Front Cover
 Table of Contents
 Front Matter
 Back Cover


Digitization of this item is currently in progress.
Caribbean Review
Full Citation
Permanent Link: http://ufdc.ufl.edu/UF00095576/00026
 Material Information
Title: Caribbean Review
Physical Description: Serial
Language: English
Creator: Latin American and Caribbean Center, Florida International University
Publisher: Latin American and Caribbean Center, Florida International University
Place of Publication: Miami, FL
Publication Date: 1975
Copyright Date: 1980
Genre: serial   ( sobekcm )
 Record Information
Source Institution: FIU: Special Collections
Holding Location: FIU: Special Collections
Rights Management: All rights reserved by the source institution and holding location.
Resource Identifier: oclc - 1553369
System ID: UF00095576:00026

Table of Contents
    Front Cover
        Front Cover 1
        Front Cover 2
    Table of Contents
        Page 1
    Front Matter
        Page 2
        Page 3
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    Back Cover
        Back Cover 1
        Back Cover 2
Full Text

July/August/September 1978 Vol. VII, No. 3 Two Dollars
----------------- rI~i1

On the Antillian Identity
Cubans in Africa
Nicaragua and Human Rights
Ethnic Politics in Belize
The Future of the
University of the West Indies
A Celebration of Caribbean Color


i/ kIn


Latin American


College of Arts and Sciences
Florida International University
* Over 55 Caribbean and Latin
American related courses offered
from ten departments in the College
of Arts and Sciences.
* Certificate requirements include:
successful completion of five
Caribbean and/or Latin American
related courses and one independent
study/research project, from at least
three departments; demonstration
of related language proficiency in

Spanish, Portuguese, or French.
* Certificate program is open to both
degree and non-degree seeking
* Expanded University support through
special "Program of Distinction"
status awarded to Caribbean-Latin
American Studies.
* Expanded Library holdings in
Caribbean-Latin American materials.
* Periodic campus visits from
distinguished scholars in Caribbean
and Latin American studies.

Caribbean-Latin American Studies Faculty
Ricardo Arias, Philosophy and Religion Ramon G. Mendoza, Modern Languages
Ken I. Boodhoo, International Relations Raul Moncarz, Economics
Judson M. DeCew, Political Science Pedro J. Montiel, Economics
Barry B. Levine, Sociology Mark B. Rosenberg, Political Science
Anthony P. Maingot, Sociology Reinaldo Sanchez, Modern Languages
James A. Mau, Sociology Mark D. Szuchman, History
Florentin Maurrasse, Physical Sciences Maida Watson-Breslin, Modern Languages

For further information,

Mark Rosenberg
Caribbean-Latin American Studies Council
Florida International University
Tamiami Trail
Miami, Florida 33199



July/August/September 1978
Vol. VII, No. 3
Two Dollars

Barry B. Levine
Associate Editor Art D
Pedro J. Montiel Susar
Contributing Editors Staff
Ricardo Arias Juan
Ken I. Boodhoo Biblio
Jerry Brown Maria
Judson M. DeCew
Robert E. Grosse Edito
Herbert L. Hiller Euge
Gordon K. Lewis Chris
Anthony P. Maingot Publi
JamesA. Mau Andr
Florentin Maurrasse Eileei
Raul Moncarz Adve
Mark B. Rosenberg Joe
Mark D. Szuchman
RosaWilliam T. Vickers
William T. Vickers


n Goslinga
rial Managers
nia Edelstein
tine Grosse
shing Consultants
ew R. Banks
n Marcus
rising Consultants

Office Manager
Patricia Dunne

Caribbean Review, a quarterly journal dedicated to
the Caribbean, Latin America, and their emigrant
groups, is published by Caribbean Review, Inc., a
corporation not for profit organized under the laws
of the State of Florida. Caribbean Review receives
supporting grants from the Student Government
Association and the Office of Academic Affairs of
Florida International University and the State of
Florida. This public document was promulgated
at a quarterly cost of $3.434 or $1.72 per copy to
promote international education with a primary
emphasis on creating greater mutual understanding
among the Americas, by articulating the culture
and ideals of the Caribbean and Latin America, and
emigrating groups originating therefrom.
Mailing address: Caribbean Review, Florida Inter-
national University, Tamiami Trail, Miami, Florida
33199. Telephone: (305) 552-2246. Unsolicited
manuscripts (articles, essays, reprints, excerpts,
translations, book reviews, poetry, etc.) are welcome
but should be accompanied by a self-addressed
stamped envelope. Copyright 1978 by Caribbean
Review, Inc. All rights reserved.
Subscription rates: 1 year: $8.00; 2 years: $15.00;
3 years: $20.00. 25% less in the CaribbeanandLatin
America. Air Mail: add 50% per year. Payment in
Canadian currency or with checks drawn from banks
outside the U.S. add 10%. Invoicing charge: $2.00.
Subscription agencies please take 15%.
Back Issues: Vol. 1, No. 1, Vol. II, No. 2; Vol. III,
No. 1, No. 3, No. 4; Vol. V, No. 3; Vol. VI, No. 1 are
out of print. All other back numbers: $3.00 each.
Microfilm and microfiche copies of Caribbean
Review are available from University Microfilms, A
Xerox Company, 300 North Zeeb Road, Ann Arbor,
Michigan 48106.
International Standard Serial Number:
ISSN US0008-6525; Library of Congress Number:
AP6, C27; Dewey Decimal Number: 079.7295.






Letters from Readers
Marqubs, Schwartz, Sims

Cubans in Africa
A survey of Cuban presence on the
African Continent
Aaron Segal

On the Antillian Identity
Why the Antilles are not completely
part of America
Carlos Alberto Montaner
Translated by Ramdn Mestre
La Puntilla Reborn
The rejected plans for a glorious part of
Old San Juan
Leopold Kohr

Nicaragua and Human Rights
The acid test of Carter's new Policy
Thomas W. Walker

Guardians of the Dynasty
How the US-created National Guard
became the personal police of the
Somoza family
Reviewed by Neill Macaulay

Excerpt from a novel on Guyana
O. R. Dathorne

Ethnic Politics in Belize
Creoles, Mayas, politicians, and others
Alma Harrington Young

The Passing of Wajang
The vestigal Javanese puppets
of Surinam
Annemarie de Waal Malefijt

The Future of the University
of the West Indies
Technological needs and political
desires on a multi-national campus
Anthony P. Maingot

A Celebration of Caribbean Color
A review of John Figueroa's
Ignoring Hurts
St. George Tucker Arnold, Jr.
A poem by Paul St. Vincent

The Panamanian Connection
David McCullough's book on the
building of the Canal
Reviewed by Mark Rosenberg

Recent Books (
An informative listing of books about
the Caribbean, Latin America, and their
emigrant groups
Marian Goslinga

The cover is an oil on masonite painting entitled
"Le Sacrifice." The artist, Wilmono Domond, was
born in Marbial, Haiti in 1925. Courtesy of the
Metropolitan Museum and Art Centers, Miami,
Florida; from the collection of Claude Auguste


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Revealing A Lot

Dear Colleagues:
Congratulations on your fine Caribbean Review. And
I don't use the term "fine" just because in your latest
issue (Vol. VII No. 2) you published a very good
translation by Dr. Charles Pilditch of my short story
El delatador, (under the title, The Informer), but
because objectively, in terms of content, photos,
quality of paper, etc., I find it excellent. And I do hope
that it will last long.
I found also a touch of humor in the photo that
seems to "illustrate" (shall we say it that way?) my
short story. I mean, the beautiful Perspective II by
Gregorio Cuartos (1973, acrylic on linen; Courtesy of
the Metropolitan Museum and Art Center, Miami,
Florida; from the Martinez-Canas collection). The
background perspective looks to me as influenced,
somewhat, by Chirico. The central figure (male nude;
back view) "delata much" (reveals a lot). What if it
had been Perspective I? Da Vince, Michelangelo, and
even the "divine" Raphael did it. What counts is that it
is a work of art, and the Martinez-Cafas family are
very fortunate to have it in their collection.
Ren6 Marques
Can6vanas, Puerto Rico

Compassion For The Villain

Dear Colleagues:
In a review (Hispania, 1976), I called The Autumn of
the Patriarch a self-repetition and one more version of
the idle jabber which characterizes the latest works of
many of the greatest Spanish American novelists of
the day. But Professor Mendoza's study in Caribbean
Review (VII, 2) causes me to wonder whether the novel
may not, indeed, be far worse than idle jabber.
Professor Mendoza rightly comments that in spite of
the horror there is much in the book to engender a
kind of secret sympathy and compassion. Indeed, as
one reads the novel one may very well conclude that it
represents one more distortion in a dangerous and
disintegrating cosmos. Garcia Marquez evokes
compassion for the physically decayed, solitary, tragic
figure who, after years of sterile illusions, becomes
only pitiful eyes seen through dusty train windows.
The author's empathy for this sad entity causes the
reader to shift from a merited condemnation to an
acknowledgment of the dictator's humanity. The
victims, on the contrary, are largely dehumanized.
This novel succeeds in breeding compassion for the
villain, something previous thesis novels were unable
to do for the victims. In addition, the novelist implies
throughout that the pueblo somehow needs this
dictatorial archetype.

I do not share Professor Mendoza's enthusiasm
for the complex narrative structure or the linguistic
niceties which tend, on the whole, to obscure human
values. Yes, the author plays games. The murders,
tortures, and anthropophagy become happenings, and
the reader cannot identify with the truly horrible fate
of the victims. In my opinion the novel negates a
reaffirmation of human values and human dignity in a
world which continues to implement, in ever more
esoteric manners, man's inhumanity to man.
Kessel Schwartz
University of Miami

Contradictory Latin America

Dear Colleagues:
I would like to make some comments in reference to
Ram6n Mendoza's article, "A Caribbean Carnival of
Abundance." Indeed, literary critics can overstep the
boundaries of their critical parameters, but Garcia
Marquez's novels also lend themselves to critical
interpretation on many levels. Certainly Garcia
Marquez's Rabelaisian verve explodes in every direction
in The Autumn of the Patriarch, and the style
contributes greatly to its effectiveness. From the very
first page, Garcia Marquez opens the floodgates and
literally submerges the reader. The reader never has
an opportunity to retrace his steps, much less catch
his breath. The point is that the novel's organic
structure underpins the overall effect of his humor, all
of which can be examined by critics.
I also agree with Professor Mendoza that in using
a grotesque and hyperbolic myth, Garcia Marquez is
best able to deflate the composite, almost archetypal,
image of the Latin American macho dictator. Another
aspect of this deflationary process is the constant
shifting from appearance to reality. This adds to the
constant process of contraction-protraction in the
novel. I find the dictator similar to Big Mama in
"Los funerales de la Mama Grande," especially in the
pervasive absurdity of their rules and their desires to
live seemingly forever.
I believe that perhaps the kernel of the form of
the novel can be found in One Hundred Years of
Solitude when Fernanda suddenly breaks into a kind
of verbal torrent very much like that of the novel. It is
the only point in the novel where the narrative is
broken. I think that the style of The Autumn of the
Patriarch reflects the incredibly contradictory nature
of contemporary Latin American reality which
Carpentier defines so well in his interview in
Los nuestros.
Mendoza's article explores, discusses and
elucidates a fundamental aspect of Garcia Marquez
which is all too often glossed over.
Robert L. Sims
Virginia Commonwealth University



h A


By Aaron Segal
By Aaron Segal

The Cuban presence in Africa gen-
erates joy in Moscow and anguish in
Washington. It is subject to astonish-
ing misinformation and misinterpre-
tation; a veritable barrage of hysteria.
For some, the Cubans are Soviet
pawns in a tropical game of power
politics and for others, Marxist cru-
saders hurling back imperialist le-
gions. The truth is elusive, partial,
and less startling. The Cubans have
been involved in Africa since 1962,


through the provision of military
training and advice and, at times,
combat troops to support one side
against another in African internal
conflicts. For Cuba, this involvement
is a source of political and ideologi-
cal prestige useful for domestic and
international purposes as well as
valuable military experience. Wheth-
er Cuban intervention will continue
to be beneficial for Cubans or Afri-
cans, remains to be seen.
Cuban involvement in Africa was
a logical outcome of the Cuban Revo-
lution. Impressed by Cuban succes-
ses, nationalist leaders from Portu-
gal's African colonies visited Havana
as early as 1962, and made arrange-
ments to provide military training in
Cuba for their followers. Although
Cuban interest, until the death of
Che Guevara in Bolivia in 1968, was
focused on guerrilla movements in
Latin America, a small but steady
stream of Angolans, Mozambicans,
Guinea-Bissauns, Eritreans and oth-
ers visited the island and received
military instructions. Che himself is
alleged to have traveled in Africa in
1964-1965, but came away disillu-
sioned-with the ideological naivete
and poor organization of Congolese
and other rebel groups.
Cuban revolutionary interest in
Africa was formally spotlighted at
the 1967 Tricontinental Peoples Sol-
idarity Conference in Havana. How-
ever, Castro was already moving away
from exporting revolution, especially
in Latin America. Instead, Cuba con-
tinued its small-scale military train-
ing and sent a handful of military ad-
visors to Guinea-Bissau where sever-
al were captured or killed by Portu-
guese troops. The pilgrimages to
Havana of African nationalist leaders
continued, but the closest ties were
for those fighting Portuguese colo-
nialism, and the Eritreans opposing
the Ethiopian monarchy.
During the 1970s, Cuba cultivated
diplomatic and commercial relations
with many Caribbean and Latin Amer-
ican states, renouncing its export of
revolution. The 1974 military coup
in Portugal precipitated a colonial
transfer of power in which military
prowess and organization were criti-
cal. Cuba stepped up its training and
advisors to Guinea-Bissau and Mo-
zambique and prepared to openly
take sides in the complex, three-
cornered ethnic civil war in Angola.
During 1974-1975, the Cubans help-

ed the MPLA to transform guerrilla
bands into an army. while with CIA
funds the FNLA recruited merce-
naries and the Chinese ran arms to
UNITA. The MPLA was multiracial,
Marxist in ideology, urban-based, and
associated with Havana through mul-
tiple ties since 1962.
Although Cuban support for the
MPLA was substantial prior to 1975,
and growing steadily, the official
Cuban myth has it that massive aid
came only after July, 1975, in re-
sponse to MPLA requests after the
South African invasion of Angola.
Whatever the historical truths, the
South African presence provided a
most opportune occasion for the air-
lift of more than 10,000 Cuban
troops. Lacking US support, the
South Africans retreated in an order-
ly manner and the Cubans and the
MPLA proceeded to demolish mer-
cenary and FNLA Forces, and to
drive UNITA into the bush. Osten-
sibly, since October, 1975, Cuban
forces in Angola have had the mis-
sion of training the Angolan national
army and will leave when those forces
can take over. In reality, the civil war
continues on a lower scale as the
FNLA and UNITA have reverted to
guerrilla actions and the Cubans have
become bogged down in counter-
insurgency. Their presence has be-
come essential to the maintenance
of the Angolan government, beset
by civil war, economic disarray, and
conflict between mulatto and Afri-
can MPLA factions.
Cuba's spectacular 1977-1978 in
volvement in Ethiopia has no pre-
cursors similar to Angola. Oppor-
tunism is at stake here rather than
ideology. Indeed, Cuban military
training of the Eritrean movements
fighting for independence from Ethi-
opia was rationalized from the outset
in Cuba on ideological grounds. The
overthrow of the Ethiopian monarchy
in 1974, the establishment of even
more radical Ethiopian military dic-
tatorships, internal strife, and a per-
sistent desire by Soviet-supplied
Somalia to settle by force an historic
territorial claim, all paved the way
for Cuban entry. When Fidel was un-
able during his February, 1977. trip
to Africa to reconcile Ethiopia and
Somalia, a careful decision was made
to support the Ethiopians. The rea.
sons had as much to do with Soviet
interests, their recent ouster from
the Sudan and rupture with Sadat in

Egypt. as with any claim by the Ethi
opian officers to be better socialists
or Marxists than their Somali count-
Cuban military training, advisors
and combat troops were instrumen-
tal in repelling the Somali invaders
and restoring Ethiopia to its pro-
claimed boundaries. Again Cuba has
promised to leave once the Ethiopian
Army has been re-trained and is ca-
pable of national defense and, again,
there is evidence that Cuba may be-
come mired in a bloody counter-in-
surgency operation.
Elsewhere in Bissau, Sao Tome.
Benin, Mozambique, Congo-Brazza-
ville, and Tanzania, the Cuban mili-
tary presence is modest and has a
large medical and technical compo-
nent. Cuban training of Rhodesian
guerrilla fighters in Mozambique and
Zambia is also limited though subject
to quick change. It is important to
emphasize that wherever Cuba has
intervened in Africa, it has been at
the explicit request of an African
government or political movement.

Caribbean Military Might

How can a poor Caribbean island of
9 million people keep 40.000-45.000
soldiers in Africa? It is the result of a
massive military mobilization with
well-trained armed forces of nearly
200,000 having no other military
mission. The abandonment of revo-
lutionary efforts in Latin America
and the thaw in US-Cuban relations
make much of Cuba's army-twice
as large as that of Brazil-redun-
dant. Lacking combat experience
since 1963, thoroughly trained in
tropical settings with sophisticated
Soviet weapons, ideologically moti-
vated and led, and generously col-
ored black, white and brown, the
Cubans are highly suitable for certain
African operations. Their use over-
seas represents no strain on national
security (the militia can guard the
coasts), and the costs are apparently
mostly borne by direct and indirect
Soviet assistance. However, if invol-
vement in Angola and Ethiopia
proves to be long-term rather than
temporary and casualties increase,
Cuban popular disenchantment may
Soviet logistics and weapons
make it possible for the Cubans to
be in Africa. The Cubans lack their

1 hr-hIAr.\ Iril\' 15

own troop ships and troop carriers
and were hard-pressed in 1975 to
mount an Havana-to-Luanda airlift
via Guyana. They have lent MIG and
helicopter pilots, artillery and tank
officers, and military medics and
paramedics. But they rely almost
totallyonSovietequipment. Although
details are not known, it is probable
that the Soviets are providing a gen-
erous economic compensation for
Cuban involvement.
Yet, the Cubans are more than
simple pawns or tools of the Russians
in Africa. Cuban leadership is genu-
inely committed to "proletarian soli-
darity" and Cuban diplomats note
proudly that Cuba is providing mili-
tary help at the request of established
governments. Only in white South-
ern Africa do Cubans justify aiding
the overthrow of governments and
even there they insist that Africans
must do the job. Havana publically
sees no contradiction between seek-
ing normal and full diplomatic rela-
tions with the US while intervening
to assist certain governments or
movements in Africa. During the
rebel attack in Zaire in May, 1978,
Castro informed the head of the US
Liaison Office in Havana that Cuba
had provided no assistance to the
insurgents. Meanwhile, as nationalist
movements which Cuba has aided
"graduate" into independent govern-
ments, Havana considers it an obli-
gation to increase its assistance, as it
has in Mozambique and Bissau.
Cuban involvement in Africa also
has clear advantages in Cuba. It de-
tracts attention from the floundering
economy and bureaucratic incom-
petence; provides an outlet for ideo-
logical idealism (all troops sent to
Africa are supposedly volunteers);
provides the isolated Cuban people
a sense of solidarity with distant,
fraternal lands; keeps alive the inter-
national stature of Cuba and the rev-
olution as well as the mystique of
Fidel as a world leader; reinforces
the sense of national struggle and
the need for sacrifices; and perhaps
provides economic leverage vis-a-vis
the Soviets. No doubt the interven-
tions are unpopular with some as
drains on national resources and
squandering of life in foreign adven-
tures. But what is depicted in the US
media as crass power politics may
still be credible to many Cubans as
brave, selfless contributions to "pro-
letarian solidarity:' Finally, Africa

provides a stage in which Cuba can
still display its revolutionary posture
while visiting US businessmen and
Canadian tourists explore the wares
of Havana.
Soviet support has gone to a vari-
ety of regimes of quite different po-
litical colorations: Egypt, Somalia,
Sudan, Libya, Algeria, Nigeria and
Ethiopia. The Soviets are most anx-
ious to exercise influence in coun-
tries adjacent to the oil-rich Arabian
Peninsula and those involved in the
Middle East conflict. Southern Africa
remains a much lesser target of in-
fluence. The Soviets have experi-
enced numerous setbacks in Africa
where their economic aid and tech-
nical assistance is often maladroit,
their ideological offensives are scorn-
ed, and their diplomats seen as cold
and hostile. Egypt, Sudan and So-
malia renounced abruptly their ties
with the Soviets after massive infu-
sions of military and economic sup-
port, leaving the Russians with Libya,
Syria and Iraq as their only doubtful
Arab clients.
It is understandable that the Sovi-
ets are delighted to take advantage
of a Cuban presence in Africa where
their own advisors and troops, if not
equipment, are unwelcome. US Na-
tional Security Council Director
Zbiegnew Brezinski said in Peking
that neither the US nor China "dis-
patches international marauders
who masquerade as nonaligned to

advance big power ambitions in Afri-
ca:' The assertion won't stand up.
Neither the US nor the Chinese has
committed its own combat troops in
Africa, nor have the Soviets-only
the Cubans and the French have
done so. However, the US, China,
Israel, France, Belgium, Britain and
other powers have at different times
over the last 20 years provided mil-
itary advisors, training and arms to
African states and political move-
ments. The Cubans have never mas-
queraded as nonaligned and their
ambitions are quite consistent with
those of the Soviets.

Turning to the Cubans
It is also easy to understand why Afri-
can governments, unable to resolve
conflicts, prefer to turn to the Cu-
bans. Here is a distant, multiracial,
poor ex-colonial country with no
economic or territorial designs in
Africa, capable of providing military
training including the use of sophis-
ticated weapons. Where Soviet ad-
visors might be unwelcome and
troops unacceptable, the Cuban
presence is highly desirable, espe-
cially in the former Portuguese co-
lonies where cultural and linguistic
ties are possible. African govern-
ments and Africans are not threat-
ened by Cuban troops as they would
be by those of major powers. As
long as Africa is riddled with unre-
solved territorial and political con-
flicts, and governments incapable of
commanding the loyalties of their
own troops or guaranteeing their
own security, the need for external
aid will continue.
Cuban involvement has served to
maintain in power the governments
of Angola and Ethiopia. Although
the Cubans profess the desire to
leave once the Angolan Army is
trained, it is doubtful that the regime
of President Agostinho Neto could
survive their departure. Bitterly di-
vided on ethnic and racial lines, un-
able to defend long, desolate and
open borders with three countries,
the Angolan government cannot
provide its own security. Andrew
Young, US Ambassador to the UN,
was certainly correct when he stated
that the Cubans are a stabilizing
force in Angola. Without their pres-
ence the civil war would escalate,
foreign intervention, especially
South African, might again acquire

6/ CAtmWc AN rN-V-W

major dimensions, and Angola
would be torn apart.
There is no prospect for Angolan
security unless its three borders with
Zaire, Zambia, and Namibia are
secure. This is a political rather than
a military problem, but it is being
pursued by military means. The Cu-
bans have almost certainly been
involved with the military training of
Zairean insurgents in Angola and
Namibian SWAPO guerrilla fighters.
The evidence indicates that Cuban
training has been sporadic and in-
effectual, perhaps because the Cu-
bans have too much to do trying to
train the Angolans in counter-insur-
gency. Meanwhile, the governments
of Zaire and South Africa continue
to provide direct and indirect assis-
tance to Angolan insurgents. Surely
it is tempting for the Angolans and
Cubans to seek to place their friends
in power in Zaire and Namibia in
quest of Angolan security. Yet to do
so openly means confronting Zaire
and South Africa with possible US
and Western European intervention.
Clearly the Cubans have taken on
more than they can handle in Ango-
la, but there is no easy way out. Ca-
sualty figures are not available but
the Cubans are fighting an anti-guer-
rilla war on strange terrain. It is sig-
nificant that their propaganda film,
Angola, Victory of Hope, singles
out the Chinese for previously pro-
viding weapons to UNITA, the most
strongly entrenched of the guerrilla
groups. Further involvement through
direct support for anti-Mobutu forces
in Zaire or aiding SWAPO to fight
South African troops involves many
risks and uncertain gains. One can
speculate that the Cubans will remain
in Angola for the foreseeable future
while seeking to gradually reduce
their combat role. At present, the
1975 amendment sponsored by US
Senator Dick Clark effectively con-
strains the US President from clan-
destinely or overtly supporting An-
golan rebels. Is it worthwhile for Cu-
ba to help overthrow Mobutu or arm
SWAPO if the outcome might be
new US support for Angolan rebels?
Cuba is committed to the present
Angolan government; the personal
ties between President Agostinho
Neto, a distinguished poet in Portu-
guese and outstanding nationalist,
and Fidel, are warm and firm, and
Cuban assistance will probably con-
tinue but not grow.

Ethiopia is another matter. Cuba
had no diplomatic relations with
Ethiopia until recently and its sup-
port for Eritrean secession was well-
known and long-standing. Angola is
a military dilemma for Cuba, Ethiopia
an ideological trap. The military re-
gime has largely lost interest in so-
cial reform, although some progress
has been made with land distribu-
tion. Instead, it is obsessed with
national security, threatened by the
20 year old Eritrean war; demands
for secession by ethnic Somalis in
Southern Ethiopia; and by the enor-
mous turmoil that has succeeded
the fall of the monarchy. The 40,000
man army, once the pride of US mil-
itary training in Africa, has been
decimated by coups, counter-coups
and purges that have eliminated
most trained officers. The regime is
almost as afraid of its own people as
it is of the Eritreans and Somalis,

For some, the Cubans are
Soviet pawns in a tropical
game of power politics and
for others Marxist
crusaders hurling back
imperialist legions.

and an atmosphere of permanent
purge prevails. Under the circum-
stances, the Marxist-Leninist revolu-
tion, a genuine intellectual commit-
ment on the part of Angola's Agos-
tinho Neto, is a facade thrown up by
Ethiopia's military leaders in their
pursuit of external support.
The Somalis took advantage of
the reigning chaos in Ethiopia to
break with the Soviets and to launch
their offensive, in 1977, into the dis-
puted Ogaden. They gambled that
military defeat and internal disorder
would bring about the fall of Ethio-
pian strongman Mengistu. They
were wrong, but not by much. The
Cubans and Soviets literally had to
rebuild a shattered Ethiopian army
and still do some of the fighting
themselves, although the Ethiopians
outnumbered the Somalis by at least
two to one and were fighting on fa-
miliar ground.
Somali guerrillas are still active in
the Ogaden, but the Somali army
has been expelled. Much of Africa

greeted this Cuban intervention with
a sigh of relief since the Somalis
had, in invading the territory of a
neighbor because of an ethnic and
boundary claim, violated a funda-
mental law of African post-indepen-
dence politics: "covet not with arms
an established border:' US impre-
cations for peaceful negotiations
under the aegis of the Organization
of African Unity (OAU) were whistles
in the dark since it was clear that the
Somalis would leave only if pushed
out militarily. Nor was the US credi-
ble in its claim to have discouraged
the attacking Ethiopians and their
allies from invading Somalia. The
Ethiopian army had neither the time
nor the organization for such an
assignment; it was desperately
needed in Eritrea.
The Eritrean war has many of the
dimensions of the conflicts that
make Africa such inhospitable terri-
tory for all non-Africans. Two million
Eritreans, linked by language, cul-
ture and history, but divided into
three nationalist movements, have
been fighting for 20 years to secede
from Ethiopia. The rights and wrongs
of this secession movement are com-
plex, but the prospects for a settle-
ment on any terms less than inde-
pendence are remote. The Eritreans
are well-organized to pursue a pro-
longed guerrilla war. Although they
have received over the years some
arms and training from Cuba, Syria,
Iraq, Egypt, and the Sudan, they are,
like UNITA in Angola, a largely self-
sufficient, internally dug-in guerrilla
movement. To defeat them militarily
is probably impossible for the Ethio-
pian army, to confine them to limited
areas, a costly and long-term job.
The Cubans are sensitive about
Eritrea and maintain defensively
that it is an internal Ethiopian pro-
blem in which they will not get in-
volved. Yet their military training
and reorganization of the Ethiopian
army is vital to its current effort to
break out of its beseiged positions in
Eritrea, even if no Cuban troops or
advisors are involved. What will
Cuba do if the Ethiopian army offen-
sive fails, as it well may, and internal
security further deteriorates in Addis
Ababa? Cuba can commit combat
troops to defend an ideologically,
culturally and personally sympathe-
tic regime in Angola fighting insur-
gents backed by South Africa and
Zaire. Can it fight on behalf of a mili-

(CArIhB(AN r-KVlW /7

tary despot seeking to crush a seces-
sion movement which has been sup-
ported in the past by Cuba?
No doubt Cuba will seek to disen-
gage from Ethiopia, reducing the
number of soldiers, confining its
activities to training, and perhaps
quietly encouraging the Ethiopians
to offer to Eritrea a broad autonomy
less than independence. The Cubans
looked good in helping the Ethio-
pians to expel the Somalis, they can
only look worse by staying on visibly
in Ethiopia. The problem may be
that the Soviets want to retain their
improbable new ally, useful for its
proximity to Middle-East oil and
shipping. The future of Cuban invol-
vement in Ethiopia is an interesting
test of the conflicts between Soviet
and Cuban interests.
It is in Southern Africa that the
stakes are highest for the Cubans
and everyone else. Nationalist move-
ments fighting white minority regi-
mes in Namibia, Rhodesia, and South
Africa urgently need military advice,
training and weapons. Neighboring
states which provide sanctuary for
such movements need defenses

against hot pursuit and other opera-
tions. At present, Cuba has provided
only limited training to SWAPO and
one faction of the Zimbabwean (Rho-
desian) Patriotic Front. Military train-
ing has also gone to the Angolan
and Mozambican armies to strength-
en their border defenses. Although a
few Cuban troops fought in Guinea-
Bissau against the Portuguese, no
Cuban troops have fought with the
guerrillas inside Namibia, Rhodesia,
or South Africa, nor have they been
The spectre of further Cuban in-
volvement in Southern Africa haunts
the frail US government efforts to
promote non-violent transfers of
power. Yet the limits to Cuban invol-
vement are clear, including the desire
of the nationalists to avoid a Great
Power confrontation; the problems
of troop deployment and logistics
(Cuba is already close to the upper
limit of troops that it can retain in
Africa); the divisions among the Afri-
cans and the OAU, and the ability of
the white minority armies to inflict
severe casualties on any invaders.
The prospect is for a gradual, steady

increase in Cuban training of certain
movements rather than any combat
Since SWAPO and the Patriotic
Front already receive weapons and
instruction from a variety of sources,
Cuban help should not be critical. It
is hard to see Cuban troops march-
ing on Salisbury or Windhoek, and
certainly not Pretoria. The Cubans
can by taking sides and providing
training further frustrate flimsy US-
British plans to reconcile African
factions. However, it is unlikely that
the Cubans will make a massive
commitment to one faction in Rho-
desia, Namibia, or South Africa as
they did in Angola. Nowhere is there
a leadership, followers, ideology, or
personal ties that would justify such
a commitment. Southern African
nationalist leaders are still much
more at home, culturally and per-
sonally, in London and New York
than in Havana. It is the reluctance of
the US to take sides or to acknowl-
edge that there may be no alterna-
tive to violence that makes the
Cubans seem ten feet tall.
As conflict in Southern Africa es-
calates the Cubans may be asked to
help defend Angola, Mozambique,
and even Zambia against border in-
cursions. Cuban technicians are of
limited value in African guerrilla
wars but they can man anti-aircraft
and other defenses. South African
and Rhodesian ground and air forces
have been able to attack guerrilla
bases in Angola and Mozambique
with relative impunity, in spite of the
Cuban forces in those countries. A
major disengagement from Ethiopia
might be needed if Cuba were to be
requested to assist in defending

Preliminary Assessment

What have been the consequences
of Cuban involvement in Africa?
Where the Cuban presence is modest,
as in Tanzania, Guinea-Bissau, Sierra
Leone and elsewhere, the Cubans
provide limited but useful medical
and technical services, as do scores
of expatriates from other countries.
Although there have been a few in-
stances of Cuban adventurism and
ignorance, as in providing techni-
cians to the grossly repressive dicta-
torship of President Macias Nguema
in Equatorial Guinea (the only ex-

