Front Cover
 Table of Contents
 Front Matter
 Back Cover


Caribbean Review
Full Citation
Permanent Link: http://ufdc.ufl.edu/UF00095576/00034
 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: UF00095576:00034

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
        Page 57
        Page 58
        Page 59
        Page 60
    Back Cover
        Back Cover 1
        Back Cover 2
Full Text

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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, Modem
Jorge Salazar, Economics
Mark D. Szuchman, History
Maida Watson Breslin, Modem

For further information, contact:
Latin American-Caribbean Center
Florida International University
Tamiami Trail
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.



FALL 1980 Vol. IX, No. 4 Two Dollars

Barry B. Levine

Associate Editors
Anthony P 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
Pedro J. Montiel
Raul Moncarz
Luis P Salas
Mark D. Szuchman
William T Vickers
Gregory B. Wolfe

Art Director
Juan C. Urquiola
Marian Goslinga
Assistants to the Editor
Beatriz Luciano
Elena A. Parrado
Editorial Managers
E. Leigh Metzler
Beatriz Parga de Bay6n
Production Assistants
Juan Cay6n
Robert A. Geary
Publishing Consultants
Andrew R. Banks
Joe Guzman
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 joumal are annotated
and indexed in Historical Abstracts; America: History
and Life; United States Political Science Documents;
and the Universal Reference System. An index to the
first six volumes appeared in Vol. VII, No. 2 of CR: an in-
dex to volumes seven and eight, in Vol. IX, No. 2.
Back Issues: Vol. 1, No. 1, Vol. II, No. 2; Vol. Ill, No. 1, No.
3, No. 4; Vol. IV, No. 1, No. 2; Vol. V No. 3; Vol. VI, No. 1;
Vol VIll No. 2, No. 4, Vol IX No. 1 are out of print. All
other back numbers: $3.00 each. Microfilm and mic-
rofiche copies of Caribbean Review are available from
University Microfilms, A Xerox Company, 300 North
Zeeb Road, Ann Arbor, Michigan 48106.
International Standard Serial Number:
ISSN 0008-6525: Library of Congress Number:
AP6, C27; Dewey Decimal Number: 079.7295.

In this issue

page 10

page 12

page 42

The Emperor Burnham Has Lost His
Guyana's Political Life in Disarray
By Thomas J. Spinner Jr.

Interviewing Peia G6mez
Leader of the Dominican Revolutionary Party
Interviewed by Mark B. Rosenberg

Exotica and Commodity
The Arts of the Suriname Maroons
By Sally and Richard Price

Jamaica's Maroons at the Crossroads
Losing Touch with Tradition
By Kenneth Bilby

The Myth of Mastery
A Methodological Critique of
"The New Cuban Presence in the Caribbean"
By Norman Matlin

Miguel Barnet on the Testimonial
Interviewed by Barry B. Levine

Sugarcake Day
A Short Story
By E. A. Markham

Oh, You Sexy Kid, You
La Habana para un infante difunto
Reviewed by Cruz Hernandez

Perro de Alambre
A Film Review
By Marcia Margado

Recent Books
An Informative Listing of Books
about the Caribbean, Latin America and their
Emigrant Groups
By Marian Goslinga

On the Cover
Omar Rayo and His Museum
By Luis Zalamea









he rapid growth of crime and violence in the Caribbean
poses dramatic challenges to the citizens and govern-
ments in the region, who increasingly seek and even demand
immediate solutions. This first collection of articles on the
subject presents the results of investigations in the Dutch-,
French-, English-, and Spanish-speaking Caribbean, under-
taken by both scholars and civil servants currently at work in
the area.
The Role of the Sentencer in Dealing with Criminal Offenders
in the Commonwealth Caribbean-Delroy Chuck; Urban
Crime and Violence in Jamaica-Dudley Allen; Crime and
Treatment in Jamaica-Dudley Allen; Rape and Socio-Eco-
nomic Conditions in Trinidad and Tobago-Kenneth Pryce
and Daurius Figueira; Reflections on the Problem of Urban
Crime and Violence in Puerto Rico-Rafael Santos del Valle;
A Profile of the State of Criminology in Haiti-Max CarrB;
Urban Crime and Violence in Guyana-Michael Parris; A Sur-
vey of the Guyanese Prison Population A Research Note
-Michael Parris; Planned Research into the Criminological
Consequences of the Mass Transmigration of the Bush
Negroes in Suriname-A. Leerschool-Liong A Jin; Women
and Violent Crime in Suriname-J. M. M. Binda
x, 146 pages. Maps, charts, tables, index. ISBN: 0-8130-0685-6,
LC 80-21078. Paper, $6.00 U.S.
A publication of the Center for Latin American Studies,
University of Florida
with assistance from the Association of Caribbean
Universities and Research Institutes (UNICA)
Orders from individuals must be prepaid and include 85 cents shipping
and handling charge Florida orders add 4 percent state sales tax
S famu/fau/fiu/fsu/ucf/uf/unf/usf/uwf
S 15 NW 15 Street /Gainesville FL 32603



and Integration

in Urban Argentina


By Mark D. Szuchman

Between the 1870s, when the great influx
of European immigrants began, and the
start of World War I, Argentina underwent a
radical alteration of its social composition
and patterns of economic productivity.
Mark Szuchman, in this groundbreaking
study, examines the occupational, resi-
dential, educational, and economic patterns
of mobility of some four thousand men,
women, and children who resided in
Cordoba, Argentina's most important
interior city, during this changeful era.
The use of record linkage as the essential
research method makes this work the first
book on Argentina to follow this very
successful research methodology employed
by modern historians.

290 pages, $19.95

University of Texas Press 083
Please send copies of Mobility and Integration in
Urban Argentina at $19.95 ea. Texas residents add 5% sales
Ic Check Enclosed E VISA D MasterCharge
Credit card no. Exp. date
Name (print)
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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




Wide World P -oto -
Wide World-Photos. ---;
.;..- _ -

7 T-F .->



The Emperor Burham

Has Lost His Clothes

Guyana's Political Life in Disarray

By Thomas J. Spinner, Jr.

"Ain't I de Emperor? De laws don't go for
him. You heah what I tells you,
Smithers. Dere's little stealin' like you
does, and dere's big stealin' like I does.
For de little stealing' dey gets you in jail
soon or late For de big stealin' dey
makes you Emperor and puts you in de
Hall o'Fame when you croaks."
Eugene O'Neill, The Emperor Jones

Until the mid-1970s Forbes Burnham,
Guyana's Prime Minister since 1964,
anticipated that he would surely be
the first person to be enshrined in Guyana's
Hall of Fame. It now appears more likely
that his long political career will conclude
with either a hasty departure into perma-
nent exile or at the end of a rope. Burnham
is certain to reap a whirlwind of savage re-
taliation for the seeds he has sown: the
destruction of civil liberties, corruption, an
economy in shambles, shortages of food,
unemployment and underemployment, the
subversion of parliamentary government,
and, towering over everything else, ethnic
hostility between Blacks and East Indians.
The death of Walter Rodney on 13 June
1980 may prove to be that ultimate act
which will rally the Guyanese people to end
Burnham's rule.
Until the Jonestown catastrophe, few
Americans had given much thought to
Guyana. As large as Great Britain in area,
most of Guyana's population of 800,000 is
wedged into a narrow coastal strip. One of
the world's more cosmopolitan smaller na-
tions, East Indians comprise 51% of the
population; Blacks and mulattoes 43%; the
original Amerindian inhabitants about 4%;
and a final 2% is made up of Portuguese,
English, and Chinese. About 55% of the
population is Christian, 36% Hindu, and 9%
Moslem. Few nations can boast a Chinese
President, Arthur Chung, a Black Prime
Minister, Forbes Burnham, and an East
Indian, Cheddi Jagan, leading the major
opposition party.
The superficial press coverage of the
setting in which the Reverend Jim Jones
and his flock departed from this world failed
to discuss why the government of the
United States is regarded as Burnham's
accomplice in the harvesting of his bitter

crop. Without the direct intervention of US
intelligence agencies, Forbes Burnham
would never have become Guyana's Prime
Minister. Obsessed by the spectre of British
Guiana becoming another Cuba if it
achieved independence under the leader-
ship of the romantic Stalinist, Cheddi
Jagan, the Kennedy and Johnson admin-
istrations sabotaged the elected govern-
ment of the colony between 1961 and 1964.
With help from the British, Jagan was finally
forced from office. Burnham became
Prime Minister in December 1964 and led
Guyana to independence two years later.
After sixteen years, two rigged elections,
and a bogus plebiscite, he still retains power
- but the crown no longer sits easily on his
Located in the northern part of South
America, Guyana along with Surinam
and French Guiana is a reminder of the
attempts made by the British, Dutch, and
French to penetrate the Spanish and Por-
tuguese Empires in this hemisphere. Ven-
ezuela, to the west, has long coveted more
than half of Guyana's national patrimony
while, to the south, conservative Brazilian
generals watch carefully for any signs of
excessive radicalism. Until the 20th century
when bauxite and rice became important,
sugar dominated the Guyanese economy.
Originally settled by the Dutch, the British
seized the region during the Napoleonic
Wars. Black slaves from Africa were im-
ported to work on the sugar plantations
since the small Amerindian population had
retreated to the hostile interior.
Unwilling to bargain fairly with the Blacks
after slavery was abolished in the British
Empire in the 1830s, the sugar barons
searched frantically for a new source of
cheap labor. Experiments with indentured
laborers from China and with Portuguese
from the Madeira Islands were unsuccess-
ful. Both groups deserted the plantations as
quickly as possible and soon came to reign
over the retail trades. The sugar industry
finally resolved its dilemma by turning to
the Indian subcontinent with its teeming
millions. Between 1838 and 1917 almost
250,000 East Indians journeyed to British
Guiana as indentured laborers; some re-
turned home but most remained as sugar

workers after the period of indenture had
The Blacks, identifying sugar with slavery
and oppressive conditions, left the coun-
tryside for the towns and the cities, espe-
cially New Amsterdam, and, the capital,
Georgetown. They became the urban
working class and moved into the lower
ranks of the civil service. English, Por-
tuguese, Chinese, and Blacks fashioned a
cosmopolitan creole culture based upon
European and Christian values. Left alone
on the sugar estates, the Hindus soon for-
got caste differences and traditional com-
munal rivalry with the Moslems. All East
Indians joined together to confront the
harsh reality of life on the plantations. Some
Blacks regarded the East Indians with con-
tempt because of their failure to become a
part of the creole society. A portion of the
East Indians, especially the Hindus, recip-
rocated; they were consoled by the view that
they were a part of a glorious cultural tradi-
tion while the Blacks were "mimic men,
people without a heritage of their own who
were desperately trying to become Euro-
The control of malaria and a larger birth-
rate led to a rapid increase of the East In-
dian population. Second and third genera-
tion East Indians began to leave the estates
and to look for greater opportunities in the
towns and cities. Despite the arguments of
cultural pluralists that the differences be-
tween Blacks and East Indians are so great
that it would be impossible to create a un-
ified Guyanese nation, the ethnic groups
managed to live together reasonably well
through the first half of the 20th century.
Two World Wars, the Great Depression, the
decline of the sugar industry, the introduc-
tion of rice farming, and the development of
the bauxite industry brought profound
changes to British Guiana.

The Formation of the PPP
Modern Guyanese history began with the
formation of the People's Progressive Party
(PPP) in 1950. Led by Cheddi Jagan and
Forbes Burnham, it brought together two
charismatic leaders who represented
Guyana's two major ethnic groups. Jagan,
an East Indian, studied dentistry in the

United States between 1936 and 1943, mar-
ried an American, Janet Rosenberg, and
became deeply attached to the Soviet ver-
sion of communism. Burnham, a Black,
five years younger than Jagan, excelled at
the study of law in London, and adopted
socialist and anti-imperialist principles.
When elections were finally held under a
more liberal constitution in 1953 the PPP
won 18 of 24 seats. Within six months,
under pressure from a Washington already
horrified by President Arbenz's land reform
proposals in Guatemala, the Churchill gov-
ernment suspended the constitution of
British Guiana, arguing that the PPP was
dominated by communists. The British
distinguished between Jagan, denounced
as a tool of the Soviet Union, and Burnham,
regarded as a more moderate, pragmatic
The great tragedy of modern Guyanese
history occurred during the next two years.
Due to an intricate blend of personal ambi-
tion, ideological differences, and underly-
ing racial resentment, Jagan and Burnham
split. Although both men attempted franti-
cally to win support from both major ethnic
communities and while both would have
some success, the fundamental reality has
been that the vast majority of East Indians
rallied to Jagan while the great bulk of Black
voters marched behind Burnham. Race
replaced class in Guyanese political life -
the results were disastrous. One can not
help but wonder what the course of
Guyanese history would have been if these
two men had continued to work together in
the cause of national unity and indepen-
By 1957 Burnham had organized his own
political party, the People's National Con-
gress (PNC). When constitutional govern-
ment was restored in 1957, Jagan won the
elections of that year and repeated that
victory in 1961. It appeared certain that the
PPP would lead British Guiana to indepen-
dence; that probability caused consterna-
tion in John Kennedy's Washington, still
smarting from the Bay of Pigs debacle. The
US government and the conservative
AFL-CIO were determined to topple Jagan,
at all cost. The PPP had won 20 of 35 seats
in the 1961 election with just under 43% of
the total vote. If a way could be found to add
Burnham's 41% of the vote to the 16% ob-
tained by the bourgeois, anti-socialist
United Force of Portuguese businessman,
Peter d'Aguiar, then Cheddi Jagan would be
out. Confident of US support, Burnham and
d'Aguiar provoked violent incidents
throughout 1962 and 1963 which quickly
took on an ugly racial tone. Blacks and East
Indians who had lived together for many
years began to move apart. Burnham and
d'Aguiar insisted that there must be new
elections prior to independence and they
must be conducted on the basis of propor-
tional representation. Jagan found himself


at a terrible disadvantage for his followers
were scattered along the coastal sugar
areas while Burnham's were concentrated
in Georgetown, an overwhelmingly Black
city. The government had lost control of its
Unable to reach agreement with Bur-
nham and d'Aguiar, Jagan committed the
blunder that must haunt his every dream.
Marvellously naive, for he really did believe
that "perfidious Albion" would be fair and
impartial, he convinced Burnham and
d'Aguiar that they should permit British

Many property-conscious
East Indians vote for
avowed Marxist-Leninist
Cheddi Jagan-apparently
most do not take Jagan's
pronouncements very

Colonial Secretary Duncan Sandys to im-
pose a solution. Sandys quite simply
capitulated to Burnham and d'Aguiar. Re-
versing the traditional British commitment
to first-past-the-post in single-member
constituencies, he conceded the worst
form of proportional representation imag-
inable: the whole nation was to be regarded
as a single constituency and new elections
would be required before independence.
Jagan's protests were ignored; the elec-
tions of December 1964 gave Jagan 46% of
the vote but Bumham's 41% and d'Aguiar's
12% enabled the strange coalition to oust
the PPP Burnham became Prime Minister
with d'Aguiar in charge of the economy; two
years later Guyana was independent. The
new Prime Minister proved himself a far
more astute Machiavellian than anticipated;
by 1967 d'Aguiar had been forced to resign
from the Cabinet and the coalition govern-
ment was in ruins. Demonstrating a mas-
terly control of parliament and the nation,
Burnham rigged the elections of 1968,
making massive use of faked overseas and
proxy votes. Once he had a clear majority of
his own, he simply ignored Jagan and
d'Aguiar while building up the strength of
the Guyana Defense Force and the police
as Black-dominated institutions committed
to defend the PNC government. He re-
peated the blatant electoral fraud of 1968
on grander scale in 1973.
Perhaps a serious attempt to build a

genuine multi-racial Guyanese society that
would have re-established harmony be-
tween Blacks and East Indians could have
been attempted. But here, in the crucial
zone, Burnham has failed; indeed, he has
scarcely tried. Fearful of antagonizing Black
militants (including some of the criminal
choke-and-rob thugs from Georgetown)
upon whose backs he climbed to power in
the early 1960s, Burnham has done next to
nothing to earn the support of the East
Indian community. What is most extraordi-
nary about the last five years is the extent to
which he has alienated significant compo-
nents of his Black power base.
To the dismay of the United States, Burn-
ham dove to the left once he had jettisoned
d'Aguiar. In 1970 Guyana became a
Cooperative Republic; this was Burnham's
attempt to distinguish his cooperative
socialism from the Marxism-Leninism of
Jagan. In 1971 he nationalized the Alumi-
num Company of Canada's bauxite hold-
ings at Linden (formerly Mackenzie) and in
1975 he performed a similar operation on
the smaller bauxite investments of
Reynolds Aluminum. With its origins in the
Guyana sugar industry of the 19th century,
the massive multi-national Booker,
McConnell Company had long since diver-
sified its holdings throughout the world. But
to the Guyanese people, despite the be-
nevolent post-World War II leadership of the
socialist millionarie, Jock Campbell, it re-
mained the major symbol of foreign domi-
nation. For much of the pre-1945 peiod,
British Guiana was often referred to as
Booker's Guiana. In 1976, it was nation-
Although he had condemned Jagan's
close ties with Fidel Castro, Burnham, anx-
ious to jog along with the chiefs of the non-
aligned world, bitterly disappointed Wash-
ington when he jumped into the arms of the
Cuban leader. Worried that the US might try
to de-stabilize his regime because of his
drift to the left, Burnham could console
himself with the fact that the continued
existence of Jagan was the best guarantee
for Burnham's retention of power. If Jagan
were the only possibility, it was not likely that
the US would cast out a non-Soviet socialist
for a suspected Russian devil. Jagan, how-
ever, saw Burnham's nationalization de-
crees and pro-Cuba policy as his chance to
move toward a rapprochement with his old
enemy. By 1975 he and the PPP were back
in parliament and had agreed to a "critical
support" for the government. But Burnham
promptly rejected all talk of a PNC-PPP
coalition. He finally permitted the sugar
workers to select a bargaining agent and
they voted overwhelmingly for the PPP-
endorsed union. Many property-conscious
East Indians voted for avowed Marxist-
Leninist Cheddi Jagan apparently, most
do not take Jagan's ideological pro-
nouncements very seriously.

The New Constitution

National elections were constitutionally re-
quired by the fall of 1978. Realizing that free
and fair elections would mean a massive
defeat, Burnham opted for a referendum
that would prolong the life of the present
parliament and transform it into a National
Assembly that would draw up a new con-
sitution for Guyana. All opposition groups
anticipated that this would lead to a one-
party state with Burnham as "Comrade
Leader" for life. This turned out to be the
straw that broke the camel's back not
only for the PPP but also for many middle
class business leaders appalled by the gov-
ernment's corruption and by the deteri-
orating economic condition of the country.
Not wanting Jagan's brand of socialism,
they were still convinced that fair elections
and some type of national government
were essential if the nation was to deal ef-
fectively with its many problems. More dis-
turbing to Burnham and the PNC was the
defection of several key Black trade unions
which had always supported the govern-
ment even the loyal bauxite workers at
Linden were beginning to abandon ship.
The Guyana Council of Churches and the
Caribbean Conference of Churches have
been outspoken in their insistence that civil
liberties and political democracy be re-
stored in Guyana. While government con-
trol of newsprint makes publishing difficult,
the Catholic Standard, edited by the Jesuit,
Father Andrew Morrison, remains a vigor-
ous critic of the government even though
the format of the paper has been greatly
reduced. Guyana's two radio stations are
also controlled by the state.
While Jagan's ideological foolishness
makes him appear an inadequate substitute
for Bumham's corruption, the formation of
the Working People's Alliance (WPA) in
1973 provided hope in the midst of the
bleak 1970s. It brought together politicians
and intellectuals from both major ethnic
groups pledged to racial harmony, free
elections, and democratic socialism. It was
led by Eusi Kwayana, a Black, Moses
Bhagwan, an East Indian and the late Black
historian, Walter Rodney. Kwayana, the
former Sydney King, had belonged to the
PPP government in 1953 and remained
with Jagan for a year after Burnham's de-
parture in 1955. He then resumed close ties
with Bumham for a time,dabbled with Black
power and the possibility of partitioning the
country into separate Black and East Indian
enclaves, but eventually became so dis-
gusted with Burnham that he went off into
the wilderness for spiritual renewal.
Kwayana is an especially potent figure be-
cause he is regarded as absolutely incor-
ruptible. Bhagwan, a former leader of Ja-
gan's youth movement, had been purged
for excessive militancy while Walter Rodney,
a very talented historian, was denied a

teaching appointment at the University of
Guyana by government fiat even though he
was over-qualified for the post.
The various opposition groups organized
a remarkably effective boycott of the July
1978 referendum. Whimsical members of
the government revealed the ludicrous as-
pects of the referendum when it was de-
cided that a "house" would be the symbol
for a "yes" vote while a "mouse" would
symbolize a "no" vote. The government
awarded itself a massive majority but was
clearly frightened by the huge number of
abstainers. The Jonestown disaster in
November increased the woes of a regime
already reeling from the blows of its critics.

Burnham and the PPP had been delighted
when Jim Jones and his multi-racial,
socialist-oriented group settled in one of
Guyana's more inhospitable regions. It
seemed a good illustration of cooperative
socialism and might serve as an example to
the Guyanese that they could successfully
leave the coastal belt for the interior. Lo-
cated not too far from the border, Jones-
town could be a useful barrier if the Ven-
ezuelans decided to embark upon adven-
turism in the region they had long claimed.
But the death of Jones and his disciples
revealed bribery and other unusual rela-
tions between high members of the gov-
ernment and the Messiah of the People's

Cheddi Jagan speaking before a political rally in Georgetown in 1961. Wide World

Temple. A proper investigation, demanded
by the opposition groups, has never been
carried out.
The Burnham administration continues
to protect David Hill, a fugitive from the US
legal system. Self-baptized as the Rabbi
Edward Emmanuel Washington, he now
presides over a Georgetown cult called the
House of Israel. The mysterious burning
down of several government buildings in
July 1979 led to the arrest of three Working
People's Alliance leaders, including Walter
Rodney. During peaceful demonstrations
to protest their incarceration, Father Ber-
nard Darke, a Jesuit priest taking pictures
for the Catholic Standard, was knifed to
death, apparently by a follower of Rabbi
Washington. The October 1979 death from
a gunshot wound of Education Minister,
Vincent Teekah, has never been satisfactor-
ily explained by the police. A former high-
ranking member of the PPRP Teekah de-
fected three years ago and was promptly
rewarded with a spot in the Cabinet. Two
other WPA activists have been killed by the
police within the past year in unusual cir-
cumstances. Ignoring all criticism and ad-
vice, the PNC drafted a new constitution
that will, in effect, make Burnham Executive
President for life with virtually unlimited
The government after having pro-
crastinated for almost a year finally
began the prosecution of Drs. Rodney,
Rupert Roopnarain, and Omowale for
arson. Although trial by jury was denied, a
panel of international observers arrived to
pressure for a just verdict. Opening pre-
sentations took place in early June before
adjourning the trial until August. Among
those in attendance was Sam Silkin, British
Member of Parliament and Attorney Gen-
eral in the last Labor government. After
listening to the outline of the prosecution's
case, Silkin concluded that "Rodney had
played no part in the events which led to the

Rodney's Death
And then on the evening of June 13th, Wal-
ter Rodney was killed in bizarre circum-
stances by a small, but highly sophisticated,
anti-personnel bomb. Burnham's cronies
promptly charged Rodney with having
bungled an attempt to blow up the
Georgetown Jail not very likely given the
small size of the bomb. The vast majority of
Guyanese and most impartial observers are
convinced that Rodney was murdered by
the PNC. According to Donald Rodney, rid-
ing in the car with his brother when the
bomb exploded, the two men had been
engaged in purchasing a "walkie-talkie" from
one Gregory Smith. It was their under-
standing that Smith, an electronics spec-
ialist and former Sergeant in the Guyana
Defense Force, had become disenchanted
with the Burnham government. On the


evening of Rodney's death, the two brothers
picked up what they believed was a radio
device from Smith which they were told to
test in several sections of Georgetown. As
they carried out Smith's instructions, the
bomb exploded; it killed Walter Rodney and
injured his brother.
It now appears that Smith was still a
member of the Guyana Defense Force. He
remains the key witness to the events lead-
ing to Rodney's death. He was helicoptered
to the interior on the day following Rodney's
death; three days later he was apparently
flown out of the country. While Burnham

Jagan's ideological
foolishness makes him
appear an inadequate
substitute for Burnham's

has called upon two British experts to aid in
the investigation, it seems inconceivable
that Smith could have disappeared so
rapidly without assistance from highly
placed people. The available evidence
points to a planned assassination of Walter
Rodney though it is impossible to know just
how far into the corridors of power the con-
spiracy reached.
Once the death became public know-
ledge on June 14th, Forbes Burnham could
not have been surprised by the outrage that
swept across Guyana. But he must have
been disturbed by the indignant statements
issued by heads of state he had regarded as
close friends. His carefully cultivated image
as a socialist leader of the non-aligned
world was shattered as criticism poured in
from Jamaica, Grenada, and Cuba. Gre-
nada's Maurice Bishop, whose seizure of
power in March 1979 had been greeted
enthusiastically by Burnham, referred "to
the recent history of stepped-up violence
against political opposition in Guyana ... If
the best of our Caribbean sons can be cut
down in such a manner, this can usher in a
new sinsiter phase of Mafia and CIA-type
approach to politics by removing violently
the progressive leadership of the entire
Caribbean. Only imperialism and reaction
can benefit from this murder." Jamaica's
Michael Manley thundered: "Dr. Rodney's
assassination has robbed the Third World of
one of its most fertile and active minds. It
was a wanton and brutal action and an as-
sault against humanity." Fidel Castro joined
the torrent of criticism when the Cuban
Community Party formally expressed its
"regret over the barbaric murder of Dr.

