Front Cover
 Table of Contents
 Front Matter
 Back Cover


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Caribbean Review
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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: 1982
Copyright Date: 1980
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Table of Contents
    Front Cover
        Front Cover 1
        Front Cover 2
    Table of Contents
        Page 1
    Front Matter
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    Back Cover
        Back Cover 1
        Back Cover 2
Full Text

Vol. XI, No. 1
Three Dollars

Surplus Populations: Economic Migrants and Political Refugees; Migration From
Central America, Cuba, Haiti, the West Indies; Migrations to the US, Canada, Britain,
France, the Netherlands, Venezuela. Strategic Flexibility in the West Indies; Who
Needs A Guest Worker Program?


Ev Ie


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
Tamiami 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, Modern 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, Modern
Luis P Salas, Criminal Justice
Jorge Salazar, Economics
Alex Stepick, Anthropology
Mark D. Szuchman, History
William T. Vickers, Anthropology
Maida Watson Breslin, Modern

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.


WINTER 1982 Vol. XI, No. 1 Three Dollars

Barry B. Levine

Associate Editors
Anthony P Maingot
William T Osborne
Mark B. Rosenberg
Contributing Editors
Carlos M. Alvarez
Ricardo Arias
Ken I. Boodhoo
Jerry Brown
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
Design Consultant
Juan C. Urquiola
Assistant to the Editor
Brenda Hart
Marian Goslinga
Linda M. Marston
Circulation Manager
James F Droste
Marketing and Sales Manager
Robert A. Geary
Production Assistant
Stephanie Schneiderman
Contributing Artist
Eleanor Bonner

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-
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responsibility for giving such views the opportunity to be
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opinion some articles are in open disagreement with others
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Mailing address: Caribbean Review, Florida International
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Copyright: Contents Copyright @ 1982 by Caribbean Review,
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Index: Articles appearing in this journal are annotated and
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Periodicals Index; Historical Abstracts; America: History and
Life; United States Political Science Documents; and Universal
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IX, No. 2.
Subscription rates: For the US, PR, and the USVI 1 year:
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Number: 079.7295.

In this issue

The Caribbean Exodus

page 10

page 22

page 46

On the Cover:
Cuban artist and Mariel ref-
ugee Victor Julio G6mez's
Testimony for Some Day
(mixed media). The original
(6' x 4') hangs in Caracas,
Venezuela. Lithograph re-
productions (26" x 18") are
available from the Lit-
tle Havana Activities Center
(1501 SW 8th Street, Miami,
Florida 33135) where
G6mez will be an artist-
in-residence during the
coming year.

Surplus Populations
Economic Migrants and Political Refugees
By Barry B. Levine

The History of Caribbean Migrations
The Case of the West Indies
By Dawn I. Marshall

Strategic Flexibility in the West Indies
A Social Psychology of Caribbean Migrations
By Charles V. Carnegie

The New Haitian Exodus
The Flight From Terror and Poverty
By Alex Stepick

The New Haitian Diaspora
Florida's Most Recent Residents
By Thomas D. Boswell

The New Cuban Exodus
Political and Economic Motivations
By Robert L. Bach

The Central American Exodus
Grist for the Migrant Mill
By Guy Gugliotta

Caribbean Migration to Britain
and France
From Assimilation to Selection
By Gary P Freeman

Caribbean Migration to the
From the Elite to the Working Class
By Frank Bovenkerk

A Note on Caribbean Migration
to Canada
By Frances Henry

The Venezuelan Reception
Human Resources and Development
By Andr6s Serbin

Who Needs a Guest Worker Program?
They Do; We Do
By Franklin W. Knight

Foreign Workers in the USVI
History of a Dilemma
By Mark J. Miller and William W. Boyer

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

Las Luchas Por El Seguro Social
En Costa Rica

Mark B. Rosenberg

Este libro es uno de los es-
tudios, sino el Onico, mas
amplio y riguroso sobre la
historic de la reform social en
Costa Rica, centrado de pre-
ferencia en el Seguro Social y
el papel de la Caja Costa-
rricense de Seguro Social. El
ensayo, es complete, en el sen-
tido que abarca la reform so-
cial durante casi toda la vida
independiente de Costa Rica.
Su vastisima informacibn
proviene de las mas variadas
fuentes: entrevistas, libros,
documents, actas de juntas
directives y toda clase de

Editorial Costa Rica
San Jose, Costa Rica

moneda y banca en
america central
Raul Moncarz
El libro esta escrito en un lenguaje claro y
comprensible teniendo en consideracion que el
mercado potential para el cual esta proyectado
esta representado por una amplia variedad de
posibles lectores.
El material esta dividido en tres areas. La
primera explore concepts basicos del dinero y
la banca, tales como el lugar del dinero en la
economic, la importancia de la banca y otros
intermediaries financieros.
La segunda parte hace un analisis detallado de
la banca en Centroamerica, la expansion y
contracci6n monetaria y los aspects
econ6micos del sistema bancario
centroamericano en los ultimos cinco afios, y
finalmente, se estudia con detalle la banca
central en Centroamerica y sus principles
La tercera parte trata en una forma general y
especifica la teoria y la political monetaria
incluyendo aspects internacionales del dinero
y la banca de Centroamerica.
Escuela Bancaria Superior
Tegucigalpa, D.C., Honduras, C.A.


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 Mobilit, and Integration in
Urban Argentina at $ 19.95 ca. Texas residents add 5% sales
D Check Enclosed D VISA O MasterCharge
Credit card no. -Exp. date
Name (print)
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edited by
Rosemary Brana-Shute

and Gary Brana-Shute

he rapid growth of crime and violence in the Caribbean
Spouses dramatic challenges to the citizens and govern-
ments in the region, who increasingly seek and even demand
immediate solutions. This first collection of articles on the
subject presents the results of investigations in the Dutch-,
French-, English-, and Spanish-speaking Caribbean, under-
taken by both scholars and civil servants currently at work in
the area.
The Role of the Sentencer in Dealing with Criminal Offenders
in the Commonwealth Caribbean-Delroy Chuck; Urban
Crime and Violence in Jamaica-Dudley Allen; Crime and
Treatment in Jamaica-Dudley Allen; Rape and Socio-Eco-
nomic Conditions in Trinidad and Tobago-Kenneth Pryce
and Daurius Figueira; Reflections on the Problem of Urban
Crime and Violence in Puerto Rico-Rafael Santosdel Valle;
A Profile of the State of Criminology in Haiti-Max Carr6;
Urban Crime and Violence in Guyana-Michael Parris; A Sur-
vey of the Guyanese Prison Population: A Research Note
-Michael Parris; Planned Research into the Criminological
Consequences of the Mass Transmigration of the Bush
Negroes in Suriname-A. Leerschool-Liong A Jin; Women
and Violent Crime in Suriname-J. M. M. Binda
x, 146 pages. Maps, charts, tables, index. ISBN: 0-8130-0685-6,
LC 80-21078. Paper, $6.00 U.S.
A publication of the Center for Latin American Studies,
University of Florida
with assistance from the Association of Caribbean
Universities and Research Institutes (UNICA)

Orders from individuals must be prepaid and include 85 cents shipping
and handling charge. Florida orders add 4 percent state sales tax.
famu /fau /fiu /fsu /ucf /uf/unf/usf/uwf
S 15 NW 15 Street / Gainesville F L 32603

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....I 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

10 East 53rd Street, New York 10022




Economic Migrants and Political Refugees

By Barry B. Levine

f you call (212) 756-1441 in the US, a Mr.
Compton Fairweather, formerly of Be-
lize and now of Brooklyn, New York, will
treat you, at no charge beyond what you
need pay Ma Bell, to a prerecorded tape
telling you of the latest news of concern to
Belizeans. On any given tape they
change every Tuesday a.m. you might
bear about the border between Belize and
Guatemala, about recent appointments
made by the Belizean government, about
fires in Belize City, about births, marriages,
and deaths of Belizeans at "home" and
abroad, about Church and community ac-
tivities in Brooklyn (including instructions
as to which subway to take to get there).
This example, among a whole array of
others, is one of many that symbolizes the
reconquest of the metropolitan powers by
the Caribbean peoples. If Europe sent mi-
grants to America, and then imported
slaves and other indentured laborers to
work the new lands and help to form creole
America, creole America is now "recon-
quering" the mainlands.
The migration processes are compli-
cated human dramas. The actors include
political exiles and refugees, people fleeing
violence and terror, displaced persons who
have lost home and occupation, economic
migrants who are valued for their skills or
for their willingness to do bottom-of-the-
ladder work, and finally, an enormous army
of illegal aliens who are in search of ways to
better their lives even in the face of bureau-
cratic obstacles put before them.
These migration dramas for all their
agony and difficulties are ultimately dramas
of hope and of enormous courage. They pit
the actors smack up against impersonal
bureaucracies, alien cultures and lan-
guages, racial and ethnic prejudice, occu-
pational discrimination. And yet we know
ihat they are productive human experi-
ences. For the most part, migrants come
with a less than full desire to destroy and
obliterate their past. In the case of the
Puerto Rican migration, for example, it is
clear that in the original exodus from the
island it was economic opportunity even
at the cost of social status that drew the
islanders to the mainland. Yet given the
economic development of the island many

Puerto Ricans eagerly returned and willingly
yielded economic gains to recover social
status. In a similar vein, those who flee for
political and safety reasons often do so with
a hope to return. It is this combination of
roots in one place, and an on-going life in
another, this conflict of cultures producing
marginal men, that is the basis for the
syncretic accretions and coalescences that
form ethnic subcultures throughout met-
ropolitan cities. Latin Miami, Haitian
Brooklyn, Salvadoran San Francisco are
culturally productive centers of excitement
and vitality.
Once having affirmed that however, it is
important to focus on the political and so-
cial problems attendant to migration. This
is especially so given the fact that both
sending and receiving societies reveal a
painful confusion and uncertainty as to how
to deal with the apparently never to cease
flow of refugees and migrants. If Lenin's
assertion that "emigrants vote with their
feet" is right then it is obvious that the
sending societies no longer seem able to
provide their citizens with a decent life,
whether decency be defined as the absence
of persecution or the provision of economic
opportunities. Nor do the receiving
societies know how to deal with the mi-
grants: they do not know how to regulate
the flow; they do not know how to deal with
the people who have come to their shores;
they do not know what responsibilities they
have towards and what responsibilities
they should demand from the new arri-
vals. Receiving societies do not know what
they may demand from sending societies;
sending societies do not know what they
owe their itinerant citizens.
In a certain sense migration is a problem
beyond itself for it is a phenomena that by
its very nature crystallizes and starkly illus-
trates the core of the relationship between
the individual and the state. The state is the
one social institution to which all men must
respond. One need not belong to a religious
group, to a family, or even to an economic
enterprise; yet one must belong to a state. In
the political realm there is no equivalent to
the voluntary status of being secular, single,
or even unemployed; all men need citizen-
ship someplace. What migration demon-

states is the very dependence of men on
the good will of the state for it is only that
institution that can protect the individual
from a whole host of problems, paradoxi-
cally including those generated by the very
state itself.
And in the case of migration -whether
for economic or political reasons if one
state no longer wants or can provide for the
emigres then the ticklish question arises as
to who will protect them. The image of
stateless people people on boats be-
tween two states, neither of which wants
them, people who are to arrive on land often
only to remain bureaucratically afloat is a
chilling image. Reports of piracy at sea only
symbolize the phenomena. Stated starkly, if
nobody wants them, then nobody will pro-
tect them. Consider Colorado Governor
Richard Lamm's statement that: "America
cannot become the lifeboat of all the excess
population floating around." Politically, to
be an apatride means not so much to be
deracinated as to be defenseless; to be
stateless is to be rightless. Migrants be-
tween two countries lead precarious lives.
In another context, Richard Rubenstin
has applied the concept of "surplus popu-
lation" to those groups of people who have
become expendable, those groups of
people who have not simply become re-
dundant demographically but who have
become superfluous politically. In The
Cunning of History he used the term to
discuss the predicament of the Jews sub-
ject to Hitler's bureaucratic cruelty. In-
terestingly, if not felicitiously, he reminds us
that before the "final solution" was adopted
a previous one was aired: a forced expulsion
of all Jews from Germany. In both cases the
necessary pre-condition was a process of
denaturalization and denationalization
stripping the Jews of citizenship and of any
recourse to German law to protect their
human and civil rights.
The recent exodus from Mariel, including
the Cuban government's creation of the
non-person, non-citizen category of es-
coria ("scum"), as well as their refusal to
take back those few who migrated but who
would rather return to the island, once
again unfortunately demonstrates how
easy it is to create "surplus populations."

But so too do economic migrations preview
aspects of the "surplus population"
phenomena for mass migrations under-
score the sending country's inability to
protect its citizens, abandoning as they do
to another state their gladly released re-
sponsibilities. Chicano author Jose Antonio
Burciaga has recently lamented that
"Mexico sends workers to this country [but]
never bothers to insure their welfare." The
only hope for the migrant then is that he be
able to secure legal rights elsewhere.
That this too is uncertain can be wit-
nessed in the confusion and ambivalence
surrounding the categorization of entrants.
In the US there appears to be little qualifica-
tion and in practice no real cap on the
number of political refugees allowed into
the country; economic migrants, on the
other hand, need meet specific criteria to be
admitted and their number is moderated.
American courts as a consequence are
filled with cases by migrants who seek clas-
sification as refugees. But as Anthony P
Maingot has recently argued, these distinc-
tions are subject to manipulation and
change according to changes in the politi-
cal climate.
Even for those for whom the distinctions
appear to be conceptually clear a ref-
ugee flees persecution, a migrant poverty
- it is their linkage to US policy that gener-
ates confusion. America has allowed liberal
migration in the form of political refuge
from totalitarian communist regimes (such
as Viet Nam and Cuba) but not necessarily
from regimes, authoritarian or otherwise,
that are not communist. That such a policy
is subject to manipulation for reasons apart
from the migrant and his particular circum-
stances is witnessed in the creation during
the Carter administration of the "Haitian-
Cuban entrant" status, a kind of nether
status that effectively puts the migrant in
limbo. The same evidence is had in current
speculation, amidst America's economic
recession and conservative budget-cutting,
that many Vietnamese and Cuban migrants
may be economically rather than politically
motivated after all. Nor is it implausible to
believe that the present link between dip-
lomatic goals and migration policy might
someday be reversed (as it recently had


Cuban refugees leave the Key
West processing center
beneath a sign which reads
"The last person to leave
Cuba, please turn out the
lights." Wide World Photos.

been in the Bahamas). One possibility is a
policy that rewards America's friends rather
than its enemies with migration categories
that allow developmental escape valves.
Such was the case with the US and Puerto
Rico as well as with the European nations
and their colonies. With such a shift in pol-
icy it would be harder and harder to prove
persecution even from communist
According to estimates there are between
four and 12 million illegal migrants in the
United States, people who have either en-
tered illegally or have over-stayed their
visas. The US Immigration and Naturaliza-
tion Service stops about one million per-
sons trying to enter illegally each year; they
estimate, however, that for every person
that they catch they have missed two
others. These undocumented aliens obvi-
ously have learned how to beat the compli-
cated bureaucracy involved in American
immigration law. But their ambiguous
political status has set themselves up for all
sorts of problems. Because of the so-called
Texas proviso, America has created the
anomalous distinction of making it illegal to
be an undocumented alien while not mak-
ing it illegal for an employer to hire one.
This has created the closest thing in the US
to what Barrington Moore, Jr., has termed a
"labor-repressive mechanism." Such a
mechanism, as distinct from the labor mar-
ket, refers to any way to control workers by
political as against economic means. The
Texas proviso insures that wages will be

sh III
VE 1

kept below the market as workers fear their
employer might reveal their illegal status to
INS officials. Essentially, what has been
created is a new underclass of migrant
farmworkers and urban sweatshop laborers
with no legal rights.
In the following pages, Caribbean Re-
view once again devotes an entire issue to
a single topic, that of the Caribbean exodus.
We do so with the deliberate intention of
diverting present-day conversation about
Caribbean migration away from narrow foci
that simply concentrate on Haitians and
Cubans fleeing to Miami. To properly un-
derstand those movements we try to locate
them within broader historical, cultural, and
geographic frameworks. In one way or
another we discuss migration from Central
America, Cuba, Haiti, and the West Indies;
migration to Canada, France, Great Britain,
Holland, the United States and Venezuela.
Readers of these pages will come across
many problems that will worry them. To my
mind the most pressing problem relating to
the Caribbean exodus concerns the clarifi-
cation of the legal rights of the migrants.
For as I see it, it is only then that we can be
secure that they will not be exploited by
labor repressive mechanisms in the work-
place or be made superfluous in the polity.

Barry B. Levine is editor of Caribbean Re-
view. His views on the social psychology of
migration are elaborated in his recently pub-
lished Benjy, Lopez: A Picaresque Tale of
Emigration and Return (Basic Books).


The History of

Caribbean Migrations

The Case of the West Indies
By Dawn I. Marshall

Since the Mariel boat-lift and the influx
of Haitian boat-people, American
public opinion, especially in Florida,
has been focused on the migration of
Caribbean peoples to their country. How-
ever, observers tend to see these move-
ments as a recent phenomenon and are
not generally aware that, certainly from
the Commonwealth Caribbean, people
have been moving out of their islands, al-
most continuously, for 150 years. Even in
the islands themselves the study of migra-
tion has received little attention, and such
work as has been done focuses on migra-
tion since the Second World War. An
historical review of migration from the
Commonwealth Caribbean since Emanci-
pation understands that Emancipation
granted to the ex-slaves freedom of mobil-
ity, a freedom which they exercised at every
The Commonwealth Caribbean coun-
tries are small, even miniscule, by global
standards. Guyana, the mainland country, is
largest with an area of 83,000 square miles.
Next in size are Jamaica (4,411 square
miles) and the Bahamas whose area of
5,400 square miles is made up of a sprawl-
ing archipelago. Except for Trinidad and
Tobago which together make up 1,980
square miles, the other islands range in size
from 33 square miles (Montserrat) to 305
square miles (Dominica). This small size
means that the populations are also small,
ranging in size in 1980 from 12,073 in
Montserrat to 2.2 million in Jamaica; and
totaling only 5.4 million in all. Resources
and opportunities are also extremely lim-
ited, and it should be remembered that
while the volume of migration may be small
when measured in global terms, the impact
on these small territories can be relatively
The population of the Caribbean is to a
large extent the result of migration from
initial settlement, forced immigration dur-
ing slavery, indentured immigration, to the
present outward movementto metropolitan
countries. The period since Emancipation,
can be divided into four phases of migra-
tion in the Commonwealth Caribbean: the
first, 1835-1885 is dominated by inter-
territorial movement while the second,

1885-1920 is dominated by the movement
to Panama. During the period 1920-1940,
there was little out-migration from the is-
lands although there was some forced re-.
patriation as well as some voluntary return
migration. The present phase, begun in
1940, is dominated by movement to the
metropolitan countries of the United King-
dom and North America.
Inter-territorial Migration
Historically, this phase is of particular inter-
est since it is the first movement out of the
islands after Emancipation, and the origin
of the almost continuous migration which
followed. This first movement has to be
placed in the context of general mobility
after Emancipation: movement to small-
holdings, movement to different occupa-
tions often in the towns, and movement to
different islands all essentially move-
ment away from the plantation. Statistics
are available for most of the islands which
show decreases in the sizes of estate labor
forces, as well as increases in the number of
small-holdings in the years immediately
following Emancipation.
In 1835, opportunities for migration
existed mainly in the territories of Trinidad
and Tobago and British Guiana. Trinidad
and Tobago was newly acquired by Britain
from Spain, and British Guiana from the
Netherlands. Planters in these newer ter-
ritories tried to retain their labor forces, but
with little success. For example, in Trinidad
of the 22,359 slaves living and working on
estates, only 8,000 remained after Emanci-
pation. In addition, thousands of laborers
were needed for the opening up of virgin
lands to the demands of sugar.
Both Trinidadian and Guianese planters
sponsored active recruiting programs in the
other islands. Their wage rates were double
those in the other islands, and emigration
agents were sent out to attract workers.
Trinidadian planters adopted a bounty sys-
tem in which captains of sailing vessels
were paid for each laborer they imported;
and in addition fringe benefits such as free
passages and land for cultivation, were also
offered. Planters in the sending islands
reacted mainly by enacting legislation to

restrict the out-migration. For example as
early as 1839, the Barbadian Legislature
had enacted two Acts explicitly designed to
restrict emigration. The British govern-
ment also objected to the inter-territorial
migration at first, because of the inexperi-
ence of the ex-slaves which caused them to
be at a disadvantage in their dealings with
the fraudulent practices of emigration
agents. But most of these efforts to restrict
the migration were in vain.
Conditions in most of the islands en-
couraged migration. In some of the islands
like Barbados and Carriacou, most of the
cultivable land was already being utilized by
the plantations. Movement away from the
plantations therefore meant movement
away from the islands. Moreover, the period
after Emancipation was a period of in-
creasing population due mainly to high
fertility rates, of the order of 40 per
thousand. In Barbados, the rates of growth
during the early part of this period were
some of the highest ever experienced, de-
spite a cholera epidemic in 1854 which
claimed 20,000 lives. This situation of in-
creasing population was exacerbated by
two other events during the period. The
Sugar Duties Act of 1846, which removed
the protection which West Indian Sugar had
been receiving in the English market, re-
sulted in low prices in sugar which in turn
resulted in low wages for work on the es-
tates. In addition, prolonged droughts
throughout the Eastern Caribbean in the
1860s caused widespread distress in most
of the islands. These conditions forced
a change of planters' attitudes towards
Whereas in 1840 the workers in Bar-
bados found it necessary to protest against
the legislative restrictions deterring their
migration, by 1871 the Barbadian Governor
saw migration as the only alternative to
starvation and pestilence; and by 1873 the
Barbadian Legislature passed an Act which
actually made provision for assisting cer-
tain poor classes to migrate. By the end of
the period, then, a new policy towards emi-
gration had evolved in Barbados from a
position of active discouragement to one of
active encouragement This seemed to be
true in most of the other islands, and the

Copyright Linda M. Marston 1982.

policy of active encouragement has re-
mained ever since.
The movements began even before the
Apprenticeship ended, and seem to have
had their origin in the practice by planters,
after the Abolition of the Slave Trade (1807),
of selling slaves between islands a
movement in which some freed slaves also
took part before Emancipation. Inter-
territorial movement took place in waves
depending not so much on conditions in
the receiving territories or in the sending
countries, but on external conditions af-
fecting the sugar market. For example, the
movement to British Guiana took place in
three main phases: 1835-1846 which
ended when Indian indentured labor
seemed sufficient, and when the Sugar
Duties Act of 1846 caused a drop in prices;
the second phase from 1863-1886 coin-
cided with the droughts and was used by
Guianese planters mainly to supplement
Indian labor; and the third phase from
1920-1928, which actually falls outside the
period under review, was an attempt by
Guianese planters to find replacements
when Indian indenture came to an end.
Regarding the movements to Trinidad
and British Guiana it is clear that (1) all of
the Eastern Caribbean islands took part in
the movements, with the possible excep-

tion of Dominica where movement seems
to have focused on the gold fields of Ven-
ezuela; and (2) that Barbados, with its larger
population, dominated the movements. (In
the northern Caribbean, there was also
movement away from the plantations, but
distance prevented Jamaicans and Baha-
mians from taking part in these
movements.) Between 1835 and 1846,
19,000 persons from the Eastern Carib-
bean islands entered British Guiana and
Trinidad and Tobago; while between 1850
and 1921 Barbados alone contributed
50,000 persons to the populations of
British Guiana and Trinidad and Tobago.
These migrants were mainly young adult
males who worked mainly on the sugar
estates. Strenuous efforts were made by the
planters in both receiving territories to get
the imported workers to sign, and abide by,
contracts which would ensure a labor force
throughout the year. Despite this the
movements were mainly seasonal, with
workers arriving in the territories after June
when work became scarce in their own is-
lands, and then returning to spend Christ-
mas and crop time in their own islands.
Nevertheless, the recorded number of West
Indians resident in Trinidad almost doubled
from 12,106 in 1844 to 24,047 in 1881.
Several characteristics of this inter-

territorial movement should be noted, since
they tend to be true of the movements in
other phases of Caribbean migration. First
of all, the movements began as, and were
mainly, solicited contract movements -
although individuals did move without the
benefit of contracts, and in some cases
actually resisted efforts to make them sign
contracts. Second, although quite a sub-
stantial number of workers remained in the
receiving territories, the movements were
seen by some as essentially temporary in
nature. And finally, the impact of external
global conditions was extremely important,
affecting both the magnitude and timing of
the movements.
Other movements from the sending is-
lands also took place during this first phase:
for instance, a 'massive' movement from
Dominica to the gold fields of Venezuela
leaving at least 7,000 poverty-stricken
Dominicans in Venezuela in 1894; and
movements from Barbados to Suriname
(1,495 between 1863 and 1870) and to St.
Croix (3,500 in 1863). But the movements
to British Guiana and Trinidad dominated
the period. Further, both these movements
continued long after 1885; the movement
into British Guiana until 1928, while the
movement from St. Vincent and Grenada to
Trinidad still continues today. But in 1880 a

movement began to 'foreign' territories,
especially to Panama, which over-
shadowed all others.

Inter-Caribbean Migration
During the first phase of emigration,
movements from the Caribbean islands
were directed mainly towards other British
colonies in the Caribbean. In contrast,
movements during the second phase were
directed towards 'foreign' territories, though
still mainly within the Caribbean basin.
These included movements to Cuba and
the Dominican Republic to work in the ex-
panded sugar plantations there; move-
ments to banana plantations and railroads
in Central America; movements to work on
a dry dock in Bermuda; and movements to
the United States. These movements were
the result of a demand for labor created by
the expansion of a specific economic sec-
tor or venture, and in almost every case this
expansion was the result of US investments.
Thus, although only a small proportion of
the actual movements were to the United
States itself, they were certainly movements
in search of the 'yankee dollar.'
Conditions in the Caribbean at the be-
ginning of this second phase certainly were
conducive to emigration. During the
1880-1890s Europe entered the world
sugar market with beet sugar which re-
ceived substantial government bounties. In
1884, for example, enormous quantities of
cheap German beet sugar were sent to
Britain and the price of muscovado sugar
fell from 20 shillings per 100 pounds to 13.
For a brief period between 1891 and 1895
the United States accepted sugar from the
British West Indian colonies, but this ended
when the US gave preferential sugar duties
to Brazil, Cuba, the Dominican Republic
and Puerto Rico. This unfortunate position
for sugar was compounded by serious out-
breaks of cane disease in the British West
Indies. Thus, this was one of the most criti-
cal periods for West Indian sugar; there
were wide-spread bankruptcies of estate
proprietors and even the abandonment of
sugar on some estates. Workers were laid
off and wages lowered. Nature further
compounded the problem. Barbados and
the Leewards were hit by a hurricane in
1898, Montserrat and Nevis in 1899; while
Jamaica was hit by four hurricanes between
1911 and 1921. Then there was the volcanic
eruption of Soufriere in St. Vincent in 1902
which claimed 2,000 lives. For the majority
of the population, labor emigration must
have seemed the only practical alternative
to poverty and distress.
Migration to Panama can be divided into
three phases: that of railroad construction
across the Isthmus between 1850 and 1855;
the period of work on the Canal between
1880 and 1914; and the period of railroad
relocation between 1906 and 1914. Only

Jamaicans took part in the first phase of
railroad construction when between two
and three thousand of them traveled to
Panama. Recruitment of labor from the rest
of the English-speaking Caribbean had to
await the beginning of the excavation of the
canal in 1880 under the French company,
Universal Inter-Oceanic Company. When
the French company failed in 1889, migra-
tion ceased. Between 1894, when the new
Panama Canal Company was incorporated,
and 1904 when the American government
purchased the canal and railroad prop-
erties, labor was recruited mainly from

People have been moving
out of their islands,
almost continuously, for
150 years.

those who had remained behind in
Panama. With the American purchase in
1904 another larger wave of emigration
began and continued even after the canal
was opened to traffic in 1914.
The nature of the movement was very
much one of ebb and flow. This was not
only as a result of the stages of construction
going on in Panama itself, but also as a
result of other activities, mainly in banana
cultivation, which at this time were taking
place in other Central American republics
like Mexico, the Yucatan, Colombia,
Nicaragua, Honduras, Guatemala and
Costa Rica. Workers seemed to have
moved between these countries depending
on conditions. There was considerable
movement of West Indians between the
United States and these republics as well as
the islands themselves. Patterns of recruit-
ment also varied, so that movement from
Jamaica was mainly individual, whereas
from the Eastern Caribbean movement
very much depended on recruitment or
emigration agents. Workers seemed to
have returned to their homes at the end of
their contracts, or when they felt that they
had earned sufficient 'Panama money' to
live off it for a while. As a result, there was a
considerable turnover of workers and the
opportunities to work abroad were open to
a much larger number of persons than
would have been the case otherwise.
Nevertheless, the movement out of the
Caribbean during this 1885-1920 period
was considerable. It is estimated that there
was a net population loss to the English-
speaking Caribbean of 130,000 during this
period, the majority being from Jamaica
and Barbados. As a result, with the excep-
tion of Jamaica and Trinidad, all of the is-
lands experienced not only declines in the
number of males of working age, but actual

declines in total population as well. The
following statistics give an idea of the size of
the movements. Between 1902 and 1932,
121,000 Jamaicans traveled to Cuba to
work in the cane fields. This movement
ended in the 1930s with violence and forced
repatriation. Between 1900 and 1920 there
was a movement of 10 to 12,000 Baha-
mians to Miami to participate in the building
boom then taking place there. Between
1904 and 1914 about 60,000 Barbadians
left their island for Panama. Estimates of
the numbers of West Indians who migrated
to the United States during this period vary,
but none are less than 46,000; although
one estimate for the number of Jamaicans
alone who migrated to the United States at
this time reaches 44,000.
But conditions in the receiving countries
were not always favorable. The majority of
the West Indian migrants in Panama were
employed in manual labor, in the actual
excavation of the canal, working as 'pick
and shovel' men. There is a strong sugges-
tion that the Isthmian Canal Commission
discriminated against British West Indians
not only by paying them lower wage rates
but also by classifying the majority of them
as laborers, no matter how skilled they
might have been. Moreover between 1906
and 1923 more than 20,000 British West
Indians died in Panama. In addition there
was a racial bias against the black West
Indians in most of the Central American
republics, some of which enacted restrictive
immigration legislation with a definite racial
bias to halt the movements.
The completion of the Panama Canal in
1914; the crash in sugar prices in 1921; the
enactment of restrictive immigration legis-
lation; and finally the Great Depression
brought this period of considerable mobil-
ity to an end. Not only did opportunities
for emigration no longer exist, but large
numbers of West Indians were forced by
circumstances to return home. This return
movement home and the lack of migration
opportunities were perceived as trends
against the tradition of migration which had
evolved in the Caribbean. The relief of ad-
verse economic conditions caused by
sugar, the remittance of money earned
abroad for the purchase of homes and land
as well as the sustenance of those left be-
hind, had by now become an expected part
of life. But the experience of work in menial
jobs, the discriminatory practice of lower
wage rates, and the closure of opportunities
by racially discriminatory immigration
legislation also became a part of the tradi-
tion of West Indian migration at this time.

A Period of Crisis (1920-1940)
During the Panama phase, fertility rates in
the Caribbean declined to a low of 34 per
thousand, probably as a result of the mas-
sive male migration to the Canal Zone; and
they remained more or less steady until the

1960s. But this decline in fertility was fol-
lowed by dramatic declines in mortality. To
use the example of Barbados, rates
dropped from 33 per thousand in 1921-
1925, to 14 per thousand by 1951-1953.
This reduction which took place over a
period of thirty years in Barbados and the
rest of the Caribbean, had taken place over
a period of 170 years in Britain. It was due to
a number of reasons including very large
declines in infant and child mortality; the
introduction from overseas of health meas-
ures like DDT control; and possibly also the
improvement of socio-economic condi-
tions. The resultant natural increase caused
concern from early in the 20th century. The
Moyne Commission in its Report after the
1930s disturbances, was in no doubt that
"absolute over-population" existed in some
of the West Indies islands to an acute de-
gree. Since population control via a further
reduction in fertility rates was a long-term
measure, emigration was the only per-
ceived solution.
But the only outlets for emigration which
developed during this period were those to
the oil fields in Venezuela and to the oil
refinery which was established in Curacao.
Between 1916 and 1929 about 10,000 West
Indians mainly from Curacao, Trinidad and
Barbados found work in Venezuela in the
developing oil fields. But in 1929, the Ven-
ezuelan authorities restricted the entry of
foreign-born black people. An oil refinery
was established in Curacao in 1915, and
these facilities were expanded in 1923.
Thus, after 20 years as a sending country
itself, Curacao began receiving migrants.
By 1945 one-fifth of the population of Cur-
acao was foreign-born. This foreign-born
population was drawn from a number of
sources including Holland itself, the Dutch
Windward Islands, Venezuela and of course,
the British West Indies. Migration was again
in a series of waves, the first one taking
place between 1925 and 1930. By 1930
almost 3,000 of the 8,500 employees of the
Shell Oil Company were British West In-
dians. However, as a result of the Great De-
pression migration ceased, and by the end
of 1931 70% of the Company's unskilled
workers, including, of course, many West
Indians, had been dismissed and repa-
triated. It was not until 1942, that the Com-
pany again turned to the West Indies as a
source of labor, and 2,250 workers from the
Eastern Caribbean entered Curacao. But
from about 1950, Shell began to introduce
more automation, and by 1953 the entry of
foreigners to Curacao was narrowly
This movement to Curacao assumed
greater importance than it would otherwise
have done, because of the lack of other
outlets for migration. The numbers in-
volved were small compared with the great
mobility in the period before. Furthermore,
West Indians were being repatriated from

places like the United States and Cuba.
These returning migrants had become ac-
customed to the high wages and higher
standards of living of these receiving coun-
tries. Both their aspirations and their ex-
pectations had been raised by their
sojourns abroad. It is to be expected,
therefore, that there would have been dis-
content with the conditions in the Carib-
bean, even during normal times.
The series of disturbances which began
in St. Kitts in January 1935 and ended in
Jamaica in 1938, and occurred throughout
the West Indies, signaled a crisis in West

Emancipation granted to
the ex-slaves freedom of
mobility, a freedom which
they exercised at every

Indian history. The general consensus in
the West Indies at the time was that the
period was one of especially bad economic
conditions caused by the persistence of
adverse market trends for export crops, the
closure of emigration outlets and the rapid
increase of population. More than one
contemporary observer commented on the
need for emigration opportunities at this
time while the Commission which investi-
gated the disturbances stated in its report
that this lack was an important element in
the disturbances: "this extreme difficulty of
movement... creates a sense of being shut
in, of being denied opportunity and choice,
and of subsequent frustration in the minds
of many young men ... it may be a more
important element than appears at first in
the psychology of discontent." But the
Commission did not see a possible solution
within the West Indies. The solutions lay not
within the island systems, but outside: in
capital supplied from without, in a reduction
of the birth-rates, and in securing some-
how, new outlets for emigration.

Movement to the Metropoles
(1940 to the Present)
With World War II, American workers were
absorbed by the armed forces and other
more desirable war efforts. However, ag-
riculture, the railroads; the lumber industry
and some factories suffered from shortages
of labor. Migrant workers were therefore
imported to alleviate these shortages. The
majority of these were Mexicans under the
Bracero Program, but Newfoundlanders
and French Canadians, as well as British
West Indians from British Honduras,
Jamaica, the Bahamas and Barbados were
also imported.
For the Commonwealth Caribbean, re-

cruitment began with the northern Carib-
bean, in the Bahamas and Jamaica. Ameri-
can employers were reluctant to recruit
Barbadians because of the distance, and
therefore the costs of transportation in-
volved. But the Barbadian governor
pressed for their inclusion and by 1944
Barbadians were numbered among those
included. The numbers involved were sub-
stantial. Between 1942 and 1945 a total of
just over 400,000 workers were imported.
Almost three-quarters of these were Mexi-
cans, but British West Indians made up 17%
while the Canadians made up 10%. This
importation of British West Indians did not
end when the Bracero Program ended, but
in fact still continues, and has been ex-
tended to some of the other Eastern Carib-
bean islands like St. Vincent and St. Lucia.
But Jamaicans still make up the majority of
the workers imported. Nor is the impact of
the compulsory savings of the workers in-
significant in the islands. In St. Vincent for
example the contribution of compulsory
savings to remittances has been increasing.
In 1965 compulsory savings were just over
3% of total remittances. But by 1979 they
represented almost 16% of total remit-
tances. And this contribution in 1979 was
from only 452 workers: 386 in the United
States, and 66 in Canada.
The Bahamians, however, no longer par-
ticipate in the scheme. What is interesting
about the Bahamian situation, is that as
tourism grew and employment opportuni-
ties grew with it, the recruitment of Baha-
mian workers gradually declined until it
came to an end in 1966. Instead, the
Bahamas became a receiving country:
between 1901 and 1943, the proportion of
the total population made up by the
foreign-born varied between 2 and 4%. But
by 1970, the foreign-born population
enumerated by the Census made up 18% of
the total population and this did not in-
clude the relative large numbers of undoc-
umented Haitians and Jamaicans in the
country who were estimatedto be anywhere
between 10 and 40,000 at this time.
If the recruited contract labor scheme is
excluded from consideration, three land-
marks can be identified in US immigration
legislation as it affected British West In-
dians. First was the Immigration Act of 1924
which was the result of a fairly long public
campaign for restricted immigration which
had its first legal expression in the Chinese
Exclusion Act of 1882. The Act expressed a
definite racial bias and devised complicated
formulas to restrict immigrants from cer-
tain countries to retain the racial and ethnic
composition of the US population. Unfor-
tunately for the Commonwealth Caribbean,
this Act came at a time when as we have
seen, most other migration outlets for
Caribbean peoples had also been closed.
The next landmark was the Immigration Act
Continued on page 52


A, basic assumption in the study of mi-
gratinr, is that the movement of
people from one region to another,
and more so from one countryto the next, is
unusual Conversely, those who are raised,
hate their children and grow old on the
r&samt- piece or ground, we regard matter of
factli, and lind nothing of inherent interest
in their sedentariness. To make the point by
i using a sin ple binary distinction: migration
Ss regarded as the "marked" phenomenon,
and staving put as "unmarked." Yet it is just
as 'persuasie logically, to assume the re-
Serse. Or again, we might regard them both
as benng equally worthy, or equally unde-
ser,.ing of scholarly attention. My point
here. hc,%e ver. is that at least with respect to
particular peoples at particular times, to
mox is as ordinary and expected a thing to
do as to be sedentary. People from the
Caribbean routinely use cultural ideas
t i hC h emphasize flexibility and the building
_:.t multiple options. "Strategic flexibility"
S-expresses these cultural patterns which
pe pl alue and talk about in a great many
i:ontexts of Caribbean life. These ideas do
not .t beconie any less salient when West
Indians cross national frontiers; indeed mi-

-iillustration by Danine Carey.


Strategic Flexibility in

the West Indies

A Social Psychology of Caribbean Migration

By Charles V. Carnegie

gration itself is a preferred means of acting
them out.