8/ CArzhlHAN r-(VHIW

Spanish colony in Africa), the Cubans
were quick to pull out once they real-
ized the nature of their ally.
The Cubans are generally most
welcome in small, poor, and radical
states whose economic problems are
not dissimilar to those of Havana,
especially the operation of state-own-
ed enterprises. Although each of
these countries is beset with internal
political factions and intrigues, there
is no indication of the need to call on
Cuban troops to stay in power.
Stretched thin on the ground in An-
gola and Ethiopia and short of quick
troop transport, it is not clear that
the Cubans could effectively assist
to put down a coup in Benin or Mo-
zambique even if they were asked.
Instead it is the French with 10,000
troops based in six African states and
airborne divisions in Europe who
have the role of firefighters and coup-
breakers, assisted by Moroccans in
Zaire in 1977, and Belgians in 1978.
It is too earlyfor a definitive assess-
ment of the Cuban military pres-
ence in Africa but a preliminary anal-
ysis is possible. The Cubans have in-
tervened militarily on a larger scale
and in more combat situations than
the French, Israelis, Soviets, Chinese,
Yugoslavs, South Yemenis, British,
Belgians, and Americans, but there
is nothing new or anti-African in their
actions. No matter how undesirable
it may be for non-African countries
to become involved in African con-
flicts, the Cubans are not the first and
are there by invitation. They are not
mercenaries. The military, political
and economic weaknesses of so
many African states and their per-
sistent rivalries internally and with
their neighbors cause them to seek
external military help. The prospects
of an all-African or UN force replac-
ing bilateral aid are negligible.
Cuba is clearly a stabilizing force
in Angola although at a high price in
men and casualties. Cuba played a
stabilizing role in aiding Ethiopia to
expel Somalia but now no longer has
a constructive role to play in that
country. Southern Africa is inherent-
ly unstable and getting worse and
Cuban military aid is still a drop in
the bucket. Elsewhere, it is the
French who are militarily bailing out
their clients in Mauritania, Gabon,
Zaire, Djibouti-where 4,500 French
troops remain after independence-
and in Chad. The Cubans are leery of
the intricacies of African politics and

-except in Angola where they have
ideological allies-have carefully
refrained from fire-fighting.
The Soviets have clearly used the
Cubans to advantage in developing
client relations with Angola and Ethi-
opia, and in improving their skimpy
relations with other countries. Yet
Cubans are not pawns nor puppets
as evidenced by their being welcome
in countries like Tanzania and Zambia
where the Soviets are not encour-
aged. The Soviets have had an op-
portunity to test their airlift capabili-
ties and to stretch their naval mus-
cles. However, they have still to re-
cover from their setbacks in Egypt,
Sudan and Somalia in spite of pos-
sibly pyrrhic victories in Angola and
Several recommendations have
been floated with regard to the Cuban
presence in Africa. In addition to
those who support the Cuban cause,
there are others who believe that the
Cubans have run into African quick-
sand. This view sees them tied down
in bloody counter-insurgency wars
in Angola and Ethiopia, compromis-
ing their ideology, damaging the
Cuban economy, and incurring in-
creasing discontent at home. Others
are less sanguine and would have
the US pressure the Soviets at the
arms control negotiations and else-
where to curb the Cubans. It is not
clear how such "linkages" between
Africa and arms control could work
or that the US might not lose more if
the talks were disrupted than any
conceivable gains in Africa. Another
approach is to increase US, Western
and even Saudi and Iranian economic
and military help to Eritreans, So-
malia, Zaire, UNITA, FNLA or other
possible anti-Cuban and anti-Soviet
forces in Africa. This would put the
US squarely back in the overseas mil-
itary intervention business, although
without commitment of US combat
forces. US columnist Joseph Kraft
rejects "linkages" and other approach-
es but would have the US pressure
Cuba directly by congealing the
"thaw" in US-Cuban relations, and
by encouraging Venezuela and other
oil-exporters to deny petroleum to
Havana. The Carter administration,
while castigating the Cubans, clings
to an irrelevant "Africa for the Afri-
cans," and military hands-off Africa
rhetoric while providing planes for
the French-Belgian intervention in
Zaire, and weapons and training to

Cuban involvement in
Africa also has clear
advantages in Cuba. It
detracts attention from the
floundering economy and
incompetence, provides an
outlet for ideological
idealism, provides the
isolated Cuban people a
sense of solidarity with
distant, fraternal lands,
keeps alive the
international stature of
Cuba and the revolution as
well as the mystique of
Fidel as a world leader,
reinforces the sense of
national struggle and the
need for sacrifices, and
perhaps provides
economic leverage
vis-a-vis the Soviets.


pro-US governments in Egypt, Kenya
and Morocco.
US-Cuban relations have become
a hostage to Cuban activities in Afri-
ca but this may not make much dif-
ference. The formal and informal
thaw reflected in the opening of liai-
son offices in Washington and Hava-

na, and the visit of delegations in-
cluding the Cuban National Ballet,
and several US Senators, have per-
mitted each side to realistically as-
sess interests and options. The US
wants Cuba to curb its activities in
Africa, and to continue to adhere
strictly to noninterference in internal

The Planning

._i Series

Universidad de Puerto Rico
Apartado X, U.P.R., Rio Piedras, Puerto Rico 00931
Tel6fono: (809) 765-1924 Cable: UPRED

The Duke of Buen Consejo
Leopold Kohr
$4.35 pbk.
This book offers a unique approach to slum rehabilitation and other urban
planning problems. Dr. Kohr believes, with Schumacher, that the "Small is
Beautiful" concept is a valid one and writes with uncommon wit and sense
about reducing our solutions to present urban problems to a manageable size.
The author is a writer and professor of economics and political science. He has
taught at Rutgers, the University of Puerto Rico, the University of Swansea
(Wales), the University of Aberystwyth (Wales), and has written many books
and contributed articles to reviews and journals.

Everett Reimer, ed.
$3.50 pbk.
Dr. Reimer's major concerns are the evolving of a truly just and equal society
for all citizens and a rational system of education. He is keenly aware of the
precariousness of any long-range planning in a rapidly changing society but
hopes to both anticipate and possibly even influence the future with his alter-
nate models for social planning on a national level. The author has been a con-
sultant to the US Atomic Energy Commission, the Director of Persornel of the
US Office of Price Administration, the Director of the Washington Office of the
University of Syracuse, Secretary of the Committee on Human Resources of the
Commonwealth of Puerto Rico and an adviser on Social Development for the
Alliance for Progress. At present he is a consultant to the Department of Educa-
tion of the Commonwealth of Puerto Rico.

Charles A. Frankenhoff et al.
$4.00 pbk.
All aspects of environmental planning in the Caribbean are examined in this
book which is the result of a workshop held under the auspices of the Graduate
School of Planning of the University of Puerto Rico. Panelists tried to define
common Caribbean environmental problems which are caused by the special
conditions of the area and also to delineate the need for and the role of environ-
mental planning as an essential component of development planning and policy
in the region. The authors are all professors or visiting professors at the Univer-
sity of Puerto Rico's Graduate School of Planning.

affairs in Latin America and the Ca-
ribbean. This would entail gradually
pulling out of Angola and Ethiopia,
restricting all other African activities
to technical assistance, and renounc-
ing all but verbal support for Puerto
Rican independence groups and
other movements. The US can offer
formal diplomatic relations, a certain
measure of political legitimacy, mar-
kets, private capital, tourism, and
perhaps some technical assistance.
Cuba is anxious to establish diplo-
matic relations with the US, primarily
for economic reasons. Its desperate
needs for foreign exchange require
access to US markets, technology,
and perhaps even investment, if
claims and counter-claims over pre-
1959 holdings can ever be settled.
The problem is that Cuba has little
to offer the US except for sugar and
beaches, and no desire to reduce its
international commitments and op-
tions unless there is a US economic
quid pro quo.
US economic interest in the stag-
nant Cuban economy is too low and
congressional opposition too intense
to make a deal possible. The Cubans
will not sell out their foreign policy
to sell a few hundred million dollars
more of sugar; the US has no need to
buy sugar or to sell technology to
Cuba unless the Cubans throw in a
substantial political price. Thus, US-
Cuban relations had already gotten
stuck at the present low level before
the escalation of Cuban activities in
Africa. The present atmosphere has
not impeded the ballet tour or the
showing of Cuban films but it has
hardened US opposition to any fur-
ther "normalization" of relations.
Castro has said that he does not ex-
pect full diplomatic relations until
sometime in Carter's second term in
office, i.e., after 1980.
Cuba's presence in Africa is an ex-
traordinary response to African weak-
ness. It has put Cuba back on the
center stage of world politics, a place
it had not occupied since the 1962
missile crisis. It has unduly alarm-
ed Washington and cheered Moscow.
It has been a mixed blessing both for
Africa and for Cuba.

Aaron Segal is author of three books on
the Caribbean. A former editor of Africa
Report, he is also co-author of The Travel-
er's Africa. He is presently with the Na-
tional Science Foundation in Washington.

10/ CAPIW(AN f-VltW


We all take great pleasure in talking
of Hispanic America as if it were a
single, monolithic entity. When our
rhetoric becomes unruly, Hispanic
America stretches from the Rio Gran-
de to Patagonia. We fill in the rest
with an awe-inspiring colossus that
soothes our spirits with a rare feeling
of power. But Hispanic America is
not that. Although it exists as a lin-
guistic reality, it is not real to refer to
"Hispanic American man," to address
ourselves to Hispanic America, or to
await "hispanoamericanas." "El-
Legado-de-la raza," "la-sangre-del-
Espiritu," and other lofty-sounding
expressions are the ancient mum-
mies of our rhetorical museum.
Hispanic America is not an indi-
visible entity. It is broken up into
irrevocably severed fragments. The
geography, the pre-Columbian cul-
tures, the nature of the migrations
which nourished its census, the rate
of economic development, the rela-
tive importance which Spain attrib-
uted to its territories during the
colonizations, the importance of reli-
gious factors, the proximity of seas
and mountains, the sun and the cold,
all of these factors intervened and
continue to intervene in the Balkan-
ization of Hispanic America. Two
centuries ago, the learned priest who
attempted to write a history of His-
panic America based on the local
parishes was not too far off the mark.
It is almost unnecessary to point out
the vast distance which separates a
Buenos Aires resident of Italian origin
from a farm laborer in Jalisco! Per-
haps, however, by making this dis-
tinction we might remember the pre-
carious balance that stradles this
continent: Placing one foot in Pata-
gonia and the other in the Rio Grande;
the dance step is elegant but dan-

In the Beginning There
was the Canary Islands
Does Antillian man exist? Antillian
man's nature is of a linguistic texture.
His ID is stamped with phonetic pe-
culiarities. This observation is the
least important of all the defining
characteristics but is by far the most
In his time, Henriquez Ureha iden-
tified various Hispanic American lin-
guistic zones one of which was the
Caribbean. This Caribbean "way of

By Carlos Alberto Montaner
Translated by Ram6n A. Mestre

speaking" is found in Panama, the
coastal regions of Colombia and
Venezuela, part of the Yucatan Pen-
insula, Cuba, the Dominican Republic
and Puerto Rico. They are covered
by a linguistic cloak; they form an in-
tonation area. The major differences
among Hispanic American Spanish's
linguistic zones lie basically in into-
nation to the ears of one group,
the others give the impression of
singing when they speak. But, "the
Antillian accent does not the Antillian
man make" it does not define him.
An Antillian, then, is not a creature
who speaks this or that way.
Spanish's Antillian nuances are
unique linguistic offspring of the
Canary Islands, reinforced with An-
dalucian genes. In its penchant for
naming America's territories after
peninsular regions and cities New
Granada, New Spain, New Castille,
New Cordoba, New Gerona, New
Zamora and one hundred others -
Spain overlooked the most obvious
"new": the Antilles should have been
called The New Canary Islands. But
it did not happen because to the
Spaniard, at the time of the Conquest,
those African Islands were as un-

known as those to be discovered by
Columbus. The "creole," the Spaniard
born in the overseas colonies, is an
invention of the Canary Islands. These
extra-peninsular mestizos were not
born first in America. The guanches
and their Spanish conquistadores
were several years ahead of the West-
ern Hemisphere only they didn't
benefit from the services of a notary
public like the Inca Garcilaso.
In 1496, the Catholic monarchy
made the Canary Islands part of the
Kingdom of Castille. The decision
was made partly because of the Is-
lands' geographic location. With the
discovery of America, the Canary
Archipelago ceased to be Europe's
extremity and became the world's
navel. Spain's incorporation of the
Canary Islands did not come about
because of a sudden awareness of a
common national identity, but as a
result of the strategic value that the
Islands came to have at a given mo-
ment in their history. The Canary Is-
lands are something like a "key" to
the Indies. Their "existence" and
"definition" is a function of other,
distant lands a crossroads, which,
like all crossroads, only serves as a

CArMBI(-iAN r-VIW /11

The frailty of our
national identity has its origins
in the transient character of
our history, our role as

"bridge" or "key.'

stop-over for choosing definitive
The parallel development of the
Canary Islands and the Antilles is
complete. Both archipelagos experi-
enced the psychosis of persistent pi-
rate raids. Drake, "El Draque," a sort
of diabolical boogy-man in the folk-
lore of the rural Puerto Rican, visited
both groups of Islands. The English
fleet seized Jamaica and occupied
the city of Havana, but was defeated
in the Canary Islands. Nelson became
known in history as the "maimed
Admiral of Tenerife." Both America's
and Africa's islanders assuaged the
restrictive effects of monopolies cre-
ated by mercantilistic policies through
the practice of widespread smug-
gling. Both Archipelagos were smug-
glers' nests. For both of them, the
Spanish crown was something strange
and distant.
There also exist direct Canary Is-
land contributions to the Antillian
configuration: eating habits, folklore,
as well as other "subjective" influ-
ences. It is in the Canary Islander's
suitcase that the popular "image" of
the Antillian travelled to America.
Ask a Castillian or a Catalonian for
a quick description of a Canarian. He
will portray a somewhat clumsy, in-
dolent being given over to whimsy,
who is obscurely guilty of possessing
an ideal climate. Following this ques-
tion, ask him to describe a Cuban, a
Dominican, or a Puerto Rican. He'll
say more or less the same thing. The
same lazy creature, a victim of iden-
tical prejudices, surfaces. The Span-
iard gave to the Canary Islander -
along with cornmeal the Islanders'
incurious image, as false in Las Pal-
mas as it is in Santo Domingo, but
upheld inevitably by the Peninsula's
average inhabitant.

The Antilles as a Bridge
It all began when Columbus had the
sailor who said that Cuba was an is-

land and not a continent, beaten. Be-
cause the Antilles are "islands" it has
meant that they are not completely
part of America. This phenomenon
is not new. England has paid and
has forced others to pay for its in-
sular nature.
The Antilles lost some of its value
per se the moment it became the
bridge to the American continent.
During the time of the Conquest,
Cuba, Santo Domingo or Puerto Rico
were the last safe stop-overs. They
were paltry places offering scarce
possibilities, where ships heading for
fabulous Peru, El Dorado, and Mon-
tezuma's Empire made brief "replen-
ishing stops." During the coloniza-
tion, the archipelago was given the
role of watchdog. At times, they were
called the "keys to the West Indies,"
and at other times, "the bastions of
Christianity." We had roles not unlike
Cerberus'. We were sentries, protec-
tors of what was really important:
the continent.
To say that the Antilles do not
form part of the American continent
would be a foolish blunder, but it
would not be so nonsensical to affirm
that the Islands were the least "Amer-
ican" of the new Continent's Hispanic
parcels. Spain contributed to this by
designating the Islands as "the key"
and "the bridge" between Spain and
America. While the settlements on
the continent were of a permanent
nature and thus became the founda-
tion of future nationalisms, the An-
tilles underwent their development
in a provisional milieu which inhib-
ited the appearance of national iden-
tities. Adjectives such as "ever-loyal"
and "obedient," used to describe
Cuba and Puerto Rico in the XIX
Century, are a direct result of the
congenital weaknesses in the Antil-
lian birth.
I have brought your attention to
the presence of Canary Island chro-
mosomes in the most accentuated

Antillian traits. I have also just men-
tioned a constituent element of our
collective psychology: the frailty of
our national identity, and the origins
of this phenomenon in the transient
character of our history, our role as
"bridge" or "key." The Antilles' geo-
graphic location determined the es-
sence of our part in America's history
- that of the guardian or watchdog.
Being three small islands lacking
natural resources has only reinforced
the decaying pessimism.
The Antilles were the least "Amer-
ican" portion of the Hispanic part of
the Continent. The Creole inhabitant
of the Antilles a key ingredient in
the American concoction was not
"contaminated" by the powerful pres-
ence of the pre-Colombian cultures.
Those Antillian Indians not extermi-
nated in violent clashes were cultur-
ally crushed and assimilated through
intermarriage with Spaniards, pro-
ducing the mestizo. The absence of
a mythical indigenous past I don't
believe the Hatuyes or Agueybanas
can be taken seriously in this sense
- and of a substantial indigenous
contribution, shaped our radical dif-
ferences. Not only were we geograph-
ically distant from America, but it
was also impossible for us to share
the liberal Creole's Indiophile senti-
ments. Note that the continental
fragments devoid of respectable pre-
Columbian cultures, as in Venezuela's
case, were able to spiritually identify
with the historical legacy of their
neighbors. Miranda might have raved
about the restoration of an Incan
Empire, which would span all of
South America, without stopping to
ponder the absence of historic ties
between Cuzco and Caracas, because
the continuity of solid ground en-
abled him to safely express his fanta-
For us, the Antillians, this maneu-
ver was not possible. The lovely In-
diophile fantasy could safeguard the

12/ CArIHB:AN r-Vt'~i

-- I

It all began when
Colombus had the sailor
who said that Cuba was an
island and not a continent, beaten.
Because the Antilles are "islands" it has'
meant that they are not
completely part of America.

Continent but it shipwrecked inexo-
rably in the Caribbean. Pachamac, a
great walker, never learned to swim.
The Antilles' isolation rarely has
the word's use been more appropri-
ate was to a great extent, spiritual.
Geography was stronger than history.
Even Miranda's perspective was
not too different from the one I am
describing. We were I insist on
this "something else." When (in
carrying out his tireless conspiracies)
the illustrious Venezuelan knocked
on the doors of the British Foreign
Office, he offered, in exchange for
English aid in the liberation of His-
panic America, a singular payment:
the Island of Puerto Rico. For Miran-
da, Puerto Rico was not part of Amer-
ica. In our own 20th Century, with its
well-fed head so imbued with noble
intentions, Victor Ra6l Haya de La
Torre arrived in Havana. Soon, he
confided to his co-travelers: "This is
not America." It was not the "Indo
America" the Peruvian had dreamed
of. Undoubtedly, Cuba did not fit into
his plans of continental unity.

Dependence and
When France grafted Haiti onto the
Dominican back, that Island's inde-
pendence was precipitated. Later,
the Haitian domination and the bitter
war of liberation would come. I as-
sume that without the French cata-
lyst, Santo Domingo would have re-
acted to the Antillian rhythm like
Cuba or Puerto Rico did. The lack of
confidence in their own destinies,
and the certainty that their economic
problems were insoluble without the
tutelage of a powerful metropolis,
were prominent on both Islands. Ac-
tive Autonomist movements in Cuba
and Puerto Rico were engendered by
this fatalistic attitude. The Domini-
cans, thrust into a premature inde-
pendence by the Haitian tempest,

didn't have the opportunity to sup-
port Autonomy. In Cuba this
should be said once and for all the
most gifted minds generally joined
the ranks of the Autonomists. In
Borinquen, their names were Baldo-
rioty de Castro or Murfoz Rivera. In
Cuba, Montoro, Giberga or during
one period Enrique Jos6 Varona.
These individuals were undeniably
patriots beyond reproach, but never-
theless did not have faith in the des-
tinies of countries which seemed to
them helpless and destitute. If Auto-
nomism did not become a stable po-
litical alternative in the Antilles, it
was due more to maladroitness on
the part of the Spanish governments
than to repressed Antillian desires
for an uprising. The ignorance of the
Canovas and Sagastas, coupled with
the stupidity of the Captain Generals
who governed the islands as if they
were military barracks, left open only
one alternative that of armed in-
surrection. Finally, Cuba's Autono-
mist Party disbanded in jungle bat-
tlefields or in exile. Puerto Rico's
would have followed if not for the ap-
pearance on stage of another actor:
The Yankee.
Why does insurrection arrive half
a century late in the Antilles? Be-
cause our role as a crossroads, as a
path and not a destiny, delayed the
appearance of a national identity;
because this identity was born weak
and trembling; because our ties of
solidarity were frayed by the barrier
which the sea imposed; because our
isolation prevented us from sharing
the continental mythology of a glori-
ous indigenous past. Because we
mistrusted and still mistrust -
our ability to undertake the adven-
ture of independence. Spain had to
be extremely negligent in handling
its overseas colonies to produce, as
it did, the unusual event of holding
back history for fifty years.
The Antilles, as a homogenous

parcel, was a Spanish invention. The
pre-Columbian culture on the islands
did not, of course, have a global per-
spective of the archipelago. The
Caribs, Tainos, and Siboneys as
far as we know were peoples with
scarce, poorly conceived settlements,
and a weak notion of territoriality.
The vision of the Antilles as a totality,
as a univocal entity, was an outcome
of the Spaniard's perspective from
his vantage point as a conqueror or
colonist of the archipelago as a polit-
ical-administrative unity. The Au-
dencia, for example, could be in
Santo Domingo; then Cubans and
Puerto Ricans had to travel there for
litigation purposes. Or perhaps it
was a matter of awarding academic
degrees and, in that case, Cuban
examiners went to Puerto Rico. This
movement contributed towards the
creation of an Antillian way of being.
It homogenized the zone. It made the
accent and repertory of behaviors
uniform. It reinforced a common
perspective. With time, when the
hour of the wars of independence
came, and the Cubans and Puerto
Ricans took to the hills, there existed
a consciousness of involvement in a
common adventure. The cries of Yara
and Lares were coordinated. If, from
a literary viewpoint, Lola Rodriguez
de Tio's poems can be considered
deficient, they did reflect genuine
historical circumstances: "the bullets
entered one, identical heart."
The Antillian Federation became
the dream of all the independence-
minded revolutionaries of the second
half of the XIX century. It was a mat-
ter of instinct. Once united, the is-
lands would be able to face the ram-
pant pessimism and the crisis of
faith. A union was something like
the summation of collective possi-
bilities which would be opposed to
the Autonomist arguments or the
Statehood advocates who were daz-
zled with North America's brilliance.


The Antilles,
uprooted, their significance
diminished, fell prey to the
consciousness of their
congenital weaknesses.

Hostos, Marti, and later, De Diego,
were partisans of a federation. Bet-
ances, in Paris, did not make a dis-
tinction between Cubans and Puerto
Ricans. G6mez, a Dominican, was
the commander-in-chief of the Cuban
insurgents. The feeling of power
which emanated from a union of the
three Islands would have been enough
to discredit any spectre haunting the
idea of the Antilles.
For Marti (aware more than any
other of the dangers that loomed
over this embryonic homeland), An-
tillian unity was vital, not only as a
formula for invigorating the nation-
al identity and the faith in indepen-
dence, but also as a historic goal for
the three Islands: they would trans-
form themselves into a barrier which
would dispute North America's pow-
er. Together, they would resist the
approaching blows to come. Togeth-
er, they would help serve the cause
of Hispanic America.
The unity of the Antilles served
two purposes: the curses of isolation
would be attenuated within a com-
munity of Islands. The territory would
expand population would grow,
and the economy would benefit from
the pooling of resources. The valetu-
dinarian image and the feeling of
self-pity, as the yankees are fond of
saying, would give way to a citizen
more sure of himself and of his capa-
bilities. It would give way to an indi-
vidual who would deftly banish Au-
tonomist or Anexionist ideas, and
who would be capable of trusting his
own resources.
In considering the second of the
roles, Marti conferred upon the An-
tilles that of hindering North
American designs it is interesting
to note how the Cuban apostle adopt-
ed an essentially Spanish interpreta-
tion. Again, the concept of a "cross-
roads" appeared. Once again, new
relevance and strength was acquired
by the roles of "key" and "bulwark,"

which the Islands once had. It was
now a question of building a dam to
hold back the high waters of Amer-
ican imperialism. Marti, who had an
ethical world view and as a conse-
quence, also possessed an epic atti-
tude searched in the Antillian na-
tion for a cause, for a raison d'etre
which went beyond nationalism.
All of the efforts undertaken by
Creoles to create an Hispanic Amer-
ican Federation failed. Morozan, exe-
cuted by a firing squad in San Jos6,
Costa Rica, and Bolivar, alone and
depressed in Santa Marta, are excel-
lent examples of our divisive nature.
Yet, perhaps an Antillian union would
have suffered a more auspicious fate.
It would have become an antibody
which would have combatted the
Antilles' own secular ills; a paradox-
ical union which would have van-
quished our more painful psycholog-
ical traits. The task of cleansing our
national consciousness would have
proved to be less arduous if carried
out in collective solidarity.
Two circumstances impeded this:
US ambitions and, above all, Spain's
vindictive attitude in the last months
of the Spanish-Cuban-American War.
Spain could have, and should have,
surrendered to the Cuban troops,
after the disastrous sinking of its
fleet. Direct negotiation with the
Cuban insurgents would have pre-
vented the Spanish defeat from be-
coming a simple change in depen-
dence for Cuba and Puerto Rico. In
the final analysis, the North Ameri-
can intervention only accelerated an
inexorable destiny. A Cuban victory
was imminent and only a question
of time. What began in Playitas with
the landing of five men, was already,
in 1898, a battle-hardened army
numbering in the tens of thousands,
which had absolute control of the
countryside, of many important
towns, and which was within striking
distance of the provincial capitals.

Spanish willingness to engage in
direct talks with the Cubans would
have prevented further US political-
military intervention, after the sign-
ing of a cease-fire between Cubans
and Spaniards. Everything which the
Cubans had securely attained with
valor and with confidence in the
righteousness of their own struggle,
was lost after the North American
intervention. Once again, the Antil-
lian secular structure took possession
of the Cubans. In that instant, the
possibility of gathering the Islands
together in one, unified destiny, was
thrown overboard. If the year 1898
- more crucial for the Antilles than
for Spain, who, after all, was only
risking the fate of its colonies had
witnessed the beginnings of a Cuban
republic, then it is very probable that
Puerto Rico would have followed suit.
It must be kept in mind that the basic
objective of the Cuban Revolutionary
Party, principal executor of the war
- was the liberation of both Cuba
and Puerto Rico.

The Yankee Makes
his Entrance
Like the Mediterranean island of
Malta, the Antilles have been victim-
ized by their geographic location.
"Strategic value" may be one of the
most tenacious woes which a region
bumps up against. When Spain fo-
cused its telescope, it saw in the An-
tilles the key to the Indies. When the
yankee looked, he saw the key to his
backyard the trenches of a south-
ern coast in which the presence of a
foreign power was not too convenient
to have nearby. The history of the
Maine, the crisis of 1898, and Cuba's
and Puerto Rico's historical courses,
are well known. What I am interested
in emphasizing in these Antillian
characteristics I have attempted to
portray, is the Islander's attitude to-
wards Olympus' new tutelar God.

14/ CA~BHEiAN r-fvie


The Antillian identity
is undergoing a crisis.

It always has.

Puerto Rican Autonomism exchanged
one metropolis for another. The
statehood advocates imitated them.
Cuban Autonomism, dissolved in
the bloody independence struggles,
is reborn embodying new forms.
Yankee patronage is accepted as a
fortunate and inevitable event.
The Cuban Congress, assembled
as a body, prayed for President
McKinley's health: faith in a com-
pletely independent homeland took
root in few citizens. Our secular in-
security, our lack of an unequivocal
national consciousness are evidently
manifest in the enthusiastic accep-
tance of the new colossus. Puerto
Rico adopts and adapts to the new
Autonomism. In truth, Cuba's politi-
cal destiny does not stray too far
from its neighbors'. Santo Domingo
receives and not in anger a
large yankee army of occupation
forces. After several centuries, the
constants of the Antillian identity
bear fruit under another guise. In our
historical minute, the panorama has
changed very little.
Marti perceived the irresistable
specific weight of the North Ameri-
cans and the harm which would come
to the Antilles if they were to fall
within the US sphere of influence.
The Cuban leader attempted to insuf-
flate an optimism and faith in the
great undertaking of Antillian inde-
pendence. It occurred to him that the
only viable solution was to set up
camp by ourselves. This man could
have been the Islands' single aggluti-
nating factor, but he died in 1895
and history is not written in the sub-
junctive tense. Secretly, I have an
inkling that Marti's dream would
have eventually proved contagious
for the Antilles.. I believe that his vi-
sion was germinating in others. But
he died. He died and Autonomism
grew in strength in Puerto Rico and
Cuba's war of independence from
Spain ended up being a peace of de-

pendence on the US. Once in Cuba
and in Puerto Rico, it didn't take long
for the North Americans to set foot
in the Dominican Republic. The
Antilles, uprooted, their signifi-
cance diminished, fell prey to the
consciousness of their congenital
The Antillian defining charac-
teristics have continued to painfully
assert themselves. Let's not delude
ourselves: in Puerto Rico few peo-
ple have been able to free them-
selves from the traditional outlook.
And fewer and fewer will do so.
Their western neighbors' fate has
served as a warning of sorts against
any option which isn't founded on
insecurity, scarce possibilities, fear,
and isolation.
Cuba, which could have attained
a liberating sovereignty and could
have severed the ties of psycholog-
ical dependence that joined us to
the US our sad Plattist mentali-
ty ended up by ratifying an out-
moded version of the Antillian
identity by harnessing itself to the
Soviet metropolis. All the Cuban
diviners who denied the possibility
of a truly independent homeland,
take solace in Cuba's transforma-
tion into a Soviet satellite. Castro,
in his own brutal, totalitarian way,
heads a new style of defeatist sub-
servience, a new form of neo-an-
nexationism. Anti-Castroism, caught
in the nets of dependence on the
US, gravitates towards the other
extreme; towards the same, ever-
present tutelage, which, in its ab-
sence, has demonstrated how in-
dispensable it is. Seemingly, both
Greeks and Trojans have assumed
conceptual frames of reference
which are anchored in the same
woeful colonial mentality. Cuba's
disgraceful spectacle is not too
different from the one taking place
in the Dominican Republic. The
last American intervention in the

Dominican Republic counted on
the support of a substantial seg-
ment of the people. It's not really
necessary to offer plausible argu-
ments in favor of the modern rele-
vance of these Antillian character-
At this point, it would be little
less than ridiculous for me to sing
a hopeful song. I write this while
caught in the grasp of a painful
skepticism. The Antillian identity
together with its hallucinating
spectres, its ancestral fears, and its
doubts, is still defining but not
for long. It would be absurd to
meditate upon the hypothetical
reconstruction of a common des-
tiny. Puerto Rico, playing its North
American cards, erects alien struc-
tures upon four centuries of history.
Cuba, after adopting a new model
and adhering itself to Soviet
Communism I don't believe that
any serious person would attempt
to repeat the stupidity of the "Cu-
ban Model" or a "Cuban path to
Socialism" moves far out of the
Antillian historical context and
enters a dead-end street. The Do-
minican Republic, alone, in perpet-
ual economic crisis and without
the possibility of establishing a
nexus with bigger and more robust
markets, does not offer the pros-
pects of a brilliant economic future.
The Antillian identity, that is to
say, one of the peculiar forms in
which members of collectivities in
America define themselves, a uni-
fying way of confronting history, is
undergoing a crisis. It always has.
Its substance is poor clay upon
which to lay the foundation of gen-
uinely independent peoples.

Carlos Alberto Montaner's books include
Poker de Brujas, Instantaneas al borde del
abismo, Informe Revolucion Cubana, 200
Anos de Gringos and Perromundo. Ram6n
Mestre is a graduate student in Madrid.


