confrontations
between Rastafarians and the police.
He describes the frustrations and
frauds resulting from their attempts to
secure government support for
repatriation to Africa; the significant
episodes of their visit to Ethiopia; the
visit of the Emperor their God to
Jamaica; the abortive attempt at
armed revolt with the help of American
blacks; and the unsuccessful staging of
a Black Power candidate for Prime
For anyone whb has 'had little
protracted exposure to the ,Rastas -
their cosmology, their camp life, their
religious ceremonies this is a very
instructive book on a persistent
political religious movement of black
people in black Jamaica.
The movement's persistence could
easily be explained in political terms
when black Jamaica was a colony of
white England. But Barrett suggests
that even today the Rastas are growing,
and that some segments are becoming
more politically oriented in their
rhetoric, ideology, and action. For
outsiders who have been impressed by
the claims of black sovereignty and
racial egalitarianism made about these
island societies,. such persistent,
emerging patterns constitute a paradox.
They are no easier to fathom than the
reports of black power sentiment, race
riots, and "nationalist" conferences
taking place in the post colonial
Caribbean. Overseas West Indians who
once spoke with chauvinism of having
won independence from the white man
and their black American enthusiasts
now reel in shock or shame to hear that
Stokeley Carmichael could not enter
the land of his birth; that black
foreigners with Afros and dashikes
were often treated with suspicion and
contempt; that black nationalist in-
tellectuals are being ejected, and black
political activists are being rejected, by
the governments of these sovereign
black nations; that the writings of
Fanon, Carmichael and Malcolm X
(celebrated gifts of leadership by the
islands to the black world) are con-
fiscated; that while the "respectable"
black clergy preach that "responsible"
black statesmen should denounce the
need for black power in the islands;
and that while black West Indian
peoples leave their islands by the
thousands for America and Canada in
search of work -- white Americans and
Canadians are buying up their land, or
enjoying it as tourists. From all in-
dications, the West Indian in-
telligentsia -- students, artists,
academicians -- react to those oc-
currences with shock and shame as
well. However, I doubt strongly that
the Rastaman I met in Kingston reacts
with either shock or shame. From
Barrett's account, I get the impression
that he would not. As a Rasta, he is not
callous, but he has never expected
Those in the United States who were
inclined to draw their picture of the
West Indies from tourist brochures and
academic literature had little or no
serious forewarning of the emergence of
black power sentiments and actions in
the region, and can find little ex-
planation for the masking of such
realities. The truth is that American
social scientific interpretations in
particular have long treated the
Caribbean as a collection of benign,
egalitarian societies where whites and
Hacks live happily ever after. Barrett's
work does not fall into that category.
His choice of the Rastafarians and his
decision to deal with them not only as
an exotic religious cult but as a political
movement of poor, persecuted blacks as
well, exonerates him from any possible
charge of perpetuating the fictitious
portrayal of Jamaica as the black man's
heaven, an interracial paradise, or a
social science "laboratory.'.
However, the final chapters of his
book are less impressive than the
middle section. Barrett tries to fit his
work into a theoretical structure,
presumably for scholarly comparison
and appreciation. He tries to place the
Rastafarians into the framework of
Wallace's revitalization movement, and
Heberle's discussion of functionalism in
social movement. It is not that such
efforts lack importance, but we do not
think that Barrett contributes to any
'further understanding of the Rastas or
of the theories. He passes up the op-
portunity to address himself more
squarely to the reality of Jamaica's
economic-political situation and drifts
into analyses and recommendations
along lines of "broad" predictions
about Rastas rather than about
Barrett calls the Rastafarians a
messianic cult, which explains much of
the nature of their religious beliefs and
political practices. Rastafarians
demand sponsored repatriation to
Africa (their heaven) or reconstruction
of Jamaica (their hell) into their image
of Africa. Either of these choices, of
course, requires radical action. Rastas
may wish to go to Africa, but a larger
number of pragmatic (less messianic-
oriented) Jamaicans clamor to go to
Head of Alexandrina. From "A Journey
in Brazil," by Louis and Elizabeth Agas-
siz. Praeger reprint, 1969.
America, England, and Canada. Not
only the Rastas but a larger number of
these Jamaicans are poor and black. If
there is one more thing the two groups
share, it is the aggressive, persistent
quest for a place in the sun with which
they can identify; a place that belongs
to them and benefits them; a place that
accepts their blackness, but allows
them to overcome their poverty. This is
a mandate, it seems, for a government
and society that is free, willing and
able, both politically and economically,
to carry out massive radical action for
"the people" of the land. It is
suggestive to me at least that the
Rastas, in an extreme way, live out -
and thus symbolize that mandate for
a commitment ,o radical action from a
larger proportion of the island's
disenchanted population to its ruling
It seems that Barrett took too much
time belaboring the obvious at least
the known in emphasizing the
messianic, the expressiveness, and the
instrumental disfunctions of the
Rastas. After all, what more could be
expected of a group so impoverished
and persecuted, on an island so un-
derdeveloped and protected? It seems
that he could have asked more
questions as to what the persistence and
growth of the Rastas in post-colonial
Jamaica say of the larger society, the
expectations of its citizens, the
promises, practices, and potential of its
economic:-political apparatus, with
regards to realizing these expectations.
Barrett may have done a good book on
the Rastafarians of Jamaica, but much
more needed is a good book on the
Jamaica of the Rastafarians. What is
the Jamaica they want so much to flee?
What is theAfrica,the Ethiopia really
the Jamaica, I think they seek so hard
to find? Barrett just never seems to get
around to spelling this out in secular,
non-rhetorical or non-cosmological
terms, or at least not clearly enough to
be translated into policy or
In one chapter Barrett deals briefly
with the Black Muslims as a messianic
cult, which shares a number of
historical, ideological and structural
similarities with the Rastafarians.
Obviously the emergence of these two
groups speaks strongly to the kinds of
ties or the "ties of kinds" between Afro-
American and Afro-West Indian that
preceded the recent black power
developments. Further, their existence
seemingly testifies to certain common
aspects of the Black Experience in the
New World as well as the commoness
in types of reaction to this Experience.
For the student of African and Afro-
American religion, this could reopen
the issue of old world survival versus
new world experience which I wish to
ignore atthis point. In all fairness to
the Black Muslims, there is a
-significant way in which they differ
from the Rastafarians their relative
progress in fulfilling their goal.
The Muslims are pro-black and anti-
white (anti-integration with whites) but
their mecca is the United States rather
than Africa or Asia; they are anti-
Christian but rather Puritanistic and
Calvinistic in their mores -- dress,
drugs, women, work, tithes, etc. They
have suffered persecution and
propaganda from the rest of the society
but have been very disciplined despite
"heir rhetoric of violent self-defense.
1'hey recruit in prisons and have had
spectacular success as a rehabilitative
institution. On the one hand their
socialization process makes them more
interactively distant but on the other,
much closer structurally to white
society then to many other black
Muslims in many ways have created
a sub-society with their own institutions
and ideology, and with a highly,
centralized, hierarchical structure and
extensive economic -and educational
activities that make them more self-
sufficient and self-contained than
most other black movements in the U.
S. By way of control and com-
munication the nation of Islam has
created not only a congregation with
specific tastes and taboos, but it has
recently engaged in business which
employs its people, services its
congregation, supports its churches,
and earns the patronage of many black
sympathizers as clientele. The recent
purchase of farms in the South
proposes something about the wealth it
has amassed and the seriousness of its
purpose. The success of the farms could
provide an agricultural base that later
helps with urban development. In the
end, even though dropping the back-to-
Africa emphasis which Rastafarians
still retain, the Black Muslims are
perhaps closer than any other com-
parable black protest group to fulfilling
Garvey's dream of autonomous black
economic subsystems, and this they do
despite (perhaps because of) internal
racism in the United States.
The Muslims, who seek to obtain five
southern states in the U. S. seem and
feel to be closer to their objective than
the Rastafarians' goal which appears
more feasible of returning to Africa.
The differences, I propose, go further
than the two groups and stretch to
considerations of the differences in
internal and international propensities
of the two host societies at this time.
Jamaica's case is obviously more acute
and requires immediate attention. It is
not-far-fetched to expect that lower and
middle class Jamaicans (Rastas in-
cluded) who seek a better life may soon
shift their emphasis from the outside
world to their homeland. The
predicament then will be that the
government lacks an answer, and the
country lacks land. Or, is the ruling
class gambling on the eternal per-
vasiveness of the emigrant ethos (the
brain drain, too, I warn) which has
traditionally afflicted the lands of my
West Indian grandparents? o3
CAIBBEAN PEEW 5
(Trinidad and Tobago seems now to
be on the brink of political upheaval.
Fifteen months of political unrest
culminated in an explosion of massive
protest demonstrations which lasted for
eight weeks until April 21, 1970. On
that fateful morning, Washington was
asked to help the government maintain
a State of Emergency and to quell a
revolt of the troops. Ironically, it was
ten years to the day since Prime
Minister Eric Williams had launched a
colossal protest march on the American
military base at Chaguaramas. In
1970, Williams -- the acknowledged
head of the Negro community for
nearly 15 years, and the celebrated
author of "Capitalism and Slavery" -
found himself in a direct confrontation
with Black Power..
Many of the protests in Trinidad
seem unconnected, but they appear to
feed upon each other, and denote a
broadly based undercurrent of
discontent. Trinidad's unemployment
is 15 percent of the labor force; skilled
workers are migrating; there is a
serious shortage of adequate housing,
and educational opportunities -- while
improving still lag far behind current
The following excerpts are from a
speech by Lloyd Best, which was
delivered on March 20, by which time
the so-called "February Revolution"
had established itself as a serious
political force. Mr. Best, a writer and
university professor, is leader of the
Tapia House Group, which advocates
political change through community
development. The Editors.)
Fourteen years ago many of us were
saluting a new dawn in much the same
way as we have been doing these last
exciting days. The cry of 1956 was
party politics. Thirty-three years ago,
we were greeting the politics of
organized labour; and fifty-one years
ago, it was the politics of free labour.
We have come a long way. When
Captain Andrew Cipriani made his
entry with the Trinidad Working
Men's Association, Trinidad had
waited at least one hundred and forty
years for community participation in
the political system. It took the general
strike of 1919 to open the gate to the
Cipriani's movement was a response
to the frustrations of the period
following Emancipation in 1838.
African peoples had come to Trinidad
from all up the Eastern Caribbean
hoping to make their way and to stake
their claims for manhood in a land of
wealth and promise. They liad come
from the colonies where sugar and
slavery had for two hundred long years
emasculated and brutalized them. Now
they would make good.
It proved to be more difficult than
they thought. For one thing, the
colonizers sought to expand the sugar
plantation system of export production
with the cheapest possible labour. They
adopted education policies, land
policies, taxation policies and labour
policies, all of which made it virtually
impossible for the Africans to establish
themselves in independent business.
Reporting in 1850 on The Ordeal of
Free Labour, Sewell has noted that
"the planters. . adopted the most
stringent measures to prevent the
education as almost his only way
forward, he made his investment in that
total. His strategy was to prepare
Himself to succeed the colonizer in the
Professions, in the civil service, in the
drivers' seats of the political system.
Who here does not remember how
K mothers used to wash the shirts at night
W and iron them in the morning, to put
P o i a the sons through school? Who has
I| 10S forgotten the mad scramble every
Pl January to buy shoes and ties and
Uniform? Who does not know the
by Lloyd Best scrimping and the saving, the drudgery
increase of small proprietors, and keep and the slaving?
up, by such unnatural means, a suf- And it was a losing game. But for a
ficient labouring population." time we did not appreciate that; we
Above all, the planters brought in continued to see progress in terms of
indentured Indians. This helped to becoming little Englishmen. The
keep African wages down. Then, to add veterans came back with Cipriani from
insult to injury, the cost of importing the war and from England where they
indentured labour was met from taxes had found that the ground was as hard,
on the imports which were bought by that a yard was as long; and they had
the population at large. The Africans wondered, wondered about equality.
therefore had to pay to keep themselves The ferment which they caused gave
in backwardness. The result was to Cipriani his opening. And the Captain
drive a wedge between the two peoples changed the rules. His movement
and to stiffen African resolve to make it forced the colonizing power to hold the
against the mounting odds. first ever election in 1925 and to
Deprived of the land and of the modify the model Crown Colony
means of economic independence, the arrangement for which Trinidad had
African had to win his triumphs on become famous. The way now seemed
urban ground. The effect was to widen clear to the Afro-Saxon. Cipriani stood
the cultural gap between the Indian for the barefoot man but the Home
and himself. Rule which he wanted was Home Rule
In the country and on the land, the in all loyalty to Queen and Comn-
Indian was a kind of slave, shut in as he monwealth, to all that was British and
was on the plantations. But a slave with best. In time, if the Negro acquired the
a difference. Both the planter and
himself had an interest in maintaining
for the Indian a life-style different from
that of the African. The African, for his
own part, had now to adopt a way of
life largely imitative of the European.
To advance in the town, he had to
reject himself, by churching himself
and by educating himself. Cut off from
the land, his education was the
education of sense. Worse yet it was the
education of metropolitan book.
And so the Afro-Saxon was born, a
man steeped in self-contempt,
displaying his decolonization in the
colonizer's clothes. In this context,
black power expressed itself in the
ability to imitate European culture and
by doing so, to establish a superiority
over the culture of Indians and indeed
of all other groups in the West Indies.
Yet, for all his self-rejection, the
African displayed a vigour and a social
creativity second to none. Restricted to
fitness to rule by proving himself equal
to the established culture, in time
control of the system would be his for
Of course it was not so simple.
Behind this strategy of victory by
accommodation, there was always the
hope that the system itself could be
transformed once we had gotten into
the position to transform it. It was a
strategy of playing possum as it were,
for African dignity.
When Cipriani could no longer
service this strategy, he had to go. By
the end of the 1930's, the modified
Crown Colony system was too
restrictive of Negro advance. Certainly,
there were Indians, too, who had joined
the game of acquiring fitness to rule
through education and churching. But
by and large, the majority of Indians
remained a group apart with little
interest in political participation. It was
the African who demanded con-
By extending the scope of the labour
movement to embrace the oil workers
and by increasing their political
militancy, Uriah Butler and the
Citizens Home Rule Party changed the
rules again. The riots of 1937 led
ultimately to Adult Suffrage in 1946,
and opened a window on the current
period since the war.
Once Adult Suffrage had been
granted, the Negro dream came close to
being fulfilled. It was the last lap. The
hundred years of Negro investment-in
making himself acceptable could now
bear fruit in his ability to manipulate
the political system.
Butler proved unequal to the
situation. Given the strategy of
acquiring churching and education, the
Chief Servant was oddly, too much
Afro and too little Saxon. He was too
black and too "crude" to be considered
for leadership by the growing class of
professionals. Accordingly, there
developed two distinct streams in
Negro politics. Divided to the vein!
In the 1950's Patrick Solomon took
leadership of the professional stream.
His contribution was that he aban-
doned the old professional strategy of
winning backroom influence in the
cocktail circuit; he sought instead to
compete directly for political power. In
this regard, he was John the, Baptist.
When in 1956, Eric Williams came
and changed the rules again, here was
the Messiah himself. Given the Negro
strategy of advancing through
education and churching, the Doctor
filled the bill perfectly. Here was a
successful College Exhibitioner who
had come double good at Queens Royal
College in Trinidad, Oxford and then at
the Caribbean Commission, who had
dedicated himself to the study of the
history of his people: Williams was
thought to understand the depth and
the complexity of West Indian and
particularly of Negro frustration. And
in many important ways he did!
When he offered himself, it touched a
chord in the Afro-Saxon personality.
The time at last had come. Here was a
Leader with technical command, with
abundant energy and with roots among
the people. What mountains could not
now be moved? Williams evoked the
whole past of Negro struggle not only in
Trinidad and Tobago but in the wider
West Indies as well. The Negro
population, moved to tears that this,
their most distinguished son, had come
back to lead, gave him all the trust they
had. They trusted him blind; they
trusted him almost without question,
Now the movement had within its
grasp the precious levers of in-
dependence, a Federation of the
heartland of African-America; now it
had the long awaited chance to take the
economy in its charge, to redress for
once and all the historical balance
which had from the start been so
heavily weighted against the men from
across the Middle Passage.
Williams and the People's National
Movement have raised levels of
material welfare for the Negro as for
everybody else, yet they have wrought
all manner of changes across the face of
the land. But the one thing that the
PNM has not done is to redress the
historical balance and to give the Negro
a sense of being master in the castle of
In the final analysis, the PNM did
not know how to use the political
control which it won in 1956 and we
must see that this failure falls strictly in
the logic of the Afro-Saxon strategy
which we adopted in the 19th century.
