Front Cover
 Table of Contents
 Front Matter
 Back Cover


Caribbean Review
Full Citation
Permanent Link: http://ufdc.ufl.edu/UF00095576/00036
 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: 1981
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: UF00095576:00036

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
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        Page 48
        Page 49
        Page 50
        Page 51
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        Page 53
        Page 54
        Page 55
        Page 56
    Back Cover
        Back Cover 1
        Back Cover 2
Full Text



Vol. X No. 3
Three Dollars

Focus on Mexico and the Caribbean and Central America, A Guide to the Andean Pact,
The Dominican Turn Toward Sugar, A Caribcentric View of the World, The Case for
Indigenous Development, Painting Jorge Luis Borges


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

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

Latin American-Caribbean
Studies Faculty
Irma Alonso, Economics
Ewart Archer, International
Ken I. Boodhoo, International
Manuel Carvajal, Economics
John Corbett, Public Administration
Grenville Draper, Physical Sciences
Luis Escovar, Psychology
Robert Farrell, Education
Gordon Finley, Psychology
John Jensen, Modem Languages
David Jeuda, Modem Languages
Charles Lacombe, Anthropology
Barry B. Levine, Sociology
Anthony P Maingot, Sociology
James A. Mau, Sociology
Floretin Maurrasse, Physical
Ramon Mendoza, Moder
Raul Moncarz, Economics
Marta Ortiz, Marketing
Mark B. Rosenberg, Political
Reinaldo Sanchez, Modem
Luis P Salas, Criminal Justice
Jorge Salazar, Economics
Alex Stepick, Anthropology
Mark D. Szuchman, History
William T. Vickers, Anthropology
Maida Watson Breslin, Modem

Miami Speaker's
On Latin America
and the Caribbean
The Latin American and Caribbean
Center of Florida International
University hosts a Speaker's Bureau
for scholars traveling through
Miami. The Bureau serves as a
means for area specialists to share
their experiences and research
during colloquia. 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.

Occasional Papers

The Center also publishes both an
Occasional Papers Series as well as
a series of Dialogues given by guest
speakers on the campus of FIU.
Please write for details.

SUMMER 1981 Vol. X, No. 3 Three Dollars

Barry B. Levine

Associate Editors
Anthony R Maingot
William T Osborne
Mark B. Rosenberg
Contributing Editors
Carlos M. Alvarez
Ricardo Arias
Ken I. Boodhoo
Jerry Brown
Herbert L. Hiller
Antonio Jorge
Gordon K. Lewis
James A. Mau
Raul Moncarz
Luis R Salas
Mark D. Szuchman
William T Vickers
Gregory B. Wolfe
Editorial Manager
Beatriz Parga de Bay6n

Art Director
Danine Carey
Marian Goslinga
Assistant to the Editor
Brenda Hart
Circulation Manager
James E Droste
Marketing and Sales Manager
Robert A. Geary
Contributing Artists
Eleanor Bonner
Barbara Woychowski
Publishing Consultants
Andrew R. Banks
Joe Guzman

Caribbean Review, a quarterly journal dedicated to the Carib-
bean, 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 International University and the State of Florida, This
public document was promulgated at a quarterly cost of
$6.659 or $1.21 per copy to promote international education
with a primary emphasis on creating greater mutual under-
standing among the Americas, by articulating the culture and
ideals of the Caribbean and Latin America, and emigrating
groups originating therefrom.
Editorial policy: Caribbean Review does not accept responsibil-
ity for any of the views expressed in its pages. Rather, we accept
responsibility for giving such views the opportunity to be
expressed herein. Our articles do not represent a consensus of
opinion some articles are in open disagreement with others
and no reader should be able to agree with all of them.
Mailing address: Caribbean Review, Florida International
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(305) 554-2246. Unsolicited manuscripts (articles, essays,
reprints, excerpts, translations, book reviews, poetry, etc.) are
welcome but should be accompanied by a self-addressed
stamped envelope.
Copyright: Contents Copyright C 1981 by Caribbean Review.
Inc. The reproduction of any artwork, editorial or other material
is expressly prohibited without written permission from the
Photocopying: Permission to photocopy for internal or per-
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Syndication: Caribbean Review articles have appeared in other
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please write for details.
Index: Articles appearing in this journal are annotated and
indexed in Development and Welfare Index; Hispanic American
Periodicals Index; Historical Abstracts; America: History and
Life; United States Political Science Documents; and Universal
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Vol. VII, No. 2 of CR; an index to volumes seven and eight, in Vol.
IX, No. 2.
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In this issue

page o

page 18

Mexico and the Caribbean 4
New Ventures into the Region
By Anthony T Bryan

Mexico and Other Dominoes 8
Form and Substance in Mexican Foreign Policy
By Carlos Rangel

Oil on the Periphery 12
The History of the Mexican Oil Expropriation
By Jerry B. Brown

A Guide to the Andean Pact 16
By Robert Grosse

The Dominican Turn Toward Sugar 18
By Bruce J. Calder

The End of the Search 22
Norberto Fuentes on Ernest Hemingway
Interviewed by Barry B. Levine

A Caribcentric View of the World 24
The Novels of Edouard Glissant
By Lauren W. Yoder

The Case for Indigenous Development 28
The Poverty of Progress
Reviewed by Mark D. Szuchman

Discovering the Caribbean 32
Two Important Research Tools
Reviewed by lan I. Smart

Recent Books 47
An Informative Listing of Books
about the Caribbean, Latin America and their
Emigrant Groups
By Marian Goslinga

Painting Jorge Luis Borges 53
Reflections by the Cover Artist
By Francisco Rod6n


Barry B. Levine shatters
the myth of the victimized



A Picaresque Tale
of Emigration and Return
"Benjy Lopez's story is not one of despair and
resignation; it is a picaresque adventure in which
the hero works his way through and around the
labyrinth of race, ethnicity, class, and bu-
reaucracy in the cosmopolitan world of New York
City... Lopez rejects conformity, but his deviance
is strategic rather than decadent- decadence is
often a surprise to him. As far as I can gather, this
book is for him an attempt to convince the reader
of the value and ingenuity of the way he has done
things: perhaps differently, maybe even better,
the result of a man who rejects foregone conclu-
Using the first-person technique pioneered by
Oscar Lewis, noted sociologist Barry B. Levine
records and analyzes the life story of a Puerto
Rican emigrant, "one of the most colorful charac-
ters to make an appearance in sociological litera-
ture.... Barry Levine has that increasingly rare
gift, the sociological ear. In this book, we have the
result of his listening."
-Peter Berger
"A labor of love for Puerto Rico and its plight, and
a fine piece of scholarship."
-Ed Vega,
"Levine has rescued Third World man from in-
dignity.... believe that few works will better
demonstrate the circumstances of the Puerto
Rican in New York than this one."
-Miguel Barnet,
Caribbean Review
$12.95 at bookstores, or direct from the publisher


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
D Check Enclosed O VISA E MasterCharge
Credit card no. Exp. date
Name (print)
City/State Zip code




Commonwealth or Colony?
Roberta Ann Johnson
"An excellent history of Puerto Rico ...
carefully written, researched and documented
effort. Choice
"It is one of author Johnson's graces that she
can nail concepts; that is, she can reduce a
complex social process into a single cap-
sulatedparagraph." San Juan Star
Analyzes why Puerto Rico has failed to
achieve independence and why Puerto Ricans
voted overwhelmingly to continue ties with
the U.S.
218 pp., 1980, $23.50, 053576-X
Paperback: $10.95, 053581-6
Albert S. Golbert and Yenny Nun Gingold
Familiarizes the reader with some of the
general legal concepts and institutions native
to Latin America, and provides a basis for
understanding and following the legal-
political transformation currently taking
place in Latin America. Assesses the reac-
tions such changes are producing in the U.S.
ca. 672 pp., 1982, ca. $39.95, 060223-5
Political and Economic Factors
Kenneth F. Johnson and Miles W. Williams
Johnson and Williams focus on the extent to
which extralegal migration makes the in-
volved nations socially and economically in-
terdependent. They also look at the political,
social, and cultural impact illegal aliens have
on these societies.
222 pp., 1981, $25.95, 052461-X

edited by Thomas W. Walker
Based on field research and writing done
specifically for this volume by specialists on

This is the first major scholarly examination
of women's experience within the context of a
changing society.
186pp., 1979, $22.50, 052466-0
Susan Purcell
The ever-increasing importance of the com-
plex relationships between Mexico and the
United States makes Susan Purcell's com-
prehensive and authoritative new work a
necessary reference for any student of Latin
American affairs. Published in cooperation
with the Academy of Political Science, Co-
lumbia University.
224 pp., 1981, $24.95, 059491-X

Limits of Influence
Robert Wesson
Analyzes American penetration of Brazil in
military, political, and cultural spheres; the
effects of American business investment on
Brazilian politics and economy; and the re-
cent friction over nuclear energy, human
rights, and Brazil's wide class differences.
186pp., 1981, $21.95, 049106-1
Paperback: $9.95, 049111-8

Changing Patterns of International
edited by Richard Millett and W. Marvin
". the best single volume on Caribbean in-
ternational relations." -Choice
"... clearly, incisively written ... basic
summaries of an important topic."
330pp., 1979, $25.95, 041806-2
Political, Strategic and Economic
"... a useful and welcome addition to the
literature." -Choice
" .. well above the average."
-International Affairs
175 pp., 1979, $24.50, 048451-0

eh 1-4 -F~~ P8IH
A- -A, P ,

114 ~ ~ .,. l
76Ri "- i111. -, ,, 1 0 .1 7 6.r-
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Latin America including participants in the PERU
new revolutionary system which took shape The Authoritarian Tradition
after the overthrow of the forty-three-year- David Scott Palmer
old dictatorship of the Somoza family. ". . provides a volume that may be recom-
ca. 432 pp., 1981, ca. $21.95, 057972-4 mended for undergraduate and specialized
Paperback: ca. $9.95, 057971-6 collections alike." -Choice
THE PUERTO RICAN WOMAN Examines the consistent viability of this
edited by Edna Acosta-Belen, with the authoritarian tradition that has adapted to
collaboration of Ella Hidalgo Christensen both challenge and change.
.. this pioneering venture should be useful 156 pp., 1980, $21.50, 046116-2
to women's studies and Caribbean programs Paperback: $9.95, 046111-1
at graduate, undergraduate, and community SOCIAL CONTROL AND DEVIANCE IN
ET college levels." -Choice CUBA
': .. invaluable in providing insight into the Louis Salas
C t women's struggle for liberation and equality. Examines the development of such informal
o Its only shortcoming is its brevity. Each of and informal control institutions as the
the subjects discussed here is worthy of a courts, State committees, and the police.
book on its own." --Race and Class 416 pp., 1979, $34.95, 052471-7

Mexico and the


New Ventures into the Region

By Anthony T. Bryan

US President Ronald Reagan and Mexican President Jose L6pez Portillo at Camp David, Maryland, June 1981. Wide World Photos.

An important step in Mexican influ-
ence in the circum-Caribbean re-
gion was taken during the first week
of August 1980, when Mexico's President
Jose L6pez Portillo and Venezuelan Presi-
dent Luis Herrera Campins signed an
agreement in San Jose, Costa Rica to sup-
ply nine Caribbean and Central American
countries with petroleum. The agreement
was the culmination of a six-nation tour of
Latin American countries by the Mexican
President, and its signing marked the first
occasion on which a non-member of
OPEC (Mexico) has collaborated in a de-
velopment aid facility with an OPEC
member (Venezuela). Under the terms of
agreement, both countries have under-
taken to fill all the imported oil requirements
of nine Central American and Caribbean
countries on favorable terms. The two oil
exporters will ship 160,000 barrels a day to
Barbados, Costa Rica, El Salvador,
Guatemala, Honduras, Jamaica, Nicara-
gua, Panama and the Dominican Republic.
The beneficiaries will pay only 70% of the
normal price with the remaining 30% in the
form of long-term credits. The 4% interest

rate over 5 years could be reduced to 2%
over 20 years if the credit is used to carry
out priority projects for economic devel-
In broad perspective, L6pez Portillo's tour
was an attempt to strengthen Mexico's ties
with host nations, and to further regional
cooperation in a tangible way. Moreover, his
state visits to Costa Rica, Brazil and Cuba
with high level stopovers in Venezuela,
Panama and Nicaragua covered the entire
political spectrum and was evidence of a
decided effort to promote interaction be-
tween nations with substantially different
policies and political persuasions. From the
official Mexican perspective, the oil facility is
a first step in reinforcing that nation's own
initiative of a world plan for energy pre-
sented to the UN in 1979; one ingredient in
the construction of a new economic order;
and is intended to serve as an example to
OPEC members of the potential for unified
action. In the North American and some of
the Latin American press, however, Mexico
is seen to be pursuing the role of regional
leader for the Caribbean basin and utilizing
the opportunity to project its own economic

influence and political prestige, as an alter-
native to the US and Cuba. And perhaps
more subtly, the suggestion has surfaced
that with its newly developing petropeso
power, Mexico has a stake in Central Ameri-
can and Caribbean "stability" to inhibit the
possibility of serious political turbulence in
Mexico itself, directed by the extremist left in
the region.

Regional Initiatives
Mexico has a coastline of 2,780 Km. on the
Gulf of Mexico and the Caribbean Sea, yet
prior to the 1970s its regional posture in
Central American and Caribbean affairs
was low. Its attitude toward its southern
neighbors reflected the relative emphasis
placed on foreign policy toward other areas.
Several Presidents had pursued assertive
foreign policies among them Venustiano
Carranza (1917-1920), Lazaro Cardenas
(1934-40), and Miguel Aleman (1946-52);
but it was not until the administration of
Adolfo L6pez Mateos (1958-64) that delib-
erate initiatives were undertaken to broaden
the scope of Mexico's regional and interna-
tional relations. L6pez Mateos was the first

Mexican president to officially tour coun-
tries of South America, Europe, and Asia
and to support the formation of the Latin
American Free Trade Association (LAFTA).
By 1960, Mexico's leaders had decided on
an export promotion strategy. The empha-
sis was placed on Latin American eco-
nomic integration as a mechanism for
creating opportunities for the expansion of
exports. Mexico enthusiastically supported
LAFTA in its early years. L6pez Mateos'
desire for a greater role in regional eco-
nomic affairs was constrained by the exclu-
sion from LAFTA of the Central American
countries. Mexico served as spokesman for
the Central American Common Market
During 1960 and 1961, attempts to iso-
late Castro's Cuba in the hemisphere in-
creased. When the US demanded cohesive
hemispheric action against Cuba, the
question of Cuban-Mexican relations crys-
talized the divisions within Mexican domes-
tic policy. While on the surface the issue
concerned revolutionary Cuba and its place
within the Inter-American system, in reality
domestic priorities within the Mexican sys-
tem were under challenge. Mexican "left-
of-center" groups agitated for close rela-
tions with Castro's Cuba. The "right," visu-
alized Mexican support of the Castro regime
as jeopardizing economic links with the US,
and they used the issue to stem the
reformist desires of the administration. The
Mexican government during 1960 and 1961
defended not the Cuban Revolution as
such, but rather the principles of non-
intervention and self-determination. At the
Eighth Meeting of the Organization of
American States, held in January 1962 in
Punta del Este, the Castro regime was sus-
pended from membership. Mexico voted
against the anti-Castro resolution and con-
tinued diplomatic and trade relations with
Cuba though these were reduced to a
minimum. Subsequently, Mexico refused to
comply with the 1964 OAS resolution for a
commercial boycott and diplomatic isola-
tion of Cuba.
Mexico's decision followed the same
pattern as Mexican opposition to US inter-
vention in Guatemala in 1954 and the
Dominican Republic in 1965. Mexico's po-

sition on the Cuban issue contributed to the
country's internal stability by minimizing
criticisms by the left while appeasing
the right.
Additional steps in the broadening of
regional foreign relations were undertaken
during the succeeding regime of the com-
paratively conservative Gustavo Diaz Ordaz
(1964-1970). In January 1966, the President
paid official visits to the Central American
countries and Panama, inaugurating a pro-
gram of technical and economic coopera-
tion including an offer to open the Mexican
market to Central American products.
Mexico also purchased US $2 million in
Central American Bank for Economic Inte-
gration bonds and offered credits of US $5
million to the same institution for the pur-
chase of Mexican exports. The Diaz Ordaz
administration expanded commercial rela-
tions with Central America as part of the
larger national concern with domestic eco-
nomic growth. Contact with Central Ameri-
can rulers grew rapidly enough to engender
suspicion on the part of some political ele-
ments in the region that Mexico was be-
coming a sub-imperial power.
During his visit to Guatemala in 1966 -
at the risk of antagonizing his hosts Diaz
Ordaz affirmed the right of British Honduras
(Belize) to self-determination. Similarly, the
US invasion of the Dominican Republic in
1965 was opposed by Mexico on the princi-
ple of non-intervention, despite the anti-
Communist stance of Diaz Ordaz and the
emphasis he had placed on cultivating cor-
dial bi-lateral relations with the US.

New Attitudes
An important change took place in Mexican
foreign policy after 1970. Mexico began to
take an accelerated interest in the nations of
Latin America and the Caribbean. The de-
velopment of this new foreign policy took
place under President Luis Echeverria Al-
varez (1970-1976). Long-term political and
socio-economic frustrations contributed to
disturbances in 1968 which climaxed on
October 2 as several hundred student ac-
tivists and other citizens lost their lives in
confrontations with security forces in the
Tlatelolco district of Mexico City. The 1968
crisis had domestic origins: maldistribution

of resources, political alienation, the con-
tradiction of the Partido Revolucionario
Institucional (PRI) monopoly political
power alongside "revolutionary" ideology,
the country's external debt, and a dissident
university community. The 1968 university
student movement evolved into a protest
which directly challenged the legitimacy of
the ruling elite. Luis Echeverria, then
Minister of the Interior during the Diaz
Ordaz administration, bore the brunt of the
crisis and the aftermath of criticism.
Echeverria's perception of his public
image and the repressive profile of the PRI
accounted in part for his subsequent efforts
to create a progressive-liberal image of
himself as president His moderate domes-
tic reform efforts and attempts to democ-
ratize the system were never sufficient to
earn him the confidence of the left even
though those same efforts brought him into
conflict with conservative segments of the
business and financial elites. He therefore
opted to project a "radicalized" foreign pol-
icy promoting transformation of the inter-
national system. This activism in the exter-
nal environment was a direct response to
his frustrations at internal reform and was
directed toward increasing his personal
political support. His foreign policy innova-
tions were more intuitive and improvi-
sational than the result of careful policy
During 1971, top level meetings were
held with Central American presidents to
reinforce Mexico's traditional commercial
diplomacy; but after Echeverria's trip to
Chile in April 1972 and President Salvador
Allende's visit to Mexico near the end of that
year, Mexican diplomacy was conspicu-
ously directed toward support of "revolu-
tionary" and "progressive" regimes as a
source of legitimation for domestic political
objectives. Mexican defense of the Chilean
revolution (in defiance of the US) continued
after the fall of Allende in the granting of
asylum to Chilean political refugees and the
severance of diplomatic relations in
November 1974 with the Chilean military
junta. Echeverria began to project the
image of an anti-imperialist leader, a
champion of democracy and an active fig-
ure in the Third World's effort to reform the


existing international economic order. The
image was good for domestic consump-
tion. Since Mexican interest groups tend to
be more concerned with domestic as op-
posed to foreign policy issues, the president
could utilize more radical and aggressive
rhetoric with respect to foreign policy mat-
ters than in the actual promotion of domes-
tic policy. His global diplomatic activities at
both multilateral and bilateral levels were
the main instruments for consolidating
Mexico's claims to Third World leadership.
The countries of the Caribbean Region
(particularly the "progressive" governments
of Venezuela, Cuba, Jamaica and Guyana)
became the objects of rather ambitious
Mexican initiatives. By 1974, when the en-
ergy crisis was taking its toll on the devel-
oped North, Mexico's diplomacy was redi-
rected toward the Caribbean subsystem.
A valuable ally for Echeverria's objectives
in the Caribbean was Venezuela's President
Carlos Andres Perez (1974-1979). The latter
was accelerating the new economic
emphasis to Venezuelan foreign policy
(particularly with respect to economic as-
sistance to the Central American and
Caribbean regions) initiated by his prede-
cessor Rafael Caldera. Echeverria and
Andres Perez found several arenas for the
joint expression of their anti-imperialist
postures and economic initiatives. Both
governments sponsored the creation of the
Sistema Econ6mico Latinoamericana
(SELA) in 1975 based on regional mem-
bership which excluded the US but in-
cluded Cuba. Mexico inspired and Ven-
ezuela supported the formation of the
Caribbean Multinational Shipping Com-
pany (NAMUCAR) in 1975; the reactivation
of the Latin American Energy Organization
(OLADE); and the organization of various
regional and international producer associ-
ations for bananas, sugar and bauxite.
These initiatives served two purposes: They
were a natural corollary to Mexico's activism
in the United Nations Commission on Trade
and Development (UNCTAD) and other
global forums, and regional expressions of
the attempt to organize a new international
economic order as detailed in the Charter
of Economic Rights and Duties of
States. And they were intended as mecha-
nisms to strengthen the collective bargain-
ing position of its members vis-a-vis the US,
without reliance on the moribund Organi-
zation of American States.
Increased Mexican-Cuban contact was
also undertaken by Echeverria. The visit of
Foreign Relations Secretary, Emilio Rabasa
to Havana in March 1974 was the first such
since 1959. The Mexican First Lady Sra.
Esther Zufio de Echeverria led a Mexican
cultural delegation to Cuba in January the
following year, and the president himself
visited Havana in August. These diplomatic
moves toward Cuba served a symbolic pur-
pose. They were aimed at ensuring the

support of domestic "radical" elements for
Echeverria and in legitimating his assump-
tion of a leadership role among the "pro-
gressive" nations of the region.

The English-Speaking
Luis Echeverria, like his Venezuelan coun-
terpart Andres PBrez, developed an intense
personal diplomacy in the independent
countries of the English-speaking Carib-
bean. Support from the Anglophone Carib-
bean became a very important element in
the extension of Mexico's international rela-

While the bid for Third
World leadership did not
produce tangible economic
results for Mexico, or
increase its leverage with
the US, it did substantiate
its position as a regional

tions. These countries were extremely act-
ive in hemispheric forums, regional inte-
gration movements, international organi-
zations; and in the cases of Jamaica and
Guyana perceived to be in the process of
radicalizing their politics and economies.
The prospect for functional cooperation
between Mexico and the English-speaking
Caribbean states was enhanced with the
visit of Echeverria to Jamaica in July 1974.
On that occasion, bilateral cultural and
technical cooperation agreements with
Jamaica, as well as an Agreement estab-
lishing the Caribbean Community-Mexico
Joint Commission, were signed. In August
1975 the Instituto Mexicano de Comer-
cio Exterior entered into an arrangement
whereby Mexico would buy bauxite and
lumber from Guyana, and in turn supply
cement, salt, trawlers, and technical assist-
ance. The following month there was
another Mexico/Guyana agreement for
cooperation in the field of Agriculture. By
this time, Mexico's proposal that a joint
Latin/Caribbean Shipping venture be es-
tablished, had found favor with members of
CARICOM (the Caribbean Community).
The reality of a Mexican coastline on the
Caribbean Sea appears to have provided a
sound basis for a Caribbean policy.
Moreover, during Echeverria's presidency
conditions in the sub-region had changed
considerably, enhancing the geopolitical
significance of the area. The institutional
organization that initially brought together
members of the Commonwealth Carib-
bean had been upgraded from CARIFTA

(the Caribbean Free Trade Association) to
CARICOM, and the mechanisms for inte-
grating member states were stronger. The
increasing number of politically inde-
pendent territories; their undivided support
for Belize in its territorial dispute with
Guatemala; and the changing political
scenario as states searched for solutions to
acute economic problems; made Mexican
attention to the area critical. In August 1975,
Echeverria, during a three-day visit to
Trinidad and Tobago highlighted his coun-
try's interest by emphasizing that: "Mexico is
a member of the Caribbean community
and is moreover, a very close neighbor..."
Simultaneously, taking the opportunity to
clarify his country's position in the
Guatemala/Belize dispute, the President
gave the assurance that: "Mexico is op-
posed to the annexation of this territory
(Belize) to any other country."
Notably, Mexico was not a signatory to
the Guyana Declaration (December 1974)
in which the leaders of Venezuela, the Five
Central American Republics and Panama
pledged their unqualified support for
Guatemala's "just claim" to Belize. In fact
during 1975 Mexico's stand on the Anglo-
Guatemalan conflict over Belize altered
significantly. Several public statements
made by President Echeverria early in 1975
implied that Mexico had abandoned its
claims to the northern section of Belize and
was moving towards support of
Guatemala's demands. Previously, how-
ever, Mexico's position on the dispute ap-
peared to be that if the whole of Belize
passed involuntarily to Guatemala, Mexico
would then enforce its claim. In November
during a visit to Guatemala Echeverria reit-
erated the Mexican claim to Belizean terri-
tory and on his retum to Mexico withdrew a
settlement proposal (conciliatory to
Guatemala) which had been submitted by
his government to the UN. The effect was to
counterbalance Guatemala's claims and
thus support Belize's right of self-
A Jamaica-Mexico agreement signed in
November 1974 envisaged the construc-
tion of an alumina plant in Jamaica
(JAVEMEX) having a capacity of 900,000
short tons per year, and the establishment
of an aluminum smelter (JALUMEX) sited
in Mexico. Each government would have
51% shares of the enterprise located in its
territory, with 29% of the remaining shares
going to the partner and the rest of the 20%
divided between privately owned com-
panies, other governments or foreign in-
vestors. These ventures were intended to
forge linkages in natural resources and
production activity in participating ter-
ritories. Spin-off manufacturing industries
were to be set up.
Jose L6pez Portillo succeeded
Echeverria in 1976. L6pez inherited an
economy that was growing at a rate of less


than 3%; an external debt that had in-
creased from US $19,600 million in 1976 to
US $22,912 million in 1977; stagnation in
private investment; and balance of pay-
ments deficits. He found it difficult to insti-
tute austerity measures, and to seek fi-
nancial assistance from the International
Monetary Fund. L6pez Portillo con-
sequently announced in April 1978 that his
country would not be participating in the
proposed resource-based industrial proj-
ects agreed upon by his predecessor and
The Mexican withdrawal from the ar-
rangements has led to speculation which
attributes the action to changing economic
and political conditions both at home and
in the US. The devaluation of the Mexican
peso, the deteriorating economic situation
in Mexico, forecasts that the state was not
likely to derive profitable advantages from
the arrangement, and even pressures from
business interests and "conservative
groups," have been suggested as factors
that negatively affected the proposed proj-
ects. More recent events have indicated that
non-participation in these business ven-
tures do not herald abandonment of
Mexico's pro-Third World orientation. Nor
are there any subsequent signs of reluc-
tance to engage in functional cooperation
activity with states in the circum-Caribbean
region. Economic problems were the major
factors accounting for Mexico's withdrawal
from the projects.

Regional Leadership
The change of government in Mexico at the
end of 1976 initially meant a reduction in
foreign policy emphasis on the Third World
and on Latin American leadership. Mexico
was undergoing a delicate financial situa-
tion which was partially a legacy of
Echeverria's failure at domestic reform.
L6pez Portillo saw as his priority the solu-
tion of the country's financial problems.
Therefore the "radical" and aggressive
foreign policy style, so essential to
Echeverria's image, was not necessary for
L6pez Portillo's domestic credibility.
Under Echeverria, Mexico's pretension
as a Third World leader'was a novelty. Previ-
ously, the role was Afro-Asian (Nkrumah,
Nehru, Sukamo) not Latin American. While
this bid for Third World leadership did not
produce tangible economic results for
Mexico, or increase its leverage with the US,
it did substantiate its position as a regional
leader. Echeverria's ambition to leadership
of the Third World was frustrated by
Mexico's dependent economy, its failure at
domestic reform, and the president's per-
sonal limitations. In contrast, Mexico's pe-
troleum boom gives L6pez Portillo the po-
tential for credibility and influence that his
predecessor lacked. His initiatives are more
realistic than Echeverria's and perhaps
more precise.

Concerted Mexican efforts to play a cru-
cial role in Central American/Caribbean
affairs are part of a conscious elaboration of
a foreign policy that seeks to rectify the
traditional patron-to-client basis of US-
Mexican relations. In 1979 Mexico refused
to allow the Shah of Iran to return, refused to
follow Washington's boycott of the Moscow
Olympics, and criticized economic sanc-
tions by the US against Iran during the
hostage crisis. Between 1977 and 1979,
Presidents Carter and L6pez Portillo met
three times. Carter's 1979 visit to Mexico
met with a cool reception because of his
unfortunate reference to "Montezuma's
The tensions generated by that event
have been subdued since the signing of the
Mexican-US agreement on natural gas.
(From the beginning of 1980, the US began
taking delivery of 300 million cubic feet of
gas daily). However, any tendency by
Washington to regard Mexico merely as a
convenient petroleum and hydrocarbon
supplier is counteracted by Mexico's incli-
nation to exploit the economic and political
leverage which accrues from oil wealth. As
Mexico's major trading partner, the US is
the logical client for its oil exports; but
L6pez Portillo has stated that Mexico's oil
policy should be in accordance with its own
needs and not dictated by any bi-lateral
"special relationship" with its neighbor.
The first sign of a new Mexican foreign
policy perspective toward Central America

and the Caribbean came after the abortive
insurrection against Anastasio Somoza in
1978, when the Mexican Embassy in Man-
agua opened its doors to hundreds of
political refugees. During May 1979, the
decision was made to sever diplomatic re-
lations with the Somoza regime. Sub-
sequently, Mexico began to shape its policy
toward the region, using the PRI to form an
organization of Latin American Political
Parties made up of liberal parties from
Costa Rica, the Dominican Republic,
Jamaica's PNP and Nicaragua's San-
dinistas. Mexico's support for Panama's
efforts to gain control of the Canal were
given a personal boost by L6pez Portillo's
visit to Panama in June 1978. By 1980,
Mexico was giving political support to lib-
eral or leftist governments in Costa Rica,
Panama, Nicaragua, Jamaica; was vocal in
its criticism of the US supported civilian-
military junta in El Salvador; and had
begun to offer a cold shoulder to
Guatemala's repressive regime.
Concurrent with these developments
Mexico's relations with Cuba was given new
vitality. Castro received a warm reception
during his visit to Cozumel in 1979, and
obtained Mexico's condemnation of the US
economic boycott, as well as support for
the Non-Aligned Movement (though
Mexico was not a member). At the height of
the Cuban-US refugee dispute in August
1980, the Mexican President visited Cuba as
Continued on page 35

Former US President Jimmy Carter and Mexican President Jos6 L6pez Portillo at the White
House, September 1979. Wide World Photos.

