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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: 1984
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
        Page 2
    Main
        Page 3
        Page 4
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    Back Cover
        Back Cover 1
        Back Cover 2
Full Text




CAlBBEAN

SVol. XIll, No. 3
S V I AThree Dollars


The Grenada Questions; The Cartagena Meeting of Debtor Nations; The
Troubled Island of Hispaniola; Mexican Oil Corruption; The Politics of
Apolitical Fiction; The Airbus Crosses the Atlantic Creek; Caribbean Eve;
El Norte, the American Dream.


L1,99L 0)





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NAME_
ADDRESS
CITY/STATE/ZIP.







II


In this issue


~4.


Cover
El Niiio by Colombian artist Hector
Bustos (oil on canvas, 20 x 24 inches).
The painting is in a private collection.


3
Crossing Swords
The Politics of Intuition
By Eneid Routtd Gomez

4
Responses and Replies
Reich and Smith

6
The Grenada Questions
A Revolutionary Balance Sheet
By Selwyn Ryan


18
The Troubled Island of
Hispaniola
Riots in Haiti and the Dominican
Republic
By Bernard Diederich

22
An Overdose of Corruption
The Domestic Politics of Mexican Oil
By George M. Grayson

26
La Guagua Aerea/The
Airbus
A Short Story
By Luis Rafael Sanchez


34
Caribbean Eve
Yielding to the Pacing Shapes of
Jaguars
Reviewed by Richard Dwyer

36
For the American Dream
A Journey to El Norte
A Film Review by Christina Bruce


30
Apolitical Fiction in a
Political World
Picaresque and Parody in Cabrera -
Infante
Reviewed by Donald Gwynn 52
Watson First Impressions
' I Compiled by Forrest D. Colburn


,56
Recent Books
Compiled by Marian Goslinga


10
The Cartagena Proposal
The Far-Off Thunder of Violent
Drums
By Belisario Betancur

14
What Happened in
Cartagena
The Gloved Hand of the Debtor
Nations
By Robert A. Liff











Ico--s


SCAMBCEVAN
IPEIWw


The New

Cuban Presence

in the

Caribbean
edited by Barry B. Levine
July 1983, 274 pages
$26.50 (cloth), $11.50 (paper)

"An extremely valuable and most welcome
addition to the literature on Cuba's Interna-
tional relations .... The chapters are well
written, carefully documented and offer vital
Insights Into the International rivalries which
have transformed the Caribbean Basin Into
an arena of International conflict."
-Richard Millett,
The Air War College

"Indispensable for those wishing to gain In-
sight Into the basin's complex political
forces and dynamics." -Edward Gonzalez,
Caribbean Review

"A very thorough piece of work, highly Infor-
mative and analytical." -Frank Virden,
The Times of the Americas


Also of interest

Latin America, Its Problems and
Its Promise
A Multidisciplinary Introduction
edited by Jan Knippers Black
September 1984 ca. 450 pages
$30 (cloth) $14.50 (paper)

Revolution and Counterrevolution in
Central America and the Caribbean
edited by Donald E. Schulz and
Douglas H. Graham
July 1984 ca. 425 pages
$35 (cloth) $14.95 (paper)

For examination copies, write to M. Gilbert, Dept. CMG-5,
Westvlew Press, giving course title, enrollment, and present
text. Please include $3.50 per book for processing and
postage.
Write for our complete catalog.

AWestview Press
5500 Central Avenue Boulder, Colorado 80301


SUMMER 1984
Editor
Barry B. Levine
Associate Editors
Anthony RP Maingot
Mark B. Rosenberg
Managing Editor
June S. Belkin
Assistant Editor
Judith C. Faerron
Book Review Editor
Forrest D. Colburn
Bibliographer
Marian Goslinga
Contributing Editors
Henry S. Gill
Eneid Routt6 G6mez
Aaron L. Segal
Andr6s Serbin
Olga J. Wagenheim


Vol. XIII, No. 3


Three Dollars


Art Director Board of Editors
Danine L. Carey Reinaldo Arenas
Ricardo Arias Calder6n
Design Consultant Errol Barrow
Juan C. lUrquiola German Carrera Damas
Yves Daudet
Contributing Artists Edouard Glissant
Eleanor Bonner Harmannus Hoetink
Terry Cwikla Gordon K. Lewis
Velinka Patkovic Vaughan A. Lewis
Leslie Manigat
Cartographer James A. Mau
Linda M. Marston Carmelo Mesa-Lago
Project Director Carlos Alberto Montaner
Maria J. Gonzalez Daniel Oduber
Robert A. Pastor
Marketing Assistant Selwyn Ryan
Francisco Franquiz Carl Stone
Edelberto Torres Rivas
Project Assistant Jose Villamil
Marlene Gago Gregory B. Wolfe


Caribbean Review, a quarterly journal dedicated to the Caribbean, Latin America, and
their emigrant groups, is published by Caribbean Review, Inc., a corporation not for profit
organized under the laws of the State of Florida (Barry B. Levine, President; Andrew R.
Banks, Vice President; Kenneth M. Bloom, Secretary). Caribbean Review is published at
the Latin American and Caribbean Center of FIG (Mark B. Rosenberg, Director) and
receives supporting funds from the Office of Academic Affairs of Florida International
University (Steven Altman, Provost; Paul Gallagher, Associate Vice President for Aca-
demic Affairs) 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 understanding 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 responsibility for any of the views
expressed in its pages. Rather, we accept responsibility for giving such views the oppor-
tunity to be expressed herein. Our articles do not represent a consensus of opinion-
some articles are in open disagreement with others and no reader should be able to agree
with all of them.
Mailing address: Caribbean Review, Florida International University, Tamiami Trail, Miami,
Florida 33199. Telephone (305) 554-2246. Unsolicited manuscripts (articles, essays,
reprints, excerpts, translations, book reviews, poetry, etc.) are welcome, but should be
accompanied by a self-addressed stamped envelope.
Copyright: Contents Copyright 1984 by Caribbean Review, Inc. The reproduction of
any artwork, editorial or other material is expressly prohibited without written permission
from the publisher.
Photocopying: Permission to photocopy for internal or personal use or the internal or
personal use of specific clients is granted by Caribbean Review, Inc. for libraries and other
users registered with the Copyright Clearance Center (CCC), provided that the stated fee
of $1.00 per copy is paid directly to CCC, 21 Congress Street, Salem, MA 01970. Special
requests should be addressed to Caribbean Review, Inc.
Syndication: Caribbean Review articles have appeared in other media in English, Span-
ish. Portuguese and German. Editors, please write for details.
Index: Articles appearing in this journal are annotated and indexed in America: History
and Life; Current Contents of Periodicals on Latin America; Development and Welfare
Index; Hispanic American Periodicals Index; Historical Abstracts; International Bibliogra-
phy of Book Reviews; International Bibliography of Periodical Literature; International
Development Abstracts; International Serials Database (Bowker); New Periodicals Index;
Political Science Abstracts; Public Affairs Information Service Bulletin (PAIS); United
States Political Science Documents; and Universal Reference System. An index to the
first six volumes appeared in Vol. VII, No. 2; an index to volumes seven and eight, in Vol.
IX, No. 2; to volumes nine and ten, in Vol. Xl, No. 4.
Subscription rates: See coupon in this issue for rates. Subscriptions to the Caribbean,
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International Standard Serial Number: ISSN 0008-6525; Library of Congress Classifica-
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Number: 079.7295.


2/CARfBBEAN r VIEW









Crossing Swords


The Politics of Intuition

By Eneid Routte G6mez


Let us begin to look at the landscape of
women in the Caribbean, at our political
landscape. We see at first our saving grace,
our intuition, that has survived stereotypes
and shallow conceptions of who we are as
women, as Caribbean women.
What are these stereotypes, these con-
ceptions that attempt to blunt the passage
of the intuitive mind, to blind our inner
"eye"?
The intuitive mind, they say, is "unscien-
tific." It is "womanish," "uncertain," "inde-
cisive," "weak." The intuitive mind is to be
"distrusted." It is not based, they say, on fact.
By this is meant reason vs. intuition, logic
vs. intuition.
As women we have absorbed these
stereotypes. We have made them our own.
We have turned these conceptions of igno-
rance and inferiority upon ourselves, believ-
ing them to be true, reasonable, logical.
It is thus we activate our self-doubt. We
crucify ourselves on stereotypes spelled out
by others. We must change this. We must
discard ignorance, inferiority. Only we know
the length, the breadth that we dare to go to
live as we should in peace, harmony, equal-
ity, freedom. We must return to the strategy
of our forebears. We must listen to their
words.
They said: "Listen to the sound of your
mind. Listen to your intuition. So that you
can survive and be well."
That sound begins as a hum often at
counterpoint with the situation of the mo-
ment. Yet, it is a sound that pierces and
penetrates the dimension of time. It is a
sound that activates our intuition, the legacy
of our ancestors, singing soul sisters in
space. It is this measure of music, this
power to change, that informs us. We are
here to cajole, to console, to remind each
other that we are here for a reason. But for
that reason to be revealed to us we need to
know who we are.
My grandmother Virginia, a grade school
principal from Santo Domingo, Vieques
and St. Thomas, was the first woman of the
Caribbean known to me. I remember her as
stern and distant. She seemed to prefer
darkness to light. A migrant to New York


City in the early 1900s, she developed her
language in the Harlem apartments and
churches of her people. She kept her own
company, using her native Spanish as a
code. She cooked Sunday afternoon re-
pasts on an old wood stove in the basement
of my parents' house in Long Island.
Wooden spoons, wooden plates were her
trademarks in the kitchen. My grandmother
had long, silky grey hair, which she would
brush until it shone. Her hair was an exten-
sion of the Caribbean that she left. The
memory of my grandmother came to me
early this year, the day I met and interviewed
Eugenia Charles, prime minister of Domin-
ica. They come from the same tribe. Proud
Caribbean women. Women who stand firm
in the solitude of their decisions. Women
who keep their compassion in reserve.
Lonely, proud women who speak in code.
The second Caribbean woman known to
me was my mother, Maud. It was she who
took the threads of Vieques, St. Thomas
and Santo Domingo to Long Island. She
was moved by the spirit of her native inde-
pendence to crusade against injustice to-
wards women, hence towards all human-
kind. It was the code she learned in the
Caribbean of her mother and grandmother.
Through education, she tried to eliminate
double strategies, double standards of ac-
tion for men and women, to clear the path
for another generation of individuals to fol-
low. She was light. It was she who put her
intelligence at the service of her emotions,
making ladders out of crosses.
I have seen my mother reflected in other
women of the Caribbean. It is the Caribbean
woman who fulfills her responsibility to hu-
mankind through love. I have met many
such women of the Caribbean. I have been
touched by their humor, their right-
eousness, their joy and sorrow. I have been
moved by their creativity, their determina-
tion to be, despite obstacles, awestruck by
their brilliance. Caribbean women are intel-
ligent, inventive.
I have also seen women of the Caribbean
isolated by a darkness that has descended
unfairly, unjustly upon them. It is the
darkness of illiteracy, of inferiority, of hard,


unremitting and unrewarding work. It is the
darkness of oppression. I have seen these
Caribbean women walk the streets of Old
San Juan, juggling boxes on their heads,
boxes of food and clothes to take back
home on uncertain flights.

"... We look at this deep brown woman,
/ wearing a red hat with an impertinent
feather. / Her big, fat arms swaddle burst-
ing bags / and we turn up our collective
nose. / She is not us we say.
"We say to this woman, / stirring up the
odor / of the tropics / 'you must fit those
bags / under the seat of the plane... / or
we will separate you / from your posses-
sions.' / Her bags do not have labels / that
say Givenchy or St. Laurent. / Her bags
with their mysterious bulges / say Haiti.
"We have isolated this woman. / We
have left her alone / as the plane lands /
and she disappears / into the darkness /
of her country, of her republic.
"We must change this. / We must reach
out / and reclaim her. / We must include
this woman / in our planning circle, in the
same batey / of the fortress that protects
us, those of us who know the language -
/ from the imperialism / of the upturned
nose.
"It is a difficult task / to break down or
through / the barriers of mutual suspi-
cion. / We must begin and begin again /
for we become Caribbean women, slowly
by degrees..." 0


Crossing Swords is a
regular feature of Carib-
bean Review. The views
expressed herein are
the sole opinion of the
authors. Contributing
editor Eneid Routt6
G6mez, a journalist and
poet, is women's editor
of the San Juan Star .
and founder and coordinator of the Caribbean
Women's Network. The poetry is excerpted
from her poem, "Many women, one people."


CA1?BBRAN EVIEW/3








Responses and Replies



Commentary on Grenada


By Otto J. Reich and Wayne S. Smith


Diplomatic Magic
Dear Colleagues:
Grenada was a paradigm of what is loosely
called revolution and its excesses in our
time, and it offers lessons which should not
be ignored. In 1979, a small band of upper
middle-class intellectuals toppled a regime
which, as Anthony P Maingot ("Options for
Grenada," Caribbean Review, XII:4, Fall
1983) rightly points out, was-a popul-
ist/black power revolutionary movement
gone wrong because of the eccentricities of
its leader. The new rulers, schooled in vari-
ous revolutionary tracts and rhetoric,
quickly shed their vague romantic and
faintly Jeffersonian precoup program of a
people's democracy and turned to an atti-
tude of: we love the people and know what is
best for them and so must guide their
affairs.
But running a government is difficult,
and these inexperienced young men
needed help. The theory that cold US in-
transigence pushed the New Jewel govern-
ment into the arms of the Cubans, however,
is simply not tenable. Getting technical as-
sistance from Cuba and later from the So-
viet Union did not make them communists,
of course, but there seems to have been a
fairly rapid progress toward what they them-
selves called Leninism. Apparently toward
the end, a hard core, which might be likened
to the Bolsheviks, seized control. Scholars, I
trust, will study this process when all the
documents are available.
It is apparent that Bishop and his associ-
ates sincerely admired Cuba and the Soviet
Union. He never, insofar as we know, ex-
pressed any reservation about supporting
the Soviet invasion of Afghanistan. Al-
though much more study needs to be done,
I feel comfortable in concluding, on the
basis of the evidence, that (1) Grenada un-
der Bishop sided with the Soviet/Cuban
bloc from the beginning and (2) Bishop
intended to install a Soviet-type state with a
small elite controlling the masses and ulti-
mately depending upon force.
The articles in "Grenada Explodes" con-
tained points with which I agree and several
with which I disagree.
I disagree with Errol Barrow ("The Dan-
ger of Rescue Operations") on virtually
every point he makes, but on two in particu-
lar: (1) The students were in danger-be-
lieved themselves to be in danger-and no
responsible government would simply
hope for the best under the circumstances.
Mr. Barrow should view the US Information
Service's videotape of Grenadians trying to


escape from being shot by their own army.
The new rulers, whoever they were, demon-
strated quite a capacity for violence. (2)
"The tragedy to the people of Grenada. ."
is simply not true. Mr. Barrow needs only to
travel to Grenada and ask the people
whether they believe the rescue mission
was a tragedy.
Much of what Michael Manley ("Grenada
in the Context of History") has to say about
the success of the Bishop regime is mere
myth. Grenada kept two sets of books-a
technique taught by the Cubans--and the
World Bank and IMF were simply the vic-
tims of a hoax. The economy was actually a
disaster from start to finish. All major pro-
ductive sectors continually declined. In ad-
dition, the documents illustrate that Mr.
Bishop and his small coterie were ideologi-
cally under the deep influence of Cuba and
the Soviet Union from the beginning. Noth-
ing the US did or failed to do would have
made any difference. Grenada did, in fact,
receive more aid from Western sources
than all of the other Eastern Caribbean
states put together, but it did not seem to
make a difference in alignment. It would be
nice to think of Mr. Bishop's sordid little
Leninist dictatorship as some kind of
golden age, but the facts show otherwise.
Carl Henry Feuer ("Was Bishop a Social
Democrat?") seems also to have joined
those who are attempting to apotheosize
Maurice Bishop. It will not work. One must
look at the reality rather than the soothing
words that Bishop used to charm the Euro-
peans. Reality: Document number 102734,
a letter dated 29 September 1981 from the
"Office of Special Investigations" to Maurice
Bishop, is a plea to release some of the
several hundred detainees because the
prisons are terribly overpopulated. One
group is recommended for release because
"there is absolutely no evidence of an in-
criminating nature available and it is there-
fore difficult to lay charges against them"
(they had been in prison for two years by
this time). One had been scheduled for re-
lease for several months but was not re-
leased because of fear he would spread
unfavorable propaganda. I cannot believe a
truly social democratic government would
condone such behavior. As the documents
revealed, the People's Revolutionary Gov-
ernment of Grenada was modeled very
closely after the Soviet government, with
decision-making authority resting in the
Central Committee and in the smaller Politi-
cal Bureau (the Grenadians used the term
"Politburo"). Is there a social democratic


government in the world which is controlled
by a Marxist-Leninist Politburo? Mr. Bishop
was not a social democrat.
I find the opinions expressed by Wayne
Smith ("The Grenada Complex and Central
America") dangerously naive. Mr. Smith
used the phrase "negotiating process" (or
some variant, e.g. "come to the table") a
total of 13 times on the first page of his
article. There is a mind-set that believes the
incantation of "diplomatic" and "negoti-
ated" solutions can solve all the world's
problems-that there is something magic
about negotiations. Let me state cate-
gorically that this administration certainly
does believe in negotiated solutions to
problems, but negotiations have their time
and place. Munich, for instance, was the
wrong time and place. In Grenada there was
no time; we sincerely believed then, and still
believe, that 1,000 American citizens were
in deadly danger.
Nestor Sanchez ("What Was Uncovered
in Grenada") makes a good point; i.e., the
arsenal found on Grenada was absurd for
such a small island. What were the guns for?
My opinion is that persons addicted to So-
viet-style thinking just naturally start arm-
ing themselves to the teeth when they get in
power, for control. It is straight from the
Lenin textbook. But a deeper reason, I be-
lieve, is a certain psychological tendency to
adhere to symbols of materialism, and what
more basic symbol exists than the gun?
The Mayday parade is thus the equivalent of
a religious procession.
Anthony P. Maingot ("Options for Gre-
nada") demonstrates a profound under-
standing of what has been happening in
Grenada and the Eastern Caribbean. He
makes a most important point that the
Eastern Caribbean mini-states have had 57
elections since 1951 without taking political
prisoners or resorting to death squads or
torture. At the end of his article he states that
these islands "are allies, committed to plu-
ralistic democracy and human rights, and it
is to that fold that they all want Grenada
back. Surely the USA will want no less."
Indeed the US is proud to be able to have a
part, along with the Caribbean democ-
racies, in the return of Grenada to what is by
any reckoning a most remarkable as-
semblage of democratic, free societies.

OTTO J. REICH
Coordinator of Public Poblicy
for Latin America and the Caribbean
US Department of State


4/CAIBBEAN rEviEw







Wayne S. Smith Replies:
Otto Reich's critique of my views on the
Grenada invasion is in keeping with the ad-
ministration's usual tactic of obfuscation
rather than reasoned response. To my state-
ment that the invasion pointed up again this
administration's incomprehension of the
uses of diplomacy, Reich notes acerbically
that there is a time and place for negotia-
tions and that there was no time for them in
Grenada since the administration believed
our citizens there to be in danger.
Perhaps. But what about a year before the
invasion, or two years before? Mr. Reich
avoids any direct answer to that question.
As I noted, the Bishop government had
been pleading for talks with the US for more
than two years. The Reagan administration
rebuffed these overtures. If Mr. Reich doubts
that, he should look at the cable traffic be-
tween the US Interests Section in Havana
and Washington during 1981 and 1982.
Could accommodation have been
reached? Was the Bishop government se-
rious? The answer in both cases can only be
"perhaps." But the possibility was at least
worth careful exploration. The administra-
tion did not even bother. Why not? Perhaps
because of the kind of rigid mind-set sug-
gested by Mr. Reich's statement that since
Bishop and his group were under Moscow
and Havana's influence from the beginning,


"nothing the US did or failed to do would
have made any difference."
In other words, Mr. Reich would have us
believe, a government once touched by
Moscow or Havana is lost and there is no
point in trying to deal with it. But that, of
course, is nonsense. There are many in-
stances in which governments once under
Moscow or Havana's influence have reas-
serted their independence. The Egyptian
government, for example, was closely allied
with Moscow for over a decade. When it saw
that this was, in fact, not in its interests, it
moved back towards us. American diplo-
macy smoothed the way. The Forbes Burn-
ham government in Guyana was once
heavily influenced by Havana. Today, rela-
tions between the two governments are, at
best, correct.
Who knows, then, what might have been
accomplished in Grenada had we been ca-
pable of imaginative diplomacy? But the
Reagan administration was not. Thus I re-
peat that the invasion was, more than any-
thing else, a monument to foreign policy
mismanagement.
It was also a monument to doublespeak.
Mr. Reagan first described the landing of
American forces in Grenada as an invasion,
then chided the press for saying the same
thing and claimed instead that it was a "res-
cue operation." Obviously it wasn't that ei-


their since American forces are still there.
Mr. Reagan first showed us pictures of an
airfield under construction in Grenada and
suggested that as it was too large for any
legitimate need of Grenada's, it must be
intended for some sinister military purpose.
But now that Grenada is in our hands, the
American taxpayer is being made to fork
over $19 million to finish that same airfield,
which the Reagan administration now says
Grenada needs for its tourist industry.
Strange! That's exactly what the Bishop
government said.
Assistant Secretary of State Langhorne
Motley, in testimony to a congressional
committee last January, said the US had
considered chartering an ocean liner to
evacuate our citizens from Grenada, but, he
implied, had to give up that idea when the
vessel was fired on by Grenadian forces.
This turned out not to be true. The ship's
owners, the Cunard Line, stated flatly that
the vessel had not been fired on and could
not possibly have been since it never even
reached the area. Mr. Reich himself also
contradicted Mr. Motley, denying that the
US had ever considered such a charter!
Indeed, the administration has made so
many contradictory statements about its in-
vasion of Grenada that it is difficult to
fathom what its real views are or which it
expects us to believe. O


, GEOPOLITICA DE LAS
,," RELACIONES DE VENEZUELA ,
CON EL CARIBE fA
Aft Andres Serbin (editor) A


La Cuenca del Caribe cons tituye un drea crucial para F
los intereses geopoliticos y econ6micos venezolanos. ,
GEOPOLITICA DE LAS RELACIONES DE
S VENEZUELA CON EL CARIBE reune los trabajos
; de los mds destacados investigadores que, desde
Venezuela, se encuentran estudiando las relaciones '
,, entire este pais y los estados caribefios y los ,
process sociopoliticos que afectan a estos ultimos. ,

Demetrio Boersner Francine Jacome
Beatriz Ciceres de Pefaur Leslie Manigat
2 Pedro Cunill Grau Jos6 Moreno Colmenares ,
g Roland T. Ely Alberto A. Muller Rojas 2
2 Rita Giacal6n de Romero Kaldone Nweihed
4 Carlos Guer6n Leoncio Pinto 4
Mirlande Hippolite de Manigat
Carlos Romero Andres Serbin
; Paper: $US 10.00 (incluye envio) X
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pFA


CARBBEAN MIVIEW/5


Latin American and Caribbean Center
Occasional Paper Series
OPS 1 de Goes Monteiro, Pedro Aurelio. "The Brazilian
Army in 1925: A Contemporary Opinion."
OPS 2 Haber, Alicia. "Vernacular Culture in Uruguayan Art:
An Analysis of the Work of Pedro Figary, Carlos
Gonzalez and Luis Solari."
OPS 3 Drekonja Kornat, Gerhard. "Colombia: En busqueda
de una political exterior."
OPS 4 Geggus, David. "Slave Resistance Studies and the
Saint Domingue Slave Revolt: Some Preliminary
Considerations."
OPS 5 Santamaria, Daniel. "Iglesia y economic campesina
en el Alto Peru, siglo XVIII."
OPS 6 P6rez-L6pez, Jorge F. "Central America's External
Debt in the 1970s and Prospects for the 1980s."
OPS 7 Vilas, Carlos M. "Nicaragua: Una transici6n
diferente."
OPS 8 Rama, Ruth. "Las relaciones econ6micas Mexico-
Estados Unidos: El comercio alimentario,
1950-1982."
$4.00 each
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6/CAJ?BBEAN IEViEW


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The Grenada Questions

A Revolutionary Balance Sheet

By Selwyn Ryan


he Grenada revolution of 13 March
1979 was one of those definitive
events which have had critical im-
plications for the entire Caribbean. In terms
of its impact on the region, it ranks with the
Haitian and Cuban revolutions, as well as
the upheavals of the 1930s which acceler-
ated the growth and maturation of the labor
movement in the anglophone Caribbean.
As was the case with those events, the sei-
zure of power by Maurice Bishop and the
New Jewel Movement was greeted by a
storm of disapproval from the established
interests in the English-speaking Carib-
bean, since the revolution successfully chal-
lenged, for the first time, one of the essential
foundations of the political culture of the
region: that the transfer of political power
should be effected by ballots rather than by
bullets.
The circumstances under which the NJM
came to power raised questions about the
meaningfulness of the Westminster model,
especially since it was widely agreed that
without adequate cultural and institutional
supports, the model could and did produce
tyrannical and corrupt dictatorships in the
Caribbean such as those of Eric Gairy and
Forbes Burnham in Grenada and Guyana
respectively. The question that had to be
decided was whether the people in coun-
tries such as these had an obligation to obey
and defer to the political leadership regard-
less of the abuses inflicted on them, or
whether they should adopt the Jeffersonian
formula and rebel. Jefferson's justification of
the seizure of power by the American colo-
nists in 1776 was not remarkably different
from that advanced by the NJM and its
supporters.
There were some commentators who re-
mained committed to the Westminster for-
mula for selecting governing elites, but who
were nevertheless inclined to tolerate the
NJM demarche, provided it was subse-
quently legitimized by an election. It was felt

Selwyn Ryan is chairman of the Public Utilities
Commission of the Republic of Trinidad and
Tobago. Former head of the department of
government at the University of the West In-
dies, he is the author of Race and Nationalism
in Trinidad and Tobago.


that if the NJM had the support which it
claimed to have, it should put such claims
on the line by facing the polls.
Those opposed saw the seizure of power
by force of arms as "a scandal in the family"
which could not be condoned. They also
feared the demonstration effect of the Gre-
nada model. There was concern that if what
happened in Grenada was allowed to pre-
vail, small radical parties might be encour-
aged to attempt something similar in other
territories. The leaders of the Southern Car-
ibbean were painfully aware of just how vul-
nerable the defenses of their island states
were against a well-organized insurrection
and were understandably anxious to have it
made abundantly clear that the peoples of
the Caribbean would not sanction this sort
of arbitrary change of the rules of the game.
As Bishop himself noted, "those who are
making the loudest noises have the most to
fear from their own people." Dominica, St.
Vincent, St. Lucia and Barbados were es-
pecially agitated, and there was even talk of
inviting the British to send in troops to put
down the rebellion and restore Gairy to
power.
In Trinidad, the press, while recognizing
that Gairy was equally a "shame in the CAR-
ICOM family," was frenzied in its hostility to
the putsch. The government was of the
same view, and a letter sent by Bishop to
Prime Minister Dr. Eric Williams was point-
edly left unopened. The official position of
the government was that Trinidad would
continue to recognize Grenada as a country,
but not its regime.
Obviously an event of such far-reaching
implications, and one which causes such
strong reaction, raises many questions. The
first is a basic one-which Gordon Lewis
suggests should be asked about the entire
post-independence Caribbean experience.