Accustomed to advancing by denying
our own worth, we have found it easier
to rely on outside help in our quest for
change. We have found it easier to rely
on a Doctor than to take up our own
beds and walk.
CAMBBEAN FE W
Instead of dealing with sugar,
petroleum and the banks, instead of
breaking the metropolitan stranglehold
on the economy which had kept the
West Indian people in chains from the
start, Williams and the PNM adopted
the prescription of industrialization by
invitation. We hoped for economic
transformation by borrowing capital,
by borrowing management, by
borrowing technology, by borrowing
this and by borrowing that, and by
cowtowing before every manner of alien
expert we could find.
We failed .to see that this kind of
dependence in our territorial context
amounted to nothing but ob-
sequiousness, servility, and in the last
resort'toa shattering vote of no-
confidence in the population of
Trinidad and Tobago.
And yet it might have gone the other
way. Williams started with a kind of
moral authority which would have
allowed him to undertake almost any
major act of public policy that he
wanted. And before long, he had gotten
the movement into confrontation with
the Americans over Chaguaramas
Naval Base. The issue was neither
military nor economic; it was moral.
Chaguaramas raised the question of
national self-confidence. Did we respect
ourselves sufficiently to tell the
Americans to go? When Williams put
the question, the response from the
population was a resounding 'Yes' and
April 22, 1960 will remain one of the
red-letter days in the annuals of this
country. We were a little afraid, to be
sure. But our dignity depended upon
standing up for independence.
As it turned out we bowed. In the
end our Afro-Saxon ambivalence
carried the day. Williams estimated
that the time was wrong in 1960 to
confront the imperial system. He
temporised by reaching a financial
settlement with the Americans and in
doing so threw the national movement
into utter disarray.
And the re-assertion of blackness
which we are witnessing today is the
counter attack which the youth and the
dispossessed are launching but which
they are able to launch only because the
entire nation has a stake in that noble
As much as any other group in the
country, the comfortable Negroes have
a stake in black power. Concentrated in
the civil service and.the professions, it is
they who feel the weight of our
dependence on the world outside; they
see most clearly how we waste ourselves
away and dissipate the resources that
we have. It is not surprising that this
class is the one which contributes most
to the so-called braindrain.
Even the Europeans here have been
victims of the situation in ways that few
have yet dared to face. This group has
had the cleaner end of the stick in that
they have done comparatively well in
terms of income, wealth and material
things. But that is precisely the
measure of their degradation. They are
the most backward ruling class
imaginable. For all the leisure of their
wealth, they have created nothing,
invented nothing. For the most part
they have simply been crude buy-and-
sell operators, as much a pappy-show of
the metropoles as all the rest of us.
There is not among them a novelist
or a poet of any rank; not an innovator
of any standing, not an historian, not a
painter. They stand on the sidelines
revealing no human insight, revealing
none of the empathy and compassion
that distinguishes the New World
Negro. It is ironic that European
.colonization in the West Indies may
have made the European far more
barbarous a man than either the Indian
or the Negro.
The unemployed and' the,
dispossessed blacks have had the
nastier but perhaps in the final analysis
not the worse end of the, stick.
Unemployment and poverty have been'
their brutal companions, sure! But
precisely because they havenot had to
stoop to European education and
culture in quite the same way as the
professionals and the whites, they have
kept more of their humanity, more of
their creative wit than the rest of us.
They may yet have the last laugh.
It is no accident that the steelband-
smen have made our biggest
breakthrough in the arts as well as in
The assertion of blackness by the
men from below is therefore a positive
and constructive thing. The militants
are factually wrong when they identify
the enemy in terms of colour and race
as white imperialist racism. Yet they
are morally correct because here in the
colonies, there are no whites among the
ranks of the dispossessed as the men
from below are forced by circumstances
to perceive the dispossessed. In that
perspective whiteness is quite rightly
identified as the enemy.
In contrast, it would be less valid to
take that view in the perspective of the
intellectuals. The intellectuals know
very well that European industrial
civilization has dispossessed large
numbers of Europeans as well and that
the sickness is in the civilization itself.
It is therefore their duty to make this
information available to the blacks so
that we can engage in confrontations
that are real and not expend our time in
futile tilting at the windmills.
The blacks will one day embrace the
truth. It is merely a matter of time. The
hand which the Africans have moved to
extend to the Indians is bound to
initiate a search for truth about all our
constituent peoples. And once we have
evaluated our common historical ex-
perience in this place, real bridges will
be erected between the different racial
Until that time it is the duty of the
Europeans to place themselves in the
position of the blacks and to embrace
black power. It is their duty to come off
the sidelines, to develop insight and
understanding, to bend backwards and
accommodate. Any other stance could
cost us all very dear indeed.
We have to tie ourselves down to the
discipline, the organization and the
hard-slogging required to build a
participatory republic, based on the
people. In the years following the
compromise of Chaguaramas we can
easily trace the degeneration of the
Afro-Saxon leadership, the heightening
of Doctor politics and the
corresponding retreat of the people.
These developments precipitated a
major crisis for the professional and
technocratic class which had thrown its
weight behind the national movement
in its early days. Deprived of real power
and denied the opportunity to do the
creative work of which they had dreamt
for so long, this group had to con-
template the enormity of founding an
altogether new movement. But for the
seniors among them, this was a virtual
impossibility the degeneration of the
leadership which had been held in the
highest possible esteem literally
wrecked the self-confidence of the'
entire professional class.
Some simply withdrew, some broke
down, others started to scramble for
advantage and many just settled for the
gold of silence. In the process, the Civil
Service and Teaching Service and the
entire Public Service went completely
to pieces. Bribery, intimidation and
barbarism became the order of the day.
With such a major concentration of
Negro talent immobilized, the effect on
the Negro community and by ex-
tension, on the country at large was
devastating. The burden of resistance
to a more and more arbitrary regime
now fell directly on the Unions, the only
national grouping organized enough
and powerful enough to stand up
against the iniquitous pragmatism of
The major political struggle of the
period has therefore been between the
Unions and the government. The'
original thrust of the PNM had come
not from the Unions but from the
Negro professionals especially from
the teachers and the Movement had
never succeed in working out cordial
relations with organized labour.
The possibility of an alliance bet-
ween Government and Labour was first
undermined by the Subversive
Commission of 1963 and then
destroyed altogether by the Industrial
Stabilization Act. Ever since, the PNM
has had its hand full trying to contain
the Unions. The last and most
ridiculous effort to do this has been
ANR Robinson's attempt to persuade
the proud defendants of Butler and
Rojas to steer clear of politics and in
doing so to abandon the field to
Brothers and Sisters, we must
acknowledge that psychologically at
least, the moral resurgence of the black
power movement embraces both the
professionals and the organized
workers as well as the unemployed, the
young and the dispossessed. The
marches have meant much to these two
groups and it is the size of their support
which made the February Revolution
The regime is dead. It is power to the
people. What is left for us to do now is
to establish and institutionalize the
Revolution. We must therefore turn to
The ultimate cause of the February
Revolution is dispossession: economic
and political. The ultimate aim of any
measures we now propose must
therefore be to place economic and
'political control in the hands of the
Economic reorganization; con-
stitutional reform. The procedure for
deciding upon programmes under these
two heads must also involve popular
participation on a very wide scale. By
making the Government of the day into
an irrelevancy, our peaceful Revolution
has now made such participation
The problems in economic
reorganization are simple though the
solutions may be complex. Two major
acts of policy are required. The first is a
settlement with oil, sugar and the
banks; the second is the emancipation
of national enterprise.
The biggest single problem here is
that the petroleum and sugar industries
are in the hands of foreign companies
and that these companies have interests
which are in conflict with those of the
nation. We have to resolve this conflict
once and for all by localizing these
companies and fitting them into the
framework of national planning. We
have to make it clear that we are in-
tending to break up the huge in-
ternational corporations. We are not
alone in this; other countries are
thinking the same way too.
There is no reason in the world why a
Government which enjoys the con-
fidence of the people and which
disposes of moral authority cannot take
over the sugar industry at once. I
cannot see this raising any additional
problems of marketing or production. I
can actually see it permitting more
efficient production both of sugar and
other agricultural commodities. But
this is material for another con-
versation. Here we need only agree that
the localization of sugar is desirable not
that it is feasible.
The same holds for petroleum.
Without question we need to localize
this industry. This policy must be
stated in public. At the same time, we
know that to maintain a national and
viable oil industry is an extremely
difficult business. The failure of the
regime to establish a proper Secretariat
to deal with Oil in the last 15 years
means that we may not even have the
information needed to embark upon a
speedy and satisfactory settlement.
It is therefore necessary to formulate
some minimum demands consistent
with our objective of establishing
The creation of a genuinely West
Indian legal personality for oil com-
* a separation of Texaco (Trinidad)
from Texaco (International);
* shares in Texaco Trinidad must be
traded on the local market and made
available to the Unions, the Central
Government, the Local Authorities and
the Public at large.
* A schedule of jobs which must be
held by nationals within a specific
* The accounting practices of the
companies must conform to national
* All advertising, banking and in-
Garrafao, among the Organ Mountains. From "A Journey in Brazil," by Louis and Eliza-
beth Agassiz. Praeger reprint, 1969.
surance services must be locally
Then there is banking and finance.
The foreign banks and insurance banks
bring no facilities that we cannot now
provide for ourselves. In fact, they
stand in the way of a rational
management of the monetary system.
They must therefore be localized and
integrated so as to establish three types
!Consumer banks dealing in mor-
tgages, pawnbroking and hire pur-
Industrial development banks.
Advertising and the media must pass
to complete national control,
The Guardian must be converted
into a National Trust.
All advertising agencies must sever
their international ties so that all ad-
vertisments would be locally produced
and all decisions taken here.
The second act of economic
reorganization is the freeing of national
enterprise. National enterprise is in
general stunted or distorted. Negro
enterprise in particular has not been
able to express itself in business. This
has been due in the first instance to the
legacy of the 19th century which
directed the Negro towards the
professions and the public service.
Then the economic policy of depen-
dence adopted in the post-war period
has reinforced the old pattern. Since
this old pattern has placed Indians in
what appears to be a more favourable
situation the Government has been
afraid to rely on local businessmen for
fear that Indians may take over the
Brothers and Sisters, we can no
longer afford to discriminate against
national enterprise. Indians are
Trinidadians and that is that. And the
whole notion of a "take-over" springs
from an Afro-Saxon lack of confidence
by the PNM in the Negro, a lack of
confidence which is completely un-
warranted by the facts. If national
enterprise is given a chance, in a proper
framework of banking and government
policy, surely there can be no doubt
that everybody will prosper!
To emancipate national enterprise
six steps are required:
We cut down luxury imports. This
will then open opportunities for in-
. We shift the burden of action in
agriculture, industry and tourism more
towards local private initiative and
away from foreign and government
* We embark on a large-scale
programme of house building. People
will then be able to buy houses rather
than imported household equipment.
This is why reorganization of mortgage
banking is required.
* We integrate the plans for em-
ployment and education and we tailor
them to the concrete possibilities which
arise from the new policies in
agriculture, in industry, in tourisrn and
* We establish National Service so as
to introduce some flexibility in the
pattern of employment.
We adopt an incomes policy not only
for Organized Labour but for the entire
The second major objective of the
moment is the establishment of a
Participatory Republic. From the very
start, the system of government and
politics in the West Indies excluded
significant community participation.
Under Proprietary Government in the
first half of the 17th century, the
Proprietor ruled arbitrarily through a
Governor and Council and this system
was more or less repeated under Crown
Colony Government in the 19th
century. In between the two, Planter
Assemblies exercised some control on
the Governor. Then in this century, in
Trinidad, after Cipriani, the population
came gradually to acquire a share in the
political system. But this has been little
more than a formality. The limited
economic independence of the
population denies real freedom.
Participation is therefore largely
confined to periodic voting.
The main changes required now are
changes which will expose a more
widely representative opinion and
which will limit central power.
Specifically, we need two things:
* A Senate representing community
* strong Local Authorities.
Economic reorganization and
constitutional reform. We will be
coming back to these in the People's
Parliament all over the country. We
must consider the implications for the
immediate future of a programme of
economic reorganization and con-
The Tapia House Movement
proposes the following measures to be
undertaken by any community groups
which feel able to constitute themselves
We start a ten cent Sou-Sou Bank
with Branches all over the country. The
technical details of this proposal can be
presented later but what is envisaged
are agreed levies on every "hand"
drawn. These levies will then go into a
central saving pool out of which small
business will be financed.
The Central Fund will be equipped
with the kind of attitudes that the IDC
should now have but doesn't have. The
Fund can anticipate the kind of
mortgage banking which is being
proposed in the overall rationalisation
of the financial system. If we are
serious, it can carry on the sork started
by the Penny Bank and Colonial Life
Insurance Company in the old days.
There is no reason why we cannot
now proceed to found a People's Bank.
The Commercial Banking Legislation
passed by the government is extremely
reactionary since it discriminates
against small capitals. But the
February Revolution, as we have
noted,, has rendered the present
Establishment of Economic En-
terprises. The funds which are
generated by the National Sou-Sou
Plan can be quite considerable and can
provide significant capitals to start
business. Clyde Payne of Tunapuna
had worked out an excellent proposal
some years ago to launch laundries and
drug-stores and a wide range of en-
terprises. The plan was premature then
but ought now to be much more
Establishment of Community
Amenities. We need unemployment
centres, feeding centres, clinics, TV
centres, Art centres, Libraries,
Homework Centres, Public Bath-
Houses, Washing Machine Centres and
a whole range of community services.
We can start them now. The Black
Power Marches have thrown up a large
number of community groups and some
skeleton organization. The moment to
develop organization is now while the
iron is hot.
Establishment of a Radio Station.
The time has now arrived when a
serious Radio Station should be
founded. The Government has done
virtually nothing in the field for 13
years. It is time for private initiative. If
the Government refuses the licence, it
will do so at its peril. The cost of a
transmitter is well within the means of
the Movement for change. Imagine
what we can do with broadcasts of
Caribbean History, Indian History,
African History, plays, poetry,
drummologies etc. Imagine the work
for our artists, now forced to go abroad.
Establishment of an Independent
Community Education System. There
is also no reason why we cannot now
establish Steelband Workshops and
Tapia Houses in yards all over the
country, why we cannot start relevant
self-help teaching programmes. It is
clear that many University students,
professionals, and teachers are ready
for a new departure. This is the time to
establish a National Certificate of
Education and to bring many of the
unemployed back into a system of
training and apprenticeship.
To make all these programmes
feasible on a national scale we need to
create a series of Agencies which will
bring people together for work.
The first Agency needed is a Con-
stituent Assembly of representatives
from groups all over the country,
groups which accept that the regime is
dead. This body should be similar to
the Senate proposed in the Tapia plan
for Constitutional Reform. It should
act as an informal Parliament, a
governing body for all the activities of
the new Movement. It should conduct'
its deliberations in public. One of its
first tasks would be to draw up a new
Dustcover drawing for "Pentagonism: a Substitute for Imperialism," by Juan Bosch. Grove
The second Agency needed is a
Permanent Commission of Enquiry
into national problems. We need public
investigations into the petroleum in-
dustry, the hotels and the sugar in-
dustry, into the plight of the taxi-
drivers, the education system, the IDC,
into the Transport Corporation and a
whole range of issues. The OWTU has
been planning such an investigation for
some months now.
The time has come to start these
enquiries going, and to allow citizens to
participate freely, to give their views
and to present the information in their
possession. The February Revolution
has made it impossible for the
Government to continue to victimize
people of independent mind. The time
to win freedom is now. If this kind of
activity is going on in the country,
Williams and the PNM will not be able
to govern in the way they have been
doing. In fact, they will have to resign
and open the way to participatory
politics and to power for the people.
The Church is now under heavy
attack and quite justifiably so. It has
been a reactionary and imperialist
institution. Yet new thinking must be
going on. A healthy development would
be for the Council of Churches to
assume a few tasks of reconstruction.
For one thing Church halls should be
made available as schools. The Hindus
are already doing this. For another,
here in Tunapuna, TAPIA is proposing
that Mt. St. Benedict and the
Tacarigua Orphan-Home be converted
into serious centres of community
education and work.