Rodney" and its "total repudiation and con-
demnation of this abominable crime."
Cuban officials were present at the funeral.
A memorial service for Walter Rodney
was conducted in the Roman Catholic Ca-
thedral on June 21st and a funeral proces-
sion which drew more than 25,000
Guyanese of all races and creeds was held
on June 23rd. Eulogizing his friend at Mer-
riman's Mall in the middle of Georgetown,
Dr. Rupert Roopnarain concluded: "You
cannot participate in the murder of a good
and just man before, during, or after the
act without bearing for all time the stain
of disgrace and degeneracy." Standing to-
gether with Rodney's wife and three child-
ren many recalled Rodney's last words to
the WPA four days before his death: "We are
determined to work for a government of
national unity and reconstruction; for the
inter-racial unity of all working people."
Writing in The Guardian on June 16th, Sam
Silkin reflected: "That Rodney abhorred
violence but believed it necessary to be
prepared for it was demonstrated by a
question which he put to me: 'At what stage
is a people justified in taking up arms
against its oppressive government?' And he
plainly agreed with my reply that it could be
justified only when all democratic and
peaceful means had been exhausted, with
no sign that the oppressors were likely to be
Forbes Burnham and the PNC would be
crushed in free and fair elections. A fright-
ened man with a bad heart, only the Black-
dominated Guyana Defense Force and
police keep him in power and, even there,
one hears rumors of discontent. The one
thing that might yet redeem him in the eyes
of the nation he has deceived and betrayed
would be to step aside so that honest elec-
tions could be held and some form of broad
coalition established that would fulfill Burn-
ham's failed pledges to "feed, clothe, and
house" the nation. Ironically, Burnham's
oppressive tactics and inability to create a
Guyanese nation are having a beneficial
consequence in one crucial area; they are
forcing Blacks and East Indians to cooper-
ate. One hopes that Burnham will depart
peacefully; there can be no national recon-
ciliation so long as he remains. When
Burnham lies awake at night he would do
well to recall the admonition that the sins we
commit two by two, we must pay for one by
one and to remember also the frightened
hulk, once the Emperor Jones, who
screamed out in agony just prior to being
shot: "Mercy, Oh Lawd! Mercy on dis po

Thomas J. Spinner teaches history at the Uni-
versity of Vermont. He was a Visiting Fulbright
Lecturer at the University of Guyana and is
currently writing a book about the political and
social history of Guyana from World War II until
the present.

entering our fourth decade

Commonwealth or Colony?
Roberta Ann Johnson
Johnson begins with a brief history of the
island and discusses ties between earlier
colonial periods and a failure to demand
independence now. The plebiscite of
1967 is examined in the search for an
explanation of current political aspira-
tions. The discussion of the development
of modern Puerto Rico leads the reader
through the jfbaro movement, the leader-
ship provided by Luis Mufoz Marfn, and
current U.S. policy toward the island.
Throughout the book Johnson ties the
past to the present to develop a sense of
continuity and open the way for predic-
tions on the future of Puerto Rico.
218 pp., 1980, $21.95,
ISBN 0-03-053576-X
Paperback: $9.95, ISBN 0-03-053581-6
Changing Patterns of International
Relations edited by Richard Millet and
W. Marvin Will
"...the best single volume on Caribbean
international relations." Choice
"...clearly, incisively written ... basic
summaries of important topics."
Covering both Hispanic and English
speaking areas of the Caribbean, these
comprehensive original essays highlight
key issues and developments in contem-
porary international relations in this re-
330 pp., 1979, $21.95,
ISBN 0-03-041806-2
Ransford W. Palmer
This volume examines the impact of fluc-
tuations in the U.S. economy of the major
English speaking countries. Palmer
analyzes the movement of goods and
services, labor, and capital between these
newly independent nations and the U.S.,
and focuses on patterns of increased
Caribbean exports to the U.S. worker mi-
gration, and capital flows.
192 pp., 1979, $19.95, ISBN 0-03-041426-1

Luis Salas
This book examines the development of
such formal and informal control institu-
tions as the courts, State committees, and
the police. It explains shifts in crime, re-
lated to Cuba's emergence as a socialist
system, and describes ways in which
such non-political deviance as homosex-
uality and vagrancy are treated. Also ex-
amines in the corruption of public officials
and the legal system. Afinal chapter sums
up the economic, political, and cultural in-
fluences which have affected social con-
trol in Cuba.
416 pp., 1979, $27.95,
ISBN 0-03-052471-7
edited by Edna Acousta-Belen with the
collaboration of Elia Hildago
This is the first major scholarly examina-
tion of women's experience within the
context of a changing society. The essays
incorporate current research and original
analyses undertaken chiefly by Puerto
Rican professional women from a mul-
tidisciplinary perspective. The book ex-
amines the foundation of a sexist society
in Puerto Rico and describes the organi-
zation of a women's movement during the
early 20th century. The authors also dis-
cuss the status of Puerto Rican women in
the U.S. focusing on the cultural and racial
conflicts faced by black Puerto Rican
women in American society. Additional
essays cover female homosexuality in
Puerto Rico, the status of Puerto Rican
women in comparison to those of other
Latin American countries, and the Puerto
Rican women in the professions.
186 pp., 1979, $19.95;
ISBN 0-03-052466-0
Send for our FREE catalogue!
Order from:
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Interviewing Pefia G6mez

Leader of the Dominican Revolutionary Party

Interviewed by Mark B. Rosenberg
Translated by Evangelio Acosta

For many, Jose Francisco Penia G6mez is
one of the most pivotal political leaders in
the Dominican Republic. Long associat-
ed with the Partido Revolucionario
Dominicano, Perta G6mez is now the un-
questioned leader of that party, having
survived a power struggle with Juan
Bosch during the 1960s which found
Bosch leaving the PRD to establish his
own more radical party. Since then Peria
Gdmez has successfully guided the PRD.
In 1978, the party, with Antonio Guzmean
as its presidential candidate, was able to
wrest power from the hands of Joaquin
Balaguer and the Partido Reformista. De-
spite its electoral victory, the PRD is cur-
rently split because of dissatisfaction with
Guzman's policies. Per'a G6mez has
clearly placed himself against the Presi-
dent and is hopeful of a more "progres-
sive" PRD candidate for the 1982 presiden-
tial election. In addition to his other re-
sponsibilities, Peria G6mez is currently
Latin American regional president of the
Socialist International. This interview
took place in Santo Domingo in April

Mark B. Rosenberg: What is the Partido
Revolucionario Dominicano doing to
maintain its dynamism?
Jose Francisco Pefia G6mez: Usually,
Latin American political parties democ-
ratize themselves with incredible speed,
then they lose their dynamism, become
stagnant and apathetic. This happens be-
cause political leaders change their at-
titudes: in opposition they take progressive
positions, but on taking power they forget
these positions and adopt the conservative
ideas of the class they supposedly replaced.
In effect these political leaders become
imbued with bourgeois values. Moreover,
this happens because the majority of the
party cadre and leadership abandons the
party and goes to work for the state. Political
tasks through the party are neglected.
In the case of the Dominican Republic, in
1963 we feared that such things were going
to happen here, because when Bosch and
the party took power for the first time,
something similar occurred. At that time,
10/CAr?BBEAN Prview

most of the party leaders took government
positions and the party languished. There
was no political machine functioning within
the party, and the leaders abandoned their
party functions and went to work for the
I decided not to do the same. I did not
want to accept any government position
since I know that if I did I would have be-
come part of the government bureaucracy. I
imposed upon myself the responsibility of
defending the original party programs.
In Latin America personalistic leadership
is still very prominent. However, the PRD is a
party with an institutionalized program.
Cuadillismo was erradicated from the
party after the internal struggle which cul-
minated with Juan Bosch's departure.
MBR: You don't consider yourself a
JFPG: Absolutely not, and proof of this is
that my suggestions have been defeated
many times. My suggestions have been
overruled by party comrades, and nothing
has happened. Acaudillo cannot be over-
ruled, ever! This is not the case with me. I
can guarantee you that all my suggestions
are closely discussed by the others; we do
this with everybody. Since I was lider
maximo of the party, by excluding myself
from taking a governmental position, I have
contributed to maintaining pluralism in the
PRD. Further, the fact that many other lead-
ers have also stayed away from taking part
in the government bureaucracy, this has
greatly contributed to keeping the PRD as a
dynamic political party.
In the last elections the PRD ran on its
platform calling for changes in the political
arena. This is the first phase of our program,
the political phase, to be followed later by
the economic one. We have to do this be-
cause we control neither the judicial branch
nor the senate they are both controlled
by the Reformist Party. Knowing that we did
not have control over the army and that the
transnational corporations, the dominant
economic sector of the country, did not
trust us, it became impossible for us to call
for radical transformation. I am sure that a
subsequentPRD government will follow a
program calling for more profound
transformations. However, this will be done

by the next PRD government, not the pre-
sent one.
MBR: And all this will keep the PRD
JFPG: The PRD had already defeated the
bureaucratic tendencies of the party. The
PRD has kept intact its capacity to mobilize
the masses, its capacity to carry out the
struggle, its dynamism.
MBR: There is now talk in the country of
"continuismo," the bureaucratization of
your political party. How can the party avoid
this? Does it want to?
JFPG: It is a fact that the executive com-
mittee of the party is opposed to the re-
nomination of President Antonio Guzman.
Those favoring his re-election are extra-
PRD sectors, not within the party.
MBR: Has it been generated in the hopes of
dividing the party?
JFPG: Ours is not a government exclu-
sively formed byPRD members. It is a gov-
ernment of the PRD, but also of other inde-
pendent sectors which President Guzman
has had to utilize to change the hostile at-
titudes that existed towards our party. This is
the reason why we have to work with mod-
erates and conservatives. Within those
sectors a re-election movement has ap-
peared, but the party has almost succeeded
in preventing this.
MBR: What have you done to ensure the
institutionalization of the PRD once you are
no longer on the political scene?
JFPG: A few years ago the party had three
well-known leaders, Juan Bosch, Pablo
Rafael Casimiro Castro and myself. How-
ever, the PRD now has a collective leader-
ship and if I die now, I am sure that one of
those new leaders who has emerged from
the rank and file of our party will take my
position. In fact there are many of those new
leaders now that the people identify as
leaders of the PRD without binding them to
MBR: How will it be decided who will be the
next PRD candidate for president?
JFPG: Through a free convention. I will tell
you one thing, the candidate who is now the
president of our country emerged in such a
convention, and this was independent of
me. Of course, in this country everybody
knows that I did not vote for him.


- -


I ---






MBR: Would you explain your ideas and
those of the PRD with regard to Dominican
relations with the US?
JFPG: The influence of the US is so domi-
nant and decisive in the Caribbean and
Central America that it is impossible for any
political movement in the region not to
include in its strategy and tactics that influ-
ence. Other areas of Latin America, like
South America, were strongly influenced by
some European nations, mainly England.
This influence was more visible in the eco-
nomic field, and a relationship of semi-
colonialism was established by the end of
the century.
However, this neither happened in Cent-
ral America nor in the Caribbean. In these
two regions, Spain's influence and interest
was almost directlysubstituted for by that of
the US. After the triumph of the Cuban rev-
olution, and with the intensification of anti-
communist feelings in the US, feelings that
were projected not only against communist
movements, but also against any move-
ment calling for basic changes, it became
impossible to make a revolution in the
Caribbean. A revolution in this case means
an economic, social and political
transformation, not necessarily carried out
in a violent manner.
It is not possible to carry out any
transformation in these societies by estab-
lishing a system which is in open confron-
tation with the US. It is impossible for a
political movement to confront the US di-
rectly, as was the case in the Cuban revolu-
tion. We must also keep in mind that in the
Cuban case, the confrontation comes after
the revolutionaries had taken power, not
during the struggle to achieve it. The Cuban
Revolution has left a very profound negative
impact, not only among the American
political elite, but among that of Latin
America as well. Thus, any revolution which
is in open confrontation with the US will be
seen as being associated with the Cuban
MBR: How do you think North Americans
understand the Cuban Revolution?
JFPG: I visited the United States in 1962, at
that time everybody was talking negatively
about Cuba, Cuban communism, etc. This
Continued on page 44


- - -



Jos6 Francisco PeRa G6mez.



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Exotica and Commodity

The Arts of the Suriname Maroons

By Sally and Richard Price

early a decade ago, Edmund Car-
penter noted that "We have called
primitive man forth from his retreat,
reclothed him as a noble savage, taught
him to carve the sort of art we like, and hired
him to dance for us at lunch." Caribbean
peoples as depicted by Hollywood, the
tourist industry, and the popular press -
have likewise been forced to fulfill our own
romantic fantasies and secret needs. But at
what costs to the meaning their own institu-
tions hold for them?
The cultural life of the Suriname Ma-
roons is particularly rich in materials capa-
ble of satisfying the Euro-American quest
for the exotic. Throughout their three-
century existence, these societies have at-
tracted some of the most confirmed
romantics and adventurers ever to visit the
Caribbean. By stressing the exotic "other-
ness" of Maroons, these outsiders have not
only spread a Noble Savage image of them
in the popular and, often, scholarly litera-
ture, but more important have con-
tributed directly to the erosion of cultural life
in the villages of the Maroons themselves.
The Maroons of Suriname and French
Guiana (known locally as "Bush Negroes")
are the descendants of Africans who es-
caped from slavery in the coastal region of
Suriname during the late 17th and early
18th centuries. After 100 years of guerrilla
warfare, and some 100 years before the
general emancipation of slaves in
Suriname, the Maroons won their indepen-
dence. Today, they continue to inhabit the
forested interior of the country, mainly in
small villages strung along river courses.
The most significant cultural and linguistic
differences among the Maroon groups are
found between the three eastern tribes -
the Djuka, Paramaka, and Aluku and
those located in central Suriname the
Saramaka, Matawai, and Kwinti. But all Ma-
roon cultures have a great deal in common
- from their kinship organization to the
main lines of their religious beliefs.
One of the most striking aspects of Ma-
roon life is the importance given to aesthe-
tics and art. Visual media include, for
example, woodcarving and painting, differ-
ent techniques of calabash carving, designs
baked into manioc cakes, narrow-strip tex-

tiles, embroidery of many kinds, applique,
body cicatrization, carving in aluminum,
decorative beadwork, and multicolor
crocheted calfbands all of which display
significant ranges of technique and style.
The performing arts are equally exten-
sive. Dance, drumming, and song contri-
bute importantly to both secular and reli-
gious settings; there are, for example,
special songs for each type of possession
god, for each of the deities associated with
particular villages and clans, for different
kinds of cooperative physical labor, for
passage through dangerous rapids in the
river, for funeral rituals, for informal secular
settings, for folktales, and so on.
Verbal arts range from formal oratory,
proverbs, and the specialized speech of
each type of possession spirit to riddles,
tales, and play languages, and even in the
most informal conversations, Maroons
enjoy the creative potential of linguistic play.
To Maroons, art is intimately bound up
with the rest of life. Every Maroon is a pro-
ductive artist, a frequent performer, and an
assertive critic. Children learn to dance as
soon as they can stand; each man pro-
duces for himself the woodcarvings that
play a central role in Maroon courtship and
marriage; each woman decorates calabash
bowls and designs decorative textiles; and
most important, there is daily talk about
aesthetics that roams far beyond the
boundaries of formal artistic media -
women discuss the aesthetics of arranging
different varieties of rice in a garden; men
compare outboard motors in terms of color,
form, and surface texture; and so on. As
Melville Herskovits pointed out 50 years
ago, "Bush Negro art in all its ramifications
is, in the final analysis, Bush Negro life."

The Emperor's New Clothes

Because art is such a striking presence in
Maroon villages, it has been a frequent
focus of attention for outside visitors. Mis-
sionaries, explorers, government officials,
tourists, and social scientists have written
frequently on the subject and the general
picture they give is quite consistent in

First, that Maroon art consists almost
exclusively of woodcarving, which is pro-
duced by men as gifts of courtship and
marriage. Second, that almost all wood-
carving designs carry a heavy load of sexual
symbolism. Third, that this symbolism is
conveyed through integrated groupings of
small motifs, each of which carries a spe-
cific iconographic message. That is, each
element of a design can be translated into a
concept such as "fidelity," "truth," or
A process something like that described
in the European tale of the Emperor's New
Clothes has been responsible for the ten-
dency to see Maroon symbolism where it
simply does not exist, just as the Emperor's
subjects marvelled at the beauty of his new
clothes while he paraded through the
streets stark naked. The myth that Maroons
imbue their artistry with a heavy does of
symbolic meaning becomes understand-
able, once we consider certain aspects of
the cultures of both the Maroons and the
outside observers.
Certain Western ideas about so-called
"primitive" people, and certain Maroon
ideas about literate people have been

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mutually reinforcing. The "symbolic" focus
of art is one of the most cherished and
well-agreed-upon aspects of the Western
perception of cultures which have
traditionally been labelled "primitive" -
and this certainly includes Maroons. Ma-
roons, in turn, have always had a very real
respect for the power of writing, and they
believe on an abstract level that any mark-
ing at all may carry a message, if only one
knew how to read it. During the early 20th
century, this fascination with literacy man-
ifested itself in the invention of a 56-
character writing system by a Djuka man,
who taught it to a small number of other
Maroons. And the same almost mystical
belief in the power of writing explains why
Maroons use totally blank calabash bowls in
ritual contexts: they reason that a calabash
with the usual decorative markings might
convey an inappropriate message that
would offend one of the spirits in atten-
dance, and that since they don't know how
to read the markings, it is safer to use a
blank calabash. Western notions about
primitive symbolism and Maroon notions
about their own position as illiterate people
in a literate world thus work together to
foster an interpretation of Maroon art that
comes from outside Maroon culture, not
from within. Many Maroons, not surpris-
ingly, have acquiesced to their visitors' in-
sistence on symbolic meaning; and those
who have not acquiesed have generally
enjoyed only a short career as ethnographic
The names which Maroons use to label
designs and decorative details have often
been misunderstood by outsiders as gen-
eralizable symbolic explanations. F.H.J.
Muntslag, for example, a coastal Surinamer
who served as an interpreter of Maroon art
for many decades, devoted his entire intel-
lectual energies to the discovery of the
symbolic content of named designs. We
cite two representative examples from the
revised edition of his book, Paw a paw din-
doe: Surinaamse houtsnijkunst, which is
one of the two most widely-distributed
works that have ever been available on the
subject of Maroon art. 1) A circle with a
symmetrical 4-part center is listed as
koemba, which in the language of the east-
ern Maroons means "navel." Muntslag ex-
plains: "The navel has a very mystical sig-
nificance among Bush Negroes. Young
women are frequently tattoed (sic.) around
the navel, and it is the symbol of erotic love."
2) A crescent shape is listed as liba, which
in Saramaccan means "moon." Muntslag
relates this motif to ideas about fertility and
interprets it as a symbol of love. The
Herskovitses explained this figure in some-
what more explicit terms, claiming that
Saramakas saw it as an erect penis (Rebel
Destiny: Among the Bush Negroes of
Dutch Guiana, 1934).
It is certainly true that Maroons enjoy

creating and using names in their arts-for
woodcarving designs, calabash motifs,
cloth patterns, hairdos, and so forth. But it is
extremely rare for them to attach any
meaning to such names; rather, the names
serve purely as descriptive labels the way
we might talk about a "navel orange" with-
out having in mind the erotic connotations
of a young girl's navel, or the way we might
refer to a shape as "crescential" without
invoking the romantic symbolism of a cres-
cent moon or likening it to the shape of a
penis. (We once told a Saramaka friend
about Herskovits' explanation of the cres-
cential motif as a phallic symbol. He denied
the claim but he appeared to be confused
about something. The next day he decided
to go ahead and ask the question that had
been troubling him and, with apologies for
his ignorance, asked if perhaps white
men's penises were curved like that.)
Moreover, certain methods that have
been used to study Maroon art have further
reduced the opportunity that Maroons have
to help clarify to outsiders the meaning
which their arts hold for them. Many in-
terpretations of Maroon designs have sim-
ply been based on museum work and for-
mal classification, without Maroon insights.
But even when Maroon interpretations have
been solicited, they are often explicitly re-
jected if they fail to conform to the ob-
server's expectations. One practitioner of
this field method was L.C. van Panhuys, a
devoted enthusiast of Maroon culture in the
late 19th and early 20th centuries, who re-
lied heavily on young children for his
ethnographic information. Describing one
woodcarving, he wrote that it represented:
"a naked man, wearing on his head what
my informant thought to be perhaps the rib
of a boat, but what is, in reality, a bonnet...
This figure without doubt represents a ...
red-cap soldier, belonging to the Negro
soldiers who were formerly employed in the
fights with runaway slaves." Van Panhuys
displayed the same cavalier attitude to Ma-
roon interpretation in his explanation of the
symbolism of a certain carved food-stirrer.
He described how his informant, even after
being prodded, "could give no other expla-
nation than that there were perhaps two
parrot tongues in it ..., with lines around
them. But if we place the drawing upside
down as is done in our illustration, we pre-
sume the whole represents a candlestick,
such as there are in our collection."
Very little work has been done on Maroon
arts other than woodcarving, yet what has
been written reflects the very same reluc-
tance to take "no" for an answer when sym-
bolic meaning is in question. Consider, for
example, the interpretation of a decoratively
embroidered cloth which was seen hanging
in the doorway of a house in a Christian
Maroon village. The observer insisted that
the design must have a secret "pagan"
meaning, and reported the field investiga-

The only Maroons we have
met who are willing to
"read" the symbolism of
carvings are men who have
left their home villages and
set themselves up in a
tourist-related role on the

tion into the cloth's symbolism as follows:
"On inquiry concerning the meaning of the
central motif, no one gave a direct answer.
The women of the village ... answered: 'a
flower.' As this response was not very en-
lightening, a very old man was asked. His
unsatisfactory answer was the same, 'a
flower.' Obviously, people considered it in-
appropriate to clarify the meaning of this
private decoration to foreign visitors, espe-
cially when it referred to religious beliefs
that were no longer (openly) professed."
Finally, the game that slaves in many
parts of the Americas referred to as putting '
on ol' massa" is frequently indulged in by
Maroons who find themselves in the pres-
ence of curious visitors to their villages. For
example, Saramakas serving as informants
for government officials who are mapping
their territory have provided Saramaccan
obscenities as village names, and these
have been dutifully entered onto official
maps; Saramakas have taken similar plea-
sure in reporting to unsuspecting census
takers that their mother's or father's ad-
dress is the village of Paasitoonu which is
a local cemetery on the Upper Suriname
River. Clearly, the interpretation of their arts




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offers similar opportunities for creative re-
sponses. One Saramaka, for example, pro-
duced for a visitor an explanation of a
carved doorframe that suggests this kind of
imaginative play: "On the top of the door-
posts are carved two upside-down monkey
heads, then one sees a Western woman
who has [and here the Saramaka seems to
have hestitated before completing the in-
terpretation] ... the head of a monkey."
In many ways, the story of the Emperor's
New Clothes seems an apt metaphor for
the history of studies of meaning in the
Maroon arts. Like the Emperor and his
subjects, outside visitors and Maroons are
in a vastly asymmetrical relationship of
wealth and power. Like the Emperor, out-
side visitors have been fearful of appearing
to be ignorant. And in both cases, the result
has been the creation and public mainte-
nance, in interactions between the two par-
ties, of a tenuous fiction. The main differ-
ence between the two cases is that although
some Maroons have tried to play the part of
the innocent child in the crowd who sees
through the fiction and cries out that the
Emperor is naked, their protests have con-
sistently been rejected.
A variety of factors that contribute to Ma-
roons' thoughts and feelings about their
own artistry, each of which is more fully
elaborated in ourAfro-American Arts of the
Suriname Rain Forest (1980). Maroons of
central Suriname think of a very few simple
motifs in terms of symbolic or iconographic
meaning and that those living in eastern
Suriname and western French Guiana may
have become even more willing to associ-
ate descriptive design names with more
abstract concepts during the past few dec-
ades. But the very great bulk of all Maroon
artistry is viewed, by Maroons, in terms of
quite different kinds of considerations.
First, formal qualities, such as color or
symmetry, are extremely important. Sec-
ond, the degree of technical skill is invari-
ably remarked on, as well as the condition
of the object in terms of its intended func-
tion. Third, Maroons pay a great deal of
attention to all stylistic or technical features
that mark an object as the product of a
particular region or time period. (For in-
stance, uneven bands in a decorated win-
nowing tray identify the piece as the work of
a Djuka, Aluka, or Paramaka carver. Or the
absence of an exterior border on a calabash
means to Maroons that the bowl could not
have been made in the Upper River region
of Saramaka. Or a Saramaka narrow-strip
cape in which the left and right sides are not
mirror-images of each other is immediately
recognized as the early work of a generation
of women now in their sixties. And these
kinds of distinctions are considered very
important.) Finally, and most important to
Maroons, any decorated object carries very
specific personal and social associations
having to do with who designed it and for

whom, when it was given, and the roles that
it has played (or is meant to play in the
future) in particular funerals, ancestral
feasts, marriage exchanges, and so on.
It is only within the past decade or two
that a few Maroons have begun to respond,
in their artwork, to the pressures we have
described. As Maroons are attracted more
and more by the growing opportunities of
tourism, and as some men have begun
carving as a full-time occupation, a few of
them have capitalized on the Western desire
for symbolic motifs. The only Maroons we
have met who are willing to "read" the sym-
bolism of carvings are men who have left
their home villages and set themselves up
in a tourist-related role on the coast -
either as full-time suppliers of carvings to
tourists and souvenir shops or as guides to
the interior. One of these men has been
particularly straightforward about what he is
doing; he set up a woodcarving stand next
to the road between Paramaribo and the
airport, bought a copy of Muntslag's book
on Maroon motifs, copied several of them
onto each of his cedar carvings, and simply
refers his customers directly to the book for
an explanation of what they are buying.

Culture as Commodity

A second type of confrontation between
Maroons and non-Maroons concerns not
the kinds of meaning but the kinds of value
that are attached to Maroon arts. That there
is a gap in perspectives is clear from the
moment that an outsider and a Maroon
begin discussing a transaction the out-
sider framing his comments in terms of
how much money the object will bring, and
the Maroon insisting on its importance to
him or (more often) her as a cultural pos-
session representing ties of marriage,
memories of the carver, intentions for its
future use in everyday tasks and in ritual
settings, and so on. Once the outsider per-
suades the Maroon to sell and given his
relative wealth, he almost invariably does -
the artwork is transformed from a cultural
object into an economic commodity.
Davydd Greenwood has described this pro-
cess more generally in a paper entitled
"Culture by the Pound." "Culture is being
packaged, priced and sold, like building
lots, rights-of-way, fast food, and room ser-
vice as the tourism industry inexorably ex-
tends its grasp. For the monied tourist, the
tourism industry promises that the world is
his to use. All the natural resources, includ-
ing cultural traditions, have their price and if
you have the money in hand, it is your right
to see [or own] whatever you wish."
Greenwood analyzed the transformation of
a major community ritual in a Basque vil-
lage into a lifeless, money-making spec-
tacle for tourists, demonstrating persua-
sively how the "commoditization of culture
in effect robs people of the very meanings

"We have called primitive
man forth from his retreat,
reclothed him as a noble
savage, taught him to
carve the sort of art we
like, and hired him to
dance at lunch."

by which they organize their lives."
Returning to the Maroon case, we would
point out that the interaction which leads to
the purchase of Maroon art by an outsider is
characterized by the same imbalance of
power that we observed in discussions of
artistic symbolism; the outsider is generally
adamant that he is the betterjudge of value,
and he usually succeeds in the end in im-
posing his own evaluative criteria on his
Maroon host.
Not only is the sale itself an exploitation of
the Maroons' situation, but the way that it is
conducted often transgresses fundamental
Maroon codes of etiquette. Visitors gener-
ally insist on haggling over prices, perhaps
because of stereotypes derived from such
areas of the world as Mexico or the Middle
East, but to Maroons, bargaining is rude
and offensive; in transactions among
themselves, it is the seller's prerogative to
call the price on anything from a bunch of
bananas to a new canoe, and differing
opinions about the product's worth are dis-
creetly avoided.
The degree of cultural arrogance among
non-Maroon visitors to the Maroons has
Continued on page 47


Jamaica's Maroons at the


Losing Touch With Tradition

By Kenneth Bilby

Illustration by Eleanor Porter Bonner.

leven miles from the bustling resort
town of Port Antonio, Jamaica, up a
well-paved winding road, lies the
largest of the Jamaican Maroon set-
tlements, Moore Town. Though unprepos-
sessing at first sight, this mountain hamlet
boasts a remarkable heritage dating back
to the days when sugar was king, and
Jamaica was Britain's most prized sugar
colony, the seat of one of the most oppres-
sive slavocracies in history.
One of the great, and most poignant,
epics of Jamaican history revolves around
the resistance against slavery, and in the
forefront of this resistance were those who
became known as Maroons. Scholars re-
main uncertain as to the exact origin of the
word "maroon." Some believe it is derived
from the Spanish cimarrdn, meaning
"wild" or "unruly." In any case, it came to be
used in English as the generic term for
those who escaped from plantation bond-
age, as well as their descendants. The
Jamaican Maroons of today are the direct

descendants of African slaves who fled
from the plantations in the seventeenth and
eighteenth centuries and banded together
to create their own societies in the unsettled
and heavily forested mountains of the
It is generally agreed that the earliest
Maroons were former Spanish slaves who
established their settlements around 1655,
when the British first occupied the island,
which until then had been a Spanish pos-
session. Over the next few decades, these
initial bands were joined by new runaways,
and several other bands formed as well, as
the result of a number of successful large-
scale rebellions on the now British-run
It is a testimony to the adaptability and
flexibility of these early Maroon groups that,
not only were they able to cope successfully
with a new and rigorous environment, but
by the turn of the eighteenth century they
had managed to consolidate themselves
into two major political entities, one in the

western end of the island and one in the
east. The western Maroons, strategically
sequestered in the rugged Cockpit Country,
became known as the Leeward group;
those in the eastern Blue Mountains were
called the Windward group.
Although it is impossible to give exact
figures, in the eighteenth century the Lee-
ward and Windward groups each consisted
of several hundred souls, and commanded
an impressive, if small, military organization
headed by a hierarchy of officers. Both
groups kept up a continuous low-key as-
sault on the plantation system, periodically
raiding estates in their general vicinities for
ammunition, food supplies, and not least
important, slaves, who were recruited,
sometimes forcefully, into their ranks.
The increasing audacity of these forays
against the plantations caused near-
hysteria among planters throughout the
island. Eventually, the Maroons presented a
sufficiently serious hindrance to the expan-
sion of the plantation system that the