By Leopold Kohr

The following excerpt from Leopold Kohr's The City of Man, was
originally published in El Mundo of Puerto Rico. In this article, La
Puntilla Reborn, Kohr proposes to convert La Puntilla, a beautiful
piece of Old San Juan facing San Juan Bay, into a self-contained
urban community where commuting would be eliminated and the
streets would be planned to accommodate men, not motor vehicles.
His dream has come to an end with the recent approval by
the Puerto Rican Planning Board to build a housing project for the
lower middle class on that site. Despite emphatic protests by the
former director of tourism in Puerto Rico, Jane Nicole de Mariani
and others, to delay the project until its architectural design is
improved, plans for construction are already under way. ---E.E.

I have used Puerto Rico as a special platform from which
to develop a number of general city-planning principles. I
have done so not because Puerto Rico has provided a
particularly rewarding testing ground for planners of all
kinds, as it actually has. I have done so, because the island
has been my home for twenty years. Had I lived during
this period of dramatic change in Wales or in Iceland, I
would have used Iceland or Wales as my starting plat-
form. But the general principles I would have deduced
from their experience would still have been the same.
Now, however, I shall reverse the process and apply
the general principles developed in this volume to some
of the special problems confronting Puerto Rico. As one
can deduce the special from the general, one can also
generalize from the special. As the traffic problems of
Rome are the same as those of San Juan, so will the solu-
tions tried in Puerto Rico have the same effect also in
Italy, Zambia, Austria or Argentina. They all have their
Buen Consejos, their Hato Reys, their Villa Fontanas,
their La Puntillas.
Now having pronounced the words La Puntilla, let
us see what we would get if we were to apply some of our
principles to the reconstruction of this now denuded but
once rather handsome, if unassuming, wholesaling and
warehousing suburb whose water-surrounded location
and beauty is second to no other site in Puerto Rico.
Extending into the Bay of San Juan, outside and
below the spectacular ancient walls of the capital city, La
Puntilla covers an area roughly equivalent to that of the
Dalmatian capital of Spalato (Split) on the Adriatic Sea
which, as will be remembered, was built inside the grounds
of the palace to which the Roman Emperor Diocletian
retired after his abdication at the turn of the third century

A.D. Having recently begun to spill beyond its original
confines, Spalato minus the suburbs, has now a popula-
tion of over 50,000. But more than half of them still live
on the narrow space of the original imperial palace.
Taking Spalato as a random example of compact
urban living conditions of such charm that it has become
one of Yugoslavia's principal resort and recuperation
centers, two questions arise: Could La Puntilla be recon-
structed along similar lines? And would this contribute to
the solution of the metropolitan problems of greater San
The main urban problem of our time has nothing to
do with an excess of people living in a given city. It stems
from the excess of speed with which people must move
in order to reconnect the points of their daily activities
which have become separated as a result of their car-
induced dispersed living habits.


Drawing by Lon Lake from San Juan Review, Aug., 1964.

One way of coping with this situation is to adjust
cities to the mounting speed requirements of dispersed
living by turning ever larger urban areas over to traffic
arteries, service stations, and parking lots. In the end, as
Russel Baker has visualized in one of his columns, this
will reach the point where entire towns will have to be
buried under pavement to ratify the ultimate triumph of
car over man. Baker, of course, was jokingly exagger-
ating. But just as I began writing this my eyes were caught
by headlines in both El Mundo and The San Juan Star
featuring precisely this kind of news: that "the long-dis-
puted La Puntilla section of Old San Juan will be paved
over and used as a parking area for 800 cars." True, this
is meant only as a temporary measure. But how temporary
is a parking lot that is paved and which is bound to attract
immediately an irreversible new wave of traffic for all
time to come?

Not in Vehicular But in Human Terms
But there is another way of coping with the situation. This
is to solve the problem not in vehicular but in human
terms. Let us not adjust La Puntilla to the requirements
of cars made indispensable by our modern dispersed
living habits; let us adjust it to the requirements of hu-
mans who could live in the area were it not for the vora-
cious appetite of cars eating up all of the still available
urban space.
In other words, let us adjust our living habits to ways
that do not depend on cars. This will be the case when
every location which the citizen must visit in the course
of a normal day -school, church, hospital, shops, cafes,
doctors' offices, friends' houses, communal authorities-
is once again brought back into our immediate pedestrian
neighborhood. And there is no area more suitable to offer


the opportunity for this than a naturally small half-isle
such as La Puntilla.
This means that La Puntilla must, in the first place,
be reconstructed as a community of high density. But if
cars are to be largely dispensed with, it must also be
reconstructed as a community of great variety. It cannot
be a one-class society dependent on distant sources of
income, as would be the result if the ideas of those are
followed who envision it as a housing site either for trans-
planted slum dwellers, for poor, middle-class, upper-class
residents, or for government bureaucrats working all
over the metropolitan area. It must be an all-class society
in which everyone who lives in La Puntilla also works in
La Puntilla.

"The long-disputed La Puntilla section of
Old San Juan will be paved over and used
as a parking area for 800 cars."

It must, in short, be reconstructed as an economi-
cally largely autonomous little pedestrian city of its own,
inhabited not by specialized car-park attendants or com-
muters to distant working places, but by the full range of
urban occupations from janitors to physicians, from wait-
ers to inn-keepers, from tailors to priests, from students
to teachers, from craftsmen to musicians, from bakers to
postmen, from street-cleaners to magistrates. Then, and
only then, will cars become largely superfluous.
But is the area of La Puntilla, which is small enough
for a pedestrian mode of life, also large enough to accom-
modate a population of sufficient size to offer the full
range of urban activities? This is why I mentioned Spalato.
If the palace of Diocletian has room enough for accom-
modating in Renaissance splendour and without resorting
to high-rise buildings, more than 25,000 inhabitants, why
should this not be possible also in La Puntilla?
A more important problem is whether such a popu-
lation, however varied in composition, would neverthe-
less not be too small to constitute an economically viable
unit? This represents no complexity either. For, as the
19th century economist Edward Wakefield has formu-
lated in a principle bearing his name, 80% to 85% of the
income of a city of any size is generated not by its ex-
change activities with the world outside but by the busi-
ness its inhabitants conduct with each other.
So, a largely self-sufficient and car-less La Puntilla
would of course not be condemned to stagnation. On the
contrary, relieved of the burden of a costly transport and
commuting system, it would be able to duplicate the
urban beautification activities of humble medieval cities
who could build cathedrals, universities, city halls, and
adorn their marbled squares with fountains, not because
they were international trading centres. Very few of them
were. They could afford their public expenditures because
of the low cost of life in crowded quarters, and because of
the savings a society could accumulate before the ad-
vent of what Professor Anatol Murad has called "the
Scourge of Automobilism"in an essay that appeared at a
time when the rest of our economists and planners still
thought of the "scourge" as a symbol of "progress."

What I try to convey in the above is that, if La Punti-
Ila were to be rebuilt as a city in its own right rather than
as a housing project or giant parking lot, it could harbour
a population that would not only be large and varied
enough to constitute a highly self-sufficient economic
unit; its freedom from the burden of commuting costs
would also make it prosperous enough to afford the lux-
ury of Renaissance-like urban beautification. And it is
this seeming side-effect which contains the answer to the
second question I have asked: Would the reconstruction
of La Puntilla as a largely autonomous community solve
not only the problems of its own population but contrib-
ute also to the solution of the wider problems of the met-
ropolitan area of San Juan as a whole?
There can be no doubt about this either. A healthy
metropolis must not be a city but a federation of cities;
not a community, but a community of communities. But
if the federal system is to function as an effective absorber
of congestion and diffuser of traffic, it must be more than
that. It must not just be a community of communities,
but a community of beautiful communities: not just a
federation of cities, but a federation of lovely cities. For
only beauty which is close to everybody's home will pre-
vent the citizen from constantly flitting around all over
the place in search of its dismembered parts.
So, the ability of La Puntilla to beautify itself through
its own resources as a result of the low cost of a dense
and largely self-sufficient mode of life is not peripheral
but central to the problems its reconstruction is meant to
solve. For beauty is not only the condition which will en-
sure its own pedestrianism; because of this, it will also
keep a great deal of vehicular commuting traffic off the
roads and highways of the rest of the metropolitan area.

Urban Appeal
But how can one achieve beauty? To answer this ques-
tion, we must first be aware that there are two types of
beauty that matter in a city: architectural beauty and
urban beauty. The former finds its expression in the style
of buildings; the latter in the organic arrangement in
which, like the organs of the human body, they are group-
ed in relation to each other. Urban beauty often exists
even in the absence of architectural beauty, just as the
beauty of a woman radiates often in the absence of beauty
in her individual features. We then speak of her sex appeal.
And so it is with "urban" beauty. It is the communi-
ty's sex appeal. It accounts for the excitement of city life
as well as for the creation of the magnetic field that keeps
its inhabitants from getting lost in the galactic vastness
of extra-mural space. It always exists in the dramatic
hodge-podge of slums while it is almost always absent
from the neat layouts of modern urbanizations.
The aesthetic development of La Puntilla requires
therefore both architects and planners. The latter must
design its anatomical structure; the former its general
style and individual features. And since the functions of
the two are as different as those of the plastic and the in-
ternal surgeon, they can only on the rarest occasions be
exercized by the same person. For if the architect prevails
in him, he will treat his buildings, as in Brasilia, like mon-
uments mounted on pedestals in the midst of spacious
environments of high visibility and stately approaches
which is the hallmark of exhibition parks but negates the


If the architect prevails in him, he will treat
his buildings, as in Brasilia, like
monuments mounted on pedestals in the
midst of spacious environments of high
visibility and stately approaches which is
the hallmark of exhibition parks but
negates the surprise-laden anarchic
crowdedness that is the essence of the city.

surprise-laden anarchic crowdedness that is the essence
of the city. (This is why Brasilian legislators must be paid
distress bonuses for attending to business in their own
capital.) And if the planner prevails in him, he will empha-
size the functional atonality and intestinal nudity of struc-
ture to such an extent that the outcome tends to be nei-
ther city nor exhibition park but a lifeless automaton
driven by gasoline and featuring everything except feeling
and pissoirs.
So, if La Puntilla is to be resurrected as a largely self-
sufficient traffic-absorbing, rather than traffic-generating,
community of architectural as well as urban beauty, let
the architects confine their activities to art -the design
of the buildings; and the planners to anatomy- the lay-
out of a sound urban structure. There is no need for the
latter to go into the waste of comprehensive planning
which works out so many details that it is usually unable
to place them tightly into their proper organic form. All
that is needed is what I have earlier called nuclear plan-
ning which concerns itself with no more than two ele-
mental tasks: 1) It must determine a community's mag-
netic center which contains its nuclear structures and,
hence, bends the bulk of economic, political, and conviv-
ial movements inward. And 2) It must re-enforce these
energy-charged inward movements by setting the outer
limits beyond which the city cannot spill, thereby prevent-
ing the dreaded cancer of peripheral deterioration.
All Romulus did when he founded the greatest of all
cities was to surround its as yet empty space with walls.
The rest he left to the forces released by implosion, which
concentrates social energy as in a pressure cooker, and
creates organic form in response not to directives from
the authorities, but to the random interactions of the in-
habitants in pursuit of business, pleasure, and rest. Push-
ing inward towards the centre and rebounding back
against the outer ring of immovable limits cast in rock
and stone, the people themselves burst open the maze of
plazas, passage ways, and shortcuts needed for connect-
ing shops, offices, temples, and taverns, until everything
was squeezed into the place where it organically belonged.
This has been the instinct-guided historic way, and is in
sharp contrast to the modern method of growth by explo-
sion which, instead of creating and preserving urban
form, destroys it by scattering a city's nuclear matter
over the vast expanse of extramural space until its frag-
ments come to rest along the constantly receding periph-
eries where they do organically not belong.

If the planner prevails in him, he will
emphasize the functional atonality and
intestinal nudity of structure to such an
extent that the outcome tends to be
neither city nor exhibition park but a
lifeless automaton driven by gasoline and
featuring everything except feeling and

Now the great advantage of La Puntilla is that the
limits to its extra-mural growth by explosion do not have
to be created. They have long been there. On three sides,
they are provided by the gently rippling waters of the Bay
of San Juan; and on the fourth, by history in the shape of
the formidable walls from which the ancient capital looks
down in dignity and thoughtfulness as from a flower-
bedecked balcony.
This being the case, all that is left for the planner to
do in order to provide La Puntilla with urban beauty, the
magnetic sex appeal which will prevent its residents from
jamming the roads of the rest of the city, is to determine
the location of its central plaza around which the commu-
nity's nuclear structures are to be grouped -church, tav-
ern, city hall. Everything else can be left to the trapped
forces creating form by colliding in the middle and pound-
ing back against the wall of the communal pressure cooker.

Church, Tavern, City-Hall
Thus the sole task of the urbanist in La Puntilla, if the area
is to be reconstructed as a little city of its own, is to deter-
mine its two elemental features: its physical limits, and
the location of its central plaza around which its nuclear
structures -church, tavern, city-hall- are to be grouped.
The rest will follow by itself.
Now since the limits of La Puntilla already exist,
where should the planner locate its nuclear squares?
There must of course be many squares. For, just as a
healthy metropolis should be a federation of cities, so a
healthy city should be a federation of squares whose du-
plicating rather than complementary functions are the
safest device for avoiding congestion and for distributing
traffic evenly over the entire urban area. But since these
secondary plazas tend to evolve spontaneously in re-
sponse to the normal currents and pressures of commu-
nal activities, the planner does not need to concern him-
self with them. The only problem he must solve is to
decide where he should place the nuclear plaza.
Normally, this should be close to the centre of a
community. But in a water-surrounded city, its natural
location, as in Venice, is at the periphery, by the water,
which assures easy access from all directions. This com-
mends itself particularly for La Puntilla whose area is so
small that even points at the periphery can be considered
as practically equidistant from all locations.


However, to strengthen La Puntilla's separate identi-
ty, its nuclear plaza should not only be at the water front;
it should be located at the point furthest from its bound-
ary line with Old San Juan: at the tip that points across the
bay to Catano. Since the nuclear plaza is the location to-
wards which most of a community's movements are di-
rected, this should make doubly sure that the locally en-
gendered traffic would circulate through La Puntilla's
own veins rather than be absorbed into the more power-
ful gravitational field of the congested rest of the metrop-

What it means is that its architectural style
should reflect neither the new nor the old,
but the permanent. It should echo not the
panting speed of industrial change but the
slow momentum of history, tradition, and

With this; the planner's task ends and the architect's
begins. Like the planner, the city-architect is likewise
confronted with only two main problems: he must deter-
mine the general architectural style of the community.
And he must decide upon the special style of its nuclear
structures whose function is to express the identity of a
city and evoke in its inhabitants the exhilaration of a
shared experience.
As to La Puntilla's general style, it would seem self-
evident that it should echo the Mediterranean Hispanic
heritage of Puerto Rico. It makes as little sense to adjust
its design to modern industrialism as it would be to rebuild
it in the steep-roofed northern Gothic style of the Middle
Ages. Nor does it make sense to turn it into an impres-
sionist abstraction of Old San Juan, as was proposed by
the Boston urbanist Jan Wampler whose prize-winning
design was to San Juan what Picasso's Guernica was to
the real Guernica -an exhibition piece for a gallery, not
a habitat for humans.
However, this does not mean that La Puntilla should
not embody the latest in modern amenities such as bath-
rooms, telephones, electricity, elevators, pneumatic sew-
age disposal, just as the old-fashioned urban arrangement
of brand-new La Tropez in France did not preclude the in-
clusion of the most advanced facilities modern technology
can offer.
What it means is that its architectural style should
reflect neither the new nor the old, but the permanent. It
should echo not the panting speed of industrial change
but the slow momentum of history, tradition, and conti-
nuity. To emphasize once more: it must not be a housing
project but a little city, presenting not an impressionist
image of San Juan but its typically Puerto Rican, balco-
nied, tree-shaded reality. Its houses must not be high-rise
but of graceful medium height, full of patios, bordering
on intimate little squares held together like strings of
pearls by a network of cosy, pedestrian, narrow streets
flowing towards and along the waterfront until they con-
verge from all directions on the climactic resplendent
nuclear central plaza.

But again this does not mean that La Puntilla should
look like San Juan or any other Puerto Rican town. It
should be rebuilt in the general style of the country. But
it should no more be a duplicate of other towns than a
girl is the duplicate of another merely because all may
wear mini-skirts. Indeed it is vitally important that above
the general national similarity it reflects an identifiable
difference so that its inhabitants can develop the shared
emotional attachment that will keep their movements
truly inward-bound and pedestrian.
And this is the second task of the city-architect.
While the planner determines the location of the nuclear
structures, the architect must give them the form that
will henceforth serve as the community's signature and
express its individual identity under whose limiting mantle
it can live a life of its own.
But to achieve their assigned purpose, nuclear struc-
tures must meet two requirements. They must rise above
roof-tops and the hussle of streets as a visible sign to the
returning resident that he is approaching the communal
haven that shelters his individual home. And they must
not be utilitarian in character. They must not be factory
chimneys, water towers, or sky-scrapers which rise high
into the sky but whose earthbound practicality makes
them point downward. Like the Eiffel Tower in Paris, St.
Paul or Westminster in London, St. Stephen in Vienna,
the Campanile or the columns of St. Mark in Venice, the
Castle in Segovia, or the ruins of the Acropolis in Athens,
they must point upward, lifting the soul of the citizen to-
wards the mystic seat of the communal spirit high above
the clouds where the bonds are woven that keep the peo-
ple together on the ground.
So, whatever shape La Puntilla's identity structure
may take, the part that rises above the skyline must serve
no material purpose except, perhaps, as home for bats
and bells, and the Hunchback of Notre Dame.
Romantic? Or course. Life is romantic. Rising out of
dust and returning to dust, it makes no sense whatever to
the rationalist. This is the reason for the abominable fail-
ure of 20th-Century rationalism. The only one for whom
life makes sense, and for whom bell towers, adornments,
paintings, rings of marital fidelity, verse, and sound, and
lovely cities have meaning, is the romantic.

Against Communal Adultery

In summary: what I have tried to stress is that, if La Pun-
tilla is to subtract from, rather than add to, the metropoli-
tan problems of San Juan, it must be rebuilt as a compet-
itive little city in its own right, not as a complementary
subdivision of an integrated galactic urban mass.
And what I have also tried to stress is that, if it is to
be a city, its population must be varied enough to be large-
ly self-sufficient, and beautiful enough to prevent the in-
habitants from constantly committing communal adultery
by hopping into their cars in search of aesthetic gratifica-
tion elsewhere. To this effect, La Puntilla must be en-
dowed with both urban and architectural beauty -urban
beauty to be expressed by its wholesome organic struc-
ture; and architectural beauty by a) the general style that
brings it in line with the country's Hispanic elegance, and
b) by the distinctive style of its nuclear structures which,
like the Eiffel Tower in Paris, the Colossus of ancient

20/ CArBBHCAN revil(

Rhodes, or the River-Arc of modern St. Louis, give it its
However, even this is not yet quite enough to give
La Puntilla the independent life which it needs in order to
perform its metropolitan function: that is to reduce rather
than to increase urban congestion. For that purpose it
must lastly have not only architectural but also political
identity. It must have its own head. Its autonomy must
not only be aesthetic and economic but also administra-
tive. For if the basic decisions of communal existence
cannot be made by its own citizens, the latter will have no
interest in shaping either its soul or its looks. They will be
figures of account in the books of an absentee landlord
ruling them from the outside, no more. Hence, like the
various arrondissements of Paris, La Puntilla must have
its own municipal assembly, its own mayor, its own parish,
its own schools, its own lower courts.
However, lest our vigorous Mayor suspects me of
inciting to treason, this does not mean secession from
San Juan. All it means is a change from a centralized re-
lationship that sees in its priceless location no more than
a parking lot, into a federal relationship that will transfer
a significant measure of administrative chores from the
metropolitan government (for which they are too big to
handle) to its own authorities who can deal with their lo-
cally diminished scale because of La Puntilla's small size.
In other words, political autonomization and federalization
will not expell the mayor of San Juan. It will relieve him
of a lot of work, make the rest of his work more efficient,
and elevate him to the greater dignity of Lord Mayor.
But the process of municipalization should, of course,
not be confined to La Puntilla which has the advantage of
having to be built up from scratch. It must be extended to
all other now non-descript identity-less areas of the metro-
polis which cannot be rebuilt, but each of which can be
seeded with nuclear plazas and identity structures. For
only if each has its independent urban and architectural
beauty will there be a chance of reducing the traffic pres-
sure of the entire San Juan conurbation by transferring
the residents of each of its parts from their cars back to
their feet. A rapid-transit system will transfer them from
their cars too, but in the opposite direction: to vehicles
running still faster, thereby destroying the pedestrian
meaning of urban existence still further. This does not
mean that a rapid-transit system does not make sense. It
does, but only in a complementary way: for facilitating
local pedestrianism, not for replacing it.
There is one last point that must be made. The fact
that La Puntilla should be rebuilt as a little city within a
federation of cities, endowed with a large degree of polit-
ical autonomy, does not mean that it cannot at the same
time serve a special purpose that transcends its limits. It
could be the seat of the Graduate Schools of the Universi-
ty of Puerto Rico whose student body is by nature of lim-
ited size, or of Puerto Rico's Law Schools, or of Ricardo
Alegrfa's often-proposed Graduate Institute of Puerto
Rican Studies for which there exists so much interest on
the American mainland. Or it could be a book-publishing
center which would not generate too much traffic from
the outside. The important point is that, while La Puntilla
can serve a special purpose, it must not be a special-
purpose city since this would once again produce and,
indeed, increase the streams of traffic it is meant to dry up.




E August 10th 17th, 1979
The International Congress of Americanists
provides a forum for the review of research on the
evolution and interrelationships of cultures in the
Americas. It is broadly interdisciplinary; the main
contributions have usually come out of the
Humanities and Social Sciences. The Congress first
met in France over 100 years ago. It initially
represented a very European fascination with the
origin and cultural evolution of man in the
Americas, but has long since incorporated other
perspectives. The Vancouver Congress program will
accommodate comparative studies in the Americas
as well as presentation on socio-economic
developmental issues.
The following symposia are planned:
* Andean rural development
* Applied linguistics (Quechua)
* New archaeological evidence from the eastern
Andean slopes
Highland-lowland Andean interaction spheres
The indigenous novel
Amazonian colonization and development
Early prehistoric contacts between
northeastern Asia and North America
New directions in Meso-American archaeology
Mexican history
Afro-american History
Colonial latifundia
West Indies ethnohistory
Marketplace exchange-systems
Mexican agricultural systems
Northwest coast cultures
Indian land and political life World Council
of Indigenous Peoples
Sponsoring Organizations:
* Canadian Association of Latin American Studies
* Canadian Ethnology Association
* Canadian Archaeological Association
* Canadian Anthropological and Sociological
Canadian Association of Hispanists
The University of British Columbia
Simon Fraser University
Dr. Alfred H. Siemens, Geography, U.B.C.
Dr. Marilyn Gates, Sociology and
Anthropology, S.F.U.
All correspondence including abstracts and papers
should be directed to:
Dr. Alfred H. Siemens
XLIII International Congress of Americanists
Department of Geography
The University of British Columbia
Vancouver, B.C., Canada V6T 1W5
Telephone (604) 228-3441

CAHH1AB N rV /W 121

In other words, whether graduate schools are there
or not, it must not be a school-city inhabited mainly by
teachers and students. It must be a city inhabited by ar-
chitects, bakers, mechanics, doctors, nurses, janitors,
garbage men, waiters, butchers, lawyers and, of course,
the students and teachers of its special schools. And they
would have to live there, and not be commuters.
I have been tempted to write another Staatsroman
or at least a guidebook, on La Puntilla, describing its lanes
and plazas and nooks, its caf6s by the waterfront, its fish-
monger's shops, its tree-shaded benches, its library, its
statues, its lovely buildings, its splendid city-hall and its
principal church on the nuclear plaza, with its bell tower
and chimes pealing sweet melodies out over the bay at
the fall of night, and all its many other enchanting features
-as if the little city did already exist.
However, I have a better idea. Let, as Carlsberg did
in Copenhaguen, some beer-brewing or rum-distilling
patron of the arts, or perhaps Ricardo Alegria or Luis
Ferr&, invite Puerto Rico's brilliant host of talented paint-
ers, or any painter of urban vision as they were so numer-
ous during the Middle Ages, to put on canvas their idea
of a La Puntilla Reborn, and accord handsome prizes to
the best of them. None of them may bear execution. The
real task, after all, falls on architects and planners. But
the interest stimulated by such a competition will not
only benefit the brandnames and image of the sponsors;
it may prevent a repetition of what Goethe said of Rome.
"What was not destroyed by the wars, has been destroyed
by the architects." It would be a pity if our children could
say of La Puntilla: "What was not destroyed by the bull-
dozers, has been destroyed by our Government."

Cultural Traditions and
Caribbean Identity:


October 16-20, 1978
Sponsored by
University of Florida, Center for
Latin American Studies and the Association
of Caribbean Universities (UNICA)
The conference will explore the increasingly impor-
tant theme of cultural identity and cultural patrimony
in the Caribbean. During the four-day conference
papers will focus on the following broad topics: Pre-
Columbian Traditions, Syncretism of Traditions (from
European contact to the 19th century), Emergence of
Folk Culture, and Contemporary Perspectives on Pat-
rimony. Paper-givers, invited discussants, and mod-
erators will represent more than twenty Caribbean
For more information contact:
Associate Dean E.L. Roy Hunt
Holland Law Center
University of Florida
Gainesville, Florida 32611

The Pedestrian, The Citizen, Man

When the foregoing pages appeared as a series of farewell
columns in El Mundo of San Juan, a distinguished friend
from the Puerto Rican Planning Board paid me the com-
pliment of saying that he had enjoyed reading them.
"Mind you," he said, "I know what pleasure it is to live in
a closely packed city such as Old San Juan. In fact, I live
there myself. And friends always marvel, when they see
my house, at the grade and spaciousness they find there.
The trouble is that you just cannot build in this motorized
age a place such as Old San Juan any more. There must
be wide streets nowadays...".
"But," I interrupted, "if you build wide streets you
build them for cars, and if you build them for cars, they
are at once too narrow, however wide you make them.
What must be accommodated is the pedestrian, the citi-
zen, man, not the car."
This made me aware of the fact that in nothing I
have written about La Puntilla have I said anything about
cars. Yet, however much we enjoy a pedestrian kind of
life, we do of course also enjoy having cars, even if there
is a rapid transit system which makes the bulk of cars un-
necessary. But precisely because of this, we would enjoy
all the more having them as luxuries for occasional trips
to the countryside, for visits to friends who have not yet
followed us to La Puntilla, or just for a leisurely stroll
along the streets without purpose.
However, to indulge in these vehicular pleasures,
not everybody needs to own a car. This is the reason why
so much emphasis must be placed on the aesthetic as-
pects of city-building: to reduce the desire of driving be-
yond pedestrian limits to a minimum. And with the desire
to travel, the necessity for owning thousands of cars will
be reduced correspondingly, let us say, in the case of La
Puntilla, to about 200 or 300.
If there is, statistically, never a demand for more at
any given time, the best solution would be to have these
200 or 300 cars owned and maintained communally,
with anyone entitled to use them at any time he wishes.
If he feels like having a Volkswagen, he will have a Volks-
wagen. If he is in a Mercedes or Cadillac mood, he will
take one of these, though the most efficient type of com-
mon ownership would imply the use of only one kind of
car, preferably a small one. And since there is no need for
cars within La Puntilla itself, the easiest way of garaging
the whole lot would be at the periphery by turning, for ex-
ample, the impressive wall behind La Princesa prison into
a kind of rabbit warren for motor vehicles. This could be
done in an architecturally most spectacular way.
At any rate, here is one area where communal owner-
ship of what would paradoxically then again be a luxury
commodity would make sense. And this, in turn, would
permit giving the streets the narrow urban character
which wide roads simply do not have. But, it is said, peo-
ple in our age no longer want to be without cars of their
own. This is true, but only because there are no longer
any cities beautiful enough to keep them away from their
beloved roads.
But whenever the requirement of urban beauty is ful-
filled, the seemingly car-crazed citizen immediately re-
verts to pedestrianism. This is why the problem of Amer-
ican tourists in Puerto Rico has in the past not been to
provide them with enough cars for roaming the country-

221 cArBHBN r-viEW

It would be a pity if our children could say
of La Puntilla: "What was not destroyed by
the bulldozers, has been destroyed by our

side in their usual style. The problem has been to get them
back on the roads from the enclosures of their luxury
hotels. Why? Because the luxury hotels of today have be-
come the modern equivalent of the self-sufficient pedes-
trian medieval city-state. They now offer everything from
tavern to church, shops, sport, entertainment in such
handsome and concentrated arrangements that you never
have to set foot outside their confines. All you might wish
to have at the Dorado Beach Hotel is a corporately owned
small golf car to tour the grounds on wheels, if you feel
like a little change. It is not without reason that, as the
French term Hotel de Ville indicates, the nuclear structure
of a town is not only still called a hotel. The town itself
has always been a hotel.
So, there should be no obstacle to rebuilding La
Puntilla on the narrow urban pattern that is the grace of
Old San Juan. La Tropez in France has been built along
these lines and what a phenomenal success it has become.
And so has Portmeirion in Wales, whose 90-year old ar-
chitect, Sir Clough William Ellis, told me that the experts
predicted that his grand vision of building a hotel in form
of a closely packed Italian village would never work. They
called it a millionaire's toy. "I could never have afforded
it," he said. "It was its success that made me a millionaire."
When the British House of Commons was rebuilt
after the war, Churchill insisted that it retain its "antiqui-
tated" oblong narrow shape if the debating spirit of de-
mocracy is to be preserved. "We shape our buildings," he
said in one of his most memorable phrases. "But our
buildings shape us." And the same applies to public taste.
Flattened by highways and intoxicated by the fumes of
gas, public taste will accept La Puntilla as a freeport sell-
ing cheap booze; but, it is said, it will never permit it to be
rebuilt in the gracious style of Old San Juan.
But does the Planning Board need a permit from
Public Taste? All it needs is to rebuild La Puntilla in the
style of its centuries-old environment, and it will discover
that Public Taste will soon see as much glory in it as the
English now see in Churchill's cramped House of Com-
mons, or the Poles in the resurrected ancient image of
their brand-new capital city of Warsaw. To captivate the
spirit of city life in a way that looks ancient merely be-
cause it is permanent is not necessarily the same thing as
building a Disneyland.
But, it is lastly said, it is not only public taste that is
opposed to building new cities in the eternal style of the
old; there are also scientifically-anchored planning codes
which do not reflect the misery of public taste. True. As
Marx would say, they reflect the misery of the whole phi-
losophy of contemporary planning.
If you nowadays rebuild an old house in Britain which
you have bought for its sheltered human intimacy, you
are required to raise ceilings, widen corridors, drill holes
into walls for added ventilation, until you have deprived it

not only of its heritage but also of the reason why you
bought it. But in return for this rape of beauty you get a
grant of up to 2,500 -a bribe so irresistible that you
will dismantle Westminster Abbey for it. It never occurs
to the drafters of planning codes that houses and cities
are built around people and their functions. They think
people must be grouped around their codes.
Another of their ingenious rules has it that one must
not build taverns close to churches and colleges. This
ignores the fact that Church, College and, indeed, the
state itself, have developed out of the very tavern they
now want to banish from their neighborhood. The very
center piece of the Church is to this day the bar, the altar,
where the priest offers bread and wine to the greater glory
of God. The University has evolved from cocktail parties,
as the term symposium still indicates which, in the literal
sense, means "drinking together." The reason why I went
so often on solitary pilgrimages in the mountains of Tyrol
during my student days at the University of Innsbruck
was not only to fortify myself with prayer every time an
examination approached. It was also because immediate-
ly next to the chapel there was invariably an enchanting
little inn. As my grades indicated, the Lord did certainly
not begrudge me a cool glass of beer after having come
from so far to worship at His feet in chapels hidden high
in His mountains.
Hence, if public taste or planning codes are contrary
to commonsense, let us sacrifice not commonsense but
codes and public taste. This does not mean that I favour
violating rules. As a philosophical anarchist, I favour their
abolition. All a labour union needs to do to wreck a com-
pany is to "work to rule." So do not cite rules or building
codes when it comes to redeeming houses and cities. A
planner should make the rules, not obey them.