The school-for-the-rich at the Mount
is completely misplaced and the
possibilities of the plant at the Orphan
Home are sadly underexploited. The
projects of reorganization can be
undertaken as a multi-denominational
responsibility, thereby paving the way
for an integrated national "church" to
grow up gradually. Islam, Hinduism
and Christianity need to come to terms
with the facts of life in Trinidad and
The contribution which the Civil
Service can make to the Movement for
fundamental change is to raise
productivity and to improve the quality
of the public service. Morale has been
abysmally low over the last ten years.
But nothing would embarrass the
Government more than if we were
ourselves to start enforcing higher
standards of courtesy in departments
which serve the public and if we were to
begin expressing our views freely and as
we please. All kinds of party hacks are
doing what they please and the country
knows about it. The way to deal with
all the immorality in public affairs is by
positive and constructive measures and
by the assertion of our democratic
rights. And we must make a start now.
The Police also have an extremely
important role to play. The community
programmes which are being proposed
are going to extend them to their fullest.
They should join the Movement for
change by ,providing a genuine com-
munity service. The brutalizations of
our colonial history have cast the police
in the role of barbarian and bully. But
here, too, the new regime demands a
Finally, there is the Press. Now is the
time for the Press, too, to make its bid
for freedom. It is time for the jour-
nalists to report what they know to be
the facts and to comment on national
events subject only to the limits of good
taste and the law. It is a challenge to
which they must face up.
We in the Caribbean have been the
footstool of North Atlantic imperial
civilization. Our historic mission is
therefore clear. It can be one thing
only: to upset this civilization by
building a humane culture from below
and by bringing vower, POWER TO
THE PEOPLE. EJ
In the past decade most ol the
Caribbean islands and territories have
won full independence or internal self
government. The French Overseas
Department (D.O.M.) of Martinique
and Guadeloupe are the only sizeable
West Indian islands directly governed
by a European Metropolitan power.
This situation is not unanimously
accepted by the population of
Guadeloupe and Martinique, where the
political life revolves around two main
tendencies: departmentalization and
autonomy. The demand for autonomy
in these two islands has increased
during the 1960's.
"The Antilles cannot and do not
want to be anything other than French.
They are French in mind, in heart, in
blood... What other nation can boast
of having such love!" This opinion
by Victor Sable in his 1955 book La
transformation des lies d'Amerique en
Department Francais, expresses,
perhaps in too extravagant a style, a
profound truth: the people of Mar-
tinique and Guadeloupe are attached to
France. They indeed carry the stamp of
French culture. Nevertheless, this does
not imply a denial of existing problems
and of efforts to find rational and
realistic solutions. Unfortunately, this
aspect of the problem has been
frequently misstated in the Antilles:
some people, in good faith, consider as
traitors to France those who assert that
the time has come for greater
Among those who demand autonomy
for the French Antilles are the com-
munists, the non-communist liberals,
and some youth organizations.
During its First Congress in 1957 at
Lamentin, the Communist Party of
Martinique (PCM) stated its position
clearly. Already in 1955 it had sought
to widen the powers of the General
Council, and now it asked for the
management of the affairs of Mar-
tinique by the people of Martinique. A
small ,group of Communists in
Guadeloupe have desolidarized
themselves with the official policy of
their party by openly asking for in-
dependence in joining the
"Groupement des Organisations
The PCM claims that autonomy is
very easily realized, and would allow
the French Antilles to develop har-
moniously through the application of a
well-studied program by the Party.
This program was prepared for
Martinique, but with some minor
changes the Commtmist ,Party of
Guadeloupe (PCG) supports a similar
program. The party program embodies
agrarian reform (redistribution of land
- 80 percent of the cultivable land
belongs to ten bgkes (white men born in
Martinique) families nationalization
of big sugar and banana concerns and
diversification of agriculture, im-
mediate steps to reduce unemployment,
technical and financial aid to local
craftsmen, and reduction of the powers
of private monopolies in trade and
transportation. They also argue that
the autonomous state of Martinique
must carry out trade negotiations with
The Communists of Guadeloupe and
Martinique are fairly strong: in
Martinique they had 60 per cent of the
total votes in 1946 and 65 per cent in
1951. Yet in the October 1962
referendum 85 per cent of the voters
voted in favor of de Gaulle, which could
by Gerard R. Latortue -
be interpreted indirectly as "no" to a
change of status, if it were not for the
enormous personal prestige of de
Gaulle. In Guadeloupe the Communist
Party's position remained more or less
unchanged between 1951 and 1962,
with 45 per cent of the votes in 1951 as
opposed to 52 per cent in 1962. (The
personnel prestige of Dr. Henri
Bangou, Mayor of Pointe-a-Pitre and
the effectiveness of his administration
have contributed to the reinforcement
of the Communist Party during the
June and September 1969 elections).
But there, too, the 1962 referendum
showed 83 per cent in favor of de
Gaulle. These figures must be viewed
against a background of electoral fraud
and a great degree of absention which
are extremely common on both islands.
Nevertheless even the Communists
recognize that the mass of the people do
not follow them on the issue of the
Other political groups also believe
that a change in the status of the
Antilles is mandatory if economic and
social problems are to be faced. The
non-communist groups include the
Progressive Party of Martinique
(PPM) and the Martinique Federation
of the Unified Socialist Party (PSU).
The PPM is the party of Mr. Aime
Cesaire, deputy and mayor of fort-de-
France, and an internationally known
writer. He formed the party in 1956,
when he resigned from the Communist
Party. For over six years now, the PPM
has favored an administrative
autonomy by which the French Antilles
expressed in 1966 a vivid desire to
study in depth the political status of
Puerto Rico in order to see how far a
similar status would be applicable to
the French Antilles).
The Martinique Federation of the
Unified Socialist Party(PSU)also plays
a very active role in the struggle for
autonomy. It makes its position clear
through its journal, "Presence
Socialiste." It supports the union of all
anti colonialist forces in the struggle for
autonomy. Considering the local
psychology and the international
context, the internal autonomy is
claimed to be the best suited to the
development of Martinique. The
could conduct their own local affairs
within the French constitutional
In March 1964, Aime Cesaire
delineated his position vis-a-vis the
Antillean discontent during General de
Gaulle's visit to the island. In his
speech at the Town Hall in Fort-de-
France, welcoming the French Head of
State, Cesaire declared.:
"... we can no longer avoid facing a
problem that obsesses our. youth: the
problem of the necessary remodelling of
our institutions (I refer to our local in-
stitutions) so that they will be better
suited to our Antillean conditions; so that
they are more respectful of our per-
sonality and our obvious peculiarity; so
that they are more flexible, less petty,
more democratic, giving greater
recognition to local initiative, local
responsibility; so that we may no longer
have the feeling, the most depressing
feeling, that a group of poor but proud
men can experience, the feeling that they
helplessly look upon the unfolding of their
own history, the feeling that they submit
to history instead of making it; in short,
the feeling of being frustrated about their
After de Gaulle's visit, when a
German reporter asked Cesaire to
define autonomy, he answered by
saying that the best way to define
autonomy is to oppose it to depart-
mentalization and independence. (The
PPM leaders we met in Fort-de-France
San Jose Gate, Old San Juan. Photo by Frank Fernandez.
PSUaims to play a pivotal role in the
rapproachement of the leftist parties,
and PSU candidates have always been
willing to step down in order to assure
the election of a better placed can-
Martinique and Guadeloupe are
young countries; half the people are
under 20. Like young people elsewhere,
those in the Antilles hope to have a say
in the future of their country. Among
them, some "accept" the status quo,
because there is no better alternative,
they say; but in fact they fear un-
certainty. They do not want to sacrifice
what they consider to be their present
comfort to some vague promises of
happiness. They also fear that once the
traditional politicians see the Antilles
on the verge of autonomy will become
its staunch defenders. Thus they prefer
the control and tutelage of France.
Others, however, have organized to
fight for autonomy. Their associations
include: the Organization of Anti-
Colonialist Youth of Martinique
(OJAM) which has been dissolved by
the French Government; The General
Student Association of Guadeloupe
(AGEG), and the General Students
Association of Martinique (AGEM).
The Antillean student magazine is
The Federation of Antillo-Guianese
Catholic Students (FAGEC) also has a
review called "Alizes."
Almost all the student associations
have their main offices in metropolitan
France. Generally speaking, they are
slightly to the left of the political
parties. When they do not ask for
independence their demands are for
autonomy and are more precise, and
also more menacing and violent.
In December 1963, 18 young
Martiniquans, members of OJAM,
were arrested and charged with
"conspiracy" against the security of the
State. Their trial was held in Paris.
Various Antillean and European
personalities acted as witnesses in favor
of the accused. The court had difficulty
finding articles in the penal code under
which they could be condemned.
Thirteen were acquitted and five
received sentences ranging from 18
months to three years in jail.
This curious judgement, as Roland
Suvelor put it, "has surprised and
stunned everyone. Too strong (five
sentences) or too weak, (thirteen
acquitals) it will displease both par-
tisans and adversaries. From the legal
point of view it established, on the
positive side, that the demand for a
change in the political status of
Martinique is perfectly lawful, and
therefore, cannot be prosecuted on that
The parties and movements
discussed above all denounce the status
quo as the chief cause of Antillean
discontent. In a motion made public in
Paris during the trial of the eighteen
youths from Martinique, represen-
tatives from various political and labor
groups in Guadeloupe, Martinique
(and the Reunion) declared:
"DespJte the numerous infringements
on freedom, the pressures, and the
electoral frauds, the popular masses of
these countries have expressed and ex-
press in their majority their trust in the
organizations and in the persons who ask
for the replacement of the present status
by a status of administrative autonomy
which recognizes the rights of the people
to govern themselves in the affairs of
"Such a status should aim, in each of
-towards the election of a deliberating
assembly chosen through a universal,
free, and secret suffrage.
-towards the installation of an
Executive responsible to the assembly.
-towards the establishment of an organ
securing the cooperation of represen-
tatives from France, Martinique,
Guadeloupe (the Reunion) and French
Those who support autonomy for
Guadeloupe and Martinique seem to be
fairly realistic. But the referendum held
in 1962 and the elections of March
1967 and June 1968 seem to indicate
Summer. 1970 ABIBEAN PEEW 9
that the majority of the people favor
To conclude that the people reject
autonomy outright would be an
overgeneralization for the following
reasons: there is considerable fraud in
the elections; voter apathy causes an
absention of sometimes *up to 65
percent (In March 1967, and June and
September of 1968, some leaders
campaigned for a "revolutionary
abstention"); the referendum has
never been put in terms of depart-
mentalization versus well-defined
The main political party which
opposes autonomy is the Union for- the
Defense of the Republic (UDR). This
party "governs" the overseas depart-
ments and sends the most delegates to
the National Assembly. The. anti-
autonomy groups claim that Mar-
tinique and Guadeloupe are two
French departments; each time that
there is a riot, they affirm their un-
flagging attachment to the mother
The departmentalists claim that the
autonomists are "separatist" and
"traitors" to France. In reality,
however, no one officially asks for
independence except for a very small
group of students in Paris and the
GONG. (According to several sources
no more than 450 are members of these
groups. Since the political events that
took place in France in May 1968, the
GONG seems to have considerably
increased its audience).
Since the departmentalists denounce
the autonomists as enemies of France,
the autonomists are forced, on every
occasion, to declare themselves
"convinced Frenchmen" before
discussing the merits of autonomy.
Aime Cesaire, for example, repeats
publicly that there are two ways to be
French: the departmentalist way and
the autonomist way. Even the Com-
munist program supports an autonomy
that gives the people of Martinique and
Guadeloupe the democratic governing
of their own country "in a union with
France." The Unified Socialist Party
(Martinique Federation) also criticizes
those who believe that autonomy is
A second objection raised against
autonomy is that it inevitably leads to
independence. Thus, examples are
called to mind: independence within
interdependence (North Africa) and
the loi-cadre (Black Africa).
But, as Aime Cesaire puts it, the
Antillean and African situations are not
strictly comparable. Besides, he says,
the example of Black Africa should not
arouse any fears. The loi-cadre could
have lasted fifty to sixty years. But
external factors precipitated the early
independence of Africa. He similarly
refutes the argument which says that
autonomy is the ante-chamber to in-
dependence. On the contrary, examples
from recent years show that a policy
based on the non-recognition of. local
peculiarities eventually leads to
separatism. The existence of
autonomous territories in the Carib-
bean, namely Puerto Rico, Netherlands
Antilles, and Surinam show the for-
mula of autonomy to be a viable one.
Thirdly, the departmentalists claim
that if autonomy is granted, France's
contributions to the Antilles economy
in terms of public investments would
automatically come to an end. Mr.
Victor Sable, deputy of Martinique,
wrote in 1964:
"Could Guadeloupe and Martinique,
left to their own resources, secure the
financing of the social reforms after their
liberation? Would industrial output,
agricultural resources, general trade
revenue, taxation possibilities,
everything, in short, that constitutes the
islands' economic potential, be allowed to
keep an autonomous budget at a par with
the expenses considered indispensable for
Cesaire s answer to this argument is
that the problem facing the Antilleans
is one of decolonization. Valuable as
they may be in considering the
decolonization process, economic
factors are sometimes neither the most
important nor the most decisive,
Psychological factors often come first.
This point of view had, however, af-
fected only a small group of in-
tellectuals. The masses, as yet, have not
shown any real feeling for the problem
A fourth argument raised against the
autonomists, though not against
autonomy itself, is that those who most
forcefully demanded assimilation in
1946 are the same who today denounce
departmentalization and advocate
autonomy for Guadeloupe and
This reversal of attitude can be
explained by the fact that the Com-
munists and non-Communists alike had
agreed that assimilation or depart-
mentalization was a sign of con-
siderable progress in 1946, compared
to the colonial status. Moreover, the
fact that Communist ministers were
then in the French government led the
Antillean Communists to believe that
this was the dreamed of occasion to
have the workers in the Antilles profit
from the compensations given to
workers in France. The Communists
argue that "since reality is in constant
change, watchwords, ways of fighting
strategies, and Communist tactics also
change, so that a new platform need not
condemn the previous one, which
corresponded to a different set of
The various French governments
have generally been indifferent to the
overseas departments. This attitude has
always been criticized, even by the
defenders of departmentalization, such
as Mr. Victor Sable. Since the demands
for autonomy have been gaining
strength, however, the French
government, under General de Gaulle,
paid more attention.
For General de Gaulle, Guadeloupe
and Martinique are departments of
France under the same title as the
metropolitan departments. Officially,
therefore, the problem of
decolonization in the Antilles has been
solved through assimilation. Thus,
according to French officials, what has
been called the Antillean discontent can
be explained by purely economic
reasons. Consequently, one need only
raise the standard of living to that of
the metropolitan departments and the
so-called discontent will disappear.
Economic measures alone however,
do not suffice. Those that persist in
such thinking should ask themselves if
it would be possible to solve economic
problems within the existing political
framework. It is not necessary to try to
as Robert Bose has written
"mitigate or depoliticizee' the discussion
of the Antillean problem. Seeking as
some do to separate economic aspects
from the political ones. Fruitless task: in
a decolonization conflict the given
economic and political circumstances are
Guadeloupe and Martinique's
chances for autonomous self-
government look better now than they
did in the past, partially due to the
relatively successful experience of the
British Islands after either in-
dependence or associate-statehood. In
the past, the French officials and the
departmentalists used the case of Haiti
as if there was an historical deter-
minism condemning any small island to
become as poor and as badly governed
as Haiti if it is granted self-government.
The autonomists, in fact, used to be
very embarrassed by the argument.
Today they feel comfortable talking
about the consequences of autonomy in
Surinam or in St. Lucia, or the effects
of independence in Barbados or
Trinidad and Tobago.
If the Caribbean Free Trade
Association (CARIFTA) succeeds, it is
almost certain that an increased
number of persons in the DOM
(departmentalists as well as
autonomists) will seek more
cooperation with the neighboring
islands and will realize the necessity for
diversifying present trade patterns
instead of depending exclusively on
metropolitan France for all goods and
services. Already now, some active
members of the Centre D'Etudes
Regionales Antilles Guyane
(CERAG) are asking for more
economic cooperation with CARIFTA
on one side, while some leaders of the
British Caribbean are contacting the
French government in order to study
the possibility of the association of the
West Indian DOM with CARIFTA.
Fan Baccaba. From "A Journey in Brazil," by Louis and Elizabeth Agassiz. Praeger reprint,
(Dr. Eric Williams visited France in
June 1969 to this effect. Also a group of
officials delegated by CARIFTA
visited during the summer 1969 dif-
ferent EEC countries including France
for the same purpose).
When agricultural products are fully
integrated with the European
Economic Community, France will not
be able to continue subsidizing
agriculture and its by-products in
Guadeloupe and Martinique. As a
consequence, the banana, sugar and
rum producers will be in real trouble.