Two Variants of Strategic
Being flexible has at least two dimensions:
adjusting rapidly to whatever comes along;
and secondly, the actual building of multi-
ple options, potential capital as it were, to
hedge against future insecurity. A person
must be ready and willing to use whatever
comes along rather than cling doggedly to
a single path that might prove fruitless. This
idea is aptly expressed in the St. Lucian
saying: "mantche shien, pwen shat," or,
"if you lose the dog grab the cat." To illus-
trate: an inter-island trader (known in St.
Lucia as a speculator) goes to the coun-
tryside intent on buying an item, say man-
goes, for shipment to Barbados. She has
made arrangements in advance to buy
from a particular person. For some reason
however, this quest proves unsuccessful. If
she is lucky enough to come across
another item that she had not figured on,
then, other things being equal, she will
quickly grasp this new opportunity. But this
new opportunity might be as opaque in its
immediate significance as the making of a
new acquaintance who will prove helpful in
the future. Here too she will be quick to
count her gains.
This readiness to take hold of opportuni-
ties is voiced by informants when they share
their plans, or express the wish, to emigrate.
They are very likely to have a definite goal in
view. But should the possibility of going
someplace else present itself, it will be taken
up readily. An instance of this is the case of a
young man who recently migrated from St.
Lucia to French Guiana. A fisherman in St.
Lucia, he has long wanted to go to the
United States. An aunt of his who lives in
French Guiana, came to St. Lucia on a visit.
It was arranged that he would go to French
Guiana and get help from her, during which
time he would work and continue efforts to
get a US visa. Before leaving he sold his
boat and fishing gear to get enough money
for the trip. In the year prior to his leaving for
French Guiana, he visited Barbados for a
few weeks and stayed with a cousin of his
mother. This too, seems to have been a trip

designed to explore options. In conversa-
tions with his mother in the months after he
had left for French Guiana, she said she had
not yet heard from him, but that she would
not be surprised if he had gone from there
to Venezuela to work, and continue trying to
find a way of getting to the United States.
Not knowing Spanish, she said, would not
be a problem: he would make it somehow.
Certainly it seemed that this was not per-
ceived as a deterrent to his going to
Another instance, this one planned but
not yet acted upon, is of an unemployed
teenage youth living in the coastal town of
Soufriere in St. Lucia. He expressed a desire
to go to the United States, and hopes to do
this by getting a job on a yacht or larger
vessel, then having the owner sponsor his
visa application. He has had experience
sailing to other Caribbean islands by using
just this method. He spends a lot of time
hanging out at the town's jetty, a good place
for meeting strangers who are just passing
through town. He associates with Rastafa-
rian youth and dons many of their symbolic
marks of style and dress. Yet his'locks' were
not very evident, and he seemed willing to
give up Rastafarian symbols should any
opportunity come up for him to work his
way to North America.
Market vendors in St. Lucia often express
another aspect of the notion that you
should take what comes, when they say that
if something is meant for you, you will get it.
If you are meant to have the patronage of
this or that person then you will. On the
other hand, if business is bad one day then
it's just bad, and there is nothing you can do
about it. It is clear from the same people's
resourcefulness in most things that this is
not a simple attitude of fatalism. The view
underlies what may seem to be an attitude
of truculence on the part of St. Lucian ven-
dors, "either you take it or leave it," they
seem to say. A corollary of this idea as they
see it, is that if you are especially looking out
for something the money owed to you,
or the particular item you have to get sold
- then it will never come through when you
want it to. This contrasts in my experience
with the attitude of the Jamaican "higgler"
who is always ready to "sweet mouth," and

bargain with her customer.
Of related interest is the way in which
people speak about their special skill or
occupation. There is the feeling that some-
how one is born with certain technical ap-
titudes. When one has such innate talents, it
is not necessary to be specially trained; one
knows what to do and may develop and
refine this knowledge over time. The re-
verse of this is also said to hold: that if one
does not have the aptitude to begin with,
then no amount of training in the field can
properly develop one's skills. Thus, it is
considered quite acceptable for a youth to
give up an apprenticeship after only a few
weeks on the grounds that he simply does
not like the trade, or "doesn't have the mind
for it." Since he is not cut out for it, it would
be pointless for him to continue. While they
feel strongly that perseverance is important
in most instances, there are times when
West Indians negate this with ideas that are
held with equal firmness. It is permissible to
be in flux for a long time before discovering
the special talents you are endowed with
and which you must then develop re-
Some support for the argument being
put forward can be found in Frank Man-
ning's study, Black Clubs in Bermuda.
Bermuda differs from other territories of the
region in several respects, yet here there
seems to be much similarity as well. Man-
ning develops the idea that people at any
point in time might be expressly marking
time; awaiting the right opportunity, the
appropriate set of circumstances which will
then make them able to develop their
schemes for achieving fortune. This is the
less active aspect of the strategy of flexibil-
ity. Equally important, and occurring si-
multaneously, is the other component: the
building of multiple options.
Here again statements about migration
must figure large, as this is the sphere in
which options are ideally realized for many.
An elderly man, recently returned to St.
Lucia having lived abroad since the age of
sixteen, made the following point; "A man
must always be ready to move ... if he sees
there is no opportunity where he is, then he
must move on to somewhere else." He had
done just that; having lived in Cuba, Ven-

ezuela, Brazil, the United States; and
traveled as a seaman to various other
countries in the course of his long life. He
developed his options not only by moving,
but by carefully planning ahead taking a
correspondence course while still a sailor,
buying properties in New York City well be-
fore leaving a secure job on the high seas,
and moving his family to the United States
before taking the decision to do so himself.
It is quite common to hear such
strategies being discussed in open conver-
sation. One day, traveling on a transport
van, two young women were talking about
the necessity for going abroad. They spoke
of the way in which relatives who have gone
before can facilitate migration by sponsor-
ing others. Then, one of the two spoke of
going to another island as a tourist and
finding someone there to get married to, so
as to be able to stay permanently. It was a
public conversation in which other pas-
sengers on the van were free to join, and it
was clear that the strategies being outlined
were not idiosyncratic. There was a shared
sense of appropriateness, and the conver-
sation was a light exchange to pass the time
of day.
Very striking and explicitly articulated, is
the code of behavior that West Indians ex-
tend to strangers. The stranger coming into
town attracts great attention; people greet
him and are eager to find out where he is
from. They show extreme willingness to
render some service or to provide him with
hospitality. The host will often make state-
ments to the effect that if he or she were in a
strange place, he too would appreciate
others looking out for him. A speculator
whom I had just met once offered me fruit
as a gift on our parting. When 1 protested
her generosity the woman who was with her
told me it was all right, "what you give with
the right hand you get back with the left."
The West Indian world is viewed as a
system of potential relationships. It is possi-
ble that a stranger to whom one extends
hospitality may be in a position in the near
or distant future to reciprocate, and in view
of this you are making an investment in
redeemable resources. But the reciprocity
will not necessarily come from the guest in
question. It may be from the most unlikely
source and come when you least expect it.
Acts of generosity and hospitality create
resources in a generalized pool from which
one periodically also receives.
This is not meant to suggest that St. Lu-
cians or West Indians are merely instru-
mental in their relationships; that there is no
genuine or altruistic sentiment to their
warm hospitality. Far from it What is more
likely is that their long awareness of, and
integration into wider social and political
systems, and a tradition of the circulation of
population people coming in as strang-
ers or returning home from residence over-
seas, or natives leaving to visit or work in

other countries have led to the gradual
emergence of codes of hospitality and
inter-personal relations that cater to this
smooth integration of the wider system with
the local community. The way in which
deeply felt sentiments are most genuinely
expressed just happens, then, to favor
reciprocity within what is regarded as a
potentially limitless social field.
The building of options is inculcated into
children in a number of ways. Any child
from the collective group of children in a
village or neighborhood can be called on by
any adult in the community to do simple

At least with respect to
particular peoples at
particular times, to move
is as ordinary and expected
a thing to do as to
be sedentary.

errands. This well-recognized practice
means that the child who just happens to be
around is readily marshaled to escort the
stranger to someone's home, or to help in
some other way with the provision of the
required hospitality. The child invariably
complies enthusiastically. In the more tan-
gible domain of learning skills, of saving,
and investment, training also begins at an
early age. From as early as the age of five or
six, children routinely help to take care of
domestic animals, help with household
chores, and in doing odd jobs related to
their parent's or guardian's occupations.
One lady who was raising several nieces
and a nephew, explained to me her own
system. The children, the youngest being
about eleven, are each given a small outlay
of working capital. They use this to buy
ingredients that go into the niaking of small
delicacies like tamarind balls or coconut
cakes. The lady, Miss Evadne, might then
help them to make the sweetmeats,'which
the children in turn are responsible for sell-
ing, both at school and from the home.
Some of the proceeds must be put aside for
re-investment, while the balance goes to-
wards buying essential school supplies or
personal items for the child. Miss Evadne
was quite explicit in telling me that this is all
intended to develop in the children a keen
knowledge of buying and selling, and of
how to handle their resources carefully. In
this way they will be able to manage on their
own in later life, or in the event that she
should be incapacitated. It must be noted
further, that these are optional skills, quite
apart from the careers) that each child
is expected to, and will pursue, on his or
her own.

The development of alternate options is
more clearly evident as a strategy in the
stages of the life-cycle between adoles-
cence and middle age. The case of one St.
Lucian youth may illustrate this. Hubert is
nineteen. He left school at the age of fifteen.
Between that time and the present he has
worked in at least seven different jobs and
learned, at least to some degree, three dif-
ferent skills. His employment history is all
the more remarkable in a country with an
unemployment rate estimated at over 20
percent Hubert has probably not achieved
proficiency in any one of his trades. He has,
however, accumulated some amount of
"skill capital" which may serve him in good
stead in lean times. Other youths pursue
the same strategy even when not being able
to do so through paid employment. They
might work with a friend who is a carpenter
or auto-mechanic to be able at least to work
for themselves and their families later on,
even if they have not yet become proficient
enough to make the skill saleable.
Hubert held a number of jobs and devel-
oped several skills, but sequentially. For
others the development is pursued simul-
taneously. Even people with very secure
jobs often have part-time occupations or
get training in other trades to develop other
marketable skills. One friend in St. Lucia
who has been with a particular public ser-
vice department for about fourteen years,
and held a middle level position in the de-
partment, also had a steady extra income
from furniture upholstering. During the
time that I knew him he was also taking an
accredited course in welding, and wanted
to learn refrigerator repairs as well. He was
also looking for opportunities to go abroad
to study agronomy.
The speculators with whom I worked
most closely exemplified the ideal of
spreading one's risks; of not putting all
one's eggs in the same basket. It is com-
monplace to have several sources of in-
come and systematically to maintain each
one, even if some may bring in very little
cash. Together they allow the household to
meet its many obligations, and to meet
sudden and unexpected changes in eco-
nomic conditions. In addition, people are
always looking ahead, to see what other
occupational possibilities they can develop;
to predict changes in consumer demand
for new products and services; and to
explore new training opportunities. There is
behind all this a striving for individual au-
tonomy; qualitatively different from the
North American who gets a second job to
increase his or her income or who goes
back to college in middle life to enter a new
profession. These ideas are for the West
Indian far more pervasive and in-
stitutionalized. They filter through all sec-
tions of Caribbean society. Those who
enjoy secure salaried jobs, and members of
the professions, may show less interest in

developing multiple sources of income. On
the other hand they still subscribe to ideals
of flexibility in personal relations, acquiring
skills and so on; many will buy property and
farmland with no immediate aim of putting
it to productive use. The high level of emig-
ration among this class also bears out their
commitment to these life-strategies.
The ethnographic evidence provided
here suggests that the concept of "occupa-
tional multiplicity," first introduced by Lam-
bros Comitas, does not simply describe a
tendency to hold several occupations si-
multaneously. The same strategy leads
people to be constantly generating new
sources of income and to be acquiring new
skills to cater to the needs of their own
households and possibly to allow for future
new avenues of employment. It is not only
that people hold many occupations. The
fact that serial multiplicity of occupation is
also common; that people tend to gain
competence in many different skills; that
they actively seek out new economic op-
portunities; that children are raised with
these goals in mind, all point to related
patterns of behavior informed by common
ideas about flexibility, which people of the
Caribbean express constantly.

Flexibility in Inter-Island Trade
St. Lucian speculators have done business
throughout the island chain since Emanci-
pation and possibly even before then. They
trade in locally grown agricultural products
(grapefruit, mangoes, plantains and the
like), in locally made items such as brooms
and charcoal, and increasingly, in man-
ufactured items bought in other territories
and shipped back to St. Lucia for sale. The
pattern is similar in other Caribbean coun-
tries, and a dense, if mostly unnoticed net-
work of trade exists along the island chain
and beyond. Even places like Jamaica,
which seem not to have developed such
international small trading before, now
boast cosmopolitan higglering ties.
One set of activities in which the spec-
ulator is always involved, and where the
building of options is clearly played out, is in
the rounding up of supplies for trading.
Speculators in agricultural produce, for
instance, usually seek out numerous
sources of possible supplies for any one
shipping day. Several months before the
peak of the mango season a speculator
might purchase a few mango trees laden
with green fruit, which then entitles her to
harvest the entire crop for that season,
when the fruit mature. As soon as the sailing
schedule of schooners become known
from week to week, she will seek to make
definite verbal agreements to buy one or
another product from neighbors or distant
farmers. To help ensure their sources of
supply, speculators have a widely flung
network of contacts on whom they rely as
customers, or simply as people who will

look out for supplies for them. These con-
tacts are especially valued in times of scar-
city when they are competing with each
other, with local vendors, and with the gov-
ernment's Marketing Board for supplies.
I gained insight into this pattern when I
accompanied a speculator on a buying trip
to the country. During the journey she
asked the passengers and the driver of the
van, an acquaintance of hers, whether they
knew of anyone who had mangoes that she
could buy for shipment. After collecting the
pineapples she had arranged for be-
forehand, she then visited an older cousin

"If you loose the dog grab
the cat."

who worked nearby to ask if people in her
village some two miles away would have
any fruit for sale. The cousin then promised
to seek out a supply for her that evening,
and to pass on the information by phone.
The following morning, even after having
put out all these feelers, she went early to
the market in town with her nephew, each
searching on different sides of the market
for fruits being sold.wholesale by farm-
ers arriving on trucks and vans from the
Several of the speculators with whom I
worked have done business in a number of
different territories. One such example is a
woman who currently travels to Barbados,
Puerto Rico, and the Virgin Islands, and in
the past has traveled also to Martinique.
These women trade goods back and forth
along a circuit which does not necessarily
terminate in their home island; that is, they
may in some instances even trade between
points other than their island of residence.
Their trading horizons are limited by mar-
kets, government regulations, the cost of
transportation, and the like. But, conceptu-
ally at least, they would be prepared to go
almost anywhere.
Most speculators, and many who con-
sider going into the business, have a wide
breadth of market knowledge. Even a
speculator who currently trades with only
one other island will readily tell you about
market conditions and other requirements
for trading with a number of other places.
She will have information about what goods
are available and at what prices; she knows
the immigration requirements of several
different countries (that for instance she
must deposit a refundable F 2,500.00, on
entering Martinique, Guadeloupe, or
French Guiana); she will have an idea of
relatives or other contacts with whom she
will be able to stay while visiting in these
other countries, and so on. The information
which allows her to build this up-to-date
"market knowledge" (in reality, as one can

see, it is much more than this), is gathered
by various means in the course of the
working day. Conversations with friends
and acquaintances who have traveled re-
cently will point to current prices being paid
and asked in other islands; will reveal dif-
ficulties with scheduled transportation ser-
vices; or might pass on information about
the new tax imposed by the Barbados gov-
ernment on vendors and other self-
employed persons, including the traders
from overseas doing business there tem-
porarily. Information from one source is
checked and verified against that from
others. Even though she may have had a
letter or phone call from Barbados telling
her what condition her fruit arrived in and
the prices being paid, she will ask people
who traveled that week to verify the infor-
mation. It is not merely that the trader has a
fixed network of persons on whom she reg-
ularly draws for help and information; in
effect she routinely "looks lines all about."
People who had not traveled for a while will
ask what prices were like, or try to corrobo-
rate information: "I hear the market is dirty"
or, "they tell me the fruit traveled badly last
week." The speculator's knowledge then is
likely to exceed greatly the span of her
trading activities. The capital stock she re-
quires for trading is relatively inexpensive,
and the outlay of funds for any one trip
sufficiently reasonable, so that she enjoys
tremendous versatility in deciding where
she will travel to and what goods she will
Flexibility has clearly been such a pro-
ductive idea for Caribbean people for it
facilitates integration into a social field that
extends well beyond the local community
and nation-state, and allows greater room
for maneuver in a social system long
characterized by uncertainty in its political
and economic institutions.

Migrants and Speculators
The assumption that migration is
"marked," and staying put "unmarked," is
questionable both on logical and empirical
grounds. The speculator who spends a
third of the year outside of her native island
may or may not be classified as a "migrant"
by the social scientist. She has not after all
changed her legal resident status, or up-
rooted her hearth. Yet, even if the skeptic is
reluctant to classify her as such, I argue that
the same ideas which so powerfully inform
the speculators' transient mode of adapta-
tion also inform that of the migrants who
leave St. Lucia and other Caribbean ter-
ritories and move among the countries of
the world. We do know that they have been
leaving for some considerable time; that
many end up having lived in several host
societies; and that they return to the West
Indies in large numbers. It would seem that
from the emic point of view these are not
Continued on page 54


The New

Haitian Exodus

The Flight From Terror and Poverty

By Alex Stepick

M y name is Jean and I came to the
United States in 1978 to find free-
dom and to work.
Mll what happened to me was it was a
Macoute that came to rent a bicycle from
me for one dollar
When I look around, I didn't see him. I
never saw him at all. I looked for him all
over the place. I found him standing
somewhere leaning on his bicycle. I went
in and told him, "How come you didn't
bring the bicycle back to me?"
He told me, "Don't you know that I
bought it from you for a dollar?"
I thought he was kidding. I held the
bicycle and took it away from him. Right
away he hit me with a club.
After that, when I was forcing to see if I
could get away, four more came and
started beating on me. They break my
head over here too.
I ran. I went. I ran and hid in the woods.
While I was hiding in the woods, one of
my cousins knew where I was hiding. He
came and told me they had taken one of
my brothers. He said they were pressuring
him to tell them where I was. When he
couldn't tell them where I was, they took
him to a public place in front of everybody
and they killed him.
I spent another two or three months,
and the way I left, the reason I left the
place was, I had another little brother My
cousin came and told me they held him
and cut his throat with a knife, but he did
not die.
I went to the Northwest to find a boat to
go to Miami. Finding a boat wasn't hard,
but I did have to borrow the $1,500 for
passage. I sold one of my small plots to a
local gros negre who buys from anyone
needing money to go to Miami. The price
wasn't too good. M had the land in the
family since the time of Dessalines, but I
couldn't stay in the mountains forever.
Anyway, I thought, once in Miami I could
ear enough to buy it back and probably
even some more. Other families in the
village received as much as $200 a
month from their people in Miami. That's
more than I could earn in three years in
The boat left at the end of August in

Haitian refugees rescued from their sinking
boat by the Coast Guard, Crooked Island
Passage, Bahamas, June 1979.
Wide World Photos.

1978. In the beginning there were 145 of
us crammed into a twenty foot, leaky,
wooden sailboat. Not everyone could
even sit down at the same time....
Their destination was 700 miles away,
but Jean had little idea how long it would
take to get there. The Captain said it would
depend on the winds and luck. They appar-
ently had little of either. They ran out of
water first, and a few days later there was no
more food. Many tried to drink the sea
water, but it made Jean sick. He preferred to
go thirsty. Some died, and after two weeks
there were barely over 100. Although Jean
didn't know it, they had gone about 600
miles and were still 120 miles south of
One evening a US Coast Guard cutter
approached them. Jean and the others
leapt with joy and relief. "We're saved," he
thought. Jean, along with everyone else,
crowded the side of the boat closest to the
cutter. Some began jumping into the water

and swimming towards the cutter. The sail-
boat tilted and then capsized. Jean didn't
know how to swim and he thrashed in a
panic. Three others drowned before the
Coast Guard saved the rest. Once in the
cutter, they were all given food and water.
Jean ate so fast his stomach ached.
When they arrived in Miami they were
greeted by Immigration and Naturalization
Service (INS) authorities who transported
them to an INS processing center filled with
other Haitians all awaiting the US govern-
ment's decision either to allow them to stay
in the US or to deport them back to Haiti.
Through an interpreter, Jean told an INS
official his story of the bicycle, the Macoute,
and why he left Haiti. The INS officer said
that he didn't qualify for political asylum,
that he was coming to the US to work, that
he left Haiti because of a personal dispute,
and if he stayed in the US he would remain
in jail. If Jean wanted, the INS officer said he
could fly back to Haiti for free, if he would
just sign a piece of paper. Jean knew that
others had signed the paper and disap-
peared, and he knew he didn't want to go
back to Haiti where he believed he would
meet certain death. Besides some of the
others in the camp said there was still a
chance they could be released.

The Haitian Past
Extensive migration has characterized Haiti
for all of this century. But the peculiar form
of the Haitian migration, the features distin-
guishing it from other Caribbean migra-
tions lie in both Haiti's most ancient and its
most recent history: the Pyrrhic victory of
the Haitian revolution and the "kleptocracy"
of the Duvalier era.
After 15 years of devastating struggle, on
January 1, 1804, Jean Jacques Dessalines
proclaimed the free republic of Haiti the
first black republic, the second free nation
in the Western Hemisphere, and the world's
first emancipation of the slaves. These
tremendous political achievements unfor-
tunately were at the expense of equally tre-
mendous economic destruction. The large,
white-run plantations based on black slave
labor had made Haiti the "pearl of the An-
tilles," richer than the British colonies of
North America or all the Spanish colonies


Copyright Linda M. Marston 1982.

in the Americas combined. After the revo-
lution there were neither white plantation
owners nor black slaves. Instead, to placate
the soldiers, the newly formed Haitian gov-
ernment redistributed the land. Freed
slaves squatted on the remainder.
Periodically, Haitian governments at-
tempted to re-consolidate the large estates,
but nothing could reproduce the former
compliant labor force. The memories of
slavery were too strong. The former slaves
and their descendants preferred an
increasingly marginal existence on plots
continually subdivided by their heirs. The
Haitian Revolution transformed America's
most productive export colony into a nation
of minifundia subsistence peasants.
Following the land reform, the Haitian
elite could no longer directly rely upon ag-
ricultural production to underwrite their
status and ambitions. The only way of
gaining an income from agriculture without
being a peasant was to tax the goods pro-
duced and consumed in rural areas; and
only the government could perform this
function. Control of the state was not for the
promotion of the common good, but to
produce wealth for the controllers. Gov-

ernment came to serve the single purpose
of providing those in power with a substitute
for the income and wealth lost with the
landed estates. Yet, virtually no effort was
made to provide an infrastructure that
might improve production and marketing.
Roads fell into disrepair as did ports. Rail-
roads came late and then there was only a
few miles of track. There was never a
cadastral survey or any effort to regularize
land titles. While there were some notable
exceptions to this dismal governmental
neglect, it was unfortunately the norm.
With the common vision of a predatory
state, two rival political elites emerged: the
black, illiterate or semi-literate army officers
epitomized by the leaders of the revolution,
Toussaint and Dessalines; and, the edu-
cated, French-oriented mulattoes. The
elite, especially the French-oriented
mulattoes, long had a tradition of migra-
tion. Many were schooled in France and
spent a considerable portion of their lives
on the continent. But the Haitian masses
belonged to neither tradition. Their atten-
tion was instead focused on the far more
fundamental issue of simple survival. The
long period of slavery followed by attempts

at serfdom inflicted by the black and
mulatto autocrats only strengthened their
desire for physical freedom, their desire to
remain apart from politics and the central
The elites ignored the peasants, exceptto
tax them. Instead they focused upon the
continual battles for control of the treasury.
Of the 22 presidents who served between
1843 and 1915, only one finished his term of
office. Successive governments ran up
staggering debts, mainly with German and
US banks. To protect US investments and to
pre-empt any such move by the Germans,
President Wilson sent in the US Marines, in
July 1915. The American occupation suc-
cessfully effected a number of renumera-
tive reforms, but the economic structure of
Haiti changed little. The focus was admin-
istrative and political reform. Various elec-
tions and plebiscites were held from the
beginning of the occupation until 1929, but
all were rigged or controlled by the Marine
Corps. The goal was not representative
democracy, but the election of someone
who would compliantly follow US wishes
which were limited principally to the main-
tenance of public order, collection of tax

receipts, and a few, isolated infrastructure
projects, such as roads and a vocational
high school.
An obvious racist disdain exhibited to-
wards both mulattoes and blacks by the
occupation forces vitiated any develop-
ment efforts. After fifteen years, the occu-
pation remained an authoritarian monolith.
The elimination of graft was a temporary
phenomenon possible only because of the
tight control exercised by the occupation
forces over finances and government em-
ployment. The peasants remained as iso-
lated as ever from political discussions and
decisions. When the Marines were with-
drawn in August 1934, the old problems of
corruption and graft re-emerged.
In contrast, the American occupation of
Haiti's neighbors, Cuba and the Dominican
Republic, produced significant economic
changes important to future Haitian migra-
tion patterns. There large-scale agriculture,
particularly sugar cane production,
boomed under.the tutelage and control of
American firms. In the beginning the plan-
tations imported workers from numerous
Caribbean islands. But the drop in world
sugar prices in 1920 and the subsequent
1929 depression encouraged a progres-
sively greater reliance on the cheapest
available labor, the Haitians. In 1920, there
were nearly 30,000 Haitians in the Domini-
can Republic; by 1935, the number
exceeded 50,000. Although their numbers
were fewer in Cuba, they were still substan-
In 1937, in the depths of the depression,
the Haitians suddenly became unwanted
guests in both Cuba and the Dominican
Republic. Batista expelled over 10,000 Hai-
tians. In the Dominican Republic, Trujillo
massacred at least 12,000 in a three day
orgy of rage. But economic necessity dic-
tated a quick return to the former status
quo. The Cuban and Dominican econo-
mies needed sugar produced by cheap
labor and the Haitians needed jobs. Despite
unemployment in both Cuba and the
Dominican Republic, the backbreaking job
of cutting cane remained "Haitian work."
In 1939, only two years after the mas-
sacre, the Dominican Republic began reg-
ulating the importation of cane workers
including military control of transportation.
While the state regulation lapsed from 1940
to 1952, illegal Haitians remained the back-
bone of the sugar economy. Since 1952,
which marked the beginning of the con-
temporary period of Haitian labor in the
Dominican Republic, there have been a
series of five year agreements between the
Haitian and Dominican Republic govern-
ments. These agreements have recently
been characterized by the UN as a system
of 'slavery.' While Haitians were no longer
welcome in Cuba after the Castro Revolu-
tion, they continue to go the Dominican
Republic. In 1980, it was conservatively es-

timated that there were 200,000 Haitians
Immediately after World War II, Haitians
were welcome in the Bahamas, even if most
did arrive illegally. The economy was
booming and native Bahamians were up-
wardly mobile. They wanted to leave the
farm work and the lower levels of the service
industry to the hardworking, low paid Hai-
tians. At one point, there were upwards of
40,000 Haitians in the Bahamas total
population of 240,000. But with declines in
the economy's growth, the welcome for the
Haitians turned to resentment. Since 1957,

Many development experts
argue that "more
compulsive giving" is not
what Haiti needs.

Bahamian officials have engaged in
periodic efforts to expel the Haitians: 1963
saw "operation clean-up" and 1967,
"crackdown campaign." In 1978, Baha-
mian immigration agents provoked a
scandal by beating and raping many Hai-
tian migrants. In the fall of 1980, interna-
tional attention briefly focused on one
group of Haitians in the Bahamas. A boat-
load of Haitians on their way from Haiti to
Miami became marooned on a small, unin-
habited key, Cayo Lobos. Although the US
Coast Guard had apparently informed the
Bahamas government of the Haitian land-
ing, the Haitians went publicly unnoticed for
nearly a month. They remained stranded
on an island that had no food or water. Fi-
nally, the US parachuted in supplies. The
event attracted media attention and the
Bahamas government responded. They
landed a boat to pickup the Haitians to re-
turn them to Haiti. Armed with sticks and
stones, shouting that they would rather die
than return to Haiti, the boat people beat
back the Bahamian officials into the sea.
But the officials returned two days later. This
time they were armed with pistols and rifles
and they accomplished their mission.

The Refugees
When Francois (Papa Doc) Duvalier as-
sumed power in 1958 Haitian emigration
took an unprecedented turn. Political op-
ponents of a new Haitian president have
always seen the wisdom of leaving Haiti.
However, the past 23 years has seen all
levels of Haitian society successively feel
the need to leave. The first to leave were the
upper elite who stood as a direct threat to
Papa Doc's regime. Then came the black
middle class (around 1963) who found the
brutality of the Duvalier regime and the lack
of personal and economic security unac-
ceptable. Next, many of the urban lower

classes departed. The primary US destina-
tion of these groups has been New York City
where there are presently between 200 and
300 thousand Haitians. They form a most
heterogeneous group reflecting all strata of
Haitian society.
But all these flows are different from that
of the Haitian boat people; those individuals
who cram themselves 20-30 at a time into
25 foot, barely seaworthy boats for a peril-
ous 700 mile trip to southern Florida. The
first known boatload of Haitians landed on
Florida's southeast coast in 1963. They
requested political asylum, were denied it
by INS and returned to Haiti. In 1972, a
virtually continuous flow of boats with
refugees seeking political asylum began to
land in Florida. In contrast to the previous
flows to the US, the boat people are primar-
ily poor, rural and black. In the beginning
the boat flow was largely unorganized.
Peasants would get together, pool their
money and labor, build a boat, and simply
head out. Frequently, they made stops in
Cuba and the Bahamas. But their goal was
the US.
As the flow persisted, as remittances and
stories of success circulated in Haiti, entre-
preneurs saw the opportunity for successful
free enterprise. Captains began to solicit
passengers and eventually a whole network
developed fanning out from all the port
cities, but especially those in the Northwest.
The trade increased and so did the level of
organization. Freighters that could only
produce a marginal profit with inanimate
cargo, could make a fortune with refugees.
While some still come on small boats, there
are probably 50-60 smuggler ships which
can carry as many as 4,000 illegal refugees
a month. The fare is usually between $1,000
and $2,000, far more than a first class air-
fare. Nevertheless, the refugees are
crowded into secret, hidden compart-
ments, shoulder to shoulder with no
fresh air.
In Port-au-Prince, an employment
agency which apparently fronts for refugee
smuggling advertises over the radio. It dis-
penses agents throughout the countryside
who claim to have many job offers in a
country where most people are un- or
under-employed. People pour into the
agency camping on the floor inside and in
the corridors outside. They are counseled
that they can buy or trade their way to the
US. Many literally sell everything they have,
including the family land inherited from the
revolution. Others borrow from local mon-
eylenders at 100% interest.
Recurringly, Haitian officials attempt to
control the flow. In May 1980, the military
commander for the Northwest called to-
gether all of the area's pastors to inform
them that the government wanted to stop
the flow. They asked the religious commu-
nity for their assistance. Indeed, the flow
was stopped for about a week. But the first


boat to leave after the embargo, departed
from directly below the headquarters of the
military commander. Residents claim that
the real reason for stopping the flow was to
allow the military commander to consoli-
date a monopoly on kickbacks. Within and
outside Haiti, rumors are rife that govern-
ment involvement reaches directly into the
Presidential Palace.
After much pressure from the US, the
Haitian government in the fall of 1981
began cooperating with US authorities to
interdict the boats in Haitian coastal waters.
The program is still experimental and few
boats have been stopped. The flow has
decreased, but there are still boats arriving.
In late October 1981, national attention fo-
cused on Miami after a boatload ship-
wrecked a few hundred yards from Florida's
coast. Thirty-three bodies washed ashore,
bloated from drowning.
Of those who arrive alive, many claim
political asylum. The INS with support from
the US State Department has consistently
denied Haitian requests for asylum, claim-
ing that they are only economic refugees.
Many have appealed for relief to the US
Federal Courts where their luck has been at
least more mixed. Sometimes they are re-
fused again; but in other cases, the courts
have found in their favor asserting that
many do have valid claims to political
The reasons for these inconsistent find-
ings lie within the peculiar conditions of
Haitian society. One observer has charac-
terized Haitian society as a "kleptocracy,"
ruled by a government of thieves. A de-
scription which makes the boat people both
political and economic refugees. The con-
ditions are rooted in Haitian history, but a
history which the Duvalier era has exagger-
ated and improved upon.
With a per capital income around $260,
Haiti remains among the 30 poorest coun-
tries in the world. Its per capital income is
less than half that of Bolivia the next poorest
country in the Western Hemisphere. Even
this per capital comparison masks the dra-
matic inequality within the country; .8% of
the population have 44.8% of the wealth.
Two-thirds of the rural population (80% of
the total population) have annual incomes
less than $40. The infant mortality rate,
between 130 and 150 per thousand, is
among the highest in the world. Meanwhile,
there are more Haitian doctors practicing in
Montreal than in all of Haiti.
Over three-fourths of the population re-
mains illiterate. There are few schools, es-
pecially in the rural areas. Instruction is
usually in French, a foreign language to the
vast majority, and the "free" education of
the Constitution usually costs too much for
the common man's children. In per capital
education expenditures, the Haitian gov-
ernment spends the smallest amount of
any nation in the world.

One of the hundred Haitian refugees that arrived in Key Biscayne, Florida, June 14, 1979.
Wide World Photos.

The Economy
Haiti is still primarily a land of minifundia
agriculture. Only 6% of the land is irrigated
and virtually all of that belongs to the richest
families in the country. With the develop-
ment aid of international agencies, the elite
have consolidated productive rice planta-
tions in the Artibonite Valley. Meanwhile the
peasants' land base is rapidly and steadily
deteriorating. Coffee remains the primary
export, generating 80% of all agricultural
receipts and over 40% of all export receipts.
Yet, coffee yields are the lowest in the world.
Efforts to improve them have completely
failed with most of the money simply disap-
pearing or going to improve the production
of the few coffee producers who have high
political connections. Nevertheless, coffee
production is taxed at rates among the
highest in the world. Taxation policies, fo-
cused on those least able to pay, have dis-
couraged and even eliminated production.
The most dynamic sector of the Haitian
economy is the assembly plant industries
which assemble consumer goods for
consumption in the developed countries,
especially the US. With the Western Hemis-
phere's lowest wages and close proximity to

the US, Haiti offers an unparalleled oppor-
tunity for investors. Profits are extraordinar-
ily high (30 to 50% on equity) and capital
per worker very low ($700 to $1,500). The
assembly sector contributes more than 12%
to Haiti's domestic product, at least 35% of
Haiti's exports, and about 45% of Haiti's
salaried jobs. Yet, no more than 4% of the
working population is involved.
The take off stimulated by this economic
activity has been depressingly slow. Be-
tween 1960 and 1977, Haiti's annual GNP
growth rate was barely .1%, although since
1970 GDP growth has averaged 4.1%. But
inflation has averaged 13.3% and, between
1975 and 1977 food production per capital
actually declined. Income disparities be-
tween rural and urban areas are increasing.
These depressing statistics are closely
linked to the practices and policies of the
Duvalier government. Fifty percent of the
state's income is in unbudgeted accounts,
which it is commonly presumed, end up in
private hands. Duvalier controls a vast state
monopoly, Regie de Tabac, which has ex-
clusive control over distribution of neces-
sities such as fish, cotton, all types of milk
Continued on page 55

The New Haitian


Florida's Most Recent Residents
By Thomas D. Boswell

Haitian migration is not a new
phenomenon. As a strategy for re-
lieving population pressure, emi-
gration has been resorted to on frequent
occasions since the early 19th century. After
the Haitian occupation of the Dominican
Republic between 1822 and 1844, further
military incursions took place and by the
latter part of the 19th century it was not
uncommon to find Haitians working as in-
expensive migrant labor in agriculture,
especially in the provinces near the border.
During the US military intervention and
occupation of Haiti between 1915 and 1934
it was recognized by American advisors that
a serious problem of high economic densi-
ties had developed. Therefore, unskilled
Haitian laborers were encouraged to mi-
grate to both Cuba and the Dominican
Republic to work in sugar mills and on
plantations. Perhaps as many as 300,000
Haitians migrated to Cuba between 1915
and 1929, with a similar number going to
the Dominican Republic. These two flows
halted during the 1930s as the worldwide
economic depression gravely affected the
sugar industries in both countries and
stricter immigration laws were established.
To show that he meant business, in 1937
the Dominican dictator, Rafael Trujillo, or-
dered the roundup and massacre of
perhaps 12,000 Haitians who had lived
clandestinely near the Haitian border. It was
not until twenty years later that emigration
would reappear as a large scale response to
Haiti's serious man-land ratios.
Emigration from Haiti experienced a re-
surgence during the middle 1950s that was
to continue, through ebb and flow cycles, to
the present. Political turmoil in the early
1950s followed by the repressive Francois
and Jean-Claude Duvalier regimes were
especially influential in initiating and main-
taining the momentum of the outward flow.
Today the annual net emigration probably
averages close to 40,000. Cuba is no longer
an important recipient of Haitians, as the
Castro government has tightened up its
immigration restrictions. Although data are
sketchy at best, it has been estimated that
approximately 600,000 Haitians were living
outside of Haiti as of January 1, 1980. This
was equal to about 12% of the population

living in Haiti atthat time. The countries with
the largest number of recipients were the
United States (400,000), the Dominican
Republic (115,000), Canada (40,000),
Cuba (15,000), and the Bahamas (10,000).
Cuba's Haitians are largely the residue left
from the heavy immigration during the
1920s. The Bahamas contained a larger
contingent of Haitians (perhaps 30,000 to
40,000) than it does now, until the summer
of 1978 when the Bahamian government
began to crack down on illegal aliens. Most
of the Haitians who left, headed due west to
the shores of South Florida. Today
approximately 50 to 60% of all Haitians
residing in Miami have had prior living
experiences in the Bahamas.
The movement to the United States has
been especially interesting because it has
been characterized by two distinct streams
in terms of destinations, modes of travel,
and the socioeconomic status of the mi-
grants involved. The first began during the
1950s and was directed primarily towards
New York City, with lesser numbers going to
such northern cities as Boston, Philadel-
phia, Washington, D.C., and Chicago. Most
of these people arrived by air and many
were granted legal entrance by US immi-
gration authorities. Initially, it was primarily a
stream of middle and upper class profes-
sionals who were escaping the repression
of the Francois Duvalier government. Many
of these persons started out in lower level
jobs but worked their way into higher level
positions as time progressed. They were
followed in the later 1960s and 1970s by
blue collar and semiskilled workers of lower
socioeconomic status. Even some of the
more adventuresome residents of rural
areas in Haiti joined the stream to New York
City. As a result of this 25 year history of
immigration, it has been estimated that
somewhere between 250,000 to 350,000
Haitians presently live in New York City.
Because of the timidity of these people and
the fact that many are now illegal entrants,
the US Census Bureau has experienced a
veritable nightmare in trying to count them,
so more exact figures are unavailable.
The second stream to the US began in
December of 1972 when the first boatload
of Haitian refugees washed up on the east-

ern shore of South Florida. This is an im-
portant date because it demonstrated that it
was feasible to cross the Gulf Stream in a
primitive sailing vessel. Up to this time most
lower class Haitians who could not afford
the cost of exit documents in Port-au-
Prince and air fare to New York City sailed to
the Bahamas, which served as an inter-
vening opportunity. Wages are higher in
Nassau or Freeport than they are in Haiti,
but they are even higher still in Miami. How-
ever, Miami was considered to be too far
away to be worth the risk of sailing across
the treacherous Florida Current. Further-
more, the Bahamian government had been
lenient in the enforcement of its immigra-
tion laws when Haitians were concerned.
They were viewed as performing tasks that
most Bahamians did not want to do. The
majority of Haitians employed in the
Bahamas have worked as farmers,
gardeners, private household workers, and in
the construction industry.
After independence, Bahamian officials
had a change of heart. By 1974 the eco-
nomic situation had deteriorated as a re-
cession had set in and unemployment had
gone up, primarily as a result of a temporary
decline in tourism. It was then that Baha-
mian officials decided to vigorously enforce
their immigration laws. They entered into a
roundup campaign where the credentials of
known and locatable Haitians were
checked. Pressure was exerted to convince
the illegal aliens to "voluntarily" leave. A
second cleanup campaign was undertaken
in 1978 and a third was scheduled for Janu-
ary 1981. The latter was cancelled, due to
pressures exerted by the Haitian and
American governments. In the Bahamas,
Haitians were no longer considered desir-
able because they were blamed for
aggrevating unemployment and under-
employment, depressing wages, and
exerting a severe strain on the cost of pro-
viding social and health services.
Events in the Bahamas, plus proof that it
is possible to sail directly from Haiti to South
Florida, greatly added to the attractiveness
of Miami in the eyes of Haitians. Also in the
middle 1970s the US Immigration and Nat-
uralization Service (INS) decided to tighten
up on its granting of legal entry to Haitians