Jamaican colonial government was spur-
red to organize a series of retaliatory cam-
paigns. It is of great interest that, almost
without exception, these attempts to sub-
due the Maroons failed miserably. There
were many instances in which heavily
armed British troops, outnumbering the
poorly equipped Maroons by a large mar-
gin, were sorely humiliated, at times even
One may speculate on the reasons for
the military successes of the Maroons in the
face of such great odds. Perhaps of greatest
importance is the fact that the Maroons

Illusirali'n b) Eleanor Poner Bonner
developed an innovative style of guerilla
warfare perfectly suited to their forest envi-
ronment. Wrapped from crown to toe in a
disguise made from branches and leaves,
the highly-skilled marksmen were well
camouflaged. This technique was so effec-
tive that contemporary British reports
speak of the confusion and terror caused
among the well-ordered regiments by the
seemingly sourceless showers of bullets
flying from all directions. Also of great im-
portance to the Maroons was their ability to
communicate over long distances by
means of the abeng, an instrument made
from a cow-horn, on which two pitches can
be blown. In one form or another, this same
instrument is still used in many parts of
West Africa. If properly blown, its sound can
penetrate across several miles. The Ma-
roons were able to send intricate messages
on the abeng, and through a series of sen-
tries posted at strategic points, they were
generally alerted well in advance to the
approach of enemy forces. These factors,
present-day Maroons will agree, played a

major part in the early victories. Most will be
quick to add, however, that the crucial asset
of their ancestors was their great super-
natural power.
No person better exemplifies this super-
natural expertise than Nanny (fondly called
"Grandy Nanny" by the Maroons of today),
the great spiritual leader if not actual
military leader of the Windward Maroons
during the eighteenth century. Grandy
Nanny must have been a remarkable
woman, for although the references to her
in contemporary British literature are scant
and vague, she is well remembered in the

oral traditions of the present-day Windward
Maroons. Perhaps the most common
legend concerning Nanny recounts how
she once taunted the guns of the British by
leaning down, defiantly presenting her
posterior toward them, and catching be-
tween her buttocks a full round of lead shot.
Such supernatural feats, according to older
Maroon storytellers today, carried the day
for the early Maroon fighters during a time
whenBackra (the English) seemed bent on
destroying them through sheer force of
In the early 1730s the Windward Maroons
finally met their match, when British forces
managed to surprise and sack their major
settlement, Nanny Town (named after the
same Maroon heroine). Undaunted, a large
group of Windward survivors retreated
further into the rugged mountain wilder-
ness and founded a new settlement, origi-
nally called New Nanny Town, but today
known as Moore Town.
By the late 1730s both sides were tiring;
the colonists and the mountain-dwelling

rebels had been at war for over eighty years.
In an unprecedented move, the British col-
onial government sued for peace. In 1739 a
treaty was signed with the Leeward Ma-
roons,* and later that year a similar treaty
was signed with the Windwards. These
documents granted the Maroons a number
of privileges, setting them apart from the
rest of the population of the island in a way
which continues to have minor repercus-
sions today. In addition to granting the Ma-
roons expanses of land and full legal free-
dom nearly a century before the general
emancipation of the slaves the treaties
recognized the major settlements as legiti-
mate, semi-autonomous polities. While the
Maroons became self-governing to a large
extent, the treaties also placed certain con-
straints upon them. One clause, which for
some persons is damaging to the Maroon'
reputations as great freedom-fighters, re-
quired the former rebels to come to the aid
of the government in quelling all future
slave insurrections. This aspect of Maroon
history has caused a certain amount of
hostility and distrust between Maroons and
their neighbors over the years since eman-
cipation, and it has posed something of an
ideological problem for present-day intel-
lectuals and interpreters of Jamaican

Grandy Nanny's yoyo
The community of Moore Town, strategi-
cally nestled deep in the heart of a moun-
tain valley eleven miles from the north
coast, is the present-day home of Grandy
Nanny's yoyo that is, Grandy Nanny's
progeny, as the older residents like to think
of themselves. It is here that Nanny and her
followers settled in the 1730s, and since
then it has been the main settlement of the
Windward Maroons.
It has been remarked repeatedly by visi-
tors to Moore Town that the village is in no
respect distinguishable from scores of
other rural Jamaican communities. In truth,
there is very little of a visual nature to set
Moore Town apart from neighboring com-
munities. One main road runs through the
center, on which are located the All-Age
School, the post office, a rum bar, and sev-
eral small shops. Private residences, no
different in construction from rural dwel-
lings throughout Jamaica, dot the sur-
rounding hillsides. Deeper into the hills one
finds the steeply sloped cultivation grounds
of Moore Town farmers, planted with a vari-
ety of subsistence crops, mostly tubers,
such as yams, dasheen, and coco. Along
with their neighbors, Maroon farmers also
cultivate bananas as a cash crop, which are
sold at a cooperative boxing plant owned
by the Maroons, for eventual shipment to
One cannot identify a Maroon by physical
characteristics, style of dress, or every-day
*See note on page 49


mode of speech. This has led some
Jamaicans to believe that Maroons no
longer really exist, that they have been to-
tally assimilated into modern Jamaican
society, or simply have "died out." However,
this apparent lack of differentiation between
Maroons and other Jamaicans is deceptive,
as it conceals a significant number of subtle
features which combine to make up a dis-
tinctive Maroon identity.
Though it may not appear so to the
casual observer, Moore Town possesses a
strong sense of continuity with its Maroon
past. The Moore Town Maroons of today are
led by an elected official accorded the hon-
orary title of, "Colonel," who appoints a
small number of under-officers. This posi-
tion corresponds to the military leaders of
the early Maroons who bore the title "Cap-
tain." Under the Colonel is an elected coun-
cil (commonly called the "committee") of
twenty-four Maroons, comprising the offi-
cial governing body. The council periodi-
cally assembles, summoned together by
the blowing of the abeng, to consider vari-
ous issues of public interest.
Although the nineteenth and twentieth
centuries saw the gradual erosion of Ma-
roon privileges through repeated govern-
ment interference, a few provisions of the
original treaty still obtain in Moore Town.
The authority of the Colonel and council
over legal affairs has waned through time,
although on occasion they still hold minor
court for the purpose of settling internal
disputes, most of which involve land
boundaries. Most significant, land in and
around Moore Town is still communally
held by the Maroons and is allotted to indi-
viduals by the Colonel according to a sys-
tem of usufruct. Interestingly enough, these
Maroon "treaty lands" are still tax-exempt,
although the Jamaican government has
recently made certain overtures pointing in
the direction of taxation; so far, these have
not been favorably received by the Ma-
roons, for whom the tax-free lands hold a
great deal of symbolic importance.
For many years now the Maroons of
Moore Town, along with many of their
Jamaican brethren, have constituted a sort
of sturdy yeomanry, relying on horticulture
for their subsistence. But a few rugged indi-
viduals keep up the time-honored Maroon
tradition of hunting for wild hog, as much
for sport as for profit. The earliest Maroons
were renowned for their skill at hunting the
wild boar, an animal which to this day
ranges the hills surrounding Moore Town.
For awhile it appeared as if the modern rifle
might supplant the traditional Maroon
lance, thejunga, as the primary weapon for
hunting. However, following the institution
of the Gun Court Act by the Jamaican gov-
ernment in 1974, prohibiting possession of
firearms a measure which affects the
Maroons as much as any other Jamaicans
- the few remaining hunters have been


forced to depend solely on thejunga, which
requires a high degree of skill.
Another unique tradition which has been
handed down to the present-day Maroons is
locally known as ambush. Ambushing re-
fers to the age-old practice of disguising
oneself in a suit of foliage, usually woven
from the supple branches and leaves of the
bush which in Jamaica is known as ca-
coon. Originally this practice was used for
purposes of camouflage in battle, but after
the treaty it was kept alive in the context of
periodic celebrations and ceremonies


Illustration by Eleanor Porter Bonner.
commemorating the victories of the past.
Ambushing continues to carry a great deal
of emotional weight for many Maroons, for
it embodies something uniquely and es-
sentially Maroon. When done today as part
of a ceremonial function, ambushing is still
so cleverly executed that not even a hint of
the enfolded person may be seen under the
entangled greenery. Viewing such a living,
moving bush can be a terrifying experience,
and helps one understand the legendary
near-invincibility of the early Maroon war-
During the Christmas holidays, even
nowadays, haunting sounds of distant
abengs pierce the night air, as Maroons
scattered across the upper Rio Grand Valley
call to one another. This is the only time of
year that blowing of the abeng is permitted
for entertainment. At all other times its use
is restricted to certain communicative pur-
poses, such as the calling of a council
meeting, or the summoning of aid in the
event of an emergency. But on hearing the
echoing musical conversation coursing

from hilltop to hilltop at the height of the
Christmas merriment, it is hard not to feel a
powerful sense of connection with the past.
Even today, only Maroons and not all
Maroons, at that can understand the
tonal language of the abeng. This remains
a protected Maroon secret.

African Past

Unlike certain groups of Maroons presently
living in the jungles of South America, such
as the Saramaka and Djuka of Suriname -

who achieved their freedom at a later date
than their Jamaican counterparts the
Maroons of Moore Town retain little in the
way of African-derived material culture. Nor
does their social structure, or more spe-
cifically their kinship organization, show any
sort of easily discernible relationship to a
West African precursor. In this respect,
Moore Town society appears to be but a
variant of the general pattern found
throughout rural Jamaica.
Cultural continuities with the African past
do exist, however, and are most prominent
in the realm of the expressive arts (in this
case, music and dance) and in that sphere
of culture which is least observable -
namely, the system of beliefs relating to the
supernatural. There is an elaborate and rich
body of such beliefs, all integrally tied to the
cultural complex known as Kromanti
If there is any symbolic locus which may
be said to focus Maroon identity, any social
activity which most clearly articulates it,it is
the Kromanti dance. Traditionally this

dance, which involves the possession of
participants by ancestral Maroon spirits,
was held most commonly on occasions of
crisis, when supernatural aid was desired; it
was considered too serious a thing to be
used for mere entertainment. Usually, in the
course of the dance, one or more ritual
specialists (known as fete-men)would be-
come possessed and would dominate the
ceremony from then on. Very often,
Kromanti dances were held for the purpose
of healing a person whose sickness was
attributed to supernatural causes, and for
this reason, most of the great fete-men of
Moore Town have been expert medicinal
herbalists as well.
Kromanti dance was also the context in
which a fragmentary African-derived lan-
guage, also called Kromanti, was pre-
served. Kromanti words, most of which are
related to ritual activities, are felt to contain a
great deal of supernatural power in and of
themselves, for they are essential to the
invocation of ancestral spirits. Many of the
most powerful Maroon songs are com-
posed entirely ofKromanti words, which are
sometimes also referred to as "country."
The word "Kromanti" itself is derived
fromKromantine, which was the name of a
Gold Coast fort from which many African
slaves were transported to the West Indies.
The British colonists in Jamaica used the
word "Coromantee" to refer to slaves
originating from the Gold Coast (today
known as Ghana). These "Coromantee"
slaves, who were transported to Jamaica in
large numbers, included members of sev-
eral distinct ethnic groups, but most
strongly represented were Akan-speaking
peoples, particularly Ashanti and Fanti.
The slaves who reached Jamaica in the
seventeenth and eighteenth centuries
came not only from the Gold Coast, but
from many other parts of West Africa, and
many came from the Angola-Congo region
as well. Those who were lucky enough to
escape from the plantations and join Ma-
roon groups up in the mountains must
therefore have belonged to many different
tribes or ethnic groups and spoken a great
many different languages. However, over
time the Maroon societies developed a
"creolized" culture, blending elements of
their diverse African pasts with acquisitions
from the New World experience to form a
new, integrated whole. In spite of this, lin-
guistic evidence from Moore Town clearly
points to a dominant Akan influence, a fact
which may possibly be explained by the
predominance of Ashanti or Fanti individu-
als in positions of leadership during the
formative period of Maroon society. What-
ever the case may be, the Maroons of Moore
Town today form a single ethnic group, and
set themselves apart from outsiders, who
are called obroni.
The one social context in which the
boundary between Maroons and outsiders

is most clearly emphasized is the previously
mentioned Kromanti dance. The whole
ceremony is shrouded in secrecy. Except
under certain special circumstances, ob-
roni are prohibited from attending
Kromanti dance. To attempt to do so is to
risk serious supernatural retribution, and
even possible bodily injury. The sacred
Kromanti drums, normally consisting of a
pair, are not to be played byobroni, for they
specifically serve the purpose of invoking
the spirits of older Maroons, some of whom
were living persons during an era when

There were many instances
in which heavily armed
British troops,
outnumbering the poorly

equipped Maroons by a
large margin, were sorely
humiliated, at times even

relations between Maroons and outsiders
were not so cordial as they are today. A
Kromanti dancer possessed by a Maroon
spirit will invariably become dangerously
inflamed by the presence of an obroni.
Thus it is that history comes alive in this
ritual drama. The living past, so essential to
Maroon identity, is crystallized in this social

Maroon Identity Crisis

Despite the continuing importance of the
various ethnic markers discussed above for
older citizens, Maroon identity in Moore
Town today is in a state of crisis. For the first
time, a generation is growing up which has
lost touch with Maroon tradition, or is on the
verge of doing so. In some cases this is a
result of conscious rejection, in others, of
mere neglect. Elders bemoan the laxity of
the younger citizens of Moore Town as part
of a wider trend towards indiscipline among
Jamaican youth.
The fact is that precious few of those
under thirty in Moore Town know more than
a word or two of the Kromanti language.
Fewer still can understand the signals of the
abeng. Virtually none can properly play the
Kromanti drum, and most are at a loss
when it comes to hunting for the meat of
the wild hog which was once so prized.
Kromanti dance is most often held in pri-
vate these days, but when it is performed in

the open, most of the younger people ig-
nore it, or even purposefully avoid it. The
majority do not know the songs, nor the
proper dance movements. The younger
generation appears to be producing no
able fete-men for the future.
It is a complex situation, which stems
partially from broad social changes occur-
ring even before this generation's time. In
the last few decades the groundwork was
laid for the gradual disintegration of
traditional Maroon life as the community
became increasingly outer-directed. Large
numbers migrated away from the commu-
nity in search of economic betterment, a
fair number going abroad to the United
States or England. Those who stayed
began to participate cautiously in national
politics. A wave of fundamentalist Christian
sects from outside soon gained acceptance
on a wide scale. Cross-cutting local factions
developed, based on political or religious
affiliations, and thus the first blows were
dealt to the Maroon unity that once so im-
pressed outsiders. Nevertheless, the
traditional symbols of Maroon identity and
pride which reinforced this unity continued
to hold a good deal of importance for most
individuals, as they still do for many
middle-aged and older people.
The present younger generation, how-
ever, has grown up in quite a different social
and political climate. Jamaica in the
nineteen-seventies has been an
ideologically-charged country, a turbulent
nation whose younger population has ex-
perienced a sudden and dramatic growth of
political consciousness. It is also a land that
has shrunk, with the increasing sophistica-
tion of transportation and the electronic
media. Most of the younger Maroon males
have become disillusioned with farming as
a mode of subsistence, and have at one
time or another joined the massive flow of
job-seeking rural youth into the capital city
of Kingston, four hours away by bus. But
employment opportunities are scarce, and
many end up returning to Moore Town,
bringing with them habits and ideas ac-
quired in the city.
The younger Maroons are becoming
"street-wise." They are embracing the
youth-oriented sub-culture of the urban
ghettos. Their preferred music is the urban
protest of reggae, blasting at full volume
from a "sound-system." The rebellious at-
titudes espoused by many of the more
popular reggae tunes strongly appeal to the
younger Maroons, who tend nowadays to
identify more with the symbols of discon-
tent shared by unemployed youths
throughout the island than with the sym-
bols of Maroon identity which once bound
together their foreparents. The abeng, the
Kromanti drum, the Kromanti dance and
language are seen as "old-fashioned," and
are consequently greeted with indifference
Continued on page 49


The Myth of Mastery

A Decision Analytic Critique of

"The New Cuban Presence in the Caribbean"

By Norman Matlin
Responses by Maingot, LeoGrande, Ropp, Erisman, Azicrl and Knight.

It seems a bit presumptuous for me to be
writing on the Cuban presence in the
Caribbean. I am neither a political scien-
tist nor an expert on the Caribbean. While I
enjoy reading the Caribbean Review and,
on occasion, the daily newspapers, it is
more by way of spectator sport than for any
professional interest. Nevertheless, the Fall
1980 edition of Caribbean Review did suc-
ceed in piquing my professional curiosity. I
am interested in models for decision mak-
ing. It occurred to me to wonder about what
models the authors of the various articles
were using in their analyses of the Cuban
strategies and the replies to them. I finally
sat down to do an informal secondary
analysis of their analyses, which I submit to
the reader's attention. I claim no knowledge
concerning the facts on which the original
articles were based. Rather, I wish to exam-
ine how the authors dealt with the facts they
used. All of my information comes from the
articles themselves.
While there are a fair number of decision
models available, they can be roughly di-
vided into two groups, which I call the in-
ferential models and the assessment mod-
els. The division is based on the simple
circumstance that all decision models deal
with ends and means. It would be highly
inconvenient to simultaneously consider
both ends and means as variables; we
would have no starting point for the
analysis. Thus, we either make some stipu-
lations about means, in order to consider
ends, or some stiuplation of ends, in order
to study means.
Inferential models stipulate the appropri-
ateness of the means in order to permit the
analyst to deduce the ends of the decision
maker. In effect, we are considering the
decision maker as a master of his trade. We
put in brackets the possibility that he may
have committed some egregious error in
the selection of his means. Insofar as we are
second-guessing a master player, the risk is
at an acceptable level. When we use the
model to try to deduce the ends of some
clumsy decision maker, the probability of
coming up with the wrong answer is con-
siderably higher. When we apply the model
to decisions reached by a series of tradeoffs
among persons with different ends and

opinions, and executed by still others with
little idea of what policy they are carrying
out, it is obvious that the analysis should be
considered highly problematic.
Assessment models stipulate the ends of
the decision maker and consider alternative
means for achieving the ends, evaluating
the possible means in terms of their relative
effectiveness. This model also has its dif-
ficulties. Insofar as we err in assuming the
ends of the decision maker, our guess as to
the appropriate means will be far off the
mark. This presents no problem when the
analyst is acting as consultant to the deci-
sion maker, since the consultant is guided
by what the decision maker says he wants
to do. When we use the model to evaluate
the effectivity of some public figure, without
being privy to his actual ends, we can easily
err in our evaluation.
In reading the articles in the Caribbean
Review it seemed to me that the authors
were using neither of the usual models.
Rather, they used what we may call a
categorical model, in which both ends and
means are stipulated. Insofar as the results
prove to be descriptive of the decisions
made, the authors cannot be faulted for
using such a model, although one might
quibble as to whether the proceeding
should be called an analysis. The difficulty
is that the stipulations of both means and
ends are open to question. Suppose we
examine them.
The ends of the decision makers are
pictured as pragmatic. In effect, the leader
is assumed to be guided by, first, a desire to
stay in power and to maximize the interest
of his country. Only secondarily, to the de-
gree that it does not interfere with the
achievement of the first goal, is the leader
assumed to be guided by ideological con-
siderations. It seems quite reasonable that
this would be the attitude adopted by a
number of leaders. However, to consider
these goals as invariably guiding political
action is doubtful.
It could, of course, be argued that leaders
who do not advance the interest of their
constituents do not remain in power very
long, hence do not have the opportunity to
advance ideological aims either. This may
be the case, insofar as there is an effective

mechanism for removing a leader who
does not satisfy his public. Not all of the
countries of the Caribbean seem to have
such mechanisms. Where the leader is a
dictator or where he has succeeded in be-
fuddling the public, he has scope to give
ideological considerations priority over
pragmatic goals.
Furthermore, the notion of the incom-
patability of pragmatic and ideological
goals seems obvious only to pragmatists.
People with an ideological bend tend to
select pragmatic goals on the basis of their
ideology. It is very easy for pragmatists to
underestimate the degree to which
ideologues' actions are a function of their
worldview. What one person views as a dis-
aster, another may view as a perfectly rea-
sonable price to pay for advancing a long
range goal.
The stipulations about means seem
equally doubtful. The leader is pictured as a
master in the selection of the best means to
advance his ends and in the timing of his
actions. Again, while some of the leaders of
the Caribbean approach this ideal, it is dif-
ficult to imagine any who do not commit an
occasional error, and some, I suspect,
would be considered by most accounts to
be outright fumblers. Can all our leaders be
as smart as the articles make them out to
It would be possible to argue that merely
having gotten to be the leader of a country
provides prima facie evidence of some de-
gree of competence. This argument begs
the question. Certainly, leadership implies
that some group of people support the
leader's candidacy. However, they may be
mistaken in their estimate of his ability or
may be selecting for some other criterion.
There are even cases where people are
picked precisely because they are assumed
to lack leadership. Furthermore, the talents
useful in getting elected to office are not
necessarily the same as for functioning in
office. The difference constitutes one of the
perennial problems of government.
In short, the categorical model of the
Caribbean leader as a pragmatic master of
strategy prejudges precisely what it is sup-
posed to describe. The questionable nature
of the assumptions is more evident when

e"-- ', '- "-- _,-__,--__--'__ ,_.__

Reprinted from Taller, woodcut by Luis Novua.

the model is contrasted with the model
used to assess the foreign policy of the
United States. Here the stipulations seem to
be just the reverse. Ideological consid-
erations are assumed to be blindly pursued
at the cost of the interests not only of the
Caribbean nations involved, but also of the
United States itself. United States leader-
ship is further considered to be completely
lacking in rationality of the means selected,
even in terms of the assumed ends.
Granted, it would be difficult to attempt a
blanket justification of the policies involved.
Still, doing everything wrong is as fine an art
as doing everything right. We should not
expect to find many examples in practice.
However, given the possibility that one can
do things wrong, it would seem advisable to
extend the same courtesy to Caribbean
leaders. It makes for a more balanced

With these considerations in mind, suppose
we take a look at some of the decisions

discussed. We may begin with the shift in
Cuban policy from the Tricontinental phase
to the present phase of supporting friendly
governments. As LeoGrande describes it,
"During the late 1960s when Cuban foreign
policy was in its Tricontinental phase, Cuba
provided substantial material support to
virtually every guerrilla movement in Latin
America, no matter how weak or minuscule
that movement happened to be. By 1968,
however, the repeated failures of Latin
American guerrillas particularly the
death of Che Guevara in Bolivia -
prompted a change in Cuban policy. Based
on a new assessment that conditions were
not ripe for revolution in Latin America,
Cuba reduced its material aid to guerrillas.
Instead of attempting to end its hemis-
pheric isolation by promoting revolution,
Cuba began to pursue a diplomatic strategy
'of normalizing relations with those gov-
ernments willing to ignore the existing OAS
sanctions. This strategy was such a success
that in 1975, the sanctions were relaxed."
Commenting on this policy, Maingot

says, "...by providing legitimacy to all who
assert radical 'principles' the Cubans have
blurred the distinction between theory and
practice, an abandonment of the Marxian
emphasis on praxis but one which
nevertheless serves all involved well." How-
ever, the abandonment may not be as
complete as Maingot sees it. Azicri points
out that "Notwithstanding the importance
of these political changes among Latin
American countries, Cuba's opposition to
even consider returning to the OAS went
unabated, claiming that the United States's
'imperialists and their puppets' would have
to leave first. Havana's position on this
matter is well known, it has spoken fre-
quently of forming a new hemispheric or-
ganization without the United States, such
as the Organization of Revolutionary States
of Latin America or the Union of Peoples of
Latin America."
Even if the shift toward pragmatism is
partial, if we consider the new Cuban policy
to be evidence for a masterful selection of
means for achieving a pragmatic goal, what

are we to make of the previous Triconti-
nental policy? Seemingly, either Castro
wildly overestimated the feasibility of
Communist guerrilla success, which ar-
gues a lack of mastery of means, or was
willing to sacrifice Cuban interests on a
dubious gamble, which argues an ideologi-
cal priority. Either interpretation is ques-
tionable for the model of the pragmatic
master of strategy. The third interpretation,
that world conditions changed so drasti-
cally that a rational policy of fermenting
guerrilla activity in the early 60s became
irrational in the late 60s, seems remote.

Reprinted from Taller, woodcut by Luis Novua.

Cuba's Third World policy is equally dif-
ficult to fit into the framework of the mas-
tery model. While Castro managed the
Sixth Nonaligned Nations Conference with
every indication of skill, the effort was
short-lived. To quote Erisman, "Basically,
the Cubans got what they wanted an
affirmation of their contention that the
capitalist West in general and the US in
particular still constitute the enemy against
whom the developing nations must con-
centrate all their anti-imperialist energies.
Havana emerged triumphant in the overall
substantive war with the Yugoslavian faction
by preventing any serious anti-Sovietism
from creeping into the Movement's official
policy statement and by preserving, if not
intensifying, the nonaligned's traditional
anti-Western stance." Nevertheless, only a
few paragraphs later, he says, "...Yet only
four months later (January 1980) all these
efforts were seriously jeopardized by Rus-
sia's intervention in Afghanistan and
Havana's failure to condemn it. Cuba, as
opposed to most non-aligned countries,

voted against a UN General Assembly res-
olution deploring Moscow's actions (the
final tally was 104 in favor, 18 against, 12
absent or not voting). Although it sided with
the Soviets, Havana insisted it was doing so
not because it condoned their Afghanistan
escapade, but because the whole UN exer-
cise was thought to be a self-serving at-
tempt by the US to revitalize its imperialism
by resurrecting the Cold War. However,
since an abstention would have been more
consistent with this argument, its negative
vote gave credence to the charge that its
primary loyalty is to the Socialist Bloc. All

this has hurt the Cubans. It cost them the
seat on the UN Security Council for which
they fought so hard. It has reduced their
support within the Non-aligned Movement,
although it is too early to say whether the
erosion has been so severe as to have ef-
fectively destroyed their leadership
capabilities en toto. What can definitely be
said is that Havana's future in Third World
affairs is much more clouded today than it
was in mid-September 1979."
The Cuban vote appears to show either
lack of mastery or a commitment to
ideological priority. The defense that Cuba
is presently so dependent on Russia as to
have no choice in the matter is, in fact, an
even more severe criticism of a policy which
would leave Cuba in such a bind. Lewis,
who does not seem to share the myth of
Castro's pragmatic mastery, makes no
bones about declaring that there is every
indication that Cuba has become "a surro-
gate of Soviet power in the Americas," and
labels the adventure "a frightful gamble, on
any showing."