Their counterparts in the neighboring
islands might face the same problems
because of Britain's entry in the EEC.
The fact that General de Gaule is no
longer the President of France will
certainly help the autonomists. The
people of Guadeloupe and Martinique
were, in a sense, more attached to
General de Gaulle than those of
metropolitan France. (All referendums
during General de Gaulle's government
carried more than 80 percent "Yes".
Apparently even the communists said
"Yes" to de Gaulle). To them, General
de Gaulle was the "Liberateur", the
man who freed them from the tyran-
nical regime of Vichy.
"Cartierism" (From Raymond
Cartier who during the last six years
has been suggesting that France give
not only autonomy, but perhaps in-
dependence to the DOM on the
grounds that the present political status
was draining resources out of France
which could have been otherwise
utilized for the benefit of metropolitan
France) will certainly continue to grow
in France as the cost of living rises.
Financial difficulties in France and
other pressures on the value of the
French franc will give ihore weight to
the opinion of those supporting the
"lachage" (abandon) of the DOM and
the utilization of all French resources to
the welfare of metropolitan Fren-
The relatively bad experience
(among other things, racial prejudices)
,of lower class West Indians who
migrated to France seeking em-
ployment opportunities will make them
realize that they were, in fact, only
second class French citizens. They will
constitute a vast reserve of votes for the
Finally, one may expect the
radicalization of the demand for
autonomy in the West-Indian DOM. If
this occurs, autonomy will be, perhaps,
granted because of the fear of total
independence. Already now the
newspaper "Verite" in Guadeloupe is
pressing not for autonomy, but for
complete independence. Similar
feelings also exist among great numbers
of the PPM in Martinique.
The chances for autonomy in the
seventies look good. However, An-
tillean leaders must reach precise
agreement on what should be the
content of that autonomy. Fur-
thermore, they must expose their plans
in positive, specific terms and persuade
the population of the feasibility of their
alternative, in comparison with the
This will not be an easy task because
the majority now wants to remain
French. Furthermore, a large number
of intellectuals in the DOM fear they
will fall into the United States zone of
influence (as the Caribbean, except for
Cuba, is considered to be) which in
their opinion, means the possible
reduction of the total intellectual
freedom they presently enjoy.
In conclusion, autonomy can become
the political status of the French West
Indies in the seventies if the
autonomists can explain it in clear and
positive terms. Nobody has ever done it
yet. For a large number of French
Antilleans, autonomy is still too vague a
concept to fight for. 0
10 CAWBA.N F IW Summer, 1970
WE WISH TO BE LOOKED
UPON: A STUDY OF THE
ASPIRATIONS OF YOUTH IN A
DEVELOPING SOCIETY. Vera
Rubin and Marisa Zavalloni. 275 pp.
Teachers College Press, Columbia
This book the title is a quotation
from a student essay that contains the
most frequently expressed yearning of
the young people studied is the first
of a planned series of socio-
psychological investigations examining
the attitudes, aspirations, and concerns
of youth in Latin America and the
Caribbean. Trinidad and Tobago were
chosen for the first study because they
are ethnically diversified and were
assumed to serve as a model of Euro-
African societies emerging from
Until recently, social anthropologists,
perhaps out of private nostalgia, have
stressed cultural retention and con-
servativism in such rapidly changing
societies, or at least have focused on the
backward glances of the old. Implicitly,
"culture and morality" were defined in
terms of what used to be, and economic
development was considered selling out
one's birthright for a mess of beans.
This investigation avoids such an-
thropological romantic fallacy by
studying the emerging values of the
young. The youth anticipate the
fulfillment of the social promises both
of political independence and, what has
greater meaning for them, of economic
development in a context of more
nearly equal opportunity. The young
people did not mourn change, because
they were born into it: the yearnings of
their elders for the dream of a simple
past is for them to be as swiftly
forgotten as possible.
The study is based on two surveys,
one in 1957 and the other in 1961.
About nine hundred students in what
corresponds to senior high school (both
government-financed and private)
participated. Although the an-
thropological fallacy of overstressing
traditional values was avoided, the
sociological fallacy of the authors'
ethnocentrism was not. Thus, the fairly
detailed questionnaire used in both
surveys tended to impose the concerns
and aspirations more common to young
people in a sophisticated and developed
community (e.g. planning the number
of children or looking for special
qualities in a freely chosen nmite, such
as intelligence or pleasant disposition)
on the research subjects. Yet the
reviewer found that even middle class
Puerto Ricans, after three decades of
industrialization, at least verbally
affirmed that the size of one's family.
was an act of God, not a matter of
planning, and that mates were provided
through rituals of family approval in
which personal characteristics were less
important than social acceptance.
Fortunately for the Trinidad study,
the questionnaire was not the only
research instrument. Students
projected autobiographies "from now
to 2000 A.D." in which they were
asked to outline their hopes and ex-
pectations. Group and individual
interviews covering the themes found in
the essays managed to reduce the biases
structured into the questionnaire.
Indeed, statistical data derived from
the questionnaire was relegated to the
outer Siberia of appendices, while the
quotations from student essays and
interviews provided the bulk of the
study. Moreover, by analyzing the
autobiographies, the authors found that
the young people tended to avoid
straightforward specific commitments
and preferred to identify themselves
with abstract goals that required
subjective interpretation. Thus, while
all the young people wanted to be
"secure and respectable," they left
open, or were neutral toward, specific
means of achieving such goals. Drs.
Rubin and Zavalloni discovered this in
the course of the first survey and
therefore added psychological material
ethnic trait, characteristic of an East
to the second questionnaire, such as
distinguishing career goals in terms of
economic security, prestige, being
helpful to others, using special abilities
etc., instead of merely objective choices
such as engineer, physician, or
agronomist. Fortunately, Dr. Rubin -
Clinical Associate Professor of
Psychiatry at New York Medical
College (as such she should have
known better from the bery beginning)
- did not fall into the trap of many
"objective" sociologists, who assume
that avoidance of specific choices,
ambivalence, or an impersonal and
abstract way of treating one's own
aspirations implies apathy or con-
fusion. Instead, she realized that this
was a manner of coping with rapid and
radical social change in which specifics
alter daily, and only subjective goals
can remain the same. Thus it is
mentioned with some regret that "the
study did not include psychological
questions per se to determine individual
personality traits" (see page 87). The
student essays, however, were personal
documents and could not help but
reveal these. The psychological coping
styles, largely in response to
socioeconomic and cultural conditions,
did emerge in the quotations from the
themes. Yet since the students were not
identified as individuals, they were not
adequately interpreted or even
described. The study was forced back
again into a strictly sociological mold in
which everything was catalogued, as an
We Wish to be
by Ursula M. von Eckardt
Thus the authors voiced considerable
surprise that almost all the boys and
girls came from stable families in which
the parents w( married and the father
was the chief breadw'inner and head of
the household. This was not "supposed
to be" according to the usual an-
thropological investigation among
West Indians: they should have
matrifocal households or at best
common-law marriages. Yet it is easily
explained when one realizes (and how
can the authors fail to do so?) that,
even today, only 6 percent of the East
Indian and Negro youth in Trinidad
actually reach secondary school and
only one percent of the age group of the
entire population reach secondary
school. Therefore the students in this
sample represent an exceptional
minority. The white students in-
vestigated were not "typical" either,
since the traditionally wealthy and
prominent white families tended to
send their sons and daughters abroad to
study. Actually, therefore, the students
were middle class, or what is emerging
as a true middle class, and their values
and attitudes reflect this rather than
cultural patterns prominent among the
ethnic groups in the past, when religion
(Hindu, Moslem or Christian) and
economic caste carried more weight
than they possibly can in an in-
dustrializing, developing democratic
Yet, if the reader concentrates on the
excerpts from the student themes that
ethnic trait, characteristic of an East
Indian, Negro, etc., while the
quotations themselves clearly suggest
that idiosyncratic factors were at least
Perhaps other social scientists will
take the hint and realize that, especially
in studies of attitudes and emerging
personal value systems, questionnaires
limited to quantifiable, objective and
"social" factors can stretch and maim
the shapes of what ought first to be
freely observed beyond all resemblance
to what is truly given.
The respondents whose essays were
analyzed, were all 16 to 20 years old
and in the upper forms of secondary
schools. They were grouped ethnically
as white, colored, East Indian and
Negro, and sometimes further classified
according to religious denomination
and SES based on the father's oc-
cupation. Presumably they were
representative of the society as a whole.
are liberally quoted in the text, and on
the insights that are hidden behind
presumably scientific because they
involve quantification and neat
sociological comparisons in-
terpretations, he can learn a great deal.
The dominant characteristic of the
youth of this (and evidence elsewhere
indicates of virtually every other)
developing society, particularly one in
which a transition from a colonial to an
autonomous status involves a shift of
ethnic dominance away from white and
toward colored or black, is the
emergence of a "diagonal" (neither
horizontal nor vertical) value scale in
which verbalized values are
democratic, egalitarian, and thoroughly
bourgeois, but the values which
dominate behavior remain quite
Traditional. For example, among the
Trinidad Negro students, black was not
at all beautiful. Nevertheless, they
implied that one was able to "become"
white; skin tone magically lightened as
one moved upward along the social and
educational scale. Education was seen
as the universal miracle-whitener. Once
attained, it became the absolute mark
of superiority through which privileges
were attainable. The students were very
concerned with becoming "important."
They were deadly serious, never letting
pleasure interfere with their iron
determination to win status, wealth,
and power, in that order. They set
themselves apart from "the average
teenager" who chased girls or went to
dances. Yet, their comments were still
marked by fatalism and a lack of
associating ability and effort with
accomplishment. Both the most and the
least privileged in the survey had severe
anxiety about failure but their ways of
explaining and coping with stress
differed greatly. The least privileged -
and most ambitious tended to locate
the threat of failure in the caprices of
the external world, while the most
privileged and incidentally least
ambitious saw failure in terms of
An apparent "generation gap" was
inversely correlated with social
mobility. A strong sense of family
obligation, a sense of obedience to
parents and an emotional identification
with the family unit so that elder
siblings worked to put younger ones
through school or pursued specific
careers to please parents marked the
socially most mobile "bottom" groups.
Rebellion against parental authority,
self-assertion, and repudiation of a
father's hopes and goals for one were
most evident in the higher income
groups. Note, however, that a strong
sense of family loyalty or obligation did
not mean family intimacy. No closeness
was expected or assumed, and fathers
were not role models to emulate (which
would preclude social mobility). Thus
there could be no alienation.
What adjectives best describe these
young people? They are optimistic,
sober, on the whole realistic and in-
tensely practical. What do they wish
from life and circumstances? A chance
to "make it":they are committed to
their careers, their families, and their
immediate communities. . seeking no
happiness beyond the tranquility of
rational and realistic expectation."
They are cautious, prudent, responsible
- somewhat lacking in humor and
spontaneity. They are willing to work
hard and to see this work rewarded
through security and comfort. They
prefer science to art and literature.
The quotations here are from THE
SOBER GENERATION, describing
middle class Puerto Ricans. Yet if you
read WE WISH TO BE LOOKED
UPON you will find it applies equally
to the emerging middle class of
Trinidad. If you are tired of hippies
and alienated affluent youth, tired of
decadence here is the most positive
affirmation possible of a good future.
Mina negress. From "A Journey in Brazil," by Louis and Elizabeth Agassiz. Praeger reprint,
THE BOOK OF IMAGINARY
BEINGS. Jorge Luis Borges, with
Margarita Guerrero. Revised, enlarged
and translated by Norman Thomas di
Giovanni, in collaboration with the
author. 256 pp. E.P. Dutton, 1969.
CRONOPIOS AND FAMAS. Julio
Cortazar. Translated by Paul Black-
burn. 161 pp. Pantheon, 1969. $4.95.
Were I Gabriel Garcia Marquez, or
Jorge Luis Borges, or Julio Cortazar, I
would detest any critic who tried to jam
my brilliantly original work into some
"movement," or "trend."
But, in the role of critic, I find it hard
to resist mentioning that three of Latin
America's most distinguished writers
have recently published works of
Garcia Marquez in Cien Anos de
Soledad (see review last issue) writes of
Macondo, where "flowers fell from the
sky" and "it once rained continuously
for four years, 11 months and two
days." Borges explores mythology to
give us a splendid zoo of Imaginary
Beings, and Cortazar creates his own
Nor can I resist observing that it is
hard to find a parallel among three
equally prominent North American
writers. Whatever the reason for this
apparent "fantasy kick" (an ideal topic
for a doctoral thesis; or has it already
been written?) it is refreshing to find
good literature that is also great fun.
One of Borges' translators, James E.
Irby, writes that we find in the eminent
Argentine writer "the very perfection of
the cosmopolitan spirit, and in his work
one of the most extraordinary ex-
pressions in all Western literature of
modern man's anguish of time, or
space, and of the infinite."
In don Jorge's book, we find the
anguished man at play; while Nabokov
chases butterflies, Borges hunts
imaginary beings. Cortazar, in the
meanwhile, seems to be playing all the
"There is a kind of lazy pleasure in
useless and out-of-the-way erudition,"
Borges tells us in the preface to this zoo
of 120 curious creatures (first
published in Mexico in 1957 with a
mere 87 specimens). Erudition is not
quite the word for Cortazar's book; one
suspects, instead, a kind of zany navel-
Borges presents all the de rigueur
"beings" such as the banshee,
brownies, centaurs, elves, dragons,
fairies, minotaurs, nymphs, sirens,
trolls, unicorns, and valkyries, each of
which are catalogued in shining prose,
Sby Kal Wagenheim.,J
and with a respect for sources.
Among the more esoteric finds are
the fastitocalon, the griffon, the
humbaba, the kami, the zaraton, and
the norns, an array of creatures which
range from the chilling to the hilarious.
Chile's chonchon, for example, is
shaped like a human head, with ex-
tremely large ears that "serve as wings
for its flights on moonless nights."
The Chinese hsiao has a man's face,
an ape's body, a dog's tail, and its
presence foretells "prolonged drought."
The kujata, is a huge bull, whose four
thousand eyes, ears, nostrils, mouths
and feet, are "more than five hundred
In North America, Borges uncovers
the gillygaloo, a bird whose square eggs
are hard-boiled by lumberjacks and
used as dice, and the Pennsylvania
squonk, who when cornered by hunters
"dissolves in tears." My favorite is the
goofang, which swims backwards to
keep the water out of its eyes, and is
"about the size of a sunfish, only much
Cronopios contains what Cortazar
calls an "assortment" of four sections,
titled The Instruction Manual,
Unusual Occupations, Unstable Stuff,
and, finally, Cronopios and Famas.
The Instruction Manual offers
advice on such important activities as
How to Cry, How to Sing, How to be
Afraid, How to Dissect a Ground Owl,
and How to Kill Ants in Rome (after
annihilating the ants, one leaves Rome
"by the night train, fleeing the vengeful.
demons, vaguely happy, hobnobbing
with soldiers and nuns.").
Perhaps the most useful of the
Unusual Occupations is the three-page
treatise on The Loss and Recovery of
the Hair, which involves pulling a
"good thick strand of hair from the
head," making a knot in the middle of
it, and dropping it "gently down the
sink drain." Instructions on how to
recover the hair by demolishing the
entire plumbing system of the building
(and the city's sewers, if necessary) are
Unstable Stuff includes "wonderful
pursuits" such as cutting the leg off a
spider and mailing it to one's Foreign
Minister, and intriguing observations:
"when you set up a mirror on the
western side of Easter Island, it runs
Last, but perhaps most significant, is
the section on Cronopios and Famas,
without forgetting to mention
Esperanzas. These creatures embody
three basic "types," which Cortazar
explains in a series of vignettes.
When famas go on a trip, for
example, they check out the price of the
hotel, the quality of the sheets, and the
color of the carpets; they also leave a
record of their possessions with the
local police, and make a list of all on-
duty emergency doctors at the town's
hospital. Cronopios, on the other hand,
usually find the hotel full, the trains
have left, it is raining, and when they
finally get to bed, they exclaim "What a
beautiful city!" The esperanzas are
"sedentary" and "let things and people
slide by them."
It is helpful to know that the heads of
philanthropic societies are all famas,
and the librarian is an esperanza, while
cronopios tend to stare at floating
dandelion fuzz. If you are still con-
fused, you will surely be put on the
right track when you read about the
fama who gazes greedily at trees, or the
esperanza who had faith in the sciences,
or the cronopio, who translated all the
scripts, commercials and songs into
Rumanian for an Argentine radio
One pleasing asset of these books is
that they invite the reader to act. The
afternoon I read Cortazar (in one of
San Juan's Italian restaurants) I kept
looking around the dining room for
cronopios, famas and esperanzas.