Mexico and Other


Form and Substance in Mexican Foreign Policy

By Carlos Rangel

n the debate now raging in the US over
the Reagan administration's new policy
toward Marxist gains in Nicaragua and
El Salvador, and also toward Cuba's role in
the matter, much is made of Mexico's posi-
tion by North American supporters of
Marxist movements in Latin America. This
is a small group, but disproportionately
influential since many of its members pass
for experts on Latin American affairs, hav-
ing taken an intense interest in the region
over the last two decades.
Their argument is simple: Mexico knows
much more about Central America and the
Caribbean than we do; Mexico is much
nearer the action than we are; and not only
is Mexico not worried, it is actually sym-
pathetic to the Nicaraguan and Salvadoran
revolutions. This "proves" that in those
countries the United States is not con-
fronted by any Communist threat that
would pose a strategic danger. What we
have there is a struggle, admirable besides,
of nationalist revolutionaries trying to free
their peoples from US-supported tyrannies:
something, in other words, like what hap-
pened in Mexico starting in 1910, with which
the United States has lived not unhappily
ever since.
I will begin by pointing out that the whole
argument can easily be reversed. The
Cuban government is without question one
of the nastiest at home and most aggres-
sive abroad of all Communist regimes. On
both fronts it is entirely subservient to the
Soviet Union, which holds it on the tight
leash of several literal lifelines. Its hand
forced by overwhelming evidence, this re-
gime has practically ceased to claim that
Communism has improved the lot of the
Cuban people. Now it says that im-
provements will have to wait upon the de-
struction of the last remnants of capitalism
and the worldwide triumph of Com-
munism. This is how it defends sending
Cuba's young men to do the Soviet Union's
dirty work in Africa and Asia, priding itself
on being the spearhead of a world Com-
munist revolution against the West, and
most especially the United States. Yet for all
this, the regime in Havana has steadily en-
joyed Mexico's support. Four consecutive
Mexican presidents, different in many other

respects, have followed this policy and have
maintained it even after it could no longer
be rationalized as a show of sympathy for a
young, idealistic, nationalist revolution.
So much, then, for the foolish contention
that Mexico's apparent good will toward the
Nicaraguan and Salvadoran revolutionaries
somehow proves that these are strictly local
reformers without any decisive links with
the forces which, with a home base in the
Soviet Union and a forward position in
Cuba, have the well-advertised and unre-
nounceable goal of destroying the West.
It may be rejoined that if Mexico's appar-
ent sympathy for the Salvadoran guerrillas
does not prove that they are not
Communist-inspired and dominated,
neither does it prove that they are so in-
spired and dominated, or that their eventual
victory would lead to the establishment in El
Salvador of a regime like the one in Cuba.
Indeed it does not, but for that no
equivocal Mexican touchstone is needed.
There is plenty of hard direct evidence that
what has been happening in Central
America cannot be explained in any other
way. This evidence plainly points to a well-
conceived plan, heir to Fidel Castro's and
Che Guevara's grandiose scheme of the
'60s which produced the first wave of
Cuban intervention in countries as diverse
as Venezuela, Bolivia (where Che Guevara
died), and Chile (where at one point during
Allende's government the Cuban embassy
had more personnel than the Chilean
foreign ministry). Castro's '60s adventures
also produced an explosion of enthusiasm
among left-wing intellectuals in Europe and
the US for what Regis Debray called (with
reference to China) the "new long march"
that was supposed to have started in
Havana and would cover the hemisphere.
As it turned out, the crop consisted mainly
of North America left-wing academics,
specialists in one or another of the social
sciences or literature, who to this day have
remainedfidelistas (more or less) and who
from their position in the universities con-
tribute disproportionately to the formation
of public opinion and even to the actual
shaping of policy toward Latin America.
This time, however, the field of battle has

been better chosen and the battle plan is
being carried out with vastly greater means,
not only foreign arms and foreign-trained
combatants but a barrage of misinforma-
tion on a worldwide scale that is, in a way,
the chief weapon of this contest.
For instance, the Reagan administration
is criticized for attributing undue impor-
tance to El Salvador ("a small faraway
country of which we know nothing," as
Neville Chamberlain called Czecho-
slovakia) by the same people who did not
think it strange that in the first days of Janu-
ary, before Ronald Reagan had even taken
office, the world press was being led by the
nose with strident reports, duly published
on all the front pages, of the Salvadoran
Marxist rebels' "final offensive" against a
"fascist"junta guilty of "genocide" against
the Salvadoran people. If El Salvador was
so important then, why should it suddenly
shrink into a little backwater war, unworthy
of the attention of the United States?
It so happens that, as is now well known
(though perhaps already half forgotten), the
"final offensive," armed to the teeth by the
Russians through Cuba and Nicaragua,
failed because it conspicuously lacked
popular support. It could not achieve its
aim, which was to present the new Reagan
administration with a faith accompli.
Therefore what has followed is a shrewd
attempt to demobilize opinion in the United
States (and everywhere else) on the issue of
the civil war itself, while taking up a different
tune, appropriate for the new turn of events:
the association of any possible American
actions in El Salvador with Vietnam.
It is also significant that the so-called
"domino theory," which corresponds
closely with actual Communist tactics in all
cases where they have not yet achieved
overwhelming superiority (Khrushchev
called this process "salami tactics"), has
been subjected through the years, and right
now very intensely with reference to Central
America, to a hail of derision. The purpose
is to make anyone appear ridiculous and
even paranoid who dares suggest that this
is exactly what is now happening in that
region, with Nicaragua as the first domino,
and, it is hoped, a row of collapsible pieces
going south toward Panama and the Co-

Cuban President Fidel Castro and Mexican President L6pez Portillo in Cozumel, Mexico, May
1979. Wide World Photos.

lombian and Venezuelan rim of the Carib-
bean, and north toward Mexico.

Marxist Gains in
Central America
Now there are very good reasons for de-
bating the ways and means of United States
policy in Central America and the Car'b-
bean. The issue is thorny and anguishing.
There is ample room for regrets and re-
proaches over how things were allowed to
come to this crisis. It is sadly true that
American policy was selfish, short-sighted,
callous, lazy, and stupid in installing and

supporting in this region client tyrants (like
Trujillo and Somoza) with no thought for
future consequences. But Communists
and their sympathizers must not be allowed
to use this sad truth to obscure the plain fact
that we are in the presence of a deliberate
and deadly threat to the Western Hemis-
phere in a region which Soviet strategists
have evidently judged to be the soft under-
belly of the Americas.
In Nicaragua the Sandinista Front,
which started with the hoary but invariably
effective Leninist tactic of a broad alliance
of all "democratic" forces, has by now

shown its true colors in a variety of ways.
The victory of that alliance (and not of the
Sandinista Front alone, as it is now made
to appear) against Somoza was hailed the
world over as a triumph of freedom. Spe-
cifically it was widely believed that Cuba,
having steered carefully clear of the Nicara-
guan revolution (which had all the help
it needed from other sources), would not
play a significant role in post-Somoza
Yet within days of the Sandinistas ac-
quiring full control, Cuba was invited in and
virtually took over in areas like communi-
cations and mass education (the ideal vehi-
cle for Marxist indoctrination). Cuba also
took over the job of organizing the new
police and training the new Nicaraguan
armed forces. These forces are by now
more than twice as large as Somoza's Na-
tional Guard, and they are armed by the
Soviet Union (through Cuba) in a way
ominously reminiscent of Cuba's own
Soviet-steered runaway increase in military
capability in the '60s, even now being used
for anything but defending Cuba.
The Sandinista Front (which, let us be
clear, is the nom de guerre of the Nicara-
guan Communist party) promised political
pluralism. In practice it soon expelled from
positions of power all non-Communist or
non-pliable elements. Freedom of the press
was steadily eroded, the political opposition
relentlessly cornered, the promise to hold
free elections put aside (elections, if and
when they are held, will be a farce).
As for foreign affairs, Nicaragua was one
of the few countries which refused to vote in
the United Nations against the Soviet inva-
sion of Afghanistan. Top Sandinista
ideologist Bernardo Arce has gone on rec-
ord against the Solidarity union in Poland.
Fidel Castro was the hero in the distinctly
Communist-style celebration of the first
anniversary of the Nicaraguan revolution,
and on the same occasion the Chinese
were given the coolest treatment short of
being asked to stay away. Until pressured by
the new US administration, Nicaragua
served as a staging point for arms sent from
as far away as Vietnam and Ethiopia, via
Cuba, and destined to feed the Salvadoran
civil war.

The cutting off of US aid in April in the
face of these outrages has served as a final
pretext to "steer Left," which means aban-
doning all pretense of pluralism. Nicaragua
is thus right on schedule: the Cuban revolu-
tion arrived at a comparable point in almost
exactly the same time (mid-1960).
El Salvador, on the other hand, has so far
refused to topple, although here no effort
has been made to disguise the involvement
of Cuba (and therefore Cuba's Soviet mas-
ters), and although a vast misinformation
campaign has succeeded in crucifying the
government as identical to or worse than
Somoza's. Actually the Salvadoran gov-
ernment a combination of military of-
ficers and the Christian Democratic party,
the most influential in the country, and the
one that won the only clean election held in
El Salvador within memory had been
sincerely and strenuously attempting to
implement far-reaching economic and so-
cial reforms, which a ferocious landed
oligarchy is equally determined to block. If
not for the assault from the extreme Left,
the government might by now have suc-
ceeded and laid the ground for holding
elections. As it is, with Marxist rebels and
right-wing murder squads trying to outdo
each other in terrorist exploits, the issue
appears in doubt.
One thing, however, is certain: neither the
people of El Salvador nor those of the Cen-
tral American and Caribbean region would
gain anything from the destruction of the
present Salvadoran government. Its re-
placement by a Nicaraguan- or Cuban-type
regime would probably be intolerable to the
United States and might even lead to mili-
tary intervention. The victory of the extreme
Right (which is clearly the Left's second-
best choice) would vindicate the Com-
munist version of events in Central
America. Very soon all distinctions between
such a government and the present one
would be blurred. The United States, which
would be unable to avoid backing it, would
be as compromised as by intervention.
Either outcome would be of incalculable
political cost to the United States, both
abroad and at home. That, of course, is the
key to the whole Communist thrust in Cen-
tral America. But either outcome would
also adversely affect the prospects for de-
mocracy in the whole Caribbean basin and
the security and the internal political stabil-
ity of the rest of Central America and of
countries like Venezuela, Colombia, and,
yes, Mexico.
This being the case, what explanation
can there, be for Mexico's indifference to
Marxist gains in Central America; or, worse,
sympathy and, at one point, nearly open
support for the rebels in El Salvador? (At the
time of the "final offensive," the Salvadoran
guerrillas thought that if they could hold
down a sizable chunk of territory with a few
towns in it, Mexico would give them formal

recognition as "belligerents.")

Mexican Aims for
Central America
No doubt I will surprise some readers by
stating that President L6pez Portillo's aims
in this region unquestionably coincide with
those of the United States. Like the United
States, the Mexican government wishes to
slow down, and if possible to stop, Cuban
and Soviet penetration in Central America.
(One strong proof: the unexpected agree-
ment by President L6pez Portillo to Ven-

Marxist rebels and
right-wing murder squads
try to outdo each other in
terrorist exploits.

ezuela's President Herrera Campin's
proposal that both countries sell oil on a
concessionary basis to Central American
and Caribbean countries, including
Nicaragua, but also El Salvador, and not
Cuba.) The essential difference is, of
course, that the Mexicans want to roll with
the punches, or to pretend not to be in the
fight, by showing sympathy and giving lim-
ited assistance to local protagonists of
Communist penetration. This is ration-
alized on the grounds that the status quo in
Central America is indefensible and unde-
fendable. Governments like those of
Nicaragua under Somoza or right now El
Salvador, Honduras, and Guatemala will
be swept away by the tide of history. To
support them against left-wing subversion
is hopeless. Better to try and establish ties
with these revolutionaries and to encourage
them to be independent of Havana and
Moscow. Above all, political developments
in Latin America, no matter how alarming,
should in no case lead to intervention by the
United States. Nonintervention (in principle
by any country, but in practice mainly the
US) and self-determination were the main
guidelines of Mexican foreign policy long
before Tito made them mainstays of the
nonaligned movement, and for the same
reason: the uncomfortable proximity of a
great power with a less than clean record on
the matter.
This, then, is the position of the Mexican
government. Then there is the party, the
PRI, the Institutional Revolutionary party,
Mexico's peculiar institution, broker of all
power, vessel of all virtue, dispenser of all
patronage. Being formally distinct from the
government, the PRI has gone much
further in the game of "anti-imperialism,"
which is the universal code word for a com-
plex of anti-Western and anti-US feelings

and political attitudes that range from re-
sentment, distrust, and animosity to mortal
enmity and earnest long-range planning
with the aim of overthrowing the West.
In recent years the PRI has made a de-
termined effort to forge a network of rela-
tions with other "revolutionary" parties in
Latin America, including many from which
the quotation marks should be removed. At
the end of 1979 the PR! convened in Oax-
aca, in southern Mexico, a meeting at which
were present not only Social Democratic
parties, like Venezuela'sAD, Peru'sAPRA,
or the Dominican Republic's PRD, but also
the Marxist-controlled "Liberation Fronts"
whose aim is to overthrow the present re-
gimes of El Salvador, Guatemala, and Hon-
duras. On the other hand, Christian Demo-
cratic parties were firmly excluded, anti-
clericalism being one of the shibboleths of
Mexican revolutionary mythology. The fact
that Salvadoran President Jos6 Napole6n
Duarte and his party are Christian Demo-
cratic could well be (absurdly) one of the
main reasons the Mexican government,
and much more strongly the PRI, are un-
able to deal with them normally, as the emi-
nently estimable democratic leader and
party they are.
Be that as it may, the Mexican establish-
ment finds it expedient to have the PRI, as
distinct from the government, conduct
close and even cuddly relations with politi-
cal groups in other Latin American coun-
tries whose counterparts within Mexico it-
self are harshly repressed. And the fact that
this seems unfriendly toward the United
States is regarded not as a possible objec-
tion to such a course of action, but as one of
its virtues. Crossing the North Americans,
short of having a damaging clash with
them, is the one safe and universally popu-
lar thing that a Mexican politician can do.
And for this there are reasons that North
Americans should understand.

The US as Seen from Mexico
Seen from Mexico, the United States ap-
pears as, in many ways, an admirable soci-
ety, but also as a force that in the past badly
mauled Mexico's body and spirit and that
even in spite of itself continues to threaten
Mexico, to overwhelm the remnants of its
national identity, to block its path to true
independence and autonomous develop-
ment. To North Americans these fears may
seem groundless or at least exaggerated. In
fact, although some of Mexico's US-
inspired nightmares are not entirely rational
(and all are diligently fed by Marxist prop-
aganda), they have a solid basis and are
derived from past experience or from cur-
rent events.
The United States, writes Octavio Paz in
his 1976 essay "El espejo indiscreto"
("The Uncomfortable Mirror"), seemed in
Mexican eyes at the time of independence
from Spain not a foreign power Mexicans

should fear or oppose, but a model they
ought to imitate. It was the beginning of a
fascination that has never lost its intensity.
The history of that fascination is, substan-
tially, the history of political ideas in Mexico.
All Mexican political and social projects, all
the reforms that were supposed to
transform Mexico into a modern polity, took
shape in relation to for or against the
United States. "The passion of our elites for
North American civilization," writes Paz,
"swings from love to resentment, from ad-
oration to horror. That is to say, contradic-
tory manifestations of ignorance: from the
liberal Lorenzo de Zavala, who did not
hesitate to side with the Texans in their war
against Mexico, to the contemporary
Marxist-Leninists and their allies, the so-
called "theologians of liberation," who have
turned materialistic dialectic into a hypos-
tasis of the Holy Spirit, and United States
imperialism into the forerunner of the
Paz points out the little noted or disre-
garded fact that Mexican conservatives are
more radically anti-North American than
left-wing modernizers, since in Mexico the
conservative strain has its roots in the
hierarchical, counter-reformist society of
New Spain: "[The conservatives] are close
to the United States out of self-interest, but
they have never really accepted the liberal
democratic ideology. Their real moral and
intellectual affinities are on the side of au-
thoritarian regimes. That is why they were
Germanophiles in the two world wars."
But all Mexicans, without distinctions of
class or ideology, see the United States as
the other, the antagonist, radically and es-
sentially the foreigner. The United States is
the image of everything Mexico is not. It is
strangeness itself. Yet Mexicans are con-
demned to live with that strangeness: "[The
North Americans] are always among us,
even when they ignore us or turn their back
on us. Their shadow covers the whole
hemisphere. It is the shadow of a giant. And
the idea we have of that giant is the same
that can be found in fairy tales and legends:
a great fellow of kind disposition, a bit sim-
ple, an innocent who ignores his own
strength and whom we can fool most of the
time, but whose wrath can destroy us. [And]
to that image of the good and somewhat
dimwitted giant is juxtaposed that of the
clever and bloodthirsty cyclops, which is
also a childhood fantasy: the child-eating
ogre of Perrault and the monster of Sade, in
whose orgies his libertine friends eat
steaming heaps of human flesh off the
singed corpses they use as tables and
chairs. Saint Christopher, but also
Polyphemus. And also Prometheus: the fire
of industry and of war, the two facets of
progress, the automobile and the bomb."
As a matter of fact, Mexico has seen a
good deal of that North American monster
face. In 1845-46 the US not only took Texas

(which had seceded from Mexico on its own
in 1836) but also made that the occasion for
invading Mexico, occupying its capital city,
and tearing off its body the territory of the
present states of California, Arizona,
Nevada, New Mexico, Utah, and parts of
Colorado and Wyoming. Understandably
there is enormous bitterness in Mexico
about the loss of the 1846 war and of what
appears today as the most desirable half of
the country's territory. There is no way out
for Mexican pride as those lands blossom
and become even richer and more desir-
able than the North American Northeast:

Neither the people of El
Salvador nor those of the
Central American and
Caribbean region would
gain anything from the
destruction of the present
Salvadoran government.

either they would have developed in
roughly the same direction if they had re-
mained Mexican, or they would (more
likely) have still resembled Sonora and
Sinaloa. Neither alternative is a thought to
gladden the heart of a Mexican.
Seen in this light, Mexico's obsession
with the principles of nonintervention and
self-determination emerges not as a sick
fixation, but as an anxiety grounded in a
historic experience not altogether dissimi-
lar from that of the Poles. By the same token
(though admittedly, the analogy should not
be carried too far), who would fail to under-
stand Polish sympathy for any political
trouble within the Eastern bloc that would
narrow the potential uses of naked Soviet
Of course the analogy ceases to function
when we remind ourselves that in the case
of Mexico it is the government and the party
who talk and to some extent act as if they
were not displeased by destabilizing politi-
cal events in their vicinity which, if they
continue to develop unchecked, could lead
to grave social and political unrest in
Mexico itself. The uncontrolled violence of
the Mexican revolution is only half a century
away (it did not end until 1929). This is a
thought that should put a chill in the spines
of all members of the Mexican establish-
ment. For the deep conservatism of suc-
cessful revolutionaries (Mao Zedong was
the exception who proves the rule) is surely
explained by their panic at the idea of social
tensions getting out of hand and a return to
the violence they know so well, if the system
of political and social control should falter.

Stability Amidst Problems
It is here that the Mexicans find themselves
in a quandary. In Communist countries
control is a matter of totalitarianism and
terror. The political order that emerged out
of the Mexican revolution is only mildly
authoritarian, and relies for its remarkable
stability in the midst of acute social prob-
lems (40% of the adult population unem-
ployed or underemployed, 55 million below
the deep poverty line in a population of 70
million) on a torrent of double-talk about
how fervently revolutionary the power
structure remains or, indeed, how much
more revolutionary it becomes with each
passing day. Each new Mexican president
achieves his anointment as the standard
bearer of this (verbally) unflagging revolu-
tion by donning the mantle of nationalism,
egalitarianism, anti-imperialism; he be-
comes a champion of the Third World, of
the Indian, the peasant, the worker; and he
will be the friend of revolutionaries
everywhere (except in Mexico, where his
police will stamp on them very hard in-
deed). It should be clear that this is not a
matter of appeasing the poverty-stricken
masses, who live on a level where such
concepts are meaningless, but rather those
sectors of the middle classes who might
stray from the "revolutionary family" and
begin agitating for true opposition or -
God forbid true revolution.
The rule that no president may succeed
himself after his six-year term is another
essential element of this system. It allows
other contenders and their friends the hope
that their movement will come, .kd, more
important, removes every former president
forever from the political scene. The
swarms of followers who have clustered in
widening circles around the outgoing
president are forced to relinquish their posi-
tions without bruising conflict to the
swarms forming around the new leader.
Still another feature of the Mexican sys-
tem is the incessant and diligent cooptation
of bright, young, genuine Marxists. Young
men who show intellectual capability,
character, and radical leanings will be
courted. If they are recalcitrant, they will be
repressed (and even in extreme cases as-
sassinated). But if they respond, they are
assured spectacular careers in govern-
ment. A survey of high-level personnel of
the Mexican bureaucracy, including the
foreign service, would show a startling
proportion of very young men, many or
most of whom were a short time back fiery
youth leaders who from the relative safety of
university campuses denounced the ruling
elite and the single-party system as so
much dead wood and as betrayers of the
very revolutionary ideals they incessantly
mouth. Not a few of the dead and missing
(those lying to this day in unmarked com-
mon graves) of the massacre of student
Continued on page 37

I _

n March 18,1938, Mexican Presi-
dent Lazaro Cardenas expropriated
the property of seventeen foreign
oil companies. The companies had refused
to comply with a Supreme Court order is-
sued to resolve a dispute with the union of
petroleum workers. Initially, the nationaliza-
tion provoked strong sanctions against
Mexico and appeared to be an act of self-
destructive patriotism. American, British
and Dutch companies boycotted the na-
tionalized oil in international markets and
moved on to the promising Venezuelan oil
fields. American Ambassador, Josephus
Daniels, predicted that the Mexicans would
"drown in their own oil." Undaunted, Mexi-
can officials issued a "Declaration of Eco-
nomic Independence" and erected a
monument to the nationalization at which
diplomats were required to place wreathes.
Today, Mexico's oil bonanza, which may
reach 250 billion barrels in potential re-
serves, is inspiring newgritos of economic
nationalism. In an undiplomatic outburst of
oil-inspired macho, President L6pez Por-
tillo publically tongue-lashed his guest,
Jimmy Carter, during a state visit for treat-
ing Mexico with "a mixture of interests, fear
and disdain." Mexico City walls were
splashed with xenophobic grafitti: "Don't
Sell Our Gas," "Mexican Wealth for the
The oil expropriation was not only a
"transcendent moment in Mexican history,"
as Anthony Sampson points out in his pen-
etrating analysis of The Seven Sisters; it
was a watershed event for the industrialized
nations. The expropriation proved that the
oil companies could not necessarily rely on
home governments for protection in the
face of militant economic nationalism.
Mexican oil expropriation was the harbinger
of the "new nationalism," which spread first
to Venezuela and then to the Middle East,
eventually unifying all the producing na-
tions against the oil companies in a drive for
national reconquest. Its history is worth

The Liberal Period and National
It was during the Liberal Period of Latin
American history that the alienation of na-


-I I I I

Oil on the Periphery

The History of the Mexican Oil Expropriation

By Jerry B. Brown

tional decision-making centers initially took
place. At this time, from about 1850-1919,
national unification was achieved with the
aid of foreign capital inputs in the form of
government loans, concessions, and direct
investment. This process was facilitated by
an alliance between a national federalist
elite and foreign interests.
Foreign capital, which built on the con-
traband trade relationships developed
during the colonial administration, became
a distinctive feature of most economies in
Latin America in the second half of the
nineteenth century. Struggling govern-
ments, which could not tax landed wealth,
directed this capital toward the export sec-
tor and into public expansion through fa-
vorable conditions and non-discriminatory
practices. Revenue producing investments
were encouraged by liberal concessions,
franchises and guaranteed yields. Thus,
British, and to a lesser extent US, capital
stimulated the early growth of Latin Ameri-
can federal governments, utilities, trans-
portation facilities and extractive industries.
This form of growth, however, encour-
aged the development of one- or two-
product economies with high import coef-
ficients. These economies were unable to
adjust to the gold standard and tended to-
ward external disequilibrium. With nearly all
financial transactions restricted to import-
ing activities, a decline in the world price of
primary products produced a "shock wave"
through the economic system. The flow of
currency was immediately disrupted, thus
cutting off the main source of revenue for
central governments. Economic de-
pendence produced a heritage of perennial
crises, governmental instability, inflation,
and social unrest in Latin America. These
liabilities were punctuated by armed inter-
ventions and diplomatic protests of the
creditor, capital-exporting nations.
The description of the impossibility of
stable growth under "Liberal conditions"
has been formalized into a theory of ac-
celerating inequality between the capital-
exporting, industrialized nations the
core, and the capital-importing, primary
producing nations -the periphery. Gunnar
Myrdal in Rich Lands and Poor has argued
that development occurs through "spread

effects," centrifugal forces expanding from
centers of economic momentum to other
regions of the nation. However, due to the
play of market forces, industrial production,
banking, commerce and shipping as
well as science and culture tend to
"cluster on certain localities and regions,
leaving the rest of the country more or less
in a backwater." Thus, national regional
inequalities develop in the same fashion as
the international inequalities. As the alliance
of national elites with foreign interests leads
to preferential trading and hampers local
manufacturing, the two types of inequalities
are a cause of each other. To achieve bal-
anced regional development and national
economic viability, a developing state must
practice "policy interference" in both the
internal and external markets.
The United Nations Economic Commis-
sion for Latin America (ECLA) has devel-
oped specific indices of international in-
equality for Latin America which tend to
confirm Myrdal's more general postulates.
Because of the characteristics of economic
growth in Latin America during the Liberal
Period, and partly due to economic patterns
in the industrialized nations, three basic
asymmetries developed between the center
and the periphery. First, gains of trade were
not equally distributed between the center
and the periphery in the manner that the
"invisible hand" doctrine of classical eco-
nomic liberalism suggested. Rather, due to
increasing commodity prices in the center
and decreasing ones in the periphery, the
terms of trade, over time, have moved
against the primary producers. Second,
there is an asymmetrical income elasticity
of demand for imports in the center as
compared with the periphery. In the center,
demand for imports from the periphery
have declined as income has risen; while
the periphery, because of new investments
and the demonstration effect, had an ex-
panding need for center products. Last, the
role of protection differed between center
and periphery. In developed regions it
interfered with optimum resource alloca-
tion. But in the periphery, because of the
effects of the Liberal Period, agricultural
underemployment, and population growth,
protection became necessary to encourage

beneficial resource allocation.
The implication of this analysis is to place
the blame for Latin American "backward-
ness" on its peripheral position in the inter-
national trading system. A practical devel-
opment policy must lead to industrialization
through deliberate intervention in the
economy to protect and stimulate local
industry and facilitate regional integration.
This reconquestt of decision centers" and
the desire to allocate resources according
to national priorities is a dominant theme in
the ideology of most Latin American na-
tionalists, economists and intellectuals.

Expropriation and International
Insofar as the reconquest infringes on the
established prerogatives of international
capital through the imposition of new taxes,
restrictions, and trade barriers, it produces
tensions between the core and the periph-
ery. To the extent that recovery entails the
repatriation of concessions or the expropri-
ation of foreign holdings, it produces a
basic conflict between these parties over
the interpretation of international law on the
treatment of aliens and their property.
During the nineteenth century, United
States and European governments prac-
ticed armed intervention and diplomatic
harassment to support the claims of cred-
itors against Latin American governments.
Often the government defaulted; often the
creditor was unscrupulous. The French
used non-payment of 100 percent of a
nominal 75,000,000 franc loan, of which
Mexico received only 3,750,000 francs, as a
justification for imposing the Maximilian
As relative economic stability was
achieved by some Latin American nations
in the twentieth century and they began to
reconquer decision centers, the focus of
the conflict shifted. Several Latin American
countries expropriated private property,
reneged on concessions granted under
regimes of the Liberal Period, and limited
foreign prerogatives through taxes, fees,
and labor and social legislation. As
strategies of reconquest, these actions were
linked to national economic aspirations,

US Ambassador to Mexico Josephus Daniels
(holding the hat) at a Costume Party in
Mexico, March 1941. Wide World Photos.

social reforms, and symbols of mass revolt.
They were made in condemnation of the
alienation of national resources to foreign
interests by previous elites.
Even when the United States, under
Franklin D. Roosevelt, finally granted that
expropriation was legitimate, it insisted on
"prompt, effective and adequate" compen-
sation. Latin American governments
agreed that compensation should be
made, but insisted that the determination of
what is "prompt and adequate" is subject
solely to national decision and not a matter
for diplomatic intervention or discussion.
With this conflict of interests in mind, the
Latin American governments have at-
tempted to limit their international obliga-
tions during the twentieth century. As early
as 1900 some Latin American constitutions
began to include provisions that aliens and
nationals would be subject to equal treat-
ment. "Calvo clauses" in contracts with
foreign investors obligated the latter to re-
nounce the right to call on their govern-
ment for diplomatic support, although the
United States insists that a citizen may not
renounce this right.
In 1902, Luis Drago, the Argentine
Minister of Foreign Affairs, marshalled Latin
American support against armed interven-
tion by arguing that the recovery of public
debts was not an occasion for intervention
by European powers. By 1928, the recom-
mendation of the Commission of Jurists to
the Sixth International Conference of
American States that "no state has the right
to interfere in the internal affairs of another"
was directed toward United States interven-
tion in the Caribbean. The United States has
consistently opposed such a resolution and
has insisted on the right of diplomatic inter-
vention in cases where a "denial of justice"
occurs, a term which has no satisfactory
definition among American states.
It is not difficult to understand the
xenophobic nationalism and rabid anti-
imperialism that the policies of the Liberal
Period and the conflict of interests brought
on by the reconquest have evoked. Beyond
these negative sentiments, however, a new
nationalism, has emerged. It replaces
xenophobia with national regeneration and

modifies anti-imperialism with a new pride
in national capabilities. Albert Hirschman
has astutely observed that: "....the quest for
development is also a quest for self-
discovery and self-affirmation and thus
comes to be indissolubly tied to a new na-
tionalism which is so noticeable a feature of
the intellectual scene in Latin America. This
is particularly true in such countries as
Mexico and Brazil whose pace of develop-
ment has been fastest. One may almost say
that the more these countries begin to re-
semble economically the older established
industrial communities, the more they dif-
ferentiate themselves from them ideologi-
Thus, this new nationalism differentiates
itself from previous ideological evaluations
of economic growth or stagnation in Latin
America. It shifts the blame for national
backwardness from the self-recriminations
of racial inferiority to the inequalities of the
international trading systems. It rejects the
uncompromising anti-materialism that
pervades the works of Rod6 and the naive
anti-imperialism of Haya de la Torre while
remaining aloof of Sarmiento's adulation of

American progress: "let us be the United
States." Whereas previous Latin American
"ideologies" have vacillated between rejec-
tion and denunciation of North American
progress and self-denigration, adulation
and wishful thinking, the new nationalism
crystalizes around the rhetoric of national
liberation, not economic development.
The new nationalism is derived from a
renewed self-confidence in the ability of
Latin Americans to solve their own prob-
lems. National development strategies can
now be framed in regional terms and can
be defended with theory and fact in interna-
tional discussions. In an area where per-
sonalities have reigned so long in politics,
the economists and professional bureau-
crats now gain new prestige as the ticnicos
who define the economic alternatives avail-
able to the politicos. This new nationalism,
the conflict between the periphery and
center, and the reconquest of decision
centers are all part of an economic devel-
opment process that is consonant with na-
tional integrity. A prime example of this
process is the Mexican expropriation of
foreign oil interests in 1938.