To what extent are the people of Grenada
better off today than they were in 1979?
While four years is perhaps too short a pe-
riod to assess the achievements of the Gre-
nada revolution, an attempt might still be
made to determine whether, on balance,
more was gained than lost by the PRG's
decision to defy the US and opt for the high


road of socialism. The regime made clear
gains in the areas of education and health;
and despite earlier opposition to building
the airport at Point Salines, it was able to see
it to near completion. The airport had now
became the symbol of self-reliance, just as
the production of 10 million tons of sugar
(once deemed a curse which must be de-
stroyed) had become a point of honor for
the Cuban revolution.
A great deal of money was spent in the
field of education. In 1981, the proportion of
recurrent expenditure devoted to education
was 21.3 percent, and in 1982, 22.5 per-
cent. While the policy of free secondary ed-
ucation was initiatedby Gairy and not by the
PRG as the latter claimed, theirs was the
responsibility to see it through to its conclu-
sion and to extend its boundaries beyond
the formal school to include the old and
marginalized elements. With the assistance
of people like Paulo Freire, Angel Arrechea
of Cuba and volunteers from other Carib-
bean islands, the Centre for Popular Educa-
tion embarked on a basic and then a
functional literacy program which achieved
a measure of success. Teacher training was
also expanded through an in-service
scheme, while schools were built and re-
paired. The content of textbooks used by
the very young and the old was changed to
reflect "the perceptions, needs and aspira-
tions of the people" as well as the goals of
the revolutionary government. Poor chil-
dren were helped with uniforms, books and
free lunches. More scholarships were made
available to Grenadians at the University of
the West Indies and in other countries such
as Cuba, the Soviet Union, Mexico, and in
Europe and Africa. Higher allowances were
also provided for scholarship winners and
their families.
In the area of health, the regime was able
to use the Cuban connection to increase
and improve the delivery of medical and
dental care. Drugs were made available at
subsidized prices. The system whereby
medical practitioners used state facilities to
carry on private practice was stopped, and
medical care in public hospitals and health
centers became fully free. A program of
preventive medicine was also instituted


CAIfBBEAN FVle6W/7





























Maurice Bishop


Bernard Coard


with some measure of success.
There were other areas where progress
was made. Steps were taken to introduce a
public transport system using mini-buses
to compete with private modes. There was
some attempt at community mobilization to
clean drains, repair and paint public build-
ings and other forms of socially useful ac-
tivity. The cooperative movement was
encouraged, and unemployment was re-
duced by mobilizing youth in the militia and
setting some to work on state-owned farms,
in agro industries, and on road building.
Another major achievement was the fact
that under the PRG, Grenada became inter-
nationally important, and whether for or
against the PRG regime, many Grenadians
took pride in the fact that their small island
state had become the center of international
public attention. The PRG had succeeded in
placing Grenada in the international politi-
cal and economic market place.

How well did the Grenadian economy
perform?


Election board office in St. George's.


In terms of the management of the econ-
omy, a great deal of progress was made in
the initial years when enthusiasm was high
and the tasks obvious. The regime received
assistance from the World Bank and other
lending institutions such as the Interna-
tional Monetary Fund, the European Eco-
nomic Community and the Canadian
International Development Agency. The
economy reportedly grew by about 2 per-
cent in 1979. The government had
achieved a budgetary surplus of EC$2.6
million in its first year of operation com-
pared to the EC$8.3 million deficit which
occurred in 1978 under Gairy. It did so by
raising license fees and company taxes,
closing tax loopholes, introducing with-
holding taxes on profits expatriated by for-
eign companies, and rigidly curbing public
spending and energy consumption. As one
commentator observed, "in terms of good
housekeeping, the Bishop government in
the first year of its revolution was doing a
great deal better than many Western gov-
ernments, the US included.. .In terms of


orthodox economic planning and good ac-
count keeping the Grenadian revolution
was streets ahead of, say, the Chilean gov-
ernment in the time of Salvador Allende.
The foreign debt was still minimal, well
within what Grenada could afford to borrow.
While the countries of Latin America, many
with governments backed by the Reagan
administration, got into such a morass of
debt that they had to turn over almost all
they earned in exports to pay the foreign
bankers who had lent the money, Grenada
in 1981 was devoting only 3.7 percent of its
export revenue to the servicing of the gov-
ernment debt." Much of this was the
achievement of Bernard Coard who, though
a Marxist, functioned as an orthodox minis-
ter of finance par excellence.
The economy continued to grow and in
1982, the real growth rate was said to be 5.5
percent, due largely to an expansion of the
public sector, since private investment was
close to zero. Capital expenditure in the
public sector increased on an average of 35
percent annually in the 1979-1982 period.


8/CAI?BBEAN ev IEW




















































Maurice Bishop Foundation.


However, overall central government defi-
cits doubled, increasing from 16.1 percent
of Gross Domestic Product (GDP) in 1979
to 32.3 percent in 1982. The deficit was
financed almost wholly from grants and
public sector borrowings from abroad (es-
pecially Soviet Bloc and OPEC countries),
and from commercial banks. External debt
moved from 16 percent of GDP in 1978 to
29 percent in 1982. Most of the loans ob-
tained were on concessionary terms and
have been contracted with Eastern bloc do-
nors (33% of total), and from international
organizations such as the Caribbean Devel-
opment Bank (19% of total), OPEC Fund
(24% of total), traditional donors, such as
Canada and U.K. (10% of total).
The Economic Memorandum on Gre-
nada (1984) reports that "Gross Domestic
Product at current prices increased at an
annual rate of 14.2 percent during the pe-
riod 1978-1982, but in real terms the rate of
growth was a modest 3.4 percent"-not the
5.5 percent claimed earlier. "Insofar as the
subperiods of 1975-1978 and 1979-1982


are concerned, the increased rates of GDP
in current prices were 12.5 percent and 11.3
percent respectively. Correspondingly, the
rates of growth of real GDP for the same
subperiods were 3.8 percent and 0.2 per-
cent respectively. Thus, it seems clear that
the rate of growth of the Grenadian econ-
omy fell sharply, both in nominal and real
terms, during the period 1979-1982 when
compared with the period 1975-1978."
Part of the reason for the decline in
growth had to do with the performance of
the tourist industry, the agricultural sector,
and the public enterprises and utilities. The
tourist industry, which reportedly ac-
counted for 80 percent of the foreign ex-
change earned from commodity exports,
suffered a marked decline due to recession
and American hostility. Stay-over visitors
declined by 15 percent in 1981.
The agricultural sector, which is critical in
Grenada since it produces jobs for over one-
half of the total labor force and supplies over
90 percent of the country's commodity ex-
ports, performed poorly after 1979. Falling


prices (due in part to the depreciation of the
pound vis-a-vis the dollar in 1982) and fall-
ing yields were said to be responsible, as
were fragmentation of land holdings, lack of
knowledge about modern agricultural prac-
tices, and inadequate supplies of capital
and fertilizers. The decline in prices made it
difficult for the marketing boards to subsi-
dize inputs used by the farmers or offer at-
tractive prices. The farmers, in turn,
abandoned their farms or declined to rein-
vest. This was especially true in the banana,
cocoa and nutmeg industries.
In the farm sector, the 23 farms owned by
the Grenada Farm Corporation operated at
a loss (so too did some private farms how-
ever). These farms, which had been taken
over by the Gairy government and not the
PRG, occupied 4,000 acres of the total farm
acreage of 34,243 acres. The extent of the
loss was due mainly to the fact that wages
were higher than the value of work pro-
duced. The same was true of the National
Fisheries Company, which was a disaster
Continued on page 39


CAI?BBEAN rPe0v/9





Belisario Betancur


'II\


4 rigorous analysis is not more
truthful than poetic imagination.
An object's reality lies in the
imaginative projection." This statement by
an illustrious Colombian philosopher is an
appropriate way to begin our discussions
in the noble city of Cartagena de Indias.
This historical bay has been a source of
inspiration and enchantment among
poets, privateers, pirates, rulers and
businessmen. Its original inhabitants
were the Carib Indians from Matto
Grosso in Brazil, man-eating war-
riors and warlike women. The city
was officially founded in 1533. Many
are its centuries of history, poetry,
romanticism, military engineering,
political strife and international trade.
Admiral Vernon, Drake, Morgan and
others held the conquest of Cartagena
as their highest ambition. Drake
achieved the dream in 1586 when he
showed up with a squadron of 23
ships and 3000 men. By then, he had
already received the title of "Sir," and
to show his fine upbringing and gen-
tlemanly ways, he had 200 houses
burnt to the ground and cannon-
balled an aisle of the cathedral that
was under construction. Drake
promptly ransacked the city and
took most of its wealth, even the
churchbells. Morgan, however,
never achieved his ambition; and
Vernon was checked by the one-
legged, one-handed and one-eyed
don Bias de Lezo-a feat which
Should later give rise to the humorous
complaint among Cartagena's bohe-
mians, that it was Lezo's fault that
today they do not speak English.
Another landmark in the history of
this walled city was the manifesto pro-
claimed in 1812 by a young man from
Caracas. His name was Sim6n


a 4 r


$I










The Cartagena Proposal

The Far-Off Thunder of Violent Drums

By Belisario Betancur, President of the Republic of Colombia


Bolivar, and his manifesto, published 172
years ago, warns against the danger of la-
boring in ethereal republics under the as-
sumption that human beings are perfecta-
ble. His text might well bear studying by
certain foreign experts who recommend
that we implement utopian concepts inap-
plicable even in their own societies.

Financing Progress
With these brief poetic and historical refer-
ences let us discuss one of the most
important items on the international
agenda: financing the progress of develop-
ing countries-a topic which extends be-
yond the strict economic realm. Latin
America's foreign debt service has become
so burdensome that it threatens the very
stability of the international monetary sys-
tem and the survival of the democratic pro-
cess in various countries.
It is a case requiring cooperation among
all because we are all, to a greater or lesser
extent, its victims. The uncertainties re-
garding Latin America's foreign debt
threaten the stability of the great financial
organizations in the industrialized coun-
tries. They threaten the well-being of our
people and the stability of our democratic
institutions. They hinder international trade
and harmony among nations. Can we not,
then, be quick about finding constructive
and fair solutions, so that Latin America
may once again start on a smooth and rea-
sonable road to development?
We have not come here to evade our
obligations but to better fulfill them. We
have not come here to flex our muscles for a
fight but for collaboration. Nor have we
come to forget the differences that have ex-
isted, that exist, and that must continue to
exist among the economic policies of sov-
ereign countries. It is the duty of govern-
ments to protect the well-being of their
citizens and the stability of their institutions.
There is a legitimate common interest in the
The Honorable Belisario Betancur is president
of the Republic of Colombia. This article is
adapted from his inaugural talk before the min-
isters of foreign affairs and treasury of eleven
Latin American nations meeting in Cartegena,
Colombia, 21-22 June 1984, to discuss the
Latin American debt problem.


opening of markets, in avoiding capricious
changes in the cost of their debt because of
others' decisions, and in strengthening the
international organisms of economic coop-
eration and coordination.

The Debt Service
Latin America's foreign debt has increased
over 400 percent in the last nine years. In
1975, the region's total disbursed debt
amounted to somewhat over $75 billion,
while today it has exceeded $350 billion, an
average annual growth of about 19 percent.
During the same period, the debt service
ratio-that is the ratio between amortiza-
tion and interest payments and the revenue
from exportation of goods and services-
increased from 26.6 percent to over 65 per-
cent. In other words, because of their nonliq-
uidity, debtors risk falling back decades in
their levels of well-being, which in some
cases are among the lowest in the world.
The debt service has grown more rapidly
than the debt itself, as a result of the
changed composition of the latter, as well as
shorter and harder financial terms. The in-
ternational development banks lost a signif-
icant part of their share in the Latin
American financing process. Conse-
quently, the slow growth of available re-
sources at multilateral credit organisms,
and the abundance of resources at private
international banks, forced the region to
borrow increasingly from the latter. This,
however, involved shorter terms of payment
and higher interest rates.
These remarks lead to an obvious ques-
tion: What are the true causes of the expo-
nential growth of Latin America's debt? The
question is not a simple one and has given
rise to many studies. However, we might say
that external causes are at least as impor-
tant, if not more so, than internal ones.
It is true that some of our countries did
not manage their exchange rates wisely. It is
also evident that public finances were not
handled in the orderly, responsible manner
required. However, there is no exaggeration
in the statement that Latin America's debt
would probably be relatively routine had
there been no oil crisis, no contraction of
international trade, had the region's terms
of trade not deteriorated, had international


interest rates been reasonable, and had in-
ternational development banks not been
weakened.
Thus, if the international interest rate had
been equal to inflation plus two points in the
last ten years, the region would not have
transferred over $35 billion during that pe-
riod. (It is interesting to note that in the last
eight years, Latin America paid over $173
billion as interest on its foreign debt.)
Terms of trade may be analyzed similarly.
If terms of trade in the region, particularly in
the non-oil-exporting countries, had been
kept at the 1975 level, the value of exports
would be $20 billion greater today. The
same may be said for the evolution of the
quantum exported.
Briefly, then, with reasonable interest
rates, adequate terms of trade, flexible
amortization schemes and access to the
markets of industrialized countries, the re-
gion would have been in a position to fulfill
all its financial commitments. Latin Amer-
ica's problem is not one of insolvency but
one of nonliquidity. True, the total foreign
debt represents almost 60 percent of the
region's gross domestic product, but when
the region's external liabilities are compared
to its total physical, natural, technical and
human assets, this ratio ceases to be
important.

Financial History
Over the last 300 years, the world has suf-
fered several financial crises on an
international scale, among them the South
Sea crisis in 1720, the one caused by the
Seven Years' War in 1763, the crisis at the
close of the Napoleonic Wars in 1815, the
one associated with the War of Japan and
Russia in 1907, and then the Great Depres-
sion of the 1930s.
These crises could have been manage-
able had there been a lender of last resort
willing to provide the liquidity required by
the system in order to survive. The contrac-
tion in international economic activity dur-
ing the depression of the thirties, was so
strong, prolonged and disastrous because
there was no international lender of last re-
sort. The question, then, is this: Is the inter-
national finance system prepared to handle
the present crisis? This complex question


CARIBBEAN eVIEW/11








requires a discussion of the institutions cre-
ated at Bretton Woods almost 40 years ago.
During the postwar period and in re-
sponse to World War 11 and the depression of
the 1930s, the World Bank, the International
Monetary Fund and the General Agreement
on Tariffs and Trade (GATT) were created.
These institutions stabilized the growth of
the world economy between 1950 and
1970. However, the last 15 years have seen
the rise of problems requiring adjustment
of these institutions to new circumstances:
the growing role of developing countries in
the world economy, volatile exchange and
interest rates, growth limits, the need to
manage oil as a scarce, nonrenewable re-
source, and the proliferation of nontariff bar-
riers to international trade.
The recessions of the last 30 years indi-
cate that world macroeconomic manage-
ment is deficient, among other reasons
because nobody is consciously controlling
the growth of international liquidity. Only by
rare coincidence are the growth of the world
money supply and the growth of interna-
tional economic activity consistent with
each other. It should come as no surprise,
therefore, to see economic cycles charac-
terized by price and exchange rate in-
stability, together with high levels of
unemployment and contraction of world
trade. Institutions such as the International
Monetary Fund might be thought to have
control over the process of creating world
liquidity. The truth of the matter, however, is
that the institution's resources are small
compared to the size of the world economy,
and have grown slowly in real terms.
On the other hand, the International Mon-
etary Fund's adjustment programs, as
stated in the bylaws, do not necessarily lead
to maintenance of high employment levels
and real income in its member countries.
The tragic events in the Dominican Re-
public and other countries of the region
confirm the argument that it is impossible
to bring about rapid automatic structural
adjustments in countries that require pro-
found economic reforms, but where the
speed and intensity of change must not be
overdone.
It should be clear, as recognized by the
most recent report of the United States
Council of Economic Advisors, that it is no
longer possible to continue drastic import
reductions, and that export growth should
be one of the basic instruments for improv-
ing the structure of our external sectors. It is
also obviously essential to maintain credit
flows toward Latin America. Latin America
has become a net capital exporter, while
highly industrialized countries such as the
United States are importing resources from
elsewhere.
At the May 1983 Williamsburg Summit,
the attending heads of state [of the US,
Western Europe, and Japan] made a one-
year commitment to reduce their fiscal defi-
cits, decrease protectionism and seek con-


editions for the lowering of international
interest rates. These objectives have not
been met. The recent declaration at the
June 1984 London conference provides en-
couragement once again, showing consis-
tency in the diagnosis of the negative
impact of high interest rates, protectionism
and lack of long-term financial resources on
the world economic order.
The United States maintained until re-
cently that the foreign debt problem did not
affect the stability of its banks nor its finan-
cial system. It would, however, be absurd to
persist in such an idea after a wave of
rumors recently endangered two of its lead-



Latin America's debt would
be relatively routine had
there been no oil crisis.


ing financial organizations, and when prac-
tically all those institutions continue to lose
stock value. However unpopular the idea of
rescuing the banks, the fact is that it would
be well to profit from recent experience and
show the US public that the stability of its
financial system affects the common inter-
est and that it will continue to be under-
mined by rumors, and perhaps by fact, if the
debt problem is not channeled appropri-
ately once and for all.
It would also be desirable for the US pub-
lic to reflect on the markets its country has
lost through the contraction of Latin Ameri-
can income, and to think about the jobs that
have disappeared along with those mar-
kets. Moreover, as trade is a crucial link in
the payment chain, the trends in Latin
America and the United States are disquiet-
ing. Although the recent London declara-
tion shows awareness of the common
interests between the industrialized and de-
veloping countries, we believe that it is well
to emphasize to the public in the United
States and other industrialized countries
that the deluge, if not avoided by all of us
together, will be worldwide.
The problem of Latin America's foreign
debt in mid-1984 is not the same as in
1983. Around the middle of this year we
were looking forward to considerable eco-
nomic revival in the industrialized countries,
as well as stable interest rates, stable oil
prices, markets open to our products and
success in the compulsory adjustment pro-
grams undertaken by several countries un-
der the leadership of the International
Monetary Fund. Within the context of these
expectations, there prevailed the idea that
each country should reschedule its debt in
accordance with its own particular
circumstances.
Today it is difficult to view things the
same way. True, there has been a revival in
the industrial countries, particularly in the


United States. But we are already seeing the
symptoms that point to the end of that
springtime. We shall mention a few: Prevail-
ing interest rates today are higher than a
year ago and the forecast is higher still. Oil
prices show a tendency to increase. Protec-
tionism is on the rise and continues to
hinder our access to the markets of indus-
trialized countries. Many of the adjustment
programs agreed to with the International
Monetary Fund have required revision be-
cause they were inadequate, and some
have left in their wake painful experiences
involving death and public disturbances, as
occurred, for example, in the Dominican
Republic. Some private international banks
have shown aggression toward countries
like Colombia, which are up to date in the
payment of their public debt and facilitate to
the utmost the transfers necessary to pay
their private debt.
All this calls for a further revision of the
basic criteria underlying the analysis of the
problem of our countries' external debts.
Hence, the presence of our governments
here is an expression of a factthatwe did not
create, but that neither we nor anyone can
continue to hide: the foreign debt problem
has ceased to be a mere financial problem
and is now a matter of top international
policy.

Why Is Colombia Participating?
Colombia's debt is relatively small-
US$10.5 billion. Its profile could hardly be
better, as about 60 percent is government
debt with long-term payments and reason-
able interest rates granted by financial de-
velopment institutions. The level of our
reserves (US$2 billion), despite its de-
crease, is sufficient to handle about six
months of imports, even with no further
revenue.
Thanks to the tremendous adjustments
we have made, reducing inflation from 28
percent to 14 percent yearly, diminishing
the fiscal deficit and the overvaluation of our
currency; thanks to the understanding as-
sistance of international development
banks; thanks to our level of international
reserves; and thanks now to the favorable
trend in the prices of coffee, bananas and
cotton and to the beginning of our abun-
dant coal exports, we may continue to have
positive growth rates while fulfilling our for-
eign obligations. True, we are paying a high
price in terms of unemployment (13 per-
cent), but even this is lower than the price
paid by most Latin American countries and
by many other Western countries deter-
mined to resume the road to recovery. We in
particular will continue our efforts to lower it
by encouraging construction, export ac-
tivity, agricultural development and small
business.
The above notwithstanding, certain pri-
vate international banks have decided to
attack us by a sudden and substantial re-
duction in their short-term credits, not only


12/CAhBBEAN PeVIEW








for our foreign trade but also for other devel-
opment purposes; refusing support for
moderate programs of foreign borrowing
by the public sector; and trying to have
certain private debts that are unregistered
and contracted by Colombians abroad with
small groups of banks, supported by official
reserves. Some of those lender banks-ad-
mittedly not all--demand of our govern-
ment things that their own governments
have rejected in similar circumstances. This
is a neocolonialist attitude which can only
cause rejection and ill feelings. In fact, they
went so far as to threaten us should we host
this meeting. Their treatment of us is not
consistent with the way Colombia has man-
aged its debt policy nor with our will and our
capacity to pay. Fortunately others have
taken a more professional attitude, and are
better suited to look towards the future and
understand what benefits them.
Despite this aggression, our exchange
situation is in balance. Revenue from non-
traditional exports increased by about 20
percent in the last year. The value of import
registrations has decreased by about 25
percent in the same period, and we shall
continue to seek the nontraumatic adjust-
ment of our exchange rate, controlling infla-
tion, avoiding monetary overflow and
reducing the fiscal deficit. All this, together
with the increasing support from interna-
tional development banks and several pri-
vate commercial banks, makes the
Colombian situation different from that in
many of our sister countries. Consequently,
we need not consider the overall reschedul-
ing of our foreign debt.
We are participating at this meeting,
then, first and foremost because we feel that
our final destiny in this and in every other
area is linked to that of our sister countries
and to the destiny of the developing people
in general.

The Thunder of Violent Drums
Briefly, we wish to see a solid international
financial system which would allow the vig-
orous growth of developing countries to
raise the quality of life, and be able to pay for
it. Colombia wishes to see an international
community aware of its obligation to pro-
tect the political, economic and social sta-
bility of our countries, because the effects of
chaos would also spread to the lender coun-
tries. Lastly, Colombia realizes that just as
the threat of nuclear war affects all the
earth's inhabitants, collapse of the interna-
tional financial system would have tremen-
dous effects on the economic and social
health of all countries and on peace.
These are not easy times for Colombians.
But it is not payment difficulties which have
brought us to Cartagena. We have come
because we feel part of a broader commu-
nity-the Latin American community-
which grows poorer and poorer before our
eyes, and is losing hope. We see its bitter-


ness and discouragement continue. We see
the dying flame of its faith in the virtues of
democracy, when many countries, demo-
cratic systems and democratic leaders are
among the very ones who have contributed
to the present situation. We hear the far-off
thunder of violent drums. We feel the winds
of storms. And we realize that nothing good
can come of such an atmosphere; nothing
good for our sister countries where this cli-
mate prevails; nothing good for the cause of
democracy and freedom; nothing good for
world peace; nothing good for our country
linked to Latin America by history, lan-
guage, beliefs and a common destiny.
There needs to be a clear awareness of
the nature of the problem so that we may
see a firm commitment by those who can
help solve it; and the solution lies in the
hands of borrower countries, lender banks
and the authorities in countries where the
latter are seated. It has been assumed so far
that each country must get out of its predi-
cament by adjusting its economy to the for-
mulas of the International Monetary Fund
and receiving longer terms of payment
from lender banks. We are learning now that
this will not suffice; that the authorities of
industrialized countries where these banks
have their headquarters must understand
that their economic policies can-and, in
fact, do-offset the tremendous sacrifices
made by our people in their efforts to adjust.
And they must accept this responsibility.
Otherwise readjustment could well become


NON-VICIOUS

CIRCLE

Twenty Poems of Aime Cesaire


an endless and useless task benefitting no
one, and so defined, no one would be will-
ing to accept it. If the fiscal deficit of some
industrialized countries, among them the
United States, raises interest rates, and if
protectionism closes those markets to us,
we have nothing to gain by applying stricter
adjustment policies.
The World Bank must play a more active
role in the coming decade, with more in-
tense use of mechanisms such as cofinanc-
ing. It must show flexibility in the terms of its
loan agreements, allowing countries to
work with lower counterparts and advanc-
ing a significant share of credits already
approved. It is also essential for these credits
not to become an obstacle to national in-
dustrial development, particularly as re-
gards the production of capital goods in
developing countries. The level of protec-
tion for local supplies should be increased
from 15 to 25 percent at least. This would
open the door for substitution of capital
goods-a goal that the bank itself has de-
fined as the next industrial stage where sev-
eral countries of the region could work with
comparative advantage.
The GATT has clearly failed to check the
nontariff barriers which hinder more dy-
namic growth of world trade. Experts esti-
mate that 50 percent of world trade is
controlled through quotas, technical re-
quirements and administrative mecha-
nisms. A reasonable degree of protection
Continued on page 44


Translated, with an Introduction and
Commentary by Gregson Davis. The
black Martinican poet Aim6 Ce-
saire has long been regarded in
France as one of the great poets
of the 20th century. The poems in
this volume, presented in French
with facing English translations,
were specially chosen to illustrate
fundamental aspects of his thought,
imagery, and style. The skillful
commentary makes possible a
deeper comprehension of the
poems and their formidable lin-
guistic difficulties. Illustrated with
a selection of etchings done by
Picasso for Cesaire's collection
Corps perdu. $18.50


CAI?BBEAN 1EViEW/13


Stanford University Press


I


II










What Happened in Cartagena

The Gloved Hand of the Debtor Nations

By Robert A. Liff


T here is a sunken Spanish galleon just
east of the ancient walled seaport of
Cartagena, on Colombia's northeast
Caribbean coast, that is rumored to contain
$2 billion in gold. Needless to say, the un-
confirmed reports of unclaimed colonial
plunder have drawn treasure hunters, as
well as official Colombian oversight.
Jorge Lloreda Caicedo, the Colombian
foreign minister and host for the summit of
11 Latin American debtor nations held in
Cartagena 21-22 June 1984, was asked if
he believes the $2 billion really exists.
"There are Americans looking for it so it
must be there," quipped Lloreda.
Lloreda, a man with a sense of history as
well as a sense of his nation's and region's
current difficulties in repaying its collective
$350 billion external debt, also remem-
bered an abortive Italian invasion in 1870,
when a would-be imperial power wanted to
collect an unpaid debt.
Instead of defending against warships
with firepower, Lloreda related, the Car-
tagenans decided to counterattack with
their best asset. "The people opened the
gates of the town and wined and dined and
entertained them for a week," Lloreda said.
"And when the Italians left, they had forgot-
ten all about their debt. And that," a smiling
Lloreda told an American, "is what we're
trying to do to you."
However, the 1984 Cartagena summit
was marked by the gulf between the strident
rhetoric but mild action of the Latin Ameri-
can foreign and finance ministers, The out-
come of the summit, which the nations
dubbed "the Consensus of Cartagena," did
little in the way of offering specific forms of
resistance to the astronomical debts or the
austerity programs mandated by the lend-
ers of last resort, led by the International
Monetary Fund, that threaten to plunge the
debtor nations into a period of lowered stan-
dards of living.
While calling for lower interest rates,
lower spreads and margins charged by
banks above and beyond the interest rates,

Robert A. Liff is Miami bureau chief for The
Orlando Sentinel for which he covers the Car-
ibbean basin and foreign trade issues.


and a tying of interest payments to export
earnings-along with a demand for more
time and flexibility in repayment sched-
ules-the nations could not agree among
themselves on specific statistical targets
with which to present an effective united
front.
The nations themselves were divided,
in part on the basis of their relative
strengths-Colombia's $10.5 billion for-
eign debt seemed well in control, as op-
posed to the world's three largest debts,
Brazil's $93 billion, Mexico's $87 billion, and
Argentina's $44 billion-but also by the will-
ingness of individual nations to accede to
IMF-mandated austerity programs as a
condition of refinancing and rescheduling.
The IMF and other international lenders
also played the game of divide-and-con-
quer in the weeks leading up to the summit,
granting to Mexico and Brazil, countries
which had agreed to IMF readjustment pro-
grams, more favorable terms than were of-
fered to Argentina's defiant leaders.
The US threw its lot in with the lenders in
the week before the conference by pulling
out of an agreement to underwrite a $300
million loan that had already been made to
Argentina by Brazil, Mexico, Colombia and
Venezuela. The US underwriting agreement
was contingent upon Argentina's accep-
tance of the IMF austerity program, which
Argentina has so far refused to do. That
created an underlying tension within the
conference, and led to separate meetings
among ministers from the five countries
connected to the $300 million loan that
deflected energy from the main agenda.
The final communique set up a "con-
sultative mechanism" that was left without a
central secretariat-the staff will be pro-
vided by host nations on a rotating basis-
in a carefully drawn attempt to avoid any
suggestion that there was more drastic ac-
tion, including a joint renunciation of the
debt, in the wings. The communique called
for future meetings. The next one was set
for September, just before the general
meeting of the IMF and World Bank, in
Buenos Aires, which appeared to be a mes-
sage of solidarity, however limited, with the
Argentine predicament.