Driving home along Avenida Muoz
Rivera, an elderly gentleman in a silver-
gray Buick crossed sharply into my
lane. Angered, I caught up and passed
him, and as I did I yelled "You...
you... fama!" The puzzlement on his
face was eminently satisfying. Although
I must confess that I would have
suffered a heart attack had he glared at
me and growled back, "Cronopio!"
SAs for Borges, in his preface he
invites readers to "send us the names,
accurate description, and most con-
spicuous traits of their local monsters."
Lacking the time for research, I can
only hint at a few of Puerto Rico's
"imaginary beings," and hope that
more knowledgeable readers will
supply extra data.
Quite common in rural Puerto Rico
is el muerto, the ghost of some departed
neighbor, condemned to wander the
earth until someone finds and unearths
his cache of buried money. El muerto
patrols the fields with a lantern on dark
nights, and beseeches solitary men in
deserted spots, with weird unintelligible
sounds. The trick, they say, is to stand
fast and ask "what do you want of
me?" El muerto will lead you to the
buried treasure, whereupon you must
digit up and leave without looking
back, or you will die from fright
(shades of The Bible); el muerto
becomes so delighted with his freedom
that he laughs until his guts hang out.
A FEW TEMPTING
CREATURES ARE ALSO MEN-
TIONED BY ANTHROPOLOGIST
Robert A. Manners in the book The
People of Puerto Rico (edited by Julian
H. Steward, University of Illinois,
Eljacho, he says, is "an apparition..
.generally seen hanging mistlike over a
river late at night." Little else is known
of el jacho, except that when you spot
one it is best to spend the evening
surrounded by friends.
El garrote, says Manners, "emits a
loud whistle from its unseen self," and
appears to be some kin to Borges'
Banshee (page 41).
Then there is "a whimsical creature
which bears no name, but whose
practice is to watch couples having
intercourse." The male partner of the
surprised duo is said to immediately
disappear, "having been whisked away
by the wish-fulfilling creature to a place
where she and her friends will use him
for their own pleasure." Manners adds
- with a touch of disappointment, it
seems that "no one I know has ever
been whisked away." -'D
From "Historiae naturals de avibus libri VI," by John Jonston. Frankfurt am Main, 1650.
10% discount to
in The U.S. and
El Esrnrial, ir.
RECINTO BUR 313
BAN JUAN, P. R. 0og01
12 CAIBBEAN REVIEW Summer,1970
EL FRANCOTIRADOR. Pedro
Juan Soto. 297 pp. Editorial Joaquin
Mortiz, Mexico, 1969.
(Editor's Note: The first chapter of
the book under review was published in
English translation as "The Sniper" in
the Summer 1969 issue of this
A Cuban professor, Tomds Saldivia,
who left his island before 1952 and is
neither linked to the Revolution nor to
the Cuban exile community comes to
the University of Puerto Rico to teach
literature. The UPR appears to be a
rachitic Florence, with its court in-
trigues, its unjust persecutions, and its
tyrant VeI zquez-Benftez who is a
cynical, merciless dictator. The at-
mosphere of intellectual repression
which Soto tries to create with
Vela'zquez-Benotez as a Senor
President, and his aides-de-camp as
"'angel-faced" bailiffs, is not mere
caricature. Around Saldivia, like
repulsive marionettes, revolve some of
Soto's imaginary creatures: exiled
Cubans and Spanish Republicans who
teach at the university. All of them -
the pasteboard like "establishment" at
the UPR scheme to achieve
Velazquez Benitez's secret goal: that
Saldivia should write a novel whose.
central figure would be Governor
Peralta (Munoz), with a plot
celebrating the economic triumph of
Puerto Rico's Commonwealth political
status. Saldivia is to write the Com-.
monwealth "epic" in return for a juicy
contract as "writer in residence."
Saldivia, who in addition to being a
writer, is a bit of a drinker, and
somewhat of a Don Juan: he happily
fornicates with one of his students and
gets drunk every so often, while he
reporaches others for the frivolous life
Saldivia mulls over the tremendous
question of conscience involved in
writing such a book and decides to
break off sharply with its sponsors,
resign from his professorship, and go to
This is not one novel; it is two. There
is one of petty intrigues -- the one just
described -- plus an adventure story,
which develops in the even-numbered
chapters of the books, where Saldivia
enters Cuba clandestinely, in order to
evaluate the situation for the CIA,
which has hired him through an exile
group. In Cuba, he meets some
counter-revolutionary groups, and
renews friendships of his youth.
Saldivia is finally captured, but he
wrests a pistol from the. hands of a
miliciano and "blows his brains out."
This dual structure, where both
narrations share a central character -
Tomfs Saldivia but have no other
link, leaves the reader perplexed. These
are not parallel plots, nor a novel-
within-a-novel. We have here two
novels which could have been
published separately, without ad-
vantage or disadvantage to either. A bit
a la Cort~zar, one might advise the
reader to read the even-numbered
chapters first, and then the odd.
What is Soto trying to do? The novel
of petty intrigue at UPR is narrated
from Saldivia's thoughts (a bit like
"flow of consciousness," but more like
interior monologue) and it occurs in the
present, offering a sensation of reality.
The adventure story which takes
place in Cuba is also narrated from
the omnipresent watchtower of
Saldivia's machinations, but it is
written in the future conditional, which
was seeking a "psychological" novel.
ic al Soto risks its success or failure on the
1ic a l paradoxical personality of Saldivia.
Ortega has said that the job of the
Novelist in our time is to create "in-'
teresting psychologies." He has also
m e t said (with reference to Dostoievsky)
hathat the hero of a novel must be
Sby Carlos Alberto Montaner-- contradictory, slippery, elusive. He
tints it with doubt, and suggests that it must be conceived so that the reader
never really happened. Is the adventure cannot "figure him out and reduce
novel some fantasy on the part of him to a simple outline.
Saldivia, the writer? Is it another level, One sees this effort in Tomas
of reality? Did the author want us to Saldivia, with his ambiguous per-
imagine that it was the chronological sonality, his readiness to judge others in
continuation of the intrigues in Puerto degrading terms, his disdain for
Rico? It is certainly not a joke, because everything and everyone. Colleagues,
Soto is incapable of humor. Any superiors, students, lovers all of them
solution to this enigma which the are mere idiots; they are corrupt. But
reader can invent is fully justified, Saldivia, an incurable neurotic, is not.
because the author provides none. as paradoxical as his creator would
hAil. A l ltn hd ini 4trrl tinn. i are cast
By using a Cuban as the hero of his
novel, Soto also tries to "speak in
Cuban." Even though Puerto Rico and
Cuba belong to the same linguistic zone
there are numerous differences in the
meaning of certain words, and
sometimes even in syntax. Despite his
efforts, Soto fails to avoid a series of
errors, which may be perceptible only
to the Cuban eye. For example,
although the Cuban often uses the
diminituve suffixes ico and ica (rather
than ito and ita) he would never use
them in words such as muellecicos (p.
46), trompica (p. 101), papelicos (p.
221) and manantialico (p. 227). Nouns
such as estufa, cabro (p. 141) and
mantecado (p. 145) are not used with.
the same meaning as in Puerto Rico. As
for the few "cuss words" in the book,
they are more part of the Puerto Rican
repertoire. Soto has Saldivia say
pendejo cuarto. For Cubans, pendejo
means "coward," and has a much more
offensive connotation than it has in
Puerto Rico. Later on, he speaks of
jodta vida, and although in Cuba,- as
everywhere else in the Hispanic world,
one gets jodido, the average Cuban
would say cabrona vida. Nothing is
More difficult than mastering what
Cela calls "the secret dictionary" of
another language. Despite his many
errors, Soto makes a great effort to do
It is easier to master Cuba's
geography than its semantic secrets.
Soto has Saldivia cover the western part
of the island, a bit like a travel agent.
One sees here the author's intention a
bit naive of demonstrating his
knowledge of the topography, the
location of streets and public places. A
map, a manualito (never manualico) of
geography, and a couple of garrulous
informants guide' the author into a
series of descriptions which are
pedantic and contribute nothing to -the
story; rather than indicate mastery of
the topic, they show effort that could
have been put to better purpose.
I have classified this book as a pair of
novels. But undoubtedly the author
w10Xl. A'U UJL 11JO i i ULI.lCUU IO wS a re UUo2
in the furnace of his hates and
prejudices, where one finds not an iota
of wit or humor. It is lamentable that
while Soto attempts a Sartrean
protagonist, the end result is a small,
weak, babbling tropical Hamlet, who
always seems to be on the verge of
falling to the psychiatrist's couch.
Soto disfigures the University of
Puerto Rico but he knows it well. He is
not nearly as effective when writing
about Cuba. The description of the
group of Cuban plotters seems to have
been taken from some romance story.
The lady who agrees to meet Saldivia in
the.cemetery, and who -- ridiculously -
carries a bunch of violets to identify
herself, is as unreal as she is foolish.
The terrorists, whom Soto describes as
though they lived in the previous
century, are not at all like those in-
volved in the clandestine anti-Castro
movements. Soto forgets one axiom of
the revolutionary struggle: the
bourgeoisie do not fight for their
wealth. They yell and kick, but they
don't fight. The anti-Castro terrorists
and guerrillas came from the student-
worker sectors. They are generally the
same kind of people who rose up
The image of the ringleader,
preparing home-made bombs, and
speaking with the brusqueness of
Humphrey Bogart, is somewhat like-
to use another Hollywood comparison -
the stereotyped "Che" who recently
appeared on the screen. None of this
matches reality. Not the Castroites, not
the conspirators; not the clandestine
meeting, and certainly not the con-
ference at Casa de las Americas. In the
meetings at Casa de las Americas, it
would never occur to anyone to ask for
the floor in order to attack Russia. That
is as unreal as the old lady with the
violets. The same for the Russian
commisar who timidly makes excuses
for his country. Anyone. who has ever
attended one of these meetings is
certain that Soto lacks even the faintest
idea of what goes on at them.
An even more difficult task is the
characterization of the exiled Cuban. Is
there the kind of Cuban exile which
Soto tries to create? Can 800,000
people from every social level, every age
group, every profession, be arbitrarily
molded into a single type? And are
these 800,000 people who managed to
get aboard the "Freedom Flights"
before the lists were closed any dif-
ferent from the Cubans who cannot or
will not leave Cuba? How can one
seriously discuss two Cubans: one
perverse, beastly and'corrupt; the other
heroic, valiant, and gallant? What can
Soto know of the.Cuban exile if it is not
even possible to be sure that he exists?
Doesn't Soto realize that one's
nationality is formed over centuries,
and that an interruption such as
Castro-Communism, is not nearly
enough to split the people into opposite
poles? Soto's judgement of "the Cuban
exiles" is as illegitimate as that of the
racists in New York, who speak of "the
Puerto Ricans," or the Germanophiles,
who condemn "the Jews." Nearly a
million Cubans, who will soon be two
or three million, do not fit into a single
concept. And much less into a
The Francotirador is a prejudiced
book, and the Puerto Ricans receive the
greatest share of the flogging. Not only
Beriftez and Minoz, but all those who
work in the "establishment," appear to
be hypocritical, submissive, ready to
sell out, foolish, uncultured,
pitiyanquis, dull, intolerant, witch
hunters, corrupt, dishonest. The
university administration is described
as an inquisitorial court, which
supervises, approves, or rejects the
books suggested by the professors.
Saldivia is prevented from including
.Juan Bosch among the authors in his
course (which is interesting, because
Bosch, at the time the book takes place,
was in reality a "writer in residence" at
the UPR; a Saldivia recruited by
Vel~zquez). The only Puerto Rican
who is spared from Soto's broadside is
a young university student, gallant and
correct, who happens to be a member of
the Federation of Pro-Independence
Saldivia also resents the Spanish
exiles who have nested at the UPR, and
who appear as Machiavellian in-
struments of the chancellor. The third
ingredient of prejudice is the Cuban
exile nucleus at the UPR. For Saldivia -
- and probably for Soto -- they are
nothing more than foolish bourgeoisie,
insensible exploiters, stupid people,
scheming graspers for power. To Soto -
- and this is the main defect of the book
- the world is divided into black and
The exiles are drunken idiots. The
Castroites are hard working, virile,
willing to sacrifice. In Cuba, life is
transcendental; in Puerto Rico it is.
frivolous. This trite framework
mutilates the novel, and turns the
writer into a mere pamphleteer.
This work shall not endure because it
is composed ofi unenduring elements:
petty feuds between some Puerto
Ricans and some Cubans, xenophobia,
and this type of worthless resentment
are not the clay for a lasting monument.
The intrigues at UPR, Velfzquez-
Bentez, Peralta-Munoz, and the
retinue of "aides-de-camp" in their
little world are of interest to no one
except those involved. One can achieve
the universal with the specific, but one
also runs the risk of being mired in the
Neither the quality of Soto's prose,
nor his mastery of the art of narration,
nor the validity of some interior
monologues, nor his imagination for
surprising metaphor saves this work
from merciless yawns of boredom. All
the positive aspects of the book clash
with something that readers will not
forgive: it is extraordinarily dull. C
Esperanca's Cottage. From "A Journey in Brazil," by Louis and Elizabeth Agasslz. Praeger
WIDE was his forehead, long his hair, deep his eyes, and
sweet his glance. A band of silver over his temples re-
strained the rebellious locks of his hair. Simple was his
costume, and scarcely was the whiteness of his wool scarf
relieved by so much as a simple design outlining the
border. No one recalled having heard from his lips a
single phrase. He spoke only to the unfortunate to offer
them his bag of parched corn arid his leaves of coca. He
lived in a cabin outside the city.
The patriarchal heads of clans had agreed to ignore him
and let him go his own way, inoffensive to the peace of
the Empire. From time to time they ordered from him a
piece of work fashioned by his hands, or he himself
generously offered something for the Inca or the holy
service of the Father-Sun. The people thought him
crazed. His family did not see him and he fled all human
companionship. At times he worked feverishly, and then
again for long hours he might be seen in rapt contempla-
tion of the cloud-flecked sky.
Many of the workers in distant fields encountered him in
the forest gathering varicolored clay or leaves. for his
pictures or carrying great masses of earth for his labor.
But no one observed his work; no one ever entered his
Once the Governor had sent his son to learn the noble
and difficult art of pottery. The youth was alert and
happy in spirit. His was an avid desire to learn, and he
worked hard at his first task. But one day, when the
Governor was most satisfied with the progress of his son,
he appeared on the threshold of his home in a state of
terror. The child, all covered with mud, was trembling
and, his eyes wide and staring could only exclaim fear-
"The Evil One! The Evil One! The Evil One!"
And he would never return to the house of the artist. For
that day while the master was working outside he ordered
the boy to bring out a jar still wet from the hands of the
moulder. The child, hastening to obey, entered the dark
interior of the cabin seeking the desired object. But when
least expected he encountered an enormous shadow and
wishing to escape the unknown terror, he turned to flee;
but, horrible to tell; he felt his hands grasped by a huge
monster who struggled with him. It was an image of
Supay, the Evil One, drying within the dwelling, and the
boy, in his frightened haste, had thrust his hands into the
wet clay, which, as he attempted to free himself, en-
meshed him the more firmly and finally fell over on him.
His terrified shouting brought the artist to his rescue,
after which he fled from the place never stopping until
he reached the safety of his own house.
From that time forward the potter forsook all dealings
with the townspeople. He himself procured his simple
sustenance. He gathered the fruits of the valley and ex-
changed with willing travellers jars of curious form and
subtle meaning for leaves of coca. Thus he lived, free as
the birds that flitted and chirped their brief day before
his cabin door.
One day he sent to the Inca a serpent of clay which
whistled when water was poured into it and caused such
consternation that the Inca was compelled to send it to
the Temple of the Sun for protective safe-keeping against
possible magic, work of the Evil One, through his serv-
ant, the potter. Another day he modelled the dance of
Death, and each time that he worked it was said that
cries of pain came forth from his cabin, dark as an
underground burrow. And passers-by avoided approach-
ing too closely to his threshold.
One afternoon when Apumarcu had gone to the river for
water to moisten his clay, he heard in the thicket the
strains of a flute. Never had he heard melodies more sad
and sweet. Little by little he drew near to the source of
the music and saw a man seated on a rock at the edge of
the river playing in solitude.
"Who are you," he asked, "and why do you play here?
Where there is none to hear you?"
"And who are you who thus approach these haunts
where there is only a memory and that mine?"
"I am Apumarcu, the potter."
