Front Cover
 Table of Contents
 Front Matter
 Back Cover


Caribbean Review
Full Citation
Permanent Link: http://ufdc.ufl.edu/UF00095576/00032
 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: 1980
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: UF00095576:00032


This item has the following downloads:


Table of Contents
    Front Cover
        Front Cover 1
        Front Cover 2
    Table of Contents
        Page 1
    Front Matter
        Page 2
        Page 3
        Page 4
        Page 5
        Page 6
        Page 7
        Page 8
        Page 9
        Page 10
        Page 11
        Page 12
        Page 13
        Page 14
        Page 15
        Page 16
        Page 17
        Page 18
        Page 19
        Page 20
        Page 21
        Page 22
        Page 23
        Page 24
        Page 25
        Page 26
        Page 27
        Page 28
        Page 29
        Page 30
        Page 31
        Page 32
        Page 33
        Page 34
        Page 35
        Page 36
        Page 37
        Page 38
        Page 39
        Page 40
        Page 41
        Page 42
        Page 43
        Page 44
        Page 45
        Page 46
        Page 47
        Page 48
        Page 49
        Page 50
        Page 51
        Page 52
        Page 53
        Page 54
        Page 55
        Page 56
    Back Cover
        Back Cover 1
        Back Cover 2
Full Text


Al 01,


e l^^-BH-^-^- --^^H^-I

Vol. IX, No. 3
Two Dollars

The Death of MunYoz, The Future of the Popular Democratic Party,
Injustice on the Island, The Agony of Puerto Rican Art,
Remembrances of Things Puerto Rican, The Neorican Dream,
A Picaresque Tale of Emigration and Return


In Latin




* Over 55 Latin American and
Caribbean related courses in
the University.
* Certificate requirements include:
successful completion of five Latin
American and/or Caribbean
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 students.
* Expanded University support as a
Title VI Undergraduate Language
and Area Center.
* Expanded Library holdings in
Latin American-Caribbean
* Special seminar series offered by
distinguished visiting scholars in
Latin American and Caribbean

Latin American-Caribbean Studies
Ricardo Arias, Philosophy and
Ken I. Boodhoo, International
John Corbett, Public Administration
Robert Culbertson, Public
Judson M. DeCew, Political Science
Grenville Draper, Physical Sciences
Luis Escovar, Psychology
Robert Farrell, Education
Gordon Finley, Psychology
Robert Grosse, International
John Jensen, Modern Languages
Charles Lacombe, Anthropology
Barry B. Levine, Sociology
Anthony P Maingot, Sociology
James A. Mau, Sociology
Floretin Maurrasse, Physical
Ramon Mendoza, Modern
Raul Moncarz, Economics
Pedro J. Montiel, Economics
Mark B. Rosenberg, Political Science
Reinaldo Sanchez, Modern
Jorge Salazar, Economics
Mark D. Szuchman, History
Maida Watson Breslin, Modern

For further information, contact:
Latin American-Caribbean Center
Florida International University
Tamiami 'rail
Miami, Florida 33199

Miami Speaker's
On Latin America
and the Caribbean
The Latin American and Caribbean
Center of Florida International
University will be hosting a Speaker's
Bureau for scholars traveling
through Miami. The Bureau will
serve as a means for area specialists
to share their experiences and
research during colloquia sponsored
by FIU, The University of Miami and
Miami-Dade Community College
New World Center. A modest
honorarium and per diem expenses
will be provided.

Scholars anticipating travel through
Miami and interested in
participating in the colloquia should
contact Mark B. Rosenberg, Director,
Latin American and Caribbean
Center, FIU, Miami, FL 33199 at least
30 days prior to the anticipated
departure from their home cities.


review l

SUMMER 1980 Vol. IX, No. 3

Barry B. Levine
Associate Editors
Anthony R Maingot
William T Osborne
Mark B. Rosenberg
Contributing Editors
Carlos M. Alvarez
Ricardo Arias
Ken I. Boodhoo
Jerry Brown
Judson M. DeCew
Herbert L. Hiller
Antonio Jorge
Gordon K. Lewis
James A. Mau
Florentin Maurrasse
Pedro J. Montiel
Raul Moncarz
Luis P Salas
Mark D. Szuchman
William T Vickers
Gregory B. Wolfe

Two Dollars

Art Director
Juan C. Urquiola
Marian Goslinga
Assistants to the Editor
Lucy Gonzalez
Elena A. Parrado
Editorial Managers
Juan Cay6n
Lilia Guimaraes
E. Leigh Metzler
Beatriz Parga de Bay6n
Xavier Viera Patr6n
Assistant to the Publisher
Miguel Rabay
Sales and Marketing
Walter H. Hill
Publishing Consultants
Andrew R. Banks
Eileen Marcus

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 funds
from the Office of Academic Affairs of Florida Interna-
tional University and the State of Florida. This public
document was promulgated at a quarterly cost of
$5,546 or $1.23 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
Mailing address: Caribbean Review, Florida Interna-
tional 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 1980 by Caribbean Review, Inc. All rights
Subscription rates: 1 year: $8.00; 2 years: $15.00; 3
years: $20.00. 25% less in the Caribbean and Latin
America. Air Mail: add 50% per year. Payment in Cana-
dian currency or with checks drawn from banks out-
side the US add 10%. Invoicing charge: $2.00. Sub-
scription agencies please take 15%.
Syndication: Caribbean Review articles have appeared
in other media in English, Spanish and German.
Editors, please write for details.
Index: Articles appearing in this journal are annotated
and indexed in Historical Abstracts; America: History
and Life; and United States Political Science Docu-
ments. An index to the first six volumes appeared in
Vol. VII, No. 2 of CR: an index to volumes seven and
eight, in Vol. IX, No. 2.
Back Issues: Vol. 1, No. 1, Vol. 11, No. 2; Vol. Ill, No. 1, No.
3, No. 4; Vol. V, No. 3; Vol. VI, No. 1; Vol VIII No. 2, No. 4,
Vol IX No. 1 are out of print. All other back numbers:
$3.00 each. Microfilm and microfiche copies of Carib-
bean Review are available from University Microfilms,
A Xerox Company, 300 North Zeeb Road, Ann Arbor,
Michigan 48106.
International Standard Serial Number:
ISSN 0008-6525; Library of Congress Number:
AP6, C27; Dewey Decimal Number: 079.7295.

In this issue

page 36

page 36

Puerto Rican Culture at the Turning Point
Requiem for a Lost Leader
Luis Mufioz Marin, 1898-1980
By Gordon K. Lewis
Mufoz and the 1980 Elections
The Future of the Popular Party
By Ismaro Velasquez
PDP + NPP = A*pa*thy
The End of the Popular Party
By Thomas Mathews
Cerro Maravilla
Injustice in Puerto Rico
By Tombs Stella
Fiction or Reality
Testimony of an Author in Crisis
By Pedro Juan Soto
The Agony of Puerto Rican Art
By Eneid Routt6 G6mez

The Bureaucracy of Music in Puerto Rico
By Francis Schwartz
Remembrances of Things Puerto Rican
Vignettes from "The Islander"
By John Hawes
The Phenomenology of Everyday Life
Puerto Rico Becomes a Mass Society
By Charles Rosario
The Neorican Dream, A Poem
By Jaime Carrero
The System is Upstairs
Selections From Benjy Lopez
By Barry B. Levine
Two Views of Benjy Lopez
A Man and His Potential
Reviewed by Miguel Barnet
A Tale of Wit and Woe
Reviewed by Helen I. Safa
The Puerto Rican Circuit
Labor Migration Under Capitalism
Reviewed by James W. Wessman
Recent Books
An Informative Listing of Books about the Caribbean,
Latin America and their Emigrant Groups
By Marian Goslinga
On the Cover
By Francisco J. Barrenechea


entering our fourth
decade of
distinguished publishing








Social Control and
Deviance in Cuba
by Luis Salas
Only as political, counter-revolutionary crime in
Cuba decreased has the Castro government shifted
its attention to control of traditional criminal activity.
This book examines the development of control in-
stitutions-both formal and informal-including the
courts, State committees, and police. It explains
shifts in crime related to Cuba's emergence as a
socialist system, and describes ways in which non-
political deviance, such as homosexuality and va-
grancy, are treated. Also examined is the corruption
of public officials and the legal system. A final chap-
ter sums up the economic, political, and cultural in-
fluences which have affected social control in Cuba.

416 pp. 1979 $24.95

ISBN 0-03-052471-7

Order from: Praeger Publishers
521 Fifth Avenue
New York, New York 10017

Q. What do China and the Caribbean
have in common?
A. For one thing, both have had
Roman Catholic missionaries
from the U.S.A.

China, American Catholicism,
and the Missionary
Thomas A. Breslin
An exploration of the interaction between
American Catholic missionaries and the
mainland Chinese, this book challenges
many old and new assumptions. The impact
on both sides was not always as desired or
expected nor as perceived from the United
States. Despite many good works, mainly in
education and medicine, the missionaries
had to learn to live with the perennial
hostility of the majority of Chinese.
From early in the 19th century until
midway through the 20th, the chief link
between the world's most populous nation,
China, and the young nation that became the
world's strongest, the United States, was the
missionary. Until World War I most of the
American missionaries to China were
Protestants, but as European Catholics
deserted their mission stations to fight in the
global war, the Vatican insisted that
American Catholics go to China. While some
volunteered, many went under duress.
American Catholic missionaries operated
hundreds of schools and scores of
dispensaries, clinics, and hospitals, teaching
tens of thousands of Chinese to read and
write and giving medical care to hundreds of
thousands. Although some Chinese good
will resulted from this benevolence, most
Chinese resented the relatively affluent
lifestyle of the missions and the willingness
of the missionaries to summon foreign
gunboats to protect their safety and
authority. Unintentionally the missionaries
often contributed to revolutionary impulses.
140 pp. 2 maps
LC 79-27857 ISBN 0-271-00259-X

The Pennsylvania State University Press
215 Wagner Building
University Park. Pennsylvania 16802



Conflict in


American City
Boston's Irish, Italians,
and Jews, 1935-1944

by John F Stack, Jr.

Ethnic pressure, whether it is Jewish support for the state of
Israel, Irish antipathy toward Great Britain, or East Euro-
peans' demands for political change in their homelands, has
long been recognized as a powerful influence on American
foreign policy. But little historical attention has been paid to
the correlation between politicking in the United States and
the events in the country of origin. Conversely, the effects of
international events on ethnic rapport in America have also
been largely ignored. But international politics is a two-way
street. The subtle and complex dynamics of the relationship
between the Old World and the New is the subject of Interna-
tional Conflict in an American City.
This highly original book studies three ethnic groups in
Boston the Irish, Italians, and Jews and their reactions
to the volatile international issues of the 1930s and 1940s;
fascism, Nazism, anti-Semitism, isolationism, and the com-
ing of World War II. John F. Stack, Jr. begins by discussing
the origins of Boston's rich mix of ethnic backgrounds, the
successive immigrations, and goes on to analyze the religious
organizations, foreign-language newspapers, fraternal clubs.
social welfare societies, political affiliations, and employ-
ment patterns that made ethnic groups in the city so cohesive.
He shows how the hardships of the Depression tended to
make the Irish, Italians, and Jews even more insular and
suspicious of "outsiders." He then introduces his main
thesis: that the international conflicts of the 1930s and 1940s,
many of which involved the homelands and relatives of
Boston's ethnic residents, served as a catalyst for ethnic
conflict during this period.
Stack's study takes issue with some traditional notions
about domestic and international politics. He shows America
to be not a melting pot, but a pluralistic amalgam of immi-
grant groups who retain much of their old national identity for
generations after immigration. He also disputes the notion
that the world's politics are created solely by interaction
between sovereign states. Instead, he argues that other politi-
cal actors religious bodies, multi-national corporations, as
well as ethnic groups can and do influence the course of
the world's affairs.

Greenwood Press, Inc.
51 Riverside Avenue, Westport, Connecticut 06880

CREDIT CARD ORDERS--call toll free 1-800-257-7850
(in New Jersey call 1-800-322-8650)



A Picaresque Tale

of Emigration

and Return

Barry B. Levine

The noted scholar of Caribbean society and cul-
ture, Barry B. Levine, here tells the story of
Benjy Lopez: a Puerto Rican man who came to
the United States, who survived the privations
of poverty, and who emerged from them with
wisdom, skills, and ambition. Benjy then re-
turned to Puerto Rico with a new sense of him-
self and of the possibilities of prosperity.
Told with empathy, literary grace, and scien-
tific dispassion, this lively tale reveals the
harsh exactions American life imposes on the
disadvantaged. But it also shows just how these
exactions may be turned by brave and de-
termined people into new and expanded

"Barry Levine has that increasingly rare gift,
the sociological ear. In this book we have the
result of his listening patiently, sensitively,
with a fine feeling for nuance to what I'm sure
must be one of the most colorful characters to
make an appearance in sociological literature.
Lopez is a man between worlds, at the same
time a man of many worlds, who succeeded in
fashioning a world of his own. No amount of
sociological detachment can disguise the fact
that Levine came to have warm affection for
Lopez. Most readers will feel the same way; I

At bookstores, or direct from the publishers

10 East 53rd Street, New York 10022


Puerto Rican Culture

at the Turning Point

At the Muioz funeral. Photo by Roso Juan

Speaker's seat is taken over by Don Luis
MuRoz Marin in 1941. Wide World Photos.
4/CAifBBeAN r-VIew

To argue that Puerto Rico is a society
of conflict and change is not to argue
some radical truth. The conflicts and
the changes are obvious even if taken for
granted. The ways of yesteryear are no
longer thought to be adequate for tomor-
row. But while they are no longer adequate
are they to be denigrated, begrudgingly
tolerated, hopefully forgotten? How one
comes to terms with the future and how one
relates it to the past are today central ques-
tions in all aspects of Puerto Rican life -
from politics and economics to artistic
culture and one's private life. There are
moments in any society's history when the
centrality of these questions becomes most
obvious. Puerto Rico is once again at such a
moment. Events seem to indicate that in
some yet unarticulated way, Puerto Rican
culture is at another major turning point.
For years, many have argued that the
death of Puerto Rican maximum leader,
Luis Mufioz Marin, would initiate a process
of polarization of island politics between
those favoring statehood and those favor-
ing independence. Mufioz's political inveni-
tion, the Commonwealth link between
Puerto Rico and the United States, it was
hypothesized, would follow its creator into
history. But recent politics on the island
have not been characterized so much by
polarization as by alternation: the last four
gubernatorial elections have witnessed the
alternation of the pro-Commonwealth
Popular Democratic Party with the pro-
Statehood New Progressive Party. Mufioz's
death may not initiate the predicted polari-
zation as much as mute it, once again re-
viving the Popular Democratic Party. How-
ever, should the PDP lose this election,
given the political determination of the NPP
a serious question arises concerning the
PDP's ability to remain an effective opposi-
tion party unencumbered by the stigma of
vestigal antiquity.
Political strategies, as well as the conse-
quences of past political enactments, weigh
heavily on Puerto Rican life. These
strategies and enactments are influenced
by, and in turn, influence the perception of
how the future relates to the past. To take
two examples, the near collapse of the Cas-
als Festival and the redefined existence of

the Institute of Puerto Rican Culture are but
several of the institutions whose futures are
in doubt; in doubt because what lies ahead
for them will largely be determined by
which party wins in November. The leaders
of these two parties relate the island's future
to its past according to very different
Everyday life has, and will also be influ-
enced by political worldviews. Older more
familiar ways of life, more intimate and per-
sonal than the new ones, have given ground
to a government-promoted industry-style
society. The rural and insular have yielded
to the urban and cosmopolitan as Puerto
Rico has opened up to the outside world.
Puerto Ricans in great numbers easily
travel, live, and work off the island. And with
equal ease, many return home when they
are ready. How these outside influences will
eventually affect and be affected by the
Puerto Rican self-image is yet to be fully
Caribbean Review in this issue focuses
on "Puerto Rican Culture at the Turning
Point." We look at the significance of the life
and death of Luis Mufioz Marin, the future of
the Popular Democratic Party, the relation-
ship between politics and high culture, and
the changes in everyday life. The mul-
tiperspective nature of the contributions to
this issue of Caribbean Review should
demonstrate that swords are crossed at
many places.-B.B.L.


for a Lost Leader

Luis Mufioz Marin 1898-1980

By Gordon K. Lewis

How does one mourn the death of
beloved friends and comrades?
One thinks of Tennyson creating out
of his grief for a beloved friend his long
tremendous poem on the crisis of faith in
English Victorian minds. One thinks of
Whitman's moving lines on Lincoln's death:
"My captain lies cold and dead." Or, yet
again, one thinks of the impassioned in
memorial composed by the Puerto Rican
exile Eugenio Maria de Hostos as he stood
at the grave of his fellow exile Ruiz Belvis on
the hills of Valparaiso overlooking the
Pacific ocean in 1873, with all of its deep
love for Puerto Rico, agonizingly aggra-
vated by exile.
It is no poetic license to insist that the
death of don Luis Mufioz Marin rises to the
magnitude of those occasions. There
comes a moment in the life of all peoples
when the death of a great leader unleashes,
like some awe-inspiring volcanic eruption,
all of the deep and powerful emotions that
constitute a sense of national being and
identity. No one, I think, who stood in the
long, patient lines of Puerto Ricans of all
classes and political beliefs at the Capitolio,
or watched that long, tragic caravan of don
Luis' last trip to Barranquitas, reminding
one of Lincoln's long last journey from
Washington to Springfield, Illinois in 1865,
can but have felt that he was in the presence
of a truly historic event.
The ordinary, decent, common people of
Puerto Rico pushed aside the politicians
(many of whom will convert even death into
a vote-catching exercise) and the
ecclesiastical princes of the church (Was it
not, after all, the supreme irony that don
Luis, a sceptical freethinker if ever there was
one, should have had to endure a religious
farewell service conducted by a church that,
throughout his long political career, had
been the declared reactionary enemy of his
programs?) and converted the death cere-
mony of their beloved father figure into a
massive celebration, at once heart-rending
and joyful, of their dolor sin numbre. A lot
of romantic nonsense has been written on
the virtues of the Puerto Rican jibaro
legend. But here it came alive: generous
hospitality, social friendliness, open arms
for the stranger in the midst, a sense of

Puerto Rican family in which all are equal, a
deep religious faith owing nothing to ritual
or dogma of priests.
To all of us who knew don Luis, as I did
ever since I came to the island in the 1950s,
there is no doubt that he deserved that tre-
mendous outpouring of love and devotion.
As Churchill personified England, as
Franklin Roosevelt personified America, he
personified Puerto Rico. He was the com-
plete patriot. As much as Brau and de Hos-
tos and Betances before him, as much,
indeed, as Albizu in his own time, his grand
passion was the defense of the Puerto Rican
cultural creoledom. In his own person, he
was the Puerto Rican incarnate.
He lived most of his life, it is true, in urban
centers: first, in the heady exile days of
Greenwich Village, then later in the heavily
political life of San Juan. But he was always,
first and foremost, like his father, a man of
the mountains. His tastes were simple,
which is not to mean that they were
simple-minded. He was as much at home
with the sophisticated American politician
like John Kennedy as he was with the Euro-
pean artistic genius like Pablo Casals. He
loved political gossip. But there was no
meanness or rancor about that. He always
saw his political opponents as unfortunate
castaways who have gone astray, not as
enemies to be destroyed. His sense of
humor prevented him from being merely
vindictive; after all, he was not an addictive
reader of Dickens and Lewis Carroll for
nothing. Like Marti in colonial Cuba before
him, he knew his Mark Twain and Whitman
and Emerson; and he sought throughout to
marry that best democratic American tradi-
tion with his innate love of all things Puerto
A process of deification always accom-
panies such a leader. Yet Mufioz himself
throughout resisted it. He, too, was mortal.
He was the philosopher in political action
rather than the philosopher in thought. He
was orator rather than thinker. There was
not present in him the capacity of the great
thinker to use a coherent theory of the uni-
verse for interpreting the data of experi-
ence. His favorite mode of communication
was conversation rather than writing, so
that after the early youthful writing in the

At Muhoz's funeral: Costa Rica's Jos6
Figures; Doha Ines, Muhoz's widow; Ven-
ezuela's R6mulo Betancourt. Photo by Roso
Juan Sabalones.

/" "
,m *'

Luis Munoz Marin at his inauguration, 1957.
Wide World Photos.



American liberal political weeklies he left
surprisingly little behind him in the way of
books or memoirs. So, as Carlos Cas-
teneda pointed out in El Nuevo Dia, he did
not develop a fully fashioned political theory
as did Raul Haya de la Torre in the Peruvian
struggle for social justice. So, too, as Juan
Mari Bras has pointed out in an analysis at
once critical and affectionate in Claridad,
what has been called his youthful socialism
was not really socialism at all so much as an
angry populism or at best a sort of "intuitive
socialism" founded more in emotion than
in intellectual study and discipline. That led,
inevitably, to the victory of political prag-
matism: the people "do not want" indepen-
dence, let alone socialism. Like prag-
matism everywhere, it failed to see that
people do not get what they want so much
as want what they get.
That explains, I believe, the fatal errors of
the long Popular regime. Instead of
eliminating class inequality, it replaced one
ruling elite with another. Hypnotized by the
myth of Puerto Rico as one big happy fam-
ily, it ignored all that is implied in the urgent
reality of class antagonisms. It failed to un-
derstand the grave problem of the state. It
had no sense of the historic movement of
the economic process, so that in the end it
replaced one form of economic exploita-
tion with another form. It understood
neither capitalism nor imperialism for what
they really are, so that it was not prepared for
the indecent readiness of US capital in-
vestment forces to vacate the island econ-
omy once profitability declined, or for the
determination of US "pentagonismo" to
hold on to the island fortress as Castroism
and the Cuban Revolution made that policy
imperative. It dreamed of the national liber-
ation of a people; it ended up with the "em-
bourgeoisement" of an entire society.
Yet in much of all this Mufioz was in many
ways larger than the party machine that he
created. Like Norman Manley in Jamaica
and Eric Williams in Trinidad to mention
Caribbean examples only he towered
over his lieutenants like the mountain tow-
ers over the plains that surround it. To watch
him in action at a crowded party rally, the
"padre caudillo" holding his audience in
the palm of his hand, balancing one faction
against another, finally imposing his will
upon all dissidents, evoking the loyalty that
only comes from a deep subterranean
stream of affection that no rational analysis
can ever really fathom or understand, was
like watching a superb running back like
O.J. Simpson performing in response to
the roar of the football crowd, or a great
classical artist like Segovia holding a spell-
bound audience in enraptured silence. Not
only was he Edmund Burke's philosopher
in action, he was also the great statesman-
politician who showed, in all of his political
dealings, that sense of magnanimity which
Burke described as the greatest of all of the

political virtues.
He was always ready to listen to alien
ideas, even if he did not accept them. I dis-
tinctly remember how, in the spring of 1964,
the Governor invited me to his Trujillo Alto
home to discuss my recently published
book on Puerto Rico with his cabinet. I do
not know who was the more surprised at
that event: myself as the political scientist
whose book becomes necessary reading
for practising politicians, or the politicians
themselves many of whom had not read the
book in question, and for many of whom
reading a book in itself was a painful experi-
ence. Mufioz could have dismissed me as

Like every great
charismatic leader, Mufioz
forged a bond of love and
affection between himself
and his people that no
alien force could corrupt or
outside element pollute.

an impertinent outsider poking his nose
into private family affairs, or as a dangerous
European subversive communist agitator
many of his more closed-minded
lieutenants regarded me in that way, as I well
know. But instead he welcomed me gener-
ously as yet another voice in the anguished
Puerto Rican debate. I suppose, when I
come to think of it, that I must be probably
the only author in the history of Puerto
Rican literature whose book has oc-
casioned the extraordinary convening of a
cabinet meeting. I shall always be grateful to
don Luis for that honor.
Mufioz, as much as Albizu but in a differ-
ent way, was the proud conscience of
Puerto Rico. As a master craftsman in the
great art of politics, he had class, as the
English say. Or, as the Americans say, he
was a natural. He never kowtowed to the
American masters, for he knew that he was
better than most of them. No great admin-
istrator himself, he brought into govern-
ment a whole new set of great public ser-
vants. It is true that his programs also
created a new economic elite of narrow-
minded professionals and businessmen.
But he himself, as poet and humanist, had
little patience with the business type that
sees moneymaking as the great aim in life.
He was the Poet in the Fortress. He liked
good food, good wine, good friends, good
conversation; for his youthful bohemianism
never really left him. Indeed, throughout his
life he had to suffer the charge, made by the
Puerto Rican rich who hated his social

liberalism as much as the American rich
hated Franklin Roosevelt's New Deal pro-
gram, that he was a libertine who as a young
man had wasted his time and money on
wine, women and song; Dr. Rosario Natal's
recent book on Munioz as a young man has
once again reminded us of that canard.
That is why, too, he was always hated by the
repressive Caribbean creole dictatorships;
and we should always remember that, on
the regional Latin American and Caribbean
scene, he created, along with Betancourt
and Figueres, the alianza of the Democra-
tic Left that valiantly fought the ugly re-
gimes of Somoza, Batista, Trujillo and
Duvalier. For all of his North American ties
he never forgot that, in the long run, Puerto
Rico belonged to the Latin-Hispanic family.
It is important to remember that Mufioz
grew up in the period of the 1920s and
1930s when the Puerto Rican literary and
cultural intelligentsia were obsessed with a
whole spirit of dark pessimism, summed up
in Pedreira's essay "Insularismo." He re-
fused to accept that pessimism. He chal-
lenged his people to dare to hope. He gave
them spirit, hope, optimism. He told them
to fight. Like Albizu, albeit in different
ideological terms, he told them that only
their own efforts could release them from
their bondage. He was not prepared to ac-
cept the role, so frequently cited in the
traditional Latin American literature, of the
tragic man of fate overwhelmed by the grim
necessity of things.
Above all else, like every great
charismatic leader, he forged a bond of love
and affection between himself and his
people that no alien force could corrupt or
outside element pollute. That bond ran
deeply into the roots of the Puerto Rican
collective psyche; and Mufioz used it, but he
did not exploit it for narrow or selfish pur-
poses. There was no hate in his heart. There
was always love and compassion. When I
ponder on the passage of time and tide in
his life, and now his mourned death, I am
reminded, as an Englishman, of
Gladstone's graphic phrase on that great
event of 1845 when John Henry Newman
made his famous conversion from Canter-
bury to Rome, deserting the Church of En-
gland for the Church of Rome. It was as if,
wrote Gladstone, some great cathedral bell
had suddenly ceased tolling. For those of
us who were privileged to know Mufioz, we
shall hear that bell tolling to the end of our

Gordon K. Lewis teaches Social Science at
the University of Puerto Rico, Rio Piedras. He
is the winner of the 1980 Caribbean Review
Award. His latest work, Main Currents in Carib-
bean Thought-the Historical Evolution of
Caribbean Society in its Ideological Aspects, is
in press. This article originally appearedin The
San Juan Star and is reprinted by permission
of the author.

Munioz and the 1980

Elections in Puerto Rico

The Future of the Popular Democratic Party

By Ismaro Velazquez

Munoz with Rafael HernAndez Col6n on the White House lawn, 1973. Wide World Photos.

or four decades the name Luis
Mufioz Marin meant power in Puerto
Rico, the island Commonwealth as-
sociated with the United States. For most of
that time, his word was law and even after
voluntarily stepping aside in 1964, after an
unprecedented four terms, he could still
make things stop or go, just by speaking his
Mufioz's accomplishments were many.
He pulled Puerto Rico out of the economic
and socio-political doldrums by offering tax
exemption to US firms opening factories on
the island. His "Operation Bootstrap"
created thousands of jobs for needy, un-
employed Puerto Ricans. He built more
public schools, housing, roads, urban and
rural electrification and water and sewerage
projects than had previously been built in
the island's entire history.
But more, he taught Puerto Ricans, al-
most singlehandedly, to value their vote. In
1940, when he and his newly founded
Popular Democratic Party (PDP) went be-
fore the electorate, poor voters were enticed
to "sell" their votes for a new pair of shoes or
a couple of dollars, paid out by large land
owners and unscrupulous politicians.

Mufioz went directly to the voters, asked
them to "lend me your vote" instead of
selling it elsewhere. The agreement was
that if he didn't come through on his cam-
paign promises, the voters could kick him
out of office. They never did.
Elected to the Senate presidency in 1940
and 1944, he ran successfully for the gov-
ernorship in 1948 -the first Puerto Rican
elected to that post and was returned by
ever larger pluralities in 1952, 1956 and
1960. During the years 1950 through 1952,
he obtained a far reaching accord with the
US Congress which allowed Puerto Ricans
to write their own constitution and establish
so-called "Commonwealth" status, a bad
English translation of the Spanish "Estado
Libre Asociado" (which means free, asso-
ciated state).
A former journalist and poet, Mufoz was
the pragmatic politician who used politics
as a tool with which to improve the lives of
his countrymen. But he could not refrain
from the romantic views of his Greenwich
Village days. He encouraged famed
Spanish cellist Pablo Casals to settle in San
Juan and wholeheartedly backed the Cas-
als Festival, a conservatory of music, a


philharmonic orchestra and many other
artistic developments which put Puerto
Rico on the cultural map. In Mufioz's words,
Puerto Ricans had to "work like the devil,
but aspire to live like the angels."
He had a way with words, be they in
Spanish or English. He spoke of Com-
monwealth status as being a "breakthrough
to (US) federalism," meaning that it ex-
panded the federal structure while retaining
those fundamental beliefs on which the
United States were founded. He spoke of
Puerto Rico as the "crossroads" of the
Americas, and tried to instill in both Puerto
Ricans and stateside Americans that the
island's Hispanic heritage, could not and
should not be lost within the American
melting pot. "We are a people," he said, "not
a hodge-podge."
On April 30 this year, after several brain
hemorrhages and heart failure, the grand
old man of Puerto Rican politics slipped
into a coma and died. The outpouring of
sentiment by Puerto Ricans from all walks
of life and from varying political persua-
sions was awesome and lasted for weeks.
His funeral cortege started out from San
Juan Cathedral at noon on May 2nd, and
didn't arrive in Barranquitas, home of his
father (Luis Mufioz Rivera, Puerto Rican
prime minister under Spanish colonial rule)
until well past nine o'clock. Every town,
every road along the way paid homage to
Puerto Rico's father figure. Some threw
flowers at the cortege. One woman took off
her shoes and shyly placed them on the
funeral car. Hadn't Mufioz put shoes on
everyone's feet, without buying their votes?
What, then, will Mufoz's legacy be to
Puerto Rican politics? And more important,
will his death have any impact on the up-
coming November elections?
One of the reasons why it is so hard to
gauge Mufioz's impact on these elections is
that voting patterns have drastically
changed in Puerto Rico over the past sev-
eral elections. Up to 1964, the PDP was
never in doubt of losing an election. The
Statehooders might win a few more votes, a
couple of town mayoralties, several more
legislative seats, but there really was no
contest when it came to the governorship.
Mufioz always won, hands down.