Top: Former Mexican President Lazaro Car-
denas, April 1938. Wide World Photos.
Below: General Venustiano Carranza,as
President of Mexico, presiding at a meeting of
his cabinet. May, 1920. Wide World Photos.

S- I ---

Mexico: Revolution and
Economic Reconquest
The events leading up the 1938 expropria-
tion of foreign oil properties date back to the
Colonial era. Based on the principle of
Spanish law established by the Cortes of
Alcala in 1386 and reiterated in the Laws of
the Indies, all subsoil resources were the
inalienable possession of the Crown. The
Mexican Government preserved this prin-
ciple after Independence in the Treaty of
Peace and Amity with Spain in 1836, and it
was reaffirmed in the Constitution of 1857.
During the "Porfirist Peace" under the
military dictatorship of Diaz (1884-1911),
Mexico's foreign trade increased prodigi-
ously and foreigners entered major sectors
of the economy. By 1910, foreign interests
held nearly one-half of Mexico's total na-
tional wealth including a large portion of her
mineral resources. Foreign investment in
petroleum was encouraged by the Diaz
Mining Laws of 1884 and 1909, and the
Petroleum Law of 1901. These laws ac-
corded petroleum rights to the surface
owner, gave the national government the

right to grant concessions, and changed
the right of exploration to that of exclusive
ownership. This last modification (1909)
became the basis by the oil companies to
oppose Mexico's subsequent efforts to na-
tionalize the subsoil. Substantially all of the
British and American properties were ac-
quired under these Liberal laws.
Although oil production was not high by
the end of the Diaz regime, the companies
exploited their concessions through fraud
and unscrupulous practices. These activ-
ities only added to the total impact of
foreign capital on Mexico. Mexicans began
to oppose all foreigners. This opposition
was brought to the fore in the revolution that
toppled Diaz in 1911. During the Revolution,
the peasants' cry for "bread, land and lib-
erty" complemented the demand of
"Mexico for the Mexicans" made by intel-
lectuals and businessmen. These aspira-
tions were embodied in the Constitution of
1917 of which Article 27 contained two fun-
damental principles. (1)-"The ownership
of all lands and waters were vested origi-
nally in the nation, which could transmit title
to private persons and thereby create pri-

vate property. All such property could be
regulated in the public interest and expro-
priated for reasons of public utility upon
payment of indemnification." (2)-"Direct
ownership of all minerals and various other
subsoil properties, including petroleum and
all hydrocarbons, was vested in the nation.
Compensation or indemnification was not
mentioned here." The Mexican formula,
proposed primarily to insure redistribution
of the latifundia, virtually reduced all prop-
erty to "conditional ownership." It set the
stage for the 1938 conflict and "introduced
into this hemisphere the contemporary
phase of the problem of state responsibility
toward aliens and their property."
Article 27 raised two grave problems for
foreign oil interests ownership of the
land, and mineral rights. From the time of
its promulgation to the expropriation in
1938, the oil companies fought with some
success to retain the privileges granted to
them by Diaz. A review of this struggle pre-
sents a preview of the arguments that would
be made in 1938. Even before the Constitu-
tion of 1917 had been written, the revolu-
tionary leader Carranza considered all min-
erals to belong to the nation. Cautiously he
began to limit foreign prerogatives. In 1914,
the Bar Dues placed a tax of 10 centavos
per ton on all crude oil exports. That same
year Carranza created the Technical Petro-
leum Institute to formulate a policy on re-
sources and to bring all state law on the
subject into conformity with federal man-
dates. In 1916, the oil companies were or-
dered to "register" and to conduct their
operations in accordance with federal reg-
ulations, which insisted that oil be con-
served for the nation and exploited solely in
accordance with sound technical and eco-
nomic principles. In 1918, it was decreed
that exploitation of the subsoil was to be
permitted only by means of denouncement
titles issued by the Federal Department of
Industry, Commerce and Labor. In addition,
a royalty of five percent of gross production
was to be paid to the Mexican government.
The oil companies were outraged, espe-
cially since the decree made no mention of
respecting or confirming rights acquired
under previous laws. They argued that the
Continued on page 39

A Guide to the

Andean Pact

By Robert Grosse

he Andean Pact (ANCOM) is a five-
country venture in economic inte-
gration, begun over a decade ago
with the Cartagena Agreement. ANCOM's
structure follows the model set by the
European Economic Community (EEC)
over the past quarter century, with a few
important exceptions. The most obvious
difference arises from the fact that the
European countries were reconstructing
their relatively developed economies after
World War II, whereas the Andean countries
all are LDC's (Lesser Developed Countries)
struggling to achieve industrial develop-
ment. Since no single strategy for national
development has demonstrated wide-
spread applicability (although some
strategies have worked and are working for
a few countries: e.g., petroleum and chemi-
cal production for OPEC countries; "off-
shore assembly" of manufactured products
for resale in industrial countries by Taiwan,
Singapore and South Korea), this attempt
at economic integration faces a heavy bur-
den. Indeed, following some severe crises
in the 1970s, there is substantial concern
about the usefulness, or even the accept-
ability, of the Pact to individual members.
Clearly, the Andean Pact has not solved the
problems of economic development for its
members. Equally clear, the multi-pronged
strategy of ANCOM offers a valuable model
for further efforts at integration in Latin
America and elsewhere.
The Andean Pact's roots go back to the
establishment of the Latin American Free
Trade Association in 1960. During the early
years of LAFTA, the least-developed
member countries began to align them-
selves and to push for greater benefits from
the regional integration (i.e., free trade)
effort. In 1966 and 1967 with the "Declara-
tion of Bogota" and the "Declaration of the
Presidents of the Americas," six countries
(Bolivia, Chile, Colombia, Ecuador, Peru,
and Venezuela) established for themselves
the goal of subregional integration, within
LAFTA. By 1968, the six countries had set
up a sub-regional development bank, the
Corporacidn Andino de Fomento (CAF),
and were drawing up a treaty for specific
integration procedures.
On May 26, 1969, an Agreement for Sub-

regional Integration, the Cartagena Agree-
ment, was signed by each country's repre-
sentative, with the exception of Venezuela
(which did not formally join until 1973). A
succinct statement of ANCOM's purpose is
presented in an official publication called
The Andean Group. "The Agreement is
one of subregional integration, its final goal
- economic union among the member
states. Actually, besides laying the basis for
the birth of a customs union through a
trade liberalization program and a common
external tariff, it includes pledges regarding
harmonization of economic and social
policies; approximation of certain national
legislation; coordination of national eco-
nomic plans in order to attain a common
strategy and a joint planning system for the
zone's integral development; a joint invest-
ment programming system, both in the
industrial sector and the agricultural; and
planning of physical and social infrastruc-
The goal of harmonized economic policy
received greatest initial emphasis, cul-
minating in the Andean Foreign Investment
Code (Decision 24) at the end of 1970. This
Decision has been the most controversial
of ANCOM policies. While the Decision was
taken fairly early in ANCOM's existence, its
implementation was slow, and numerous
substantial changes have been made in its
content. Decision 24 perhaps typifies the
successes and shortcomings of all ANCOM
initiatives that have been made.
As ANCOM has developed since 1970,
two major structural changes and an
ideological shift have altered many of the
initial plans. Structurally, Venezuela, an
original participant in the negotiations to
form the Andean Pact, joined the group in
November, 1973; and Chile, an original
adherent to the Pact under the Allende re-
gime, withdrew from the group in October,
1976, as the conservative government
shifted dramatically toward free-market
capitalism and away from extensive gov-
ernment participation in the economy.
These changes have necessitated revision
of many ANCOM policies, as each country's
role had to be redefined. Ideologically, all of
the member countries but Bolivia have
moved to non-military, elected govern-

ments, thus fostering principles of con-
stitutional democracy. This shift may lead
to yet another structural change, if Bolivia
substantially redefines its position within
All of these changes have slowed down
the negotiation processes on other major
Pact policies. Creation of a common exter-
nal tariff, to be charged on imports from all
non-ANCOM countries, was slated for 1975
and has not been accepted as of mid-1981.
A groupwide transportation policy to im-
prove the weak commercial ties among
member countries remains undefined.
International fund-raising efforts to obtain
resources for the Andean Development
Corporation (CAF) has not been pressed
by the members. Several other relatively
high-priority items have been sidetracked
as well (e.g., the coordinated agricultural
policy, proposed in the Cartagena Agree-
The entire integration effort was begun
and is operating under many handicaps: (1)
all five countries are LDCs by any measure;
Bolivia and Ecuador are far smaller and
less-industrialized than the others; (2) four
of the countries have recently begun
democratic governance, while Bolivia re-
mains a military dictatorship; (3) Venezuela
and Ecuador are OPEC nations, while the
others are net oil importers; (4) commercial
ties among the members are weak (while
each member has extensive trade with the
US), primarily because of poor transporta-
tion in the region; and (5) substantial politi-
cal disagreements remain between various
members. Yet, substantial gains have been
made by ANCOM members since 1969 -
gains which might not have occurred in the
absence of the group.

ANCOM's Achievements
The ANCOM goal of harmonizing devel-
opment policies covers all initiatives of the
Pact to reduce differences in overall indus-
trial policies, to cope with foreign-owned
firms, and to create guidelines for the
transfer of technology from outside into the
Pact. The first issue was treated in a 1972
position paper from the Junta, entitled
"Bases for a Subregional Strategy of Devel-
opment," in which it was stressed that the

I -

S ,, .- 1 i ,' -,\ ....


i---- ;-- ..l -

.1". ,,-''-

Courtesy Rubini Antique Maps, Miami, Florida.
appropriate industrial policy would pro-
mote internal growth in each national mar-
ket and coordinated actions where trans-
national steps would add to this develop-
ment. The guidelines were general, and the
Pact has focused its resources on other
Perhaps most significant of these other
concerns is the role of foreign firms in
ANCOM economics. Slightly more than
one year after the creation of ANCOM, De-
cision 24 of the Commission (the main
decision-making body in ANCOM) estab-
lished a set of guidelines for treatment of
foreign firms. This Decision is probably the
most celebrated consequence of the An-
dean Pact's existence; its fifty-five articles
lay out a comprehensive set of restrictions
on participation in the local economy by
foreign-owned companies. Following the
issuance of Decision 24, the five member
countries enacted "equivalent" domestic
legislation to implement it. These national
laws had differed substantially, in both
content and enforcement, so the result has

been a kind of "harmonization" of national
The results of implementation of Deci-
sion 24 have been: (1) a short-term decline
in the flow of foreign investment into
ANCOM, and (2) a longer term (1971-79)
return of pre-ANCOM rates of foreign in-
vestment. The longer-term findings show
that after the initial impact Decision 24 has
not reduced significantly the flow of in-
vestment into ANCOM. Decision 24 repre-
sents a major shift in LDC policies toward
foreign investors, from encouragement to
extensive constraint. While no significant
decline in growth of the dollar value of
foreign investment into the subregion has
occurred in the decade of Decision 24's
existence, these rules have forced some of
the desired changes in foreign investors'
activities. For instance, local ownership of
incoming direct investment has increased
significantly as Decision 24 requires foreign
firms to sell 51% ownership to locals over a
15 year period. Similar success is occurring
in the area of profit remittance, which is

limited by Decision 24, so that foreign firms
are induced to reinvest more of their earn-
ings in the local economy. In all, Decision
24 has generated a number of benefits for
ANCOM members, despite its uneven im-
plementation and other limitations (e.g.,
that Chile withdrew from ANCOM explicitly
because the country decided to encourage
foreign investment; and thus Chile rejected
Decision 24).
The Andean Pact established ground
rules for the transfer of technology in three
of the Commission's Decisions: 24, 84 and
85. These rules limit the patent protection
available to foreign firms as well as the fees
which may be charged for use of proprie-
tary technology. Decision 24, for instance,
disallows royalty payments from an Andean
subsidiary to the foreign parent company. It
is not clear, however, what impact these
rules have had on the actual inflow of
technology into ANCOM. One study on a
separate issue showed that Andean firms
depend more heavily on licensed foreign
Continued on page 42


The Dominican Turn

Toward Sugar

In the Dominican Republic during the
late 19th and early 20th centuries, entre-
preneurs, both Dominican and foreign,
began to develop various export crops, es-
pecially tobacco, cacao, coffee and sugar.
By 1910 sugar was of paramount impor-
tance, leading all other exports and in-
creasingly dominating the national eco-
nomic life.
Planters had grown sugar in small quan-
tities in colonial Santo Domingo as early as
the 16th century, but intensive, large scale
cultivation was unknown before the 1870s.
Thus, the Dominican Republic, along with
Puerto Rico, became the last of the Carib-
bean islands to go through the cycle of
sugar agriculture began in many islands in
the 17th century.
Sugar in the Dominican Republic
brought with it a host of economic and
social changes most of them negative.
The extensive development of sugar meant
that the nation was moving further in the
direction of a plantation economy, and into
the international capitalist market as a pro-
ducer of foodstuffs. This brought an
increasing dependence on the world
commodity market and internally, an ero-
sion of the country's ability to produce its
own food supply. These trends were well
underway with the widespread cultivation of
tobacco, cocoa and coffee as exports
crops. None of these was so dependent as
sugar on large-scale foreign capital invest-
ment, with its attendant denationalization of
Dominican land, and none had social dis-
advantages the equal of those associated
with sugar. Subsequent generations of
Dominicans have paid a high price for the
development which was occurring then.
The basic social problem of sugar culti-
vation in the Dominican Republic was that
poor, yet independent peasant farmers
were pushed from their land to become a
pauperized, marginalized rural proletariat.
Thus in sugar areas, a society formerly
composed of a few wealthy land-owners
and a mass of poor farmers was becoming
a society made up of landless laborers,
wealthy often foreign entrepreneurs,
and a small number of dependent profes-
sionals. In addition, a large number of im-
migrants, most of them blacks from neigh-
18/CArBBEAN reviEW

Illustration by Eleanor Porter Bonner.
boring islands, poured into the sugar areas
as laborers. The resulting society had nega-
tive implications for its people and, in a
political, economic and social sense, for the
life of the Dominican nation.

The Early 20th Century
The Dominican Republic in the early 20th
century was overwhelmingly an agricultural
and rural society. Even the republic's cities
and towns were closely tied to and de-
pendent on the profits of the agriculture of
the hinterlands which surrounded them. In
the rural areas the largest number of people
were peasants or rural laborers and the
divisions which existed among them were
based on their relationship to the land.
George W. Lloyd, a North American stu-
dent of sociology who lived in the Domini-
can Republic for three years around 1920,
left a useful picture of Dominican rural so-
ciety at that time. Setting aside the wealthy

landowners, Lloyd divided the peasants into
small landholders, squatters, and the land-
less. A large number owned land, most
commonly as pesos de terrenos com-
uneros, or shares of collectively held land.
Some of these small proprietors were rela-
tively prosperous, although the primitive
agriculture which they practiced generally
offered them small hope of substantial
economic advance. Squatters lived in virtu-
ally the same way, but without title to their
lands. Members of either sub-stratum
might suddenly find themselves demoted
to the third, or landless group, put off their
land, whether they had title or not, by some
large landowner or corporation who,
through legal proceedings, proved their title
insufficient or nonexistent. This happened
with increasing frequency between 1900
and 1920 primarily due to expansion of the
large sugar estates in the east.
When a peasant found himself without

land there were several options open for
him and his family. One of these was to
sharecrop, often for an absentee landlord
who preferred life in the towns. A second
option was to work for an agricultural es-
tate, often one of the large sugar corpora-
tions, and become part of a rural proletariat.
This was difficult work, poorly paid, and
mostly seasonal, making it nearly impossi-
ble to survive for a year on the earnings of a
laborer, such as a cane-cutter. The alleged
reluctance of Dominicans to work at such
jobs and the scarcity of Dominican labor in
the areas of the plantations served as justifi-
cation for the importation of foreign con-
tract labor from the West Indies and Haiti,
and led to limited internal migration. Those
Dominicans who worked for the estates, as
well as those foreigners who stayed on,
often obtained a small piece of land on
which to raise a few crops, supplementing
their meager incomes and providing food

for the months of unemployment.
A third possibility for landless peasants
was to move to an urban center such as
Santo Domingo, Santiago, or San Pedro de
Macoris, where they formed part of the
lower class, living lives as poor and as sim-
ple as they had in the countryside.
Dominican sugar agriculture was a re-
gional phenomenon, affecting some areas
and not others. There were substantial in-
creases in sugar cultivation in the south-
west on the Barahona Peninsula and
around the town of Azua; in the north near
the town of Puerto Plata; and in the south on
the outskirts of Santo Domingo. But
nowhere in the republic was the impact as
great as in the east where broad and well-
watered coastal plains were perfectly suited
for sugar growing. Even in its uncultivated
state in 1871 it had reminded the North
American traveler, Samuel Hazard, "of the
vast sugar plains of Cuba." Another

sojourner in the east, Harry Franck, riding
horseback south from the old town of Seibo
into the heart of the sugar districts around
San Pedro de Macoris, gave a clear picture
of how things had changed, and were
changing still, by early 1920. After emerging
from the thickly wooded low hills in which
the town of Seibo nestled, he and his com-
panions came "upon the suntoasted ad-
vance guard of the cane-fields of the south.
Amid the stumps and logs of immense
tropical trees, black with recent burning,
baby sugar-cane was already turning bright
green in the broad expanse of a newly felled
forest. Negroes, almost without exception
from the French or British West Indies, were
adding row after row to the virgin fields...
As his party moved further south, "the land
became one vast expanse of cane, broken
only by the clustered buildings of the
bateys, and dotted here and there by a
magnificent royal palm or ceiba the
woodsmen had not had the heart to fell."
By the harvest of 1920-21, the last before
the post-World War I crash of the sugar
market, the republic had 20 modern in-
genios in operation, producing some
1,818,968 tons of cane and from that,
199,708 tons of sugar. Not more than five
percent of the total production was used by
Dominicans, mainly as table sugar or for
the manufacture of rum and alcohol while
most of the rest was exported to the United
States. In 1920 the $45 million earned by
sugar exports represented a figure 423 per-
cent greater than the republic's three other
largest exports combined.
In the 1920s the United States not only
purchased the largest part of the sugar
crop, but controlled the crop's production.
The occasional crises which beset the
sugar industry, such as a depression in the
1880s and the decline of 1920, as well as
cut-throat competition, tended to drive
small operators out of the sugar business
leaving the field to the larger, more heavily
capitalized estates. By 1925 just 21 major
estates remained, occupying 438,000
acres, which by 1926 had climbed to an
estimated 520,000 acres. Of the 21, those
held by 12 United States-owned companies
controlled more than 81 percent of the total

The conversion of more than a half-
million acres of land to the cultivation of
sugar inevitably caused a number of im-
portant changes in the small republic.
Among these were major economic prob-
lems, including the transfer of the domestic
economy into foreign hands, an increasing
dependence on the international com-
modity market, and an inability as a planta-
tion economy to produce a domestic food
supply because of the destruction of diver-
sified agriculture. And socially the people in
the affected regions were transformed from
independent, small-holding agriculturalists
into a rural proletariat, laborers totally de-
pendent on the sugar companies for em-
ployment, shelter, and food. The human
debility resulting from this loss of indepen-
dence was as negative as the larger eco-
nomic damage, as several 19th century
critics, including Pedro E Bon6 and
Eugenia Maria de Hostos, noted when they
saw the process first at work in the 1880s.
Bon6 and de Hostos were, however,
among the very few who protested the in-
creasing development of sugar cultivation.
Those most adversely affected, the peas-
ants, were inarticulate and politically weak;
and among the more powerful (i.e., the
members of the educated elite) few ques-
tioned the wisdom of what they saw as eco-
nomic progress. For the educated, the
growth of a plantation economy went along
with then fashionable liberal, positivist so-
cial and economic views: that the introduc-
tion of capital and technology by sugar
entrepreneurs would put idle resources,
particularly Dominican land and labor, to
work. Furthermore this type of develop-
ment promised to enrich the elite, who were
the chief Dominican beneficiaries of an
expanding economy, servicing its needs as
professionals and provisioning it by im-
porting and selling consumer and capital
goods. The Dominican elite was familiar
with this type of enterprise since a number
of the republic's leading families were en-
gaged in the production and export of ag-
ricultural commodities, such as cacao and
coffee, and not a few acted as sub-con-
tractors, called colonos, for the sugar es-
tates, raising cane on large tracts.
After Bon6 and de Hostos in the
nineteenth century, Dominicans seldomly
challenged the republic's increasing orien-
tation toward sugar. Those few who did
concerned themselves with the increasing
preponderance of North Americans in the
sugar industry rather than with the inherent
social and economic difficulties of a planta-
tion economy. A small group of radical na-
tionalists, among them the noted intellec-
tual, Americo Lugo, warned that, in a small
nation like the Dominican Republic, "the
loss of private property implies the loss of
sovereignty." Expressing a similar idea,
another writer, Persio C. Franco, wrote: "If
with the lands of the entire republic occurs

what has occurred with those of San Pedro
de Macoris, La Romana, and Barahona, the
Dominican Republic will be a myth."
There can be little doubt that the in-
creasing economic presence and control of
United States corporations did lead to a
further abrogation of Dominican sover-
eignty. But at the same time, both sectors of
the industry, Dominican and foreign, were
responsible for a more direct and visible
cost: peasant farmers who lived in the path
of the sugar expansion paid with the de-
struction of their old way of life. As cane
fields replaced their homes and conucos,

The Dominican Republic
along with Puerto Rico,
became the last of the
Caribbean islands to go
through the cycle of sugar
agriculture began in many
islands in the 17th century.

small fields, the people either had to leave
the area (probably migrating to a town or to
adjacent country less suitable for sugar) or
they had to accept employment with the
sugar companies which had taken over
their lands. Of those displaced persons who
stayed, only a few were able to obtain year-
around positions in the mills. The fate of
most was to work as cane cutters, a physi-
cally difficult and low paid job which lasted
for only three to six months a year.
Considerable evidence exists to show
that in the eastern sugar region some dis-
placed peasants those who migrated to
nearby rural areas and to towns and those
who remained on the sugar plantations -
joined groups of gavilleros. These irregu-
lar, caudillo-led, armed bands had played
an important extra-legal role in the political
life of the republic for a long time. During
the US occupation of 1916-24 various fac-
tors, including fear of further loss of land to
US sugar corporations, caused the gavil-
leros to take an anti-occupation position.
For six years the eastern peasants suc-
cessfully engaged in a guerrilla war against
the US Marines. The struggle ebbed and
flowed in intensity according to arrival and
departure of the tiempo muerto, the
post-harvest season of high unemploy-
ment in the sugar industry.

Conditions Among Sugar
The working conditions which the sugar
worker faced were appalling. When men or
women could obtain work, they received a

basic wage of 50 to 60 cents per 11 to 12
hour day. In some circumstances the base
might fall to 30 cents, or, for piece work
under exceptionally favorable conditions,
might rise as high as 80 to 90 cents. Only
the few skilled employees, such as me-
chanics could expect a dollar a day or more.
The first Dominican labor leaders advo-
cated a minimum wage of at least one dol-
lar per day, claiming that existing wages
were insufficient for a person's survival. In
addition, two conditions aggravated the
inadequacy of the workers' pay: the
improbability of being able to work more
than six months a year, and the practice of
paying the workers at least part of their pay
in vales, script redeemable only in high-
priced company stores.
Two factors enabled the peasant turned
laborer and his family to survive during the
six months or more of unemployment
which followed the zafra each year. One
was the company store, where credit for
overpriced goods made up the difference
between income and the price of the fam-
ily's meager necessities, thus insuring the
sugar estate of cane cutters for the next
cutting season. During the US occupation,
a Marine officer watched the operation of
the bodegas on the sugar estates and de-
veloped a cynical view of them which he
offered to his superior with the advice that
they be shut down: "As for their
bodegas,... their stock is chiefly rum, the
doctrine of most centrals being that the
laborer will not work if he has money in his
pocket and that rum in the bodegas will
help deprive the laborer of his money."
The second factor providing some mar-
gin of survival was the company-owned
houses of the bateys, which provided
squalid shelter for employees and their
families. Cheaply constructed, the houses
were small and totally lacked the amenities
of electricity, running water, and plumbing,
although these services were available to
the houses of administrators and to the mill
itself. The bateys were overcrowded in
general, but this was especially true of the
barracones, or barracks, into which the
single workers were squeezed. Conditions
were unsanitary, and medical services -
both doctors and pharmacies were
lacking. Both Dominican and foreign cane
cutters were known for their diseased con-
dition and reports indicated that 70 percent
of Haitian migrants suffered from yaws,
dysentery, leprosy, malaria, and elephan-
tiasis. Even the privileged indoor workers of
the ingenio were likely to encounter un-
sanitary and dangerous conditions, and
none of the workers were covered by any
form of social insurance.
A report by James J. Murphy, Jr., United
States consul in Santo Domingo in 1926,
provided rare documentation concerning
the lives of sugar workers. Their living con-
ditions, the consul wrote, were "primitive in

the extreme," and often worse for Haitians
and other imported laborers than for
Dominicans. "Most of these laborers exist
soley on a diet of yams, bananas, and other
fruits, the average expenditure for food
being estimated at from 15 to 20 cents per
day." A pound of meat, for a special occa-
sion, might cost half a day's wages. In re-
gard to clothing, "a cheap shirt and pair of
drill trousers suffice for the men and are
worn until useless. For women a cheap
cotton dress answers the clothing prob-
lem," while "the children for a considerable
number of years are devoid of clothing of
any kind." When new clothes were needed,
the lowest quality, marketed expressly "for
common laborers," were still expensive,
with shirts priced at 60 cents to $1.50, and
shoes at $2.25 to $4.50. But, the consul
added, "in most cases common laborers
do not buy shoes. They use a special kind of
slipper [sandal] prepared by Dominican
shoemakers which sell at retail from 50 to
70 cents per pair. In the case of Haitians and
West Indian laborers many of these prepare
a special kind of slipper for their use, which
is made of disused automobile tires, which
costs them nothing."
The pressure of living and working in the
environment of the sugar centrals led to
frequent violence within the bateys; and
when the authorities of the US occupation
government attempted to investigate, they
encountered closed communities whose
residents told them little or gave inaccurate
or misleading information. Eventually in
1920, after various complaints, the US mil-
itary government agreed to make a study of
the bateys. Despite obviously deplorable
conditions, however, neither the military
regime nor the two subsequent Dominican
administrations did anything to improve the
circumstances in which the workers lived.
Ironically, even the ill-paid and seasonal
employment of the Dominican worker was
problematic, as the sugar companies im-
ported much of the labor needed during the
zafra from Haiti and neighboring Carib-
bean islands. By far the largest number,
perhaps as many as 100,000 legal and il-
legal migrants came from Haiti annually.
During 1916-19, 3,200 islanders per year
entered the republic under contract to the
sugar companies. Of the islanders, in one
quarter of 1922, 53% were British citizens,
23% French, 19% Dutch, and 5% US (from
the Virgin Islands). The migrants worked for
the season and then returned to their
homes, except when they obtained permits
to stay or simply remained illegally.
The sugar companies argued that they
needed imported workers because there
were not enough Dominicans to complete
the zafra each year. And both the Domini-
can governments before 1916 and the
United States military regime thereafter
accepted this rationale. Despite the lack of
statistical proof, evidence exists that the

republic had high levels of unemployment
and underemployment and thus plenty of
available labor. The sugar companies
found it cheaper to import foreigners than
to raise wages to a level which would attract
more Dominicans. Importation, in fact,
created a greater surplus of labor, thus de-
pressing the earnings of all Dominican
Such was the argument of the fledgling
labor unions of the republic, who saw the
policy of importing thousands of braceros
as a threat to their wages, working condi-
tions, and employment itself. But these

The people in the affected
regions were transformed
from independent, small-
holding agriculturalists
into a rural proletariat
totally dependent on the
sugar companies for
employment, shelter
and food.

small groups of workers had insufficient
power to cause the Dominican government
to change its policy. Only in 1921 and 1922,
when US military authorities saw the con-
nection between guerrilla warfare and high
unemployment in the east, did they begin to
question the need for so many imported
The laborers who annually migrated to
the republic were in search of employment
because there was none in their native is-
lands or because working conditions, how-
ever miserable in the Dominican Republic,
were at least marginally better than at
home. But there is evidence to suggest that
the migratory workers had problems above
and beyond those of the average worker. In
1922, Haitians charged that their nationals
were paid lower wages than Dominicans for
the same work and that labor contractors
deliberately misinformed them concerning
the wage scale to persuade them to mi-
grate. Migrant working conditions on some
estates in the early 1920s were so bad that
the British colonial government eventually
opened an office on the island of St Kitts to
keep track of British contract laborers and
to boycott estates which had records of
abusing their workers. Critics singled out
the estate of the Vicini family, particularlyLa
Angelina, for censure because of unusu-
ally poor housing and working conditions,
especially the alleged practice of refusing to
return injured and uninsured workers to

their home islands.
The US military government, like
Dominican governments before it, had little
interest in improving the conditions of em-
ployment for the contract laborers. Virtually
the only legislation affecting these workers
was meant to insure that both Haitians and
islanders would return home immediately
after their employment ended. The law ac-
complished its end by licensing the impor-
tation of braceros and forcing those who
wished to stay to solicit permission from the
government, later modified to apply only to
those braceross of any non-caucasian
Although the cane workers represented
an obvious target for unionization, the re-
public's infant unions avoided unionizing
them. This avoidance is understandable
when one considers that Dominican unions
were originally organized around crafts, that
they were small and poor, and that the cane
workers were exceedingly difficult to orga-
nize, particularly because so many of them
were migratory foreigners. The sugar com-
panies were well aware that they benefited
from the unions' absence. In 1918 the mili-
tary government proposed bringing in
Puerto Rican rather than Haitian or British
West Indian cane cutters, but the proposal
died immediately when someone noted
that sugar workers in Puerto Rico were
struggling to unionize and that to bring
them to the Dominican Republic would be
to bring the seeds of unionism to the sugar
By 1919, however, the Dominican labor
movement was becoming interested in the
plight of the workers of the sugar centrals,
the largest body of laborers in a single in-
dustry in the republic. J.E. Kunhardt, one of
the leaders of the Dominican union move-
ment, in his premier speech before the 1919
Congress of the Pan American Federation
of Labor in New York, devoted considerable
attention to the sugar workers. By early
1920, workers had organized a union on
one of the largest sugar estates, Consuelo,
and soon were on strike against the man-
agement. Unionized dock workers at San
Pedro de Macoris supported their effort by
refusing for a time to handle Consuelo
sugar, and afterwards the Dominican Fed-
eration of Labor continued to back the
sugar workers through a campaign of pub-
licity and lobbying.