Maingot's description of Manley furnishes a
similar example of the use of the model of
the pragmatic master of strategy, belied by
the data supplied on the decisions taken.
His comments on Commonwealth political
leaders include: "...the Cuban involvement
is being played as a 'Cuban card,' quite
skillfully manipulated by some Caribbean
politicians towards less than ideologically
pure ends."
"...The down-to-earth savvy of many
West Indian politicians is not to be
minimized; they first tasted power during
colonial days and still have a hearty appetite
for it. It can be argued in fact that few areas
of the world have more enduring prac-
titioners of what Rexford Tugwell called 'the
art of politics' than does the Caribbean."
His opinion concerning the ends of
political action is equally clear: "...Obvi-
ously the first task of those who would gov-
ern, whether they be conservatives or radi-
cals, is to stay in power....
"... But Manley understands what is today
axiomatic in political sociology, that expe-
diency interests are more constant than
principled interests and that in a conflict
between the two you always place your bet
on expediency.... It is clear that Manley un-
derstands that absolute and inflexible
adherence to principle is the policy of politi-
cal fools or fanatics and he is manifestly
However, despite the supposed under-
standing of the priority of pragmatic con-
siderations and the supposed earthy savvy
of the West Indian politician, the Jamaican
economy seems to be in a bad way. "...the
Jamaican economy as a whole has been in
a downward spiral of low productivity, un-
employment, inflation and a disastrous
brain drain. (The Jamaican National Plan-
ning Agency called it a haemorrhagee of
high-level man power.') My interviews with
Jamaican 'exiles' in Miami (there are now
some 15,000 of them) indicate that they
were not fleeing from socialism but rather
from unchecked crime, shortages of all
kinds and a general sense that no one was
managing the economy. They see it as a
case of rhetorical radicalism gone berserk."
"...drops in productivity, notably in the
agricultural sector. According to FAO fig-
ures, dry beans, corn, rice, all show sub-
stantial drops in output per acre during
1975-77 (as compared to 1969-75)."
Maingot's own opinion seems to be em-
bodied in the following quote: "Far from
being a socialist society Jamaica is rather
what economists call a 'transfer society:'
resources are drawn from the few product-
ive sectors and used up in an effort to ac-
quire existing resources for others. In other
words, more valuable resources are used to
produce less valuable resources. While the
political advantages are obvious, these are
necessarily short-term since, economically,


transfer policies result in a negative sum
game for the society as a whole. The Cuban
connection facilitates the rationalization
that all this is the consequence of a 'revolu-
tionary process.'"
While Maingot's description of the
Jamaican economy is compatible with an
image of Manley as a shrewd revolutionary,
willing to sacrifice immediate interest to
accelerate the socialist development, or
with an image of him as an inept non-
revolutionary, who is mismanaging the
economy, perhaps by submitting to his fol-
lowers' blackmail, I don't see how to fit it
together with a pragmatic master politician.
What possible political advantage, even in
the short run, would accrue from presiding
over the liquidation of the Jamaican econ-
Somehow commentators seem loath to
attribute economic ills to the mismanage-
ment of political leaders. It's just not cricket.
Even in the case of Cuba, whose economic
difficulties are notorious, comments are
tangential, like Levine's delicate reference
to "the Cuba of ideological plentifulness
and economic meagerness." Accepting the
interconnectedness of the world economy
and granted that time and chance hap-
peneth to us all, prolonged disimprove-
ments in the economy should give rise to a
suspicion of either crass mismanagement
or ideological purity.

Torrijos in Panama seems to have gained
enough stature to be given the benefit of the
master of strategy image. Ropp says: "...By
the early 1970s, it was clear that Omar Tor-
rijos was not just another cigar-chomping
Latin American dictator...." Nevertheless,
his policies do not show any signs of even
minimal consistency. As Ropp describes
the strategy: "...the Panamanian Govern-
ment often signals left and turns right or,
more accurately, attempts to turn left and
right at the same time. Panama in effect has
two foreign policies...."
"In recent years the leftist/populist
foreign policy of the regime has been most
clearly expressed through support for the
Sandinistas and through attempts to es-
tablish relations with a large number of
left-leaning Third World governments. The
most conservative economic dimension is
less visible but nonetheless quite real. It is
reflected, for example, in President Royo's
recent visit to Western Europe to seek fi-
nancing for various state and private in-
vestment ventures. Perhaps the best cur-
rent example...was the decision to admit
the former Shah of Iran. A major factor in
this decision was probably the govern-
ment's need for private investment. US
banks such as Chase Manhattan have his-
torically maintained close ties with both the
Panamanian banking community and the

Although this seems a rather inconsis-
tent procedure, and although Ropp himself
says that "In Panamanian politics, it has
never been easy to separate the rhetoric of
revolution from the reality," Ropp seems to
have no difficulty in finding an explanation.
He argues: "Although somewhat offensive
to academic sensibilities, there does not
appear to be any inherent incompatability
between these two tendencies in Panama-
nian foreign policy. The leftist tendency,
designed partially to serve internal political
needs, lends support to the rightist tend-
ency designed to keep the state and na-

Doing everything wrong is
as fine an art as doing
everything right. Given the
possibility that one can do
things wrong, it would
seem advisable to extend
the same courtesy to
Caribbean leaders.

tional economy solvent under conditions of
global economic dislocation...." The suc-
cess of such a venture seems contingent on
either both left and right remaining ignorant
of the state of affairs, which appears dubi-
ous, or on their willingness to settle for half a
loaf, which would be better served by
frankly adopting a middle of the road posi-
It is by no means rare to find a person
pursuing divergent, and perhaps incom-
patable goals simultaneously. Such a pur-
suit reflects either the failure to think
through one's ends or a deliberate attempt
to get the best of both worlds, taking the risk
of ending up with the worst of both worlds.
How one chooses to interpret the pursuit
depends on how convinced one is of the
mastery of the decision maker. Ropp seems
to take Torrijos' mastery for granted. How-
ever, his description of Panamanian partici-
pation in the overthrow of the Somoza gov-
ernment does not make it seem a master-
piece of military strategy. His account fol-
lows: "...No activity reveals Panama's inde-
pendent role in Nicaragua more clearly
than formation of the Victoriano Lorenzo
Brigade. On September 27, 1978, 320
Panamanians met at the Don Bosco
church in Panama City. There they ex-
pressed their revolutionary solidarity with
the Sandinistas, commended their future
guerrilla efforts to God, and said good-by to
their families... From the moment of de-
parture from Panama City, the ranks began

to thin... Best estimates are that 40-45
Panamanians finally reached Nicaragua.
They were assigned to fight with all four
sectors of the FSLN and five were killed in
combat." Certainly, a particular failure does
not automically indicate the incompetence
of the actor. It does, however, leave ample
room for questioning whether a policy of
deviousness is the simplest and most ef-
fective way to do business with both sides.

The United States
In dealing with US decisions, both Azicri
and Knight appear to use the obverse side
of the model of the pragmatic master of
strategy; they view the US as a sort of sor-
cerer's apprentice. On the one hand the US
is accused of ideological rigidity. Azicri says:
"...Given the nature of things, Cuba's
Marxist-Leninist model for state- and
nation- building is anathema for US
decision-makers. The fear of 'another
Cuba' in Latin America has been haunting
the US for the last two decades." Knight
adds: "Why is the United States so worried
about change?...the old phobia of com-
munism...seems such an important di-
mension of the foreign policy of the United
States." This criticism of the United States'
commitment to ideology is all the more
strange in the light of the fact that Knight
concludes his article in the following fash-
ion:'.. If the United States cares about its
future relations with these small states, then
it is incumbent on it to do far more than it is
now doing. And above all, it ought to do it
because it is morally right." I am at least as
much as the next person interested in act-
ing morally right, but I fail to see how it can
be attempted without an ideological com-
The criticism is still more puzzling in that
the US is simultaneously accused of com-
plete inconsistency in its ideology. Knight
says:"'...When the Canadian government
fell after just six months in office, Tune
Magazine reported that a 'well-informed'
official of the government of the United
States said that there was nothing to worry
about. And when the United States
changed three presidents in eight years,
there seemed to be nothing to worry about
- even though one of those changes was
done without the privilege of an election.
But this type of sensibility is never meted
out to states in Latin America and the
Caribbean..." Furthermore, Knight quotes
Martin, with every indication of approval in
describing US policy as "a policy without
content." How this can be reconciled with
charges of ideological rigidity escapes me.
In respect to the mastery of means, the
US decisions are simply attributed to the
incompetence of the president. Speaking
of Ford, Azicri says: "...He possessed lim-
ited, if any, knowledge of international poli-
tics.... For President Ford, this culminated a
series of events which he could neither


master nor even comprehend in its en-
tirety...." There is apparently little hope that
US political leaders could ever compete
with Castro in "the restraint that will
characterize his tenure as leader and
spokesman of the nonaligned movement."
While Azicri and Knight do make a case
for accusing the US of a good deal of cut-
ting and filling in the day to day tactics of
negotiating and posturing, it is by no means
clear why this is automatically evidence of
incompetence or ideological rigidity, when
a US politician does it, but indicates, when a
local politician does it, that "all political
leaders in the Caribbean are, to a very great
extent, political pragmatists."

The Question of Models
Since I have been so free in criticizing the
various authors' use of what I called the
categorical model, I think it only fair that I
sketch what I think ought to be used and
give others the opportunity to criticize me. I
would suggest the use of an assessment
model to evaluate the political leader's
mastery of strategy.
To begin with, such a procedure does not
assume either the leader's mastery or the
lack of it. It is thus evenhanded in dealing
with the leaders of different nations. I see no
a prior reason to consider political boobery
to be directly correlated with national size.
The question of mastery is precisely what
the analysis pretends to answer.
In order to evaluate the effectivity of a
particular policy, and by implication, the
political know-how of the leader that adopts
it, some stipulation as to the end of the
policy is called for. There are three pos-
sibilities. We may use the leader's published

statements as to his ends; we may rely on
unpublished inside information; or we may
conduct a hypothetical analysis. Each of
these approaches has its difficulties. It is
notorious that leaders' published declara-
tions of their ends are themselves seen by
leaders as means to some other end. Get-
ting elected or staying in power often calls
for promising to pursue certain goals, with-
out any necessary desire for their ac-
complishment. Judging a person's mastery
on the basis of his success in achieving a
goal he is not pursuing is a questionable

Somehow commentators
seem loath to attribute
economic ills to the
mismanagement of
political leaders.

Getting inside information is similarly
fraught with obstacles. If the leader is pur-
suing a policy contrary to his pretended
goals, he is not about to make it known.
Anyone using this assessment method is
obliged to bring some evidence that he has
rightly stipulated the leader's ends. It is
perhaps easier for historians than for con-
temporary commentators. However, judg-
ing ends by results and turning around to
judge the results by the inferred ends is too
obviously circular an argument to be de-
The third alternative, the hypothetical

analysis, strikes me as the most cautious
and the most solid. Granted, all our state-
ments are conditional. Instead of saying
that so and so is a political idiot, we say that,
if so and so was trying to do such and such,
he picked a poor means to do so. Thus, our
analyses, if less dogmatic, are more tightly
reasoned. I think a degree of modesty in
commenting on doubtful situations would
not be amiss.
I do not know how Caribbean political
leaders would look, if such an analysis were
to be attempted. My best guess is that they
would be highly dispersed on the dimen-
sion of mastery, ranging from outright
fumblers to highly effective strategists. A
more detailed analysis might show that
most were effective in pursuing some
goals, but highly unsuccessful in others.
Since running a country ordinarily commits
one to a variety of objectives to pursue si-
multaneously, it may be expected that
some of these will suffer. In point of fact,
most leaders do some things well and
others badly. Measures of overall perform-
ance are contaminated by evaluations of
which goals should take precedence.
In a certain sense, all assessments of
political leaders are normative. A good
analysis will not introduce the normative
element surreptitiously, but will spell it out
for the reader, leaving him to evaluate the
analysis in the light of his own opinions
about the value of the goals to be pursued.
Norman Matlin is the director of the Instituto
para el An6lisis de Dicisiones, a consulting firm
with offices in San Juan and Ponce, Puerto
Rico. He is the author of books and articles on
Statistics, Decision Making, Decisional Coun-
seling, and Supervision.

Who speaks for the Caribbean?




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Anthony P. Maingot Replies
"Cuba and the Commonwealth
n a way it is refreshing to meet someone
with the courage (some might say au-
dacity) to deal with a journal such as
Caribbean Review using models purely as
logical constructs, i.e. without any reference
to their real world or empirical applicability.
"Area" students are especially in need of the
occasional "methodological" review and
critique, if only to jar them a bit from their
intrinsic existentialism. This is all well and
good, and I personally welcome Norman
Matlin's critique. It is clear, however, that
even theoretical model builders have to
stick to certain elementary rules of literary
criticism which apply across the board. And
here I fault Matlin. One such elementary
rule for instance is that one critiques a work
in terms of how well, or how badly, it per-
forms what it says it is setting out to do-not
in terms of what the reviewer decides it
should have done. In my case all I set out to
do was a piece of contemporary history. I
say history rather than sociology because
while the former deals with description and
interpretation, the latter deals with causa-
tion, with explanation, i.e. the analysis of "if
... then" type propositions. So that while Mr.
Matlin takes me to task for using a "model
of the pragmatic master of strategy" in de-
scribing Manley, all I tried was to describe
and interpret Manley's actions, not provide
an explanation A la Pareto's "circulation of
elites," Michel's "iron law of oligarchy" or
Harold Lasswell's "psychopathology" of
political leadership.
I doubt that Matlin will find any such ex-
plicit "if... then" propositions in my piece.
He might retort that the statement "the first
task of those who would govern... is to stay
in power ... is just that. The statement,


however, is so nearly axiomatic that to pur-
sue that line would be to engage in a reduc-
tio ad absurdum.
But even if we accepted Matlin's rules of
the game we would still have yet another
objection to his approach.
To juxtapose specific paragraphs from
three different authors, writing completely
independent of each other is hardly
adequate basis to critique any one of those
authors' general conclusions or ap-
proaches. Even if the authors were using
the same "models" or studying similar

The absence of
"effectiveness" will
eventually take its toll of
legitimacy. But the
question remains: How
long is eventually?

hypotheses such a procedure would be
questionable. It is widely known that the
study of social problems with even the most
rigorous research designs but using differ-
ent samples or the same sample studied
with different paradigms more often than
not yield different findings. But that is not
even the major issue here, since in this case
it really is of no import what Messrs.Leo-
Grande's and Azicri's opinions are about
Fidel Castro's political adeptness as com-
pared to my own. The fact that they might
be factually right and I wrong or vice versa is
irrelevant to Mr. Matlin's point. He is in-
terested in logic not facts. It therefore
eludes me all the more how and why Matlin
should assume that because Manley has
mismanaged the Jamaican economy this
negates my contention that he is a wiley and
clever politician. Would Matlin find illogical
(and thus "wrong") the commonly held
opinion that the Mexican Revolution from
1911 to 1927 was an economic failure, but a
political success? In fact one would have
thought that the continued holding of
power despite repeated or continued eco-
nomic mismanagement is evidence of
political skill-in Marxist dictatorships and
certainly in a parliamentary democracy
which Jamaica-decidedly is.
One recalls the position of revolutionary
France's Abbe Sieyes who when asked
what exactly he had done during the various
regimes of the period, responded: "I sur-
vived." French history books record him as
a savvy politician of his time.
I can only conclude that Matlin has for-
gotten that models should be used as
heuristic devices, to help reconstruct social
reality even in the midst of the most baffling

William M. LeoGrande Replies
"Cuba and Nicaragua"

t seems to me that most of Norman
Matlin's objections stem from a highly
idealized notion of how analysts ought to



and perplexing apparent illogic. I believe
this because Mr. Matlin's models seem to
create the exact opposite effect: by de-
manding logic in a holistic sense they leave
him conceptually undernourished and
straight jacketed conceptually and there-
fore unable to understand particular ac-
tions or periods.
Matlin's critique brings to mind Marx's
critique of Proudhon's analysis of Louis
Bonaparte. Proudhon, Marx wrote, by
sticking too strictly to a model of historical
evolution had fallen into "the error of our
so-called objective historians." On the
other hand, the brilliance of Marx's case
study of the same Louis Bonaparte stems
from his flexibility of analysis within the
class struggle framework. It was this flexi-
bility which allowed Marx to describe what
he called the "circumstances and relation-
ships that made it possible for a grotesque
mediocrity to play a hero's part."
It is crucial to an understanding of politi-
cal leadership in the Caribbean (especially
its charismatic aspects) to conceptually
distinguish betweenpolitical and manage-
rial skills. How else would one understand
the many managerial mediocrities who are
nevertheless political heroes? We do know,
as Juan Linz has recently reminded us, that
the absence of "effectiveness" will eventu-
ally take its toll of legitimacy. But the ques-
tion remains: How long is eventually? Eight
years as in Manley's case, 21 as in Fidel's or
25 as in Eric Williams'?

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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 O. 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.

apply decision models to real world events.
Inferential models he tells us, "stipulate the
appropriateness of means," from which we
can then deduce what ends are being pur-
sued. Assessment models "stipulate ends"
and evaluate the appropriateness of the
means adopted. His complaint is that we
have (purportedly) stipulated both means
and ends, leaving ourselves nothing to
analyze but our own biases.
Speaking in our collective defense, I
don't think we have "stipulated" either
means or ends. On the contrary, we have

The real world isn't
that neat.

tried to establish them empirically across a
wide swath of time during which both
means and ends underwent considerable
evolution. When our investigations have
revealed inconsistency among goals, or
differential skill in pursing various means to
those ends, we have reported it. This,more
than anything, seems to lie at the heart of
Matlin's complaint. Apparently, he would
have preferred that we stipulate either
means or ends and proceed with a static
analysis, sans complexity. The real world
isn't that neat.
There is a Catch-22 quality to most of
Matlin's critique. Having attributed to us the
assumption that Caribbean leaders are
"pragmatic Masters of strategy" an as-
sumption which is his creation, not ours -
he proceeds to demonstrate at length that
our analyses don't square with this as-
sumption. They certainly don't, but all Mat-
lin has done is to demolish a series of
straw men.
Indeed, Matlin is intolerant of analyses
which admit of any complexity. When
Maingot argues that Manley has been
politically astute despite his mismanage-
ment of the Jamaican economy, Matlin
chides him for presenting an analysis that is
internally contradictory as if it were im-
possible for a leader to act masterfully on
some occasions and ineptly on others!
When Ropp contrasts Torrijo's skillful
domestic political juggling with the ineffec-
tiveness of his efforts to organize volunteers
for Nicaragua, Matlin raises the same ob-
jection. According to Matlin, such analyses
are inconsistent with the "model" of a
pragmatic master of strategy a fantasy
figure who never errs and never deviates
from his pragmatic goals. Our own original
commentary offers the best evidence that
this idealized leader is Matlin's construct,
not ours.


I _

Steve C. Ropp Replies
"Cuba and Panama"

Norman Matlin's critique raises some
interesting questions concerning
the use of decision-making models
in foreign policy analysis. In spite of the
considerable attention devoted to the de-
velopment of such models during the past
decade, there is a tendency to lapse into old
habits, particularly when not addressing a
narrow technical audience. Certainly, my
own analysis of the Panamanian decision to
send the Victoriano Lorenzo Brigade to
Nicaragua reflects such a tendency. How-
ever, even recognizing such lapses, it does
not follow that Matlin is correct in his
judgement that Omar Torrijos is something
less than a master decision-maker. As I will
attempt to demonstrate, the seeming inep-
titude displayed with regard to the Brigade
venture probably reflected the tactics Tor-
rijos chose to use rather than bungling in-
Before discussing Matlin's critique, I find
it convenient to "translate" his two analytical
models into the language of political sci-
ence. His inferential model is quite similar
to what Graham Allison calls the rational
actor model. Means are examined in order
to infer ends, and the central decision-
maker is considered to be a "master of his
trade," both rational and competent in pur-
suit of his goals. Matlin appears to view this
model as of limited utility due to constraints
imposed on the central decision-maker by
bureaucratic bargaining and organizational
implementation: "When we apply the
model to decisions reached by a series of
tradeoffs among persons with different
ends and opinions, and executed by still
others with little idea of what policy they are
carrying out, it is obvious that the analysis

should be considered highly problematic."
My intent here is not to engage in a de-
bate as to the relative weight that should be
assigned to central decision-making, bu-
reaucratic bargaining, and organizational
implementation in evaluating foreign policy
activity. Rather, I will argue that the case
which Matlin makes in order to demon-
strate the inapplicability of the "master of
his trade" model to Torrijos' Brigade deci-
sion is not convincing. Matlin's primary
evidence for a "bungling dictator"
counter-interpretation is that the Victoriano
Lorenzo Brigade quickly fell apart after it left

Omar is surely a dictator,
but just as surely not a
bungling one.

Panama City. He quotes my article: "On
September 27, 1978, 320 Panamanians
met at the Don Bosco church in Panama
City. There they expressed their revolution-
ary solidarity with the Sandinistas, com-
mended their future efforts to God, and said
good-by to their families ... From the mo-
ment of departure from Panama City, the
ranks began to thin ... Best estimates are
that 40-45 Panamanians finally reached
Nicaragua. They were assigned to fight with
all four sectors of the FSLN and five were
killed in combat."
In order to evaluate this "bungling dic-
tator" interpretation, we need to closely
examine the circumstances under which
the Brigade was initially formed. After the
September 1978 uprising in Nicaragua,
Torrijos moved quickly to purchase arms
with which to equip a military expedition. He
initiated contact on September 20th
through the Panamanian consul in Miami
with arms suppliers in Florida and New
Jersey. Seven shipments including .30
caliber M-1 carbines, Colt .45 pistols, Re-
mington 30.06 rifles with telescopic sights,
and ammunition were sent to Panama
during subsequent months. Their ultimate
destination was the Panama Hunting and
Fishing Club whose principal stockholder
was National Guard Chief of intelligence
Manuel Noriega.
However, Torrijos faced a major hurdle in
sending troops and equipment to aid the
Sandinistas. His plans became quite obvi-
ous to the State Department which had
issued export licenses for the above-
mentioned weapons. While most US offi-
cials had no great love of Somoza, there
was considerable concern that Panama-
nian involvement in Nicaragua could dis-
rupt the delicate negotiations with Con-
gress over canal implementing legislation.

In late September 1978, Hamilton Jordan
called Torrijos and warned him that inter-
vention in Nicaragua would reduce the
chances for success in the House of Repre-
Consequently, Torrijos had to design a
military expedition which would give the
appearance of a mass popular undertaking
while at the same time maintaining central
control over an effective combat force. He
selected Hugo Spadafora, an official in the
Panamanian Ministry of Health to lead the
Brigade. Spadafora had served as a medi-
cal doctor in Guinea-Bissau during the
early 1970s. There, he was attached to the
guerrilla forces of Amiclar Cabral who was
fighting for independence from Portugal.
Although the precise circumstances sur-
rounding Spadafora's African sojourn are
not clear, it is highly likely that he became
involved in the guerrilla effort through the
military and medical aid program devel-
oped there by Fidel Castro.
Spadafora's primary task may have been
to organize the volunteer effort in such a
way as to avoid the consequences of a vio-
lent US reaction. Both the Panamanian
public and US government officials were
kept in the dark as to the evolving strategy
of intervention. Within this context, there are
several alternative interpretations that can
be given to the faltering march from
Panama City: (1) The Panama City rally
could have been designed to provide a
cover for the deployment of a highly trained
contingent of National Guard troops to
Nicaragua. (2) The 320 individuals who
volunteered in Panama City may have been
viewed as a pool of potential manpower
rather than as a military unit per se.
There is no conclusive evidence at this
point with which to evaluate these alterna-
tive interpretations. However, it does appear
that some National Guard troops were sent
to Nicaragua with the Brigade, supporting
proposition one. Most likely, they handled
the heavy infantry weapons. From state-
ments Spadafora made while in Nicaragua,
we can conclude that these troops consti-
tuted a central core that was to be used to
train later arrivals.
As for the second interpretation, there is
considerable evidence to suggest that the
320 original volunteers merely constituted
a manpower pool. The most dedicated
were taken by bus to a government penal
colony on the island of Coiba where they
were given extensive training. This training
was probably directed by National Guard
personnel. From the available evidence, the
Brigade members who finally reached
Nicaragua constituted a mix of National
Guard personnel and well-trained volun-
teers. Some of these volunteers may have
had relatives in Nicaragua.
It is clear then that there are a number of
logical alternative explanations for the "fail-
Continued on page 50

CAIBBcAN ev ew/29


Miguel Barnet on the


Interviewed by Barry B. Levine
Translated by Lourdes A. Chediak

Cuban anthropologist and poet,
Miguel Barnet, 40, has received ex-
traordinary acclaim for his develop-
ment of the testimonial form of literature, a
genre also known as the life-history, the
personal document, or the first-person
sociology. Biografia de un cimarr6n
(1966) articulates the life of a 108 year-old
runaway slave who went through the wars
of Independence in Cuba. Cimarr6n has
sold more copies in Cuba than any other
book published there since the Castro Rev-
olution. It has been translated into Czech,
Danish, English, French, German, Hunga-
rian, Italian, Japanese, Polish, Portuguese,
Russian, and Swedish. Selections of the
book have been recorded on a French-
language record and an opera produced in
German also appears on record. La can-
ci6n de Rachel (1969) brings to light the
past life of an actress-chorus girl in Havana
during the first part of the century. Rachel
has been translated into French, Hunga-
rian, Italian, and apparently, English. A play
based on the book is pending production in
English. Because of my own interest in the
genre I took advantage of my attendance at
Carifesta during the summer of 1979 to
interview Miguel Barnet in Havana. The
following is the result of that interview; it was
translated into English by Lourdes A.
Chediak, formerly on the staff of Caribbean

Barry B. Levine: If indeed the testimonial
form of literature is not new then its accept-
ance both as science and as art is in fact
new. As one of the master practitioners of
this genre you are in a particularly unique
position to comment on its proper intel-
lectual location. What is new about the tes-
Miguel Barnet: I believe that the testimonial,
that is, the account of the true experiences
of a human life, dates back to the earliest
periods of Greek and Roman culture. What
are the Iliad and the Odyssey but the great
testimonials of their time within which were
gathered all the myths and legends that
marked that epoch.
There are many ways of presenting living
experiences and testimonials are found in
narrative prose, in creative and interpreta-

tive history, and in poetry. The form of the
testimonial is nothing new, nor was it in-
vented by anyone in particular- it is simply
the gathering, in a coherent and scientific
manner, of the oral tradition of a people, the
histories of diverse human cultures. I con-
sider testimonials to be a modality of the
narrative form, but I did not write my tes-
timonials with an exclusively artistic inter-
est, but also with a marked and direct sci-
entific orientation.
BBL: Are your works science or art? Sociol-
ogy or literature?
MB: When I wrote Autobiography of a
Runaway Slave I had accumulated in desk
drawers an immense wealth of information
on the life of the subject, Esteban Montejo,
the protagonist. This material was to be
used, not in a testimonial novel because
at that time that idea had not yet occurred to
me but in a monograph on slave life that
a group of young Cuban writers were to put
together. Towards this end, I interviewed
many old men, most of them over 100 years
of age, and among them was Esteban
Montejo, a former runaway slave and a man
of extraordinary personal magnetism and
enchantment, with a prodigious memory,
who inspired me to write his story.
That testimonial is organized and struc-
tured by stages in the life of the subject, with
the deliberate purpose of finding a series of
patterns of behavior, and of studying el
caso human. That is to say, the human
type that was, in Cuba, a slave who became
a cimarr6n, a runaway slave, and then be-
came a mambi, and who was the supreme
exponent of one hundred years of war in
our country.
I organized all this material, all this doc-
umentation, in a manner that would make
sense. A literary sense, of course, but also
one that would serve a scientific function. I
have said that the testimonial novel is a
form of socio-literature. In Autobiography
of a Runaway Slave I did not propose to
come to definite conclusions nor absolute
results, but simply to demonstrate, to ex-
pose, the life of the subject, his avatars, the
circumstances through which he lived, the
most difficult, the most contradictory, the
ones which marked his personality; all in
the function of delineating the profile of a

man of his extraction, that is, of a black man
who had been a slave. Esteban Montejo, in
his part, captivated me with his language,
his metaphors, his imagination. He spoke in
fables and parables, and this, together with
my intrinsic condition as a poet, gave the
book such power, such force.
My book, when it was first published, was
difficult to define. It was part sociology, part
history, even part fictional novel insofar
as the life portrayed in it reached novelistic
dimensions. In the same way, the form of
the testimonial itself has been much con-
fused. Today, anyone who writes a mere
journalistic report, or any kind of informa-
tive journalism, or anyone who sits with a
tape-recorder to gather the memoirs of a
particular person classifies such a work as a
testimonial novel. This is wrong and it is
why I maintain what I consider to be indi-
cators of what a testimonial novel is and
should be thought of as.
In my own case, testimonials are based
on sociology, the search for patterns of
behavior, modes of life, the study of cos-
mogonies, of knowing how Man is formed,
how he projects himself in relation to Na-
ture. In my book there are a series of pan-
theistic and animistic aspects. There is a
cult of "machismo." Man appears in his
flagrant contradictions with other men. In
other words, it is not a simple story that can
be automatically turned onto virgin pages.
BBL: Granted your assertion that the tes-
timonial dates back to the times of Greece
and Rome, yet today the tape recorder plays
an important part in your work, in that of
Oscar Lewis, etc. If the form comes from
the past it has been made easier and more
efficient by the use of the faculties of the
MB: To write the Runaway Slave I used a
tape recorder, but I also took notes, and the
tape recorder was used mostly to preserve
the turns of the conversations, the tone of
the words of Esteban Montejo and to fix all
the factual and concrete data, such as in-
structions, dates, etc. But basically, I took
pen to paper.
Later, of course, I incorporated myself
totally into the language and the psychol-
ogy of the subject. As Flaubert wrote:
"Madame Bovary, c'est moi." Esteban