In 1964 a new situation arose. Mufoz,
seeking to perpetuate his party not him-
self in power, announced his retirement
from the governorship and selected his
right-hand man, Roberto Sanchez Vilella, to
be the party standardbearer. Sanchez won
the 1964 elections and began four years of
economically successful stewardship of the
island. He did not, however, fully inherit
Mufloz's political power. Party squabbles,
plus a hard won divorce, made Sanchez
lose the PDP nomination. Sanchez bolted
the PDP organized the People's Party, and
drew enough votes away from PDP guber-
natorial hopeful, Luis Negr6n L6pez, to
throw the elections for the first time -
into a statehood candidate's hands. A lot of
people changed party affiliations in that
election, establishing an apparent trend:
partisan labels were no longer sacred.
In the 1972 elections, many voters went
backtothe PDPfold. This time, theythrew out
Luis Ferre and elected young Rafael Hernan-
dez Col6n to the governorship. But by 1976,
newly independent voters who saw the
1974-75 recession hit them where it hurt
most, in their pockets, booted Hernandez out
and voted Carlos Romero Barcel6 in.
Whatwill the Puerto Rican voterdo in 1980?
Will he continue this recent pattern of musical
chairs, or will Statehood, as opposed to
Commonwealth status, carry the day?
These are the first elections being held
without Mufioz's awe-inspiring presence
and spellbinding oratory. But there will
probably still be a strong Mufoz presence in
the Popular Party's propaganda and
rhetoric. The elections are being presented
as a pre-plebiscite where people will decide
between Munoz's creation Common-
wealth and Statehood, which is backed
enthusiastically by the ruling New Progres-
sive Party and incumbent Gov. Romero
Mufioz's protege, Rafael Hernandez

The Munoz Charisma
The best description of Muioz Marin's
charisn-a was that made by former Gov.
Rexford Guy Tugwell. \ ho wrote that Mufioz
would arrive at a Washington cocktail party
where ife if any of those present knew who
he was But people would stop and stare at
his imposing figure and wonder...W ho is
he? That's charisma," Tugwell wrote.
He had the born comedian's sharp wit.
When told by his doctor he would ha\e to
speak slowly and use one or two syllable
words. after a stroke \which left him with a
speech impediment, Mufoz quipped. 'Its a
good thing this happened to me, and not
to .." and mentioned a friend known for his
longwinded speeches. The words he used
were just what the doctor ordered: one or
two syllables long.

Col6n, is again his party's standardbearer,
seeking the second term which was denied
him in 1976. Hernandez says this year's
elections will have a profound bearing on
what future course the island may take. If he
is elected and the PDP is given a strong
mandate for continued Commonwealth
status, he will try to get the US Congress to
approve several measures giving the island
government more internal powers over
such matters as immigration, communica-
tions and participation in international or-
ganizations. If Romero is reelected, Her-

One woman took off her
shoes and shyly placed
them on the funeral car.
Hadn't Mufioz put shoes
on everyone's feet, without
buying their votes?

nandez says, Statehood will become a fact
of life, and will bring Puerto Ricans peril-
ously close to civil war.
This is so because a small but active
independentista faction has vowed to fight
statehood, even if it means creating a revo-
lution. Puerto Rican Independence Party
president and gubernatorial candidate
Ruben Berrios, is a highly articulate young
lawyer who sees the island demanding
independence from Congress and from the
United Nations, then establishing a social
democratic republic with ties to all free na-
tions, including the US.
Puerto Rican Socialist Party Secretary
General Juan Mari Bras, who is seeking a
Senate seat, would establish a socialist re-
public, closely allied to Cuba and the rest of
the communist world. He says Puerto Rican
socialism won't be a carbon copy of either
Cuban, Russian or Chinese communism,
but would establish its own goals and
methods. His following is even smaller than
The New Progressive Party and its leader,
Gov. Romero, are wary that the Mufioz
charisma will carry into the 1980 elections
(see box). After all, the NPP won its first
elections in 1968 only when the Populares
split and many Popular voters switched to
Luis A. Ferre's newly created party. Will
those voters stay with the NPP this time
around, or will the memory of all Mufioz
accomplished tug at the heartstrings -
and the ballots of those former Popu-
Surveys by both the NPP and the PDP
tend to show that Mufioz is still the most
highly regarded political leader in Puerto

Rico. No one dares speak badly of him, now
that he is gone. Even Mari Bras, an often
abrasive critic, said of Mufioz at his death,
that "we differed ideologically, but I learned
to love the fatherland by hearing him speak
at my father's house, when I was a child."
Romero, "Mister Statehood," as far as
Puerto Rico is concerned, has steered clear
of criticizing Mufioz. In fact, he has gone out
of his way to honor the deceased states-
man. Shortly after his death, Romero pro-
posed that a passive recreation park being
built in the newer San Juan metropolitan
area be called the Luis Mufioz Marin Park. A
citizens' group is gathering signatures to
rename San Juan International Airport after
Mufioz. Although Romero has not voiced
an opinion, it is doubtful he would go
against public demands for such a switch in
It is almost certain the PDP will try to
capitalize on the fond memories people
have of Mulioz. Some party propaganda
touting Hernandez Col6n's candidacy is
already showing this trend: Hernandez has
received the torch from Mufioz. The PDP
carries on.
It is this viewer's opinion that the Muioz
image and legacy will bear strongly on el-
derly voters, and on many middle aged who
benefited from his far reaching social and
economic programs. But what about the
young people's vote? Voters now 18, who
will be casting their first ballot Nov. 4, were
only two years old when Muioz retired from
the governorship. They have benefited all
their lives from his programs, but probably
did not attribute them to him. Although they
have watched on TV and read in the island
newspapers a barrage of copy about Mufoz
and his accomplishments, will they feel
obliged to vote for his party and for Hernan-
dez? No one knows for sure.
Only one thing seems certain at this time.
Mufioz can only mean more votes not
less for his Popular Democratic Party.
The statehooders cannot, by any stretch of
the imagination, try to gain votes by lauding
Mufioz at this late date, after having
criticized him most of his life. And they are
loathe to badmouth him for fear of losing
votes. Those espousing independence
have always claimed Mufioz was a traitor to
that cause.
So even in death, like the fabled Spanish
hero, "Cid Campeador," Mufoz may still
wield enough influence over voters of this
Caribbean island to determine its future

Ismaro Velbzquez is a Puerto Rican journalist
who worked atone time as Gov. Muhoz's press
aide. His book, Mufioz and S6nchez-Vilella
about the split in the PDP in 1968, was pub-
lished by the University of Puerto Rico Press in



The End of the Popular Party

SGovernor Carlos Romero Barcel6 at a 1978
National Press Club conference. Wide World

= A*pa*thy

By Thomas Mathews
wo events so far in this election year
have raised the hopes of the faithful
of the Popular Democratic Party and
their candidates to entertain the idea that a
come-back might be possible in spite of all
other indications to the contrary. These two
occurrences certainly did produce signifi-
cant and impressive results.
Undoubtedly the most impressive one by
far was the spontaneous and soul stirring
turnout of all of Puerto Rico for the funeral
of the founder of the Popular Democratic
Party and the chief architect of the Com-
monwealth. Hundreds of thousands of
Puerto Ricans paused for a day in their daily
routine to pay their respects in one way or
another for the last time to the most distin-
guished Puerto Rican to have lived in the
Twentieth Century. Luis Mufioz Marin re-
ceived from an estimated hundred
thousand fellow citizens a funeral worthy of
the great leader that he was recognized to
be. Leaders and friends from other coun-

tries like Jose Figueres and R6mulo Betan-
court, political adversaries and dissidents
from other times, like Miguel Angel Garcia
Mendez and Roberto Sanchez Vilella, and
messages from political friends and foes
from the United States poured in, including
a statement from President Carter; but what
was much more important and impressive
- although not unexpected was the
turnout of the simple common person
whose trust and votes had brought victory
time and time again to this brilliant political
leader. Some spent the day, like Gordon K.
Lewis and others, penning their thoughts
concerning this great man which were pub-
lished in the local press in the subsequent
days and weeks. One of the most interest-
ing notes which appeared was sent by the
Board of Trustees of the Twentieth Century
Fund on which Mufoz at one time served, it
simply identified Mufioz as "the indispens-
ible man." Just how indispensable, will be
appreciated as time goes on.

Over the past twenty five years I had the
honor and privilege of meeting with Mufioz
on infrequent occasions mostly at his re-
quest. The last time we talked was less than
two years ago shortly after I returned from
doing research among the papers of former
governor Rexford G. Tugwell. Mufioz was
very much interested in learning what I had
found among the papers. He had a great
respect for the impact of history and was
abundantly aware of the importance of get-
ting an accurate picture of what and how
and why the events of man have transpired.
He appreciated and shared the historian's
desire to answer these questions and al-
ways complied with any specific questions
for information about what had happened
and why, if he could remember and supply
the answers. He knew and expected that the
information gotten would be checked out
against other sources.
In this last meeting we had, he showed
me the manuscripts of five or six versions of

the book he was working on. One version,
written with one of his daughters was for
children, another written with the support
and interest of Alex Maldonado, a sym-
pathetic journalist, was designed to set
aside doubts and controversies. Just which
of the five or six versions is the closest to
what the historian will judge to be a faithful
reflection of what actually happened can
only be evaluated at a later date.
Mufioz had not known that Tugwell had
kept a complete and full diary which was
faithfully completed every night with the
help of his wife, who at one time had also
been his secretary and assistant. Naturally,
Mufioz, whose sight by now had failed and
had to be read to, was concerned as to what
was in the diary about the early days of his
political rise to power. Without going into
specifics I assured Mufioz that it would be
worth his while to get a copy of the diary and
I urged him to also get one for the Puerto
Rican Collection of the University of Puerto
Rico Library. Although I had read parts of
the diary, I did not wish to be too specific.
Since we both knew Tugwell was noted for
his frank and sometimes cutting expres-
sions, I was certain that Mufioz would
eventually get around to reading the frank
appraisals and opinions Tugwell had
transcribed. Tugwell had great respect for
Mufioz as one of the most able politicians
he had ever worked with but at the same
time he had suspicions from time to time
that he was more a "demogogue" (May 19,
1941) than a democrat.
Tugwell's papers and diary are now open
to qualified researchers; hopefully Mufioz's
papers will eventually be available. However,
I fear that when they are they will have been
so purified that it will take the exceptionally
keen historian to get to the truth. After all, if
in life Mufioz could not bring himself to
authorize the publication of one of the five
versions of his own history, then what can
we expect from those who are pledged by
admiration for the memory of a great leader
to bring forth only that which can be con-
sidered to be most favorable. The creation
of a myth around a great man will bring no
lasting advantage to a people in search of
their own destiny. The opportunity to see
and sense the innermost struggles of a
man's soul as he works out a program for
his people would be of lasting service to the
Puerto Ricans, the party he founded, and
the political concept he converted into real-
ity but this will unfortunately not be allowed
to come to pass at least in the foreseeable
future. As a result, the death of Mufioz Marin
and the tremendous grass-roots out-
pouring of sympathy which it produced will
be lost for now and perhaps for ever.

The Primary Elections

The other event which galvanized the
Popular Democratic Party into seeing the

possibility of an electoral victory was the
surprisingly large turnout for the primary
elections. There was no competition for the
top spot of gubernatorial candidate since
the lack-luster and once-defeated Hernan-
dez Col6n continues to hold the inside track
for that position. To open up that post to
other aspirants at this time would subject
the party to unwanted divisions and intra-
party feuds. The only other insular-wide
post, aside from those candidates for the
at-large legislative seats, was that of resi-
dent commissioner. Here three candidates

The creation of a myth
around a great man will
bring no lasting advantage
to a people in search of
their own destiny.

aspired to the post with very little evident
enthusiasm. Each one had his defects. In
reality the candidates themselves reflected
the lack of importance of the post they as-
pired to and demonstrated the dearth of
good candidates for a battle which many
felt was lost anyway. One of the first to de-
clare for the position was an old party
worker who had served many years in the
legislature with a non-controversial and
reliable voting record. The second candi-
date was a member of the young Turks of
the Party who was no longer young and his
past and recent political history was so er-
ratic that for an outsider it was hard to be-
lieve that the Populares would tolerate his
pretentions. The third candidate qualified in
a surprising last minute surge, leading
many to believe that he was the party's
choice given a sudden realization of the
glaring defects of the other two. Neither the
first, Ernesto Ramos Jordan, nor the third,
Arturo Morales Carri6n, campaigned in any
dedicated fashion for the position, each
confident their reputation would carry them
through. In effect, this was a correct evalua-
tion, the only problem was that their reputa-
tion was not nearly as favorable as they
themselves had been convinced it was. The
defeat for Ramos Jordan had to be a bitter
one ending a life-long political career, re-
jected by the party he had helped to create.
For Morales Carri6n, who gives the distinct
impression of living in a world of his own
creation whether that be a world of
academia or politics the true meaning of
the defeat will probably never be under-
Morales Carri6n had been one of the first
to open up the attack on Jaime Benitez's

long control over the University of Puerto
Rico back in the mid-fifties. He aspired to
that position as the leading island intellec-
tual, personified by the chancellor of the
only island institution of higher learning
worthy of that name. But he was not the
only one, Rodriguez Bou, Mufioz Amato,
Diaz Gonzalez, and others wanted Benitez
out so that they could get in, and indeed
some of them did get in. However, their
limited and unproductive tenure as chan-
cellors only served to underline the obvious
intellectual superiority and administrative
ability of Jaime Benitez. In recent years the
university has not retained the measure of
brilliance it achieved under Benitez.
Morales' attempt to outdo Benitez did not
stop with the university: when Don Jaime
aspired to the post of resident commis-
sioner Morales contested unsuccessfully
that aspiration also.
For an outsider like myself, the victory of
Jose Arsenio Torres was just as much a
surprise as the turnout was a surprise to the
party leaders. Neither result was predicted
either in the press or by gossip in the plaza.
Outside of academic circles and even in
only a restricted few of those was Professor
Torres well-known. Few even now know that
he is one of the few Populares who comes
up from an authentic background of pov-
erty; most of his political colleagues come
from middle class families or from posi-
tions of comfort within the labor move-
ment, paternally cultivated by the long-term
control of the Popular Democratic Party.
The son of a caminero on the Bayam6n
road to Comerio, Jose Arsenio cut out a
brilliant path for himself with his keen mind,
his ability to express obscure philosophical
ideas, and a sharp tongue which cut to
pieces any academic adversary or cowed
into silence any prudent opposition like, for
example, myself. As others have observed,
Jose Arsenio Torres has always placed him-
self in the shade of a prominent person.
Benitez selected him for a scholarship to
the University of Chicago. Angel Quintero
selected him to organize the social science
basic course for the General Studies pro-
gram of the University. Roberto Sanchez
Vilella accepted him as a confident and
advisor. Each and everyone were utilized by
and also helped by Jose Arsenio but even-
tually sooner or later he turned against each
one. Perhaps the most unpardonable act
was his endorsement of Hernandez Col6n
for governor when he was a candidate for
the legislature for the party created by San-
chez Vilella in 1972. To have selected such
an erratic unpredictable candidate for the
number two post of the Popular Democra-
tic Party in 1980 only indicates the reluc-
tance of more able and dependable leaders
to expose themselves to inevitable defeat.
Unfortunately, defeat is inevitable and
this is true in spite of the overwhelming
strength of the Popular Democratic Party in

places like the west end of the island in the
district of Mayaguez where Benjamin Cole
has a firm and seemingly permanent grip
on the office of Mayor; in spite of the in-
credible errors and just plain stupid acts
committed by the incumbent governor and
his legislative followers (e.g., Cerro
Maravilla, the Guggenheim contract, etc.);
in spite of the wave of criminality which has a
powerful hold over the daily life of a terrified
island; and in spite of the almost continual
turn-over within the high posts of the
cabinet of the governor (which instead of
being seen as the inability to secure respon-
sible administrative'leadership, is seen as a
manifestation of the hand of a strong and
righteous political leader).
Mayagiez may be Popular but it will be
the votes of the metropolitan area which will
defeat the Populares. The Popular leader-
ship with foot in mouth and past mistakes
still too recent to forget has not been able to
capitalize on Romero's errors. The wave of
crime has been converted into a key issue
of the campaign by the Populares but they
have failed to come up with any positive
program which persuades the populace
that they could do any better in dealing with
the problem. Even more difficult to under-
stand, is the Popular Democratic Party's
inability to capitalize on the exodus of the
many cabinet members (from the very be-
ginning with the cloudy resignation of Sul-
sona up to the more recent mysterious re-
signation of the Secretary of Public Works, a
man not given to quiet action of any kind).

The Status Issue

Of course none of this can compare with
the disarray and confusion which has been
sewn by the party in power over the per-
petually debated subject of the political
status. On this question the Popular Demo-
cratic Party has shown itself to be most
inadequately prepared. In fact, the strange
silence only lends credence to the charges
from the left and right that the Common-
wealth status is nothing but continued col-
onialism. The Party leaders reluctance to
deal directly with this matter (with the ad-
mirable exception of Jaime Benitez) only
allows one to conclude that they are in
agreement with the criticism and which in
effect most of the younger leaders are.
Lacking Muioz and lacking a strong
staunch defender of ELA, the Party prefers
to pitch the electoral battle on administra-
tive issues in effect saying that the only
difference between the two major parties is
that they can maintain a more efficient ad-
ministrative machinery for the island. There
is more to the campaign than just this, but
the other directions are being fought out on
grounds provided by the party in power and
not the party aspiring to power. In other
words, the question is not the viability,
strength, and vision of the Commonwealth

concept but rather just how much damage
statehood will do the economy of Puerto
Rico. An argument which if taken to its logi-
cal conclusion does not hold up and is easy
to refute. A radical adjustment in the is-
land's economy given statehood could
hardly be seen as devastating to people who
have been convinced that the federal gov-
ernment will solve all problems, particularly
economic ones. Why then fear statehood?
There is simply no inspiring voice direct-
ing the public's attention to the great chal-
lenges confronting this generation of

A whole island population
exuded self-confidence,
awareness of capability,
and a willingness to accept
any challenge no matter
how demanding.

Puerto Ricans. This is even more tragic
when one compares the present electorate
with that of one or two generations ago.
There is much more political awareness
now. The populace has been exposed to an
extensive political educational process.
One has a right to expect that the voter is
much more sophisticated than ever before
in this century. But frankly the challenges he
is receiving from both major parties is an
insult to his intelligence and this is the sim-
ple explanation for the existing deplorable
situation where you find up to a third of the
population in select places refusing to
bother themselves about politics. There is
marked apathy reflected in low voter regis-
tration and even lower interest in securing
the new voter registration cards. Some
self-proclaimed prophets see in this a
healthy move toward neutrality or an inde-
pendent political stance. Remarkable is the
fact that even the independentistas, pru-
dently cautious as always, are reluctant to
claim this growing neutral mass as part of
their growing number of followers. Even the
leaders of this minor party are willing to
recognize that they have failed to capture
the concern of the apathetic Puerto Rican.
A cynic could argue (and I will entertain
the possibility that I am being a cynic in this
aspect) that the flood of federal largesse,
which has increased six fold between 1970
and 1977, most of which went into federally
financed projects for a population which no
longer produces even a bare minimum of
what it consumes has created in the bulk of
the population a feeling of shame. And yet
there is no Moses pointing the way toward a
recovery of dignity.

As I look back over thirty five years of my
life in Puerto Rico there stands out far above
all other notable achievements that these
admirable people have realized one
monumental manifestation of dignity. Be-
yond the defeat of the sugar barons, above
and beyond the impressive transformation
of the economy, much more impressive by
far than any capital intensive industrial
complex or sky-scraping banking center
rising from what used to be the king's
pasture, I would single out, beyond any
serious challenge, the subtle but most
clearly palpitating change in the spirit of the
Puerto Rican. Call it dignity but it is even
more basic and common than dignity
which is an inspiring and admirable quality
that most free people have. I would prefer to
merely identify it as a feeling of confidence
in oneself and what one is capable of doing.
This was lacking in the decade of the thirties
in the character of most Puerto Ricans.
There was a core that had the feeling and it
grew and was passed on to an ever-
widening circle in the forties and fifties, until
a whole island population exuded self-
confidence, awareness of capability, and a
willingness to accept any challenge no
matter how demanding.
Now it is most sad to see that almost
over-night this is being wiped out by
shamelessly mediocre politicians of all par-
ties. To take an extreme example, it is indic-
ative directly of what I am saying to see that
in a popular TV program of political satire,
Juan Mari Bras is ridiculed for his constant
referral to the ONU (the United Nations).
And of course one need not dwell on the
Republicans constant referral to Washing-
ton, constant referral to food stamps, con-
stant harping on federal programs, and the
constant push to use English.
Finally to close with one incredibly prov-
ocative example which was told to me by a
leading island intellectual. At a social
gathering a Cuban exile was attempting to
calm down an agitated defender of La
Palma who was disturbed over the reluc-
tance of his fellow countrymen to vote for
statehood, and the even greater reluctance
of the US Congress to grant it. The Cuban,
exuding good faith and confidence, told
him that he should relax because in the final
analysis it would be the Cubans who would
bring statehood to Puerto Rico.
There is no challenge to any of this; and
many would correctly add how could there
be since the Populares had prepared the
way for all of it. There is no wonder, nor
surprise, that apathy will be the winning
ticket in November and mediocrity will
reign for another four years in Puerto Rico.

Thomas Mathews teaches Social Science at
the University of Puerto Rico, Rio Piedras. He
is the author of Puerto Rican Politics and the
New Deal.


S' f

rpI, 'rfir

p'i '




- 12 CA.- BBEAN -liefle


C ',

P_4 -

-1 F'
' ^




Injustice in Puerto Rico
By Tomas Stella
L ike Richard M. Nixon eight years ago, Puerto Rico's
governor Carlos Romero Barcel6, is trying desper-
ately to defuse a political time bomb which could
shatter his re-election bid Nou 4 and send shrapnel flying
all the way to the US Justice Department in Washington
and perhaps even into the Rose Garden. As the pro-
statehood governor crisscrosses the island offering voters a
new status plebiscite in exchange for four more years
for his New Progressive Party. administration lawyers are
busy in San Juan's US District Court fighting efforts by
newspapers and journalists' groups to lift a gag order
in a case which makes Watergate look like the prover-
bial third-rate burglary.

CARBBCAN pIeviw, 13

As in Watergate, the bomb may keep
ticking away beyond Election Day, but it
could go off soon, whether the 48-year-old
Romero wins or loses. If he loses, the au-
tonomist Popular Democratic Party will
gleefully release all the information the
governor tried to keep under wraps, in an
effort to embarrass not just Romero Bar-
cel6, but the administration of his political
ally President Jimmy Carter. Even if Rom-
ero wins, enough information could surface
by the middle of next year to hurt the state-
hood movement in the plebiscite on US-
Puerto Rico relations.
The case in question-familiar to nearly
every Puerto Rican, but to relatively few
outsiders-is known as Cerro Maravilla,
the name of the mountain on the South
Coast where two young independence ad-
vocates were killed by police on July 25,
1978, the 80th anniversary of the US inva-
sion of Puerto Rico. The immediate issue,
which many Puerto Ricans feel has not yet
been settled, is whether police murdered
them. But again as in Watergate, the over-
riding issue is whether the government-in
this case federal officials, as well as the
Commonwealth- engaged in a coverup.
As far as Romero Barcel6 and the federal
government are concerned, the Cerro
Maravilla case is closed. Two investiga-
tions, one by the Commonwealth Justice
Department, the other by its federal coun-
terpart, concluded there was insufficient
evidence to prosecute anyone. Despite
serious misgivings about both probes, the
press has not had access to the documents
in either investigation. Commonwealth law
states that such documents shall remain
secret for 30 years, while testimony given
before a federal grand jury is secret forever.
Relatives of the two young men, however,
have filed a civil damage suit in US District
Court, forcing the governor, the other de-
fendants and witnesses to the shooting,
including the policemen involved, to give
depositions. When the initial depositions
were taken, new facts in the case started to
surface, many of them contradicting the
government's account of what happened
on Cerro Maravilla. When the governor
gave his deposition in June, his lawyers
obtained an order from Judge Juan Perez
Gimenez barring the lawyers from speaking
to the news media. The gag order, which
also applies to all depositions taken after
Romero's, has stymied the two-year inves-
tigation of the case by the local newspapers,
especially the San Juan Star The Star El
Mundo, the Journalists' Association and
the Overseas Press Club have challenged
the gag order, vowing to take the case to the
First Circuit Court of Appeals in Boston and
the US Supreme Court, if necessary.
Ironically, Romero Barcel6's deposition is
not expected to add much to what is already
known about the case. It's most significant
feature could be the amount of information

he may have forgotten in two years. The
governor's answers may be embarrassing
politically, but they would hardly constitute
proof that he was involved in a conspiracy
which led to the deaths of the inde-
The other depositions are something
else. At the time the gag order was issued,
the plaintiffs still had not taken depositions
from several key witnesses. Among them
are the two men not directly involved in the
shooting who could confirm an earlier ac-
count of two volleys of gunfire at Cerro
Maravilla. The witnesses, a former police-

Lke Richard M. Nixon
eight years ago, Puerto
Rico's governor, Carlos
Romero Barcel6, is trying
desperately to defuse a
political time bomb which
could shatter his
re-election bid Nov. 4 and
send shrapnel flying all the
way to the US Justice
Department in Washington
and perhaps even into the
Rose Garden.

man and a television technician, could
provide some of the vital missing answers.
If the defendants have nothing to hide in
the case, they had no reason to request the
gag order and have only hurt Romero Bar-
cel6 and the New Progressive Party. If, on
the other hand, there is something to keep
out of the news until Election Day, they have
won a temporary victory.

July 25th

July25, because of its colonialist overtones,
is no longer officially observed as the an-
niversary of the 1898 invasion of the island.
It was chosen in 1952 as the date when the
island's new constitution would go into ef-
fect, marking the beginning of common-
wealth status. For those favoring the
present relationship with the US it is known
as Commonwealth Day. Statehooders pre-
fer to call it Constitution Day. For advocates
of independence it is a day of mourning,
marking the beginning of nearly a century
of US colonialism.
As Romero Barcel6 and officials of his
administration gathered on July 25,1978,
in Bayam6n, a suburb of San Juan, for the
official festivities, three young men were

traveling south to Ponce. Within a few
hours two of them would be dead and the
third would become the central figure in the
Cerro Maravilla case.
Carlos Enrique Soto, 18, and Arnaldo
Dario Rosado, 21, belonged to a small
clandestine organization known as the
Armed Revolutionary Movement. The
group, like several others in Puerto Rico, felt
that armed violence was necessary to bring
about Puerto Rican independence or at
least to trigger the type of revolutionary
action which could force a "political solu-
tion" to the island's perennial status prob-
lem. Alejandro Gonzalez Malave, 21, was
known to them as a member of their or-
ganization. In fact he was a police under-
cover agent active in their group and at least
in one other.
They had decided several days earlier on
some type of operation-presumably a
violent one-for July 25 to dramatize their
protest against the US presence in Puerto
Rico. Whether to sabotage the facilities or
merely to broadcast a revolutionary mes-
sage, they had chosen as their target a tele-
vision transmission tower on Cerro
Maravilla, about 20 miles northeast of
Ponce. Each of them was armed and car-
ried matches and some mildly flammable
Just how the three men got from San
Juan to Ponce, Puerto Rico's second
biggest city, is still not known. Once in
Ponce, however, they flagged down Julio
Ortiz Molina, who was driving a publicco"
one of the public service cars providing the
equivalent of bus service between the vari-
ous island towns. Ortiz Molina, who was
alone when he was stopped outside Ponce,
was forced at gunpoint to drive them up the
hill to the television transmitter.
They were barely out of the car when
shooting broke out at the base of the tower.
Five plainclothes policemen whose
superiors had been warned by Gonzalez
Malave had been waiting for them. Within
seconds Rosado was dead of a shotgun
blast in the chest. Soto, hit by several bul-
lets, died in a police car en route to a hospi-
tal, Gonzalez Malave received minor bullet
wounds, while the driver, who hid under the
dashboard, escaped injury.
Police later claimed that they ordered
Soto and Rosado to halt and throw down
their weapons. Instead, police say, they ran
toward the waiting policemen, firing their
guns. They were killed, according to police,
when the plainclothesmen returned fire.
Romero Barcel6, reviewing the July 25
parade in Bayam6n, was informed shortly
after noon, only a few minutes after the
shootout occurred. Police, however, waited
for more than 12 hours to put out any kind
of a report and it was well over 24 hours
before details of what happened became
generally known. Initial reaction was sub-
dued, mostly because little was known

Fiction or Reality

Testimony of an Author in Crisis

By Pedro Juan Soto
Translated by Elena A. Parrado

As a literary creator I face a grave
crisis. It is. no doubt, a passing crisis
but this 'passing" crisis has re-
mained .vith me for more than two years.
To date I have written thirteen books twoo
as a collaborator): eight haie been pub-
lished. Each volume has afforded me much
satisfaction and displeasure, numerous
anxieties and illusions allowing me to feel
that I am. in fact. capable of producing
more than occasional literary works.
What disturbs me no.w? I find myself in-
capable of concluding a novel: I feel terror
at the sight of a mere blank page in front of
me. Some c.l you rma understand this
problem and think that no writer has eier
suffered less-regardless of the length of
his literary career I agree Sooner or later,
we ma, all laugh at what onre appeared to
be a crisis but was actually m% mistaking
literary impotence .ith the mere task of
drafting another page.
Let us examine this crisis, specifically
after the events took place. On July 25,
1978 (the 80th anniversary of the Yankee
invasion of our island. Puerto RicoI. three
youths made the climb to Cerro MaraLvllaa.
lodged in the mountains of the interior. after
abducting the driver of a litne% taxi: fify year
old Julio Ortiz Molina. These three youths
were: Arnaldo Dario Rosado, twenty-three
years old. married, unemployed. father of a
young infant: Alejandro Gonzalez Mala',e.
twenty-one sears old,married, secret agent
for the Puerto Rican Police. lather or
grandfather of various subversive" activ-
ities carried out during the course of five
years served as apparent informer, and

about what happened on Cerro Maravilla
beyond the fact that "terrorists" had been
surprised by Police trying to "blow up" a
transmitter and had been killed in an ex-
change of gunfire.
Two days later Ortiz Molina decided to
talk. In an interview with the Star and in a
sworn statement given to a Ponce lawyer,
he said that an earlier statement to the
Commonwealth Justice Department was
taken under pressure. The public driver
now said that Gonzalez Malav6 appeared to
be leading the operation as the three men
forced him to drive up the hill, a claim which
suggested entrapment.
More significant, he said that police

In attempting to relate the
events concerning that
death, I find myself before
a blank page.