Leopold Kohr teaches Economics at the University of Wales at
Swansea and Aberysthwyth, having taught for many years at the
University of Puerto Rico. His book, The Overdeveloped Societies
has recently been published by Schocken. La Puntilla Reborn is
excerpted from Kohr's book, The City of Man (The Duke ot Buen
Consejo), Introduction by Ivan Illich, University of Puerto Rico
Press, copyright 1976.







UPI Photo






. fj-




i Ilr

By Thomas W. Walker

President Carter's foreign policy
campaign in behalf of human rights
has been in operation now for well
over a year. In certain parts of the
world the United States has little lev-
erage or freedom of action in push-
ing such a campaign. South Korea,
where national security is felt to be
involved, and regions such as Africa,
which represent contested "no man's
lands" lying between super power
spheres of influence, are examples
of places where one finds little or no
effectiveness in the promotion of
human rights.
It might be expected, however,
that the human rights campaign
would be more actively pushed in
Latin America, a region so much
within the US sphere of influence
that the continued friendship of the
component nations is taken for
granted almost to a fault. In fact, the
human rights campaign has been
waged to such an extent in this
region that dictators of such
rights-offending countries as Ar-
gentina, Brazil, Chile, El Salvador,
Nicaragua, and Paraguay have com-
plained bitterly that the US has pick-
ed on its friends in Latin America
while ignoring more serious of-
fenders in other parts of the world.
Superficially, they appear to have a
point. However, if we consider the
United States' historically much
more central role in training and
equipping the military establish-
ments which now run these "sister
republics," then we may admit that
the US has a special responsibility
to help set things right in the

The Acid Test
Latin America as a whole, and cer-
tain key dictatorships in particular,

has received considerable emphasis
within the current human rights
campaign. Indeed, according to one
well-placed source within the State
Department whom I recently inter-
viewed, Nicaragua is now viewed by
the rights activists at State as the
acid test, par excellence, for the
Carter human rights policy. It might
at first seem paradoxical that an
oft-ignored mini-state of 2.5
million people could now assume
such central importance. However,
if one looks deeper, the logic
becomes apparent. In the first place,
US investment in Nicaragua is very
limited; the US has little to lose.
Second, Nicaragua is firmly within
the US sphere of influence. The
Somoza family dictatorship which
came to power in 1936 on the
shoulders of the US-created Nic-
araguan National Guard has, with
only minor exceptions, pursued
a slavishly pro-US stance in foreign
policy. In return, Washington, until
recently, has backed the Somozas
with military and economic grants
and loans and other important sym-
bolic manifestations of support. Fi-
nally, as Latin America's oldest dy-
nastic dictatorship (three Somozas
have now held office in the last four
decades and a fourth is being groom-
ed to carry on) the Nicaraguan re-
gime is particularly salient as a long
term violator of human rights.
I find the case of Nicaragua partic-
ularly frustrating and touching. I
made my most recent trip there in
December of last year. Upon arrival,
I was shocked and depressed as I
gazed upon what had been the cen-
ter of the Capitol city, Managua,
which had been leveled by the
Christmas earthquake of 1972. The
heart of the city was left abandoned,
a patchwork of weed fields and con-
demned buildings. Ringing this

scene of devastation was an Ameri-
canized new "city" comprised of
modern bypasses and glittering
shopping malls. The heart of Mana-
gua-cultural and physical-was
At the same time, however, there
were some reasons for hope. A new
US Ambassador to Nicaragua had
recently been appointed and was os-
tensibly pursuing a more "neutral"
stance vis-a-vis the Somozas. At the
pressuring of the US, the dictator
had lifted the state of siege and rein-
stated freedom of the press. The ma-
jor opposition daily, La Prensa, was
boldly criticizing the various sins
and corruptions of President Anas-
tasio Somoza and his associates. In
the single week I was there, it ran ar-
ticles about opposition meetings, a
successful guerrilla operation in the
North, the fate of "missing" peas-
ants in guerrilla areas, the apparent
embezzlement of A.I.D. funds by
Nicaraguan Housing Bank officials
and Somoza's relationship with the
infamous bloodplasma exporting
firm, Plasmaferesis de Nicaragua.
As a result, the country was alive
with gossip about Somoza and with
rumors that he might soon be over-
My feeling that some sort of
long-overdue positive change might
be just around the corner was re-
inforced in a luncheon engagement
I had with La Prensa's editor,
Pedro Joaquin Chamorro in his
home on December 7. A man whom
I had long viewed as a hero in the
struggle for human rights and digni-
ty in Latin America, Chamorro voiced
guarded optimism about the situa-
tion in his country. Interestingly, he
stressed his belief that the new US
Ambassador, Mauricio Solain, had
played a crucial role in forcing the
local dictator to lift the state of


UPI Photo
The casket bearing the body of Pedro Joaquin Chamorro, publisher of anti-government
newspaper, La Prensa, is carried through the streets of Managua. Over 10,000 persons
were present to watch the burial.

siege and to reinstate press free-
dom. This, in turn, he observed, was
now making it possible for Nicara-
guans to engage in a free examina-
tion of the nation's current situation.
There was much which urgently
needed to be done. The erosion of
Nicaraguan culture-as exemplified
in the ill conceived "reconstruc-
tion" of Managua-must be halted.
Social justice for the Nicaraguan
peasantry and workers must be pur-
sued. Chamorro seemed to believe
that now there was at least a chance
for a democratic solution.
Moved and inspired in December
by Chamorro's dynamism, drive and
human concern, I was ill-prepared
for the news which was relayed to
me on the morning of January 10
that Pedro Joaquin Chamorro was
gunned down as he drove to work
across the ruins of the old city.
Since then the initial feeling of over-
whelming shock has given way to a
sense of sadness, frustration and
anger as the Somoza government
has engaged in a clumsy cover-up of
the facts behind the assassination
and, with the help of its US trained
and equipped personal bodyguard,
the Nicaraguan National Guard, has
managed to maintain itself in power
despite a two week general strike
and other numerous manifestations
of opposition from virtually every
important segment of Nicaraguan
What, then, has the Carter rights
campaign meant for Nicaragua?

Jimmy Carter came to power at a
very inopportune time for the latest
of the Somoza dictators. Prior to the
1970s, the Somoza dynasty ruled
with relative moderation. Whereas
those aspects of human rights relat-
ed to distributive social justice had
always been ignored, other more
visible rights particularly important
to the middle and upper class
-rights such as freedom of speech,
assembly and press-had often
been respected. What is more, the
Somozas had frequently made a
point of holding regular-if thor-
oughly rigged-elections and had
made considerable efforts to entice
leaders of the opposition to par-
ticipate in these legitimizing rituals.
This behavior gave the Somozas a
liberal international "corporate im-
age" and had made them an accept-
able friend and ally of the US in the
"struggle against world commu-
In the 1970s however, Anastasio
Somoza Debayle began to show a
marked tendency to deviate from
his family's tradition of relative
moderation. First, in the wake of the
devastating Christmas earthquake
of 1972, he and his associates
increased their personal fortunes by
gorging themselves on the interna-
tional relief aid which poured into
their country. Much of what was
done was technically legal in the
context of a country where the
Somozas control the making of con-
tracts and where restrictions against

Nicaragua is Latin
America's oldest dynastic
dictatorship: three
Somoza's have now held
office in the last four
decades and a fourth
is being groomed to
carry on.

conflict of interest are virtually non-
existant but little of it was ethical.
Jack Anderson may have been
exaggerating only slightly in a 1975
expose when he described Somoza
as "the world's greediest dictator."
The second wave of serious exces-
ses came in the period following a
spectacularly successful guerrilla
operation in December, 1974. At
that time, a unit of the Sandinist
Front of National Liberation (FSLN)
held a group of'elite Managua party-
goers hostage until the government
met a series of demands including
the payment of a large ransom, the
broadcast of a lengthy communi-
qu6 over national radio and the fly-
ing of fourteen imprisoned FSLN
members and themselves to Cuba.
Enraged by this affront to his per-
sonal dignity, the corpulent dictator
imposed martial law and sent his
National Guard into the countryside
to root out the "terrorists." In sup-
posed pursuance of that objective,
the Guard engaged in extensive
pillage, arbitrary imprisonment,
torture, rape and summary execu-
tion of peasants.
The Somoza excesses of the mid-
1970s led to widespread interna-
tional notoriety. They became the
subject of a series of Jack Anderson
exposes, an entire NACLA Latin
American and Empire Report (Feb-
ruary, 1976), hearings of the House
of Representatives' Subcommittee
on International Relations (June,
1976), and a lengthy Amnesty Inter-
national investigation (conducted in
1976 and published in 1977). In
March of 1977 Time Magazine re-
ported a particularly brutal incident
two months earlier in which the
crack "General Somoza" battalion
of the National Guard had reported-
ly "shot, bayonetted, or strangled
four men, eleven women and 29 chil-
dren" in the peasant village of Vari-


Ila. When Carter came to office, the
Nicaraguan regime stood out as an
obvious target for the new human
rights crusade.

Hesitant US Policy
The present administration's
implementation of its rights cam-
paign in Nicaragua appears hesi-
tant, ambiguous, even confused.
State Department officials argue
that US policy toward the country
has been consistent throughout the
current administration, that we
have maintained a position of
neutrality in Nicaraguan domestic
politics, that we are demonstrating
"flexibility" in selectively granting or
withholding military and "humanitar-
ian" aid and that, in doing so, we are
fostering an improvement in the
human rights situation.
On careful examination, how-
ever, there appears to be a wide
split within the Administration con-
cerning human rights in general
and the conduct of US-Nicaraguan
relations, in particular. On one side
are the human rights activists,
many of whom within the State De-
partment are Carter appointees,
though a few are career foreign ser-
vice officers. Their position is
bolstered by human rights machin-
ery which the current administration
has integrated into the decision
making process. As of now, grants
in aid and assistance to a foreign
government must be cleared, first
by the human rights officer of the
appropriate regional bureau, next,
by the State Department's Bureau of
Human Rights and Humanitarian Af-
fairs and, finally, by the Inter-
Agency Committee on Human Rights
and Foreign Assistance (the so-
called "Christopher Committee"
named after its head, Warren Christ-
On the other side, are many ca-
reer foreign service personnel who
find the human rights campaign to
be a cumbersome and annoying ob-
stacle to the conduct of foreign
policy. Until his recent removal from
the post of Assistant Secretary of
State for Inter-American Affairs,
Terence Todman was the leading
spokesman for that group. The split
is accentuated by equally marked
divisions over the same issues with-
in the United States Congress, the
body which in the long run must ap-
prove foreign appropriations bills.

In the 1970s, Anastasio
Somoza Debayle began
to show a marked
tendency to deviate from
his family's tradition of
relative moderation.

The first positive act in the strange
saga of the human rights campaign
in Nicaragua was the removal early
in 1977 of US Ambassador James
Theberge. A Cold War conservative,
former professor and author of
works dealing with the communist
"threat" in Latin America, Theberge
had maintained a cordial relation-
ship with the local dictator. His suc-
cessor, Mauricio Solauin, who pre-
sented his credentials in September
of 1977, is also a former professor
but, significantly, he is a moderate
who has tried to maintain a position
of "neutrality" vis-a-vis the Somo-
zas. Accordingly, relations between
the Embassy and the Nicaraguan
regime have cooled markedly since
his arrival.
The mere removal of Theberge,
however, did not mean that the bat-
tle for an effective rights policy for
Nicaragua had been won. Mid-1977
witnessed a battle royal in both Con-
gress and the State Department over
Nicaragua. At stake for the Somozas
were $3.1 million in military aid and
$15.1 million in loans and grants for
"humanitarian" purposes for fiscal
year 1978. Rights activists argued
that these forms of assistance to the
Nicaraguan tyrant should be elimi-
nated immediately. From the start,
however, the so-called "realists"
within the State Department appear
to have had the upper hand. On
April 5, Charles W. Bray III, Deputy
Assistant Secretary of State for
Inter-American Affairs, testified
before a House committee to argue
that, although the National Guard
had "used brutal and, at times,
harshly repressive tactics in main-
taining internal order...," there had
been a "marked decline in reports of
human rights abuses attributable
to... [it] since mid-1976" and that
"humanitarian" aid should be ap-
proved with the understanding that
no contract be signed with the
Somozas unless continued rights

progress were made. Congress ac-
Next, in mid-June, a group of
Congressmen led by Edward Koch
of New York mustered considerable
evidence against the Somoza re-
gime and managed by a narrow mar-
gin to convince the Committee on
Appropriations to approve an am-
mendment to the Foreign Appro-
priation Bill banning military aid to
Nicaragua. At that point, a well-
financed lobbying campaign was
put into high gear by the Somoza
government. Representatives John
Murphy of New York and Charles
Wilson of Texas led the pro-Somoza
forces on the floor of the House. A
last minute plea by Terence Todman
himself on behalf of the restoration
of Nicaraguan aid finally turned the
tide. Faced with this "expert" advice
the House capitulated to the Somoza
forces and restored the funds in
It was thus up to the Administra-
tion to decide whether or not to sign
aid contracts with the Somoza re-
gime. To justify doing so, it needed to
demonstrate that Somoza had im-
proved his posture on human rights.
Accordingly, at the time of the ar-
rival of Ambassador Solauin in Sep-
tember, considerable pressure was
applied on the dictator to end the
state of siege and reinstate freedom
of the press. When Somoza capitu-
lated and made these changes, the
Administration immediately signed
the military aid bill stating, however,

Anastasio Somoza Garcia, founder of the
longest dictatorship in Latin America.


that none of the aid would be sent
unless the human rights situation
continued to improve. At this point
the plot thickened. Apparently the
Christopher Committee felt that the
signing of the military aid bill had
been an over-reaction to meager
rights improvements by the Nicara-
guan Dictator. Accordingly, it used
its power to hold up the flow of
"humanitarian" aid. Instead of ap-
proving the entire packet of

non-military aid in a lump, the Ad-
ministration was to dole it out piece-
by-piece in response to im-
provements in the rights situation.
Thus, after one year in office, the
Carter Administration had devel-
oped what the State Department de-
scribed as a "flexible" policy toward
Nicaragua. Critics, however, felt that
the US had made things much too
easy for the Nicaraguan dictator.
The Administration, they claimed,


p4C3 awu

was really only demonstrating con-
cern with those highly visible as-
pects of human rights which are of
interest to the middle and upper
class. What about social justice in a
country where the dictator and his
family have amassed between $500
million and $1 billion while the
poorest 50% of the people earn less
than $100 per capital per year?
In addition, critics pointed out
that our withholding of military aid
was by no means watertight. Though
the State Department and the US
Ambassador were fond of pointing
out that no shipments of military
goods for the use of the National
Guard were authorized since early
1977, they would, upon closer ques-
tioning, admit that military aid al-
ready "in the pipeline" before 1977
had continued to flow. The most no-
torious example of such aid was the
shipment of 5,000 M-16 automatic
rifles to Nicaragua late in 1977. In
addition the US continued to main-
tain a handful of military advisors
working with Somoza's National
Guard and to send 120 National
Guard officers per year to receive
training in our counter-insurgency
school in Panama.

Anti-Somoza Feeling
The events of the last several
months, triggered by the assassina-
tion of Pedro Joaquin Chamorro on
January 10, have further discredited
US policy in Nicaragua. According
to highly-placed sources in the State
Department, the US was surprised
at the massive outpouring of anti-
Somoza feeling which followed the
assassination and cover-up. Even
such a non-radical organization as
the local Chamber of Commerce
participated in anti-Somoza ac-
tivities; indeed, it actually coordina-
ted the general strike which shut

28/ (CAIi(-,AN r- T -w

the nation down almost completely
for over two weeks. Nevertheless, in
subsequent months, the US has
continued its policy toward the So-
moza regime without substantial
modification. Five US military ad-
visors remain in Nicaragua and Na-
tional Guard officers are still being
trained at our counter-insurgency
school in Panama at a rate of 120
per year. So-called "humanitarian"
aid continued to flow on a piece-by-
piece basis. This aid is so contro-
versial in Nicaragua that officials in
the State Department in Washington
recently debated at length before
authorizing the Ambassador to
make a public announcement of one
such grant.
In the face of the government's
on-going transparent and clumsy
cover-up of the facts behind the
Chamorro assassination, massive
manifestations of popular discon-
tent with the Somozas, and the re-
cent reinstatement of press censor-
ship, State Department officials
have continued to make apologies
for the Somoza government and to
advocate a peaceful solution via dia-
logue and the "democratic elec-
tions" scheduled previously for
1981. In testimony on February 18
before the House Sub-Committee on
International Relations, Sally Shel-
ton, Deputy Assistant Secretary of
State for Inter-American Affairs,
spoke of "marked progress" in
human rights in Nicaragua since
early 1977. On March 9, Assistant
Secretary of State for Inter-American
Affairs Terence Todman used prac-
tically the same words before an-
other committee and, then, went on
to express his "regret" over the
"tragic level of political polariza-
tion" and "strife" in Nicaragua-as if
courageous manifestations of the
near-unanimous popular desire to
rid the country of a corrupt and
venal dictator were something to
US policy is woefully out of phase
with Nicaraguan reality. The United
States bears heavy historical respon-
sibility for the creation and main-
tenance of the dictatorial system
which has exploited the Nicaraguan
people for four decades. A foreign
policy which all but ignores distrib-
utive social justice (the "humani-
tarian" aid which the US provides
simply assists Somoza in a few triv-
ial and basically cosmetic social

programs) and which claims to be
"neutral" when it asks an exasper-
ated people on the verge of revolt
to seek a peaceful solution by wait-
ing until the dictator holds the next
regularly scheduled "election," is
not only inadequate but an affront to
Nicaraguan sensibilities.
What, then, does the Nicaraguan
case, that apparent "acid test,"
reveal about Carter's rights cam-
paign? First, it clearly demonstrates
the bureaucratic inertia which exists
in our foreign policy apparatus. New
policies may come down from "on
high," but "professional" foreign
service officers will interpret them
as they wish. Second, this case high-
lights the inadequacy and superfi-
ciality of Washington's definition of

human rights. Social justice is clear-
ly downplayed. Finally, by offering
exploitative regimes normal ("busi-
ness as usual") relations in return
for relatively easy cosmetic adjust-
ments in their human rights posture,
the US places itself in the position
of ultimately having to support re-
gimes from which it would be well-
advised to remain aloof.

Thomas W. Walker teaches Political
Science at Ohio University and is the
author of Christian Democratic Movement
in Nicaragua.

Cartoons by AMO (Alberto Mora Olivares).
Nicasio, Editorial La Prensa, 1975. Nicasio
Symbolizes the Nicaraguan people. The
cariacature in the glasses represents

CArmKI:AN r vIEW129


Volume 7 Number 2 July 1977
The International Political Economy Theodore H. Moran
of Cuban Nickel Development

A Calendar of Cuban Bilateral Agreements Jorge Perez-L6pez
1959-1975: Description and Uses Ren6 Perez-L6pez

The Transferability of Socioeconomic Archibald R.M. Ritter
Development Models of Revolutionary Cuba

Volume 8 Number 1 January 1978
The Cuban-U.S.-Soviet Triangle. Cole Blasier
Changing Angles
The Cuban Operation in Angola: Jorge 1. Dominguez
Costs and Benefits for the Armed Forces
Cuba's Israel Policy: The Shift Yoram Shapira
to the Soviet Line Edy Kaufman
Chronology of U.S.-Cuban
Rapprochement: 1977

Special reprint containing six articles exploring the process of institutionalization and
its effect on Cuban society. Available for $4.00 per copy.


Published by the Center for Latin American Studies, University Center for
International Studies, University of Pittsburgh. Annual subscription rates
are $6.00 for individuals and $12.00 for institutions. Back issues are avail-
able at $3.50 for individuals and $6.50 for institutions. Address inquiries
to: Center for Latin American Studies, University of Pittsburgh, Pitts-
burgh, Pennsylvania 15260, USA.

US trained and equipped soldiers of the Guardia Nacional de Nicaragua.
From R. Millet's Guardians of the Dynasty, published by Orbis Books.


of the


By Neill Macaulay
Guardians of the Dynasty: A
History of the U.S. Created
Guardia Nacional de
Nicaragua and the Somoza
Family. Richard Millett. 284 pp.
Orbis Books, 1977. $6.95.
The struggle in Nicaragua goes on.
In the countryside and in urban
areas labor unions, business and
professional organizations, cler-
gymen, students, and the Havana-
oriented Frente Sandinista de Libe-
raci6n Nacional (FSLN) still con-
front the guardians of the Somoza
dynasty, the Guardia Nacional de
Nicaragua. The publication of Ri-
chard Millett's excellent history of
the Guardia is itself an historical
event, part of the chain reaction that
has produced the current situation

in Nicaragua. This meticulously re-
searched volume provided op-
ponents of Dictator Anastasio So-
moza Debayle with valuable docu-
mentary evidence for pressing their
case in the United States; although
they failed to persuade the US Con-
gress to halt shipments of military
aid to the Nicaraguan government,
their campaign did result in the res-
toration of press freedom and other
constitutional guarantees in Nicara-
gua in mid-1977. This facilitated the
"non-violent" activity of the Uni6n
Democratica de Liberaci6n (UDEL),
headed by newspaper publisher Pe-
dro Joaquin Chamorro, and encour-
aged the Marxist FSLN guerrillas,
who had been lying low after suffer-
ing some serious reverses in 1976.
The FSLN struck back in late
1977 with a series of devasting at-
tacks in widely separated parts of Ni-

caragua. While pursuing the guerril-
la struggle, the FSLN proclaimed a
more moderate political line, raising
the prospect of collaboration with
UDEL. The possibility of a UDEL-
FSLN coalition apparently promp-
ted some Somoza associates to
strike at the head of UDEL. The
murder of Chamorro in January
1978 led to a nationwide general
strike, which had strong middle-
class support, but, after two weeks,
was broken by the Guardia Nacional.
During and after the general strike
FSLN militants kept up their guerril-
la activity; in March they killed the
fourth-ranking general of the Guardia
National. Since then the Guardia,
besides chasing FSLN guerrillas, has
had to deal with student strikes and
other anti-Somoza demonstrations.
On occasion Guardia troops have
fired on protesters and have killed a


number of them.
The Nicaragua of 1978 bears a
striking resemblance to the Cuba of
1958. Businessmen, professionals,
and students have failed to bring
down the military-backed regime
with a general strike; a well-disci-
plined guerrilla movement, which
has been fighting in the hills for
years, now appears to many as the
best -perhaps the only- hope for
overthrowing the dictatorship. Mod-
erates are becoming radicalized as
the guerrillas, now playing down their
radicalism, attract broader support.
The regular military, though success-
ful in urban areas, is having serious
problems combating guerrillas in the
countryside, and is troubled by an
apparent softening of support from
the United States a major source
of its strength.
Professor Millett's book provides
the essential background for under-
standing the Nicaraguan situation.
The Guardia Nacional of Nicaragua
was organized in 1927 by the US
Marines who were then occupying
the country. The Guardia was sup-
posed to be a "non-partisan constab-
ulary" that would insure peace and
order in Nicaragua after the with-
drawal of the Marines. But from the
very beginning it has been a major
factor in Nicaraguan partisan strife.
First, the Guardia fought on the side
of the Marines against the native anti-
imperialist guerrillas of General Au-
gusto C. Sandino. After the Marine
withdrawal in 1933 Sandino agreed
to a truce, but the next year he was
treacherously seized and murdered
by Guardia personnel. Professor
Millet gives a full account and a per-
ceptive analysis of these momentous
events for Nicaragua. He is especially
lucid in discussing the Sandino as-
sassination, in which General Anas-
tasio Somoza Garcia played an im-
portant, though not decisive, role.
The position of Somoza Garcia,
who had been imposed as command-
er-in-chief of the Guardia by the with-
drawing US forces, was precarious in
1934. However, by consenting to the
murder of Sandino-which was
demanded by a clique of high-rank-
ing Guardia officers-he was able to
consolidate his position within the
Guardia and go on to depose the
elected President of Nicaragua, Juan
Bautista Sacasa, and install himself
as dictator in 1936. After that there
was little doubt that Somoza Garcia

dominated the Guardia and enjoyed
the confidence of the United States
Professor Millett details the extra-
ordinary relationship between the
Somoza family and every US admin-
istration from Hoover's to Ford's.
After the death of Somoza Garcia in
1956, command of the Guardia Na-
cional and the mantle of Washing-
ton's favor devolved upon his son,
Anastasio Somoza Debayle, a West
Point graduate. While he initially
shared power with his older brother,
Luis, the latter's death in 1967 left
Anastasio Somoza Debayle in abso-
lute control of the state apparatus,
and of a large share of the Nicara-
guan economy.
The Somoza family holds virtually
all public and private power -politi-
cal, economic, military- in Nicara-
gua. This monopoly is being chal-

lenged by a wide variety of deprived
interest groups, including aspiring
entrepreneurs and labor leaders, civil
libertarian journalists and profession-
als, human-rights-minded professors
and students, poets and clerics de-
voted to social justice, and neo-San-
dinista guerrilla revolutionaries. Their
chances of overthrowing the Somoza
regime will depend on the degree of
success they have in demoralizing or
subverting the dynasty's guardians,
the US-trained and equipped Guardia
National. The attitude of the United
States will be crucial in determining
how susceptible the Guardia is to
subversion, and by whom.
Richard Millett's book should be
-and probably is-required reading
for all US State Department and mil-
itary officers stationed in Nicaragua.
Neill Macaulay teaches History at the Uni-
versity of Florida in Gainsville.


A rare opportunity to study Maya civilization at three fascinating,
ancient sites well off the beaten tourist track is being offered by Flori-
da International University as an off-campus program December
14-21, 1978.
The 5-credit, foreign study course includes 10 hours of orientation lectures
at the FIU south campus prior to departure, and an 8-day, 7-night field trip to
the Usumacinta River valley in Chiapas, Mexico to study the classic Maya
sites of Palenque, Bonampak, and Yaxchilan.
Palenque is considered by many to be the most beautiful of all Maya cities
and is noted for its graceful architecture, low relief sculpture and the tomb of
the great ruler Lord Pacal, found deep in the Temple of Inscriptions.
Bonampak is the site of spectacular murals which depict a victory festival
circa 790 AD. While in the area, the group will visit the Lacandon Maya who
have preserved their ancient cultural traditions living in isolation since Con-
quest days.
Yaxchilan, a great ceremonial center on the Guatemala side of the Usuma-
cinta is famed for its many beautifully carved monuments and lintels.
The field trip package price of $425 is based on present airfare for a mini-
mum 20 persons, and includes all food; transportation by air, train, jeep,
horseback and riverboat; and hotel, campouts and guides.
The travel package is in addition to tuition, and an advance deposit of
$100 on the travel portion is required at the time of registration, with balance
payable before departure.
To register for the course, Anthropology 4328,
Maya Civilization, please call:
The Department of Off-Campus and Weekend Credit Courses
Florida International University
Tamiami Trail, Miami, Florida 33199
(305) 552-2282

For travel reservation call
Nina Meyer
CIA Travel
Suniland Shopping Center
(305) 232-2111.

Tour conductor and instructor is Charles Lacombe, adjunct professor of
Maya Civilization of the Department of Sociology and Anthropology, FIU,
and former president of the Institute of Maya Studies, Miami.



C' 9I

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-J.c. URQtuioLA



on Grandfather

from Guyana

Reflections on Grandfather From Guyana is excerpted from O.R.
Dathorne's novel-in-progress, Grandman which articulates a
search for ancestry. Dathorne uses similarities of experience, sur-
roundings, and constant shifts between then and now to create an
almost genetic memory. This section relates past and present
through a blending of conscious experience between the ances-
tral grandfather and the contemporary narrator.

By O.R. Dathorne
My grandfather was the greatest African. He was large
and long, a huge male-man with the index finger of his
right hand chopped off. He must have been in love like
me, twice or thrice; he didn't say.
No beginning and no end and writing words cannot
say it all and stories are weak and life is too personal and
lively, too deep in the guts to be compressed into twenty-
six letters. And if my feet burn and my heart punches my
breast, it is because it cannot all be told, because lived
experience is everything and words are weak and that
moment, that time and those years were everything in a
world without end....
It was the first warm time of my young days and
light used to smell and Chystelle came on lemonade Sun-
days and we played with Uncle Edward who was a swizzle
stick and wooden walls had names. And Grandfather with
a missing finger liked belching after soft drinks. And my
aunt had teeth that came out nightly and laughed in a jar.
And Sundays smelt and tasted. Starch and wafers.
And once I took ice to church in my pocket because
it was hot. But it melted. And Christmas came often and
my mother said that a fat man came when I was sleeping

and left things I did not want. Night was stark and de-
manding; I preferred day because light is thin-lipped. At
night there is the terror over the shoulder and death that
aches at the knees.
At night I know best that the dream is slowly going.
I still wake with singing, with water-music and the mem-
ory of greendawn in a village, and I remember polished
wallaba floors and red Lenny from next door and the In-
dian shopkeeper and the boy Ali. At nights I taste truth
which I submerge during the day. They come up in first
watch between sleep and waking. For me as I grow older
they are the only ones that matter and they are all the
truth of youth, the truth of a time and a country that has
past and a love without end to which I can never go back.
It is not easy to begin at the beginning for it came in
surprising starts, flashes of insight into things that I ex-
perienced. Or perhaps that is how I remember it. Perhaps
it never really did happen or if it did there was all the time
the awareness, the innocent experience of the first taste
of life, something forever gone and difficult to set down.
All that I can hope to do is to put it down as I think it hap-
pened, the relevant and the irrelevant, the real and the
unreal, what touched and what only circumvented. It is
the whole that adds up to memory or illusion or that
other life we out in a curious dreamland, between the
forest out of which we hack our way at night and the
morning on the shore and the journey in the ferry-boat
that takes us nearer cataracts.
But for me the river-bank is very real. The jungle
was real too, silent. It never gave up its secrets, exposed
its terror out of which I came. In the sun the pebbles shone


and the current curved.
It is at night when the feeling is strongest that the
will is weakest. I ask myself a thousand questions and can
never- not ever-come up with any answer that seems to
make sense. The whole point about life is that it was all
so terribly obvious; it has the dimensions of the terribly
conventional and of course it is bound to go along a con-
ventional path to a conventional ending.
One knew all this with Elma, in the middle of the
summer roses in the park, near the tea-stands and the
holiday beach afire with posters and swim-suits; one
knew too that although the world we moved in was tram-
pled, very spoilt, a little dirty, that there was something
special about us- you and me that is.
There is a meaning that is missing when I change
pages; I am startled into a kind of harsh recognition of re-
ality and I am truly conscious that I am making the final
journey with grandfather and the girl.
Light is thin-lipped, leans and licks at glass win-
dows. Night is stark and demanding. There is the terror
over the shoulder but there is also the resurgence of life
that springs from above the knees and it is at night that
this must be written, because morning murders with
reality. I must tell you how it happened, between the
heavy jungle and the impatient hoot of a grandfather's
The next morning grandfather woke to the flowers.
She was at the window, her blue dress against the lighter
blue of the sky. He thought to himself: Let me lie still. I
shall want to protract this moment. She doesn't know
that I am awake and that I can see her breathing, living
and looking. She was kneeling on a chair. She must have
just got up, because as yet she hadn't combed her hair
and she had wound the blue blanket around her. Let me
look and love longer, he thought, because it will never be
like this again. Let me love the swell of the small of her
back, her two heels crossed, the sides of her elbows, and
the shawl she threw against the morning. "Come," she
called. She didn't turn back.
He pretended to stir. She moved aside a little and
he got up. Below them the Valley Gardens opened up and
the grass was pea-wet and a drizzle lay over the hedges.
The dahlias flourished in one corner and pink, blue and
white and green in another. "The Valley Gardens," she
"Poetic word," he began.
"Don't be so foolish," she shouted at him. "For
goodness sake can't it just be the Valley Gardens. Do you
have to explain!"
"Hey, hey- wait a minute!" he tried to laugh it off.
"I was only-." She looked at him and suddenly what she
had said didn't matter anymore. She jumped down,
rapidly, impulsively.
"Darling," she said, -"We have four days -just
four. Already we've spent one."
"Let's do something today," he suggested. "Differ-
ent. After all this was the whole point in coming away.
The town makes you into a pendulum. Tick. Tock. Tick.
Tock." He started to prance round the room on one leg,
swaying his body from one side to another. Suddenly she
became serious.