Montejo was myself, in a determinate mo-
ment, by that identification which occurs
fully and spontaneously between the sub-
ject and the writer of a testimonial novel.
I wrote Runaway Slave with the aid of a
tape recorder that weighed approximately
sixty pounds. At that time there weren't any
mini-cassettes as there are now. It was a
noble, generous machine. To set it up I
needed at least fifteen minutes, and it was a
great big black box like a coffin. Afterwards,
they invented wonderful, efficient ma-
chines. But without man's own talent, with-
out his fine ear, without sensibility and a
necessary anthropological and sociological
formation, there is no tape recorder that can
do the work. The tape recorder is a simple
artifact, a simple object, like a cane. One
can lean on it or not. Personally, I find it
useful, and I am all for modern technology,
but I fear that modern technology has mis-
lead many into thinking that possessing it
and using it on a Cherokee Indian, or a
Mohawk, or a little old lady that used to sing
the blues with Ida Ward or Bessie Smith -
that is sufficient. One has to know what one
wants, what to look for, what one intends the
meaning of his work to be.
The tape recorder, therefore, is useful, but
if there is a lack of sensitivity, of insight, of
talent, of knowing what one wants, the tape
recorder is a useless object one can do
BBL: Let's talk about the differences be-
tween sociology and the sociological tes-
timonial, what you call "socio-literature."
MB: Sociological treatises, especially those
dealing with the community, are very in-
teresting to me primarily because I am a
sociologist. But the great majority of the
public cannot digest these works because
they are usually elaborated in a very arid
and dry form. If there is anything to be
gained by my books it is that they present
case studies in a more accessible manner.
My book of fables, Akeke y la jutia
(Akeke and the Opossum, 1978), is a tes-
timony in the sense that it gathers the oral
tradition. Of course, it was reworked and
recreated, because one cannot simply pub-
lish things as one is told them, and whoever
does that, without analyzing, without as-
sembling, without truly trimming and syn-

Miguel Barnet.



jrf ^ -~AIM,

thesizing it, is doing work that is useless.
Because the truth is to be found in the syn-
thesis. The truth is not in presenting abun-
dant and excessive data, because this can
not be exhaustive, only exhausting. What I
have done with my book of fables is to pre-
sent a chosen collection of those Cuban
anthropomorphic tales which I consider
most representative and of the most rich-
ness and value. With them, I had a task of
purification, of synthesis, recreating them in
a way in which they would lose none of their
authenticity, their essence, that indelible
mark that characterizes all oral tradition, of
beauty, enchantment and poetry.
I agree with the thought that academic
sociological studies can produce the most
accurate results. But when the sociologist is
a truly powerful sociologist, possessing all
the attributes of a novelist, that is, that
special quality, that morbid peculiarity of
entering the human psyche, that
sociologist can reach to the core of Man's
psychology and spirit, of his problems and
his contradictions.
Novelists like Dostoyevsky and William
Faulkner are masters in this sense. They
have made a great contribution to psychol-
ogy and sociology, analyzing and interpret-
ing their culture and the people who make it
up. It is necessary for the sociologist to
meet once and for all with the novelist, with
the creator, to identify with the search for
those essences that define Man. A book of
straight sociology is not the same as a novel
of testimony. A novel of testimony reaches
further, presenting the subject in a more
integral, total form.
Sociology should not only lean on eco-


nomics, and statistics, and mathematics,
but also on the entire novelistic heap of
humanity. If I have made a contribution with
my books it has been to that definite final
encounter where we can say: "Here is the
core of man" which is not found in cold
academic treatises, but which is vital,
breathing, in the testimonial novel.
Many have criticized me for writing books
such as Runaway Slave and Song of
Rachel being, as I am, a person of an-
thropological background. But my critics
have been sociologists and students of the
orthodox whose only fundamental contri-
butions have been textbooks. I am not
against books of text, but writing them was
never my pretension. I intended to go be-
yond that, towards the human dimension,
the human category.
Others, on the other hand, have praised
my work. Among them are Moreno Fragi-
nals, Juan Perez de la Riva, and other
Cuban historians. Without my an-
thropological formation, without my
knowledge of the history and folklore of my
country, I would not have been able to pro-
duce my books of testimony, or a book of
fables like Akeke y lajutia. But neither
would I have done it without that fiber, that
ferment of creativity, of poet and novelist
that resides in me.
BBL: How then do you ultimately classify
yourself, as a sociologist or as a poet?
MB: 1 believe that one has to go towards a
fusion of the disciplines, towards integra-
tion. Our generation will not define us. In the
future, twenty or thirty years from now,
those who study our works will say what we
are. What's important is that they should
study our work, that our work should
transcend us. What difference does it make
whether we are sociologists, or novelists, or
poets, if we have understood Man, if we
have presented him in an integral and
humane form.
BBL: It seems to me that there is something
in every person whose life is written about in
testimony that is not typical, that removes
him from the commonplace he is after
all, a person who knows how to express
himself, who can explain his ideas and
speak of his life. That alone makes him
atypical in some sense.
MB: In the cases of Runaway Slave and
Rachel, they both deal with typical, not
atypical characters. They each typify a soci-
ety, a way of life, a way of expression. Este-
ban Montejo is the negro, the rebel, that with
his magical culture, upheld by his myths,
could defend himself against a hostile
world. On the other hand, Rachel is the
world, open to influences, flexible, docile.
She depended on others' thoughts,
thoughts that alienated and dominated her.
She was a vedette from the 1920s, when
Cuba was penetrated first by the ideas of the
French and then by the Yankees. She did
not think with her head, while the runaway

slave did. Backed by his myths he projected
a tight philosophical language that pro-
vided him support. He was typical, because
he was typical of his class, the runaway
slaves in Cuba.
BBL: Then you could call him proto-typical.
MB: Yes, because he is the people speaking,
because what I have sought is precisely
that, to hear the views, once and for all, of
the men who had not had the opportunity to
speak. History, sociology, have been inter-
preted by us, by our fathers and the fathers
of our fathers, with their optics, with their
tendencies positivism, functionalism,
Marxism but, and the people? What are
the opinions of the people? What are the
visions of a man who had not yet had an
opportunity to express them?
BBL: But among the people he stands
MB: I wouldn't say he stands out. I think the
only way in which he stands out is in his
language, but not in his experiences. He is a
typical case of the black man who was a
slave, who ran away and later became a
mambi. That was a very generalized class in
Cuba, very numerous. Later they were frus-
trated by the War of Independence, and the
American intervention. He is prototypical in
the measure in which he possesses a form
of expression superior to others of his class,



,'' S.


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a metaphoric language that is naturally a
didactic language, that procreates teach-
ing. In that sense yes, there were others like
him who had the same experiences and did
not know how to express them, how to ar-
ticulate them. He did. And with my help, his
articulation became more harmonious,
more complete.
BBL: This problem becomes more compli-
cated in the case of Rachel.
MB: No,Rachel was the same way, only that
Rachel has more creative ingredients since
it is based not on a single character, but
rather on experiences and anecdotes of
other vedettes, of other cocottes of the era
that typified Rachel with their peculiar
characteristics and peculiar lives full of
To write Rachel, I interviewed six vedet-
tes, contemporaries of Rachel. Almost all
the material I used is her own, but there are
elements from the others since I wanted to
achieve a unity of the different things that
happened typically in that situation ... that
of a malleable imagination that depended
on an oligarchy that dominated her like a
BBL: Are you satisfied with what you have
done? What are your plans for future work

in the genre?
MB: Runaway Slave has been published
in some 23 editions, in different parts of the
globe. Moreover, I have had the honor of
seeing my book reviewed by personalities
such as Graham Green, Hugh Thomas,
Italo Calvino, Moreno Fraginals, Ricardo
Pozas, Calixta Guiteras, Simone de
Beauvoir, Alejo Carpentier. In the US, also,
there have been many positive critiques of
my work by sociologists and by novelists.
There is an opera, there have been recitals
and mime theatre.
Song of Rachel will, I hope, soon be pro-

The truth is not in
presenting abundant and
excessive data, because
this cannot be exhaustive,
only exhausting.

duced on Broadway as a comedy, directed
by Randy Barcel6. In addition to these and

to the book of fables, Akeke y lajutia, I
have written several books of poetry: La
Piedra Fina y el pavo real, published in
1963; Isla de Gilies, in 1964; La Sagrada
Familia, in 1967; and Carta de noche,
which will be published this year in Cuba, a
thick tome of poems that won a special
mention in this year's Uni6n de Escritores y
Artistas de Cuba competition. I also have
forthcoming a collection of essays, Da la
fuente uiva, about Cuban culture.
My future projects include a second vol-
ume of Cuban fables, but I am not planning
any other testimonials for the moment,
although there are many themes, many
characters, and much richness yet to be
worked on. I am afraid of falling into a pat-
tern, in search of success. Since Runaway
Slave, as well asSong of Rachel, have been
so successful, I think I should wait at least 10
years before I sit down again to produce
another book of testimony. For the mo-
ment, I will write my fables, and continue
doing my research into Cuban culture and

Barry B. Levine teaches Sociology and edits
Caribbean Review at Florida International Uni-
versity in Miami.


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

SugarCake Day

A Short Story

By E.A. Markham

So that's what they meant by the days
getting shorter! (She had it in her
mind and it slipped right out again.)
But there must be something terrible they'd
found out, too bad for her an old woman
to know; and the result was that the chil-
dren would have to suffer; her children
would have their life shortened cut out,
cut off, cut away: And they all knew it and
kept it from her. She could understand that.
The old must know their place; and she was
the worrying kind. But why behave like that?
Why humiliate her in company? Her own
son. For some time now she had forced
herself not to worry. If their lives had to be
cut off, let it be in old age. But to punish the
children and grandchildren! Little Karen
was only four years old! That was immoral.
She was a big woman who knew right from
wrong, and when she saw wrong, she wasn't
going to keep her mouth shut in spite of
her lord-and-master son. This time she had
merely said, "Which end of the day they
going shorten?" A simple question, and yet
you would have thought she was asking
him for money. He flew into such a rage (of
course, the wife put him up to it). They
didn't know what nonsense she was talking.
Was she getting old or what? And they were
never slow to hint that there was a place for
crazy people; no names mentioned. They
didn't want her talking any nonsense in
front of the children, or teaching the chil-
dren any ignorance. She knew more than
was safe, and they were frightened. That's
why they had hounded her out of the party
The footsteps stopped outside the door,
and the lord-and-master was obviously
composing himself to deliver a lecture. The
entire house was carpeted, except for the
kitchen, the bathroom and the little strip
outside "Mother's room." From inside, you
couldn't always tell if the footsteps stopped
dead outside the door, or if they were just
swallowed up by the carpet. Mother had, of
course, complained, but was told that the
carpet had run out, and that they were
hunting in the sales for one that matched
exactly, so as not to have to cheapen the
effect with a different pattern. It was just
temporary. There was a knock as expected.
Mother heard it, but didn't think of re-

spending immediately. It wasn't far away
exactly, but it could have been, well, the sort
of thing you didn't recognize as a knock, or
you didn't think you had to answer.
That was a voice from further back, not
the lord-and-master. It was Don, the way-
ward one, visiting.
"You all right?"
He came in. It was the first time he had
seen his mother in the new setting, his
brother's home, and he wanted to show the
right degree of interest without intruding. As
the mother had previously hinted that she
was put in the box-room and barely had
space to put her things, Don was surprised
(not entirely) to see the newly-decorated
double-room, large and cluttered in the way
his mother liked it (perhaps white was the
wrong color; a little oppressive, antiseptic -
too bright for an old woman who wanted to
be part of the background). It was cluttered
with, apart from the double bed, a large
cupboard, a night table with radio, Bible,
glasses etc., another table with a television
- like a rebellious child, loud, ignored,
trying to blink a program into focus: But the
floor was adequately carpeted. Mother was
sitting on the bed, clearing a space so that
he could sit down.
"Nice room," Don said.
"It small, eh?"
"Lovely room you've got here. Double
room, you know. Nice big window there."
He went toward it. "And light. Got a nice view
of the garden from here. You can go and sit
in the garden. In summer."
"I sit."
"And the park. Nice park on the other
"Oh no. That road is too dangerous to
"Well, the garden's nicer, anyway."
"I tried one time. I walk and walk. And I
nearly didn't get back here you know!" She
laughed. "I don't have a call in the park."
"The garden's nicer. Quiet."
"Yes. Yes... but it lonely. Lonesome. My
friends, they can't come all the way out
here. It's just too far. I don't have any friends
here, you know."
Don was a bit rusty on the family code,
and he wasn't sure if "here" meant this part

of London, or the house her son's house.
So he let it pass.
"You watching television?" he said,
slightly conscious of the dialect, humoring
the child, silencing it a bit. "You watching
"Like this program, do you?"
"No, not particularly. But leave it on.
Leave it on. Something will come on."
"There you are. Well..." Rubbing his
hands and looking round the room, hoping
that his peacemaking role was unneces-
sary, hoping that the downstairs con-
tratemps was forgotten, absorbed. "You're
looking well." Wrong thing to say? He had
said something similar to the father of a
friend, a man who had just survived a heart
attack. "That's what they all say when you're
dying," the old man had said. Don couldn't
make up his mind whether he wanted to
draw his mother to him, or to keep her at a
safe distance.
"They say anything?" she demanded.
"Who? Downstairs?"
"I'm afraid to open my mouth."
"Oh don't. Don't take it so seriously."
"You don't have any children yet?"
"Me?" And now he knew why he didn't
visit more often. He was unmarried. His
mother was a moralist, a Puritan, where
sexual matters were concerned.
"You not thinking of having any?"
"I've got to find someone who wants to
marry me first."
"But you not trying." A statement.
"Yes, well ... you know." Back to her
problem. "So there's nothing particularly
bothering you." He hated his role.
"I mean, you can't take people so seri-
ously. They don't, you know, they don't
mean ... Is this your program?"
"It's all right."
"Have you got a chair in this room?"
"A chair, yes. It's downstairs. Downstairs
for guests ... I hope they know what they
"Well ... that's their problem, isn't it?
Anyway, you look well, you musn't upset
"I have to go to hospital every month."
"The same thing?" Treading familiar




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ground now. He had accompanied her on a
couple of those trips, earlier on. Now, years
later, she still had to go back for
psychotherapy. Those early trips hadn't
been so much painful as joyless and ugly
and it just seemed as it had for a long
time so far away where the life of his
mother was being lived. Did they still send
the ambulance, or did they take her in the
car? Don didn't want to know; so he re-
peated his question, wearily.
"So it's basically the same." This time
taking the question out of his voice.
"So they say. I don't see any improve-
"As long as there's nothing new."
"No improvement at all."
"... and as long as you're not in any pain."
"The legs pain. But old people have
"Ah, come on. You don't look a day over a
"My mother live to nearly 90. But even my
hair dropping out You know I have to wear a
The wig was crooked and it depressed
him. He didn't want to dwell on it. He sug-
gested they should go down and rejoin the
others in the sitting room. They were being
"You can write a letter for me?" A little
function, and yet, he couldn't do it. He
wasn't, somehow, an obliging person; it was
like asking him to cheat. Her granddaughter,
Yvonne, wrote her letters. It was one of the
things she did, like homework and
washing-up. Better to keep things as they
were. He would maneuver her downstairs.
"O.K.?" He indicated the door.
She was anxiously rummaging in her
bag, and finally came up with three or four
crumpled pound notes; and pressed them
on him. Yes, it had been a mistake for him to
come up; his self-possession, his resolve to
be reasonable, to be sympathetic but not to
interfere, started to slip. But one had to be
"No, no," he said. "I'm all right. That's all
right. You've got to save something, put
something aside..."
"But I have. Look!" She opened her
purse, displaying notes.
"Yeah, but... you see, you can go out and
buy yourself..." he couldn't very well say
...a meal." He felt a fraud. "How about
afternoon tea. Cakes?"
"Oh, but I make my own. You know I
make my own. I always make my own
cakes. You should tell me when you com-
ing, and I'll make you a cake. If it don't
burn." She laughed at that. "Yvonne buys
me flour and sugar. And all the ingredients.
And baking-powder and so. And she can
beat the cake for me. Me hands not so
strong now-a-days. No sir. You see my fin-
gers?" The fingers, though swollen and a
little bit misshapen, were a source of


amusement to her. "Only, Yvonne's mem-
ory as bad as mine. Everytime, the cakes
burn. Every time. It's not like the old wood
oven where you could leave it, you know.
But take the money, no?"
Don was ready for that. "I tell you what,
you can buy me a present."
"It's not your birthday."
"Well, no but..."
"Then, you must tell me what you want."
"Instead of a birthday present, how about
a Christmas present? You can buy me
something at Christmas."
"If I live."

The smell, the taste of
sugarcake restored to her
another whole chunk -
years perhaps that
she'd been living without;
she'd been encouraged
to live without.

"You've never missed a Christmas yet"
"I don't know if I'm going to live to see
Christmas." But she was laughing.
"So that's settled then. Make a long list of
all your presents, and I'll come and help you
wrap them."
"But you don't live here."
"I'll come and help you."
"You must come and spend the day. The
others coming on the 24th. Or 26th. You
can come and stay. Stay over. They have a
spare bed."
That was settled then and perhaps it was
now time to rejoin the party downstairs, but
Don had no will to press her. They were here
in her room with the telly like a contented
child, oblivious. And really, these two par-
ticular people couldn't be separated neatly
into the many categories that he had hoped
and she had feared they might. He had
somehow to form a bridge from her private
fear to their public hostility downstairs, and
he was incompetent; his was the sort of
bridge where people drowned.
"What about this this short day busi-
ness then?" he asked, hinting at what was
bothering her.
"They send you to ask me that."
"Don't be silly. Don't be so suspicious.
People misunderstand it. But you're right in
a way. There's so much to do now-a-days.
The days are getting shorter."
"They not shorter if you remember. My
memory leaving me."
"Oh, you're doing pretty well."
"One day, I forget the name of Uncle

Ned's horse."
"You remember!" She was delighted,
then thoughtful. "You remember and you
younger than them." Suddenly, she was
conspiring, whispering. "You don't know
anything." Then angrily. "What you telling
me about Ruby? I don't know nothing about
no Ruby." Still whispering. "But I finally
remember, and teach Karen so she won't
forget." She sighed. "Old people are a nui-
sance, eh?"
"Now, you're being silly."
"They're a burden. They can't do much.
They taking away room from the young.
Maybe that's why the young people have to
give up some of their youth."
"You mustn't talk like this."
"But they can't help it. It's not they fault
they alive. I say another way should be
found. That's what I say."
"You mustn't let anyone hear you talk like
"And the country can't afford the pen-
"I'm going down. I'm going downstairs."
"Already Karen, little Karen think she was
born in this house, and she wasn't, you
know. This will only be the third Christmas
in this house. And Karen says she born
here. And she four years old."
"I'll wait for you downstairs. Come down
when you're ready." And he closed the door
gently behind him.
The family party assembled in the
sitting-room, continued its well-bred pick-
ing at nuts or at slices of rich fruit cake with
tiny forks. Drinks were there to be refused
and the cross-conversation, the television
and a couple of children Karen and her
younger cousin tolerated one another.
The conversation was about promotion at
work, about who had bought new houses in
expensive areas (speculating on the
number of "colored" they'd meet there), on
violence in the streets, etc. This didn't stop
them from keeping one eye on the televi-
sion, so that mildly deprecating comments
on the programs came as a sort of constant
refrain. On the carpet, the two children were
challenging each other to the heavyweight
contest of the world. Karen's three-year-old
challenger/champion was the male hope,
so parents waited discreetly in expectation.
Then they turned wearily to Don.
"She coming down?"
"Mother feeling all right?"
"She's a bit tired," Don said.
"She tell you of the plan to rob her of her
"Not exactly."
"Don't encourage her, eh?"
"Well, you've obviously made up your
minds. I'm not involved, eh. Don't include
me in any witchhunt."
"It's easy for you not to be involved."
"All right. All right." Don didn't want an

"It's very easy not to be involved. It's the
easiest thing in the world," the lord-and-
master said.
"I'm a simple woman, eh. I don't know
what you mean by witchhunt," a simple
woman said, "But I don't want her telling my
child anything about jumble, and haunted
house and rubbish."
"Jumbie. Palace in the West Indies with
servants. And rubbish about chigga in your
"Mum Mum, 1 got chigga, I got chigga,"
Muhammad Ali announced, claiming vic-
tory for a contest no one else had seen.
"No. Me Chigga. Me Chigga," claimed
the male hope not to be outdone.
"What nonsense they talking. Where you
ever hear about Chigga in this country?"
"You can't both have Chigga," said the
lord-and-master, strong on reason.
"Muhammad All, he doesn't have Chigga.
Muhammad Ali is a champion. The
champion, the champion does not have
chigga. That right, Muhammad?" The
fighters looked confused. The lord-and-
master continued his refereeing, "So
whichever of you is Muhammad All, you
can't have chigga. Understand?"
"They don't understand a thing."
And indeed, they had abandoned "un-
derstanding" for a decider; and Karen
knocked out the male hope so swiftly and
conclusively, that the audience was on its
feet issuing threats and comfort. There was
an attempt to pacify the loser by awarding
him the Chigga. But now, the Chigga could
no longer suffice, and half-blinded by rage,
he stumbled out of the room and went up-
stairs to his grandmother.
It was a good time to think of leaving. The
television reinstated itself for the transition,
and soon, people started asking about the
time, and making trips to the bathroom.
Would mother come down? Send
Muhammad Ali to ask Muhammad Ali to
bring down mother and ask Yvonne to
take you to the bathroom while you're up
People were getting into their coats and
inviting one another to their homes, when
Muhammad Ali (male) brought down
mother. Act normally, indulge the champ-
ion. Had he overcome his tantrum? He
stood at the door in front of mother, pon-
dering, as if he was trying to get used to all
these people in their new position -
standing up.
"Muhammad All, get into your coat,
"Not 'hammad All."
"You're not Muhammad All. Who're you
then. Foreman? Don't tell me you're
"Not 'hammad All."
"Who're you, then?"
"I the ghost goin' haunt your house."
The other Muhammad Ali looked up with

That night, Mother waited as usual for
Karen to come in and hear her bedtime
story. She had been thinking about it all
afternoon. Any night could be the last. She
herself was losing her memory (it had been
so difficult to hold on to "Ruby" the other
day and if Ruby was 12 years old when she
died, then to forget her would mean 12
years lost). Some days weren't just short,
they disappeared altogether. They said she
had been here, in this country, for twenty
years. Sometimes she thought it was a joke,
sometimes, she wasn't so sure. It was de-
ceptive. The children, of course, were more
than 20 years older, but that was on account
of the shortened day. How much real time
had passed? Fifteen years? Five? Some
days when her memory was working she
knew it could be 15. On other days, it
couldn't be as much as five. Poor Karen,
she'd be as old as her mother in no time. It
was a thought Mother held on to because
she was afraid that if she let go of it, Karen
would be as old as Karen's mother now,
tonight, when she came in for her story.
"When I was your age," Mother said to
Karen, "we lived in a big house, you know.
Biggest in the village apart from..."
"...and it was a Palace. And it had 14
rooms. And one of them was the servant
room and, and ... and it was haunted by a
dead man who..."
This amused Mother greatly, and she
continued. "One night, Mammie was asleep
"Mum was sleeping in the haunted
"My mother. Not your mother."
"Your Mum?"
"I had a mother too, you know."



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Muhammad Ali's eyes were wide.
"True. Is true. Mammie was having her
bath, and Sarah and me decided What's
wrong, darling? We steal down the pond
by the gut road to Mr. Lee shop to buy a
But Mahammad Ali was howling.
"You stomach hurt? Stop crying, no?
When next I bake I will make you a sugar-
cake." And as the taste of sugarcake suf-
fused Mother, Muhammad Ali, hands
shielding eyes, turned very slowly, and
stumbled out of the room. From far away,
Mother heard the footsteps that stopped
outside her room, but that was in a different
time. The smell, the taste of sugarcake re-
stored to her another whole chunk years
perhaps that she'd been living without;
she'd been encouraged to live without. She
must try and hang on to the fact of how rich
she was. The television was on, meant no-
thing. She was just picking her way through
something now, newly remembered, in her
normal voice:
"...Mr. Lee far, eh? I didn't realize it's so
far." She gave a little laugh. "And pitch dark.
By the time we get back, Mammie finish
bathing, and in a rage. And she call Sarah
and take away the sugarcake and pitch it in
the yard. That happen before I came to
England. It's over 15 years. Or maybe five
years. And I remember it like yesterday..."
She paused, not really listening, as the
heavy tread lost itself in the carpet outside.

Playwright E.A. Markham, born in Monserrat,
lives in London where he is a Creative Writing
Fellow at Hull College. A founder of the Carib-
bean Theatre Workshop, he writes poetry,
plays, fiction, and prose.