Carlos Enrique Soto, eighteen years old,
student. Carlos Ennque was my son.
These four persons did not reach Cerro
Maravilla without incident. They were as-
saulted and shot at by several policemen
who had been waiting there since the day
before. According to his own statements.
the abducted driver. Ortz Molina. was
beaten and later questioned hb agents of
the police. The police report states that the
secret agent. Gonzalez Malave. was
wounded in the leh side and little finger of
the right hand by plainclothes policemen
standing guard at the scene. Rosado died at
once, victim of a rifle blow to the chest. Soto
was woundedd four times. beaten while
waiting for first-aid and taken belatedly to
the Jauyas Medical Center where the
doctor in charge pronounced him dead on
arrival. (Gonzalez Malave was rendered aid
in this clinic moments before, then irans-
ferred to the Ponce District Hospital.)
I have already said that I am a literary
creator. I have also said that. due to my
inability to complete a novel, I find m) self in
a crisis. I have spoken of the circumstances
surrounding the death of my son. Fine. But
in attempting to relate the events concern-

kicked the wounded young men as they lay
bleeding on the ground and that at least
one of them pleaded for his life. Ortiz Molina
was whisked away to a nearby police
transmitter. While he was there, he said, he
heard another volleyof shots.This suggest-
ed for the first time two new theories: That
police fired again at one or the two as they
lay on the ground, and that the inde-
pendentistas' guns had not been fired ini-
tially, but were set off by police to make it
appear that Soto and Rosado fired first.
Romero Barcel6 at first ignored the im-
plications of Ortiz Molina's claims, going as
far as calling the policemen involved in the
operation "heroes." Pressured by public

ing that death. I find m self before a blank
These events concern a political assassi-
nation perpetuated against two youths who
favored independence lor our colony. A
political assassination maneuvered by sev-
eral parties \with the help of one who. until
that time, had been an instigator and pro-
voker. Onl\ now is he a uniformed agent ot
the Puerto Rican Police.
Clearly, my wish is to relate these events
using as a prototype all available technical
resources while making full use of an ac-
cusatory voice-reluctant to speak until
now-concerning my society Since it in-
volves the death of m\ son. it must be the
best I can produce M\ son deserves, at
least, a great 'work of an.
You may argue that letting paternal emo-
ticns subside would allow me to continue.
But I must contend that the case in question
Is still unsettled. Moreover is is quite un-
certain how much longer this situation will
continue. 'bu will tell me that I shall have to
wait until the affair is cleared up But I do not
plan to Lait. i cannot \,air. i must write about
this. regardless of the consequences.
Continue to write, you sa, go beyond the
surface. This is exactly where I find myself:
reviewing and outlining new ideas, writing
page after page. ail oft which I later consider
unacceptable. Why? Because. emotions
aside. I haee encountered a reality pervaded
with stereotypes which not even a poor
novelist would consider acceptable mate-
rial. You w ill ask Are you by chance worried
about changing a truth that is already
Continued on page 45

opinion, however, he ordered the Com-
monwealth government to investigate. In a
month a report was ready, substantiating
each of the points made by police in their
In part because Romero Barcel6 had
cleared the policemen before the investiga-
tion got underway, but basically because it
appeared to be so superficial, the Justice
Department report immediately came
under fire. Newsmen pointed out that while
it appeared to answer some questions, it left
many others unanswered.
Among the unanswered questions were:
Why were Soto and Rosado not arrested
Continued on page 44

The Agony of

Puerto Rican Art

By Eneid Routte Gomez

With the death on April 30 of Luis
Mufoz Marin at 82 years of age, an
extraordinary political and cultural
era in Puerto Rico came to a dramatic close.
Architect of the Commonwealth of Puerto
Rico, now under siege from the politically
militant left and right, Mufoz Marin was the
island's first elected governor, beginning
the first of four successive terms in 1948.
Formerly, governors of Puerto Rico, in-
cluding Col. Theodore Roosevelt, the
notorious Gen. Blanton Winship and Rex-
ford G. Tugwell, were appointed by the
President of the United States. In 1946,
Jesus T. Pifiero became the first Puerto
Rican to be named governor of the island.
Backed by a stable of brilliant loyalists,
Mufioz, in brief, led this small but strategi-
cally important island from a poor agrarian
economy into an urban and industrial soci-
ety thriving, if not particularly bursting, with
middle class prosperity and the social ills
that trail in prosperity's wake.
Yesterday, for example, the predominant
issues tackled by Mufoz and followers were
extreme poverty, illiteracy and the urgency
of social change through the "bloodless
revolution" of the ballot box. Today, side by
side with the development of huge shop-
ping malls, traffic jams and the like, the
issues are crime, inflation and unemploy-
ment, plebiscites and presidential primar-
ies, all entangled in one two-syllable word:
Status, and its twin, Culture. These are the
issues that are ripping apart the seams of
the island's social and political fabric as
activists from the left and right place the
blame for this painful state of affairs directly
at Muhoz's door.
A few years ago in the deepening winter
of his life Mufioz looked back at what a close
friend and colleague called his "unfinished
symphony." The occasion, and the reflec-
tion, took place at the unveiling of a magni-
ficent larger-than-life portrait of the
"Founding Father" by Puerto Rican artist
Francisco Rod6n. Attended by many of the
faithful of Mufioz's Popular Democratic
Party -which lostthe 1976 elections to the
adamantly pro-statehood New Progressive
Party the unveiling had all the dimen-
sions of a High Church drama.
I wrote at the time: "Rod6n's Munoz was
sitting in what appeared to be a garden, the

colors as bright as Paradise, the feeling as
bleak as original sin. He appears too tired to
rise from his chair. In the twilight of his life,
he sits in the midst of man-eating plants
poised to begin a tropical totentanz. It is a
portrait of a man who has outlived his
dream, yet in his eyes remains the hope of
vindication. It is a portrait of a man who
harbors magnificent sadness and infinite
Later in an interview at his retreat in
Trujillo Alto, I asked him what he thought of
the portrait which Rod6n had worked on for

several years. Visibily annoyed by the after-
math of a stroke he described himself as
a "mute Milton" Mufioz chose his words
carefully. "I think," he said, "that it's a great
piece of work. I had in mind what the picture
in itself gives me...l look at the guy and I like
what 1 see. 1 feel satisfied. One of the rea-
sons I feel deeply satisfied is that I haven't
done all that I would have liked to have
done... Throughout my life I have seen
Puerto Rico sometimes as the patria,
sometimes as the people. They tend to
come into conflict, the patria and the
people, and the people usually win..."
A journalist and poet, a conversationalist
and storyteller as well as a consummate
politician, Luis Muiioz Marin was given a
tumultuous farewell by the people of Puerto
Rico. It was as if the whole country had
arisen as one in mourning. The Munoz Era,
which began in the Thirties with the excite-
ment of the "bloodless revolution," ended
four decades later in the grasp of its step-
sister, anxiety. Once again thepatria and the
people are engaged in deep conflict.

The Institute of
Puerto Rican Culture

The official story of the island's culture has
been written in many ways by the Institute of
Puerto Rican Culture. Politics and the arts
and culture are always uneasy bedfellows
and at first it was hard for the Institute, es-
tablished in 1955, to forge into being a na-
tional conscience of the island's culture, to
dust off the ashes of ridicule from which it
arose. No one, at the time, could agree on
whether Puerto Rico had a culture, says
Ricardo Alegria, a noted anthropologist and
the Institute's first executive director. Some
called it pejoratively a "culture of codfish
fritters" while others claimed, politically, that
the future of Puerto Rican culture was in-
evitably American.
Folk art, they said, was not culture. An old
illiterate woodcarver was not an artist.
Priests laughed at those crude wooden
carvings of saints, called santos. Today,
however, those santos are prized posses-
sions, hard to come by and costly. Artisans
such as maskmaker Castor Ayala and
woodcarver Norberto Cedefio, both de-
ceased, have been raised to legendary stat-
ure. Indeed, the stakes for folk art are much
higher now, taking on the color and nat-
ure of a political football. Just recently,
for example, three tiers of "cultural kiosks"
were inaugurated at Plaza Las Americas,
amid the fancy shops and stores of the
island's largest emporium. More than 15
million Puerto Ricans and tourists visit
Plaza Las Americas annually, said artist
Rafael Rivera Garcia with some astonish-
ment. As director of La Fortaleza's Office of
Cultural Affairs, and an avowed state-
hooder, in contrast to the political beliefs of

most of his fellow artists, Rivera Garcia is
warily viewed as a powerful figure in the
cultural war.
During the inauguration of the cultural
kiosks Rivera Garcia outlined his self-
described "controversial" concept of "arte
para el pueblo" or art for the people. The
concept is "basically the democratization of
culture," he said as the Secretary of Com-
merce Juan Cintr6n and artisan advocate
Walter Murray Chiesa, representing
Fomento, looked on. The economic arm of
the government established during the
Mufoz-inspired "Operation Bootstrap" to
bring US industry to the island, Fomento, is
also rushing to take the island's folk art to
markets offshore.
As the Institute of Puerto Rican Culture
celebrates its 25th anniversary, fearful of its
future, native arts and crafts are indeed
flourishing. Typical musical instruments,
such as the cuatro and the bordonua, have
been rescued from almost certain oblivion
by indifference if not by time. (In a not so
typical cultural irony, however, the cuatro is
reportedly being sold in some tourist shops
branded "made in Korea.") And notes a
musicologist somewhat ruefully as he sur-
veyed the cultural horizon not too long ago,
Puerto Ricans in the future may be playing
the banjo instead of the bordonua.
The island's three-million people had a
three-fold heritage: Indian, African and
Spanish. Each bloodline has its museum.
Spanish colonial buildings in San Juan
have been restored to their original ar-
chitecture and the Institute itself is located
in a restored convent. Theater, music and
folkloric dance festivals have become
commonplace. Island graphic artists such
as Lorenzo Homar, Antonio Martorell, Jose
Alicea, Rafael Tufifio are known internation-
ally. Works by Julio Rosado del Valle and
Myrna Baez stand out anywhere. Some of
the younger talents on the rise include
Carmelo Sobrino, Juan Ram6n Velazquez,
Jose Rosa, Manuel Garcia Fonteboa, Isabel
Vazquez. Film as a cultural expression has
caught the public's eye and, most recently
with "Dios los cria..." written, directed and
produced by actor Jacobo Morales, the
public's mind as well. A low-budget film,
"Dios los cria..." is entirely Puerto Rican
from cast to crew. And a box-office hit.
A rectangular landscape 100 x 35 miles,
bordered on the north by the Atlantic Ocean
and on the south by the Caribbean sea,
Puerto Rico is a gateway to a trinity of cul-
tural influences: North America, Latin
America and the multi-national yet
homogeneous Caribbean. In its literature,
folklore and music, its theater and dance,
social and political themes from the trinity
paint the canvas of contemporary Puerto
The "new song," for example, which
originated in the political protest movement
of the Sixties has its strongest voices in

The Munoz Era, which began in

the Thirties with the excitement

of the "bloodless revolution,"

ended four decades later in the

grasp of its stepsister, anxiety.

Lucecita Benitez, Roy Brown Ramirez,
Danny Rivera and the musucal group
Haciendo Punto en Otro Son. The "new
song," says Haciendo Punto in its bilingual
publicity sheets, "is the term adopted
throughout Latin America for a certain kind
of modern music that takes advantage of all
the musical resources available today to
enrich traditional melodies and rhythms."
In their view, then, the "new song" fuses
melodies and socio-political maladies.
The literary history of contemporary
Puerto Rico is contained in the volumes of

Sin Nombre, edited by the lawyer and liter-
ary doyenne Nilita Vientos Gast6n, the
longest continually published review of its
kind. Begun 35 years ago asAsomante, the
review has served as a launching pad for
many of the island's writers, among them,
the late playwright Rene Marques, Luis
Rafael Sanchez, Abelardo Diaz Alfaro and
Pedro Juan Soto.
But underneath this sample pool of a
virbrant cultural mosaic swim several lesser
noticed fish. One is "cultural isolation,"
according to Jorge Rigau, a brilliant young
architect recently forced out of the politi-
cally sensitive job as director of cultural
activities at the University of Puerto Rico,
Rio Piedras campus. "We really don't know
what's going on in the rest of the world," he
told me. He also lists other cracks in the
cultural mosaic: lack of tradition in arts
administration, little public or private fund-
ing of the arts, lack of "definition" between
amateur and professional work. Long-run
performances in theater, dance or music
are rare in Puerto Rico and professional
artists often complain that their pay is not
equal to their work. And although Puerto
Rico has been the stage for important liter-
ary and social congresses and music festi-
vals, such as the Casals Festival, the so-
called "cultural boom," says Rigau, rings
hollow. "It lacks substance," he said, adding
that the push given to the folk arts stresses
the past and not the future.

A Ministry of Culture
On the surface, however, the dominant
issue appears to be control of the island's
culture. On May 30, Gov. Carlos Romero
Barcel6 signed into law several controver-
sial measures, aimed he said at the cere-
mony, to "broaden, not limit" the island's
cultural development. The bills, sponsored
by Senate president Luis A. Ferre, patron of
the arts and founder of the Ponce Museum
of Art, former governor and founder of the
statehood party, establish a cabinet-level
Administration for the Development of Arts
and Culture a ministry of culture. The
new agency, strongly opposed by much of
the island's cultural community, will set
policy and oversee programs and activities

related to Puerto Rican arts and culture.
"Consumatum est," exclaimed Sen. Ferre,
apparently oblivious to the suggestive tone
of the pharse. Despite the Governor's in-
sistence that the Institute of Puerto Rican
Culture would not be affected by the new
agency indeed at the same ceremony he
assigned $6-million to the Institute's budget
for a total of $14.1 million for the fiscal year
- influential critics, such as Ricardo Alegria
hear a death knell for the Institute. "The
creation of culture must have full freedom
and must be free from partisan political
influence," Alegria said some time ago.
"Otherwise culture would be purely at the
service of a political party." During his te-
nure as director of the Institute, he said, he
turned down a request that his post be
raised to cabinet level. "In a colony," Nilita
Vientos Gast6n observed during heated
legislative hearings on the bills creating
the agency, "culture is always seen as
In the wake of the signing of the meas-
ures, the opposition Popular Democratic
Party pledged to revoke the law creating the
ministry of culture if returned to power and
a "cultural war" was declared by militant
artists. "Enemies of our culture will pay a
high pr':l.,: ji price for their annexionist

obsession," declared Juan Saez Burgos, a
lawyer and poet speaking for the Commit-
tee to Defend Puerto Rican Culture. Days
before the Governor signed the measures,
Luis M. Rodriguez Morales angrily resigned
as executive director of the Institute of
Puerto Rican Culture indicating that a
gentlemen's agreement over the institu-
tion's future had been broken. "These
measures, which were bad in their origins
and bad in the way they were approved," he
charged, "became worse through amend-
ments enacted without notice, in the dark of
the night, in a manner more fitting of delin-
quents." The most visible plum at the core
of the issue is a building -the Performing
Arts Center, a three theater structure arising
in the metropolitan area and scheduled to
be inaugurated before the November elec-
tions. Ten years in the building, the center,
once the brainchild of the Institute of Cul-
ture, will fall under the aegis of the new
ministry of culture.
Right now, however, as the election cam-
paign heats up, the bitter war of words over
the future of the Institute of Culture has
subsided, at least publicly, replaced by
charges of tax persecution and potential
voting fraud. The director of the new culture
agency has yet to be named though several

names have been floating in the air like
balloons. Still, the future of the Institute of
Puerto Rican Culture, for 25 years the sym-
bol of the island's culture, appears to be
standing on a razor's edge. Whether it is
stirred by statehood into the "melting pot"
of the United States, retains its status as a
"free associated state" with the US or stands
as an equal with other nations in the
Hemisphere depends, to a large extent, on
the faith and trust of the people in their
leaders, in their culture and fundamentally,
in themselves. No political leader, as of yet,
has appeared on the horizon to meet the
aspirations of all the people. And despite
the creation of a "ministry of culture," no
bureaucrat can conjure up cultural policy
without the will and consent of the people. It
remains, I think, for the artists painters,
musicians, writers to relieve the agony of
the status issue and reinforce the national
conscience of the people. An illustration: on
viewing Rod6n's portrait of Mufioz at the
first unveiling one woman said somewhat
hopefully, "It could decide an election."

Eneid Routt6 G6mez is Women's Editor of The
San Juan Star and president of the Overseas
Press Club of Puerto Rico.


Where to go

What to do
Where to dine

P.O. Box 340008
Miami, FL 33134
Send me the next 12 issues for only $7.95 saving me $4.05
off the regular subscription price and $7.05 off the news-
stand price. NON-U.S. SUBSCRIPTIONS ARE $33

Address Apt.
City State Zip

O Payment enclosed O Bill me

Please allow up to 6 weeks for delivery.

Combat and Identity
in World War I

Based on firsthand accounts of American,
French, British, and German front-line soldiers,
this book examines how the First World War trans-
formed the character of its participants. Leed
looks at the traumatic experience of combat itself,
as well as the shattering of the conventions and
ethical codes of normal social life, which turned
ordinary civilians into "liminal men"-men living
beyond the realms of the accepted and the
"Leed deflates many old myths as he provides a
unique and original view of the Great War."-
Publishers' Weekly $14.95

Cambridge University Press
32 East 57th Street, New York, N.Y. 10022

The Bureaucracy of

Music in Puerto Rico

By Francis Schwartz

Puerto Rico is a cultural battlefield.
This is not a new phenomenon since
the struggle between local forces and
those of the metropolitan centers have
characterized Island life for centuries. The
latest bombshell to explode within the con-
fines of this three million-plus Caribbean
land is the passing of a new law which
creates the Administration for the Devel-
opment of Art and Culture (ADAC). This
governmental agency will play an active
role in the planning and coordination of
music, theater, dance, public libraries,
The ADAC, sponsored by Governor
Carlos Romero Barcel6's New Progressive
Party whose pro-statehood activities have
heightened local political tensions, has
been bitterly opposed by the majority of
Puerto Rico's leading artists and a coalition
of anti-statehood parties. The music world
has been split as both composers and per-
formers are forced to choose political sides
to articulate a preference for the cultural
philosophy which will dominate the local
scene for years.
Favoring statehood for Puerto Rico and
the newlycreated ADAC are such well known
music figures as pianist Jesus Maria San-
roma and composer Hector Campos Parsi,
who have actively campaigned for the new
law. Their support of this cultural legislation
had earned them the opprobrium of most
Puerto Rico artists and they have been pub-

licly condemned. The Puerto Rico Society
for Contemporary Music to which many
prestigious composers belong, opposes
the new law and the "dangerous" tenden-
cies regarding the arts.
Once the bill was approved last May, the
Committee for Cultural Defense declared
war on the government stating that a vigor-
ous anti-establishment cultural movement
would arise to swamp the "anti-Puerto
Rican attitudes" which will supposedly
dominate the new powerful agency. Such
Popular Party stalwarts as Ricardo Alegria,
former head of the Institute of Puerto Rican
Culture and writer Salvador Tio, have
spearheaded a drive to thwart the "an-
nexionist" plot to control the Arts in Puerto
It is curious to observe the political use
being made of this issue. Without doubt,
any party in power would use the agency to
promote its ideals and aspirations. It was, in
fact, the Popular Democratic Party which
pushed the idea of the Minillas Arts Center
and the eventual creation of a cabinet level
culture post equivalent to a Ministry of Cul-
ture. Since the New Progressive Party re-
moved control of the Arts Center from the
Institute of Puerto Rican Culture both the
PDP and thelndependentistas suspect that
the Institute is to be gradually destroyed to
prepare the people for Statehood.
The circus-like atmosphere which
characterizes the entire affair makes

analysis very difficult. Memories are short in
Puerto Rico. Former US State Department
official and University of Puerto Rico presi-
dent, Arturo Morales Carri6n, was under
heavy attack from the Left only three years
ago for being a CIA agent. Now that he
presides over the local chapter of the Na-
tional Endowment for the Humanities,
these same accusers are actively col-
laborating with him in the pursuit of funds
for their projects. At the same time, the
anti-Communist hysteria rampant among
New Progressive Party members reminds
one of the Cold War era in the US with all of
the nasty McCarthy-ite overtones. Obvi-
ously this situation greatly affects the music
scene in Puerto Rico.
The future of music in Puerto Rico is
basically in the hands of several institutions
and private organizations: The Casals Fes-
tival Corporation: This 23 year-old semi-
public corporation, originally founded by
the late Catalan Cellist, Pablo Casals, and
sponsored by the Puerto Rican govern-
ment, has been the most powerful music
organization in Puerto Rico's history. Made
up of the two-week June International Fes-
tival, the Puerto Rico Symphony Orchestra
and the Conservatory of Music, the three-
faceted institution has been seriously
changed by the new ADAC law. The PRSO
and Conservatory have become autono-
mous institutions with their own board of
directors and budgetary mechanisms.



What remains of the old Casals Festival Inc.
is the international festival which has fallen
to mediocre levels.
The Casals Festival Inc., weathered the
shameful experience of having been found
guilty and sentenced in both Puerto Rican
and US Federal Courts for violating the
rights of two music professors. It is now
involved in another case of alleged ethnic
discrimination against American-born
musicians employed by them. The negative
publicity this case had generated locally, as
well as the disastrous 1980 Festival atten-
dance record, clearly signal a loss of local
support for the Festival. The Puerto Rican
public is rejecting a costly activity run
mainly by dilettante Board members and an
absentee music director who shows little
understanding of the local cultural scene.
The United States has used Puerto Rico
as an alternative to radical political solu-
tions in the Caribbean and Latin-America.
The Casals Festival was highly esteemed by
the US State Department; often Third World
visitors would be brought to the Festival
during a tour of the Island to appreciate
what could be achieved culturally with US
cooperation. The glamour which sur-
rounded the name of Casals and the star-
studded cast of performing artists was part
of a persuasive pitch used by the US.
Things began to sour in the early 70s,
however, when the Casals Festival became
the target of local and international protest
in which Puerto Rican music and cultural
integrity was made the issue. Blatantly dis-
criminating against Puerto Rican compos-
ers (not one Puerto Rican work was per-
formed in the Festival from 1959 until
1976), the publicly financed event was
thoroughly chastised in the media. The
legal battles referred to above tarnished the
humanistic image of the Casals Festiival
Corporation, and no revitalization of the
institution was achieved.
Today the Casals Festival is moribund.
Only the changing political situation in the
Caribbean and Latin America could save it
from extinction. With the presence of three
Leftist governments in the Caribbean and
the unstable Central American situation,
new ideas are being sought on the cultural
front. Serious consideration is now being
given to the transformation of the Casals
Festival into a Festival of the Americas with,
perhaps, a concert series dedicated to the
memory of Casals. A decade ago this idea
was discussed among US and Puerto Rican
planners but quietly shelved when it was
learned that Casals himself would take um-
brage at such a proposal. The fact that a
recent New York Times Sunday Magazine
two page add on "Puerto Rico, U.S.A."
failed, for the first time, to even mention the
presence of the Casals Festival in Puerto
Rico reveals the cultural entity's reduced
status. Unless there is a politically motivated
commitment on the part of the US State

Top, "Cosmos," new music at the University of
Puerto Rico; Center, "Curric6n," a new popular
music group; Bottom, "Street Rumba" of urban
San Juan. Photos by Francisco J. Lopez.


A /~i~

Department and Puerto Rican Common-
wealth to infuse a new dynamism into the
Casals Festival Corporation or its
transformed successor, the organization
will disappear.
The Puerto Rico Symphony Orchestra:
During the past twenty years this performing
organization was relegated to a secondary
position by its parent corporation the Casals
Festival Inc. The orchestra has improved in
quality, has a 40-week season and now fol-
lows a policy in which outstanding interna-
tional artists and distinguished local per-
formers are invited as guest soloists. Once the
current battle over ethnic discrimination is
laid to rest, it will be possible to articulate a
serious artistic and managerial policy which
should make the PRSO one of the mainstays
of Puerto Rican music life.
Music Education: The University of Puerto
Rico Music Department, now moving into
modern expanded facilities represents the
vanguard of music education in Puerto
Rico. The only institution with serious pos-
sibilities of offering a recognized Masters
degree in its field, the University possesses
an internationally recognized New Music
center with experimental workshops and
Electronic Music laboratory and a team of
excellent musicologists and ethno-
musicologists. The gradual evolution of this
department into a School of Music or divi-
sion within a Fine Arts College, will create a
US-style university music entity, rendering
service to both academia and the general
The Conservatory of Music, riddled with
administrative problems and recently made
autonomous by the ADAC law, has many
fine professors. Its emphasis is on perform-
ance, although a pedagogy program does
exist. Until the educational directives are
clearly outlined and a harmonious working
relationship established among teachers,
students, and administrators, a tense, un-
stable climate will continue to reign which
undermines the best efforts of the institu-
In San German the Inter-American Uni-
versity Music Department renders mer-
itorious service. Hampered by lack of facili-
ties, solid achievements by their faculty over
the past years have been commendable.
Institute of Puerto Rican Culture: Musi-
cally, the Institute of Puerto Rican Culture
has presented concerts, published scores,
recorded locally-produced music and en-
couraged some musicological research.
How active the IPRC will be in the future
depends largely upon the attitudes which
determine public policy. With the new
ADAC legislation, the Institute music pro-
gram will be more limited, designed to fulfill
its obligation both to preserve Puerto Rican
folk music and to disseminate local com-
positions. In the past, the distribution efforts
of the Institute Music Section, under com-
poser Hector Campos Parsi, have been

weak. Musicological research has been
sparse in an area where this institution
should have taken the lead. Should a new
administration revitalize the commitment
to Puerto Rican culture, this Institute section
may make a very important contribution to
the preservation both of traditional music
and as well as of the customs relating to the
Puerto Rico Society of Contemporary
Music: This local organization dedicated to
the music of the 20th century is one of the
more dynamic music-oriented groups in
Puerto Rico. Having successfully presented
the International Biennial of New Music in

The music world has been
split as both composers
and performers are forced
to choose political sides to
articulate a preference for
the cultural philosophy
which will dominate the
local scene for years.

1978 with very little institutional financing,
the PRSCM has scheduled a 16 concert
Second Biennial for 1980 which will feature
leading artists from the Americas and
Europe. This second international event
now has the backing of several Puerto
Rican government agencies, the govern-
ments of France, West Germany, Ven-
ezuela, and the National Endowment for
the Arts in Washington, D.C.
Puerto Rico's leading composers belong
to the PRSCM and there is active public
support for their attempt to bring Puerto
Rico's music life up to date. In addition to
producing their own records and scores,
the PRSCM has established ties with lead-
ing international music and cultural organi-
zations. It functions with great indepen-
dence in spite of the new ADAC law.
Other Organizations: The Cultural Activ-
ities Department of the University of
Puerto Rico in Rio Piedras has enjoyed a
felicitous history of cultural promotion in
Puerto Rico over the past 40 years. Many of
the world's greatest musicians are con-
tracted every year for the benefit of the
university community and the general pub-
lic. This policy continues to enrich the
music life of the Island.
The non-profit organization Pro Arte, is
made up of private subscribers. Similar to
the state-side community concert groups,
Pro Arte concentrates its efforts four to six
times a year in the invitation of renowned
soloists, although the expensive tickets
make these concerts available only to the

more privileged in Puerto Rico.
In the search for cultural affirmation,
many popular music groups have based
their images in an expression of nationalis-
tic ideas. Utilizing Puerto Rican idioms of
past eras with contemporary techniques,
ensembles such as Haciendo Punto en
Otro Son, Moliendo Vidrio, Currican,
among many others, have developed vast
public followings. Many of these groups
tour the Island and some travel to the US
mainland. The ever-present dilemma for
Pro-Independence advocates who see their
electoral chances undermined by the
pragmatic voting tendencies of the Puerto
Rican electorate has created a situation in
which Independentistas see the music
groups as propaganda weapons for their
cause. The creation of a new conscious-
ness through song and popular arts dif-
ficult as it may be has motivated political
cadres and ideologically aware musicians
to form new ensembles for political pur-
poses. Similar to the US environment of the
1960s (which saw the anti-Viet Nam pro-
tests and drug sub-culture intimately re-
lated to the popular song movement of
anti-Establishment nature) the New Song
(Nueva Canci6n) of Puerto Rico may suc-
ceed where endless rhetoric has failed. It is
not uncommon to see middle and upper
class youth express agreement with the
revolutionary messages of the New Song;
the blending of this popular expression with
ideology has considerable potential.
The musical future of Puerto Rico prom-
ises to be active. Controversies will abound
and much government interference in cul-
tural affairs is certain regardless of which
major political party is in power. Most
Puerto Ricans love the musical art and rec-
ognize the need for its existence. Thus in
spite of all the political and social tension -
or perhaps because of it the coming
decade should be filled with fascinating
activities of a musical nature.
Composer Francis Schwartz teaches Music at
the University of Puerto Rico. Past chairman of
the Music Department, he was head music
critic of the San Juan Star.



of Things Puerto Rican

Vignettes from "The Islander"

By John Hawes

The following columns are reprinted from John
Hawes' The Islander column which appeared
in the now defunct Island Times, a San Juan
weekly newspaper. The column titles are
supplied by Caribbean Review, the dates refer
to the dates of original publication in The Island
Times. John Hawes was a teacher, extraordi-
narily gifted writer, and craftsman of fine musi-
cal instruments. He lived for many years in
rural Puerto Rico.