"Ah brother, I am Llacctan-Nacc, the flute-player."
"And from what province are you, Llacctan-Nacc?"
"I have no province; and yours, which is it?"
"My clay . ."
And from that moment they were as beloved brothers.
They were never separated but for brief intervals. To-
gether they sought the fruit hidden in the murmuring
foliage. Together they passed long hours in intimate con-
versation. Apumarcu told Llacctan-Nace of things which
he had never before heard from mortal lips. And Llac-
ctan related to him how one afternoon his loved one had
passed from him forever. And he told him of journeys
Dustcover design for "Uprooted Children: The Early Life
through unknown countries, and whispered his doubts of
the divinity of the great Sun.
Once Apumarcu modelled a head of his friend which he
carried with him because it was no larger than a fist. And
so much did his friend talk to him of his loved one and so
well did he describe her face that one day Apumarcu
made him a head of her. One described and the other
evoked reality from the words of him who carried her
image ever before him. When the work was completed,
Llacctan thus addressed him:
"I shall never play but for you, brother, because you
alone have. understood her and haye returned her to me.
Surely the clay in which she is here embodied will live
forever. You are greater than the Father-Sun Himself, for
he created her and then carried her away, while you have
recreated her in hard clay so that she can never die. But I,
having lost my loved one, can never again be happy. You
who have not lost her because you never had her, why are
you so sad? You could be the potter of the Inca. Yours
could be the favor of the Inca who would bestow on you
the fairest maiden of the court to be your wife. Why do
you thus live, solitary and friendless, brother?"
"I feel an unutterable longing. . I feel an inexplicable
desire in the depth of my soul. I feel that I hold within
myself the power to do something which would surely
make me happy. I have a relentless flame burning within
my spirit; I behold a series of pictures, but I cannot
express them. You suffer and sing your grief on the flute
making those who hear you weep in sympathy, but I feel,
I see, I imagine great and beautiful things and am incapa-
ble of realizing them. Do you'know? I should like to
paint life, just as life is. I should like to represent in small
space what my eyes see; to express nature itself; to do
what lhe river does with the trees and sky, mirror them in
its clear'aad cool depths.
But I cannot; I have not the colors; such as I have do not
reflect the idea which I have in my soul. I have tried with
all the juices of the leaves to reproduce a bit of nature,
but my work is always inert and lifeless. I cannot picture
Apumarcu, the Potter
by Abraham Valdelomar
the joy of the woods, nor the intense blue of the sky, nor
even a smile, but in the rude cay do you not think that
nature could be reproduced just as one sees her? My
brothers of the Empire do not comprehend this vital
truth. There is no one who understands it. The clay is
crude; I can do all things possible with it, but how could
I represent a man, thinking and pondering life's mys-
teries, how should I put into his face the pallor of sleep-
lessness? Ah, how hapless and insignificant are my efforts,
And he led him into his wretched cabin, where, on the
wall, he showed him an attempt at a landscape, vague
and splotched with rough places, but one color was lack-
ing, the color of the sky seen at the hour when the
Father-Sun, wrapped in his tinted robes of cloud, sinks
from mortal sight behind the western mountain ranges
leaving for a moment a suffused glow of rose-colored
light. The red of the potter was too glaring; he desired a
softer tint, as of the petals of some tiny wood flower or
the inner lining of a smooth shell brought by some travel-
ler from the far-off shore of the sea.
"This is not.the color, this is not it, brother, this is not
the glow of that holy hour."
'That color only the Father-Sun himself can produce.
Do you not understand, my faithful friend? Why do you
trouble yourself in attempting the impossible?"
"I wish to do what the Father-Sun himself does, what the
day does that follows the night, transforming the dark-
ness, as the rainbow which follows the blackness of storm
clouds, what nature herself does with flower and tree,
river and field, momutain and broad-rolling valley."
One day Llacctan had gone far in search of a rare seed
yielding ad rose-tinted juice to offer it to Apumarcu. And
when he returned in the afternoon he found the accus-
tomed place of the artist deserted. Entering the cabin, he
could not find his friend there: doubtless he too was
seeking the ever-elusive materials for his colors.
Another day Apumarcu undertook to paint upon the wall
the color of the sunset hour which had for so long baffled
him in his desire to express his inner vision. The sunset
was like that of the day when Llacctan-Nace had come to
him bringing the sweet solace of a comprehending heart
to his solitary existence. He gathered up a handful of
leaves and began to rub them against the wall adding
notes of color from crushed flowers gathered in many
"Bring md leaves and blossoms of molle," he said to his
friend, who left the cabin and quickly returned with the
"This is not the color, this is not it, brother, but perhaps
I can make it do."
Then as one possessing a strange and inexplicable force,
he began feverishly to rub the newly-gathered colors on
the wall, while in his face was rising the flush of a pas-
sionate intensity, a hot desire to bring to pass that which
he had so long desired: to paint as it really was the light
and color of the landscape framed by his narrow window.
Suddenly he stopped, halted by some perplexity. He
lacked something, one thing only, a tone, a color which
he did not have. How should he find it?
Quick as thought, he drew his knife and passionately
slipped the sharp blade across the fist of his other hand.
As the blood spurted forth, warm and red, he mixed it
with water from a jar and beheld the color which was
lacking in his work. Overjoyed, he continued putting
color where it was needed until he sank lifeless upon his
When Llacctan-Nacc returned, he found Apumarcu
stretched upon his bed, his blood, coagulated and purple,
gathered in a pool on the dirt floor of the cabin, and the
landscape picturing that last afternoon finished on the
wall. Kissing the cold forehead of his friend and weeping,
he played at the feet of him now dead the hymn sacred to
the sunset hour.
The last rays of the Sun fell through the narrow window,
gilding for a moment the clothes of the artist and then
dissolving into gray below the angular face which now
took on a greenish tone, and the eyes, now glazed with
the tragic moisture of.one whose life has flown. On the
floor at his friend's feet Llacctan-Nacc found a tiny head
of clay, a likeness of the potter. And he continued play-
ing, playing until night fell as one great lifeless shadow
covering a silent world. 0
This excerpt is reprinted with permission from the
book "Our Children of the Sun," by Abraham
Valdelomar, Southern Illinois University Press, 1969.
CAIBBAN r Ee
* UUIBBE~Summerrn, 1970
CATORCE CUENTOS VENEZOLANOS.
Arturo Uslar Pietri. 237 pp. Revista de Oc-
cidente, Madrid, 1969.
CRONICAS DE CUBA. Luis Aguero and
others. 248 pp. Ed. Jorge Alvarez, Buenos Aires,
CUENTOS COMPLETOS. Juan Carlos Onetti.
176 pp. Ed. Monte Avila, Caracas, 1969.
CUENTOS DEL CHACO VIEJO Y OTRAS
COSAS. Ricardo Rios. Ortiz. 95 pp. Ed.
Colmegna, SantaFe, Argentina, 1969.
CUENTOS EN TONO MENOR. Oscar
Guaramato. 108 pp. Ed. Monte Avila, Caracas,
EL ASTILLERO. Juan Carlos Onetti. 190 pp.
Ed. Fabril, Buenos Aires, 1969.
FERVOR DE BUENOS AIRES. Jorge Luis
Borges. Emece Editores, Buenos Aires, 1970. A
reprint of the 1923 work by Borges.
FOLKTALES OF MEXICO. Ed. and tr. by
Americo Paredes. U. Chicago, 1970. $9.75. 80
Mexican stories, accompanied by copious
scholarly notes and an index.
GRACIAS POR EL FUEGO. Mario Benedetti.
206 pp. Ed. Era, Mexico City, 1969.
ISLAND VOICES. Ed. by Andrew Salkey.
Liveright, 1970. $4.95. Short stories by 17 West
ITINERARIO. Ernesto Sabato. 276 pp. Ed.
Sur, Buenos Aires, 1969. $2.10.
JARANO. Ramon Beteta. Tr. by John Upton.
Illus. by Mario Perez. U. Texas, 1970. $5.75.
Reminiscences, in short story form, of an im-
portant figure in Mexican life.
LA OBEDENCIA NOCTURNA. Juan Vicente
Melo. Ed. Era, Mexico City, 1969. A first novel by
an accomplished writer of short stories.
LOS TITERES. Hugo Correa. Ed. Zig-Zag,
Santiago, Chile, 1969. Science fiction by a Chilean
LOS BORRADORES DE LA MUERTE.
Guillermo Blanco. Ed. Zig-Zag, Santiago, Chile,
1969. Short stories.
MARCORE. Antonio Olavo Pereira. Tr. by
Alfred Hower, John Saunders. U. Texas, 1970.
$6.50. A highly-praised Brazilian novel first
published in 1957, now in its fourth Portuguese-
NARRADORES BOLIVIANOS. ANTOLOGIA.
Gumucio Mariano Baptista. 256 pp. Los Amigos
del Libro, Cochabamba, Bolivia, 1969.
OF MEN AND CRABS. Josue de Castro.
Vanguard, 1970. $5.95. A novel, about hunger, set
in Recife, Brazil.
QUARUP. Antonio Callado. Tr. from Por-
tuguese by Barbara Shelby. Knopf, 1970. $8.85. A
long novel which parallels the story of a priest
and Brazil's modern political history.
SHORT STORIES. Rafaela Contreras de
Dario. 42 pp. U. Miami, 1970. $2. Tales by the first
wife of famed poet Ruben Dario. The stories in
Spanish, with introduction and analyses in
THE FILE ON STANLEY PATTON BUCHTA.
Irvin Faust. Random House, 1970. $5.95. A New
York policemen becomes involved in conflict
between right- and left-wing groups in Spanish
Harlem; By the author of the good short story
collection ROAR LION, ROAR.
TREINTA CUENTOS. Arturo Uslar-Pietri. 340
pp. Ed. Monte Avila, Caracas, 1969.
ULTIMO ROUND. Julio Cortazar. Siglo XXI,
Mexico City, 1969.
AGUILA O SOL? EAGLE OR SUN? Octavio
Paz. Tr. by Eliot Weinberger. October House,
1970. Cloth, $6.50; paper, $2.95. Prose poems
writer. during 1949-50, evoking the nature of
Mexico's culture and history.
AUN. Pablo Neruda. 70 pp. Ed. Nascimento,
Santiago, Chile, 1969.
ELOGIO DE LA SOMBRA. Jorge Luis Borges
Emece Editores, Buenos Aires, 1970. New poems
and prose written between 1967 and 1969.
LADERA ESTE HACIA EL COMIENZO
BLANCO. Octavio Paz. 192 pp. Ed. Joaquin
Mortiz, 1969. Poems written in India,
Afghanistan and Ceylon (1962-68) by the noted
Mexican writer diplomat.
LA NUEVA POESIA ARGENTINA. Nelida
Salvador. 280 pp. Ed. Columba, Buenos Aires,
LOS RIOS REDIMIDOS. Jorge Luis Morales.
54 pp. U. Puerto Rico, 1970. $1.75. Puerto Rico's
contribution to the Worldwide. Encounter of
Poets, held simultaneously with the 1968
Olympic Games in Mexico.
MEXICO CITY BLUES. Jack Kerouac. Grove,
1970. $1.95. Poems by the late spokesman for the
NO ME PREGUNTES COMO PASA EL
TIEMPO. Jose Emilio Pacheco. Ed. Joaquin
Mortiz, Mexico City, 1969. A prize winning
poetry collection written from 1964 68.
POEMAS. Roque Dalton. 202 pp. Univ. de El
POEMAS DE AMOR HISPANO-
AMERICANOS. Ed. by Mario Benedetti. Ed.
Arca, Montevideo, 1969.
PRIMERA ANTOLOGIA POETICA. Carlos
Pellicer. Fondo de Cultura Economica, Mexico
City, 1969. A collection by the well known
RETURN TO MY NATIVE LAND. Aime
Cesaire. Tr. by John Berger and Anna Bostock.
Penguin, 1970. 95 cents. Verse and prose poems
by the well known West Indian writer, now
living in France, who discovers his own racial
roots in African culture. Written over thirty
years ago, but still relevant.
KING CHRISTOPHER. Aime Cesaire Tr. by
Ralph Manheim. Grove, 1970. $1.95.
ROOTS AND RHYTHMS: JAMAICA'S
NATIONAL DANCE THEATRE. Rex Net-
tleford. Photos by Maria LaYacona. Hill &
Wang, 1970. $6.50.
SERGEI EISENSTEIN AND UPTON SIN-
CLAIR: THE MAKING AND UNMAKING OF
QUE VIVA MEXICO. Ed. by Harry M. Geduld
and Ronald Gottesman. 512 pp. U. of Indiana,
ANCIENT SCULPTURE FROM WESTERN
MEXICO. John L. Alsberg and Rodolfo Pet-
schek. 60full page photos. Tudor, 1970.$30.
ART OF THE AMERICAS: ANCIENT AND
HISPANIC. Pal Kelemen. Apollo Editions, 1970.
$4.95. The paperback version of the $10 Crowell
hardcover, with 338 photos plus maps., covering
all aspects of art, from basketweaving to ar-
ARTE DOMINICANO. Dario Suro. 168 pp. Lib.
Hispaniola, Santo Domingo, 1969. $1.90.
DIEGO RIVERA: THE SHAPING OF AN
ARTIST, 1889 1921. Florence Arquin. U. of
Oklahoma, 1970. $8.95. Many illustrations, in
color and black and white.
FRANCISCO ZUNIGA AND HIS SCULP-
TURE. All Chimacero. 126 plates, 8 in color.
Tudor, 1970. $25. Studies one of Latin America's
NEW BRAZILIAN ART. Pietro Maria Bardi.
160 pp. 731 illus. (280 in color). Praeger, 1970. $20.
Examines three main areas of Brazilian art:
Indian, popular rural, and international.
MINIATURES: THE JOSEF AND ANNI
ALBERS COLLECTION. Anni Albers. 128 pp. 180
illus. Praeger, 1970. $15. With a forward by
Ignacio Bernal, Director of Mexico City's Ar-
THE WORLD OF JOSE LUIS CUEVAS. Carlos
Fuentes. 72 reproductions, 39 in color. Tudor,
1970. $25. Mexico's major young writer writes a
tribute to Mexico's major young graphic artist.
CHE GUEVARA. Andrew Sinclair. Viking,
1970. $4.95 cloth, $1.95 paper.
GREAT GUERRILLA WARRIORS. Carleton
Beals. 246 pp. Prentice Hall, 1970. $7.95. Popular
revolutionaries who led their people toward
independence: Villa, Zapata, Aguinaldo, Abd el
Krim, Sandino, Tito, Mao, Castro, and Ho Chi
HERNAN CORTES: CONQUEROR OF
MEXICO. Salvador de Madariaga. 600 pp.
Doubleday, 1969. $2.45.
THE BLACK BERET: THE LIFE AND
MEANING OF CHE GUEVARA. Marvin D.
Resnick. 306 pp. Ballantine paperback, 1969.
THE ENLIGHTENED: THE WRITINGS OF
LUIS CARVAJAL, EL MOZO. Seymour B.
Liebman. 160 pp. U. Miami, 1970. $6.95. The
memoirs and letters of a young Jew of Mexico.
City, burned at the stake on December 8, 1596.
THE LIBERATOR, SIMON BOLIVAR. Ed. by
David Bushnell. Knopf, 1970. $3.95.
THE MAKING OF AN UN-AMERICAN. A
Dialogue with Experience by Paul Cowan. 370
pp. Viking, 1970. $6.95. A "political
autobiography" by a young New Left writer who
spent two years with the Peace Corps in
YANOAMA: THE NARRATIVE OF A WHITE
GIRL KIDNAPPED BY AMAZONIAN IN-
DIANS. As told to Ettore Biotca. Tr. by Dennis
Rhodes. Dutton, 1970. $7.95. The author, Helene
Valero, lived with the Yanoama for nearly
A DIPLOMAT LOOKS AT AID TO LATIN
AMERICA. Willard L. Beaulac. U. Southern
Illinois, 1970. $6.95. A former ambassador to five
Latin American countries evaluates the U.S. aid
A LATIN AMERICAN ECONOMIC COM-
MUNITY. Nino Maritano. 320 pp. U. Notre
Dame, 1970. $9.95. Speaks of the need for
economic integration and intercontinental
ALLIANCE FOR PROGRESS: A SOCIAL
INVENTION IN THE MAKING. Harvey S.
Perloff. 253 pp. Johns Hopkins, 1969. $8.50. An
economistwho worked with the Alliance reviews
its first eight years, pointing out its "short-
comings" and "enormous potential."