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Oh, You Sexy Kid You

By Cruz Hernandez

La Habana para un infante difunto.
G. Cabrera Infante. 711 pp.
Editorial Seix Barral,
(Barcelona, Spain) 1979.
L a Habana para un infante difunto,
Guillermo Cabrera Infante's latest
work has transformed the Cuban
author's image from literary avant-gardist
to manufacturer of best sellers. For most
readers this book will be their first contact
with the author who made his international
debut with Asi en la paz como en la guerra
(1960) and established himself with Tres
tristes tigres (1967) as a participant of the
celebrated literary "Boom." Cabrera In-
fante's much awaited novel has been a dis-
appointment and not the brilliant sequel to
Tres tristes tigres that was expected by the
critics. The public, however, has found in
the once elitist novelist, the conjurer of a
pre-revolutionary Havana permeated with
erotic adolescent memories. Compared to
his other works, this novel seems too
simplistic in terms of plot, style, use of lan-
guage, character development, etc. It al-
most gives the impression of an author's
first novel, an autobiographical catharsis
typical of young writers.
The author goes to great pains to narrate
in strict chronological order and with abun-
dant details, the passage from childhood to
adolescence of a provincial boy upon his
arrival in Havana. The early chapters pre-
sage the protagonist as an adult particularly
in his relationships with women as in his
enthrallment with the luminous Jantzen
swimmer who plunged incessantly into a
sea of lights in the Havana sky. His attraction
to the fluorescent female and the night
spent by the family at a hotel de passe are
part of the rite of initiation to a turbulent
adolescence from which he is never to
emerge emotionally. Furthermore, the
novel ends with the protagonist's regression
to intrauterine life, an act symbolic of his
ultimate rejection of his responsibilities as
an adult.
For the reader interested in a docu-
mentary of Havana in the 1940s and 50s,
the novel is accurate and detailed in every
way: from the descriptions of the streets, to

Cabrera Infante, from the dust jacket.

the name of the perfume worn by fashiona-
ble women. It is permeated with a melan-
cholic accuracy, a case of the novelist's
conceit, a desire to preserve in literature that
which no longer is a reality. The regionalistic
details all present in Tres tristes tigres are no
longer fragmented in La Habana para un
infante difunto, the author has purposely
arranged them in order and preserved them
for posterity.
The protagonist's primordial occupation,
the pursuit of women, is closely linked to his
other interests, such as films, music, litera-
ture, art, ballet, etc. The novel is filled with
allusions to literature, particularly quotes
from T.S. Eliot translated to Spanish and
interpolated adroitly, seeming to belong to
Cabrera Infante, not to be noticed by some
readers. The women, obsessed with the
Humanities, use the protagonist as the car-
nal medium for an erotic experience with
Debussy, Pound, Lawrence and Neruda in
the imagined vortex of the Cuban jungle.
The characters seem unable to tell art from
life, often, it is reality that is the imitator of
art. The hero, like the author, has an enor-

mous passion for films and takes pleasure
in the drama played on the screen and in
the audience. The movie house serves a
dual purpose: it is a place where the young
man meets the ideal woman on the screen,
and the real woman in the audience. Every
woman is perceived as a reflection of one of
the celluloid models: "She turned her head
with Lauren Bacall's style in To Have and
Have Not," "I am sure that Dulce mimicked
Marlene," "Brigitte Bardot had an un-
forgettable double in Havana." The intense
influence of films in the life of the pro-
tagonist goes beyond mere resemblance; it
goes as far as to make him think of an Ab-
bott and Costello sketch while he dances in
what is supposed to be a romantic em-

A Creole Don Juan

Much has been said and written about the
protagonist's erotic adventures and his
reputation as a Creole Don Juan. One may
even dare to suggest that the book's popu-

From the dust jacket.

larity rests solely on the protagonist's sexual
expertise and its multiple manifestations.
He is in fact, driven to the pursuit of women,
but always forced to please capricious
women who exploit his inflated masculine
ego, it is the women who are the dominant
force in the relationship. Even his most
successful escapades seem somewhat
flawed by always present comical elements.
Jealous anger at a lover's suspicious con-
cern with the time of day is ridiculed in the
fact that his lover is disappointed in missing
a radio soap opera during the time spent
with him. He is, in reality, not a seducer of
women, but the victim of whimsical females
he is unable or unwilling to resist. His
exaggerated sexual furor robs him of au-
thentic human dimension and creates a flat
character that the reader is not supposed to
take seriously.
The title of the novel alludes to Tres tristes
tigres in the section dedicated to Cuban
authors, specifically to the parody of El
Acoso by Alejo Carpentier. Cabrera Infante
calls it El Ocaso and sarcastically informs
the reader that "It should be read during the

time period necessary for the audition of
Pavane Pour une Infante Defuncte, at thirty
three revolutions per minute" (Cabrera In-
fante refers here to the study by the Chilean
critic Helmy Giacoman, in which the struc-
tural relationships of El Acoso and Beeto-
ven'sEroica are analyzed). Hence, the intri-
cate and bizarre title of a novel that appar-
ently lacks literary pretenses, but in reality,
derides the critics and taunts the passive
reader. The author's opinions are clearly
stated in the text of the novel and warn the
reader not to judge the book with middle
class values: "during that time, being
bourgeois was for me, almost worse than
being an academician; these affronted art,
the others vilified life."
Nostalgic elements are cleverly in-
tertwined with reality and illusion to create a
false identification of the anonymous pro-
tagonist with the author. Plot flirts with a
reality populated with real people and
places, and it insinuates itself as an erotic
autobiography enriched with details from
the author's life. Cabrera Infante deliberately
leads the reader to believe that he and the
hero are one: "It is curious that Julieta had
not attempted to change my name or Gal-
licize it: it would have been comical if she
had convinced me to call myself Guy."
Reader participation and the reader-as-
a-character in the literary piece are far from
being innovative techniques. Even before
Cortazar's Rayuela, Onetti was playing
games with the reader in Los Adioses,
leading him to false conclusions that re-
vealed his true moral and psychological
fiber. Mario Vargas Llosa's version of the
truth in La Casa Verde is ambiguous, but in
his novel, La Tia Julia y el Escribidor he
cleverly ridicules the reader and makes him
the pawn. It is curious to note that this par-
ticular novel, like La Habana para un in-
fante difunto did not represent the author's
work, did generate much controversy, and
has also been a best seller. Peter Handke, a
German playwright went so far as to insult
the public for having attended one of his
plays in one of the most perverse forms of
Cabrera Infante has chosen to give the
reader a false sense of security by explain-
ing in a didactic and paternalistic manner

works that would have been understood in
the context of the novel: "in my father's
words, an omnibus had become evidently
Havanized, a guagua, and as guagua it
would be known to us in the future. (This
word, which some local courtyard
philologists attributed to be of indian origin
-just imagine the syphilitic siboneys and
the tarnished tainos traveling in their pre-
columbian vehicles; they who never even
knew of the existence of the wheel! it is
surely derived from the turn of the century
American occupation, when the first col-
lective carriages were established, pulled by
mules and called wagons in the American
The reader/audience-writer relationship
has evolved into a sophisticated and elabo-
rate cat and mouse game, with the author
as predator and the public as the potential
prey. Established writers, in particular, take
petulant pleasure in deception and cultivate
the genre with great expertise. It is Cabrera
Infante's dual approach, much alluded to in
the guise of Dr Jekyll and Mr Hyde that
enables him to ensnare his victims and lead
them down an apparently easy and com-
fortable path to a well concealed abyss. One
almost hears the author laughing at the
reader as he assembles the false pieces of
the puzzle maliciously supplied as pertinent
La Habana para un infante difunto is a
novel that should be approached with cau-
tion by both critics and the general public.
The readers should beware of the
sentimental-erotic traps, and the academi-
cians should abstain from publishing arti-
cles comparing this novel to a symphony
called Erotica.

Cruz Hernandez is with the Center for Latino
Education at FIU. All translations are by the

Perro de Alambre

A Film Review

By Marcia Morgado

Perro de Alambre

Directed by Manuel Cano.

Screenplay by Carlos Alberto Montaner
and Manuel Caho, based on the novel
Perromundo by C. A. Montaner.
Director of Photography: Hans Burman
Featuring: Tino Diaz, Maria Casal,
Orlando Urdaneta, Francisco Casares,
Rafael Bardem, Paco Merino, Juan
Valverde, Cesareo Estebanez, Guillermo
FerrAn, Manuel Fad6n, Pedro Carvajal,
Crist6bal Medina, Julio Bernal and
Produced by Fernandez-Cid and
Poleo-Urdaneta. Edited by Eduardo
Perro de Alambre is the first Latin
American film to deal explicitly with
the violation of human rights. An ac-
count of the reality encountered by political
prisoners within a totalitarian regime in an
undefined Caribbean country, a regime de-
nying individuals any possibility of voicing
disagreement. Perro de Alambre begins
with an attempt to assassinate an officer of
the government. After an excruciating
period of watching every move made by the
victim-to-be, Ernesto Carri6n (Tino Diaz)
follows the officer and his son to a movie
house. There, while enjoying a Tarzan
movie, Carri6n holds his gun point-blank to
the man's temple, and a sharp cut takes us
to the courtyard of an old church, where
Carri6n sits as a band of doves takes flight:
fait accompli, the execution has taken
Trying to calm a tearful woman, Carri6n
reacts to knocks on the door, "Don't worry,
it's only Mario." Looking through a heavily
bolted door, he sees Mario's bruised face.
Carri6n unlocks the door and a group of
heavily armed officers take over the place.
From here on, Perro de Alambre takes
place within the cells of an old Spanish
fortress-turned prison. It is through Carr-
i6n's odyssey that we are led into the micro-
cosm of the prison system.
The prisoners' fates are doomed from
the very beginning; Mario faces a pre-trial
death sentence and Ernesto, thirty years of

prison. A surrealistic mock trial effectively
narrates the distortions of their judicial sys-
tem. Mario is shot, Carri6n rebels and is
sent to a tapiado (an isolation hole within
two walls where rebellious prisoners are
punished). It is within the tapiado that Er-
nesto begins to seek refuge in the memory
of Marcia, (Maria Casal) the woman he
loves. Ernesto and Marcia met at a
bookstore; she was teasing the owner by
asking him for her "wire dog," Ernesto sec-
onding her. They leave together and Marcia

moves in with him; the duration of their
relationship is undetermined. Marcia, a
pragmatic student of psychology to whom
life is "bread, sex and ideas," tries to reason
Ernesto out of his terrorist activities; her
materialistic arguments do not convince
him to abandon his ideals.
The central struggle of the film develops
from the encounter between Carri6n an
idealist who fought the previous dictator-
ship, now imprisoned for rebelling against
the very same group he helped to gain
control and Barniol, the man who trained
Carri6n during the insurrectionary process
of the earlier struggles, now the prison's
new warden. Barniol has been appointed to
the prison not only to improve on the con-
trol methods, but to set up a system of re-
habilitation; the fortress holds a group of
well known revolutionaries (together with
common criminals and officers from the
previous regime). Barniol's first command
is to pull Carri6n from the tapiado, "These
are not my methods." As soon as Carri6n
has recovered, Barniol asks for his cooper-
ation, conscious of the influence Carri6n
exerts on the other prisoners. Carri6n's
reply to Barniol's plea is that he is deter-
mined to prevent the success of the re-
habilitation plan.
What follows after their confrontation
depicts the futile efforts on Carri6n's side.
Eventually, the majority opts for the facade
of freedom offered to those who comply.
Only Vilar (Orlando Urdaneta) manages to
escape and attain what everyone hopes for:
freedom. Vilar, the youngest of the inmates,
has his short stature working on his behalf.
"For once in my life, being a midget is going
to help me." A goodwill gesture by Barniol
allows relatives to visit the institution. Dur-
ing the chaotic and emotion-charged exit of
mothers, wives, daughters and sons (under
sixteen), Vilar, beard shaven and uniform
dyed black with shoe polish, tricks the
guards and is off.
Vilar has promised Carri6n to visit Marcia
with Carri6n's message that "he is well and
only needs his wire dog." Marcia sneers at
the message and explains to Vilar that she
did not use her visiting permit so as not to
nourish any hope in Carri6n, "Hope is for
those outside, prisoners have uniforms,

drills, but no hope." To his question as to the
meaning of the wire dog, she answers, "It's
the hope neither one of us has."
As the rehabilitation process is on its way,
theplantados (those who refuse to cooper-
ate with the system) react violently to the
"others." Ronco Matias (Cesareo Es-
tebafiez) kills Musiu (a one-armed Haitian)
during the old man's sleep to protest the
lodging together of opposites. Matias'
actions only lead to more punishment.
After an unsuccessful attempt to gain
control of the fortress by securing ammuni-
tion stored within underground passages
(as the government is stocking up on arms
in case of an invasion), the remainingplan-
tados are shipped away. Hurdled within a
cattle truck for a number of hours, the
officers in charge find that most have died
from asphyxiation. The unlucky few who
managed to outlive the suffocating truck
ride, are now left to rot, scorch and await
their deaths under the agonizing sting of the
sun. The thirteen endure eighteen hours a
day of forced labor, under the vigilant eye of
a blood-thirsty sergeant. It is the sergeant
who shoots Monle6n (Pirata) in front of his
companions. As these miserable specters
try to rest their aching bones on flimsy
hammocks, a helicopter zooms in with
Barniol. Carri6n is fetched to Barniol, who
has come to offer the idealist a third and
final opportunity. Barniol's voice mixes with
Marcia's (in off camera) as they both im-
plore Carri6n to say "Yes" and save his life.
Carri6n is a mere ghost, hardly able to
.move, but unable to retract. "I have only the
word 'No' left," he had told Barniol earlier
and he holds true to it.
Tino Diaz infuses sensitivity and pathos to
his portrayal of a man refusing to save his
physical existence by renouncing his con-
victions, "I want to be free, free to make
decisions, free to make mistakes, free to
say, 'No.'" Even as the moving, stirring
skeleton of a man, he continues firm to his
principles: he is no longer alive as he mum-
bles, "I want to be a poor and wretched free
Francisco Casares renders an honest
characterization of Barniol, the "warden
watching over old friends." His struggle
between friendship and duty portrays his

affliction, particularly during the last se-
quence, at which time he tries to make
Carri6n understand that he, Barniol, has no
alternative but to choose the lesser of two
evils, opting for the system he believes in.
As a whole, the film maintains a fine bal-
ance of performances. However, those who
depend on subtitles to fully comprehend
the film will be deprived of an accurate
interpretation of the script; this may be
Perro de Alambre's biggest setback, hope-
fully new corrected copies will replace the

ones now available.
Perro de Alambre is a perplexing study of
freedom. A "celluloid poem" of hope, fear,
love and doom intertwined in the figure of
Ernesto Carri6n: an individual defying his
own instincts in support of his own princi-
ples. Perro de Alambre is, technically, an
admirable accomplishment. Hans Bur-
man's photography dutifully conveys the
consuming anguish and suffocation suf-
fered by the prisoners, within the cells or
within a cattle truck. Moods change and the
camera becomes lyrical and sensuous at
times, but it sometimes lacks the anger that
some scenes call for.
Manuel Cafio, through careful control of
flashbacks and intercutting, conjures up a
fleeting dance of remembrances. The re-
membrances Carri6n holds onto survive
the here and now, as well as the imminence
of death. The transcendental quality human
beings attach to their hopes and dreams is
captured by the glowing effects of the
scenes of recollection. There is no music to
the film, instead another dimension is
added by emphasizing certain realistic
sounds. For instance, the head of a dead
man hits a metal staircase as the man's
body is dragged down two flights of stairs;
or an ominous bird calls each time there will
be another death; boots stepping harshly
remind us of hopes trampled on; prisoners
chanting "freedom" reassure us that the cry
for man's most basic need will live on.
Perro de Alambre is based on the novel
Perromundo by Carlos Alberto Montaner,
the most militant political essayist of the
Cuban exile. Manuel Cafio, the film's di-
rector, has always been concerned with
Latin America's political situation. The
Montaner-Cafio translation of the novel into
cinematographic language has remained
faithful to the original work's delicate bal-
ance between reality in its crudest ex-
pression and poetry. Perro deAlambre is
not a film to be viewed casually. It will leave
the spectator with a bitter taste; the taste of
blood and frustrated hopes. It is a memora-
ble experience; a realistic exposure of a
universal tragedy. It could have been any-
one under Carri6n's skin, anyone.

Marcia Morgado is a Miami-based writer.

Peina Gomez
Continued from page 11
was a general sentiment. After the failure of
US policies in Vietnam, this attitude lost
ground. There is now a progressive, liberal
movement in many universities, workers'
unions, high political circles, as well as
some sectors of the intelligentsia which are
opposing the traditional, imperial policies
of the US in the Caribbean. There will be no
repetition of the Cuban revolutionary model
in the Dominican Republic. We say this
because the historical conditions that

ject, I say again that the Cuban revolution-
ary model will not be repeated in the Carib-
bean because the internal conditions in
each of these countries are different from
those of Cuba in 1959. The conservative
classes are prepared to prevent any revolu-
tionary movement of this kind. The armies
are better equipped and trained. No guer-
rilla fighters will catch them off guard. In fact
these armies are better guerrilla fighters
than any improvised guerrilla group trying
to make a revolution in the Cuban way. This
is demonstrated by the fact that all the
movements that have tried to make a revo-

President Antonio Guzman at his inauguration in 1978. Wide World Photos.

brought about the Cuban revolution were
very unique.
In the first place, there was a tremendous
lack of knowledge on the part of the US
about the 26th of July movement. Cl'e
Guevara himself said that if the Americans
would have known that this guerrilla
movement was going to develop into a
Communist revolution, they would have
given Batista all the necessary aid to stop
the rebels in the Sierra Maestra. I have this
part underlined in my copy of his writings.
Second, I also believe that the mistakes
committed by the US in their dealings with
the Cuban revolutionaries contributed to
making them go in the direction they went.
When Fidel Castro visited the US seeking
help, he was treated coldly. President
Eisenhower did not even see him; only his
vice-president talked to him. All this is im-
portant. But, going back to the main sub-


lution along the Cuba model have been
defeated. Also, the Soviet Union does not
seem to be willing to establish economic
solidarity with other Caribbean nations as it
has done with Cuba.
I also believe that the United States would
not permit another world power to compete
with them in their own sphere of influence.
Just as it is not possible for a capitalist
counter-revolution to take place in the
Soviet's sphere of interest, a communist
revolution in the US sphere of interest
would not take place either. The US was not
able to do anything for Hungary and
Czechoslovakia; the Soviet Union will have
the same problem if a revolution takes
place in the American sphere of interest. My
point is that a classic communist revolution
in Latin America is not possible.
It is also my opinion that the Communist
parties don't offer the solution to Latin

America's problems. Cuba is getting mil-
lions daily from the Soviet Union. Evidently,
this help is very large. The Soviet Union
buys Cuban sugar at a preferential price. At
the same time that we were selling our
sugar in the world market at $10 a quintal,
the USSR was paying $30 for each quintal
of Cuban sugar. Furthermore, they sell their
oil to Cuba for a cheaper price than that
sold by OPEC. Evidently, they are not able
to do the same with the rest of the Latin
American countries.
Our point of view is that we are not able to
follow a radical line, a complete and total
revolution, a Communist revolution, even
assuming that we were Communist, which
we are not.
MBR: Haven't you modified your ideas sub-
stantially about how to deal with the US?
JFPG: No, we believe that the Latin Ameri-
can revolutionary model is tied to the his-
torical tradition of the continent. In most of
Latin America, there is a century old tradi-
tion of liberty. Most of these countries are
part of the developing nations, with eco-
nomic dependence, backwardness, unem-
ployment, etc., but almost all of them have a
heritage of freedom.
In those countries where liberty is not
practiced, countries in which the citizen has
no right to vote, civil liberties are not re-
spected, but at least they are written down.
This is because of our heritage, which partly
comes from the great European revolu-
tions, especially the French Revolution, and
its Declaration of Rights in the constitution
of 1791. All these concepts were transferred
to us. It is true that they have not always
been practiced. We have had dictatorships,
personalism, military rule, etc. But we have
always returned to periods of freedom,
sometimes short lived others more durable.
But freedom is a heritage of the people of
Latin America.
Therefore, the people of Latin America
reject dictatorships of all kinds. These are
people inclined to the preservation of lib-
erty, ideological pluralism, respect of civil
liberties, democratically elected govern-
This is our heritage, which clashes with
the monopoly of the one party in power,
with the dictatorship of the proletariat and
the hierarchically controlled Communist
party. There is a coincidence between our
heritage and the historical development of
the United States. Why? Because the US
has a tradition which comes from the En-
glish revolution. The ideals of this revolution
were ideological and political pluralism,
and constitutional freedom. There is a
coincidence in terms of political heritage
between the United States and Latin
America. For example, in this country no
one will pay attention to a dictatorship, even
if it is a revolutionary dictatorship. They may
accept it for a brief time, but not for too
long. In other words, nobody will accept

twenty years of a revolutionary dictatorship,
they will not accept it, they simply won't.
MBR: But do you mean of revolutionary
dictatorship or simply dictatorship?
JFPG: Dictatorship.
MBR: But your country just lived through a
dictatorship of 31 years.
JFPG: Oh, yes, but that was a different
period, that was the pre-history of the politi-
cal life of this country. In the present condi-
tions it would not be accepted. It would
result in a lot of bloodshed and would not
be accepted.
MBR: Does this ideological parallel also
apply concerning social and political
JFPG: Any movement for change in Latin
America will certainly generate opposition
groups within the United States. But, if the
process is brought about under a system of
ideological pluralism, and under a com-
petative party structure, we know we will
have allies in Europe and in the United
States. We believe that the American liber-
als, in other words, the progressive sectors
in the US will act as a counter-balance to the
imperialist and monopolistic circles of the
American political arena, which have been
supporters of the interventionist policies.
We cannot count on any power to come
and prevent the changes, or to encourage
them. However, we do have the opportunity
of utilizing in our favor all the progressive
forces of the capitalistic world, the great
European democracies and even those
same forces in the American society. These
forces are now in the minority, but they have
a great power on American public opinion.
Therefore, we can use them to counter bal-
ance the multinationals, the Pentagon, the
interventionist forces in the US. These pro-
gressive forces are not distrusted by Ameri-
can society because they also believe in our
principles, which favor pluralism, freedom,
and happen to follow the same orientation
of the American political heritage.
Based on these principles, we joined the
Socialist International, we embraced vol-
untary socialism favoring transformation of
the Dominican society in an atmosphere of
freedom. When we support these liberties,
we do not put the US in a hostile position.
But, when we propose the changes in our
society, we do clash with American eco-
nomic interests because if we are going to
establish a true social democracy, sooner
or later, we will have to affect American
economic interests. If we do this within a
true context of liberty, even though there
may be opposing American interests, there
will be many Americans who will support
us. Also we will have the support of all the
Western European socialist parties, which
cannot be accused of being communists,
and we will have the support of all the pro-
gressive non-communist forces of Latin
MBR: What you are talking about is the use

of international political resources as na-
tional political resources to promote both
reforms and liberties for your people.
JFPG: Yes.
MBR: How does the Nicaraguan experience
fit into your analysis?
JFPG: In Nicaragua there was an internal
struggle among the different forces which
composed the Frente Sandinista de
Liberacion. The FSL was receiving defeat
after defeat and almost all its founders were
killed in the armed struggle because they
tried to imitate the Cuban revolutionary
model, limiting their tactics to the foco

tion which supports a mixed economy, re-
spects ideological pluralism and a demo-
cratic multiparty political system. Oh, yes,
and which respects private property ... It is
impossible to have another Cuban style
For any political movement to stay in
power in the present situation, the country
has to seek international solidarity. It needs
technology, credits, human resources, and
they necessarily have to come from the
countries of the hemisphere since the
Soviet Union does not seem willing to offer

Former president Joaquin Balaguer during his second inauguration, 1970. Wide World Photos.

strategy, and limiting themselves to the
guerrilla strategy.
When this situation changed, the move-
ment suffered from internal divisions be-
cause of the failures of the previous tactics.
Finally, the strategy that took over is the
tercerista strategy, calling for the participa-
tion of the people, rejecting the guerillafoco
idea. The Nicaraguan Revolution would
have never succeeded without the support
of Venezuela, Panama, the Western Euro-
pean political movements, and of all the
democratic movements of Latin America. If
Castro gave them some help, it was given
through these movements just mentioned,
and if he would have given it directly, it
would have given the US a pretext to inter-
vene. The proof of this is that even after the
triumph of the revolution, they still reaffirm
that their revolution is not a communist
one, but that it is mainly a national revolu-

MBR: Is the US overreacting to the so-
called influence of Cuba in the Caribbean
and Central America?
JFPG: Cuba has also learned some lessons
concerning the situation I am describing.
The Cuban government is following a rela-
tively moderate policy in the area. The
Cuban government, told its friends to re-
strain their actions and act with moderation,
including the FSL. When Tomas Borges
visited us, he told us that Fidel told him not
to execute anyone; that Fidel told him to
enlarge the Junta and conduct elections,
and this is exactly what the US was telling
them. In other words, what Fidel did not do,
he was advising Borges to do.
The truth is that the situation has
changed. The others, Grenada, Guyana,
Jamaica, are completely different cases.
These countries have a very similar struc-
ture to that of a democratic socialist system.





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We see that they have a parliamentary sys-
tem with elections conducted every four
years, with ideological pluralism, respect for
liberty, opposing political parties, a public
and a private sector.
MBR: What do you think of US policy with
regard to El Salvador?
JFPG: In my judgement the US is following
an erroneous policy in El Salvador. They are
trying to maintain an unpopular govern-
ment. To do this the US is giving them mili-
tary and economic aid, believing that this is
the only option left for the moderate forces
in order to avoid an extremist government
from the left or the right. However, this is a
government that does not have the support
of the Salvadorian people. In El Salvador
today, there is a lot of bloodshed, and it is
impossible to implement changes by killing
and assassinating the people.
The US has asked us to support these
policies, however we cannot do this be-
cause we know that sooner or later this
policy will fail. What the US should do is to
utilize its influence in a constructive way, so
that a government with a wider popular
support can take power following a demo-
cratic and pluralist model.
MBR: Are you saying that the US should call
for a general election or plebiscite in El
JFPG: I would not necessarily call for a
general election. I would do more or less
what was done in Panama with Torrijos. I
would call in all the political groups which
are willing to support a system of ideologi-
cal pluralism and a democratic solution,
including the radical groups, and have
them work out a solution to the problem. I
do not believe that elections can be called
overnight in a country which has suffered
from so much turmoil. But, if a government
with a larger popular base can be formed, I
believe that it will be accepted by many of
the groups that are now involved in the
present struggles.
MBR: Is there still time to save the situation
in El Salvador?
JFPG: Well, sadly, in Salvador there really
does not appear to be a peaceful solution
possible. The situation is now given, there
are many deaths, a lot of bloodshed it all
has to continue until the last consequences
there is just too much resentment and
hate against the Junta which the US is sup-
porting sooner or later this Junta will fall.
The US is now looking for solutions, but its
too late.
For example, with Nicaragua: I was in the
Department of State and I spoke with As-
sistant Secretary Vaky, and I told him "Look,
you must talk with the Sandinistas." "No,
they are Communists," he said. They
couldn't speak with them, they were looking
for democratic groups. I told him,"You are
mistaken. You have to speak with the Frente
Sandinista. With them you can find a solu-

A solution to avoid so much violence and
to save the people from so much
bloodshed. This wasn't done and then they
had to act when Somoza was practically
finished. El Salvador is the same situation.
Extreme revolutionary groups in El Sal-
vador are a reality. They are armed and they
have an incredible amount of money. This
cannot be ignored, because in that country
no one can move without taking into ac-
count those people.
This is the real situation in Latin America.
Thanks to the democratic parties in Latin
America there has been an increase in the

"A classic communist
revolution in Latin America
is not possible."

popular struggle lately. These parties were
able to survive the counter-revolutionary
wave that affected the entire South Ameri-
can region. These parties had provided the
incentive for the re-emergence of a democ-
ratic movement and they have become the
instrument which guarantees the democ-
racy in our countries. Furthermore, they will
prevent extremist groups from hurting and
putting our parties on the defensive again.
We don't only fight against the oligarchy,
but also against the incongruency of US
policy. We must make clear that under
Carter there has been a greater under-
standing towards Latin America, but can
you imagine what will happen if Ronald
Reagan is elected President of the US?
If we compare Carter to Nixon, Johnson
or Reagan he will be on the left of these
leaders and on the right if we compare him
to Kennedy. But one thing is evident, and
that is that his policies are very incoherent,
very incoherent. However we must give him
the credit for the new Panama Canal treaty
and the agreement to pull out American
forces from the Canal Zone.
MBR: Do you believe there is a "return to
democracy" in Latin America?
JFPG: Yes, it is a return to the democratic
system. This return has been primarily due
to the effort of our own people, but a very
important factor has been the new Ameri-
can policy. We may call it incoherent but
these are its results. The governments of
the extreme right have received a lot of
pressure from Washington, this is the truth.

Mark B. Rosenberg directs the Latin American
and Caribbean Center at Florida International
University. His book, Las Luchas por el seguro
social en Costa Rica, was recently published
by Editorial Costa Rica, San Jos6, Costa Rica.
Translator Evangelio Acosta studies Latin
America at Georgetown University.