A message on a wall in Miami's Little Haiti ghetto. Wide World Photos.

in Port-au-Prince who wanted to temporar-
ily visit the United States. Many were enter-
ing with forged passports and others were
overstaying the time limits of their student
and visitor visas. In an attempt to lessen this
type of abuse, potential entrants were re-
quired to show that they had definite ties to
Haiti such as money in a bank account, the
ownership of land, a job, and a round trip air
ticket. The effect of this enforcement was to
reduce immigration by air, since it was
more difficult to slip through an airport
under these conditions than to steal away
from the coast at night on a boat. Since
Miami is much closer than New York it
began to become more attractive as a des-
tination. However, because large scale im-
migration is considerably more recent in
Miami, its Haitian component is a lot
smaller than that of New York City. Esti-
mates of Miami's Haitian population vary
between 20,000 and 70,000, and 40,000 to
45,000 appearing to be most reasonable.
By the late 1970s most Haitian immi-
grants were traveling to the United States by
boat and were arriving in South Florida.
Furthermore, as previously stated, many
were indirectly moving to Miami through a
stage process that involved a prior living

experience in the Bahamas. As a result,
when compared to the earlier stream of
Haitians that was destined for New York and
other northern cities, a larger share of those
arriving in South Florida appear to be ar-
riving by boat, are illegal entrants, and are
members of the poorer classes. It is vari-
ously estimated that between 70 and 95% of
the Haitians arriving in South Florida re-
main, rather than moving north. Recently,
the Metropolitan Dade County Planning
Department estimated that approximately
22,500 Haitians were added to the perma-
nent population of Dade County in 1980

From Where Do They Come?
Interviews with Haitian immigrants and per-
sonnel employed in various Dade County
social service agencies that work with
Haitians reveal that not all areas of Haiti are
equally represented in the migration
streams to South Florida. Most of the
Haitian entrants originated from the north-
ern part of the country, with lesser numbers
coming from the central region, and fewer
still arriving from the south. Samuel Con-
stant, Director of the Haitian Refugee Cen-
ter in Miami, estimates that perhaps 70% of

all Haitians living in Dade County originated
from the regions surrounding the following
five northwestern cities, plus the island of La
Gonave, Port de Paix, Anse Rouge, Le
Borgne, Jean Rabel, and Gonaives.
There are four factors that largely ac-
count for the prevalence of migrants from
the northern section of Haiti. First, there is a
distance-decay effect taking place. North-
ern Haiti is a little over 100 miles closer to
Miami than the southern region. Second,
the northern area is the poorest region of
Haiti due to its mountainous character,
semi-aridity, and history of political and
military turmoil. As a result, it is here that
pressure to move is the greatest. Third, as
more migrants left the north, more of the
persons who remained behind had relatives
or friends living in Miami who could help
them make a similar move in the future.
Such kinship and friendship networks have
been found to be very influential in directing
flows of migrants from other Caribbean
islands to the United States. Fourth, the
smuggling of illegal immigrants to the US
has become a large scale enterprise in Haiti.
As a result of the potential for enormous
profits, a smuggling industry has developed
an entrepreneurial function by hiring re-


Haitian refugee stares out of the fence surrounding the refugee camp in Southwest Dade
County, Florida. Wide World Photos.

cruiters to drum up business in those areas
which they consider to be most out-
migration prone. Most of this activity has
been concentrated in Northern and
North-Western sections of the country. It
should be added that the latter part of 1980
and 1981 are probably not very repre-
sentative of the locational out-migration
patterns that have just been described as
normally prevailing in Haiti. The reason is
that the southern region was disasterously
affected by Hurricane Allen which broad-
sided it in the summer of 1980. This has
caused an abnormally large out-migration
from the south during the last year.
As stated earlier, since the late 1970s
most Haitians have been arriving in South
Florida by boat. How long their passage
takes and how much it costs depends upon
whether the departure is from Haiti or the
Bahamas and the type of vessel involved.
On a homemade sail boat the trip from Haiti
can take 30 days or more, depending upon
weather conditions. On a clandestine cargo
ship that has been outfitted with hidden
smuggling compartments the same trip
may take four days. Commercial smug-
glers operating in Haiti will charge between
$700 and $2,000 for the voyage and will
help the Haitian peasant sell his land and
livestock to pay for the passage. If a loan is
needed, some boat captains can help ar-
range for it. Traveling on a homemade sail-
boat, which has been financed by a group
of local friends and relatives who have
pooled their resources, often costs less, but

it is also more hazardous. Dozens, perhaps
hundreds, of lives have been lost at sea
during these adventures. Partly for this rea-
son the commercial smuggling industry
has experienced prodigious growth during
the last five to six years. Recent estimates
claim that smugglers are capable of
transporting as many as 4,000 Haitians
to Miami per month if the demand were

Haitian Florida
Father Thomas Wenski, of the Pierre Tous-
saint Haitian Refugee Catholic Center in
Miami, estimates that there are close to
70,000 Haitians living in Florida. The
largest concentrations are found in such
east coast urban centers as Miami, Fort
Lauderdale, Hollywood, Pompano Beach,
and Deerfield Beach. By far the largest
single cluster is located in the Edison-Little
River section of Miami, popularly known as
Little Haiti. This is a three square mile area
located about two miles north of Miami's
central business district. Haitians have con-
centrated here for four principal reasons.
First, relatively cheap housing is available.
This is one of the city's older sections.-Al-
though it was once a well-kept middle in-
come community, it is now a zone of resi-
dential deterioration that fits the classic
concept of a zone in transition, as its hous-
ing filters down to the poor. Second, this
area contained a predominantly American
black population at the time Haitians began
to arrive on the scene in the middle of the

1970s. This made it easier for illegal Hai-
tians to blend into the visible landscape,
thus becoming more invisible to INS
agents. Third, Little Haiti is located near one
of the main garment, light industry, and
warehousing districts of Dade County,
providing accessibility to the types of low-
paying and unskilled jobs for which Haitians
are most capable of competing. Fourth,
once a noticeable number of Haitians had
settled in this area, it became increasingly
attractive to new Haitian immigrants. Such
a concentration eased the adjustment pro-
cess and increased a sense of security.
In addition to living in large urban areas,
about 7,000 to 10,000 Haitians find ag-
ricultural jobs in South Florida, where they
plant and harvest the state's winter vegeta-
ble and citrus crops. These are typically the
poorest of the American Haitian population,
as they often live under wretched condi-
tions. Their housing is frequently substan-
dard, wages are low, educational facilities
are often inadequate, and they do not have
sufficient health services available. Some
daily commuting takes place between Little
Haiti and the fields, but this appears to be
more the exception rather than the rule.
A considerable number of Haitians are
involved in itinerant labor for year-round
employment. Usually they work as "stoop-
ers" between October and April in South
Florida, picking vegetables around such
towns as Homestead, Florida City, Im-
mokalee, Belle Glade, and Clewiston.
Around May they move northward to pick
tomatoes and strawberries in northern
Florida. They continue further northward to
pick pecans as teacherss" in Georgia,
peaches and cucumbers in South Carolina
and North Carolina, summer vegetables in
Delaware and New Jersey, and apples in
New York state. They return to Florida in
September or October to begin the cycle
One of the most difficult problems that
South Florida's rural Haitian population has
had to face is that of a lack of acceptance on
the part of their fellow non-Haitian workers.
Seasonal agricultural laborers number ap-
proximately 100,000 in the state, so Hai-
tians account for about 7 to 10%. The other
workers who have a longer tradition of em-
ployment in Florida claim that Haitians take
their jobs and bid wages downward, as they
often are willing to work well below the
minimum salary. Conflict is particularly
strong between Haitians and the other two
ethnic groups that make up the majority of
the farm migrant labor force in the state,
blacks and Mexican Americans. Because of
these problems and cultural differences,
Haitian laborers tend to stick together both
socially and for work. Seldom do they asso-
ciate with blacks or Mexican Americans,
although their crew supervisors are often
American blacks.
The Haitian population of Miami is gen-

erally composed of young single adults.
Often these persons have left families be-
hind in Haiti, with the intention of sending
for them at a later date once they have be-
come economically secure and cleared up
their immigration status. Recent estimates
indicate that perhaps 75% are male. Due to
low skill levels, high rates of illiteracy, rural
backgrounds, and lack of proficiency with
English, they tend to have very high unem-
ployment rates. Roger Biamby, director of
the Haitian American Community Associa-
tion of Dade County, estimates that close to
75% are either unemployed or underem-
ployed. A recent report by the South Florida
Employment and Training Consortium
produced data that indicates that if illegal
Haitian residents were included in Dade
County's unemployment figures, the un-
employment rate would have been about
30% higher than it was estimated to be by
the US government in October 1980.
Haitians living in Miami have very few
children of school age because most of
them recently arrived as single adults. A
Cuban-Haitian Task Force report for
November 1980 suggests that there were
less than 1,000 Haitians in the 5 to 17 year
old age class. This was close to 3% of the
total Miami Haitian population, which is
strikingly low. Public school enrollment data
for December 1980 showed only 734 Hai-
tians attending Dade County schools. Thus,
the full impact of Haitian migration to
Miami, unlike that of the recent influx of
Mariel Cubans, has scarcely been felt in the
county educational system. On the other
hand, there is evidence that an increasing
number of Haitians are starting second
families in Miami, as a transfer of the con-
cubine (placage) system often practiced in
rural areas of Haiti. It is likely that these
persons will be producing a lot of children in
the near future, as Haitians, like most poor
populations, typically have high birth rates.
Monsignor Bryan Walsh, of the Catholic
Archdiocese of Miami, reports that in 1979
one birth in 20 in Dade County hospitals
was a second generation Haitian. Thus,
Dade County schools will soon begin to feel
the impact of the Haitian entrants.
Since the federal government has abro-
gated most of the financial responsibilities
of providing social services for the 40,000
to 45,000 Haitians living in Dade County,
those costs have had to be assumed
primarily by local public and private agen-
cies. The cost of providing health care has
been especially high. In a recent boatload of
409 Haitian arrivals, 75% were found to
have intestinal parasites, reflecting the gen-
erally poor state of health that exists in Haiti.
The 1978 to 1980 health costs for Haitians
in Dade County totaled to approximately
$2.5 million. Because they are poor most
Haitians also make use of other social ser-
vices. For instance, in 1980 approximately
6,500 Miami Haitian families used Food

Stamps. It is almost certain that the number
of Haitians receiving welfare, Aid for
Dependent Children, Food Stamps,
Medicade, and other similar services in-
creased for 1981, since those who arrived
before October 10, 1980, were given legal
status, which qualifies them for such
One interesting distinction that can be
made within the Miami Haitian community
is the contrast that exists between those
who have come directly to South Florida
from Haiti (Haitian Haitians) and those who
arrived indirectly by stage migrating
through the Bahamas (Bahamian Hai-
tians). Kimberly Zokoski determined that
the former have achieved a somewhat
higher socioeconomic status than the lat-
ter. Albeit, prior living in the Bahamas prov-
ides some advantages for adjusting to life in
South Florida. For instance, Bahamian
Haitians have experience in making migra-
tion adjustments and they are more likely to
know some English upon their arrival in
Miami. On the other hand, Haitian Haitians
appear to be more positively selected from
the population living in Haiti. It costs more,
takes longer, and involves more of a risk to
move directly to Miami. Persons with more
money, high skill levels, and a more adven-
turesome spirit are more likely to attempt a
direct move. It should be mentioned that
this selective process seems to be weak-
ening as an increasingly larger share of
Haitian immigrants are now bypassing the
Bahamas on their way to Miami, as a result
of the stricter enforcement of Bahamian
immigration laws.

Thomas D. Boswell teaches geography at the
University of Miami. He recently co-authored
The Changing Demography of Spanish
Americans (Academic Press, 1980).

from FIU's International Affairs Center

Dr. Lisa Lekis of the International Affairs
Center traveled to the University of San
Pedro Sula to participate in a seminar on
University Teaching and Administration.
Among other agenda items, the
proposed Interamerican Council of
Academic Cooperation for Economic and
Social Development was the subject of
extensive discussion.

Professors Mark Rosenberg and Mary
Volcansek visited the Autonomous
University of Guadalajara to make the
final arrangements for a joint FIU-UAG
study abroad program in Spanish
language and culture to begin in
Guadalajara during the summer of 1982.
The program will be open to FlU
students and to students from the
various universities of the State
University System of Florida.

Dean Leonardo Rodriguez of the School
of Business and Organizational Sciences
conducted a successful seminar in
Tegucigalpa for artisans planning to open
small businesses. Manuel Dieguez,
lecturer in the School of Business joined
Rodriguez in delivering the seminar
which was jointly sponsored by the
Fondo Nacional de Desarollo Industrial,
Centro de Desarollo Industrial and the
Alcoa Foundation.
International Affairs Center
Florida International University
Tamiami Trail, Miami, Florida 33199,
Ph: (305) 554-2846

Centro de Estudios Economicos y Sociales

del Tercer Mundo A.C.

The CEESTEM is organizing a Seminar on
"Geo-political Change in the Caribbean
in the 80's:' The Seminar will study the
obstacles and strategies in the light of recent
conflicts and events in the region to propose
a theoretical framework for a regional
strategy for change: a strategy which will
permit the maintenance of security and
peace-keeping in the region and as a result
ensure international security in the area. This
Seminar is co-sponsored by 14 regional study
centers and universities, which have
endorsed the program and its theoretical
framework. The Seminar will take place from
the 15th to the 19th of March 1982 in
Mexico City.

For further information on the
seminar, please contact:

Helen McEachrane
The Coordinator of the
Center for Economic and
Social Studies of the Third
Corl. Porfirio Diaz No. 50, San
Jeronimo Lidice


The New

Cuban Exodus

Political and Economic Motivations

By Robert L. Bach

early two years have passed since
the boatlift of over 125,000 Cubans
from Mariel crashed ashore in
South Florida, but the controversy over
their reception stills remains. The word
Mariel has come to symbolize not only the
persistent problems with US immigration
policy but, in many ways, to highlight the
weakened position of American influence
and power in the Hemisphere. Much about
the incident has been inflated by the pres-
ence of that very evident subgroup of
criminals who The Washington Post
recently labeled the "Mariel toughs." Yet the
dramatic character of this exodus can not
be minimized, nor can the problem it
created be ignored. For there are many
lessons to be gained. On the first anniver-
sary of the Peruvian Embassy incident, for
example, The Miami Herald editorialized
the principal lesson was that immigration
must be controlled in Washington, not in
Cuba's Havana or Miami's Little Havana.
Another was that an entire community suf-
fers when its newcomers are denied, as the
Marielitos continue to be, adequate help in
making the transition to a new life. Similar
lessons continue to unfold even now as the
Reagan Administration strives to clarify a
future US response to a boatlift by resurrec-
ting, albeit simplistically, a traditional
gunboat diplomacy and adopting it to
this historically complex arena of inter-
national humanitarian concern.
The motivations of Cuban refugees are
hardly a new topic of policy or scholarly
interest. Since 1959 Cubans leaving the
island have been viewed either as "worms"
or "heroes" largely depending on the
evaluator's own ideological bias toward the
nature of the exiles' political motivations. A
certain novelty, however, appears in the
current discussion of the Mariel emigrants,
for rather than debating political judge-
ments, the issue is whether they even had
such presumably exalted motives. Many
have argued, including representatives of
the last two US administrations, that these
latest exiles more closely resemble eco-
nomic migrants leaving in search of better
jobs and consumption opportunities.
Others declare the latest wave to be
another group of anti-Castro, anti-

totalitarian dissidents. The novelty of the
present debate lies both in the emotional
intensity of the conflicting claims and the
acceptance among a wide audience of the
economic motives behind the Mariel emig-
rants. In part, the policy and analytical dis-
cussion took the form that it did, due to the
lack of control over the flow. The result was
an absence of any clear, definitive judge-
ment from the government as to how to
view these newcomers.

Political or Economic Migrants?
The issue of political or economic motiva-
tions is not solely a problem arising from
the Cuban experience, nor is it unique to the
Caribbean. Continued emigration from
South Vietnam poses a similar question,
although it has not become quite so con-
troversial since there the United States is
not the country of first asylum. Nor is the
issue simply the Carter Administration's
problem. At least since World War II, the
international community and specifically
the United Nations has moved to develop a
definition of a refugee founded on univer-
sally acceptable humanitarian principles. At
the same time, the United States has fol-
lowed a practice of defining refugees ac-
cording to its own national self-interest,
explicitly meaning those who flee from
communist governments. The tension
between these two positions erupted soon
after the UN definition was adopted as part
of the Refugee Act of 1980. The juxta-
position of the Cuban and Haitian mass
migrations' brought the old and new
commitments into stark contrast.
The political and economic distinction is
also clearly an outcome of an intellectual
tradition of viewing migrations as individu-
ally motivated events. Individuals make de-
cisions to move, according to this view,
based on their separate perceptions of its
differential costs and benefits. This tradition
merges easily with the US government's
need to defend its differential policies to-
ward various groups of migrants through-
out the world, especially so within the
Caribbean. The special "political" status of
Cuban migrants is thus matched in US
policy terms with the historically favored
"economic" role of Mexican immigrants.

The overriding conceptual issue is
whether individual motivations behind
large-scale emigrations can actually be
identified and classified neatly into political
or economic categories. Such an approach
is particularly dubious when these indi-
vidual characteristics are judged in
comparison to the complex matters of
international and domestic politics and
world economic problems that underlie
expulsion, reception, and resettlement.
There is hardly ever a strong, direct con-
nection between perceptions, motivations,
and behavior. A politically motivated person
has many alternatives other than emigra-
tion, or as John Womack observed in intro-
ducing his book on the Mexican Revolution:
"This is a book about country people who
did not want to move and therefore got into
a Revolution." The traditional political-
economic distinction holds that higher
wages in the country of destination lure the
economically motivated, while extreme so-
cial upheaval pushes out the politically sen-
sitive. Given a choice, the political refugee
would stay in his or her country of origin; the
choice of the economic migrant is to leave.
But it is also presumed that political re-
fugees do not exercise much of a choice.
Their departure is either in immediate an-
ticipation of or as a direct result of an
emergency, or crisis; at the time of depar-
ture the political refugee seldom ever
knows where his or her eventual place of
resettlement will be.
US economists are fond of using these
divergent motivations to explain the
characteristics of those who leave and the
contrasting problems that political refugees
and labor migrants encounter in the United
States. Economic migrants, who have the
time and motivation to calculate the opti-
mal strategy for obtaining higher wages,
should include among their ranks only per-
sons whose skills are directly transferable to
the United States. Political refugees, on the
other hand, because they have little time to
calculate their move and their motivations
are less narrowly focused, and should have
a wider distribution of skills. Lawyers, for
instance, would be rarely found among
economic migrants as they know be-
forehand that their country-specific skills

are difficult to transfer abroad. Yet lawyers
are frequently found within a pool of politi-
cal refugees because, given theirsensitivity
to socialjustice, a threat to political freedom
and security activates their desire to leave.
The dramatic conditions of refugee flight
have also led some observers to attribute to
them a special social-psychological be-
havior. Although different in social form
than the criminal aggression of the Mariel
toughs, Eleanor Rogg observed among
Cuban exiles of the 1960s an uncommon
aggressiveness, a "burning desire to make
a place for themselves and to prove their
worth." Statements about the special drive
of refugees imply that economic migrants
lack similar drive. Such conventional
wisdom does not allow for enough
heterogeneity between and within migra-
tion streams. There is little dispute with the
observation that migrants and refugees
have diverse experiences once they resettle
in the United States. Yet it is a mistake to
reduce this diversity to individual attributes.
Individuals do perceive constraints and
opportunities in their lives in different ways
and are able to identify the pressures they
believe that led to their emigration. Yet even
these perceptions are often heterogeneous
and ambiguous. For example, concerning
a sample of Cuban exiles in 1973-74, A.
Portes, J. Clark, and myself discovered that
"when asked for major reasons for the deci-
sion to leave, respondents emphasized
equally political concerns and social and
economic aspirations." Another scholarly
practice toward Cuban exiles is to assume
that pre-1959 Cuban exiles were econom-
ically motivated. Disregarded in this claim,
however, are those who came to the US in
the 1950s as a result of the Batista coup.
There is also an older group who came in
response to the practices of General
Machado in the early 1930s. A. Jorge and R.
Moncarz have argued, in fact, that the entire
history of the Cuban flow to the United
States corresponds only to episodes of
political upheaval and not to economic

Ideological Taint
The obvious point here, but one persistently
ignored by politicians and academics em-

Cuban refugees crowd a shrimp boat, May 22,1980. Key West, Florida. Wide World Photos.

bracing the conventional wisdom, is that
there is an ideological taint to the political-
economic distinction. The foundations of
the distinction lie with the administrative
practices of the United States government.
The actions of the US government in treat-
ing the Cubans differently after 1959 lead
social observers to presume differences in
individual motivation. Consequently,
"political" roots of migration-flows has
come to mean those from countries who
oppose the United States. Similar political
activities in Caribbean countries that sup-
port the US are virtually ignored as produc-
ers of "political" refugees. Mariel emerges
as a contradiction to this practice. Despite
opposition of the US to the Castro govern-
ment, policy towards the latest emigrants
has changed considerably.
No one has defined these political moti-
vations especially in comparison to eco-
nomic migrants except by simply asking
the migrant or by accepting the legal defini-
tion and deducing personal differences.
Problems are clearly evident when the at-
tempt is made. For example, Jorge and
Moncarz attribute the political basis of

Cuban refugee's motivations to the failure
of the redistributive policies of the Revolu-
tionary government. Such policies and their
failure have undoubtedly contributed to the
outflow. Yet, if such failure is the basis of
classification as political or economic, then
how many other migration flows in the
Caribbean Basin have been fundamentally
political? For even in the most presumably
most economic case, i.e., Mexico, political
problems and redistributive failures under-
lie the massive outflow. How many Mexi-
cans have left the countryside for the US
because land reform policies have made it
virtually impossible to remain? How many
left, as have the Cubans, to rejoin family
abroad and to regain security?
The critical difference, of course, is be-
tween the nature of the Cuban and Mexican
governments and, especially, the different-
ial way in which the United States relates to
each. But that is precisely the point: the
defining characteristics of migration flows
are found at the level of social and eco-
nomic organization and international poli-
tics, not among individual perceptions and
motivations. One can find, for example, an


extensive overlap of meaning in a Cuban
exile's condemnation of the government's
restrictions that observe economic hard-
ship and the Mexican's perception of
economic problems that manifest political
failures. The difference lies in how similar
problems of both an economic and political
nature get interpreted by the two principal
actors in any migration flow, the sending
and receiving states. Before we move to
condemn or embrace the motivations of
individuals within any particular migration
we must wonder why each state has labeled
them labor migrants or refugees; this is
hardly the kind of question government
officials ask since it challenges precisely
their own interests.., it should be the ques-
tion that researchers, reporters, and social
observers ask!
We must refer not only to the receiving
state, but to the sending state as well.
Whether it be Cuba, Mexico, Jamaica, or
Haiti, they too are equally involved in de-
termining not only how the migrants are to
be labeled, but who among a potential pool
of refugees and emigrants will be encour-
aged, allowed, or even required to leave. If
the Mariel incident reveals nothing else it is
the importance of this labeling process. For
during the episode the various labels pro-
moted by both the Cuban and US govern-
ment, either about the Cubans themselves
or about other groups such as the Haitians,
were so distant from the perceived reality of
others that the legitimacy of both states was
seriously shakened. This labeling process,
however, is not simply engaged in freely by
states at the time of each migration inci-
dent. Rather, the labels themselves are out-
comes of complex political and economic
relationships that constrain officials in re-
sponding to the flow. It is these relationships
that account for the drama and ambiguity
of refugee reception and resettlement.

The Mariel 'Entrants'
No social or political label can stand the
challenges of time and adversary if it is
totally unconnected to empirical reality.
Similarly, the pejorative controversial nature
of the Mariel reaction would not have sur-
vived if there was not sufficient evidence to
maintain the labels attached to it. Such was
the case with the all too familiar controversy
during the Mariel exodus over the social
backgrounds of those placed on the boats
by Cuban officials. The Cuban press, as it
has for previous waves of refugees, labeled
the exiles "social dregs" and "undesira-
bles." The Cuban government even made
some efforts to support the claim by not
only releasing criminals and patients but by
allowing others to leave who were willing to
sign papers declaring themselves undesir-
able ("un dross"). Reports from the US side
echoed these labels, "anti-social" and
"criminal." One immediate result was that
within the first weeks the terms of the de-

bate and the justification for the ambivalent
reception had been set. Something about
this group called for a very different pro-
gram of resettlement.
Sufficient evidence existed at the time,
however, to give a more accurate and bal-
anced view. For instance, though it was
hardly complete, the demographic profile I
developed from the files of the Immigration
and Naturalization Service provided
enough information to at least challenge
the most extreme negative views. The US
Department of Labor actually prepared a
press release using this information but the

The response to the Mariel
flow and the Haitian influx
got caught up in a
monumental clash
between the US reaching
out to become involved in
compelling international
and humanitarian
problems, while at home it
withdrew from programs of
domestic relief and

riots in Liberty City in Miami erupted and it
became an issue of political impropriety to
have a Federal office release positive in-
formation on newcomers while US citizens
released their frustrations over long-
standing neglect. On several occasions US
government officials, especially those from
the refugee offices of the federal bureau-
cracy, used similar information from a vari-
ety of sources to counter the most negative
reactions. This evidence was not used suffi-
ciently to seek a more accurate label of the
type of flow and, thus, a more clearly per-
ceived policy of resettlement.
Fortunately, we now have relatively com-
plete social background profiles of the
Mariel entrants to demonstrate the nature
and size of the gap between the public
labels and empirical reality. As anticipated,
these data show that the group was very
heterogeneous. More importantly, as a
group, they had a much more positive so-
cial background profile than the initial or
even continuing reports indicate. Overall,
the entrants' education, job skills, job ex-
perience, and residential backgrounds were
not only substantially higher than anyone
claimed during the flow, but indicate a
former role in the Cuban economy that was
fairly typical of the source population. And

compared to the Cubans who have come to
the US during the 1960s, Mariel exiles
showed similarity in both their educational
and occupational backgrounds. Major dif-
ferences included the larger number of
mulattoes and blacks among the Mariel
group and a much younger average age.
The Mariel entrants' employment back-
grounds are especially important consid-
ering that the specter of "social dreg" and
"lumpen" was interpreted at the time
largely as a fear of these individuals not
being able to fit into the US economy and
unable to become productive members of
the new community. The concern was di-
rected particularly at those who were initially
placed in one of the four military camps.
The large proportion of the total influx that
was released directly into Miami has
scarcely become a central feature of the
public's knowledge of the characteristics of
these entrants. Not unimportantly, this
group also had a higher social status and
more positive background profile, includ-
ing a greater proportion of families, higher
percentage married, more persons with
relatives in the US, and higher skilled job
experiences. The camp population, how-
ever, has received most of the attention, so it
is their experiences in Cuba we must ex-
amine in detail.
Since most were from the largest cities in
Cuba, including Havana, Cardenas, Cien-
fuegos, Holguin, Guantanamo, and San-
tiago, it is not surprising that few were farm
laborers (2.0%) or farmers (1.4%). Instead,
they worked in craft (25.3%), laboring
(18.8%), machine operative (15.4%), and
transport operative (11.0%) jobs. Many were
skilled workers. The craftworkers, the single
largest group, included mechanics that re-
paired factory equipment and automobiles,
while others were brickmen and carpenters,
roofers, painters, and electricians. The
laborers worked most frequently in con-
struction; others worked in factories or on
the docks. Few gave evidence that these
jobs were either temporary or self-
contracted, although other sources have
indicated a noticeable presence of day
laborers among the camp population.
Heavy equipment operators dominated the
operative category, with welders appearing
most frequently. Professional and technical
workers, of whom we have heard so little,
actually comprised nearly 8-9% of the
group. They included teachers from all
grade levels, accountants, entertainers,
urban planners, and nurses, to name only a
Among the working age camp popula-
tion, 74% reported they had held a job for
most of their adult lives. Only 5% described
themselves as unemployed. And, as one
would expect, the great majority who said
they had no job were housewives and stu-
dents. This positive employment is hardly
surprising given that one objective of the


Cuban government's reforms has been to
maintain virtual full employment Indeed it
would be more noticeable had these
entrants shown evidence of high levels of
Unquestionably, there was a subgroup in
the camp population with prison records.
The sample with which I have been working
estimates that 16% of those in the camps
fourteen years of age and over had been in
prison during the last ten years. Their rea-
son for imprisonment and length of time
served varied from chicken-stealing to vio-
lent felonies and ranged from a month to
over 20 years. There was also a significant
group of young, historically violent youths
who were processed at Fort McCoy and,
from local studies, have been shown to
have had serious social and psychological
problems. It is on such evidence that the
pejorative labels have been founded.
There is, however, a substantial number
in this group that were imprisoned in Cuba
for reasons that may not be considered a
serious offense in the US. They seem to fall
into three categories. Those who were in-
volved with economic problems predomi-
nate, especially in terms of participation in
the black market as either buyer or seller.
According to the INS biographical forms,
many in this subgroup were arrested for
buying basic consumption items: clothes
and food were most frequent. Occasionally
it was for selling jewelry or other such items
for handsome profit. Second, there were
those who had refused military service, de-
serted from the service, or refused to work
for the State, particularly during the cane
harvest. The passage of the law of "peli-
grosidad" was used to detain not only these
persons who had more or less directly
challenged the State, but to the former of-
fenses involving the black market as well.
Third, there is a small frequency of persons
who had spent much of their adult life in jail,
often with their prison terms beginning in
the early '60s. Although it is impossible to
tell from these particular data, they com-
pare favorably with a group that specifically
claimed political, i.e., counter-revolutionary,
activities as their reason for imprisonment,
and who might have been eligible for the
orderly departure program already estab-
lished between the US and Cuba.
Of course these broad background pro-
files require much more in-depth study.
Recently, for example, Gaston Fernandez,
drawing on interviews at Ft. Chaffee, Arkan-
sas, reported that 81% of his sampled en-
trants admitted to having "outside" income
in Cuba, with a full 14% admitting it was
obtained through black market activities.
He also observed that a significant propor-
tion, although they held jobs fully within the
mainstream of the Cuban economy, may
not have participated fully in the collectivi-
zation of social life on the Island. These
observations gain additional support from a

series of interviews conducted at Ft. In-
diantown Gap. Participation in black market
activities was mentioned frequently and,
importantly, by people from a wide range of
social backgrounds. But what is of addi-
tional interest here is that they show the
complexity of personal motivations and
circumstances and begin to identify the link
between the groups from which the
individual migrants emerged and the or-
ganization of both the national economy
and society. On the one hand, the collectivi-
zation of the Cuban economy and society
has made virtually every point of dissatis-

The Cuban community in
South Florida has been
criticized, indeed has
chastised itself, for
engaging in the evidently
lawless rush to Mariel

faction, frustration, and motivation a politi-
cal issue in the sense of having links to
government activities. But, on the other
hand, they also suggest that the political
and economic are so intertwined as to
make their separation mostly a matter of
ideological judgement
Since the following personal stories are
only examples, I offer them without addi-
tional commentary to let the reader draw
his or her own lessons: The first set refers
specifically to the significance of "outside
income" in their everyday lives. One person
interviewed was jailed for selling 25 packs
of cigars and a half pound of coffee in a
private exchange; he was told it was a threat
to the national economy. He came to the US
without his family because in addition to the
nine months for selling cigars he received a
special stamp that declared him a public
danger and subject to four more years in
prison. Another 29 year-old man from
Marianco who was unemployed came to
the US "because there weren't many jobs in
Cuba, wages were low, and working condi-
tions unfavorable. The family income his
wife's wages as a taxi driver was not
enough to buy food. His house was old and
falling to pieces, but he was doing some
repairs. He was arrested and sent to jail for
three months because he happened to be
in a gambling house." A 37-year-old
woman came to the US because "everytime
she had to go out and look for food for her
five children she always had trouble with the
police." She left Cuba with five other rela-
tives but the government asked for more
money than she could afford for permission

for her sons to leave. She also had spent
three months in jail for illegally buying food
for her children. Another man, a welder in
rural San Francisco de Paula, admitted to
being engaged in counter-revolutionary
activity. He was imprisoned once for sabo-
tage, he also had bought food on the black
market; one pound of rice for $2.00, one
pound of meat for $6.00.
This next set of anecdotes gives meaning
to Fernandez's suggestion concerning the
potential significance of the exiles' non-
participation in the collective organization
of Cuban society. In addition, they also re-
veal the importance of participation in
selected social activities. One particularly
bitter 32 year-old man said he was not al-
lowed to attend the University because he
was not a member of the Union of Young
Communists. And he observed it would
have been unbearable to join the Com-
munist Party in Cuba, despite the available
benefits. However, he emphasized that
membership in the Party did not always
result in these benefits: "We all know that
there are three kinds of Communists: (1)
The Communist who knows everything,
who is clear on everything, who even knows
he's working for the Soviet Union, he's boss,
he gives orders, he's nothing but a member
of the middle-class, things are taken to his
home, good food he is the materialist
kind. (2) The Communist who believes that
one day all men will be equal; he thinks that
by fighting what they call Imperialism
everybody will become equal these are
men of good faith but they become slaves
of Russian Imperialism they are idealistic
Communists. (3) The cardbearing Com-
munist. He knows Communism is no good.
The leaders are all living well; he gains
membership because of his behavior and
attitude towards work; this man is the one
who takes advantage of his membership in
the Party."
These interviews also reveal two forms of
social participation that lead to creating a
pool of potential emigrants. Both involve
activities that Americans would not con-
sider damaging to their character. The first
is related to refusal to serve in the military in
Angola. The same 35 year-old mentioned
above reported that many Cubans refused
to go, including persons already in the mil-
itary and members of the Communist Party.
A portion sought asylum in the Peruvian
and Venezuelan embassies. The second
activity involves marriage. The Ft. Indian-
town Gap interviews suggests that marriage
had much to do with underlying problems
of consumption. One 33 year-old woman
from Havana said she had always wanted to
come to the United States; she observed
that many couples live together instead of
getting married because they cannot afford
the cost of the civil ceremony. Others
reported certain advantages to marriages
Continued on page 58

The Central

American Exodus

Grist for the Migrant Mill

By Guy Gugliotta

In downtown Tegucigalpa there is a
rooming house-bar where 50 cents will
buy you a shot of Honduran guaro and
as much gossip as you can absorb. It is the
usual Central American transient hangout,
hot, dusty, not particularly comfortable, a
menu that runs to stringy chicken, salty
cheese, tortillas, rice and beans and the odd
hard-boiled egg. The guests are an open-
necked shirt crowd of straw-hatted drum-
mers and drifters, hustlers and small-time
entrepreneurs that have come to the city to
make a big score or at least as big a score
as Tegucigalpa can offer, which is to say not
a very big score at all.
What separates this saloon from 50
others like it in Honduras is that it is half full
of Nicaraguan expatriates who are getting
glassy-eyed drunk, telling lies, plotting re-
venge or longing for good old days lost,
perhaps irretrievably, in the mists of recent
Central American history. On any given
evening, the casual visitor will run into a
variegated array of "nicas." There is a pilot
who flew one of dead dictator Anastasio
Somoza's Cessna "push-pull" aircraft, used
in June and July 1979 to attack sandinista
guerrillas hidden in the poor barrios of
Managua. The pilot has a wallet full of cre-
dentials attesting to his skills, but has been
marking time for months as his licenses
expire one by one.
Also present is a 40-year-old Miskito In-
dian, one of several elders chased across
the Nicaraguan border early in 1981 when it
became apparent that tribal ethos mixed
just as badly with sandinismo as with
somocismo. The sandinistas neverthe-
less say the Miskito are closet somocistas
plotting the counterrevolution. This is
doubtful. The elder barely has enough
money to buy one meal a day and some
1,500 of his brethren down on the border
are worse off. There are indeed plenty of
counterrevolutionaries in the bar, but these
are often indistinguishable from the free
lance pistoleros, another abundant class.
Many of these, who are more interested in
cash than ideology, had distinguished
careers with the sandinistas, but moved
easily into cattle rustling after the war. Now,
with the best of Nicaraguan beef long gone
to foreign dinner tables, they are left to plot

new remunerative ventures requiring them
to pontificate rather unconvincingly about
the sandinistas' "sellout" to Cuban com-

Central America's
Gathering Eclipse
Similar scenes, in surroundings both much
nicer and much worse, are being played out
on sweaty evenings elsewhere in Honduras,
throughout the rest of Central America, in
Mexico and the southern United States.
This is because Central America's gather-
ing eclipse has given the world at least
400,000 displaced persons in the past 21/2
years, with the promise of more to come.
There are Nicaraguan Miskito in Honduras
and Guatemalan Quiche in Mexico. There
are poor Salvadoran campesinos wasting
away in refugee camps in Texas and former
Nicaraguan national guardsmen training as
counterrevolutionary "commandoes" in
the chest deep mud of the South Florida
Everglades. There are rich right-wing
Nicaraguan exiles living in mansions in
Guatemala City and Miami, and rich left-
wing Salvadoran exiles speechmaking in
Mexico and globetrotting in Europe. Fa-
mous, apparently disaffected Nicaraguan
revolutionaries are chatting in Costa Rica;
famous, apparently disaffected Salvadoran
military reformists are lying low in Mexico.
In all, the UN High Commission for Ref-
ugees estimates there are some 300,000
homeless Salvadorans living outside the
country and another 180,000 wandering
about within its borders. There are at least
70,000 Guatemalans in Mexico, and con-
siderable numbers in Honduras and in the
United States. There are thousands of
Nicaraguans in Guatemala, Costa Rica,
Honduras and the United States. The Cen-
tral American exodus has presented about
a dozen nations with a host of perplexing
problems. Honduras, albeit with plenty of
help, is feeding 30,000 Salvadoran stran-
gers socked away in areas often reachable
only by aircraft. In the United States, au-
thorities are deporting Salvadorans as il-
legal migrants, this despite uncontested
evidence that innocents in El Salvador's
civil war are being exterminated daily. Un-
fortunately for the Salvadorans, the United

Nations definition of refugee does not
necessarily include people who simply are
scared. Fortunately for the Salvadorans,
however, there are public interest lawyers
willing to delay deportation by bogging
down individual Salvadoran cases in per-
petual litigation.
In numbers the current Central American
exodus is significant in world terms without
being overarching. The two million Afghans
in Pakistan, huge numbers of homeless
wanderers in Somalia and the continued
outpouring of disaffected Indochinese tend
to make anything else seem like child's play.
Still, Central America's migration already
has involved nearly three times as many
people as the 1980 Cuban exodus, and
compares with the estimated 500,000
Dominicans and 400,000 Haitians living
illegally in the United States ballpark
numbers used to describe migrations that
have occurred over decades. More signifi-
cant, the spigot shows no signs of being
turned off. This is because the principle and
potential donor countries El Salvador,
Guatemala and Nicaragua are having
more trouble, not less.
Salvadorans comprise at least 75% of the
total, and since the left's once hoped-for
popular revolution has degenerated into a
civil war of attrition, the "masses" a de-
clining pool of 5 million people packed
inside 8,000 square miles of space and
looking for an exit have grown increas-
ingly irrelevant. The left merely has to pros-
ecute the war, and in recent months has
decided that it can best do so by sabotaging
what infrastructure and means of produc-
tion still exist. Attacks on electrical install-
ations and bridges and the burning of
crops, trucks and buses insure that more
man days will be lost, more jobs will disap-
pear and more people will be searching for
greener economic pastures. On the other
side, the Salvadoran army has to try to win,
and this means more fighting, more terror
and more death. Indiscriminate killings of
innocent civilians can be expected to per-
sist, and thousands of rootless people hid-
ing and wandering El Salvador's scorched
earth can be expected to hide and wander
for months, perhaps years, to come. From
the left, then, a loss of jobs and a loss of

future; from the government and the right, a
loss of trust and a loss of nerve. The inevita-
ble result: migration, to continue even in the
unlikely event that El Salvador's agony is
resolved. The downslide to economic ob-
livion will take years to reverse, no matter
who "wins."
In Guatemala, there is a deepening
struggle between guerrillas and govern-
ment which has far greater potential than El
Salvador's. No quarter is asked or given,
but, worse, barely a semblance of centrism
remains in the country after years of killing
and terrorizing civilian politicians, church-
men and professionals. With compromise
impossible, Guatemala's looms as a fight to
the death. The 70,000 Guatemalans the UN
High Commission for Refugees estimates
are in Mexico may be a small fraction of the

total. One also suspects that the 70,000 are
the tip of what could be a gigantic iceberg.
For Nicaragua, 2'/2 years of revolutionary
government have resolved nothing.
Somoza's rich supporters have already left
for Miami and Guatemala City; his poor are
in Tegucigalpa bars or in sandinista jails.
The Nicaraguan masses have hitched their
star to sandinista promises made during
the long upheaval, but thus far these prom-
ises have gone begging, victims of a tat-
tered economy that supports little beyond
the barest minimum. When and if it be-
comes clear that promises will remain un-
fulfilled, the masses can be expected to
depart. For the Nicaraguan bourgeosie,
who have something to lose but not
enough to cut and run, the wait becomes
increasingly tedious and discomfiting.