AMERICA LATINA: ENSAYOS DE IN-
TERPRETACION ECONOMIC. Raul Prebisch
and others. 278 pp. Ed. Universitaria, Santiago,
Chile, 1969. $3.60.
AUTOMOTIVE INDUSTRIES IN
DEVELOPING COUNTRIES. Jack Baranson.
106 pp. John Hopkins Press, 1969. A World Bank
staff occasional paper.
BRAZILIAN SECONDARY EDUCATION
AND SOCIO-ECONOMIC DEVELOPMENT.
Robert J. Havighurst and Aparecida J. Gouveia.
250 pp. Praeger, 1969. $15.
CUBA: SOCIALISM AND DEVELOPMENT.
Rene Dumont. Tr. by Helen Lane, Grove, 1970.
DESARROLLO E INDUSTRIALIZATION DE
VENEZUELA. M.A. Falcon Urbano. 250 pp.
Univ. Central, Caracas, 1969.
DEVELOPMENT PROBLEMS IN LATIN
AMERICA. AN ANALYSIS BY THE UNITED
NATIONS ECONOMIC COMMISSION FOR
LATIN AMERICA '8 pp. U. Texas, 1970. $8.50.
LA ECONOMIA LATINOAMERICANA
DESDE LA CONQUISTA IBERICA HASTA LA
Dustcover photo for "Strategy for Revolution: Essays on Latin America by Regis Debray."
Monthly Review, 1970.
Dustcover drawing for "The Spanish-American War," by Alan Keller. Hawthorn, 1969.
REVOLUCIOMCUBANA. Celso Furtado. 311 pp.
Ed. Universitaria, Santiago, Chile, 1969.
LA INVERSION PETROLERA EN
VENEZUELA. Roosevelt Velazquez and Miriam
Cabrera. 70 pp. Univ. Central, Caracas, 1969.
LA REVOLUTION INDUSTRIAL ARGEN-
TINA. Julio Broner and Daniel Larriqueta. 200
pp. Ed. Sudamericana, Buenos Aires, 1969. $2.60.
NATIONAL TENSIONS OVER THE
MULTINATIONAL ENTERPRISE. Jack N.
Behrman. 208 pp. Prentice-Hall, 1970. $8.50.
Examines the impact of international cor-
porations upon various countries.
NATURAL RESOURCES IN LATIN
AMERICAN DEVELOPMENT. Joseph
Grunwald and Philip Musgrove. 528 pp. Johns
Hopkins, 1970. $20. Chapters on each of the major
resources of the region.
REGIONAL INDUSTRIAL DEVELOPMENT
IN CENTRAL AMERICA: A CASE STUDY OF
THE INTEGRATION INDUSTRIES SCHEME.
David E. Ramsett. 133 pp. Praeger, 1969.
SEEDS OF CHANGE: THE GREEN
REVOLUTION AND DEVELOPMENT IN THE
1970's. Lester R. Brown. 205 pp. Praeger, 1970.
$6.95. Discusses the promise and problems of
"miracle" wheat and rice developed in recent
years. Will they solve hunger, or will they
"augment"dissension by widening the chasm
between thosewho are in a position to exploit the
new opportunities and those who are not?"
THE COLONIAL HERITAGE OF LATIN
AMERICA. Stanley J. Stein and Barbara H.
Stein. Oxford, 1970. Cloth, $5; paper, $1.50.
Essays on economic dependence in perspective.
A LEAP TO ARMS: THE CUBAN CAM-
PAIGN OF 1898. Jack Cameron Dierks. J. B.
Lippincott, 1970. $6.95. Includes maps, ap-
pendixes and bibliography.
CIVILIAN-MILITARY RELATIONS IN
BRAZIL, 1889-1898. June E. Hahner. 232 pp. U.
South Carolina, 1969. $7.95.
CUBA: THE PURSUIT OF FREEDOM, 1762-
1969. Hugh Thomas. Harper & Row, 1970. $20.
DAILY LIFE OF THE AZTECS ON THE EVE
OF THE SPANISH CONQUEST. Soustelle.
Stanford, 1970. $2.95.
DEATH OF A REVOLUTIONARY. Richard L.
Harris. Norton, 1970. $5.95. An account of Che
Guevara's last mission.
EL GAUCHO, ARGENTINA, BRASIL,
URUGUAY. Emilio A. Coni. 320 pp. Hachette,
Buenos Aires, 1969.
ELMUNDO DE LOS INCAS. Felipe Cossiodel
Pomar. Fondo de Cultura Economica, Mexico,
GRITO: THE NEW MEXICO LAND GRANT
WAR OF 1967. Richard Gardner. Bobbs-Merrill,
1970. $8. About Reies Tijerina, the "brown
power" leader of thousands of Spanish
Americans in New Mexico, and the early history
of Anglo-Saxon land grabs, called "grants" at
GUERRA DEL CHACO, 1932-1935. BATALLA
DE PAMPA GRANDE. Jose Da Costa Decoud.
107 pp. Lib. Comuneros, Asuncion, 969. $5.
GUIA DE NARRADORES DE LA
REVOLUTION MEXICANA. Max Aub. 143 pp.
Fondo de Cultura Economica, Mexico City, 1969.
HISTORIC CONTEMPORANEA DE
AMERICA LATINA. Tulio Halperin Donghi. 549
pp. Alianza Editorial, Madrid, 1969. Written by
an Italian historian, later translated to Spanish.
HISTORIC DEL ECUADOR. F. Huerta
Rendon. Lib. Cima, Quito, Ecuador, 1969.
HISTORIC DE LA CULTURAL
ECUATORIANA. J. Ma. Vargas. Lib. Cima,
Quito, Quito, Ecuador, 1969.
HISTORIC DE SANTO DOMINGO. Jacinto
Guimbernard Pellerano. 597 pp. Lib. Hispaniola,
Santo Domingo, 1969. 2nd edition.
INTERVENTION IN LATIN AMERICA. Ed.
by C. Neale Ronning. Knopf, 1970. $3.95.
MAYA HISTORY AND RELIGION. J. Eric S.
Thompson. U. of Oklahoma, 1970. $7.50.
REVOLUTION: MEXICO 1910-1920. Ronald
Atkin. John Day, 1970. $8.50. A lively narrative
with photos and maps, and sharp word-portraits
of Madero, Huerta, and Pancho Villa.
THE CHRONICLES OF MICHOACAN. Tr. and
ed. by Eugene R. Craine and Reginald C.
Reindorp. U. of Oklahoma, 1970. $7.95.
THE HISTORY OF THE INCAS. Alfred
Metraux. Tr. by George Ordish. Schocken, 1970.
$2.45. Paperback version of the Pantheon hard-
cover. An up-to-date survey of the ancient Incan
empire, with 79 illustrations.
THE JEWS IN NEW SPAIN: FAITH, FLAME,
AND THE INQUISITION. Seymour B. Liebman.
388 pp. U. Miami, 1970. $12.50. The impact of the
Inquisition in the New World from 1521 to 1821.
THE SPANISH-AMERICAN WAR: A COM-
PACT HISTORY. Alan Keller. 258 pp. Hawthorn,
1969. $6.95. A readable short history, which
outlines the climate of opinion in the U.S. and
details each of the war's campaigns.
THE SUGAR HACIENDA OF THE
MARQUESES DEL VALLE. Ward Barret. 147
pp. U. Minnesota, 1970. $10. A detailed history of
a sugar plantation founded near Cuernavaca,
Mexico in the 1530's by Hernan Cortes.
Drawings, maps, original manuscript
TIJERINA AND THE COURTHOUSE RAID.
Peter Nabokov. 285 pp. U. New Mexico, 1969.
$6.95. A first-hand chronicle of the celebrated
raid on the courthouse at Tierra Amarilla, New
Mexico, which catapulted Reles Lopez Tilerina
and his militant Spanish-American minority
movement onto the front pages of newspapers
Language & Literature
HISTORIC DE LA LITERATURE CPNTRO Y
SUDAMERICANA. Edoardo Crema. 205 pp.
Univ. Central, Caracas, 1969.
LA EXPRESSION AMERICANA. Jose Lezama
Lima. 191 pp. Alianza Editorial, Madrid, 1969.
Essays on Latin American literature by a Cuban
LA LITERATURE BOLIVIANA DE LA
GUERRA DEL CHACO. Jorge Siles Salinas. 142
pp. Los Amigos del Libro, Cochabamba, Bolivia.
LA NOVELA Y EL HOMBRE
HISPANOAMERICANO. Roberto E. Rios. 132
pp. Ed. La Aurora, Buenos'Aires, 1969.
$1.50. LA NUEVA NOVELA HISPANO--
AMERICANA. Carlos Fuentes. 99 pp. Ed.
Joaquin Mortiz, Mexico City, 1969. $1.04.
THE MEANING OF EXISTENCE IN CON-
TEMPORARY HISPANIC LITERATURE.
Kessel Schwartz. 220 pp. U. Miami, 1970. $8.95.
Essays on major figures, including two chapters
on the Latin American novel, particularly in
TRIQUARTERLY. FIFTEEN. SPRING 1969.
Ed. by Charles Newman. Northwestern U., $1.95.
A supplement to the previous double issue, which
was wholly devoted to contemporary Latin
American literature. This issue contains about
100 pages of poems, fiction and criticism on Latin
A REBEL IN CUBA. Neill Macaulay.
Quadrangle Books, 1970. $5.95. An American's
BATTLE Y ORDONEZ. APOGEO Y
MUERTE DE rA DEMOCRACIA BURGUESA.
Jullo A. Louis. Ed. Nativa, Montevideo, 1969.
BOLIVARiSMO Y MARXISMO. Jorge
Abelardo Ramos. 135 pp. Ed. Pena Lillo, Buenos
BOLIVIA, LA CUBA-IGNORADA. Mario
Padilla. 369 pp. Ed. Los Amigos del Libro,
Cochabamba, Bolivia, 1969.
CUBA: 10 ANOS DE REVOLUTION. Fer-
nando Reyes Matta and Abraham Santibanez M.
96 pp. Ed. Sig-Sag, Santiago, Chile, 1969. $1.39.
CUBAN COMMUNISM. Ed. and Intro. by
Irving Louis Horowitz. 152 pp. Aldine, 1970.
Articles which analyze the successes and
failures of Cuban Communism.
DEMOCRACY IN MEXICO. Pablo Gonzalez
Casanova. Tr. by Danielle Salti. Oxford, 1970.
DESAFIO AL PENTAGON: LA
GUERRILLA LATINO-AMERICANA. Abraham
Guillen. 180 pp. Lib. Horizontes, Montevideo,
ESCRITOS POLITICOS. Simon Bolivar.
Alianza Editorial, Madrid, 1969. Political
writings by Latin America's liberator.
ESPIONAJE EN LA ARGENTINA. Jaime
Canas. 200 pp. Tres Americas, Buenos Aires,
GOLPE EN EL PERU. Victor Villanueva. 94
pp. Lib. America Latina, Montevideo, 1969.
HISTORIC DEL SINDICALISMO EN LA
ARGENTINA. Jorge Abelardo Ramos. 280 pp.
Ed. Tres Americas, Buenos Aires, 1969.
INTEREST CONFLICT AND POLITICAL
CHANGE IN BRAZIL. Philippe C. Schmitter.
Stanford, $15. Traces the emergence of interest
groups through the era of industrialization and
modernization, relates the groups to existing
political structures, and examines their in-
teraction with each other, the state, and the
IZQUIERDAS Y DERECHAS EN
LATINOAMERICA. SUS CONFLICTS IN-
TERNOS.. Francisco Villagran Kramer and
Mario Monteforte Toledo. 126 pp. Ed. Pleamar,
Buenos Aires, 1969.
LA LEY FORAKER: RAICES DE LA
POLITICAL COLONIAL DE LOS ESTADOS
UNIDOS. Lyman J. Gould. Tr. by Jorge Luis
Morales. U Puerto Rico. 186 pp. Cloth, $4; paper,
$3. Analyzes Puerto Rico's first organic law,
approved by Congress in 1900, establishing civil
government under the U. S. The author states
that with the approval of this statute, the U. S.
formally adopted colonialism.
LOS PARTIDOS POLITICOS EN MEXICO.
Vicente Fuentes Diaz. 398 pp. Ed. Porrua,
Mexico City, 1969.
LOS TUPAMAROS, VANGUARDIA ARMADA
EN EL URUGUAY Y ANTOLOGIA
DOCUMENTAL. Carlos Nunez. 148 pp. Lib.
Horizontes, Montevideo, 1969.
MEXICO: DESARROLLO CON POBREZA.
Enrique Palilla Aragon. 179 pp. Siglo XXI,
Mexico City, 1969.
PERU: UNA REVOLUTION NACION-
ALISTA. Norbeto Ceresole. 274 pp. Dist. Tres
Americas, Buenos Aires, 1969.
PODER POLITICO Y CAMBIO ESTRUC-
TURAL EN LA ARGENTINA. Julio Oyhanarte.
127 pp. Ed. Paidos, Buenos Aires, 1969.
POLITICS OF THE CHACO PEACE CON-
FERENCE: 1935-1939. Leslie B. Rout, Jr. U.
Texas, 1970. $7.50.
POLITICS OF THE DEVELOPING
NATIONS. Fred R. von der Mehden. 143 pp.
Prentice-Hall, 1969 (2nd edition). $5.95 cloth,
$1.95 paper. An up-to-date analysis of over 100
emergent countries, discussing forces that
threaten national unity and government
SELECTED WORKS OF FIDEL CASTRO:
VOLUME I. Ed by R.E. Bonachea and N.P.
Valdes. 320 pp. MIT Press, 1970. $10.
SOLIDARIDAD O VIOLENCIA: EL DILEMA
DE CHILE. Claudio Orrego Vicuna. 310 pp. Ed.
Zig-Zag, Santiago, Chile, 1969.
SOVIET IMAGE OF CONTEMPORARY
LATIN AMERICA. A DOCUMENTARY
HISTORY, 1960-1968. Compiled and tr. from
Russian by J. Gregory Oswald. Ed. by Robert G.
Carlton. U. Texas, 1970. $15. Presents a cross-
section of various official and academic
STRATEGY FOR CONQUEST: COMMUNIST
DOCUMENTS ON GUERRILLA WARFARE.
Ed. by Jay Mallin. 384 pp. U. Miami, 1970. $12.
Selections from the writings of Mao, Vo Nguyen
Giap, Hoang Van Thai, Che Guevara, Raul
Castro, Alberto Bayo, Lin Piao.
A BIBLIOGRAPHICAL GUIDE TO THE
SPANISH AMERICAN THEATRE. Compiled by
Frank P. Hebblethwaite. 84 pp. Pan American
Jnion, Washington, D.C., 1969. $2.
A BIBLIOGRAPHY OF UNITED STATES-
.ATIN AMERICAN RELATIONS SINCE 1810.
compiledd and edited by David F. Trask, Michael
:. Meyer, and Roger R. Trask. 441 pp. U.
Nebraska, 1968. $14.95. A selected list of eleven
thousand published references.
A GUIDE FOR THE STUDY OF CULTURE
IN CENTRAL AMERICA (HUMANITIES AND
SOCIAL SCIENCES). Mario Rodriguez, Vincent
C. Peloso. 88 pp. Pan American Union,
Washington, D.C., 1968. $2.
A SELECTIVE BIBLIOGRAPHY OF
BIBLIOGRAPHIES OF HISPANIC AMERICAN
LITERATURE. Compiled by Shasta M. Bryant.
48 pp. Pan American Union, Washington, D.C.,
1966. 75 cents.
LIBROS EN VENTA SUPPLEMENT 1967,
1968. Mary Turner. R.R. Bowker, 1970. $17. The
"Books in Print" of the Spanish-speaking world,
containing 20,000 new titles from 1,000
publishers. Socil Sciences
AGRARIAN PROBLEMS AND PEASANT
MOVEMENTS IN LATIN AMERICA. Ed. by
Rodolfo Stavenhagen. 400 pp. Doubleday, 1970.
$1.95. An anthology of writings from Europe and
North and South America.
ANTHROPOLOGICAL ESSAYS. Oscar Lewis.
Random House, 1970. $12.95. Starting in 1941,
these 24 essays trace the development of Lewis'
theory of the sub-culture of poverty.
ARCHEOLOGIE DE LA MARTINIQUE 1969.
Mario Mattioni. 68 pp. Les Cahlers du Cerag,
Centre D'etudes Regionales Antilles-Guyane, 4th
BARRIOS IN ARMS: REVOLUTION IN
SANTO DOMI NGO. Jose A. Moreno. 226 pp. U. of
Pittsburgh, 1970. $8.95. A sociologist doing
fieldwork in Santo Domingo when the April 1965
revolution broke out gives an eye-witness ac-
count, and analyzes the backgrounds, per-
sonalities, ideologies and expectations of many
of the rebels.