Land Appropriation Techniques
If the life which a peasant would face as a
sugar company laborer was so bleak, why
would he part with his land and his old way
of life? Since some peasants did not own
the lands on which they lived and worked,
but only resided on the under-utilized lands
of larger landowners, when the land was
sold and converted to sugar, they had no
choice but to leave or to work for the sugar
Continued on page 44

The End of the Search

Norberto Fuentes on Ernest Hemingway

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

Cuban journalist and writer, Norberto
Fuentes, 38, is about to publish a
critical biography from a Marxist
perspective on the life of Ernest Heming-
way during the famous writer's last 22 years
of his life, most of which were spent in
Cuba. The work is the product of some
seven years of research and effort by
Fuentes and will shortly appear in both
English and Spanish editions. The
English-language edition will bear the title,
Hemingway in Cuba, and is to be pub-
lished by Lyle Stuart Inc. sometime next
year. Two Spanish-language editions will be
published under the title, Finca Vigia (by
Letras Cubanas in Cuba and by Nueva
Imagen in Mexico).
The following interview with Fuentes
about the Hemingway book took place in
Havana during the summer of 1979.
Fuentes is the author of numerous short
stories and journalistic articles. His previous
books include Condenados de Condado
(first published in Havana by Casa de las
Americas in 1968 and then translated into
Italian and published with an introduction
by Italo Calvino under the title, I condan-
nati dell'Escambray Torino: Einaudi,
1970). A second book, Cazabandido, was
published in Montevideo in 1970 by Libro
de la Pupila.
Barry B. Levine: Tell me about your new
book on Hemingway's life in Cuba.
Norberto Fuentes: The idea struck me
after reading Islands in the Stream, in
1973, 1974. I had read two other books by
Hemingway in which he writes about Cuba,
but this last one, published postumously,
described scenery that was familiar to me,
the cayeria of the north coast of
Camagiiey. I had sailed those waters in
boats very much like his own, and in situa-
tions no less dangerous. I had walked in the
same stage: Cayo Romano, Cayo Coco,
Cayo Confite. And I was struck by the way
Hemingway described it. It filled me with
memories and nostalgia.
I thought it would be interesting to go
back to the cayeria, to rediscover the area,
to go and look for the Havana of Heming-
way, the Havana that has been so seldom
described. At that moment I hadn't the least
idea of the magnitude of the man's work. I

Ernest Hemingway.

had read Hemingway extensively, he is one
of my favorite writers. But I had never
looked at him through the eyes of a re-
porter. It was then that I decided to write
about the Cuba of Hemingway.
At first it was to be a short book, 100 or so
pages, exploring my original ideas; perhaps
locating some of Hemingway's characters
that might still be living in the area. You see,
Hemingway writes with such "veracity" a
veracity that must be placed within quota-
tion marks that his literature is almost
but not quite like news-reporting. I had no
doubt I would find some of his characters.
Indeed I later succeeded in locating a few of
his old friends, among them Gregorio, the
captain of his boat, who still lives in Cojimar.
I set to work. But first I consulted the
Consejo Nacional de Cultura (National
Culture Council) for help in assessing the
possibilities: to, for example, visit Heming-
way's ranch, "La Vigia" (The Lookout),
which he describes so accurately in Is-
lands in the Stream. I spoke to the then
president of Cultura and he bought the

idea immediately. What's more, he told me
that in the ranch there were many docu-
ments and papers that no one had touched
in years, and that it would be interesting to
go and take a look at them.
That's when I got "tangled in the horses'
legs," so to speak, with Hemingway. I arrived
at the ranch with an authorization to look at
the books in Hemingway's library and I
found a file cabinet a metal yale with
three drawers. Inside among many en-
velopes and papers was a large blue
notebook. There was a document in it, a
diploma, written in a language something
like German. The certificate was his Nobel
Prize! I pulled out an envelope with photo-
graphs: Hemingway, very young; Heming-
way, in a soldier's uniform from WWI. I had
never seen them before. Immediately, for I
am, after all, a journalist, 1 sensed that this
was material no one had seen or investi-
gated since Hemingway's death.
When I returned to Cultura I went
straight to the man in charge, Luis Pav6n,
and told him that in my opinion, it was
going to be a long, hard job of investigation.
To make a long story short: I have been
working with these files for five years now,
with Hemingway's friends, both in Cuba and
abroad, in the Soviet Union. I retraced every
step of Cuba that Hemingway described. I
organized all this information. I began by
annotating every bit of information I could
find about Hemingway's life in Cuba. He
lived here for the last 22 years of his life. Of
course there were intervals in which he
traveled to Africa, to Europe. But these 22
years were his last they coincide with a
period of his life that was, if not the saddest,
then one filled with the nostalgia and
reminiscence of lost youth; because, evi-
dently Hemingway never accepted his old
age. And this ranch was, perhaps, a kind of
haven for the man of the world, a place
where he could seek refuge in his memo-
ries and gather his friends about him. All of
Hemingway is in that house the last buf-
falo, the first lion he killed in Africa, his
soldier's coat,his boots, his Mannlicher 256
carbine the same one he describes in
three of his short stories and of course
his letters. The house is not open to the
public. No one is allowed inside save by

official permit, because at first there were
visitors who would take things ... books...
in a house like this one, with so many little
trinkets, it's easy to misplace them. And so it
was determined that it should be closed.
(However, permits are readily available -
it's not an inflexible law.)
It's been said that Hemingway's widow,
Mary Wells, burned a lot of his letters after
his death, by his own wishes. But much of
his monumental correspondence seems to
have survived, as shown by Carlos Baker in
his biography of Hemingway, and by the
files at the Kennedy Library. At the ranch
there was a lot of unpublished material,
though. And with that, and the testimony
from his old friends, I built the backbone of
my book.
BBL: Are there any new insights, anything
previously unknown about Hemingway in
your book?
NF: The book is, in a broad sense, every-
thing that is known about Hemingway. I
found some very interesting things in some
of his papers.
BBL: What is your personal opinion of
Hemingway as a man, now that you have
looked into his life?
NF: My first impression of Hemingway after
reading his letters was that of an intrinsically
pure man; a man that did not lie to himself;
an authentic man. Any man can write
things, and speak as Hemingway spoke
about the fidelity of man, about loyalty,
about courage and purpose, and you may
think that this man writes such things be-
cause he feels them. But one can elaborate
these ideas and not live them, and one can
invent a literary character and not give it
one's own thoughts. When 1 read Heming-
way's intimate letters I had his books in my
hands, it was an incredible sensation to
think that Hemingway had actually done
these things, and felt this way. He was a pure
man, just as he appears in his most inno-
cent characters.
BBL: You make him out to seem like a
mere reporter and not a writer.
NF: Not so. When you read Hemingwayyou
feel as though you were reading a news
article, very journalistic. That is his style.
Hemingway is a master of objectivity, of the
precise fact. There is a whole school based

on this. His descriptions take note of every
infinitesimal detail with tremendous accu-
racy, and he does it convincingly, with fluid-
ity and precision. But faintly, through the
words, you realize that behind all the ele-
ments of objectivity there is a more intimate
world, as complex, as nocturnal, as that of
the most bohemian of Parisian poets. Read
A Farewell to Arms and you might say,
"hell, this is a piece of journalism;" but
underneath that facade there is a current,
and that is purely fiction. Literature, in its
more literal sense, poetry. Veracity is a
photograph, a portrait, a piece of factual
information. A novel is something more
than that; it requires a touch of magic, to be
traversed by subterranean currents, to be
woven with mythical elements. A novel has
elan that a simple journalistic report does
not have. The difference between a painting
and a photograph is the artist. Hemingway
was a true artist, total, authentic. Heming-
way doesn't inform you of facts. He takes
certain aspects of facts and with them he
puts together a story. You can take any of
Hemingway's impressionistic articles and
you see the artist's hand at work. That is not
journalism. That is "veracity." Hemingway
gives you faithfully accurate details, but
underneath the descriptions there is a world
that is in constant motion.
BBL: Was there no difference between
Hemingway the public man and Heming-
way the private man?
NF: Hemingway was a tragic figure, evi-
dently full of inner pain. Almost every per-
son who knew him, who had a drink with
him, who was his friend, remembers him as
a man in anguish, lost in his own thoughts.
There is a public image of Hemingway the
sportsman, of Hemingway the macho. Very
seldom is that image shown to portray
Hemingway the artist, Hemingway preoc-
cupied, in torment for his work, for his life,
for human existence. That is the Heming-
way that I have found, the Hemingway that
those I have spoken with have given me.
But I have the feeling that the synthesis of
life that he elaborates proceeds directly
from very concrete things in his own life: old
Santiago (The Old Man and the Sea) says
"a man can be destroyed but never beaten"
after a night of battling against sharks.

Robert Jordan (For Whom the Bells Toll)
believes the battle must be won: "if we are
victorious here, we shall have victory
everywhere." These are concrete thoughts,
belonging to a particular person at a given
moment. And in that way you can take all
the great moments of Hemingway's litera-
ture and find them relating to something
very concrete in his life.
BBL: Partly, Hemingway's attraction lies in
his active life, in his involvement in so many
different things, in fighting many wars, in
trying to understand the world. Perhaps the
meaning is in the search itself; perhaps
Hemingway can be considered a distant
relative of the "activists," of writers such as
Saul Bellow who arrives at that conclusion
in The Adventures of Augie March. They
are not pessimists; they are not deter-
minists; they just can't accept a life of
mediocrity. That was Hemingway's style.
NF: But that was Hemingway's particular
search, a very personal thing. There are two
books, Death in the Afternoon and The
Green Hills of Africa which he wrote not
only during a time of personal crisis but also
a troubled time in United States history: the
crash of 1929, a pre-war period. It's a time
when all great North American writers are
making social literature, and there is
Hemingway writing about bulls and big
game hunting, and perhaps playing a little
with the theory that the minute there is no
more war, man will go in search of violence,
because violence is the great Mother, the
great teacher of life. And he finds it in the
bull ring, and in the hills of Africa. Evidently,
that was his search, and it isn't easy for
everyone to realize and have the means to
carry out this search. I know a lot of desper-
ate people who can't even hunt lizards.
Then what you have is a very individual, a
particularly unique and Hemingwaian an-
swer to the questions he was facing. His
answer was to search. And he had the op-
portunities. He was living in a certain situa-
tion in a very specific sort of world.
Today, in 1979, I can't easily assimilate
this point of view. Of Hemingway himself
only the surface remains he was a guy
who traveled, who led an active life, who
wrote books but to people like you and
Continued on page 46

A Caribcentric View of

the World

The Novels of Edouard Glissant

By Lauren W. Yoder

La Lezarde. Edouard Glissant.
Editions de Seuil, Paris 1958.

Le Quatrieme Siecle. Edouard
Glissant. Editions de Seuil,
Paris. 1964.
he Martinican poet and novelist
Edouard Glissant, in his response to
a questionnaire prepared by Lilyan
Kestefoot for her survey of black writers in
1960, comments directly on the role of the
writer: "Whatever a writer may write and
think, he does so in relationship to the des-
tiny of his people." On the other hand, he
disclaims any obvious political activity in his
writing: "A literary work has to be sure of a
political meaning, but one must refuse to
be political when writing."
Glissant was one of Aime C6saire's stu-
dents during the middle forties as Mar-
tinique, under Cesaire's leadership, pushed
for elections to shed its colonial status. Both
novels examined in this study were pub-
lished in Paris by Editions du Seuil, La
Lezarde (The Ripening) in 1958, and Le
Quatrimre Siecle (The Fourth Century)
in 1964. They represent two parts of that
political awakening, two facets of the world
as seen by the character Mathieu Beuse.
La Lezarde is the poetic recasting of the
1945 political events in Martinique, focus-
ing on the rise to maturity of a group of
young Martinicans. The central act of the
novel is the planning and execution of the
political murder of a government agent who
might, if left alone, hinder the upcoming
elections and stand in the way of the rise of
the people. Le Quatrieme Siecle, though
written after La Lezarde, presents events
which happen earlier. The same pro-
tagonist, Mathieu, learns the history of his
ancestors from the old quimboiseur Papa
Longoue. Papa Longoue, in griot fashion, is
both an oral historian and a clairvoyant as
he recounts events from the moment in
1788 when the slave ship Rose-Marie ar-
rived in Martinique. Among the slaves were
bitter enemies. One escaped to the moun-
tains the day of his arrival to begin the
leadership of the local maroons; the other
became the house servant of a plantation

owner. Papa Longoue is the last in the
lineage of the family of maroons, and the
young Mathieu is the descendant of Beluse,
the house slave.
It is significant that the titles of both
novels stress not persons or events, but
rather natural phenomena, suggesting the
plot is subservient to theme. La Lezarde is
the major river of Martinique, and is in the
novel of the same name, if not a character
in its own right, a constantly recurring
image, linking mountains and sea, past and
future, youth and maturity. And in Le Quat-
rieme Si&cle, it is clear that Papa Longoue
does not refer exclusively to time as meas-
ured in hours, days, and years, but in psy-
chological human time which can be tele-
scoped or concentrated as befits the pow-
ers of a quimboiseur: "he had begun the
chronology and placed the first marker
from which to measure the centuries. Not
the spread of a hundred years unfolding
one after the other... The sea that one
crosses is a century,...and the coast where
you disembark, blind, without soul or voice,
is a century. And the forest... is a century.
And the earth ... is a century." The earth is
therefore the "fourth century" and is a major
theme in the second novel as water is a
major theme of the first. By stressing the
importance of the themes of earth and
water in these two novels, Glissant helps
resolve the possible conflict between art
and politics suggested earlier. Though fre-
quent references to the political arena are
made in both novels, the central questions
raised are much broader. Questions such
as how man relates to nature, how man
learns from history and how he is formed by
it, how Martinican and, by extension, Carib-
bean, man is unique.
Glissant has sensed that true re-creation
of the past does not depend on historical
facts alone, but also on poetic images: "By
the brilliance of an image, the distant past
can resonate with echoes and one can
scarcely see how deep those echoes vibrate
before dying out. By its newness, by its ac-
tivity, a poetic image takes on a being of its
own, its own dynamism." In this way, by
striking a note within the psychological
depths of each reader, the images of water
and of earth become dynamic, take on their

Illustration by Danine L. Carey.


own personality, and give structure to La
Lezarde and Le Quatrieme Siecle.
The entire landscape/seascape of Mar-
tinique and the other Caribbean islands is
dominated by the close relationship of
water and earth. This of course is one of the
unique features of the Caribbean world, and
is an important element of the future as
envisioned by Glissant. Caribbean man
shares a unique geography, the isolation of
the insularity. He shares cultural mixing and
the political commitment which has dis-
carded the colonial yoke of inequality and
begun to forge a new future. No longer
content with the theory of negritude, Glis-
sant hopes to participate in the creation of a
new Caribbean identity. The Caribbean will
become the center of his universe, rather
than an epicenter balanced by some epi-
center in Africa or Europe. And the new
awareness will be created not only by new
political and social models, but by poetic
images as well, which reach deep into the
heart of man.
True knowledge of this universe is gained
more by an understanding of the forces of
nature than by learning facts and formulae.
In Le QuatriBme Siecle, Melchior trained
his grandson, the Papa Longoue of the
1940s, in exactly that way: "[He] gave him in
that whispering word that taste of water
which seeks itself, of the growing stem of
the crumbling rock, of the laboring earth, of
all that slowly comes to life and waits pa-
tiently under the sun."

Earth Imagery and
Earth imagery has rich and sometimes
contradictory connotations. The earth is
simultaneously a prison for the slave and a
protection for the maroon. It is cold and
ungiving on occasion; on others productive
and generous. The major thematic move-
ment through both novels is, however, an
awakening of the characters to an under-
standing of the earth and their taking root in
the earth/island as they become rooted in
reality and a new identity.
Earth imagery can be subdivided into
three categories the comparison of the
new land with Africa, the personification of

"At times the earth is to be
deciphered, to be
understood. At times it is
to be conquered. Indeed,
victory is perhaps
synonymous with

the soil, and finally the portrayal of earth as
necessary for the germination, the rooting,
and the awakening of the people.
The earth is clearly, for the newly disem-
barked slave, representative of his hopeless
situation. While on the slave ship, though
conditions were untenable, at least the slave
had hope, hope that perhaps he could
again see his own land. But arrival on the
islands wiped out even that hope: "They
came over the ocean, and when they saw
the new land all hope was gone; they were
not permitted to turn back." But Africa re-
mains the background against which the
present must be viewed. Africa, as its mem-
ory is passed on from generation to gener-
ation, is a broad, boundless expanse as
opposed to the limited horizons of Mar-
tinique "the one infinite, the other pulled
back in its curves." When the two are com-
pared, it is always in similar concrete terms
of the soil or its vegetation, never in abstract
terms of culture or philosophy.
Each family, each individual, suggests
Glissant through his characters, must
come to terms with the new country. Given
that necessity, one may choose to forget
Africa or one may choose to amalgamate
Africa with the new world experience. The
first choice is often made by townsmen who
have left contact with the soil, and lost their
roots: "For the country back there was dead
forever, ... they sought other stars in the
distance, not counting their dried up river,
and their rootless forest." On the other
hand, it is possible to unify the two experi-
ences, the two geographical sites, the two

time spans in one world view through the
mystery of images. This indeed is what
Papa Longoue and Mathieu attempt to do
in their struggle to synthesize the past from
Longoue's "magical" thesis and Mathieu's
"logical" antithesis. Longou6 had in fact
received this unified world view from his
own father: "But especially he made him
touch the indescribable night, the place
where this transparent woods became
confused with the heavy forest of that far-off
country so that their two wild germinations,
... created under the heavens one common
Thael, in La Lezarde, comes to the same
realization and expresses it in a different
way. He opens himself up to reality, and
becomes, along with Mathieu, part of the
symbol of the new Caribbean man, seeing
his island as a microcosm: "The whole
earth,... here it is in my eyes. What does its
smallness matter, the whole earth is here,
and the clouds, the sky, and all the stars."
One of the secrets of the Longoue fam-
ily's strength and dignity lies in the relation-
ship to the earth. Mathieu develops a similar
understanding through his conversations
with Papa Longoue, and Thael gains
maturity as he also learns to appreciate the
plans, the soil tilled by the people, and their
implications for the future freedom and
strength of the peasants. The soil is given a
life of its own, frequently personified, and
even sacralized. Mathieu's thoughts after
the quimboiseur has brought him through
the night of history and the mystery of
magic point out his understanding of the
earth and its relationship to man: "It's the
R61e and it's the Actor, since all that is suf-
fered and accomplished is done so in rela-
tion to it..." At times the earth is to be de-
ciphered, to be understood. At times it is to
be conquered. Indeed, victory is perhaps
synonymous with comprehension. The
original Longoue struggles to tear the
earth's secrets from her, to come to grips
with the new land. His presence in the forest
is an "unsuspected substance which encir-
cles earth and trees, tearing from them
forgotten secrets but make them shiver as
well." It is clear that man must struggle to
penetrate the soil's secrets, but that at the
same time the earth responds to the strug-

gle and begins to awake to a new order of
Man and the earth are beginning to
awaken simultaneously, and the close in-
terweaving of human passions and the
passions of the earth are evident at the be-
ginning of La Lezarde, when the reader
notices immediately that the story of the
political awakening of a people is inextrica-
bly linked with deeper elemental forces:
"Passion has an earthy taste which makes
the earth desirable,...here is the mysterious
fecundation, the naked pain. But can the
land be named, before the man who lives
on it has arisen?"
An understanding of the earth brings with
it the acceptance of one's identity and a
consequent loss of rootlessness. Both
novels are filled with recurring images of
taking root in the soil of the island. Melchior,
the son of the first Longoue, is the first of his
family to become a part of the new world,
and that participation is expressed in root
imagery: "The weighted root which takes
root in the earth." According to Thael, in a
statement seemingly contradictory yet psy-
chologically true, "You must take root. Then
you can leave."

Water Imagery and
Water images and the associations they
bring to mind are as rich and complex in
Glissant's two novels as are earth images.
The sea, for Longoue the African, is obvi-
ously a force separating him from his
homeland, and is dominated in his mind by
images of the horrendous Middle Passage,
evoked by Glissant in intense but measured
tones. The sea carries the slaves to the
island, but it is also a two-way street. Just as
the "ancestor" arrives by boat, so does the
last of the lineage, Ti-Rene, depart by boat
more than one hundred years later to be
killed in a European war. And in the same
fashion that the sea surrounds the island as
a moat, so does it offer the possibility of
escape. Longoue's favorite spot on the is-
land isLa Pointe des Sables, a sandy point
which extends out into the water, symboliz-
ing his desire to escape. Each member of
the quimboiseur's family, down to Ti-
Ren6, whose escape leads only to death,
knows "the unique desire to depart, to
move out, to leave the disk of earth...to
swim in the space beyond the horizon."
Mathieu, the spiritual descendant of the
Longoues' though himself a Beluse, dis-
covers that his trips are deep into the mys-
teries of the past. They are described as
a descent into the depths of an ocean,
dangerous and yet strangely attractive. He
compares the gaze of the old man to the
opacity of the sea which swallowed him for
a few moments one day when his boat cap-
sized. That day his uncle had saved him, but
Mathieu is unable to save himself from the
irresistible gaze of the old man: "He felt

himself melt into the blue of the sea, de-
scend like a kite in a clarity of transparent
algae and of misty sunshine; again he saw
the eyes ... deep in the blue water dancing
within him." It is clear that this is a descent
not only into the mysteries communicated
by the quimboiseur, but equally impor-
tant, a descent within Mathieu himself. Ear-
lier, Papa Longou6 expresses the same
internalizing image: "But misery works on
you, in spite of yourself you return to the
ocean; soon you disembark in the bottle-
neck of your own self." The narrator de-
scribes the events of the past as an ocean

True knowledge of this
universe is gained more by
an understanding of the
forces of nature than by
learning facts and

into which they are plunged by the narration
of old Longoue.
The river, La Lezarde, is the major point of
reference in the novel by the same name.
One of its primary functions is to link
mountain and plain, city and sea. But what
is more important than its linking function
is its role in the maturation process of Thael
the assassin, the people of the city, and even
the narrator. The narrator points out that
when he witnessed the events of his narra-
tion he was unaware of the true nature of the
river, which is to reassure them, to help
them become self-aware: "...this country is
like a new fruit slowly opening ... little by
little unveiling all the richness of its pulp."
And the day will come when the people will
arise: "Someday the Lezarde will run clear
before the sea. As a self-assured people
comes out to meet other peoples."
Given the events of the novel and Glis-
sant's images, it is clear that the ripening of
the fruit refers not only to political awaken-
ing, but also to developing self-awareness.
Thael, during his march from the source of
the river to the sea, responds from deep
within to the pulse of the river. As was the
case with Mathieu and Garin in their con-
frontations with the sea, here as well Thael
responds to water and to its force as if he is
caught up in it, as if it becomes a part of
him: "He drifts on the Lezarde ... (it's the
very pulse of the current: and he feels the
embrace of the soil) while he strides along
the bank of life, calling out to the other to
touch the sap (if the sap is not within him)."
According to Glissant, the secret eddies
and currents of a river are symbolic of lan-

guage itself. Indeed, the idea of language as
varied and multi-form influences Glissant's
style. At the end of La Lezarde as the main
characters talk to the narrator who has re-
mained primarily the unobtrusive observer,
they enjoin him to make a novel "like a
river," with bounds and pauses, gathering
earth to fall at last into the sea. Not only
does discourse have its essential psycho-
logical foundation in the elements, it shares
many of the characteristics of the river. In
several passages the narrator insists upon
the relationship of the two, showing that
words are as polysemous and mysterious
as water. Glissant's style could indeed be
compared to the flow of a river at times
crisp and clean as events accelerate, at
times full and descriptive as horizons
broaden and the pace slows. One must not
neglect the fact that in the same conversa-
tion which suggests the comparison of
Glissant's novels with a river, there are also
two other concerns. The novel must be a
faithful witness of historical and political
events, as well as a poem, in which rich and
productive images are created to speak to
the depths of human imagination and in
which language is recreated. On the one
hand, a concern for historical fidelity and
political commitment; on the other a desire
for beauty and eternal truth. It is the image
of art as a river which links the two concerns
and gives unity to the novels on the level of
geography, psychology, language, and art.

Creation of a Caribbean Identity
It is clear that water and earth, as the
elements of creation, develop on a sym-
bolic level a positive image of hope which
prepares the way for the rise of the new
Caribbean identity.
On the one hand, Africa is important in
the creation of that new identity. The whole
struggle of the Longou6 family is to main-
tain their fierce independence and to retain
the African mysteries and the African har-
mony with nature. By passing on his lore to
Mathieu, Papa Longou6 insures its survival
among the new generation, though two
forces push its members to reject their Afri-
can past. The first is the draw of France and
a decision by the French authorities: "They
tried to make us forget Africa. But see, we
haven't forgotten it." The second, arising no
doubt from the first, is the claim of Carib
rather than African ancestry. Mathieu rages
about those who have gone to France and
who then return to make that claim: "De-
scendents of Caribs, do you hear! Because
they just wanted to erase forever the furrow
in the sea"
Mathieu and his group have not forgotten
Africa, but realize that Africa is only a part of
a more fruitful whole. And Glissant, in
l'Intention Poetique makes a revealing
statement which is reflected in his novels as
well: "One can't take root in wishes (even
those which proclaim roots) nor in the far-

off land (even if it is the Mother Earth, Af-
rica) ... One must move from wish to real-
ity." The reality to which he refers is the
recognition of the value of the present. The
memory of Africa is valuable, but primarily
as a guide, as a method for understanding
the present situation: "And if, leaning on his
elbows in his hut, a man feeds obscurely on
a different cassava (far off), it is to regain
here (by the nourishment of his dream) the
'elsewhere' which belongs to him, and to
find in the here and now all savor and all
Glissant insists that this mental operation
which links past and present is not a con-
scious one. It is clearly the work of dreams
and the imagination, and therefore de-
pendent on the deeply rooted attachment
to the elements which dominate his two
novels. The distinctions between land and
sea, past and present, often blur: "There
was no longer a boundary ... between the

soil here and the foam out there which
pushed before it the dust of the world. The
island abolished in that way no longer knew
the path of escape in the sea." No longer
does living on an island require looking
elsewhere for meaning and identity. What
was lacking before, says Glissant symboli-
cally in the same passage, and con-
sequently what forms the new man, is har-
mony with land and sea. "[Ore must] dig in
the red soil and... unearth, in the center, the
source of the sea." Once again, expressed
in terms of the elements earth and water, is
the call for the new Caribbean man to rec-
ognize his own values, to accept his own
center. Glissant is not the only voice calling
for a Caribcentric view of the world; his
uniqueness is in expressing that view using
fundamental poetic images of earth and
water which of course are so fundamentally
a part of the Caribbean reality. Thus poetic
imagination and political reality come to-

gether, their unity calling attention to the
union of disparate elements in Caribbean
With pride in his past and hope for the
future, both expressed through his poetic
imagination rooted in the primeval tumult
of the universe, Glissant points in his novels
to the eternal process of creation, whether
of political and social realities or of eternal
poetry: "Words," says Glissant in La
Lezarde, "never completely die; never does
the river stop carrying earth toward the sea."

Lauren W Yoder teaches French at Davidson
College, North Carolina. All translations are by
the author.


The Case for Indigenous


The Poverty of Progress

Reviewed by Mark D. Szuchman

The Poverty of Progress: Latin
America in the Nineteenth
Century, E. Bradford Burns. 183
pp. University of California Press,
Berkeley, 1980. $12.95.

his is the kind of work that devel-
opmentalists will ridicule as regres-
sive and utopian. Modernists will
scoff at its culture-bound biases. Members
of the Latin American middle classes will
excuse themselves from reading it on the
basis of a pretentious self-assurance and
instinctive knowledge of its "naive" in-
terpretation of la realidad americana.
Such people will probably miss this work's
central points. Brad Burns has given us a
thought provoking argument about Latin
America that forces us to come to grips with
all effects of the panacea called develop-
Of all the issues created by Iberian con-
tact with America in 1492, the contradic-
tions between European and non-
European value systems stand out as the
most crucial. These contradictions gov-
erned the relations between whites and
non-whites, pitted aristocrats against
plebeians, divided elites, and consumed the
physical and creative energies of Amerin-
dians, Africans, and their descendants.
Unfortunately, the debates that ensued
about such matters during the colonial
period were never resolved. They festered in
the various regions where anxious elites
observed complacent mixed bloods do the
jobs that maintained the patron-client rela-
tions established by the conquerors. Clien-
telist relations outlived the Iberian empires,
but the demands made of the folk by the
elites took on a new urgency impelled by
the promise of a European-modelled civili-
Burns' thesis is that modernization as
an expression of European culture was
an imposition of the elites that resulted in a
"devastating cultural struggle" and acted as
"a barrier to Latin America's development."
The alternative to modernization would
have been the continuation of folk culture,
amended to take advantage of beneficial

aspects of modernization while buffering
against its destructive effects. "Consider the
possibility," Burns asks us, "that folk
societies and cultures derived from Ibero-
Afro-Indian experiences might have
provided life-style alternatives more
advantageous to the masses than the
Europeanized modernization imposed on
To introduce the mental framework
under which Latin American elites oper-
ated, Burns discusses the ideology of
progress best, most durably, and most
influentially expressed by Argentina's "Gen-
eration of '37." Its members offered the
most comprehensive literary corpus of
legitimacy for Ibero-American statesmen.
They delved into every facet of political and
socio-economic existence in a self-assured
intent at eradicating indigenous (indigent)
forms of culture, including work habits,
labor techniques, land tenancy, attitudes
toward capital accumulation, educational
and religious forms, and the whole complex
of mentalities that shaped the traditional
gestalt. The writings of Esteban
Echeverria, Jose Marmol, and especially
Domingo Faustino Sarmiento illustrate the
nineteenth century liberal paradigm. The
basis for their model was the omnipresent
dyad, coined by Sarmiento as civilizaci6n
y barbarie. The terms used varied from
writer to writer and from region to region
spanning the Latin American intellectual
and political landscape, but the meanings
remained quite the same. The colonial her-
itage had left the national governments
to grapple with an antithesis which could
simply not be tolerated if there was to be
"Barbarism," much more than a descrip-
tive term, denoted a concept of all that was
regressive about each national entity, par-
ticularly in the hinterland. Politically, bar-
barism denoted the style and interests of
the caudillos, propped up by an ignorant
mass of unruly retainers who had no con-
cept of nationality or the common welfare.
Economically, its considerations were
bounded by the productive forces over
which caudillos had effective rule. Socially,
it fostered a stagnant collective mentality; to
the extent that it retained either anach-

ronistic Iberian Catholic and temporal views
or syncretic Amerindian habits, barbarism
was an obstacle to societal development.
Any evolution or transformation of the so-
cial life, customs or institutions would have
to await the eradication of the premodernist
leadership and following responsible for
this "inorganic democracy."
In general, the "Generation of 37" and its
counterparts in Brazil, Chile, Mexico, Peru,
and Guatemala, to name a few, perceived
the countryside as the naturally fertile
ground for the caudillo format, while the
major cities were oriented toward the
Europeanized commerce, politics, socia-
bility, even dress. The dialectic posed by the
progressive "European" cities alongside a
regressive interior had been responsible for
much of the bloodshed spilled over the
issue of what Latin America was to be. Latin
American elites (then as now) were objec-
tively correct: the exterior appearances of
cities, particularly their most central zones,
differed dramatically from the rustic
simplicity of rural villages, ranching towns,
Andean ayllus, and Mexican ejidos. In the
interior capitalism had penetrated little if at
all; customary law arbitrarily executed by
Indian caciques usually served the
needs of local strongmen whose concept of
the practical was legitimate by a veneer of
codified Roman law, again arbitrarily con-
sulted and executed by their own auxiliaries.
These conditions had fostered a medieval
society in which the population rendered
homage to locals and devotion to a patria
chica. Indians and mixed-bloods com-
prised the majority of these populations,
typified by the Argentine, Uruguayan and
Brazilian gauchos, the Venezuelan
llaneros, the Chilean guasos, the Mexican
vaqueros, as the most mobile and militant,
and by the Indian masses as the most
sedentary and indolent of the elements
supporting caudillos. No European in-
vestor would be expected to risk capital in
areas where the economic infrastructure
was lacking, where there was no national
currency, where internal customs duties
were prevalent, and where each political
leadership was by nature ephemeral.
The political assertions of the elites were
given a scientific underpinning to explain

i 4 '"d~'
~ ~~
-~` ---

7~ ---~---- --- ----=-

:=;~-~ =

their logic and to base their programs of
development. As would be natural to their
European orientation, they adopted a wide
range of positivist philosophy, particularly
Comtian and Spencerian, insofar as the first
assumed the inevitability of progress as a
materially measurable tendency of civiliza-
tion, while the latter viewed genetic and
racial attributes as tools to explain variances
in the progress of peoples. In this schema,
the elites accrued unto themselves the duty
of guiding national progress as a historical
mission, while the miscegenated popula-
tion pool would undergo a genetic
transformation through the device of Euro-
pean immigration. The results could be
only beneficial: the centralization of power
in the hands of the enlightened, who would
foster the entry of progressive human and
capital resources avowedly for the benefit ot
all. Even the defenders of the Indians oper-
ated under an unquestioning acceptance of
European civilization; they differed from the
less tolerant elite majority only in the style
and pace of civilizing programs. Thus Justo
Sierra encouraged Mexican governments
to make full use of the Indians' potential by
educating them with a view to their
transformation into cultural mestizos.
Among Central American intellectuals
there was a greater understanding of the
Indians, but still within a framework which,
while condemnatory of the United States
and Argentine genocidal practices, still saw
the process of Europeanization as a
meritorious goal. Their tolerance, however,
was limited to their evaluation of the native
populations as being adaptable to Euro-
pean ways. In Peru, Burns writes, Clorinda
Matto de Turner denounced through her
novels the abuse of Indians but always from
the perspective of charitable decency rather
than from a defense of Amerindian culture
to exist on its own right.
Since Latin American intellectuals filled a
variety of literary and political posts, there is
a taint to the various recollections of Latin
America written by Latin Americans and
which can generically be called "official
history." Since history is defined as the col-
lective memory of the past which is periodi-
cally given a generational meaning, the
elites wrote their national histories through

A Spanish Caravel. Line Drawing by Fans Huys.

their ideological lenses. We know that in
Latin American history, what is not written
about is often as important, if not more so,
than what is. Thus, the large number of
redundant volumes on certain historical
figures raise those individuals to the con-
secration of personality cults to the exclu-
sion of studies of socio-economic struc-
tures: San Martin, Bolivar, Francia, Marti,
Rufino Barrios, to name a few. In sum,
nineteenth century elites wrote history from
the perspective of Thomas Carlyle; they
established the primacy of heroic figures for
the purpose of training the population into
accepting similar values and orienting
popular loyalty to those who awarded to
themselves the political inheritance of
those heroes.