Their government doesn't trust them, but
so far has respected its commitment to
protect them. Should it renege, today's
bourgeoisie will become tomorrow's prop-
ertyless lumpen, more grist for the migrant
mill. Meanwhile the Nicaraguan govern-
ment, with emergencies at every hand, has
shown only occasional flashes of compe-
tence. It is building a magnificent armed
force, but has faltered badly in almost every
other sector after initial successes. In-
creasingly the sandinistas are shrouding
their shortcomings in polemic.

Migrants, Exiles, Refugees
Regardless of what the future may hold,
Central America's emigration already has
presented the Western Hemisphere with a
problem it seldom sees on its own shores:

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Refugees in the 1200 July heat in the yard of the U.S. Border Patrol Detention Center in El Centro, California. Courtesy Paul Mirocha.

4 :r

refugees. Widely but not always accurately
used to describe migrant types throughout
the Caribbean Basin, the word refugee can
mean all things to all people, or none to no
one. Seldom is there a clearcut case. One
man's exile is another's wanted criminal;
one man's political refugee is another's
economic freeloader. Particular cases are
befogged by political considerations in re-
ceiving countries which are either unsym-
pathetic or too sympathetic to those seek-
ing succor at the border. Lawyers cognizant
of the pitfalls of migrant litigation can juggle
a particular problem into a legal twilight
zone that makes resolution almost
The United Nations in 1951 defined a
refugee'as a person who, "owing to well-
founded fear of being persecuted for rea-
sons of race, religion, nationality, member-
ship of a particular social group or political
opinion, is outside the country of his na-
tionality and is unable, or owing to such
fear, unwilling to avail himself of the protec-
tion of that country..."
Seen from the Central American view-
point, the UN interpretation, heavily influ-
enced by the problem of displaced persons
in post-World War II Europe, is narrow and
perhaps excessively political. While most of
Central America's refugees have a "well-
found" and oft-expressed "fear of persecu-
tion," only a handful would fit comfortably
into one of the United Nations' specific
slots. The great majority those from El
Salvador and Guatemala have fled not
for any specific political reason but because
there is not enough personal security at
home to keep them from being killed, either
by the right, by the left, or simply because
they are in the line of fire. "War," as Vietnam
activists used to say in the 1960s, "is
hazardous to small children and other living
Only the 1910-24 Mexican Revolution in
relatively recent Western Hemisphere his-
tory offers the same large-scale migration
as a result of substantial and prolonged
death and destruction at home. The Cuban
exodus of the 1960s was a more clearly
political migration qualifying much more
easily under the UN definition. The charac-
ter of the Central American migration has
presented a number of new and compli-
cated problems for a region traditionally
more comfortable dealing with its two most
common modes of human movement:
economic migration; the classic drain of
manpower and skills to areas richer in
remuneration and opportunity; and exile,
the noblesse oblige formula by which
Latin American winners allow losers a
graceful escape.
Economic migration continues apace
from Costa Rica, Honduras and Belize, the
countries without wars. Hondurans on the
Atlantic Coast regard a job on the New Or-
leans docks almost as their birthright; re-

mittances from Belizeans living illegally in
New York or London are a necessary source
of foreign exchange; Costa Rica's financial
crisis is drying up economic activity and
prompting movement. Oddly enough, the
wars of Central America may also be having
a salutory effect on economic migration
from Guatemala, Nicaragua and El Sal-
vador. Thousands of illegal Salvadorans
lived in Los Angeles, San Francisco and
Washington D.C., long before apocalypse
arrived outside the door in 1980 and
Guatemalan Indians made annual trips to
Mexico as migrant farm workers long be-

Central America's
gathering eclipse has given
the world at least 400,000
displaced persons in 21/2
years, with the promise of
more to come.

fore village life began to become intolerable
this year. Even if there were no war, the flow
would undoubtedly continue, but today
chaos at home is making it easier to ask
political asylum elsewhere. Thus far, how-
ever, US and Mexican authorities seem un-
convinced. The US Immigration and Natu-
ralization Services has deported hundreds
of Salvadorans as illegal economic mi-
grants. The Mexican government has done
likewise with many Guatemalans.
In the matter of influential exiles, both
voluntary and involuntary, things have pro-
ceeded smoothly. Col. Adolfo Arnulfo
Majano, who once shared apiece of the
Salvadoran reformist junta, has been
granted political asylum in Mexico, the
latest chief or demi-chief of state to take
cover. Other Salvadorans include reform-
ists Ungo (Panama and Mexico). who now
leads the political left opposition to the
current government, and Mayorsa (United
States) and rightist strongman Romero
(United States). From Guatemala there is
former vice president Villagran-Kramer
(United States) and from Nicaragua there is
the last of the Somozas, Anastasio Somoza
Portocarrero (United States) and former
President Urcuyo (Guatemala). Famed
Nicaraguan revolutionary Ed6n Pastora,
Comandante Cero, either has headed for
the hills a 1( Ch6 Guevara or is plotting
against the sandinislas or is just lying low.
He has been in Panama and also reported
variously in Colombia, Cuba, Venezuela,
Costa Rica and Mexico.
The UN High Commission for Refugees
currently administers 73 projects in 11
countries for the homeless of Central
America. Each of the 11 countries has

politicales well as humanitarian reasons for
its involvement in migrant activities, and
some are more involved than others. Non-
refugee migration has provided headaches
for Costa Rica ever since 1978 when the
then-exiled sandinistas were permitted to
set up headquarters and training camps in
the northern part of the country. With no
army and a wide open society, Costa Rica's
credibility as a regional neutral rested in part
on its ability to control the activities of
emigres within its borders. The sandinista
affair showed the government either could
not or would not take the necessary steps.
Since then, Costa Rica has served as a
warm-up room for all sorts of exiles of the
right and left. This year, for the first time
since the anti-Vietnam war days of the late
1960s, Costa Rica had a bombing by
domestic terrorists.
Nicaragua has sheltered many of the
Central America's leftist leaders in the past,
and is openly visited by others, like Ungo,
who can move about relatively freely in
parts of the region. Nicaragua also cares for
some Salvadoran refugees, probably rela-
tives of leftists sympathizers. The san-
dinistas are able to give these activities a
low profile, partly, it seems, because the
Reagan administration in Washington uses
Nicaragua's Cuban connection as heavier
ammunition in the regional propaganda

Mexican Difficulties
For Mexico, traditional stopping place for
the trendy left since Leon Trotsky's arrival in
the 1930s, the Central American exodus
presents special difficulties. Normally
docile newspapers have villified the gov-
ernment of Jos6 L6pez Portillo as "elitist"
for deporting poor, mostly illiterate
~ Guatemalan Indians down on the southern
border while showing an open door to the
likes of Trotsky, Peru's Victor Ratal Haya de la
Torre, Cuba's Fidel Castro and, now, El Sal-
vador's Majano. In the past the Mexican
government has claimed the Guatemalans
simply were migrant workers who over-
stayed their welcome. Now, however, it ac-
knowledges that the Indians fit the majority
definition of Central America's refugee-
migrant Most were either in or around their
villages when guerrillas came by to hold
political meetings, then watched when se-
curity forces arrived later to take reprisals
for the villagers' supposed complicity with
the guerrillas. The massacre of Guatema-
lan Indians in such incidents is a story that
has been told so often it has become a
cliche. Its usual outcome is the villagers'
departure, usually to Mexico. Mexico is
planning with UN High Commission help to
provide relief services and possibly set up
camps for the Guatemalans, but deporta-
tions of nearly 2,000 earlier this year by
border patrols make it unlikely that any
Guatemalan will dare raise his head when

someone representing the Mexican gov-
ernment happens by. The treatment ac-
corded the Guatemalans to date has also
damaged Mexico's credibility in its battle to
obtain greater rights and more lenient
treatment for illegal Mexico migrants in the
United States.
Besides the Guatemalans, Mexico al-
ready has opened camps to house part of
an estimated total of 40,000 Salvadoran
migrants in Mexico. Unlike the Guatema-
lans, who simply cross the border to wait for
better times at home, Mexico's Salvadorans
are invariably in transit to the United States,
either to be picked up and deported, or put
in camps, or to be led into the desert by
Mexican coyote guides to die, as in the Ajo,
Arizona debacle of 1980. The Salvadorans
in the southwest present a problem Wash-
ington would like not to have. Different,
perhaps, is the uneasy presence of exiled
rich Salvadorans and Nicaraguan
somocistas in Miami. The Salvadoran
government of Jose Napole6n Duarte and
other critics, among them former US Am-
bassador to El Salvador Robert White, have
accused the Miami emigres of financing
and equipping El Salvador's right-wing
death squads from Miami gun shops. The
charge has never been proven or disproven,
but the entire affair has done Duarte, and
secondarily, Washington's efforts to support
Duarte, no good.
Perhaps more useful given the Reagan
administration's recent saber rattling
against the sandinista government, have
been the Nicaraguan expatriates. Many had
old friendships with the Cuban exiles of
South Florida, who launched the ill-fated
1961 Bay of Pigs invasion from Nicaragua
with Somoza's blessing, and the connec-
tion has resulted in their joining the Cubans
in weekend "training sessions" in the
Everglades. These are propaganda exer-
cises meant primarily to attract media at-
tention, show the counterrevolutionary flag
and give the sandinista government
pause, which they apparently do. The san-
dinistas have repeatedly denounced the
Further, however, the Miami connection
serves as a convenient jumping off and
provisioning point for some 500 more seri-
ous counterrevolutionaries in Honduras,
the country which to date has been most
gravely affected by the Central American
exodus. About three dozen people have
been killed in 2'/2 years of border gunfights
between counterrevolutionaries or Hondu-
ran troops on one side, and Nicaraguan
frontier patrols on the other. The counter-
revolutionaries, in several mostly uncoordi-
nated groups, appear to train and live in
camps in the Honduran territory of Olan-
cho. Those engaged in this activity claim
the camps are "clandestine," but, like the
Costa Ricans with their sandinista pro-
teges three years ago, it is difficult to believe

that military maneuvers could be con-
ducted in Honduras without the acquies-
cence if not the outright help of local au-
This is one migrant-caused focus of
Honduran-Nicaraguan friction; another is
the presence of over 1,000 young Nicara-
guan Miskito Indians in Honduran refugee
camps down on the border. The Miskito's
communal habits and way of life ran afoul
of the sandinistas' efforts at national inte-
gration early in 1981 and a series of con-
frontations resulted in the springtime
departure of up to 3,000 Miskito officials

US authorities are
deporting Salvadorans as
illegal migrants despite
uncontested evidence that
innocents in El Salvador's
civil war are being
exterminated daily.

and youngsters, most of them "soldiers" in
Nicaragua's literacy brigades. Vocal but
helpless, the Miskito are marking time, try-
ing to decide whether their differences with
sandinismo can be resolved. For the san-
dinistas, the Miskito presence is embar-
rassing evidence that the revolutionary
government can't cope with the complaints
of a significant number of Nicaragua's rural
poor, the ones for whom the revolution was
Because of the philosophical differences
and mutual suspicion that exist between the
sandinista government and the elected
civilian administration of Honduran Presi-
dent Roberto Suazo C6rdoba, incidents on
the Nicaraguan border are given far more
attention in Tegucigalpa than those on the
frontier with El Salvador, where a far graver
human problem has developed. Since the
spring of 1980, Honduras has played host
to between 20,000-30,000 Salvadoran
refugees, living first in private homes, later
in fever-infested small towns and now, for
the most part, in healthier camps with fairly
safe water supplies. Most of these refugees
are middle-aged or elderly people, or
women, many of them sympathetic to the
Salvadoran left. Despite close-mouth-
edness, it is reasonable to assume that
most are the family members of the
Salvadoran guerrillas. On at least three ver-
ified occasions and probably several other
times, Salvadoran troops have either en-
tered the camps in Honduran territory or
attacked refugees as they crossed rivers
separating the two countries. The Hondu-
rans, despite protests, have let the Salvado-

ran soldiers get away with it. Each time it
happens, relief agency officials complain
and are told about the possibility that
refugees are using relief supplies to provi-
sion the guerrillas across the border. Once
again, an accusation neither proven nor
disproven. Among other things, the incur-
sions and their results indicate a sympathy
for the Salvadoran army cause on the part
of their counterparts in Honduras. Also,
however, they reflect Honduras' deeper
concern about the presence of thousands
of Salvadoran nationals in their territory.
In 1969 Honduras and El Salvador fought
an inconclusive war, picaresquely attributed
by some to a dispute over a soccer game,
but actually rooted in Tegucigalpa's distress
over the encroachments of landless squat-
ters from crowded Salvador across the bor-
der to relatively vacant southern Honduras.
The conflict resulted in the closure of the
frontier and an 11-year state of war lifted late
in December 1980, after a peace treaty was
concluded. Since then, Honduran leaders
have said frankly they are concerned that
Salvadorans might use the treaty as an ex-
cuse to start settling permanently in still-
vacant southern Honduras again. There is
little sympathy for Salvadoran migrants in
Honduran official circles, still less among
the poor Honduran campesinos compet-
ing for sparse services in hardscrabble bor-
der towns.

Journalist Guy Gugliotta covers the Caribbean
and Latin America for The Miami Herald. He
has traveled extensively throughout Central
America in recent years.


Caribbean Review is
pleased to announce
the appointment of
Linda M. Marston as
cartographer for the
Review. Ms. Marston
is a professional
cartographer with the
Cartographic and
Remote Sensing
Center of the
Department of
Geological Sciences
at the University of
Texas at El Faso. The
four maps in this
issue as well as the
map of Nicaragua
in our last issue are
examples of her

Caribbean Migration to

Britain and France

From Assimilation to Selection

By Gary P. Freeman

Migrants from the Caribbean who
journey to their European "mother
countries" of France and Britain
occupy a distinctly ambiguous position at
the intersection of several contradictory
roles. They are, first of all, caught up in the
aftermath of colonial-metropolitan re-
lationships in which their status is clearly
inferior and subordinate. This is exacer-
bated because they are also persons of
color in predominantly white societies.
They are, however, part of what is essentially,
a migration of manpower undertaken for
economic motives. In this regard, they con-
stitute a relatively unskilled and marginal
complement of labor, located at the bottom
of the occupational ladder of the highly
industrialized countries to which they move.
The roles of ex-colonial dependent, racial
minority, and immigrant worker have differ-
ent characteristics, but they reinforce one
another as subordinate statuses.
Nevertheless, migrants to Britain and
France from the former colonial posses-
sions in the Caribbean also have certain
rights and privileges not normally claimed
by foreign workers. Because of the complex
political ties between the metropolitan and
peripheral territories, the majority of Carib-
bean migrants in Europe enjoy the full
range of citizenship rights. In practice,
citizenship has amounted to little more than
the right to vote and freedom from deporta-
tion. Still, it introduces a degree of leverage
that is missing in the situation of more typi-
cal foreign workers. Although migrant citi-
zens have not themselves exercised their
rights in the political arena to any great
degree, the fact of citizenship has tempered
the policies of the European states. It con-
founds their immigration control policies, it
affects their treatment of West Indians once
admitted, and it sharpens the tension be-
tween their universalistic rhetoric and the
selective and discriminatory policies they

Decolonization and Immigration
The large-scale immigration of former col-
onials into Europe has been the ironic and
unanticipated legacy of Western expan-
sionism. Former French Prime Minister
Pierre Messmer once lamented: "This is a

Black youth confronts a police officer in
Brixton, South London, April 1981.
Wide World Photos.

trap set by history. We in France and Europe
have been accustomed to colonizing the
world. Now the foreigners are coming here
to us." Nothing has more severely strained
the British and French approach to decol-
onization or their dreams of racially and
nationally pluralistic political associations
than the influx of peripheral populations
into the center.
As Britain and France went through the
difficult process of decolonization, former
colonies were granted independence while
their subjects were given extraordinary
rights vis-a-vis the mother country. It must
have seemed at the time a costless gesture
toward the old ideals of Empire. It was surely
a concession designed to avoid a total
break by the new independent states. Under
the British Nationality Act of 1948, residents
of the New Commonwealth nations may
claim citizenship in the United Kingdom
and Colonies. Among other things, this
status until recently guaranteed free entry
into Britain and the full exercise of citizen-

ship rights once there. France followed
similar policies toward her former posses-
sions in Africa, though the details of
arrangements differed from country to
country and actual citizenship was not in-
volved even though individuals were in fact
treated as citizens for many purposes, in-
cluding immigration. With respect to the
Caribbean possessions, however, France
chose a policy of departmentalization, that
is, integrating the island territories into
the French state itself. Residents of
Guadaloupe, Guiana, and Martinique (the
d6partements d'outre-mer, orD.O.M., in
the Caribbean) are citizens of France and
may vote in French elections. They have the
right to enter the mainland without restric-
tion and are not regarded by French law as
The legal fiction that it was possible to
extend British citizenship over large parts of
the globe quickly began to unravel under
the pressure of immigration from the New
Commonwealth. Few officials had foreseen
that more than a handful of Common-
wealth residents would actually come to
Britain and, in fact, rights of free entry were
not really exploited until the late fifties. The
first sizable immigration was from the
Caribbean, principally Jamaica, but as the
years passed large numbers arrived from
the Indian sub-continent as well. It is esti-
mated, for example, that in 1955 there was a
net movement of 27,550 West Indians into
Great Britain, compared to 5,800 Indians
and 1,850 Pakistanis. The contingent from
the Caribbean fell no lower than 15,000
over the next six years and the figures for
Indians and Pakistanis held steady or in-
creased. The mushrooming concentra-
tions of nonwhite manual workers and their
families in British cities stimulated an out-
cry against unregulated immigration. Al-
though there is evidence that the flow of
immigrants was at least roughly linked to
employment conditions in Britain, many
persons feared that the country was being
inundated by a flood of blacks. The out-
break of racial violence in London, Notting-
ham, and elsewhere in 1958 and after
helped bring the issue to a head.
In 1962 the Conservative government
responded to these pressures and ended

Copyright Linda M. Marston 1982.

free movement. The Commonwealth Im-
migrants Act set up a voucher scheme
under which small numbers of workers and
their dependents might be admitted for
specific jobs and strictly limited periods.
This act, as implemented by a Labour Gov-
ernment White Paper in 1965 and as sup-
plemented by legislation in 1968 and 1971,
effectively ended significant new immigra-
tion for work. Actual immigration remained
high, however, because of the large number
of dependents who joined relatives already
in Britain, because of an unascertainable
number of illegal entrants, and because of
crises in Kenya and Uganda which com-
pelled many UK passport-holders to seek
Though there had been a net movement
of 66,300 West Indians into Britain in 1961
in anticipation of the introduction of con-
trols, the figures dropped sharply after the
coming to force of the Commonwealth
Immigrants Act Net movement fluctuated
between a high of 14,848 in 1964 and a low
of 688 in 1969 until 1971 when there was for
the first time a net movement of West In-
dians out of Britain (-1,163). This occurred
again in 1973 (-2,130), but it is impossible

to estimate the situation since 1974 be-
cause the Home Office has stopped pub-
lishing the statistics. If control legislation
was successful in reducing net immigra-
tion, it was devastating with respect to new
immigration for work. Only 2,077 work
permit-holders from the West Indies were
admitted in 1963, 322 in 1970, 61 in 1972,
and 10 in 1975. This leaves the entry of
dependents of Commonwealth immigrants
legally resident in Britain as the most sensi-
tive issue in contemporary British immigra-
tion politics. The number of dependents
entering the country from the West Indies
fluctuated between two and 11 thousand
annually until 1971 when it fell to 539. Al-
though it is estimated that the number was
still as high as 579 in 1979, given the very
small number of new immigrants and the
fact that many West Indians are leaving the
country, it is simply a matter of time until the
"dependents" problem ceases to exist.
Faced with a public clamor for strict
regulation of new entrants and for the re-
patriation of those already in the country,
successive governments have embarked
on an increasingly rigid and racially
discriminatory immigration policy. The

Commonwealth Immigrants Act had been
clearly directed at the nonwhite residents of
the New Commonwealth and had spe-
cifically excluded the Irish from its pro-
visions. The Immigration Act of 1971, the
product of the Tory government of Edward
Heath, employed the transparent device of
a grandfather clause to enable white Com-
monwealth residents to evade its controls.
Under this law persons who had a parent or
a grandparent born in the UK are consid-
ered patrialss" and are granted free entry.
On the whole, British immigration policy
has ignored the country's manpower re-
quirements and has been designed almost
entirely to slow down the influx of non-
whites. The official justification for this
policy is to allow sufficient time for the
absorption of newcomers, but the practical
objective has been to placate indigenous

From Assimilation to Selection
French immigration policy has been, on the
surface, very different from that of Britain.
Though the British economy has in fact
suffered from labor shortages in certain
sectors throughout much of the post-war

Reprinted from Harper's, November 1981. Copyright Philip Burke.

period and the government has even activ-
ely recruited workers from the New Com-
monwealth on occasion, the prevailing view
has been that the country is overcrowded,
chronically threatened by unemployment,
and embarked on a long-term decline in its
economic fortunes. It cannot, therefore,
afford to accept additional responsibilities.
The French, on the other hand, were trou-
bled by a declining birthrate and the enor-
mous population losses of the Second
World War. In the early years of the Fourth
Republic there was significant support for
an activist policy of permanent immigra-
tion. The institutional apparatus to admin-
ister such a program was created in 1945.
The National Immigration Office (ONI) was
to coordinate the entry of immigrant work-
ers and their families. Enjoying a formal
monopoly over immigration, ONI was un-
able to carry out its mandate in practice.
Most immigration to France took place
"spontaneously" or illegally. The govern-
ment tacitly endorsed this situation by
"regularizing" the status of unsanctioned
immigrants after the fact. In 1968, for
example, over 80% of all new entrants had
recourse to regularization, while only about
20% came under the auspices of ONI.
France, therefore, adopted a very tolerant
attitude toward immigration after the war,
both encouraging it in certain forms

(through a series of bilateral agreements
with countries of emigration, especially
former colonies) and passively accepting it
in others. The outcome of this policy was a
very large movement of workers into the
country. In light of the fact that they obvi-
ously underestimate the true size of the
phenomenon, the official figures published
by ONI are fairly impressive: from 30,171 in
1946, they rose to 65,428 in 1956 and then
swelled to over 100,000 annually from
1962-1971. Drawn primarily from the EEC
and Spain in the beginning, migrants came
increasingly from North Africa, especially
Algeria. In 1970, the EEC accounted for
about 22% of all immigrants living in
France, with Italians making up 18% of this
total. Spain and Portugal contributed about
19% each, but the North African countries of
Algeria, Morocco, and Tunisia together
made up 28%.
Although French policy was on the sur-
face haphazard and unplanned, it was ex-
tremely well-suited to the requirements of
the domestic economy. Immigrant workers
made up a crucial element of the French
labor force and filled important positions
that might otherwise have gone begging.
As an official in the government of Prime
Minister Pompidou frankly admitted in
1966: "Without clandestine workers, we
might lack the manpower we need." Disor-

derly and unorganized immigration was an
irritation the French were willing to tolerate
at least in the short-term.
Two developments converged to force
the government to alter its laissez-faire
approach to immigration. The most im-
mediate was the decided shift of the source
of immigration from European to non-
European countries. The large and growing
proportion from North Africa was espe-
cially troublesome given native French at-
titudes toward Arabs and the bitter feelings
generated by the Algerian war. As early as
1969 a report to the Social and Economic
Council proposed a "selective" policy which
limited non-Europeans to temporary work
permits and reserved permanent immigra-
tion of families to persons of European
stock. The report's argument that there
were strict sociological limits to the ability of
any social system to accept alien intrusions
(the threshold of tolerance) amounted to a
frank repudiation of the idea that French
culture had infinite assimilative capacity.
It cannot have been coincidental, how-
ever, that the first really serious efforts to put
an end to spontaneous immigration were
taken in 1972 and after, just as the French
economy began to experience the disloca-
tions which have persisted to the present. In
1974 France unilaterally halted all new im-
migration (with the exception of the EEC, of
course). This measure was eventually an-
nulled by the Council of State, but sub-
sequent actions have greatly tightened the
procedures for obtaining work permits and
for bringing in families. Furthermore, in
1975 the government instituted a program
of grants to encourage migrants to return
Since 1972, then, French immigration
policy has become, like that of the British,
more and more restrictive and racially
selective. From 1973 to 1978 immigration
of non-EEC permanent workers fell by 97%.
The total number of permanent workers
and dependents admitted in 1976 was
82,962. This figure declined each year to
56,695 in 1979. Moreover, in just three and
one-half years 39,000 applications affect-
ing 76,000 persons were filed for assisted
repatriation. Taken together, British and
French policies have created a framework
within which new immigration from non-
EEC sources will be very difficult. The im-
plications of British policy for the Caribbean
are fairly clear. However, it is necessary to
explore the French-Caribbean connection
more closely. One of the most striking
characteristics of French immigration pol-
icy is its extreme heterogeneity and spec-
ificity. The overseas departments are not
normally affected by more general immi-
gration law, though the actual movement of
persons from the D.O.M. to metropolitan
France is affected by the larger economic
and political context.
Consistent with the desire to attract new

workers for the French economy, the over-
seas departments were seen initially as
reservoirs of potential migrants. Their de-
mographic and economic structure en-
couraged this view. Guadaloupe, Guiana,
and Martinique had a combined population
in 1974 of over 700,000. For France as a
whole only about 30 in 100 persons were 20
years or younger. The comparable figures
were 53 in 100 in Guadaloupe, 48 in
Guiana, and 52 in Martinique. The number
of live births per 100 French women be-
tween the ages of 15 and 44 was only 5.89
in 1970, but it was 129 in Guadaloupe, 124
in Guiana, and 135 in Martinique. Further-
more, high unemployment was a chronic
problem in the islands.
The French government took steps to
encourage and organize the movement to
the mainland of large numbers of its citi-
zens in the D.O.M. In 1963 it set up the
Bureau for Migration from the Overseas
Departments (BUMIDOM) to exercise a
monopoly over such transfers. Operating
under the Ministry for the Economy and
Finance and the Secretary of State for
Overseas Departments and Territories,
BUMIDOM has been amply funded, hav-
ing for example a budget in 1974 of
29,388,250 francs. The agency has the
authorityto select immigrants, to train them
at centers set up for that purpose in France,
to place them in jobs through branch of-
fices in Nancy, Rouen, Lille, Lyon, and other.
major industrial cities, and to house them
through intermediary associations which
are sponsored by BUMIDOM itself. In all,
the BUMIDOM arrangements amount to
the only really organized immigration
France has managed to achieve.
It is not possible to gather precise statis-
tics on the size of the Caribbean population
in France as they are considered citizens
and no separate figures are collected by the
Census. It has been estimated that there
were about 300,000 persons from the over-
seas departments living in France in 1974.
Approximately 50,000 of these were from
the pacific island of Reunion and the bal-
ance were from the Caribbean. If this figure
is correct, it means that about one quarter
of the entire population of the overseas
departments is residing in mainland
France. Given the chronic unemployment
in the D.O.M., there has been a steady flow
of persons out of the islands. Guadaloupe
experienced a net loss of about 6,500 per-
sons in each of the years between 1969 and
1978. Martinique had, on the average, a net
outward movement of 6,000 persons an-
nually during the same period. Only Guiana
had more people coming into the country
than leaving it, though the margin has been
small. BUMIDOM has facilitated the
transfer to mainland France of about 9,000
persons a year from all the overseas de-
partments and it has been estimated that
another 15-1700 persons migrate spon-

taneously annually.
French immigration policy as a whole
has been contradictory to its specific policy
towards the overseas departments. First of
all, the relaxed attitude toward unorgan-
ized immigration from North Africa and
elsewhere has served to ease labor
shortages which might have otherwise
compelled a more vigorous recruitment
policy toward the D.O.M. That is, the gov-
ernment took the easiest course, which was
to accept workers arriving on their own
rather than to arrange the movement of
workers from the overseas departments

Although migrant citizens
have not themselves
exercised their rights in the
political arena, the fact of
citizenship has tempered
the policies of the
European states.

and territories. It is probable, nonetheless,
that about as much immigration as was
practicable has occurred from these
sources, but in the absence of large-scale
migration from other places workers from
the D.O.M. would have been in a much
more favorable market position. Secondly,
the shift to a racially exclusive policy after
1968 is inconsistent with the continued
formal right of free entry for the D.O.M. (to
say nothing of the more general and ambi-
tious policy of departmentalization) though
this contradiction is avoided in the technical
sense because residents of the D.O.M. are
not officially recognized as immigrants
at all.

Migration and European
Migration has been a crucial element in the
recent growth of European capitalism. It
has helped reduce labor-supply bottle-
necks, diminish inflationary pressures, and
enhance countercyclical stability. Though it
is less well understood and more difficult to
document it also seems true that the im-
portation of a large foreign labor force has
served to weaken the market and political
bargaining position of European labor
movements. This has enhanced the legiti-
macy and power of ruling coalitions, as has
the role immigrants have played in cush-
ioning indigenous workers against the ef-
fects of unemployment and recession.
The recourse to a policy of massive im-
migration was fraught with danger, how-
ever. Maximum economic advantage could
be achieved only insofar as effective control

over entry and exit was maintained and so
long as relative social peace persisted. The
imperatives of colonial policy prevented
making immigration decisions purely on
the basis of the requirements of the domes-
tic labor market. Caribbean migrants to
Europe, because of their youth, high rates
of activity and mobility, and their willingness
to perform manual tasks, have made a sig-
nificant contribution to the French and
British economies. Nevertheless, political
and social considerations have greatly
complicated what might otherwise have
been, from the point of view of the met-
ropolitan powers, a very satisfactory re-
Labor shortages may be real or con-
trived. They are real when insufficient work-
ers are available to perform all necessary
tasks. They are contrived when certain jobs
go wanting even when workers are other-
wise unemployed. Migrants can reduce
both types, but they are especially useful in
dealing with contrived shortages. The dis-
tribution of migrants across industries and
skill levels demonstrates the extent to which
they have filled those industrial sectors
abandoned by European workers.
West Indian migrants to Britain have
been overwhelmingly concentrated in
manual occupations. The 1966 Sample
Census reported that 94% of Jamaican
males and 84% of men from the rest of the
Caribbean were in manual jobs. For
women, the proportions were somewhat
lower: 74% and 58%, respectively. There
were heavy concentrations of Jamaican
males in metal working (9%), the engineer-
ing and electrical goods industry (12%),
construction (14%), and transport and
communication (14%). The comparable
figures for immigrants from the rest of the
Caribbean were 8%, 11%, 10%, and 20%.
Jamaican women tended to be located in
professional and scientific services (30%),
clothing and footwear manufacturing
(13%), and miscellaneous services (10%).
It is difficult to obtain reliable statistics on
the occupational activities of migrants to
France from the overseas departments. It is
safe to conclude, however, that they are
heavily concentrated in manual and un-
skilled jobs. For example, of 2,088 women
admitted to France through BUMIDOM in
1971, 693 became domestics, 382 mana-
gers and skilled workers, 297 hospital
workers, and 261 municipal employees.
Another 151 entered job training centers,
145 enrolled in courses in nursing and
midwifery, and 91 became students at re-
ception centers. The remaining 68 were
unaccounted for. One study reported that of
645 men admitted to a particular training
center in 1971, 29% eventually became
metal workers and 65% went into construc-
The actual impact of immigration on the
Continued on page 61


polhcal independence in 1975,
emngration to the Netherlands
reached a peak ol 30,000 people a year. A
newspaper reporter at the arrival gate of
Schiphol Airport was bewildered by the
enormous variety of people entering the
country These people didn't fit into the
,mmigratl-_r categories the Dutch were
Sued to 'The reporter, expecting to write
about young. colorfully-dressed lower-class
bla, k males. ,. which was the typical vision
the Dutch had of Surinamers, had to
change his plans.
Instead. %hat he saw were large Hindu-
stani families headed by slim dark-eyed
peasants and elderly women dressed in
pastel colors and .vhite shawls; flamboyant
Creole mothers surrounded by children;
peopl- of Jaianese descent (something
one bright ha\e expected 20 years earlier
%hen thousands of Eurasians fled to the
Netherlands from the Dutch East Indies);
Chinese Bush negroes (as Maroons were
still called in Holland), Lebanese and even a
South American Indian. The reporter de-
cided to interie%% a random sample and
soon discovered that the immigrants had
come Irom all levels of society. They were
urban-proletariat, peasants, middle class as
well as ,%ell-to-do civil servants and busi-
nessmen. How could such an enormous
wa%-e of people o:,f such incredible diversity
come from such a small and simple coun-
try (population -100,000)?
The Dutch had always considered
Surname c:. be a provincial corner of their
d..ndl.ng colonial empire and very few
people in the Netherlands were aware of the
population di\ ersity of Suriname; a diversity
that has resulted from the constant im-
portng of nez laborers to its plantation
eco-noryN. The poor newspaperman was
Scontronted %ith a cross-section of the
Surinamese population come to Holland
During the ripenng" stage of the migration
process. The complex composition of this
emigrant group cannot be understood
properly %& thout a thorough knowledge of
its hNstor,.

The Dutch Caribbean
Illustration by Eleanor Porter Bonner. Emigration from Suriname and the


Caribbean Migration to

the Netherlands

From the Elite to the Working Class

By Frank Bovenkerk

Netherlands Antilles (Curacao, Aruba,
Bonaire and three of the smaller Leeward
Islands) began in a manner similar to that of
all colonial Caribbean societies. The chil-
dren of the elite (white first and then
mulatto) were sent to the mother countries
to be properly educated in Europe. Some of
them returned, others stayed. This move-
ment began about two centuries ago and is
still going on. In 1982 more than 2,000
Surinamers and Antillians are attending
institutions of higher learning in the
Netherlands. Those who returned now
constitute the administrative and business
elites of Suriname and the Netherlands
Antilles. Those who stayed became univer-
sity professors, physicians, high school
teachers and so on. This kind of non-return
of professionals is one form of brain drain.
Today more Surinamers are practicing
physicians in the Netherlands than in
For more than a century, the people of
Suriname and the Netherlands Antilles
have been convinced of the necessity of
going to Holland if one was really to ad-
vance socially. This was more so for
Surinamers; for Antillians, studying in the
United States had become an alternative of
equal merit. Ever since Curacao and Aruba
have housed American-owned oil refineries
(since the '20s and '30s), Antillian cultural
orientation had been divided between the
Netherlands and the United States. Emi-
gration from the Netherlands Antilles to the
Netherlands had always remained minor in
comparison with Suriname. The number of
Surinamers in Holland is now estimated at
180,000; the number of Antillians at 30,000.
Returnees generally give an enthusiastic
account of the Netherlands. If they don't
they are simply not believed. "You tell me
such bad things because you don't want
me to go, eh?" There was, of course, a
strong basis of reality in their optimistic
account, especially during the '60s once
the Netherlands became a welfare state.
Returning migrants were reinforcing the
favorable attitude toward the mother coun-
try created by witnessing the obvious wealth
of the Dutch in Suriname and by studying
with the missionaries who taught Dutch
geography and history in the schools.