Not-So-Veiled Warning
But if there was no "debtors' cartel" formed
at Cartagena to unilaterally renounce the
debt, the fact that 11 countries with a history
of not getting along could sit in the same
room fortwo days and agree on a statement
of principles indicated a unanimity rare
among the disparate nations of the region.
While stating their intention to repay the
debts, and while rejecting collective re-
negotiation, the final communique reiter-
ated the "governments' determination to
resist being thrust into forced insolvency
and stagnation." And there was a not-so-
veiled warning that creditors and debtors
share the same bed. The message was clear
that if Latin America collapses eco-
nomically, it will very likely take the indus-
trialized nations' economies down with it. If
there is no short- and medium-term relief,
the debtor nations say, the future may make
a long-term solution irrelevant.
The presence of foreign ministers at the
Cartagena summit discussing a crisis pre-
viously dealt with by ministers of finance
and economics also underscored the in-
creasingly political nature of the crisis. The
ministers "reiterated the need to examine
the question of international debt from a
political standpoint because of its clear po-
litical and social effects."
The fear, openly expressed, was that it
was not only the economic health of the
debtor nations that was at stake, but often
fledgling democratic systems as well. The
US political agenda encouraging demo-
cratic political development would be
gnashed on the shoals of the economic
crisis, the gathered ministers warned, un-
less the debtors were given time and money
to help them reverse the downward eco-
nomic cycles that gripped them.
Conference attendees were well aware
that food riots which killed more than 50
people in the Dominican Republic broke
out after the government raised food prices
as part of an IMF-mandated austerity pro-
gram for refinancing and rescheduling the
$2.9 billion Dominican debt.
And they were also aware of, in fact the
conference was almost overshadowed by,
Argentina's refusal to agree to an IMF-man-


14/CAIBBEAN rFEIEW
























































dated austerity program as a condition of
refinancing its $44 billion debt. Argentina's
combative, blustery finance minister, Ber-
nardo Grinspun, reaffirmed his country's
insistence on instituting its own, less harsh
austerity program that, among other things,
would allow wages to rise 6 to 8 percent
above the nation's 500 percent inflation
rate.
But both Argentina and the Dominican
Republic are nascent democracies, with Ar-
gentine president Ra(l Alfonsin's show-
down with the IMF coming just six months
after he was elected to replace a ten-year
discredited military junta. Two other fledg-
ling debtor democracies, Bolivia with a $3
billion debt, and Ecuador with a $5 billion
debt, also came to Cartagena on the heels
of unilateral decisions to delay interest pay-
ments. The Bolivians were apparently the
most hawkish when it came to proposals to
directly confront the lenders, but they were
quickly brushed aside by the more prag-


matically-minded Mexicans, Brazilians and
Colombians.
And finally, the debtor nations told the
United States to put its own house in order,
especially as regards the $200 billion
federal budget deficit that, despite Reagan
administration contentions to the contrary,
American and Latin American bankers and
officials say cause the increasingly high in-
terest rates.
The final consensus, reportedly bearing
the heaviest imprint of the Mexicans, in-
cluded the following points: Interest rates
should be based on the "true cost of raising
money," and should be closer to the more
traditional two percentage points above the
inflation rate as opposed to the eight- to
nine-point spread that now exists between
inflation and interest. Interest payments
should be limited to a "reasonable percent-
age" of export earnings to allow the nations
to growout of their problems, as opposed to
the current situation in which capital fleeing


the debtor nations for interest payments ex-
acerbates the imposition of austerity, with
the underlying assumption that the cred-
itors have little faith that growth can over-
come the debts. The US and other
industrialized countries should increase
funding to the IMF, World Bank, Inter-Amer-
ican Development Bank and other national
and multinational lending agencies, which
should be willing to lend to debtor nations at
lower interest rates. The priority in refinanc-
ing loans should be growth, not austerity.


Heart of the Difference
That last point is at the heart of the underly-
ing philosophical difference in the approach
of the debtors and creditors to the solution.
If, as Florida International University econo-
mist Jorge Salazar-Carrillo has said when
discussing the near-failure of Continental
Illinois Bank, the financial systems and the
economy itself are basically "a confidence


CAI?BBEAN 1eVIE/15









game" which can collapse when confidence
is low, then the differing assumptions of
creditors and lenders go to the heart of their
overarching approach to a solution of the
problem.
For the lenders, it is a crisis of debt. Amer-
ican-based international banks are dan-
gerously exposed-Manufacturers Hano-
ver Trust has fully 10 percent of its assets
tied up in shaky Latin American loans, and
Citibank, Chase Manhattan, Chemical Bank
and J.P. Morgan have between 6 and 8 per-
cent in similar straits. The bankers' solution,
backed by the IMF, is debtors' domestic
austerity to squeeze out of shrinking econo-
mies enough to pay the lenders, whatever
the domestic cost within the debtor
countries.
For the debtors, however, it is a crisis of
liquidity, and the way out of the problem is
"reactivating economic development"
through growth. "The ministers empha-
sized that the debt, refinancing and trade
problems were closely interrelated," the fi-
nal communique read. "This means that
the region's payment capacity could only be
strengthened by economic growth which,
in turn, depended on increased exports, re-
sumed flows of financial resources to the
region and adequate import levels." Saying
the lenders and debtors share a "co-respon-
sibility" for the crisis-and hence for its so-
lution-the communique stated that the
Latin American debt problem was due to
drastic changes in the conditions under
which borrowing originally had taken place,
particularly with respect to liquidity and in-
terest rates. The oil price shocks of 1979,
the international recession from 1980 to
1983, and "eroded terms of trade," includ-
ing US protectionist roadblocks against the
entry of textiles, agricultural products and
other goods, all affected exports from Latin
America at a time when they most needed
the currency. And it was the high interest
rates that exacerbated the already bad situa-
tion, the nations said, resulting in a situation
in which the accumulated debt of $350 bil-
lion is now three times the value of the re-
gion's annual exports.
Interest payments alone amounted to
$173 billion over the last eight years. The
increase in interest rates, which this year has
cost the debtor nations the equivalent of an
entire month's export earnings, has led to a
situation where debt service payments are
growing almost twice as fast as the increase
in the value of exports, despite a region-
wide trade surplus of $14 billion. "The most
negative outcome of this situation was that
the region had become a net exporter of
financial resources (capital). Estimates
place this loss at US $30 billion in 1983.
Paradoxically, while there existed signs of
economic recovery in the majority of indus-
trialized countries, Latin America saw itself
forced to reduce, and in some cases halt, its
development," the communique reads.


The Giant's Problems
If the Latin American debtors bemoaned
their own situations, they nervously looked
at the North American giant whose own
economic problems-at least as seen in
underlying trends-could devastate any
chance of working out of the problem. The
record strength of the US dollar, combined
with huge budget deficits and a record high
trade deficit expected to top $120 billion in
1985, have sucked billions of dollars into
the United States from foreign investors
who see the US as the safest haven with the
highest return. That has led to a situation in
which the US has to send so much capital



The accumulated debt of
$350 billion is now three
times the value of the
region's annual exports.


out of its own country to pay the investors
interest that by the year 1986, the US could
itself be an overall debtor nation.
One Washington Post report said that by
1987, the US could pass Brazil's $93 billion
debt and become the world's biggest
debtor, while still being the world's eco-
nomic mainstay. If the economy is, as a
Peruvian delegate called it, "a house of
cards," the fear among Cartagena dele-
gates is that too many cards are being
pulled out of the structure that is holding it
up. And it is interest rates-the prime rate
jumped to 13 percent in the days following
the conference-that the Cartagena dele-
gates said are sapping much of the remain-
ing structural strength.
If interest rates are the major villain in the
drama, several of the nations knew just
where to look for the primary cause-the
US budget deficit. And if the US cannot put
its own house in order, the debtor nations
ask what hope is there for them to climb out
of their ditch to reclaim the progress that
marked their economies in the pre-oil-
shock years of the mid-I 970s.
A working document the Peruvian dele-
gation brought to Cartagena ties the high
US budget deficits, and the high interest
rates they generate, to the ability of the
debtor nations to grow out of the crisis. "On
the one hand, the deterioration of the ca-
pacity of servicing the stock of external sav-
ings currently in our countries has dim-
inished the confidence of the creditors and
investors, who have lowered the level of
their involvement in the region," reads the
document, prepared by subministerial offi-
cials who brought it to the two-day pre-
paratory meeting that preceded the main
summit. "On the other hand, one of the
principal traditional sources of savings ex-


ternal to the region, the United States, has
been converted into an importer of capital
to finance a growing financial deficit."
The Peruvians, who have an external debt
of $13 billion, also sounded a common
theme at the Cartagena conference that the
actual contraction of national economies
can cause political and social upheavals
along the lines of recent food riots in
the Dominican Republic and widespread
strikes in Argentina. "This recent (eco-
nomic) contraction, we wish to insist, does
not constitute, from a social and political
point of view, a viable solution for countries
such as ours which have low levels of capital
inflow and acute social pressures. It is more
a sure prescription for unleashing social vi-
olence and chaos."

Long-Range Outcome
Perhaps the basic long-range outcome of
the Cartagena summit is to what degree the
"consultative mechanism" becomes in-
stitutionalized into the much-discussed, if
little-understood "debtors' cartel." Colom-
bian finance minister Edgar Gutierrez Cas-
tro took great pains to distinguish between
the mechanism and a permanent institu-
tion that would be in fact, if not in name, a
cartel. "One important element is that no
new institution has been set up to make the
follow-up. There will not be a debtors' club;
there will not be a moratorium (on debt
repayment); there are no schemes for col-
lective negotiation; there is not any kind of
break with the financial organizations; there
was not any negative reaction against the
need to comply with severe economic pro-
grams." The Latin American nations were
not trying to evade their debt problems by
sucking at "the blood of the creditors."
Argentina, which drew all the attention
going into the conference but was surpris-
ingly acquiescent in its meetings, pro-
nounced itself "totally satisfied" with the
outcome, according to finance minister
Grinspun, but nonetheless refused to back
down from its confrontation with the IMF.
During the meeting, Argentina unexpect-
edly made a $100 million payment toward
the $450 million that would be overdue on
30 June, and the week after the Cartagena
meeting, on 29 June, reached an agree-
ment with US banks to pay $225 of the
$350 still owed in back interest. Grinspun
refused to say whether the earlier payment
was tied to the IMF dispute. Becoming in-
creasingly combative with reporters, he
kept repeating "We pay every day."
At one point, Grinspun denied to a
Chilean television crew a rumor that he was
meeting with Mexican, Colombian, Bra-
zilian and Venezuelan ministers to discuss
the endangered $300 million bailout pack-
age from which the US withdrew as an un-
derwriter. That same crew, no more than ten
minutes later, found Grinspun at lunch with
his finance ministry counterparts from the


16/CAPfBBEAN rEVIEW








SUMMIT ATTENDEE
\ MEXICO V .. Cartagena, Colombi
\ June 21-22, 198
\ S DOMINICAN
> ~REPUBLIC



VENEZUELA
COLOMBIA

ECUADOR


TOTAL EXTERNAL DEBT BRAZIL
PERU
ARGENTINA 44
BOLIVIA 3 BOLIVIa
BRAZIL 93
CHILE 18 CHI E
COLOMBIA II
DOM. REPUBLIC 3
R GUAY
ECUADOR 5 ARGENTINA
MEXICO 87
PERU 13

URUGUAY 5
0 500 1000
VENEZUELA 34 mi e
*Debt in billions of dollars Si

0 L. Marstor


other countries.
Ultimately, the Cartagena summit moved
the Latin American debtor nations a little
closer together, building upon January's
meeting in Quito and the letter sent to the
industrialized nations' London summit in
June. If a debtors' cartel was not formed, if


the international financial and banking sys-
tem could breathe a sigh of relief that the
debtors were being "responsible," the Car-
tagena summit nonetheless served notice
that the debtors may not always be so pliant.
Colombian foreign minister Lloreda re-
minded reporters that although the gloved


hand showed by the debtor nations in Car-
tagena did not brandish a stick, that stick is
within reach. "We are sending the indus-
trialized countries a firm message that this
has to be solved in a joint effort. It may be
that later the situation will deteriorate and
solutions will be more difficult" 0


CARIBBEAN reVIel/17


S
a
4


i, 1984










The Troubled Island of Hispaniola

Riots in Haiti and the Dominican Republic

By Bernard Diederich


Bloody riots broke out in Santo Do-
mingo on 23 April and spread to
three other Dominican cities. They
were expected. A month later it was Haiti's
turn. The violent Haitian protests that began
in Gonaives and spread to Cap Haitien and
Hinche were, by contrast, unexpected.
There was no precedent for such behavior
on the part of poor Haitians as far as anyone
could remember. Purely popular, spon-
taneous protests never have been a part of
the harsh political landscape of Haiti.
The violence served notice to a world that
had forgotten Hispaniola, the island shared
by the Dominican Republic and Haiti, that
the situation there had become untenable
and that anything could happen in the
months ahead. The Dominican riots came
two days short of the 20th anniversary of the
outbreak of the civil war that had prompted
US President Lyndon Johnson to send
27,000 troops to "prevent another Cuba."
In the Dominican Republic, as in Haiti,
critics blamed the International Monetary
Fund (IMF) for causing the riots by forcing
tough austerity measures on their respec-
tive governments, making unemployment
lines longer and living costs impossible. In
the Dominican Republic, historians note
that the climate for revolt in April 1965 was
provided, in part, by the implementation of
an austerity program demanded by the IMF
to tighten credit so as to limit imports and
restore the country's balance of pay-
ments-the lowest in 40 years. Merchants
protested and passed on increased costs to
irate consumers. Dominicans say it is all
happening again, but this time they have
warned Washington in advance. A warning
by Dominican businessmen was contained
in a full-page advertisement published in
the New York Times on 9 April and ad-
dressed to US President Ronald Reagan,
with whom they wanted to share "some of

Bernard Diederich, Time magazine's Carib-
bean correspondent, has covered the region
for over a decade. He is the author of Papa Doc
(McGraw Hill, 1968), Trujillo, the Death of the
Goat (Little Brown, 1978) and Somoza and the
Legacy of U.S. Involvement in Central America
(E.P Dutton, 1981).


Jean-Claude Duvalier


i 8/CArBBEAN I vIEW


our deep concerns and hopes." Signed by
57 Dominican businessmen and timed to
coincide with Dominican President Sal-
vador Jorge Blanco's state visit to Wash-
ington, the letter warned of political unrest
and civil instability if assistance was not
forthcoming to overcome the "most difficult
economic problem in history," which they
predicted could lead to "a collapse of the
well-being of our people, and undermine
the stability of one of the exemplary democ-
racies in all of Latin America."
President Reagan's speech welcoming
the first Dominican president to make a
state visit to Washington stressed the posi-
tive. His remarks did not strike any chord of
urgency, noting that "the Dominican Re-
public today shines as a beacon to free-
dom-loving people everywhere," and
emphasizing that "the Dominican Republic,
with its stability and political liberty, now
shows others the way." He added, "You face
many challenges in invigorating the econ-
omy and improving the standard of living of
your people. Yet even in the days of Colum-
bus, the magnificent beauty and vast poten-
tial of your land were evident." What was not
evident to Dominicans was any sign from
Reagan that he understood or intended to
help head off the crisis. Much of his speech
was devoted to comparing the Dominican
free-enterprise system with that of Cuba,
stating that "This tyranny has brought little
hope of economic progress, providing its
people only shortages and food lines." It
was an ill-chosen time to make a compari-
son when the Dominicans were in such sad
economic straits themselves.
There is no evidence that Haitians were
influenced by the Dominican riots. No two
countries sharing the same island are as
different. They speak different languages,
have different cultures, and are at different
stages of development. Their combined
population of over 13 million shares 30,000
square miles of island and, historically, little
else. Because of early occupations by Haiti,
which won its freedom from its colonial
masters first, a wall of suspicion and mutual
animosity became a barrier along their
common 200-mile-long border. Relations
between the two were often aggravated by

























periodic world economic recessions and
racism engendered by Generalissimo
Rafael Trujillo Molina (1930-61), reaching
its nadir in 1937 when he slaughtered thou-
sands of unwanted Haitian workers and
their families to take control of the border.
The self-styled Dominican benefactor offi-
cially declared his side white and adopted a
policy to keep the black Haitians at bay.

Villain Without Blood
Today the island is in the tight embrace of
the IME One side refers to it in Spanish asel
fondo, while next door in Haiti the official
French makes it le fond; the epithets in
colorful creole are unprintable. The fund is
seen as a villain without blood in its veins
that refuses to play the role of prince aiding
paupers. Both sides charge that the aus-
terity measures prescribed by the fund, and
new taxes, cause inflation to spiral, burden-
ing mainly the poor and making their living
standard drop even lower, something which
is hardly conceivable in Haiti, already the
poorest country in the Western Hemis-
phere.
While the Dominicans warned Wash-
ington about the consequences if the IMF
conditions were not softened, Haiti has
never had to concern itself in the past about
popular reaction, as there has been none.
The Dominicans warned the cure could kill
the patient. "To gain economic stability we
forfeit political stability," almost became a
slogan of the beseiged Dominicans. Haiti is
not a democracy, and its economic pres-
sures are not the same as those of the more
industrialized and wealthier two-thirds of the
island. Yet in the end both sides reacted.
While in the democratic Dominican Re-
public the army had to be called in to halt
the riots that finally claimed 55 lives, in au-
thoritarian Haiti the government acted with
more restraint; and while it declared offi-
cially that no one died, independent sources
say at least three lives were lost in Cap Hai-
tien. There were also other odd compari-
sons that did not jibe with the political
systems. The Dominican government, con-
cerned that live radio and TV coverage
would only exacerbate the disturbances,
closed one TV and five radio stations and


jailed well-known right-wing radio com-
mentator Rafael Bonilla Aybar, charging
him with violating a provision of the penal
code and law of expression. Santo Domin-
go's nine daily newspapers blasted Jorge
Blanco for his press crackdown in a country
that prides itself on having the most free-
wheeling press in the hemisphere. Haiti, on
the other hand, with no tradition of press
freedom, did not halt the circulation of the
small weekly l'Information from carrying
the most comprehensive coverage of Haiti's
riots. This surprised Haitians. The Catholic
station, Radio Soliel, and protestant station
Radio Lumiere both reported the riots as
they happened. It was not to last. Within -
weeks the whole liberalization process, as .
well as the US embassy and the Catholic
Church, became suspect as the regime
searched frantically for real or imaginary
plotters.
When the riots broke out in the Domin-
ican Republic Monday 23 April, after the
long Easter weekend, the government was
caught by surprise. El Caribe had even
commented on 19 April, in an editorial, that
the government's signing of the new agree-
ment with the IMF hadn't, as predicted,
"shaken the earth," nor had Dominicans \P
awakened "tearing off their clothes." The
daily had commented too early. Four days
later they began tearing up the streets of the
poor Santo Domingo barrios.
The government had little alternative but
to agree to IMF strategy to obtain a $430 '
million bailout for its ailing economy that
now is saddled with a $2.9 billion debt, and,
despite 20 months of import restrictions, a
negative trade deficit in 1983 that reached
$460 million. Awakening to find prices had
doubled, and in some cases (in the phar- /-"
macies) tripled on that fateful Monday, Do-
minicans reacted in anger. While some
threw stones and battled police, others ven-
ted their rage on shops they accused of
price gouging. Businessmen fumed and
handed on the price increases to consum-
ers. Without any media blitz or advance
warning, the government had shifted all im-
ports except petroleum to the parallel mar-
ket. De facto devaluation of the Dominican I
currency, the peso, had taken place. The Salvador Jorge Blanco


CA.?BBEAN rFEVEW/19









government had steadfastly refused to de-
value officially despite IMF pressure to do
so. It was a measure with long-range effects
even on private enterprise, as private com-
panies were advised they could no longer
pay back import credits at the one-to-one
official rate of exchange, nor could they use
that rate to pay dividends in dollars. Not an
incentive to encourage foreign investment,
one Dominican official said tartly, "it's de-
signed to save the country, not foreign
investors."

Presidential Dilemma
Few presidents have faced their nation on
inaugural day with such grim news as Sal-
vador Jorge Blanco did in August 1982.
The country, he said candidly, is "financially
bankrupt." He then went on to outline the
first set of IMF-sponsored austerity mea-
sures designed to drag the country back
from the brink. Strangled by high oil prices
and high interest rates for international
loans, the Dominican Republic could find
little relief from its own exports, even gold.
Sugar had fallen to rock bottom prices and
so had cocoa and bauxite. Tourism lagged
while the big foreign firms such as Alcoa
(bauxite), and Falconbridge (nickle) cur-
tailed or closed their operations, adding
more workers to the growing ranks of the
unemployed. Soon to join the outgoing in-
vestors is Gulf and Western, which Domin-
icans feared, under the aggressive manage-
ment of the late Charles G. Bludhorn, was
aiming to take over the entire country. That
company's extensive sugar and tourism-re-
lated businesses have been placed on the
block and await a buyer.
Jorge Blanco placed some of the blame
for the Dominicans' sad economic plight on
the bad management of past governments.
With Dominicans in possession of the most
fertile acreage on the island, there was the
shocking and startling fact that they could
no longer feed themselves, and their import
bill for food had become unreasonably
high. The causes of their economic situa-
tion soon became obscured by the serious-
ness of their predicament, and Dominicans
argued that if the US wanted to maintain
democracy in the Caribbean it would have
to invest to save it. How to turn the country
on again and permit self-sustained growth?
The questions are many, the answers are
few, not forthcoming, and fraught with dan-
ger. Meanwhile the Dominicans stew in a
sense of futility and frustration.
To placate the population and avert even
worse riots and social upheaval, Jorge
Blanco announced on 19 May he had sus-
pended negotiations with the IMF which
insisted that oil, the remaining holdout, be
moved to the parallel market. The Domin-
ican's democratic institutions were at stake.
The popularity of the president and his
party (the Dominican Revolutionary Party)
has plummeted to an all-time low because


of the excessive force used to contain the
riots. The IMF remains the scapegoat. The
April mistake of springing the price surprise
on the people is not being repeated. Jorge
Blanco has been canvassing all sectors of
society, unions and political groups to gain
support for the unpopular but mandatory
IMF move to hike petroleum prices. All aid
and loan negotiations automatically ground
to a halt, including the US aid package,
when talks with the IMF were suspended.
The spigot must be turned on, as even the
so-called "Club of Paris," as well as com-
mercial creditors, had made renegotiations
of loans contingent on the Dominican gov-



It was like "cutting off the
legs of a child that is still
learning to walk."



ernment's working out the second install-
ment of its three-year IMF agreement.
The gravity of the petroleum import sit-
uation was noted by the new central bank
governor, Jose Santos Taveras, who points
out that the petroleum import bill for the
second half of this year will total $248 mil-
lion, which means that 58 cents of every
dollar the country earns in exports goes to
oil. Add to this the servicing of the $2.9
billion debt, and it means that almost 90
cents of every earned dollar vanishes before
it reaches the treasury. With the Dominican
petroleum bill at over $500 million annually,
it would amount to more than all the pesos
currently in circulation, according to Do-
minican economists. The Dominican Re-
public has offered a compromise arrange-
ment that would permit petroleum to be
imported at about 1.50 pesos to the dollar
instead of the full free market rate of 2.50 or
2.70. To soften the blow for the poorer Do-
minicans, the government is looking at a
whole range of special considerations, such
as lower gasoline rates for taxis and public
transportation. But, as one Dominican
points out, "When what is, in effect, a gov-
ernment subsidy of petroleum products is
lifted, the spiral of inflation will begin in
earnest. Aplantano which comes from the
field by truck will double in price, as will
other important staples of the Dominican
diet."
IMF officials, conscious of their status as
villains in the April riots, appear just as inter-
ested in seeing that there is no repeat per-
formance and loss of lives. They are
described as understanding and prepared
to be as flexible as possible. However the
Dominican government is expected to bite
the bullet and make the toughest decision in
contemporary history-raise petroleum
prices.


The May Explosion in Haiti
"The riots of hunger, misery and unemploy-
ment in Gonaives, Cap Haitien and Hinche,"
the weekly I'lnformation called the May ex-
plosion in Haiti. But hunger, misery and
unemployment have always been the com-
panions of the poor Haitian. They suffered
their poverty and misery in bitter silence.
Whereas democratic institutions are sorely
being put to the test by the economic situa-
tion in the Dominican Republic, Haiti still is
in search of such institutions. This search to
liberalize a tough authoritarian system, in-
herited in 1971 by young Jean-Claude Du-
valier, is precisely the ingredient, according
to officials interviewed in both Gonaives
and Cap Haitien, that gave the poor Haitians
the boldness they needed to protest their
abusive hunger in the backward decaying
towns of the provinces.
Haiti's on-again-off-again liberalization
process gained renewed vigor this year after
faltering badly in 1980. Late last year the US
Congress conditioned aid to Haiti to peri-
odic certification by the US Secretary of
State to ensure that efforts were being made
to improve human rights and institute polit-
ical reform, requiring the government of
Jean-Claude Duvalierto devote its attention
to emigration and development problems.
Other Western donor countries let it be
known that they also would condition fur-
ther economic assistance to political re-
form. On 14 May, a week before the riots,
US Secretary of State George P Shultz had
gone before Congress and given an 11-
page progress report on Haiti. It was en-
couraging and received wide coverage in
Haiti.
A factor in setting the climate for the riots,
according to some Haitian government offi-
cials, has been its strict adherence to the
austerity measures dictated by the IMF
which, they claim, has made the govern-
ment cut back on public works-type em-
ployment, especially in the provinces.
"There have been two years of solid com-
pliance with the IMF program," says Harlan
H. Hobgood, head of the US Agency for
International Development in Haiti, who
adds, "It's the only country in the Caribbean
basin that has done so." Some economists
say this proves that it is much easier for
authoritarian countries to enforce IMF com-
pliance. In an undeveloped country like
Haiti, one economist said, it was like "cut-
ting off the legs of a child that is still learning
to walk."
The Haitian government issued a com-
munique 6 June stating that Haiti would
continue its current austere financial policy,
but declared it would seek a more flexible
attitude from the IMF. The communique
noted that the flexibility requested should
"permit a reduction of the pressure on the
pace of public investment and support the
renewal of different projects that are re-
quired to continue the nation's economic


20/CA1?BBEAN VIEW








and social development.
Both countries have witnessed a decline
in money remitted abroad from their rela-
tives (in Haiti this topped $100 million an-
nually), a dramatic drop in tourism, and a
pig eradication program to rid the island of
African swine fever. In Haiti, where 1.3 mil-
lion pigs were the banks of the poor, the
program has denied them that reserve so
necessary during hard times. Tourism fell in
Haiti from 150,000 annually to less than
35,000 because of world recession, the bad
image portrayed by the poor boat people's
efforts to escape Haiti, and AIDS, which per-
haps harmed Haiti the most.