Continued from page 17

been impressed upon us not only by our
having witnessed it many times ourselves
and having heard about it countless times
from Maroons, but also by the visitors' own
accounts of their behavior. Many com-
mentators willingly describe their tactics -
both as a way of communicating what they
see as the "childlike irrationality" of Ma-
roons and as helpful advice to others who
might wish to acquire Maroon art. For
example, Morton Kahn, who made the
great collection now at the American
Museum of Natural History in New York,
characterized the women with.whom he
had to deal as follows: "They laugh, giggle,
put their fingers coyly in their mouths, joke
bashfully with bystanders, and cannot
make up their minds as to the price. They
never know how much to ask for a piece.
Sometimes they will mention a preposter-
ous figure, hoping like a naive child that the
strange bahkra [outsider] will pay that
much. But on such occasions a rebuke will
make them more reasonable. Once an ar-
rogant witch doctor intervened in a
transaction with a Bush Negro woman,
demanding angrily that she receive an ex-
orbitant payment. His anger was squelched
with a few sharp words, and, contrite, he sat
up all night to carve an ornate implement to
present to the bahkra as a peace-offering.
Cunning Adjobo, the medicine man!"
Even the Herskovitses' descriptions of
their own experiences in the Suriname
interior make painfully clear the ultimate
impotence of Maroon perceptions of value
in the face of pressure from cash offers.
They describe how, following a lively dis-
cussion of the symbolism on a particularly
handsome peanut-grinding board, they ex-
pressed a desire to acquire it. "The woman
became apprehensive. She took up the
board, and excusing herself, disappeared
with it inside her hut.
"'No, no,' she called from the house,
when her brother went to tell her of the offer
we had made for it. 'I don't want money for
it. I like it. I will not sell it.'
"The sum we offered was modest
enough, but not inconsiderable for this
deep interior. We increased it, then doubled
our original offer. There was still no waver-
ing on the woman's part, but the offer
began to interest her family. Such wealth
should not be refused. Bassia Anaisi began
to urge her in our behalf.
'With this money you can buy from the
white man's city a hammock, and several
fine cloths. You should not refuse this.'
"The old woman took up the discussion,
then another sister, and a brother. At last the
bassia took us aside, and asked us to leave
his sister alone with them.
"'We will have a krutu [meeting], and

tomorrow you will hear. She is foolish not to
sell. But she cares for the board. It is good,
too, when a woman loves what her man has
carved for her. We will krutu about it, and
you shall hear.'
"Three days passed before the woman's
permission was given to dispose of the
'When they see this, your people will
know our men can carve!' she exclaimed in
a voice which held as much regret as pride."
Within the context of life in their own
villages, the sale of art represents one of the
most unevenly balanced encounters be-
tween Maroons and outsiders. In many
ways, Maroons have been -:ia i.ci, suc-
cessful in maintaining control over their
own territory in setting minimal stan-
dards for the behavior of visitors, in main-
taining the prerogative to send visitors away,
and in rejecting interference in internal poli-
tics and social control. But because of the
material poverty of most Maroons (from the
perspective of the Western market econ-
omy) and the totally incomparable re-
sources of outsiders, pressures to sell per-
sonal belongings are often irresistible.
Women are the most frequent victims of
this imbalance, both because they are the
ones who own most woodcarvings and be-
cause they have few other sources of cash.
The encounters described by the
Herskovitses and Kahn have been repeated

innumerable times by enthusiastic visitors
to the interior; Maroon women have con-
sistently fought, not for higher prices, but
for the right of possession, and the right to
define the meaning and value of a particular
object in their own way, and they have gen-
erally lost.
The process of cultural commoditization
among the Maroons is probably inevitable.
As Carpenter put it, "You can't unring a
bell." Yet perhaps the process can be tem-
pered or mediated by all of us accepting the
responsibility to insist that it be Maroon
artists and critics who are given the central
voice in the interpretation of their own art-
istry as well as in its ultimate disposition.

Sally Price is a curator at the UCLA Museum of
Cultural History. Richard Price heads the De-
partment of Anthropology at The Johns Hop-
kins University. An elaboration of these ideas
appears in their book, Afro-American Arts of
the Suriname Rain Forest (Univ. of California
Press, 1980). Photos reprinted with permission
of the UCLA Museum of Cultural History and
the Univ. of California Press. An exhibition of
Suriname Arts, funded by a NEH grant to the
UCLA Museum will appear at the Frederick S.
Wright Gallery (Los Angeles: 12 Oct.-7 Dec.
'80); the Dallas Museum of Fine Arts (4 Feb.-25
March '81); the Walters Art Gallery (Baltimore:
26 April-31 Aug. '81); and the American
Museum of Natural History (New York: 20 Oct.
'81-22 Jan '82).

SIntegration of Science and

Technology with Development

Caribbean and Latin American
Problems in the Context of the
United Nations Conference on
SScience and Technology
for Development

Edited by
D. Babatunde Thomas
Miguel S. Wionczek

Offered by Caribbean Review in cooperation
S with Florida International University, The Institute of
Social and Economic Research,,University of the West Indies,
and the Institute of Development Studies,
University of Guyana.
278 pp. $9.95
Order direct from Caribbean Review, Florida International
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Lea tambien en
OPINIONES de octubre:
Reveladora entrevista al
ex-vicepresidente Francisco
VillagrBn Kramer sobre el future
de Guatemala La international
del terrorism por Jacobo
Timerman La conexi6n boliviana
por Vivian Trias El autoexilio
intellectual de Alfredo Bryce El
desprestigio de la dial6ctica por
Ludovico Silva Indoamerica y
la integraci6n por Otto Morales
Benitez El tabfi de la campaia
electoral de EE.UU. por Ted
C6rdova-Claure y much mas.

SI, envieme

un ejemplar

de octubre 1980,
Recorte y envie este cup6n por
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Continued from page 21

by many young Maroons.
Nor is the traditional Maroon attitude
toward outsiders in harmony with the
popular wave of egalitarian ideology which
had swept the country in the wake of
Democratic Socialism. The recent gov-
ernment did not appear to be amenable
to the granting of special rights or privileges
to any one sector of the population; and the
exclusionary attitude of past generations of
Maroons goes against the grain of the
younger generation's social and political
aspirations. Thus, many younger Maroons
will deny that the term obroni has any sig-
nificance today; and some will even go so
far as to assert that they themselves are not
Maroons, but rather are the descendants of
Maroons, no different from other
Another social current from outside
which has strongly influenced younger Ma-
roons is Rastafarianism, a modern
politico-religious movement which is
closely tied to the urban youth culture.
Among other things, Rastafarianism
preaches a pride in Africa and things Afri-
can or felt to be African. Its adherents have
developed a system of symbols which
identify them as Rastas, the most con-
spicuous being the hairstyle known as
"dreadlocks." This results from letting the
hair grow out uncombed, so that long, thick
strands are formed. Only a few younger
Maroons have converted to Rastafarianism
and grown dreadlocks. But almost all have
adopted the Rastafarian argot, a unique
variant of the local English Creole, and have
absorbed many Rastafarian attitudes, some
of which are at odds with traditional Maroon
While the majority of the younger gener-
ation has lost touch with traditional Maroon
concerns, many elders still possess a
strong sense of pride in their traditional
identity. Thus an obvious chasm divides the
generations. For many elders, it is painful to
hear their sons and daughters disclaiming
or dismissing as unimportant their Maroon
identity. One older Maroon once told the
author, in a more heated moment: "They
can do whatever they like, they can tie my
hands and feet and put a knife to my throat,
but I will never deny that I am a true-born
Maroon!" He was not alone in expressing
this sentiment. For many others in Moore
Town, as for him, the Maroon heritage is not
to be taken lightly, but to be cherished as
something which cost their ancestors so
many years of bitter struggle.
One person for whom these conflicting
currents within the community are of par-
ticular concern is the present Colonel of the
Moore Town Maroons, Mr. C.L.G. Harris, a
highly educated man who has acted as an

eloquent spokesman for his people for over
a decade. If any individual is capable of
reconciling the generations on this point, it
would seem to be Colonel Harris. He is a
man imbued with pride in the achieve-
ments of his ancestors, and is fully cogniz-
ant of the need to preserve some of the
symbols of the Maroon heritage.
During recent years, many Jamaicans
have begun to feel a strong pride for the
African part of their heritage, a trend stimu-
lated in part by the growing influence of the
Rastafarian movement. Thus the Maroon
heritage may be viewed from a wider per-
spective as a source of pride for Jamaicans
in general. As Colonel Harris himself has
said: "It could be that one of the reasons
why that great consciousness arose in
Jamaica is from the fact that the Maroons
preserved that identity so very well that
other people began to think about it. They
knew, and were conscious of it, that they
were originally from Africa, and they were
proud of it."
In 1975 the Jamaican government
showed that it too appreciated the signifi-
cance of the Maroon epic for all Jamaicans
by declaring Grandy Nanny a national
heroine. Soon after this, the government

financed the building a of a monument in
memory of Nanny in the center of Moore
Town, a decision in which Colonel Harris
played an instrumental part. Some of the
younger people do contain a hidden spark
of Maroon pride; perhaps some day this will
be kindled into a genuine recrudescence of
the living Maroon heritage. For the mean-
time, one may contemplate an old Maroon
proverb, "konjo seed never los" (literally,
"the seed of a yam is never lost"), which is
sometimes interpreted to mean that, just as
the type of yam Maroons call konjo, if prop-
erly cultivated, will regenerate itself indefi-
nitely, so will Maroon tradition be carried on

*Unfortunately, there is not enough space
here to cover the Leeward Maroons, who
have a fascinating history of their own. After
rebelling again in 1796, a large group of
Leewards was forcefully transported to
Nova Scotia, and thence to Sierra Leone.
The descendants of those who remained in
Jamaica live today in Accompong, a com-
munity in the western part of the island.

Kenneth Bilby researches Jamaican cultures
at Wesleyan University, Connecticut.


The Institute of International Relations
University of the West Indies
St. Augustine, Trinidad, W.I.


International Relations

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edited by Basil A. Ince
This timely volume treats topics of increasing importance
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These topics fall into the four parts of the book, namely,
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Contributors to this volume include Vaughan Lewis,
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Order from: Institute of International Relations
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Price (prepaid) US$17.00 plus US$2.50 for postage.

Continued from page 29
ure" of the original Victoriano Lorenzo
Brigade to maintain its strength. While the
expedition from Panama City might sup-
port a "bungling dictator" interpretation, it
more likely reflects Torrijos' manipulation of
the evolving military and diplomatic situa-
tion. Perhaps the mass meeting was not
initially controlled by the government.
However, it could be used to provide plausi-
ble denial as Torrijos shifted from a strategy
of overt reliance on the National Guard to
more covert means of providing trained
A more telling criticism of my analysis is
Matlin's observation that "The ends of the
decision makers are pictured as pragmatic.
In effect, the leader is assumed to be guided
by, first, a desire to stay in power and to
maximize the interest of his country. Only
secondarily ... is the leader assumed to be
guided by ideological considerations."
Upon reflecting on the political costs Tor-
rijos had to bear to send a brigade to
Nicaragua, it would appear that ideology
may have played an important role. Not
only did he have to pay a potential cost in
terms of adverse US reaction but he faced
considerable antagonism from within the
National Guard. Of the nine members of the
General Staff, four were graduates of the
Nicaraguan Military Academy. These of-
ficers had many friends in Somoza's army
and were also more conservative than Tor-
rijos. The negative reaction of the Staff to
the Brigade decision was a contributing
factor in the removal of one high-ranking
officer and in the reshuffling of numerous
others during November 1978.
As for Matlin's observation that the in-
consistencies in Torrijos' policies (signaling
left and turning right) reflect poorly on his
mastery of decisions, I have tried to suggest
just the opposite. These policies have
aimed at maximizing resources and lever-
age by appealing simultaneously to the
widest possible range of global and
domestic constituencies. There is nothing
inherently irrational or inconsistent about
such a strategy in relation to the ends it
serves. Matlin argues that this approach is
flawed because its success remains con-
tingent upon leftist and rightist groups re-
maining ignorant of the dual strategy being
pursued; also it presumably assumes that
both left and right will settle for "half a loaf."
There is no doubt that Panama's domestic
left and right are fully aware of the dual
strategy and that they grudgingly accept it.
For example, the Communist Party wanted
the whole loaf in the Fall of 1978 when they
argued that they should be given control of
the Brigade. They had to settle for much
less than half when other groups were given
key leadership positions.
In sum, while I would not quibble with

Matlin's observation that my original analysis
assumes Torrijos to be a master decision
maker, I do not think he successfully demon-
strates that the General falls short of this
description. There are no doubt facets of the
Brigade venture which are explainable in
terms of alternative models, but I believe that
such models should be used to qualify rather
than to reject the view that Torrijos knew rather
well what he was doing. Omar is surely a
dictator, butjust as surely not a bungling one.
He has managed to remain in power nearly a
decade longer than any of his civilian or
military predecessors.

Sometimes political
observers tend to read too
much into a policy.


H. Michael Erisman Replies
"Cuba and the Third World"

s Norman Matlin courageous or
foolhardy? I believe a little of each, with
the emphasis on the former. He is cer-
tainly intellectually courageous to attempt a
macrocritique of articles as diverse as those
which appeared in the Caribbean Review's
"The New Cuban Presence in the Carib-
bean." He may be a bit foolhardy to expose
himself to the possibly irate replies of the six
authors he reviewed. In any case, he is
stimulating a dialogue, which has always
been essential to the improvement of
scholarship, and therefore I commend him.

While I have some fundamental dis-
agreements with Matlin's comments, I con-
cur that sometimes political observers, like
literary or cinematic critics, tend to read too
much into a policy. I remember as an un-
dergraduate how I was at first very im-
pressed with and then highly skeptical
about all the symbolism which my English
professors uncovered in their literary
analyses. Did the authors, I asked myself,
really consciously include all the complex
hidden messages and subtle nuances at-
tributed to them? Often I concluded that it
was my professors, not the poets and
novelists, who were injecting the sym-
bolism. Now Matlin accuses us of falling
into the same trap; "Can all our leaders," he
asks, "be as smart as the articles make
them out to be?" While I think he at times
exaggerates the articles' susceptibility to
the "superman syndrome," he is correct in
cautioning that outsiders to decision-
making process can impose motivations,
goals, and political cunning to leaders
which in reality were never there. His plea for
analytical restraint is well-taken.
My basic problem with his critique is that
it does not always display such restraint
itself. He contends that the authors employ
a categorical decision-making model
wherein both ends and means are stipu-
lated in such a way as to confer on Carib-
bean leaders an aura of political mastery
which he feels is a myth not supported by
the data and analyses themselves. In so
doing, he creates his own myth. Most social
scientists do not fall prey to the superman
syndrome. To the contrary, they fully realize
that political mastery is a truly rare com-
modity which few if any governments, in-
cluding Cuba's, ever enjoy. They point out
in particular that politicians do not fully
control the environment in which they op-
erate. This is especially true in my field of
international relations. Indeed it is this lack
of mastery over the social environment -
in technical terms, the inability to ascertain
and control all the variables involved -
which has frustrated the attempts of both
practitioners and academics to develop
politics into a "true" science. Practically
everyone recognizes the incomplete state
of the art. Yet Matlin insists that we attribute
to Caribbean leaders a mastery over both
means and ends, and labels that alleged
claim a myth because the articles do not
substantiate it. Are we really dealing with the
"myth of mastery," as he claims, or with a
"myth about the myth of mastery?" I sug-
gest the latter. It is Matlin, not the authors,
who is propogating myths about the degree
of mastery exercised by Caribbean politi-
cians. Matlin's methodological critique re-
volves around a straw man the myth of
mastery or, as he initially calls it, the
categorical decision-making model. I am
not arguing that the articles, including
mine, are immune to methodological criti-


cism, or that all of Matlin's observations are
off target, but only that his categorical
decision-making model stressing the myth
of mastery is not a particularly appropriate
evaluational vehicle.
One of Matlin's complaints about all the
analyses is that they shortchange the
ideological dimension by presenting the
goals which governments pursue as being
primarily pragmatic. He says, "The ends of
the decision-makers are pictured as prag-
matic. In effect, the leader is assumed to be
guided by, first, a desire to stay in power and
to maximize the interest of his country. Only
secondarily, to the degree that it does not
interfere with the achievement of the first
goal, is the leader assumed to be guided by
ideological considerations." Yet I made it
clear that Cuba's goal of achieving and
exercising leadership within the
Nonaligned Movement is very much col-

ored by ideological factors. Specifically,
they seek to radicalize the organization.
Indeed it is these ideological aims which
have generated intense opposition to
Havana's ambitions among some of the
Movement's more moderate members.
Cuba's stance on the natural ally thesis is
a good example of its ideological commit-
ment. Havana's (pragmatic) desire to exert
Third World influence would be furthered -
and its relations with the Kremlin would not
be seriously hurt by dropping the notion.
But to abandon the natural ally concept
would be, at least tacitly, to concede that
there is a possibility, as some nonaligned
nations have contended, that socialist
states just like Western capitalist countries
can behave imperialistically. Since such an
admission would work against their
ideological goal of radicalizing the
Nonaligned Movement, the Cubans refuse

to make it, even though they thereby lose
an opportunity to increase their own pres-
tige in nonaligned circles.
Thus ideological factors are an important
element in what Nelson Valdes has called
Havana's penchant for "principled prag-
matism" in its policy-making process.
Ideological principles define certain goals
and help to set the parameters for its policy;
within these limits, pragmatic maneuvering
is acceptable. It is, I think, an apt characteri-
zation of Cuban decision-making behavior.
Matlin also points to my observation that
Havana's handling of the Afghan crisis was
counterproductive to its goal of enhancing
its influence in the Nonaligned Movement
as evidence that "Cuba's Third World policy
is...difficult to fit into the framework of the
mastery model." He does, however, admit
that Havana's actions might not be seen as
a lack of mastery if they were based on "a





We are pleased to accept nominations for the second annual
Caribbean Review Award, an annual presentation to honor an
individual who has contributed to the advancement of Carib-
bean intellectual life.
The award recognizes individual effort irrespective of field,
ideology, national origin, or place of residence.
The Award Committee consists of: Lambros Comitas (Chair-
man), Columbia University, New York; Fuat Andic, Universidad
de Puerto Rico, San Juan, Puerto Rico; Wendell Bell, Yale
University, New Haven, Connecticut; Locksley Edmondson,
University of the West Indies, Mona, Jamaica; Anthony P
Maingot, Florida International University, Miami, Florida.
Nominations are to be sent to the Editor, Caribbean Review,
Florida International University, Miami, Florida 33199. Nomi-
nations must be received by March 15,1981.
The Second Annual Award will be announced at the Sixth
Annual Meeting of the Caribbean Studies Association, May
27-30, 1981, St. Thomas, Virgin Islands.

commitment to ideological priority." He
then drops this idea, apparently because he
believes that 1, like the others, have not
factored the ideological variable into my
analysis. But I would suggest that ideologi-
cal considerations were very important
here. Condemning Moscow would have
meant abandoning the natural ally concept
with all the negative ideological conse-
quences regarding radicalizing the
Nonaligned Movement which that would
imply. Added to these considerations was
the fact that Cuba is genuinely greatful to
the Soviets for their aid and hence was sus-

Matlin's methodological
critique revolves around a
straw man-the myth of

ceptible to their pressure to reciprocate with
a supporting vote in the United Nations.
Obviously Havana was in a bind. How
could it protect the natural ally thesis while
hopefully placating both the Russians and
its nonaligned constituents whose position
was overwhelmingly anti-Soviet? Rather
than taking the safe, pragmatic route of
abstention on the UN vote (which may not
have been sufficient to save the natural ally
thesis), they tried to create another alterna-
tive voting against what they called US
imperialism. It was not a terribly convincing
alternative, nor a brilliant display of political
mastery, rather it was a desperate attempt at
damage minimization.
Matlin seems uncomfortable when I say
that Cuba did well at the 6th Summit in
pursuit of its leadership aspirations and
then did poorly on Afghanistan. I am not
uncomfortable simply because I was not
working with the pragmatic mastery model
which he attributes to me. Indeed Af-
ghanistan is a good illustration of Havana's
lack of mastery over the international envi-
ronment and the policy problems which
they can cause. Cuba performed well at the
Summit because they knew what was
coming and had time to prepare; in other
words, they could act proactively and thus
gained some control over the situation.
They functioned poorly concerning Af-
ghanistan because they had almost no idea
of what was coming, little if any time to
prepare, and had to behave reactively,
which meant that they were not in control.
Where do Matlin and I stand? We agree
on the superiority of the assessment model.
Had he used it to critique the articles, I think
his results would have been more persua-

sive. Nevertheless, he has generated a
dialogue, and in the final analysis, that is
what his article is all about.

Max Azicri Replies
"Cuba and the US"

n what is generally regarded as a classi-
cal statement, David Easton once de-
fined politics as (the) "authoritative allo-
cation of values." Much before this asser-
tion, however, logical positivists had made
reference to serious methodological prob-
lems present in what they called "value
relativism;" that is, that values could not be
proven right or wrong, particularly from an
empirical, scientific perspective. In more
recent times, under the auspices of what
used to be called the "behavioral innova-
tion," we have enriched ourselves with the
acumen of empirical theory. Moreover,
political games stemming from game
theory, besides replicating real-life political
behavior, were instrumental in the devel-
opment of decision-making models. Thus,
the actors, driven in their actions by reason
and the pursuit of rational goals, as decision
makers would seek to maximize their gains
while minimizing their losses, not-
withstanding their own values.
Hence political analysts today should
examine, theoretically as well as empirically,
governmental actions representing value
judgments, even when such policies can-
not be proven proper or improper from a
scientific standpoint. If rationality among
decision-makers is assumed in political
analysis, at least for heuristic purposes, one
may reach a better more evenhanded -

and penetrating understanding of policy-
making processes. Therefore, it seems only
proper that, on my part, an attempt should
be made to improve my score evaluating
Cuban-American chances of rapproche-
ment. After all, it may only be a question of
applying the proper decision-making
model, or something to that effect, as was
candidly suggested by Norman Matlin.
And yet, now I learn that all the con-
tributors to "The New Cuban Presence in
the Caribbean" issue had in fact, probably
unknowingly and even unwillingly, used a
decision-making model in their analyses of
Caribbean politics. Only that the approach
used was the wrong one: a categorical
model in which both means and ends are
stipulated, hence rendering the whole effort
quite meaningless. Thus I would like to use
a hypothetical decision-making model in
the analysis of the following events which
is, according to Matlin, what we should have
done in the first place.
In terms of Cuban-American relations
nothing else happened this year as signifi-
cant as the arrival of approximatley 123,000
disaffected Cubans to the United States.
Much has been said and written about the
events that took place in Havana's Peruvian
Embassy starting on April 4, the incidents in
front of the US Interest Section on May 2,
and whatever happened since; however,
much less known is the nature of the events
which led to the present crisis. All in all it
seems proper to say that there have been
moves and countermoves by both sides -
the US and Cuba which for the sake of
our chosen hypothetical decision-making
model should be examined as means
seeking specific ends.
As far as emigration goes, Washington
had been able in the past to manipulate it
successfully against Havana. US ends in
encouraging Cuban migration are well-
known historical facts: (1) emptying the
Island in the early 1960s of its professional,
managerial, and technically trained middle
class; (2) building an outspoken anti-Castro
Cuban community in the US, which as ex-
pected played a major role in propagandiz-
ing the "failure" of Communism in the
Western Hemisphere; and (3) providing the
CIA with needed human resources to
mount an array of anti-Cuban cloak-and-
dagger operations, ranging from the abor-
tive 1961 Bay of Pigs invasion to countless
acts of sabotage and assassination at-
tempts against Fidel Castro. Throughout
these years, encouraging Cubans to emi-
grate and receiving them by words and
deeds with "open arms," was a successfully
implemented policy-means which at least
accomplished medium-range policy-ends.
The ultimate goal, however, the complete
demise of the revolution, has remained
From a Cuban standpoint, the exodus of
middle class, disaffected nationals served

at best to reduce potential or actual ten-
sions arising from antagonistic population
groups that in all likelihood would have
never been gained to the side of the revolu-
tion. This, on the other hand, was perhaps
instrumental in reducing counter-
revolutionary activities to manageable
dimensions and thus the failure of the
above-mentioned CIA-Cuban exiles actions
against the regime. Nonetheless, emigra-
tion, the systematic encouragement of Cu-
bans to leave their fatherland as a gesture of
opposition to the revolution, has always
been an American policy. Granting that, it
has been mostly a policy-means in pursuit
of major, not attained as such, policy-ends.
What happened then this time? Mariel
port remained open until September 26,
1980 for US-based Cubans who wanted to
come and take with them those wanting to
leave though in a one way trip, as it was
defined recently by the daily Grama. Mean-
while, Havana refuses to take back any of
the so-called 123,000 anti-socials already in
the United States and not only threatened
with severe penalties any would be hijacker
who might be planning to use such means
to return to the Island but has, after ten of
those cases, flown back two hijackers to the
US to face air piracy charges.
On the other hand, Carter reversed him-
self from an open-arms to a no-more-
Cubans-are-welcome policy, which in-
cludes confiscation of vessels and stiff
penalties to their captains and owners for
bringing Cubans illegally to Key West or
other Florida ports. Also, many of the new-
comers are experiencing interment in dif-
ferent American military forts which almost
overnight have become seedbeds of disor-
der, crime, and malcontent.
There are some obvious differences from
the pattern of Cuban migration in the '60s,
and even the '70s, to this present experi-
ence: (1) rather than middle class Cubans,
this new group constitutes a different hu-
manity including many with criminal rec-
ords and others with pronounced malad-
justment problems (which may explain why
they were all labeled anti-socials by Cuba,
which is, of course, a gross exageration), (2)
the basic changes in Havana's and Wash-
ington's posture regarding emigration -
Cuba's standing was underscored by Presi-
dent Castro's May Day speech stating that
the construction of socialism was a task for
free men, thus acknowledging the volun-
tary nature of participating in the country's
developmental struggle while suffering de-
privation of consumer goods, and, con-
sequently, precluding that a person could
be forced to stay if he/she wishes to leave;
and (3) the present serious economic and
unemployment conditions in the United
States, which was not helped at all by the
troublesome parallel wave of Haitian
Finally, it seems as if Cuba has been able

to turn this time the emigration question
around to either its own advantage or, at
least, to the point of neutralizing the negative,
anti-Cuban propaganda value usually
scored by Washington. This was done not
only by sending a different stock of refugees
- a type who could only exacerbate the
normally complex procedures involved in
these cases but also by bringing into the
open the social and economic problems
plaguing the lands of "unlimited con-
sumerism," including not only poorly eco-
nomically developed Latin American coun-
tries as Costa Rica, and even Peru, but the

The game has been a
rough one, and scars show
on both sides. The board,
however, shows more
points scored by Cuba
than by the United States.

highly industrialized United States as well.
In this context, the apparently intractable
position taken by Cuba of not allowing any
of the so-called anti-social nationals to re-
turn and refusing to discuss through a
piecemeal approach emigration policies
with Washington, is part of a more com-
prehensive political move. Havana, by
hardening its position on the issue, is seek-
ing to bring the United States to the
negotiating table to discuss an agenda in-
cluding this problem and other outstanding
issues including lifting the economic em-
bargo, compensation of confiscated prop-
erty, normalization of relations. As past ex-
perience demonstrates, coordinating and
cooperating with the United States in an
orderly flow of Cuban refugees, which in-
cludes a selective screening process con-
trolled by Washington, has not led before to
discussing face-to-face the major, funda-
mental remaining problems in Cuban-
American relations.
Let us return briefly to our hypothetical
decision-making model as it applies to the
1980 case of Cuban emigration to the
United States. How close, or how far have
the policy-means used by either party
drawn them from their respective policy-
ends? Or more properly, what are after all
Cuban and American policy-goals in this
dramatic political episode? If Washington
sought to embarrass Cuba, or to drive a
wedge between the Island and some Latin
American countries-which at large were
increasingly accommodating throughout
the 1970s in seeking, and finding, common

terms with Havana in the light of recent
Central American and Caribbean devel-
opments, the outcome is rather mild at
best. Mostly Venezuela and Peru, and to
some extent Costa Rica, have shown any
appreciable interest in this problem. Rela-
tions between Havana and Caracas have
been for some time at a rather low point
under the Luis Herrera Campins adminis-
tration, so this only reinforced an existent
trend. If the target was to undermine Cuba's
leadership position among non-aligned
nations, the outcome of such an effort is
mostly futile. Third World countries as a
rule are faced with poverty, famine, disease,
unemployment and chronic economic
maladies. Against these facts, economic
complaints of the kind voiced by Cubans
arriving in San Jose, Lima, or Miami, are
neither valid nor convincing. Among mem-
bers of the international culture of poverty
represented by many underdeveloped na-
tions, the Cuban way in spite of so many
economic problems is an effort worthy
of being emulated.
Thus Washington's policy-means on this
account have not only failed to accomplish
its policy-ends, but have backfired indeed.
The problems facing the 123,000 recently
arrived Cubans is now more an American
domestic problem, than an issue to be dis-
cussed in the context of a Cuban-American
rapprochement. The inability to absorb
and/or to accommodate them, and the
horror stories coming from the camps are
America's not Cuba's problems.
For Cuba, if it is true that it has come out
ahead in what has been a serious, quite
traumatic national crisis, it does not yet
mean a return to normalcy and to an at-
titude of business as usual. Having to send
two Cuban hijackers back to the United
States for severe punishment, or any other
future hijacker, is a kind of experience that
nobody could really relish in Havana. Even
though Cuba has been able to take the wind
from American sails as far as using emigra-
tion for the time being as an anti-Cuban
policy, its policies have caused at best a
mixed reaction in Washington. All of this
may delay further rather than move closer
any discussion of a possible normalization
of relations between both countries. While
Washington probably recognizes Cuba's
capability for expediency and resoluteness
in decision-making opening Mariel as a
base for Cuban emigration and turning
around the Peruvian Embassy crisis are
eloquent points at hand but in all likeli-
hood it also resents Castro's decision of
sending anti-socials and criminals to the
United States. The game has been a rough
one, and scars show on both sides. The
board, however, shows more points scored
by Cuba than by the United States. As Karl
Deutsch would say, it is a question of
cybernetic-power: moving well and moving
faster, thus turning weakness into strength.