The Capital City and its
Ruling Class
The elites won, of course, and the second
half of the nineteenth century is witness to
their victory: political dominance accrued
to the capital city and its ruling class; rail-
ways crisscrossed the productive land-

scape, ignoring other regions; commercial
transactions increased; shipping lanes were
extended; British capitalists invested vast
sums in infrastructural and industrial proj-
ects; Latin American elites tied themselves
to the booming trans-Atlantic trade either
by participating in its commercial aspects
and/or by acquiring larger units of fertile
lands with export-oriented production. The
privatization of land was the single most
destructive process of traditional culture in
Latin America. For the rural folk, the vic-
iousness of the circularity had its own com-
pelling logic: European demand for
foodstuffs a result of generally peaceful
conditions and increasing populations -
drove up prices, which impelled the con-
centration or larger extensions of land into
fewer private hands, which tended toward
the fragmentation of Indian collective units,
which turned Indians into salaried person-
nel but without mechanisms to support the
cause of reasonable wages and working
conditions. Thus, Burns asserts that "while
all the activities might have contributed to
development, few if any did in practice.




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Rather, they served to strengthen the
dynamic, but dangerous export sector of
the economy and in so doing also
deepened dependency." And it was not the
problem only of the Indians, but it was
rather a generalized phenomenon of rural
labor that was transforming again in the
productive regions traditional society
into a rural proletariat. The "quality of life"
deteriorated under these conditions of ris-
ing export demands; even the usually toler-
able and longstanding Chilean system of
inquilinaje became oppressive on two ac-
counts: the demand for a much greater

"Consider the possibility
that folk societies and
cultures derived from Ibero-
Afro-Indian experience
might have provided life-
style alternatives more
advantageous to the masses
than the Europeanized
modernization imposed
on them."

work load, and a reduction of the land al-
lotments to inquilinos.
The export boom of the trans-Atlantic
system wrought multifaceted structures
that despoiled traditional communities of
their value systems and whatever cogency
they had managed to retain from colonial
days. Thus, the economic realities of a
broadening capitalism signaled the prac-
tice that had earlier in the century been
ideated by an intellectually powerful and
scientifically sophisticated elite. But did the
cultural dismemberment of traditional so-
ciety necessarily translate into a lowering in
the quality of life as early as the nineteenth
century? Moreover, was there no flexibility
on the part of folk society to adapt to
changing circumstances to benefit as
much as possible from the new schema?
The first question goes toward ascer-
taining which phases of the multivariate
process of modernization in Latin America
were responsible to lesser or greater extent
for the incessant growth in the gap between
rich and poor. To focus upon those phases
would be to observe which elements of
modernization went awry. The second
question forms one of the basic debates
currently in Latin American history: did folk
society simply recede without reactions of
its own? Burns devotes an entire chapter to
ways in which plebeians rose against the
elites, including slave revolts in Cuba, mil-

lenarian movements in Brazil, mon-
toneras in Argentina and Uruguay,
caudillos seemingly everywhere, syn-
cretism in Amerindian and African group-
ings, Yaqui rebellions in Mexico, and other
forms of resistance. But here lies Burns'
basic shortcoming: he observes the forces
of xenophilistic modernization as totally
antagonistic to the elements of tradition in
both cultural and economic terms. The
antagonism, as Burns perceives it, is com-
posed of modernist advances followed
periodically by traditionalist resistance; he
sees the actors as representing victor and
vanquished only. If in cultural terms Burns
agrees on the totality of the Westernized
elites' victory, the results are less clear when
considering the economic consequences.
Arnold J. Bauer, whose findings about rural
labor in Chile were used by Burns, wrote a
stimulating article on the reactions by the
Latin American peasantry to the unyielding
privatization of land in the second half of the
nineteenth century ("Rural Workers in
Spanish America: Problems of Peonage
and Oppression," Hispanic American
Historical Review, 59, February 1979). In
observing the transitions from non-
capitalist to capitalist forms of agriculture,
Bauer notes that while undergoing exploi-
tation, oppression and alienation, the rural
folk were also able to force choice and ac-
commodation on the land-owning elites.
Central to the processes behind the ex-
port boom was the maintenance of a rural
work force now no longer tied to land
from which they were divested -to labor in
the fields. The enganche system, which
developed with variants throughout Latin
America, was meant to recruit labor from
the countryside through the device of ad-
vancing part of the wages to peasants who
would thus be well on their way to becom-
ing debt peons the closest thing to slav-
ery without even the benefits of its protec-
tive code. Yet Bauer compiled a wide array
of archival and secondary sources to show
that "total victory" by the hacendados was
actually the exception. "The point here is
that the closer the new sources enable us to
get to social reality, the more there emerges
a world of mutual adjustment and accom-
modation. Labor recruiters, for example,
undoubtedly had to deal fairly with potential
workers in order to establish a reputation
which insured continuing success over the
years. [Peter] Klaren's new research [on
Peru] shows that recruiters got repeat busi-
ness as their peons signed up year after
year and then often asked for additional
wage advances to be paid to families left
behind in the sierra. Instead of being pas-
sive victims, it seems more likely that work-
ers saw their chance and took it"
As is true of so many other issues in Latin
American Studies, the investigation into the
effects of the vigorous entrance of capital-
ism is most developed in Mexico. Here the


subject of debt peonage was first raised and
its treatment is most sophisticated. The
evidence shows that in some of the most
fertile areas, haciendas were more in-
debted to laborers than the converse. I am
reminded of John Tutino's understated glee
when his computations of grain and lives-
tock haciendas in the Chalco region in the
early nineteenth century showed the estates
to have been the debtors to the Indian
laborers (see his "Hacienda Social Rela-
tions in Mexico: The Chalco Region in the
Era of Independence," HAHR, 55, August
1975). As the nineteenth century wore on in
Mexico, labor was not necessarily more
ruthlessly forced; on the contrary, the
causes for poverty became more complex,
as Friedrich Katz demonstrated in his
"Labor Conditions on Haciendas in Porfi-
rian Mexico: Some Trends and Tendencies"
(HAHR, 54, February 1974). "During the
Porfiriato, a new situation arose. The ex-
propriation of communal villages brought
about two contradictory tendencies. On the
one hand, cheap temporary labor became
more readily available than ever before.
This made it economically less and less
necessary for the hacendados in central
Mexico to rely on forced labor. On the other
as the haciendas acquired more and more
land, much of it of mediocre quality, they
preferred not to work it themselves but to
shift the risk to sharecroppers and tenants.
The condition of these occupants was so
precarious that many of them ... inevitably
incurred debts with the hacienda which
they could not repay." The variety of reac-
tions, including resistance, tells us that folk
society was forced to make limited choices
just to survive. At the same time, it was not
economically eradicated as was so much of
its culture. Indeed, as Bauer argued,
everywhere that capital penetrated and
markets were exploited, "we can see the
breakdown of community, the creation of a
rootless and alienated mass, and the
triumph of consumer society."
If Burns crosses too easily the definitional
and conceptual lines separating "culture"
from "quality of life," it does not invalidate
the existence of some relatively close re-
lationship between the two: the societal and
the material. He reminds us that economic
growth did not and does not mean im-
proved condition for the population; in fact,
the gap between rich and poor widened into
a gulf filled partially by a nascent urban
middle class oriented toward the same
value system and ethnic predilections of the
elites. But once Burns asks us to consider
the possibility that a traditional, pre-
capitalist life-style would have been more
beneficial to the masses, he should enter
into a discussion of such alternatives rather
than give it the cursory treatment that he
does. Instead, he discusses in great detail
the attack made on folk customs, value-
systems, religious practices, and outward

signs of traditional norms. But in his facile
equation between culture and economic
standing, he loses sight of the need to treat
the latter with the detailed vigor he ad-
dresses the former.
In no way, however, does this or any other
shortcoming negate the value of this work,
particularly since as Burns puts it, what
occurred during the nineteenth century
"provides one insight into the constant and
major enigma of Latin America: prevalent
poverty in a potentially wealthy region. The
triumph of progress defined by the elites set
the course for twentieth-century history. It

Since Latin American
intellectuals filled a variety
of literary and political
posts, there is a taint to
the various recollections of
Latin America written by
Latin Americans and which
can generically be called
"official history."

bequeathed a legacy of mass poverty and
continued conflict."
Detractors of this work will smugly point
to its romantic biases and politically naive
assertions. This I believe would be the reac-
tion by the current variant of elites dis-
cussed by Burns for the nineteenth century.
But equally dangerous would be the list of
Latin American supporters who espouse
nationalistic conservatism. Resentful of the
effects on national culture and moral fibers
that the beau monde of modernization has
created, elements of the military and civilian
sectors form a Latin American Right hoping
for a regeneration of traditional Iberian
Catholic values and hermetic nationalism.
Their veneration of historical caudillos
serving the needs of their folk is sometimes
expressed by the political style of authori-
tarian populism. Can a politico go wrong
by cloaking himself in the rhetorical cloth of
the patria or by drawing parallels between
his visions for spiritual redemption and the
autochthon which receded in the wave of
imported peoples and capital from Europe?
Nationalist sentiment in Latin America can
manifest itself in different and contradictory
ways. If, on the one hand, one hopes for a
Latin American economic development
unfettered by the burdensome dependency
on industrial powers of the East or the West,
how does one respond, on the other, to the
same nationalist spokesmen who answer
charges of human rights violations with
similar buzzwords about formulating "na-

tional responses suited to the characteris-
tics of the national needs?" The dangerous
supporter of Burns' work is the one who will
interpret its thesis to suit his hopes for the
restoration of the patriarchal model that
was altered during the changeful era of the
nineteenth century. Often the same person
who fervently speaks of nationalist devel-
opment and "authentic" values simulta-
neously sacrifices or ignores the nation's
human resources. Witness the Amazonian
Indians of Brazil; whatever happened to the
revered campesino programs in Bolivia?;
how many of Zapata's ejidal followers are
still waiting for what used to be theirs?; are
the racial antagonists of Guatemala's In-
dians all laissez-faire xenophilists? Indio,
even among nationalists in much of Latin
America, is still a pejorative term.
The lessons that Burns wants us to learn
are clear in terms of the culture conflict
attendant to laissez-faire capitalism in the
nineteenth and twentieth century. The im-
plied lesson is equally important: nationalist
spokesmen who also question the value of
imported capital and ideas often continue
the process of despoliation of native cul-
ture. This is the quagmire of Latin American
folk society.

Mark D. Szuchman teaches Latin American
History at Florida International University. He
recently published Mobility and Integration
in Urban Argentina, University of Texas

University Microfilms

300 North Zeeb Road
Dept. PR.
Ann Arbor, Mi. 48106
30-32 Mortimer Street
Dept. P.R.
London WIN 7RA



Discovering the


Two Important Research Tools

Reviewed by lan I. Smart

The Complete Caribbeana
1900-1975, Lambros Comitas. 4
vols. 2193 pp. KTO Press, New
York, 1977.

Caribbean Writers: A
Encyclopedia, Donald E. Herdeck et
al. 943 pp. Three Continents Press,
Washington, D.C., 1979.
his joint review is more than a mere
editorial convenience. It is a singu-
larly fitting mode for the full appreci-
ation of these two works, the most impor-
tant reference sources available to date for
scholars and other persons interested in the
multifaceted field of Caribbean studies. In
his preface to The Complete Caribbeana
1900-1975, the author makes a statement
that could not only justify the somewhat
daring claim implicit in his title, but provides
a fruitful axis of approach to the analysis of
the two works and to the very study of the
Caribbean: "Despite cultural and ecological
differences, these farflung territories hold
many significant historical, structural, and
economic elements in common ele-
ments that are characteristically and
uniquely West Indian." An analogous claim
is made in Caribbean Writers where in the
preface the editor is at pains to demonstrate
how and why, as he put it, "...the area cries
for a unified treatment." The two works then
are successful to the extent to which they
measure up to the self-imposed criterion by
shedding light on and facilitating the pur-
suit of this basic and daring, but perfectly
valid research concept.
The first thing that strikes the reader is
that the books present different focuses on
what geographically constitutes the Carib-
bean, at least for their respective purposes.
Comitas includes Surinam, French Guiana,
Guyana and Belize along with the islands of
the Caribbean Sea, except for Haiti, Cuba,
Puerto Rico and the Dominican Republic.
These exclusions appear not to be made
with the usual intellectual prejudices that
have perpetuated the debilitating frag-
mentation of the area on the basis of the
32/CAI?BBEAN r mvW

languages imposed by European coloniza-

tion. Comitas's decision is based on a prac-
tical editorial consideration: these excluded
territories have been, in his judgment,
adequately attended to by traditional bib-
liographers. In the precise area of literature,
however, not even these territories have
fared well, at least with regard to their expo-
sure to the North American public. So
Donald Herdeck et als. include within their
purview the entire, or almost the entire,
Caribbean region. They report on not only
materials in the four major European lan-
guages, English, Dutch, Spanish and
French, but also on those materials in the
various Creoles derived from these lan-
guages combined with an African syntactic
substratum. Such Creoles are widely spo-
ken in the area and have become the
medium of expression for a significant and
growing body of literature. The fact that
neither study sees it fit to include Panama,
and the Caribbean rim areas of Mexico,
Guatemala (apart from Belize), Honduras,
Nicaragua, Costa Rica, Colombia and Ven-
ezuela is a deficiency but not one of any
fundamental philosophical nature.
"R- D7 V

E- ;


31 E R Vr E
Courtesy Rubini Antique Maps, Miami, Florida.

languages imposed by European coloniza-
tion. Comitas's decision is based on a prac-
tical editorial consideration: these excluded
territories have been, in his judgment,
adequately attended to by traditional bib-
liographers. In the precise area of literature,
however, not even these territories have
fared well, at least with regard to their expo-
sure to the North American public. So
Donald Herdeck et als. include within their
purview the entire, or almost the entire,
Caribbean region. They report orn not only
materials in the four major European lan-
guages, English, Dutch, Spanish and
French, but also on those materials in the
various Creoles derived from these lan-
guages combined with an African syntactic
substratum. Such Creoles are widely spo-
ken in the area and have become the
medium of expression for a significant and
growing body of literature. The fact that
neither study sees it fit to include Panama,
and the Caribbean rim areas of Mexico,
Guatemala (apart from Belize), Honduras,
Nicaragua, Costa Rica, Colombia and Ven-
ezuela is a deficiency but not one of any
fundamental philosophical nature.

The authors have been exceptionally
thorough in their research, and one par-
ticularly gratifying aspect of this is the obvi-
ously close contact that they have estab-
lished with "real people [who] live in those
palm-studded isles" (Herdeck). Herdeck's
work is in fact coauthored by literary per-
sonalities of the Caribbean: Maurice Lubin
from Haiti, Dorothy Alexander and John
Figueroa from Jamaica, and Jose Alcan-
tara Almanzar from the Dominican Repub-
lic. In his acknowledgements he mentions
Clifford Sealy, Mrs. Irma Goldstraw and Mrs.
Wilma Primus of Trinidad and Tobago giv-
ing incontrovertible proof to any Trinidadian
of the reality of his deep penetration at the
personal level into the local literary scene.
The same must be true for the many names
mentioned from the other islands. Comitas
too cites an impressive list of local per-
sonalities who have contributed to his work;
people like Sir Ellis Clarke, Mr. Charles Ar-
chibald and the late Miss Lumsden for years
the mainstay of the Central Library in Port of
The thoroughness is evidenced in the
scope of the materials included in both
works. Caribbean Writers "contains bio-
graphical information on some 2000 crea-
tive writers and bibliographic detail on up-
wards of 15,000 works." In The Complete
Caribbeana there are 17,000 different
works cited on the 63 different topics. Fur-
thermore the author states exactly where
every single one of the items can be found.
The sensitive aspect of this thoroughness is
made manifest as well in the many special
features of the structure of both works.
Caribbean Writers is aimed explicitly at
both the casual reader and the stu-
dent/scholar. It presents the various writers
as "warm, sentient" personalities. With its
"self-sustaining" essays on each of the au-
thors the entire work becomes "...a modest
compass to a rewarding first visit to undis-
covered lands." This is modestly put in-
deed, for the volume would be an essential
addition to the library of all experts in Carib-
bean studies, even in Caribbean literature.
The very creative writers themselves find it a
most important work. (The present writer
gained first hand evidence of this when he
went to the Third Caribbean Festival of the

Creative Arts "Carifesta" in Havana,
Cuba, July 1979, armed with a copy of this
work just off the press. This circumstance
made him quite popular with the numerous
Caribbean writers at "Carifesta": such as,
George Lamming, Edward Brathwaite,
Edouard Glissant, Elie Stephenson, A.J.
Seymour, etc., etc.; and, of course, with the
hosts as well: the likes of Fernandez Re-
tamar, Marcelino Arozarena, and Nancy
Morej6n, among others.)
The Complete Caribbeana can boast of
an exceptionally complete, useful, and
common-sense system of reference. Each
listing contains first the author's name, then
a reference number which is an ingeniously
conceived device for quick location and
cross listing, a geographical code indica-
ting the specific area dealt with by the work,
the year of publication, the title and the
other customary publication data. The list-
ing includes as well number coded infor-
mation about the secondary topics treated
by the work and finally a notation indicating
where the publication can be located. The
marvelous reference number system
greatly facilitates the cross listing of
materials and contributes greatly towards
making The Complete Caribbeana
1900-1975 a true treasure for both the
accomplished scholar and the beginning
student or person with some casual
interest in some field of Caribbean studies.
This work too is a standard for all libraries
although its size three volumes plus a
separate index would tend to restrict it to
libraries of institutions or of the more
committed individuals.
Certain aspects of the organization of
both works may leave something to be de-
sired. Some have argued that the very or-
ganization of Caribbean Writers seems
to sustain the very thesis it is essentially
bent on countering, for it is divided on the
basis of language into four "volumes":
Anglophone Literature from the Caribbean,
Francophone Literature from the Carib-
bean, Literature of the Netherlands Antilles
and Surinam, and Spanish Language Liter-
ature from the Caribbean. Each "volume"
has its own introductory essay the style of
which appears to reflect the native lan-
guage and personality of the different

editors. However, criticism of the basic or-
ganization may be answered by adducing
the fact that this manner of structuring the
work was the only feasible one in view of the
multiple editorship. The further and more
profound, but perhaps less convincing, ar-
gument may be made that the compart-
mentalization reflects the present reality
and that it was a necessary starting point to
demonstrate more dramatically the under-
lying unity. In truth and in fact whereas the
basic similarities between the literatures
from the French, Dutch and English Carib-
bean as analyzed in the introductory essays
are easily discernible, the literary world of
the Spanish-speaking Caribbean as de-
picted in the corresponding introductory
essay bears little resemblance to that of the
other areas, for its ties with Europe are more
Lambros Comitas is the sole editor of
The Complete Caribbeana 1900-1975.
The book is in fact a development of an
earlier work, Caribbeana 1900-1965, and
so is the beloved child that has been nur-
tured and has grown to maturity over the
years. It consequently projects a solid unity
in every aspect of its structure. However this
very important advantage coupled with the
thoroughness bring certain drawbacks.
The reader, for example, may be inclined to
question the competence of a single author
to address such a wide variety of materials
- 63 different topical headings. Further-
more his doubts may be intensified by what
might appear to be a certain arbitrariness in
the differentiation of topics. "Ethnic and
National Identity" seems not to be an es-
sentially different topic from "Population
Segments: Afro-Caribbean" and "Popula-
tion Segments: East Indians," etc. The
editor is an anthropologist and there may
be sound anthropological reasons for such
a division, just as there are undoubtedly for
establishing "Creative Arts and Recreation"
as a single topic. In this chapter literature
finds itself in the company of such activities
as "yachting," "cricket" and "marbles."
Such a grouping would tend not to sit very
easily with the egos of those of a literary
bent. Volume three is entirely devoted to
topics that appear to be of little immediate
relevance to humanists, let alone literary

persons. It starts with the section on "Gen-
eral Economics," and ends with that on
"Sylviculture and Lumbering." It includes
such chapters as "Soils and Soil Survey,"
and "Insecticides and Crop Control." Yet the
volume does contain important categories
for both humanistic and specifically literary
investigation, for example, "Plantation
Economy and the Sugar Complex," or
"Sugar, Rice and Fibers."

A Common Caribbean Genius
Ultimately then the two works stand or fall
on their treatment of the question of a
common Caribbean genius, the existence
and importance of which they both posit.
The arguments that Herdeck et als. ad-
vance for the existence of a common
Caribbean literature are listed in the general
introduction. The Caribbean region has the
same two basic cultural components,
Europe and Africa. In addition, it has ex-
perienced phenomenal inflows over the
years of varied peoples from many other
parts of the globe, India, China, Java, the
Middle East The peoples of the entire area
are thus currently engaged in analogous
processes of forging their heterogenous
inheritances into a common compound
identity. And finally, in a nutshell:
"...whether the Caribbeans wish it or not,
they all share much of the same history,
geography and ecology; and the same
problems of poverty, ignorance, crowding
and weakness stare at them all." This asser-
tion echoes that made by Comitas and
cited in the opening stages of our review. It
is consonant with the position articulated
with fetchingly succinct wisdom byC.L.R.
James, a position shared by many, that
sugar and slavery are the pillars of Carib-
bean oneness. If these arguments ad-
vanced are sufficient to support the exis-
tence of a common Caribbean spirit/cul-
ture, then the work certainly handsomely
makes the case. For the introductory es-
says, in spite of the compartmentalization
they involve, are quite consistent with the
basic argument of the general introduction.
For example, the editor of the "volume" on
"Anglophone Literature from the Carib-
bean" asserts: "This is an exile literature in
earnest" Later on, in his peculiar style that

at times smacks too openly of translation,
the editor who was charged with the intro-
duction to the "volume" on "Francophone
Literature from the Caribbean" echoes the
observation claiming that: "Most good Hai-
tian writing has been accomplished in
exile." Apart from the theme of exile there
are other themes and processes that the
alert reader of these introductions will find
to be shared by the literatures from the
various parts of the fragmented Caribbean;
for example, the concern with racial har-
mony, and the burning question of national
identity, even in the case of Cuba, Puerto
Rico and the Dominican Republic. The
compartmentalization and even the re-
markable differences in style of the various
introductions only serve to highlight the
The declaration of the existence of a
common Caribbean essence was even
more explicit in Comitas's introduction and
in the very structural organization of his
book. His work is a most fitting comple-
ment to Herdeck's, asserting boldly where
the latter is cautious and tentative. Most
importantly they corroborate each other
impressively in spite of, or perhaps because
of their different disciplinary focuses, the
one strictly literary, the other anthropologi-
cal in the broadest sense of the term cov-
ering a wide range of fields. The 63 topics
provide remarkable testimony on pan-
Caribbeanness, for whereas Herdeck et als.
made five points out of the capsular "sugar
and slavery" basis, Comitas has uncovered
and documented with bibliographical ref-
erences 63 points of common contact be-
tween Caribbeans, or in his language 63
areas of potential "characteristically and
uniquely West Indian elements."
Those engaged in a similar quest for the

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Manuscripts should be no
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Trinidadian lan Smart teaches Spanish Liter-
ature at Howard University, Washington, D.C.

common Caribbean essence always point
to such themes as exile, the plantation, the
quest for identity, the question of cimar-
ronaje, the struggle for recognition of the
African heritage, the use of language the
whole question of Creoles and the ques-
tion of national liberation and the anticolo-
nial struggle. In literature per se some
metaphors, images and symbols seem to
obsess the consciousness of most if not all
Caribbean writers. One such metaphor has
been identified by George Lamming as that
of the voyage. To the delight of the re-
searcher all of these pivotal themes surface
as topics carefully researched for all possi-
ble bibliographical references in Comitas's
work. The researcher is almost spoon-fed
when he discovers such headings as:
"Slavery and Emancipation" or "Population
Segments: Maroon"-, or "Ethnic and Na-
tional Identity," or "Religion," or "Language
and Linguistics," or "Internal and External
Migration," and "West Indians Abroad."
The two works are in themselves impor-
tant contributions. However, taken together
their importance is enormously increased.
They provide researchers in all areas of
investigation relating to the Caribbean with
not only the necessary bibliographical ref-
erences but more importantly with the
proper approach, the "compass" (in Her-
deck's language) without which any incur-
sion into the field would be well nigh fruit-
less. This compass is, simply, the sense of

Mexico & the

Continued from page 7
part of his Latin American/Caribbean tour.
During his 72 hour visit a joint com-
munique was issued, calling among other
things for the termination of the US eco-
nomic boycott of the island, the overflights
by US surveillance and the US occupation
of Guantanamo Bay. In a strong statement,
he underlined Mexico's support for Cuba's
self-determination, by declaring: "We shall
not tolerate anything being done to Cuba
because we shall feel as if it were being
done to ourselves." (The communique also
denounced the human rights violations in
El Salvador, where thejunta is being sup-
ported by both Venezuela and the US, and
reaffirmed support for Nicaragua.) Mexico's
support of Cuba, at a time of intense re-
gional diplomatic isolation and domestic
stress for the latter, was officially intended to
reaffirm the "traditional excellent relations"
between both countries. Furthermore, the
Mexican tenet of self-determination was
restated with respect to Cuba.
Some analysts have presumed that
Mexico's economic and technical aid to
Nicaragua, and its renewed relationship
with Cuba, were intended by L6pez Portillo
as an attempt to appease domestic leftists
disappointed with his conservative eco-
nomic policies in much the same sym-
bolic way as Echeverria had used Chile and
Cuba to political advantage. Although
L6pez Portillo may be accused of waving
his left hand abroad and using his right
hand at home, acceptance of this pre-
sumption at face value may conceal the
realistic regional diplomatic strategies upon
which Mexico has embarked.
The traditional style of non-intervention
is no longer an adequate mechanism for
establishing the regional sphere of influ-
ence which Mexico wishes to have.
Worldwide interest in the country's new
economic power has forced the govern-
ment to elaborate what appear to be "inde-
pendent" foreign policy options. Histori-
cally, Mexico has avoided international
issues that could adversely influence its
relations with the US. Mexican foreign
policy began to reflect the administration's
perspective that the country should no
longer be viewed by the international
community as a political and economic
satellite of the US.
The decision of the L6pez Portillo regime
to play a role in the political developments
of Central America and the Caribbean is
motivated by several considerations. First,
there is the goal of preventing the Carib-
bean Basin from turning into an arena of
super-power geopolitics, and ideological
rivalry. Specifically, Mexico maintains that
the struggles of nations such as Cuba,

Nicaragua, El Salvador and Grenada are
legitimate attempts to transform obsolete
socio-economic and political structures.
Second, Mexico is concerned that pro-
longed tension between Cuba and the US
for political advantage could so destablize
the region that it could stimulate further
guerrilla activity which could eventually
imperil the stability of Mexico itself. (Mexico
with an army of only 95,000 could be
hard-pressed to put down a Nicaraguan
style rebellion.) Third, Mexico, buttressed by
its oil wealth, would like to demonstrate that
there are other alternatives to the US and
Cuba. Mexico exerts influence with Cuba;

the revenue accruing from petroleum sales,
Mexico has a solid hydrocarbon resource
base which can support its possible ascent
as a middle power capable of exercising
significant political clout in both Central
America and the circum-Caribbean region.
The possession of these reserves places
Mexico in a position to conduct a resource
andpetro-peso diplomacy. On January 1,
1979, the Director General of Petroleos
Mexicanos (PEMEX) announced that
proven oil reserves increased from 20,100
million barrels to 40,100 million barrels,
making Mexico the sixth largest in petro-
leum reserves in the world. By November

i ) -

Former Mexican President Luis Echeverria and Salvador Allende, late President of Chile, in Chile,
April 1972. Wide World Photos.

but at the same time intends to forestall the
automatic attraction for Cuban tutelage
and assistance to which revolutionary
forces in the region may be inclined. As one
Mexican diplomat put it: "We want the
Nicaraguans to feel they can look to us if
they need anything... They don't have to
think the Cubans are their only friends."
Such a strategy could realize some trade
benefits; but more importantly it gives
Mexico regional power and permits her to
play the role of mediator and monitor in a
potentially turbulent region.
Economic Factors
In addition to geopolitical considerations,
Mexico's regional activity is also signifi-
cantly influenced by economic factors, the
principal one being the possession of pe-
troleum resources and the revenue deriving
from the sale of these resources. Mexico is
not a member of the Organization of Petro-
leum Exporting Countries, but it does ben-
efit from OPEC's policy of progressively
increasing the price of crude. Apart from

1979, the country was producing 1.8 million
barrels per day. It now produces about 2.6
million barrels daily and recent reports in-
dicate that a daily production level of 4
million barrels may be reached by 1982.
Despite official denial by Foreign Minister
Jorge Castafieda that Mexico would not use
oil as a political weapon, it is obvious that it
has emerged as an essential economic in-
strument in the country's foreign policy
formulation and implementation, as
exemplified in the Mexico-Venezuela
Agreement on Energy Co-operation
Program for the Countries of Central
America and the Caribbean signed in
San Jose on August 3, 1980. The agree-
ment cannot be construed as a "political"
weapon since both El Salvador and
Guatemala are included in the Program. In
fact, what it actually represents is a foreign
policy response by Mexico and Venezuela to
shared concerns of regional conflict and
security. This interaction of security and
economic interests provides the impetus

for closer economic co-operation as a way
to enhance regional order in a poor and
unstable region. It is an important advance
in the direction of some comparatively
more affluent Third World nations to accept
short-term costs for long-term security.
Mexico and Venezuela's oil resources place
them in a position of responsibility toward
other non-oil producing countries of the
region. Consequently, the economic ail-
ments of the latter tend to be tied up with
the foreign policies of the former.
Mexico and Venezuela are the traditional
suppliers of crude to the Caribbean region,
including Barbados and Jamaica, which
come under the San Jos6 Agreement. The
whole matter is tied to traditional sources of
supply in both agreements. The pursuit of
functional co-operation between member
states of CARICOM, and Mexico and Ven-
ezuela, need not have an adverse effect in
this instance; but it is clear that Mexi-
can/Venezuelan co-operation is necessary
in order for Mexico to gain a Caribbean
market for its crude. Mexico wants an as-
sured regional market for heavy crude
which it may have difficulty selling
elsewhere. Venezuela, which does not have
a surplus of light crude, wishes to cut down
its supply to the Caribbean and seek higher
priced world markets or enter into "com-
modity exchange" arrangements with
countries like Japan. The San Jose Agree-
ment stipulates that recipient countries
must take 50% each of Venezuelan and
Mexican crude, thus providing an entree for
the latter. The difficulty is that most Com-
monwealth Caribbean refineries cannot
handle heavy crude and are left with the
option of either altering their refineries,
building new ones, or "tolling" their Mexi-
can crude (i.e., exchanging it for a more
suitable crude if the quantity is sufficient).
Some indication of the inherent difficulties
was visible during late February 1981, when
Barbados signed the Venezuelan part of the
agreement but indicated the need to study
the Mexican supply because "there is some
Mexican oil which cannot be refined in
The entry of Mexico onto the Caribbean
oil scene has so far not aroused any nega-
tive public statements from the Trinidad
and Tobago Government. In fact, Mexico's
actions in the Archipelago have not as yet
elicited official fears of domination. One
important reason for this is that, unlike
Cuba and Venezuela, Mexico has not dealt
with any of the so-called LDC's (Lesser
Developed Countries) of CARICOM on a
bilateral basis. While agreements have
been contracted with individual MDC's
(More Developed Countries), Mexico has
shown a preference to deal with CARICOM
as a group, or to team up with Venezuela in
extending financial assistance to members
of the subregion. Mexico is also not a party
to any unresolved dispute with any of these

islands and its pro-Cuba stand has been a
consistent one throughout the sixties and
seventies. The Mexico/CARICOM Joint
Commission which held its inaugural
meeting in Barbados from October 20-22,
1980, elaborated in considerable detail a
program of cooperation covering trade ex-
pansion, joint industrial investment, tourist
promotion, technical cooperation, educa-
tional and cultural exchange, energy and
financial cooperation. If successful, the
program can indicate the way for disparate
states to attempt collective self-reliance in
subregions of the developing world.