Street Violence and Liberalization
The outbreak of the first street violence in
Haiti in over a quarter of a century was
touched off by an incident in Gonaives
traced to a policeman beating a woman
who was erroneously reported to have died.
Shaking off their usual passivity, the poor
from the crowded slum of Raboteaux tried
unsuccessfully to break into the food ware-
house of CARE, the food relief agency, and
then looted three smaller food relief depots.
Gonaives mayor Richard Jean-Noel
placed part of the blame for the 20-23 May
disturbances on a two-year drought in Ar-
tibonite rice fields where many Gonaivians
work or trade. "People were hungry, and
they knew they would not be arrested, so
they thought they could do anything," said
the mayor of the city where Haiti's indepen-
dence was signed in 1804. Cap Haitien Pre-
fect Auguste Robinson said that the people
who tried to storm the CARE depot in that
depressed northern town felt they could do
it with impunity.
Both the mayor of Gonaives and the pre-
fect of Cap Haitien said liberalization was
responsible for the unheard-of militancy.
"The words 'human rights' are very beauti-
ful words, but ...," Robinson said in an
interview with four foreign newsmen, "One
cannot come along and impose US democ-
racy on Japan, Germany and Italy or any
other country. There is one thing we have
here with our president. It is peace, and that
is invaluable."
Haitian officials appeared concerned with
where liberalization was taking their coun-
try. A series of letters from the president in
March had been given the widest possible
publicity by newspaper, radio and PA sys-
tems at meetings. Letters to the justice min-
ister, the armed forces chief, the minister of
interior and national defense, police chief
and the head of the militia, and the volun-
teers for national security (VSN) insisted on
human rights.
In his 12 March letter to Justice Minister
Jean-Vandal, the president instructed him
to "take all necessary measures" to ensure a
"good and sound administration of justice,"
and to do whatever was necessary to im-
prove the courts, to arrange for the rapid


Nos 17 10-16 M1 84 Prix 3 gdes,Etranger 1$25 Directeur Pierre Robert Auguste

LA PRESS, LE POUVOIR,

LA SOCIETY


resolution of legal cases, and to respect the
independence of the officers of the court.
The president instructed armed forces chief
General Roger St. Albin to "call upon the
armed forces to abstain from all inter-
ference in affairs which fall under civil juris-
diction," to ensure the strict observance of
constitutional articles which state that ar-
rests may not take place without warrants
and that prisoners must be brought before a
judge within 48 hours of arrest; and to in-
struct armed forces personnel to refrain
from engaging in physical or moral attacks
upon a person's human rights, including
the use of torture in any form.
In letters to police chief Col. Albert Pierre,
VSN chief Madame Max Adolphe, and to
Minister of Defense and Interior Roger La-
fontant, he reminded them that the "police
were subordinate to judicial institutions,
and that physical abuse and torture were


"strictly forbidden." The VSN were in-
structed not to intervene in judicial affairs,
and the president banned arrests, searches
and seizures, which normally are police
functions, by the VSN. On 23 March the
minister of justice wrote a public letter to
Haiti's public prosecutors ordering them to
follow requirements established by the con-
stitution and Haitian law and legal proce-
dure. The minister criticized the prosecu-
tors for some past practices, including
blocking judicial decisions and threatening
people with arrest, and he issued twelve
specific instructions to the prosecutors. In
the wake of this unusual judicial initiative in
Haiti, judges of Port-de-Paix's civil tribunal
went on strike 3 April to protest the arrest by
the military authorities of a local citizen in
defiance of the tribunal's order that the indi-
vidual be released.
Continued on page 45


CAI?BBEAN PFVIEW/21

























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22/CAI?BBEAN rIvieK


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An Overdose of Corruption

The Domestic Politics of Mexican Oil

By George W. Grayson


ong-standing familiarity and depen-
dence often spark a proliferation of
names for the same concept. Just as
the nomadic Somalis have 45 separate
words to identify the camel because of the
dromedary's importance to their lives,
many Third World nations have coined
dozens of synonyms for corruption, a curse
that frequently afflicts their political sys-
tems, gives rise to "come back tomorrow"
bureaucracies, and siphons off critical re-
sources needed for economic growth.
Soborno (graft), cohecho (bribe), mor-
dida (payoff), vendeplaza (job selling),
igualas (covert payments to reporters),
gacetilla (stipend to editors to publish spe-
cific articles), and aviador (person who is
paid without working)-these words are
part of Mexico's lengthy lexicon of corrupt
practices, defined as those in which one
party exchanges tangible or personal re-
sources for influence over governmental
decisions or access to public wealth, goods
or services.
Talk of corruption and tainted wealth em-
broils everyone, from the foreign busi-
nessman forced to pay a kickback to
negotiate a maze of tariffs, taxes and licens-
ing requirements that are subject to change
according to a bureaucrat's whim, to the
taxpayer incensed by ex-President Jose
Lopez Portillo's moving into a posh, five-
home compound on 7'/2 acres outside the
capital. Searing criticism of the conduct of
the former chief executive-a man who
completed his tenure claiming that "I leave
... with my hands clean of blood and ill-
gotten gains"-has persuaded him to
spend most of the last 18 months outside of
Mexico.
"It doesn't matter if they steal a bit," said a
taxi driver who is used to forking over mor-
didas to policemen for real or fictitious traf-
fic infractions, "but they shouldn't steal so
much."

George W. Grayson is John Marshall Pro-
fessor of Government and Citizenship at the
College of William and Mary. His latest book,
The United States and Mexico: Patterns of In-
fluence, was published earlier this year by
Praeger.


Stealing "So Much"
Stealing "so much" is exactly the accusa-
tion leveled against former Mexico City po-
lice chief Arturo Durazo Moreno. On 20
January 1984 authorities ordered the arrest
of the sunglasses-wearing, swag-bellied
ex-cop, widely known as "El Negro" or "The
Black One." Durazo, whose whereabouts
are unknown, was charged with smuggling,
stockpiling restricted weapons, and tax
fraud. These charges followed a police raid
on two mansions that he built: One near the
capital, reportedly worth $2.5 million, con-
tained large quantities of firearms and other
illegal goods, as well as a discotheque, ca-
sino, heliport, and gymnasium. The other,
allegedly constructed on land that the
government had given to peasants in
Zihuatenejo, encased marble and gold
bathrooms, fountains, statues and enor-
mous bedrooms in which beds had ba-
roque rose-colored velvet and gold-leaf
headboards, in an architectural style that
crudely blended Greek revival with Califor-
nia ranch-house modern.
Such excesses are why, in his campaign
of "moral renovation," Mexico's Harvard-
educated president, Miguel de la Madrid,
who took office on 1 December 1982, has
begun cracking down on peculation begin-
ning with the centerpiece of corruption, the
oil industry, whose vertiginous growth in the
late 1970s generated fortunes that would
arouse the envy of Croesus.
A number of former officials of Pemex,
the state oil company, have been charged
with corruption. And Mexico's attorney gen-
eral in mid-1983 accused Senator Jorge
Diaz Serrano, former head of Pemex, confi-
dant of L6pez Portillo and architect of Mex-
ico's oil boom, of participating in a $34
million fraud in connection with the pur-
chase of two vessels. According to the at-
torney general's office, in April 1980 Pemex
entered into a contract with the Liberian
firm, Navigas Internacional, to buy two nat-
ural gas tankers built by the Belgian ship-
ping company, Boelwerf. As an intermedi-
ary in the transaction, Navigas received
$158 million from Pemex but paid the
Belgian company only $124 million, giving
rise to $34 million in "undue profit."


Besides being intimately involved in the
deal, Diaz Serrano reportedly lied to the
government agency responsible for ap-
proving the acquisition, claiming that the
ships met the monopoly's specifications
when they didn't. Congress stripped the
senator of his legislative immunity, and the
oilman-turned-politician insists upon his
innocence while awaiting trial in the cap-
ital's Reclusorio Sur prison.
Reportedly, the Chilean police arrested
Jes6s Chavarria in Santiago last May. In the
fall of 1982, Mexican authorities had de-
clared the former production subdirector of
the national oil company-along with 15
other individuals-a fugitive from justice
for allegedly defrauding Pemex of $97
million.
Then there is the little matter of what hap-
pened to 317 million barrels of Pemex's oil,
worth $10 billion, between 1976 and 1982.
Pemex and other government agencies
can't account for it, reports Herberto Cas-
tillo, head of the nationalist, non-Marxist
Mexican Workers Party. But the real test of
de la Madrid's anti-corruption drive is
whether it takes on the 110,000-member oil
workers' union (STPRM) which, in the words
of one observer, "makes the Teamsters look
like a bunch of Little Lord Fauntleroys"
when it comes to allegations of shady
activities.

Just Another Union
A wide array of charges have been leveled
against STPRM's leaders by former union
officials, by the leader of the National Pe-
troleum Movement (a reformist element
within the STPRM), and by investigative re-
porters for such publications as the maga-
zine Proceso and the daily newspaper
Excelsior.
While nominally just another labor
organization, the union with its 29 locals not
only boasts an effective political apparatus
but also business interests in posh hotels,
oil-drilling concerns, ships, construction
companies, huge farms, moviehouses,
credit unions, supermarkets, cafeterias,
hospitals, swimming pools,..gymnasiums
and funeral homes.
Nobody begrudges the union the right to


CAlBBEAN PeIE6/23






























































amass wealth and influence. But evidence
is accumulating that this wealth has been
built on activities which, in many cases,
have taken money from the pockets of
rank-and-file workers to enrich union big
shots. During fourteen trips to Mexico in the
last seven years, I have interviewed scores of
people and have followed published ac-
counts about questionable union practices.
Under the country's closed-shop law, the
STPRM recruits virtually all nonmanage-
ment employees of the oil monopoly. Union
officials often take a "bite" out of the checks
of the aviadores, people who don't work but
show up to collect wages on payday any-


way. Sometimes retired workers are re-
quired to labor on union farms or risk the
loss of their pensions. Petroleum engineers,
geologists and other professionals fork over
thousands of dollars to the union for a
plant or lifelong position, and temporary
secretaries sometimes pay for their jobs
with sexual favors.
Even in death workers must satisfy
STPRM's insatiable appetite for tribute. An
11 April 1983 Proceso story reported that
the oil workers' local in Poza Rica deducts
the equivalent of 105 days' wages for death
benefits to pay for elaborate funerals of de-
ceased Pemex employees. Among other


things, the money goes to pay for unneces-
sary autopsies-still another opportunity
for a mordida. Dr. Ignacio Espinosa Solis, a
forensic physician, explained in the article
that union leaders own the undertaking es-
tablishment which handles the bodies.
In addition, leaders of the union local at
Poza Rica purchased Chichicuatla Ranch in
the state of Veracruz and stocked it with
2,700 head of cattle. This was advertised as
a gesture of union support for then-presi-
dent L6pez Portillo's plan to stimulate the
nation's food output. But a subsequent ex-
amination of land records revealed that,
contrary to the union's assertion, title to the
property was in the name of a former secre-
tary general of the union and his associates,
rather than in the name of the local. Pro-
ceso reported that only 270 of the 2,700
cattle were listed as union property in the
public property register. The article said the
others belonged to nonunion friends of the
former secretary general.
Between 1976 and 1983 Pemex contrib-
uted $220 million (2 percent of all its invest-
ments, raised to 3 percent in mid-1983) to
the "social works" of the union. Undeniably
much of this money went to projects that
benefited union members, such as hous-
ing, sports complexes, schools and health
clinics; however, critics question whether all
those funds are directed to the members'
projects.
The press in Mexico City regularly com-
ments on the affluence of senior union offi-
cials, including the fondness of some of
them for large homes, private airplanes,
jewelry and trips to Nevada gaming tables.
Actress Irma Serrano claims to have seen
union leaders bet as much as $80,000 on a
single turn of a Las Vegas roulette wheel.
How STPRM officials accumulate such
affluence is only now being documented in
detail. What is known is that some top offi-
cials have formed companies in the name
of their locals to take advantage of a Pemex
concession, first granted in 1977, awarding
the union 40 percent of all onshore drilling
contracts. This arrangement has enabled
"letterhead companies" belonging to the
union locals to subcontract the drilling work
and pocket robust commissions. In some
places, such as in Poza Rica, union com-
panies collected commissions from Pemex
on wells that were needlessly drilled. The
stakes in the Pemex-union drilling deal can
be seen by the fact that Pemex spent nearly
$4.5 billion for onshore drilling between
1977 and 1981.

La Quina
Drilling contracts are centralized in the
union-dominated National Commission of
Contracts, headed by Joaquin Hernandez
Galicia. Known by friends and foes alike as
"La Quina," a childhood diminutive of his
first name, Hemandez Galicia is the power
Continued on page 46


24/CArBBEAN evIEW


QSN/A&6























* 60 courses on Latin America and the Caribbean each academic year; language training in Spanish, Portuguese
and Haitian Creole.
* 50 faculty specialists in the humanities, social sciences, natural sciences and professional schools.
* Certificate in Latin American and Caribbean Studies; business degree/certificate program.
* Master's degree programs in international studies, economics and international business.
* Founding member, with Department of Economics, of IESCARIBE (Institute of Economic and Social Research of
the Caribbean Basin).
* Translation and Interpretation Program.
* Summer study in Latin America.
* Lectures by distinguished visiting scholars; art exhibits, film series and other extracurricular activities.
* Latin American and Caribbean Students' Association.
* One of the 12.National Resource Centers of Latin American Studies supported by the US Department of Education.
* Annual workshops for public school teachers and journalists.
* Monthly discussion groups with members of business, banking and legal communities.
* Conferences on immigration and refugee policy, business risk in Latin America, Caribbean Basin economic
conditions, Honduras, and Caribbean dialectology.


Library collection rich in area-related materials, particularly for the Caribbean. Latin American and Caribbean
Reading Room housing special collections, bibliographic and reference materials, newspapers, government
documents, and publications of international organizations such as the OAS, CELADE, ECLA, CARIFTA and IDB.
Multidisciplinary research emphasizing the Caribbean Basin; ongoing faculty projects on Haitian and Cuban
migration, Cuban oral history, Honduras, US foreign policy in the Caribbean, urban environment and health,
patterns of social and occupational stratification in Argentina and Costa Rica, the Amazon.
For further information contact:
Latin American and Caribbean Center
Florida International University
Tamiami Trail
Miami, Florida 33199

Latin American and Caribbean Studies Faculty


Irma Alonso, Economics; Carlos Alvarez, Education; Ewart
Archer, International Relations; Gabriel Aurioles, Technology;
Ken I. Boodhoo, International Relations; Manuel Carvajal,
Economics; Forrest Colburn, Political Science; Roberto Cruz,
Economics; Grenville Draper, Physical Sciences; Nancy
Erwin, International Relations; Luis Escovar, Psychology;
Robert Farrell, Education; Gordon Finley, Psychology;
Charles Frankenhoff, Health Services; Fernando Gonzalez-
Reiqosa, Psychology; Marian Goslinga, Library; Lowell
Gudmundson, History; Gerry Haar, International Business;
John Jensen, Modern Languages; David Jeuda, Modern
Languages; Farrokh Jhabvala, International Relations;
Antonio Jorge, Economics; Charles Lacombe, (Adjunct)
Anthropology; David Lee, Biology; William Leffland,
International Affairs Center; Barry B. Levine, Sociology; Jan


Luytjes, International Business; Anthony P. Maingot,
Sociology; Luis Martinez-P6rez, Education; James A. Mau,
Sociology; Florentin Maurrasse, Physical Sciences; Ram6n
Mendoza, Modern Languages; Raul Moncarz, Economics;
Olga Nazario, (Adjunct) International Relations; Marta Ortiz,
Marketing; Ricardo Pau-Llosa, (Adjunct) Visual Arts;
Leonardo Rodriguez, International Business; Mark B.
Rosenberg, Political Science; Luis P. Salas, Criminal Justice;
Jorge Salazar, Economics; Reinaldo Sanchez, Modern
Languages; Philip Shepherd, International Business; Alex
Stepick, Anthropology; George Sutija, International Banking;
Mark D. Szuchman, History; Anitra Thorhaug, Biology;
William T. Vickers, Anthropology; Jos6 T. Villate, Technology;
Maida Watson Espener, Modern Languages; Mira Wilkins,
Economics.


Latin American and Caribbean Center









La Guagua Aerea/The Airbus

A Short Story

By Luis Rafael Sanchez
Translated by Diana L. V61ez


Startled cry releases the furled si-
lences, one by one. The stewardess
slowly backs away, angelic, innocent,
like a character out of a short story by
Horacio Quiroga, a blonde of a frozen inten-
sity that would heighten the libidinous
drives of the easily smitten King Kong. The
passengers' anxious faces share exagger-
ated premonitions, as they turn, ready to
encounter a hand grasping a gun, a knife, or
a homemade bomb. For the startled cry
must surely be either the unrestrained and
hysterical denunciation of one more air-
plane hijacker or the cry of a menacing
lunatic. An "Our Father" pinches and bursts
the released silence. The stewardess con-
tinues her backward movement. The stew-
Luis Rafael Sanchez teaches literature at the
University of Puerto Rico. Among his works is
La Guaracha del Macho Camacho (Ediciones
de la Flor, Buenos Aires, 1976), published in
English as Macho Camacho's Beat (Random
House, 1980). His translator, Diana L. V6lez,
teaches Hispanic language and literature at
the University of Iowa.


ardess has seen her reflection in her pool of
fear and fear has not avoided her gaze,
marking her instead with a pallor that is
conclusive promise of a faint. But the air-
plane hijacker or the menacing lunatic are
nowhere in sight. Humble and contrite "Our
Fathers" burst forth on various levels of faith
and orality. Lights flash on, violating retinas
and exposing the full gallop of heartbeats.
The airbus becomes a mammoth, dis-
sected by indiscrete fluorescence at 31,000
feet above sea level. The captain or chauf-
feur of the airbus appears, together with the
official engineer or mechanic, and their
studied nonchalance elicits a stir of discom-
fort and caution, the rest of the crew is
alerted, hysteria's attempt ignites a spark
that grows threatening: the stewardess is
just an inch away from being consumed by
horror. But the airplane hijacker or the men-
acing lunatic is nowhere in sight.
Suddenly, with incomparable license and
surprise, a peal of laughter corrupts in equal
measure both the silence and the "Our Fa-
thers" that had advanced, on some lips as


26/CAf BBEAN P7vlEW

























far as the Amen. Pure in its offense, the
parenthesis cut by it so perfect that it could
be glued to a page, the peal of laughter
infects the hundreds of passengers on an
airbus that makes nightly trips between
Puerto Rico and New York's airports. Peals
of laughter, delightful because of the disor-
der and ferocity of their emergence, a disor-
der that prefaces automatic convergence, a
ferocity that reveals secret and unforgotten
resentments. A nervous Nellie might assert
at this point that all the shimmying and
shaking caused by the widespread hilarity
endangers the safety of the airbus, and low-
flying angels with a penchant for prying
might sacrifice the sacred sheen of their
golden locks just to know what the devil is
making that mestizo bunch laugh so loudly,
traveling so un-self-consciously in their
midst. Only the crew, uniformly gringo as it
is this evening, seems immune to the
laughter, immune to the infectious laughter,
immune to the mockery aimed at the fear
that so unhinged the blonde stewardess's
angelic and innocent countenance just a


minute ago.
Gales of laughter threaten to de-
pressurize the cabin and slow down the air-
bus, laughter threatens, for the incredible
cause of the commotion is right there for all
to see. There on the thickly carpeted aisle of
the airbus, swaggering like a couple of
gangsters, strolling like a pair of bullies, in-
different to the uproar and fear engendered
by their presence, are a pair of self-satisfied,
pompous, and healthy-looking crabs.
Paradoxically, their healthy glow is the
very harbinger of their imminent fate--to-
morrow they will be crab stew on Prospect
Avenue or fritter filling in the South Bronx or
baked crab with drawn butter in Sunset Park
or crab marinated in picante sauce on the
Lower East Side or temporary inhabitants
of a crab colony in the cultivated recesses of
a darkened basement, hidden from the in-
specting gaze of a super or a landlord.
But tonight, their healthy glow and their
unexpected use of the airbus as a makeshift
stepping stone, their acquisition of an infor-
mal right of way, are the subject of lively


CAIBBEAN FCV8IE/27


/








comments and vivid chitchat, precipitating
the generalized disorder that now reigns, a
disorder that reigns by means of a loosen-
ing of spirits and widespread recourse to
agitated prose, the anarchic choreography
of bodies straining, bending, straightening,
twisting in the imprisonment of their seats, a
generalized disorder spurred on by un-
adulteratedly patriotic discourses and as-
similationist cross-examinations, by off-
color jokes of every hue, by womanizing
glances eliciting manbaiting winks, by de-
tailed true confessions-we just can't resist
the autobiographical-by the irate testi-
mony of repeated humiliations on the
crosstown bus, the elevator, the dammed
job, the liberal university, the Jewish
junkshop; the generalized disorder sud-
denly extends a dividing line, invisible but
palpable, between them, the gringos, and
us, the Puerto Ricans, a line whose contours
are heightened by the unprovable assertion
of a brown-skinned woman who, while
making the precious offering of nutritious
liquid from her calid and radiant breast to
her newborn child, states: the blonder they
are, the dumber; a disorder that inspires
fear, or so it seems, in the crew, uniformly
gringo as it is tonight.
Taken aback by the unexpected collapse
of modern technology, amazed that the
rigor of the security devices could have
missed that unmentionable contraband,
the crew demands that the crabs' owner
identify himself immediately. They do this
with gestures befitting an overly German-
Expressionistic comedy, softened only by
the bantering and playful reminiscences of
a Buster Keaton or a Charlie Chaplin. These
insistent demands made with vigorous ges-
tures and the insistent offers made by po-
tential crab executioners are headed off by
the dramatic mouthings of a wiry fiftyish
man who, ambling up to the front, half-
asleep and slightly annoyed, exhibiting an
impressive manual dexterity which some,
in their ignorance, have referred to as primi-
tive, immobilizes the fugitive pair, scolding
them with a mixture of crankiness and pride
"I send you off to crab heaven with a nice
shot of valium and this is what I get for it."
Euphoria triumphs, becomes wide-
spread; laughter, the element that can
brighten a cloudy day and unstop nasal
passages, laughter, now, by its sheer abun-
dance, manages merely to congest. Some
one who had been eyeing the dismem-
bered bodies lavishly illustrated in the news-
paper El Vocero declares "I almost choked"
and another person, who had been praising
the country singer from Manati's variety
show declares, "I almost wet my pants" and
a shrewd observer notes "this is what you
might call a gas" to which a few other
shrewd observers add "put me on that bub-
ble, my man," and another observer philo-
sophizes in rhymed couplets to the effect
that we sure are cooking now. The airbus
effervesces, swayed between tumultuous


motion and the pull of a chimera, swaying
between the forward thrust of assertiveness
and that secular cross called ay bendito or
well whatcanyoudo, a well-dressed woman
who hides the well-kept secret of her curlers
under a floral kerchief announces that she
regularly jumps back and forth across the
creek on the average of once a month, so
she has forgotten what side of it she does
live on; an adolescent girl, worried to dis-
traction, made up to perfection though a bit
heavily rouged, lists among her woes the
change in Rene's voice that forced him to
give up his job at the Mincemeat nightclub
while she listens distractedly to the tale of an
adolescent boy on edge and on the edge of
hysteria because he is off to Newark but he
doesn't know why. Another lady of a gregar-
ious and un-self-conscious nature pulls out
and starts to unfold a crocheted bedspread
made for a king size bed while under the
protection of the bedspread's crafts-
manship, a spontaneous and somewhat
atonal quartet merrily plays the ballad "En
mi Viejo San Juan." A well-dressed and
well-mannered old gent with studied charm
asks the brown-skinned woman with the
calid and radiant breast haven't they met
somewhere before, perhaps in the carnival
celebrated in honor of the patron saint Mon-
serrat in the town of Hormigueros. The
brown-skinned woman with the calid and
radiant breast replies that she has never
been to the town of Hormigueros. The
same well-dressed and well-mannered old
gent with the studied charm turns to the
woman wearing a pumpkin-colored shift
and asks haven't they met somewhere be-
fore, perhaps in the carnival celebrated in
honor of the guardian angel of the town of
Yabucoa. The woman wearing the pump-
kin-colored shift replies that she has never
been to the town of Yabucoa, adding by the
way of clarification that what she is into is
Bocaccio, Topaz, Bachelor, and other gay
watering holes. A choral ensemble, pur-
posely annoying and loud, calls out from
the airbus' kitchen that it is all set to do an
encore and "If they don't give me some-
thing to drink soon, I'll start crying," a man
deeply immersed in his righteous indigna-
tion refers to his son's imprisonment for
refusing to cooperate with a federal grand
jury while his listener holds that being a
nationalist in Puerto Rico entails hidden
prestige while in New York it entails merely
official hostility.
Ushered in by resonant outbursts, the an-
ecdotes begin to weave their pattern, an-
guish laden and laughable, heartrending
and superficial, lovably heroic in their for-
mulation of a resistance to the indignities,
the exposed prejudices, the hidden preju-
dices, an infinite string of anecdotes which
the Puerto Rican passengers fill to bursting
with elements of the cunning, the cou-
rageous, and the picaresque, with the suspi-
cion that attends their lives, anecdotes
whose narrative montage delights the lis-


28/CAIBBEAN rev16








tener, anecdotes whose mere occurrence
moves the listener, anecdotes told in a sur-
prisingly roundabout and spicy prose, the
most familiar and easily recognizable rice-
and-beans style, anecdotes that a sharp-
witted country bumpkin listens to with inter-
est, ajibaro who does not use highflown
hillbilly vernacular, no sir, but uses instead
sly street speech and proper English if the
occasion should call for it and just plain old
common sense talk whenever that's
needed, anecdotes told by Puerto Ricans
who on one fine day had visited upon them
the compound evils of unemployment,
hunger, and the desire to eat, pathetic anec-



Low-flying angels with a
penchant for prying might
sacrifice the sacred sheen
of their golden locks just to
know what the devil is
making that mestizo
bunch laugh so loudly.


dotes told by a subject people who refuse to
submit though they will apologize for the
naked sin of being bom Puerto Rican, anec-
dotes told by the Puerto Ricans who get hot
under the collar and curse aloud if anyone
should question their being Puerto Rican,
anecdotes of a life ill-lived, of a life sung out
of tune, phrases, anecdotes of thick-
skinned survivors whose hearts are free of
debts, anecdotes told in a charming sputter
of Puerto Rican Spanish, bubbling in its
perfect rhythm and tone, a Puerto Rican
Spanish exact and compact, broad and ba-
roque, a Puerto Rican Spanish as invig-
oratingly corrupt as Argentine Spanish, as
Mexican Spanish, as Venezuelan Spanish,
as Spanish Spanish, anecdotes told by a
thousand and one travelers moving be-
tween that precarious and discredited para-
dise that is New York and that eroded and
uninhabitable paradise that is Puerto Rico.
A nervous Nellie might predict-a ner-
vous Nellie a bit like Jeanne Dixon but a
zodiac without a cosmic temple and without
her mystical thinking cap, in short, like a
second-hand Jeanne Dixon---that the air-
bus might burst tonight because the sub-
versive laughter and human energy that it
carries tonight is a dangerous explosive.
And low-flying angels with a penchant for
prying would willingly sacrifice the sacred
tinsel of tiny eucharistic wings just to know
what the hell that mestizo bunch is jabber-
ing about, flying so un-self-consciously in
their midst.
Only the crew, uniformly gringo as it is
tonight, seems immune to the laughter, res-
olute in its desire to overcome it with the


rapid distribution of insipid-tasting turkey
sandwiches, tiny bags of peanuts, Coca
Cola by the gallon, playing cards, and the
plastic interjections of the captain, who tries
to put out the growing conflagration with
his own tiny sparklers that cannot and will
not take off-"Ladies and gentlemen, this is
the captain speaking. Now that the dan-
gerous kidnappers are back in their bags,
now that it is really sure that we are not
going to be taken to an unexpected meet-
ing with that poco simpatico senior Fidel
Castro I invite all of you to look through the
windows and catch the splash of the Milky
Way. In a few minutes we will be showing,
without charge tonight, a movie starring
that funny man Richard Pryor."
The woman to my left turns to me and
with calm hostility asks "What that man
say?" But I don't get to answer because the
man who claims to travel with no luggage
and who repeats: "I live with one leg in New
York and the other one in Puerto Rico" and
who states: "I make my bucks in Manhattan,
but I spend them in Santurce" and who
claims: "I'm everybody's friend but no-
body's buddy, the only buddy you ever have
in life is your balls, they're always on hand,"
beats me to the punch as he belts out a
response, turns me into an unsuspecting
ally as he unravels a long answer in a mo-
notone made bearable only by a hint of
sarcasm: "The captain wants to bring us
down by making us watch a movie with that
colored guy who almost burned himself to
a crisp getting stoned, he wants us down so
he can be on top," pulling together the scat-
tered chords of his utterance, he murmurs
in a low voice, using an orgasmic dialect,
the most ascerbic of inferences about the
captain and the blonde stewardess, in-
ferences, that, if written, would be immedi-
ately published in the pages of Penthouse
or Playboy. The woman to my left misses
the inferences for she has again picked up
her two simultaneous conversations about
the strike at the insane asylum: "I hear
they're threatening to get sane," and about
the unrelenting stubbornness of President
Reagan: "I hear that fiend will be the end of
El Salvador."
The peal of laughter that originally
opened the door to a seditious, almost
unanimous hilarity now fertilizes the
raucous friendliness that begins to spread
out over the tourist cabin, a raucous friend-
liness that finds expression in the noisy tol-
erance with which a harsh opinion is
extended or withheld or in the noisy grati-
tude with which someone accepts a com-
pliment about the paper flowers they're
bringing as a gift for an aunt who moved
into some housing project in New Jersey, or
in the noisy distribution and sharing befit-
ting those who suffer alike and love alike-
love guava-filled pastries, love fresh-baked
sweets packed in a shoe box, love a dozen
fruit-shaped candy bars, love homemade
Continued on page 50


CAJ?BBEAN F VIEW/29




11


~ ~ _


30/CAIBBEAN PIVIEW


~~3~D~










Apolitical Fiction in a Political


World

Picaresque and Parody in Cabrera Infante

A Review Essay by Donald Gwynn Watson


Infante's Inferno, G. Cabrera Infante.
Translated by Suzanne Jill Levine with the
author. 410 pp. Harper and Row, New
York, 1984. $18.95.