After the Second World War, emigration
from the Dutch Caribbean exhibited only
small increases. During the early '60s, how-
ever, people from a much broader class
basis began to participate. Dutch,
Surinamese and Antillian social scientists
have speculated a great deal about how this
sudden enlargement of the old colonial
migration pattern came about. A first ex-
planation is simply that the Surinamese
upper-classes expanded. A short economic
boom during the war (1942-45) owing to
the exploitation of Suriname's bauxite for
the American war industry, had enabled
people of new social classes to emigrate to
the Netherlands. It was no longer only the
doctors, lawyers, managers and high civil
servants who sent their children to Europe,
a (mainly Creole) group of school teachers,
middle-ranked administrators and nurses
left the country as well. This argument does
not quite explain the rather sudden rise in
numbers, nor the fact that a new category of
skilled laborers participated in the migra-
tion process.
A second interpretation is popular
among politically left-wing Surinamese cir-
cles in the Netherlands. They hold that the
development of post-war capitalism is re-
sponsible for the recruitment of cheap
labor from its colonies or former colonies.
Hadn't the emigration from the British West
Indies to the United Kingdom been
triggered by the deliberate recruitment of
cheap labor for British industry? During the
late '50s and up until 1963 a small number
of Dutch industrial firms did indeed send
recruitment officers to Suriname to bring
some one hundred skilled workers back to
Holland. This experiment, however, ended
in disaster. The firms' management seems
to have made every possible mistake intro-
ducing their new employees and their white
workers protested strongly. After much
trouble, Dutch industry lost interest in
Suriname and started to recruit cheap labor
of a far more submissive type from the
Mediterranean area.
Italians, Spaniards and later on especially
Turks and Moroccans were viewed as being
more profitable. These Mediterranean
gastarbeiders ("guest workers") were re-
cruited on a one-year basis and could be

laid off and sent home when economic
expansion slowed down. The Mediterra-
nean labor force was supposed to function
as a buffer in the economic cycle. Surinam-
ers and Antillians were far less easy to deal
with since they were Dutch citizens which
entitled them to the same rights as anybody
else. This explanation in terms of direct
capitalist exploitation made more sense
applied to migrants from Curacao and
Aruba. For one reason or another, the em-
ployment of Antillians was more successful
than that of Surinamese labor. It only came
to a halt at the end of the '60s, when the
number of skilled workers in Curacao
interested in going to the Netherlands
Although labor recruitment for Dutch
industry has been quantitatively negligible,
its psychological effect was not. The possi-
bility of emigration to the Netherlands
came within the horizon of new groups.
Emigration was no longer a prerogative for
the upper classes alone. From the mid-'60s
on, the Surinamese establishment in the
Netherlands, a group of successfully as-
similated Surinamers, began to protest.
The migration of the lower social classes
was viewed as a threat to their position.

Attempts at Development
A third argument for the sudden rise in
migration figures is no less important; it
explains the beginning of the spontaneous
emigration of the working classes. From
1958 to 1964, a huge project of economic
development was carried out in the form of
the construction of an enormous dam in
the Suriname River at Brokopondo. This
joint project of the American aluminum
company Alcoa and the Surinamese gov-
ernment was meant to provide hydro-
electric energy for the smelting of bauxite.
According to the development doctrine at
the time, the building up of an infrastructure
was to attract foreign capital; new industries
would provide employment. The expected
multiplier effect, however, did not occur;
foreign investors did not show up and now a
big, highly capital intensive Suralco alumi-
num factory is operating all alone in the
middle of a tropical rain forest. This "raft to
keep the Surinamese economy floating"

provides work for no more than 6% of the
country's labor force. The workers who built
the dam were laid off in 1963 and 1964 and
could not find an equally well-paying job
anywhere else in the country. And so they
took their savings and used it to buy tickets
to Holland. The bitter irony of this story is, of
course, that an ambitious program for eco-
nomic development resulted in the loss of a
significant portion of the skilled labor force.
From the late '60s on, there was no stop-
ping it: emigration burst forth in its full
magnitude. Ever since the dividing line
between elite emigration and working-class
emigration was eliminated, the internal
dynamics of the migration process has
been responsible for the departure of ever-
growing numbers of people from a widen-
ing socio-economic range. Compared with
the poor economy of the remote Suriname,
the metropolitan welfare state of the
Netherlands is highly attractive, especially
to the poorer segment of Surinamese soci-
ety. The push and pull factors tell the story:
1) The Surinamese unemployment rate is
30%. In the Netherlands of the early'70s, no
more than 5% of the labor-productive
population was without work; 2) The wage
level in the Netherlands is three to four
times higher than in Suriname. The lower
one's place on the occupational ladder, the
bigger the difference; 3) Social and eco-


The Center for Latin American
Studies at the University of Florida
announces a new program on
Caribbean migration with the support
of a three year grant from the Tinker
Foundation. The Center welcomes
applications for pre-doctoral fellows
and visiting scholars from the
Caribbean and the US interested in
Caribbean migration, especially the
Hispanic area. Applications are invited
in all disciplines including students
interested only in admission to
the program.
The deadline for pre-doctoral
fellowship application for fall 1982 is
May 1. Send curriculum vitae and brief
statement of research interest to:
Dr. Helen I. Safa, Director
Center for Latin American
Grinter 319
University of Florida
Gainesville, Florida 32611
Visiting scholars interested in the
program should write to Dr. Safa with
a vitae and brief research proposal.


nomic security in Suriname is almost non-
existent compared with Holland. There is no
unemployment insurance, no national
system of medical care and care for the old
exists only on paper. The people of
Suriname are quite aware that one
can participate in the welfare state only by
emigrating to Holland. Unlike the French
colonies Guiana, Martinique and Guade-
loupe, where the same social security sys-
tem is in effect as in metropolitan France,
Surinamers have to emigrate to get it.
It is interesting to note how the respected
emigration motive of olden days, "educa-

Today more Surinamers
are practicing physicians
in the Netherlands than
in Suriname.

tion," still works. Several sociological sur-
veys among emigrants, before and after
crossing the Atlantic, have shown extremely
high responses indicating that education
was the motive for emigration. More than
70% of the respondents told the interviewer
that they went to the Netherlands for their
education and that they would return as
soon as they were finished. This motive has
become generalized and even professed by
people whose educational level in
Suriname made it extremely unlikely for
them to be able to attend any institution of
higher education in the Netherlands. I re-
member being the guest of a family in
Suriname, where the oldest son Romeo
was to leave for the Netherlands the next
day. The neighbors and friends who asked
about Romeo's plans and prospects were
told that he was going to go to high school.
Six weeks later, I was in the same home
when one of the neighbors came to ask his
mother: "Did Romeo already find a job?"
The people in question saw no contradic-
tion between the two emigration motives.
The development of the ethnic and
socio-economic composition of the mi-
gratory flow reflects the emancipation of
the various groups in Surinamese society in
a condensed form. First there were the
whites and mulattos, then came the dark-
skinned Creoles. The Hindustanis who had
not even completed their urbanization into
Paramaribo, were soon to follow. In the early
'60s, emigration to Holland could be de-
scribed as a case of extended urbanization.
Surinamers in the Netherlands provided
the money for their poorer relatives to buy
the much-desired ticket to Holland, a pro-
cess typical of chain migration. For the
Royal Dutch Airlines the route between
Paramaribo and Amsterdam became luc-
rative, flight prices were considerably re-

duced. Surinamese society fell apart at the
seams: employers lost their manpower,
teachers realized that they were educating
their pupils for work in another country,
shopkeepers saw their turnover drastically
reduced. For many people it was not a
question of deciding to emigrate, but of
deciding to stay!
The sharp rise in the emigration curve in
1973 had to do with a major political oc-
currence in Suriname. In 1973, elections
were won by the Creole Party (NPK) and the
new Prime Minister, Henck A Arron, opened
negotiations with the Dutch government
concerning independence. The Dutch
(Socialist) government jumped at the
chance to get rid of this troublesome tropi-
cal part of the Dutch Kingdom in an honor-
able way. For one thing, Suriname's
independence would mean the end of the
migration, which had been causing grow-
ing hostility among the Dutch population.
During preparations for independence,
Hindustani political leaders, and some
Javanese as well, raised fervent objections
to the prospect of black political domi-
nance in an independent Republic. They
publicly advised their followers to leave the
country to avoid being terrorized by the
blacks. The spectacular increase of Hin-
dustani and Javanese emigration often
directly from the countryside, was the re-
sponse to this political appeal. By Indepen-
dence Day, November 25, 1975, no less
than 150,000 Surinamers had left for the
The two countries agreed that the
Netherlands would contribute 3.5 billion
guilders to Suriname's development in a
period of 10 years. Apart from Israel, this
was probably the largest amount of money
per capital ever received by a developing
country, $4,000 per person. This seemed
like a sound enough economic basis for at
least the first ten years. The new Republic of
Suriname started off in an atmosphere of
enthusiasm and confidence in the future.
The Arron government decided to invest a
large part of these funds in a big new project
in West Suriname: Kabalebo. As had been
the case 20 years before, a big dam was to
be constructed as well as a railroad and a
new town. It took the Surinamese people
two years to realize that the way in which
development funds were being spent,
would not bring about substantial new em-
ployment nor higher salaries. In 1978 when
a large part of the railroad was finished, part
of the labor force was laid off. They could
not find new jobs at the same pay and his-
tory repeated itself: they invested their
money in tickets to the Netherlands. In the
1975 agreement between Suriname and
the Netherlands about "Residence and set-
tlement of each others' subjects," provision
was made for the possibility to emigrate to
the Netherlands within five years after inde-
pendence. They went to the Netherlands as

tourists; if they could get a job and adequate
housing then the migrants were granted
residence permits. The dismissed railroad
workers showed that this system worked;
they used only the first half of their round-
trip ticket and thereby functioned as
pioneers of a new wave of emigration. Be-
tween 1975 and 1980, another 30,000
emigrants left for Holland. The beleaguered
newspaperman we met before, was at
Schiphol Airport again, observing the very
same variety of immigrants as five years
earlier, another cross-section of the
Surinamese society was on the move. Had
he added several thousands of migrants to
other countries (US, Canada) to the
180,000 now living in Holland, he would
come to the staggering conclusion that
within 15 years, half of the Surinamese
population had emigrated. At least in part,
this did not happen in spite of the former
mother country's development aid but be-
cause of it.

The Exodus and Independence
Now that the Suriname exodus is over, one
may wonder how such a disastrous dwin-
dling of the population was politically pos-
sible. Surinamese governments should
have all the reason in the world to take
emigration as a sign that people lack confi-
dence in their leadership: "emigrants vote
with their feet" as Lenin put it. Successive
governments understood this differently.
Emigrants were accused of being traitors to
their country, politicians would not accept
any responsibility for their well-being in
Holland. But nor would they dare close
down the Surinamese frontier, since cutting
off the option of settling abroad with rela-
tives and friends would have meant political
suicide. After February 1979, when the mil-
itary seized power, the new Suriname gov-
ernment's attitude towards the emigration
question remained the same. Nor did the
Dutch government seriously contemplate
closing down the frontier for Surinamers
either. This would have meant a violation of
international agreements. The Dutch sim-
ply waited for Suriname to become inde-
pendent before settling this question. Had
the Dutch people accepted such leniency
toward migration? No. Yet any suggestion
of restricting immigration was immediately
labelled as racism and hence as being alien
to Dutch political culture. For the very same
reasons, emigration from the Netherlands
Antilles is still free, these Caribbean islands
still being part of the Kingdom of the
Netherlands. There is, however, one all-
important difference: with a total of 30,000
emigrants, Antillian emigration doesn't
amount to the same proportions as does
The question has been posed as to why
so few Antillians leave for Holland. A special
social science research project has been
carried out to shed light on this intriguing

question. Many of the explanatory factors
for Surinamese emigration also hold true
for Curacao, Aruba and the other Dutch
Antillian islands. They have a population of
250,000, the unemployment rate is equally
high, salaries are much lower than in Hol-
land and the system of social benefits, al-
though better than in Suriname, is inferior
to that in the Netherlands. Why do the Antil-
lians exhibit such negligible willingness to
emigrate? A first explanation has to do with
Antillian cultural identity. The atmosphere
there is more cosmopolitan than in
Suriname, and the national culture is less
exclusively oriented to the mother country.
Second, the Netherlands Antilles are not a
multiracial society in the political sense that
Suriname is. There are no Hindustani or
Javanese. The major political cleavage of
the present-day Netherlands Antilles is be-
tween Aruba and the rest, but up until now
this has not resulted in mass emigration.
What can be said about return migration
from the Netherlands? Antillians have a
relatively high rate of return. Return migra-
tion is not an issue of debate among them.

This is quite different from the case of the
Surinamese immigrants. With the excep-
tion of a brief period just before and after
Suriname gained independence, in the past
15 years their rate of return migration has
never been high. It has now sunk to under
1% a year. Surprisingly enough, no single
topic is so widely and thoroughly discussed
by Surinamers in Holland as the moral and
political obligation to repatriate. It is an
ideological issue embracing the wish to
maintain ties with the native country, and it
makes the trials and tribulations of immi-
gration endurable. The by now exhausted
reporter we met before can no longer be
found at Schiphol Airport, he is now writing
a newspaper series on the integration of
Surinamers into the Netherlands society.

Frank Bovenkerk teaches sociology at the
University of Utrecht in Holland. His latest
book, Practische en Ethische Problemen
van Sociaal Onderzoek, is in press. A previ-
ous book, The Sociology of Return Migra-
tion, was published by Martinus Nijhoff in

Caribbean Studies Association
Seventh Annual Conference
Kingston, Jamaica
May 25-29, 1982

Conference Theme: "Options for the Caribbean"
Panels on:
Foreign Policy Strategy for Development in the Caribbean, Caribbean Health Options
for the 1980's, Fiscal and Monetary Policy Options for the Caribbean, Educational
Options for the Caribbean, Women in Caribbean Societies, Anti-Imperialism and
Socialism in the Commonwealth Caribbean, Responses to Deviance in the Caribbean,
Options for Development in Central American Caribbean Nations, Coping With the
Caribbean: U.S. Policy in a Volatile Region, Caribbean Development Strategies in the
1980's, Population Mobility in the Contemporary Caribbean, Language and
Communication in the Caribbean, Nutrition and Food Availability in the Caribbean
Region: The Challenges for the Eighties, Caribbean Literature, The New Revolutionary
Governments in the Caribbean Basin, Options for Caribbean Energy Development,
Patterns of State and Private Sector Initiatives in Caribbean Economic and Social
Development; Youth, Voluntary Associations and Community Development in the
Eastern Caribbean, Volunteered Papers, Natural Resources and Their Management in
the Developing Caribbean, Political Leadership in the Caribbean Region, Geographical
and Agricultural Issues in the Caribbean, Options for Tourism Development in the
Caribbean, and Crime in the Caribbean: Roots and-Responses.

Site: New Kingston Hotel, PO. Box 83, Kingston, Jamaica.

For further information
about the program write to:
Dr. Klaus de Albuquerque
1982 CSA Program Chair
c/o Legislature of the
Virgin Islands
P.O. Box 477, St. Thomas
U.S. Virgin Islands 00801

For information on local arrangements,
write to:
Dr.J.E. Greene
Chair, 1982 CSA Local
Arrangements Committee
ISER, University of the West Indies
Mona, Kingston 7, Jamaica,
West Indies


A Note on Caribbean

Migration to Canada

By Frances Henry

anada, like the United States, has
been an immigrant receiving coun-
try since its inception. Its earliest set-
tlers (aside from the Native People) were the
so-called Charter groups the British and
the French. After Confederation in 1867,
immigration from European countries,
primarily the British Isles, continued. Migra-
tion has always accounted for a large com-
ponent in the growth of the population; this
trend likewise continues. In 1975, for exam-
ple, the Canadian population increased by
354,000 persons; half of this was due to
The countries of origin of those peoples
coming to Canada has changed, however.
After World War II, substantial numbers of
migrants from Southern Europe, Italy,
Greece, Portugal and other areas migrated
to Canada. Canada's urban population has
become even more heterogeneous, com-
plex and, pluralistic with the entrance of the
so-called visible minority or non-white
populations, including Chinese, Japanese,
South Asians and West Indians.
Blacks have a long history in the country;
there were nearly 4,000 black slaves in New
France by 1750 and several thousand
blacks arrived with the Empire Loyalists in
1789. Another group sought refuge in 1815.
Still others came through the Underground
Railroad throughout the first half of the 19th
century. By 1850 there were close to 50,000
blacks in Canada, though many emigrated
back to the United States once the Civil War
was over. By 1941 only 22,000 were in all of
Canada; the vast majority descendents of
the earlier settlers. During the 1960s and
particularly the '70s, immigration from the
West Indies dramatically increased the
number of blacks.
Between 1946-79, nearly 188,000 West
Indians came to Canada and although the
1981 census is not yet available, another
10,000 can be added to that figure bringing
the total to nearly 200,000. During the '60s
and.'70s, immigrants from European
sources declined from an earlier 76% of all
migrants to 39%; at the same time, total
Third World immigration increased to 57%
of whom three-fifths are from the Carib-
bean and Latin America. A word of caution
about current population figures is neces-

sary. Since the census merely asks for the
last country of residence, West Indians who
come here via Great Britain and recent
estimates suggest that there are many such
- are counted as British. Additionally, West
Indians of Asian origin are sometimes clas-
sified as Asians rather than as West Indians,
and to further complicate the problem,
some studies define ethnicity in terms of
blackness or race thereby including Cana-
dian blacks, and American black immi-
grants with West Indians.
The best estimates put the numbers of
more recently arrived West Indians at about
320,000. The total numbers of so-called
visible minority people (excluding the Na-
tive Peoples) is now slightly more than
one-half million people in a nation of 26
million. In percentage terms, this amounts
to only about 2% of the population but even
this moderate number has been sufficient
to fuel the flames of racist sentiment.
Ontario receives more than half of all immi-
grants to this country. Toronto and its sur-
rounding regions has the largest numbers
of West Indians; smaller numbers are found
in the other provinces. Quebec, because of
its Francophone policy, has attracted fewer
immigrants in recent years and the majority
of migrants who come to Quebec are
French-speaking. Naturally, substantial
numbers of these have come from Haiti
and the French Caribbean.

Changes in Canadian
Immigration Law
Prior to 1962, Canada's immigration policy
was discriminatory with respect to the so-
cial, ethnic and racial backgrounds of po-
tential immigrants. In 1962, a point system
based in the main on educational and oc-
cupational qualifications was instituted and
this along with increasingly restrictive im-
migration laws in Great Britain (the
traditional recipient of Commonwealth
immigration) directly influenced the rate of
immigration to Canada. Alarmed by the
increase, Canadian authorities tightened
their policy. Two years ago a yearly quota on
all immigrants was established but this was
clearly aimed at curbing the flow of non-
white migrants. Despite the commonly held
stereotypes that West Indians are lazy, slow

moving and uneducated and Asians are
poverty stricken and uncivilized and that
both groups have come to Canada to rip off
the welfare and social service system, the
majority in both groups are educated,
.skilled and in the highly employable age
bracket of 20-44 years. This, of course, is an
obvious result of the point system which
favors such individuals.
In addition to the effects of increasingly
restrictive immigration laws, the economic
climate in Canada has been worsening and
there has, in fact, been a slight decline in the
number of all immigrants and specifically
those from the West Indies. From a high-
point of 28,000 in 1974, slightly less than
9,000 arrived here in 1979. Jamaica,
Guyana, Haiti and Trinidad and Tobago in
that order were the countries that sent the
largest number. Somewhat more than two
fifths of the West Indian population is
Jamaican in origin. In fact, "Jamaican" has
become the generic term for West Indians
in Canada much to the chagrin of those
who come from other countries. The
majority of West Indians are in the 25-45
age group and a substantial number are
dependent children under the age of 16,
following the well known pattern of sending
for dependent children once one or both
parents have become financially and occu-
pationally settled in their new country.
Another fairly common pattern, particularly
in the sixties when the government spon-
sored a female domestic labor scheme, is
the initial migration of women who then
sponsor their spouses or fiancees as well as
children from that union or prior ones.
Most West Indians intend to enter the
clerical occupations, closely followed by
those in the medicine and health fields
(many women hope to enter or train for the
nursing profession), as well as those of an
entrepreneurial, managerial or administra-
tive nature. To what extent are West Indians
able to realize their job intentions? A recent
study suggests that West Indians, in com-
parison to other ethnic groups, are in low
status jobs, earn lower incomes than any
other group, and experience more job inse-
curity. Even when education and skills are
controlled, West Indians who, as a group,
have higher levels of education and skill



than either the Portuguese or Italians. still
earn less income and experience more job
insecurity. West Indians are more likely to be
clustered in low status jobs such as taxi
drivers, watchmen and security guards for
men, and domestic and factory labor for
women. A small proportion ot West Indian
men, are, however, employed in high status
jobs particularly in the medical and health
fields but as the study notes: West Indian
men are concentrated in some specific
high status occupations but this does not
appear to alter their overall income signifi-
cantly. In tact. West Indians earn eren
poorer incomes than would be expected on
the basis of education and job status. (J.G.
Reitz, "Ethnic Inequality and Segregation in
Jobs"). The study further notes that for
Italians and Portuguese who also have low
job status and are excluded from high
status occupations, their lower levels of
education and skill account for this:
whereas for .\est Indians, exclusion from
high status lobs occurs lor other reasons"
-the "other reasons" have. of course, to

do with racial discrimination.
Officially employment discrimination on
the basis of race, color, religion, and sex is
illegal in Canada. Provincial legislation such
as the various Human Rights Codes
enacted by each Province haye jurisdic-
tional responsibility for approximately 90'
of the labor force and the remainder under
Federal jurisdiction are protected by the
Federal Human Rights Act. But many areas
of potential discrimination such as housing,
health care and social services are not pro-
tected by legislation. Unofficially. subtle
forms of individual and institutional dis-
crimination occurs regularly. amongg both
public and private sector employers, indi-
rect and passive forms of discrimination
create barriers to members of ethnic and
racial minorities. These forms include
recruitment such as "word of mouth" ad-
vertising which unfortunately insures that
employers hire persons similar to those
already employed and thereby make it
more difficult for newcomers to enter cer-
tain occupations. Such recruitment also


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Illustration by Eleanor Porter Bonner


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functions to create and maintain low status
job segregation as low wage paying em-
ployers recruit and perpetuate their low
wage earning labor force. This applies par-
ticularly to West Indian women employed in
factories in low paying jobs who recruit
relatives and friends. Employment agen-
cies used to fill vacancies often accept dis-
criminatory orders for employment. Other
forms of discrimination include the use of
tests which cannot be passed by newcom-
ers or the use of such screening devices as
demanding "Canadian experience" for jobs
which clearly require knowledge of the job
as opposed to "Canadian experience" at it.
Slowness in promotion and lay-offs in a
period of economic decline affect ethnic
group members most dramatically as they
are subject to the "last hired-first fired" prin-
ciple, often employed as they are in those
industries most sensitive to economic

Racism in the Cities
Racism directed against non-whites has
indeed become a major problem in the
large cities of Canada, primarily Toronto,
Montreal, Vancouver, Calgary and others. In
Toronto, and elsewhere in the country, a
substantial number of racial incidents have
taken place in recent years. These include
assaulting people in the subway, beatings,
destruction of South Asian places of wor-
ship, harassment of the homes and busi-
nesses of non-whites, complaints of police
brutality against non-whites, physical and
verbal conflicts between whites and non-
whites in the school system and the like.
Both West Indians and South Asians have
become targets of extremist right wing
groups such as the Western Guard and
more recently there has been a major revi-
val of the Klan who are now recruiting teen-
agers in schools among other activities. In
addition to direct physical assaults, racism
takes the form of distributing hate literature
and propaganda, racial slurs directed
against non-whites, racial grafitti on walls,
houses and public building sites, telephone
messages such as the "White Power" line
maintained by the Western Guard, telling
and re-telling racial jokes, particularly in the
schools, the use of the telephone and the
mails to threaten non-whites and, of course,
the ubiquitous use of the pejorative term
"Paki" to refer to anyone of South Asian
origin. While it can be argued that perpe-
trators of direct attacks on non-whites are
fairly small in number and, relatively few
persons actually engage in discriminatory
behavior, the number of people, that is,
members of the white majority, who are
attitudinally prejudiced or racist is consid-
erably larger. Using a number of measures
of racial prejudice, a large random sample
attitude survey conducted by this author in
Toronto in 1978 revealed that fully 16% (or
roughly 250,000 people) of the mainstream

or majority group population were very ra-
cist in their views of blacks, West Indians
and South Asians. Another 35% were
"somewhat racist" Although the remainder
were classified as either very "tolerant"
(19%) or "somewhat tolerant" (30%), the
results indicate that nearly half of the
population holds some measure of racist
In response to direct and attitudinal ra-
cism, a variety of committees and task
forces were created by several institutional
and governmental agencies. For example,
the Metro Toronto city council commis-
sioned a task force and more recently a
special committee chaired by a Roman
Catholic Cardinal came to the conclusion
that racism was indeed a major problem.
Both committees presented a number of
serious recommendations to ameliorate
some of the problem areas. At the munici-
pal level, each Borough's mayorality office
now has a race relations committee and
even the police commission has created a
special "ethnic squad" to deal with the
ethnic communities. Almost all of the city's
school boards have a race relations group
and in two cases, reports were released
which recommended severe sanctions
against students and teachers found guilty
of racist behavior. Just this year, the Federal
Multiculturalism ministry announced a
special allocation of funds to combat ra-
cism in the media, and to hold a national
symposium to investigate legal solutions to
race relations problems.
Non-white community members have
attempted to mobilize themselves in re-
sponse to victimization. A number of
groups and organizations among both
West Indians and South Asians have been
created whose primary activities include
"soft" responses such as holding public
meetings, organizing demonstrations and
the like. A few more militant groups using
the Jewish Defense League as a model
have also been formed but they have met
with little response. A few representatives
advocate violence and race riots such as
those which occur in the United States and
Great Britain. This kind of strategy is, by and
large, rejected by the majority of both South
Asians and West Indians because they are
basically afraid to upset the status quo and
tend to guard whatever progress they have
made but the very fact that such statements
are voiced and picked up by the media in-
dicates that there is considerable unease in
both communities.
In addition to the externally imposed
pressures resulting from racism, West Inr-
dians in Canada face a number of social
and personal problems peculiar to their
community. In the first instance, there is a
considerable amount of segmentation or
factionalism amongst them and the term
"community" with respect to West Indian
ethnicity must be carefully examined. West


Indians disassociate themselves from
Canadian blacks particularly those from the
Maritimes. They feel superior to Canadian
blacks who are thought to be backward and
non-achieving. Canadian blacks, on the
other hand, feel that West Indians as new-
comers are haughty and arrogant. Cana-
dian blacks, who can trace their ancestry
here for generations, feel affronted when
they are asked "and what island are you
from?" The situation in Montreal is particu-
larly interesting because the black "com-
munity" there consists not only of "old time
black Canadians" but also of West Indian
migrants from both the English- and
French-speaking Caribbean. There is some
segmentation between all three groups,
particularly between Anglophones and
French- or Creole-speaking Haitians. Addi-
tionally, they are all affected by the larger
political and linguistic climate in Quebec.
In Montreal, educated and professional
Haitians live in middle class French Cana-
dian areas of the city whereas similarly
placed West Indian Anglophones tend to
live in the middle class English-speaking
areas. Working class migrants from both
groups tend to settle in traditional immi-
grant areas. A considerable number of the
25,000 or so Haitians are professionals;
there is, for example, an association of Hai-
tian doctors and one of Haitian nurses
attesting to the importance of these occu-
pational groups. While Haitians speak the
dominant language of Quebec (although
there is also the view that working class
Creole-speakers are not fully French-
speaking despite the prevalence of
non-standard French among French
Canadians) their color has set them apart
from the Quebecois and they are not as
fully welcomed as are French-speakers

from European countries.
The treatment of some 2,000 or more
illegal immigrants who came here still be-
lieving that once in Canada, they could
apply for landed immigrant status (that law
was changed in 1974) has exacerbated the
tensions between Haitians and the
Quebecois. Authorities have recently re-
fused entry to Haitian tourists on the as-
sumption that they would remain here as
illegal immigrants. Haitians as a group cling
to their Haitian identity first, although some
are sympathetic to the French Canadian
struggle for independence. Anglophone

Both West Indians and
South Asians have become
targets of extremist right
wing groups such as the
Western Guard.

West Indians on the other hand tend to
remain aloof from that larger political issue
since they are particularly affected by the
French language legislation and must as
other Anglophones first learn French to
effectively function in that environment.
Relations between Anglophone and Fran-
cophone West Indians in Montreal are
hampered by the language barriers al-
though some of the former were involved in
the fight against the deportation of the Hai-
tian illegal immigrants. Anglophones are
more closely linked to friends and relatives
in other provinces, particularly Ontario,
through visits, and telephone calls than they

are to migrants from Haiti or the French
The West Indian "community" is further
segmented by the remnants of island
parochialism. Groups and associations
based on common place of origin, e.g., the
Jamaican Canadian Association, The
Trinidad and Tobago Association and
others still function, particularly in Toronto.
Increasingly, however, and especially
among younger people who attend school
and grow up in Canada, blackness rather
than place or origin assumes more impor-
tance in defining personal identity.
West Indians will continue to be marginal
members in a white dominated society.
Total assimilation or integration into the
main stream of Canadian society cannot be
expected. West Indians on the whole are
highly motivated and achieving people
whose integration is hampered by their own
internal factions as well as the stressful
changes experienced by individuals and
families brought about by the immigration
process itself and exacerbated by the exter-
nal or societal forces of racism. As long as
individual and institutional racism con-
tinues to exist here as elsewhere, even edu-
cated and middle class West Indians will be
denied full first-class citizenship. Perhaps,
however, total integration is an unrealistic
goal and in Canada as elsewhere, West In-
dians and other minorities will be happy to
settle for a climate in which there is a more
harmonious accommodation between
groups and where equal access to desired
societal resources are within reach of every
individual regardless of ethnic or racial

Frances Henry teaches anthropology at York
University in Toronto.

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The Venezuelan


Human Resources and Development
By Andr6s Serbin
Translated by Stephanie Schneiderman and James F. Droste

Bridge over the Arauca River, the Colombia-Venezuela border. Courtesy Revista Resumen, Venezuela.

Since the postwar period, Venezuela
has replaced Argentina and Brazil as
the destination for international mi-
grations in Latin America. This redirection
has occurred due to the attractive prospect
of economic prosperity brought on by the
exploitation of petroleum and also by the
increased political stability based on a rep-
resentative democracy which has occurred
within the last two decades. The great influx
of immigrants that began in the 1940s un-
leashed many tensions and conflicts onto a
society which had begun with the progres-
sive miscegenation of the three major
ethnic groups: the Amerindians, the
Spanish colonizers, and the Africans origi-

nally brought in as slaves. The inherent
problems of a society undergoing rapid
development and rapid demographic
growth have created sharp deficiencies in
public services and have generated com-
petition in employment between the immi-
grants and the natives. Therefore, the
government has been obliged to begin to
formulate an immigration policy. The reg-
istration of illegal immigrants (indocu-
mentados), their documentation and the
general registry of foreigners on the one
hand, and the encouragement and devel-
opment of studies and exhaustive research
concerning this problem on the other hand,
constitute the first stages of a process that is

just beginning to define itself. It is hoped
that eventually this process will alleviate
some of the psychological, occupational,
and cultural tensions that have emerged in
Venezuelan society.
Immigration to Venezuela
Since 1930, the majority of Latin American
countries have enacted selective immigra-
tion policies, establishing limits on each
immigrant group. Venezuela, one of the few
exceptions to this trend, maintained an ex-
tremely open immigration policy, directed
in particular to the European population.
With the passage of the Immigration Law of
1936, Venezuela intended to imitate the

policies of Brazil and Argentina at the close
of the 19th century to encourage European
immigrants to settle in rural areas balanc-
ing the native population's migration to-
ward the cities. This policy was aimed at
realizing the Latin American liberal dream
of Europeanizing their countries. In the
case of Venezuela, the National Agrarian
Institute was one of the prime movers in this
project. Nevertheless, the great wave of
European immigrants that came after WWII
was a displaced and battered population
predominantly originating from the
Mediterranean countries. As noted by Mag-
nus Marner, "between 1948 and 1957 the
migration to Venezuela was made up of
374,000 persons in a country whose total
population went from 5 million in 1950
to 7.5 million in 1961. In this later year,
foreigners constituted 15% of the active
Since 1948, the petroleum benefits and
the growing infrastructure coupled with
a policy that encouraged immigration
(began during the dictatorship of P6rez
Jimenez), converted Venezuela into one of
the principal destinations of European im-
migration in Latin America. The Colombian
author, Gabriel Garcia Marquez, who was at
this time a journalist in Caracas, wrote in a
series of articles paradoxically titled, When I
was happy and undocumented: "In Italy,
Spain and Portugal one spoke of Venezuela
as the promised land, and 170,000 Italians,
80,000 Portuguese and 16,000 Germans
came to the country in less than 10 years."
Nevertheless, following the. decade
1948-1958, this wave of European immi-
grants weakened. With the downfall of Perez
Jimenez, several xenophobic outbreaks
occurred. The outbreaks were directed
primarily against the Italian community,
due to the association of some of its most
prominent members with the P6rez
Jim6nez government and its embezzle-
ment of public funds. As a consequence,
between 1958 and 1970, Italian immigra-
tion to Venezuela diminished abruptly. This
provoked a similar decrease in the Spanish
immigration, to such an extent that in 1960
and 1961, Venezuela's net migration was
negative. Nevertheless, immediately a re-
verse occurred with an increased Por-

tuguese and Colombian immigration and
the limited but stable influx of Syrian-
Lebanese and Palestinians.
The first great wave of European immi-
grants did not accomplish the hoped for
results. The majority of the immigrants set-
tled in the urban centers, becoming
primarily involved in commercial activities.
However, the great stream of immigrants
that most affected Venezuela, followed the
arrival of postwar Europeans arriving in the
70s because of the Venezuelan petroleum
"boom." This boom was a result of the
doubling of petroleum prices by OPEC.
This more recent influx was composed
primarily of immigrants coming from Latin
America and the Caribbean. These immi-
grants were pushed by critical unemploy-
ment and inflation in their own countries
and, to a lesser extent by political persecu-
tion imposed by military governments. The
social composition of the Latin American
and Caribbean migrants, and their incorpo-
ration into the job market, have been fre-
quently decided in terms of national origin.
The vast majority of Colombian immi-
grants, as well as the more limited flows of
Dominican, Puerto Rican, Trinidadian,
Ecuadorian and Central American immi-
grants have become laborers and domes-
tics. The exception would be the Cubans,
who fled as a result of the Castro Revolution.
This group was largely a part of the middle
On the other hand, the military dictator-
ships of the Southern Cone have provoked
the exodus of large groups of technicians
and professionals from Chile, Argentina,
and Uruguay, some of whom have made
their way to Venezuela. Of the approxi-
mately 463,000 persons who entered Ven-
ezuela between 1971 and 1978, 300,000
were Colombians; 30,000 Ecuadorians;
20,000 Chileans, and 13,000 Argentines.
Over 25% of the immigrants coming from
the South were political refugees.
As a consequence of this massive Latin
American and Caribbean immigration (at
the close of the '70s) to Venezuela, there has
emerged a growing worry in both public
opinion and within government decision
making circles. This concern is that a less
indiscriminate immigration policy, fitting

the needs of this developing state, be

A New Immigration Policy
Since 1977, sensationalist media have initi-
ated a campaign against the indocu-
mentados. These immigrants have com-
peted with Venezuelans in the labor market
and to a lesser degree in commerce. In
addition, an overload in social services and
hospital facilities has been exacerbated. In
conjunction with the Colombian-
Venezuelan border dispute, the most
alarming figures disseminated estimated
that the total number of indocumentados
- identified primarily as illegal immigrants
from Colombia was approximately four
In mid-1980, in an atmosphere of grow-
ing tensions towards foreigners who en-
tered the country illegally, the government
initiated a registration campaign which
lasted four months. The purpose of this
campaign was to take a census of the in-
documentados, while simultaneously le-
galizing their status and offering them the
alternative of applying for a residential visa
within one year. This registration process of
the indocumentados revealed that the
alarmist figures, as well as official estimates
of two million foreigners of illegal status
were erroneous, in as much as only
300,000 people were registered. The sub-
sequent political campaign to detect in-
documentados who had not responded to
the registration campaign gave rise to a
new surprise: of the 200,000 persons that it
was supposed that the government would
deport for lack of registration and sub-
sequent documentation, only a few
hundred were detained and deported. At
the same time, the Colombian government
(which was prepared to receive a flood of
tens of thousands of deported citizens on
their border) only had to attend to 200
As it was pointed out by a Venezuelan
official, in this case, "the registration was a
success, but the deportation was a failure."
Later, it was revealed that during the docu-
ment verification process taking place in
the streets of Caracas, only 300 foreigners
were actually detected without documents.

And the majority of those detained were, in
fact, Venezuelan citizens without proper
identification. This fact demonstrated that,
in Venezuela, as in Colombia, the estimates
of illegal Colombian workers immigrating
to Venezuela were being based upon un-
realistic figures, thus generating the myth of
an overwhelming minority of Colombian
nationals, to whom, along with other
foreigners, the crisis in the social services
was attributed.
The registration and documentation of
the indocumentados also revealed that, in
total, foreigners in Venezuela did not sur-
pass one million persons as had been an-
ticipated by research by Venezuelan
academics. The most important conse-
quence of this process has been the aware-
ness of the necessity for more serious
research into the Venezuelan immigration
problem. Such a study would establish the
basis of an immigration policy which would
be more accommodating to the develop-
ment of Venezuela.
To illustrate this point, in the case of Col-
ombian migration to Venezuela, several
studies were carried out under the auspices
of a project by the International Labor Or-
ganization which examined the charac-
teristics of this migration. Through this
study, the primary centers of exit from Col-
ombia and the primary centers of attraction
in Venezuela were pinpointed. The primary
centers of attraction in Venezuela were, the
State of Tachira, the Federal District, the
State of Barinas, and the State of Zulia.
Their attraction was a function of the de-
mand for manual labor in the agricultural
and construction sectors. It was also de-
termined, on the basis of surveys made of
the people being deported, that the bulk of

the immigrant population was primarily
under the age of 30, with low levels of edu-
cation and skills, forced to migrate due to
insufficient salaries. This latter point was the
primary motivation for migration, and not
the level of unemployment, for the purpose
in migrating was either to save money and
return home or to send money back to their
homes. The majority of the migrants stated
that a familial economic burden existed in
Colombia, and their intention was to save
money earned in Venezuela to supplement
their deficit incomes in their home country.
This type of research reveals the nature of

The Colombian
government, which was
prepared to receive a flood
of tens of thousands of
Colombians, only had to
attend to 200 persons.

Colombian migration, a feature of which is
the pattern of returning home. Neverthe-
less, the formulation of an immigration
policy which is compatible with the neces-
sities of the country will require the
implementation of numerous studies
concerning the human resources required
to develop Venezuela, as well as the social
and cultural features of the immigrants who
must assimilate and integrate into the na-
tional society.