L6pez Portillo may be
accused of waving his left
hand abroad and using his
right hand at home.

L6pez Portillo and Reagan
In January 1981 during the first personal
contact between Mexico's president and the
newly elected American president, Ronald
Reagan, Mexico's opposition to intervention
in Latin America was restated. At a sub-
sequent meeting between both presidents
at Camp David in mid-June a negotiating
process was established using two high
level permanent committees to work out
major differences between both countries.
Reagan agreed to attend the North-South
summit in Cancin during the fall of 1981
while the Mexicans decided not to invite
Fidel Castro. The June meeting also set the
stage for a much publicized July confer-
ence in Nassau to discuss the Reagan ad-
ministration's regional development plan
for the Caribbean basin, and to outline
Mexico's conditions for participation.
At the Washington-inspired Nassau
meeting the US Secretary of State and the
Foreign Ministers of Mexico, Canada and
Venezuela tried to get their four countries
with their divergent foreign policies to agree
on cooperative action to deal with the eco-
nomic and social problems of the region.
The expectation after the conference was
that a specific program for coordinated
action would be developed. The group will
meet again before the end of 1981 to reveal
the results of its consultation with govern-
ments in Central America and the Carib-
bean as well as with international financial
Though it was short in specifics the Nas-
sau meeting pinpointed the essential di-
lemma of the respective Mexican and US
views toward the Caribbean. The major
points of debate were Mexico's insistence,
supported by Canada and Venezuela that
no one country in the region should be
excluded either automatically or in principle
from participation in the scheme; that any

such plan should exclude military consid-
erations or political pre-conditions; and that
its overall purpose should be one of assist-
ance to the region's people rather than a
political instrument directed against per-
ceived Soviet or Communist influence in
the area. The joint communique from the
eventual meeting met those three Mexican
conditions for participation in the program.
Most importantly it left the donor nations
free to choose with whom they would
cooperate. It seems that Mexico, Venezuela
and Canada could provide aid to Cuba,
Grenada and Nicaragua without jeopar-
dizing the agreement, while the US need
not assist any of those countries. The prac-
tical implications of this formulation are still
unclear (at present Mexico and Canada
have no aid programs for Cuba, while Ven-
ezuela's relations with Havana are under
severe strain). The option to assist Cuba is
there if they choose, but it puts no obliga-
tion on the US to alter its Cuban policy.
The L6pez Portillo regime has identified
economic crises as the prevailing reason
for instability in the Caribbean basin. The
Mexican strategy is to assist the entire re-
gion economically rather than targeting aid
for military and political objectives. Re-
lationships which are viewed as inimical to
US political and strategic interests are not
necessarily regarded as such by Mexico.
Mexico's support of the Sandinistas; ob-
jection to US aid for the right wing dictator-
ship in Guatemala; and opposition to El
Salvador's military/civilian junta are all
points of difference with US policy in the
Caribbean. The sore points in US-Mexican
relations: illegal immigrants, fishing rights,
energy, tourist barriers, are yet unresolved.
But in giving the impression of moving
closer to the Mexican view that Caribbean
basin problems are primarily socio-
economic, Reagan has played on Mexico's
nationalism and capitalized on its objective
of a multi-lateral approach to the Carib-
bean. The US has focused in on Mexico,
recognizing its emergence as a regional
power and appears to be making a long-
range effort to court Mexico as an important
partner. Yet Reagan's Caribbean policy of
consolidation of conservative pro-US gov-
ernments appears incompatible with Mexi-
can aspirations in the region. Since Mexico
will continue its initiatives based on its own
perception of interests the outcome of the
US romance with Mexico is by no means
clear. In the meantime the countries of the
Caribbean the objects of current atten-
tion are waiting to see if the public state-
ments of Mexican-US cooperation will bear
fruit or if it is simply another example of
superficial face to face diplomacy while the
structural reality of regional international
relations remains unaltered.
Anthony T Bryan teaches Latin American
International Relations at the University of the
West Indies in St. Augustine, Trinidad.

Mexico & Other

Continued from page 11

demonstrators at the Plaza de Las Tres
Culturas (1968) would by now, had they
survived, have become chefs de cabinet in
some ministry, or even full ambassadors
For those of more delicate sensibility, the
system offers less openly compromising
opportunities in the universities, in pub-
lishing, in the arts, in journalism. A radical
fringe actually can maintain in those niches
a seemingly unbending and anti-
government and anti-PRI attitude, while in
practice contributing a precious ingredient
to the appearance of pluralism and to the
tending of that hologram of a revolutionary
flame that is Mexico's most important
political myth.
Now it should not be thought that all
young Marxists who allow themselves to be
coopted thereby abandon their political
beliefs. Quite the contrary. Many or most of
them rationalize their accommodations as
the best possible manner in which to further
those beliefs. They are definitely not asked
to disguise them, and they enjoy active and
often effective participation in the
decision-making process, as bureaucrats
or as makers of public opinion, up to a
carefully measured point beyond which (a)
the power structure could be undermined
and (b) serious conflict with the United
States might ensue. There are mistakes.
The incident at the Plaza de las Tres Cul-
turas should have been avoided. So should
voting for the Zionism-racism resolution in
the United Nations. It is worth noting that
Luis Echeverria, a fatuous man who made
the mistake of surrounding himself with
hard-line young advisers, was involved as
minister of the interior in the first instance,
and as president in the second.
But within limits, Marxists in the bureauc-
racy, in the universities, and in the media are
not only listened to, but their rhetoric is
welcomed and readily borrowed by the re-
gime as a whole. In part, this is the bow to
the Left of a system based on mutual toler-
ance among elites and on elaborate mech-
anisms for resolving their differences. The
"revolutionary family" wants to have an
extreme left wing, in fact needs it, not least
to keep up-to-date on revolutionary slo-
gans. But in part the opinion of the extreme
Left is welcomed as a valuable contribution
to the decision-making process.

Mexico-US Relations
A look at the four most often discussed
issues in Mexican-US relations will show
how all this works:
1. Mexican growers of winter vegetables
want better and perhaps unlimited access

to the US market. One would think that in
any bilateral negotiations between the two
countries this would be regarded as a Mexi-
can goal and, if achieved, as a substantial
US concession. Yet Mexican leftists object
that export of winter vegetables to the US
favors only "rich" farmers, and that any new
exports to the United States increase
Mexico's dependence on its imperialist
neighbor (the US indeed takes nearly 70%
of all Mexican exports; Japan comes next
with 3%).
2. A fifth or even more of Mexico's popu-
lation depends on money earned by sea-

What explanation can there
be for Mexico's indifference
to Marxist gains in Central

sonal migrants to the US. It is pro-Mexico to
argue in favor of a liberalization and ration-
alization of this immense social and eco-
nomic fact? No, says the left wing of the
"revolutionary family," it is demeaning to
Mexico to provide the imperialist United
States with a labor underclass; migrants
lose their pride and their identity (not to
mention their potential for manning a real
revolution back home some day); the ben-
efits to relatives are illusory because dissi-
pated in consumption, often of imported
3, Tourism by North Americans in Mexico
is panned for similar reasons: it is a form of
prostitution, of selling Mexico's soul; the
dollars earned are put to no good use and
go mostly to the wrong Mexicans anyway;
the spectacle of wealthy North American
tourists, with their cameras and big cars,
has a negative effect on the Mexican mas-
ses, who should yearn for social justice and
not for the trinkets of North American con-
4. The new-found oil, with reserves nearly
comparable to those of the Persian Gulf,
judiciously used in bilateral negotiations
with the United States, would be an enor-
mously powerful card. But the possibility of
a greater commitment of oil to the US is
painted in the blackest colors, as a sure way
to make Mexico an appendix, irretrievably,
of the US economy; a candidate for US
protection or worse in the event of an un-
foreseen world crisis or of the sure energy
shortage that the US will confront in a few
years; a victim, through excessive dollar
earnings, of the unbalanced, unequal, and
inflation-ridden development model of
other oil-exporting countries.
In the case of these and other economic
issues, about which no government can

afford to become too ideological, the voice
of the Left is widely publicized and often
parroted, but heeded only with caution or
not at all. On the other hand, in the "make
believe" field of foreign policy, the Mexican
power system has traditionally made large
and it is hoped meaningless concessions to
the extreme Left. Until the Cuban revolu-
tion, Mexico's only real foreign-policy
preoccupation was the United States. Here
the guidelines and the method were: to
survive with dignity the uncomfortable
proximity of this monstrous neighbor; to
take advantage of this proximity without

Centro Caribeno


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losing one's identity; to have as one's top
real priority getting along with the US, and
as one's top fictitious priority making it
appear that, as a revolutionary country
condemned to live next to the center of
Western imperialism, one has constant,
grave, and insoluble conflicts with it.
The Cuban revolution made matters
much more complicated. Fidel Castro
dared to attempt the impossible, and got
away with it. He played the Soviet Union off
against the United States and thus man-
aged to fulfill the ambition that secretly or
openly thrives in the heart of every Latin

good reasons, they suffer from an espe-
cially acute case of the "living-with-the-US"
syndrome. They are especially sensitive to
the heroic, nearly reckless daring shown by
Castro in actually standing up to the United
States instead of merely pretending to.
Every chord in the Mexican system, from its
emotionally satisfying mythology to the
pragmatic uses of revolutionary rhetoric,
vibrates with the noises that have been is-
suing from Havana in the last twenty years.
The trouble is that this is no longer "make
believe" foreign policy. This is the real thing,
and, as Cuba has drawn closer and closer to

Mexican paratrooper slams rifle into the head of student demonstrator during July 1968 riots. Wide
World Photos.

American (even passionate anti-Com-
munists, like the Mexican conservatives
mentioned by Octavio Paz): to get back at
the United States for the multiple humilia-
tions that Latin Americans have met with,
individually or collectively, from the "yan-
quis," and especially for the great, all-
embracing humiliation inherent in the in-
evitable comparison between what Latin
Americans and North Americans have
achieved in their respective parcels of the
New World. That is why in his early days
Fidel Castro was a hero to all Latin Ameri-
cans. And that is why he continues to enjoy
a far greater prestige than he deserves or
that would seem possible under present
Mexicans, of course, were and remain
especially vulnerable to his appeal. For very

the Soviet Union, finally becoming its most
submissive satellite, the Mexicans have
found themselves in increasing contradic-
tion to a cardinal rule of their system: form
and substance should never be allowed to
Cuba's is not a "limited" revolution. Cuba
is a deadly earnest subversive agent and a
formidable military power right on Mexico's
doorstep. By contrast, Mexico has a little
ragged army, and implicitly relies on US
military power for its external security. In all
of Latin America only Brazil (with twelve
times the population) has larger armed
forces than Cuba. The Soviets have given
that outsize army their type of battle training
and an array of formidable weapons, in-
cluding a small navy and a great fishing
fleet capable of instant conversion to mili-

tary purposes. Acting "on their own," as
they supposedly have in Angola, the Cu-
bans could interdict the sea routes of the
Caribbean. They are a distinct threat to the
new Mexican oil fields, so close to their
shores that an offshore oil field reportedly
discovered not long ago a few miles north
of Havana would be part of the same
geological formation as the Mexican fields.
The paradox reaches surrealistic propor-
tions in the fact that it is the Mexican state-
oil company which has been doing the
prospecting and the drilling for the Cubans,
thus carrying on the pretense of a "big"
revolution helping a "little" one much be-
yond the point when it was a game of words
and gestures.

Forlorn Guerrillas
There is one final, unspoken rationalization
for Mexico's behavior toward the whole
problem of the Soviet-inspired and
Cuban-based strategic thrust in Central
America. It is the hope that by its show of
sympathy and even support for the Cuban
and Nicaraguan governments as well as
for the "Liberation Fronts" of El Salvador,
Honduras, and Guatemala Mexico will be
spared foreign-backed internal subversion
longer than countries which, like Venezuela,
have been uncompromising in their rela-
tions with Cuba. (After a brief thaw following
resumption of diplomatic ties in 1975,
Venezuelan-Cuban relations are again very
tense and near the breaking point over
Cuba's refusal to honor the hallowed Latin
American tradition of diplomatic asylum. It
will not grant safe conduct to refugees in
the Venezuelan embassy in Havana. In-
terestingly, it has been several years since
anyone sought refuge in Mexico's embassy.
The grapevine has it that it is not precisely a
haven from Castro's police.) This would be
consistent with the fact that nowhere in
Latin America has Communist subversion
made headway without outside support.
Time, think the Mexicans, is the great healer.
Meanwhile, and as long as they can count
on Mexico to look the other way or even
lend a helping hand here and there, Cuba
and the Soviet Union have conspicuously
ignored any repressive actions by the gov-
ernment against the Mexican Communist
party. Much more significantly, they have
left entirely on their own a few forlorn pock-
ets of Mexican guerrillas, whose very exis-
tence is for that reason as unknown to world
opinion as the Salvadoran rebels are fa-

Carlos Rangel is a Venezuelan writer, editor,
and television commentator. He is the author of
The Latin Americans, which has appearedin
Spanish, Portuguese, French, Italian, and
English editions. This article is reprinted with
permission from Commentary, June 1981; all
rights reserved.

Oil on the


Continued from page 15

Constitution of 1917 could not be retroac-
tive, and thus, only properties acquired after
May 1, 1917, were subject to its provisions
regarding nationalization. After much de-
bate, the companies continued to refuse
any compromise with Carranza since such
an action would "mean recognition of the
Mexican Government's right to dispute the
validity of the preconstitutional contracts."
The American companies formed the As-
sociation of Petroleum Producers to pre-
sent a united front. Carranza was forced to
allow them to continue production.
Between 1921 and 1931, Mexico vacil-
lated on the question of constitutional ret-
roactivity. In 1921, with oil production at its
peak before the expropriation, the Mexican
Supreme Court ruled that Article 27 of the
Constitution was not retroactive where a
surface owner had performed some "posi-
tive act" of ownership over the subsoil. This
ruling was confirmed in four separate cases
during 1922. However, the Mexican gov-
ernment soon initiated a direct attack on
the oil companies along three distinct lines.
In 1923, it established the Central de Ad-
ministracion del Petrdleo Nacional to
develop oil production near established
companies including the right to exploit
rivers and bodies of water on private prop-
erty since they were considered federal
domain. The Petroleum Law of 1925 and
the Petroleum Regulation of 1926 coun-
tered the earlier court decisions by limiting
even foreign oil rights obtained "by positive
act" before 1917 and by changing the ab-
solute titles of the companies into "confir-
matory concessions" for 50 years. Finally,
the government supported indirect restric-
tions on the companies by enacting the
Mexican Federal Labor Law of 1931 which
increased the rights of labor. The law con-
firmed the right to strike, a minimum wage,
a closed shop, and held that the employer
must accord strike pay to workers if a strike
was declared legal.
During this period the United States gov-
ernment, in support of American oil inter-
ests, placed its diplomatic powers against
the "creeping-expropriation" of private
property. The US argued that Mexican con-
stitutional reforms could not be applied ex
post facto to property rights already legiti-
mately secured by foreign nations under
earlier constitutions and laws. Through
pressures on the Calles regime against the
decrees of 1925 and 1926, "satisfactory
amendments to the oil legislation were
enacted." With the landowners' rights again
secure for an unlimited period, and with oil
production declining as capital left for new

fields in Venezuela, the oil companies re-
tained their concessions practically intact
until the Cardenas administration.
Immediately following his election in
1934, Cardenas embarked on a program of
new legislation based on a vigorous in-
terpretation of the Constitution of 1917 that
led to the expropriation. In January of that
year, the Constitution was revised so that
Article 27 gave the Mexican government an
option over all grants of land made before
1915. Labor was encouraged to fight for its
rights. When workers at the Monterey glass
works were locked out in 1936, the gov-

properties in Mexico on March 18, 1938,
was precipitated by a labor dispute. Late in
1936, the recently formed Sindicato de
Trabaqadores Petroleros de la Repdblica
Mexicana, encouraged by Cardenas's
sympathetic view on labor, sent a new
collective labor contract to the leading oil
concerns. Among their demands were
increased wages, social benefits, and the
inclusion of Mexicans in the white-col-
lar work force. The oil companies
responded in unison that it would be "im-
possible" for them to meet these requests.
After a period of debate, the unions went on

Two Mexican Indian women donate chickens to help pay off the government debt contracted with
the expropriation of the $400 million oil industry. The sign reads: "Live to be Free, Die to cease

being slaves." May 1938. Wide World Photos.

ernment stated that "private enterprises
weary of the social struggle could turn their
industries over to the Government..."
In November 1936, the government em-
barked on a program of economic nation-
alism: Cardenas called on the Mexican
Congress to pass a law that could expro-
priate all essential industries for state own-
ership. This referred to "the defense, con-
servation, development or utilization of all
natural elements capable of exploitation."
Two months later, the Administraci6n
General de Petrdleo Nacional was
created. This organization was charged with
exploring and exploiting the national pe-
troleum resources. It was during this pro-
cess of economic reconquest that the ex-
propriation strategy evolved.

The Oil Crisis and Expropriation
The expropriation of all foreign oil company

strike in May 1937 and the oil industry came
to a standstill.
Through an arrangement with Cardenas,
the workers returned to their jobs for 120
days while the matter was submitted to the
Federal Board of Concilliation and Arbitra-
tion. This Board found the bulk of labor's
demands to be legitimate. The oil concerns
still maintained that they could not afford
the pay increase, and both Cardenas and
the companies left the matter to the discre-
tion of the Supreme Court which handed
down a unanimous decision in support of
the Board.
The companies agreed to pay wage in-
creases but insisted on "fuller administra-
tive control over their operations by their
own technicians." The Sindicato refused
to accept this condition. When the com-
panies refused to cooperate, the Labor
Board declared that the collective labor
contract had been broken by the oil com-


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panies. Shortly thereafter, Cardenas ex-
propriated the entire industry. Among the
largest of the expropriated companies were
subsidiaries of Standard Oil of New Jersey,
Royal Dutch Shell, and Sinclair Oil. Article 3
of the Expropriation Decree set out the
terms of indemnification which was to be
paid with funds derived from profits of the
expropriated properties. Mexico decreed
that proper compensation for these prop-
erties would be made in accordance with
the Mexican Constitution and Law. Ameri-
can investors, still claiming their pre-
constitutional subsoil rights, assessed the
properties at $450 million which included
the value of oil still beneath the surface. At
the same time, they showed little interest in
negotiating over the conditions that might
have prevented expropriation. The United
States oil companies refused to move from
their position or to negotiate with the Mexi-
can government until it became evident
that the US government would no longer
support their claims. The US Ambassador
to Mexico, Josephus Daniels commented,
"As a rule, the oil men will be satisfied with
nothing less than that the United States
Government attempt to direct the Mexican
policy for their financial benefit." After the
expropriation, the companies embarked on
several courses of action: they appealed to
the Mexican courts; they publicized their
claims throughout the United States; and,
they used their influence to initiate a boycott
of Mexican oil in international trade.
The views of Standard Oil are repre-
sentative. In a statement of its position, the
company never conceded Mexico's right to
revise its constitution and to reclaim subsoil
rights that had been sold by Diaz. All Mexi-
can legislation that in any manner infringed
on company prerogatives, especially Car-
denas's labor legislation, was denounced as
"progressive confiscation." Standard Oil
argued that Mexico did not intend nor could
it pay the compensation demanded by the
companies: "There remains but one just
solution the return of the seized prop-
erties to their rightful owners. Any other
settlement implies a measure of confisca-
tion." The stalemate was broken in 1942
when the US government, under the Good
Neighbor Policy and in face of the crisis in
Europe, urged the American companies to
accept a valuation of $24 million or lose
everything. The oil companies finally
capitulated and an agreement was reached.
The expropriation and nationalization of
the oil properties has been hailed as the
event which triggered "Mexican economic
independence." This important national
resource was used to stimulate Mexican
economic growth during and after World
War II. In June, 1938, a government agency
Petroleos Mexicanos (Pemex) was
created to take over the management of the
expropriated industries and assumed the
functions of a "national petroleum entity."

With this act Mexico moved away from the
Liberal Period toward national economic
Despite initial problems of bureaucracy,
corruption and a shortage of technical per-
sonnel, Pemex has become a distin-
guished federal institution. The staff, work-
ers, and public regard it with pride. For the
most part, Pemex has financed its own
expansion and has subsidized industrial
development with low-cost fuel. The 1953
report on The Economic Development of
Mexico notes that the nationalization di-
verted Mexican oil from exports to the
needs of the internal market. In this pro-
cess, the location of oil refineries, pipe lines,
and the drilling schedule have been coordi-
nated with plans for national development.
Today Pemex is the largest corporation in
Latin America with assets of $11 billion and
a staff of nearly 100,000. The reconquest of
the petroleum industry served as a fillip to
the integrated development of the national
Although the oil crisis gave rise to vehe-
ment anti-American sentiment and invec-
tives against the monopoliess im-
perialistas del petr6leo," a byproduct of
the new nationalism has been the recon-
quest of the oil industry. Mexico has proved
its ability to manage the industry. Jorge Diaz
Serrano, who ran Pemex from 1976 to
1981, has made the following reply to skep-
tics: "In Mexico, we've been at it since 1901.
And it was nationalized in 1938, so from
1938 to the present day this is, forty years
- we have been handling the industry our-
selves. The first twenty years we did not
receive very much help from the outside, so
we had to develop our own resources, our
own geologists, our own chemists, petro-
leum engineers, mechanical, electrical and
what have you. And we have now a third
generation of capable people doing the
In recent years, Pemex has been
catapulted to international prominence by
one of the greatest oil strikes of all times. Up
until 1972, Mexico had been producing
modest amounts of oil from shallow wells.
Then, oil geologists confirmed the exis-
tence of huge deposits of oil and natural
gas deep below the swamplands of south-
eastern Mexico. In 1981, President L6pez
Portillo announced that Mexico had proven
oil and gas reserves of 72 billion barrels and
probable reserves estimated at 131 billion
barrels; and, possible reserves as high as
250 billion barrels which could rival
those of Saudi Arabia. Already, Mexico has
achieved an output of 2.7 million barrels of
oil a day. By 1985, Mexico will be producing
between four and five million barrels a day.
Internally, the Mexican petroleum debate
leans toward the conservative "go-slow"
approach. Nations with less proven re-
serves are currently extracting twice as
much oil as Mexico. President L6pez Por-

tillo stressed that: "We are trying to use oil
income to touch off a chain reaction which
will develop the other resources of our
country. Mexico has no intention of be-
coming a typical oil country which imports
resources and exports capital."

The Meaning of the Mexican
What can the Mexican expropriation teach
us? It could be argued, with some justifica-
tion, that the expropriation would never
have been carried out without the labor
dispute or Cardenas, or even without the
Roosevelt Good Neighbor Policy and the
impending war for that matter. Such an
analysis, however, would overlook the pow-
erful thrust of the Mexican Revolution
against the Liberal economic system that
had alienated so much of the nation's re-
sources. The Constitution that embodied
the ideals of that Revolution established the
legal framework for public interference in
the economy to overcome the barriers to
national development established during
the Liberal Period. In the oil crisis, Mexico
proved its determination to regulate foreign
capital according to national laws and to
allocate national resources in a manner
consonant with the priorities of domestic
development. The new nationalism crystal-
lized around the success of Pemex as a
symbol of Mexico's ability to carry out the
difficult technological and administrative
tasks of managing the petroleum industry
and integrating it with the economy.
It is certainly not inevitable that the mili-
tant reconquest of decision centers through
expropriation and confiscation follows the
Liberal Period throughout Latin America
and the rest of the Third World. Chile and
Venezuela have utilized more subtle mea-
sures to retain the benefits of foreign capital
and technology while forcing these to make
a larger contribution to national growth.
Nevertheless, the Mexican experience is not
unique: postwar national economic policies
in Brazil, Argentina, Cuba and Guatemala
indicate that the process of economic re-
conquest, new nationalism and in-
trahemispheric conflict is the leitmotif of
the economic evolution of Latin America in
the twentieth century.
The choice to support the new nation-
alism is especially difficult for any United
States administration. It means the decla-
ration of a hemispheric policy of restraint, in
terms of the Drago Doctrine and Calvo
clauses, which will respect a nation's right to
change its property laws and monetary
policies to further its own social and eco-
nomic development. This means a rejec-
tion of laissez-faire international trade
policies and a suspension of the "universal
principles of international law" on the
treatment of aliens and their property which
most US administrations have advocated in
Latin America.

What benefits can come of such a policy?
Hopefully, Latin America will become a
more sophisticated economic partner as is
already the case with rebuilt Western
Europe. Social and political stability will
also be achieved, and Mexico can serve as
the example. However, irrespective of the
position taken by the United States, Liberal
economic systems will be attacked by eco-

nomic nationalists in Latin America in the
foreseeable future. These nationalists will
advocate the reconquest of decision cen-
ters even at the risk of internal turmoil and
international sanction as the only alterna-
tive to prolonged economic stagnation.

Jerry B. Brown teaches Anthropology at
Florida International University.