Infante's Inferno provides us with an En-
glish adaptation of La Habana para un
infante difunto, Guillermo Cabrera Infante's
most ambitious and successful work since
the widely admired Three Trapped Tigers
(Tres Tristes Tigres, 1967, translated into
English, 1971). Suzanne Jill Levine, pro-
teg6e of Gregory Rabassa, now a well-
known translator of Latin American fiction,
has collaborated with the author to find
equivalents and substitutions for his ubiq-
uitous puns and other elaborate linguistic
hijinks and produce a very funny, often
bawdy, translation of the sexual "ventures,
adventures, and misadventures" of the ado-
lescent narrator in the Havana of the 1940s
and early 1950s. Although the first-person
narrator remains nameless, the title invites
the reader to identify him with Cabrera In-
fante as do half a dozen puns or allusions
and the inclusion of real people-Carlos
Franqui and Nestor Almendros, for exam-
ple-as characters in the novel. The details
often parallel the author's own biographical
sojourn from adolescence to marriage and
fatherhood. But Infante's Inferno is more
fiction than memoir, the art of the novel
shaping the arts of memory.
Beginning in 1941 with the relocation of
the 12-year-old narrator and his commu-
nist parents from their provincial home in
Oriente to a tenement in central Havana, the
narrative relates a series of erotic encoun-
ters which constitute his sexual education; it
belongs, then, structurally but superficially,
with the picaresque, a popular genre of
prose fiction which strings together loosely
connected episodes in a roughly chrono-
logical sequence. But punster and parodist
that he is, Cabrera Infante plays with the
form, mocking it, his hero, and the "ma-

Donald Gwynn Watson heads the department
of English at Florida International University.
He writes extensively about Shakespeare, re-
naissance literature, and the relation between
politics and contemporary literature.


Guillermo Cabrera Infante
chismo" which is intertwined with the "pic-
aro." Always further ahead in love than in
sex, in desire than in performance, the nar-
rator turns out to be more the "anti-picaro,"
his ventures becoming misadventures,
comic and potentially embarrassing.
Living in a poor solar, he walks in on a
whore only a few years older, fears to stay in
the presence of her stark nakedness be-
cause his mother may suddenly appear,
and learns from her how to masturbate.
Later, groping for flesh in a movie theater,
an habitual venture, he is treated to a cos-
mic handjob by a ferocious habanera, but
is exposed to the disgust of the other the-
atergoers because he has chosen seats too
near the lights of the ladies' restroom.
Taken to a brothel by his friends for his
initiation rites, he becomes impotent, and
returning to prove himself, he fails again.
Picking up a luscious Nubian fletera, he
experiences ejaculatio precox. With Juliet
Est6vez, the "initiatrix" of his group of
friends, he looks around fearfully, expecting
her family to appear in the middle of fellatio.
All this happens before he technically loses
his virginity.
Later, after Juliet's marriage to a virile
(but less potent) gymnast, he continues the
affair, wondering if the husband will come
home for lunch too early and pampering
her wishes, which include borrowing a pho-
nograph and a recording of La Mer, lugging
it to her apartment, and making love to the
music of Debussy. These and other epi-
sodes are marvelously funny in themselves
as well as complex send-ups of the literary
picaresque, the cultural expectations of
Latin American machismo, and the univer-
sal desires of adolescence looking over


its shoulder: the picaro as passive, comic,
fearful, constantly threatened with embar-
rassment.
These adventures take place in Batista's
Havana of the forties, an erotic, decadent,
violent world of prostitutes, pimps, ped-
erasts, poverty, posadas and hotelitos on
every corner and, above all, movie theaters
on every block. As in Three Trapped Tigers,
the topographical detail of a forgotten city
adds to the texture of fictional reality;
Cabrera Infante has said that the original
novel in Spanish has been much in demand
on the black market in Cuba (where his
works are banned) because a younger gen-
eration wants to know what Havana was like
in the old days.
No doubt, Cabrera Infante wants to re-
capture Old Havana from oblivion, but he
does not glorify it; he describes it, particu-
larly in the first half on the novel. Set in
Zulueta 408, tenement and "House of
Changes," the life of the adolescent hero-
narrator teems with color, energy, and ec-
centricity, with the vitality of a large metrop-
olis which, nevertheless, has no real culture.
Escaping to the movies, particularly to the
exotic and erotic fantasies of the Hollywood
dream factory, the narrator and his friends
find one of the few experiences they can
share, as well as a temporary escape from
poverty. The decadent weekend retreat for
the American tourist, the 1940s Havana of
popular history, makes relatively brief ap-
pearances, and the violent world of drugs
and whores seems relatively tame, except
for a spectacularly horrid and blackly comic
dismemberment of a lover by an aging ped-
erast in his building, an event which forever
darkens the reputation of Zulueta 408, la
casa de las transfiguraciones.
The narrator feels comfortable with the
city and, for the most part, takes it for
granted; the author writes from inside his
memories and does not see Havana as ei-
ther paradise or inferno, unique or com-
mon, but praises it for its vulgarity: "so
vulgar, so alive, and I miss it so." Even so,
the element of nostalgia is restricted; the
local landmarks exist to provide the pro-
tagonist his few absolutely certain points of
reference in an otherwise unstable universe.


CAMIBBEAN PFEIEW/31








Knowing La Rampa and the Malec6n
saves adolescence from chaos.

Politics and Punning
Of Three Trapped Tigers, Cabrera Infante
has said: "It is a political novel, because it is
a-political." His celebrated novel was, he ex-
plains, not merely banned in Fidel's Cuba,
but "considered anathema." Why? "There
isn't a more apolitical novel in the whole
history of Latin American literature. Neither
is there a more independent one. Perhaps
that's the reason and unreason of this prohi-
bition: all freedom is subversive. Totalitarian
regimes are more afraid of individual liberty
than vampires are of crosses" (Interview
with Rita Guibert, Seven Voices, 1973).
This lack of explicit political reference ap-
plies equally to Infante's Inferno. Although
Cabrera Infante has vigorously denounced
Castro in essays and interviews, his opposi-
tion to the present regime is never voiced in
his fiction; yet its absence is thereby even
more dramatic. The narrator-hero un-
doubtedly enjoys the freedom to invent
himself, to pursue his women, his movies,
his books; nothing is forbidden, however
vulgar, decadent, European, American.
Equally counterrevolutionary are the
whores,posadas, andmaricones. Recently,
in the London Review of Books (June
1981), Cabrera Infante described a police
action in the early days of Castro's Cuba in
which a special social scum squad rounded
up prostitutes, pimps, and pederasts (in-
cluding the poet Virgilio Pifiera) and com-
pared this night of the three P's with Hitler's
Kristalnacht. Their ubiquitous presence in
Three Trapped Tigers and Infante's Inferno
makes a strong political statement: in El
Hombre's Cuba, Batista may have been
ruthless and the people poor, but they were
not gusanos to be imprisoned or shipped
off from Mariel. Even more recently, Cuban
exiles Nestor Almendros, the cin-
ematographer, and Orlando Jimenez, the
director, have completed a documentary
film entitled Improper Conduct (Conducta
Impropia), in which interviews with artistic
dissidents and homosexuals focus upon
Castro's repression of antisocial elements.
Cabrera Infante's constant punning and
allusions also have political implications.
First the farrago of literary scraps forms a
large part of his freedom to invent himself,
and his choices range widely: from the clas-
sics of Shakespeare and Cervantes to the
more popular Jules Verne and Dr. Jekyll
and Mr. Hyde, from the wasteland of Eliot to
the democratic Whitman, from the fin-de-
siecle symbolism of Mallarme and
Baudelaire to the entire deux guerres of
Hemingway, from the Cuban bolero to the
burlesque sketches of Havana nightclubs.
The density and complex texture of both life
and fictional practice stand in absolute con-
trast to the "social realism" of the presently
institutionalized culture of Cuba.
To some readers of Three Trapped Ti-


gers, the puns seem tedious; in Infante's
Inferno they actually become more effec-
tive because of the single narrative voice.
For the first person adolscent narrator, liter-
ature is as much an obsession as the pursuit
of sex, and the linguistic playfulness adds to
his characterization and self-definition. If
the wordplay becomes silly and gratuitous,
it is part of growing up and part of the self-
mockery of the "anti-picaro."
Just as often the punning may become
politically subversive. In La Nueva Novela
Hispanoamericana (1972), Carlos Fuentes
argues that the Latin American novelists'
search for "un nuevo lenguaje" and their



The violent world of drugs
and whores seems
relatively tame.


attempts to capture the complexity of con-
temporary political realities form part of the
same radical approach to writing fiction.
Language and literature become authen-
tically revolutionary by replacing the estab-
lished lexicon of fiction with humor,
ambiguity, parody, allusiveness, and an
openness and plurality of meanings. Of
Cabrera Infante's puns, Fuentes writes that
this "verbal slapstick" exposes all the "aca-
demic pachyderms" of a senescent world
whose "canonical, medieval, and hier-
archical" explanations are incapable of ex-
pressing the multivocal, impertinent,
reversible, imaginative disorder of real life
and genuine fiction. They explode a cal-
cified and anachronistic culture by insisting
upon the desacralization of art.
"Latin American literature," Cabrera In-
fante says, "errs on the side of excessive
seriousness, sometimes solemnity. It is like
a mask of solemn words, which writers and
readers put up by mutual consent" (Seven
Voices). His puns intend to deflate the
rigidity of literary traditions and all single-
minded interpretations of reality. As Freud
wrote in Jokes and Their Relation to the
Unconscious (1905), puns bring to light
something previously concealed or deliber-
ately hidden and so evoke an illumination
through the exercise of our critical faculty,
an activity which political orthodoxies of all
sort seek to suppress.
Freud would also be quick to note that
jokes and puns may be play but also serve
as a defense mechanism against pain. D.P.
Gallagher in Modern Latin American Liter-
ature (1973) has pointed out this aspect of
Three Trapped Tigers: its witty conversa-
tions hold off the anguish of poverty, social
injustice, underdevelopment, political cru-
elties, the failure of sexual and artistic ambi-
tions. What he does not note is that the
private bantering of friends is typically Latin
American (choteo-mockery, making fun


of) and that its complementary form relajo
is typically Cuban. The Cuban relajo was
used as a means of relieving tension, of
exorcizing the demons which would op-
press and overwhelm, of gaining freedom
through laughter. An old joke in Miami
goes, "The Cubans are a confused people:
the island is in the Caribbean, the govern-
ment is in Moscow, and the people are in
Miami." Relajo is humor as defense against
sadness, against tragedy.
Unfortunately, the original title of the
novel does not translate well. La Habana
para un infante difunto echoes the title of
Maurice Ravel's Pavane pour une infante
defunte (1899) and plays upon a wide
range of ironies and associations. Though
but one phoneme away, Havana offers little
resembling a pavana, a solemn proces-
sional, yet the idea of funereal and solemn
music reflects the politics of exile. "Infante"
plays upon the plural significance of the
author's name, the narrator's childhood, the
French word for prince and soldier, and the
Spanish noun for child and infantryman. (In
the narrative itself, the protagonist's great-
est love undergoes an abortion of his child.)
Moreover, the bittersweet melancholy of
Ravel, Debussy, Faure, and Satie figures
prominently in the novel, adding to the fin-
de-siecle atmosphere of the 1940s. The
reader, then, seems to be presented with a
playfully serious mourning: a Havana for a
dead child/Infante/soldier of the revolution
which he abandoned when in the early six-
ties, to put it in few words, Castro Stalinized
Cuban society.
The associations resist restrictive ex-
egesis: Fuentes' point exactly. Everywhere
the wordplay is elusive as well as allusive. In
the penultimate and longest section of In-
fante's Inferno, we find our narrator-pro-
tagonist in his early twenties, married to a
virgin from the convent-the "anti-picaro"
having dutifully followed cultural ritual-
and now also an expectant father. He meets
a woman he has not seen for five years, a
beautiful television actress, tall, statuesque,
with dazzling green eyes. Their torrid affair
lasts for several months, moving from
posada to posada, interrupted only by a
lesbian interlude, and ended only by his
unwillingness to leave his family and move
with her to Venezuela where she has lu-
crative television offers. Even with the birth
of his own daughter, he still laments bitterly
his lost love whose name he never knows
but who goes by Margarita. Though "mar-
garita" means "daisy" in Spanish, the nar-
rator plays upon its Latin meaning, "pearl."
Pearls before sin, pearls among swine:
"Like the base Indian, I threw a pearl away.
My Margarita, my! was a pearl and I didn't
know it! Etymology, the deviation of words.
Worlds." She is, for him, the "sibyl of Cuba,"
and the popular habanera "Green Eyes"
adds to the association of her with the Pearl
of the Antilles.
Perhaps Cabrera Infante is seeking a way


32/CAlBBEAN PEVIEW








to express his strong feelings for his native
land: cuntry/country is a favorite pun. But
partial displacement does not constitute al-
legory, and Cabrera Infante is deeply am-
bivalent about Margarita. Ferociously
sexual, she is almost too passionate, and
she thoroughly dominates him, pretending
to poison him, being unfaithful, marking
him with bites and fingernails, splotches for
his wife to discover though she never does,
keeping him out all night.
She is "The Amazon" of this section's
title: by accident rather than by intention,
her right breast has been seared by a child-
hood fire and has never developed. She,
like the mythological Amazons, reduces
him to a humble servility. She is the cruel
temptress, the Gorgon, Circe who would
frustrate his artistic ambitions and turn him
into a "kept man." Perhaps, in the single
malformation of her perfect beauty, in her
ardor and perfidy, in his indelible scars of
love, there are mixed political memories
and transferences which are equally bitter
and sweet.
In his essays and interviews, Cabrera In-
fante speaks openly and expansively about
Cuban history and politics, but obliquely
and elusively in his fiction; nevertheless, In-
fante's Inferno is more than the "apolitical
satire masquerading as autobiographical
erotic memoir" that the New York Times
reviewer found it (Allen Josephs, 6 May
1984). At least since Borges, such games of
indirection should be familiar to readers of
Latin American fiction.

Exile and Memory
Cabrera Infante's deep commitment to the
Cuban revolution really ended when in
1961 Castro's government banned the
showing of PM, a film about Havana night
life made by his brother Saba. A little docu-
mentary about ordinary common people in
"cafes and bars and dives... workers, loaf-
ers, dancers of all sexes and races," PM was
"labelled as decadent, bourgeois, avant-
gardist and, the worst epithet in the com-
munist name-calling catalogue, cos-
mopolitist" (London Review of Books).
Relieved of his editorship of Lunes, the suc-
cessful literary magazine of the revolution,
Cabrera Infante was posted to the Cuban
Embassy in Brussels as a cultural attache, a
job he describes as little more than that of a
porter. When he returned to Havana for his
mother's funeral in 1965, he found Cuba so
changed that he left again and now lives in
London as a British subject. The dust jacket
of Infante's Inferno quotes his claim to be
"the only English writer who writes in Span-
ish," and the problem of exile for the writer is
crucial for understanding Cabrera Infante.
In "El exilio invisible" (El Herald, Miami,
1983), Cabrera Infante wonders what to call
himself. The million-and-a-half Cuban ex-
iles since 1959 are, he writes, "the Jews of
Castro"-for Fidel, gusanos,judios, casi
intocables." They are neither "exilados"


(the homeless, the outcast, the deste-
rrados) nor "exiliados" (emigrants, expatri-
ates, those en diaspora); this 15 percent of
the present population in Cuba are invisible,
unmentionable, taboo, even in the lexicons
of the language from which these words for
exile have disappeared. Unlike some other
Latin American novelists, he feels himself a
true exile more than an emigrant or expatri-
ate in search of a larger, more international
audience, and his anti-Castro politics set
him apart from others (such as Cortazar,
Fuentes, and Garcia Marquez) who con-
tinue to sympathize with the Cuban revolu-
tion. Such illusionism, such magic, creates



In the early days of
Castro's Cuba a special
social scum squad
rounded up prostitutes,
pimps, and pederasts.


an invisibility which destroys present and
past, like the plague of insomnia which
brings forgetfulness to the citizens of Ma-
condo and even threatens the knowledge of
the meanings of the written character.
For Garcia Marquez and Cabrera Infante,
reality is invented daily in Latin America by
colonialists and citizens alike; reconstruct-
ing the past becomes imperative. Even
more than in Three Trapped Tigers, mem-
ory is a central theme in Infante's Inferno. It
begins with memories of the narrator's first
day in Havana and reinvents the detailed
atmosphere of the 1940s in the capital. Re-
membering, reinventing the reality, the to-
pography, is political as well as Joycean: the
cultural heritage, apart from any direct
ideological considerations or implications,
is saved from total oblivion, invisibility. "Is
memory imperishable when life isn't? Can
memory save us from death?" asks the nar-
rator. "Is there a life after memory?" Per-
haps what Cabrera Infante feels as a
suspension of cultural life in his homeland
makes remembering and writing even
more necessary. The pain and pleasure of
the exile's memories are more than Prous-
tian; Silvestre in Three Trapped Tigers says,
"I think the best way of recapturing the past
is not one's involuntary memory but the
violent irresistible memories, which don't
need any madeleines dunked in tea or the
nostalgic fragrance of the past or an identi-
cal faux pas, but which come up suddenly
like a thief by night and smash the window
of our present with a blunt memory."
Memory seems an obsession with
Cabrera Infante, one which goes beyond
literature and politics to become personal
possession and even epistemology. Sil-
vestre likes "remembering things better
than living them or living things knowing


they can never be lost because I can always
evoke them again." The Seven Voices inter-
view concludes with a long catalogue of
favorite memories from films, literature, art,
music, Cuba, and sex: "But above all, the
privilege of memory, without which none of
the things mentioned above would have
any meaning--or importance."
Why? A short meditation in his odd col-
lection of literary exercises, Exorcismos de
Esti(I)o (1976), plays upon the "olor, color,
dolor"---the scent, color, pain--of memory
and asks if all vision is deja vu, a memory
of a memory: "Is memory (la memorial) a
second vision or is it really a matter of the
first and only vision of the world, of reality,
that is no more than a moment of memory
(del recuerdo)?" Such musings remind us
of the grand reflections on memory in Book
X of the Confessions of Augustine, for
whom memory is a power, a bottomless
treasury, and the "belly" of the mind. In what
Pablo Neruda has called the "century of the
stateless man," exile often seems at the
point of becoming naturalized into the
human condition, and memory may be
the only faculty we possess for assuring
ourselves of the continuity and unity of
our own identity. The muse who restores
the self from oblivion, from invisibility, is
Mnemosyne.
If all these considerations seem far from
the novel itself, an exploration of the spaces
between and around the words seems nec-
essary for reading Cabrera Infante's "apo-
litical" fictions. As with all puns and
parodies, the reader must see the other
words and hear the other voices to get the
joke. Cabrera Infante once wrote a mock-
chronology of his life from birth to leaving
Cuba for the last time; it concludes with a
mock-credo which parodies Joyce's Ste-
phen Dedalus': "insolence, exisles, pun-
ning." Such playfulness identifies inten-
tions but refuses to limit them.
The dazzling Epilog of Infante's Inferno
provides the best example of the elusive-
ness of the parodist. It mocks the "magic
realist" style of Garcia Marquez by relating
the most incredible events in almost dead-
pan, matter-of-fact description. It offers the
ultimate adventure of the anti-picaresque
protagonist as he undergoes an epic de-
scent to the underworld, a jounrey back to
the womb in search of his wedding ring,
wristwatch, and other lost possessions. It
promises a rebirth, a release from the im-
prisonment of illusions. It plays upon Plato's
myth of the cave, setting the misadventure
with the coral pinks of an intrauterine world
within a movie theater which is showing a
cartoon featuring Disney's Pluto. It incorpo-
rates, without identifying, passages from
Jules Verne's Voyage to the Center of the
Earth. A remarkable, hilarious "tour de
force," the Epilog playfully narrates the
threats of losing one's self, the amniotic
memories of birth, and the salvation from
oblivion into the exile of life. O


CARBBEAN VIE16W/33










Caribbean Eve

Yielding to the Pacing Shapes of Jaguars

Reviewed by Richard Dwyer


The Bridge of Beyond, Simone Schwarz-
Bart. Translated by Barbara Bray. 174 pp.
Heineman, London, 1982. 1.95 (paper).

Beka Lamb, Zee Edgell. 171 pp.
Heineman, London, 1982. 1.50 (paper).

Heremakhonon, a Novel, Maryse Conde.
Translated by Richard Philcox. 176 pp.
Three Continents Press, Washington,
1982.


"After death, the souls of men are
embodied in jaguars; but those of
women and children are carried up into
the air where they vanish forever".
-Claude Levi-Strauss


These three novels illustrate both the com-
mon and distinctive features of recent
fiction about the roles accorded to women
in the Caribbean. The variety and richness
of the writing also attest to the rising claims
of Caribbean women's fiction to literary
status.
At first glance, these books do not prom-
ise distinctiveness. The cover illustrations of
all three portray a solitary young black
woman in pensive profile-a moody motif
building. But the details and the worlds
implied behind them do contrast. From a
bandana-bound head and cotton blouse, to
a white confirmation dress and modestly
braided hair, to decolletage, necklace and
fashionable hairdo, the heroines reveal their
places in the status ranks from low to high.
Yet there they are, alone and inward, seem-
ingly out of it all three.

Slave Descendants in Guadeloupe
Simone Schwarz-Bart has lived in
Guadeloupe off and on since the age of
three. She now resides in the village of


Richard Dwyer teaches English literature at
Florida International University. He is the au-
thor of Lying on the Eastern Slope (1984) and
three books on American studies.


Goyave with her husband, the French Jew-
ish writer Andre Schwarz-Bart. This novel
(originally published in 1972) commemo-
rates Fanotte, herself a former resident of
that village. Transformed into the fictional
character Telumee, that old black peasant
woman recollects her own life and the lives
of her grandmother Toussine, her mama
Victory, children, husbands, lovers and
other transients. All of these descendants of
slaves are at the bottom of the Caribbean
social scale, and it is testimony to the au-
thor's imaginative power that she has credi-
bly evoked the world of their smoky villages
on the margins of the sugarcane plantation
system.
Telumee's life follows the regular arc of
girlish hope, frustration, suffering, and aged
survival in this life of labor and nagging
sexuality. But this novel trades a realistic
indictment of the bad side for a lyrical evo-
cation of the good. In painterly terms,
Telumee recalls her mother, "No one in
L'Abandonnee noticed her beauty, for her
skin was very dark; it was only after my
father set eyes on her that everyone else did
the same. When she sat in the sun the black
lacquer of her skin had glints the colour of
rosewood, like those you see in old rocking
chairs. When she moved, the blood rose
near the surface and mingled in the black-
ness, and glints the colour of wine appeared
in her cheeks. When she was in the shade
she at once coloured the air surrounding
her, as if her presence created a smoky halo.
When she laughed her flesh grew rounded,
taut, and transparent, and a few green veins
appeared on the backs of her hands. When
she was sad she seemed to be consumed
like a wood fire; she went the colour of a
scorched vine, and as her emotion in-
creased it would turn her almost grey. But it
was very rare for her to be seen like this, the
colour of cold embers, for she was never sad
in public, or even in front of her children."
Like her mother, Telumee fits into the
paradisal aspect of this setting, if not the
white man's cane fields or his mansions,
and in her old age makes a final passage
from the folk wisdom of the village witch to
a kind of cottage existentialism: "As I dream
like this, night falls without my noticing, and


sitting on my little old woman's stool I look
up suddenly, disturbed by the phosphores-
cence of certain stars. Clouds come and go,
a light appears, then disappears, and I feel
helpless, out of place, with no reason for
being among these trees, this wind, these
clouds. Somewhere in the darkness can be
heard the discordant notes, always the
same, of a flute; they get farther away, cease.
Then I think not about death but about the
living who are gone, and I hear the sound of
their voices, and it is as if I saw the various
shades of their lives ... and I think of the
injustice in the world, and of all of us still
suffering and dying silently of slavery after it
is finished and forgotten. I try, I try every
night, and I never succeed in understanding
how it could all have started, how it can have
continued, how it can still survive, in our
tortured souls, uncertain, torn, which will be
our last prison... and I see that heaven's gift
to us is that we should have our head thrust
into, held down in, the murky water of scorn,
cruelty, pettiness, and treachery. But I also
see that we are not drowned in it. We have
struggled to be born and we have struggled
to be born again, and we have called the
finest tree in our forests resolute-the
strongest, the most sought after, the one
that is cut down the most often."