BEYOND THE MELTING POT: THE
NEGROES, PUERTO RICANS, JEWS,
ITALIANS AND IRISH OF NEW YORK CITY
(second edition). Nathan Glazer and Daniel
Patrick Moynihan. MIT Press, 1970. $1.95. Has a
new 83-page introduction, "New York City in
1970, to this book, first published in 1963.
BLACK MAN IN RED CUBA. John Clytus with
Jane Rieker. 160 pp. U. of Miami, 1970. $4.95. A
black American expatriate's views of racial
conditions in Cuba.
CRUCIFIXION BY POWER: ESSAYS ON
GUATEMALA'S NATIONAL SOCIAL
STRUCTURE, 1944-1966. Richard Newbold
Adams. U. Texas, 1970. A study in social an-
thropology, viewing the nation as a social unit.
CULTURE CHANGE AND SHIFTING
POPULATIONS IN CENTRAL'NORTHERN
MEXICO. William B. Griffen. 196 pp. U. of
Arizona, 1969. $6.
DIVINE HORSEMEN: THE VOODOO GODS
OF HAITI. Maya Deren. Chelsea House, 1970.
$10. The late well-known documentary film-
maker discusses the mythic, social and
psychological basis of Haiti's powerful living
EL CONTROL DE LA NATALIDAD COMO
ARMA DEL IMPERIALISMO. Jose Consuegra.
245 pp. Ed. Galerna, Buenos Aires, 1969.
ENCUESTA DE ACTITUD SOBRE EL
TAMANO DE LA FAMILIAR. Carlos A. Uriarte.
14 pp. Lib.Melia Baca, Lima, 1969.90 cents.
GROWTH, EQUALITY AND THE MEXICAN
EXPERIENCE. Morris Singer. 341 pp. U. Texas,
1970. $8,50. Studies the relationship between
economic development and equality, focusing on
the behavior of income distribution.
HEALTH & THE DEVELOPING WORD. John
Bryant, M.D. 345 pp. Cornell, 1969. $10.
Examines health problems in Africa, Latin
HUMAN RIGHTS AND THE LIBERATION
OF MAN IN THE AMERICAS. Ed. by Louis M.
Colonnese. 304 pp. U. Notre Dame, 1970. Cloth,
$6.95; paper, $3.25. Reflections by diplomats,
businessmen, clergy, educators and scholars.
LA CLASE OBRERA EN EL BRASIL. Leoncio
Martins Rodrigues. 148 pp. Centro Editorial,
Rosario, Argentina, 1969.
LA RE-EVALUACION UNIVERSITARIA:
APRECIACION SUBJETIVA DE UNA
OPERATION ILUSORIA A TRES ANOS DE SU
INICIO. Luis Nieves Falcon. 29 pp. Editorial
Edil, Rio Piedras, P.R., 1969. A critical analysis
of the University of Puerto Rico.
LAS REBELIONES JUVENILES EN -LA
SOCIEDAD ARGENTINA. Julio Matud. Ed.
Rueda, Buenos Aires, 1969.
LA SELECTION DE PERSONAL IN EL
SERVICIO PUBLIC DE PUERTO RICO. Irma
Garcia de Serrano. 312 pp. U. Puerto Rico, 1969.
MASSES IN LATIN AMERICA. Ed. by Irving
Louis Horowitz. Oxford, 1970. Cloth $13.50;
MONTEVIDEO 68: LA LUCHA
ESTUDIANTIL. Roberto Copelmayer and Diego
Diaz. 96 pp. Lib. America Latina, Montevideo,
POBLACION Y RECURSOS HUMANS EN
EL PARAGUAY. Centro Paraguayode Estudios
Sociologicos. 215 pp. Lib. Comuneros, Asuncion,
POSO DEL MUNDO. Ovid Demaris. Little,
Brown, 1970. $5.95. An expose-style report on the
wild towns along the 1600-mile Mexican-
American border, from Tiiuana to Matamoros.
POWER AND CONFLICT IN A MEXICAN
COMMUNITY: A STUDY OF POLITICAL
INTEGRATION.Antonio Ugalde. 272 pp. U. New
Mexico, 1970. $9. One of the first empirical
studies of Mexican politics on the local level,
based on extensive fieldwork.
REVOLUTION CUBAN STYLE. Gil Green.
International, 1970. $1.25. Impressions of a
recent visit, surveying all facets of the socialist
SITUATION DEL PERSONAL DOCENTE EN
AMERICA LATINA. Carmen Lorenzo. 322 pp.
Ed. Universitaria, Santiago, Chile, 1969.
SITUATION SOCIAL DE AMERICA LATINA.
Centro Latinoamericano de Investigacion en
Ciencias Sociales. 395 pp. Hachette, Buenos
STUDIES OF LATIN AMERICAN
SOCIETIES. T. Lynn Smith. 400 pp. Doubleday,
1969. Essays by the well-known sociologist.
THE AWAKENING MINORITIES:
AMERICAN INDIANS, MEXICAN-
AMERICANS AND PUERTO RICANS. Ed. by
John R. Howard. Aldine (Trans-action series),
THE BLOCK. Herb Goro. Vintage, 1970. Cloth,
$8.95; paper, $3.95. Tape recorded interviews
and 120 photos of the inhabitants of New York
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THE CHURCH AND SOCIAL CHANGE IN
LATIN AMERICA. Ed. by Henry A. Land-
sberger. 320 pp. U. Notre Dame, 1970.
THE HEROIC TRIAD. Paul Horgan. Holt,
Rinehart & Winston, 1970. $6.95. Views three Rio
Grande cultures; the Indian, the Spaniard, and
THE NEW LATINS: FATEFUL CHANGE IN
SOUTH AND CENTRAL AMERICA. Georgie
AnneGeyer. Doubleday, 1970. $7.95. Surveys all
aspects of the changes taking place in Latin
America, with many anecdotes and interviews
with people from all walks of life.
THE ORIGINS OF SOCIALISM IN CUBA.
James O'Connor. 338 pp. Cornell, 1970. $10.
Argues that Cuban socialism developed
organically out of the traditions and long-
standing needs of the Cuban people.
THE PEYOTE CULT. Westoh La Barre.
Schocken, 1969. $2.45. An enlarged re-edition of
the study of the Mexican and American Indian
use of the conscious-expanding plant, its history
and spread. The new introduction contrasts cult
usage with the contemporary drug scene.
THE UPPER AMAZON. Donald W. Lathrap.
256 pp. Photos, drawings, maps. Praeger, 1970.
$8.50. Described as "the first archaeological
study of the vast, densely forested Upper
UPROOTED CHILDREN: THE EARLY LIFE
OF MIGRANT FARM WORKERS. Robert Coles.
142 pp. U. Pittsburgh, 1970. $3.95. A psychiatric
study of migrant farm children in Florida and
along the eastern seaboard.
VENEZUELA LA VIOLENCIA. Compiled by
Alejandro del Corro. Centro Intercultural de
Documentacion, Cuernavaca, Mexico, 1969. A
five-volume bibliography of violence in
Venezuela from 1960 through 1966.
A MARINE ATLAS OF THE PACIFIC
COASTAL WATERS OF SOUTH AMERICA.
Merrit R. Stevenson, Oscar Guillen and Jose
Esteban Santoro de Ycaza. U. California, 1970.
$20. Includes 99 charts.
ANOTHER WORLD: CENTRAL AMERICA.
Hilda Cole Espy with Lex Creamer, Jr. Viking,
1970. $8.95. An introductory survey.
CUZCO: WINDOW ON PERU. Miriam
Beltran. Knopf, 1970. $5.95. An American woman
who has lived in Peru for 26 years offers a
written tour of Cuzco, including maps and
DISCOVERING PUERTO RICO. Louise
Cripps Samoiloff. 152 pp. Whitmore, 1969. $3.95.
A light introduction to Puerto Rico which
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ECUADOR: A TRAVEL JOURNAL. Henri
Michaux. Tr. by Robin Magowan. U. of
Washington, 1970. A poet in 1927-28 travels
through the Panama Canal, to Peru, then down
the Amazon to Brazil and observes people and
nature in prose and poetry.
MEXICAN CITIES OF THE- GODS: AN
ARCHEOLOGICAL GUIDE. Hans Helfritz.
Praeger, 1970. Cloth, $6.95; paper, $3.50. A guide
to Mexico's pre-Columbian artistic and ar-
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TERRY'S GUIDE TO THE CARIBBEAN.
Wesley Edson. 624 pp. Doubleday, 1970. $8.95. A
tourism-oriented guide which also includes a
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On Garcia Marquez
Gabriel Garcia Marquez's novel
Cien Anos de Soledad, first published
in May 1967, has already gone through
14 editions and critics have praised it as
one of the most significant novels ever
to come out of South America. Latin
American literature, we are told, has
finally come of age. By universal
consent we are in the presence of a
masterpiece. But does the book really
deserve such a chorus of praise?
Cien Anos belongs to what might be
called the genre of plausible fan-
tastication. A self-contained world, in
this case a small town set somewhere in
the wilds of Colombia, is realistically
evoked and fantastic happenings are
baked into it like raisins into a cake.
The cake itself is so rich and satisfying
that after a while we cease to notice that
the raisins are colored a luminous green
and taste of seaweed. After all, is there
any reason why raisins shouldn't taste
of seaweed? So we say, happily
swallowing another bite. In a world
where astronauts have to strap
themselves down to sleep in the
weightlessness of outer space, a block of
ice that never melts isn't really that
fantastic. The truth nowadays is so
much stranger than fiction that one
can't complain when fiction makes an
attempt to redress. the balance.
And so we are soon prepared to
swallow anything as we read on about
the activities of this extraordinary
Buendia family, principal residents in
the small Colombian town of Macondo.
A bookshop browser opening the novel
at random on page 267 ("it rained four
years, eleven months and two days")
might think he had strayed into a Jules
Quarterly Journal devoted to the Social Sciences, Arts, and
Humanities relevant to the Caribbean and circum-Caribbean areas
MANAGING EDITOR: SYBIL LEWIS
Vol. 10 July, 1970 No. 2
G. DEBIEN et J. Houdaille, Les Origines Africaines des
Esclaves des Antilles Francaises
ABRAHAM F. LOWENTHAL, The United States and the
Donminican Republic to 1965: Background to Intervention
CEDRIC L. JOSEPH, The Venezuela Guyana Boundary
Arbitration of 1889: An Appraisal. Part I
II. Review Articles
RICHARD ALLSOPP, A Critical Commentary on the Dic-
tionary of Jamaican English
J. L. DILLARD, Observations on the Dictionary of Jamaican
EDWARD BRATHWAITE, Rehabilitations: West Indian
History and Society in the Art of Paule Marshall's Novel
III. Book Reviews
SILVIA W. DE GROOT, Djuka Society and Social Change. The
History of an Attempt to Develop a Bush Negro Community in
Surinam, 1917-1926, reviewed by Sidney W. Mintz
J. HARTOG, Curacao: From Colonial Dependence to
Autonomy, reviewed by Thomas G. Mathews
ROBIN W. WINKS, Canadian-West Indian Union: A Forty-
Year Minuet, reviewed by J.C.M. Ogelsby
JAIME SUCHLICKI, University Students and Revolution in
Cuba, 1920-1968, reviewed by isabel Pico de Hernandez
BERNARD DIEDERICH and AL BURT, Papa Doc: The
Truth about Haiti Today, reviewed by Rolando Wingfield
WILLIAM G. SEWELL, The Ordeal of Free Labor in the
British West Indies;
ANTHONY TROLLOPE, The West Indies and the Spanish
.Main. reviewed by Gordon K. Lewis
IV. Current Bibliography
Published quarterly by THE INSTITUTE OF CARIBBEAN
University of Puerto Rico
Rio Piedras, Puerto Rico 00931
Annual Subscription: U.S. $4.00
Single Numbers: U.S. $1.25
Verne fantasy. Not at all! By the time
we have read this far the "four years,
eleven months and two days" is a sober
statement of fact, as solid and plausible
as the description four pages previous
of soldiers, "trousers rolled to their
calves", playing shipwreck with the
children of Macondo in the rain. The
effect of the book is a sort of en-
chantment which suspends our
disbelief until we finally are no longer
sure, or care, about the differences
between reality and the unreal. Perhaps
there is no difference!
Now this is very delightful and the
strange hermetic world of the Buendias
keeps us riveted from first page to last.
But as we read, occasional doubts
break through. What does it all amount
to? Just how serious a novel is this?
What, finally, does it tell us about
revolutions, about the rise and fall of a
civilisation, about the workings of the
One problem is that for the blend of
realism and fantasy to work, the
realism must be impeccable, and for
one reader at least this isn't the case.
For example, can we really believe in
Macondo? Towns arise at intersections
of trade, they get rich on oil, commerce
or agriculture. But Macondo is a
thriving town before the banana
company arrives and one cannot
imagine how or hy it grew to be what
it was. It is hard to believe in a town so
impossibly remote from civilisation
which supports the Buendia mansion, a
pianola and an Italian dancing teacher.
But there is a more serious flaw.
Every member of the Buendia family is
a monster with more than life-sized
passions and appetites. Whereas one of
us might eat a dozen raw eggs in an
eating competition, Aureliano Segundo
eats thirty and washes them down
with eight litres of coffee and the juice
of fifty oranges. Whereas an active
revolutionary might father half-a-dozen
bastards in the course of a campaign,
Colonel Buendia fathers sixteen.
Magnificent, yes, but such prodigies
mitigate against any real exploration of
character. Fantasies of nature we
swallow willingly, but fantasttications
of character stick in our throats. Why,
we ask, does Amaranta reject her two
lovers? There is nothing frigid about a
woman who burns her hand on a stove
as a self-punishment, or who exchanges
"exhausting caresses" night after night,
naked in bed with her nephew
Ameliano Jose. The truth seems to be
that a Mrs. Pietro Crespi would be
rather dull. To fit the scheme of the
book we have to see an embittered old
woman weaving her own shroud a
monster in the best Buendia tradition.
It is because monsters aren't people
that it is surely wrong to call Cien Anos
"an essay in solitude" as Eneid Routte
does in her interesting review Carib-
bean Review, Spring 1970). Lord Jim
and other Conrad heroes experience
"solitude" Frankenstein can't. The
characters in Cien Anos are weird
puppets, dancing to the tune of their
master's vivid and fertile imagination.
They shock us, entertain us and
astound us, but they never move us. We
are told that each member of the family
exists in a world of solitude of his own,
but we never feel it. Time and time
again Garcia Marquez uses the word,
but fails to evoke the object. The novel
might as well be called Cien Anos de
The genre of what I have called
"plausible fantastication" isn't, of
course, Garcia Marquez's invention.
Many of the elements in his novel were
foreshadowed in Juan Rulfo's Pedro
Paramo which came out in Mexico in
1955. Here is the remote and shadowy
town which supplies the prototype for
Macondo, the lonely brutal cacique
who becomes Colonel Beundia in Cien
Anos, the ghosts and apparitions who
feature so prominently in Garcia
Marquez's novel..Again, the man who
coughs up rabbits in Julio Cortazar's
Bestiario' (1951) has his echo in Pilar
Ternera in Cien Anos, the woman
whose presence is enough for all the
animals in the neighbourhood to
become incredibly prolific, just as Alina
Reyes in Cortazar's story Lejana has
the same gift of prescience that the
gipsy Melquiades is to make use of
when he forecasts the destruction of
What does this wave of fantastication
in South American fiction really mean?
Are there elements of contemporary
Latin experience that can only be
expressed in this form? Twenty-five
years ago Alejo Carpentier wrote a
prologue to his El Reino de Este
Mando in which he warns young South
American writers against imitating the
worn-out surrealism of contemporary
Europe. He points out that South
America is the home of "fabulous
realities" (lo real mara-villoso") and
that therefore writers had no need to
borrow alien mythologies when they
had such rich ones of their own. Just as
writers twenty-five years ago were
discovering surrealism, so now they
seem to be discovering Kafka. It is a
fascinating development, but isn't the
"real maravilloso" of South America a
strong enough dish without having to
stew it in a mid-European gravy half a
century old? Wouldn't, after all, Garcia
Marquez be better advised to stick to
the sardonic realism he brought to such
beautiful perfection in El Colonel No
Tiene Quien le Escriba?
San Juan, P.R.
El cano, San Juan. Photo by Barry Bernard Levine.
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