The Clean-swept Batey
(January 29, 1960)

All over the Island-on the steep bare
slopes of the tobacco hills around Cayey
and Comerio, in the rolling cattle country
between Coamo and Juana Diaz; in the
level canefields of the south coast and the
palm shaded settlements on the Atlantic,
east of San Juan; on arid flat land around
Cabo Rojo and in the forest clearings on the
damp slopes of El Yunque the simple
little country houses have one thing in
common. The hardpacked dooryard, or
batey, is kept clean of the least blade of
green, and usually swept every day. It is a
sign of sickness or infirmity in the family if a
weed or a bit of grass is to be found.
Many travelers are puzzled by this, and
have frequently asked why people don't
grow grass around their houses. These tiny
patches of bare ground are symbols, or
banners, in an unending war that started
centuries before Columbus first sighted the
mountains of Puerto Rico rising from the
sea. From the beginning, when men first
drifted northward up the long chain of the
Antilles, they have been spared many
struggles. They never had to fight against
the frost and cold, as the savages of North
America and the barbarians of Europe had
to do. They never had to contend with the
drought that caused the migration of entire
nations in the east and in Africa. They had a
perfect climate, but the climate that was so
kind to men was equally favorable to the
vegetable kingdom. From the very first, the
human inhabitants of these Islands have
faced the paradox that the same beneficient
conditions that made it so easy for them to
live were striving, inexorably, to destroy their

handiwork. The vegetable kingdom is a
formidable enemy, as well as a generous
friend. Vines and herbacious climbers, that
live for only a year, can force their way under
boards, or under the eaves of houses and
unseat the strongest nails. A tiny seed, car-
ried by the wind, may find a haven in a cleft
in a masonry wall, and under favorable
conditions, send its hair-like roots into any
crack or crevice in the structure and grow
until it becomes a tree, with roots thicker
than a man's arm. This can break a wall that
is twelve feet thick. Microscopic vegetable
organisms catch a foothold in the beams or
sill of a house, and break down the structure
of the wood, and the house collapses. Mil-
dew attacks paper and leather and fabrics,
and destroys them. Stately trees give shade
that protects their relatives. In the damp
cool of their tropical shadows, a thousand
plants flourish, protected from the sun.
In the fields, a multitude of plants reach
out to destroy the work of man. The
purple-blossomed pica pica entwines itself
among the cane and develops its fine
nettle-like fibres, causing mutiny among
the cutters, and forcing the owner to burn
his fields, before they are cut. The slender
abrojo, a low-growing grass, produces a
tiny barbed needle in its burr, that clings to
clothing, and pierces the skin. The poor
victim, who plucks this thorn from his foot,
finds it caught painfully in the flesh of his
The little Cadillo pegajoso, with its al-
most microscopic, violet-pink blossom,
produces a seed covered with minute
barbed burrs that cling to the clothing of
people and the fur, or hair, of animals, so
that the manes of grazing horses become
matted and tangled, and these, unwilling
carriers, propagate the plant over the whole
There is also the Morivuiv, (dead and
alive), the sensitive plant. It grows and
spreads over a wide area, killing off every-
thing within its scope by cutting off the
sunlight. When one steps on it, or touches
it, it closes its leaves instantly, leaving only
the stalks with their barbarous thorns to
wound those who molest it.
Aside from all these vegetable menaces,
are the vegetable parasites that kill whatever

they touch and cling to. Outstanding
among these is 'Angel's Hair,' Cassytha
filiformis, the bright yellow strands that
destroy everything they grow on. The most
carefully planted fruit trees, flowering
shrubs, or food plants may be destroyed by
this parasite. If 'Angel's Hair' is not present,
there are many varieties ofbejuco, or stran-
gulating climbers, that can destroy one's
The fight never ends, but, struggling
against all of these vegetable enemies, the
poor farmer makes his mark. He estab-
lishes his place against all enemies.
The clean-swept batey, without a single
blade of grass, nor the least leaf of a weed:
swept of all the normal dirt of country life,
such as poultry droppings and the refuse of
the farmer's occupation, is a matter of pride
among country people. It is an absolute, if
ephemeral, victory over the encroaching
vegetable kingdom. This spot is maintained
against all comers.
The poor Greek polishes his shoes, and
is well dressed. The English farmer pays all
his debts, and is able to face the world. The
American establishes his credit, and the
world is his oyster. But the Puerto Rican
campesino wears dusty shoes, and nobody
notices. He is able to face his neighbors,
although he owes most of them, because
he really likes them and they like him. And
in spite of his debts and dusty shoes, he is
ready to go anywhere in the world and take
'the place, wherever it may be, by the force of
his wit and ability.
He has done all of these things a
thousand times over, and if one were to ask
him why, or how, he might well answer -
"because we always kept the batey swept
clean, at home." These clean patios are the
signal of an initial victory. When the batey is
well swept and clean, a family has made its
mark. It has established its strength. With a
clean, well-swept batey, one can face the
world, and from such a fortress, one can go

The Houses of Old San Juan
(September 23, 1960)
High in the barren mountains of Iran, where
the clear green waters of a river glide over

the smooth stones at the bottom of a ravine,
overshadowed on both sides by towering
rocky mountain peaks, there is a bridge. It is
no ordinary bridge, spanning a river, but a
great structure that spans the whole valley
- from peak to peak tier upon tier of
arches supporting a roadway between two
mountains. Originally this bridge was part
of the road that Alexander the Great built
across his empire. Today the road is gone,
and the new road, built by military en-
gineers during the war, winds up the steep
wall of the valley and passes through one of
the smaller arches of the old bridge, as a
train of ants might find its path under an old
door. Too well built to give way under the
wear of time and weather, and situated in
such a desolate and difficult spot, that its
stones have not been stolen to build other
walls, it has stood through the centuries,
almost unbroken, but even in the midst of
that precipitous wasteland, it has been
used. Hill shepherds, tanners and felt mak-
ers have walled in the more accessible
arches with mud and wattle; built fragile
looking catwalks and ladders connecting

one arch with another, and all of them with
the mountainside. Today, or at least when I
saw it almost twenty years ago, a small vil-
lage of some 30 or 40 families was estab-
lished among the lower arches of the an-
cient bridge, as swallows build their nest
among the beams of an old barn, or
pigeons raise their young in the cornices
among the ruins of the Roman forum.
There are houses in Old San Juan, that
constantly remind me of that bridge. They
are young, these houses. They measure
their age in centuries, while the bridge
measures its age in milleniums. They are
small in stature, while the bridge flings its
flights of arches, from crest to crest, more
than ten times, perhaps even twenty times,
the height of these houses, but they have
several things in common. Both were built
by builders who had a consciousness of,
and a conscience in, their work. Both were
built by men who were thoroughly familiar
with the materials that they were working
with, so both are soundly and handsomely
built. Both the bridge and the houses were
built by men who adapted the familiar

traditional skills of their own country, to a
new and foreign climate, and did a good job
of it.
Just as the precise, symmetrical arches
of the great bridge have been taken over by
the hill people of Iran, to shelter their
families, so the stately, high ceilinged
rooms have been divided by wooden parti-
tions, and the marble tiled patios, where
delicate pomegranate trees once blos-
somed and bore their ruby-clustered fruit,
are now hung with very plebeian laundry
that makes the cloistered quadrangles
moist with soap-scented dampness. These
orderly and dignified houses, that once
knew a quietness and peace that was only
broken when the provincial gentleman who
ruled over everybody and everything within
their rectangular walls, lost his temper and
shouted at a servant, or at one of his chil-
dren, are now subjected to the sparrow
chatter of ten or fifteen families. Marital
disputes, quarrels among the children, dis-
agreements as well as agreements are
shouted back and forth, and the old houses
are noisy with life.


A back balcony, where, a hundred years
ago, perhaps a lovesick girl murmured an
introverted soliloquy, is taken up today by
seven brawny, wide-hipped women scrub-
bing clothes in galvanized washtubs, while
the communal water tap pours out a crystal
stream that rings out musically first
drumming on the bottoms of the empty
tubs, and then splashing with singing
sounds into the wash water its song
finally muffled in the rising suds.
(There is a laundry-place, just north of
the Caleta de las Monjas overlooking the
Fortaleza and San Juan bay, where the
washerwomen gossip and wash, work and
enjoy themselves, while they look out over
the city, the gardens ofthePalacio de Santa
Catalina, and watch the ships as they come
and go.)
Walk, someday, along the upper streets
of old San Juan along Calle Sol, Calle
San Sebastian, the higher reaches of San
Jos6, Cruz and O'Donnell where the
night club and the tourist shops have not
yet bared their seductive smile. You will find
it untidy, garrulous and noisy, but it fairly
vibrates with human life, and with a sense of
historical continuity that is almost totally
absent on the lower, more self-conscious
streets with their precious galleries, shops
and imported eating places.
As I come down the hill with my small
daughter pelting behind me, out of the
street venders, the loud games that children
play along the sidewalk, and the rough
quips that men and women fling back and
forth across the way, in the course of their
daily work, I reach the quieter more sedate
neighborhood where every tenth building is
boarded up for renovation and restoration.
Irresistably, a text springs to my mind:
"Nolite facere domum Patris mei
domum negotiations" "make not my
Father's house a house of commerce."
But of course I am wrong. Not only the
present promoters contradict me, but the
very shades of the long dead owners and
even some of the builders of the old houses
rise up against me. From the long gone
past, they beat down my arguments with
their acute realization of what they have
missed. Only their pitiful inability to live a
hundred years longer, barred them from
this heaven of one or two hundred percent
profit on their investments.

Doing Things Slowly
(September 30, 1960)
The mason laid out six tiles in a row,
checked them with a straight edge, stuck
the point of his trowel into the bed of moist
cement to move one of them over less than
a sixteenth of an inch so that all six lay in a
mathematically straight line, and then sat
back on his heels. A short, powerfully built
man, in early middle age, all of his motions
had the sure economy of a workman who

knows exactly what he is doing. He set a
four foot spirit level on top of the tiles, and
moved it around at different angles to make
sure that they lay evenly. Without looking up
from his work, he spoke to his twelve-year-
old son.
"Moncho, fill up the water pail."
The boy took the bucket, filled it and set it
down beside his father, who dipped a paint
brush into it and sprinkled the cement. Six
more tiles were laid out on the wet cement
and each one was firmly tapped with the
handle of the trowel, to set them in place.

"People did things slowly in
those days but they did
them more thoroughly."

The process of aligning and levelling them
was repeated.
Don Zeno, having finished his afternoon
chores, shuffled up to the house and leaned
in through the kitchen window to watch the
work. His baggy clothes, the tattered jacket
and the old straw hat that he wore, were all
so earth-stained that he seemed to be a
sepia monochrome, a blend of the red clay
of the pasture and the black earth of the
cafetal, where he had been harvesting cof-
fee. He coughed, the light, almost apologe-
tic cough of an old man.
Without taking his eyes from his work, the
mason said:
"A blessing, uncle."
"God bless you, and the Virgin," the old
man said automatically.
For about ten minutes the silence was
broken only by the sound of the trowel han-
dle tapping on the newly laid tiles or the
harsh slap of the float, as a whole section of
tiles were beaten firmly into place. Occa-
sionally the old man offered some com-
ment about the extent of the job, or the
rapid progress that was being made. Each
time, the mason looked up at him, but he
never said anything.
A distant pandemonium broke out on the
other side of the valley automobile horns
bleating continuously. As the sound drew
nearer, the small boy ran out to see what
was going on, and even the mason stood
up and went to the window.
"Politics, I imagine," the old man said,
looking out and catching a glimpse of a
procession of cars that made its noisy way
along the shaded road.
"No, it's a wedding," the boy said.
The raucous line of cars crossed the
bridge below and disappeared behind the
"A wedding it is," the mason said. He

scratched the back of his head with the
handle of his trowel. "Its against the law
now," he added. "You can get arrested for it.
They call it unnecessary noise." He laughed
abruptly, and shook his head. "Unnecessary
noise," he repeated as he went back to
Don Zeno looked out across the valley for
several minutes, smiling a toothless smile,
then leaned in the window again, resting his
elbows on the sill.
"Well, yes, sir," he said to nobody in par-
ticular, "nowadays they go in cars, but when
I was young we went on horseback. Ave
Maria," he shook his head slowly and then
raised his voice to indicate that he was
starting on a long story.
"When I got married we went on horse-
back, four horses, one for me, one for the
novia, one for the padrino and one for the
"That was when you married tia
Catalina?" the mason asked.
"When I married her." The old man nod-
ded. "We rode into town on just four horses.
When we left the church, there were forty
horses with us: forty horses, and each one
of them carried two people the novia
and I were the only ones who had a horse
each for ourselves. We rode up there to her
father's house" the old man pointed along
the ridge. He chuckled at his memo-
ries."Her father had roasted a pig that was
worth seventeen riales, and we did away
with it in about five minutes. After that we
went to my father's house, and he had two
roast kids, a steer and I don't know how
many chickens. Ave Maria, we ate well. By
three o'clock in the afternoon there were
more than a hundred people in and around
the house dancing and singing and
shooting into the air." He shook his head.
"What did they shoot with, uncle?" the
mason asked.
"Revolvers, what else."
"I didn't know revolvers were invented
when you got married," the mason said.
Don Zeno didn't even see the broad
smile that flashed across the mason's tan-
ned face as he spoke these words. In deadly
earnest the old man answered:
"Cristiano, no. There were plenty of re-
volvers more than now what was
lacking was cars. Cars and trucks. In those
times, Ave Maria," don Zeno shook his
head sadly, "in those times there were no
trucks at all. Everything heavy was moved
by oxcart. All the timber that was cut way
back on the vega, the first crops that were
grown here by the big farmers, everything
- all of it was moved by oxcart. It was slow,
ay God of my Soul, it was slow, but that's the
way we did it. How long does it take you to
get out to Las Cruces now?"
"Well, in my car," the mason said, "about
twenty minutes."
"Twenty minutes!" don Zeno nodded to
himself. "I can remember a trip with a cart

and two yolk of oxen that took eight days
from here to Las Cruces. It was a rainy
time, the roads were just a sea of mud -
and they were narrow at that. It took nine
hours just to get the heavily loaded cart up
the hill in the place they call el Monte. A
distance I could walk in three minutes. We
borrowed two extra yolk of steers, and
everyone in the neighborhood turned out to
help. We were in mud up to our waists, try-
ing to lift those wheels and make them turn.
We worked until after dark, and the next day
the road was level in the middle where the
axle had dragged across it.
"When I got home from that trip, I was so
tired that I just lay down on the floor and
slept. I woke up with chills and a fever, and
found that I was completely paralyzed. Well,
they made a hammock and carried me to
my father's house, and he sent to town for
thepracticante. Policarpio Lanza that was,"
the old man lifted his hat piously, "may he
rest in heaven. He was the best doctor that
we ever had in these parts.
"He told my father that he would do what
he could, but he didn't have much hope. He
said that my back was injured in two places,
and my chest was dislocated, and I had
three kinds of fever typhoid fever, yellow
fever and another fever that I can't re-
member the name of." Don Zeno counted
each of these infirmities, by placing a bony
finger on the windowsill. "He gave me three
kinds of medicine one in a little bottle,
one in a big bottle, and some pills that were
this big" he measured off the last two
joints of his little finger.
"Well I took that medicine, and when I
had taken the pills I became unconscious
for eight days, and I think I must have gone
to heaven. I remember coming down slowly
from the sky, very slowly, just little by little,
the way a charred bit of cane straw settles
on the ground after a fire. When I touched
the earth, I heard someone scream. I
opened my eyes and it was my wife
screaming. My father had already sent out
for candles and someone to lead the pray-
ers. It took fourteen months to cure me -
seven months of nursing and seven
months of convalescence."
"That was more than fifty years ago, but I
still feel the effects of it. I can carry a couple
of hundred pounds on my back, but I can't
carry anything on my head. If I try to carry
anything on my head, it dislocates my
The mason tested another row of tiles
with the straight edge, and then laid it aside.
"People did things slowly in those days,"
he said, "but they did them thoroughly."
"You may well say so," don Zeno replied,
shaking his head, "Ave Maria!"

The River Bayam6n
(June 29, 1961)

Long long ago, beyond the reach of mem-

ory, before the first Europeans set eyes on
this island, Tainos lived beside the headwa-
ters of the Bayamon River. Even today, the
plow that prepares the land for cane, and
the hoe that cultivates the tobacco talas,
occasionally turn up some of the smooth,
beautifully shaped stone artifacts that the
Tainos made and left. Relatively little is
known about those early inhabitants of
Boriquen, but one thing was remarked
upon by many of the early arrivals from
Europe they were exceptionally clean
and given to washing themselves fre-
quently. Although washing was not an im-
portant part of European life in those days,

cultivation, the women of the neighbor-
hood selected particular pools in the river
as laundry places. There they met in the
cool air of the early mornings, and scrub-
bed and paddled their families clothing on
the smooth stones of the riverbed. Conver-
sation, gossip and stories made the work go
faster, and when they were done they bound
the clean clothes in bundles which they
carried on their heads, up the steep slopes
to the bushes that grew in each door-yard,
and there they spread the clothing out to dry
in the hot sun.
This too went on for generations. The
river was as important to the countryside as


the Spanish settlers found that it fitted the
climate of these islands, and accustomed
themselves to the habit, as they accus-
tomed themselves to maiz, yautia, pineap-
ples and tobacco. Generations later, when
the first Spaniards came to live here in the
center of the island, they too bathed in the
Rio Bayamdn, washed their clothes in it,
watered their cattle along its banks and
carried its waters to their house in jars, to be
used in their kitchens, just as the Indians
had done before them.
As the countryside became more popu-
lated, and more and more land came under

the sun and the air and the rain that watered
the crops, and by common consent, it was
available to everyone. Whoever might own
the land along the banks respected the
common rights to the shallow laundry
places and the deeper bathing pools.
In the early forties, when San Juan suf-
fered from serious water shortages, the
headwaters of the Rio Bayamdn were
dammed at the point where the river leaves
Cidra and flows into the township of Aguas
Buenas. The narrow Cidra Lake, that rose
behind the dam, reaches for two miles
across the vega, with branches that stretch

almost a mile to the east. Two highways
were re-routed to avoid the rising waters of
the lake, and three important new bridges
were built for the main roads, as well as a
number of smaller ones for side-roads and
The smooth, water-worn stones, great
and small, that had marked the bed of the
river, that had provided a stairway to the
bathing pools and washboards for the
laundry of perhaps three hundred families,
disappeared under the rising waters of the
lake. When the lake found its level, the water
lapped at the soil of the deep gullies that the
rains of several milleniums had cut in the
vega, and its banks were muddy. There were
no more smooth boulders to use as wash-
boards plenty of places for bathing, but
none for washing clothes. Some families
went to great labor carrying stones which
they placed along the water's edge, until
they had a suitable place to beat their laun-
dry. Then the water was drawn off to fill the
needs of the Capital, and the stones that
they had struggled to bring and to set in
place, were left ten or twenty, or even thirty
feet above the water line.
There is a bridge just below our house -
one of the new bridges that came with the
new lake and the bridgehead is founded
on great blocks of blue limestone that were
cast into the gully, as one might build a
breakwater against the ravages of the
ocean. The lake may be full or empty, but
under that bridgehead the ground is cov-
ered with large blocks of stone. So the
women of this neighborhood have chosen
that place to do their washing. It is hard to
get to, and it is a difficult place to climb up
from when one is burdened with thirty or
forty pounds of damp laundry, but its stones

protect the clothing from the mud, and it is
For almost fifteen years, the women have
gathered under the bridge, four or five
mornings each week, done their washing,
and then carried the clean clothing up to
their houses, almost a hundred feet above
the level of the lake, and strung it out on the
barbed-wire fences to dry.
This week they were warned by the Police
that it is illegal to wash clothes in the lake.
They understand the reasons. The lake is
used as a water supply for the Capital, and
they agree that it is not good to wash

The river was as important
to the countryside as the
sun and the air and the rain
that watered the crops, and
by common consent it was
available to everyone.

clothes in it, but what, they ask, can they do?
At present they carry water to their
houses for kitchen use and bathing, but
washing clothes requires quantities of water
that can scarcely be carried up the steep
slopes in cans. Our next-door neighbor has
eleven children, the oldest of whom is a
fifteen-year-old girl. This means washing
for thirteen people. The father of the family
leaves at five o-clock in the morning, to
work on the enlargement of the airport, and
gets home again at seven-thirty at night. He

hardly has time to carry water. Altogether,
within a radius of a quarter of a mile of the
bridgehead washing place, there are almost
a hundred people, most of them small chil-
dren, who were dependent on that spot for
This is a problem of growth. But the
problem is here in the barrio, and the
growth is far away in San Juan. Cidra is not
a wealthy town, and the town cannot afford
to solve this problem that it did not create.
Hundreds of thousands of people are
now using the waters of these upper
reaches of the Bayam6n, but the people
who live here, whose ancestors have used
these waters, as far back as memory or
scientific investigation can reach, are for-
bidden to use them. Is it unreasonable to
ask for three or four public fountains,
strategically placed along the highway, so
that people here can draw their water and
carry it home in carts, without having to
descend the steep slopes that border the
lake, and haul that weighty burden up the
banks of that canyon? I think that this is a
modest request.

Don Zeno
(August 31, 1962)
Some of you remember don Zeno who
pastures his two cows on our small farm. He
has aged a bit since he was last mentioned
in these pages, and is now approaching his
eightieth birthday. He has taken on a little
more of the color of the dark red earth that
he has worked since he was a small boy, but
his outlook has not changed since he was
carried away in a flash flood that swelled the
headwaters of the Bayam6n River more
than seventy years ago.



Una revista mensual destinada a Ilenar el vacio
de interpretacidn y analysis de la actualidad hemisferica.
Pubiicada por ALA, Agencia Latinoamericana,
fundada en 1948.

* Articulos de los mas autorizados comentaristas
* Seleccion de editoriales de los principles
periodicos del continent.
* Panorama informative de las revistas de America
* Movimento literario
* Actividades culturales
Para suscribirse recorte el cupdn y envielo a:

2355 Salzedo St.
Coral Gables, Fl. 33134

Envieme los proximos DOCE numerous y la Factura.

Otros pais

I Direci6n:


J.: US$20.00
es: US$32.00

Z.C _

26/CAITBBEAN review


On that memorable occasion, when, as a
small boy accompanied by his father, he
attempted to cross the angry river, Zeno and
his horse were caught in the swirling waters
and swept through the upper branches of a
great tree that had its roots firmly planted in
the normal banks of the river.
"Hold on to the tree, Nito!" his father
shouted, "and let the horse go for God's
Zenito, stubborn from birth, had his own
ideas. He stuck to the horse, and half a mile
downstream both boy and horse won their
way to the bank and scrambled up the
muddy slope.
"I slept at home that night, with the horse
tethered outside the door," he says. "My Old
Man was so glad to see me that he didn't
even scold me for disobeying him."
Don Zeno's shoulders shake with laugh-
ter as he tells the story, and his brown, wrin-
kled face breaks into an almost toothless
grin. Raising first one gnarled finger, and
then another, he says:
"I was at home next morning, and so was
the horse, but," he shakes his head slowly,
still laughing, "that tree was gone and no-
body ever saw it again. Ave Maria!"
Not long after telling this story, don Zeno
came to warn me that there was a quantity
of ripe fruit on the lower part of the farm,
near the lake.
"It should be harvested," the old man
said, "before the birds get it, and it all rots."
I agreed, but I was overwhelmed with
work. Knowing that don Zeno enjoyed oc-
casional odd jobs, I asked if he would be
willing to undertake the harvest.
He was delighted, but I was not really
happy about the arrangement. There is a
vertical rise of more than a hundred feet

from the lake shore, where the fruit was, to
the main part of the farm, where we live.
Sacks of fruit are heavy, and Zeno is almost
eighty years old.
"Why not use one of the horses to bring
the fruit up?" I asked.
Don Zeno considered the suggestion,
nodding his head.
"We would have to have an aparejo" (a
pack saddle) he said, "otherwise the horse's
back would be hurt."
"Where can we get one?" I asked.
"Well," don Zeno said hesitantly, "I could
make one. I've made hundreds in my time,

Don Zeno's shoulders
shake with laughter as he
tells the story, and his
brown, wrinkled face
breaks into an almost
toothless grin...

but I would need some strong twine."
We got the twine, and don Zeno set up a
great bamboo frame, under the laurel trees.
Measuring some five by seven feet, this
frame was strung with a warp of stout cot-
ton seining cord. When he had collected a
quantity of dry banana leaves and a pile of
the smooth, silky, leaf-like coverings or
wrappers of the stalk of the banana plant,
the old man went to work.
With the greatest care, he made a tight
roll of the long, dry leaves; wrapped it care-

fully in the silky sheath of the banana plant,
so that it seemed to be a great, long cigar-
about three feet long, and with a diameter of
some three or four inches and tied it
tightly to the warp. The resulting fabric was
not woven, but tied, as rugs are tied.
It was a worthy job. When it was finished,
after two days of work, the whole job was
neatly sewn up in burlap sacking, which
destroyed its appearance and perhaps
some of its effectiveness. But we had an
Two days later, I found don Zeno carrying
heavy bags of fruit up the steep slopes that
divide the lake frontage from the rest of the
farm, carrying them on his own back.
"Cristiano!" 1 remonstrated, "What about
the aparejo?"
Don Zeno grinned, a little sheepishly,
under his burden.
"Well," he said, "the mare is carrying a
foal, so I don't want to put any strain on her,
and the young colt, from last year, is still too
young to work." The old man lowered his
heavy sack of fruit, and rested it on the
ground. "The potro, the two-year-old, has
such a pretty pace that it would be a pity to
risk damaging it by loading him with fruit.
So I carry it myself."
The aparejo, still unused, rests in the
entry way of our house.

I LIN Vff 41 V

Who speaks for the Caribbean?


Please send a subscription for the period indicated.
Mail to: Caribbean Rei Jew
Florida International University
Tamiami Trail
Miami. Florida 33199



Please charge to m%
LI Mastercharge
Ll VisaiBank Amerncard

City Account No._ -
Country Z.p Expiration Date
Check one:
El 1 yr. 58.00 I My check for$ is enclosed. Signature
2 yrs. $15.00
I 3 yrs. 20.0.0 Twenty-five percent discount to subscribers In he Caribbean and Lat!n America.


The Phenomenology of

Everyday Life

Puerto Rico Becomes A Mass Society

By Charles Rosario
Translated by Elena A. Parrado and Cruz Hernandez

The following article appeared first in Ex-
tramuros, one of the journals of the Uni-
versity of Puerto Rico, in their June 1968
issue. It is a highly abstract and poignant
observation of some of the minute
changes in everyday life in Puerto Rico
that articulate the end of an older, more
familiar existence. The late Charles
Rosario wrote this piece as a first ap-
proach to a further analysis. "Charlie"
Rosario was a sociologist and humanist
who was a much beloved professor at the
University of Puerto Rico in Rio Piedras.

My intention here is to initiate a very

preliminary investigation regarding
one of the central problems of
Puerto Rican life. Puerto Rican life iscollec-
tive life. At this time, it is suffering radical
transformations that are difficult both to
interpret and to conceptualize. The genre of
traditional life which is giving way to a very
different form of collective life has resisted
all rigorous attempts at understanding.

Looking Without Seeing

In 1958, something occurred which has
haunted my mind ever since. When I be-
came fully conscious of what had occurred,
I made inquiries of other people and dis-
covered that the same thing had happened
to many of them and that it was a collective,
rather than an individual experience. With
the passing of time, I have come to believe
that it concerns a decisive experience for all
Puerto Ricans and moreover, that it reveals
changes which have taken place in our
collective lifestyle.
Before 1958, Puerto Rico was a familiar
place for me; a place that, although filled
with faces unknown to me, was also filled
with familiar and "recognizable" ones. Ex-
cept in very rare cases, I encountered
familiar faces wherever I went. Not only did
this occur in my home town, but in all the
neighboring towns 1 visited as well.
A second fact: In 1954 1 learned to drive
an automobile. Since that time I have used
28/CAtBBeAN "Pltv

one not only for long trips, but for all the
short trips that my daily routine requires.
It was around 1959, that I began to realize
that for me, traveling including traveling
within my vital, everyday world no longer
meant recognizing familiar faces and en-
countering people I knew. On the contrary,
from then on, I normally found myself in the
middle of an anonymous population, sur-
rounded by individuals whom I did not
know or even recognize.
I am referring to my vital, everyday space,
the space that I frequented and that was
known to me in its geography, its buildings,
its orientation. Clearly, if I strayed out of that
space, I failed to recognize faces or en-
counter people I knew, but the disturbing
thing was that in my own vital space, the
same thing occurred. While before I had the
certainty of being able to depend on people
I knew if the necessity arose when 1
needed, for example, someone to identify
me I now had to assume the opposite: I
would no longer encounter someone who
would recognize and be able to identify me.
I might, by chance, run into someone I
know, but it was no longer something I
could count on. I did not even have the
certainty of finding friends on the street with
whom I could start a conversation.
In my youth, it was not rare to see a
young, attractive girl and have the assur-
ance of being able to find out her name, her
address and even be able to meet her. In any
case, attractive girls were seen with regula-
rity and even if one did not know them, one
was sure to remember them. I hope you will
excuse this crass example, but by 1958, if
one happened to see an attractive young
woman as one traveled from one place to
another, one was sure to "never" see her
It would be fitting to ask oneself if one
does not recognize faces or remember at-
tractive young ladies because one never
sees them again or if, in reality, it is because
one forgets about them. It is difficult to
believe that one never sees them again. We
are dealing with a limited, particular vital
space. Moreover, it concerns a routine and
regular "itinerary" since we refer to the vital
everyday world. This is the case for the

majority of the people I meet. I should see
them with enough regularity to remember; I
should remember or recognize some of the
faces and some of the attractive young
women. But the exact opposite occurs: the
faces and the young ladies are unrecogniz-
able, not because 1 do not see them, but
because I forget them.
However, it now becomes necessary to
ask why they are forgotten. Before 1958
they were not forgotten; after 1958 it has
been common to forget the faces one sees
and the women one admires. Undoubtedly,
it concerns life in mass society, but my
interest is to go beyond this.
It is clear that the physical order which
has been developing in Puerto Rico has
been forcing the use of certain types of
transportation and certain public places -
businesses, offices, churches, etc. by a
much larger number of individuals at one
time than in other public places, especially,
other streets which are for the almost exclu-
sive use of those who live on them.
Therefore, outside of my immediate
neighborhood, there are many more
people who travel through the same vital,
everyday space as mine with a similar
itinerary. But this is not a sufficient explana-
tion. It would be sufficient, if I could not
recognize everyone, but I could in fact rec-
ognize many of the people that I used to
There exists another phenomenon: it is
the fact that the velocity of street traffic is
different today. Others could have an itiner-
ary similar to mine, but, especially if they
travel by car, the difference of approxi-
mately one minute, between another indi-
vidual and myself means that I see him less
often. If we were on foot or had to wait for
the same bus, the difference of one minute
in our itineraries would diminish in impor-
tance, and we would see ourselves with
more regularity. But individual automobiles
alter the regularity that walking or using
public means of transportation facilitates.
Every face I meet, I see with less and less
Moreover, not only do I see him less reg-
ularly, but when I see him, I often do not see
him clearly. If he is in another automobile,

--j I did not even have the certainty
of finding friends on the street
with whom I could start a

Top right: Photo by Nelson Segarra, 15 years old, Center
of Orientation and Services, Playa de Ponce.
Bottom: Photo by Juan Vega, 14 years old, Center of
Orientation and Services, Playa de Ponce.