"Do you think?" she began.
"Don't be silly," he reproached her. "It's not the first
She sat down heavily on the bed. They could hear
the bath running in the adjoining suite the old female
buttress next door getting ready to be whitewashed.
"That's just it," she replied. "It isn't the first time.
We can't go on and on like this. Sooner or later--'
"Now who is being foolish?" he asked. He made a
mock bow, changed his mind and knelt at her feet. "I love
you. I love you,"- he said. "It will be all right. So what if
we're found out-"
She stroked his hair, ran her fingers along the
coarse grain of his chin, put his head in her lap. She bent
down. "Today, my knight," she said "We shall take the
He looked up at her and when she looked at him her
eyes were shining wet. "The Royal Baths, my lady," he
He got up quickly, went to the large, cumbersome
chest of drawers and started searching amongst a heap of
paper and underwear. He swore once or twice and then
she said, patiently, as if to a child, "You put it under the
bed yesterday evening when we got back from the con-
cert." He ferreted it out and he came and sat by her. He
started thumbing through the pages.
"Darling?" she asked, gently.
"Hm?" he replied. He was still turning over the
pages. She put her right hand over his shoulder and
rubbed her mouth on his neck.
"Who was it last night?"
He closed the guide-book with a snap. He got up.
"Look, how the hell was I to know? If everytime you
hear a knock on the door we are going to go into a cold
sweat, we might as well-" He was going to say "break
the whole matter off" or something like that. But he
wasn't brave enough and he stopped and as usual with
them when they quarrelled, the words dried up and
became unimportant.
"My knight, you were instructing me about the
He picked up the book again. "Beauty spots," he
said, "Too far." He turned back. "Bands, banks-ah
here we are Baths, Royal:' She settled back and closed
her eyes. She liked to hear him read.
"The Baths," he read, "have the reputation of be-
ing the finest in the world. They offer a wide variety of
different types of treatment, specially suitable for
rheumatism. He started to clown again. "Oh, me
rheumatic sides. Tick, Tock, Tick, Tock." She laughed
lightly. He liked to see her laugh. He put his hand
round her shoulders to kiss her.
The past is not one's self. It has to do with other
people and things. It is things I remember most vividly
-my relationship to things-the smell of petrol on a
fuming afternoon of great ants, wall nuts, brown as
skulls on Christmas afternoon and the contact of tide-
water as it loosed itself against my bowels. The smell
of grass-do you know grass-blades an inch from your
nose? Ground in your eyes, the smell of dry earth and
damp leaves? The feel of sunlight-and the sound


-people only talk of the sunlight that they see but
there is the sunlight that one bears on a still small
afternoon, as eloquent as silence.
Of course when one recollects one is in fact re-
living the time of feel and power; it is a short time in
life everlasting and when it ends no one knows-
neither Santa Claus nor the tall male-men of that other
world, nor worst of all one's self. I do not think that this
period of apprehension and quake, of waking at night
fired with the strings of guitar sound, I do not, I say,
think that this period ends abruptly. There is a petering
out; and perhaps as one grows older the slowest
realization that one can never grow up from maturity.
When a man reaches back and pokes about in the
past and tries to piece it all together he has to think in
conventions. People will talk, when they do, of
schooldays and schoolfriends, of passing examina-
tions, of first love and finally of departure. But the
small girls that two of us remember are the same; the
school and the departure, they are all the same.
Because we are all living one human life; the thing that
is you and me is only a variation. So let us talk now of
The first is that I don't remember all. I remember
a little and that not well. I cannot be sure how much of
what I say is true, but I suppose that it is true in the
sense that all things are true. It's true in the sense even
if it did not happen in the way I say it, because 1 say it
now I make it true for now and for all time. And when I
talk of school I remember first the Fridays when we
made a world from plasticene with clumsy fingers. I
remember Louise who taught us two times two are
four, three times three are nine.(She eloped afterwards
with a dentist-why a dentist?) I wonder. Why on earth
a dentist? I remember the old frail matron who kept the
school. She belonged to the decaying shreds of Creole
upper class. Her husband was a Mr. Something
Something M.A. and my god he never forget the M.A.
He introduced himself as Mr. Something Something
M.A. A solid figure in the days of colonial govern-
ments, rewarded with a place in the Leg. Co., an O.B.E.
and a pair of crutches.
In their backyard was a large mango tree.
Mangoes are green but the insides are squelchy yellow.
They ooze out on the fingers. Mangoes are
bright-star bright-and the talks are the colour of
sand. In mango-time the mangoes smelt of sugar and
tasted of syrup. There never has been a mango-time
like this, when the rice balls tickled the thin air and the
over-ripe fell plonk, plonk and we crushed it and
ground it into substance.
Once a boy had beaten me and told me I was
stupid. Another time a girl had walked on my feet for a
solid fifteen minutes. And how big was everybody
then. The boy and girl I know now could not have been
more than six or seven but then they seemed tree-tall.
We went to Sunday school. At Sunday school, Mr.
Rogers cracked his thumbs and said that we should re-
pent, believe. At Sunday school there was a tree that
grew sky-high, over the altar and through sky-light and
painted glass; it seemed to me always to have

something to do with the flood. In a way it was the first
tree ever waved so high, over the harvest of wafer, wine
and the cleansed faces of those who were truly inno-
cent. Then we sang revivalist hymns, with rolling
choruses. In church there were huge men in the last
row, men with voices like bass-drums who refused to
sing in tune. They bellowed lustily to God heaven-high
and clapped in double ecstasy for the ends of lines and

from FIU's International Affairs Center

Following the recent UNICA meeting at Isla
de Margarita, FlU President Harold Bryan
Crosby and Dean of International Affairs K.
William Leffland met with the President of
the Hogeschool of the Netherlands Antilles,
Mr. Tirso Sprockel, to formalize an interinsti-
tutional agreement between FlU and the pen-
ding Netherlands Antilles University. The
agreement provides for both joint and ex-
change programs.

In June, the FlU School of Education com-
menced an in-service teacher training pro-
gram for the faculty of Colegio Franklin De-
lano Roosevelt in Lima. The program offers
both graduate and undergraduate courses
and will last two years.

During the summer quarter, the University's
College of Arts & Sciences will initiate an in-
tensive English language program designed
especially for international students. The
program will be a regular part of the Universi-
ty's offerings.

In June, representatives of the University ad-
ministration, International Affairs Center,
School of Education, and School of Techno-
logy visited Venezuela to work with the North
American Association in Caracas and to dis-
cuss collaborative arrangements with Vene-
zuelan educational institutions.

s aT


International Affairs Center
Florida International University
Tamiami Trail
Miami, Florida 33199
(305) 552-2846


middle phrases. We were whole and holy in those days
and sent huge chunks of song to sky on God Sundays.
On Good Mondays a woman came with the
children's washing. She had known better days. There
was an elaborate system attached to every house: a
back step and a front step. It is expected that one's
friends, the local clergyman and the postman may
come up the front stairs. The back stairs are reserved
for newspaper boys, cooks, washerwomen and the vast
assortment of people who call at house in a never-
ending routine. To break this rule was to bring down
recriminations on one's head. The woman who came
on Monday broke it-every Monday. My mother said
little-she was tolerant. But the defiant way in which
she received the clothes left no doubt that she felt that
it was by special license that she allowed it.
Grandfather sat in a rocking chair in the front
room, called a gallery, and drank coca-cola and belch-
ed and rocked and drank coca-cola and belched and
rocked. Grandfather had been dead for the past ten
At first Grandfather was an infrequent visitor-he
had something to do with the ferry boat that chopped a
sluggish way up-river and we only saw him when the
ferry boat was in for a night or two. He was large and
black, his left fourth finger chopped off down to a
small independent stump. For children his large face
was like a hunting ground-one could chase after the
strings of white that had got into his pores and squeeze
them out. I remember his head was completely bald
-and that is all I remember-the rest is what happen-
And what did happen? Nothing. I came at the tail-
end of his love-time; he had acquired two wives, a com-
pound full of children, various women respectfully ad-
dressed as "aunty," a small curly-haired boy from none
of them which he and all of us called Salvador and a
large dog. When he came to spend the odd nights he
brought the even nights of the darkness up-river with
him and the small vivid mystery of wharves growing
against jungle. When he shook hands the stump of his
half-finger twiched erratically. He said, "When I die, I
will come and haunt you." We believed him as
children; and of course he did and does. His ghost grew
with me, a large unpleasant type of ghost, that had to
be placated with soft drinks and large heavy meals; a
demanding ghost that gave violent tugs at me when I
insisted on following in Grandfather's footsteps. He
was not always somebody's grandfather. He was a boy
once, I am almost sure.
If there was a beginning it was perhaps fifteen
years ago. I am sure that you don't remember Dele
-you could not possibly. It was just a casual act-we
commit a hundred everyday-rising seawards between
the jungle and the cataracts-and we leave no mention
in our diaries. But it was Sunday afternoon I remember
-rainy season. I rode over a puddle and your brother
had said something that made me laugh. I looked up. I
just remember seeing you-it was not the first time of
course. We had played before-that afternoon I knew we
could never again. You had become a woman-a

beautiful woman with short black hair and large eyes and
there was a mystery in us.
It is necessary to get it all clear-that is why I wrote
it all down. Do you understand? It is necessary to get it all
clear because I must speak the truth about how the ferry-
boat crashed on the rocks and how Grandfather coughed
his last cough and the undertaker sympathised and that
night they sent 'him on his final journey downstream to
the cataracts.
Do you love me? I have asked myself that question
a thousand times. Before I was brought to prison I used to
wonder what it all added up to. Did he love me? Grand-
father, I mean. He had a broken finger, just the edge of a
finger left and he drank and belched and rocked fast in a
high chair. Did he love me? You would have loved Grand-
father. He never spent his summers in a spa like you and
me. He drove a ferry-boat down-river, avoiding cataracts,
where we all go, skimming the edge of jungle, where we
all come from. "Do you love me?" the girl in jeans asked
in the park. The summer was blazing and the sky was ink-
blue. "Do you love me?" the girl in jeans asked near the
river. We were on a motor-boat and she had steered and
said she was happy and she had loved the lap of brown
water and the bush that grew near the coast. The man
had warned us to keep away from the banks.
No beginning and no end and writing words cannot
say it all and stories are weak and life is too personal and
lively, too deep in the bowels to be compressed into
twenty-six letters. And if my feet burn and my heart pun-
ches my breast, it is because it cannot all be told, be-
cause nowness is everything and words are weak and that
moment, that time and those years were nothing in a
world without end....
She lived in a white house in a small village by the
sea. She was a small girl; her toes were pointed straight
out and she used to wear mocassins that wrapped them
up. I do not think that I ever saw her toes. She was just a
little taller than me and she lived in a grey cottage at the
edge of the savannah land that tipped the coast. My
grandfather had married her and they had lived together
for years, it seems, in a small yellow house on the busiest
street in the town. They said that I was tall for my age and
that I should not eat sweets. There were other people
-Uncle Edward (a swizzle-stick) and the girl. She had
something to do with the swing in the long front room.
When she pushed me up I went higher and higher into the
clouds. In the ledges of the clouds her father had planted
bread that brought mice and kept away poverty.
"Boy," my grandfather had said. The girl was dead
and he had retired. "Go and buy a sweet drink."
I ran out of the blue house into the street and to-
wards the dairy. Rampersaud was a thieving man who
poured milk in his water. I said I wanted a drink. "For you
grandaddy?" Rampersaud pointed to a notice in his shop
-"Credit makes friends, cash keeps us as enemies."
"He send money?" Gingerly I took out seven cents.
Rampersaud coughed and took each coin singly, one by
one, counting them.
"From now on he have to pay for the bottle. Tell
him next time is three cents for the bottle." He gave me
the soft drink and I skated out into the streets. I had al-


ways wanted skates like the rich boys who played on the
sea-walls on a Sunday. We had nothing-no swing, no
When I came out of the shop with the girl she asked
me about the next day. It was the last day of the year. She
had come down from the white house by the sea and she
was going to stay for the night and we were going to go
dancing. That time I was not skating-I was driving a car
-a golden one. I used to park it in the sun and walk with
the girl.
They said that when my grandfather met the girl
she was beautiful. She had long hair, she was dark and
tall and she was silent. Her parents had objected. "Why
you want a red man?"
"He is not a red man."
"He is a red man."
"These high school girls!"
My grandfather drove a ferry-boat up-river, steering
past the cataracts and avoiding the swell and push of the
water. There were aunties up-river who came to town and
once an aunty had come and said "That Portuguese man
is no good-you hear me-that Portuguese man is no
I had loved him. He was black, and he had been
baked into coal by the sun; he had been exposed to the
sun in the sail-boat that he drove down river. Once it had
crashed. Grandfather had died and the woman had cried
eyewater and the aunties had cried and Salvador had
come from up-river threatening to sue everybody if he
did not get his share. But they were laying down the sew-
age in the yard at the time and everybody said, "Salvador
- you cannot get what you do not want" and Salvador
had escaped to another country.
I had first kissed the girl that night when she stayed
over for Easter. I had kissed her near the sea-the brown
sea that was blown to thread and she had said something
about a sail-boat that had been wrecked far out. The girl
had said that this was an important moment and that I
had lived it with her. When I got home Grandfather had
He had died one night riding blindwards on his
feather bed, belching hot fumes of cold drink, vomiting
his years of sweet drinks gone sour after the burial. I had
never really loved him. I had loved the girl but when he
died I used to think that he would come back and take
me away. I didn't want to go, especially that Easter when
the whole world was sweet and beautiful, and we rode
and sat on the sand, high above beach water.
Once we had leaned over a bridge and Grandfather
had come with his ferryboat, between the rocks. The girl
had recognized him and had said, "He is a no-good red
Grandfather had courted the girl after he had re-
turned from active service during one of the world wars.
She was a yellow woman and she used to sing in the
church choir and Grandfather had come off the steam-
ship and had told her tales of his adventures among the
rocks and the clean dead and the razor-sharp sea and she
saw and said, "But you are a great man. And you are all I
have. This is an important moment for me."
He had the first radio on that side of the street. The

importance of this cannot be over-emphasized. People
used to crowd up his front-stairs shouting, "Just turn it
on let we hear chuks, chuks. Just turn it on let it whistle
-then we go go."
He was a sea-man and when he went he took a little
plug with him so that no one could play the radio till he
got back. The girl had liked it. She said to me, "It's a bat-
tery radio?" She was walking home after church and I had
stopped her on the way. She looked round cautiously. "I
like it. But you shouldn't have come. You know Daddy,
eh, don't know Daddy? He will be cross. Daddy will be
"I buy it so that we play with it when we go riding."
"You have no bicycle and I am not lending you mine
"But I am always careful," I said.
"You will mash it up. You drive it like a boat."
"The last time it wasn't my fault when it ran into the
She had walked away saying, "Since when bicycle
does move by itself?"
I hated her but she was Grandfather's love and I had
loved him for one whole boyhood in between his coming
in and his lying down. He had hanged himself from the
swing in the garden and the girl had bellowed, "Why,
Why? Why?" She was never one to say too much. Through-
out my childhood all she had said was why, why, why?
She hung from the wall in the drawing-room near the
swing. That was where I had first kissed the girl. And she
had said, "This is not important. I have to pass my ex-
aminations. This is not important."
I remember distinctly that it was on that day in the
very month of a specific year that I had met the girl. She
said, "We related to each other." I have never even kissed
her. My grandfather was a photograph. The girl had said,
"He is just a ugly black man with a red bottom lip." My
grandfather had said nothing. Throughout the years he
had said nothing. He only spoke once to Uncle Edward,
the swizzle-stick, and all he had said was why, why, why?
I remonstrated with the girl, but she did not reply
-all the years she had just been there with an enigmatic
smile on her face and she had said nothing. Red woman,
black woman, red man, black man.
I never knew them. They had died while hunting in
the forests. He was a tall strapping Aboriginal and she
was Chinese and they had died together singing, locked
in one another's arms, one trip above the waterfall.
When I showed the girl the two photographs she
had looked and asked me why why why? This girl was
beautiful. She wore low-heeled open shoes and she used
to like walking in the cemetery waking the deads. I had
kissed her before she died and my grandfather had
coughed his sickly cough and laughed. He said, "The boy
growing." I did not grow. He was my grandest grandfather
and I took my name-Grandman-from all he was.

O.R. Dathorne, a native of Guyana, heads the Afro-American
Studies program at the University of Miami. He is the author of
Dumplings in the Soup, The Scholar Man, African Literature in the
Twentieth Century, and many other works.


Ethnic Politics

in Belize

By Alma Harrington Young

Improved transportation and com-
munication within Belize and the
drive for nationalism have brought
the separate ethnic communities into
increased contact and resulted in
competition between them. In the
political sphere the competition has
been especially marked. In an at-
tempt to secure its hold on power the
nationalist party has mobilized the
minority ethnic groups to increase
their participation in the political sys-
tem. But as the minority groups be-
came more politicized, the majority
group has begun to increase its com-
munal consciousness and demand
that it get its fair share of the politi-
cal stakes.
Belize, located on the Central
American mainland below the Yuca-
tan, is a self-governing British colony.
The long-standing Guatemalan claim
to the country prevents Belize from
gaining independence. A treaty agree-
ment between Britain and Guatemala
in 1859 provided for Guatemalan rec-
ognition of Belize as a British colony
and the establishment of a boundary
between the two countries. The treaty
was predicated upon the construction
of a road between the Guatemalan
border and the Caribbean coast of
Belize. Britain's position has been
that the road was to be a joint effort.
Guatemala has maintained that Brit-
ain was responsible for building the
road, and will not recognize Belize
until the road is built. Guatemala re-
pudiated the treaty and has pressed,
sometimes vigorously, its territorial
Belize has a total land area of 8866
square miles; its population is ap-
proximately 130,000. Over one-half
of the population is found along the

coast, with about one-third, or 40,000,
located in the former capital of Belize
City. The remaining segments of the
population are sparsely scattered
throughout the interior of the coun-
try, with much of the land virtually
uninhabited. This pattern of settle-
ment is an outgrowth of the country's
specialization in the export of forestry
products, which lasted until the for-
ests were nearly depleted in the
1930s. During this period agricultur-
al production was discouraged. To-
day the economy is based on sugar,
citrus, fishing, lumbering, and Brit-
ish grants.
The ethnic heterogeneity of the
country is complex even by West
Indian standards. Within 200 years,
from the first permanent settlement
in Belize around 1640, the country
came to be populated by British buc-
caneers; African slaves and runaways;
Black Carib Indians deported from
St. Vincent; Mestizo refugees from
the War of the Castes in Mexico's
Yucatan; Mayan Indians who returned
to the country from the neighboring
republics after British settlement, and
Descendants of former slaves and
free blacks, Creoles constitute the
largest ethnic group, about 50 per-
cent of the population. Racially, the
Creoles are about two-thirds black
and one-third colored, or mixed.
There are also a few locally-born
whites who are considered Creoles.
Creoles are most numerous in Belize
City, where they occupy key positions
in the civil service and in education.
The Spanish-speaking mestizos
who comprise about 22 percent of
the population reside in the northern
districts of the country. They are in-

evolved predominantly in commercial
farming and business. They have a
strong Hispanic culture and show lit-
tle enthusiasm for adopting British-
derived traditions.
Making up about eight percent of
the population are the Black Carib
Indians, descendants of Red Carib
Indians and runaway African slaves
who intermingled during the eight-
eenth century in St. Vincent. Physi-
cally almost indistinguishable from
the Creoles, they have nonetheless
clung to their Indian-derived cultural
traditions and reside predominantly
in the southern coastal areas of Stan
Creek and Punta Gorda.
Mayan Indians, comprising about
ten percent of the population, are
mainly milpa farmers in the extreme
north, west and south of the country.
Mayas tend to be outside the eco-
nomic and political mainstream, as
are the Caribs to a certain extent.
However, as the two groups begin to
enter the mainstream of Belizean life,
taking advantage of the new social
and economic opportunities, they
fuse with the two more influential
ethnic groups. That is, the Mayas
tend to become Hispanicized and the
Caribs Creolized. Also in the country,
are small numbers of East Indians,
Syrians, Lebanese and Chinese.

Competition Between
Creole and Mestizo
Conflict has developed recently be-
tween the two most important ethnic
groups: the Creoles (the more popu-
lous group, and dominant in the civil
service) and the Mestizos (the more
influential in terms of Belize's eco-
nomy and dominant in the govern-


PUP leadership has denied
that they would accept
incorporation by
Guatemala since that
would substitute one kind
of colonialism for another.

ment). The history of party politics
in Belize explains how the relation-
ship between the Mestizo and Creole
communities has come to be what it
is today.
Political parties in Belize operate
within a system based on the British
parliamentary model. The eighteen-
person National Assembly is elected
by universal adult suffrage. The As-
sembly elects the premier. George
Price, the current premier, has dom-
inated Belizean politics since the
beginning of the nationalist move-
ment in the late 1940s. Price's party
is the People's United Party (PUP),
which has won the majority in every
election to the National Assembly.
Price and the PUP tend to have a
generally Mestizo orientation, al-
though they draw votes from all
groups. The major opposition group,
the United Democratic Party (UDP),
is led by Dean Lindo, now Leader of
the Opposition. The United Demo-
cratic Party was formed from several
parties, the most important of which
is the National Independence Party
(NIP), led by Phillip Goldson, an ally
of Price's in the 1950s.
The People's United Party came to
power in the early 1950s on a strong
pro-independence, anti-British plat-
form. The leadership of the party,
composed of Mestizo and Creole
Catholic elements, decided that the
best way to fight colonialism was to
reject the adoption of all things Brit-
ish. To that end, the leaders sought
to extend political interest through-
out the country, encouraging the
minority ethnic groups (the pro-Mes-
tizo groups) to participate in politics.
The orientation of the new Belize was
to be Central American. Especially

among the Spanish-speaking minor-
ities, PUP's strong criticism of the
British has had great appeal. PUP has
received increasing support in the
rural areas, which are predominantly
Mestizo (see Table I).
Two major splits have occurred
within PUP that reflect a growing
sense of uneasiness among some
Creoles with PUP policies towards a
Central American orientation. In
1956 the split was over whether
Belize should join the West Indian
Federation. Price, at that time Secre-
tary-General of PUP, was against any
contact with the West Indies. In a
staunchly anti-British line, Price said
federation was anti-independence and
he violently opposed it. Price was
also speaking, no doubt, for the Mes-
tizo community who would have felt
threatened by a great influx of West
Indians into the country. Given the
sparse population of their country,
most Belizeans feared that if Belize
became a member of the Federation
they would experience unlimited mi-
gration from other countries within

But other party leaders, after study-
ing the economy of the colony and
travelling to Britain and the West
Indies on economic missions, con-
cluded that Belize would derive great
advantage from closer economic re-
lations with the West Indies. Adopt-
ing a pro-federation stand, they split
from PUP and formed a new party,
the Honduran Independence Party
(HIP). The leaders of the party were
all Creoles.
HIP contested the 1957 elections
to the Legislative Assembly. During
the campaign Price accused HIP of
attachment to colonialism and to the
West Indies. Price included in his
program the alternative of increased
contacts with the Central American
republics. This was Price's first public
hint of what he had in mind as an al-
ternative to the country's British her-
itage. PUP won all nine elected seats
and Price emerged as the undisputed
leader in the Assembly. The split left
PUP further estranged from the West
Indies and Creole interests, and freer
to pursue a Central American destiny.


Rural-Urban % Split
of those who 1957 1961 1965 1969 1974
voted PUP % % % % %
URBAN 45 44 43 39 34
RURAL 55 56 57 61 66

*Urban refers to Belize City; rural refers to the remaining populated areas of the country.
Source: Supervisor of Elections, Report of General Elections, 1957; 1961; 1965; 1969; 1974.

CAPBH(AN -11vEW /39

UBAD can be seen as an
attempt by some Creoles
to counter-balance the
political force of the
Mestizos by appealing to
the primordial sentiments
of fellow Creoles.

The second major split came in
1957. While on an official visit, Price
talked with the Guatemalan Minister
in London about some form of asso-
ciation between Belize and Guate-
mala. The talks appear to have cen-
tered around Guatemala's assuming
responsibility for Belize, which would
become an associated state in Cen-
tral America. It may be that this was
Price's way of trying to force Britain's
hand on independence. Or it may be,
as has often been charged, that Price
genuinely preferred closer political
ties with Guatemala. The Colonial
Office accused Price of disloyalty
and dismissed him from the Execu-
tive Council. But Price lost little of
his mass popularity. He explained his
action as another attempt to end
Britain's colonialism. Some members
of his party were not satisfied with
this explanation, however, and left
the party. They made it clear they
considered Price committed to Gua-
temala. They cited as evidence that
members of the party had been re-
ceiving regular financial and media
support from Guatemala. Late in
1958 HIP and this faction joined to
form the National Independence Par-
ty (NIP) to oppose Price and his policy
of withdrawal from the Common-
wealth and association with Central
Until the 1974 general elections
NIP was the only significant opposi-
tion party and its electoral perform-
ance was poor. NIP tended to win
only one seat in each election, with
that seat going to its leader, Phillip
Goldson. NIP's support came largely
from Creoles, those in the middle-
class or aspiring to the middle-class,
who saw the government's stand as

pro-Guatemalan and a threat to their
interests. In an attempt to remove
the Guatemalan threat, the members
of the party sought continued reli-
ance on Britain. Instead of demand-
ing independence now, as PUP does,
they were against independence until
a settlement had been reached on
the Guatemala issue.
PUP had always sought a resolu-
tion of the Guatemala issue. But its
emphasis has been on the need for
Belize to be a "good neighbor" in
Central America. In seeking an alter-
native to the British and their colo-
nial heritage, PUP has stressed great-
er contact with other Central Amer-
ican countries, including Guatemala.
In 1968 Price said "We are trying to
achieve the independence of Belize,
but I think there is room for economic
cooperation with Guatemala. It is a
pity that... the Belizean people are so
emotional that they will not even
consider an economic or cultural or
social proposal that will mean some-
what closer relations with Guatema-
la." PUP leadership has denied, how-
ever, that they would accept incor-
poration by Guatemala since that
would substitute one kind of coloni-
alism for another. In the process of
becoming a "good neighbor" the
Belizean Government has enlarged
the Mestizo presence in the country.
In the 1940s Creoles (blacks and
whites) were the dominant political
force in the country and Belize City
was their bailiwick. Today there is al-
most an even split between Creoles
and Mestizos in the National Assem-
bly and the Senate. The Mestizos
dominate the Cabinet. Land has been
promised by the Government for the
resettlement of Mestizos from other

countries. A settlement of Salvador-
eans has already begun in the Tole-
do District. It is alleged that other
Central Americans have purchased
land along the 50-mile road that links
Belize City with the new capital of
Belmopan-a most advantageous
area, especially since the Govern-
ment plans to make this one of the
agricultural belts of the country.

Emergence of UBAD
The growing frustration of the Creole
element with the government's pro-
Mestizo orientation and its seeming
rapprochement with Guatemala led
to the development of a militant
Creole group, the United Black As-
sociation for Development. UBAD
began in February 1969 as a cultural
group oriented to "black power" and
became a political force before its
demise in November 1974. UBAD
can be seen as an attempt by some
Creoles to counter-balance the polit-
ical force of Mestizos by appealing
to the primordial sentiments of fellow
The ineffectiveness of earlier Cre-
ole groups (namely, NIP) in forcing
the government to make a compro-
mise between the needs of the Creole
and Mestizo communities became
apparent when many of the Creoles
in Belize City rioted in 1968. The riots
followed the release of the Webster
Proposals, the culmination of a thir-
teen-year effort by Britain to have
the Anglo-Guatemala dispute medi-
ated by members of the international
community. The proposals all but
called for the annexation of Belize
with Guatemala. Goldson, the NIP
leader, leaked the proposals to the


"Guatemala wanted Belize
but Britain could take back
the Negritas."

public and vehemently denounced
At the time that Goldson leaked
the Webster Proposals he empha-
sized the racial aspect of the situation
by quoting the Guatemalan Foreign
Minister as saying that "Guatemala
wanted Belize but Britain could take
back the Negritas." Such a statement
raised fears among many Creoles
that they would become less signifi-
cant than their numerical strength
warranted in the building of the new
Belize. Some Creoles became acutely
aware of their growing need for a
consciousness of self and several
small Creole groups quickly formed,
UBAD being the most effective and
lasting. Until that time many Creoles
had maintained that there was noth-
ing distinctive about the Creole cul-
ture; they insisted that they were in
fact only British citizens.
Since there was already a political
party, NIP, that catered to Creole in-
terests and stressed a "No Guatema-
la" stance, why was there a need for
a new group, UBAD, to enter the po-
litical scene and speak for Creoles?
Several reasons could be suggested.
First, from its electoral performance
NIP did not seem to many of its sup-
porters in 1968 to have the ability to
represent their interests effectively.
What power it did have was being
weakened by internal bickering, re-
sulting in the first major split within
the party in 1969. NIP also seemed
to have lost its vitality, for the only
alternative offered by Goldson when
he leaked the proposals was that in-
dependence be delayed until Britain
guaranteed a defense pact with Belize.
Secondly, Goldson's leaking that
the British Foreign Office was in fa-

vor of the Webster Proposals worked
to NIP's disadvantage, for it meant
that some of its supporters no longer
saw the close connection between
NIP and the British Government as
an asset. NIP supporters now had to
question whether the British Govern-
ment was backing their position or
that of the PUP Government. They
decided that they could no longer af-
ford to relax and rely solely on Britain
to resolve the Guatemalan crisis in
their favor. Instead, more "self-help"
measures--such as, working to in-
crease the politicization among Cre-
oles of how the basic issues facing
the country affected them-were
The third reason why UBAD was
necessary was that NIP had the repu-
tation of being the party of the mid-
dle-class, especially of middle-class
Creoles. PUP was still seen as the
party of the lower-class. If the opposi-
tion were to increase its political base
throughout the country, it would be
necessary for it to attract the lower-
class, especially the Creole lower-
class. By adopting the dress, man-
nerisms and Creole-English of the
lower-class, UBAD leaders estab-
lished a certain rapport with those
they courted. Much of their rhetoric
appealed to this class; however, the
arrogance of some of the leaders
made it obvious at times that they
were not from the lower-class and
this hampered them in their cam-
paign. But there was always a large
element, especially among the
school-leavers, who were ready to
follow UBAD, no matter what the
consequences. UBAD, then, was a
way of politicizing Creoles-of hav-
ing them as a group, lower-class and

middle-class together, consider the
issues facing the country.
Through its cultural awareness
programs, public meetings and news-
paper, UBAD was able to politicize
Creoles to the extent that they be-
came more militant in their opposi-
tion to Guatemala and more insistent
on their rights as Belizean citizens.
The party's chief asset was its ability
to publicize the government's actions
and statements of policy and show
how these affected the Creole popu-
lation. UBAD concentrated its attacks
on the government's efforts to create
better relations with the Central
American republics while neglecting
relations with the West Indies. UBAD's
leadership suggested that the govern-
ment seek assistance from the inde-
pendent West Indian nations in its
dispute with Guatemala. At the same
time UBAD stressed the many cul-
tural ties the majority of Belizeans
have in common with West Indians.
Because of UBAD's ability to mo-
bilize large demonstrations and gal-
vinize the Creole community, the
government began to react defen-
sively to UBAD's charges. By 1972
the government had begun seeking
assistance from the West Indies in
helping to end the Guatemala stale-
mate, instead of relying solely on
Central America. West Indian mem-
bers of the Organization of American
States have spoken on Belize's be-
half against Guatemala's claim. Ra-
dio Belize began giving more air time
to West Indian affairs, and several
members of the government have
been sent to West Indian countries
on various missions.
In late 1973 the Creole-based op-
position parties put their bickering


The campaign for
development has brought
both the Mestizos and
Creoles into greater
contact with each other
and increased the
competition between them.

aside and formed a coalition, the
United Democratic Party (UDP), to
work for the defeat of the PUP gov-
ernment in the 1974 general elec-
tions. UBAD chose not to join the
coalition because of ideological dif-
ferences with the other parties, charg-
ing that they were too colonialist.
By this time, however, UBAD's
militant opposition to the Govern-
ment's pro-Mestizo orientation and
its pro-Central American relations
had created a heightened sense of
ethnic awareness among Creoles.
The UDP capitalized on this aware-
ness in the Creole community, and
on the desire of others in Belize not
to form any political or economic as-
sociation with Guatemala, with the
result that the party gave PUP its
narrowest victory in history. Winning
43 percent of the vote and six seats,
the UDP was the first opposition par-
ty to win more than one seat in the
25-year history of Belizean party pol-
itics. While other Creole-based par-
ties had championed the anti-Guate-
mala issue before, the issue was al-
ways kept low-key, of interest mainly
to political activists. UBAD made
the Guatemala issue its central con-
cern and its militant attitude galva-
nized the Creole populace and made
it their issue.
The strong backing of the Creole
community has allowed the UDP to
pressure the Government on the
Guatemala issue. In 1975 the Gov-
ernment changed its policy from one
of "Independence now" to "Indepen-
dence only within the context of a
suitable defense guarantee" against
the threat of Guatemala. The Opposi-
tion increased its pressure on the
Government in December 1975 when

it won 47 percent of the vote in the
Town Board elections, and again in
December 1977 when it won all the
seats on the Belize City Council.
The campaign for independence
has brought both the Mestizos and
Creoles into greater contact with each
other and increased the competition
between them. Until the nationalist
party mobilized the minority ethnic
groups in the rural areas during the
1950s, they had been outside the
Creole-controlled political arena.
Within the span of 25 years the Mes-
tizos have greatly increased their po-
litical power, as government policies
benefit them to the detriment of Cre-
oles. The government party has been
able to slight the Creoles to the ex-
tent that they have traditionally been
ambivalent about their ethnic identi-
ty. It had been difficult for them to or-
ganize power along ethnic ties, as the
government party successfully did
among the more ethnically-conscious
As a group Creoles have not been
ethnically developed; that is, they
are not adept at creating rituals, tra-
ditions and institutions to externalize
their beliefs and values. This denial
of their culture is due in part to the
arrival of Creoles in Belize as a sub-
jugated people stripped of their iden-
Nor is Creole society in Belize
monolithic. There are sharp distinc-
tions based on color and socioeco-
nomic status. The lighter Creoles do
not want to be associated with the
darker ones and as Creoles climb the
lightness ladder, which is usually the
same as the socioeconomic ladder,
they try to forget their African roots.
Given their preponderance in the civil

service and their close ties with colo-
nial administrators, middle-class Cre-
oles saw themselves as the natural in-
heritors of the government after in-
dependence. Perhaps they felt that to
emphasize their membership in any
particular group would have been
contrary to what colonial officials
In the late 1950s Creoles began to
organize around the issue of the West
Indies Federation. Again, in the late
1960s, the question of international
alliances forced Creoles to become
more politically conscious. This time
the vehicle of mobilization was the
radical UBAD which worked success-
fully to inform Creoles about their op-
tions under various government pol-
icies. Thus, the formal opposition
was able to capitalize on this in-
creased awareness among the Creole
community, enabling them to be
more competitive against the gov-
ernment. But neither the opposition
nor the government have used overt
ethnic appeals in their campaigns.
Both receive votes from various
groups. The society is thus not polar-
ized to the same extent as in some
multi-ethnic societies. What certain
government policies have done, how-
ever, is to increase the power of one
major ethnic group, while raising the
consciousness of the other. There-
fore, one would expect in the future
that the government must insure in-
put from both groups if it hopes to
avoid major confrontations between
Alma Harrington Young teaches Urbanand
Regional Planning at the University of
New Orleans.
Photos from Brukdown magazine published in
Belize by Lita Hunter.