Human Resources and
National Identity
Within the framework of these objectives,
the National Council of Human Resources,
has greatly contributed to the design of an
immigration policy which is consistent with
the necessities of Venezuela. Among its
most relevant contributions is a study on,
"Characteristics, evolution and tendencies
of the job markets of professionals and
highly skilled technicians. Preliminary re-
sults point out that the scarcity of managers
from which the country suffers is brought
on by the growth of a more highly educated
labor force primarily concentrated in the
service sectors.
In addition, the National Council of
Human Resources has decided upon the
establishment of a Documentation Center,
and to the gathering of specialists and re-
searchers who can contribute with their
studies to a clearer understanding of the
human needs of Venezuela. To this end, the
Council has organized various meetings of
specialists. One of the most relevant has
been the Symposium on Selective Immi-
gration which took place in November of
1980. At this gathering, several problems
were discussed concerning international
migration to Venezuela. The panels con-
cerned with the legal problems of labor,
defense issues, and socio-cultural and psy-
chological problems took the limelight.
They noted the need for legislation which
would take into account the characteristics
of the migrant work force, namely, its tem-
porary nature; the concern of the armed
forces with the difficulties introduced by
illegal immigration and the control of the
borders; and the problems of assimilation



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the political, financial-eco-
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each island individually will
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of the immigrant groups. In reference to this
latter point, research concerning the at-
titudes, perceptions and the sensitivity of
the metropolitan Venezuelan population
towards foreigners was carried out by psy-
chologists, J.M. Salazar and R Rodriguez
from the Central University. of Venezuela's
Institute of Psychology. These studies seri-
ously questioned the claims of some mass
media concerning tensions provoked by
the presence of foreigners. As shown in
their work, begun in 1979, mistrust of
foreigners was less prevalent than previ-
ously believed and is a function of socio-
economic status. Paradoxically, it shows
that the mistrust is highest in the next
socio-economic group above the immi-
grant. That is to say that those in the upper
class tend to mistrust most the Argentines,
who most often enter the middle class. The
middle class and the lower class mistrust
most the Colombians, who normally enter
the very lowest socio-economic level.
Along the same lines, another study pre-
sented at the Symposium titled, 'Education,
immigration and national identity in Ven-
ezuela' pointed out that, "the lines of de-
marcation of social classes, ethnic groups,
national prejudices etc., conditioned in a
very concrete manner the assimilation of
the foreigner." In addition, its author, 0.
Albornoz analysed the place of education in
the assimilation process, and how the in-
corporation of Latin American immigrant
groups alter the national identity.
It is important from the author's perspec-
tive to note that the proliferation of nation-
alist groups with latent xenophobic
attitudes that postulate a national identity
based on the original three ethnic groups -
the native population, the European col-
onizers and the African slaves, generally
lose sight of the profound transformation of
Venezuela during the 20th century due to
petroleum development and the incorpo-
ration of new migrations. As Albornoz de-
scribes, "the identity of a nation such as
Venezuela has been formed throughout the
course of history, thanks to the successive
migrations.... In any case, the Venezuelan
identity is petroleum, is immigration, as well
as its native population, which was itself
produced by successive waves of immigra-
tion." Within the framework of a situation of
internal crisis, especially one involving bor-
der tensions (as in the recent confronta-
tions with Guyana and Colombia), the
mistrust of foreigners tends to rise. The
cultural and linguistic characteristics of the
recent wave of immigrants (predominantly
Latin American and Caribbean) so similar
to the Venezuelan cultural roots, as well as
with a democratic tradition which takes
pride in its Latin American vocation and
receptivity towards political exiles cause the
temporary tensions and conflicts between
the immigrants and the native population to
present themselves in a highly tempered

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in keeping up with the best in Caribbean scholarly research and writing from a
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and research reports scheduled for publication in Volume 20 (1980).
Equality and Justice: Foundations of Nationalism in the
Caribbean / Wendell Bell
Esclavitud y Diplomacia: Los Limites de un Paradigma
Hist6rico / Francisco Scarano
The Trajectory of Canadian-Panamanian Relations / Graeme S. Mount
Piri Thomas: Author and Persona / Eugene V. Mohr
Exploration and Exploitation of Manganese Nodules in the
Caribbean / Edmund Dale
Bibliography of Theses and Dissertations on Venezuelan
Topics / William Sullivan
Trends in Caribbean English Fiction / Maria Teresa Babin
Malaise Social et Criminalit6 aux Antilles Frangaises / Auguste Armet
PLUS: Book Reviews Current Bibliography Documents
To keep abreast of significant developments in Caribbean studies in the 1980s,
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Please enter my subscription to Caribbean Studies as indicated below. Enclosed is my check
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manner. It is hoped that time will produce
the logical assimilation for the descendants
of those immigrants who have chosen to
settle permanently in Venezuela. In as much
as this process adjusts itself to an immigra-
tion policy which is clearly structured in the
interest of the country and state action
encourages rapid assimilation of these
immigrants (especially by means of the

educational system), the outcome can be
nothing other than positive.

Andr6s Serbin teaches anthropology at the
Universidad Central de Venezuela and the
Universidad Simdn Bolivar. He recently pub-
lished Guyana (Bruguera, 1981) and Indi-
genismo y Autogesti6n (Monte Avila, 1980).
Translators Stephanie Schneiderman and
James F Droste are staff members on CR.

Who Needs a

Guest-Worker Program?

They Do and We Do

By Franklin W. Knight

n 1924 the United States decided that it
could no longer tolerate the unrestricted
entry of the "poor... huddled masses" of
the world. Congress appropriated the sum
of one million dollars to patrol the land
borders and intercept and refuse entry to
legal undesirables. In its first year of opera-
tion the border patrol apprehended about
25,000 individuals wishing to enter the
United States without proper authority. By
1981 with increased personnel and a greatly
expanded budget the border patrol stopped
nearly a million would-be entrants. But the
inadequacy of border patrols at any price is
clear. For by its own admission, the border
patrol records only a twenty-five percent
success rate. Clearly, the United States
cannot prevent illegal immigrants by a pro-
cess of forceful interception and expulsion.
As long as America remains a magnet for
so many of the hopeful of the Western
Hemisphere so long must the country
come to terms with the inadequacy of the
old, futile system of maintaining an elabo-
rate bureaucratic apparatus for identifying
and excluding improper entrants. Obvi-
ously a new policy is urgently needed.
Any such new policy ought to include the
prospect of admitting would-be workers to
the United States as guest-workers, pat-
terned after, but in no way identical to the
European gastarbeiter program which
allowed foreigners to travel and work in the
more industrial countries of West Germany,
Switzerland and Sweden. Since more than
ninety percent of identified illegal residents
originate in Mexico or the Caribbean, this
guest-worker program could be targeted
initially to these areas. After a trial period,
the program could be discontinued, or
modified by expansion or contraction. But a
concrete, fully thought-out program would
offer the opportunity to evaluate the feasi-
bility of a new basis for responsible relations
with our neighboring states in one area.
A new program offers some patent ad-
vantages for the United States as well as for
the neighboring states. A guest-worker
program increases the efficacy and im-
proves the economy and productivity of an
agency which simply cannot handle
adequately the tasks assigned to it. It is
simply not feasible to patrol the thousands

of miles of land and sea borders of the
United States effectively. If we assume that
the vast majority of the illegal entrants
come to the United States for economic
reasons, and if we further assume that the
present laws as well as the present practice
combine to encourage the improper
crossing of the frontiers, then it is incum-
bent on the United States to provide posi-
tive incentives to comply with the law. The
issuance of a legitimate worker's permit for
unrestricted entries during a specified
period of time would be one such incentive
for the present illegal entrants to seek
a proper and legal way of entering the
It is obvious these illegal entrants are
finding gainful employment. Millions of
Mexican and Caribbean nationals would
not keep entering the country without the
prospect of finding work, and finding work
at wages better than they could in their own
countries. In a very real way these illegal
workers are, and have been, subsidizing the
cost of living of the citizens of the United
States while increasing the profits (or re-
ducing the loss) of their employers. The
conventional argument that a program of
controlled worker permits would inevitably
offer unfair competition for American citi-
zens while depressing wage levels is totally
spurious. And the supposition that worker
permits are tantamount to sanctioned
exploitation is mere sophistry.
Indeed, a good case can be made that
legalizing and regularizing the terms and
conditions of employment of non-citizens
serves their interest. It removes at its best,
and ameliorates at its worse, the presumed
indignity of their exploitation. A free worker
with no fear of being abruptly discovered
and summarily expelled from the country
enjoys the basic right of occupational mo-
bility. If neither his employers nor his em-
ployment prove satisfactory, then he should
be free to find alternate employment. The
type of periodical exposes of groups of il-
legal entrants working under conditions not
far removed from slavery should be far less
common if workers had no fear of an im-
promptu visit from agents of the Immigra-
tion and Naturalization Service. The dignity
of a worker and the nobility of his work can

only be enhanced when workers believe
that they are free to negotiate an ameliora-
tion in the conditions of their work or to
change their employer without any greater
fear than the loss of their jobs.

Dearth of Information
Legalizing the worker program would also
be a measure of encouraging the return of
foreign nationals to their country. No
greater incentive for return can be found
than the prospect of being able to return
legally and freely. One of the problems in
dealing with this category of illegals is the
dearth of reliable information on them. But
if we base our assumptions on the hopes
and aspirations of legal immigrants as well
as on the experiences of some examples of
legally sponsored labor schemes such as
that in Germany, we can begin to sketch the
probable scenario for any such scheme
applied to the United States. Migrant work-
ers, far from being inefficient laborers, are
often highly motivated, ambitious and in-
dustrious. The vast majority have no initial
intention of abandoning their homelands.
Most hold the ideal of returning in a better
economic status than when they left. The
fact that the majority fail to realize their
hopes tell as much about their experience
as the examination of immigrant groups
will reveal that the reasons for the non-
return to their native lands span an ex-
tremely wide spectrum, with variations from
time to time and from place to place. Indi-
viduals expelled or attracted for economic
reasons will change their minds for reasons
not essentially economic. To expect that
every potential laborer armed with the legal
search-warrant for employment will, re-
gardless of the degree of his economic
success, return to his homeland is naive in
the extreme. But it is not unreasonable to
expect that a far greater proportion of those
will return than the present multitude of
undocumented workers who now abound
in the land.
One of the most unsatisfactory aspects
of the present system is the prevailing igno-
rance of the government about those who
live and work within the country. If the gov-
ernment can devise a system which in-
forms it about those who are admitted, then

it should be easier to ascertain where they
are located and what occupations they pur-
sue. Only by knowing who comprise this
irregular labor force and where they are
located, can the government begin to as-
sess the importance or necessity of a legally
documented worker program. By issuing
work permits in an orderly way the govern-
ment will be better placed to evaluate a
reality rather than shadow box with various
entrenched interests about hypothetical
situations and other fabrications of their
The present situation constitutes an ir-
regular and uncontrollable strain upon the
national nerves and the national resources.
It is an inflow which appears not to diminish
although the control mechanisms are
strained to the breaking point. Of course,
the United States is in no position to ac-
cept carte blanche all who desire to enter

and work here. The arrival of Haitians since
1972 and the unplanned arrival of Cubans
from Mariel during the summer of 1980 -
an entry of about 125,000 in five months -
reflect the far-reaching dimensions of the
problems of integrating large numbers of
undetermined status. Any program which
allocates work permits and allows the or-
derly inflow of visitors relieves the pressures
on law enforcement agencies as well as
states and thereby makes the problems of
control and adjustment better planned and
better executed.
Gainful employment by legally encour-
aged or otherwise orderly recruited laborers
has a double benefit to the United States
which is sometimes overlooked. On the
one hand the cash remitted from the United
States to the supplier countries contribute
toward local economic growth and stability
thereby reducing the economic forces ex-

pelling the local population from their
homeland. In this way then, the operation of
a guest-worker program helps to keep
more people in their own country. But a
secondary benefit is that guest workers are
also consumers, and would probably boost
sales of a variety of consumer products
thereby contributing to the growth of the
United States economy. Anyone who has
ever taken a plane from New York or Miami
to Latin America or the Caribbean has a
clear idea of the volume of domestic com-
modities moving along with the tourists and
In order to be successful, however, any
guest-worker plan must not only be care-
fully thought through, but must also bear in
mind certain considerations. The most ob-
vious is that a guest-worker program is not
an alternative form of immigration. Workers
Continued on page 64

Freedom bid fails for this group of Mexican illegal aliens. Wide World Photos.


Foreign Workers in

the USVI

History of a Dilemma

By Mark J. Miller and William W. Boyer

he persistent phenomenon of large-
scale "illegal migration" to the United
States has defied the formulation
and implementation of effective govern-
mental counter-measures. While a number
of options, ranging from increased immi-
gration quotas to beefed-up border en-
forcement are open to policymakers, ex-
pansion of the US temporary alien worker
program currently figures prominently in
private and public discussions of the "un-
documented worker" issue. During his
election campaign, President Reagan
indicated his support for a large-scale tem-
porary worker policy and has since
established an interagency study group to
examine temporary worker policy toward
Mexico. To assess the potential merits and
flaws of an expanded temporary worker
policy, US policymakers should examine
past US and international experiences with
nonimmigrant labor programs as part of
the decision-making process concerning
this proposed remedy of the "illegal alien"
problem. It is in this context that the US
Virgin Islands foreign labor experience is
worth looking at.
Under US immigration law, aliens enter-
ing the United States to perform temporary
labor are classified nonimmigrantss," as
distinguished from "immigrants" who are
admitted permanently and are free to
change occupations. This distinction re-
flects a long-term ban on employment of
non-immigrant workers which dates from
the outlawing of contract labor practices in
1885. At present, the only category of
nonimmigrants that is restricted to work in
which the occupation itself is temporary is
the so-called H-2 category. Generally re-
ferred to as the H-2 program (after section
H ii of the Immigration and Naturalization
Act of 1952, as amended), roughly 30,000
aliens currently admitted as temporary
workers under this legal exception must be
certified by the Labor Department to be
filling job offers that cannot be satisfied by
US citizens or resident aliens. Furthermore,
H-2 workers must not adversely affect local
wages and working conditions. While pres-
ent temporary alien worker employment is
insignificant (.01 percent of the nation's
total workforce), the US has permitted

large-scale exceptions to the ban on
nonimmigrant labor in the past.
During World War I, manpower shortages
were seen as justifying recruitment of
nonimmigrant Mexican labor. Between
1917 and 1921, some 80,000 Mexicans
worked in Southwestern agriculture. Al-
though temporary employment was ban-
ned anew and many Mexicans were de-
ported during the interlude between the
wars, the Mexican government agreed to
resume recruitment of Mexicans for tempo-
rary work in the US in 1942, thus beginning
what came to be known as the bracero
program. Initially authorized by the
Mexican-American Labor Agreement, the
bracero program brought in over four mil-
lion Mexican temporary workers before
organized labor secured unilateral termi-
nation of the program in 1964.
A lesser known war-time exception to the
nonimmigrant labor ban was made in the
US Virgin Islands. A construction boom
associated with the US naval installations
on the Islands outstripped the available
local manpower supply. Consequently, sig-
nificant numbers of alien workers primarily
from nearby British possessions were hired.
US immigration law was not enforced in the
Islands until 1941 and alien employment
was not uncommon prior to the war-time
labor scarcity. Faced with "strategic" man-
power shortages and the fait accompli of
significant illegal alien employment, US
authorities decided to waive immigration
law requirements to permit temporary alien
employment in "defense-related" indus-
tries. Though these waivers were rescinded
in 1944 and most war-time temporary
workers were obligated to repatriate, the
1941-1944 temporary worker episode can
properly be seen as the origin of what is now
known as the British Virgin Islands pro-
gram, which was inaugurated in 1956 and
continues to this day. Residents of French
and Dutch Caribbean possessions were
also allowed work permits under the pro-
gram. The 1956 decision to allow British
subjects on Tortola to take jobs in the US
island territory was expanded in scope to
much of the Caribbean by local Immigra-
tion and Naturalization Service (INS) offi-
cials without Congressional approval. The

authorized nonimmigrant labor presence in
the USVI is one of the relatively rare US
experiences with foreign workers. Addi-
tional exceptions have occurred in Ameri-
can territories in the Pacific, most notably in
Guam. Currently, nonimmigrant workers
classified as H-2 workers include those in
the US Virgin Islands, along with Jamaican
apple pickers in Virginia and New York,
and Haitian sugar cane cutters in Florida.
How the Virgin Islands
Program Evolved
As in Western Europe, one must use the
term "program" guardedly when referring
to US policy toward alien workers in the
Virgin Islands. "Non-policy" would perhaps
be more accurate. Indeed, administrative
neglect of the alien labor issue charac-
terized the evolution of the Virgin Islands
program until 1970. In the aftermath of
World War II and in the face of mounting
indigenous unemployment, the Immigra-
tion and Naturalization Service strove to
repatriate the some 1,000 war-time alien
workers in the Virgin Islands. Following the
conviction and imprisonment of some
formerbonafide alien workers, most of the
foreign workforce voluntarily returned
home. However, by 1947, illegal migration
to the Islands already had become a
"chronic problem." In 1949, the INS again
clamped down and about 1,000 illegal resi-
dents were forced to return. Employers
complained that INS enforcement was de-
priving them of needed workers. The out-
break of the Korean War further drained the
pool of available domestic workers and set
the stage for demands by British West In-
dian authorities that their workers be per-
mitted temporary employment in the US
Virgin Islands. Workers from the British
West Indies already were employed on the
US mainland in the British West Indies
labor program.
The combination of British diplomatic
pressure, continuing illegal migration, and
employer complaints about labor scarcities
prompted contemplation of a resumption
of temporary alien employment. In fact,
significant numbers of alien workers were
granted waivers to satisfy employer de-
mands. The 1952 Immigration and Natu-

realization Act (INA), however, reaffirmed the
ban on non-immigrant labor, stipulating
that non-immigrant workers could be ap-
proved only for jobs of a temporary
character. Consequently, the INS was re-
luctant to grant H-2 visas since few Virgin
Islands jobs were of a manifestly temporary
nature. This strict interpretation of the
INA led to a flurry of employer letters to
the INS and various Congressional sub-
In 1954, a special subcommittee of the
House Judiciary Committee was created to
examine implementation of the INA in the
Caribbean. The subcommittee recom-
mended in 1955 that natives of the nearby
island of Tortola of the British Virgin Islands
be permitted entry to the USVI for seasonal
temporary employment in the agricultural
sector or hotel industry. The very limited
nature of the subcommittee's recommend-
ation should be emphasized. Going well
beyond this recommendation, however,
was a 1956 agreement between US and
British officials to permit entry also of
domestics, unskilled laborers, and project
workers the last apparently included at
the urging of Governor Gordon of the USVI.
Still, the program was limited solely to
British Virgin Islanders. In 1959, however,
an administrative error" by the INS officer
posted in St. Thomas officially expanded
the program to include workers from the
British, French, and Netherlands West In-
dies. When the INS central office "directed
that the unauthorized practice be discon-
tinued immediately," the then-Governor
Merwin successfully intervened to urge the
INS to permit entry from this broader geo-
graphical area. Thus, by the early 1960s, the
program's original occupational and geo-
graphical restrictions had been abandoned.
The subcommittee's very limited recom-
mendation of 1955 deemed consistent
with Congressional intent had been
stretched far beyond what seemingly was
authorized by the H-2 provisions of the INA.
The significance of the administrative
emasculation of Congressional intent con-
cerning the H-2 provisions of the INA ex-
tends far beyond the question of foreign
workers in the US Virgin Islands. Interpreta-
tion of Congressional intent concerning the

A poster from about 1915. Courtesy Mark J. Miller.

stipulation that nonimmigrant workers be
"...coming temporarily to perform tempo-
rary services of labor" is at issue in the
current debate over expansion of the tem-
porary worker program. If the provision is
interpreted strictly, it seems unlikely that the
present H-2 program could be quickly and
massively expanded as some experts, most
notably Edwin Reubens, have advocated.
Amendment of present statutes in the
manner of HR bill 981 of the 93rd Congress
- which strikes out "temporary" from the
INA would have to precede expansion
because there simply are few jobs outside
of agricultural harvests and seasonal ser-
vices (such as resort hotel and restaurant
employment) that are "temporary."
The murky circumstances surrounding
the "authorization" and subsequent im-
plementation of the Virgin Islands program
make the lack of controversy it generated
from 1956 to 1970 perhaps more signifi-
cant than the open conflict it eventually
spawned. It quickly became apparent that
the need for alien labor was not short-term
or seasonal but permanent. H-2 workers
were regularly renewed for employment at
the same job. Seasonality was an adminis-
trative fiction. With the development of the
Virgin Islands as a major vacation haven,
manpower was in constant demand. De-
spite the admission of thousands of H-2
workers, the unemployment rate did not
surpass 1% until 1970. By that year,
foreign-born noncitizens comprised 30% of
the Islands' population and 45% of the
Prior to 1970, administration of the Virgin
Islands H-2 program was largely in local
hands. Employer requests for H-2 workers
were routinely certified to satisfy adverse
wage and working condition stipulations
protecting indigenous workers. Employers

subsequentlyreceived routine INS approval
to recruit alien labor. Initially, there was a
labor shortage. But, through the years, the
labor shortage cited by employers to justify
further recruitment of H-2s took on an
"economic" nature. In other words, the
shortages were determined by employer
preferences for alien workers and the
growing reluctance of US citizens to accept
low-paid, unskilled, manual labor jobs.
Employer complaints that native island-
ers would not accept menial jobs consti-
tuted, in many respects, a self-fulfilling
prophecy. The wage rate set by H-2 con-
tracts became the prevailing wage in the
five major occupations for which H-2s were
admitted, namely hotel and restaurant ser-
vice jobs, agricultural work, clerical help,
domestics, and construction. Employers
were assured of a steady supply of cheap
labor and did not have to make the kinds of
wage and working condition inducements
that would attract indigenous workers to
these jobs. Even before the H-2 program, a
negative social status stigma was attached
to alien jobs by the local population which
reinforced the dependency upon alien labor
stemming from lax enforcement of adverse
effect safeguards.
There is little doubt that temporary
worker employment initially had a benefi-
cial impact upon the Virgin Islands econ-
omy. Without alien manpower, the Islands
could not have experienced such a high
rate of economic growth. It was employers,
though, who profited the most from the H-2
program. When considered against the
backdrop of the kinds of wages employers
hypothetically would have had to pay in a
condition of labor autarky (or self-
sufficiency), temporary workers in the Vir-
gin Islands can properly be seen as a "labor
subsidy" provided by the government to a

relatively small group of employers. The
adverse economic impacts of temporary
alien labor were not felt until indigenous
unemployment became a problem and
foreign workers (along with their
dependents) began using costly social

Controversy and Reform
During the 1950s and early 1960s, a com-
bination of optimism in the mutual benefits
of the program and near total neglect bythe
federal Justice and Labor Departments
obfuscated the problems inherent in per-
mitting foreign labor to enter into a demo-
cratic society for permanent jobs on a dis-
criminatory basis. H-2 worker rights were
(and in part still are) restricted. Unlike their
American counterparts, they could not
unionize, receive social security and unem-
ployment benefits, or change employers
without risking deportation. H-2 workers
are supposed to be provided with decent
housing and meals, but enforcement of
safeguards intended to.protect H-2 workers
long was haphazard. The miserable living
conditions of many H-2 workers and their
dependents were an important catalyst to
the eventual public uproar over alien work-
ers in the Virgin Islands. As a 1969 memo to
the Secretary of Labor put it: "The housing,
educational and social conditions of the
nonimmigrant aliens are terrible."
The anomalous status of over 10,000
politically disfranchised "temporary" aliens
working almost entirely in jobs of a perma-
nent nature for prolonged periods of time
could not be allowed to continue. However,
reforms undertaken in the late 1960s and
throughout the 1970s served to complicate
the problem more than ameliorate it. In
1967, Labor Department officials -
alarmed by the growth of an alien "under-
class" in the Islands recommended an
adjustment of status strategy which would
promote the conversion of "temporary"
aliens employed on a permanent basis into
resident aliens and eventually into citizens.
Since the sixth preference (or needed skills
category) of the 1965 amendments to the
INA specifically prohibits the granting of
resident alien or immigrant status to aliens
for jobs of a temporary or nonpermanent
nature, the Labor Department plan involved
a serious legal difficulty. Alien workers
could not simultaneously be employed in
jobs of a nonpermanent and permanent
nature. However, to convert Virgin Islands
H-2 workers to resident aliens, the Labor
Department had to certify that alien workers
were both temporary and permanent. Con-
sequently, the thousands of H-2 workers
who could not be allotted immigrant status
had to be renewed as H-2 temporary work-
ers. Yet, under the Labor Department's
dual certification program, these same
"temporary" workers were to be regarded as


By 1975, only several thousand former
Virgin Islands H-2 workers had obtained
resident alien or citizen status. The bulk of
the alien workforce (constantly augmented
by new entries) had not. Subsequent Con-
gressional attempts to facilitate adjustment
of status by exempting the Virgin Islands
from the numerical restrictions of immigra-
tion laws have failed. Hence, the US gov-
ernment finds itself in the legally dubious
position of periodically renewing H-2 visas
for aliens which it considers permanent
residents of the Virgin Islands. Despite legal
difficulties and limited success in adjusting

Few Virgin Islands jobs
were of a manifestly
temporary nature.

alien worker status, the dual certification
initiative was a first step in rectifying the
glaring inequities created by the Virgin
Islands temporary worker program.
'In 1970, with the passage of PL 91-225,
spouses and minor children were granted
the right to join H-2 workers employed in
the Virgin Islands. The creation of the H-4
visa category for H-2 worker family mem-
bers permitted some 20,000 to 30,000
aliens legal entry in the 1970s. Such a dra-
matic influx into the Virgin Islands had not
been foreseen by lawmakers. The massive
arrival of dependents greatly complicated
the administrative nature of the temporary
worker program and quickly brought to a
head several long-standing problems. Two
months after the passage of PL 91-225, a
US district court struck down the Virgin
Islands regulation preventing noncitizen
children from attending school. As a result,
the Virgin Islands school system suddenly
had to absorb thousands of alien children
which, predictably, led to resentment over
increased educational expenditures and
fears that the quality of education had
Other barriers to foreign worker utiliza-
tion of social services similarly were struck
down as the federal government sought to
implement a basically two-pronged policy.
On the one hand, the government sought
to integrate "permanent" H-2 workers and
to lessen the soclo-economic and legal gap
between citizens and noncitizens. On the
other hand, the government moved to cur-
tail recruitment of new foreign workers by
tightening up enforcement of adverse ef-
fect provisions and returning to a strict in-
terpretation of the temporariness provision
of section H-2.
The influx of alien dependents brought
up the question of their access to employ-
ment. Rather than aggravate the persistent
problem of illegal alien employment on the

islands, it was decided that H-4 job seekers
should be granted H-2 visas after labor
certification. Consequently, in recent years,
there has been a steady infusion of new H-2
workers despite a more or less explicit re-
cruitment ban and mounting unemploy-
ment among native Virgin Islanders as the
1960s tourist boom faded.
The spate of federal inquiries that re-
sulted in the adoption of this two-pronged,
restriction-with-integration, policy in the
early 1970s responded to mounting public
criticism of the program. It was above all
else, though, the increasingly evident
sociopolitical drawbacks of temporary
worker policy combined with fears of
unemployment and the alleged "swamp-
ing" of social services by aliens that elic-
ited a political backlash among native Vir-
gin Islanders. In 1971, to the satisfaction of
important segments of the Islands' popula-
tion, the INS opened up a drive against
illegal aliens. In this Virgin Islands-version of
"Operation Wetback," estimates of the
number of deported or leaving voluntarily
ranged from 7,000 to 15,000 over a four-
month period. Although the roundup met
with little open resistance, most observers
agree that the action embittered H-2 work-
ers thereby diminishing the impact of fed-
eral integration efforts. The "clean up" ap-
pears not to have deterred further illegal
migration as the current illegal population
is estimated to represent about 15% of the
legal alien population in the Islands.
Foreign workers in the US Virgin Islands
have been drawn principally from the
nearby British Virgin Islands and the
British-connected islands of the Eastern
Caribbean Anguilla, Antigua, Dominica,
Grenada, Montserrat, Nevis, St. Kitts, St.
Lucia, St. Vincent, and Trinidad. The contri-
butions of the Eastern Caribbean to the
social, economic, and political culture of
the USVI, through this alien community,
cannot be overstated. Carnival, the steel
bands, cricket, soccer, certain foods and
beverages have come to the USVI from the
Eastern Caribbean. Foremost, of course, is
the economic dependence of the Virgin
Islands on foreign workers for most of the
employment outside of government. The
most important impact of the "downisland-
ers," however, appears to many Virgin
Islanders to be political rather than social
or economic especially with regard to the
future. It is the fear that downislanders will
eventually wrest control of the local political
system that most worries native Virgin Is-
landers. Foreign workers increasingly are
becoming naturalized citizens and hence
Virgin Islands' politicians seek their vote.
Meanwhile, alien organizations in the Vir-
gin Islands have pressed for "status ad-
justment" through proposed legislation
by Congress that would ease the way for
aliens to acquire permanent residence
"greencards," and would grant "amnesty"

to overstayed and illegal foreign workers
and their dependents. The Virgin Islands
government generally opposes such legis-
lation and insists that it ought to be given
jurisdiction over immigration matters in the
Islands. Once welcomed foreign workers
now find themselves in limbo in the Virgin
Islands. Native Islanders continue to resent
their presence, while eschewing the kind of
menial and service work that foreign work-
ers willingly undertake and blaming them
for unemployment and the increasing
crime rate. In response, foreign workers
have become better organized and more
assertive, claiming that they are chiefly
responsible for the Islands' economic
Public officials find themselves facing a
dilemma. Immigration law, fortified by pub-
lic hostility, permits only limited adjustment
of status. Enforced repatriation, however,
would be opposed by many local em-
ployers who would be denied a pool of
cheap labor, and would be likely viewed by
others as inhumane and inconsistent with
American ideals. Hence, authorities con-
tinue to permit foreign workers to remain in
apparent contravention of immigration law
while the problem festers. Rather than
wishing the problem would go away, public
officials should attempt to draw appropriate
lessons from the Virgin Islands foreign
worker experience.

Like the USVI program, French, Swiss, and
German foreign worker programs were
similarly neglected and largely uncontrov-
ersial during the 1950s and early 1960s
before exploding as sociopolitical issues
around 1970. There, too, largely unantici-
pated family reunification brought to a head
long-simmering issues, stemming from the
disfavored status of nonimmigrant workers
in democratic societies. Faced with the
reality of millions of "temporary" workers
and their dependents opting to stay, instead
of returning home as originally expected,
Western European governments an-
nounced bans on the further recruitment of
foreign workers accompanied by broad
measures intended to facilitate foreign
worker integration into Western European
societies. As in the Virgin Islands, continu-
ing family reunification and the entry of
"second generation" foreign workers into
the job market have mitigated recruitment
bans, leaving foreign worker sociopolitical
integration incomplete.
The Virgin Islands situation parallels
other American nonimmigrant worker
episodes in important respects. As in the
US-Mexican labor programs, the Virgin Is-
lands program developed in the context of
a traditional, non-regulated, alien labor in-
flow. The Virgin Islands program evolved in
large part as a response to unregulated
(after 1941, illegal) immigration. In this re-

spect, it differs significantly from the West-
ern European experience but becomes all
the more relevant to the current debate over
the advisability of expanding US temporary
worker policy, because such expansion
would similarly be a response to an ongo-
ing inflow of illegal aliens.
Emerging, in part, as a way to legalize
and regulate a pre-existing illegal alien
population, the Virgin Islands program, and
illegal immigration as in the case of the
bracero program, did not prove to be
mutually exclusive. In fact, a significant
illegal alien problem persisted in spite of the

By the early 1960s the
program's original
occupational and
geographical restrictions
had been abandoned.

relatively high proportion of legally admit-
ted foreign workers in the Virgin Islands
labor force. The controversial illegal alien
"roundup" in the Virgin Islands in 1971, like
"Operation Wetback" in 1954 in the Ameri-
can Southwest, bears mute testimony to
the persistence of illegal immigration de-
spite significant legal employment oppor-
tunities being made available to aliens. This
points to a need to question the assumption
that any enlargement of the temporary
work program will proportionally reduce the
illegal alien population. The impact of tem-
porary worker policy upon illegal migration
is complex. It legalizes many would-be il-
legal aliens, but it also probably attracts
other illegal aliens. In addition, it gives
rise to a new class of law breakers aliens
who overstay their authorized temporary
The Virgin Islands program administra-
tors failed to enforce adverse wage and
working condition safeguards. Not only
were native worker interests prejudiced, but
alien workers suffered because their living
conditions were substandard. In view of the
limited goals to be attained by the admis-
sion of temporary workers at the outset, the
program clearly went out of control. The
Virgin Islands experience was not the first
time that administrators were unable to
prevent a seemingly inconsequential labor
market adjustment from becoming a
long-term administrative problem.
The major flaw of the Virgin Islands pro-
gram was that it long divorced the alien as
an economic agent from his social exis-
tence. Nonimmigrant employment in jobs
of a permanent character is fundamentally
incompatible with democratic-humani-
tarian values as enunciated by international
labor migration. In the Virgin Islands,

foreign workers and their dependents were
denied social rights despite their important
economic contribution. While they now do
have access to social services, many
foreign workers and their dependents still
live in an unacceptable state of insecurity.
As in Western Europe, foreign workers
and their dependents are the social out-
casts of the Virgin Islands. Not only does
such discrimination affect them as indi-
viduals, but collectively it has fostered the
development of a two-tier labor market,
making the Virgin Islands economy de-
pendent upon foreign labor in spite of rela-
tively high unemployment. The social costs
of present and past discrimination,
moreover, are likely to be long-term, as
foreign worker children are stigmatized like
their parents and perhaps will become the
"social time bombs" that Western Euro-
pean experts fear guestworker children will
become. One reason to hope that this will
not occur, however, is that H-2 worker chil-
dren born on American soil, unlike
guestworker children in Switzerland and the
Federal Republic of Germany, automati-
cally become citizens of the United States.
The small territorial size and insular
character of the Virgin Islands greatly mag-
nify the political impacts of temporary labor
there. Virtually nowhere else would natu-
ralization of foreign workers so threaten
delicate political-ethnic balances. However,
in the Virgin Islands, as in Western Europe,
foreign workers have exerted pressure
upon government in spite of'their electoral
disfranchisement. Still, the fact that over a
third of the Virgin Islands population is dis-
franchised has diminished the quality of
democratic life in this US territory. The
mass deportation in 1971, the past dis-
crimination encountered by foreign work-
ers, and the disfranchisement of over a third
of the population have made the Virgin
Islands neither a showplace of democracy
nor a model of respect for human rights.
In the politically sensitive Caribbean area,
any diplomatic gains resulting from pro-
viding employment opportunities, and any
satisfaction of home societies deriving from
the opportunity to relieve unemployment
and to gain remittances from their coun-
trymen in the Virgin Islands, probably have
been negated by the double standards en-
dured by foreign workers in that host terri-
tory. Temporary worker policy forges a
double-edged diplomatic sword: short-
term bilateral advantages must be weighed
against the potential for complication of
bilateral relations over the long run.

Mark J. Miller teaches political science at the
University of Delaware. His book, Foreign
Workers in Western Europe: An Emerging
Political Force, will shortly be published by
Praeger. William W. Boyer is Charles P Mes-
sick Professor at the University of Delaware.
Two of his works on the history of the USVI are
to be published in 1982.



Continued from page 9

of 1952, usually known as the Walter-
McCarran Act, which is believed to have
reduced the flow of West Indians (renewed
since the Second World War) to a mere
trickle. Then the third landmark was the
Immigration and Nationality Act of 1965.
Because of their new status as independent
countries, Jamaica, Trinidad and, after
1966, Barbados were able to benefit from
this Act. As a result West Indian immigration
to the United States for the decade 1961 to

Although the current movement from the
Commonwealth Caribbean to the United
States, both documented and undocu-
mented, may eventually rival it, the present
period so far has been dominated by the
movement to the United Kingdom. Like the
movement to the United States, the West
Indian movement to the United Kingdom
also had its origins in the Second World
War, when West Indians who went to Britain
to support the war effort of the mother
country were exposed to British conditions
and opportunities. However, not until the
1950s did the stream become significant
and it is generally accepted that the 1952
Walter-McCarran Act was partly responsible
for this deflection to the United Kingdom.
Although the movement was not massive,

Copyright Linda M. Marston 1982.

1970 reached almost 500,000, more than
three times that of the period 1951-60.
Immigration to the United States from
the Commonwealth Caribbean seems to
have continued to increase in the decade of
the 1970s, except that in the last few years
much tighter controls have been put on the
movement. American immigration
policies, like those of most other countries,
tend to correspond very closely with the
economic fortunes of that country; and with
the recent world-wide recession, the US is
again considering a very restrictive policy,
reminiscent of the 1920s.

ranging between 20 and 33,000 per year
during 1955 to 1959, citizens of the United
Kingdom reacted strongly to this black in-
vasion and their government moved to halt
the movement by hasty legislation. It was in
the two-year period before the Common-
wealth Immigration Act of 1962 that 55% of
the West Indian immigrants entered the
United Kingdom, anxious to be admitted
before "the door slammed." Between 1960
and 1962,168,000 West Indians entered the
UK. The 1962 Act controlled immigration to
the UK while the 1965 White Paper on Im-
migration from the Commonwealth estab-

lished the principle on which all future
legislation was to be based. The principle
was quite simple: that black people were, in
themselves, a problem and that the fewer of
them in the UK, the better it would be. The
immigration to the UK has more or less
ceased but the "problems" created by their
presence in that receiving country persist.
The movement is important for a
number of reasons. It was the first move-
ment to a totally white host society, since
the indigenous Afro-Americans in the
United States had formed a buffer for the
white American society, a foil against which
both groups could be played; as well as a
section of American society into which the
black West Indians could be absorbed. It is
also important to note that the movement


(Also indicated by SQUARE KILOMETER
the area of the figure)
/ 20"-


S 'o 0

to the United Kingdom occurred at more or
~guest-w INIDAD 0tt-

ernELA European countries in response to the


to the United Kingdom occurred at more or
less the same time that large numbers of
'guest-workers' began entering other West-
ern European countries in response to the
labor shortages there. But the United King-
dom had its own 'reserve' of guest-workers,
who had been brought up to consider
themselves citizens of the United Kingdom
and therefore also entitled to the same
treatment as the native-born British. In this
respect the movement can be compared to
the movement of Puerto Ricans into the
United States. But if there were still any
doubts about the status of West Indians in


Britain, the recent Nationality Bill should
have removed them all; they are aliens -
black colonial subjects who are not wanted
in the 'Mother Country.'
Movement from the Commonwealth
Caribbean to Canada has been relatively
small. It is also a relatively recent move-
ment, beginning in 1955 with an experi-
mental contract migration of 100 domestic
workers from the Caribbean. Up until 1962,
the discriminatory bias of Canadian immi-
gration laws was quite explicit. As early as
1815 the immigration of blacks was disal-
lowed because they were thought to be
unfitted by nature to the climate, and to
association with the rest of the colonists.
Even post-war immigration policy that rec-
ognized the need for a population increase
to enable Canada to achieve its economic
potential did not remove the racial bias
against blacks and Chinese. Thus, it was
not until 1962 that the racial discriminatory
provisions of the Immigration Act of
Canada were largely removed and entry
was based on education, skill and training.
As a result, 75% of the immigrants admitted
to Canada directly from the West Indies
entered after 1962; 149,741 between 1962
and 1976. Moreover, except for those en-
tering Canada under the Domestic
Scheme, the movement has been highly
selective of professional, white collar and
skilled workers.
Because of its size, Jamaica has domi-
nated all of these movements to the me-
tropoles, although the old receiving coun-
tries of Trinidad and Guyana are also
important contributors, as is Barbados.
Traditionally, movement out of Caribbean
territories has been dominated by young
males, mainly because of the types of jobs
available at the destinations. But since
1960, and the movement to the met-
ropoles, the movements seem to have been
dominated by females. This present phase
of migration to the metropoles has resulted
in a much clearer distinction being made, at
least in the receiving countries, between
recruited contract labor and permanent
immigration. The restrictive policies of the
receiving countries directed toward landed
immigrants or permanent residents, have
been accompanied by bilateral agreements
between governments for the seasonal re-
cruitment of farm and factory workers and
the continuation of the H-2 Program. In a
very real sense, these provide the only op-
portunities for the unskilled, low-income
and unemployed workers of the Caribbean
to enter the metropolitan countries at the
present time.