The street is no longer a place

to take a walk or stroll and enjoy

public life, but it has become

only an empty space for coming

and going in an automobile.

the visibility of his face is reduced consid-
erably. If he is on foot and I am driving, it is
impossible to take a careful look since that
would distract me from my driving and
could prove quite dangerous. For example,
I cannot drive my automobile down a street
full of people and look behind me in order
to see clearly the face of a pedestrian I have
just passed heading in the same direction.
And, even when visibility is not a factor, the
traveling speed mine, his, ours gives
me no time to notice the faces I see. I see
him but only for an instant.
Lastly, driving an automobile today
means practically never being able to see
the driver of the car facing you, not because
of the brevity of the look, or because of the
visibility, but simply because I do not even
look at him. Looking at him distracts me,
especially if I look with the intention of see-
ing, and I have already mentioned that the
distraction is dangerous. Driving forces me
not to look, or to look without seeing, or to
look with difficulty in the mechanics of
looking (seeing out of the corner of my eye
while still focusing on where I am going). I
especially do not look at a lot of people
because they are in their respective au-
tomobiles with their backs to me and look-
ing at them with the intention of "seeing"
them is a task of little interest to me. It is
difficult to remember anyone if you see only
the nape of their necks and not the Gestalt
of their bodily movements as they are
quietly seated while driving.
The speed, the time, the visibility and the
distraction that driving presents all cause
me to habituate myself to looking without
seeing these unknown people that share
my vital, everyday space, and at the same
time cause me to forget. Suddenly, I find
myself in the middle of a mass of individu-
als who I fail to remember even when I "see"
them frequently. Therefore, I always per-
ceive them as unknown, unrecognizable
and anonymous. The terrible thing about
my habit of not seeing is that the look fo-
cuses only on the physical being of an indi-
vidual and nothing more. His face and pres-
ence is ignored, and he is seen only as a
physical entity with whom one ought not to
collide. Furthermore, this habit of not see-
ing is transferred to other spheres; it is

transferred to all situations where it is
legitimately presupposed that one will not
see again, at least for quite some time, per-
sons with whom one has daily contact; of-
fice workers, unimportant civil servants,
clumsy employees, clerks, etc... It is even
transferred to the neighborhood where the
street is no longer a place to take a walk or
stroll and enjoy public life, but it has be-
come only an empty space for coming and
going in an automobile. I refer, of course, to
urbanization, to the new lifestyle that has
had such success in Puerto Rico. But with
minor modifications, the same could apply
to apartment life which has also developed
rapidly: a way of life that is defined as pri-
vate. Even out on the balconies, since they
no longer lead to a street or a place where
people congregate and walk (halls, for
example) but rather into empty space, va-
cant of identifiable, recognizable people.
I refer here to a psychological phenome-
non; the habit of "looking" without "seeing"
unknown people. It is a psychological
phenomenon but it is conditioned and even
determined, at least in part, by the purely
physical aspects of the environment. It is
this habit which began to generalize itself in
Puerto Rico in 1958 along with the condi-
tions which make "seeing" difficult.

A World of Unknowns

It would be fitting to put aside the problem
beheath the causes of the phenomenon
and get back to the phenomenon itself and
attempt to identify its decisive elements.
Until 1958 (more or less) there existed a
modality in the collective lifestyle that
began to disappear quite suddenly. I sus-
pect it has now ceased to exist altogether, at
least in the metropolitan areas. This is not,
of course, a new phenomenon; neither is it
a phenomenon exclusive to Puerto Rico. A
great deal has been said about the
anonymity of the metropolis, but it is im-
portant to point out that in Puerto Rico col-
lective life had a dimension quite different
from the one prevalent today in the met-
ropolitan area and which is more and more
significant to life in Puerto Rico with each
passing day. What has changed?
Phenomenologically what has occurred?

I am absolutely sure that today I person-
ally know both the names and the per-
sonalities the same number of people,
more or less, that I knew before. In addition,
I recognize a certain number of people;
people that I see with a high degree of reg-
ularity at the supermarket, at the place
where I work; etc... I even have a quasi-
personal relationship with them. What has
changed then? What has changed is the
people I re-cognize but with whom I have
no contact on a regular basis. I am no
longer able to re-cognize the one who oc-
cupies and shares my vital space; the one
who was always present before, no longer
I insist that I have continued to "look-at"
him, but I no longer see him. It has become
habitual not to "see" when I look at him. I
look at him only as a purely physical object.
What does this mean? How was it that I
looked at him and saw him before? Before,
to look at him and to see him was an act of
"total" primary perception: it was "perceiv-
ing" or "achieving" a Gestalt. The other I
re-cognized was not only a face but a whole
body and more often than not, a personal
"history." Frequently, it was common that in
being told something about someone I did
not know, I was also told a little about his
actions, things that happened to him, or
personal characteristics. When this person
was pointed out to me, the Gestalt that
forged made it possible from that point on
for me to continue re-cognizing him. It did
not limit itself to his physical characteristics
but included his personal "history" as well.
Nicknames were frequently representative
of a distinctive quality of that individual and
at times nicknames such as "Red" or
"Crazy" underlined distinctive qualities of
the individual and even of his family. In our
everyday life, people who one would never
really get to know personally stood out and
were known by "all." This category of life
experience has been disappearing rapidly.
To re-cognize was to recognize without
involving any personal history or name, but
was instead, the perception of the Gestalt of
appearance and movement that consti-
tutes the personal phenomenon. It is clear
that to re-cognize someone signifies, in the
long run, establishing in turn a "history" and

Balconies no longer lead to a
street or a place where people
congregate and walk but rather
into empty space, vacant of
identifiable, recognizable people.

0 d

-- ~:

Top left: Photo by Debbie Collazo, 15 years old, Center
of Orientation and Services, Playa de Ponce.
Top right: Photo by Eduardo Fuentes, 16 years old, Center
of Orientation and Services, Playa de Ponce.
Bottom: Photo by Genoveva Lugo, 15 years old, Center
of Orientation and Services, Playa de Ponce.


The habit of "looking" without

"seeing" unknown

people...began to generalize

itself in Puerto Rico in 1958...

an idea of his personality. To recognize
someone by his face or his movements is
undoubtedly to re-cognize him in different
circumstances and activities; it means to
re-cognize him wherever I may see him,
regardless of what he may be doing. And
this in turn, means re-cognizing him more
and more in a Gestalt that transcends mere
apparential re-cognizing and becomes
more and more a personal re-cognition,
distinctive in the dimension of the actions
and activities of the re-cognized. In the long
run, re-cognizing the mobile, apparential
presence of someone involves a wider and
more transcendental re-cognition of
character; presence in a place, in a time;
circumstantial presence.
Ultimately, this act of re-cognizing leads
to re-cognition of a "person" that is, in the
first instance, to the re-cognition of some-
one; of the person he is in the various man-
ifestations of his social self, in his character,
in his bearing; of someone who is in a de-
termined situation. It takes one to the re-
cognition of someone who is unique, be-
cause of his intrinsic self and because he is
in a determined and unique situation.
Recognizing the exclusive particularity
and individuality of the ensemble of
appearance-movement of another is, in the
long run, beginning to re-cognize his
human condition, if one sees him with
some frequency and even if one does not
know his name and has no knowledge from
other people as to his personal "history."
Disdain of the other is not less important
than the feelings of consideration or re-
spect, they are attitudes that presuppose
that the other is a "person" and is recog-
nized as such. Only indifference, in the lit-
eral sense, represents an attitude of nega-
tion of the persona of the other.
Total acquaintance of another as a per-
son presupposes knowledge of his name,
his "history," and further, having "shared" in
this history in some dimension. It also pre-
supposes having some intimate knowledge
of that person; some understanding of his
inner life. It presupposes, moreover, having
some understanding of his vital trajectory;
being able to "see" the course of his par-
ticular personal drama. Lastly it would pre-
suppose loving him. But none of this need

worry us here, since our primary interest is
the "collective" life of an entire population
and not life constituted of complete knowl-
edge of the personality of the other. What
interests us is none other but the
phenomenon of the collective life, sharing
the same vital space with people who do not
know one another. The former is intended
to indicate the various stages in which "un-
acknowledgement" could, and does occur,
but also the various stages of re-cognition
that exist.
It is in light of these stages that pure
appearance-movement takes on special
significance. It becomes the initial Gestalt
that is the basis for another stage reaching
not only re-cognition, but complete under-
standing of the "person" of the other. The
distinctive feature of the previous lifestyle
prevalent in Puerto Rico is precisely the fact
that one lived in a world of re-cognizable
individuals even if this re-cognition were
only a re-cognition of the appearance-
movement of other individuals. This recog-
nition of others was an inevitable recogni-
tion of a particular and individual human
being, irreplaceable and unmistakably
Of course, this underlines the impor-
tance of the other's countenance, the
countenance is the most distinct; it is the
most immediate and easy element to rec-
ognize in the appearance-movement; the
most crucial in the recognition of others. It
lends itself least to confusion precisely be-
cause every countenance is different from
all other countenances, and because every
countenance is, in its particular movement,
absolutely distinct. The countenance is not
only the static physical aspect of the face
but also its "movement," gesticulation and
expression. We never re-cognize a "static"
countenance. Our perception of a counte-
nance always includes its movement. (This
is why looking at the face of a dead person
disturbs us. What disturbs us is seeing a
face without movement. Not even the
countenance of a sleeper is so absolutely
still. A dead person is then, a countenance
that is lacking "something" essential and is
frightening precisely because of the lack of
this "something;" the movement that is
common to all countenances.)

Moreover, the most distinctive and im-
portant part of the countenance is the eyes.
Not only do they have distinctive forms and
colors but they project movements which
are especially particular. The movement of
the eyebrows has always been considered
an expressive element, but no less so are
the characteristic movements of the eye
lids and of the eyes themselves. This triad of
movements is perhaps the most distinctive
of all in the appearance-movement of each
The countenance, and in particular, the
eyes are important for another reason. Psy-
chologists discovered long ago that a new-
born child fixes his gaze on the faces in front
of him. However, what is surprising is that
they fix their gaze particularly on the eyes of
the person facing them. In their experi-
ments psychologists have found that until six
months of age, a child "reacts" to whatever
face is presented to him, even if it is a mere
mask; but only if the mask has eyes and
"movement." It could lack a mouth, nose,
etc... but the eyes and movement are es-
Psychologists also state that after the first
six months of life children begin to distin-
guish one face from another (and that they
tend to "reject" unknown faces. The rejec-
tion element is perhaps questionable and
may be due to the fact that these experi-
ments were performed by Americans.
American children learn to reject people
they don't know at an early age. In this, and
in many other things, they are profoundly
unlike Puerto Rican children.)
I point out these facts in order to indicate
that the importance of the face and eyes is
not only a learned "habit" but is something
rooted in human existence in at least two
fundamental ways: it is what we turn to from
infancy when we deal with others; and it is
something essential by which we distin-
guish individuals. Therefore, it is not merely
an insignificant detail but a primary thing in
the life of each individual, it has fundamen-
tal importance in the course of the life of a
human being.
For the same reason, for myself as well as
for everyone else, the world in which I live
re-cognizing others must be profoundly
Continued on page 46

A world populated by unknowns
that I never get to know loses
meaning for me. I am unable to
struggle with him, and I am
unable to love him.

Top left: Photo by Nelson Garcia, Center of Orientation
and Services, Playa de Ponce.
Top right: Photo by Agapito Roman, 18 years old, Center
of Orientation and Services, Playa de Ponce.
Bottom: Photo by Juan Vega, 13 years old, Center of
Orientation and Services, Playa de Ponce.


The Neican dream

(Dedicated to Jpse Miranda Bussat)

By Jaime Carrero

:Don.Jose swe-pt-the waves- -
Orin his-first trnp-seasick- : .
---:: -he-entered New York-
the harbor-
on the SanJacnto-
long before the Nazis
-ank it .

-Don.Jose6played at being a capitalist
--_-sending orders--perfumes andshampoo--
that never fmadethe-mail..
: He would visit the-Post Office
S-- .playing the game of.dfferent brands-knowing --
': -:-- -_ that in order to have credit -
-. ._ -*ou must -rfuse to be your own
-. -- niman-
S- ou must be willing to have-a-reputation-
S --make friends that:know other -fnends- -
S. fulfill all kinds of tavors- .
S-get up in the. morning counting money-
To be a capitalist-you must withhold-- :--- : -
thebs-ession. ofuwatching hesun -
break up fth-e -ountains
: --- ou gotta be able o- walk i6nthe- log, in te 6-nw-- -
outtayou conscience. --;
:Son Josespokeo hisamy :. .a m-
-watched his o-nrozen- shadow -
going up and down the stairs
of his pirates caste-where -
---housandsf other Puerto Ricans -
had their own-solted hel-having their own -
conversation of making ends eet--the soun;ddof aon

- -thatwenr-araound :nd around.,

-The Depresson-care
Dun-Josehadd tvojobs;
_whe wantd no ando.uts-- y e -
didnatwanna sell apples -
:' at t-he cornr- -
-he mapped he offices ofyndusuy._ -
Se- ediggedditches: -
-and while resting at o'clock -
i -the mormAing = --
wrote-letrsyo-DoloResdel Ri - -
-j ibertad Lamargue adP-edrosargaa -6 d
-lie nneded thee.to-show -fat hisfriends -
Fhe wrote on company Ietterhead _
Don -:6Joses friends and enemies .

^3! CAffBBeAN N'reVI --

learned their ways-
in- New York
S from -
Irom pimps
.and whores
S from-bathroom jokes
tro0m cops
tfom-social worker -
S--- r6mpencil-pushers -
of the welfare office
S-from m;arihuana
Sfrom~ fights with the diablos
the barracudas and the sharks
.against rhem and they
trom nice jewish girls
trom nice Insh.girls
trom Black cats -
: -- fror those-that played the number .
:: fr salsa-records -
S----- -- tfhe isuibway ru sh h-fur"

-Don Jos- s c-hildren discovered
theM useium of Natural:History -
and the- Panetarium

Don Jose said: Yeak, like dancing at
.- the Pallaldiuim.
- dreams-of hadving, their dreams
--.: -- ofranfefrig ocoiut-tree -
bf h hi isl-and -- -
: e ttg cold w-ithe su irecede- -
-' _- ignoring what a-p iehada s .7-is
-- -an drinking straighiu Mu
T h as to feel ateaise- .
T- hat w Niv Yrk for hirfm--
that's th e-Wayv
to understand -
---:: -:-thgigame-lf getting up:,--
W-e--: dinmormig;shavetaethe suba and
- nmak& drecnh-- t c -. -

- Joe Do -'a os son.
-- playeddthe -ner es--e -

f stickallin-the-streets-- '
-the" heeroof the-.day;-GleT-ente-- -.-
-- Kept on batting three hundred-- -
S --Don Jose Ternembering Bather Ruth-

~.r..~~.i'l ----- -~..------ --;--- ----;.~- i --~-~~-- --~ ----.- -~ --
I - -

Joe. arguing his head off-
TheDodgers can beat the Yankees-
t--.: : hat's the truth-Oh, no
that's -a bluff -

DonJose and
Don Jo& -wife and ,
D _..on: Jos6s daughter and
Don J.:Joses-son-

; -- -: --They made the trips to mother-island
T- Puerto Rico they came-
i. and while -thry-yparaded
S:th: -- -.:rough the-streets of yesteryears -
-anold lady kept on insisting-
S-Yes, Nena; habla singles.
VeYI es-ena, habla ingle!.
Don Jos-and-
'Don Joe's wife and.
-;--~ -"-- D!-- den Jose's daughter and
-'.- Don J---- ioses son--
they paid income-tax
t- hey bought'things at La Marketa
--i -: ,. .- '. they heard that now newcomers
w--ere called
---- --:-- -:.-. Spi ,S Marine Tige. Peoricans.
_-- on-Josand0-Do Jose's wife
_-:- _went-wvih friends
to taste the night life-thev went
--to the Haanha-Madnrd-
-_:_-:-i. ----_ ~. -they heard Libertad Lamarque
sihg:the sad bolero-
: they danced.to the music
of both Titos

:- and-sals a grew upin Harlem.

- --o -- C obetrming the laws of possibilities

-- : blue collars-
Don Jos was-always shy
S'bhuttrue tolb.himsell; he said-
; They forced a blackout on us-
.-:- 1- .lputthe wirong-foot
-i :in my:sho'e--
-:Then I wondered-coujld I
bse the srame hianagain -
i-e n nthe morning?

^* -y :^ : : -' .-

The children play at killing
each other with wooden rifles.
I say-he said again:
in the last analysis of progress
with hopes of understanding
and tolerance
I conclude:

the problem is that in New York
Whites are for Whites
Blacks are for Blacks
and Puerto Ricans are no -called-

Don Jos&'s wife died so slowly-
She died-
it took such a long time-
her insides shattered-
a bad smell in the air-
Her tears were still warm
her hands soft
Her heart didn't wanna die
She cried to make ends meet-
She died in pain.

Don Jos&s children are-undecided-
Don Jose s son was born in New-York--:-_
Don Jos&s daughter hates the.cold--
Don Jos's wife died some time ago.
of cancer-
Don JosFs grandchildren know that
home's New York
but they love to go to the beaches
One of them--a girl-the little jerk-
she loves the land
the blue sky
-the birds- -
She bought a one-way ticket to
Heaven-showing off.
laughing like-a little dolphin--p -
Am rthie rievered generation -se: sa d.

Copyright -1980 by Jaime Carrero

Artist, novelist, -playright. poet Jaimne -arrero beaches -tfi -" t
InterAmerican University in San GerrnAn, Pue__no Rioo. --



The Puerto Rican emigration to the main-
land United States has been massive.
Counting those who migrated, their de-
scendants, and those who returned to the
island, over 42 percent of all Puerto Ricans
have had significant mainland experi-
ence as of 1970. That figure has grown
since then.
Economic reasons were the principle
ones to motivate Puerto Ricans to the
mainland; economic opportunities even
at the cost of social status were what drew
the Islanders to the continent. Statisti-
cally, the better prepared or the more ad-
venturous were the first to make the trek.
Eventually those who needed it most
soon came to follow. Shortly after the end
of World War Two some 40,000 Puerto Ri-
cans a year were heading north. Over one
and one-half million live there now.
While the emigration was taking place,
the Puerto Rican economy itself was un-
dergoing great changes. Massive am-
mounts of money were invested and a
US-style economy was created. The is-
land went from a rural and agricultural
economy to an urban and industry-
oriented one. Thus, for those who had
originally migrated the island became a
practical economic alternative to remain-
ing on the mainland. By 1955 the
phenomenon ofreturn migration began to
gather momentum.
Returning to the island, however was
not like leaving it to look for work. Life in
New York was unpleasant, people left for
existential reasons: escape from the horror
and hassle of the city; return to build a
meaningful life in one's own country.
One might even accept work that paid
less than one earned in New York but that
had more social status. The better pre-
pared or more adventurous, here again,
were the first to make the trip, and here
too, the return migration became less
selective as the process continued. As of
1970, a minimum of one-third of a million
returnees were once again settled on the
What follows on these pages are selec-
tions from Benjy Lopez: A Picaresque Tale
of Emigration and Return (Basic Books,
1980), the life history of a Puerto Rican
who made the trip to New York and then

back to Puerto Rico. It is a picaresque tale
that takes the protagonist from rural
Puerto Rico to San Juan; to the National
Guard and the US Army overseas; to New
York as a student, pimp, taxi driver, and
merchant seaman; and then back to the
island. During Benjy Lopez's adventures
he encountered a labyrinth of race, ethnic-
ity, class, and bureaucracy in the cos-
mopolitan world of New York City. He hus-
tled hard in the city but unlike the myth of
immigrant success in the United States,
Lopez didn't come to the US and make it;
rather, he went there, learned how to make
it, and then went home to claim his re-
ward. It was only when he returned to
Puerto Rico and applied his street smarts
and New York knowledge on his own turf
that his story became one of ethnic suc-
Lopez's life demonstrates the resiliency

and resourcefulness of those human be-
ings who have learned to beat the system.
His story counters the typical testimonial
of the Puerto Rican who has been
denuded of his vitality and presented as a
person unable to take advantage of the
world he lives in, unable to use it for his
own purposes. Indeed, Lopez, too, sees
himself as heroic, as someone who can
successfully find a way to triumph over
adverse conditions.
The selections that follow are taken
from different parts of the testimonial the
subtitles correspond to the chapters from
which they have been drawn. Minor edit-
ing has been done to provide continuity.
We join Lopez when he is in the US Army
in Germany just after the war trying to
insure that he is discharged on the main-
land thereby engineering his migration
from the island.

The System is Upstairs

Selections from Benjy Lopez

By Barry B. Levine

Some soldiers told me about the
other side of the Rhine River. It was
called Ludwigshafen. That was
where the French were, and it was a VD area
where Americans were not supposed to go.
Off limits. And my buddies told me there
were a lot of bars and women blasting away
there not like the American side, where
we had the nonfraternization order of Gen-
eral Eisenhower. If the MPs patrolling the
streets saw you with a German, they would
pick you up. Most of the time they would
just take you off in the jeep somewhere and
give you a talking-to, "Get away from the
Germans, you know you can't do that." But
on the other side the Frenchmen weren't
going with that shit. They had bars, and the
German girls were there, and everybody
was drinking and dancing and blasting and
everything. So we said, "Listen, we gotta
cross this river some place."
The Neckar River had a pontoon bridge.
It was a dead river, quiet, like a lake. If you fell
into it, you could swim. But the Rhine has a
powerful current, you couldn't put a pon-
toon over it. Now, there had been a bridge
once, but it was blown away. So some
Americans had strung a steel line across
the river, with the cooperation of some
Frenchman on the other side. They were
charging fifty and one hundred marks to get
us across. We would go over and pay the
guy. Then on the cable, it had like a little
wheel. We hung onto the pulley, and they
pulled us across. It was a small distance.
Coming back, the Frenchmen collected
from the other side. To get back was rough,
because we would be drunk. I don't know
how we did it, but we would somehow hang
on. Anyway, we did get across and went to
the bars. And there were German whores,
and Frenchmen were drinking and dancing
and "Barrelito di-da-di-ti-ta" and all the
German songs.
I heard that many soldiers fell in that god-
damn river and were half drowned, and had
to be taken to the hospital. The authorities
broke off the racket later on, but it took time
to find it.Then those guys that were making
money on it no longer had that good deal.
And were they making money! Itjust shows
you that the system is upstairs, and every-
body downstairs is trying to fuck it. The
Germans do it their way; the Frenchmen do

it their way; the Ricans do it their way; every-
body tries to fuck that thing up there.
And then came orders we were to go to
Puerto Rico, the war was over, everybody's
happy, and they're gonna send us to Puerto
Rico. They had a point system for sending
people back. The longer you were in the
service, the more points you had. And if you
were overseas, you had even more points.
The Puerto Ricans had lots of points be-
cause they were almost always overseas -
even in Puerto Rico they were overseas!
And we had points for being in combat
areas even though we were never in
But I didn't want to go to Puerto Rico. I
don't know whether I was right or wrong,
but the dark picture of Puerto Rico came to
my mind not to mine alone, to many
guys. Some of the guys had no choice -
they had wives, they had kids, they had
everything in Puerto Rico. But darkness
came over me. See, I was twenty-two,
twenty-three years old, I didn't know too
much about the world yet...
Anyway, I found out that guys who had
general disease were not getting shipped to
Puerto Rico but had to stay in France. They
were getting three ships ready "las tres
carauelas de Coldn," everybody called
them. The Santa Maria, the Pinta and the
Niria were coming to pick up the Ricans
and sail them straight to Puerto Rico, like
Columbus did. No more stops the dis-
covery of America! I said, "I don't want to
go." So, O.K., right away I thought, I'll go to
town immediately to look for the VD women
so I can get myself VD.
They used to give soldiers prophylactic
stuff to use when they went to town. I threw
all of that stuff out, I was looking for the
germ. I went to this whorehouse, to the
other whorehouse, looking and looking. I
went to five different whorehouses; five dif-
ferent women. Then I waited two days to see
if I was dripping. Nothing. So then I tried it a
different way. I went over and started talking
with a woman and said, "I wanna woman
that is sick." "Oh, no!" "I'm not saying you
are the one, but if you are, you're the one I'm
with." I couldn't get it that way either. So
instead of going to the whorehouses, I went
to the edges of the town where they had the
really dirty women there, too, blasting for

money. Well, I finally got sick. In three days I
was dripping.
And then the order came. The guys were
leaving Monday. I went to get a checkup.
"You're sick, you can't go to Puerto Rico.
Stay over here." They sent me to the hospi-
tal. In the hospital they had different uni-
forms for the guys with VD. If you had on red
pajamas, that meant you had venereal dis-
ease. The other guys got blue.
The Puerto Ricans left in their three ships,
and I stayed in Marseilles like I wanted. I
stayed in the hospital for a while, and then
they sent me to an American outfit. That
was the 353rd Ordinance Outfit
One day it was already December, we got
into the ship and sailed back to the States.
They had Bing Crosby singing "I'll Be Home
For Christmas" over the loudspeaker. And
then we landed. It was impressive the way
they fixed it. There was a map of the United
States on the ground. So when Ijumped off
the ship the first thing 1 saw when my feet
landed was that map of the United States.
I got into the bus with all the other guys
that were going to New York. Everybody
was happy. I tried to behave like I was not
too scared, but I was. I said to the bus driver,
"Tell me when we get to New York." He said,
"Relax, buddy, this is only the tunnel."

What the United States Was
All About (Aboard Ship, 1946)
In May that year, 1946, I got a job as an
ordinary seaman on the S.S. Alexander
Baranoff Ordinary seaman is the man that
paints around the ships and hangs the lines
and lays down the booms.
We got to Galveston. We were staying on
the hook for six or seven days, so we used to
put on our suits and throw ourselves into
the water and swim around the ship after
hours, after four or so in the afternoon. I was
going to be daring, and instead of jumping
from the level deck, I went up to the boat
deck, which is quite high, and I dove from
there into the ocean. When I hit the water,
my back felt like it cracked a little bit. It hurt
and then I forgot about it. Only later I found
out that's a very dangerous thing to do.
It was here, when I went ashore, that I
really started to find out what the United
States was all about. Practically the first

thing I saw was two signs: "White" and
"Colored." I began to debate with myself
about which door I should use. Everybody
was going ashore that time. There was one
guy who had really become a good friend to
me. He was a redhead, an Irishman from
California. Red and I had got together to go
ashore. Red walked through the fuckin'
"White" door, and I was left thinking about
which way I'm going to go. 1 didn't know
what to do, but I said, "All right, shit, I'm
going to follow Red." Nothing happened. I
said to myself, "It's O.K., I won't have trouble
We went to have a drink in a bar. The
steward, who was a Southerner, was there. As
Red and I-were having our drink, the steward
kept looking at me funny. Finally he said,
"Listen, man, what are you? You're a Puerto
Rican? What's that? You Spanish, French, or
what?" So I drank my drink, and Red said to
me. "O.K., let's go," and then we went to a
Mexican place. The next day the same deal,
no trouble. Not even going through the white
line to get into the movies.
Then one day while the ship was in the
hook, I twisted my foot and couldn't walk, so
they took me to the Marine Hospital. I
looked at the forms they filled out for me,
and saw that I was listed as a Mexican on the
papers. I kept saying to the woman, "Listen,
man, I'm not a Mexican, I'm a Puerto
Rican!" and she said, "I don't know, you're a
Mexican." 1 tried to tell her that Puerto Rico
is one place and Mexico is a different place,
but she didn't seem to understand. In the
end I just gave in and said, "O.K., I'm a
fuckin' Mex."
But it bothered me, it hurt my feelings.
Why couldn't they find out about Puerto
Rico? After all, 1 was a GI, even though I
wasn't a very good GI. I served the country. I
was supposed to be a hero. You know, they
made me feel like that when they dis-
charged me and gave me that "Welcome
Home." And riding in the train, they had big
signs for a mile, "Welcome Boys, Well
Done." So I'm a Rican, and I didn't under-
stand this American country. Maybe, I told
myself, if I would have been born here and
raised here, I wouldn't have all these god-
damn troubles, but it just so happens I

Next the boat traveled to Houston to pick
up coal. In Houston I said the hell with it. I
don't want to be where the whites are. I also
don't want to go to the Negro side. From
now on I'm going to the Mex side. They call
me Mex, so I'll just go to the Mex side.
I went into Houston and asked for a drink
in a Mexican bar. Then 1 tried to talk with a
whore who seemed to me to like me a little
bit. I tried to buy her a drink, and some guy
came over and said to me, "Listen, you son
of a bitch, what you doing here?" I said,
"Listen I'm having a drink, what do you

"Listen, man, what are
you? You're a Puerto
Rican? What's that? You
Spanish, French, or what?"

mean-" Wham! He blasted me right in my
face. When I tried to fight back, two or three
other Mexicans got up and started in on me
- ping! bang! ping! bang! Then I saw a guy
pull a knife. I was terrified but I didn't want to
show it. I began to yell at them, "Goddamn
it! Why are you doing this to me? I'm a
Puerto Rican. I always loved Mexico, to me
Mexico was the greatest, I used to see it in
the movies, I only thought about Mexico, it's
the greatest place on earth, I always love the
Mexican, and this is what I get from the
Mexicans." So the tide turned, and every-
body quieted down. Even the bartender and
the whore told them to leave me alone.
The woman helped me get out, so I went
with her, and she took me to a shack. She
told me, "Listen, man, you just lucky you
aren't dead. It isn't the first time these guys
do that, they would have cut you three or
four times." I kissed that woman, I loved her
all over the place, blasted my ass off, and in
the morning I left.
When I got back to the ship, I said to
myself, I don't want to be a Mex anymore.
So what the fuck I am? I'm not a Mex, I'm
not a white, I'm not a Negro. What am I? The
truth is that in the crazy United States the
same goddamn thing happened to me two
or three or four times. I guess it happened to
a lot of others. That's why after all those
years when I came to settle in Puerto Rico, I
decided I would never again leave unless I
were a rich man.
Finally we got to Rotterdam to unload the
coal we picked up in Houston. In those days
unloading the ship would take about five,
six days not like today when bam!
bam! bam! they empty and get out. We
had a long time in Rotterdam. I went around
town with Red. We started talking to some
girls, and one of them starts telling me in

pretty good English she's a busi-
nesswoman. But I was still such a fool I
thought she meant she was in business!
This was a beautiful woman, my blonde
businesswoman. She took me on a trolly to
her house, and finally 1 understood what
business she was in and paid up.
Now, many of my generation and the
generation before me in Puerto Rico were
really ignorant. I don't know if it was that we
didn't have enough education, or if it was
just how primitive things were in Puerto
Rico before '38. We were the guys who were
just practically out of the sugar-cane fields. I
didn't know the score, like with that "busi-
nesswoman." It was as if I had just left San
Juan, because the Army years don't teach
you all that much. The Army is your family,
and the head of the family is the captain.
And above him the colonel, the general,
and the whole government of the United
States. It was on this trip that I first came into
the world.
We got back from Rotterdam and put in
at Baltimore where we got paid, and Red
and I went ashore. We were having a ham-
burger when suddenly some guy comes
over, a white guy, sits down and calls me
"Boogie." I didn't know what "Boogie"
meant, but I could see on peoples' faces
that if someone called you it, that was no
good. So 1 knocked the guy down and
jumped on top of him. The police came and
wanted to take me in. But Red made a big
speech to the cops, telling them that I just
came out of the Army, and this guy was
abusing me, that I had a lot of medals and
bullshit like that. He turned the tide with that
speech. Instead of going to jail, I went off
with Red. But my heart was crying out, I was
that kind of fellow.