Javanese bride and groom.

In the period between 1890 and
1939, a total of 33,000 Javanese
came to Surinam. The historical cir-
cumstances of their migration were
roughly the same as those of other
Asiatic peoples in the Caribbean.
When slavery was abolished and
plantation production was still lucra-
tive, Chinese, Indian, and later, Indo-
nesian workers, were recruited to fill
the shortage of manpower. They
came on a five-year contract with the
option at the end of five years of
either free repatriation, or receiving
a plot of land and some money, en-
abling them to settle as independent
rice farmers. Approximately two-
thirds of the Javanese who came to
Surinam chose the latter alternative.
Although no external pressure had
forced them to remain in Surinam,
the Javanese did not feel at home.

Older people in particular were no-
stalgic for the past way of life. They
developed a myth relating how re-
cruiters had used magic, driving
them out of their minds, to get them
to sign their recruitment contracts.
This myth was but one way to express
their nostalgia and their alienation
from Surinam. Their ethos was to re-
main Javanese in every possible way:
to maintain the customs, religion,
rites, values, and language of their
home country. Even the houses they
built were to resemble the desa (vil-
lage) houses most closely, and the
construction of a more modern home
was considered to be a betrayal of
loyalty to Indonesia. When I first did
field research among this group in
1958-59, its most salient character-
istic was a marked internal cohesion.
They were not only aware of their



of Wajang
By Annemarie de Waal Malefijt

own ethnicity, but stated explicitly
that they wanted to be Javanese and
nothing else.
Many other culture patterns rein-
forced the integration of the group
by stressing Javanese identification,
and by minimizing all possible dif-
ferences and inequalities between in-
dividuals. By underrating the value
of material possessions, the eco-
nomic system tended to ignore dis-
similarites that might result from dif-
ferential prosperity. A bilateral kin-
ship system, capable of far-reaching
extentions, which potentially make
all Javanese in Surinam "one family,"
also focused on the homogeneity of
the Javanese. Marriage practices
and frequent divorce further strength-
ened this extention of kinship, since
in-laws remain relatives even after


Child-rearing patterns impressed
the value of tradition upon younger
generations at an early age. Strong
emphasis on respect for older people
made it difficult for younger genera-
tions to contradict or disobey their
parents and grandparents. This be-
havior was intimately related to the
Javanese value of rukun, which gov-
erns not only kin relationships, but
all interpersonal connections. Rukun
is best described as the desire for
social harmony, cooperation, repres-
sion of hostility, avoidance of un-
pleasant confrontations, and mini-
mization of quarrels. Breaking of the
rukun was considered to be destruc-
tive for both the society as a whole
and for the family in particular and is
said to have adverse psychological
consequences for the culprit as well.
The religious system sanctioned the
existing cultural patterns and rein-
forced them through frequent com-
munal rituals. Ritual actions and
paraphernalia, sometimes forgotten,
had acquired new meaning: "we do
this because this is how it was done
on Java."
The Javanese were the latest group
to arrive in a country that was already
strongly pluralistic. Arawak- and
Carib-speaking Indians and Bush
Negroes descendants of run-away
plantation slaves still live in the in-
terior regions of Surinam. "Creoles"
form the largest ethnic group of the
population; they are descendants of
slaves who remained on the planta-
tions until emancipation. Chinese
and Hindustans from India came
earlier than the Javanese as contract

Older people in particular
were nostalgic for the past
way of life. They
developed a myth relating
how recruiters had used
magic, driving them out of
their minds, to get them to
sign their recruitment

laborers. Surinam was still a colony
-a societal type that does not en-
courage assimilation.

Newly Created
Such were the circumstances in
Surinam in 1958. In 1970, I made a
follow-up study, and another one in
1976. Changes had taken placewhich
influenced the Javanese. The road
network had been improved, so that
it was now possible to travel the
country east to west by bus or car.
Javanese settlements, formerly iso-
lated, now had easy access to the new
highways, and many households pos-
sessed motorcycles or cars to bring
produce to market, to visit relatives
and friends in distant settlements,
and to make shopping trips to Para-
maribo, the capital city, or even to
the neighboring countries of Guyana
and French Guiana. Connection of
many villages with the electric net-

work had made it possible to use ra-
dios, T.V. sets, electric lamps, irons,
toasters, etc. A newly-created desire
for material goods stimulated inten-
sification of economic production,
not only in agriculture, but also in
seeking cash-paying jobs. The latter
generally required a measure of edu-
cation, at the minimum a knowledge
of Dutch and Sranan.
School absenteeism used to be
quite high. Children had to help dur-
ing the harvest time, and their par-
ents considered schooling to be use-
less since it did not prepare their sons
for agricultural tasks nor help their
daughters to become good house-
wives. In 1976, absenteeism was sig-
nificantly reduced, no higher than
that among other population groups.
Many Javanese were also attending
High School and taking vocational
training courses in secretarial work,
nursing, teaching, business adminis-
tration, auto-mechanics, and finding
employment in these fields.
Mechanization of agriculture,
moreover, had lessened the need for
total family participation in the rice
production. Cooperatives had been
formed to buy modern combines
that cut, bundle and thrash the rice
in one rapid operation. Together
with faster-growing and more pro-
ductive seed-rice now being used,
two or even three annual crops
could be harvested with much less
The net results of these develop-
ments are greater material prosper-
ity, better education, and a signifi-
cant increase of urban living. In

Older and younger generations.
44/ CArBh(AN r-OIV

Older woman, born on Java

1958, only 2% of all Surinam Java-
nese lived in Paramaribo, in 1976,
the estimated number was 10%.
Urban living, increased travel, radio
and television, have made most Ja-
vanese aware of alternative life styles.
Younger generations feel little nos-
talgia for Indonesia, a country they
have never seen, and even older
people have given up hope of return-
ing. All seem to enjoy the increased
mobility, and share the same appe-
tite for the new material goods.
But true culture change involves
more than urbanization, mechanized
agriculture, or television. These are
external changes, not internal ones.
Many Javanese still believe in rakun,
in respect for older people, in the
importance of rituals accompanying
weddings and births; and the proces-
ses of adjustment and change in
these realms are more subtle and
difficult. I would like to illustrate one
such process of change by discuss-
ing one ritual art form of the Java-
nese, the wajang kulit puppet shows,
and try to demonstrate how it fared
in the face of the dynamic processes
affecting Surinam.

Indonesian Arts
In their homeland, Indonesia, the
classical arts were developed by the
courts and elite classes. Some of
these court forms penetrated village
life far deeper than in most western
societies, where 'peasant art' is usual-
ly considered to be a separate and
somewhat inferior category, Music,
dance, and drama in particular be-

Urban living, increased
travel, radio and television,
have made most Javanese
aware of alternative life
styles. Younger
generations feel little
nostalgia for Indonesia, a
country they have never
seen, and even older
people have given up hope
of returning.

came matters of village concern,
though painting and sculpture were
practically non existent. Most com-
munities possessed their own game-
lan orchestras, a theater troupe, and
a dalang, the performer of the wajang
puppet plays. Performances were
integrated aspects of social struc-
ture, in contrast to our own theaters
and concerts, which tend to be lux-
uries, attended by urban sophisti-
cates for entertainment or special
interests. In Java, they were neces-
sary accompaniments of rituals,
more specifically of rites of passage,
concerned with movement across
social boundaries from one social
status to another. The actual rituals
were of a religious nature, attended
by sacred meals known as slametans.
But the status transformations were
not really accomplished unless at-

tended by at least one theatrical per-
formance, itself of a semi-religious
The Javanese who came to Suri-
nam were recruited from Java's rural
districts. They brought with them
the knowledge of, and love for, the
arts practiced in the villages of their
birth. Among those, wajang perfor-
mances took a special place, more
specifically wajang kulit, the puppet
play popular in Java where it bridges
all political, religious, and class dis-
tinctions. Wajang kulit puppets are
two-dimensional, intricately carved
out of leather, painted and decorated,
each one representing an individual
character, recognizable by specific
attributes. The sacred puppeteer, the
dalang, manipulates these figures
against a lit screen, so that their
shadows are visible on the other side.
He not only handles the puppets, but
recites and sings a story, and directs
the gamelan orchestra behind him.
The stories are episodes taken from
ancient Hindu epics, the Ramayana
and the Mahabharata. A good dalang
not only knows the plot, the songs
and the music, but is expected to put
in his declamations, witty or sarcastic
remarks about villagers, local events,
scandals, government policies-and
must also tell some jokes, better
appreciated if they are off-color. The
performance lasts all night, from
sunset to sunrise.
The screen is always placed in the
middle of the room. The host and his
family, as well as honored or invited
guests, sit at the shadowside of the
screen. Most of them have also at-

Dalang in action


tended the slamatan and received
an elaborate meal, but food and
drinks remain available to them
throughout the night. Chairs and
tables are provided for those who
prefer them, but most Javanese
choose to sit on the floor. On the
other side of the screen, where one
can view the dalang and the puppets
themselves, anyone who likes may
come and watch, and the community
is usually quite well represented.
Chairs and tables are absent here,
and food or drinks are not provided.
These spectators do not have to go
hungry, because outside on the road
are many booths and stalls selling
traditional Javanese food as well as
soft drinks.-coffee, tea, and beer.
Fieldworkers who observed wa-
jang kulit performances in Java itself
mention that the stories evoke strong
emotional reactions from the audi-
ence. In Surinam, this does not seem
to be the case. People do not sit in
rapt attention, but are much more
involved in social interaction. They
talk, laugh, gossip, admire each
others' dress or children, roll ciga-


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In a dynamic social setting,
equivocation and
multivocality are
necessary prerequisites to
the survival of meaningful
art forms and other
symbol systems. Wajang
kulit puppet performances
lack such duality.

rettes, shell peanuts, share food they
have brought, walk in and out to buy
food from the stalls outside, and
often play cards. Children scurry
around, dogs are shooed away-the
ambience is what the Javanese call
r'ame, best translated as gemOtlich,
a snug comfortable ambience. On
the other side of the screen, the at-
mosphere is quite similar. As the
night progresses, first the children,
and then the adults, simply lie down
and fall asleep. This is fully accept-
able behavior. What is not accept-
able, however, is to go home before
the end of the performance.
These are the major elements of
the wajang kulit performances in
Surinam. Some interpreters will
draw attention to the symbolism of
the puppets themselves, pointing
out that almond-shaped eyes and
down-turned noses indicate high
class, and pop-eyes and bulbous
noses indicate low class; that the

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sexes can be recognized by hair style,
and age can be recognized by the
color of the faces. Others will con-
centrate on the contents of the story,
concluding wrongly that the
action symbolizes the cosmic strug-
gle between good and evil, or be-
tween desire of the flesh and refine-
ment of the spirit. Psychologically
oriented interpreters would probably
say that the wars projected on the
screen serve to provide an outlet for
pent-up aggressions. Conventional
functionalists would declare that the
ritual get-together helps to maintain
the society as a whole. Such restrict-
ed approaches result in distorted
conceptions of the symbolic role of
such performances.
Interpretations addressing them-
selves only to formal elements of
artistic phenomena fail to recognize
that the relationship between art and
social meaning is not intrinsic. The
very nature of symbols rests in their
capacity to encapsulate many mean-
ings, to represent many different
things in different contexts or situa-
tions, a property which linguists refer
to as polysemyy' or 'multivocality.'
Comparing wajang kulit perfor-
mances in Java with those in Suri-
nam, it is evident that the formal
aspects of the play have remained
similar. The most striking difference
between them is found in the reac-
tions of the audiences: in Java the
stories evoke strong emotions and
people identify with the characters
in the play; whereas, in Surinam so-
cial interaction takes precedence
over involvement with the contents
of the show. Exploring the broad
social context of the performance,it
appears that the wajang is simply
one element among others serving
to recreate and idealize the Javanese
past. This is accomplished not only
by the presence of the dalang and
his puppets, the high status language
and the ancient texts, but also by the
consumption of typical Javanese
staple and luxury food, the wearing
of traditional Javanese dress, and
the relative absence of non-Javanese
people. Together they create the illu-
sion that nothing has changed, that
everything is still the same as it was
in Java. Spectators and participants
are thus encouraged to look back-
ward to the days of old, and to dis-
engage themselves from Surinam. In
1958, the year of my first contact
with the Javanese in Surinam,


many lamented their fate, and hoped
for a miraculous return to their
home country, "if only to be buried
in Javanese soil," as older people
often said.

Rites of Passage
The presence of nearly all members
of the community at a performance
that sets the seal of validity on the
rites of passage emphasized what
some have felt to be the major func-
tion of such rites, namely to reincor-
porate individuals in the community,
accomplished by community accept-
ance of the new status. New adults,
newly-weds, and new parents were
thus reminded that they re-entered
Javanese society and were charged
with Javanese responsibilities.
The whole setting accurately
expressed the Javanese yearning for
the past, but not the social reality of
their existence in Surinam. In every-
day life they were surrounded by
"strangers," their children went to
schools in which Dutch was the of-
ficial language, they did not general-
ly wear the festive Javanese cos-
tumes, and they were looked upon
by others as a minority group, late-
comers to the scene, stereotyped as
servile and unassuming.
Their self-imposed isolation could
not last. In the course of time, Java-
nese village dwellers have become
increasingly involved with larger and
external social units. The most desir-
able items of material culture were
precisely those that brought aware-
ness of other life styles: radio, tele-
vision, motorbikes, and cars. Movies
and football further increased con-
tact with other ethnic groups. Youn-
ger generations, born in Surinam,
could not share the nostalgia of their
parents for a country they had never
seen, and slowly began to accept
Surinam as their homeland, wishing
to share and participate in its educa-
tional, economic, and political op-
In this forward-looking view, rites
and symbols glorifying the past had
no place. The form and framework
of the wajang kulit performances in
Surinam lacked sufficient duality:
the conflicting symbolic orientations
that could have made them adjust-
able to modernizing trends.
Other theatrical events in the Ca-
ribbean are different in this respect
as they are more closely related to

the theme of conflict in their socie-
ties. Carnival is perhaps the most
striking example. It is open to imita-
tion of any life style: ethnic, insular,
pan-Caribbean, African, and tourist
culture. Its conflicting symbolic ori-
entations make sense out of tradition
and simultaneously give meaning to
processes of modernization and
change. Ludruk another form of Ja-
vanese theater which is conspicuous-
ly rare in Surinam, has been inter-
preted in a similar vein. Like Carni-
val, ludruk is open to cultural inven-
tiveness and thus also to symbolic
reformulation of social realities.
Wajang kulit in Surinam is not flexi-
ble, not responding to changed
needs and ideas, not attuned to mo-
dernization-because it symbolized
a make-believe world rather than
social reality.
Increasingly, wajang kulit has be-
come replaced by what is known as
"pick-up dances," and the double
meaning of the term is not lost on
the younger people. Occasionally
the music is live, but more often it is
taped or recorded, strongly ampli-
fied, and of the rock-and-roll variety.
Participants dance modern style and
there are no taboos about leaving
before it is over, though the music
usually ends around midnight any-
how. Remarkably, perhaps, these
modern dances are considered as

appropriate an accompaniment of
weddings and births as the wajang
kulit, although older generations
frown upon this novelty. The pick-up
dances, thus, do represent a set of
conflicting values. They symbolize a
positive stance towards moderniza-
tion, but their association with reli-
gious slametans and rituals also ties
them to tradition and to Javanese
ethnicity. Notably, the pick-up
dances are no longer exclusively
Javanese. Creole, Hindustan, or
Chinese friends are often invited,
and the intermingling of the different
groups on the dance floor indicates
what is happening in daily life.
In a dynamic social setting, equi-
vocation and multivocality are nec-
essary prerequisites to the survival
of meaningful art forms and other
symbol systems. These symbols can
provide insights into a range of cul-
tural phenomena that are usually
considered to lie outside the bound-
aries of art. If ambiguity vanishes,
and meanings become static, sym-
bols will lose their power because of
their inability to adjust to changing
social situations.

Annemarie de Waal Malefit teaches An-
thropology at Hunter College. Her book,
Images of Man: A History of Anthropolog-
ical Thought was published by Alfred



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Mail to: Caribbean Review
Florida International University
Tamiami Trail / Miami, Florida 33199

White Paper on National
Institute of Higher Education
(Research, Science and
Technology). Republic of Trinidad
and Tobago. Government Printery,
Oct. 1977.40 pp.
When the then-President of the Uni-
versity of California, Berkeley, Clark
Kerr opened his Godkin lectures at
Harvard on "The Uses of the Univer-
sity" he did so by comparing two
historic views about the university.
There are those who with Cardinal
Newman see the University as a vir-
tual academic cloister pursuing "lib-
eral knowledge." Reflecting the Ox-
ford of his day, Newman steadfastly
maintained that "useful knowledge"
was a "deal of trash." The generalist,
not the specialist, was Newman's
ideal: a man who could "fill any post
with credit, and... master any subject
with facility." Quite the opposite
opinion has been held by what might
be called the utilitarian or pragmatic
school, well represented in the person
of Sir Francis Bacon. Knowledge,
Bacon maintained, should be for the
benefit and use of men, "not... a cour-
tesan, for pleasure and vanity only,
or a bondwoman, to acquire and
gain to her master's use..."
None of that "kind of adoration of
the mind," for those of the utilitarian
persuasion. Kerr, whose task was to
explain the modern multiversity a
phenomenon which neither Newman

If the Black Power and
other political rumblings
of the late 1960s, and
especially the so-called
Rodney affair, marked an
end to the University's
halcyon existence, there
were other, non-political
indications that part of the
costs of isolation was an
inability to keep up with
the changing technical and
managerial needs of the
societies it served.

nor Bacon could have conceptual-
ized could only sum up the ongo-
ing debate between the different
views of the University by noting that
"The University is so many things to
so many different people that it must,
of necessity, be partially at war with
itself." This partial "war" can occa-
sionally benefit the University; con-
flict, as Georg Simmel noted, can in-
crease understanding by clarifying
issues, sharpening perspectives and
intensifying the sense of group iden-
tity. These potential benefits are lost,

however, if the university "war" be-
comes part of wider political con-
flicts. Whether this is brought about
by the university community's polit-
ical action, or by the action of out-
siders, the effects will necessarily
mean a blurring of university-center-
ed issues and problems. The univer-
sity, thus, is not unlike the pitcher of
which the Spanish say: it matters not
whether it is the pitcher which hits
the rock or the rock the pitcher, the
pitcher will be the loser.
The recent White Paper on Na-
tional Institute of Higher Education
of the government of Trinidad and
Tobago while intending to bring to
the fore a long-simmering internal
debate not dissimilar to the tradi-
tional "generalist-specialist" contro-
versy, in fact reveals that the Univer-
sity of the West Indies is now a hot
item in the turbulent politics of the
English-speaking Caribbean. A criti-
cal discussion of this White Paper
necessarily has to take into account
the origins and present structure of
this unique institution which still is
the only transnational university in
the world.
When the West Indies Federation
was being hatched in the mid-1950s,
it was clear that the result would be
an extremely weak federal system.
"It cannot be said," noted the British
Colonial Secretary in 1956, "that
[the Federation's] government pow-
ers will at the outset be strong, nor

48/ CAABBHAN rEvilw

its field of activity large." Among the
very few areas of exclusive responsi-
bility of the new federal government
was the University College of the
West Indies, which had been estab-
lished in 1948. In 1959, for instance,
nearly 30% of the total federal bud-
get went to the UCWI. It was clear
that the architects of the West Indies
Federation perceived the College as
a critical building block of West
Indian nationhood. As such, these
statesmen had kept alive the aspira-
tions of those who had written the
two fundamental reports which led
to its establishment: the Report of
the Commission of Higher Educa-
tion in the Colonies (Cmd. 6647.
H.M.S.O. June 1945), presided over
by Lord Asquith, and that part which
dealt specifically with the West Indies:
Report of the West Indies Commit-
tee of the Commission on Higher
Education in the Colonies (Cmd.
6634. H.M.S.O. June 1945), pre-
sided over by Sir James Irvine. Both
reports were clear as to the goals of
such a College. Note, for instance,
Lord Asquith's on the need for the
College being entirely residential: "It
may... be expected that an indirect
result of residential life will be the
promotion of a spirit of cooperation
between West Indians from different
areas, and that this will find its outlet
in a desire to serve the West Indies
when University days are done."
Very much in this vein, the report
of the Irvine Committee supported
the idea of a residential college and
advanced two main reasons for estab-
lishing a university in the West Indies,
both reasons directly related to prag-
matic, social, and political needs of
the area. First, there was the need to
develop a West Indian outlook: "A
residential West Indian University
could do something for West Indians
that generations of individual stu-
dents dispersing themselves amongst
twenty or more separate universities
in Britain and North America can
never achieve." A residential college
on one island was essential to that
task, as Irvine noted: "We believe
that if West Indian students could
work together in surroundings of
dignity and beauty, living in close
community with each other and with
teachers of the highest intellectual
quality... they would develop fully,
not only as individuals but as West
Indians." The second reason was the
need for local leadership given the

The "industrial growth and
more sophisticated needs
in both the public and
private sectors" were not
being met by the
University-neither at a
national nor at the regional
levels. This failing was
especially noted in the
case of Trinidad and
Tobago where major
expansions in petro-
chemical and related
industries were taking
place since 1973.

rapid rate of social, economic and
political change.
The Committee, thus insisted that
there be a single institution, not a
federation of colleges scattered
throughout the area, and that it be
located in Jamaica, the largest of the
The Colonial Development and
Welfare Fund gave 605,720 during
1948-53 for buildings and the Jamai-
can government granted a site of
753 acres on a 999 year lease at a
nominal rent.
The Royal Charter granted in 1948
provided for a special relationship
with the University of London and
King George VI agreed to be Visitor
to the College. H.R.H. Princess Alice
was appointed Chancellor (a post
she would hold until 1972 when Sir
Hugh Wooding from Trinidad be-
came the first West Indian Chancel-
By 1953, there were 254 under-
graduates in residence: 115 from Ja-
maica; 39 from Trinidad and Tobago;
37 from Barbados, and 34 from Brit-
ish Guyana. (By 1957-58, the dawn
of West Indian Federation nation-
hood, this number had more than
doubled to 566).
From the beginning it was clear
that the UCWI was to be an exclu-
sive University-i.e., relatively free
from outside control. "Advance" lev-
el entrance requirements and trien-
nial budgeting were the major mech-
anisms maintaining that exclusive

autonomous status.
In 1953, a Committee of the Inter-
University Council for Higher Educa-
tion in the Colonies visited Jamaica
and reported in 1954 that "the Col-
lege has in our view made a most re-
markable beginning. Its six years
have resulted in the establishment of
an institution which bids fair to make
its mark in the university world." A
major reason for such an optimistic
conclusion was the quality of the
College's faculty, many of whom,
the Committee pointed out, were
"already noted for the excellence of
their work in their own fields."
By 1956 the College included such
outstanding figures as: -J. J. Parry,
P.M. Sherlock, Elsa V. Govia, in his-
tory; -G.E. Cumper, R.G. Farley, in
economics and demography; -the
anthropologists M.G. Smith and R.T.
Smith, both doing pioneering studies
of cultural and social pluralism; -the
sociologist Lloyd Braithwaite; -Ga-
briel Coulthard and John J. Figueroa,
who dealt with race and color atti-
tudes as seen through Caribbean lit-
erature; -Dr. H. Annamunthodo in
medicine, the best known of a dis-
tinguished medical school staff.
Journals such as Social and Eco-
nomic Studies published works by
such future politicians as E.P.G.
Seaga and D.R. Manley. The Depart-
ment of Extra-Mural Studies (led by
a future Vice-Chancellor, P.M. Sher-
lock) published the semi-popular
Caribbean Quarterly and many sig-
nificant monographs. While there
remained much to be done (of 141
research, teaching and administrative
staff, only 57 were West Indians) the
UCWI had made its mark. There was
an excitement about West Indian life
to which a number of novelists con-

The Birth of the
West Indies Federation
The birth in 1958 of the West Indies
Federation seemed to confirm the
hopes of those who had long dreamt
of a West Indian nation with a univer-
sity as a source of leadership, recruit-
ment and collective socialization.
Naipaul, Lamming, Hearne, Selvon,
Reid, Walcott, to mention but a few,
helped create an atmosphere which
gave real intellectual and aesthetic
content to that incipient nationality,
the West Indies. There appeared to
be more than a love of cricket and of


Table 1

Total Enrolled
Year U.K. Canada USA Abroad at U.C.W.I.
1943 109 -250- 359 -
1954 502 380 831 1713 254
1956-57 625 837 1170 2632 566

University Education of West Indians, 1943-57

Table 2

Year Program
Field No. Students Began
Arts and General Studies 3438 1949
Natural Sciences 1946 1948
Social Sciences 1467 1958
Medicine 1057 1950
Engineering 704 1960
Agriculture 358 1958
Law 253 1969
Education 118 1963
U.C.W.I. Graduates, 1952-1975

Table 3
Number of Trinidad
Trinidad Government's Students Admitted
Year Contribution to U.C.W.I. That Year
1973 TT $10,307,285 490
1974 14,568,121 552
1975 15,179,149 523
1976 36,730,784 560

Trinidad's Role in U.C.W.I.

Table 4

Year Engineers Req. Eng. Available Deficit
1976 325 117 208
1979 387 131 256
1982 461 147 314
1985 549 183 366
1988 654 300 354
1990 735 397 338

Estimates for Requirements of Civil Engineers, T.T.