A Good Girl in Belize
Zee Edgell is director of the women's bureau
in Belize; and after living in the US, Britain,
Africa and Asia, she has returned to publish
her first novel. It is the story of a middle-
class creole girl in Belize, who learns to
avoid the galloping fate of her best friend
Toycie-inattentiveness in class, dalliance,
dropping out, pregnancy, hysteria, confine-
ment and death. In short, Beka Lamb learns
to be a good girl. Part of the novel's interest
is that she does this in the realistically de-
scribed, racially tangled setting of modern
Belize-with its blacks, Carib and Maya In-
dians, Hispanic panias, mestizos, creoles,
and white bakras and expatriates. Com-
parably complex is the political climate
lurching from British colonial status toward
independence, federation with the West In-
dies, or Guatemalan annexation. The Cath-
olic Church is a profound force in Beka's life


34/CAI BBEAN rIIEW
















w
.1 -'

j


A A


as well, giving
to her mod- "
est youthful
rebellion
something
of the flavor
of Stephen
Dedalus's.
"Last year .
in that very _.,
classroom,
Father Nufiez
had said, 'Of
course, dear \
hearts, we all want
to go to heaven
when we die. This is -,
why we must mortify
the flesh, do penance al-
ways so that we will not burn
in purgatory, or worse, be
damned to everlasting hellfire. Re-
member the story of Eve. As young
ladies you must walk always with an invisi-
ble veil about you so as not to unleash chaos
upon the world. God, in His infinite good-
ness, gave us the Blessed Virgin to erase the
memory of Eve, and to serve as an example
to the women of the world. He has also given
us free will which places us above the ani-
mal kingdom. Who would not want to sit in
heaven on the right hand of Our Father?'
Father Nufiez did not really want an answer,
but Beka couldn't help herself, and in the
pause raised her hand.
"'Yes, my child?'
"'Excuse me Father, but it's nature that
produces the chaos, Father, and women
and men are a part of nature, and my Gran
says that no matter how hard we try, some-
times, like bad luck, things break down. She
says to do the best I can and not to worry too
much about living in heaven or hell for the
guilt might frighten me crazy.'"
To which reason the priest responds, "'All
the girls in this classroom who believe there
is a heaven and a hell please raise your
hands.' Every girl in the room raised her
hand and Beka sat down. That was the mo-
ment Beka first heard the roar of seawater in
her head. She felt like smashing her fist
straight through the desk. She began to fear


ILLUSTRATION BY TERRY CWIKLA

there was something within herself that was
spoiled, something that caused her to con-
tinuously do and say things against her own
best interests."
As brief as it was mild, Beka's resistance
gave way to new resolve to always tell the
truth, buckle down to assignments, and
convert her daydreams into writing
opportunities.

From Paris to West Africa
Maryse Conde is an expatriate from
Guadeloupe, having taken university de-
grees in London and Paris, where this, her
first novel, was published in 1976. Her ca-
reer in radio, television, teaching and writ-
ing has led to the publication of several
dramatic works and a second novel, Une
Saison a Rihata (Paris, 1981). In terms of
outlook and style, I think of her as the Joan
Didion of Guadeloupe, and her heroine
here, Veronica Mercier, as a negresse rouge
version of Maria Wyeth in Play It As It
Lays. Well off and witty, Veronica leaves be-
hind her one affaire in Guadeloupe and an-


other in Paris
to embark on
a desultory
quest for
West Afri-
can roots-
something
of value
from the
'"- ] time before
./ jthe pathos of
slavery, whose
bloody course
she knows will
/ never come to
judgment.
She gets a teaching
post at the national in-
stitute of a new state in
,/ murky suspension between
tribalism and Marx and quickly
squares off with the ideologues:
"Don't you know that history has never
bothered about niggers? It's been proven
they weren't worth the fuss. They had no
part in building the Golden Gate Bridge or
the Eiffel Tower. Instead of praying at Notre
Dame or Westminster Abbey, they knelt be-
fore a piece of wood, bowed down to a
snake. A snake, can you imagine? The very
same that tempted Eve! And they would
make it into an ancestor or god. It's with the
lash they had to be civilized, given not just a
history they needn't be ashamed of, but a
history, period! You might think that every-
body has a history. Well, no. These people
had none. But I refused to believe it."
Veronica's chin-up but distracted search
leads her to Heremakhonon (Welcome
House in Mande), the pleasant estate of
Ibrahima Sory, the local strongman. In
yielding to his seduction, she inadvertently
betrays some of her new and less-privileged
friends who have no stake in the status quo.
As she comes to appreciate her own in-
volvement in the deadliness of African poli-
tics, her emotional reveries of childhood in
the islands provide insufficient defense.
And her breezy sophistication retreats be-
fore the welter of violence and passivity. She
ditches her prominent lover and the peo-
Continued on page 51


CARBBEAN 5VIE~/35


/J




























. ,~ it,,


1 4., "


Scenes from the film. Above: Rosa, played by Zaida Silvia Gutierrez. Right: Rosa, her mother (Alicia del Lago), and her brother Enrique (David
Villalpando) during funeral procession.


36/CARBBEAN REVIEW










For the American Dream

A Journey to El Norte

A Film Review by Christina Bruce


El Norte. Written by Gregory Nava and
Anna Thomas; Screenplay by Gregory
Nava and Anna Thomas; Directed by
Gregory Nava; Produced by Anna
Thomas; Director of Photography: James
Glennon; Featuring: Zaide Silvia Gutierrez
as Rosa Xuncax and David Villalpando as
Enrique Xuncax; Distributed by Cinecom
International/Island Alive Release, Los
Angeles. 139 minutes.

Rosa and Enrique have spent most of their
lives listening to the fantastic tales of their
godmother, Josefita, about el norte where
everyone has big cars, fancy clothes and
flush toilets inside the house. They affec-

Christina Bruce is executive assistant to the
president of Florida International University.


tionately tease her about her dreams of el
norte, stories she swears are true, docu-
mented in the pages of old issues of
Buenhogar (Good Housekeeping) saved
for her by Don Rodrigo's housekeeper.
Much too soon for their young years,
Rosa and Enrique must fight their way
north on godmother Josefita's savings-
from the lush colors and verdent protection
of their native Guatemalan hills to the sand
and smog of Southern California. Their
journey, what they gain and what they lose
along the way, is the story told by El Norte, a
low-budget, independent film. Made by
American filmmakers, it offers us rich per-
formances of seasoned Latin American ac-
tors and a hallucinogenic beauty, color and
texture worthy of One Hundred Years of
Solitude and Chronicle of a Death Fore-
told. Nava and Thomas made the film in


Spanish, as they explained in a recent inter-
view, "because it is a film about Spanish-
speaking people and had to be told from
their point of view."
Arturo Xuncax, Rosa and Enrique's fa-
ther, is murdered by soldiers while organiz-
ing fellow workers on the coffee plantation.
Arturo's wife, Lupe, disappears in a
roundup of undesirables. Rosa returns to
find their simple white-washed village
home empty except for hundreds of tiny
white butterflies, presaging her flight or
death. Reunited after several days in hiding,
Rosa and Enrique make plans for the fu-
ture. They will go to el norte. Madrina
Josefita presses her life savings, wrapped in
a handkerchief, into Rosa's hands and bids
them to "see el norte for me." A journey is
begun.
El Norte follows Rosa and Enrique past


CARBBEAN EVIEW/37














































Enrique and his father (Ernesto G6mez Cruz) in a scene from "El Norte."


la migra (immigration officers), on to the
backs of trucks, and finally into Tijuana's
shantytown, where they search for a coyote
to smuggle them across the border into
California. After a harrowing night crawling
through abandoned rat-infested sewer
pipelines, Rosa and Enrique emerge to
sunrise over San Diego, and a new life-the
American dream.

Satire Side-Stepped
The film adroitly side-steps immigrant sat-
ire. Nava and Thomas's treatment of immi-
grants and the subculture they have carved
out for themselves in Southern California is
quiet and proud, much like Rosa and Enri-
que themselves. The audience is immersed
in a variety of Los Angeles Hispanic groups.
Subtle differences between first generation
Mexican-Americans, recent arrivals to the
United States, and long-time illegal aliens
are deftly characterized by the cadence of
language, accents in Spanish, images and
experiences.
Rosa is befriended by an older, more ex-
perienced Mexican woman named Nacha,
with whom she forms un dos (a team)
cleaning posh California homes and doing
battle with digital clothes washers and pop-
open dryers. Rosa finds the ladies depart-
ment at Sears, and returns to the dingy one-


room efficiency which she shares with Enri-
que "looking just like una americana,
turned out in bright colors and textures that,
however, remind her of home.
Enrique finds work as a busboy in an
elegant French restaurant and is sure that
he and his sister are on their way to reaching
the American dream when he is pro-
moted-bow tie, black vest and all--to as-
sistant waiter. Both Rosa and Enrique
decide that the United States is to be their
home and present a united front to this new
life, attending adult education English
classes together and practicing "It gets very
smoggy in the winter" and "Would you like
a little more coffee?"
El Norte succeeds on many levels. It is
tender and humorous, as seen in Rosa and
Enrique's habit of lapsing into native dialect
at emotional moments, and Enrique's facil-
ity for "cursing like a Mexican" to escape
detection when crossing the border into
Mexico. It is realistic and austere as it docu-
ments the poverty and oppression that de-
stroyed the lives of Rosa and Enrique's
parents. It is stunning and poetic, as a head
becomes the moon and the moon turns
into a drum.
El Norte is neither a political statement
nor a documentary, although it touches on
both points. It is, rather, an honest and


straightforward look at political exile
through the eyes of those most affected.
Nava's images are strong, sometimes
even brutal. The harrowing reality of mid-
night raids on small villages in Latin Amer-
ica, huge iron crosses in cemeteries that
look like conquerors' swords rending the
very earth, a decapitated head hanging in
the village square as a warning to other
agitators all assault us. Nava and Thomas
have created, through careful composition,
haunting musical score and symbolism
rooted deep in Latin American literature, an
urgent topical film that will deeply affect
those concerned with human rights while it
entertains those who view it as a well-made
movie.
The film, produced on a shoestring com-
pared to everyday big studio budgets, has a
sense of epic reality. The scenery is primi-
tive. The villagers are weather-worn and re-
gal. The sensory flashbacks that carry Rosa
and Enrique throughout their journey-
bells, flutes, crosses and butterflies--are
haunting and lyrical. The beauty of James
Glennon's photography transports the au-
dience to the surreal sacred burial grounds
of Romerillo, and then descends with Rosa
and Enrique to the asphalt and concrete,
chrome and commercialism of Southern
California's barrios. E


38/CAIBBeAN REVIEW









Grenada Questions
Continued from page 9




and had to be closed down.
Failure was also due to poor linkages with
the Marketing and National Importing
Board (MNIB), which had been set up to
export nontraditional crops as well as to buy
basic goods in bulk from abroad. The
MNIB, which had business types at its helm,
failed in its export role and, contrary to revo-
lutionary claims, the prices at which it im-
ported certain goods were reportedly not
cheaper than those available through the
private sector with which it competed,
though the markup on goods sold prior to
its introduction had been higher. The hotels
owned by the Grenada Resorts Corporation
also lost money, as did the new agro-based
industries, including the coffee processing
plant.
The public sector was also a drain on the
economy. One of the goals of the revolution
was the expansion of that sector, and by
1982 there were 32 state enterprises despite
reminders from the World Bank that these
had not worked well in many countries. Gre-
nada was no different, and Coard himself
was later to admit that while some suc-
cesses were achieved, all the state enter-
prises performed badly for one reason or
another. The public utilities (Grenada Elec-
tricity Service and the Grenada Telephone
Company) also performed miserably and
there were frequent outages in both utilities


due mainly to obsolete plant and poor
maintenance.
Reviewing the reasons for the poor per-
formance of state enterprises, Coard
pointed to weak management (very few
trained managers in the country), lack of
organization, poor record-keeping and ac-
counting, low worker productivity, lack of
training in modern methods of production,
use of primitive technology and over-
staffing.
To these deficiencies he added low edu-
cational levels and low political conscious-
ness on the part of workers and managers.
The latter were accused of refusing to at-
tend management training programs or to
permit workers to participate in the middle
management supervisory and secretarial
courses provided for them.
By September 1983 when the party crisis
deepened, statements made in the now-
celebrated Central Committee meetings in-
dicated that the picture was far worse than
had been revealed in February of that year,
and that the early gains had not been sus-
tained. The performance of the state enter-
prises had deteriorated even further. The
roads were in deplorable condition. Bishop
admitted that the economy was in the dol-
drums and that there were too many black-
outs, too many bad roads and insufficient
jobs to go around. There was also not
enough money to pay the soldiers of the
People's Revolutionary Army a living wage,
and the latter often helped themselves to
other people's produce to make up the defi-
ciency. Clearly, the financial transfusions
from the socialist world and other lending
agencies were being gobbled up by the air-


port sector, leaving little for other immedi-
ately productive sectors.

How socialist was Grenada?
Although there was a great deal of talk about
socialism in Grenada, the economy was
anything but socialist. As Bernard Coard
himself admitted, "We are developing our
economy on the mixed economy model.
Our economy as a mixed economy will
comprise the state sector, the private sector
and the cooperative sector. The dominant
sector will be the state sector which will lead
the development process." While the 1973
NJM Manifesto made no mention of social-
ism per se, it did call for the complete na-
tionalization of all foreign-owned hotels,
banks, insurance companies and housing
developments. None of these nationaliza-
tions were actually attempted, and the eco-
nomic policies instituted by the regime
were designed to rationalize and modernize
the economy rather than to socialize it.
In part, this might have been due to the
fact that many of the key decision makers
(Bishop included) were themselves petty
bourgeois property owners. Perhaps, too,
the NJM elite was acutely aware of the peas-
ant and petty bourgeois nature of the soci-
ety, and thus saw the need for a "staged"
approach to the transition to socialism.
Bishop himself said that "we see this revolu-
tion as being in the national democratic
stage. We are an anti-imperialist party and
government, and we believe that the pro-
cess we are involved in at this time is an anti-
imperialist, national democratic, socialist-
oriented stage of development."
Thus the NJM remained in CARICOM


CAl?BBEAN ?e V18/39








and joined the Socialist International, which
included a motley of reformist political par-
ties. It also sought to retain the confidence
of international lending agencies, which
were dominated by capitalist countries, and
the latter as well. Domestically, they sought
to build alliances with progressive elements
and even with the capitalist group, which
they offended but never sought-to eliminate.
Land was not to be appropriated, and when
an attempt was made to seize an estate and
establish a "people's collective farm," the
PRG reprimanded those involved and re-
turned the land to its owner, a former gover-
nor of Grenada. Although a land utilization
law gave the Minister of Agriculture power
to compulsorily lease idle estates of over
100 acres if their owners made no attempt
to develop them, the policy was really aimed
to encourage the owners to develop their
estates.
In the area of banking, the Canadian Im-
perial Bank, which indicated it was anxious
to leave Grenada, was bought out to form
the National Commercial Bank and en-
joined to compete within the banking sys-
tem, which was left virtually intact. There
was no central bank (Grenada remained a
member of the Eastern Caribbean currency
grouping), and no restrictions were placed
on foreign transactions or on the internal
credit policies of the banks. Foreign hotels
were not nationalized; the ones owned by


the Grenada Resorts Corporation were
those seized from Gairy.
Socialism thus existed mainly on paper. It
cannot even be argued that the revolution
was anti-imperialist, since linkages were
maintained with centers of European impe-
rialism to say nothing of the regime's en-
dorsement of Soviet imperialism in
Afghanistan and elsewhere. What one had
in Grenada might best be described as doc-
umentary radicalism, a radicalization in the
vocabulary of politics. It is also evident that
the perceived need to maintain good stand-
ing in the "anti-imperialist movement" re-
quired key members of the elite to strike
radical postures and participate in interna-
tional radical activity. This distracted atten-
tion from the necessity of paying closer
attention to the real needs of the people of
Grenada: improved infrastructure, higher
prices for their agricultural commodities,
better health and welfare standards and
more jobs. All of this was achievable without
having to pay the costs of the ideological
overburden. Like Kwame Nkrumah, who
sought to win Africa and lost Ghana,
Maurice Bishop sought to win the world and
lost Grenada.

Did the US push the NJM into the arms
of Cuba and the Soviet Union?
The failure to legitimize itself by calling elec-
tions, the introduction of the concept of rev-


olutionary legality, the detention without
trial of its political enemies-real and imag-
ined, the closing down of the Torchlight and
other newspapers, the seizure without com-
pensation of the Coca Cola plant and the
attacks on the churches were provocative
steps which put the PRG on a collision
course with the regional establishment. The
development of close ties with Cuba sharp-
ened the confrontation even further.
As had been the case with the develop-
ment of ties between Cuba and the Soviet
Union in 1959, the forging of close eco-
nomic and political links between Cuba and
Grenada was blamed on the United States. It
is argued that the PRG was aware of the
need to mend fences with the US and Carib-
bean governments, but was rebuffed when it
sought aid and arms to defend itself against
the possibility of a Gairy countercoup.
There were also reports about a possible
naval blockade of Grenada. Thus, it was
argued, the PRG had no alternative but to
embrace Cuba. Revolutionary virtue was
made of necessity.
Unlike other Caribbean governments
which recognized that their sovereignty and
freedom to operate were limited and cir-
cumscribed by American sensitivities
about communist penetration of the hemi-
sphere, the PRG chose to defy and chal-
lenge American hegemony. Cuba and
Grenada soon established diplomatic rela-


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tions; and shortly thereafter, aid in the form
of arms and cement began arriving. As one
pro-Grenada publication editorialized in re-
lation to this development, "through its at-
tempts to dictate policy to the Grenada
government, the United States had
provoked the very development it sought to
forbid." In other words, it was the US that
pushed Grenada into the waiting arms of
the Cubans. Another commentator opined
that "it was ironic also that the Cuban-Gre-
nadian relationship should have been fos-
tered by Washington, whose constant
harping on the supposed strategic threat
from a tiny Eastern Caribbean island
caused the NJM to militarize their society
more than they might otherwise have
done."
This was a plausible but by no means
convincing argument. The establishment of
fraternal ties with Cuba need not have
caused undue concern in Washington. It
should be noted that Cuba already had dip-
lomatic ties with many states in the Com-
monwealth Caribbean, including Trinidad
and Tobago and Barbados, and that Castro
had visited Trinidad and Tobago and had
been cordially received by Dr. Williams.
Cuba also had ties with Mexico, Venezuela
and several other nonsocialist Latin Ameri-
can governments. What was clearly at stake
was not ties as such, but the nature of those
ties. One grants that the Reagan admin-
istration over-reacted to the Grenada revo-
lution, but it could be argued that both sides
engaged in provocative behavior in the
months following the seizure of power, and
progressively became locked on a collision
course which could have been avoided by
mature statesmanship. While it is true that
Bishop was on record about the need to
establish a cordial relationship with the
White House, it is clear that he felt that Gre-
nada must be free to choose its own friends,
to define and chart its own foreign and do-
mestic policy. Thus he made no secret of
his determination to follow the Cuban
model. His embrace of the Soviet Union was
also open and defiant.
No one would argue that Caribbean gov-
ernments should spinelessly capitulate to
every crude political or economic pressure
emanating from Washington. On the other
hand, small states in America's backyard (or
anteroom if one dislikes the backyard meta-
phor) need to recognize that their econo-
mies are fragile and vulnerable, and that
there are parameters within which they
must operate if they are to survive. Such
parameters are wider for some states de-
pending on the complexity of their material
and human resource base, but whether that
state be Chile, Jamaica, Nicaragua, El Sal-
vador or Grenada, the limits are there and
can be exceeded only if deep reliance is
placed on some alternative such as the so-
cialist bloc. But even in such instances,
there is a very high price to be paid in the


short and the long runs, and in the end one
is never sure that the gains outweigh the
costs in material terms or in the price that
has to be paid in terms of the infringement
of civil rights and freedoms.
In the case of Grenada, it was argued that
the middle class was small and not in a
position to destabilize and hold the country
for ransom as did the middle class in Ja-
maica. It was also argued that Grenada's
economic needs were limited and easily
met by small injections of economic and
technical assistance from socialist and
other friendly Western countries which were
willing to help Grenada despite US opposi-
tion. Thus, the opportunity cost of defiance
was assumed to be relatively insignificant.
On the other hand, the more pragmatic
noted that Grenada had little to sell on the
international market other than beautiful
beaches, cocoa and spices and that most of
these were traded with the West. Thus, the
more prudent argued that a policy of open
hostility to the United States and the local
bourgeoisie was ill advised even though it
might be exciting politically. It is worth not-
ing that Bernard Coard had cautioned that
there was need to temporize with imperial-
ism and to move forward slowly with eco-
nomic reforms.

Why did the NJM not seek to hold elec-
tions in 1979 after having promised to
do so?
Shortly after seizing power, Bishop assured
his listeners that "all democratic freedoms,
including freedom of elections, religious
and political opinion will be fully restored to
the people." Firm assurances were also
given by George Louison to the foreign min-
isters of the region that free elections would
be held "as soon as suitable arrangements
could be made." These commitments,
however, were not kept, and within a week
the coup was deemed a "revolution" which
was "irreversible."
It may well be that after reassessment, the
party was not certain that it could win an
open election. The party had won only three
of the seven seats which it had contested as
part of a People's Alliance in 1976, and
Bishop had won his seat by only 110 votes.
It might also be that the anti-election orien-
tation of Bernard Coard prevailed over the
more "liberal" sentiments of Bishop, that
the latter became persuaded that the West-
minster formula was now irrelevant to Gre-
nada, and thus he was prepared to thumb
his nose at the sensitivities of the region.
Perhaps the NJM feared that an open
election would invite the possibility of vio-
lent confrontations (including political as-
sassinations) between the new government
and its supporters, and those of the ousted
Gairy. One in fact had to deal with the
Gairyites, since any resort to the Westmin-
ster model would have made it impossible
for the new government to debar Gairy's


Journal of
THE TOCQUEVILLE
SOCIETY
LA SOCIETY TOCQUEVILLE
A bilingual quarterly journal of
social history and current affairs
in France and the United States.
Published by the Tocqueville
Society since 1979.
Subscription rates:
Individuals $20
Institutions $24
Single issues $6
Membership in the Society is by
nomination. Please address
correspondence (from the U.S.)
Professor Franklin Mendels,
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706 Administration Building
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Professor Henri Mendras,
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69 quai D'Orsay
75007 Paris, France
Manuscripts should be forwarded
to: Jesse R. Pitts, Editor
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Some papers from recent issues:
Lawrence Wylie and Sarella
Henriquez, French Images
of American Life
Herbert Landier, La situation
syndicale en France
John Shy, Yorktown 1781,
Personalities and Documents
J6r6me Jaffr6, La Politique
Etrangere et L'Opinion Frangaise
Theodore Caplow, The Sociologi
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Raymond Aron, Tocqueville
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la vie politique frangaise
Stanley Hoffmann, Some Notes
on Democratic Theory and
Practice
Jean-Marcel Jeanneney,
Continuity et changement dans
le gouvernement de la France
Henri Mendras, An Optimistic
View of France
Sylvain Wickham, La tentation
post-industrielle en France
Seymour Lipset, Whither the
First new Nation?
FranQois Bourricaud, Cotradition
et Traditions chez Tocqueville


CAIBBEAN IeVIEW/41







party from contesting the elections, even if
Gairy himself could be precluded from
returning.
All three possibilities were probably
closely interlinked and pointed in the same
direction. The Cuban model was also avail-
able as an alternative, and this may have
provided added reinforcement for the pre-
disposition to avoid open elections. What-
ever the reason, it was a fatal decision, and I
argue that had the NJM faced the polls in
the months following the election, the party
would still be installed in St. George's today,
though its character would certainly have
been different from that which came to de-


fine it. The NJM might well have retained
the loose social democratic form which it
had when it began.
Whatever the reason for the PRG's refusal
to hold elections, they went on to provide an
elaborate rationalization for their decision.
Bishop took a Rousseauist position that de-
mocracy was not a mere matter of voting
every five years. To those who shouted
about the legitimacy of the vote, he replied
with the slogan of "people's power" which
Fidel had popularized in Cuba. A more
meaningful democracy was said to involve
the establishment of assemblies in the par-
ishes, villages and regions within which


Penetre en___


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Semanario editado por el periooico La Nacion, ae uosta ica
La Naci6n Internacional ofrece a usted informaci6n
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people would participate and make deci-
sions which affected their daily lives. Similar
assemblies would be established in a variety
of functional areas. This, it was felt, would
energize the people in a manner that no
periodic election could. As Bishop intoned,
"our democratic process is our strongest
weapon for change, for development and
for improvement of life in our country." Real
democracy, as opposed to paper democ-
racy, also meant that the disadvantaged and
marginalized groups in society should be
put in a position where they could make
meaningful inputs in the policy-making
process. Women, Bishop felt, were es-
pecially disadvantaged. There was also
need to educate the masses so that mean-
ingful participation would be possible.


1 How democratic was the NJM?
Despite all the rhetoric about democracy,
the available evidence suggests that the po-
litical system in Grenada was anything but
democratic, and that the dictatorship con-
structed by Gairy using Westminster for-
mulas was replaced by a dictatorship
legitimized by Marxist formulas. It is true
that social rights were increased for workers
and women. There were also assemblies
and rallies, but these were manipulated and
limited in their role and scope. No party
congresses were held, and the Central Com-
mittee as a whole did not meet regularly
until crisis struck in 1983. As members of
the CC themselves admitted, the leadership
was deferred to, and criticism (including
self-criticism) only became institutionalized
in late 1983 when it was much too late.
Those who did not accept, or who were
even suspected of not accepting, the goals
or strategies and tactics of the revolution
were deemed to be dangerous traitors or
saboteurs. Such persons were either put un-
der surveillance and reported on by vig-
ilante groups affiliated with the party or
detained "to prevent them from acting in a
manner prejudicial to public safety, public
order and the defence of Grenada or with a
view to subverting or sabotaging the Peo-
ple's Revolutionary Government." As Minis-
ter of National Security, Bishop himself
signed many of the detention orders.
It was indeed ironic, though understand-
able, that a regime which had come to
power through the use of violence should
see no ideological contradiction in seeking
to eliminate others who were suspected of
seeking to do the same thing. And that is
one of the main flaws in the argument
which dismisses elections as mere routine.
Despite all the justified criticisms which are
leveled against Westminster-type elections,
they are nonetheless part of a package of
norms and practices which are mutually
reinforcing; and once they are dismissed as
irrelevant, there is nothing else which can-
not be withdrawn in the name of the peo-
ple's democracy, guided democracy or


42/CAIBBEAN REVIEW









some other variant.
It was thus hardly surprising that after
having suspended the 1974 constitution
and detained the key followers of Gairy and
some of their own supporters, the regime
should seek to put the press under "heavy
heavy manners." The Torchlight, the only
independent newspaper then existing in
Grenada, was ordered to cease publication
on 13 October 1979. The PRG declared that
it was opposed to the paper's policy of re-
printing "anti-PRG" articles from foreign
newspapers and the publication of stories
which were allegedly aimed at undermining
the support of key groups (such as the
Rastas) for the regime.
The closing down of the Torchlight, a fly
sheet with limited circulation, was clearly a
case of overkill. It should be recalled that
publishers of the Torchlight were allied to
the Grenada National Party, and that the
NJM and the GNP had been allies during
the 1976 elections. The newspaper had not
shown any consistent hostility toward the
PRG, and the paper had both supported
and criticized the regime on many issues.
Indeed, an examination of past issues by the
Caribbean Press Council revealed no evi-
dence of clear and consistent bias. What
was at issue were differing conceptions of
what constituted a free press. The PRG was
not merely concerned with what the
Torchlight had said so far, but the use to
which it could be put by the Grenadian
bourgeoisie and the CIA.
The conclusion of the foregoing is that
the NJM insurrection opened up pos-
sibilities for the transformation of Grenada
into a genuinely democratic society, but that
a great deal of what happened was coun-
terproductive. The cosmetic language of
socialism, revolution and democracy were
used, but in practice nothing was achieved
which could not be contained within the
context of social democracy and the West-
minster formula. Capitalism remained vir-
tually intact, and all of the social and
economic reforms introduced had prec-
edents in Trinidad and Tobago and other
parts of the Caribbean.