The Future
Emigration has always been an important
aspect of life in the English-speaking
Caribbean, especially since Emancipation
when all inhabitants have, theoretically,
been free to move. 'Escape' or 'safety valve'

perceptions of, and policies on, emigration
have evolved in most Caribbean countries.
The basic, underlying need for employ-
ment opportunities abroad seems to have
persisted, and emigration has come to be
perceived as necessary by Caribbean
peoples and the need to move still exists.
The response to a pilot scheme for 26
female farm workers to Canada from Bar-
bados indicated this demand 385
women applied for the scheme! A recent
Institute of Social and Economic Research
survey of four of the Eastern Caribbean
countries indicates that this demand for
opportunities to migrate is general, and not
likely to diminish in the near future. The
survey showed that the proportion of re-
spondents who preferred to live overseas
ranged from 19% in Barbados to 40% in St.
Kitts, while the proportion planning to go
overseas in the next five years ranged from
39% in Barbados to 52% in St. Kitts. The
United States is by far the preferred choice
of these potential migrants although
the popularity of Canada seems to be
But conditions in the receiving countries
have been the main controls of the mag-
nitude, characteristics and directions of the
movements by Caribbean peoples. Mainly
economic in nature, sometimes political,
these conditions have reflected global
trends in trade and economic prosperity
and have resulted in fluctuations in the
movements, which do not necessarily re-
flect conditions in the Caribbean sending
countries. These global conditions, at
present, are not conducive to Caribbean
migration. It remains to be seen whether the
necessity to contain their populations
within their stagnant economies, will result
in that psychology of discontent observed

by the Moyne Commission under similar
conditions in the 1930s.

Dawn Marshall is a researcher at the Institute
of Social and Economic Research, University
of the West Indies, Cave Hill, Barbados. Her
book, "The Haitian Problem," Illegal Mi-
gration to the Bahamas, was published by
the Institute of Social and Economic Research
in 1979.



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West Indies...
Continued from page 13

distinct conditions; "speculating" and "mi-
grating" are not, for West Indians, qualita-
tively very different. The intuitive insights of
Caribbean writers and the persistent theme
of movement that we find in their works, as
well as the scholarly literature on the history
of Caribbean migration, all tend to support
this claim.
But how has the assumption of migration
as "marked" activity affected the questions
posed by scholars? The model has, for one,
allowed us to find out what factors influence
population movement: those which make
for "push" and those which "pull." Striving
for more finely textured insights, some
scholars have probed the varied personal
motivations that lie behind the decisions
that people make to move or not to do so. A
great deal of attention has also been paid to
the adjustments that individuals and mi-
grant communities must make to their new
It has allowed us then to pose useful
questions, and significant issues have been
illuminated by its use. But for some time
now there has been a sterility to much of the
migration debate. We are being offered
more and more particularistic studies that

tread the same conceptual ground season
in, season out.
Migration studies have relied heavily on
the presentation of statistics, staccato
fashion, that mask the nature of social real-
ityjust as much as they illuminate it. Today's
migrant, for instance, may have been yes-
terday's returnee, and may have lived in two
or three places before making his way back;
yet even the most sophisticated presenta-
tion of statistics will not show this. It is not
even just a question of finding out the moti-
vations of particular migrants, it is being
able to find out the emic ideas of a cultural

The readiness to take hold
of opportunities is voiced
when West Indians express
the desire to emigrate.

system; whether those who come from it
are in fact "migrants" at all, in their percep-
tion of the situation.
In popular usage and as conceptual
tools, "migration," and "migrant" some-
times have distinctly pejorative connota-
tions. Folks remain "migrants" even after a
second and third generation. In the case of
the Caribbean, the implicit assumption that
moving is an unusual thing to do, has led

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January & July 1980 1I

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some scholars to assert that West Indians
as a people are lacking in self-confidence,
and, as one scholar has argued, "subser-
vient to metropolitan norms." Such claims
are usually poorly substantiated; indeed
that author then went to great lengths to
demonstrate the resourcefulness and
achievements of West Indian migrants
abroad. That alone suggests that cultural
subservience is little more than an artifact of
the perspective that argues that migration,
rather than staying put, is the unusual
phenomena. Discussions of social disor-
ganization and anomie said to be con-
sequent to migration must also, at least in
part, be regarded as induced by the same
Anthropologists have for some time
come to recognize the limitations of study-
ing social life with the assumption that
people live in discretely bounded social and
cultural units. Yet these lessons seem not to
have transferred to the study of migration
where the typical model suggests that
people move from one discrete social unit
to another, that they lose one culture and
gradually acquire another. It is clear that
Caribbean societies are as much African
and Old World as they are western and New
World; that a pristine and autonomous West
Indian culture can exist only in the analysts'
mind. The migrant from the Caribbean is
not acting out an aberration but is doing
something for which his culture has pre-
pared him just as it has prepared him for
making tools and raising children.
By putting aside some of these assump-
tions we can focus less on the migrant and
more on the nation-state itself. Migration
and the circulation of population, "spec-
ulating," and other such activities, suggest
that people by their actions, are implicitly
questioning some of the notions of the
bounded nation-state as it operates in the
modern world. Scholars too must begin to
examine critically these same notions and
begin to question ideas about the indis-
pensability of the nation-state and the reg-
ulations that go with it; the exclusivity and
the inflated pride; the mirage of self-
sufficiency, and the threat of inter-
dependence. By putting less emphasis on
the migrant and his maladjustment, and
more on the recipient societies and the
restrictiveness of their conceptual
framework and institutional structures, we
- at the very least will recognize more
openly our prejudices and the limitations of
our analytical frameworks.

Charles V Carnegie, a native of Jamaica,
teaches anthropology at Bates College,
Lewiston, Maine. This article is based on a
year of ethnographic fieldwork in St. Lucia and




Haitian Exodus...
Continued from page 17

and milk products; plus wine, champagne
whisky, rum, perfumes, dental products,
soap, bandages, air conditioning, autos,
airplanes, and most electrical appliances. In
1977, Regie de Tabac was estimated to
have collected about one million dollars,
but only 580 thousand reached the public
treasury. Allegedly an estimated $10 million
to $20 million in revenues fail to appear in
the budget each year. Some critics of the
unbudgeted sector argue that foreign as-
sistance allows for the existence of ex-
trabudgetary accounts, since in a single
year $62.6 million in public revenue simply
"vanished," the same amount of foreign aid
that year.
A few of the scandals have become
legend. Luckner Cambrone, when minister
of the defense and interior, reportedly built
up a private business empire by exporting
the blood of poor Haitians to the US, deliv-
ering Haitian corpses to US anatomical
institutions, and smuggling heroin from
Europe to the US via Haiti. The minister of
trade and industry was dismissed after a
postage stamp fraud of $2 million in 1975
and the minister of public works allegedly
left after he refused in 1976 to open the
vaults of his ministry to plunder.
But even without corruption, the gov-
ernment's policies seems ill-designed for
the nation's massive problems of rural pov-
erty. While 80-90% of the population is rural,
83% of government expenditures are in
Port-au-Prince, the nation's capital, and
agricultural expenditures never exceed
7-10% of the budget.
In the Northwest and in the Artibonite
valley, extensive seizures of peasant land by
the Tonton Macoutes loyal to Duvalier
continue to terrorize and impoverish the
population. Commenting on this practice,
the Inter-American Foundation's 1979 Re-
port concludes: "Since renters and share-
croppers have no security on the land they
work, investment is discouraged. Instead
they tend to overwork the land to produce a
maximum yearly harvest, often at the cost
of environmental damage.... Facing the
very real possibility of appropriation of their
land by agros negre, farmers are also dis-
couraged from investing in their land and
encouraged to overwork it. There are sub-
stantiated reports of land-grabs, of judges
bribed to issue competing land titles, of
extortion by locally powerful quasi-
governmental authorities."
The report continues, "It becomes obvi-
ous why changes in the physical infras-
tructure roads, irrigation systems, mar-
ket will not benefit peasants if they

remain in their present condition of
dependency. Indeed, infrastructural change
may actually lead to their further underde-
velopment. Any improvements to the land
itself, or in access to the land may well 'only
pave the way for land-grabbing by the rela-
tively wealthy under a cloak of legality' and
result in peasant disenfranchisement from
the land."
Nevertheless, Haiti remains a favorite
among international aid organizations. Haiti
received $137 million in international aid in
1980 and is scheduled to receive 20% more
than that for 1981. This gives it the highest

This remarkable corruption
would be difficult to
maintain without a
repressive apparatus
efficiently and effectively
stifling dissent.

per capital assistance in the Western
Hemisphere. Two-thirds of Haiti's develop-
ment budget, or $81 million in 1979, was
provided by external sources: 50% through
multilateral sources (primarily the UN,
World Bank, and the Inter-American Devel-
opment Bank), and the remainder bilater-
ally with the US in the lead followed by
France, West Germany and Canada. In ad-
dition, more than 130 non-governmental
organizations provided an estimated
$15 million.
Indeed virtually all development agents
who have been in Haiti over a year are com-
pletely cynical, with most concluding that
corruption is so extensive that the Haitian
people would be better off if all international
agencies abandoned Haiti. One US official
in Haiti complained, "no one knows why we
are here, what our interest is or what we are
trying to achieve. By maintaining a large
mission here we are just condoning the
practices of the Duvalier government."
Many development experts argue that
"more compulsive giving" is not what Haiti
needs. The country cannot absorb it and
most is wasted. Indeed most international
development agents who have worked in
Haiti recount endless stories of money and
goods simply disappearing. Massive
amounts of "Food for Peace" sent to Haiti in
bags marked "Not for Sale" are found for
sale in Haitian markets throughout the
country. Much of the food which is not ap-
propriated for sale is used in "Food for
Work" programs which many claim are
used by wealthy landowners for projects to
benefit them, increase the dependency of
the peasants, and works to undercut prices

and incentives to produce for small
At the end of 1980, after drifting into a
foreign exchange crisis, Haiti approached
the IMF for a budget supplement. On De-
cember 5,1980, IMF granted $22 million to
Haiti. Shortly thereafter $20 million was
withdrawn from the government of Haiti's
account. A cable to the US Secretary of
State, Alexander Haig, states that "about
$4 million may have been diverted to the
VSN," the Voluntaires de la Securit6
Nacionale, the official name for the Tonton
Macoutes. Many believe the other $16 mil-
lion went into Duvalier's personal accounts.
IMF bluntly states, "The fund's staff (IMF)
attributed excessive unbudgeted spending
as the most important cause of Haiti's fi-
nancial crises." Still, Baby Doc's wife,
Michelle Bennet Duvalier, reportedly draws
a $100,000 monthly salary for her duties as
"Mrs. President." Last year between 5 and 7
million dollars was spent on their wedding.
Yet, the US and other international aid es-
tablishments feel compelled to continue
helping. Even if only a small percentage
reaches the masses of the poor, they claim
their suffering would be worse otherwise. A
US State Department cable asserts that if
the above IMF funds were not granted, "The
country would then have to live from hand
to mouth. US dollars, which constitute 25 to
40 percent of currency in Haiti, would dis-
appear. Severe hardships would ensue."

Corruption and Repression
This remarkable corruption would be dif-
ficult to maintain without a repressive ap-
paratus efficiently and effectively stifling
dissent. When Jean-Claude Duvalier as-
sumed power in 1971, there were no institu-
tions with even the slightest degree of
autonomy from the state. The legislature
rubber-stamped the President's bills; the
press dared not utter a word of criticism and
opposition political groups and labor
unions had been banned and mercilessly
destroyed. Nevertheless, the worst abuses
of Papa Doc appeared to have been cur-
tailed. There were no longer corpses of the

Florida International University now offers
a Master of Arts program in Economics with
an emphasis in international economic
development. The program, consisting of 30
semester hours with the option of a thesis
or a research paper, is designed to be
completed in one year. For information
please contact:
Dr. Jorge Salazar
Department of Economics
Florida International University
Miami, Florida 33199
(305) 554-2316


Reprinted from The Albuquerque Journal 1981.

regime's opponents strapped to chairs lin-
ing the road to the airport, nor were there
public executions. In 1977, the daytime
abuses of the Tonton Macoutes were ban-
ned from the streets of the capital of Port-
au-Prince. Also in 1977, Haiti ratified the
Inter-American Convention on Human
Rights. At the beginning of 1978, Haiti in-
vited the Organization of American States
to conduct an "in loco" visit to examine
human rights conditions. Finally in Febru-
ary 1979 opposition political parties were

(305) 442-9430


Yet, terror and repression persisted. In
1975, Ezechiel Abelard of Radio Metropole
was arrested. No charges were ever brought
against him. He died in prison a year after
his arrest. In 1976, the body of Gasner
Raymond, a reporter for the Port-au-Prince
weekly, Le Petit Samedi Soir, was found
by the side of a road. Most blamed the gov-
ernment for his death.
Absolutely no constitutional or pro-
cedural protections are available to anyone
accused of political offenses defined by a
variety of security laws. For example, Ber-
nier Pierre returned to visit his homeland
after a 12-year absence. At the completion
of his visit, just as he was ready to board the
airplane to leave Haiti, authorities pulled
him out of the line of passengers and de-
tained him. The government claimed he
was inciting a revolt, although they lodged
no formal charges. He was given no op-
portunity to contact either a lawyer or his
family. They transferred him to the National
Penitentiary, where he was treated as con-
victed and again denied a lawyer. After long,
repeated interrogations, the government
finally informed him that all his privileges to
be in the country had been revoked and he
was deported without benefit of appeal.
The government offered no explanation.
In 1973, two years after Jean-Claude as-
sumed power, Amnesty International
found, "Haiti's prisons are still filled with
people who have spent many years in de-
tention without ever being charged or
brought to trial.... The variety of torture to
which the detainee is subjected is incredi-
ble: clubbing to death, maiming of the gen-
itals, food deprivations to the point of star-
vation, and the insertion of red-hot pokers
into the back passage.... In fact, these pris-

ons are death traps... (and) find a parallel
with the Nazi concentration camps of the
past but have no present day equivalent....
More than once (Duvalier) informed the
press that there were no political prisoners
in Haiti."
The Senate Appropriations Committee
in 1974 concluded that although "the grim
visible terror of Francois Duvalier's regime
may have subsided, it seems that autocratic
rule characterized by an unflinching wil-
lingness to suppress people has not." And
in 1977 Amnesty International stated,
"Political prisoners are still rarely brought to
trial.... Haiti's prisons have one of the
world's highest mortality rates among de-
tainees." And in 1978, "The apparatus of
repression established under Francois
Duvalier remains in place under Jean-
Claude Duvalier."
The OAS Commission which Duvalier
had invited was hardly more flattering. They
directly stated the "intention of liberalization
has not been carried out." During 1975 and
1976, "It has in fact been proven that
numerous people died in summary execu-
tions or during their stay in prison, or be-
cause of lack of medical care. It should
nonetheless be observed that there has
been a notable improvement as regards
this right."
But since 1979, human rights have been
repressed considerably. A press law was
passed making it a crime to insult the Presi-
dent for Life, his mother, the memory of his
father, or Haitian culture. After the appear-
ance of two creole plays which indirectly
criticized the government, the government
required screening of all films and plays. In
November 1980, the government swept
away all human rights activists and inde-
pendent journalists. Many were exiled,
some disappeared, and in August 1981
others were sentenced to 15 years hard
In Haiti repression is not limited to those
who engage in organized opposition to the
government. "Political prisoners" include
those who offend the government in any
way. One ex-political prisoner simply states:
"Politics and everyday life in Haiti cannot be
separated. A man can casually say that he is
hungry and that can be misconstrued to
mean he is criticizing the governmental
mismanagement of funds, therefore, lead-
ing to his arrest." Jeanton Colas, a major
designer of urban development projects in
Haiti, was arrested and told during his inter-
rogation that his refusal to support overtly
the Duvalier government made him sus-
pect. Fritzer Sidney and Prosper Saint-
Louis were arrested for having sung a song
with anti-government connotations. Both
were held incommunicado and severely
beaten. Saint-Louis had been in prison for
four months without the opportunity to in-
form his paralyzed wife and four children
that he was still alive.


In some cases, simply having been
abroad, regardless of one's activities within
or outside of Haiti, has been sufficient to
elicit persecution. Sylvio Romet first fled
Haiti in 1967, to Nassau where he worked
for the health department for ten years. He
returned to Haiti in 1977 to visit his seriously
ill brother after being assured by the
Haitian Consul that he would be safe. Upon
arriving at the Port-au-Prince airport, a Hai-
tian immigration official found his name in
a book and arrested him. While in custody
the Tonton Macoutes forced him to stand
for four days in a 2 x 3 foot cell. He was so
severely beaten that he suffered brain dam-
age. He now stutters and lisps when he
talks. He was so thirsty after being consis-
tently refused water that he drank his own
urine. Finally, he bought his freedom by
giving a prison guard $900 he had sewn
into the waistband of his shorts. The guard
also smuggled him out of the country, while
the Haitian immigration officials confis-
cated his suitcase which contained be-
tween three and four thousand dollars that
other Haitians asked him to deliver to
families they left behind.
The experiences of Merlien Mezius were
similar: "I flew back to Haiti on Monday,
February 19, 1977, and was immediately
arrested at the airport. They immediately
confiscated the $1,700 that I had in my
wallet for my mother's operation.... Then at
6 p.m., after beating me, they took me to a
prison on the outskirts of Port-au-Prince
that I recognized as Fort Dimanche. At Fort
Dimanche, they beat me twice daily on a
regular basis, every morning and eve-
ning.... For six days the beatings were the
same, they would come and punch and
kick me all over, and hit me with a club.... I
lost six teeth as a result of these beatings
and began to lose consciousness more and
more frequently. On Thursday morning just
before they entered our cell to beat us, I
heard one of the guards say to the other,
some of the people here are from Miami,
and one is from the Bahamas. They are
political, they are against Duvalier and we
have to kill them.'"
A former member of the infamous se-
curity forces, the Tonton Macoutes, stated,
"Publicly, Jean-Claude Duvalier said that
people who are returned to Haiti.... would
be allowed to return to their homes without
any problem. But... he simultaneously gave
orders in secret to the military and the
Macoutes that returning deportees from
the United States and other countries
should always be arrested. Everyone who
leaves illegally and then returns is put in jail.
The order is still standing and has never
been revoked." Another former Tonton
Macoute stated that "returnees received
'especially brutal treatment,' being con-
stantly beaten about the head and kept tied
up in jail cells."
Edouard Jean Louis was an archivist in

the Bureau of the Grand Quartier-General
of the Haitian army from 1971-1975. In that
position he filed confidential documents
from leaders of the Security Forces includ-
ing Luc Desir, Chief of the Secret Police. He
stated that: "It was in this capacity that I was
able to read a message concerning a group
of Haitians deported from the United States
and arriving in Haiti labeled as Com-
munists. This message contained the order
to send them to Fort Dimanche to be exe-
cuted and it was signed by Luc Desir."
Daniel Voltaire, a former member of the
Tonton Macoutes stated: "Once we were
given this order, we knew that this was the
way to get promoted, generally further our
careers and to get cash bonuses. If you
denounced someone to your superiors or
to the Service Detective you often get
promotions and money because this
means that you are doing your job well.
Other times, if you denounce or arrest
people like these returnees, you will also get
sent back to school or to a military academy
because you have acted like a real
Duvalierist, a real supporter of the President
for Life. So denouncing and arresting retur-
nees or people trying to leave Haiti became
a good way to get good promotions, money
and career advancement. This was done by
many troops in the Presidential Guard and
the Leopards as well as the Service Detec-
tive because we were told that these people
had insulted the President for Life and Haiti,
that they were spies, and they are camo-
quins or traitors."

The Roots of Out-migration
The underdevelopment of Haiti and the
consequent propensity for out-migration
has its roots in the Pyrrhic victory of the
Haitian Revolution. The economy was
devastated. The state then came to assume
the single purpose of providing those in
power with a substitute for the income and
wealth lost with the landed estates. But
migration apparently was slight until the
growth of cane production in Cuba and the
Dominican Republic at the beginning of
this century. Periodically, with economic
downturns, the pulls turned into pushes
and Haitians were blamed for the country's
ills, shabbily treated, expelled, and even
massacred. Meanwhile, corruption and re-
pression were raised to new heights by the
Duvalier regimes. Development and devel-
opment aid benefited the elite at the ex-
pense of the vast majority. In a tragic
paradox, more international aid may pro-
duce more misery and migration as it paves
the way for landgrabbing and other forms
of increased exploitation.
To support these activities the govern-
ment quickly and violently represses any
opposition, real or imagined. The Haitian
migrants are truly both economic and
political refugees. Merchants of smuggling
have seized the opportunity. Cash, property

or credit will easily transport any Haitian to
the Bahamas or the US. And in this, too, the
government profits. Besides exporting their
un- and under-employed and receiving
subsequent remittances, they retain a share
of the smuggling profits through kickbacks.
Recently, under intense pressure from
the US, the Haitian government has agreed
to cooperate with the US in interdicting
Haitian boats still in Haitian territorial wat-
ers. Even this cooperation was reached
only with private promises of further US
support to the Duvalier government. Given
the structure of underdevelopment and its
maintenance and furtherance by Duvalier,
migration is unlikely to subside altogether.
At every point there are profits to be made.
Profits in transport. Profits from the Hai-
tians' low wages in the receiving econom-
ics. Profits in their remittances. When the
receiving economics falter or more Haitians
arrive than can be easily absorbed, the wel-
come turns to rejection. The Haitians are
batted back and forth, eking out a bare
subsistence while searching for freedom,
only partially delivered by their Revolution.

Alex Stepick teaches anthropology and
sociology at Florida International University.
He authored the Congressional Black Caucus
Position Paper on Immigration and Refugees.

Florida International
University now offers
an interdisciplinary Master of
Arts program in International
Studies with an emphasis on
socio-economic development.
The program seeks to train
individuals for employment
with governments, private
enterprise and international
organizations. Courses in the
program are offered by
faculty in Political Science,
History, Economics,
International Affairs,
Sociology and Anthropology.
For further information
Dr. Farrokh Jhabvala
Florida International
ITmiami Trail
Miami, Florida 33199
(305) 554-2555.


Cuban Exodus...
Continued from page 25

of convenience in securing larger ration
The meaning of these social back-
grounds will not be fully understood until
we more fully appreciate the circumstances
that led to the emigration. We need to direct
our attention more to how these conditions
of consumption shortages, widespread
black market activities, and social repres-
sion developed. To do so we need to further
understand the broader relationship
among groups and nation-states; relation-
ships that transcend the significance or
capacity of the individual migrants who are
controlled by them.

Critical Dimensions of Mariel
If individual characteristics or motivations
are not the clues to the many lessons of
Mariel, then what are the key dimensions? I
want to propose a set of hypotheses about
three broad relationships that not only apply
to the Mariel exodus but are derived from
the analyses of a wide. range of migration
streams. That they refer to a general context
is important because the view that the
Cuban flow is unique is too closely tied to
US policy interests to let it uncritically guide
our observations. US interests and histori-
cal actions are key determinants of the
treatment and labeling of these emigrants
arid, therefore, must be the subject of as
much study as the actions and interests of
the Cuban government. The three relations
include (a) the political and economic or-
ganization of Cuban society with special
reference to its response to the current eco-
nomic crisis, (b) the changes in US refugee
policy as influenced by internal economic
and political realignments and shifting
relations to Cuba, and (c) the relatively
unregulated dynamic of social networks,
particularly family reunion, as the activating
mechanism of most migrations.
The first set of hypotheses concems the
severe shortages of consumption items in
Cuba and the way in which this relates to
both the black market activities so com-
monplace among many in this last wave
and the labels of "scum" and "undesirable"
that were attached to the entire outflow.
Cuba shares with many states in the Carib-
bean the effects of the current economic
crisis. Throughout the Caribbean deep-
seated structural transformations are
underway, with specific problems formed in
relation to the organization capacity of each
country to adjust to these changes. The
nature of the crisis and the type of re-
sponses have substantial similarities
among the countries, especially since the

source of the general difficulty lies in the
largely external conditions of world recess-
ion and inflation. Yet each state has adapted
to the crisis within the limits of its previous
strategies of national economic develop-
ment and within its own historical align-
ment of class forces. Variations in response
are also produced by the very different
political relationships each state maintains
with the United States.
Cuba has for some time now embarked
on a strategy of national development that
has placed great reliance on export activ-
ities. Dependence on sugar and tobacco

The political and economic
are so intertwined as to
make their separation
mostly a matter of
ideological judgement.

production, in particular, has maintained a
strong reliance on the world market. This
orientation has also led to a substantial
commitment to Soviet financing of local
economic ventures. Both dependencies
have made Cuba especially vulnerable to
the current crisis. Cuba's economic prob-
lems, of course, have been no secret. For
instance, the government admitted in De-
cember 1979, that the economy was "sail-
ing in a sea of difficulties." Foreign trade
imbalances had been exacerbated by seri-
ous blights in the tobacco and sugar cane
crops. Already restricted supplies of con-
sumption goods became even more scarce
and created a general context of dissatis-
faction. Within this context, the Cuban
government warned repeatedly of another
potential Camarioca, long before the Peru-
vian Embassy incident occurred.
Cuba's foreign policy, especially in rela-
tion to the United States, also provided an
important dimension to the context of
Mariel. The Carter Administration had
made overtures toward normalization of
relations with Cuba, which if it had been
accomplished would have involved a better
opportunity, if not an actual expanded pro-
gram, for organized emigration from Cuba
on a family reunion and political prisoner
basis. In fact, even at the time of Mariel there
were discussions over how to enlarge the
existing prisoner release program under the
new provisions of the Refugee Act of 1980.
The terms for normalization, however,
clearly involved termination of Cuban activ-
ities in other areas of the world, particularly
its active military role in Africa. Cuba's re-
fusal to accept these terms virtually elimi-
nated the possibilities for rapprochement
when, during the months of the Mariel

boatlift, the Cuban government insisted
that most of the elements of normalization
of relations (e.g., return of Guantanamo
Naval Base) be part of the negotiations over
the orderly regulation of the exodus. Indeed,
it is this polarization of the negotiation
stances before Mariel that helps explain why
the Carter Administration in 1980 could not
obtain the same agreement from Cuba that
the Johnson Administration had been able
to in the contest of the month-long exodus
from Camarioca in 1965.
Second, the progress of revolutionary
reforms within Cuba had set overly rigid
terms for the management of the con-
sumption shortages and economic prob-
lems in general. As is very well known, long
before Mariel the government had substi-
tuted a rationing program for a pricing
mechanism as the principal means of reg-
ulating consumption and managing distri-
bution. It had also embarked on a program
of income redistribution and collectiviza-
tion through a centralized, bureaucratic
state apparatus. One consequence was the
formation of the terms of a fundamental
contradiction between, on the one hand,
social ownership of the means of produc-
tion and a political regime that represented
the demands and needs of the peasantry
and working class, and, on the other hand, a
centralized, bureaucratic administration of
both production and exchange activities.
Excessive bureaucratic centralization
meant that virtually the only way to enforce
work discipline, which for Cuba meant so-
cial discipline as well, was through repres-
sive measures originating from the national
Faced with the general regional eco-
nomic crisis, one that had forced not only
many states in the Caribbean to submit to
the relentless pressures of the marketplace
but had even moved the US to worry about
productivity, the Cuban government moved
with many other governments to expand its
output and increase its market efficiency. In
an important innovation, the government
took steps to free the small but dynamic
private farms from past constraints. These
private farms, which still accounted for 80%
of tobacco production, were permitted to
sell directly to consumers (on "mercados
libres") anything produced over their
quotas. They were also allowed to increase
commodity prices.
Forced by economic pressures to reor-
ganize part of its redistributive network (by
late 1980 the Cuban leadership had report-
edly advised the victorious sandinistas on
the benefits of a market-run as opposed to
a state-regulated distribution system),
Cuba also ran into problems on the pro-
duction side. In the absence of decentral-
ized, workers' control and without the coer-
cion of the marketplace as disciplinary
force for labor, efforts to enforce productive
efficiency were imposed from above, in-

cluding attempts to enforce the social dis-
cipline of collective participation around
which the drive for national economic de-
velopment had been premised.
The attempt ran afoul, however, of the
very social and political distance between
the government and the masses that cen-
tralization had helped create. It led to wide-
spread "violations" of inflexible norms,
including a surge in black market activities
that, of course, had always been present. In
response, control over the black market
became one of the targets of efforts to re-
establish social discipline and through it to
promote productive efficiency. Such an
effort is not novel since, as we have seen in
Vietnam, efforts to enforce economic effi-
ciency through market mechanisms in
socialist countries often leads to attempts
to "clean up" the marketplace. To the
Cuban government, then, those who could
not or would not be disciplined became, by
definition, "social dregs" and "scum." The
Report of the Congress of the Communist
Party in 1980, in identifying the need to
strengthen its links with the masses, actu-
ally referred to this connection between the
Mariel exodus and the need for general
social discipline. The Report explained the
emigration by reference to the following:
"socio-economic conditions which still
produce some declassed, anti-social and
lumpen elements that are receptive to im-
perialist sentiments and ideas.... The
people's repudiation of the scum also
meant that they repudiated undisciplined
behavior, sponging, accommodation, neg-
ligence and other such negative attitudes."
In this sense, the Mariel exiles, and their
labels, represented the political repudiation
of economic and social inefficiency.
Nevertheless, the fact that Cuba's devel-
opment, or underdevelopment, is public
rather than private sector led does not
mean the private path is any less political.
Discipline from market pressure can be as
harsh and arbitrary and involved in the un-
equal distribution of power and resources
as much as direct government regulation.
And, of course, unequal rewards controlled
by a capitalist class is not any less unequal
or political than when they are organized by
a state bureaucracy. It does mean, however,
that group responses to similar problems
will take a very different form in relation to
the public or private sectors and, therefore,
will provide sufficient grounds for other
groups outside the country to interpret or
label that behavior according to their own
interests. Consequently, in the US the crisis
in Cuba is called political, while that in Haiti
is economic.
It should not be surprising that the cur-
rent world economic crisis has also affected
the US economy and with it the ability of the
State to move flexibly in political arenas.
The fundamental point here is that long
before Mariel US refugee policy had come

into opposition with economic pressures
that weighed heavily against granting the
Mariel arrivals refugee status.
US refugee policy throughout the late
1970s has had to contend with the general
national fight against inflation, fiscal con-
servatism, and a drift toward social discipli-
nary measures that have only become fully
evident under the Reagan Administration.
This may seem contradictory to the clear
generosity shown toward the Southeast
Asian refugees since 1975 and legislated
into in the Refugee Act of 1980. Yet signs
were developing even as these generous
benefits were promoted that indicated the
resettlement program was moving in a vas-
tly different direction than fifteen or twenty
years ago when the earlier waves of Cubans
arrived. For instance, the US government's
approach to the earliest waves of Southeast
Asians was as quietly as possible to distri-
bute them widely throughout the United
States to prevent an anticipated negative
reaction from the US public. It was only after
the number of arrivals grew and the
refugees began clustering on their own that
this policy was abandoned. Deeply rooted
in both the language and intent of the
Refugee Act of 1980 is also an expectation
that refugees move quickly to adjust to the
US and to achieve social and economic
self-sufficiency. To enforce this, the Act sets
a timetable of three years for the cutoff of
Federally reimbursed costs for "unpro-
ductive" refugees. After that time, as the
Reagan Administration has since tried to do
with general assistance costs, the financial
responsibility for refugees is thrust onto
local areas.
Such an approach, developed long be-
fore the Reagan Administration, was based
on a view of social policy that desired to
ensure the significance of the private sector.
A White House memorandum of De-
cember 7, 1979, formulated the policy as
follows: "the refugees are particularly well-
suited for the Feds back-seat approach. It is
a relatively limited and transient problem as
compared say, to poverty, unemployment,
inflation. Hence, relatively easier to handle,
more suitable for voluntary private efforts."
Decisions concerning the reception of the
Mariel exiles were made with these social
policy and financial considerations well in
mind. And when coupled with a presidential
election campaign and a widespread
anti-immigration public mood, the setting
was ripe for the President to overrule many
of his own refugee resettlement advisors
and decide not to declare the arrivals
The label "entrant" was, in this sense, as
much an economic symbol as a legal one.
And as The Miami Herald recognized very
early in the flow, and many Miamians con-
tinue to learn, the message was a harsh
one. But the message was actually consis-
tent with the generally conservative fiscal


A Coast Guardsman holds onto the rail of a
boat of Cuban refugees. Wide World Photos.

approach that many in South Florida,
Washington, and throughout the nation had
embraced. The reluctant economic side of
the ambivalent "entrant" label merely indic-
ated that refugee policy was as subordinate
to the constraints of the national economy
as were other affairs. And, as in the case of
these other affairs as well, the result did not
necessarily make particularly wise social
sense. For if the suspicions from the nega-
tive images of the individual migrants were
believed at all by those who promoted
them, then the anticipated problems of re-
settlement should have argued for greater
spending to prevent or at least control the
Economics, however, were only part of
the policy constraints that produced the
"entrant" label. Economic conservatism
had to be balanced against a contradictory
tendency toward liberalism in foreign policy.
And this meant confrontation with the im-
plications of explicitly accepting the UN
definition of a refugee. The response to the
Mariel flow and the Haitian influx as well got
caught up in a monumental clash between
the US reaching out to become involved in
compelling international and humanitarian
problems, while at home it withdrew from
programs of domestic relief and assistance.
The acceptance of the UN definition of a
refugee and the passage of the Refugee Act
of 1980 had an important unintended con-
sequence: it negated the Cuban exodus
and the resettlement program, which had
been the first such program that the gov-
ernment had taken an administrative role
in, as the nation's unambiguous model of a
refugee policy. It left little in its place as a
positive statement of a new policy. It left, for
instance, only the political and economic
distinction among individual motivations as
a means of defining a refugee and, con-
sequently, led to the difficulties between the
Haitian and Cuban flows. But in the ab-
sence of clear guidelines, the "entrant" label

actually preserved the long-standing na-
tional bias in the practice of refugee policy.
Despite the humanitarian gestures of the
Refugee Act, the "entrant" label allowed the
special foreign policy status of Cuba to
remain intact, while relieving the Adminis-
tration of the need to confront and to justify
its relations with the Duvalier government in
The ambiguous treatment of the Mariel
exiles, therefore, had at least as much to do
with the real constraints of domestic and
foreign policies as it did the alleged ques-
tionable characteristics of the individual
migrants. More importantly, the ambiguity
is explained by the conjuncture of two con-
tradictory trends which, if each was taken
alone, few of the critics of the Mariel episode
would have disagreed with its treatment by
the Carter Administration. Given the con-
straints, the Carter Administration made
surprisingly clear and consistent policy
choices which prevented a major interna-
tional confrontation or domestic upheaval.
Of course, thousands of people have be-
come victims in one way or another of the
harsh domestic resolution of the problem.
But this has as much to do with the conse-
quences of fiscal and social conservatism
in general as it does with the specific deci-
sion over refugee resettlement
One aspect of the episode which I have
not discussed is why the boatlift was not
simply stopped, by military force if neces-
sary. Apparently the Reagan Administration
has plans to do so if another Mariel erupts.
In a sense, this Administration has resolved
the contradictory tendencies faced by the
Carter government by simply abandoning
the pretext of a humanitarian refugee policy
and returning to a strict anti-communist
practice. This kind of "control from Wash-
ington" seems to indicate that at least
someone has learned from The Miami
Herald's lessons. But the simple clarity of
this policy sacrifices other cherished aims.
The Carter Administration stopped short of
pushing the confrontation with Cuba to the
point of war. It also took reasonable meas-
ures to secure safe passage for those who
ended up on the boats. The question that
now confronts us is at what point the clear
intentions of the Reagan Administration
would stop.
Finally, what about the great importance
of family ties in promoting and activating
both migration and refugee flows. Com-
paratively few newcomers to the United
States, including refugees, come without
some family connections to the US popula-
tion. Family reunion is, of course, built into
US immigration law and heralded as the
single most universal reason for allowing
immigration. Because it is so basic, how-
ever, it has a dynamic of its own, a self-
perpetuating mechanism, a virtual
guarantee of future inflows or at least of
demands for future entry. It also forms

mechanisms that work through the law or,
when necessary, around it to achieve the
apparently unrelenting goal of families
when their members are separated geo-
graphically. In the Mexican migratory flow,
for example, families are perhaps the single
most important mechanism for organizing
the flow, determining who comes to the US,
how they get in and, finally, what happens to
them afterwards. This is especially the case
when the persons who enter must do so
without documents, that is, illegally.
The boatlift that emerged from South
Florida during the Mariel episode was

In the US the crisis in
Cuba is called political,
while that in Haiti
is economic.

merely another, albeit dramatic, expression
of this fundamental process. Indeed, it
showed just as strongly as illegal Mexican
migration the degree to which such actions
are uncontrollable in practice if they are
exalted in law and public policy. Like the
Mexican flow, in the absence of clear, posi-
tive statements and actions, the self-
generating activities of family reunion take
precedence. However, since few seem
ready to abandon the family reunion con-
cept at the cornerstone of US immigration
policy, we must add another basic, irrecon-
ciliable contradiction to the context of ad-
ministering this policy. The universal value
attached to family reunion conflicts with the
interests of individual nation-states who,
like the United States, desire both to be
guided by this principle and to reject it when
the process takes a form that is either un-
predicted to unacceptable at the time.
The role of family reunion in the Cuban
exodus has, of course, been fundamental in
shaping its volume and characteristics
from even the earliest wave. However the
Cuban community in South Florida has
been criticized, indeed has chastised itself,
for engaging in the evidently lawless rush to
Mariel Harbor. Clearly they strengthened the
Cuban government's hand through allow-
ing it to prey upon the self-propulsion of
family reunification to maintain the flow. But
there is also reasonably good evidence that
the Carter Administration mistakenly read
the potential reaction of the Cuban-
American community and, therefore, did
not close off the boat rescue sooner than it
tried. There is, in fact, a good case to be
made that this was the principal policy
mistake of the entire incident.

Continuing Problems
Many continuing problems face the Mariel

entrants as they make their transitions to
Cuban-American life. In many ways, the
types of problems encountered perpetuate
the earlier images of the questionable na-
ture of the individuals' backgrounds. But to
sort label from reality we must distinguish
among at least three groups of entrants.
First are the comparatively small number of
criminals that roam the streets of Miami,
Brooklyn, and a number of small com-
munities. They clearly represent a tragic
problem and require the appropriate re-
sponse of law enforcement officials. Sec-
ond, there is the other extreme, those who
have all too silently slipped away into the
Cuban-American communities and are
progressing well. Much more about this
group needs to be uncovered and made
public. Third, there is an apparently signifi-
cant number of entrants who have con-
fronted or created problems in adapting to
the US which are not at all as serious as the
criminals' behavior but are serious enough
to draw attention. Who are these people?
Again we know very little about them. But
there are a number of claims about the
reasons for their problems. For example,
Gaston Femandez hypothesizes that these
are people who have had experience in the
black market in Cuba and have learned to
manipulate and circumvent authority. This
experience has transferred to the US where
they recreate similar circumstances and,
therefore, similar problems. The degree of
social non-participation suspected in Cuba
could equally serve as an hypothesis for the
cause of the social and pyschological
problems these exiles now encounter. This
is especially plausible given that successful
participation in the Cuban-American
community represents a critical adaptive
One could also propose other explana-
tions based on the migrants' background
characteristics. The problem, however, is
that there is a danger of falling victim to a
self-fulfilling prophecy. How many of the
problems, for instance, are due to particular
background experiences or to the in-
adequate, ambivalent reception and reset-
tlement effort? The experience in the four
military camps certainly frightened many
and disoriented others. And there are
obvious tensions with the older Cuban-
American community that makes full par-
ticipation difficult even if the individual was
among the most enthusiastic volunteers in
Cuba. The danger of the self-fulfilling
prophecy is that, in the past, labels have led
us to believe there was something peculiar
and difficult about this group, and because
of this we have treated them differently; now
we blame them when they turn out with
special problems.