Forced to End Innocence
(New York, 1946-1947)
So now that I was back from the ship 1 was
going to New York. New York is New York,
and that was that.
I was looking for jobs. I would go down-
town, way downtown, below 14th Street,
where they had a lot of agencies for jobs:
"Dishwasher here." The one thing 1 could
always be was a dishwasher. A guy didn't
speak English well. A guy didn't know any-
thing. But he could always be a dishwasher
- forty bucks a week was the pay, and then
you had to give the agency guy twenty-five
bucks just to get the goddamn job. If you
didn't have the money, the guy would say,
"All right, you don't have the money. Sign
here." That meant that the first week you
worked you paid the twenty-five and had
about fifteen left. I didn't want that. I didn't
want to be like most of the others. They
would come and first thing get jobs wash-
ing dishes. I didn't want to go into the dish-
washing business because I thought if I did
I'd be a dishwasher all my life. In fact guys I

knew who had started washing dishes when
they arrived in '46 were still washing them in
One day I had a date with a Neorican girl,
and we went to Morningside Drive. It was
early evening, and we were sitting on a
bench necking, nothing too dirty, just talk-
ing and necking. Then we slid down onto
the grass for about fifteen, twenty minutes,
and she left her bag on the bench. When we
got up, the bag was gone. I was so ignorant
I thought the bag wasjust misplaced. So we
started looking for it. It was dark by then, so
in order to see I lit a fire in one of the wire
trash baskets that they have in New York
with all the newspapers.
Suddenly the cops were on us. We had
been thinking only about the bag. She was
worried about her keys and papers mostly
because she didn't have much money.
When the cops grabbed me, I explained
about the bag, and they understood. They
told us to forget about the bag, it had been
stolen. I didn't have to fight with the cop
because the girl could speak beautiful En-
glish and fast, so I didn't have too much
trouble getting myself understood. Other-
wise it would have taken me longer, and -
who knows? -the cop could have beat me
in the face or pushed me or something.
That's one of the difficulties of people who
don't speak English gcod and fast. Some-
times maybe the cop doesn't mean to fuck
you up, but if you can't explain, he right
away thinks you must be a criminal. Anyway
the cops explained to my friend that these
thieves dress in dark clothes, they even put
on gloves and come around at night. There
was a crowd like that, it was their profession.
I don't really know how New York is now-
adays, but even in Puerto Rico you can't
neck anymore, anywhere. I mean, you just
can't park. You park on Sunday, you get
killed. The thing has gotten to a point where
you can't go anyplace with a girl. I'm afraid,
she's afraid, you're afraid. The end of inno-
cence, that's what it is, the end of inno-
cence. You gotta lock yourself in the room.
In other works, necking and lovers' lanes
are gone people have to shack up. Be-
fore in the romantic days it used to take a
guy maybe a week to get up to that pussy,
but now you get there faster on account of
the crime and violence and the drunks that
are around town. The end of innocence
used to come naturally. Now you're forced
to end innocence, by our society and the
new crimes. What a crazy world!
Anyway, one day when I was looking for a
job I ran into Eugenio. Eugenio was one of
my men when I was the sergeant in charge
of the guns at St. Thomas. He was a great
guitarist. Eugenio always used to say, "I'm
an artist. I can't touch those guns, they're
too heavy. That hurts my hands." Or, "I can't
pull the grass, my hands." And I used to say,
"O.K., you don't have to do nothing, just
play the guitar." The guy couldn't even drive

on account of his hands.
I hadn't seen Eugenio since 1942 and
then there I was on 14th Street and in front
of me was this short guy, about four foot
nine, his coat reaching to his feet. Suddenly
this guy turned his face, and I saw it was
him. He was like a little midget. That's how
short he was. But you know, he was such a
great guy. So we said, "Let's have a drink,"
and we went down on Eighth Avenue to one
of those Spanish restaurants near 14th
Eugenio said, "I have a business now. Let
me show you." I said, "Hey, man, that's

If you're a Rican in New
York, you can't be a
person, you're just a Rican,
no matter what you do...

great!" We got in the subway and didn't
have time to talk about the business be-
cause we kept on talking about the Army
and stuff. We got to the East Bronx, where
the Ricans were and, of all things, he had a
grocery store. I wanted to laugh my head
off. Eugenio said, "This is my business, and
I got a wife and kids," and what did 1 see but
Eugenio cutting a piece of ham! That's
what happened to Eugenio's magic hands
- cutting a piece of ham! iCofio! I had
once forced sixty men under my command
to believe Eugenio's idea that he was great!
So I said, "Listen, you can't play guitar no
more, look at your hands." He said to me,
"Well, once in a while I hit it, but you know,
that's the way life is."

How Eisenhower Ruined
the Neighborhood
(New York, 1951-1952)
The president of Columbia University lived
on Morningside Drive, Ike Eisenhower. On
that street guys used to sell reefers, bolita,
all the rackets. It was quiet on that
street-no guards, no police, no nothing.
But once Ike got nominated to run for
president of the United States, suddenly
there were a lot of cops all over the place.
The guys got scared. Not that these cops
were actually paying attention to them; the
cops had other things on their mind than
whether a guy was having a reefer. They
were looking out for the security of the can-
didate. But the whole system of rackets
moved away from that street because the
guys that served didn't like the cops and
wouldn't come around. And when the
rackets moved, the merchants started pro-
testing, "There's no business here any
more." You know, the guy that ran the num-

bers in the morning used to have a cup of
coffee or a breakfast. Now the chulo wasn't
going to the restaurant any more. And the
restaurant owner really started kicking and
yelling, "Goddamn, that Eisenhower really
ruined the neighborhood!"

Turning Points
(New York and Puerto Rico, 1955-1961)
It was the late fifties, and 1 was living in the
Bronx, hacking. Things were bad. I thought I
was through, and I was really ready to quit.
Then came a turning point in the shape of a
guy just up from Havana. Somebody there
had told him, "Listen, if you go to New York,
you go and see this guy Benjy." I said to him,
"Who are you?" And he said, "Oh, you don't
remember me, but when you were in Cuba I
knew all about you, about what a nice guy
you were." The point is, he was only a kid,
about twenty-two years old. I didn't know
him but he knew me and from six, seven
years back. When you go to a poor country
like Cuba, you can really make an impres-
sion on people, especially on young kids.
They look at you and think, What a terrific
suit, and a car with plates from the United
States! In Havana I had been really some-
thing compared to the Cubans in their
eyes I was a big shot with a lot of connec-
At this time in Cuba, Fidel was in Mexico,
but nobody was taking the revolution seri-
ously, especially not me because Batista
seemed so powerful. Anyway Fidel had
come to New York to collect money for the
26th of July movement. There was a party,
and all the Cubans went, including this kid,
who was mixed up with Fidel.
Anyway, he came to me and said, "I don't
know what to do. I've got to talk to you." He
was nervous, pacing back and forth. He
wanted to join up with the revolution. They
were looking for guys,and he was going to
Mexico. He wanted me to go with him.
I told him not to be a fool. "Listen, go to
work, you're here now, get a job, and start
trying to make a few bucks, and when you
get back to Cuba, start a little business. In
no time you can be making fifty, a hundred
Continued on page 48

Benjy Lopez: A Picaresque Tale of
Emigration and Return. Barry B.
Levine. 240 pp. Basic Books, Inc.
1980. $12.95.
As a consequence of my own incur-
sions into the slippery territory of the
testimonial form of literature, I have
found myself, over the past few years, hav-
ing the arduous task of reading endless
numbers of testimonials and numerous
theoretical treatises about the genre itself.
Some of these works I find more fruitful and
necessary than others.
Within this group, we find Barry B.
Levine's work, Benjy Lopez: A Picaresque
Tale of Emigration and Return. I must
confess that I approached this work with a
great deal of trepidation and prejudice. Al-
most everything I had read concerning
Puerto Ricans including the work of
Oscar Lewis had left me dissatisfied, as
they presented inarticulate results con-
cerning the complex embryonic and con-
tradictory Puerto Rican personality. In the
work of Oscar Lewis, for example, the
majority of the characters are defeated,
hopeless individuals who lack the vitality
and spirit necessary to confront life and its
struggles. I worked with Lewis for six
months on his unpublished manuscript,
Six Women, about prostitution within San
Juan's marginal groups. Daily, I would re-
mind Lewis that none of his women re-
spondents had an ethical conscience,
either moral, or social. None were im-
bued, for example, with the proud and ar-
rogant spirit of so many Cuban women. On
the contrary, they were subjected to the
unlimited will of transient husbands and
intransient environments. Lewis, of course,
could justify all of this with his thesis of the
"culture of poverty."
Other works about Puerto Rico, including
that of Sidney Mintz, contain other defects,
all of which are brilliantly pointed out by
Levine in the introduction to Benjy Lopez.
On balance, the sum of these an-
thropological works leave us with a false
stereotype of the Puerto Rican as lame and
maimed. In them, no Puerto Rican reaches
the heights of any metropolitan citizen, no
Puerto Rican is equipped to manipulate
modern technology they all sleep above
a muddy field that offers them but idleness
and roguery.
We must thank Barry B. Levine for this
fine work. For the first time, the Puerto
Rican is depicted in his totally human, am-
bivalent and rich dimensions. Thanks to
Levine's expertise, the character of Benjy
Lopez demonstrates the full potentialities of
those from underdeveloped lands who fight
for a place of honor in life. These poten-
tialities are brought forth even within the
pragmatic goals and limited idealism of
Bringing to Lopez's story advanced in-

Two Views of

Benjy Lopez

A Man and His Potential

Reviewed by Miguel Barnet
Translated by Elena A. Parrado

Benjy Lopez always had
confidence in himself; this
confidence when
understood in its fullest
significance is nothing
more than man's capacity
to overcome difficulties.

struments of social science, an effective
interpretative scheme, and a solid
sociological background, Levine has res-
cued Third World man from indignity. He
has used the testimonial to offer a work
based on truth rather than on the fantasies
and peti-bourgeois deviations of many
pseudo-humanists of our time.
The testimony may appear to be a
simple genre, but when it is utilized to ar-
ticulate sociological postulates it becomes
enigmatic. It must not only be true to the
person giving the testimony (and thus be
able to adequately synthesize and reflect his
personality), but it must also place the tes-
timony within a context that lends itself to
the search for patterns of behavior. The
point is not to present a sympathetic or sad
case, a story of adventure or sensation, but,
rather, to give a multivalent image of a
character, the study of one individual as he
relates to his life history and social circum-
The sardonic character, wisdom, and in-
trepedness of Benjy Lopez, his reflective
moments and intellectual efforts, all relate
to his social medium and the manner in
which it influenced his character not in a
Manichaean or schematic manner, but
rather, in a dialectical one. It is a necessary
give and take in which the collective voice is
an echo of the individual and vice versa.
Benjy Lopez, the picaro, is a man in
complete control of his potential: to be a
picaro is to oppose a system with subtle
and evasive mechanisms, to oppose a hard
system of unreachable goals. Yet Benjy
Lopez always had confidence in himself;
this confidence when understood in its ful-

lest significance is nothing more than
man's capacity to overcome difficulties.
This confidence was his weapon. How well
Levine has shown us this weapon! It is here
where the sociological talent and literary
capabilities of the author are best revealed:
the ability to choose, as Levine has done,
the subtle moments in which the "splash"
has touched Benjy's life in the face of dis-
crimination, poverty, emotional emptiness,
and unfortunate adventures.
I believe that few works will better dem-
onstrate the circumstances of the Puerto
Rican in New York than this one by Levine.
Few works will enter with such directness
and pointed sensitivity into the vicious am-
biance of a Third World protagonist living in
a capitalist metropolis, where, left to his own
luck, he is exposed to discrimination, in-
equality, and the inherent vices of life.
Benjy Lopez represents a unique and
very individual possibility. Lopez himself
acknowledges that not all individuals are
the same, not all minds are alike. In this
sense he foreshadows a hope. The hope
that some day we will be able to unify all
such potentialities so that they will not at-
rophy and die a day in which all men,
with equal rights, can aspire to reachable
goals and not to empty illusions.
As Levine has shown us, Benjy has got-
ten what he wanted. But that is not enough
and Levine understands it. Still, Levine has
revived the integrity of the Puerto Rican
personality for scientific literature. For this
we must thank him. A sensitive writer and
keen sociologist, he has broken through
traditional schemes and false preconcep-
tions. I believe that this work will disturb
many Latin Americans. It will be a lesson.
Hopefully, the stimulus of a Benjy Lopez will
produce concrete social results. This book
points to such a horizon. Someday soon,
Benjy Lopez, multiplied by thousands, will
no longer lament the fact that the system is
upstairs but will shout: The system is up-
stairs, so what? We will destroy the system.
Cuban anthropologist and poet, Miguel Bar-
net, is the author of the two testimonials, Au-
tobiography of a Runaway Slave and Song of
Rachel, among many other works. An inter-
view with him about the testimonial form of
literature appears in the subsequent issue of

A Tale of Wit and Woe
Reviewed by Helen I. Safa

Benjy Lopez: A Picaresque Tale of
Emigration and Return. Barry B.
Levine. 240 pp. Basic Books, Inc.
1980. $12.95.
he Puerto Rican experiment in rapid
socio-economic development
known as Operation Bootstrap has
inspired many books and articles both
lauding the achievements of the past forty
years in terms of economic growth rates,
higher levels of literacy, health and life ex-
pectancy, and other indices of "moderniza-
tion" such as urbanization, highways, and
use of electricity and severely criticizing
the same process for its reinforcement of
continued political and economic de-
pendence on the United States, and its loss
of cultural values and a sense of Puerto
Rican identity and nationhood. Few studies,
however, have examined the process of
modernization in Puerto Rico from the
viewpoint of the people themselves, relying
rather on secondary sources and census
materials to prove their point, whether posi-
tive or negative. The ultimate judge of the
success or failure of this experiment will
however, be the Puerto Rican people, and
therefore this book by Barry B. Levine is
valuable in giving us the testimony of one
man, fictitiously named Benjy Lopez, who
has lived through these years of rapid social
change and learned to master a complex
and often oppressive system.
Benjy Lopez has made the full transition
fromjibaro to urban shantytown dweller to
migrant in New York City and back to Puerto
Rico in his mid-forties. Born in 1922, his
father was a foreman or capataz on sugar-
cane haciendas and the large family lived
comfortably until the agricultural economy
of Puerto Rico was devastated by a severe
hurricane and the great depression. Benjy
appears to have admired his father greatly,
and credits him with much of his own resili-
ence in later years, though the father even-
tually abandons his family and the children
are dispersed among various relatives after
the death of his mother, for whom Benjy
demonstrates no great affection. Benjy's
admiration for his strong, arrogant father
and disdain or pity for his weak, submissive
mother are to color his view of male-female
relationships all his life, as we shall see

For Levine, Lopez is not a
loser, but a hero, a picaro,
a rogue who has managed
to outwit the system, a
survivor "who has not been
consumed by the process
of survival." But Lopez too
has paid his price for

shortly. The relatively early disruption of his
family life may also help explain his appar-
ent inability to form strong, lasting relation-
ships with anyone sisters and other rela-
tives, wives and other women, and even
male friends, to whom he clearly feels
closest and with whom he is most comfort-
able. Benjy Lopez's life would appear to
present classic evidence of Lionel Tiger's
argument in Men In Groups (Random
House, 1969).
As Levine tells us in his introduction,
Benjy Lopez's life is a series of episodes, or
better yet deals and bargains, in which
Lopez uses his "wit, will and words" to out-
smart the other guy, to manipulate the sys-
tem, to constantly calculate the way of
achieving the most for the least a new
version of the Protestant ethic. Many per-
sons of Lopez's social class have aban-
doned the notion of hard work and thrift,
since they know they can gain little from it
anyway. Since rewards are constant, the
only way they can beat the system is
through minimizing effort while striving to
maximize returns through cunning and
manipulation. This may be one way to di-
minish the rate of exploitation, since the
"surplus value" produced is much less. It is
not confined to street hustlers like Lopez
but is pervasive in modern post-industrial
society among welfare clients, factory
workers, bureaucrats, and others who are
confined to boring, dead-end lives. It is a
product of a society in which creativity is
increasingly confined, and in which chal-

lenges are sought in beating the system
rather than in innovation and greater
Benjy Lopez is a product of such a soci-
ety, and while one may admire his resilience
and resourcefulness, as Levine does, one is
also struck by the shallowness of his life, its
lack of direction and purpose or sense of
self-fulfillment. 1 could be accused of pro-
jecting bourgeois values of career orienta-
tion and deferred gratification onto a
completely different life style, which is not
concerned with goals or success. But I find
little meaning or gratification in Lopez's
episodic trajectory in his disillusion with
the army, his abandonment of school
(though he is clearly quite bright), his
pimping, drugs, and other forms of hus-
tling. The callous nature of his relationships
with others is most evident in his relation-
ships with women whom he treats as
sexual objects unworthy of anything more
than a good "blast" or of exploiting for profit
through prostitution. He even forces his first
wife onto the street and sends her back to
Cuba when she becomes pregnant. How
could any self-respecting Latin macho ac-
cept a child that he could not be sure was
his own!
Levine clearly admires Lopez for his
non-conformist attitudes, for his repudia-
tion of "mediocre living" and rejection of the
rules of the game. Levine contrasts Lopez
with other "sad testimonials" of Puerto Ri-
cans portrayed by writers such as Sidney
Mintz, Oscar Lewis, Susan Sheehan or
Lloyd Rogler (Rogler's study, by the way, is
set in New Haven, not Cleveland). For
Levine, all of the personalities portrayed in
these studies are "losers" welfare moth-
ers, prostitutes, converts to Pentecostalism.
For Levine, Lopez is not a loser, but a hero, a
picaro, a rogue who has managed to out-
wit the system, a survivor "who has not
been consumed by the process of survival."
But Lopez too has paid a price for his survi-
val. He appears cynical, calculating and
callous. He mellows somewhat after his
return to Puerto Rico (after twenty years),
where he is not constantly confronted by
racial and ethnic discrimination and called
upon to defend and prove himself, as in
New York City. In Puerto Rico, he is able to
turn his skills at hustling and English into
good advantage working as a salesman.
Now he need no longer sell himself and
others, he can confine himself to legitimate
It should be clear that I do not share
Levine's admiration for Lopez's life style. I
applaud his attempt to give a different pic-
ture of Puerto Rican life, one not ridden with
despair and resignation like many other
writers, notably Oscar Lewis, have done. Yet
there are close parallels between Lewis and
Levine. Both dwell on the seedy side of life
and appear to derive a vicarious pleasure
Continued on page 50

I '


Puerto Rican


By James W. Wessman

Labor Migration Under Capitalism:
The Puerto Rican Experience. The
History Task Force, Centro de
Estudios Puertorriquefios (City
University of New York). New York:
Monthly Review Press, 1979.
287 pp.
abor Migration Under Capitalism is
a serious attempt to provide a
political-economic interpretation of
both the permanent and the seasonal mi-
grations of Puerto Ricans to the continental
United States. This volume is the social
product of a task force in which Frank
Bonilla, Ricardo Campos and Carlos
Sanabria figured most prominently. Their
work began in 1974, with a conference
workshop at CUNY, and continued during
the ensuing four years.
The task force is duly critical of the
studies which have been done on Puerto
Rican migrants. These studies have offered
an essentially ecological view of migration,
in which the circumstances of too many
people on too little land lead inevitably to
large-scale emigration. In related fashion,
the fates of the migrants in the United
States are treated in terms of assimilation
into mainstream North American culture.
This "obstinately optimistic vision" has
excluded both historical and structural
factors, and has only obscured the
migratory processes.

Their alternative derives from Marx's
writings on relative surplus population
under capitalism. They point to the relativity
of population laws in particular historical
epochs, as well as to the contradictory na-
ture of historical processes. In an excellent
discussion of Marxist theory, the task force
members draw out the relevance of Marx's
categories of latent, floating and stagnant
relative surplus population. However, given
Marx's insistence upon historically specific
laws, it is a legitimate question as to whether
the categories which were developed for
the capitalist core in the nineteenth century
are adequate for describing twentieth cen-
tury experiences in the capitalist periphery.
The elaboration of a suitable classification
of relative surplus population in contempo-
rary colonies of the capitalist world system
is of some importance, if we wish to de-
scribe the essential qualities-and not
merely the quantities-of these popula-
tions. This classification, furthermore,
should say something about the causes of
population growth. Unfortunately, the task
force members place too much weight
upon Marx's categories, as evidenced by
the fact that these categories are not fully
integrated into the subsequent analyses.
Their analysis of the early twentieth century
suffers accordingly.
The authors take the reader through an
analysis of capitalist development in Puerto
Rico: from the abolition of slavery in 1873 to
the United States invasion of 1898; from the

invasion to the onset of the depression; and
from 1930 to the present. As apparently is
the fashion among radical Puerto Rican
scholars, they identify the pre-abolition
economy of the island as feudal, and they
depict the last quarter of the nineteenth
century as a period in which agrarian
capitalism was evolving. Consequently,
they argue that the US invasion of Puerto
Rico did not instigate but merely redirected
the capitalist trajectory of Puerto Rico.
There are more than a few problems with
this formulation, but their argument is well
developed. Particularly troublesome, how-
ever, are these aspects: (1) their equation of
"precapitalist" and "feudal" modes of pro-
duction; (2) their sharp distinction between
the haciendas and the sugar mills (cen-
trales); (3) the suggestion that proletariani-
zation did not begin until after abolition; and
(4) their treatment of relations between
hacienda owners and Spanish merchants,
according to which the hacendados
formed the nucleus of a "potential national
bourgeoisie." The argument that agrarian
capitalism would have led to national
sovereignty, had the island's fate not be-
come so tightly interwoven with that of the
United States, has some appeal, but it also
has implications for the current class strug-
gle in Puerto Rico, namely, that the im-
mediate enemy is US imperialism, not the
Puerto Rican elites (whether considered a
national bourgeoisie or not). If, on the other
hand, the entire development of haciendas

I _

in Puerto Rico (as in other areas of Latin
America) is conceptualized in terms of ag-
rarian capitalism, with a less radical distinc-
tion between haciendas and centrales,
some very different implications emerge.
The most original and substantial part of
their argument is the chapter on "migration
and industrialization," which covers the
period from 1930 to the present. In this
chapter, the task force presents an argu-
ment on the circulation of Puerto Rican
laborers between the island and increas-
ingly dispersed sites throughout the United
States. What is particularly impressive
about this chapter is the manner in which a
genuine political-economic perspective is
presented that incorporates a variety of
interrelated factors, including population
growth, the development and decline of
agriculture, the changing composition of
and struggle among social classes, the is-
land's political status vis-a-vis the United
States, the ever-growing insular bureauc-
racy, the demand for agricultural labor in
the United States, and the responses
of Puerto Ricans in communities and
labor camps across North America. In
addition, the argument is well buttressed
by statistical tables.
The book contains three additional es-
says, by Clara Rodriguez, Jose Vazquez
Calzada and Felipe Rivera. Rodriguez's
essay concerns Puerto Ricans in New York
City. While this essay is not as convincing as
the preceding sections or the other two
essays, it does present some interesting

material on the roles of Puerto Ricans in the
evolving urban economy. Vazquez Cal-
zada's essay on demographic aspects of
migration features solid demographic evi-
dence and a provocative debunking of
existing interpretations of Puerto Rican mi-
gration. Rivera's essay on Puerto Rican
farmworkers traces the part played by the
Commonwealth government in providing
("negotiating" would be too generous a
term) labor contracts for seasonal migrant
workers, as well as the organizational re-
sponses of the migrants. Rivera's point-
by-point comparisons of the 1973 and 1974
contracts and of United Farm Worker,
Teamster and Commonwealth contracts
for agricultural workers offer strong
substantiation for the radical perspective
of the book.
In sum, there is no source on Puerto
Rican economy, society and demography
that is comparable in scope, sophistication
or execution. The distance between Labor
Migration Under Capitalism and the perti-
nent sections, for example, of Bonnie
Mass's Population Target is well worth
mentioning. There is a minimum of
romanticization and wishful thinking in the
present book, and the History Task Force
should be acknowledged for having given
us a highly original volume.

James W. Wessman teaches Anthropology
and Sociology at Saint Olaf College in

From the dustjacket.
Drawing by Manuel

The obstinately optimistic
vision has ... only
obscured the migratory





ISSN 0360-7917
Multidisciplinary Bilingual
Quarterly of Interamerican
Now entering its 9th year of
publication, with articles for both the
general reader and the specialist in
Puerto Rican, Caribbean and Latin
American affairs.

Articles on linguistics, literature,
history, education, ecati anthropology,
political affairs and economics. Plus
poetry, short stories and book reviews.

Special themes have included
Education in Puerto Rico, U.S.
Foreign Policy in Latin America,
Sociolinguistics and Bilingualism,
Race Relations in the Americas,
Population, Women in Latin America,
Caribbean Literature, the Bicentennial
and the Caribbean, Modernization in
the Caribbean, Caribbean Dictators,
Cuba in the 20th Century... etc.

Forthcoming issues include Tainos,
Migration, Religion, Women Poets,
and others.

Authors have included such recognized
authorities as Margaret Mead, Erich
Fromm, Eric Williams, Magnus
Morner, Joshua Fishman, J.L. Dillard,
Aurelio Ti6, Washington Llorens,
Bernard Lowy, Selden Rodman,
Herbert J. Muller, Eugene Wigner, T.
Dale Stewart, John Bartlow Martin,
Henry Wells, George Lamming, Piri
Thomas, and others.
Published Four Times A Year
Spring, Summer, Fall and Winter
Institutions: $16.00 per year
Individuals: $10.00/yr; $16.00/2 yrs.

Inter American University
G.P.O. Box 3255, San Juan,
Puerto Rico 00936


Cerro Maravilla
Continued from page 15
when they left their home, if police knew at
least several hours beforehand of their
plans? Why had they not been arrested for a
holdup committed at a University of Puerto
Rico guardhouse along with Gonzalez
Malave on July 4th? Why were they allowed
to take an innocent hostage, a decision
which had been made on July 24th and
which police knew about? Could Ortiz Moli-
na's account to the media and his lawyer be
dismissed simply because he had told the
government something else?

Roberto Fabricio, editor
of the pro-government
El Nuevo Dia, wrote a
column calling the
governor a "liar" and
saying that Romero
Barcel6 had admitted to
him knowing more than he
had publicly acknowledged
... Shortly afterwards, El
Nuevo Dia ... announced
Fabricio's resignation.

The Commonwealth report dealt only
with possible criminal action by police,
sidestepping the issue of propriety or wis-
dom in its handling of events. One reporter
said that at best it was a "preliminary probe."
At worst, he said, it was a "whitewash." No
effort was made to ascertain who in the
Police Department was responsible for the
decisions which led to the death of Soto
and Rosado and who, if anyone, outside the
government had previous knowledge of the
But Romero Barcel6 declared Cerro
Maravilla a closed case. Ignoring his posi-
tion of a few years back that "the govern-
ment cannot investigate itself," he turned
down suggestions by all of the opposition
parties and by some newspapers to name a
blue-ribbon independent panel to investi-
gate Cerro Maravilla. He even promoted to
superintendent of police one of the police
officers who indirectly supervised the oper-
As the press continued to investigate,
Romero Barcel6's prior knowledge of the
operation became a public issue. How
much did he know beforehand and what, if
anything, could he have done to prevent the
killings? Thus began the governor's battle
with the press.