Franklin W. Knight Replies
"Toward a New American Presence in the
Norman Matlin's critique offers some
suggestions which, on first reading,
appear to be perceptively profound.
No writer, regardless of academic disci-
pline, would, or could, entirely disagree with
his major premises. His bark, however,
proves on closer examination to be far
more serious than his bite. His analysis is no
more direct than those he has criticized. His
argument, in short, is little more than much
ado about very little.
Let me begin with his analytic method. I
raise no serious objection to the suggestion
that analyses fall within three broad areas,
or as he would term them, models: in-
ferential models with their focus on means;
assessment models with their focus on
ends; and categorical models which involve
both means and ends. While the descriptive
terms are the personal invention of Mr. Mat-
lin, it might be pointed out that his division
spans the entire gamut of feasibility. It is
tantamount to saying that humans are di-
vided into two sexes, males and females -
definitely correct but not remarkably percep-
tive. Nevertheless, Matlin's division can be
accepted as long as he confines himself to
abstract assertions. The problem arises
when he tries to deal with the variety of ap-
proaches to the Caribbean, and when he
purports to evaluate specific assertions with
an acknowledged ignorance of facts and
academic disciplinary focus. I find Matlin's
analysis of these analyses to be largely sup-
erficial and guilty of the very defects he
gleefully underlines in the works of the con-
tributors of "The New Cuban Presence in the
Caribbean." Indeed, Matlin, in trying to sub-
stantiate his fabricated case, even manages



to distort the words and ideas of the various
authors. I am sure that the others are quite
capable of defending themselves, so I will
confine my remarks, as far as possible, to his
references to "Toward a New American Pres-
ence in the Caribbean."
Although Matlin ends his piece by the
self-righteous declaration: "A good analysis
will not introduce the normative element
surreptitiously, but will spell it out for the
reader, leaving him to evaluate the analysis
in the light of his own opinions about the
value of the goals to be pursued," he fails to

Political mastery or
competence, then, lies in
the strategic selection of
goals and means, not

follow his own prescription. He writes, for
example, as though a consensus existed
not only on what constitutes a model, but
also on his general divisions for the types of
models. Indeed, it is unclear whether he is
using "models" as a synonym for modes of
analysis. Such would, of course, be careless
writing but would be consistent with the
tenor of much of the criticism leveled
against "The New Cuban Presence."
Matlin criticizes Knight and Azicri for ac-
cusing the United States of "ideological
rigidity" and "complete inconsistency in its
ideology." This is a patent distortion of the
sense of the article as a whole, for nowhere
is my discussion based on overt ideological
considerations. While ideology does affect
policy and the articulation of policy -
which is the focus of my essay it cannot
be substituted without violent distortion of
my ideas. Matlin selects a quotation begin-
ning "...When the Canadian government
fell..." to illustrate what he perceives as my
dubious conclusion of ideological rigidity
on the part of the United States. The selec-
tion of the quotation is obviously self-
serving. I had written: "...But Americans
tend to have a double standard. When the
Canadian government fell after just six
months in office, Time Magazine reported
that a 'well-informed' official of the gov-
ernment of the United States said that there
was nothing to worry about. And when the
United States changed three presidents in
eight years, there seemed nothing to worry
about-even though one of those changes
was done without the privilege of an elec-
tion. But this type of sensibility is never
meted out to states in Latin America and
the Caribbean..." Matlin concludes: "How
this can be reconciled with charges of
ideological rigidity escapes me." What es-

capes me is how Matlin could have inter-
preted the passage to demonstrate
"ideological rigidity!" What is being dis-
cussed is neither the commitment or lack
of a commitment to ideology but the incon-
sistency of a policy which subscribes to the
autonomy, independence and equality of all
nation-states while making invidious dis-
tinctions between those states. Even Mat-
lin's discussion reveals an awareness that
ideology and policy are not synonymous.
Similarly I am surprised at the interpreta-
tion Matlin makes that political pragmatists
are masters of strategy, and that such mas-
tery was a Caribbean monopoly. Nowhere is
any suggestion made of singular ineptness
or lack of sophistication on the part of the
United States. I wrote: "From the internal
Caribbean point of view, the ideology is not
the foremost political concern. All political
leaders in the Caribbean are, to a very great
extent, political pragmatists. They must be,
in order to survive as well as in order to
make any headway against the growing
internal problems which their limited assets
allow. The appeal of Cuba is less in its esp-
ousal of socialism, than in its successful
resolution of long-standing problems
which are common to all the Caribbean
states, and indeed much of the world."
If the purpose of the analysis is to esti-
mate any given political leader's mastery of
strategy, then some consideration of the
political goals are in order. This is what
Matlin calls his "assessment model." But
since means and ends tend to be related,
and often are confused, no discussion can
be made of the feasibility of stipulated goals
or ends without evaluating the means
selected to achieve them. Political mastery
or competence, then, lies in the strategic
selection of goalsand means, not either/or.
If this is correct, it seems hard to accept the
efficacy of Matlin's "assessment model"
with its singular emphasis on goals. What
escapes me is where Matlin got the idea that
all those contributors were only concerned
with evaluating political competence. Mat-
lin's essay is not the methodological cri-
tique it presumes to be. It is a suggestion
based on careless reading of the Review
of how he would write any one of those
articles. One would hope that before writing
he would acquaint himself with the facts of
his case much better than he has demon-
strated here.

Anthony P Maingot teaches sociology at
Florida International University, Miami;
William M. LeoGrande teaches government at
The American University, Washington; Steve
C. Ropp teaches government at The New
Mexico State University, Las Cruces, New
Mexico; H. Michael Erisman teaches political
science at Mercyhurst College, Pennsylvania;
Max Azicri teaches political science at
Edinboro State College, Pennsylvania;
Franklin W. Knight teaches history at The
Johns Hopkins University, Baltimore.

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 16l02

Volume 10
January & July 1980




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 FIU's International Affairs Center
The University of the Netherlands Antilles, the College of
the Bahamas, and the Autonomous University of
Guadalajara will sponsor with Florida International University
the conference "Energy Resources and Conservation
Related to Built Environment." The international conference
will take place in Miami during December 7-12, 1980. The
Conference is being organized under the direction of Dr.
Oktay Ural, Director of the International Institute for Housing
and Building.
Dr. Leonardo Rodriguez, Dean of the FIU School of
Business will be in San Maarten in early September to
deliver a professional seminar on Small Business
Management. The seminar is being delivered as part of the
cooperative agreement between the University of the
Netherlands Antilles and Florida International University.
Professors Rocco Angelo and Michael Hurst of the
School of Hospitality Management will deliver a professional
seminar in Mexico for the Mexican Association of Hotels and
Motels. The seminar on Food and Beverage Management
and Control will take place in September.
Professor Charles Ilvento also of the FIU School of
Hospitality Management will deliver two professional
seminars for the hotel industry in Aruba. The seminars are
being offered with the sponsorship of the Aruba Commission
of Education and the Aruba School of Hospitality Trades.
International Affairs Center/Florida International University
Tamiami Trail, Miami, Florida 33199, ph: (305) 552-2846

Recent Books

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

By Marian Goslinga

Anthropology and Sociology
EN MEXICO, 1970-1976. Pablo Latapi.
Nueva Imagen (M6xico), 1980. 256 p.

Marula Maduro. Landelijke Commissie van
Antilliaanse Welzijnsinstellingen (Curacao),
1980. NAfl0.50.

Pierre Clastres. Urizen Books. 1980. $20.00.

AMERICA LATINA. Ivan Restrepo, ed. Nueva
Imagen (Mexico), 1980. 377 p.

RICO. Jose J. Santa Pinter. University of
Puerto Rico Press, 1980. 500 p.

Koop, et al. Summer Institute of Linguistics
(Dallas, Tex.), 1980. 200 p.

Anibal Quijano. Mosca Azul Editores (Lima,
Peru), 1980. 119 p. $3.00.

COUNTRY. David A. Preston. Wiley, 1980.

ENSAYOS. Jos6 Luis Romero. Editorial de
Belgrano (Buenos Aires, Argentina), 1980.
522 p. $29.00.

L. Beaulac. Hoover Institution Press, 1980.

Ethel M. Manganiello. Libreria del Colegio
(Buenos Aires, Argentina), 1980. 224 p.

Chacon. Summus (Sao Paulo, Brazil), 1980.
276 p. $11.50.

Ammann. Cortez (Sao Paulo, Brazil), 1980.
264 p. $8.50.


Garcia, ed. Cortez (Sao Paulo, Brazil), 1980.
264 p. $8.50.

KINO IN CUBA, 1959-1978. Peter B.
Schumann. Vervuert (Frankfurt, Germany),
1980 DM12.80. About Cuba's motion
picture industry.

Andrew A. Aros. Applause Publications,
1980. $5.95.

Francisco Hip6lito Uzal. Corregidor (Buenos
Aires, Argentina), 1980. 275 p. $15.40.

GENEALOGICA. Pedro Taques de Almeida
Paes Leme. 5th enlarged ed. Itatiaia (Belo
Horizonte, Brazil), 1980. 3 vols.

Y LUCHA DE CLASSES. Adolfo Gilly. Nueva
Imagen (Mexico), 1980. 142 p. $5.05.

Beatriz Fainholc. Libreria del Colegio
(Buenos Aires, Argentina), 1980. 158 p.

Coutinho. Achiame (Rio de Janeiro, Brazil),
1980. 100 p.

Apolinario Porto Alegre. URGS/IEL (Porto
Alegre, Brazil), 1980. 493 p.

TLAXCALA. Hugo G. Nutini, Betty Bell.
Princeton University Press, 1980. $28.50.

Nash, Helen I. Safa, eds. New ed. J.E Bergin
(New York), 1980. 352 p. $19.95.

Silvestrini de Pacheco. University of Puerto
Rico Press, 1980. 237 p.

ASI HABLABA PERON. Eugenio P Rom. Pefia
Lillo (Buenos Aires, Argentina), 1980. 158 p.
$6.20. Interviews with Per6n.

FRANCISCO PIQUET Wilfredo Penco, ed.
Biblioteca Nacional (Montevideo, Uruguay),
1980. 86 p. $7.50.

Hector Galmes, ed. Biblioteca Nacional
(Montevideo, Uruguay), 1980. 66 p. $7.50.

MACEO, 1845-1896. Magdalen M. Pando.
Felicity Press (Gainesville, Fla.), 1980. 144 p.

INTELECTUAL. Enrique Krauze. Mortiz
(Mexico). 1980. 318 p. $11.50.

Campobassi. EUDEBA (Buenos Aires,
Argentina), 1980. 532 p. $30.00.

Falc6n. Empresa Editora Amauta (Lima,
Peru), 1980. 358 p. $4.60.

DITADURA. Julio Jose Chiavenato.
Brasiliense (Sao Paulo, Brazil), 1980. 192 p.

Faraco. Civilizaga Brasileira (Rio de
Janeiro), 1980. 82 p. $4.00.

Barrios. Crisol (Buenos Aires, Argentina),
1980. 219 p. $7.20.

Discription and Travel
CARIBBEAN. James W. Morrison. Arco,
1980. 192 p. $9.95; $6.95 paper.

Margaret Zellers. Morrow, 1980. 824 p.

MEXICO. Carl Franz. John Muir
Publications, 1980. $8.00.

Nentvig. Tr., clarified, and annotated by A.F.
Pradeau and R.R. Rasmussen. University of
Arizona Press, 1980. 160 p. $14.95.

GUATEMALA. Loraine Carlson. Upland
Press, 1980. $5.95.


Caballero. Institute de Estudios Peruanos
(Lima, Peru), 1980. $2.00.

Flavio Pinto. Hucitec (Sio Paulo, Brazil),
1980. 219 p.

BRASIL. Plinio Sampaio. Vozes (Petr6polis,
Brazil), 1980. 140 p.

Ferber, ed. Organization of American
States, 1980. 484 p. $15.00.

Berry, Ronald Soligo, eds. Westview Press,
1980. 269 p. $24.50.

N.E. Henriquez. Universiteit van de
Nederlandse Antillen (Curacao), 1980.
Labor relations in the Netherlands Antilles.

Jorge Gonzalez Izquierdo. Centro de
Investigaci6n, Universidad del Pacifico
(Lima, Peru), 1980. 166 p. $5.00.

1950-1978. Daniel Heymann. CEPAL
(Santiago de Chile), 1980. 240 p. $4.50.

Release Publishers (Georgetown, Guyana),
1980. $3.25.

LATINA. Alfredo Eric Calcagno. CEPAL
(Santiago de Chile), 1980. 114 p. $4.00.

COMERCIO. Asociaci6n Latinoamericana
de Libre Comercio. ALALC (Montevideo,
Uruguay), 1980. 400 p. $50.00.

Molina. Emece (Buenos Aires, Argentina),
1980. 252 p.


IN MEXICO. J.W. Barchfield. Transaction
Books, 1980. $19.95.

Rodriguez J. Universidad Aut6noma de
Santo Domingo, 1980. 219 p. $10.00.

AMERICA LATINA, 1960-1972. Jorge
Salazar-Carrillo. Ediciones Siap (Buenos
Aires, Argentina), 1980. 223 p. $14.00.

CONTRADICCIONES, 1969-1979. Jose
Matos Mar, Jose Manuel Mejia. Institute de
Estudios Peruanos (Lima, Peru), 1980. 138
p. $2.00.

Sanchez Burgos. Nueva Imagen (Mexico),
1980. 157 p. $9.50.

Corcino Medeiros dos Santos. Tempo
Brasileiro (Rio de Janeiro, Brazil), 1980.
237 p.

St. Martin's Press, 1980. 240 p. $22.50.

EL PERU. Silvio Zavala. El Colegio de
Mexico, 1980. 251 p. $17.50.

FUNCAO POLITICA. Hans Fuchtner. Trans.
by J.C. de Souza. Graal (Rio de Janeiro,
Brazil), 1980. 260 p. $9.00. Translation of
Die brasilianischen Arbeitergewerkschaften.

Juan Bautista Alberdi. EUDEBA (Buenos
Aires, Argentina), 1980. 388 p. $21.50.

Kay. Ediciones Era (Mexico), 1980. 140 p.

Jauregui, et al. Centro de Investigaciones
del Desarrollo Rural (Mexico), 1980. 380 p.
$14.00. An examination of Mexico's tobacco
enterprise in Nayarit.

Octavio Rodriguez. Siglo Veintiuno Editores
(Mexico), 1980. 361 p. $9.25.

COSTA RICA. Bruce Herrick, Barclay
Hudson. St. Martin's Press, 1980. $22.50.

History and Archaeology


Eufrasio de Azevedo Marques. New ed.
Itatiaia (Belo Horizonte, Brazil), 1980. 2 vols.

Anthony F Aveni. Siglo Veintiuno Editores
(Mexico), 1980. 325 p. $8.60.

Rail Arana Montalban. Artes Graficas
Medinaceli (Barcelona, Spain), 1979. 290 p.
$12.50. A Nicaraguan author's account of
Caribbean events.

Marina Volio. Editorial Juricentro (San Jose,
Costa Rica), 1980. 206 p.

CARIBBEAN. Paul E. Hoffman. Louisiana
State University Press, 1980. $22.50.

URUGUAY. Eduardo Esteva Gallichio.
Fundaci6n de Cultura Universitaria
(Montevideo, Uruguay), 1980. 354 p.

University of California Press, 1980. $24.95;
$11.95 paper.

1536-1880. Eugenio Gastiazoro. Agora
(Buenos Aires, Argentina), 1980. 429 p.

et al. Cooperadora de Derecho y Ciencias
Sociales (Buenos Aires, Argentina), 1980.
605 p. $40.00.

Furst, Jill Furst. Abbeville Press, 1980. 128
p. $25.00.

Barbosa Lessa. Globo (Porto Alegre, Brazil),
1980. 2 vols. $15.50.

Schenkman, 1980. $19.50; $8.95 paper.

COLONY? Roberta A. Johnson. Praeger,
1980. 200 p. $17.95.

MEXICO, 1819-1906. Leticia Reina. Siglo
Veintiuno Editores (Mexico), 1980. 437 p.

Maeso. Ernesto J. Fitte, ed. Academia
Nacional de la Historia (Buenos Aires,
Argentina), 1980. 96 p. $7.80. Reprint of the
1870 ed.





1981 Annual Meeting
May 27-30,1981
St. Thomas,
U.S. Virgin Islands
Co-Sponsored by
the College of the
Virgin Islands

Site of Conference:
Virgin Islands Hotel,
St. Thomas
Conference Theme:
Papers will be
presented on the
following topics:
The Caribbean Family
Basic Needs Strategies
Religion in the Caribbean
The Arts in the Caribbean
Energy Needs of the
Caribbean Science &
Technology Policy
The Dynamics of
International & Domestic
Economic Issues
Politics and Process in
the Caribbean
The Caribbean and the
Third World
Keynote Address:
Professor Gordon K. Lewis
University of Puerto Rico
Further Information on
Papers and
Professor Simon
Caribbean Research
College of the
Virgin Islands
St. Thomas,
U.S. Virgin Islands 00801


Hellmuth. Foundation for Latin American
Anthropological Research (Culver City,
Calif.), 1980. $25.00.

Language and Literature

INTERVIEW Bruce Novoa. University of
Texas Press, 1980. 304 p. $15.95; $7.95

BRASILEIRA. Fabio Freixieiro. Tempo
Brasileiro (Rio de Janeiro, Brazil), 1980.
202 p. $4.50.

DESCONOCIDOS. Augusto Cesar Sandino.
Jorge Eduardo Arellano, ed. Ministerio de
Cultura (Managua, Nicaragua), 1980. 100 p.

Margaret E. Fau. Greenwood Press, 1980.

Eugenio Aguirre. Coordinaci6n de
Humanidades (Mexico), 1980. 227 p. 150
pesos. An historical novel about the
Spanish conquest of Mexico.

OBRAS: LUIS PALES MATOS, 1914-1959. Luis
Pales Matos. University of Puerto Rico Press,
1980. 2 vols.

MAGISTRALES. Walter Rela, ed. Plus Ultra
(Montevideo, Uruguay), 1980. 237 p.

POEMS. Ernesto Cardenal. New Directions,
1980. $12.00; $4.95 paper.

Politics and Government

E. Egea Lahore. Universidad del Salvador
(Buenos Aires, Argentina), 1980. 117 p.

Gerson Moura. Nova Fronteira (Rio de
Janeiro, Brazil), 1980. 200 p. $7.50.

50 ANOS DEL PRI. Equipo de Estritores y
Reporteros de Proceso. Editorial Posada
(Mexico), 1980. 348 p. $10.60.

1844-1854. E. Rodriguez D. Editora del
Caribe (Santo Domingo), 1980. 485 p.
$10.00. About the Dominican Republic.

J. Wiarda, ed. Westview Press, 1980. 301 p.

COMUNISTA. Arnoldo Martinez Verdugo.

Cultura Popular (Mexico), 1979. 286 p.
$11.00. The author is Secretary-General of
the Mexican Communist Party.

Jesus Miguel Blandon. Impresiones
Troqueles (Managua, Nicaragua), 1980.
225 p.
CHILE, 1973-1978. Bernardo Elgueta, et al.
Earl M. Coleman Enterprises (New York),
1980. 300 p. $25.00.
Raffucci de Garcia. University of Puerto Rico
Press, 1980. 213 p.

RICO. Jose Trias Monge. University of
Puerto Rico Press, 1980. 748 p.

Schuyler. Schenkman, 1980. $15.95. About

Antoine.Trans. byJoao Guilherme Linke.
Civilizagio Brasileira (Rio de Janeiro, Brazil),
1980. 120 p. Translation of Lintegrisme

Martz, Lars Schoultz, eds. Westview Press,
1980. 272 p. $24.50.

Bawa. Humanities Press, 1980. $12.50.

Olloqui. Universidad Aut6moma de Mexico,
1980. 236 p. $14.55.
Vervuert (Frankfurt, Germany), 1980, 168 p.

NICARAGUA '78. Koen Wessing, Jan van der
Putten. Van Gennep (Amsterdam,
Netherlands), 1980.

LA NUEVA POLITICAL. Carlos C. Lanusse.
Lanusse (Buenos Aires, Argentina), 1980.
249 p. About Argentina.
OTRO HOLOCAUST. Antonio Diaz Soto y
Gama. Editorial Jus (Mexico), 1980. 140 p.
Political ideas of the well-known Mexican
agrarian reformer.

1932. Carmen Rosa Balbi, Laura
Madalengoitia. Centro de Estudios y
Promoci6n del Desarrollo, DESCO (Lima,
Peru), 1980. 199 p. $4.50.

TREINTA. Carmen Rosa Balbi. G. Herrera
Editores (Lima, Peru), 1980. 154 p. $3.80.


Fernando Uricoechea. University of
California Press, 1980. 248 p. $14.50.

Editorial Grafica Labor (Lima, Peru), 1980.
373 p. $2.50.

RICO. Wilfredo Mattos Cintr6n. Ediciones
Era (M6xico), 1980. 207 p. $5.60.

J. Payne. St. Martin's Press, 1980. $25.00.

CARIBBEAN ISSUES. Angel Calder6n Cruz.
Institute de Estudios del Caribe,
Universidad de Puerto Rico, 1979. 180 p.

Jr. Saraiva (Sao Paulo, Brazil), 1980. 112 p.

Kinzo. Simbolo (S&o Paulo, Brazil), 1980.
138 p. $4.50.

Garcia de Serrano, ed. University of Puerto
Rico Press, 1980. 4 vols.

GUADALUPE. H6lio Golsztejn, Omar L.
Barros. Brasileinse (Sao Paulo, Brazil),
1980.172 p. $6.50.

Schmidt-Relenberg, et al. Vervuert
(Frankfurt, Germany), 1980. 126 p.

1938-1978. John Child. Westview Press,
1980. 254 p. $22.00.

R. Universidad Aut6noma de Santo
Domingo, 1980. 116 p. $5.00.

EL VOTO PERONISTA. Manuel Mora y Araujo,
Ignacio Lorente, eds. Sudamericana
(Buenos Aires, Argentina), 1980. 528 p.


1952-1979. Martha Levero de Kenny, et al.
Biblioteca Nacional (Montevideo, Uruguay),
1980. 1 v. (un-paged). $6.00.

OF MARXISM, 1922-1972. Ronald H.

Chilcote, ed. Kraus International, 1980.

CIVILIZATION. Benjamin Nufez.
Greenwood Press, 1980. $45.00.

Dept. of Housing and Urban Development,
Office of International Affairs, 1980. 54 p.

EUSTATIUS, SABA 1648/1681-1816. J.A.
Schiltkamp, J. Th. de Schmidt S.
Emmering (Amsterdam, Netherlands),
1980. Nfl. 75.00. A bibliography of official
publications dealing with these islands.

Florida International University
Tamiami Trail, Miami, Florida 33199

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Outstanding selection
of North American
and Latin American Art

Painting, Sculpture,
Weaving, Graphics,
Pre Columbian Artifacts


Virginia Miller Galleries
Fine Art and Artifacts--Personal/Corporate
Commodore Plaza 3112, Miami, Florida 33133
(305) 444-4493

(305) 442-9430

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Vol VI
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Vol. IX

On the Cover

On the Cover

Omar Rayo and his Museum

By Luis Zalamea

he Rayo Museum of Latin American
Prints and Drawings will open on
January 18, 1981, in Roldanillo, Col-
ombia, a city of some 50,000 people in the
lush Cauca Valley of Colombia. "Ours will
be the first museum in the Western Hemis-
phere devoted entirely to prints and draw-
ings," says Omar Rayo, the 52-year-old
artist. Rayo, born in Roldanillo, has been the
driving force behind the museum.
In the early 1970s, Rayo conceived of the
idea of a museum in his home town de-
voted to his own works. But the original
concept grew, and the museum will open
with a permanent collection of 2,000 of
Rayo's own drawings and engravings, plus
500 works by other Latin American artists
acquired by him.
In 1973, the town officials of Roldanillo
donated the land for Rayo's project, and in
1975 the Mexican architect Leopoldo Gout
presented the blueprints and mock-up of
the future museum's building as his contri-
bution to the city. The architectural concept
itself symbolizes the decentralization of
plastic arts. Says Rayo, "The building was
constructed to lodge a living institution that
will be both museum-workshop and
museum-university of esthetics, as well as
museum-exhibit gallery; it is a center for a
whole gamut of activities that seek to en-
courage art creation on paper."

The Artist
Omar Rayo was born in 1928, and is said to
have made his first drawing when he was
three years old. In 1947, he went to Cali and
then to Bogota, where he eked out a living
as a cartoonist and commercial artist. He
first attracted notice of the critics by his
"bejuquismo," influenced by Dali, in which
he used the winding forms of creeping
jungle lianas to express form, including the
human figure.
After participating in his first group shows
in Colombia, for several years he traveled
and studied throughout Latin America. In
the late 1950s, in Mexico, he discovered the
secrets of engraving, and subsequently, of
embossing or relief. This was to lead to his
most significant contribution to modern art:
his "Gadget" technique, which coincided
with the Pop Art movement and gained him

world recognition.
Having lived and worked in New York
since 1960, Rayo's whole menagerie of cre-
ative gadgets included toothbrushes,
knives, needles, umbrellas, forks, which he
made translucent, as he formally dissected
their anatomy. Eventually, he returned to his
cartoonist days as he ironically subjected
the human form to his gadget approach.
Omar Rayo is a most prolific artist. He
has held 25 one-man shows and partici-
pated in 15 group exhibits in major cities of
the United States, Latin America and the
Far East. His works are included in more
than 50 museums and public collections.
Art critic Maria Alonso Andrade, speaking
of Rayo's development as an artist over the
last 25 years, says: "Rayo's works are es-
sentially geometrical; reality is discarded by
and in function of lines continuous lines
that give the impression of volume when
being struck angularly by light. His are not
the geometer's simple lines, but a rather
spatial geometry, dynamic and resolved in
signs in which it figures as the essential
component. Squares, rhombus and
rectangles are resolved in ribbons decep-
tively superimposed on the canvas again
and again.
"These are the real forms of indefinite
space, a medium through which space is
converted into form: figure-form enclosing
the values that it represents in its own exist-
ence and complex duality. The artist him-
self has said: 'I use geometry in my work
because it is an integral part of a new life-
language-art relationship. It is an opening
toward fresh possibilities for expressing
man's new sensibility and thinking.'
"In his most recent creative stage, in-
spired by a deep Americanist feeling, Rayo
adds to his creations the magic touch of
symbolic color. He does not use a wide
chromatic scale or tones emphasized by
contrast or harmony, but rather a symbolic
application of the colors that prevail in na-
ture in the Americas: the luxuriant greens of
jungles and mountains and the sky's clear
blues, to which he adds a whole spectrum
of purples, yellows and reds reminiscent of
the decorative motives of the great Indian
civilizations that once thrived in Spanish

On the Cover
This work is part of a limited, numbered
edition consisting of thirty different prints,
each 30" by 22". Produced by the artist
himself in 1978, the whole edition goes by
the name "Sarita's Zoo." The different levels
are created by copper plates, in this case,
three copper plates, printed by hand with
repoussage through the paper. Color is
applied with a stencil, also by hand.

Luis Zalamea is a Colombian writer and

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