Robert L. Bach teaches sociology at State
University of New York at Binghamton.

Migration to
Continued from page 33

French and British economies is a matter of
serious debate among academic spec-
ialists. Nevertheless, there are several
generalizations that seem justified by the
available evidence and are agreed to by
most observers. The first point is that British
squeamishness over immigration, their
failure to pursue an economically-oriented
control policy, and high out-migration by
native Britons, reduced many of the poten-
tially useful economic consequences of
immigration. This means that immigration
has had, over the whole post-war period, an
indecisive net effect on the British econ-
omy. It has certainly helped to ease the
pressure of tight labor markets, especially in
the early '50s and '60s, but its overall im-
pact on wage levels, inflation, and stability
has not been pronounced. Purely from the
point of view of the economy, therefore, one
may say that Britain has experienced all of
the social and political dislocations that
accompany immigration while denying
herself many of its advantages. It is impor-
tant to understand the perversity of the
British immigration experience. Along with
racial animus, it was the fear that immi-
grants were taking jobs and resources away
from the indigenous population that fueled
the battles over controls and severely dis-
rupted the British political system. Yet it was
precisely this grassroots resistance which
precluded the kind of immigration policy
that might have significantly aided the
country in achieving steady growth and in

securing the jobs of British workers.
France did much better on this score.
Migrant labor has been central to the
achievement of the growth and productivity
targets of the successive five-year plans.
According to the Employment Commis-
sion of the Sixth Plan, migrant worker
wages were 10 to 20% below those of na-
tional workers with the same qualifications,
despite formal guarantees of equality. They
have undeniably served, as then Prime
Minister Pompidou said in 1963, "to create
detente in the labor market and to absorb
social pressure." The failure of the French

After much trouble, Dutch
industry lost interest in
Suriname and started to
recruit cheap labor of a far
more submissive type from
the Mediterranean area.

government to take steps before 1972 to
master the spontaneous and clandestine
movement of workers contributed to their
economic utility. Illegal workers, bereft of
rights of residency and subject to prompt
arrest and deportation, were easy targets of
unscrupulous employers who used them to
do shift work at wages often far below
the norm.
It was the wretched and well-publicized
living conditions of foreign workers that, as
much as anything else, roused liberal
opinion in France behind a more orderly
and controlled migration. Once it is neces-

sary, however, to house immigrants and
their families properly, to provide them with
job training and language instruction, and
to compensate them at the same level as
native workers, their net contribution to
productivity, growth, and profits begins to
decline, if not yet for individual employers,
then for the economy as a whole. Ironically,
then, progress toward equality in the labor
market has been bought at the cost of re-
ducing the propensity to recruit and employ
foreign workers.

Racial Conflict and
Social Integration
Any discussion of the social situation of
West Indian immigrants must proceed from
the observation that the scale and serious-
ness of the problem is so much greater in
Britain than in France that it requires a
separate analysis. West Indians, and espe-
cially Jamaicans, constitute one of the three
major non-European minorities in Britain
and they have been the focus of the most
intense racial conflict there. In contrast,
immigrants from the Caribbean overseas
departments have not, as a group, become
a serious object of anti-immigrant agitation
or violence. It is not possible, therefore, to
generalize with much assurance about
French race relations policy toward mi-
grants from the D.O.M.; at the most one
can attempt to locate their experience
within more general French policies toward
immigrants as a group.
The British response to racial conflict,
once the initial period of disbelief and dis-
avowal had passed, can be called a "com-
munity relations approach," involving the
creation of an elaborate race relations
structure. The 1965 and 1968 Race Rela-

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Occasional Papers Series
Latin American
Caribbean Center

The Latin American and
Caribbean Center has recently
published the first study in its
Occasional Papers Series: "The
Brazilian Army in 1925: A
Contemporary Opinion, by
Pedro Aurelio de Goes Monteiro
(with an introduction by Peter
Seaborn Smith).
Manuscripts are solicited for
the Occasional Papers Series.
Research that addresses
individual countries or the whole
of Latin America and/or the
Caribbean from the perspectives
of the humanities and social
sciences is welcome.
Manuscripts should be no
longer than 45 typewritten
pages in length and should be
sent in duplicate to:
The Editor, Occasional
Papers Series
Latin American and
Caribbean Center
Florida International
Miami, FL 33199.

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
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tions Acts excited considerable opposition
despite their limited scope and weak en-
forcement provisions. The second law ex-
tended the coverage of the first, which had
applied to places of public accommodation
and service only, to the areas of housing,
employment, insurance, and credit. But it
was the institutional framework set up by
the acts to carry out their provisions and to
promote "harmonious race relations"
which was the heart of the British policy
toward discrimination. The central pieces of
this structure were the Race Relations
Board, the Community Relations Commis-
sion, and the local Community Relations
Committees. The first two were national
bodies of leading figures from business,
education, and the church, for the most
part. The Race Relations Board had the
authority to hear complaints about dis-
crimination and to order the parties to
attempt conciliation. The Community Re-
lations Commission was responsible for the
activities of numerous local committees of
volunteers and local professional Commu-
nity Relations Officers whose duties were
vaguely defined as promoting good com-
munity relations. In general, the British per-
ceived racial conflict in individual terms and
sought to deal with it by changing attitudes
and promoting understanding between the
races. The 1976 Race Relations Act, which
collapsed the old Board and Commission
into the Commission for Racial Equality
and gave it significant new powers to initiate
proceedings on its own and to issue non-
discrimination notices enforceable in the
courts, does not represent a departure from
the old assumptions in any important way.
Though British race policy may have
provided some reassurance to individuals,
discrimination is still widespread. Immigra-
tion has been the source of a new and ugly
chapter in British political history. There
have been periodic outbreaks of violence in
cities with high concentrations of West In-
dians (the turmoil in Brixton in the spring
and riots in Hull, Liverpool, Bristol, Notting-
ham, Birmingham, Manchester, Wol-
verhampton, and other cities in July are
only the latest of these episodes). One of
the political consequences of the fears im-
migration has touched off has been the
resurgence of neo-fascist political
movements on a scale not seen since the
'30s. This threat appears to be stalemated
for the moment, in part by the efforts of the
left-wing Anti-Nazi League and in part by
the British voter's lack of interest in ex-
tremist movements, but it is still the case
that the major political parties are unable to
handle race and immigration questions
with much skill.
After the Conservatives took the initiative
by closing off free entry in 1962, the Labour
Party attempted to establish an inter-party
consensus on race by embracing the need
for restrictions while at the same time

pushing for a vigorous program of anti-
discrimination efforts. This consensus
broke down temporarily in 1968 when Mr.
Enoch Powell, a Tory MP from Wolver-
hampton, launched a spectacular
campaign against immigration. His un-
precedented and demagogic behavior cost
him his position in the leadership of the
Conservative Party, but for several years he
dominated public debate over the color
question. Although both parties were busy
enacting more and more stringent legisla-
tion to keep non-Europeans out of Britain
(the law which is arguably the most
straightforwardly discriminatory, the 1968
Kenyan Asians Act, was the work of the
Labour Government), neither made any
overt attempt to use the issue for electoral
purposes. What is probably more surprising
is that they also failed to mobilize immi-
grants behind their banners. A heavy
majority of immigrants votes Labour, but
they have not been concentrated in suffi-
cient numbers to have more than a margi-
nal effect on any election to date. Appeals to
particular racial groups are considered
contrary to the rules of the British political
game. Immigrants have not become a sig-
nificant part of either party's electorate, nor
have they been able to develop much politi-
cal force on their own. Immigrant organiza-
tions have tended to founder on the rivalries
and divisions within the West Indian
community itself.
The race relations problem of the gov-
ernment today is no longer the adaptation
of new immigrants to the strange and in-
hospitable setting of industrial Britain nor
the preparation of the indigenous popula-
tion to receive them. Rather it is the integra-
tion of the large numbers of "second
generation immigrants," those young per-
sons born in Britain who have known no
other home. The 1971 Census reports that
there were 177,775 persons who were born
in the UK to a mother who had been born in
the "American New Commonwealth." Al-
most all of these also had fathers born in
those areas. These young persons consti-
tute a festering problem the seriousness of
which is evidenced in the continual jousting
between West Indian teenagers and police.
Under the notorious "sus" law, police
routinely stop and search individuals whom
they suspect of carrying weapons or of
being likely to commit a crime. Many West
Indian leaders have charged that being
black seems to constitute a strong pre-
sumption of criminality in the minds of the
police. In any case, massive sweeps of im-
migrant communities have been carried
out and have resulted in hundreds of blacks
being stopped and frisked on the sidewalks.
Conflict between the races, whatever its
roots in the misunderstanding and preju-
dice which is the concern of the race rela-
tions apparatus, is tied to the opportunities
available to immigrants in the job and

housing markets, the educational system,
and the other social services. It is difficult to
get reliable figures on immigrant employ-
ment but it is beyond dispute that unem-
ployment among West Indians is very high.
A 1977-78 survey found that though the
unemployment rate for the country as a
whole was 5.2% that of West Indians was
9.9%. It was estimated that the rates for
young male and female West Indians were
21 and 24%, respectively. Extrapolating to
1980, Z. Layton-Henry suggests that it is
possible that 3 or 4 out of 10 young West
Indians were out of work.
The British have been hesitant to develop
programs in aid of immigrants out of fear of
indigenous resentment of special treatment
of foreigners and out of a liberal fastidious-
ness about non-universalistic welfare
measures. The government's initial posi-
tion was that the existing services of the
British welfare state could adequately care
for the needs of immigrants as it did for
those of native citizens. Any temporary
problems of adjustment could best be han-
dled through voluntary channels. Eventu-
ally, however, limited moves were made
toward programs of positive discrimination,
at least in so far as additional funding was
made available to areas thought to have
been especially affected by immigration.
The French have been less active than
the British in the race relations arena. The
government has supported or endorsed an
active immigration policy for economic
purposes. Because the outbreak of racial
hostilities might have constrained their
ability to look the other way at massive
clandestine entries, public officials have
tended to deny that any serious problem
exists while extolling the benefits derived by
native Frenchmen from the efforts of
foreigners. There have been sporadic out-
breaks of racial violence in France
throughout the post-war period. These be-
came especially virulent during the years of
the Algerian War and its aftermath. In gen-
eral, French public opinion is more nega-
tive about North Africans than any other
ethnic community. Civil rights organiza-
tions and the trade unions have taken the
lead in defending the rights of immigrants,
but they have been powerless to do much
more than march in the streets in protest
against exploitation and discrimination. It
was not until 1972 that the National Assem-
bly passed legislation dealing with racial
discrimination. The law concentrated on
racial incitement rather than discrimination
per se, placed such behavior under the
criminal code, and created no special en-
forcement agencies. The widespread ac-
ceptance of the "threshold of tolerance"
has led to a kind of fatalism about the pos-
sibility of multi-racialism, an odd develop-
ment in a country well-known for its claims
to a universalistic culture and language. As
much as anything else, the conviction that it

would be impossible to assimilate non-
Europeans led the government to embrace
a policy of racial selection.
Unlike the British, French officials have
typically developed specialized agencies
and programs to assist immigrant groups.
The most important of these is the Social
Action Fund (FAS), a quasi-public agency
created by the state but exercising pro-
grammatic autonomy and enjoying inde-
pendent access to funds. FAS has devoted
most of its energies to building housing for
migrant workers, though it provides other
forms of assistance as well. BUMIDOM
carries out most of these functions for mi-
grants from the overseas departments and
in general provides a broader range of s&r-
vices than are available for persons coming
from other areas.

The Future of Caribbean
The present economic crisis has radically
altered the environment in which immigra-
tion decisions are being made. There are no
longer any compelling economic reasons
for large-scale immigration given the high
unemployment among indigenous Euro-
pean workers and given that those sectors

most markedly infiltrated by foreign work-
ers are in severe slumps, as for example
construction and metalworking. The com-
bination of the recession, the growing belief
that the long-term dependence on foreign
labor is detrimental to the productivity and
modernization of the economy, and the
continuing racial conflict has led to a situa-
tion in which there is strong opposition to
any significant new immigration for work in
the foreseeable future.
The recession will likely serve both to
reduce sharply the numbers of those seek-
ing to move to Europe and to increase the
rate of return of those immigrants already
there. On the whole, then, one can expect to
see the total size of the population of Carib-
bean origin in Britain and France decline
steadily over the next several years.
The impact of the recession will not be
limited to immigration policy, of course; its
effects will be felt in the domestic policy
field as well. The climate appears to be
most unfavorable to a sustained and vigor-
ous attack against the problems faced by
immigrants, and especially their children.
Economic dislocation and increased com-
petition for jobs is likely to intensify racial
hostilities and turn immigrants into con-




We are pleased to accept nominations for the third annual Caribbean
Review Award, an annual presentation to honor an individual who has
contributed to the advancement of Caribbean intellectual life.
The award recognizes individual effort irrespective of field, ideology,
national origin, or place of residence.
The Award Committee consists of: Lambros Comitas (Chairman),
Columbia University, New York; Fuat Andic, Universidad de Puerto Rico,
San Juan, Puerto Rico; Wendell Bell, Yale University, New Haven,
Connecticut; Locksley Edmondson, University of the West Indies,
Mona, Jamaica; Anthony P Maingot, Florida International University,
Miami, Florida.
Nominations are to be sent to the Editor, Caribbean Review, Florida
International University, Miami, Florida 33199. Nominations must be
received by March 19,1982.
The Third Annual Award will be announced at the Seventh Annual
Meeting of the Caribbean Studies Association, May 25-29,1982, Jamaica.
In addition to a plaque the recipient receives an honorarium of
$250, donated by the International Affairs Center of Florida International

venient scapegoats. The pressure of infla-
tion and budget crises are already taking
their toll on ameliorative social services.
The present Conservative government in
Britain is more forcefully committed to
ending immigration than any of its prede-
cessors. If the experience of the Labour
Party is any guide, the election of a socialist
President in France will not markedly alter
that country's response to migrants.
Labour's record in Britain has been only
marginally more sensitive to the plight of
immigrants than that of the Tories.
President Francois Mitterand's govern-
ment is committed to a planned and orga-
nized short-term immigration policy tied to
economic needs. In the long run it hopes to
carry out reforms of the domestic labor
market which will permanently reduce the
necessity of foreign labor. Mitterand is un-
likely, therefore, to ease controls on new
entrants, but he may be expected to attack
more vigorously the disadvantages of im-
migrants in France. As to the overseas de-
partments themselves, Mitterand favors

self-determination through referenda. It is i
possible, then, that the residents of newly
independent Caribbean states will in the
future lose the citizenship which has
heretofore guaranteed their right to immi-
grate and, however imperfectly, contributed
to their social protection in France.
The days when the tug of colonial obliga-
tions could take precedence over imme-
diate national interest in regard to immigra-
tion are rapidly passing. Citizenship has
proved to be an ineffectual barrier to dis-
crimination and exploitation. Racial an-
tagonism in Britain has precipitated the
stripping away of most of the privileges
associated with Commonwealth citizenship
and the government is pondering a funda-
mental revision of the law. The end of the
great period of economic expansion that
has been the most remarkable characteris-
tic of European life in the last thirty years
removes the pressing need for labor which
has been the premise of contemporary
European immigration. It may, however, be
premature to close the book on this saga,

and not only because a reinvigorated Euro-
pean capitalism would again require
foreign labor to make it work. British and
French society have been basically and
permanently transformed by immigration.
No recession, however severe, and no pro-
gram of repatriation, however attractive or
heavyhanded, will remove their sizable
minority communities. Arguments over
immigration controls are for the most part
matters of the past. Learning to live with the
permanent populations immigration has
produced will preoccupy policymakers in
the years ahead.

Gary Freeman teaches political science at the
University of Texas at Austin. He is presently in
France on a German Marshall Fund fellowship
continuing research on European migration
policies. He recently published Immigrant
Labor and Racial Conflict in Industrial
Societies: The French and British Experi-
ence, 1945-1975 (Princeton University Press,


Continued from page 47

admitted under this program are not, and
should not be guaranteed the status of
landed immigrants or resident aliens.
Nevertheless, they are not merely seasonal
or mobile laborers, and the recognition
must be made that, like any other group of
temporary residents such as students or
tourists a certain proportion of these en-
trants will enter the permanent immigrant
pool. How and under what conditions their
status may be altered is an important con-
Another consideration is that the plan
has got to be responsive to the realities of
the domestic labor and economic situation
both in the United States as well as in the
countries of origin. Today Mexico is the
largest potential source of non-skilled
laborers who would comprise the prime
candidates for this guest-worker program.
Nor is there any doubt that Mexicans
present the greatest problem as far as
non-documented workers are concerned.
But if Mexico should, within the next few
years, embark on a major developmental
plan based on its projected income from
petroleum, and should Mexico achieve the
twin goals of reducing its population growth
rate while simultaneously spreading the
benefits of its wealth more broadly, it is
possible that that source of potential labor-
ers could rapidly diminish. The same is

true, although to a far lesser extent, for the
Caribbean states. Either political actions or
improving economic conditions could
provide disincentives to out-migration or
the provision of a consistent supply of in-
vited laborers. By the same token, it must
be recognized that the labor demand in the
United States will itself be flexible,
responding to the expansions and contrac-
tions of the domestic economy. The fluctu-

By 1981, with increased
personnel and a greatly
expanded budget, the
border patrol stopped
nearly a million would-be
entrants. But the
inadequacy of border
patrols at any price is clear.

nations in labor demand has to be reflected
in the numbers of workers invited to the
United States, and that awareness has to be
clearly communicated to the sending gov-
ernments and populations.
Finally, it is clear that a guest-worker pro-
gram is only one part of the broader pattern
of international relations and foreign policy.
It has to be carefully integrated in the
broader concerns and interests of national
policy. It therefore must be morally consis-

tent, even-handed and compatible both
with the best interests of the United States
as well as the best interests of the member
states involved. It is, after all, as much for
them as it is for us. The national presidential
elections of 1980 indicated a broadly-based
desire not only for new men in Washington,
but for new measures to alleviate the gen-
eral malaise. One area in which the present
administration could demonstrate confi-
dence, boldness and creativity is in the de-
velopment and implementation of a new
guest-worker program for the United
States. It is feasible and urgently needed for
both sides of the border.
No one suggests that a guest-worker
program is the ultimate or even the optimal
solution to the thorny problem of immigra-
tion. It cannot be used as a substitute for the
problem of unwanted aliens or undocu-
mented residents. But anything is better
than nothing. And the country seems to
have no solution to a problem that can only
get worse. It is time to forget the experiment
from 1942 to 1964 with Mexican migrant
workers, to drop the thoughtless compari-
sons with the German experience between
1950 to 1980 or the absurd parallels with the
Virgin Islands. A viable guest-worker pro-
gram is one which considers common
needs and mutually beneficial results for
the United States and her neighbors. That is
not an impossible dream.

Franklin W. Knight teaches history at the Johns
Hopkins University. He recently authored The
Caribbean: The Genesis of a Fragmented
Nationalism (Oxford University Press).

Recent Books

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

By Marian Goslinga

Anthropology and Sociology

David Eltis, James Walvin, eds. University of
Wisconsin Press, 1981. 314 p. $22.50.

Broennimann. Birkhauser Publishers, 1981.
184 p. $24.95.

Tomas Ybarra-Frausto, ed. Sesnon Art ,
Gallery (Santa Cruz, Calif.), 1981.
100 p. $8.50.

Morayta. Institute Nacional de Arqueologia e
Historia (Mexico), 1981. 190 p. $15.20.

Wiley, 1981. 184 p. $30.50. About Guyana.

Norman E. Whitten, Jr. University of Illinois
Press, 1981. 850 p. $33.95.

FOLK HEALING. Robert T Trotter II, Juan
Antonio Chavira. University of Georgia Press,
1981. 204 p. $16.00.

Taylor. Stanford University Press, 1981.
242 p. $5.95.

W.R. Boom. De Curacaosche Courant,
1981. Nf42.50.

DESAFIO CULTURAL. Felipe Herrera. Fondo
International para la Promoci6n de la
Cultura de Unesco (Santiago, Chile), 1981.
111 p. $15.00.

Zahar (Rio de Janeiro, Brazil), 1981.
152 p. $4.50.

Olwyn M. Blouet. Wiley, 1981. 350 p. $14.95.

Episcopal Latinoamericano. CELAM
(Bogota, Colombia), 1981. 251 p. $8.00.
Papers presented at a conference held in
1980 in Cartagena, Colombia.

RICHARD RODRIGUEZ. Richard Rodriguez.
Godine (Boston, Mass.), 1981. 160 p. $13.95.
About Mexicans in the United States.

Camillo de Oliveira Torres. Ibrasa (Sao Paolo,
Brazil), 1981. 527 p. $12.00.

STATES. Shelby D. Gerking, John H. Mutti.
Westview Press, 1981. 130 p. $14.00.

EUSTATIUS. Wout van den Bor. Dept. of
Caribbean Studies, Royal Institute of
Linguistics and Anthropology (Leiden,
Netherlands), 1981. 437 p.

Gasset. Alianza Editorial (Madrid, Spain),
1981. $14.05.

ANTILLEN. Edgar Palm. De Curacaosche
Courant, 1981. A history of music and
musicians of the Netherlands Antilles.

Shafer, Donald Mabry. Nelson-Hall, 1981.
232 p. $18.95; $9.95 paper.

STATES. C. Harvey Gardiner. University of
Washington Press, 1981. 222 p. $25.00.

Shoemaker. Cornell University Press,
1981. 265 p. $19.50.

LATINA Y EL CARIBE. United Nations
Children's Fund. Unicef, 1981. 589 p. $19.00.

EDUCATION. Robert N. St. Clair, Guadalupe
Valdes-Fallis. Institute of Modern Languages,
1981. $14.95.

Transaction Books, 1981. 150 p. $15.95.

ANDINA, SIGLO XVII. Lorenzo Huertas
Vallejos. Universidad Nacional de San
Crist6bal de Huamanga (Ayacucho, Peru),
1981. 159 p. $5.00.

CURACAO. M. de Jong, T van Dijk, G.
Koopman. Dept. of Caribbean Studies, Royal
Institute of Linguistics and Anthropology
(Leiden, Netherlands), 1981. 138 p. Nfl.
20.00. Inquiry into the economic activities of
the lower classes in Curacao.

Felipe MacGregor. Pontificia Universidad
Cat6lica del Peru, 1981. 168 p. $7.00.

CLASS IN MEXICO, 1880-1928. Mary K.
Vaughan. Northern Illinois University Press,
1981. 380 p. $22.50.

Westview Press, 1981. 274 p. $20.00.

AMERICANS. Thomas Kessner, Betty Boyd
Caroli. Oxford University Press, 1981.
317 p. $16.95.

THE YEARS BEFORE. Anthony de Verteuil.
Imprint Caribbean (Trinidad), 1981.309 p.
$16.25. Social, political and economic
developments in 19th century Trinidad.


ARRIBA EL TELON. Gilda Orlandi. Editorial
Caribe (Miami, Fla.), 1981. 112 p. $2.95.
Biography of Puerto Ricans.

INDEPENDENCIA. Cesar R. Marcucci Vera.
Editorial ABC (Bogota, Colombia), 1981.
360 p. $20.00.

BORGES, EL PALABRISTA. Esteban Peicovich,
ed. Letra Viva (Madrid, Spain), 1980. 260 p.

CASTRO. John Griffiths. David & Charles
(North Pomfret, Vt), 1981. 80 p. $16.95.

HIS POLITICS. Ramesh Deosaran. Signum
(Trinidad), 1981. 194 p. $11.50.

EVA PERON. Nicholas Fraser, Marysa Navarro.
SNorton, 1981. $14.95.

1854. Edward J. Mullen, ed. Shoe String
Press (Hamden, Conn.), 1981. $25.00.

Mackie, ed. Continuum Pub. Co. (New York,
N.Y), 1981. 172 p. $7.95. About the
Uruguayan educator.

SOCIEDAD. Roberto Agramonte. University
of Puerto Rico Press, 1981. 307 p.

Eugenio Fontaneda Perez. Aguilar (Madrid,
Spain), 1980. 141 p.

Ethel Diffy Tumer. Rey Devis, ed. Blaine
Ethridge-Books, 1981.119 p. $14.95.

ed. University of Arizona Press, 1981.256 p.
$19.95; $8.95 paper.

EN BOGOTA. Virgilio Lovera. Ediciones
Tercer Mundo (Bogota, Colombia), 1981.
152 p. $13.00.

Pereyra. La Campana (Buenos Aires,
Argentina), 1981. 237 p. $8.40. Raises the
question of negligence in the case of Per6n's
illness and subsequent death.

YRIGOYEN. Felix Luna. Editorial De Belgrano
(Buenos Aires, Argentina), 1981.
448 p. $18.90.

Description and Travel

BAHAMAS: 1982. Stephen Bimbaum.
Houghton Miffin, 1981. 672 p. $10.95.

Janice Bauman, et al. Hippocrene Books,
1981. $12.00.

CARIBBEAN. Bill Robinson. Norton,
1981. $18.95.
BUENOS AIRES, 1536-1810. Julio Luqui
Lagleyze. Municipalidad de la Ciudad de
Buenos Aires, 1981. 166 p. $5.70.

Thomas W. Walker. Westview Press, 1981.
145 p. $18.00; $8.75 paper.

SPAIN, 1533-1820. Evelyn Hu-DeHart.
University of Arizona Press, 1981.
$19.95; $9.95 paper.

REVOLUTION. Carlos Alberto Montaner.
Transaction Books, 1981. 284 p. $14.95;
$5.95 paper. Translation of Informe secret
sobre la Revoluci6n Cubana.

A. Rawley, Norton, 1981. 480 p. $24.95.

S. Henderson. Comell University Press, 1981.
336 p. $29.95.


Janvry. Johns Hopkins University Press, 1981.
352 p. $27.50; $8.95 paper.

PARAGUAYO, 1940-1973. Anibal Miranda.
Comuneros (Asunci6n, Paraguay), 1980.
287 p. $17.00.

COLOMBIA. Dario Fajardo, et al Centro de
Investigaciones y Educaci6n Popular. CINEP
(Bogota, Colombia), 1981.235 p. $15.00.

ECONOMIC DE CHILE, 1862-1940. Sergio
Villalobos. Editorial Universitaria (Santiago,
Chile), 1981. 108 p. $3.80.

Rosalio Wences, Ugo Pipitone, eds.
Universidad Aut6noma de Guerrero
(Mexico), 1981. 250 p. $12.00.

Alberto Recarte. Alianza Editorial (Madrid,
Spain), 1980. 235 p.

AMERICA. Claes Brundenius, Mats Lundal,
eds. Westview Press, 1981. 200 p. $17.50.

1981. Daniel Della Costa. Depalma (Buenos
Aires, Argentina), 1981. 212 p. $10.70. About
contemporary Argentina.

Heraldo Mufioz, ed. Westview Press, 1981.
336 p. $28.50; $12.50 paper. Includes many
references to Latin America.

L6pez. Editorial Temis (Bogota, Colombia),
1981. 218 p. $20.00.

Arango Jaramillo. Ediciones Hombre Nuevo
(Medellin, Colombia), 1981. 207 p. $10.00.

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

NO A VENEZUELA. Emesto Samper Pizano,
et al. ANIF (Bogota, Colombia), 1981.
116 p. $8.00.

CORDOBA (COLOMBIA), Victor Negrete B.
Ediciones Fundaci6n del Caribe (C6rdoba,
Colombia), 1981. 129 p. $10.00.

Carrillo Bedoya. Editorial La Oveja Negra
(Bogota, Colombia), 1981. 310 p.

VENEZUELA Marcos Kaplan, ed. Editorial
Nueva Imagen (Mexico), 1981. 451 p. $28.50.

Jaime Serra Puche. El Colegio de M6xico,
1981. 161 p. $13.20.


Handelman, ed. Indiana University Press,
1981. 136 p. $22.50.

SUS SOLUCIONES. Absal6n Machado C.
Fundaci6n Mariano Ospina Perez (Bogota,
Colombia), 1981. 152 p. $25.00.

BOLIVIANA? Amado Canelas Orellana.
Editorial Los Amigos del Libro
(Cochabamba, Bolivia), 1981. 233 p. $11.95.

Garcia. Universidad Aut6noma de Mexico,
1981. 159 p. $8.00.

COLOMBIANO. Alberto Mendoza, Angela
Mendoza. Fundaci6n Mariano Ospina Perez
(Bogota, Colombia), 1981. 185 p. $16.00.

Arnoldo De Leon. University of New Mexico
Press, 1981. 288 p. $19.95.

Hernando Agudelo Villa. Editorial Presencia
(Bogota, Colombia), 1981. 186 p. $10.00.

History and Archaeology

A. Ediciones Tercer Mundo (Bogota,
Colombia), 1981. 184 p.

Cruz Schuhkrafft. Universidad Mayor de San
Andres (La Paz, Bolivia), 1976-81.
2 vols. $30.00.

1845-1900. Miguel Angel de Marco. Facultad
de Derecho y Ciencias Sociales (Rosario,
Argentina), 1981. 477 p. $30.00.

Editorial Los Amigos del Libro
(Cochabamba, Bolivia), 1981. 232 p. $18.50.

EL CABILDO DE MAYO. Roberto H. Marfani.
2d rev. ed. Macchi (Buenos Aires, Argentina),
1981. 131 p. $9.50. About Argentina.

Pierre Clastres. R Auster, L. Davis, trans.
Dutton, 1981. 274 p. $20.00. Translation of
Chronique des indiens guayaki.

IGLESIA-ESTADO, 1819-1887. Jorge
Villegas. La Carreta In6ditos (Medellin,
Colombia), 1981. 184 p. $5.00.

LOS COMUNEROS, 1781-1981. Antonio
Garcia. Plaza & Janes (Bogota, Colombia),
1981. 237 p.

Margot Williams, Josephine McSweeney.
Messner (New York, N.Y.), 1981. 96 p.

Alberto M. Salas. Sudamericana (Buenos
Aires, Argentina), 1981. 684 p. $29.00.

Westview Press, 1981. 392 p. $35.00.

: ~

LA ERA DEL PERONISMO, 1943-1976. Jorge
Abelardo Ramos. Editorial del Mar Dulce
(Buenos Aires, Argentina), 1981.
295 p. $8.40.

1934. Ram6n-Eduardo Ruiz. Norton, 1981.
530 p. $9.95.

Sanchez-Barba. Alhambra (Madrid, Spain),
1981. Vol. 1: America indigena,

HISTORIC DE BOLIVIA. Augusto Guzman, 5th
rev. ed. Editorial Los Amigos del Libro
(Cochabamba, Bolivia), 1981. 451 p. $26.50.

HISTORIA DE CHILE, 1891-1973. Gonzalo Vial.
Editorial Santillana (Santiago, Chile), 1981.
2 vols. $98.00.

POLITICO. Juan Domingo Per6n. El Cid
Editores (Buenos Aires, Argentina), 1981.
150 p. $7.20.

POLITICA. Carlos Floria, ed. Editorial De
Belgrano (Buenos Aires, Argentina), 1981.
205 p. $9.00.

Rafael Loyola, et al. Carlos Martinez Assad,
ed. Editorial Nueva Imagen (Mexico), 1981.
198 p. $10.60.

1955-1973. Graciela Ducatenzeiler. Les
Presses de I'Universit6 de Montreal (Canada),
1980. 276 p. $19.95.

Oropeza. Center for International Affairs,
Harvard University, 1981. 130 p. $13.95;
$7.95 paper.

Language and Literature

INMORTALIDAD. Mario Szichman. Ediciones
del Norte (Hanover, N.H.), 1981. 291 p. $7.50.
Novel about the death of Eva Per6n and the
trials of an immigrant family struggling to
enter Argentinian society.

MEXICO. Gabriel Zaid. Siglo XXI Editores
(Mexico), 1980. 290 p. $8.75. Lists 164
contemporary Mexican poets.

Joshua A. Fishman, Gary D. Keller, eds.
Teachers College, Columbia University, 1981.

RICO. J.A. Collins. University of Puerto Rico
Press, 1981.

INDIAN NOVEL. Michael Gilkes. Twayne,
1981. $12.95.

Edmundo Desnoes, W. Luis, eds. Ediciones
del Norte (Hanover, N.H.), 1981.
557 p. $12.00.

GABRIELA Jorge Marchant. Editorial Cerro
Santa Lucia (Santiago, Chile), 1981. 175 p.
$12.00. Play about the life of
Gabriela Mistral.

Brushwood. University of Nebraska Press,
1981. 233 p. $18.50.

ISLA DE LA SIMPATIA. Juan Ram6n Jimenez.
Ediciones Huracan (San Juan, Puerto Rico),
1981. Poems dedicated to Puerto Rico.

JORGE GUILLEN. C. Grant MacCurdy. Twayne,
1981. $15.95.

BEHAVIOR. Richard P Duran, ed. ABLEX
Pub. Co., 1981. 363 p.

UNIDOS. Ernesto Barnach-Calb6. Oficina de
Educaci6n Iberoamericana (Madrid, Spain),
1980. 141 p.

UNO NOVAS CALVO. Raymond D. Souza.
Twayne, 1981. $12.95.

Acevedo. University of Puerto Rico Press,
1981. 908 p.

Salazar. Mosca Azul Editores (Lima, Peru),
1980. 131 p. $4.00. A novel about
modern Peru.


Cafferty, Carmen Rivera-Martinez. Westview
Press, 1981. 200 p. $20.00.

Guitierrez Laboy. Senda Nueva de Ediciones
(New York, N.Y), 1980. 131 p.

SPIK IN GLYPH? Alurista. Arte P6blico Press
(Houston, Tex.), 1981. 64 p. $5.00. Poems by
a Chicano.

TWENTY-ONE POEMS. Marco Antonio Montes
de Oca. Laura Villasefior, trans. Latin
American Literary Review Press, 1981. $9.00.

Montross. University Press of America, 1981.
136 p. $16.75; $6.75 paper.

Politics and Government

James R. Whelan. Arlington House, 1981.
200 p. $14.95. Account of the last two days
of Salvador Allende's regime in Chile.

Portantiero, et al. Edicol (Mexico), 1981.
247 p. $4.00.

THE WEST INDIES. Ivar Oxaal. Schenkman,
1981. 224 p. $9.95.

FUERZAS ARMADAS. Fausto Reinaga.
Ediciones Comunidad Amaitica Mundial (La
Paz, Bolivia), 1981. 103 p. $7.95.

Les Presses de I'Universite de Montreal
(Canada), 1981. 368 p. $24.75.

COLOMBIA. Jose Francisco Martin L.
Fundaci6n Friedrich Naumann (Bogota,
Colombia), 1981. 121 p. $10.00.

E. Alegria Ortega. University of Puerto Rico
Press, 1981.
Fabio Lozano Simonelli. Tall. Graf. del Banco
de la Rep6blica (Bogota, Colombia), 1981.
231 p. $3.00.

Jos6 M. Rico. 2d rev. ed. Siglo XXI Editores
(Mexico), 1981. 315 p.

OF HOSTILITY. Lynn-Darrell Bender. Rev. ed.
Inter-American University Press (San Juan,
Puerto Rico), 1981. 108 p. $12.50;
$5.75 paper.

AMERICA. Thomas Draper, ed. Wilson,
1981. 230 p.

Rene Canelas L6pez. Ediciones Rocan
(Cochabamba, Bolivia), 1981. 168 p. $9.95.

CRUCIBLE. Howard J. Wiarda, Michael J.
Kryzanek. Westview Press, 1981. 128 p.
$16.50; $8.50 paper.

POLITICOS NO BRASIL. Alfonso Arinos de
Mello Franco. Editorial Hucitec (Sio Paulo,
Brazil), 1981.

Schoultz. Princeton University Press, 1981.
421 p. $32.50.

PEREZ JIMENEZ. Judith Ewell. Texas A & M
University Press, 1981. 224 p. $18.50.

Abelardo Villegas. Universidad Nacional
Aut6noma de M6xico, 1981. 156 p. $9.90.

ARGENTINA. Jose Ratzer. Agora (Buenos
Aires, Argentina), 1981. 190 p. $17.70.

GUYANA. Andres Serbin. Editorial Bruguera
(Madrid, Spain), 1980.

PIGS. University Publications of America,
1981. 367 p. $24.00.

OFFICERS IN POWER, 1968-1976. Lisa
North, Tanya Porovkin. Centre for Developing
Area Studies, McGill University (Canada),
1980. 136 p. $5.00.

AMERICA LATINA. Ximena Andrade, et al.
Sociedad Interamericana de Planificaci6n,
SIAP (Bogota, Colombia), 1981.
391 p. $30.00.

McDonough. Princeton University Press,
1981. 356 p. $20.00; $6.95 paper.

POLITICO, 1952-1980. Guillermo Lora. Los
Amigos del Libro (Cochabamba, Bolivia),
1981. 564 p. About Bolivia.

LaBrucherie. Imagenes Press (El Centro,
Calif.), 1981. $8.00.

ISLA DE PASCUA. Michel Rougie. Editorial
Delaroise-Lord Cochrane (Santiago, Chile),
1981, 144 p. $65.00.

MEXICO 1982. Stephen Birnbaum. Houghton
Mifflin, 1981. 704 p. $10.95.

SOUTH AMERICA. V.S. Naipaul. Vintage
Books, 1981. Originally published in 1962.

Publishing Co. (Bonners Ferry, Ind.), 1981.
112 p. $8.50. An American's adventures
in rural Mexico.

Dave Saunders. David & Charles (North
Pomfret, Vermont), 1981. 72 p. $14.95.


SOURCES. John E Finan, John Child, eds.
Gale Research Co., 1981. 250 p. $36.00.

Martin H. Sable. Blaine Ethridge-Books,
1981. 124 p. $16.50.

FRONTERIZOS. Jorge Bustamante,
Francisco Malagamba. El Colegio de Mexico,
1980. 251 p. $12.50.

Nagelkerke. Dept. of Caribbean Studies,
Royal Institute of Linguistics and
Anthropology (Leiden, Netherlands), 1981.

URBANO-REGIONAL 1945-1981. Allan M.
Lavell, Miguel Morales, Jorge Arriaga.
Confederaci6n Universitaria
Centroamericana, CSUCA (San Jose, Costa
Rica), 1981. 410 p. $12.00.

CHILENOS. Biblioteca Nacional. BN
(Santiago, Chile), 1981. 300 p. $15.00.

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

Ships' Registry: Norway

"We had a great time.The S/S Norway

is a beautiful ship. And the entertainment

is by farther bet.Mr 'Mrs.John Noterman,Sarasota,FL.

"This was our first cruise and I thought it was
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have to worry about reservations anywhere. For the
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"The entertainment aboard the ship during the
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sional performance of the Broadway show 'Hello
Dolly.' One night Al Martino, the famous singer, gave
us all a great show. And it's really hard to believe
but even the television shows on the TV set in our
stateroom were good.
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they were able to serve aboard a ship. One night we
had prime rib and another night it was a delicious
roast duck. It was really very, very good.
"All the different sports you were able to play
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
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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
the S/S Norway that's full of hints and tips on how to
get the most out of your cruise vacation.
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I Please send me your FREE S/S Norway cruising
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