When the Star published an interview
with a source stating that the governor had
more detailed knowledge than he had ad-
mitted of the alleged plans to sabotage
communications facilities, Romero Barcel6
accused the newspaper of resorting to
"yellow journalism." When Roberto Fab-
ricio, editor of the pro-government El
Nuevo Dia, wrote a column calling the gov-
ernor a "liar" and saying that Romero Bar-
cel6 had admitted to him knowing more
than he had publicly acknowledged, the
governor was forced to go on television to
repeat his claim of only "general knowl-
edge." Shortly afterwards, El Nuevo Dia,
which is owned by the family of the Senate
President Luis A. Ferr6, a close political
associate of the governor's, announced
Fabricio's resignation. He left the island for
Miami, where he is still living.
Meanwhile, US Attorney Julio Morales
Sanchez, in consultation with the Civil
Rights Division in Washington, started a
preliminary federal investigation. After sub-
poenaing Ortiz Molina before a grand jury,
the investigation fizzled for months, with
Morales Sanchez claiming that Washington
was still deciding whether a full investiga-
tion was warranted.
After Morales Sanchez's term expired a
year ago, Ralph Martin, one of the most
respected lawyers in the Civil Rights Divi-
sion, personally took charge of the probe,
traveling to the island several times to
question grand jury witnesses. Martin, how-
ever, was eventually transferred to the State
Department at about the time that Romero
Barcel6 made a visit to Washington and
met with Attorney General Benjamin
Romero Barcel6, who had always been a
Republican, was at the time negotiating
with Carter's top campaign officials the
conditions under which he would switch
parties and come out for the president's
re-election. By March the governor was
both a Democrat and a Carter supporter
and the president had changed his mind on
the vital matter of oil rights for Puerto Rico
and agreed to give the island a 10.3-mile
offshore limit.
On April 26, a month after Romero Bar-
cel6's intensive campaigning won Carter a
narrow victory in the island's Democratic
primary, the US Justice Department issued
a short statement declaring the Cerro
Maravilla case closed. "On the basis of this
investigation, the department concluded
that the evidence did not establish viola-
tions and that an indictment could not be
presented to the grand jury," the report said.
Ortiz Molina's testimony of police brutality
and a second volley of shots was rejected
mainly because "there is no evidence to
Predictably, all of the governor's oppo-
nents the Popular Democratic Party, the
Puerto Rican Independence Party and the

Fiction or Reality
Continued from page 15
loaded with cliches? Everyone does iL And I
respond: To Hell with you! On innumerable
occasions I have distorted the truth to
idealize a fantasy, a lie. to awaken others to
higher truths than they are willing to lace.
Nevertheless, it so happens that as far as
extremely important-if not totally unbe-
lievable characters are concerned, reality
has presented me with a Governor. Carlos
Romero Barcelo. who favors the annexation
of Puerto Rico to the United States. He is the
one responsible for the events in question.
So many jokes circulate about his lack ol
wit that it is impossible to describe his im-
pulsiveness. his torpidness and his lack of
stature as a character. What can one do
then if one has a fool among one's major
characters: Relegate him to meaning-
lessness, give him little to do! Fine. Let s
move on to the others.
There is a Superintendent of Police who
thinks no differently from the Governor. His
name: Desiderlo Cartagena. He reached his
elevated position after coveting it for a great
deal of time, serving as the nght hand of the
incumbent in matters regarding the
Marauilla Case. And further there are addi-
tional toys: several legislators whose sole
concern is maintaining their positions vis-
a-vis Governor Romero, several policemen
categorized as "heroes" forty-eight hours
after executing the double assassination. In
granting the policemen the status of
"heroes" Governor Romero did not bother
to explain why. being a lawyer, he so hastily
judged the events without the proof which
his own jusbce department, hoping to cor-
roborate that judgement. took more than a
month to present.
In 'uxtapositon to a governor who claims
to favor law and order you have two sup-
posed terrorists. These "terrorists" were

Puerto Rican Socialist Party complained
either privately or in public of a "deal" be-
tween Carter and Romero Barcel6 which
got the governor off the hook in a sensitive
case in an election year.
Cerro Maravilla disappeared from the
front pages, but the story was kept alive by a
group of reporters following developments
in the civil suit by lawyers for the plaintiffs
every time a new deposition was taken.
There was still no "smoking gun," but con-
tradictions some small, some not so
small in the testimony of the policemen
who took part in the shooting were punch-
ing bigger and bigger holes in the govern-
ment's account of the incidents.
Then came Romero Barcel6's deposi-
tion, which was taken at La Fortaleza,
Puerto Rico's executive mansion, with the
federal judge on hand to arbitrate disputes.
The news media was barred, as it had been

practically hand-led to Cerro Maravilla by
the secret agent He initiated the abduction
of the rental car driver and helped them
obtain the revolvers they carried at the hour
of their death. According to his confession.
they had planned to blow up some com-
municaton towers located some seven
hundred meters above sea level But the
only thing found for the execution of these
plans was a container of fuel sufficient to
light a bonfire or, more likely, a barbecue.
Two young terrorists.
Most authors employ terrorists only in the
hijacking of airplanes (what better place to
provoke terror for the novel in progress than
in closed quarters. far from earthly help, the
remaining characters held captive b> a
group of heartless individuals?). And yet the
setting you must deal with in your literary
work is a deserted mountain. surrounded
by wild vegetation and dry clay, where a civil
service employee who does electrical work
in his spare time and several policemen
ordered to stand guard and prevent the
sabotage await. The name of this site pre-
tentiously lends itself to the simplest of
ironies: Marvel Mountain. Could you dare to
use ni? It would be better to omit any men-
tion of the critical hours for this novel in
crisis. It is midday, an hour distinguished by
more than one author intent on contrasting
this or that death with that optimal hour:
terror in the face of the most magnificent
moment of the day.
'You know how to write? Then take ad-
vantage of the facts and errors provided by
the newspapers. the stereotypes reality of-
fers to you. the misinterpretations bran-
dished by the Government to justify deaths
that could have been prevented by a simple
arrest. Write Reexamine the bruised and
beaten body of your son. It is neanng two
o clock and yet you find it impossible to
believe what you see. Question the nurse
who ran a ay. Demand that the medical
and legal authorities answer your inquiries.

barred from all other depositions, but there
was nothing to prevent the lawyers from
briefing the press afterwards. When P6rez
Gimenez arrived at La Fortaleza, however,
he issued the gag order at the request of the
defendants and the governor's testimony
has not been reported in the local press.
Since Perez Gimenez himself must rule
on the suit charging that the order violates
freedom of speech under the First
Amendment, most observers feel he will
uphold his order. If this happens, it may not
be until late this year or sometime next year
that the gag order ruling is finally decided
on appeal.

Covering Up a Coverup

With so much information still missing, the
charges of murder which have been raised
publicly, especially by Romero Barcel6's

You will see that there is no one. If you find
the superintendent of nurses, she will claim
to know nothing. As you sign the necessary
papers identifying the body of your son you
decide to go immediately to the nearest
authorities in search of the facts, precise
and definite information. But you can never
do this because you realize that the precise
information, the absolute truth, will never be
revealed. And. in the course of the months
and years. you will accomplish no more
than confirming your suspicions as you tear
up page after page. consult numerous
lawyers, read and reread books read by your
son, and remain paralyzed before that hor-
nble blank page
Narrate all this, if you are capable of nar-
rating as no one else can.

Pedro Juan Solo is the author of Los perros
an6nimos (unpublished novel, 1953); Spiks
(short stories: Los Presentes, Mexico, 1956);
Usmail (novel: Club del Libro. San Juan, 1959)-
Ardienie Suelo. Fria Esiaciln (novel: Editorial
Veracruzana. Veracruz, Mexico, 1961), Puerto
Rico La Nueva Vida/The New Life (bilingual
anthology of literature and graphics prepared
in collaboration with Nina Kaiden and Andrew
S. Vladimir: Renaissance Press. New York.
1966): Un Oscuro Pueblo Sonriente (unpub-
lished novel, 1966); El Francotirador (novel:
Joaquin Mortiz, MBxico. 1969); Temporada de
Duendes (novel: Di6genes, M6xico, 1970): A
Solas con Pedro Juan Soto (testimony:
Ediciones Puerto. Rio Piedras, 1973); El
Huesped. Las Mascaras y Otros Distraces
(narrative and theater Ediciones Puerto, Rio
Piedras, 1974). En Busca de J.I de Diego
Padr6 (unpublished essays and interviews:
prepared in collaboration with J.I. de Diego
Padr6, Carmen Lugo Filippi and Alicia de
Diego, 1975); Vie et oeuvre de J.I oe Diego
Padr6 Romancier Portoricain (unpublished
doctoral thesis: presented at the Department
of Latin American Studies, University of
Toulouse Le Mirail, Toulouse. 1976); Un
Decir (short stories- Ediciones Huracan, Rio
Piedras, 1976). Elena A. Parrado is assistantto
the editor of Caribbean Review.

political opponents, at best seem prema-
ture. But those of us who have been report-
ing on the case for more than two years
grow more convinced each day that the
Commonwealth government, after failing
to be candid initially, is now busy trying to
cover up a coverup.
Whether federal officials are also in-
volved in a whitewash is more debatable,
but the chronology of events earlier this
year which culminated in the US Justice
Department's declaring the case closed has
many responsible Puerto Ricans worried.
If Romero Barcel6 wins in November, we
will have to wait for the civil suit to go to trial
before learning the complete truth on Cerro
Maravilla. If he loses, a special prosecutor
will almost surely be named and we will
know much sooner.
TomBs Stella is a politicaljournalist for The San
Juan Star, Puerto Rico.

Everyday Life
Continued from page 32
different from that world in which I live
without recognizing them. The world
which is populated by re-cognized indi-
viduals and the world populated by un-
knowns; the world in which by habit I fix my
gaze on the unknown other and the world in
which by habit I do not notice him. They
must be profoundly different not only be-
cause in one I recognize people and in the
other I do not, but because in onel am also
re-cognized, while in the other I am not. In
one I find familiar human beings and in the
other I do not. In one I can even recognize
someone who could be my enemy. In the
other, I can not even recognize someone
who could be my friend. In one, the recog-
nized individuals acquire a progressive
historical dimension and I get to know more
and more about them and they about me;
in the other, the unknowns never become
more familiar to me with time, nor do 1 to
them. In one, my life and that of another
whom I do not know but who occupies my
vital everyday space is reciprocal in a series
of dimensions, or at least, can be reciprocal;
in the other the reciprocity between un-
knowns is reduced to the strict physical

dimension of avoiding collisions.
The distinctive element about collective
life today is that it is in the presence of un-
knowns. This is the case with all national
life. But it was not until the middle of the last
century that the idea of mass society was
foreshadowed and it was not until this cen-
tury that it established its supremacy as a
way of life. In Puerto Rico it was not until
1958 more or less that it began to

Not collective life but life in
collectivity; not public life
but life in public.

descend over us as a new dimension of our
collective life.
Even within highly populated societies,
the collective lifestyle based on the re-
cognition of the other is still possible, and as
a matter of fact, it continues to be the norm.
In particular where it concerns the vital
everyday space of the individual in which
the presence of the other is recognized by
him, and his presence by the other, he is
recognized by him, and his presence by the
other, he is recognized as a distinctive being

with a countenance and eventually as the
protagonist of his own personal "history."
Furthermore, a world populated by re-
cognized ones presents a reality in which
they (the re-cognized ones) as well as I, are
the bearers of a unique existence which is
particularly ours alone. A life in which each
one is irreplaceable and in which I situate
myself and am, in turn, situated by others
based on certain "points of reference" that
do not lend themselves to any confusion.
This is due to the fact that it is not possible
to confuse the countenances I know and
acknowledge as present. For better or for
worse, Iknow where "I am" because I know
that the individual that I re-cognize could
not be a mere physical presence but that he
is someone. My world in its most radical
and important dimension, the presence of
the others, is unique. I could in fact, try to
run away from it or try to destroy it, because
I despise the others or they despise me -
but I am unable since it is a world in which I
am totally situated. I discover that my world
is irreplaceable and that I am irreplaceable
in it.
Nevertheless, a world populated by un-
knowns that I never get to know looses
meaning for me. 1 am unable to struggle
with him, and I am unable to love him. In his
essential dimension, he becomes progres-


Volume 10
January & July 1980 C UAN

1! mi



Cuban-Soviet Relations and
Cuban Policy in Africa
Cuba's Involvement in the
Horn of Africa
Limitations and Consequences
of Cuban Policies in
Economic Aspects of
Cuban Involvement in

Published by the Center for Latin American Studies. University Center for
International Studies, University of Pittsburgh. Annual subscription rates are $8 for
individuals and $16 for institutions. Address inquiries to: Center for Latin American
Studies, University of Pittsburgh, Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania 15260, USA.

from FlU's International Affairs Center

* A selected group of Latin American and Florida university
presidents met recently in Venezuela to plan a major
symposium on "Inter-American University Cooperation for
Economic and Social Development." The University of Miami
was represented by President Henry King Stanford.
President Gregory B. Wolfe headed the delegation from
Florida International University, while Dr. Paul Parker
represented the Florida State University System. The
Planning session was hosted by Rector Antonio Villegas at
the Literal Campus of the Universidad Simon Bolivar. The
symposium is scheduled to take place in Miami in November.
* Mr. Robert E. Culbertson of the International Affairs Center
is a member of the Presidential Mission on Agricultural
Development in Central America and the Caribbean. The
Chairman of the Mission is Dr. E.T. York who, until 1 July
1980, was Chancellor of the State University System of
Florida. The Mission spent four weeks visiting Jamaica, Haiti,
the Dominican Republic, Barbados, St. Vincent, Guatemala,
Honduras, and Costa Rica. The report of the Mission will be
submitted to President Jimmy Carter by August 15.
* Dr. Jose Villate of the FlU School of Technology recently
prepared and delivered a professional seminar on Solid
Waste and Water Resources for the Federal District of
Mexico. The seminar is the first in a series to be offered in
Mexico by the School of Technology and the School
of Public Affairs and Services.

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

sively more unimportant and I become
more indifferent towards him. If the other
unknown beings are nothing but mere
physical presence, what difference does it
make whether I am here, there, or with these
people as opposed to those?
The world of my collective life among
mere unknown beings and the ignorance of
their condition appears to me as mechan-
ical and abstract. Collective life is in the
process of contraction, in its everyday di-
mension at least, and has become an entity
defined by its mere physical appearance. It
so happens that I am here with these un-
known beings when I might as well have
been there; at some other place, with some
other unknown beings. It is precisely in this
type of situation that I may substitute this
place for another, but I am also aware that I
may, in turn, be substituted for by another.
Ultimately, life among re-cognized ones
means the essential and inevitable pres-
ence of the other as a person is one's own
life, or as oneself as a person in the life of the
other. This lifestyle recognizes and con-
cedes that it hinges on the concept of
mutual existence, a condition that renders it
irrevocable and in some cases ominous. It
is like the air we breathe: something that we
are not consciously aware of, but it
nevertheless, sustains us in the same man-
ner that we "make" and alter it as we
breathe. In this same fashion, we alter, and
are in turn altered by, those who play roles in
our lives.
When I refer to a genre of collective life,
that is founded on the presence, in the pub-
lic aspects of life, of unknown faces, I
wanted to point out a lifestyle that has its
roots in personal life and that shares with it
at least a primary and fundamental aspect.
It is familiarity with the contenances of
others, others that may well be "unknown,"
but upon reflection constitute a presence
that is "familiar" in the collective lifestyle. It

is this phenomenon that has begun to dis-
appear in Puerto Rico and is being substi-
tuted for by a genre of collective lifestyle
that in truth may not be called "collective
life," but "life in collectivity;" a life that may
not be called "public life," but "life in pub-
For collective everyday life, the public
element is defined as life among people
one does not know as persons, that situa-
tion in which individuals who do not know
each other find themselves in a common
place. Nevertheless, in these situations one
is able to get to know some persons, and
even better to re-cognize some counte-
nances. Some individuals, then, achieve
personal placement. The degree of place-
ment may be limited to having one's
countenance recognized and recognizing
other's countenances. In this situation,
without a doubt, each individual is in public,
and in another sense is the public element.
In this sense, the public element is nothing
but the presence of others, but the others in
part, at least are re-cognized. In this sense
there is public (everyday) life.
Under circumstances where there is no
re-cognition, the situation of the individual
is very different and alters the fact that one is
among people one does not know. The
public element is not in respect to others
(others "like oneself") but it is merely
translated into being in a geographical
space, a physical reality and ultimately,
faced with individuals that are, above all,
mere physical beings.
Our Own Crisis
At the beginning of this article I insisted on
introducing the automobile as a necessary
dimension of our discussion. I did this with
the intention of making clear thatthe type of
collective everyday life without the presence
of others depends greatly on the speed of
movement. But I implied that it also in-

volves danger. It involves danger because
speed threatens us with physical damage to
ourselves and others. This exemplifies bet-
ter than any other fact the importance one
has as a mere physical entity. In our eyes,
the most significant aspect of another per-
son is that he is a physical being. (It must be
this way. If in the "automobilized" world the
most significant aspect about another per-
son were his familiarity, then we would pay
too much attention to them and deaths due
to accidents would reach frightening
I have tried to define and point to the
types of collective everyday life and to make
clear that in Puerto Rico we have passed
from one genre of life to another, especially
in the metropolitan areas. However, for
many people this could seem a trivial mat-
ter. It is known by all of us who have experi-
enced it. Why then dwell on the subject?
Firstly, besides what may be believed,
these two ways of collective daily life repre-
sent alternatives for human beings: vital,
real alternatives. It is not, as it is believed, a
matter of "processes" and "developments"
that will "arrive" no matter what. Ultimately,
nothing which contains the human element
is like this. Secondly, it is important to dwell
on this matter because for quite sometime
and with a great deal of force, the clamor-
ous failure of this type of life, still new for
Puerto Rico, has been evidenced. The col-
lective daily life of not just Puerto Rico, but
of the United States, is in crisis as never
before. Thirdly, it is important because we
have been able to set forth some dimen-
sions of our collective daily life that will
serve us as a first step to better understand
our own crisis.
Translators Elena A. Parrado and Cruz Her-
nandez are associated with Florida Interna-
tional University: Elena A. Parrado with Carib-
bean Review, Cruz Hernandez with the Center
for Latino Education.

S Ilorida li nternationa University
Ta maim Trail. Miamni, Florida 33199

-Vol -. No.2 0, -
Vol No-33 U.
- Vol. I1 No. 4 -u
Vol.-l-- 1 No. 1 n
- oiI.- -Noa3 i:.
Vol II No,4_.

-Vol il- No .- I
Vot. V No.

Vol. V No 2 Please send. me the back issues indicated- l A check to $3 OO-perjssue:s enclosBe--d
Vol V No 4 L Please.charge to my. Ma'slercharge l Visa/Bank Americard. _
Vol. VI No 2 .
Vol V No.-3-. Account No. ypir on Dat .- --
Voi. VI NoL4 2
Vol;Vil No. t - -igrnatr .; -
Vol .VI No .2 . .-

Vo;- Nl .--. -- .- m -- A- N --_*- -- __- -:-
Vk Vii-:: No1 I-u: Address :-
V ol. VIII No: 3 .
-Vol. IX- No. 2 -: City - State- Zip


Benjy Lopez
Continued from page 39
bucks working in a restaurant." I figured that
what was eating most of these guys in Cuba
was there was no work. But in New York this
one could get a job, make some money,
and get himself some nice clothes and
When I said all this to him, he practically
jumped up and down and said, "No! You're
crazy! I want to get to the mountains, and I
want you to come with me. I thought you
were the kind of a guy who would go."
Meanwhile I was saying to myself, God-
damn, the guy's crazy, they're going to wipe
him out. I didn't really believe that even if
Castro won he would change anything in
Anyway, that Cuban went off to the revo-
lution, and there I was a dull guy, driving a
hack, shacking up with some lousy woman
cheating on her husband.
I had given New York nearly fifteen years.
Every time I looked around I had said, "This
is the greatest city in the goddamn world.
This city is so big, so powerful, it has every-
thing." That's what they used to tell me, and
that's what I myself used to say, but I never
could find the means to breakthrough to all
those things they promised you in that
place. And then I came to see how every-
body was out to fuck you all the time. If
you're a Rican in New York, you can't be a
person, you're just a Rican, no matter what
you do, you're treated so low.
I decided to go back and look at Puerto
Rico. When 1 was a kid I hated the island
because of how poor it was. I promised
myself I would never come back. But now I
wanted to take another look. People had
been telling me that everybody was better
off now, but I remembered how it had been
when I left, and I wanted to see it with my
own eyes. I got down here and looked up
one of my sisters and, sure enough, I found
she was really all right. Her husband was
making good money, and they were living
very nice. I decided to return.
Because of how I felt about New York, I
started going independentista. I said,
"Goddamn it! Get rid of these goddamn
Americans." And I thought there was a real
chance that the people would rally for
something that had all the arguments on its
side. What you read in history books is that
people always want to have their indepen-
dence. And since I had a reason for wanting
to get rid of the Americans, I thought every-
body would feel the same way. Mari Bras
kept on saying that same thing: "It must be,
it will be, it has to be, next year it's going to
I was living at my sister's house then, and
I began going to demonstrations in San
Juan organized by the MPI. Antonio Cor-
retjer would be there, and I would talk with

him. I had many talks with him. Then I met
Landing. He and Mari never got along.
That's one thing I can't understand why if
people believed in something, and they
were lawyers, educated people, why they
had to fight among themselves. Still, I didn't
give it too much thought at the time.
I never got too close to Mari. I would talk
to him, but Mari was a very difficult guy to
make friends with. Landing was different. I
went to his office, and the guy tried to help
me. He gave me summonses to serve, five
summonses for twenty-five dollars. I began
to hang around with Landing. I had a car, so

This is the greatest city in
the goddamn world. This
city is so big it has
everything...but I never
could find the means to
break through to all those
things they promised you
in that place.

I could get around to do my serving.
Then I got some other lawyers to work
for. I began to feel better about myself. In
New York I couldn't have talked to lawyers.
It's hard for people who haven't had the
experience to understand what such a thing
can mean to someone. You have to have
lived that dirty fuckin' life to understand how
different I felt about myself when I talked to
those guys. I met Prado, he was a lawyer
too. We talked together like two men. I put
my points, and he listened to me. He talked
to me as an equal.
The husband of my sister was the vice-
president of a company, and that, too, gave
me a feeling that all the money in the world
couldn't have bought me you know,
there were times in New York when I had
plenty of money. The only other time I had
this feeling was when I went to NYU and had
my gang who just accepted me.
Now I would talk to Corretjer or to a man
like Perez he was a senator in the Partido
Independentista. I even talked with Con-
cepci6n de Gracia. Inside of me I would say,
Benjy, you can talk to those people, you
could do a real job, you don't have to hack,
you can make something of yourself re-
gardless of all these things you got against
Then I started to feel I could even pass
judgment on others. Mari, for instance. He
was a lawyer and a leader, always posing as
powerful. If I didn't like the guy I could say,
"Well, fuck Mari." I could even tell him so to
his face. And what I could do to Mari I could

do to anybody on the island. I didn't go
around talking this way to others, but it was
inside me. I didn't even express it myself in
This new sense of confidence meant I
didn't have to be afraid like I was in New York
all the time. In New York I was afraid I would
make a mistake. I was even afraid of helping
people. Sometimes in the subway Iwould see
someone fall down, and I would have an
impulse to go over and help him up. But I'd
get scared that if I grabbed him, the cops
would come over and grab me. "You fucked
this guy in some way. Come on, let's go to jail."
Such a thought stayed with me in New York,
and I knew it must have been that way with
most Puerto Ricans.

My Exile from Puerto Rico
(Aboard Ship, 1961-1965)

So my ship became a prison and at the
same time it became my home. It was a
beautiful ship, that was a help at least.
At first, till my body got used to the work, I
would drag myself to bed at night half dead.
I took three books by Sartre with me, but I
couldn't read, only sleep. But gradually I got
stronger on the job. Certain hours of the day
I would listen to Havana on my short wave
radio to keep in touch with the revolution.
The guys in the ship would ask me, "How
come you're a wiper when you're so intelli-
gent?" It was my exile from Puerto Rico.
I remained a wiper for a long time. My
duties were to clean the engine room,
sweep, and carry out the garbage. I liked the
job. Not because I like to clean up, but be-
cause it was free. I got Friday in port and
didn't work until Monday. The other duties
paid more, and I could have had them. I had
been an oiler before, they offered me the job
many times. That was supposed to be like
un acenso, a promotion, but I didn't want it.
It paid maybe fifty dollars more, but still I
didn't. I liked the freedom of being a wiper.
And besides, I found out how to make a little
extra money.
The main point was my free weekends.
Sometimes when a holiday worked out
right I would have three, four, sometimes
five days in a row to myself. And Jesus
Christ, do you know what that would mean
to me? Not in money, not even in getting to
the whores but in being able to travel
around to places, like Rio in Carnival. I gotto
places and saw things you couldn't afford
for thousands of dollars living in New York.
I started to know people in Rio and
Buenos Aires and didn't need any guides or
hustlers to show me around. I even met the
chief of police of Buenos Aires. I had expen-
sive clothes even the captain of the ship
didn't dress as I did and so I mingled with
this type of people. All the more reason the
guys in the ship couldn't understand why I
wanted to be a wiper. I never tried to explain

to them why, because if I had they would be
hurt and then become my enemies. But
they were there because they were seamen
and that's how they always made a living;
and I was there temporarily and not be-
cause I had to be. I used to tour around, for
instance I went to see the Christ This, the
Christ That, and once flew seven hundred
miles out of Buenos Aires to see the
cataratas del Iguazd, the waterfalls be-
tween Argentina, Paraguay, and Brazil. It
makes Niagara seem like nothing. The
guys on the ship had been traveling all their
lives on boats and they never saw it. The
captain never saw it. When I got to the
cataratas del Iguazu then, I even chartered
a small plane out of the airport and flew over
the goddamn thing. What did it cost me?
Two hundred dollars? Three hundred dol-
lars? I could have never done such a thing in
my life, but now I could do it because I was a
wiper. Being the cleaner of the engine room
made me see the world! It made me the
best man on that ship!
I kept the ship very clean. Every time we
got to New York the people from the com-
pany would come and say this is the
cleanest ship they had ever seen in their
lives. Once they got to know me, they never
told me what to do. I arranged my work for
myself. I used to have another wiper work-
ing with me, and in the four years there
must have been about six or seven different
guys. But all of them got along fine with me
because I knew how to handle them. I would
tell them, "Listen, you take it easy, you got
nothing to do." Usually I would wind up with
the guys taking the garbage up and loving it
because it would give them a chance to get
out of the engine room. I would tell them,
"You take all the time you want. Look
around, if you see the chief coming, you
come down here. But if you don't see the
chief coming, you can stay in the aft. Half an
hour, an hour, whatever you want just
dump the garbage over the side and you
stay there."
After a while I always wound up control-
ling the other wipers. Not because I played
boss, but on the contrary, I always told
them, "Listen, I'm nothing here. I'm only a
wiper like you. You do whatever you wanna
do." They found out right away that when
they were goofing off I would never turn
them in, so they trusted me. And after that I
would always ask them, "What do you
think? I mean, do you want me to take the
garbage up or do you wanna take the gar-
bage up?" And they would say, no, they
would take the garbage up. I really liked
that, because I didn't want to carry that
fuckin' garbage. It was a five-gallon bucket
and full it weighed maybe seventy-five
pounds. With my back troubles from before
I figured it was better to take a brush and
paint. All the wipers that came to work with
me ended up taking out the garbage. Every
time there was something to get in the ma-

chine room: "Listen you go over there, don't
worry, I'll do this." What the other wiper
didn't like to do, I would do.
What I was doing, I was doing for pleas-
ure. I was daydreaming. I would paint and I
would dream. I remember when I was in
NYU I studied a book called Daydreaming
in Psychology. Just like in that book I
learned how to work daydreaming. I would
say, "All right, I'm gonna daydream now,"
and I had a kind of system. Say, I was paint-
ing a pump. I would do the job in two, three
hours, there was no hurry, and I would re-
member something in the past, bad or

I would remember
something in the past, bad
or good, or think about
what I would like to see
happen in the world.

good, or think about what I would like to see
happen in the world. Stuff like that. You
can't really make a mistake painting, you
know, anyway not one you can't correct. So I
freed my mind. The ship was white, I kept it
white. Wherever there was a spot I painted it,
and the officer would walk in and never
dared say one word to me.
One day I got mad at an officer who was
in the engine room, and I almost hit the son
of a bitch. The guy went over and told the
chief, so the chief came to me. I said, "Well,
listen, Chief, the only thing I can do is just
get off the boat when we get to New York.
You want me to go?" He said to me, "Listen,
I tell you one thing, Lopez, if somebody's
gonna get off this ship as long as I am chief,
it's him and not you. I'm not gonna lose
I had my lousy blows and I was still having
blows, but they were easier to take. I was
older, wiser. And now I knew that even if my
job was only as a wiper, you can make a
difference with any job. And if you're forced
into it, you can do with any job what you
want to do. So the man who was supposed
to be my boss ended up saying to me, "If
anybody goes, it's the other guy, not you." I
looked around and said to myself, I'm the
chief. I'm the chief now. After that I would
sometimes go back in the aft of the ship
and laugh at the sea.

If I Keep On Thinking...

If I keep on thinking and digging into my
past, I'm going to wind up saying, "God-
damn! There was a lucky side to New York."
It was the kind of thing that plays both ways.
Actually my life would never have been the
same if I hadn't gone through all that. 1

wouldn't be the way I am now, Wouldn't
think the way I do now, I might be just like all
the other people. Things that people who
stayed never think about, I think about im-
mediately now.
Back here in Puerto Rico the people who
live around me are not the same as me any
more. They can't think like me. Never. I can
see more than these people do. I think that's
the splash that I got in those ugly days in
New York.
It goes back to what I said at the begin-
ning, Salpicar; the splash. And the splash,
you get more of it or less. Me, I lived twenty
years in the jungle. And I got the splash.
New York for me was a tremendous ordeal
- but it has helped me tremendously, too.
But a lot of the people that are from New
York itself, they never get much of the
splash the ones that were raised there
and never left. They just stay in the same
place and don't move, and their brains
don't move either.
I know the Puerto Ricans. I was like them
until I came out of the Army. I know the
Neoricans, too. I know their ways. I under-
stand them and why they think the way they
do. The Neorican has a lot of complexes. I
know the Americans. I started to under-
stand them in the Army and then in New
York. I went to school with them. I walked
with them. So I can live like an American. I
can think like one, too. And on the ships I
also got to know a lot of other people -
Germans, South Americans ... I even read
their histories. Don't forget the Cubans
either. I can fit in with them perfectly as
good as with the Ricans, as good as with the
Americans. The end of all this is that I am
not a Rican. I am not an American, I am not
a Neorican. I'm a fuckin' international an
international who's been splashed!
I may be an international, but 1 have to say
the splash I got in the goddamn streets of
New York. That New York school is so big -
it's a whole university, not just a four-year
college. I learned that if I was up to some-
thing and found out it wasn't going to work,
why kill myself? Find another way. There's
no other way for a human being to live.
There's always something new to do in this
I never get tired of something that pro-
duces. If it doesn't produce, it's no good.
And I don't care what's going to happen
tomorrow. Somehow I'm always going to
make it. As easy as that.

Barry B. Levine teaches Sociology and edits
Caribbean Review at Florida International Uni-
versity in Miami. Excerpts reprinted by per-
mission of Basic Books, Inc. Copyright Barry
B. Levine 1980.