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Esclavitud y Diplomacia: Los Limites de un Paradigma
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Piri Thomas: Author and Persona / Eugene V. Mohr
Exploration and Exploitation of Manganese Nodules in the
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Bibliography of Theses and Dissertations on Venezuelan
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A Guide to the

Andean Pact
Continued from page 17

technology the more they use complex
technology, the more foreign ownership or
government ownership they possess, and
the more they previously had used licensed
The Sectoral Programs for Industrial De-
velopment (SPID's) are programs for al-
locating production within specific indus-
trial sectors among member countries.
They are a counterpiece of ANCOM devel-
opment strategy. They also reflect the frus-
trations generated by Venezuela's entry into
and Chile's withdrawal from the Pact. Today
three Sectoral Programs exist in ratified
form: those for metalworking, petrochemi-
cals, and automobiles. The metalworking
program originally was ratified in 1972 (by
Decision 57), but only in 1979 did it be-
come fully functional (through Decision
146). Under the program, 323 products
have been allocated for exclusive produc-
tion to one or more of the five member
countries; and the country of assignment
gains tariff-free access to the other mem-
bers for five years or more. The petro-
chemical program was ratified in 1975 (by
Decision 91), before Chile's withdrawal, and
remains unrevised today. The 161 products
covered by this sectoral program often are
assigned to several or even all five of the
member countries, thus creating little
specialization of production in any country.
The multiple assignments probably will
lead to closer "adherence" to this SPID than
the other two, though paradoxically less
impact on the distribution of production
probably will occur.
The automotive program was ratified in
1977 (by Decision 120), but selection of
specific producers of the assigned vehicles
still is underway today, after assignment of
specific vehicles took about two years. At
this time no conclusions can be drawn
about the success or failure of the automo-
tive SPID; one can judge, at least, that de-
lays in implementation likely will hinder the
program in the future as in the past.
(Ecuador and Colombia are the only mem-
bers which have enacted Decision 120 into
domestic legislation, thus far). Additional
programs are planned for fertilizers,
chemicals, pharmaceuticals, steel, and
The goal of a common external tariff
follows the standard model of economic
integration. The first step toward integration
is elimination of tariff barriers between
member countries, followed by establish-
ment of a common external tariff schedule
for imports from non-member nations.
These two steps together would create a
customs union, which indeed is a goal of

ANCOM. Deliberations on the common
external tariff have led at this time to
Proposal 96 of the Junta, which lays out a
framework for unifying tariff structures over
several years. Most industrial products
would face duties of 25-40%, some "essen-
tial items" would be duty-free, and products
in the Sectoral Programs would remain
governed by those programs. Negotiations
are underway to resolve differences con-
cerning product exceptions and maximum
tariff rates, as well as to define acceptable
concessions to Bolivia and Ecuador. It is
conceivable that an agreement will be

There is substantial
concern about the
usefulness, or even the
acceptability, of the Pact to
individual members.

forthcoming later this year.
The Andean Pact has drawn up seven
main areas for joint efforts, and three of
these areas have received the main empha-
sis so far. The areas of interest do not cor-
respond closely to the stages of economic
integration, but they do cover vital parts of
industrial development. As a primary eco-
nomic vehicle, ANCOM has chosen a valu-
able strategy through a variety of projects. In
this way, the countries do not lose sight of
the large goals by tying the Pact to any
single project or policy along the way.
ANCOM's strongest tie with other
transnational organizations has been with
the Latin American Free Trade Association
(LAFTA), which was the umbrella organiza-
tion under which the Pact was formed.
Along with the Andean sub-region, LAFTA
included Paraguay, Uruguay, and Chile, as
well as Argentina, Brazil, and Mexico. This
organization represented an early (1960)
attempt to generate economic integration
for all of South America, while ANCOM is
tackling a smaller, somewhat more
homogeneous group of countries. ANCOM
policies have been set with an effort to
maintain consistency with LAFTA goals,
mainly as concerns tariff reductions and
sectoral programs (or complementationn
On December 31,1980, LAFTA ceased
to exist, as the member countries began a
new effort toward economic integration.
The new forum is called ALADI (Associa-
ti6n Latinoamericana de Integraci6n),
and it seeks increased commerce among
the members, with preferential ar-
rangements for the least developed nations
(Bolivia, Ecuador, and Paraguay), and for
the larger ANCOM members plus Uruguay,
Argentina, Brazil, and Mexico, then receive

fewer concessions though all members
will benefit from a regional GSP (gener-
alized system of preferences) in tariff policy.
ANCOM will attempt to keep its trade rules
consistent with those of ALADI, and the
group may be able to present a united front
in ALADI's negotiations.
A second organization to which ANCOM
is developing significant ties is the Com-
mon Market, the model for ANCOM's crea-
tion. Many of the Andean institutions are
based closely on the European model, in-
cluding the Junta (EEC Commission), the
Commission (EEC Council of Ministers),
the Tribunal (EEC Court of Justice), and the
proposed Parliament (the European
Parliament). During 1980, representatives
from ANCOM and the Common Market
had been meeting to negotiate technical
cooperation agreements as well as com-
mercial accords.
ANCOM does maintain formal ties to the
Organization of American States (OAS), the
Sistema Econ6mico Latinoamericano
(SELA), and the UN Commission on Latin
America (ECLA). In each case ANCOM and
these organizations are increasing their
cooperative efforts and their sharing of in-
formation on regional activities. Also, the
Interamerican Development Bank (IDB)
makes loans to governments within
ANCOM, thus supplementing the financial
resources of the subregion.
The main point to be made in consider-
ing the links between ANCOM and other
international organizations which relate to
these five countries is that the Pact is the
primary economic institution, while the
others offer valuable services on specific
matters. For Instance the OAS offers a vari-
ety of social services to ANCOM countries,
the IDB offers loans for development proj-
ects, and ECLA provides analyses of key
economic problems. (Also, the other or-
ganizations include many more countries
than just the Andean Pact members.)

Independent Development
Does the Andean Pact experience justify the
investment in both capital and manpower
to create and operate the sub-regional in-
stitutions? This question only can be an-
swered with a clear "maybe." There is no
doubt that ANCOM has not boosted the five
countries (and formerly Chile) into any
major acceleration of economic develop-
ment. On the other hand, there is no doubt
either that ANCOM has increased the
members' control over foreign direct
investors and played some part in deter-
mining the allocation of industry in the
sub-region. One can conclude that some
gains have occurred stemming from
ANCOM policies and then question
whether some alternative strategy would
better accomplish the countries' goals.
Certainly, one should recognize that a

larger regional group, perhaps including
Argentina and/or Brazil, could offer a more
substantial market size, and thus justify
offering preferences to insiders and barriers
to outsiders. A first definite problem with
such a proposal is that the disparity in size
and level of economic development would
be much more severe in this larger group of
countries. LAFTA attempted to serve that
larger group, but failed. A second, more
general problem is that economic integra-
tion has not proven to be the single route to
rapid economic development; and this
group of LDCs would generate many more
hurdles to agreements by involving more
nations in the group. Sharing costs and
benefits of the integration would become
more difficult to carry out.
Looking, then, at the opposite extreme,
can one justify a return to individual na-
tional efforts, in the absence of a group
plan? Chile, as an excellent example, has
chosen to follow this path. There really is no
way to evaluate the question fairly, without
measuring the full set of gains and losses
from integration for each country. By put-
ting the question into a conditional
framework, it is possible to conclude that if
a single regional market can be created,
then firms could serve the whole market,
achieve scale economies and production
and increase economic welfare in the
group. Also, if the Sectoral Programs for
Industrial Development can allocate pro-
duction of different products fairly and effi-
ciently in the sub-region, then again scale
economies can be achieved, and also the
member countries will become more
inter-dependent and hence more likely to
continue to cooperate. Generally, if joint
projects will cost the member countries less
than the same projects undertaken individ-
ually, and/or benefit them more than indi-
vidual projects, then those parts of the inte-
gration should be less effective than indi-
vidual national efforts and many reasons
why such integration may be superior.
In the past three or four years, concern
has increased greatly about the political
power and activities of the Andean Pact as a
group. The five governments acting as a
bloc, within international organizations
such as the OAS or the United Nations, as
well as their taking public positions (e.g., in
favor of the Sandanista revolt in
Nicaragua) may improve their political
clout considerably. Returning to the Com-
mon Market model, however, it appears that
political unity may be tenuous or perhaps
impossible to achieve; whereas technical or
economic progress is feasible in spite of
political disagreements. Perhaps the An-
dean Pact should remain a primarily eco-
nomic institution whose members should
avoid over-emphasis of political goals in
this particular forum.
Robert Grosse teaches International Business
at the University of Michigan.


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Dominican Sugar
Continued from page 21
corporations. The majority of peasants
however, sold their lands, having been per-
suaded or forced to do so by the sugar
companies. When a company representa-
tive would offer a good price for the land, it
may have been sufficient, for the inde-
pendent peasant's existence was difficult
enough to make him desire another way of
life. The prospect of some ready cash may
have made the seller unclear as to exactly
what the transaction meant to his future.
Rum provided by the potential buyer, also
helped to encourage land sales and if this
sort of cajolery failed, land buyers could
move progressively toward trickery, threats,
and violence.
Violence by the sugar companies, as
much as it may have existed, is not often
recorded. On one occasion in 1918, how-
ever, a US Marine colonel reported a battle
between some peasants and the workers of
one Johan Leevy, affiliated with the Con-
suelo estate, as merely a "normal fight
between Leevy's men and the natives they
are attempting to oust." It would appear that
the colonel had seen such affairs before
and that they were not unusual. By such
actions, the officer noted, "Leevy was
rapidly increasing his great land holdings. In
a very short time Leevy has risen from a
sugar boiler laborer to a capitalist with an
income of about $70,000 last year, ac-
cording to report. He lays claim to immense
tracts north of Consuelo." A few years later,
several investigators of conditions in the
sugar industry noted allegations that sugar
companies commonly took and held land
more by force than by legal process."

There was, however, an alternative to
simple buying and selling or to the use of
violence. By using Dominican law and the
courts, sugar corporations could seize the
peasant's land by legal means. This method
was often facilitated by the peasant's lack of
or insufficient title to his land. Even in cases
where the peasant had a valid deed, a land
title system which dated from colonial
times often resulted in lack of corroborating
evidence for the title, or in duplicate titles in
others' hands. The laws which Dominican
congresses and the military government
passed to clear up the situation favored the

Both Dominican and
foreign cane cutters were
known for their diseased
conditions and reports
indicated that 70 percent
of Haitian migrants
suffered from yaws,
dysentery, leprosy, malaria
and elephantiasis.

sugar corporations and other entrepre-
neurs rather than the traditional holders of
the land, if for no other reason than the
companies were able to hire the best
lawyers and to pay for extensive litigation.
The peasant, when faced with sacrificing
his land to pay a lawyer, the courts, and
other necessary expenses, such as sur-
veyors' fees, was probably well advised to
sell his land immediately.
The sugar companies' methods were so

efficient that they sometimes obtained titles
to whole villagesAn 1921 two such hamlets,
Caimoni and Higieral, which stood in the
path of Central Romana's expanding fields
were burned to the ground. One hundred
and fifty families were left homeless, the
company having made no provisions for
them. A few years earlier a similar case had
occurred on lands bought up by the North
American-owned Consuelo estate.
Another method to obtain a peasant's
land was to persuade him to become an
independent colono for the sugar com-
pany, raising sugar cane under contract for
the central. The peasant, to undertake the
expensive process of preparing his land and
sowing the cane, as well as living during the
14 to 18 months which the new cane took to
mature, had to borrow goods and money
from the central with his land serving as
collateral. As long as he had good crops, he
could pay off his debts and earn a small to
moderate profit. But if a year of drought
occurred, or the peasant was unable to
work because of sickness, or if for any other
reason the crop was small or failed, he
would get caught in an endless cycle of
debt, never earning enough to pay off the
past year's debts plus the new ones, and
was liable to have his land seized at any
time. Thus, he eventually produced an an-
nual crop of sugar owed entirely to the
sugar company. As Juan J. Sanchez, an
observer of this system in the late
nineteenth century commented, "The
former owner returned to his labor in the
threefold capacity of guardian, administra-
tor and laborer, but without a salary or a
daily wage."
The expansion of Dominican sugar agri-
culture in the late 19th and early 20th cen-
turies was, according to the common view

Florida International University
Tamiami Trail, Miami, Florida 33199

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of that day, a progressive step which would
lead the republic closer to development. In
retrospect, however, it seems questionable
whether the growth of the sugar industry
was "development," for it occurred in a way
which put vast resources into the hands of a
few foreign and Dominican entrepreneurs,
the foreigners predominating. The bulk of
the profits were shipped abroad and most
of the rest remained in the hands of a few
elite Dominican families. Those who made
the profits possible, the peasant farmers
who had lost their lands and the laborers
who grew, harvested and processed the
cane, received next to nothing. The large
majority of the sugar industry's work force
and their dependents could barely survive
the exploitative working conditions, low pay
and wretched living situation. Neither the
Dominican nor the US military govern-
ments came to the aid of the unfortunate
majority on whose backs the burden of
"development" fell.
It could be argued, that in the long run no
Dominicans, even the elite, profited from
sugar. The increasing domination of sugar
put the small nation at the mercy of the
major capitalist powers who governed the
market. It crippled the nation's ability to
produce its own food supply, draining away
foreign exchange that future generations
might have used to promote economic
betterment. It left a considerable number of
Dominicans impoverished, limited the
internal market and economic expansion,
and concentrated economic and political
power, making democracy unworkable.
Sugar agriculture was, in the long run, a
force against development.
Bruce J. Calder teaches history at the Univer-
sity of Illinois at Chicago Circle.



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the political, financial-eco-
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each island individually will
be spotlighted.

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Integration of Science and

ITchnology with Development

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

Edited by
D. Babatunde Thomas
Miguel S. Wionczek

Offered by Caribbean Review in cooperation with Florida
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Norberto Fuentes
Continued from page 23

me, to a kid off the streets, what does he
have to say? What are the real problems in
our lives? To seek? To find out where we
come from, where we are headed to? Well,
those questions are not our questions.
Hemingway lived in a different world, with
different possibilities, and he explored them
as solutions to a world he couldn't under-
stand. He was an exile. He began to seek
early in life, with problems at home in
Michigan, at the age of 14. But what did he
find? He found a double-barrelled gun, and
pulled the trigger.
To me, to a revolutionary, that attitude is
immature, childish. A revolutionary doesn't
think in terms of "acceptance" of this thing
or that, we strive for understanding but in a
different way. It's a little boring for me to
hear about whether Saul Bellow seeks or
finds. For me the search is very concrete
and objective: I live in Cuba, in the middle of
a revolution; we have survived countless
dangers, we are trying to develop our econ-
omy ... our problems are so imperative, so
urgent that there is no need for us to search.
To search ... to search for what, chico? If we
already have millions of very real problems
to deal with! That "search" that you refer to,
that is the product of an idle society, an
affluent society, a non-revolutionary society
in which people become mortally bored
with nothing to do. In this country our
search is very specific, very absorbing. We
have no time to waste in some fruitless
armchair search.
BBL: Do you mean that the revolution
provides all the answers to your questions?
NF: No, it's just that we have a different way
of looking at things, different priorities. We
don't have THE answer, but our search is an
objective search. What revolutionaries have
to do is go on with the revolution. And our
search is a positive reality.
BBL: But revolutionaries die like any other
NF: Well, all right, we do. But we all have to
die sooner or later. It's a matter of perspec-
tive. I'd rather die fighting for the revolution
than at the empty end of some aimless
search. No one dies the way they would
want to, but I would prefer to die in Angola,
in battle against imperialism, than to die in a
bed of some Washington hospital.
Hemingway was the product of his
epoch. I don't know what he'd be like if he
were alive today. Perhaps he'd be Saul Bel-
low. But he lived his times and he lived them
honorably. He fought WWI on the side of
democracy. In WWII he proudly wore the
uniform of the US army. But he didn't fight
in Korea and during the McCarthy years he
was well protected here in his ranch. And
what would he have done in Viet Nam?

Would he have written a Catch-22? In A
Farewell to Arms, Lt. Henry makes a pax
separate, takes his bride away to Switzer-
land, refuses any part of an unjust and cruel
war. But in For Whom the Bells Toll,
Robert Jordan dies by the people of Spain,
fighting their war to the end.
BBL: Tell me about the influence Heming-
way has had on Cuban writers in general?
NF: Practically everyone who has sat before
a typewriter has been influenced by
Hemingway to some extent. You mentioned
the "activists," but he is also the father of the
"hard boilers" school, of the heavies -

Our problems are so
imperative, so urgent that
there is no need for us to
search. To search...to
search for what, chico?

Dashiel Hammett, Raymond Chandler, of a
whole new way of writing. But Hemingway's
style is, I believe, a style of development.
That is, a style produced in the United
States at a specific period, under the influ-
ence of the movie industry and of jour-
nalism. Journalism reached a high point of
scientific development in the United States,
in that country, at that time, with that lan-
guage, and there is born Hemingway's style.
I believe that this style is more influential in
countries with highly developed economies
than in as yet underdeveloped areas.
As for the giants of Cuban literature,
Lezama and Carpentier, who authored the
two greatest novels of the last fifty years:
Paradise (Paradise) and El Siglo de las
Luces (Century of Lights), what do they
owe Hemingway? They are precisely the
opposite: baroque, exuberant, heavy with
words, words, words woven in the intricate
prose of the jungle. Just look at your own
South. What do you find there of Heming-
way's influence? In the South the leader is
Faulkner, and he has influenced more Latin
American literature than Hemingway ever
has. You see, it's the similarities in scenery,
in geographical location. It's having an al-
most identical history: there was feudalism
in Cuba, and slavery in the US South.
Hemingway's influence is felt more on
the writers that followed Carpentier and
Lezama, writers such as Lino Novas Calvo,
who was one of Hemingway's close per-
sonal friends, and in that generation of writ-
ers that grouped themselves under the
name "Lunes de Revoluci6n" (Monday of
the Revolution), Cabrera Infante among
them. My generation, the one that came
after, is characterized by its rejection of
previous influences. We are a generation

that rises with the revolution. As we have
grown and matured, we have developed our
own styles.
Logically, when we look for our points of
reference, we look at Hemingway in the
United States, at Isaac Babel in the Soviet
Union, we look to writers who spark our
interest. But as we acquire a new vision of
our country and begin to look at things with
a new ease, we realize that we cannot ex-
press this country in Hemingway's style;
that his cryptic, telegraphic language is not
suitable for expressing a reality such as
ours. This is a violent, wild landscape. It
cannot be described in Hemingway's terms,
just as an American can never explain a
Cuban. It would be irrational.
BBL: Then tell me, why have you dedicated
so many years of your life to the study of
Hemingway's life?
NF: Because I thought it was necessary. He
lived in Cuba for many years. And he is still
one of the greatest writers of this century.
There is still reason to read his works, to
study his style, to publish his books. Be-
sides, consider my situation: I'm the first
person to lay his hands on Hemingway's
private papers, to use all this important
information that no one has ever published.
Facing this wealth of material, I'd be an idiot
not to write this book. My book has great
importance. It will be indispensable to any
serious student of Hemingway, if only for
the amount of information I have accumu-
lated. But I have worked on this book as I
would have on any other subject, and I have
taken my time because the facts to be as-
sembled have been excessive. The work
has gone well and brought me satisfaction.

Barry B. Levine teaches Sociology and edits
Caribbean Review at Florida International
University. He recently published Benjy
Lopez: A Picaresque Tale of Emigration
and Return (Basic Books, 1980). Translator
Lourdes A. Chediak, formerly on the staff of CR
now lives in New Orleans.

Aspira of America publishes
(METAS), a national journal that
serves as a forum for research and
policy analysis discussion on issues
concerning education and other
social issues as they affect Puerto
Ricans and other Hispanics.
Metas (the Spanish word for
"goals" or "objectives") is pub-
lished three times a year.
For a free sample copy, and in-
formation on how to subscribe,
write to:
ASPIRA of America
205 Lexington Ave.
New York, N.Y 10016

Recent Books

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

By Marian Goslinga

Anthropology and Sociology

Montoya, et al. El Colegio de M6xico, 1980.
205 p. $11.00.

THE MAYA-TOLTECS. Henri Stierlin. Rizzoli
International Publications (New York, N.Y),
1981. 208 p. $50.00.

THE AZTECS. Gene Stuart. National
Geographic Society, 1981. 200 p. $6.95.

EL URUGUAY. Susana Salgado, A.
Monteverde (Montevideo, Uruguay), 1980.
313 p. $23.00.

Fides/Claretian (South Bend, Ind.), 1981.

DEL AGUA. Roman Pifia Chan. Fondo de
Cultura Econ6mica (Mexico), 1980.
156 p. $8.00.

Benjamin N. Colby, Lore M. Colby. Harvard
University Press, 1981. 352 p. $25.00.

Paul J. Vanderwood. University of Nebraska
Press, 1981. 269 p. $21.50.

STATES. Paul R. Ehrlich, et al. Wideview
Books, 1981. $7.95.

AND RITUAL. Victoria R. Bricker. University
of Texas Press, 1981. 624 p. $45.00.

Ihiguez. Ediciones El Caballito (Mexico),
1980. 290 p. $16.50.

MEXICANO. Gregorio Torres Quintero.
Cosmos (Mexico), 1980. 156 p. $8.75.

HISPANIC COMMUNITY. Nan Elgasser, et al.
Feminist Press (Old Westbury, N.Y), 1981.
192 p. $14.95.

Haskins. Enslow Publications, 1981. 64 p.

Anthropologisch-Sociologisch Centrum,
Universiteit van Amsterdam (Netherlands),
1980. Nf8.50. Analyzes the migration
from the Antilles and Surinam to
the Netherlands.

WERKBEZOEK. D. Reumer. Nederlands
Bibliotheek en Lektuur Centrum (Den
Haag, Netherlands), 1980. Critical
evaluation of the public library system in the
Netherlands Antilles in Dutch, with
summaries in English and Papiamentu.

Peter McDonough, Amaury Desouza.
University of Texas Press, 1981.
192 p. $19.95.

Latinoamericano de Planificaci6n
Econ6mica y Social, ILPES (Santiago,
Chile), 1980. $9.00.

Suzanne M. Lewenstein, ed. Arizona State
University, 1980. 624 p. $20.00.

GUATEMALTECO. Carlos Figueroa Ibarra.
Universidad de San Carlos (Guatemala),
1980. 475 p. $15.00.

Eaton Simpson. Institute of Caribbean
Studies, University of Puerto Rico, 1980.
346 p. $12.00.

RESULTS. International Development
Research Centre (Canada). Unipub, 1981.
128 p. $13.00.

Greenberg. University of California Press
(Berkeley), 1981. 250 p. $16.95.

SOCIETIES. Christine A. Loveland, Franklin
0. Loveland, eds. University of Illinois Press,
1981. $13.95.

Max Fernandez. Institute Tecnol6gico de
Santo Domingo, 1980. 182 p.

COLOMBIAN CHOCO, 1680-1810. William
E Sharp. University of Oklahoma Press,
1981. 253 p. $6.95.

SUN. Robert H. Brown, John A. Brown.
University of Oklahoma Press, 1981.
346 p. $9.95.

Lieber. Schenkman, 1981. 192 p. $16.50;
$6.95 paper.


PUERTO RICO. Labor G6mez Acevedo,
Manuel Ballesteros Gaibrois. Editorial
Cultural (Puerto Rico), 1980. 132 p. $6.95.

Margaret Randall. Smyrna Press (Brooklyn,
N.Y), 1981. 182 p. $15.95; $6.95 paper.

WOMEN OF BRAZIL. Dinah Silveira de
Queiroz. Vantage Press, 1981. $11.95;
$2.75 paper.


PALACIO. Oth6n Arroniz. Universidad
Aut6noma Metropolitana (Mexico), 1980.
223 p. $23.50.

Maciel. Universidad Aut6noma de M6xico,
1980. 217 p. $9.90.

Reyes de Viana, Celia 1. Viana Reyes.
Universidad de la Rep6blica (Montevideo,
Uruguay), 1980. 120 p. $9.00.

COLUMBUS. John McElroy, ed. Twayne,
1981. $60.00.

Alfredo Cardena Pefia. Editorial Diana
(Mexico), 1980. 202 p. $8.60.

Blanca Caithn de Paris. Cooperativa
National de Artes Graficas (Bogota,
Colombia), 1980. 229 p. $9.00.
BRAZIL. Te6filo Cabestrero. Orbis Books,
1981. 176 p. $6.95.

SANDINO. Gregorio Selser. Monthly Review
Press, 1981. 256 p. $16.00.

SOMOZA. Bernard Diederich. Dutton,
1981. $16.95.

CUBA. Anthony Navarro. Arlington House,
1981. 288 p. $14.95.

VANGUARDISTA. Humberto Antonio
Maldonado Macias. Universidad Aut6noma
de Mexico, 1980. 268 p. $9.60.

Description and Travel

ANOTHER MEXICO. Graham Greene. Viking
Press, 1981. 288 p. $14.95.

Delroisse (Boulogne, France), 1980. 160 p.
$90.00. Photographs.

Alicia Castellanos G. Editorial Nuestro
Tiempo (Mexico), 1981. 225 p.. $9.10.

Brucherie. Imagenes Press (El Centro,
Calif.), 1981. 112 p. $16.00.

Holt, Rinehart & Winston, 1981. 288 p.
$12.95. About the Bahamas.

Benson, William Conklin. Newsweek,
1981. $16.95.

Tom Miller. Harper & Row, 1981.
224 p. $10.95.

MEXICO. Carl Franz. John Muir
Publications, 1981. 400 p. $9.50.

MEMORIES E DIARIO. Cristiano Carlos
Jo&o Wehrs. Rio de Janeiro (Brazil), 1980.
284 p. $12.50.

Tedlock. University of New Mexico Press,
1981. $27.50. About Guatemala.


LATINA, 1950-1977. United Nations
Economic Commission for Latin America.
CEPAL (Santiago, Chile), 1980. $10.00.

POLICY. Leopoldo Solis. Johns Hopkins
University Press, 1981. 664 p. $43.10;
$16.20 paper.

Niles Hansen. University of Texas Press,
1981. $17.95; $8.95 paper.

Jobson de Andrade Arruda. Atica (Sao
Paulo, Brazil), 1980. 710 p. $20.00.

William G. Tyler. Lexington Books, 1981.

Jaramillo. Universidad Central de
Venezuela, 1980.

Howard J. Wiarda. Westview Press, 1981.
325 p. $28.25.

AGRARIA DE MEXICO. Jes6s Uribe Ruiz.
Editorial Domes (Mexico), 1980.
215 p. $9.90.

Economic Commission for Latin America.
Siglo XXI (Mexico), 1980. 200 p. $4.90.

Castillo, Walter Cordero. Fundaci6n
Garcia-Ar6valo (Santo Domingo), 1980.

ACTUAL. Jos6 Maria Calder6n, et al.
Editorial Terra Nova (Mexico), 1980. 197 p.
$160 (pesos).

COUNTRIES. Leopoldo Solis. Pergamon
Press, 1981. 240 p. $27.50.

Carmelo Mesa-Lago. University of New
Mexico Press, 1981. 296 p. $17.50;
$9.95 paper.

ARGENTINA. Pascal Arnaud. Siglo XXI
(Mexico), 1981. 242 p. $10.60.

Gustavo Garza. El Colegio de Mexico, 1980.
155 p. $10.50.

1976-1980. Armando P Ribas. El Cronista
Commercial (Buenos Aires, Argentina), 1980.
350 p. $17.70.

1919-1940. Thomas C. Wright. University of
Illinois Press, 1981. $20.95.

Cesar Gnaccarini. Edit6ra Polis (Sao Paulo,
Brazil), 1981. 185 p. $10.00.

DIFFERENTIATION. Arthur Morris. Barnes
& Noble, 1981. 244 p. $22.50; $11.75 paper.

DESARROLLO. Rolando Cordera, Carlos
Tello. Siglo XXI (Mexico), 1981. 149 p. $6.00.

BUILDING. Jack Baranson. Lomond
Publications (Mt. Airy, Maryland), 1981. 175
p. $15.75. Studies of Brazil, Colombia,
and Mexico.

SINCE 1870. M.H. Finch. St. Martin's Press,
1981. $25.00.

Tenkte, Robert B. Wallace. St. Martin's Press,
1981. $35.00.

CEPAL. Octavio Rodriguez. Siglo XXI
(Mexico), 1980. 361 p. $33.60.

ARGENTINA. Juan V Sourrouille. Editorial
Nueva Imagen (Mexico), 1980.
242 p. $12.25.

Ladman. Westview Press, 1981.
350 p. $30.00.

MEXICO. lan Scott. Johns Hopkins
University Press, 1981. $29.50; $9.50 paper.

Simon G. Hanson. Hyperion Press, 1981.
$19.75. Reprint of the 1938 ed.

Butter. Stichting voor Economisch
Onderzoek, Universiteit van Amsterdam
(Netherlands), 1980. Nf46.80. Analyzes
the economic dependence of the
Dutch islands.

History and Archaeology

LOS ALVEAR. Pedro Fernandez Lalanne.
Emece (Buenos Aires, Argentina), 1980.
505 p. $28.00. History of an illustrious
Argentine family.

NICARAGUA. Paul F Healy. W Laurier
(Canada), 1981. 382 p. $22.45.

CENTENARIO. Gustavo Ferrari, Ezequiel
Gallo, eds. Editorial Sudamericana (Buenos
Aires, Argentina), 1980. 927 p. $67.00.

DOMINATION. Giancarlo Puppo. University
of Washington Press, 1981. 276 p. $50.00.

E. Moseley, Kent C. Day. University of New
Mexico Press, 1981. 440 p. $29.95.

LITERARIA. Tino Villanueva, ed. Fondo
de Cultura Econ6mica (Mexico), 1980.
529 p. $17.85.

Elman. Apple-Wood Books (Cambridge,
Mass.), 1981.196 p. $10.95.

ARGENTINA. Felix Luna. Editorial de
Belgrano (Buenos Aires, Argentina), 1980.
513 p. $29.00.

Florescano, et al. Siglo XXI (Mexico), 1980.
350 p. $9.00. About Mexico.

Herzog. Siglo XXI (Mexico), 1980.
300 p. $9.90.

Jose Woldenberg. Siglo XXI (Mexico), 1980.
301 p. $9.25.

William D. Setzekorn. Rev. ed. Ohio
University Press, 1981. $7.95.

DEATH. Jean Fouchard. Blyden Press,
1981. 500 p.

1949-1951. Alejandro Moreno Toscano.
Universidad Nacional Aut6noma de Mexico,
1980. 227 p. $7.60.

Casasola. Editorial Casasola (Mexico), 1980.
6 vols. $2,500 (pesos).

PERIOD COLONIAL, 1492-1898. C6sar A.
Mena. Ediciones Universal (Miami, Fla.),
1981. 394 p.
DEL PACIFICO. Horacio Aranguiz, et al.
Editorial Andres Bello (Santiago, Chile),
1980. 437 p.

MEXICO EN EL SIGLO XIX (1821-1910). Ciro
Cardoso, ed. Editorial Nueva Imagen
(Mexico), 1980. 525 p. $21.15.

ALEMANES. Brigida Margarita von Mentz
de Boege. Universidad Nacional Aut6noma
de Mexico, 1980. $9.25.

Susan Meiselas. Pantheon Books, 1981.
$22.95; $11.95 paper.

Felipe Guam6n Poma de Ayala. John V
Murra, Rolena Adomo, Jorge L. Urioste,
eds. Siglo XXI (Mexico), 1980. 3 vols.
$85.00. New ed. of the original Quechua
manuscript kept in the Royal Library
of Denmark.

EN INDIAS. Antonio Garrido Aranda.
Escuela de Estudios Hispano-Americanos
(Sevilla, Spain), 1980. 385 p. 1,200 ptas.

Monte Avila Editores (Caracas, Venezuela),
1980. 190 p. $9.95. About Latin American
colonial art.

Larrain. Institute de Historia, Universidad
Catblica de Chile, 1980. About Alberto
Edwards (Chile), Ernesto Quezada
(Argentina), and Laureano Vallenilla

DESCENDENCIA. Hialmar Edmundo
Gammalsson. Municipalidad de la Ciudad
de Buenos Aires, 1980. 505 p. $55.00.

Samoiloff. Schenkman, 1981.

COLLECTION. H.B. Nicholson, Alana
Cordy-Collins. L.K. Land, ed. University of
Washington Press, 1981. 280 p. $24.95.


Cordy-Collins. Rev. ed. Peek Publications
(Mountain View, Calif.), 1981. 300 p. $10.95.

Jeffrey R. Parsons. Museum of
Anthropology, University of Michigan, 1981.

NUEVA ESPANA, 1572-1580. Agustin
Churruca Pelaez. Editorial Porrua (Mexico),
1980. 424 p. $33.00.

Esquivel Obreg6n. Universidad Nacional
Aut6noma de Mexico, 1980. 102 p.
$75 (pesos).

THE REGION. Roberta M. Delson. Gordon
Press, 1981. 300 p.

UNITED STATES, 1903-1923. W. Dirk Raat.
Texas A & M University Press, 1981.
328 p. $22.50.

MEXICANOS. Diego Duran. Cosmos
(Mexico), 1980. 246 p. $9.75.

Depalma (Buenos Aires, Argentina), 1980.
157 p. $23.30.
COLONIAL, 1608-1729. Gisela Von
Wobeser. Institute de Investigaciones
Hist6ricas, Universidad Nacional Aut6noma
de M6xico, 1980. 134 p. $8.25.

Maude. Stanford University Press, 1981.
256 p. $22.50.

EXPEDITIONS. Iris W Engstrand. University
of Washington Press, 1981. 304 p. $25.00.