How do the people of Grenada view the
NJM revolution and its legacy?
By September 1983, members of the Cen-
tral Committee agreed that the mood of the
masses was rebellious and that members of
the army and the party were demoralized.
Attendance at rallies had dropped, and mo-
bilizers were being chased away. As Unison
Whiteman admitted, "a popular rebellion
had started." Post-invasion assessments in-
dicate that the Grenadian masses shared
the views of the party elite that the revolu-
tion had gone sour and that the NJM had
lost the "mandate of heaven." In a survey
conducted by St. Augustine Research Asso-
ciates in December 1983, 86 percent of the
711 persons sampled welcomed the US-


OECS invasion as a "good thing"; only 10
percent were opposed. Ninety-one percent
of those who felt that the PRG was taking
Grenada into the socialist bloc expressed
opposition to that demarche, with only 6
percent welcoming it. There was agreement
that the PRG did achieve some gains, par-
ticularly in the fields of education, construc-
tion of the airport and health, but only 38
percent of the sample felt that, on balance,
the PRG was "good for Grenada," with 44
percent disagreeing. When asked which of
the policies of the PRG they disliked most,
20 percent identified their involvement with
Cuba, the Soviet Union and the rest of the


The dictatorship
constructed by Gairy using
Westminster formulas was
replaced by a dictatorship
legitimized by Marxist
formulas.

socialist bloc; 15 percent cited their policy
of detaining political opponents; 12 percent
pointed to the suppression of the press,
while 10 percent said they disliked all their
policies. Only 7 percent said they were up-
set most by the PRG's failure to call elec-
tions, and 5 percent objected to the creation
of an armed militia.
An indication of the extent of popular dis-
satisfaction with the NJM is the finding in
that December 1983 survey that only 4 per-
cent of those sampled said they would vote
for the NJM if an election were called in
1984, and only 3 percent felt the NJM could
win such an election. A more telling finding
is that as many as 51 percent of the sample
said that the NJM should be debarred from
even contesting the election. The specula-
tion that the young might still be sympathe-
tic to the NJM and would vote for it is not
borne out by the survey. Fifty-two percent of
the 16-21 age group and 49 percent of the
22-30 age group said the NJM should be
deprived of its civic rights. Clearly the
masses and the youth feel that the NJM had
betrayed Grenada. Without Bishop they had
lost all interest in the NJM. No Bishop, no
revolution! The revolution had not become
institutionalized.

How irreversible is the revolution?
The question that finally remains to be an-
swered is the extent to which the revolution
achieved any of the purposes it set for itself
and the extent to which it is irreversible. To
what extent is it true that the invasion en-
sured that no new Bishops will arise to con-
tinue that revolutionary tradition? My own
view is that in a fundamental sense the revo-
lution died with Bishop and that it will be a


long while before Grenadians will allow
themselves to be seduced by revolutionary
rhetoric. Those who see a revolutionary
phoenix arising out of the bowels of Fort
Frederick are giving vent to their hopes
rather than reflecting reality. Theirs is the
reflection of an exile mentality. The people
of Grenada are not merely traumatized or in
a temporary trance; they have learned not to
trust the self-serving and cynical rhetoric of
intellectuals.
Grenadian youth, it is true, have learned
the language of class and anti-imperialism
politics. They may, however, have also
come to understand enough about politics
not to be taken in easily by the absurd in-
anities of a Gairy or the romanticism of a
revolutionary hero. They and their elders
have lost some of the innocence in which
they wallowed during the Gairy years, and
they no doubt understand a bit more about
the relationship between their material well-
being and the international system. For the
time being, however, they clearly feel that
the US tie is a better guarantor of that well-
being than were either Cuba or the Soviet
Union. While the Cuban contribution may
well continue to be viewed positively be-
cause of the badly needed services per-
formed by Cuban workers, doctors and
teachers, the Soviet Union gained few
friends since its direct contributions were
mainly in the form of weaponry--designed
more to guarantee the military survival of
the revolution than to improve material well-
being of the Grenadian people.
For the moment, Grenadians seem will-
ing to place their eggs in the US basket as
long as that basket appears to have a safe
bottom. So far, the Americans have played
all their cards right. They have made com-
mitments to complete the airport as well as
to provide funding for a number of priority
projects. Private investors have also been
queuing up to seek out profitable invest-
ments, particularly in the hotel industry.
One can only hope that whatever govern-
ment replaces the interim administration
will seek to filter out some of the cruder
aspects of the American cultural and eco-
nomic invasion. There is indeed concern
among the more sensitive that Grenada will
become too dependent on the US and be-
come an American colony complete with
exclusive residential enclaves for retirees
and gangster types in the tourist industry.
For the time being, however, the Grenadian
masses seem quite willing to become the
51st state and to shroud themselves in the
economic and military security blanket of-
fered by the US, four-and-one-half years of
the NJM notwithstanding. Coard was in-
deed prophetic when he remarked that ul-
traleftism is the right hand of imperialism.
And regrettably, the events in Grenada have
helped to strengthen reaction not only in
Grenada, but in the entire Caribbean. Plus
qa change! ]


CAI?BBEAN PEVIEW/43









Cartagena Proposal
Continued from page 13
may be justified in the developing coun-
tries, which must encourage their infant in-
dustries and diversify their economies.
Protectionism in the countries of the North
cannot be justified on the same grounds.
Those countries are trying to freeze the in-
ternational division of labor recommending
drastic adjustments in developing coun-
tries while refusing to make changes in their
own economic structure.
It is time that the international commu-
nity design a system to demand responsi-
bility by industrialized lender countries for
the evolution of two variables: level of inter-'
est rates and freedom of access to their own
markets. Thus, if a country were to signifi-
cantly alter these two variables to the detri-
ment of borrower countries, its authorities
would be under compulsion by the interna-
tional community to provide resources to
the lender banks or the international credit
agency so that these could, at the same
time, mitigate the situation of the borrower
countries. In this context, Mr. Paul Volcker's
[chairman of the board, Federal Reserve
Bank] proposal to set a limit on interest
rates charged to borrower countries is ex-
ceedingly important. The developing coun-
tries should not be made to pay for the
consequences derived from economic un-
balances in the industrialized countries, par-


ticularly the US fiscal deficit.
Likewise, experts from central banks
should be called urgently to design mecha-
nisms-such as those suggested in the
January 1984 Quito declaration and as pro-
posed by Brazil and Peru-which profit
from our difficult experiences and facilitate
trade within the region, thus allowing us a
means to save hard currencies. Latin Amer-
ica will suffer from a dearth of hard currency
in the coming years anyway. But given the
need, it could do much more for itself
through interregional trade, although such
trade, regrettably, has diminished dramat-
ically in the present crisis.
Drastic changes should also be recom-
mended in the restrictions on foreign in-
vestment. It is obviously much better to
have partners than creditors. Partners only
demand drafts when there are profits. Part-
ners cannot suddenly take capital away. I
propose to suggest to the heads of state of
the Andean Group a substantial change
making the rules on foreign investment in
our countries more favorable and stable.
There may be some who believe that a simi-
lar attitude would be in the best interest of all
Latin America.

The Cartagena Proposal
The essence of the Cartagena proposal is
summarized in the following points: Reiter-
ation of our will to do all we can to fulfill the
foreign credit obligations of our countries in


a complete and timely manner. Commit-
ment for the countries requiring it, to indi-
vidually seek appropriate arrangements
with the lending banks and the International
Monetary Fund so as to pay their foreign
credit obligations while allowing their coun-
tries' development to continue. The com-
mitment to attempt collectively to have the
industrialized countries that adopt financial
or commercial policies tending to signifi-
cantly alter the success of adjustment pro-
grams assume the obligation of providing
the necessary compensatory resources.
Commitment to collectively seek, within the
Latin American system, payment agree-
ments stimulating interregional trade and
the saving of hard currencies. Commitment
to collectively seek new incentives for useful
foreign investment in Latin America. Com-
mitment to collectively try to have the types
of credit granted by multilateral organisms
made consistent with the specific circum-
stances of the situation.
Our poet Carranza states that we often
hear voices from on high: the voices of our
visionary forefathers who believed in the
greatness of man. This is one of those times
when we cannot and must not be like the
passive chorus of Greek tragedies, but must
become actors in our destiny, supporting
the efforts of men of goodwill to make their
passage through this world a more noble
one. The world views us with expectation.
We must not let it down. O


44/CAI?BBEAN rFEIEW


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Sponsored by the Latin American and Caribbean
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Troubled Island
Continued from page 21



To become beneficiary of President Rea-
gan's Caribbean Basin Initiative, Haiti had
made a commitment to improve labor con-
ditions and trade union rights. A new labor
code was adopted in March 1984. As
Shultz's testimony to Congress noted, "de-
spite serious shortcomings in the manner
in which the February 1984 legislative elec-
tions were carried out, the government of
Haiti nevertheless took positive steps in the
area of elections, freedom of the press, and
political parties during the first months of
1984."
In February, Gregoire Eugene was per-
mitted to return from three years of exile in
the US and began publishing his news-
paper, Fraternite, the organ of his Social
Christian Party of Haiti; while Sylvio Claude,
head of the Haitian Democratic Party, jailed
seven times in the last five years, was freed
from house arrest and allowed to go and
come as he pleased. In an interview, Sylvio
Claude said he was at first optimistic, then
pessimistic. "I think the principal cause of
the uprising in Gonaives and Cap Haitien
was that repression has not ended with the
letters; instead it has gone up. Everyone had
been deceived; the liberalization was done
to attract the attention of financial backers
so the government can get more aid," he
said.
On 9 May a communique issued by the
government confused and confounded for-


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recalled that all political parties are forbid-
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papers can publish without prior authoriza-
tion. It was believed a move to halt the
snowballing of new political parties. Alex-
andre Lerouge, a maverick Cap Haitien pol-
itician, had decided to launch his Haitian
Democratic Action Party, and there was
even talk that old-time Duvalierists not in
agreement with Jean-Claude would begin
their own party. The legislature would regu-
late the operation of political parties, the
communique said. Meanwhile those groups
calling themselves political parties are not
authorized to operate.
The same week, riots broke out in Hin-
che, a town near the Dominican border,
where the first real economic rapport be-
tween the two countries had been estab-
lished because the Haitian gourde is as
strong as the dollar and the Dominican
peso weak as water. Contraband floods into
Haiti, hurting its small industry; while cof-
fee, Haiti's major export, from which the
government acquires important export
taxes, is smuggled back across the border.
Hinche was the last of the five localities to
explode with violence. There was no sign
that Port-au-Prince, scene of all important
Haitian activities, would follow suit-after
all, the assembly industries which employ
from 40,000 to 60,000 are just beginning to
make a comeback with the end of the US
recession, and the government presence in
the capital is overbearing.
Haiti and the Dominican Republic have


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had the safety valve of illegal migration in
the past, but no longer. The Haitian govern-
ment has won high praise from the Reagan
administration for its efforts to stem the tide
of boat people escaping to South Florida.
But when an overloaded boat capsized as it
was being interdicted on 8 June, drowning
some of the refugees, it was learned that it
was the 48th boat interdicted since the
agreement was signed in September 1981,
and 1,400 Haitians had been sent back.
US officials worried that the Haiti riots
could spell the end of the latest liberalization
effort which, they feel, is necessary if Haiti is
going to make any real progress. By the end
of June, the liberalization process had be-
come both an instigator and a victim of the
riots. The Haitian regime returned to hard-
line rigidity, and relations with the US
plummeted to a new low. In the Dominican
Republic, they are concerned about keeping
the democratic institutions intact. The out-
look on Hispaniola was one of gloom. El





CAMBEAN

'EVIEWAWARD

We are pleased to accept nominations
for the sixth annual Caribbean Review
Award, an annual presentation to honor
an individual who has contributed to the
advancement of Caribbean intellectual
life.
Winner of the fifth annual award was
C.L.R. James. Previous winners were
Gordon K. Lewis, Philip M. Sherlock, Aimd
Cesaire and Sidney W. Mintz.
Nominations are to be sent to the Editor,
Caribbean Review, Florida International
University, Miami, Florida 33199. Nomina-
tions must be received by 15 February
1985. The sixth annual Caribbean Review
Award will be announced at the Tenth An-
niversary Conference of the Caribbean
Studies Association in San Juan, Puerto
Rico, 29 May-1 June 1985.
The Award Committee consists of:
Lambros Comitas (chairman), Columbia
University, New York; Fuat Andic, Univer-
sidad de Puerto Rico, San Juan; Locksley
Edmonson, Cornell University, Ithaca,
New York; Anthony P. Maingot, Florida In-
ternational University, Miami; and Andr6s
Serbin, Universidad Central de Venezu-
ela, Caracas.
The award recognizes individual effort
irrespective of field, ideology, national ori-
gin, or place of residence. The recipient
receives a plaque and an honorarium of
$250, donated by the International Affairs
Center of Florida International University.


CArBBEAN PJVIEW/45


CUBAN

STUDIES
an









Corruption
Continued from page 24


behind STPRM, although he has not been
its elected director since 1964. In the words
of one retired leader, "not a leaf falls without
his knowing about it." Knowledge is power,
as it is the ability to place his loyalists, such
as current secretary-general, Salvador Bar-
ragan Camacho, in key and highly re-
munerative union posts.
Born into a humble union member's
family, La Quina began work in Pemex as a
welder and soon became interested in
union politics. He used his secretary-gener-
alship of the STPRM to forge a nationwide
alliance that has allowed him to hold sway
over Latin America's strongest labor organ-
ization to this day.
La Quina amasses for his union land,
businesses, money, politicians and workers
the way the Medicis collected works of art-
with precision, cunning, shrewdness and
relentless determination. Former Senator
Samuel Terrazas Zozaya, who as head of the
union in the late 1960s broke with La Quina
and tried to execute reforms, told me of La
Quina's practice of making new workers
sign a blank piece of paper as a precondi-
tion for obtaining a tenured position. The


signature, which could someday constitute
a resignation or a confession to a crime,
secured the individual's support for what
Excelsior, Mexico City's leading newspaper,
has called the "petroleum mafia" and col-
umnist Miguel Aroche Parra has excoriated
as the "petroleum sewer."
La Quina personally approves credit
union loans to members of his local and
grants favors to followers who congregate
outside his home three evenings a week.
"He decided everything, reassignments,
promotions, leaves, commissions, con-
tracts ..." said a member of his entourage.
Unlike some of his more showy side-
kicks, he dresses simply, limits his jewelry to
a cross worn around his neck, and presents
himself as a modest man of the people. He
resides at an unpretentious home outside
the flyspecked Gulf Coast town of Ciudad
Madero. When I interviewed him there sev-
eral years ago, La Quina scoffed at the idea
that he personally was involved in any
wrongdoing.
As one of his armed bodyguards looked
on and a .30-.30 rifle lay on a coffee table
between us, La Quina identified corruption
as the union's number-one problem. Slowly
sipping a glass of papaya juice, he pledged
to battle for the "internal cleanliness" of his
organization by expelling from the union
anyone caught selling jobs. He acknowl-


edged that about one out of five of the oil
industry's temporary jobs were then being
sold. More recently, La Quina has re-
sponded to critics by accusing Pemex's cur-
rent administration of "wastefulness, bu-
reaucratism and incompetence," denounc-
ing a "plot" to assassinate him, threatening
to retire from all union activity this year, and
attacking his critics in the press.
One of La Quina's bitterest enemies and
critics is Hebraicaz Vazquez Gutierrez, who
founded the National Petroleum Movement
in the early 1970s as a reform element
within the union. Vazquez, who had served
as a local union official, claimed the union
uses some 3,000 armed men, who are on
Pemex's payroll, to repress dissidents and
whip up support for union ventures. VAz-
quez's efforts to clean up the STPRM led to a
jail term, loss of a tenured position with
Pemex, and his being blackballed from em-
ployment in any unionized industry in his
home town of Puebla.

Union Violence
If unsuccessful with the carrot, La Quina
issues threats or has dissidents transferred
to remote Pemex installations. Continued
criticism can trigger violence. Lorenzo
Cantui Nava, a refinery mechanic in Ciudad
Madero, learned his lesson the hard way. On
28 February 1976 he was allegedly kid-


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46/CAiBBEAN REVIEW


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A Volume in the STUDIES IN ANlTHROPOLOGY Series
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napped and beaten to unconsciousness by
La Quina's men. Unsuccessful in persuad-
ing local, state or federal officials to pros-
ecute the powerful leader, Cant6 vented his
frustrations in a letter to La Quina which,
among other things, asked him "to render
an accurate account of the incalculable
capital that you have capriciously manipu-
lated over the last 20 years."
More sensational was the gangland-style
killing in 1977 of Heriberto Kehoe Vincent,
an upstart competitor for union power.
Even though La Quina and his chief con-
federates had been at odds with the victim,
they dutifully hurried to Poza Rica, the scene
of the murder, where 20,000 people
watched the funeral cortege. For two hours
virtually all activity ceased in the city. After
Kehoe's burial in the La Santisima Trinidad
cemetery, and the personal conveying of
condolences to the black-veiled widow and
her children, La Quina and three associates
held a private meeting in a room next to the
one in which Kehoe's remains had reposed
in a coffee-colored coffin. Later, when
members of the family tried to contest the
widow's right to her husband's property, La
Quina interceded on her behalf. For this
involvement, the man whose opponent was
eliminated by the killing earned the grati-
tude of the bereaved widow.
In October 1983, David Ramirez Cruz,


secretary-general of Local 10 in Minatilan, a
city in southern Veracruz state where union
chiefs have traditionally resisted hewing the
quinista line, reported that La Quina's local
satrap had organized a band of 50 thugs to
terrorize those who opposed the STPRM's
official leadership. "In addition to being
armed with pistols, the mercenaries ...
possess bazookas with which they have
threatened to dissolve any meeting of work-
ers who dissent from the dominance of the
national leader," Ramirez Cruz affirmed.
Violence convulsed Local 24 in Sala-
manca during the spring of 1984 when
three union members were killed during a
power struggle between pro- and anti-La
Quina forces. The stakes were particularly
high in this refinery-based local because
income from a variety of sources, many
with revolutionary and exotic names, sup-
plements its monthly dues collection of
nearly $60,000. These include the "Labor
Force" merchandise store, the "Lazaro Car-
denas" and "Versailles" movie theaters, the
"Pink Panther" nightclub, the "Rolling
Stones" restaurant, the "Lazaro Cardenas"
gymnasium, the "Luis Echeverria" farm, a
funeral parlor, a gas station, a ranch, a sta-
dium, a tortilla stand, a fish market, a shop
selling chickens, and ten passenger buses.
The competition for control occurred
after Ram6n L6pez Diaz, the erstwhile head


of the local and a staunch insider on La
Quina's team, was forced to lie low follow-
ing his involvement in a January 1978
scandal. Two eyewitnesses identified the
immensely rich labor leader as having shot
and killed Silvia Maria Priego Ferrer, a 22-
year-old transitory worker, during a pre-
dawn drunken orgy in the syndicate's head-
quarters. A clumsily orchestrated effort to
disguise the incident as a suicide fooled no
one. Nevertheless, L6pez Diaz-described
by the governor of the state as "my best and
closest friend"-not only escaped incar-
ceration, conviction and punishment, but
the Salamanca police declined to investi-
gate the accusations against him, serving
instead as his protectors. Meanwhile, a fu-
neral home operator, who incidentally owed
his position as a local legislator to L6pez
Diaz, assured the victim's parents that
L6pez Diaz couldn't possibly have fired the
lethal shot because he was with the gover-
nor at the time the death occurred.
Dishonor among thieves found an im-
mensely rich erstwhile disciple of La Quina
and Barragan, Hector Garcia Hemandez,
better known as "El Trampas," ("The Trick-
ster") accusing his former mentors of both
heading a criminal band and diverting mil-
lions of dollars in union funds to their per-
sonal use. El Trampas, who rose from
chauffeuring La Quina to becoming an


CAPIBBEAN PEVI1e/47


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obscenely wealthy entrepreneur and news-
paper editor in Coatzacoalcos, where he ran
things for the STPRM, as well as serving as
the union's national secretary of education
and social security, fired his salvo in the
form of a public letter to de la Madrid from
McAllen, Texas, where he owns a luxurious
condominium, one of his many residences.
Union toughs soon showed up on his door-
step and whisked him back to Mexico where
he was imprisoned on charges of defraud-
ing the STPRM of $6 million.
Barragan, who preferred these charges,
doubtless viewed El Trampas as an embar-
rassment to "moral renovation" because of
his crudely ostentatious lifestyle, and may
even have feared the ambitious 49-year-old
schemer, a past master at ingratiating him-
self with politicians, as a potential com-
petitor for power within the union. A
courtroom confrontation between Bar-
ragan and El Trampas, who promises to tell
all with documentation about union pecula-
tion, has yet to take place. Although sched-
uled for last 13 April, the session was
postponed after Barragan defied Judge
Jorge Reyes Tayabas and refused to release
a report on STPRM finances that Garcia
Hernandez claimed was crucial to his de-
fense. Rather than violate union autonomy
by divulging the document, Barragan's law-
yers have stated a readiness to take the case
to Mexico's Supreme Court of Justice.
That STPRM does some good things for
its members is undeniable. Encuentro, a
local English-language publication, re-
ported on 28 April 1983 that it takes six
times as many workers to produce a barrel
of crude in Mexico as it does in Venezuela or
the United States. Such featherbedding
may be a credit to the power of the union. At
least, it can be argued, it is providing jobs in
a country of chronically high unemploy-
ment. But the industry still only employs a
relative handful of people in a nation where
nearly half of the work force, estimated at 20
million, is either out of a job or employed
only sporadically. At a time of economic
austerity brought on by declining oil reve-
nues and an $87 billion foreign debt, such
inefficient practices are a drag on an econ-
omy that still is doing little for the roughly 40
percent of the population who live as rag-
pickers, unprotected by a governmental
safety net, at the base of an increasingly
distended social pyramid.

Government Strategy
Why hasn't the government cracked down
on the "petroleum jungle," as journalists
describe the oil industry? To begin with,
labor is the sturdiest pillar of the ruling In-
stitutional Revolutionary Party (PRI), and
the oil workers energetically mobilize funds,
crowds and votes for favored candidates at
all levels. An ability to deliver support won
La Quina the right of picaporte, or easy
access, to the Los Pinos presidential palace


under L6pez Portillo. The backing of organ-
ized labor in general, and the STPRM in
particular, is even more crucial to the PRI
which, having lost a spate of local elections
last year amid the deteriorating economic
conditions, faces stiff challenges in nation-
wide congressional contests in mid-1985.
Moreover, displacing La Quina and his
disciples might only bring in a new genera-
tion of STPRM leaders every bit as self-serv-
ing as their predecessors, but not as
politically devoted to the PRI. Also, a
blitzkrieg attack on the union-public con-
demnations, auditing of its accounts, re-
quiring secret ballots in choosing STPRM
leaders at all levels, supervision of union
elections by the labor ministry, firing of La
Quina's retainers, and ending official en-
couragement to independently disposed
southern locals or to the National Pe-
troleum Movement-might not only para-
lyze the industry that generates three-
fourths of Mexico's critically needed foreign
exchange, it could also reveal further
wrongdoing within the state monopoly's
Augean stable at the time it is attempting to
project the image of a "New Pemex."
De la Madrid claims to be up to the Her-
culean task of combatting corruption, but in
an incremental, legalistic fashion. He began
by appointing Mario Ram6n Beteta as di-
rector general of Pemex. Although pre-
viously unacquainted with the oil indus-
try-his naive questions sometimes em-
barrassed staff members in early briefing
sessions-Beteta is a quick study, who is
smart, hard-working and trusted by the
president. At first he engaged in confronta-
tion with the union, vowing that "no im-
moral deals will be made in the shadow of
the largest national industry" while he is
director. He has also stressed that "our in-
dustry belongs, not to the petroleum work-
ers alone, but to the nation as a whole.
Intelligent management and proper usage
of our resources must favor Mexico, and our
basic objective is to serve the community
and not to benefit the individual."
Such language precipitated snarls from
La Quiha and Barragan, who lashed out at
the 57-year-old lawyer-economist as a pe-
troleum dilettante who had installed five as-
sociates from the Banco Mexicano Somex,
which he previously headed, in key Pemex
posts, while swelling the corporation's exec-
utive suite with other inexperienced techni-
cians assigned the ambiguous title of
"coordinator."
Beteta and other de la Madrid stalwarts
have found salami tactics more functional
than unconditional warfare. In the spring of
1983, they helped oust quinista officers
accused of hanky panky from Local 43, a
small, 750-employee maintenance unit,
even though Beteta later proclaimed with a
straight face that: "Union problems should
be resolved by their own militants." Syrupy
assurances notwithstanding, the telling


48/CAIBBEAN REVIEW








blow to the union's purse came early this
year when the ministry of budget and plan-
ning promulgated regulations to terminate
the subcontracting or selling of govern-
ment contracts to third parties, a longstand-
ing practice which the STPRM had
converted from an art form to an exact sci-
ence. Even though the new rules, designed
to save the government $1 billion in 1984,
would cost the oil workers' union some
$165 million, Barragan complemented pri-
vate fury over the change with public accep-
tance: "The secretariat once again has
adopted a plan that benefits the higher in-
terests of the country," the secretary-gen-
eral told reporters.
What explains this docility? Why didn't
union bigwigs retaliate with strike threats or
actual work stoppages? First, they were
caught off guard, having just six months
before had their right to control 40 percent
of offshore drilling expanded to 50 per-
cent-a contract provision spiked by the
executive fiat Second, rather than single
out the petroleros, the new guidelines apply
to all unions as well as businesses. "They
can't say anything," one official told the New
York Times. "Their backs are against the
wall. We said we wanted to clean up the
union gradually, without draconian mea-
sures." Third, going to the mat with the
government over $165 million-especially
if the conflict escalated to deploying Mex-
ico's loyal army against the oil workers-
would place in jeopardy the billions of dol-
lars of wealth enjoyed by the STPRM, not to
mention the legal and illegal perquisites of
office savored by its leaders. Fourth, buck-
ing de la Madrid and the PRI would diminish
the considerable political clout wielded by
the union in cities like Poza Rica, Cuidad
Madero and Salamanca, and states like
Tamaulipas which appear as STPRM
fiefdoms. Finally, actions to reduce oil out-
put would surely trigger public outrage,
fanned by a government-manipulated
press, at union leaders and could even drive
a wedge between the STPRM and the Con-
federation of Mexican Workers, the nation's
4 million-member labor federation whose
octagenarian leader, Fidel Velazquez, has
combined tough talk about workers' rights
with a readiness to restrain wage increases
to promote economic recovery.