Wit & Woe
Continued from 41
from their subjects' rejection of mundane,
middle-class values. As Levine notes in a
footnote, Lewis found the lives of the mid-
dle class "too boring" to write about. So I
suspect, would Levine. Yet in my own work
on The Urban Poor Of Puerto Rico, (Holt,
Rinehart and Winston, 1974), there are sev-
eral families who have managed to struggle
out of poverty to lead a fairly comfortable
lower middle class life style with a house,
perhaps a car, a television set, and most
important of all, from their perspective, a
good education for their children. Their
lives are not exciting they are dull, tedi-
ous and routine as are the lives of most of
the poor. Their satisfaction comes from
their strong sense of family and other
human relationships, not from the manip-
ulative strategies employed by Lopez.
I do not doubt the accuracy of Levine's
portrait of Lopez, but I do question Levine's
adulation of him. To me, this is a portrait of a
super macho, a listo, as Puerto Ricans
would say, too clever for his own good.
Lopez is more thoroughly proletarianized
than any of the Puerto Ricans I have known
in more than twenty years of field work on
the island, and perhaps this stems from his
years of hustling in New York City. Although
voicing some independentista sentiments,
Lopez is basically "anti-ideological," and as
Levine notes, might even be accused of a
colonial mentality. It is not that he has taken
advantage of the system as it exists nor that
he has failed to openly repudiate Puerto
Rico's current political status. It is that, in
contrast to the Puerto Rican poor whom I
have known, he lacks a clear sense of
Puerto Rican identity. This can be seen in
his close identification with Cubans par-
ticularly the pimps and other hustlers in
New York City in his failure to come to
terms with his own racial identity, and in his
ability to manipulate his identity to his own
advantage even becoming Mexican
when the situation warrants. Thus, identity
too becomes an object of manipulation -
something to be bartered rather than a fixed
point of commitment. The only thing Lopez
defends ardently is his own masculine pride
- for example he prefers to send his wife
on the streets than to get a job as a dish-
washer or other menial tasks. But outside of
a strong sense of self-preservation, I fail to
see any "heroic" qualities in Lopez's life.
Although Levine would deny it, I think he is a
tragic product of the harsh, ruthless world
which many Puerto Ricans have entered
along the path of "modernization."
Helen I. Safa is the new director of the Center
for Latin American Studies of the University of
Florida. Among her works is The Urban Poorof
Puerto Rico: A Study in Development and In-
equality (Holt, Rinehart and Winston, 1974).

and Art

Fiction Poetry Film
Art Reviews News

Jorge Luis Borges
Gabriel Garcia Mrquez
Manuel Puig Octavia Paz Review
Elena Poniatowska Subscribe Now!
Ernesto Cardenal I Rates for Review: $7.00 yearly within the
Pablo Antonio Cuadra United States; $9.00 foreign; $10.00 in-
S stitutions. Past issues available.
Nblida Pihbn Severo Sarduy
Mario Vargas Llosa NAME
Rubem Fonseca
Enrique Lihn Isabel Fraire ADDRESS
Eduardo Gudiho Kieffer
680 Park Avenue New York, N.Y 10021
Carlos Fuentes Review is published in Spring, Fall and
Winter. A publication of the Center for
Alejo Carpentier Inter-American Relations.


METAS, New Scholarly Journal
Focusing on Hispanics and Education,
Publishes Inaugural Issue

Metas, a new journal
which examines issues in
education and related
fields, as they affect Puerto
Ricans and other Hispanics,
has published its inaugural
issue, dated Fall 1979.
The journal will be pub-
lished three times yearly by
Aspira of America, Inc., a
non-profit agency founded
in 1961, which strives to de-
velop leadership in Puerto
Rican and other Hispanic
communities by means
of education.
The first issue of Metas con-
tains articles on Socializa-
tion and Education, by Dr.
Angel G. Quintero-Alfaro,
former Secretary of Educa-
tion of Puerto Rico, and now

with Harvard University; on
Suggestions for a National
Information System on the
Education of Puerto Ricans,
by Dr. Jose Herndndez-
Alvarez, University of Wiscon-
sin; and on funding of edu-
cation in schools with large
numbers of Puerto Rican stu-
dents, by Dr. Lois S. Gray
and Alice 0. Beamesderfer,
Cornell University
Subscriptions to Metas are
$9 per year for individuals,
$12 yearly for institutions; $17
for two years, individuals,
and $22 for institutions.
Checks should be sent to
Aspira of America, Inc.,
205 Lexington Ave., New
York,N.Y. 10016.





Gordon K. Lewis, the recipient of the first annual Caribbean Review award, offered the
following remarks upon receiving the award:
I appreciate beyond words this award. It could have been the Congressional Medal of Honor,
or the Order of Lenin, or a citation in the British Birthday Honours List. Instead, it is a
Caribbean award presented by fellow Caribbean scholars. I cherish it as such, because it tells
me that I have not labored in the Caribbean vineyard for nothing.
It is, I dare venture to believe, a tribute to a not entirely inestimable lifetime of intellectual
study and writing devoted to the Caribbean and its handsome and vital folk-peoples. Ever since
I first came to the region in the later 1950s, to teach at the University of Puerto Rico, I realized
that I had entered into an experience for which everything before had ill-prepared me, whether
it was undergraduate and graduate training in British universities or teaching experience in
North American universities, all the way from Brandeis to the University of California at Los
Angeles. It challenged the imagination to come to grips with a whole new world. I also realized,
as I published my various books along the way on the individual territories and societies, that
no one could really claim to be a truly Caribbean scholar until he, or she, came to write on the
Caribbean as a whole. That task, I hope, has finally been consummated in my latest
to-be-published volume entitled Main Currents in Caribbean Thought: The Historical Evolution
of Caribbean Society in its Ideological Aspects. 1492-1900.
And yet it would be at once academic arrogance and egocentric individualism to believe
that this is my award only. I owe too much to others to so believe. In the first place, it is an
award to the ordinary, common, decent people of the Caribbean who, everywhere, from the
Bahamas to the Guianas, have given me to the utmost their legendary hospitality, accepting
the stranger in their midst even when, as an academic, he seemed to be probing into their
innermost lives. It is not every society in the modern world that makes the academic intruder
feel so much at home.
Secondly, it is an award to, quite simply, all of my fellow-Caribbeanists. For the Caribbean,
consisting of some fifty or more separate and different societies, is of such an astonishing
complexity and variety that no one single scholar can hope by him or herself to encompass all
of it. We all learn from each other. It is true that in my own work I have attempted to transcend
the disastrous departmentalization of the modern scholastic disciplines, in a conscious effort
to go back to the older 19th-century concepts of political economy and culture history. But
those disciplines, for good or ill, are there. I take this opportunity to express my thanks to them
as they have appeared in the area of contemporary Caribbean studies.
Third, and indeed most importantly from my own private viewpoint, this award is an award
to my wife Sybil. Throughout our long marriage she has supported me in my work in ways far
too innumerable to mention, and often at the cost of compromising her own professional work
as book and journal editor in the same field of Caribbean studies. Book learning, of course, is
important. But there are lessons and insights to be learned from someone who is herself a
native born and bred West Indian that sometimes book learning cannot match. And beyond
that there are love and devotion. Love and devotion, and the gratitude that go with them, are
sometimes too intimate even to search for expression.
Nominations for the second annual Caribbean Review award-to be presented at the
Sixth Annual Meeting of the Caribbean Studies Association in the Virgin Islands,
Spring 1981 -should be sent to the Editor, Caribbean Review, Florida International
University, Miami, Florida 33199.
The Award honors an individual who has contributed to the advancement of
Caribbean intellectual life. It recognizes individual effort irrespective of field, ideology,
national origin, or place of residence.


Recent Books

An informative listing of books about the Caribbean,
Latin America, and their emigrant groups.

By Marian Goslinga

Anthropology and Sociology
INTO JAMAICA, 1841-1865. Monica Schuler.
Johns Hopkins University Press, 1980. 208
p. $16.50.
Guilherme dos Santos. Campus (Rio de
Janeiro, Brazil), 1979. 140 p.
Meyer et al. El Colegio de Mexico, 1979.
332 p.
EXCAVATIONS. Karen O. Bruhns. Museum
of Anthropology, University of Missouri,
BLANCA. Gustavo A Monacci. Universidad
Nacional del Sur (Bahia Blanca, Argentina),
1979. 107 p. $16.20.
Lernous. Doubleday, 1980. $12.95.

Juan Francisco Marsal. Centro de
Investigaciones Sociolbgicas (Mexico),
1979. 226 p.

GUATEMALA. Rafael Cuevas del Cid.
Centro Victor Sanabria (San Jose, Costa
Rica), 1979. 102 p.

Frbschle, ed. Erdmann (Tubingen,
Germany), 1979. 876 p. DM56.00.

Ivan Lebot. Editorial La Carreta (Medellin,
Colombia), 1979. 345 p. $11.00.

Alfonso Rangel Guerra. El Colegio de
Mexico, 1979. 146 p. $8.25.

ECUADOR, 1960-1978. Economic
Commission for Latin America. UNESCO
(Buenos Aires, Argentina), 1979. 110 p.


LATINA. Juan Jose Sanz Adrados.
Universidad de Santo Tomas de Aquino
(Bogota, Colombia), 1979. 272 p. $20.00.

Pietri. Editorial Seix Barral (Barcelona,
Spain), 1979. 284 p. 385 ptas. Essays on
Latin American civilization.

Fontamara (Buenos Aires, Argentina), 1979.
192 p.

Mark M'unzel, ed. Gesellschaft fur Bedrohte
Volker (Gbttingen, Germany), 1979. 190 p.

Gustavo Gutierrez, ed. Centro de Estudios y
Publicaciones (Lima, Peru), 1979. 423 p.

Carabes Pedroza, et al. Progreso (Mexico),
1979. 268 p. $10.50.

Alejandro Apolant. 2d ed. Vinaak
(Montevideo, Uruguay), 1975. 4 v. $98.00.
Although published in 1975, this revised ed.
has not been available until 1980.

Norbert Sperlich, Elizabeth Katz Sperlich.
University of Oklahoma Press, 1980. 182 p.

Rev ed. Greewood Press, 1980. 342 p.

GUATEMALTECA, 1944-1954. Arturo Arias.
Casa de las Americas (Havana, Cuba),
1979. 305 p.

INCA ARCHITECTURE. Graziano Gasparini,
Luise Margolies. Indiana University Press,
1980. $32.50.

CULTURAL ARGENTINA. Dionisio Petriella.
Asociacion Dante Alighieri (Buenos Aires,
Argentina), 1979. 365 p. $16.00.


Gisela Dillner. Vervuert (Frankfurt,
Germany), 1979. 312 p. DM25.00

Leon-Portilla, ed. Paulist Press, 1980.
$11.95; $7.95 paper.

1960-1970. Margarita Nolasco A. Institute
Nacional de Antropologia e Historia
(Mexico), 1979. 205 p. $14.55.

Jose Diaz, Tombs Rodriguez. Editorial
Nueva Imagen (Mexico), 1979. 242 p.

ed. and tr. El Colegio de Mexico, 1979. 191
p. $8.25. Translation of articles which
appeared in French journals during 1968.

Wolff, Freida Wolff. Universidade de Sao
Paulo (Sao Paulo, Brazil), 1979. 342 p.

MUNDO LIBRE. Salvador Cayetano Carpio.
EDUCA (San Jose, Costa Rica), 1979. 240 p.
About human rights violations in El

DOMINICANA. Orestes Herrera B.
Universidad Autbnoma de Santo Domingo,
1979. 371 p. $12.00.

Federico Kauffmann Doig. Kompaktos
(Lima, Peru), 1979. 189 p.

Dubon. Impresos Modernos (Chinandega,
Nicaragua), 1979. 124 p. Sociological study
of domestics in Nicaragua.

Greenwood Press, 1980. 370 p. $29.95.
Reprint of the 1965 ed.

Nigel Bolland, Assad Shoman. Belize
Institute for Social Research and Action,
1979. 93 p. $10.00.


Universidad Nacional Autonbma de Mexico.
1979. 219 p. $8.90.

EN AMERICA LATINA. Augustin Cueva.
Editorial EDICOL (Mexico), 1979. 195 p.

LA U.N.A.N., 1958-1978. Miguel de Castilla
Urbina. Editorial Universitaria (Lebn,
Nicaragua), 1979. 176 p.

MEXICANS IN AMERICA. Orlando Martinez.
Gordon-Cremonesi, 1980. $14.95.

Franqui. Tr. by Georgette Felix and others.
Viking Press, 1980. 532 p. $25.00; $16.95

1910; OBRA INEDITA. Beatriz Martinez de
Cartay, ed. Institute Autbnomo Biblioteca
Nacional (Merida, Venezuela), 1979. 98 p.

Arellano. Ediciones Nacionales (Managua,
N.:.:ra.ua1. 1979. 174 p.

VASCONCELOS. Margarita Vera y
Cuspinera. Editorial Extemporaneos
(Mexico), 1979. 247 p. $5.30.

DOMINGO. E. Rodriguez D. Editora del
Caribe (Santo Domingo), 1979. 238 p.

Salgado. Editora y Distribuidora Nacional
(Mexico), 1979. 124 p. $4.30.

Description and Travel
ACAPULCO. Ricardo Garibay. Grijalbo (Mexico),
1979. 196 p. $9.50.

BRAZIL. Alain Draeger. Viking Press, 1980. 196
p. $40.00.

TRAVELLER. Frank Bellamy. Hippocrene
Books, 1980. 280 p. $14.95.

Rodriguez D. Editora Taller (Santo
Domingo), 1979. 273 p. $30.00.

EUSTACE. Willem van de Poll. Gordon
Press, 1980. $69.95. A reprint ed.

Institute of Jamaica, 1979. $8.25.


TRINIDAD. Donald M. Street. Norton, 1980.
The 3d volume in this series.

Everest House, 1980. $17.95. About the
Amazon River.

Commission for Latin America, CEPAL
(Santiago de Chile), 1979. 243 p. $4.00.

DEL INGRESO. J. Donges, et al. Institute
Torcuato di Tella (Buenos Aires, Argentina),
1979. 360 p.

SISTEMA CAPITALIST. Guillermo Labarca.
Nueva Imagen (Mexico), 1979. 201 p.

Antonio Jubrez. Siglo Veintiuno Editores
(Mexico), 1979. 292 p. $5.80.

Sergio Guerra, Alberto Prieto. Casa de las
Americas (La Habana, Cuba), 1979. 63 p.

URUGUAY BATTLISTA, 1903-1915. Carlos
Zubillaga. Centro Latinoamericano de
Economia Humana (Montevideo, Uruguay),
1979. 216 p. $6.00.

SOCIALES. Viviane B. de Marquez, ed. El
Colegio de Mexico, 1979. 442 p. $13.50.

ANTIOQUIA. Gabriel Poveda Ramos.
Editorial Colina (Medellin, Colombia), 1979.
212 p. $15.00.

1934-1976. Dana Markiewicz. Latin
American Center, University of California at
Los Angeles, 1980.

Danilo Astori, et al. Banda Oriental
(Montevideo, Uruguay), 1979. 471 p.

Trabulse, ed. El Colegio de Mbxico, 1979.
112 p. $9.00.

Katzman, Jose Luis Reyna, eds. El Colegio
de Mexico, 1979. 337 p. $10.25.


Ciro Cardoso, Hector Perez Brignoli. Critical
(Buenos Aires, Argentina), 1979. 2 v.

Michael Meyer, Josefina Vazquez. El Colegio
de Mexico, 1979. 954 p. $26.45.

BOLIVIANA. Juan L. Cariaga, Lane
Vanderslice. Editorial Amigos del Libro (La
Paz, Bolivia), 1979. 227 p.

GUADALOUPE, 1635-1919. Alain Buffon.
Society d-Histoire de la Guadaloupe, 1979.
388 p. FF120.

Alejandro Damianovich, Peha Lillo (Buenos
Aires, Argentina), 1979. 128 p. $8.10.

MEXICO. Aurora Loyo Brambila. Ediciones
Era (Mexico), 1979. 115 p. $8.25.

1880-1914. Luis Navas. EDUCA (San Jose,
Costa Rica), 1979. 179 p.

REGIONAL. Joao Gongalves de
Souza.Banco de Nordeste do Brasil
(Fortaleza), 1979. 409 p.

LATINA. Victor L. Urquidi, Jose B. Morelos,
eds. El Colegio de Mexico, 1979. 481 p.

1970-1976. Carlos Tello. Siglo Veintiuno
Editores (Mexico), 1979. 209 p. $10.00

Bension, Jorge Caumont. Acali
(Montevideo, Uruguay), 1979. 217 p.

DESARROLLO. Enrique Gonzalez Pedrero.
J. Mortiz (Mexico), 1979. 135 p. $8.50.

Serrbn. University of Oklahoma Press, 1980.
304 p. $19.95.

Rogelio Frigerio. Hachette (Buenos Aires,
Argentina), 1979. 116 p.
Ginneken. Croom Helm (London, Eng.),
1980. 237 p. A study prepared for the ILO
World Employment Programme.


Cultura Popular (Mexico), 1979.146 p.

History and Archaeology
PANAMA. Olga E Linares. Anthony, J.
Ranere. Peabody Museum of Archaeology
and Ethnology, Harvard University, 1980.

HISTORICOS. Anna Maria Martinez, Manoel
Lelo Bellotto. HUCITEC (Sao Paulo, Brazil),
1979. 264 p.

1501-1901. Eduardo Lemaitre. Talleres
Graficos del Banco de la Republica
(Bogota, Colombia), 1979. 210 p. $12.00.

REVOLUTION. D.A. Brading, ed.
Cambridge University Press, 1980. $34.50.

Melgarejo. S. de R.L. (Mexico), 1979. 188 p.

Actes du Colloque International des 22, 23
et 24 Novembre 19, 1978. University de
Toulouse-Le Mirail (France), 1979. 346 p.

XVII. Isabelo Macias Dominguez. Escuela de
Estudios Hispano-Americanos (Selville,
Spain), 1979. 654 p. 1.800 ptas

CUDJOE THE MAROON. Milton C. McFarlane,
Schocken Books, 1980. $4.95.

Carter. Texas A & M University Press, 1980.

Editorial Nuestro Tiempo (Mexico), 1979.
405 p.

Hinckle, William Turner. Times Books, 1980.

MEXICO. Colin M. MacLachlan and Jaime
E. Rodriguez O. University of California
Press, 1980. 362 p. $25.00.

Lara. 'Harmattan (Paris, France), 1979.
340 p.

ARGENTINA. Samuel K. Lothrop. AMS
Press, 1980. $24.50. Reprint of the 1932 ed.



SANTA LUCIA, 1576-1767. Herman W.
Konrad. Stanford University Press, 1980.

MUNDIAL. Blanca Torres Ramirez. El
Colegio de Mbxico, 1979. 380 p. $6.60.

JULIO A. ROCA. Carlos M. Gelly y Obes.
Municipio de la Ciudad de Buenos Aires,
1979. 142 p.

Pollack. Peabody Museum of Archaeology
and Ethnology, Harvard University, 1980.

ESTADO. Jose Claudio Williman. Banda
Oriental (Montevideo, Uruguay), 1979. 196 p.
$9.00. About Uruguay.

Semo, Ivan Garcia, Sergio de la Peha.
Universidad Veracruzana (Mexico), 1979.
243 p. $9.25.

Faure. Imagen (Cbrdoba, Argentina), 1979.
133 p. About Argentina.

Barran, Benjamin Nahum. Banda Oriental
(Montevideo, Uruguay), 1979. 278 p.

H. Spicer. University of Arizona Press, 1980.
$28.50; $14.50 paper.

Language and Literature
Verdeboye. Editorial Gredos (Madrid,
Spain), 1979. 2 vols. 1,380 ptas.

RIOPLATENSE, Juan Carlos Guarneri.
Banda Oriental (Montevideo, Uruguay),
1979. 199 p. $12.00.

A DOUBLE EXILE. Gareth Griffiths. Merrimack
Book Service (Salem, NH), 1980. $7.95.

Boyd. Editorial Porrba (Mexico), 1979. 171
p. $45.00.

OTOMANGUES. Nicholas A. Hopkins,
Kathryn Josserand, eds. Institute Nacional
de Antropologia e Historia (Mexico), 1979.
146 p. $12.00.

Siglo Veintiuno Editores (Mexico), 1979.
265 p. A novel by a Cuban-born author now
living in Mexico.

MEXICO. M.L. Horcasitas de Barros, Ana
Maria Crespo. Institute Nacional de
Antropologia e Historia (Mexico), 156 p.

LIEDER AUS CHILE. Violeta Parra. Vervuert
(Frankfurt, Germany), 1979. 146 p.

WOMEN'S POETRY. Nora Jacquez Wieser,
ed. Perivale, dist. by Caroline House, 1980.
279 p. $8.50.

POEMAS, 1935-1975. Octavio Paz. Editorial
Seix Barral (Barcelona, Spain), 1979. 719 p.
1,850 ptas.

ed. University of California Press, 1980. 496
p. $17.50.

Politics and Government
ACTUAL. Theotonio Dossantos, Javier
Martinez, Daniel Waksman. Editorial El
Caballito (Mexico), 1979. 303 p. $13.00.

1945-1962: PERON TO FRONDIZI. Robert
A. Potash. Stanford University Press, 1980.
413 p. $25.00.

Maria Emilia Paz Salinas. Siglo Veintiuno
Editores (Mexico), 1979. 188 p. $4.00.

LOS CACIQUES. Carlos Loret de Mola. Grijalbo
(Mexico), 1979. 237 p. $8.75.

et al. EDUCA (San Jose, Costa Rica), 1979.
390 p.

GUYANA, 1621-1978. M. Shahabuddeen.
Georgetown (Guyana), 1979. $45.00.

Raul Arana Montalban. Artes Graficas
Medinacelli (Barcelona, Spain), 1979. 290 p.
A Nicaraguan author's account of
Caribbean events.

Marta Harnecker. Hill, Lawrence & Co.,
1980. $14.95; $6.95 paper.

MEXICANO. Enrique Alvarez del Castillo,
ed. Editorial Porrha (Mexico), 1979. 3 v.

Zubillaga. Centro Latinoamericano de
Economia Humana (Montevideo, Uruguay),
1979. 167 p. $10.00. Politics in Uruguay.


Edgar Jimenez Cabrera. Universidad
Centroamericana (San Salvador), 1979.

Georges Fischer. LHarmattan (Paris,
France), 1979. 207 p.

CENTROAMERICANA. Daniel Camacho, et
al. EDUCA (San Jose, Costa Rica), 1979.
375 p.

REVOLUTION, 1930-1951. George Brizan.
Institute of Social and Economic Research,
University of the West Indies (Kingston,
Jamaica), 1979. $4.50.

Zavala, Raphael Rodriguez. Monthly Review
Press, 1980. $16.50.

J'urgen Samtleben. J.C.B. Mohr (Tubingen,
Germany), 1979. 371 p. DM125.00.

BERICHTE. Veronika Bennholdt-Thomsen,
et al., eds. Olle & Wolter (Berlin, Germany),
1979. DM24.80.

Johnson. University of Texas Press, 1980.
336 p. $19.95.

MEXICANA. Lorenzo Meyer, et al. El Colegio
de M&xico, 1979. 452 p. $7.75.

Sigmund. University of Wisconsin Press,
1980. 435 p. $22.50; $6.75 paper.

SPEAK. Bridget Aldaraca, et al., eds. Marxist
Educational Press, 1980. $12.95; $6.95
paper. Spanish and English.

OBRA POLITICA. Jose Carlos Mariategui.
Ruben Jim&nez, ed. Ediciones Era
(Mexico), 1979. 327 p. $10.75.

Carrizosa. Dobry (Bogota, Colombia), 1979.
437 p.

SIGLO XIX. Miguel Mejia Fernbndez. Siglo
Veintiuno Editores (Mexico), 1979. 285 p.

Cbrdova. Ediciones Era (Mexico), 1979. 131 p.

MEXICANOS, 1870-1970. Guillermina
Bringas, David Mascareho. Universidad

Nacional Autbnoma de Mexico, 1979. 288
p. $19.20.

PUERTO RICO. Teresa Garza. Cultura Popular
(Mexico), 1979. 176 p. $7.50.

Universidad Veracruzana (Xalapa, Mexico),
1979. 207 p. $9.75. About recent political
reforms in Mexico.

Murillo Soberanis. Editorial Diana (Mexico),
1979. 221 p. $8.75.

Donghi. 2d ed. Siglo Veintiuno Editores
(Mexico), 1979. 404 p. $12.00.

Cesar Escobar Morales. Artes Grhficas
(Managua, Nicaragua), 1979. 160 p.

FEDERATION, 1889-1937. Joseph L. Love.
Stanford University Press, 1980. $25.00.

BRASILEIRO. Egberto Lacerda Teixeira,
Josh Alexandre Tavares Guerreiro.
Bushatsky (Sao Paulo, Brazil), 1979. 2 v.

LA HABANA. Casa de las Americas (La
Habana, Cuba), 1979. 273 p.

1900-1970. Lester D. Langley. University of
Georgia Press, 1980. 324 p. $22.00.

COLOMBIA. Paul Oquist. Academic Press,

Dorschner, Roberto Fabricio. Coward,
McCann & Geoghegan, 1980. 552 p.
$15.95. About events in Cuba leading up to
the revolution.

MEXICO. Edna Maria Orozco, Alma Rosa
Platas. Institute Nacional de Antropologia e
Historia (Mexico), 1979. 142 p. $13.00.

Robert Neymeyer. Neymeyer (Iowa City),
1979. Vol. 1 (Dec., 1979) is limited to
material from non-Caribbean sources
published in 1978; vol. 2 (June, 1980) lists
material in English regardless of the
publication date but after 1978. A 3d
volume is planned.

RICO. Arthur Medina, Connie Garcia. Puerto

Rico Almanacs (Santurce, Puerto Rico),
1980. $45.00.

Leonardo Pasquel. Citlaltepetl (Mexico),
1978-79. 2 v. $24.00.

ECUADOR. National Library of Canada,
1979.117 p. $10.00.

1977. Barbara G. Valk, ed. Latin American
Center, University of California at Los
Angeles, 1980. $100.00.

OAXACA. Enrique Mendez Martinez, ed.
Institute Nacional de Antropologia e Historia
(Mexico), 1979. 253 p. $20.00

1964-1974. Rosalie I. Williams, ed. Kraus
International, 1980. $95.00.

DICTIONARY. Ernest E. Rossi, Jack C.
Piano. ABC-Clio Press, 1980.

Robinson, J. Cordell Robinson. Jai Press,
1980. $37.50.

PAULO. Academia de Ciencias do Estado
de Sao Paulo, 1976-80. 4 v.

1980. James W. Wilkie, ed. Latin American
Center, University of California at Los
Angeles, 1980. $47.50; $32.50 paper.

Marian Goslinga is the International Affairs
Librarian at Florida International University



is Available in



University Microfilms

Dept. F.A.
300 North Zeeb Road
Ann Arbor, MI 48106

Dept. F.A.
18 Bedford Row
London, WC1R 4EJ


On the Cover

By Francisco J. Barrenechea
Translated by Cruz Hernandez

Portrait of Don Luis Mufioz Marin
By Francisco Rod6n.
(@ Francisco Rod6n, 1980) Photo
by Hector Mendez Caratini.

ne of the major accomplishments
of Puerto Rican painter Francisco
Rod6n, this painting perhaps can
be considered his epitome given the epic or
heroic tone that characterizes its creation.
Two decades of arduous investigation
into the plastic arts has lead Rod6n to pre-
viously unseen paths in the development of
the contemporary portrait. His agile treat-
ment of the human figure, characterized by
the presence of the purest American es-
sence, is expressed with totally autono-
mous resources. The artist's plethoric con-
ception of art is composed of telluric and
phantasmagoric elements allocated in infi-
nite time and space.
Since his exposition with Colombian
painter Fernando Botero in 1970, Rod6n's
career has skyrocketted. Rod6n's portraits
have gained him international recognition
- of particular note is the exceptional en-
semble, Homage to Ruben Dario, the win-
ner of the Biennial of Medellin in 1972.
During this period a new series of canvases
proliferated, all of which are distinguished
by their outstanding format. Known as the
Personajes de Rod6n, they explore the sen-
timent of our continent. Rod6n's treatment
of famous subjects: writers Jorge Luis
Borges and Juan Rulfo, noted political fig-
ures R6mulo Betancourt and Luis Mufioz
Marin, among other distinguished Ameri-
cans, constitutes a pictoral legacy that goes
beyond immediate comprehension.
Yet each work merits independent
analysis, not only because of each indi-
vidual theme, but by virtue of the artist's
challenge to the observer to become aware
of the primitive essence of the subject. The
success achieved by Rod6n in the "psy-
chological portrait" is due to his unusual
insight and hypnotic expertise, taken to-
gether with his impeccable style and tech-
nique, that allow iconographic elements
expression without concurrently detracting
from realistic aspects of the work.

Artist Francisco Rod6n in front of the Munoz Portrait ( Francisco Rod6n), Photo by H6ctor
M. M6ndez Caratini.

Rod6n in his creative search has always
been a visionary traveling against the cur-
rent his goals have not allowed him to
embrace transient vogues. He is a painter
conscious of a path that has lead him to
break with the established order without
submitting himself to cultural de-
pendencies of any type.
The portrait of Don Luis Mufoz Marin
was started in the Fall of 1973 and finished

shortly before the death of the Puerto Rican
patriarch. This painting represents the only
vision of the man recorded by history and
ultimately, posterity.

Francisco J. Barrenechea is the director of
exhibitions of the Museum of Anthropology,
History, and Art of the University of Puerto Rico
in Rfo Piedras. Cruz Hernandez is associated
with the Center for Latino Education, F. U.

a ui' utas^ ir. a .4
' i ); "IN ...-; ,.' "
I .


WyWe'd li ke to
stick our nose
into your business.
Sor those of you who haven't been Avianca-ized,
please give us a try. We believe our big Boeing
fleet, and smiling crews offer that something extra
that makes the extra difference to your clients.
Now flying from New York, Miami, and Los Angeles,
we fly to every major city in South America, as well
as six European capitols. And our palletized combi 747 gives your
cargo a first class trip to Colombia.
Bienvenido isn't just the polite Latin form of saying welcome-
it's an attitude that we want every passenger and every
package to feel.
Are we being ambitious? Yes. But that's the name of the game.
We fly to all of South America SANTIAGO BUENOSAIRES