Eduardo Galeano. Siglo XXI (Mexico),
1980. 500 p.

FELIPE V 1710-1733. Amalia G6mez
G6mez. Escuela de Estudios Hispano-
Americanos (Sevilla, Spain), 1980. 289 p.

Anderson, Charles E. Dibble. University of
Utah Press, 1981. 105 p. $8.00.

Thomas P Anderson, University of
Nebraska Press, 1981. 202 p.

ed. Rev. ed. Latin American Center,
University of California (Los Angeles), 1981.

Language and Literature

Ediciones Universal (Miami, Fla.), 1981.
161 p. $9.95.

AQUI...OTRO ESPANOL. Bias Jimenez. Santo
Domingo, 1980. 99 p. Poems.

Carpentier. Ediciones Lumen (Barcelona,
Spain), 1980. $25.00. A novel about
La Habana.

Gabriel Garcia Marquez. Editorial La Oveja
Negra (BogotA, Colombia), 1981.
156 p. $8.95.

ARGUEDAS. Julio Rodriguez-Luis. Fondo
de Cultura Econ6mica (Mexico), 1980.
277 p. $9.60.

LOS ILEGALES. Victora Hugo Rasc6n Banda.
Universidad Aut6noma Metropolitana
(Mexico), 1980. 83 p. $6.50. Dramatization
of the illegal migration to the United States
from Mexico.

Orjuela. Universidad Aut6noma de Mexico,
1980. 201 p. $8.60.

OTROS ENSAYOS. Alejo Carpentier. Siglo
XXI (Mexico), 1981. 252 p. $10.60.

ON HEROES AND TOMBS. Ernesto Sabato.
D.R. Godine (Boston, Mass.), 1981.
496 p. $17.95.

Raviolo, ed. Banda Oriental (Montevideo,
Uruguay), 1981. 127 p. $7.00.

AMERICAS. D. Lincoln Canfield. University
of Chicago Press, 1981. $15.00.

VIENTO DEL EXILIO. Mario Benedetti. Editorial
Nueva Imagen (Mexico), 1981. 122 p. $5.30.

Politics and Government

Linda B. Hall. Texas A & M University Press,
1981. 320 p. $22.50.

TIEMPO FECUNDO. Sergio Spoerer. Siglo
XXI (Mexico), 1980. 151 p. $4.65.

POLITICOS. Nicolas Ramiro Rico. Alianza
Editorial (Madrid, Spain), 1980.
222 p. $16.60.

C&ceres. Universidad Aut6noma de Sinaloa
(Mexico), 1980. 246 p. $10.60.

Dinges, Saul Landau. McGraw-Hill, 1981.
432 p. $5.95. Politics in Chile.

et al. El Colegio de Mexico, 1980. 226 p.
$220 (pesos).

MEXICANO. Rafael Loyola Diaz. Siglo XXI
(Mexico), 1980. 169 p. $8.50.

Alonso. Editorial Nuestro Tiempo (Mexico),
1980. 142 p. $5.15.

Corporaci6n de Estudios Contemporaneos
(Santiago, Chile), 1980. 348 p. Articles
previously published in 'El Mercurio.'

Felipe Marini. Hachette (Buenos Aires,
Argentina), 1980. 237 p. $14.00.

CASTRO. Ben Hahm, ed. Institute for the
Study of Human Issues, 1981. $16.75.
Reprint of the 1971 ed.

CONSTITUCIONAL, 1917-1920. Pablo
Gonzalez Casanova. Siglo XXI (Mexico),
1980. 227 p. $6.60. About Mexico.

Booth. Westview Press, 1981. 225 p. $20.00;
$10.00 paper.

AMERICA LATINA. Francisco Orrego
Vicufia, ed. Institute de Estudios
Internacionales, Universidad de Chile, 1980.
213 p. $14.00.

Moreno. Emece (Buenos Aires, Argentina),
1980. 337 p. $13.80.

Castro Martinez. Siglo XXI (Mexico), 1980.
205 p. $5.55.

ARGENTINA. Guillermo Lagos Carmona.
Editorial Andres Bello (Santiago, Chile),
1980. 398 p. $50.00.

Y ABUSOS. Javier Campos Ponce. Editores
Mexicanos Asociados, 1980. 180 p. $11.00.

Conniff, ed. University of New Mexico Press,
1981. 272 p. $19.95; $9.95 paper.

E. McBride. Prentice-Hall, 1981. $11.95;
$5.95 paper.

LATINA. Julio Barreiro. Siglo XXI (Mexico),
1980. $6.50.

Westview Press, 1981. 128 p. $16.50.

REVOLUCION. Elizabeth Maier. Editorial
de Cultura Popular (Mexico), 1980.
159 p. $9.90.

DE HISTORIA. Gerardo PelBez. Universidad
Aut6noma de Sinaloa (Mexico), 1980. 137
p. $200 (pesos).

Gregorio Selser. Bruguera Mexicana de
Ediciones, 1980. 414 p. $185 (pesos).

Hurtado. University of New Mexico Press,
1981. 328 p. $25.00.

SOCIAL CONTROL. Steve Stein. University
of Wisconsin Press, 1981. 300 p. $21.50.

AMERICA. Lasso G. Plaza. Greenwood
Press, 1981. 88 p. $16.50. Reprint of the
1955 ed.

Asseff. Pleamar (Buenos Aires, Argentina),
1980. 415 p. $23.00.

Helen Delpar. University of Alabama Press,
1981. 262 p. $23.50.

CARIBE. Gerard Pierre Charles. Universidad
Nacional Aut6noma de Mexico, 1980.
222 p. $6.60.

Frank J. Devine. Vantage Press, 1981.
$10.00. About Salvador, Brazil.

Maria Calder6n, et al. Editorial Nuestro
Tiempo (Mexico), 1980. 177 p. $4.50.

Halperin. University of California Press
(Berkeley), 1981. 336 p. $23.50.

NICARAGUENSE HOY. Margaret Randall.
Siglo XXI (Mexico), 1980. 299 p. $9.90.

MEXICQ, 1920-1925. Miguel Rodriguez.
Universidad Aut6noma de Puebla (Mexico),
1980. 261 p. $13.00.

Jos6 Luis Soberanes Fernandez.
Universidad Nacional Aut6noma de Mexico,
1980. 364 p. $20.00.

POPULISM, 1925-1945. Michael L Conniff.
University of Pittsburgh Press, 1981.
280 p. $19.95.

1958-1979. D.E Maza Zavala, H. Malave
Mata. Editorial Nuestro Tiempo (Mexico),
1980. 135 p. $5.10.

Irazabal. Centauro (Caracas, Venezuela),
1980. 276 p. $19.00.

Earl Gooding. Schenkman, 1981.256 p.
$12.95; $6.95 paper.


R. Levene, E. Zaffaroni. La Ley (Buenos
Aires, Argentina), 1981. 4 vols.

OLMECA. Nelly Guti6rrez Solana, Daniel
G. Schavelzon. Universidad Nacional
Aut6noma de Mexico, 1980. 135 p.
$140 (pesos).

CIUDAD DE MEXICO, 1761-1832. Linda
Arnold. Archivo General de la Naci6n
(Mexico), 1980. 301 p. $6.35.

MEXICO. Ana Maria Atondo R. Archivo
General de la Naci6n (Mexico), 1980.
2 vols. $12.70.

HISTORY. Michael R. Martin, Gabriel H.
Lovett. Rev. ed. Greenwood Press, 1981.
$35.00. Reprint of the 1968 ed.

Ballantyne. SALALM Secretariat (Madison,
Wis.), 1980. 52 p. $5.50.

Hall, 1981. $275.00.

IMPRESAS. Manuel E. Araya Incera. Centro
de Investigaciones Hist6ricas, Universidad
de Costa Rica, 1980. 91 p. $3.00.

GUIDE. Thomas C. Barnes, et al. University
of Arizona Press, 1981. $9.95.

Marian Goslinga is the International Affairs
Librarian at Florida International University.






Sir Philip M. Sherlock, the recipient of the second annual Caribbean Review Award, offered the following
remarks upon receiving the award:

On the day on which I received the Caribbean Review Award I
received also a copy of First Poems, by George Campbell; a new
edition with additional poems. and with an introductory poem by
Derek Walcott. The Caribbean Review Award included a plaque
and an honorarium of $250 donated by the International Affairs
Center of Florida International University. The plaque, one of the
most handsome that I have seen, is enriched by a reproduction of
a painting, "Old Time String Band," by the Guyanese artist
Stanley Greaves. "The painting portrays an old time band of
ordinary people who would get together on week-ends to make
music ... Drummer Sweetie Greaves, a waterfront worker...
Taylor, guitarist ... a saw mill worker; Glen on the mandolin, a
cabinet maker ... and Campbell the flutist, an odd job man."
The "Old Time String Band" took me back across the years to
my boyhood in a small cour,ilr .Il13i.e in Jamaica. My father was
a Methodist parson of the horse-and-buggy days. Often, on a
Sunday, he took me with him from Manchioneal along the glorious
wind-swept Portland coast to Fairy Hill, to Hector's River, and
once or twice to Port Antonio with its exquisite twin-harbours and
its brooding Blue Mountains, a Maroon refuge-land. My mother's
family came from one of the deep Portland valleys, and
sometimes she would tell us about Anansi the Spider man and
Nanny the Maroon leader and about the new trade in bananas
that was bringing money and tourists to Port Antonio. We children
were fortunate. We were reared on a mixture of typical dishes,
goat mutton, salt fish, cornmeal dumplings and banana porridge
with a large measure of faith mixed in. And, as parson's children,
the doors of the folk were open to us, and often there was a gift to
take home to parson, a piece of sugar cane, some ripe bananas,
a piece of yellow yam.
So, without my being aware of it, Jamaica took possession of
me. The harsh sombre mood of the John Crow Mountains, the
indigo blue of the sea at Priestman's River, the 'old time combo
band' in the village, the goose-pimple sound of a "nine night"
when water and rice were thrown out of doors at midnight and the
spirit was told to rest, these were all part of a harmony of land and
vegetation and people. How glad I am that my father never had
the money to send me away to "school in England."
But George Campbell's poems remind me that I did not become
a Jamaican until the 1930s. In my recently published biography
Norman Manley, (MacMillan, London) I told of that electric
evening, 18 September 1938, when Norman Manley launched the
People's National Party. "There is one straight choice before
Jamaica, either make up your minds to go back to crown colony
government, benevolently shepherded ... or have your voice and
face the hard road of discipline, developing your own capacities,
your own powers and leadership.... I believe we will have
launched tonight a movement that is like nothing else started in
Jamaica, and make of this country a real place that our children
will be proud to say 'We come from Jamaica'."
At that time George was a young reporter with The Daily
Gleaner. Those years of emotion and challenge, the patriotic
vision of Norman Manley and the dawn-kindling friendship of
Edna Manley released the poet in George. How I love to read his
poem and to live those times again:
"These people with their golden fruit
Their black hands offer golden suns ...
"Heads of wheaten gold
Heads of people dark,
So strong, so original,
All of the earth and the sun ."

"Let my dreams hang intact round my tree

So all the people of the world might see
The beauty and the tear drops from my hands ..
George led the way, as a poet, in putting this precious new
commitment to country into language clear and healing as
spring water.
In becoming a Jamaican I also became a West Indian, and a
man of the Caribbean. My three years in Trinidad as head of the
St. Augustine campus of the University of the West Indies were
made memorable and happy by the friendship of the people of the
Eastern Caribbean. Trinidad, green enchantment, took my wife
and me by the hand and revealed to us the reality of our rich
heritage; and Walcott helped me to hear the "litany of islands, The
rosary of archipelagoes." Then the Federation of the West Indies
fell apart. What was to be done? Through my work with the
University of the West Indies I began to understand that the
universities of the Greater Caribbean, and the Scholars of the
region, had a role to play in establishing regional understanding
and in advancing regional development; in transforming the term
"Caribbean" from one that is wholly geographic to one that
expresses a cultural identity. Other university leaders joined in:
Penalver of Venezuela, Benitez of Puerto Rico, Henry Stanford of
the University of Miami, among others; and so the Association
of Caribbean Universities and Research Institutes came
into existence.
Now, 12 years later, UNICA has a profoundly important part to
play in Caribbean development, a role much larger than anyone
could have imagined in 1968. There is talk about a mini-Marshall
plan, whatever that may be. The United States, Mexico,
Venezuela and Canada have expressed concern about Caribbean
development. I am convinced that (A) No regional development
plan will achieve any significant result unless Caribbean
leadership is involved in its formulation and implementation from
the start. Anything else will amount to a colonial relationship. (B)
Any Caribbean development plan or program must draw on the
intellectual resources of the region, and it should be understood
from the start that these resources are considerable and merit
respect. (C) The claims of the island communities of the
Caribbean to assistance for development is not based on
good-will and charity, but on the record of what these countries
have done with limited resources. Has any New World community
of comparable resources and size a finer record of creativity than
islands that, in recent years, have produced Marcus Garvey,
Fanon, Jos6 Marti, Munoz Marin, Eric Williams, Arthur Lewis,
Norman Manley, Alexander Bustamente, Grantley Adams? Or, in
the face of great difficulties, have maintained democratic systems
of government? The special circumstances of the smaller
Caribbean countries call for special measures, and for a
partnership based on understanding and respect. The UNICA
Foundation, of which Henry Stanford is President, is dedicated to
assisting in this work.
I hope that what I have written indicates how much I value the
award that Caribbean Review so generously made to me.
Nothing that I have been able to do for Caribbean education
comes anywhere near to what the Caribbean people have done
for me. Their history has inspired me. Their gaiety has made life
easier for me. I share Norman Manley's vision of the people of
Jamaica, but enlarge Jamaica itself by applying his words to the
people of the Caribbean: "I affirm of the Caribbean that we are a
great people. Out of the past of fire and suffering and neglect the
human spirit has survived patient and strong, quick to anger,
quick to forgive, lusty and vigorous, but with deep reserves of
loyalty and love, and a deep capacity for steadiness under stress
and for joy in all the things that make life good and blessed."
Thank you.

And let my branches reach in every land
Nominations for the third annual Caribbean Review Award to be presented at the Seventh Annual Meeting of the Caribbean
Studies Association in Jamaica, Spring 1982 should be sent to the Editor, Caribbean Review, Florida International University,
Miami, Florida 33199. The Award honors an individual who has contributed to the advancement of Caribbean intellectual life. It
recognizes individual effort irrespective of field, ideology, national origin, or place of residence.


On the Cover:

Painting Jorge Luis


Reflections by the Artist
By Francisco Rod6n
Translated by Cruz Hernandez

Francisco Rod6n painting Jorge Luis Borges. Photo by Francisco J. Barrenechea, 1973.

I first met Borges during a meeting ar-
ranged for me by my good friend, Rafael
Squirru, March 15, 1973, at the National
Library in Buenos Aires. I have to confess
that I experienced great anxiety as I awaited
my encounter with the man I thought to be
the greatest writer alive, one of the last
existing myths. I had all his works and an

endless amount of photographs, all stirring
up endless images in my mind. These
ranged from the frightening and grotesque,
to the feeling of compassion projected by
the author of The Aleph.
It was a wintry afternoon, I was absorbed
by the architectural beauty of the National
Library, with its interiors of the purest Art

Nouveau of the beginning of the century,
its multicolor stained glass, polished mar-
bles, and beautiful staircase with a bronze
handrail of the most incredible designs.
There was a great contrast in the waiting
room, since it was furnished with simple
and old pieces. I noted that the ceiling re-
sembled that of a Gothic cathedral.

Through the adjacent glass door, I could
see an immense bust of Sarmiento that
impressed me by its size. The coldness of
the environment made me fearful.
At the appointed hour, a woman with a
warm smile invited us to enter Borges' of-
fice. Her name was Haydee Morales, secre-
tary and eyes of the Master for many years.
Squirru introduced us and discussed the
previous arrangements made for the crea-
tion of his painting. I could not pay much
attention to the conversation between them
for I was struck by Borges' presence; he had
the most impressive eyes I have ever seen.

Little has been said about them; but of their
color, one is different from the other. His
right eye is spectral, the color of a deep gray
that contrasts the dazzling yellow amber of
his left eye. When I observe the tigers at the
zoo, I remember this eye, the possessor of
the knowledge and splendor of the uni-
verse. His pale complexion was transparent
and his hair had become gray with time.
Only after the days we shared, did I realize
his thin lips were capable of denoting ruth-
less sarcasm with a smile. They were also
able to express the most profound pain
when they talked about topics like the ill-

Francisco Rod6n.


ness of his mother and Peronism. Dofia
Leonor Acevedo, at that time, lay prostrate
in her bed at the age of 97 at the house on
Maipi Street that she shared with her blind
The work had been scheduled by Borges
himself to begin at ten o'clock on the
morning on May 16. He chose his office as
the working space and instructed me to put
my painting implements on the beautiful
conference table, an antique piece of
carved mahogany. The place was filled with
his books and personal mementos. He told
me of his premonition, the fact that he be-
lieved that he would never use it again. His
premonition seemed strange to me.
We started that first day with a piece of
canvas that would gradually grow until it
would reach its final stage of three meters.
The first stroke was in black oil, starting
with his longing eyes, then the nose, the
lips, and lastly, the contours of the face.
This technique proceeding from the
particular to the general is common in
the pictorial treatment that I try to impart to
my subjects. The goal is to establish a
principle by which the lines are subject to
those emotions constantly emanating
from the face. In this fashion, I hope to gain
a certain force and spontaneity in my at-
tempts to capture and portray the human
During these silent mornings, Borges
ritually sat in a modest leather chair that
time had eaten away, while I quietly ob-
served the solitude that invaded this great
man. On rare occasions, one could hear the
telephone ringing. He told me that he was
always available to all who wished to speak
to him. I remember that I would lead him
and that he would lean on my arm until we
reached the receiver. There were few times
when he heard the voice of a friend.
Paradoxically, these instances occurred
quite infrequently, since it was habitual that
he would receive threatening calls or can-
cellations of his conferences. I became
aware of the situation since Borges himself
confessed that many of his followers had to
disassociate themselves from hirmto avoid
political repercussions.
In early June, near the time of the return
of Per6n to Argentina, most of the intellec-
tuals, most of the friends of the writer had
left the country. They feared the uncertain
future that would await them. The man's
valor, in the light of his frailty surprised me,
since he refused to go into exile. His state-
ments to the effect appeared daily in the
press and provoked the wrath of his de-
tractors. He, however, remained in a con-
stant state of helplessness and anguish.
Few were not the occasions in which, with a
broken voice and moist eyes, he would tell
me that his mother prayed to God every
morning, imploring that her life be taken
from her in order to save her son from suf-
fering. When I finished my work sessions at

one in the afternoon, Borges would bid me
good-bye until the following day. Haydee, in
her maternal fashion, would lead him by the
arm to the taxi that would take him to his
chosen destiny. It just so happened that I
was staying at a hotel on Maipu Street di-
rectly across from the writer's house.
A visitor came to the Library one morn-
ing. He carried himself elegantly, spoke in a
distinct manner, and had penetrating green
eyes. Borges was waiting for him and intro-
duced himself. This person observed the
immense canvas with great sensitivity. I
could surmise that I was in the presence of
another uncommon being. I believe that he
would have liked to watch our work session,
but we interrupted our work since he had to
interview Borges. I left the building pleased
with its new guest. Later on, in my country, I
would read an essay about Borges' in which
that author had written: "In his office, I found
the tracks of a painter doing his portrait,
next to all the implements of his art, which
were on top of the table." He was Arturo
Uslar Pietre. He had arrived in Buenos Aires
to interview Borges in the midst of those
sordid times.
While the work grew in intensity, the color
began to appear on his countenance. Out-
side, a tenacious rain permeated the city,
and the fog reflected an unreal light on the
face of my model. Sometimes, in my long-
ing for the sunshine of the tropics, I would
look out the window in search of an already
familiar friend. On the window sill, a solitary
dove would perch itself every morning and
keep me silent company. Borges' eyes
would become restless, and his ears would
become more sensitive to the street noise.
He was worried that he would once again
hear the crowds, as he had several decades
ago. At that time, there was much talk about
wild mobs that had taken over public
My subject's face was in its final stages,
and I felt that it was important that I com-
municate with him. Until then, I had per-
ceived a man consumed by anguish. He
tormented himself constantly, not for fear of
his own death, but for his progenitor's exis-
tence. Dofia Leonor had suffered, during
Per6n's previous regime, great penury and
persecution. She, along with her daughter
Norah, had been a political prisoner in a jail
for women. Borges too paid his dues under
the same circumstances, and was dis-
missed from his job. To humiliate him he
was named inspector in charge of fowl. A
venerable old man, Dr. Garcia Santellan,
then rector of the Universidad de la Plata,
saved him from humiliation by offering him
a literature professorship. This old man is
now eighty-three years old, and he still
teaches at one of the universities in my
country, Puerto Rico. During one of our
sessions, I talked to Borges about his old
friend. He was silent and deeply moved, and
with tears in his eyes he asked me: "Where

is he?" I informed him of his whereabouts,
and he was pleased to know that he was still
alive: "1 have never forgotten such a noble
man" he answered me.
Day after day, we labored, and I always
listened to him give his opinions on various
topics. The squeaking sound made by my
steps on the old parquet floor was the only
sound that emanated from my person.
Faced with his verbal expertise, I learned
much from my relationship with this genius.
It was a mixture of wisdom and great con-
tradictions that could only be justified in a
mind as privileged as his.

"Contemporary literature is
full of writers that know
their craft very well, but
that is all; in content, they
contribute very little."

Through the press, I knew that Julio
Cortazar was in Buenos Aires. I asked
Borges about the work of the new writers of
the Boom generation unaware that 1 had
upset him. But he evaded giving opinions
about the new literary trends. Visibly irri-
tated, after a long pause, he looked at me
and said: "Do you know him?" He was re-
ferring to Cortazar. I answered, "No, but I
know his work." Vehemently, I insisted again
in pursuit of a fact that I needed to know
about his opinion of the new literary cur-
rents. I inquired again about the contribu-
tion of the new literary figures. He was quiet
for several minutes, and I thought that he
did not wish to answer, but his reply, as
typical as it was eloquent came promptly:
"Contemporary literature is full of writers
that know their craft very well, but that is all;
in content, they contribute very little."
From then on, there would be no more
questions about living writers, but I
thought it was worthwhile to divert him, if
only for a little while, from the anguish that
consumed him. During those days, my
model was much more peaceful and
began to show enthusiasm for the appear-
ance on canvas of his new image that
emanated from my hands. Though he
could not see it, it captured all his atten-
tion. By his daily questions, I realized that
through third persons, mainly his sister
Norah, his nephew and Dr. Clemente, a
thread of suspense had been woven
around his portrait. He exhibited a pro-
found and unusual restlessness. His mask
of cloth already pulsated with its own
strength, and this provoked great curiosity,
since he knew, in the most minute detail,
how I had captured him.

Without being aware of it, he journeyed to
the dimension that attracted him the most,
his real world, literature. I loved to touch his
innermost heart through his marvelous
monologues, which for the good of my
work, were recorded on tape. His stories
provoked in me of all sorts of mental ex-
citement. Wise as he was, he made me a
confidant of all his stories. His prodigious
mind exploring the confines of ideas em-
ployed a language that was always philo-
sophical and analytical. He had a limited
number of heroes in the field of literary
creation; he was fond of Wilde and Virginia
Woolf, (for him, the only female genius in
the universal world of literature), Kafka, Poe,
James, Whitman, Joyce, Kipling, and one
of his mentors, Ralph Waldo Emerson. His
passion for Scandinavian literature pro-
voked a strange sensation in me, especially
when he spoke about his research on Olaus
Magnus, the man he would describe in a
poem in his book "La Moneda deHierio."
In the mornings, he always came before
me impeccably dressed in grey. I observed
his many blue ties and the puzzling olive
green socks that somehow did not clash
with his outfit. I reflected on the difficulty
that he encountered when he performed
this mundane task with his eyes without
light. I wanted to present him with a tie, but
his answer was negative: "I do not own in
my wardrobe more than three, and they are
sufficient, since I cannot see them anyway."
I felt ashamed at having made such an offer,
but both of us forgot about it as we pro-
ceeded with our work. It was the eve of
Per6n's return.
He would ask me if I had finished his ears
and concluded the work on his face. He had
a premonition that I should finish my work
and would repeat daily that I should not wait
until the zero hour; that I should go back to
my country. Borges was afraid that our re-
lationship could compromise me in Argen-
tina upon the arrival of the new visitor. I
waited no longer and told him that I would
never abandon him; he felt lonelier and
more grief-stricken than ever. He was pen-
sive for a while, but his reaction to my of-
fering was affirmative and he said: "I would
like to see you at my house the day after
tomorrow." I confess that I was very flattered
by such an invitation since I was aware that
he had not received visitors for many
months. This was due to his mother's state,
but he insisted in the offer, seeking greater
intimacy, since he felt a great deal of loneli-
ness and abandonment. I always feel that
his attitude eased my senses; I knew that he
was clamoring for a certain and specific
dialogue, that he needed to communicate.
But his invitation worried me, and I felt
compelled to keep my date across the
street. His voice was so marked at every
moment, that it incited one to think about
his fortitude and his particular manner of
suffering in silence.


The night before the new encounter at
his apartment, 1 stayed in my hotel room.
The echo of the mob created a frightening
environment in the light of the circum-
stances. I observed his half dimmed win-
dow well past midnight, when silence finally
appeased the city. The small apartment at
944 Maipu was impressive by its simplicity,
but it was the living reflection of the person-
ality of its dweller, totally devoid of luxury
and superficialities. With a trembling voice
and a nostalgic mood, he showed me his
family's souvenirs. How the history of his
ancestors, present in the old pictures, like
witnesses of his lineage marked by the
presence of the Quinta Adrogue and the
old eucalyptus trees as guardians of his
childhood. Among his favorite objects was
a collection of gaucho silver, along with a
rare and valuable collection of literary edi-
tions. On the walls, there were some pic-
tures of his sister Norah, and a portrait of his
He took me to his room where he showed
me the desk he has been unable to use for
several years, but nevertheless, an instru-
ment he had used to write the bulk of his
memorable creation. His small bedroom
was immaculate, and it reminded me of

one owned by an ascetic. I felt moved by
this scene of Borges' life that is so un-
known. In this sacred place, there was no
room for lies, and it was incomprehensible
that he could be the victim of such a terrible
affront. I felt irate and did not understand
why such an authentic person was under
attack for his ideas and opinions.
Borges' piety manifested itself in more
than one occasion. In a moving story about
the last few days of Evita Per6n, he told me
compassionately of her martyrdom before
the multitudes; how Peron would expose
her to the mobs by putting his arm around
her waist as if she were a puppet. Evita,
gravely ill, was pathetically manipulated
without any scrupples in a scenario per-
meated by terror and the macabre.
During my third visit to his home, we
agreed to set a date for our last work ses-
sion. That morning, on a rainy day, the press
published a beautiful poem by Borges enti-
tled "Yo." Accentuated by pessimism, in it
he alluded to his own skill. On the same
page, his resignation from the National Li-
brary appeared. I felt immediately, afraid of
not finding him and fearful that my work
would not be finished. Upon entering, I
found the Library in a desolate state, and I

from FIU's International Affairs Center
International Affairs Center/
Florida International University
Tamiami Trail, Miami, Florida 33199,
Ph: (305) 552-2846

As a result of the OAS-sponsored Symposium on Inter-American
University Cooperation for Economic and Social Development, a
general assembly will be convened in Washington, D.C. on
March 1-3, 1982. Representatives of universities and educational
associations from Latin America, the Caribbean, Canada, and
the United States will consider and act upon a proposal for the
founding of a new organization. The proposal for an organization
to foster and facilitate the involvement of universities in
development activities was drafted, at the direction of the
Symposium participants, by a steering committee, chaired by
FIU's President Gregory B. Wolfe, which met in February 1981 at
the Universidad Autonoma de Guadalajara. Acting for Florida
International University, secretariat to the steering committee, Dr.
Lisa Lekis and Dr. Leo Suslow are planning for the Assembly in
cooperation with the Organization of American States. Persons
interested in receiving more information about the upcoming
Assembly should contact Dr. Lisa Lekis at the International
Affairs Center.
Florida International University has entered into a general
agreement with the Universidad Catolica Madre y Maestra of
Santiago de los Caballeros in the Dominican Republic. The
agreement includes the cooperation of the two universities in the
areas of education, training, and research.


dashed up the now familiar stairs in search
of my subject. To my surprise, I was in-
formed of the destruction of a painting of
Borges. I was astonished at the possibility
that my work could have been destroyed. 1
opened the door to the office and found
that someone had taken a tube of cadmium
yellow from my palette and had smeared
the surface of an unimportant picture of
Borges that was hanging on one of the
walls. I was grateful for the preventive
measures that I had taken to safeguard my
painting by placing it against the wall, pro-
tected by a couch and wide red curtains.
That precaution had saved my painting.
As I waited, my model appeared. I will
never forget his unique image on that last
day. They had notified him of the incident,
and he showed no anguish at the loss of a
bad painting made from a photograph for
which he had little affection. 1 believe that he
was very happy to hear my voice and touch
the canvas that had been saved from de-
struction. Serenely, he took off his black
beret, sat on a chair and said: "I have come
to conclude my commitment to you." He
kept his word on this most solitary day. Our
session was the longest, and we did riot
have any interruptions or calls; the work was
prolonged until three in the afternoon when
our task was completed.
Outside, it continued to rain. I gathered
my materials and rolled up the large canvas.
Deeply disturbed, I took one last look keenly
aware that I would not return. Before we
went down to the first floor, I noticed
Borges' gesture as he bid farewell to the
beloved place with his empty eyes. He took
my hand at the parting moment and said:
"You are lucky to return to your country, I
wish you happiness." He got into the taxi
that was awaiting for him and soon disap-
peared. With nostalgia, I looked at the old
building on Mexico Street. From the out-
side, the window remained shut, a symbol
of the departure of its protagonists.


Francisco Rod6n is the creator of the painting
that appears on our cover entitled Borges 6 El
Aleph. The painting, a 6'x 11' oil, was done in
1973. The Borges painting, as well as those of
Luis Mufoz Marin, Juan Rulfo and Rdmulo
Betancourt, will be on exhibit at the Museum of
the Organization of American States, Wash-
ington, D.C., during March 1982. Translator
Cruz Herndndez is with the Center for Latino
Education at l. U.


Ships' Registry- Norway

"We hada great time. The S/S Norway

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is byfar the bet.Mr &Mrs.John Noteran,SarasotaFL.

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aboard the S/S Norway were really surprising. I
mean we were actually able to play volleyball and
basketball. Imagine volleyball and basketball aboard
a ship. I was really impressed!"

For more information about one-week cruises
departing from Miami aboard the magnificent
S/S Norway- our $100 million resort-and her visits
to St. Thomas and the unforgettable beach party
you can enjoy on NCLs private Out Island, see your
travel agent or use the attached coupon.
We'll be glad to send you a free booklet about
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---- =- -- --- ------ -
I Norwegian Caribbean Lines
I First Fleet of the Caribbean
SNorwegian Caribbean Lines
P.O. Box1111
Addison, Illinois 60101
I Please send me your FREE S/S Norway cruising
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