English as a common language which
seemed to bind West Indians to-
gether. There was, or so it was said,
a veritable font of West Indian na-
tional identity in the University, a
university which, it is worth repeat-
ing, had a regional character a dec-
ade before the establishment of the
West Indies Federation. This was the
theory; in reality the role of the Uni-
versity during this 1948-58 decade
was quite different.
Two fundamental aspects of this
role should be underlined: first, none
of the central decision-makers in
West Indian politics at the time were
UCWI graduates. Williams, Manley,
Adams, Jagan, Burnham were all
educated in metropolitan universi-
ties. Related to this was the second
aspect: despite that early beginning
the UCWI was not the major source
of political socialization and recruit-
ment for those societies entering
Federation; those functions were still
being performed by metropolitan
universities as the statistics in Table
1 show.
Flowing from these facts were
some important consequences:
(1) the University played no role in
the shaping or influencing of autho-
ritative decision-making in the new
Federation; (2) much of the intellec-
tual life of the region was generated
by artists who worked and created
outside the University. There were
no departments of belles lettres, of
philosophy, of theatre and drama; or
provisions for "artists in residence."
The occasional symposium on "West
Indian Literature" could hardly be a
substitute for a living and vibrant
resident artistic-intellectual commu-
nity projecting campus life onto the
wide community; (3) much of the
functional needs of these societies
were not being met through the Uni-
versity programs. To mention but
three cases: the failure to include the
long-established Imperial School of
Tropical Agriculture in Trinidad into
the original plans of the University;
the failure to implement programs
in Business Administration and in
Hotel and Tourism. All three fields
appeared essential given the kind of
development process the leaders of
these societies had decided to pur-
sue, yet the University provided train-
ing in none.
Despite all this and even with the
collapse of the Federation in 1961
and the development of strong in-

50/ CArBi .AN VIEW

sular nationalisms, the University,
now called the University of the West
Indies, survived, the last of the fed-
eral institutions, and is, in many
ways, the last hope for the few re-
maining federalists in the area.
The years since the independence
of Jamaica, Trinidad and Barbados,
have not been easy ones for the Uni-
versity. Clashes between govern-
ments over their share of budget and
admission policies, problems over
work permits for faculty deemed po-
litically undesirable, the steady exo-
dus of top scholars to metropolitan
universities, the persistent practice
of secondmentt" to specific national
governments (and later to the CA-
RIFTA and CARICOM Secretariats)
-all took their toll of University
resources and contributed to a grow-
ing malaise. Inevitably, the more
vital and relevant this federal insti-
tution became, the more it was buf-
feted by the ongoing demands and
concerns of its rapidly changing
The Jamaica campus continued
to be the center of administration
and of the widest range of undergrad-
uate and graduate programs. But as
the independent nations of Trinidad
and Barbados developed so did the
campuses on those islands: the de-
mand for West Indian trained lawyers
led to a School of Law in Cave Hill,
Barbados; the need for personnel
trained in the complexities of inter-
national relations led to the estab-
lishment of the Institute of Interna-
tional Relations in Trinidad (under
Swiss auspices) and the Imperial
School of Tropical Agriculture was
finally integrated into the Trinidad
campus of the University.
It is clear, however, that the insti-
tution has not been able to keep pace
with the changing needs of the area;
that the emphasis was still weighted
towards the formation of generalists,
with Arts and General Studies leading
the field as the statistics in Table 2
The End of Isolation
In Trinidad, especially, it seemed that
University professors were taking the
institution towards politics. Eco-
nomics lecturer Lloyd Best had left
the New World group and headed up
a party, TAPIA, with a journal which
received international recognition
for its sophistication, though at home
the journal, and the movement, never

If the White Paper does
anything it is to testify to
the tenacity of the
institution to withstand
pressures, to man the
ramparts of the academic
cloister. Be that as it may,
however, the inexorable
push of the material
conditions of the society
would not be denied: if the
ramparts could not be
conquered, then, by God,
they would be bypassed!

developed any popular following.
History lecturer James Millette
launched his own party, UNIP, and
journal, a "left-wing" scandal sheet
called Moko. Worse, University grad-
uate Geddes Granger would head up
the racist organization, NJAC, and
Guy Harewood, graduate and son of
a Head of Department, led an ideal-
istic but fatal attempt at Ch6 Guevara-
style warfare. The so-called Rodney
affair in Jamaica spread discontent
to the Trinidad campus and from
there to wider sectors of unemploy-
ed youth in the society. To the gen-
erally conservative Trinidadians, the
University campus took on the sem-
blance of a privileged bastion of
political agitation.
The isolation of the University from
social and political pressures had
protected the two cherished princi-
ples of high standards and autonomy.
In fact, the Irvine Committee's hope
for "surroundings of dignity and
beauty" was fulfilled on the campus.
Comfortable faculty housing, Senior
Commons Rooms, pool and tennis
courts were tastefully located at the
edges of classrooms and laboratories
-all surrounded by well manicured
tropical grounds. If not exactly Car-
dinal Newman's ideal of the academic
cloister, at least pretty close to it.
If the Black Power and other polit-
ical rumblings of the late 1960s, and
especially the so-called Rodney af-
fair, marked an end to the Univer-
sity's halcyon existence, there were
other, non-political indications that
part of the costs of isolation was an

inability to keep up with the changing
technical and managerial needs of
the societies it served. This was es-
pecially evident in the case of Trini-
dad and Tobago where the require-
ments of the oil industry were both
specialized and substantial. There
were no shortages of studies pointing
to this very fact; a few of these are
worth mentioning as they relate spe-
cifically to the need for more engi-
1967 Report of UNESCO group
studying engineering needs; calls for
an annual output of 130 for period
1968 Ministry of Planning, Trinidad
and Tobago, estimated total Univer-
sity enrollment needed by 1976:
1969 Faculty of Engineering UWI
report: estimated requirements for
1971 Inter-American Development
Bank report: need by 1976 "in ex-
cess" of 800; actual enrollment: 386.
1976 The Report of the Faculty of
Engineering UWI, St. Augustine on
the need for engineers indicated that
while the North American and West
European standard was 3,000-5,000
engineers per million population, in
the West Indies it was 325 per million.
It also found that on a per capital
basis the West Indies was well below
other countries with similar socio-
economic levels. Using a G.N.P. per
capital measure and 1967 figures, the
report concluded that "the Caribbean
level of enrollment should experience
a four-fold increase to reach the
average level for Latin America."
Every one of these reports and
study groups, thus, made clear that,
as the 1976 Report put it, the "indus-
trial growth and more sophisticated
needs in both the public and private
sectors" were not being met by the
University-neither at a national
nor at the regional levels. This failing
was especially noted in the case of
Trinidad and Tobago where major
expansions in petro-chemical and
related industries were taking place
since 1973. And yet, the government
of Trinidad and Tobago had been
systematically increasing its contri-
bution to UWI since that year, and,
as the statistics in Table 3 show, there
had not been a corresponding in-
crease in the enrollment of Trinida-
dian students.

CArHBIiAN r EVlW /51

Photograph of the University of the West Indies
Indies, Schenkman Publishing Company, Inc.
Surely the University community
must have been aware that the new
social science emphasis on "depen-
dency" and "neo-colonialism"-with
its direct relevance to ongoing poli-
tics-could not have been lost on
those in technological fields. In fact,
they more than most were accutely
aware of the "expatriate" presence.
Not surprisingly, the 1976 Report
should discover that nearly everyone
of the 71 petroleum engineers work-
ing in that vital industry in Trinidad
and Tobago were expatriates. Among
the serious consequences of this dra-
matic shortage of engineers, as the
Report noted, was a "significant cur-
tailment of economic, social and
technological development, with the
obvious concomitant of continuing
foreign domination of technology."
Such a foreign domination would
continue unless something dramatic
was done at UWI as the statistics in
Table 4 show.
The problem did not lie, like pop-
ular folklore would have us believe,
in a lack of disposition or aptitudes
for technical fields. An "aide mem-
oire" presented by the Faculty of
Engineering, UWI, St. Augustine in
1976, indicated that the School re-
jected "between two and three fully
qualified applicants for every place
offered." Sticking to the original pre-
mises under which the University
had been established, the faculty

from The Democratic Revolution in the West

group rejected any suggestion of
lowering standards; they recom-
mended that both the "A" level ad-
mission requirements and the "stan-
dard norm" of a 1:10 staff-student
ratio be kept -(a "standard norm"
which it is worth noting, most US
universities would be envious of!).
Naturally, admissions remained near-
ly stagnant as the previously cited
statistics indicate.

A Major Restructuring
It requires no great feat of deductive
logic to conclude that if general ad-
mission and teaching standards re-
mained unchanged, only a major in-
stitutional restructuring including
a shift in emphasis could help
meet the demands of areas such as
engineering where the needs were so
great. Indeed for some time it has
been a matter of open speculation as
to how much longer the present
structure of the Univeristy could with-
stand these pressures for change. If
the 1977 White Paper does anything,
it is to testify to the tenacity of the
institution, to its ability (or determi-
nation) to withstand these pressures,
to man the ramparts of the academic
cloister. Be that as it may, however,
the inexorable push of the material
conditions of the society would not
be denied: if the ramparts could not
be conquered, then, by God, they

would be bypassed!
And this is precisely what the gov-
ernment of Eric Williams finally pro-
poses in the White Paper. The word
"finally" is in order because in fact,
the central reforms proposed by the
White Paper were already called for
in 1970 by the "Caribbean Task
Force" set up by the government of
Trinidad and chaired by a UWI eco-
nomist, Dr. Francis. To cite from the
conclusions of the Task Force is to
go to the heart of the White Paper
proposals, since the Task Force at-
tacked two central premises of the
University: its regional character and
its autonomy. The preservation of
the regional image of the University,
stated the Task Force, "needs to be
more formal than functional." It was
a "creature of the regional govern-
ments" and as such, should not be
regarded as a supra-national or supra-
governmental creation deriving its
powers from some source other than
the individual governments. "Con-
sequently," concluded the Task
Force, "it should be subject to the
direction and influence of the re-
gional governments." They were even
more severe on the notion of auton-
omy, independence from State con-
trol and influence. The Task Force
called this an "Old World" concep-
tion-the views of the University as
"the hallowed sanctum of unfettered
thought and independent academic
Keeping in mind that the late
1960's and early seventies was the
period when the University took pol-
itics to the larger society, it is not at
all surprising to read the Task Force
recommended that: "Regional gov-
ernments should harmonize their
thinking regarding what constitutes
a security risk and in the light of this
what kinds of activities by persons
associated with the University cam-
pus in any territory would be con-
sidered tolerable." The crisis in the
University of the West Indies in Trin-
idad and Tobago has two fundament-
al origins, thus. The first is political:
having taken politics to the wider so-
ciety, political sectors in the society
are now taking politics to the Univer-
sity by removing the traditional au-
tonomy of the institution and its
members. When "intervention" be-
comes a two-way street, the Univer-
sity is sure to lose. As important as
this political factor is, it is outweigh-
ed by the other source of the crisis:


"The existing structure of
the UWI including its
decision-making machinery
would not allow it, even if
funds and other resources
were made available, to
adopt the leadership role
in any national effort in
science and technology."

the University's inability to keep up
with the technological and scientific
needs of the society. "In the late six-
ties and early seventies," notes the
White Paper, "it became obvious
that the University of the West Indies
could not respond to certain de-
mands specific to Trinidad and To-
bago." As if to anticipate any claims
that the government's attitude was
based on monetary or budgetary con-
siderations, the White Paper elabo-
rates on the structural crisis: "The
existing structure of the UWI includ-
ing its decision-making machinery
would not allow it, even if funds and
other resources were made available,
to adopt the leadership role in any
national effort in science and tech-
The governments approach to re-
forming higher education will be
three pronged: (1) the establishment
of a National Institute of Higher
Education, Research, Science and
Technology; (2) the creation of a
University Affairs Council, and; (3)
a restructuring of UWI itself.
The University Affairs Council will
be but one of three such Councils
which will report directly to a Minister
of Cabinet. Aside from this adminis-
trative removal of autonomy there is
the budgetary reality: as compared
to the TT $38 million per year ex-
pected for UWI, the White Paper an-
ticipated a TT $50 million subsidy
for the National Institute of Higher
As regards the restructuring of
UWI itself, the White Paper merely
promotes what the 1970 Caribbean
Task Force had already blue-printed:
i.e., that "the structure of UWI must
give the institution in Trinidad and
Tobago the flexibility to serve the
local community, which a State Uni-

versity would have." This is to be
achieved by direct national control
over certain crucial areas of Univer-
sity life: any major new develop-
ments on programs and changes in
organizational structure, through all
matters relating to financing; a new
"Campus Advisory Committee on
Planning and Finance;" syllabi, ap-
pointments and tenure decisions up
to the Senior Lecturer (Associate
Professor) level; only appointments
at the Full Professor level are to be
left to the regional body.
While the White Paper is careful
to argue that the new administrative
structure of the UWI is geared to-
wards planning on a long-term basis
so as to "cushion the University
against immediate and short-term
pressures..." it is clear that the very
restructuring proposed is a response
to such pressures, long and short-
term. As the White Paper itself la-
ments, "no opportunity exists for cit-
izens outside of the government or
the University management structure
to bring any influence to bear on
UWI affairs." This they obviously in-
tend to correct. Unwilling, or unable
to completely mold UWI to its own
liking, the government of Trinidad
and Tobago will proceed to develop
parallel centers and institutes of
higher education which in the long
run cannot but help make the Uni-
versity even more dysfunctional to
developmental needs than it present-
ly is. The theme seems to be "if you
cannot beat them, duplicate them."

Divergent National Paths
On another level, the strains already
apparent between participating gov-
ernments, strains which reflect differ-
ing political programs, is clearly be-
hind the desire for local autonomy in
organizational structure. To quote
from the White Paper: "Recently dif-
ferent emphases are being placed by
the various constituting governments
with regard to development, struc-
ture must be evolved to cater for
these differences; otherwise complete
breakaway of one or other unit is
inevitable as occurred in the case of
Guyana." The threat is not an empty
one given the financial resources
now available to oil and gas rich
In the final analysis the White
Paper is a harbinger of a much wider
and deeper crisis in the West Indian

community reflected in the radically
different paths towards national de-
velopment chosen by Guyana and
Jamaica on the one hand and Trini-
dad and Barbados on the other. The
former call their path socialism, the
latter have chosen the mixed econ-
omy. It is in that light that one has to
view the White Paper's apparent
innocuous aside: "Thus the so-called
democratization process may devel-
op on the Jamaica campus indepen-
dent of whatever management struc-
tures evolves on the Trinidad and
Tobago campus."
Similarly, the differences between
a socialist emphasis on complete
State financing and a mixed-econo-
my emphasis on mixed financing of
higher education is to be read into
the following White Paper proposal:
"For example, the banking commu-
nity should be required to contribute
a substantial portion of the cost as-
sociated with the Institute of Bank-
ing. Similarly, the petroleum industry
and energy-based industries should
seek similar relationships with the
Centre for Energy Studies and certain
manufacturing industries with the
Centre for Industrial Research."
The conclusion one draws from all
this, then, is that regardless of where
the external pressures emanate-the
State or private sector-the isola-
tion and autonomy of the University
of the West Indies is coming to an
end, as is its monopoly over the edu-
cation, socialization and recruitment
of the new technocratic elite.
In the final analysis, a major share
of the responsibility for these devel-
opments has to be placed on those
very academics who brought the
University to politics. They, more
than any others, created a pattern
very prevalent in Latin America: the
University as a source of radical po-
litical rhetoric but a bastion of par-
ticularistic privileges. The very ones
most eager to restructure the society
tend also to be the very ones most
vociferous about defending their tra-
ditional corporate privileges-in-
cluding the privilege of not respond-
ing to the clear needs and expecta-
tions of the wider society. Poor Marx-
ists in theory and consequently, in

Anthony P. Maingot teaches Sociology at
Florida International University. He is pres-
ently on leave of absence at the Institute
of Developing Economies in Japan.


A Celebratioi of Caribbeap

Ignoring Hurts...poems. John J. Figueroa.
121 pp. Three Continents Press, 1976.

In his introduction to Ignoring Hurts, Frank Getlein re-
calls the embarrassment caused him and other mem-
bers of the circle of literary-minded undergraduate
acquaintances at Holy Cross College when first en-
countering the verse of their friend John Figueroa in the
late 1930's. These American disciples of Eliot and
Pound, of Housman and the Imagists, found a quality of
unrestraint in their maverick Jamaican classmate's exu-
berant displays of vivid Caribbean colors, his positive
relish for depicting the varied moods of the natural
world in his island home, his earthy celebration of the
folk of his homeland. These directions clashed violently
with his fellows' sense of the proper themes and tonal
concerns of a modern poet, their belief in the necessity
for restraint, for landscapes evoking studied, self-
conscious introspection, for subtlety of imagery and
ambiguity. Figueroa's poetry struck them as a bit ob-
vious, even coarse."...the vivid blue of the sea, the
glistening green of those palm trees, the sun going
down in a fiery ball instead of, as with us, doing a slow
fade. We'd read about it in Conrad, Maugham, even Co-
leridge...We thought it raucous, even a little vulgar."

The shock was deepened by the young New En-
glanders' responses to the human themes that so fre-
quently appeared in their Jamaican friend's poems.
While their canon of taste stipulated that the poet's
proper focus should be upon such themes as the doom-
ed Prufrockian quest for connection in a world of dis-
sociated sensibility, Figueroa, while never shunning
these themes, more often focused upon the folk of his
island home, their pleasures, confusions, sorrows.
Moreover, he depicted graphically, directly, in-
tensely the primal themes of sex and desire, both fulfill-
ed and frustrated. "Figueroa wrote about the erotic
constantly," Getlein recalls, "and embarrassed us by
reading these works to us." While his colleagues
restricted their most concrete revelations of their
adventures to the confessional, Figueroa made his verse
his open confessional and his arena for studying,
criticizing, and often celebrating the passionate side of
his being and the sexual natures of those who populate
his poems.
Yet another disturbing element in Figueroa's crea-
tions, as viewed by his questioning, frequently self-
doubting cohorts engaged in the re-evaluating of all

Co lor By St. George Tucker Arnold, Jr.

their beliefs, was Figueroa's profound faith, which show-
ed itself frequently in his verse. Without irony, ambi-
guity, or apology for possible contradictions between
his erotic verse and his faith-all that is, is holy, in Figue-
roa's view, then and now-he owned his belief and utiliz-
ed the patterns of the Roman Catholic liturgy to give
shape and substance to much of his poetry.
Now, as we read Ignoring Hurts in 1978 we realize
that, in every sense, John Figueroa knew precisely
where he was going as a young poet, and recognize that
contemporary poetry has swung into congruity with the
themes and techniques of Figueroa's which shocked
his classmates. To encounter the fulfillment of the
poetic vision that was forecast in the early works that
troubled Figueroa's collegiate circle, and to consider
that vision in the light of the classmates' long-ago
objections, is to realize once more that the truly com-
mitted poet alone can recognize the pattern his art must
take, the points of criticism directed to it which he
should heed, which disregard. For Figueroa's mature
poetry reflects the advancement and enrichment of the
poet's fascination with colors, with light, with the
moods and nuances of tropical nature, with the connec-
tions between human emotions and Nature's moods. It
continues to project his profound affection for his peo-

pie, his island folk, his earthy, joyous celebration of our
sexual natures, his deep religiosity, and finally, his fine
sense of whimsy, surely a frivolousness ill-received
by his earnest college classmates.
The poet's affection for Jamaican nature, and the
sense that his perceptions of all natural scenes apart
from the island landscapes that are, quite literally, a part
of him, are exercises in contrast and comparison, is ex-
pressed sharply in his 1948 creation, "At Home the
Green Remains."
In England now I hear the window shake
And see beyond its astigmatic pane
Against black limbs Autumn's yellow stain
splashed about tree-tops and wet beneath
the rake.
New England's hills are flattened as
And purple columns, all that now remain
Of trees, stand forward as hillocks to in rain,
And up the hillside ruined temples make.
At home the green remains: the palm throws
Its head and breathes above the still blue sea,
The separate hills are lost in common blue
Only the splendid poinsettias, true
And crimson like the northern ivy, tack,
But late, the yearly notice to a tree.


With his Expressionist's touch for projecting the
mood of the external as a function of the observer's in-
ner landscape, Figueroa evokes the sense of English
autumn in its sogginess, its "yellow stain" spattered on
the trees, viewed through a distorting piece of ancient
windowpane. We feel the resistance of the sodden
leaves under the rake. The sense of a vague, resigned
depression evoked by the "black limbs" that contrast
the tainted leaves in the northern island is emphasized.
His imagination carrying him to another autumn
scene, Figueroa considers New England's remembered
fall season, the denuded purple shafts of the trees loom-
ing as "ruined temples" in that puritan-haunted land.
Yet the vivacity and lushness of the imagery in the
final verse makes it clear that the remembered tropical
scenes "at home" are the most intense images in the
poet's thoughts, that the present and remembered
foreign landscapes live primarily as counterpoint in his
thoughts. The thesis is always Jamaica. The ever-living,
green, lithe palm that "throws back its head and
breathes above the still blue sea" embodies the sense of
Nature's respiration, and the poet's pleasure in inhaling,
in his imagination, the breath of his homeland's cease-
less summer. The sharp contrasts of the other lands'
seasonal changes are signalled only by a single parallel-
the "yearly notice" tacked to a tree by the poinsettias,
nature's postcard, arriving late, as a reminder of the new

Figueroan Whimsy
The sense of Figueroan whimsy that lends a genuine
charm to the collection appears most frequently when
he is dealing with the everyday life of Jamaica. "Other
Spheres" reports the poet's thoughts on the lizard that
has chosen to sit beside him as he listens to a recording,
the joint effort of "Oistrackh (pere)/And Mozart filss)."
As Getlein notes in his thoughts on the poem, the
Caribbean listener-knowing well those of all species
who share his island-is tolerant towards the lizard, if a
bit condescending: "Lizards usually join me as I
listen/And I usually do not join them." Mozart's, then
Beethoven's music surrounding them, the two auditors
seem, oddly enough, equally involved. In the lizard's
supposed captivation by the sounds, he performs the
atypical act of passing a morsel of food to his mouth
with his hand, and eating, "gently listening."
Touched by this lizardly tactfulness and precocity,
Figueroa re-evaluates his estimate of reptile receptivity,
particularly as regards the state of the species music

Somehow to use the hand so gently...
Seemed more gentlemanly and
I welcomed him to Mozart's magic circle.

Thinking of Oistrackh's nimble fingers on the bow, and
his new friend's delicacy in dining, the poet considers
Hand is close to mind
What fingers write (or how they eat)
And how they press and touch the strings...
Squeezing and pressing isometric portions
Into patterns that snatch us to others spheres--

How fingers weave and pluck and bow
Parturiates the mind.
The parturition of the mind, its giving birth to new aes-
thetic perceptions, seems an appropriate way to de-
scribe the aesthetically inclined lizard. We must
speculate as to whether, indeed, the reptile is being re-
born into a higher spot on the evolutionary ladder
thanks to the music he hears, for
He is not blind who knows
To use his hands nor deaf
Who writes notes with tuned
A nd practiced fingers
Figueroa's empathy for the folk on his island, and
his gift for portraying earthy sexual themes with wit,
energy, and complexity of meaning are seen with par-
ticular clarity in "Portrait of a Woman (and a Man)." The
poem also illustrates a poetic form he favors, and
utilizes astutely, strophe and antistrophe, the juxtaposi-
tion of two voices, interchanging in contrast to each
other, and finally blending. The woman, or, better, the
girl, speaks aloud in dialect, while the man's account, in
studied and rather cynical language, is in the form of in-
ternal monologue. He is cooly analytical in his seduc-
tion of the juicy, only barely reluctant young woman,
"Tall for seventeen/Fit for a tumble." He finds erotic ap-
peal in her offering her body while refusing to permit a
kiss. "Any familiarity an/We stop right now," she warns.
Her favors are available to all, as, her courter
knows, her bargaining powers are limited. "She's in the
public domain/She's lost her patent rights...She's
copied, copied, copied." The girl's desire is tempered, if
only weakly, by thoughts of her mother, left abandoned
holding three men's "five pledges to fortune." The
daughter speculates, "A guess hard time tek her." Yet it
is hardly difficult to "take" the daughter, as the repeated
phrase ironically hints, for all her protests. Her reluctant
nonreluctance vibrates rhythmically in accompaniment
through the couple's coitus:
Doan mek mi do it
mek mi
Doan mek mi do it
mek mi
Her struggle to maintain her thin garment of digni-
ty to cover her eager nudity is at once comic and wistful,
as the man's voice joins hers to reassure her while she
claims an unlikely, dignified future.
You see I intend to be
A nurse
No need to apologize
(Lawd it sweet!)
But if you try to kiss
Me I will scream."
Her frail restraint completes the less-than-
complete intersection of the two lives. The comic tone
is replaced by an uncomfortable sense of how distant
the two are, while their bodies touch so intimately.

Figueroa's Faith
The same technique-Getlein points out in his introduc-
tion that it is the structure of litanies in the Catholic


church, Figueroa's faith-is utilized with beauty in the ti-
tle poem of the volume. Here the mating is the union of
equally committed lovers, and the two voices exchange
the initiative, one now appealing to the other, now

My breasts are dry

Bite if you must

I am as dust

My breasts are dry

Do not pass by

The wrinkles out

enfold caress

ignoring hurts

that waits the call

and long for love

but softly smooth

and gently touch
The poem's form, ejaculatory rhythms, and inter-
weaving of concerned tenderness and intense passion
compel us to a novel perception of the nature of our sex-
ual selves and the reverence we owe to that part of our
beings; it is a moving revaluation of the falseness of
many discrimination between the sacred and profane,
a unique and striking synthesis.
In 'I Have A Dream'/Columbus Lost/or All o' wi a
search," Figueroa demonstrates that Caribbean history
inspires him quite as much as its natural beauty. Re-
flecting on the irony of Columbus' naming the islands
he had discovered the West Indies, a dialect voice
mocks: "The man so fool you si/Him tink a India him
come!" The confusions of place in wanderers and
displaced peoples' imaginations are further expanded
as the reactions of Blacks on their first encounters with
Haiti are considered:
(Later others finding snakes
In Haiti thought their kindly Gods
Had crossed the seas
Weaving worship of the phallic kind
From Africa.
With his characteristic tendency to see universal human
patterns in historical specifics, the poet speculates that

quests for discovery are frequently pointless when the
seeker does not bring with him the receptivity and
imagination to redefine his goals as he seeks, or the
security to see that most of our quests crave satisfaction
in internal terms.
How easy to travel far
And not arrive at where you are
(Some no where finding home)
To escape and not achieve our goal
Is intolerable: India or Africa.
To search is, or is not
To find.
The ancient explorer's wanderings, and the
modern searches for "Black Identity" that have grown
from challenges such as King's clarion "I have a Dream"
speech have in common the tendency for the seekers to
lose their way. The would-be Black Nationalists' quests
for unity with Africa through donning the symbols of
the unity, "The Afro-cut, Dashiki and the like..." seem a
misguided and superficial mode of emotional seeking
to Figueroa. The intellectual's voyage in the world of
ideas and others' opinions is complex and possibly as
confused as Columbus' journeyings.
Colon ventured by caravel
You read, tossed by wind rushes from
Disturbed persons talking.
The profitable exploration, the quest that has a
worthy outcome, for Figueroa, is the seeking within
ourselves, within the place where we are, within the his-
tory that is ours, accepted without irony or scorn for
those others we may see as misguided.
The whole heap o' wi
So fool you si, mi chile
We tink a India we come
Or Africa
An' all the while
A home we deh, a home
yu neber lose yet, nu?
Mek sure a weh you deh
As the man say.


Figueroa counsels patience, learning to accept our being
lost in whatever sense our misdirection or indirection
causes, developing the courage and faith to trust our
memories of "the dream" as we each construe it, as it
may guide our paths in their private and inexplicable con-
Are you ashamed because you're lost
(Laughing at others!) Can you
Forget the fading of the dream
Forget the wavering of the quest
Deep into the unknown
Through tangled forests and empty seas
Amidst amazing currents where
The pointing of the path,
The firmness of the feet, depend
On bursts of bird-song shifting shifting...
The patterns of counselled patience, of the waiting,
the careful and studied meditation, creation of perspec-
tive that permits the poet to discover the interior mean-
ing in his experience, are not restricted to Figueroa's
thoughts on Caribbean history or racial themes. In "You
Cannot Hear Silence," he presents the process of poetic
creation in a meditation that gives a unique image of the
intricate, paradoxical alchemy, the effects of time and
contemplation, that results in a poem. Silence is first
personified as the poet's "Easy mistress/Undemanding of
the flesh," whom he keeps until, through Time's agency,
she is made fertile through the caresses of the poet's
thoughts. Then again, silence

... is the soft
That time destroys
The reddish lumps of clay
That waters fondle long
Leaving polished stone.

Just as the mountain streams of volcanic Jamaica mine
and polish the crystals from the magma of the island's
soil, the poet's words are imaged as crystals submerged
beneath the currents of "time's flux," undergoing a pro-
cess of refinement and solidification paralleling the shap-
ing effect of the rushing waters. Lastly the crystals are
seen as the anchor pin-jewels of the figurative watch
movement, the jewels,
By which the movement finds
Time's spring and turns
Force to Meaning.

In other treatments of Time and creativity, Figueroa
meditates upon human achievements, their permanence
or transience; his "On Seeing the Reflection of Notre
Dame in the Seine" considers artistic aspiration as a
quest that may carry the artist beyond the achievements
of which he deemed himself capable. Gazing at night on
the great monument of High Gothic architectural art, lit
by the floodlights that the master builder could never
have imagined, on the exquisite structure's beauty made
more awesomely moving by modern technology's
contribution, Figueroa meditates on the impulses that
motivate the creator in all times, and sense that "A man
builds better than he knows."
Notre Dame's builders, he reflects, were less com-
mitted to securing eternal reward in the afterlife than

Poet John J. Figueroa from Ignoring Hurts.

they may have known. Man's genuine focus is more im-

What he seeks is not hereafter
But everlasting now well done
The answer in stone or images
Built for the now that is forever
With every invention finds further perfection.

The perfection is ongoing, enriching, because it is the
quest of us all, were our most elevated hopes for our-
selves realized. The tension is forever the function of the
relationship between the limits of his materials and the
artist's desire to transcend those limits.

So sweetly stretched the tension--
That is perfection-in stone
He cuts stone's dreams, and the world's, and his.

The poet who hears his "long-forgotten song/As it
falls from a curtained window" in a strange land, and is
moved by what he had made, the creation that now
seems no longer a part of him, but of a broader human

58/ CArBm.AN FrVIW

achievement, experiences this adventure in celebrating
our kind's creativity and eternal striving to move
beyond what seems possible, through the adventures of
our spirits.

The Ladies of Spain
Lastly, we come to Figueroa's religious poems, both
those confessional poems that speak to his private cer-
emonies of faith, and of occasional doubt, and those
that meditate upon the mysterious workings of others'
patterns of belief. These works present Figueroa at his
most humane, his most candid, and are, to this review-
er, the most touching of the works that appear in Ignor-
ing Hurts. "The Ladies of Spain" presents the poet's
reactions to two parallel images of sterility drawn from
what are at first sight shockingly disparate areas of
human experience. He considers first the mechanical,
commercial eroticism of the whores of Madrid's red-
light district. He watches them flaunting their painted
faces and splendid bodies at the cafe tables, "...pulling
skirts over crossed and recrossed knees." For all their
display, to Figueroa, they are tragic for the waste that
the quest for their "paradise" of loveless physical love
(Not dreaming of anything like sex...
They try; dust dry privately
And in their hearts.
He next fixes upon his accidental invasion of the
privacy of the Carmelite cloister at Avila, the scene of
the famous displays of that most human of saints, the
beautiful St. Theresa. Here he sees the silent nuns
become virtual objects in their wordless stillness.
Locked within leaning forward
Waiting facing us two still
Vases each a nun
Completely veiled in black
At first I thought them dummies
But they waited, held themselves,
Still as quiet vases,
Persistent as St. Theresa,
Beyond movement or rest.
The nuns' share St. Theresa's persistence, but not her
ability to see the route to paradise as a uniting of that
which is at once this-worldly and other-worldly, an ac-
ceptance of our bodies' beauty as a function of our
honoring the Creator's handiwork.
Figueroa then appeals to the God who made us all,
whores and nuns, and "...those who walk between fear-
ing both." He speculates that most of us know neither
how to give all, nor to deny all, neither how to wait nor
how to act. He begs the Lord to unite us in His love, in
the common service that can give meaning to the
strange and private modes through which we perform
what we see as our duties.

Bring us together in your love
All who serve or think they serve
In such strange ways.

In his confessional poems, there is repeatedly en-
countered Figueroa's fear that, through his expressions
of delight in the glories of human artifice, he denies the
first Creator of all beauty. These poems, private prayers

of a directioness and unselfconsciousness that is as
startling as it is moving in this time of fading connec-
tion with faith, describe a commitment that must be en-
vied and admired by any who believe, or once believed,
or long to believe. In "Too Late...," Figueroa laments his
misplaced love, his love for the signs of the Creator's
presence that, he fears, have become surrogates for the
love he would show the Lord. He fears that his love,
which he cannot show those about him, can hardly be
properly dedicated to Him who is the source of love.
Too late have I loved thee, Lord
The neighbor whom you see you do not love
How love the God you cannot see?
I have loved the green colour of hope
And the neighbor but not their meaning
The music but not its maker and
After these
I come to love thee, Lord
(Too late?)
Surely the poet who makes such songs of praise to the
Creator, who celebrates His world and its beauty with
such a varied, compassionate, and feelingful lyric of joy
in all the works of His hands, questions the value of his
witness to the Lord wrongly. To attempt to summarize
the experience of encountering these works, this lyrical
witness, in reviewer's prose, must fall short of useful
definition. Perhaps another poet, Gerard Manley
Hopkins, best characterized the emotions with which
the reader of Ignoring Hurts is left at the conclusion.
All things counter, original, spare, strange;
Whatever is fickle, freckled (who knows how?)
With swift, slow; sour; adazzle, dim;
He fathers-forth whose beauty is past change:
Praise Him.

St. George Tucker Arnold, Jr. teaches English at Florida Interna-
tional University. He is doing research on Mark Twain and American


By Paul St. Vincent

First, it was to be held at his-the man's
place-the out-of-work man. But Maureen's chief

advisor objected: is that a concession Kissinger
would make at the start of negotiations?

He demanded new terms of reference which saw her,
who paid the rent, as hosting the Conference.

His Lawyer's speech was commended by all, and led
to the first adjournment. Lambchops' pad was ruled out,

he being co-respondent to this thing; and as not
to lose the impetus, they decided to meet

in the local Underground on a Sunday morning.
It was what you would call a triangle kept in shape

by pressure of advice from outside. They were
all poor people in a difficult situation, whose

choice of action was limited. Suicide and other
heroic solutions were out. Duelling was from

another tradition: why couldn't the three live
somehow as one, or may-be two? But these were

civilized people-and fastidious. The brilliant
Lawyer commended Africa's traditional winner-

take-all development policy: did we three lack
Africa's courage? The West Indian thing was

Compromise-and-let-the-three-live sort of thing.
Whether this was a good thing (that thing again)

objectively, was something they adjourned to think
about. Lambchops said, to solve this one, was to delve

through the false bottom of West Indian ambivalence
to the bed-rock on which our great nation of the future

must be built. But Philpot thought it feeble
of Lambchops to turn politician just to win a woman

like Maureen. And so it went on. Advisor's got bored,
changed jobs and families, left; but over the years

the triangle managed to keep something
of its original shape; for it's a big decision

when you come down to it, and poor people
can't afford to be wrong all the time.

Paul St. Vincent, a native of Antigua, lives in Manchester. His play,
Signing On, was produced in England last year.

Hispanic Heritage


Florida International University
October 6- 15, 1978

Hispanic Heritage Week, an officially-
sponsored Dade County series of events is
designed to high-light the influence of the
Hispanic heritage in the history of South Florida.
In keeping with its commitment to further international
awareness, Florida International University will participate
this year in the celebration of Dade County's Hispanic
Heritage Week.
A committee made up of representatives from several
academic departments, and other university organizations
will coordinate a very exciting week-long program.
The Hispanic Heritage Week Committee is presently
recruiting volunteers to assist in the organization of these
For further information, please contact Cookie Olander,
Miguel Gonzalez-Pando or Barbara Castellanos, at:
Tri-ethnic Bilingual Program, Florida International University,
Tamiami Campus. Phone 552-2648.



-. O.._ -. -

^ ''^Mil-.

By Mark B. Rosenberg

The Path Between the Seas:
The Creation of the Panama
Canal, 1870-1914.
David McCullough. 698 pp.
Simon and Schuster, 1977. $14.95.

The debate over the Panama Canal
has sparked interest in that inter-
oceanic waterway. In fact, there
have been few periods in its history
free from political controversy.
And especially now, there is little
consensus as to the canal's future.
Evidence of the controversy is the
growing number of books and arti-
cles published on aspects of the
canal debate: for example, Walter
LaFeber's recent book, The Pana-
ma Canal--The Crisis in Historical
Perspective (Oxford, 1978), is a
broad analytical survey of the is-
sues and events which have shaped
the current debate over the canal.
ORBIS has devoted several edi-
tions to the debate. In one issue,
Charles Maechling Jr. argued that

the canal should be international-
ized; in another, ex-California gov-
ernor Ronald Reagan, echoing con-
servative political sentiment in the
United States, made the case for
continued American control of the
canal; while Senator Gale McGee
argued the liberal's cause for turn-
ing control of the Canal back to
Panama. Finally, there are those
who will have none of this debate
and prefer immediate Panamanian
control. Enrique Jaramillo's book
captures this sentiment in his Una
Explosion en America: El Canal de
Panama (Siglo XXI, Mexico, 1976).
In any event, much more infor-
mation is needed on the Canal,
especially in the United States.
Few readers will fail to recognize
the significance of the statement
from a Canal Zone official quoted
by Walter LaFeber: "We believe
that 80% of Americans agree with
us that we must keep the Canal
under our control. Unfortunately,
half of those Americans are not

sure where the Panama Canal is
The Path Between the Seas by
David McCullough is an impressive
addition to our stock of informa-
tion. This lengthy study is devoted
to describing the creation of the
Canal, starting in 1870 through
1914.While the book might initially
be compared to lan Cameron's The
Impossible Dream: The Building
of the Panama Canal (William Mor-
row, 1972), it is clear that McCul-
lough's work is more thorough and
detailed. McCullough utilizes oral
history masterfully to bring the
reader closer to the actual people
who were involved in the Canal's
creation. Despite its length (698
pages), the book will have wide
appeal to the aficionado who is
merely interested in learning about
the early years of the Canal, as well
as to the researcher who is seeking
further evidence and documenta-
tion concerning specific issues of
the Canal's history.



Coincidental Release

While the book was released to
coincide with US debate over fu-
ture control of the Canal, McCul-
lough claims that this was purely
coincidental. However, from the
viewpoint of the debate just ended,
it seems that the serious reader can
expect the book to shed some light
on at least some of the important
political issues and questions.
Nonetheless, the book stops far
short of addressing them. McCul-
lough's stated purpose is some-
thing other: to capture the spirit,
personalities and struggles which
blended to create the Canal. To his
credit, McCullough succeeds in
this effort; but it is exactly this
concern with historical detail dur-
ing the period 1870-1914 which
prevents him from asking the larger
political questions which have pre-
figured the current debate.
McCullough's book is solid on
other grounds. It is a festival of sight
and sound, a true challenge to the
reader's imagination. The story itself
spans continents, most of the im-
portant decisions and actions tak-
ing place far from the Panamanian
isthmus. Thus, in the course of the
book, the reader finds himself trav-
eling up the rain-swollen Chagress
River in Panama; fighting mosqui-
tos and dense jungle; discussing
the merits of a sea level vs. a lock
canal in the majestic halls of the
Society de Geographie in Paris
(while sipping the finest French
sherry); operating an ear-splitting
Bucyrus steam shovel at the bottom
of Culebra Cut in Panama; or plot-
ting with Secretary of State John
Hay and French Quixote-turned-
hustler, Philippe Bunau Varilla, in
Hay's well-ordered Lafayette Square
home in Washington.
The author vividly describes the
struggle to find the cause of malaria
and yellow fever. Because of them,
Panama was known as a deathtrap.
This was clear as early as 1855 when
the first trans-isthmian railroad was
completed. A hyperbolic claim was
made that there was a dead man for
every railroad tie laid between Col6n
and Panama City-approximately
74,000. McCullough suggests that
the death count was somewhere
between six and twelve thousand.
The French were not able to conquer
either disease and saw a generation

McCullough's stated
purpose is to capture the
spirit, personalities and
struggles which blended
to create the Canal. It is
exactly this concern with
historical detail during
the period 1870-1914
which prevents him from
asking some of the larger
political questions which
have prefigured the
current debate.

of their best engineers, not to men-
tion thousands of West Indian
workers, buried in Panama. It took
the efforts of the American physi-
cian Dr. William Gorgas to isolate
the Anopheles and Stegomyia fas-
ciata mosquitos as the disease car-
riers to conquer the diseases.
Any story about the Canal must
ultimately concern itself with the
actual digging, which was no small
task in a region which annually
experiences ten feet of rainfall.
McCullough details both the French
and US efforts to dig the Canal, and
the engineering advances which
were made as the giant task was ac-
complished. Thus, for McCullough
the creation of the Panama Canal
was something greater than just a
political act. More importantly, it
was a supreme effort in both medi-
cal science and engineering techno-

Three Books
The Path Between the Seas is act-
ually three books combined into
one. The first describes the French
efforts to build the Canal, beginning
with the Wyse concession of 1878
and ending with the bankruptcy of
Ferdinand de Lessep's Compagnie
Universelle du Canal Inter-
oceanique de Panama in 1889.
Clearly the moving spirit behind the
French efforts to construct a new
world canal was "le grande Fran;ais,"
Vicomte Ferdinand de Lesseps. De-
spite de Lessep's accomplishment
as the builder of the Suez Canal, he
had no special engineering or profes-

sional skills. He was however, an
entrepreneur extrodinaire who
hoped to recapture France's honor
following the disastrous Franco-
Prussian debacle of 1870. Thus, de
Lesseps plunged headlong into a
canal project in Panama, without
ever having seen either the isthmus
or technical studies and reports
about the area. It was his total faith
in technology and the ultimate
triumph of machinery over nature
which was in part responsible for the
bankruptcy of his canal company
and the subsequent political scandal
in France following revelations of
the de Lesseps company's duplicity
(the company relied extensively upon
bribes to secure the needed press
support for the canal venture).
McCullough does argue that contrary
to belief, the French made a re-
sponsible effort to build the Canal.
However, imbued with the vision and
hopes of "le grande Franqais," the
author inevitably becomes an apolo-
gist for Mons. de Lesseps.
The second book of The Path
Between the Seas concerns the
means by which the United States
became involved in a canal project,
and how the site of Panama was
chosen. This section is a masterful
study of US domestic and foreign
policy making, necessary reading
for any analyst interested in US ex-
pansionism and imperialism in the
Caribbean. In the first place, the Ca-
nal site was virtually huckstered
from the logical and more studied
location of Nicaragua to the old,
and as yet unconquered French site
in Panama. President Theodore
Roosevelt (firmly convinced by Al-
fred Thayer Mahan's, The Influence
of Sea Power Upon History and
originally a supporter of a Nicaragua
canal) and Senator Mark Hanna
were in large part convinced of the
merits of Panama by lobbyists
Philippe Bunau Varilla and New
York lawyer William Nelson Crom-
well. It was clear that there was little
notion among US policy makers of
a Panamanian role in the Canal. Pa-
nama was to be counted on to sup-
ply nothing more than the location
and the pseudo-legitimacy of an in-
dependent government fully sup-
portive of US actions. In fact,
McCullough's version casts Secre-
tary of State John Hay as one of the
principal, if not the principal,
facilitators of Philippe Bunau Va-


rilla's machinations concerning Pa-
namanian independence from Co-
lombia in 1903. There was little
concern in Washington for Co-
lombia's position, even though it
was agreed that if Colombia did not
accept the terms by which the Wyse
concession and French assets in the
isthmus were transferred, then Ni-
caragua would be the site.
Finally, notwithstanding Amer-
ican deviousness, Panamanian inde-
pendentistas and nationalists, espe-
cially Manuel Amador Guerrero, are
depicted as naive and inexperienced
and thus easily manipulated. The
result, aside from a firm US commit-
ment to finish the French task, was
a newly independent Panamanian
state which emerged in somewhat
the same fashion as did Cuba in
1898: wholly dependent on and sub-
ject to US hegemony in the area.
The third book in The Path Bet-
ween the Seas concerns the actual
US efforts to dig the Canal. McCul-
lough attempts to debunk the no-
tion that Theodore Roosevelt's
famous dictum "now watch the dirt
fly" was in fact the key to the renew-
ed canal operations. Indeed, two
problems demanded attention: the
lingering problem of malaria and
yellow fever and the problem of the
most efficient method to remove
the spoil of the digging. The major
responsibility for the solution to the
first problem resided with Dr. Gor-
gas, who during the early years of
his efforts did not receive wide-
spread budgetary or administrative
support. The latter problem was
ultimately solved by the US Isth-
mian Canal Commission's Second
Chief Engineer, John Stevens, who
utilized his railroad expertise to pro-
vide a highly mechanized means to
remove the 232,440,945 cubic
yards of dirt that were etched out of
Panama. Interestingly, the debate
over whether to build a sea level or
a lock canal was not actually resolv-
ed until 1907, four years after the
US began building the Canal. The
de Lesseps' hope for a sea level Bos-
phorus had finally been put to rest.
A lock canal, ironically similar to a
design proposed to de Lesseps in
1879 but unjustifiably rejected, was
The United State Isthmian Canal
Commission encountered a variety
of problems: the question of yellow
fever and malaria, low morale dur-

"We believe that 80% of
Americans agree with us
that we must keep the
Canal under our control.
Unfortunately, half of
those Americans are not
sure where the Panama
Canal is located."

ing the early stages of US involve-
ment due to over-bureaucratization,
and the problems of excavating at
Culebra (now Gaillard) Cut. And
ultimately, when the actual triumph
of linking the seas in 1914 was ac-
complished, it was over-shadowed
by the outbreak of the Great War.

Providing the Location
The Path Between the Seas must
be regarded as a monument to the
medical and technological ac-
complishments occasioned by the
Panama Canal. However, the author
gives only modest attention to the
actual living and working condi-
tions of those who dug the Canal,
the great majority of whom were
West Indian blacks (mainly Barba-
dians). The author is quick to point
out that there was a striking con-
trast between the living conditions
of the American managers and their
West Indian laborers. However, the
reader is left with the impression
that McCullough would prefer to
discuss the workings of the intricate
canal lock system rather than the
manner in which West Indians lived
and died in the Canal Zone.
More importantly, McCullough
(like many Americans today) al-
most forgets that the Canal is locat-
ed on foreign soil. Therefore, very
little is mentioned about US-Pana-
manian relations. We are, however,
given one significant clue which can
be understood by many (not includ-
ing the author) as a portent of
things to come concerning US-
Panamanian relations: we are told
that the Canal's last chief engineer
(1907-1914) and first zone governor
(1914-1916), Army Engineer George
Goethals, does not speak Spanish.
This information in and of itself is
not as significant as the manner in
which it is related. For the author, it

is a vital datum in describing
Goethal's character. For the
discerning reader, concerned about
the ongoing political relations be-
tween the US and Panama, especial-
ly the Canal, this information is far
more important in terms of indicat-
ing the manner in which US-Pana-
manian relations were initially
handled. In fact, we are told very lit-
tle, if anything, about the evolving
relations between the two coun-
tries. It is as if Panama had no his-
tory, no role to play in the Canal, ex-
cept, of course, that of providing
the location.
The author may not have
recognized the importance of de-
scribing for us the relations between
the US and Panama as the Canal
was being dug. Or he may not have
felt that they were as important as
describing the technical workings
of the Canal. Whichever the case,
the reader should know beforehand
that much of the information that
might be valuable in helping to
understand the current political
debate over the Canal will not be
found in The Path Between the

Mark Rosenberg teaches Political Science
at Florida International University and
chairs its Caribbean and Latin American
Studies Council.

American skepticism over the vast under-
taking as expressed by Thomas Nast in
Harper's Weekly: "Is M. de Lesseps a
Canal Digger or a Grave Digger?" From
The Path Between The Seas.


~k._ _. .,.-_----~-I.-

By Marian Goslinga

and Sociology
PUBLICA, 1900-1930. Aida
Negr6n de Montilla.
University of Puerto Rico,
1977. 290 pp. $6.25.

Rafael L. Ramirez. University
of Puerto Rico, 1977. 175 pp.
$5.00. Translation of Politics
and the Urban Poor.

Mariam K. Slater. St. Martin's
Press, 1976.264 pp. $12.95
cloth; $5.95 paper.

Garcia and Rudolph O. De
la Garza. Druxbury Press,
1977. 205 pp.

1540-1974. A CHRONOLOGY
A. Garcia, ed. Oceana
Publications, 1977.231 pp.

IN CUBA. Marvin Leiner with
Robert Ubell. Penguin, 1978.
$2.50 paper.

H. Rojas. CINEP (Colombia),
1977. 148 pp. $3.50. An
account of crime in

TION. Kent C. Earnhardt.
University of Puerto Rico
Press, 1977.

Wills S. Jervier. Vantage
Press, 1977. 163 pp. $8.50.

DEL DELITO. Helen Silving.
Translated by Genaro R.
Carri6. University of Puerto
Rico, 1977. 439 pp. $9.60
Translation of Constituent
Elements of Crime. Includes
a discussion of criminal law
in Puerto Rico.


Frankenhoff, et. al. University
of Puerto Rico, 1977.51 pp.
$3.75. Based on an
environmental planning
workshop held in May, 1974.

Robert G. Keith, ed. Holmes
and Meier, 1977. 200 pp.

Stephen Urbanski. Translated
from the Spanish by Frances
Kellam Hendricks and
Beatrice Berler. University of
Oklahoma Press, 1978.

A.D. Esther Pasztory, ed.
Columbia University Press,
1978. $20.00.

DOMINGO, 1975. Comisi6n
de Estudios de Historia de la
Iglesia en Latinoamerica.
Nova Terra (Spain), 1977.
328 pp. 400E.

Handler and Fredrick W.
Lange. Harvard University
Press, 1978. 368 pp. $20.00.

Earnhardt. University of
Puerto Rico, 1978.

JAMAICA. Stephen Davis.
Anchor Press, 1977. 216 pp.

Hugo Latorre Cabal.
Translated from the Spanish
by Frances Kellam Hendricks
and Beatrice Berler.
University of Oklahoma
Press, 1977. $9.95.
A discussion of the "Young
Church" which supports
reforms vs. the "Old Church."

Craton. Harvard University
Press, 1978.439 pp. $32.50.


J. Walvin, D. Wright.
Longman Inc., 1976.347 pp.

Shelton H. Davis. Cambridge
University Press, 1977.
205 pp.

Chinchilla Aguilar. Editorial
Jos6 de Pineda Ibarra,
Ministerio de Educaci6n
(Guatemala). 1977.645 pp.

Nicolaas van Meeteren.
S. Emmering, 1978. 248 pp.
fl. 45. Reprint of the 1947


Frank Martinus. Instituut
voor de Opleiding van
Leraren (Surinam), 1978.
Essay about the well-known
Surinam poet.

Victor Andr6s Belaunde.
4th ed. Studium, 1977.
393 pp. $12.00.

CARLOS. Alvaro Soto
Guerrero. El Cid, 1977.
288 pp. $3.50.

Luis L6pez Alvarez. Educa,
1977. 215 pp. (2.05.
Reprint edition.

McFarlane. Ridley Enslow
Publishers, 1978. 141 pp.

Lionel Martin. L. Stuart,
1978. $8.95.

V. Translated and edited by
Francis Augustus MacNutt.
Rio Grande Press, 1977.
2 vols. $40.00.

Fernando Col6n. Greenwood
Press, 1978. $21.75. Reprint
of the 1959 edition.


Debrot, et. al. Meulenhoff
(Netherlands), 1978. fl.19.50.
Festschrift in honor of Luc
Tournier, pseudonym of
Chris Engels-well-known
Curacao personality.

NETRA. Eduardo Lemaitre.
Ediciones Tercer Mundo,
1977. 219 pp. $1.80. An
analysis of the charges
brought against the
Colombian president and his

Raymond Sapene. Grijalbo
(Spain), 1977. 320 pp. 350E.
Originally published in

Norberto Galasso. El Cid
(Venezuela), 1977.

Tobar. 2nd ed. 1977. 188 pp.

Yves J. Jerome. Vantage
Press, 1978. $5.95.

Fouchet. Rizzoli, 1978.
$50.00. About the famous
Cuban artist.

Evelio Buitrago Salazar.
Translated by M. Murray
Lasley. University of
Alabama Press, 1977.
168 pp. $8.95.

and Travel

Baudez. Juventud (Spain),
1977. 264 pp. 1000E.
Originally published in

RICO. Antonio J. Colorado.
3rd ed. Watts, 1978. 75 pp.
$4.90. Intended for a juvenile

Francisco Valencia y Argemis
de Romero Porras. 2nd
ed. Cultura Colombiana,
1977. 129 pp.

DE HONDURAS. Institute
Geogrifico de Honduras.
IPGH (M6xico), 1977.45 pp.


Algernon Edward Aspinall.
Gordon Press, 1978. $59.95.
Reprint edition.

AMERICA. Ernst A. Jahn.
Compso, 1978. $9.95 paper.

M.D. Teenstra. S. Emmering,
1978. 2 vols. fl. 80.00 paper.
Reprint of the 1836-37 ed.

Eleanor Early. Gordon Press,
1978.316 pp. $42.95. First
published in 1937.

Foran. McGraw Hill, 1977.
80 pp. $2.64. Juvenile.

Vaco press(Surinam), 1978.
fl. 4.50. A humorous
description of conditions in

Seafarth. McKay, 1978.


POLITICA. F. Leal Buitrago,
et. al. Punta de Lanza
(Colombia), 1977.379 pp.
Papers prepared for the
Primer Seminario Nacional
de Desarrollo Rural, July 29-
31, 1976, Universidad de los
Andes, Bogot6.

BARBADOS. P. Ramlogan.
CEMLA (Mexico), 1977.

Beachey. Greenwood Press,
1978. $14.50. Reprint of the
1957 edition.

SENORIAL. Antonio Garcia.
Cruz del Sur (Colombia),
1977. 121 pp.

Contexto, 1977. 641 pp.
$840.00. This survey covers

Junquito Bonnet, ed.
Federarrollo (Colombia),
1977.200 pp. This serial
publication began in 1971.

Mosquera M. CINEP
(Colombia), 1977.70 pp.
$2.00. An account of the
petroleum industry in

1977. Francisco de Roux and
Ernesto Parra. CINEP
(Colombia), 1977.91 pp.

Michael P. Todaro. Longman,
1977.440 pp.

O. Nigel Bolland. Johns
Hopkins University Press,
1977.240 pp.

COLOMBIA. Juan Parra
Granada. 3rd ed. Bedout,
1977. 159 pp. $3.50.

Norma Abdulah. University
of the West Indies, 1977.
120 pp.

LAND IN BELIZE, 1765-1871.
O. Nigel Bolland and Assad
Shoman. Institute of Social
and Economic Research,
University of the West Indies,
1977. 142 pp.

COLOMBIA. Efrain Aldana
M., et. al. CINEP (Colombia),

1977. 170 pp. $3.00.

LOPEZ. Fernando Rojas H.
CINEP (Colombia), 1977.
240 pp. $3.50. An account
of the Colombian president's
labor policy.

Kempe R. Hope. New ed.
Center for Latin American
Studies, Arizona State
University, 1978. $3.50.

James W. Wilkie and
Kenneth Ruddle, eds. UCLA
Latin American Center, 1977.
91 pp. $9.75. Includes
statistics on industrial
productivity in Cuba.

1977-1981. Uitgave van het
Kabinet van de
Gevolmachtigde Minister
van de Nederlandse Antillen,
1977. A 'Five-year plan' for
the Netherlands Antilles.

and Archaeology

Elisabeth Wallace. University
of Toronto Press, 1977.
274 pp.

Chodos. Lorimer, 1977.
269 pp. A study of the foreign
economic relations between
the Caribbean area and

IMPACT, 1869-1971. William
David Maclntyre. University
of Minnesota Press, 1977.
596 pp. $25.00.

Eduardo Ruiz. Noguei
(Spain), 1977. 224 pp. 150E.
Reprint of the 1972 edition.


EN BOYACA. Fernando
Diaz Diaz. Universidad
Pedag6gica y Tecnol6gica
de Colombia, 1977. 130 pp.

GUATEMALA. Alfred Vincent
Kidder, et. al. Pennsylvania
State University Press, 1978.
284 pp. $20.00.Reprint of
the 1946 edition.

Muser, ed. Dutton, 1978.

Maldonado-Denis. Antillana
(Puerto Rico), 1977. 217 pp.

Vidiadhar Surajprasad
Naipaul. Penguin Books,
1977. 334 pp. Reprint ed.
A history of Trinidad.

P. Benson. Crowell, 1977.
Revised ed. 176 pp. $9.50;
$4.95 paper.

Marti. Monthly Review Press,
1978.448 pp. $16.50.

LaFeber. Oxford University
Press, 1978. 249 pp. $10.95.

Richard E.W. Adams. Little,
Brown and Company, 1977.
370 pp.

Dillon. Ballena Press, 1978.
94 pp. $5.95 paper.

HOUSE. Jose de Veitia
Linaje. AMS Press, 1977.
367 pp. $24.50. Reprint of
the 1702 edition.

Mario Llerena. Cornell
University Press, 1978.

AMERICAS. Pal Kelemen.
Walker and Company, 1977.
232 pp. $15.00.

and Literature
POEMS. Ernesto Cardenal.
Robert Pring-Mill and Donald
D. Walsh, eds. Translated by
Thomas Merton, et. al. New
Directions, 1977.78 pp.
$9.00. Cardenal, a
Nicaraguan priest, is
considered by many to be a
major Hispanic poet.

COLOMBIA. L. Florez.
Institute Caro y Cuervo,

LOVEIRA. Sarah Marques.
Universal(Florida), 1977.
180 pp. Originally presented
as the author's thesis.

Rodriguez Monegal, ed., with
Thomas Colchie. Knopf,
1977. 2 vols. $7.95. Vol. 1:
From the time of Columbus
to the 20th century; Vol. 2:
the 20th century.

CHAPAPOTI. Carlos A. Nicolaas.
Privately printed, fl. 5.00.
Poems in Papiamentu by an
author from Bonaire.

Roberto Ruiz Rojas and Cesar
Valencia Solanilla. Presencia
(Colombia), 1977.240 pp. A
collection of short stories.

POEMS. Enrique Lihn. New
Directions, 1978. 147 pp.
$8.95 cloth; $2.45 paper.

Sanchez-Boudy. Universal
(Florida), 1977. 64 pp.

ALAMENAS. Pedro Joaquin
Chamorro. El Pez y la
Serpiente (Nicaragua), 1977.
106 pp. Last novel of the
Nicaraguan editor.

EPISODEN. J.M. Eustatia.
Inleiding door Pim Heuvel.
Flamboyant (Netherlands),
1978. Poems in Dutch by an
Antillean author.

Institute Caro y Cuervo, 1977.

COLOMBIA. German de
Granda. Institute Caro y
Cuervo, 1977.366 pp.

THE FAIR. Juan Jos6 Arreola.
Translated by John Upton.
University of Texas Press,
Austin and London, 1977.
154 pp. Cloth $10.00.

CUBANAS. Jose Sanchez-
Boudy. Universal (Florida),

Alecia Marciano. El Cid
(Venezuela), 1977.2 vols.
A novel about Juan Vicente

MARACA. Jose Sanchez-

Priede. Universal (Florida),
1977.64 pp.

Marco Antonio Montes de
Oca. Translated by Laura
Villasehor. Byblos, 1978.
60 pp.

Balaguer. Gordon Press,
1978. $39.95. Originally
published in Spanish.

RICO. Manuel Alvarez
Nazario. University of Puerto
Rico, 1977. 191 pp. $5.00.

F. Fern6ndez Sosa. Universal
(Florida), 1977.200 pp.
Originally presented as the
author's thesis.

Sprang. 1978. 3 vols. fl. 2.56
each. A collection of
children' songs from the
Dutch Antilles in Papiamentu,
Dutch, English and Spanish.

Juliana. Scherpenheuvel
(Curacao), 1978. fl. 5.00.
This is a limited edition of
Curacao poems.

INDIES. Douglas MacRae
Taylor. Johns Hopkins
University Press, 1977.
278 pp. $16.00.

Jo Anne Engelbert. New York
University Press, 1978.
$15.00 cloth.

QUE EL TUYO. Alberto
Duque L6pez. Institute
Colombiano de Cultura,
1977. 268 pp. $80.00.

Lebacs. Leopold
(Netherlands), 1978. The
second novel of a 4 volume
set by this Antillean author.


Gonzalez. Universal (Florida),
1977. Originally presented
as the author's thesis.

ORKAAN. Sonia Garmers.
llustraties door The Tjong
Khing. Leopold (Netherlands),
1978.A novel in Dutch by a
Curacao author.

Wolfe. Harper and Row,
1977. 280 pp. $8.95. A novel
of suspense.

R. Fores. Universal (Florida),
1977. Originally presented
as the author's thesis.

BALLAGAS. Rogelio de la
Torre. Universal (Florida),

CUENTOS. Carlos Alberto
Montaner. Novelas y Cuentos
(Spain), 1978. 120 pp.

Hugo Nino. Casa de las
Americas (Cuba), 1976.-
142 pp. Collection of
children's short stories.

Jairo Anibal Nilo. Carlos
Valencia (Colombia), 1977.
81 pp.

E.M. La Croes. Imp. Kontakto
Antiano, 1978. A collection
of 35 illustrated aphorisms
from the Netherlands

ROEPT. Lucy Vreden-
Kortram. Surinaams-
Schrijverscolectief, 1978.
Poems in Dutch and Sranan-

SUMA POETICA. Jorge Rojas.
COLCULTURA (Colombia),
1977. 512 pp. $80.00.

G. Barron-Sorava. Welsuria,

1978. fl. 7.00. Poems about
Surinam's children.

TALIGON. Carlos A. Nicolaas.
Privately printed, fl.5.00.
Short stories in Papiamentu
by an author from Bonaire.

Echavarria. Institute
Colombiano de Cultura,
1977. 120 pp. $80.00.

Shrinivasi. Futile, 1978.
Poems from Surinam.

(pseudonym for Albert
Helman). De Walburg Pers,
1978. fl.17.50. A collection
of Surinam poems translated
into Dutch.

and Government

Manning. Island Press Ltd.,
1978.231 pp.

1873. Mary Noel Menezes.
Clarendon Press, 1977.
326 pp. 8.50.

DE CLASE. Nestor Miranda
Ontaneda. CINEP (Colombia),
1977. 70 pp. $2.00. An
account of the political
situation in Colombia.

POLICY. Stewart Lea Mims.
Farrar, Straus & Giroux,
1977.385 pp. $16.50. Reprint
of the 1912 ed.

Rojas H. CINEP (Colombia),
1977. 102 pp. $1.50.

Bruno Bologna. Tierra Nueva
(Spain), 1977. 168 pp.

EN MARCHA. Toni Turull.
Aymd(Spain), 1977. 277 pp.

CUBA IN THE 1970's:
Carmelo Mesa-Lago. 2nd ed.
University of New Mexico
Press, 1978. $12.00; $4.95

1919-1963. Henri Grimal.
Westview Press, 1978.
$22.50. Translation of La

Mario Garcia Laguardia.
EDUCA, 1977.

RELATIONS, 1920-1940.
Stephen J. Randall.
University of Toronto Press,
1977. 239 pp. $15.00.

Roopnarine John Singh.
Exposition Press, 1977.
235 pp. $10.00.

1978. CINEP (Colombia),
1977. 125 pp.

Hopkins. Barrons Educations
Series, 1977. 226 pp. $1.50.

REFLUJO. Gonzalo Shnchez
G. Ediciones Tiempo
Present (Colombia), 1977.
154 pp.

Gonzalo J. Facio. Tails. Grafs.
Trejos (Costa Rica), 1977.
263 pp.



is Available in



O, University

Dept. F.A. Dept. F.A.
300 North Zeeb Road 18 Bedford Row
Ann Arbor, MI 48106 London, WC1 R 4EJ
U.S.A. England

Martinez. Gordon Cremonesi,
1978. $18.95.

B. Ryan. Hoover Institution
Press, 1977. New ed. 198 pp.

1930. Fernmn E. Gonzilez.
CINEP (Colombia), 1977.
211 pp. The role of the
Catholic Church in
Colombian politics.

DiBacco, ed. Praeger, 1977.
122 pp. $15.00.

DEL CANAL. Gregorio
Selser. EDUCA, 1977.319
pp. A reprint.

Eduardo Vald6s. Vantage
Press, 1977. 66 pp. $5.95.

TREATY. Philip M. Crane.
Caroline House Books, 1978.
258 pp. $7.95.

VENEZOLANO, 1967-1968.
Biblioteca Nacional. Centro
Bibliogr6fico Venezolano.

Imp. del Congreso de la
Rep6blica, 1977.386 pp.
The Anuario was first
published in 1970.

Gonzalez. University of
Puerto Rico, 1977.
Centro de Investigaciones
Sociales, University of
Puerto Rico, 1977. Vol. 1:
1931-1954; Vol. 2: 1954-

G.K. Hall, 1977.6 Vols.

Vol. 7. Jose Maria Arbolleda
Llorente. Universidad del
Cauca, 1977. 360 pp. The
first volume of this
bibliography was published
in 1944.


Gilbert Schwartz. Climate
Guide Publications, 1977.
322 pp. $7.90.

Lovejoy Wellman. Scarecrow
Press, 1977.495 pp. $20.00.

REVIEW 1978. Rand
McNally, 1978.300 pp.
$14.95. Detailed analysis
and forecasts of economic
trends for 32 countries.

HANDBOOK. 1978.54th
annual ed. Rand McNally.
1000 pp. $17.95.

Marian Goslinga is International,
Environmental and Urban Affairs
Librarian at Florida Internation-
al University.


Available back issues
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Vol.11 No. 1 E
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Vol. IV No. 1 E
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Vol. IV No. 3 OE
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