De la Madrid's Rationale
A more difficult question is why de la Madrid
has taken up the anti-corruption fight when
prospects for success appear so slim be-
cause of the ubiquitous presence of malfea-
sance in this comucopia-shaped country,
and the emphasis on "moral renovation"
could further undermine the legitimacy of
Mexico's authoritarian regime.
To begin with, he wants to distance him-
self from the obscene wrongdoing of his
predecessor's term, while using the inces-
sant attacks on Diaz Serrano, Durazo and


others to deflect public attention from stem
belt-tightening measures designed to pull
the nation of 75 million inhabitants from the
brink of bankruptcy. To accomplish this
goal, he needs all the economic resources
at his disposal, and that means slicing
through the inefficiency, bureaucracy and
corruption that holds back the Mexican
economy. Prosecuting a bigshot like Diaz
Serrano may also demonstrate that the elite
cannot enrich itself unjustly when sacrifices
are being demanded of both the angry,
hard-pressed middle class and the masses
who live in hard-scrabble poverty. Addi-
tionally, it could encourage investors to be-
lieve they can do business without having to
pay exorbitant mordidas to bureaucrats
and politicos.
Above all, de la Madrid wants to make the
former Pemex chief an example for am-
bitious politicians, to let them know that
illegal actions-at least blatant ones-will
incur his wrath and queer their chances for
a governorship, a cabinet post, or, most
important, the presidency. Of course, Diaz
Serrano has made an especially inviting tar-
get because, though a prominent public
figure, he is not a high mucky-muck in the
PRI; and an attack on him does not con-
stitute a direct assault on the revolutionary
party. Even so, the odds are long that he will
ever be prosecuted.
His campaign is more than just an inter-
esting political sideshow; it is central to
Mexico's future. Not only does corruption
divert resources away from needed mod-
ernization, it also instills cynicism among
workers. They see that the right connec-
tions are more important in getting ahead


than hard, honest work. This in turn nour-
ishes their alienation from the political sys-
tem and adds to the instability of a system
afflicted by strong and mounting stress.
That should be a concem not only for Mex-
ico but also for its powerful neighbor to the
north.
Jack Anderson has alleged that de la
Madrid himself stashed $13 to $14 million
in a Swiss bank within four months of don-
ning the green, white, and red presidential
sash and that his total "take" is at least $162
million. If verified, these unsubstantiated
charges-made in a 15 May 1984 Wash-
ington Post column timed to coincide with
the Mexican leader's visit to the US capital-
will intensify the people's enmity toward
their government.
Besides the Anderson expose, the 31
May murder of Manuel Buendia, one of
Mexico's best-known and most-read jour-
nalists, has kept the corruption issue on the
front page of Mexico City dailies. Buendia's
"Private Network" column, which appeared
daily in Excelsior and 200 other news-
papers, often zeroed in on official and
quasi-official wrongdoing. In recent
months, the 58-year-old muckraker had
leveled attacks at peculation within the
STPRM, the activities of former Police Chief
Durazo, and the self-serving record of Diaz
Serrano.
In the unlikely event that de la Madrid,
acting in good faith, succeeds in his daunt-
ing task, such dust-covered words as cau-
tela (caution), responsabilidad (responsi-
bility), cuidado (care), and vigilancia
(vigilance) may once again enjoy currency
in the ancient Aztec capital. O


cut page best copy available








Airbus
Continued from page 29



sausage and draughts of raisin-cured cane
liquor made in a home still, a liquor that is
swallowed without neurotic sipping or fas-
tidious holding back, a raucous, passionate
friendliness, one whose fullness, intimacy
of feeling, whose clatter, whose raw gusto
and willingness to be sociable right at the
outset and for no particular reason is simply
indifferent to the disapproval it now elicits
from those who, from the shelter of the first-
class compartment, those who, between
sips of California champagne and a tit-a-
tete with a reasonably nosed and subtly
mannered stewardess, venture a ra-
tionalized "They are my people but" or ven-
ture a resentful "Wish they'd learn how to
behave" or venture a final judgment "They
will never make it because they are trash;" a
raucous, passionate friendliness that sput-
ters, bubbles up and spills over the edge as
the wiry fiftyish man recites his self-explan-
atory agenda "If I can't live in Puerto Rico
because Ijust can't make it there I'll take it all
with me bit by bit, this time I've got four
crabs from Vacia Telega, last time I brought
over a purebred fighting cock and next time
it will be every single ever recorded by
Cortijo."
And he follows up with a list of items he
defends with the tender mercies of a smile,
he's governed by the savory memories of
other happy travels, other attempts to re-
duce the distance, other intimate posses-


sions salvaged, utterances that if analyzed
by a deformed or myopic spirit might
amount to nothing more than a cheap natu-
ralism, a mediocre slice of life, trivia, the
elements of a merely folksy lelolai syn-
drome. But when their none-too-imposing
appearance, eroded prestige and poor taste
are transcended, they manifest their true
nature as the useful, reiterated and un-
deniable revelations of a temperament that,
day after day, modulates its uniqueness and
secures permanence despite, in spite of, in
the face of, let alone and all the same, still,
yet, even, perhaps and other stutterings and
dialectical and dialectal babblings bom of
superlatively grammatical attempts at
speech, attempts conjugated by our devast-
ing and inexorable yanquification, a unique,
different, permanent, and integral tempera-
ment with which our militant, familiar, and
neighborhood ties of warmth lay the foun-
dations of our sacrosanct state of depen-
dency: just one person leaves for New York,
but five come along to see him off and two
people come back from New York but
they're met by eight; a temperament that
keeps our reserves of humor flowing--just
because we love to laugh wholeheartedly
and with irreverence, we love a joke with a
little bite; a temperament that is the main-
stay of our emotional dominion-just be-
cause we suffer and weep lavishly,
operatically, cineMexicanly, for ours is the
laughter, ours the tears, barely distinguisha-
ble one from the other just as they are fused
right now in the airbus.
For at this moment the wiry fiftyish man
is busy establishing his reputation as a lover
of chitchat and ruckus, totally oblivious to


cut page best copy available


the mysterious overarching shadow he is
casting on the screen the purser has rolled
out. He shares his asides with a certain Cayo
from Cayey who is on his way to hug his two
grandsons whom he hasn't seen since Sep-
tember and with a certain Soleda Romero
who charges off to Puerto Rico whenever
her soul's battery needs a recharge and with
a certain Isidro from El Yunque who came
down to sell some lots because his son got
in trouble and he doesn't want him to get
ruined in jail, and with a certain Laura Ser-
rano who can't take the winters but refuses
to give up what destiny has prefigured for
her in New York and with a certain Yacoco
Calder6n from Loiza who is moving to
Spanish Harlem for a few months as he puts
it to make a quick bundle and get out, and
with a certain Gloria Fragoso who is off to
New York to keep her dying son Vitin from
dying and with a certain Bob Marquez who
introduces himself with a fervent and some-
what overly familiar: "Black Puerto Rican
and proud of it, my friend" and with another
who hems and haws over his name, saying:
"rm only on loan in New York"; they jump
into rhythmic giddiness in the aisles, shar-
ing hopes they have just dusted off, repeat-
ing their "Where are you from's" with the
urgency of a demographic counter, chim-
ing in "If you're from Rio Grande, then you
must know Mister Pagan who teaches in-
dustrial arts and if you're from Aguadilla
you probably know Tata Barradas."
On the airbus Puerto Ricans expound
once more on the difficulties and delights of
provincial airs, the delights of a country that
never grew to be more than a big village, or
a nation that dabbled in becoming a small









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country, Puerto Ricans who glorify the un-
easy illusion that they're traveling to New
York strictly on a temporary basis, Puerto
Ricans who swear on the holy memory of
their dead relatives that they'll just stay in
New York long enough to get out from un-
der, and just until things straighten out in
Puerto Rico, orjust till the time when they've
saved enough for a decent down payment
on a house in the seventh subdivision of
San Juan's Levittown, Puerto Ricans who
on any given night of the week might climb
aboard an airbus provided they've got with
them an open return round trip ticket, a
ticket that guarantees their return, a ticket
that makes an urgent return possible at a
moment's notice when Grandma's on her
deathbed or when the Old Man dies sud-
denly, a ticket that instantly satisfies the
urgent hunger for an island whose memory
is nestled like a treasure gently distorted by
reminiscences, tenderly reworked by the
imagination at a distance, the island once
described as having reefs gently billowing
in a golden blue-green warmth of sand and
sea, an open return round trip ticket that
puts an end to the sudden joy experienced
while walking around mountains and
beaches on the island, taking a spin around
the plaza, meandering around the familiar
streets that are so beautiful despite or
maybe because of their ugliness, recover-
ing friendships through desultory conver-
sations that stretch out over a savanna of
days or weeks or going on a binge that lasts
for several days, a momentary return to that
certain something that never changes de-
spite failure, inertia, erosion, that certain
something that lacks even the trappings of
magical realism or the lyrical vibrations of
nostalgia, a ticket that attests to the fact that
no roots will go down in New York nor will
there be burials in a foreign land; Puerto
Ricans who can't breathe freely in Puerto
Rico but who breathe new life into their
souls in New York, Puerto Ricans who can't
score a hit in Puerto Rico while in New York


they can bat a thousand, Puerto Ricans in
whom the rhythmic swaying of the island
breezes produces a certain psychic vertigo
while the constant struggle for survival in
New York produces a certain tranquility,
Puerto Ricans who are confused, annoyed
and disturbed by their inability to live unin-
terruptedly in Puerto Rico and who become
needlessly irritated and needlessly uncom-
fortable, become captives of their own
needless explanations, "Listen pal, the only
thing people are into on the island is drink-
ing and joking, having a good time, listen
old buddy, everything's a big hassle in
Puerto Rico and I tell you, in Puerto Rico the
lack of mental rigor and the glorification of
speech for its own sake entertains me but it
leaves me bewildered, my friend, folks
down there will break their word and stay as
cool as a cucumber, I'll tell you, I've cast my
fate over here and I find myself lost down
there except maybe I'll try it down there for a
while and then if I don't like it I'll just slip
back up here again." Puerto Ricans who
want to be down there but must be up here,
Puerto Ricans who must be down there but
can't stay put down there, Puerto Ricans
who are there but dream of being here,
Puerto Ricans whose lives are spread out
between the question marks that burst from
the two adverbs like knife stabs, Puerto
Ricans who are permanently installed in the
wander-ground between here and there
and who must therefore informalize the trip,
making it little more than a hop on a bus,
though airborne, that floats over the creek
to which the Atlantic Ocean has been re-
duced by the Puerto Ricans. A crossing over
the Atlantic made simpler so as to return,
go, return once more, a return fervently and
loudly applauded whenever the airbus
lands anew.
My neighbor brings up once more the
incident turned accident involving the crabs
and aims the inevitable "And where are you
from?" at me as soon as they announce "in
a few minutes we are going to land in the


John F. Kennedy International Airport." I
reply "I'm from Puerto Rico" only to hear
her respond with a surprisingly psychic
"That's written all over your face." "From
Humacao" I add, no doubt pleasing her for
she agreeably states: "I've been to
Humacao" but she looks at me as if I've
shortchanged her, as if I've thoughtlessly
forgotten that the vestiges of a tribal com-
munity impose their authority on the airbus
where dialogues lose their loincloths and
the opening between speakers is broad-
ened by the belief that an apparent equality
and solidarity between Puerto Ricans is
made possible by chance and fate. "Where
are you from?" I ask though I know full well
what the answer will be. With a coquettish
twinkle in her eye and a shameless blush in
her cheek she replies "I'm from Puerto
Rico," forcing me to say, just slightly psy-
chic, "Even the blind can see that much,"
adding "From which town in Puerto Rico?"
And she specifies "From New York."
It might be a tired cliche or an unfortu-
nate geographical slip or a joke vibrating
with sarcasm, or a new drawing of the
boundaries or the silent but sweet revenge
of the invaded invading the invader. It is, of
course, all of that and more. It is the story
that history books fail to tell. It is the obverse
of the rhetorical twist that slips out of pol-
itics' reach. It is the datum missed by statis-
tical counts. It is the translucent statement
that confirms once more the utility of po-
etry. It is the overdue and just payment to
those souls who watched in worry and
doubt from the decks of the steamships
Borinquen or Coamo as the outline of their
beloved island disappeared forever into the
horizon; it is the revindication of those who
emerged from the stupor of 14 hours of
travel in the narrow and uncomfortable fly-
ing machines of Pan American. It is reality's
current, leveling and dazzling in its pursuit
of a new space, furiously conquered. It is the
course of a nation afloat between two ports
where the contraband is hope. E


Caribbean Eve
Continued from page 35




pie's failed revolution as well: "Say some-
thing, my nigger with ancestors. You know,
don't you, why I'm leaving? I'm leaving be-
cause it would be too easy to stay. If I stayed,
nothing would change between us. I'd con-
tinue to shuttle back and forth between
Heremakhonon and the town. Until one of
us got tired, you the first, of course ...
"I am convinced that if that night the town
hadn't slept, if men, women and youngsters


had come out of their huts, I would certainly
have marched with them. Their determina-
tion would have given me strength. Is that
what would have happened? I shall never
know because they remained behind
closed doors, lying on their lice-infested
straw beds... One day I'll have to break the
silence. I'll have to explain. What? This mis-
take, this tragic mistake I couldn't help mak-
ing, being what I am. My ancestors led me
on. What more can I say? I looked for myself
in the wrong place. In the arms of an as-
sassin. Come now, don't use big words. Al-
ways dramatizing. Spring? Yes, it's Spring in
Paris."
There is more than casual truth, then, in
taking the observation of the French savant


as an emblem of woman's place in the tris-
tes tropiques. But it must be refined. Al-
though their rebellions, whether small and
personal or grand and stagey, all come to
grief in these fictions, they are exchanged
for survival. Fading into the background is
not the same as vanishing forever. Telumee
recedes into the greenery like an apparition
out of the douanier Rousseau; Beka du-
tifully learns to be a nice pea in the bour-
geois classroom pod; and Maryse Conde's
uprooted gadabout slips gratefully back
into the Parisian bouquet. Having had-like
Eve-their fling, they carefully choose their
camouflage, yielding the foreground as well
as history, religion, politics and economics
to the pacing shapes of jaguars. O


CARIBBEAN P VIEW/51









First Impressions



Critics Look at the New Literature


Compiled by Forrest D. Colburn


Bruised Apples
The Dominican Republic, Howard J.
Wiarda and Michael J. Kryzanek. 153 pp.
Westview Press, Boulder, 1982.

In a book of limited length, the authors have
been obliged to provide brief descriptions of
past events and present situations, without
making any serious attempt to explain why
they happened or why they are as they are
now. A chapter entitled "The Pattern of His-
torical Development," for instance, covers
the whole period from the discovery of His-
paniola by Columbus (1492) to the as-
sassination of Trujillo (1961) in 13 pages.
Naturally a great deal has to be left out, and
there is little or no room for serious assess-
ment of causes or effects. The same goes
for "Contemporary Dominican History,"
which continues the story up to about 1980.
It contains a brief account of Juan Bosch's
administration in 1963-just one example
by way of illustration-but fails to explain
how he came to power in the first place with
such an immense majority, or how within
seven months he had so lost his support
that he could be ousted by a military coup
without any effective show of popular
protest.
The authors' main thesis seemsto be that
Dominicans are torn between a desire for
democratic freedom and the need for pater-
nalistic authoritarian rule, and that on the
whole the second is more potent than the
first. The strong men have remained in
power far longer than the weaker ones de-
pendent on popular support. This is true,
but less true now than it was. Both Trujillo
and Balaguer had the countryside behind
them, and paternalistic rule appeals pre-
dominantly to the peasantry, while de-
mands for democratic government prevail
in the towns. An exception, Bosch surged
into power on the swell of the rural vote
reacting against the Trujillistas. After seven
months in which he had been too slow to
carry out his promises of land reform, the
peasantry turned against him; and in 1966
it was the rural vote that swept Balaguer
back into the presidency. What is not
brought out is the fact that by 1978, immi-
gration from the countryside into the towns
was approaching the point at which the
rural and urban electorates would be


Forrest D. Colburn teaches political science at
Florida International University.


roughly in balance. There were other and
more obvious reasons why Balaguer lost
that year's elections, but the demographic
factor played its part. It did so again in 1982,
when Salvador Jorge Blanco, having de-
feated Guzmbn in his run for the PRD nomi-
nation, became president. It is curious,
incidentally, that among the left-wing mem-
bers of the party who were, even in 1979,
thorns in the flesh of the late President Guz-
man, only Pefia G6mez, the secretary-gen-
eral, is singled out for mention; the leader of
that clique, who was eventually to succeed
to the presidency, is not once mentioned by
name.
Good chapters discuss the economy, ag-
ricultural development, and governmental
policy with regard to land reform and tech-
nical planning. A chapter on the situation of
the Dominican Republic in the international
arena is also to be recommended. So, in-
deed--even if some of it is open to chal-
lenge-is the whole book. Its imperfections
can be ascribed mainly to its presumably
prescribed brevity. What the authors have
tried to do is rather like packing two pounds
of apples into a box meant for only one
pound. It is hardly surprising that some of
them have got bruised in the process and
others left out altogether.
IAN BELL
Isle of Skye
Scotland

Beauty and the Beast
Problems of Development in Beautiful
Countries: Perspectives on the
Caribbean, Ransford W. Palmer. 91 pp.
North-South Publishing Co., Lanham,
Maryland, 1984. $12.50.

Palmer's short book-the text extends to
but 70 pages-is actually a series of eight
short essays, five of which originally were
presented as papers or have been published
elsewhere. They treat the problem of gener-
ating sufficient employment, the means to
achieve less dependent growth, the reasons
for and the costs of Caribbean migration,
technology problems, and regional integra-
tion. Palmer succeeds in coming out on
both sides of many issues as his generally
orthodox economic perspective confronts
Caribbean reality; the resultant waffling is
made worse by a paucity of analysis (save
his examination of migration) which se-
riously dilutes the book's impact.


Palmer comes down hard on "mis-
guided" governments "which diverted a dis-
proportionate share of national resources
into public consumption for short-term po-
litical gain and...which discouraged risk-
taking by [local] entrepreneurs"; the result
has been undue dependence on external
markets and finances in most Caribbean
economies. Inappropriate state interference
with markets, and the constraint of small
size limiting production possibilities, are the
two key dilemmas confronting Caribbean
development. Unemployment, both open
and disguised, and the decline of agricul-
ture and local food production are the most
compelling measures of the ultimate failure
of the strategy of "peripheral industrializa-
tion" based on foreign capital, characteristic
of the larger Caribbean nations. This failed
"external engine of growth" must be re-
placed by an "indigenous engine of growth"
if the Caribbean is to progress.
Palmer embraces the Caribbean Basin
Initiative (the complete text of which is in
Appendix B) as a great opportunity, though
he believes the smaller nations of the East-
ern Caribbean will not gain much. If the CBI
fails to generate the critical internal engine
of growth, however, it will be because of
incorrect Caribbean public policy and the
inability of local entrepreneurs to create
small, labor-intensive enterprises linked to
the large international corporations, the real
beneficiaries of the CBI legislation. Greater
regional integration and a central and devel-
opment bank are proposed for the Eastern
Caribbean, where the level of development
is generally lower.
While these are worthwhile suggestions,
they are not innovative, and the experience
with integration schemes in the Caribbean
and elsewhere in Latin America suggests
they are no substitute in the long run for
addressing the internal structures of owner-
ship and control and the distribution of the
fruits of economic growth. Overall, Palmer's
book is something of a disappointment.
There are nuggets and critical insights, to
be sure. But an opportunity was missed to
deal in depth, analytically, and critically with
the pressing economic problems of the Ca-
ribbean. Perhaps the blame should be put
on the restrictiveness of the neoclassical
economic framework that constrains Pal-
mer even as he tries to break from its bonds.
JAMES DIETZ
California State University
Fullerton, California


52/CAIBBEAN FVIEW









Who is the Devil?
The Idols of Death and the God of Life: A
Theology, Pablo Richard, et al. 232 pp.
Orbis Books, Maryknoll, 1983. $12.95.

Two hundred years ago, Frederick the Great
ruled Prussia on the premise that God was
dead. A century ago Nietzsche made it offi-
cial. Yet in many parts of the world, and
especially in Latin America, the battle for
men's minds goes on. In Castro's Cuba, God
is officially dead, though the remnants of
institutional religion are tolerated as long as
they confine themselves to the sacristy. Yet
no debate among theologians has attracted
more attention from secular governments
and secular man since the Protestant Refor-
mation than liberation theology.
The CIA and NKVD keep files, we are told,
on liberation theologians. Conservative
church groups condemn them. Like the
prophets of the Old Testament who are their
heroes, they get it from all sides.
The subject of this review is a collection of
essays, translated from the Spanish and
published by Orbis Books, a project of
Maryknoll, an American Catholic mission-
ary institute whose members have been in
the forefront of the battle for justice and
rights from South Korea to the Philippines,
and in Latin America. But the theme knows
no institutional boundaries, and the authors
of the essays in The Idols of Death and the
God of Life represent Protestant, as well as
Catholic, theological traditions. The central
issue today is idolatry-worship of the false
gods of oppression: "The search for the true
God in this battle of the gods brings us to an
anti-idolatrous discernment of false gods,
of those fetishes that kill with their religious
weapons of death. Faith in God as a libera-
tor, who reveals his face and mystery
through the struggle of the poor against
oppression, necessarily entails repudiation
and removal of false gods. Faith becomes
anti-idolatrous."
The average North American church-
goer, and indeed most clergymen, will find
this book disturbing. If they read it, they will
find it challenging. Some will remember the
saying, "The devil can quote Scripture for
his purpose." The question will remain,
however, who is the devil? What are the
temptations he offers modern man and
woman? When our self-interest is threat-
ened, as individuals, as a community, how
quickly we can abandon even our secular
values. It is interesting to note in this context
the rapid escalation in the number of issues
of contention between the US Catholic Con-
ference and the most conservative US ad-
ministration in living memory-the same
administration which has taken the un-
precedented step of actually reestablishing
diplomatic relations with the Holy See.
Never perhaps since Constantine estab-
lished Catholicism as the official religion of
the Empire, has the issue been so clear, the


choice so relevant and the implications so
threatening to the individual. Like Moses,
we have no place to flee. Read this work;
believer or non-believer, you will not rest
easy.
MONSIGNOR BRYAN 0. WALSH
Catholic Community Services
Miami, Florida

Puerto Rican Downpour
Apalabramiento: Cuentos
puertorriquefios de hoy, Selection and
Prologue by Efrain Barradas. 250 pp.
Ediciones del Norte, Hanover, New
Hampshire, 1983. $9.00.

Reunion de espejos, Selection, Prologue
and Notes by Jose Luis Vega. 303 pp.
Editorial Cultural, Rio Piedras, Puerto
Rico, 1983.
When it rains, it pours. Not since 1958 had
there been a truly excellent anthology of
Puerto Rican short fiction. That volume,
Cuentos puertorriqueios de hoy (still
available through Editorial Cultural) was ed-
ited by Rene Marques, and contained stories
by Marques, Diaz Alfaro, Gonzalez, Soto,
Diaz Valcarcel, and others whose works to-
day are considered classics.
Now we have an embarrassment of
riches: two fine anthologies that reflect the
exciting, varied work of a whole new genera-
tion of Puerto Rican writers, most of them in
their 30s. Like all good fiction, these stories
tell us more about the society they depict
than would a dozen history or social science
texts. Apalabramiento contains 20 stories
by 10 writers, while Reunion de espejos
includes 26 stories by 13 writers. The books
feature mostly the same authors, but only
two stories are repeated. Each book has
biographical sketches of the authors. The
prologues by Professors Barradas and Vega
are very useful in placing this new narrative
in its historical context. Both books belong
in any decent collection of Caribbean/Latin
American literature.
KAL WAGENHEIM
Waterfront Press
Newark, New Jersey

West Indian Paysans
Desengagement paysan et sous
production alimentaire, Romain Paquette.
212 pp. LUniversite de Montreal, Montreal,
1982. $16.95.

Only in the writings of some novelists are
West Indian peasants accurately repre-
sented; elsewhere they are ignored or de-
spised. Plantation owners exiled them to the
periphery and excluded them from the so-
cial order. Agricultural development efforts
undertaken in various Caribbean islands
seldom affect the peasants, since econo-
mists and agronomists tend to consider


them obstacles or social problems. The
French Antilles present an extreme exam-
ple, with extensive reform programs under-
taken by planners who, although their
intentions may be good, fail to take into
account the local reality.
This work, put together by Romain Pa-
quette, consists of research by a team of
geographers and anthropologists on the
aspirations of the agricultural population. In
an approach used very little in the West
Indies, the researchers study a few peasants
intensively constructing "mental maps"
through which the subjects express the
ideal use of their land assuming one or an-
other natural or social obstacle. In compar-
ing these representations to reality, they
express latent aspirations and repressed
projects.
The most interesting section concerns
the farmers of the Island of Marie-Galante,
who received land as part of a reform. The
comparison of their "mental map" of how
the land could have been used with reality
shows a considerable distance. In this case,
planning was imposed from the outside. In
comparing Marie-Galante to Barbados,
however, peasant farmers in the latter re-
vealed aspirations much closer to reality. In
Barbados farmers received direction but
did not have projects imposed on them, and
the results were better.
In addition to presenting the results of
specific research, the work attempts to
show that the underproduction of a large
number of Third World peasants is based
not only on technical factors but also on
their alienation from power structures.
JEAN BENOIST
University d'Aix-Marseille
Aix-en-Provence, France
I Translated by Michelle LamarreJ

Postpartum Perils
Patterns of Caribbean Development: An
Interpretive Essay on Economic Change,
Jay R. Mandle. 156 pp. Gordon and
Breach, New York, 1982. $37.75.

This small, compact work is the second vol-
ume in an important new series on the
Caribbean by Gordon and Breach. In this
volume, Jay Mandle interprets the post-
war development of the English-speaking
Caribbean within the context of neo-Marxist
theory. Although there is no new informa-
tion-the author makes no pretense of
providing any-the ideas developed
through secondary analysis are stimulating
for Caribbeanists.
In the first chapters, the author develops
his theoretical framework. They are the least
effective part of the book and end up oc-
cupying too much space to make the point
that development implies improved human
welfare as well as economic growth. Mandle
then discusses the Caribbean plantation


CAl?BBEAN lEVIeW/53








system as a development-inhibiting mode
of production, "industrialization by invita-
tion" as a dependent development strategy,
and the alternatives to dependent develop-
ment pursued by Jamaica under Manley
and Guyana under Burnham. The author
turns to a discussion of agrarian reform in
Cuba to stress his point that the key to Ca-
ribbean development lies in agriculture.
Cuba under Castro broke the hold of planta-
tion agriculture; it has not, however, found a
way to harness the productive power of the
peasantry, according to Mandle.
Case studies of the three most interesting
and most important post-independence
development experiences-Jamaica,
Guyana, and Trinidad and Tobago-are the
heart of the book. In Manley's Jamaica, we
see a regime which, by its rhetoric,
provoked an investment "strike" by local
capital that it was then incapable of break-
ing because of the contradictions in PNP
ideology. The obstacle to development in
Guyana has been the fact that policy-mak-
ing, because of ethnic cleavages, rests in
the hands of an urban elite which refuses to
give agriculture the incentives it needs to be
productive. The picture painted of Trinidad
is one of growth, but attenuated social im-
provements. While the analysis has its
flaws, there are many who share the au-
thor's belief that the full potential of the Ca-
ribbean can only be realized through an
"agriculturally-based autonomous develop-
ment approach."
TERRY L. McCoy
University of Florida
Gainesville, Florida

Virgin Island Vignettes
America's Virgin Islands: A History of
Human Rights and Wrongs, William W
Boyer. 418 pp. Carolina Academica Press,
Durham, 1983. $27.75; $13.75 paper.

William Boyer's book is a book of phrases of
alliteration, "Columbus, Colonialism and
Captivity"; "Prejudice and Poverty"; "Aliens
and the Alienated." After he captures one's
attention with the titles, the systemic and
systematic analysis that one expects fails to
materialize. Instead, one gets a series of vi-
gnettes which, taken to a logical conclusion,
are not coherent. "The more systematic the
bias-that is, the betterthe logical structure
used as a basis for selection-the more
likely are the selected events to be under-
stood satisfactorily." This quote by Duncan
McDougall succinctly captures the butt of
our indictment of Boyer's work. He seems
to want to carry his historical analysis to a
level of praxis, but his ideological con-
straints have prevented him from freeing
himself to do the requisite analysis. In the
end, therefore, Boyer's America's Virgin Is-
lands comes across as a conservative
treatise.
For example, in discussing "aliens," cit-


izens from the Eastern Caribbean islands
and nations, Boyer shows his ideological
colors. On page 330 he has thirteen refer-
ences to the people from the Eastern Carib-
bean. His confusion runs the gamut of
"foreign workers"; members of the "alien
community"; "down islanders"; alien work-
ers; nonresidents from the Eastern Carib-
bean, and so on. In his waving the banner of
human rights and wrongs for the USVI pol-
ity, he fails to understand, consciously or
unconsciously, the intrinsic psychological
scar that such emotive words have in the
community of citizens from the Eastern
Caribbean nations and islands. This parrot-
ing of labels is part of the human wrongs of
people in the USVI.
Nevertheless, in an ontological sense, the
book is a useful one. It will serve to comple-
ment the works of Gordon Lewis, Isaac
Dookhan, and Earle B. Ottley of recent
years, and of Luther Evans and Valdemar
Hill of earlier times. In a single volume one
must be selective. Selectivity, however,
does not preclude profound analysis. This I
missed in Boyer's America's Virgin Islands.
S.B. JONES-HENDRICKSON
College of the Virgin Islands
St. Croix, USVI
On Capitalist Weather
Hacia una historic del ambiente en
America Latina, Luis Vitale. 121 pp.
Editorial Nueva Imagen, M6xico, 1983.

If the exploitation of land, water, forest, fish
and mineral resources is contributing to en-
vironmental degradation, are there histor-
ical features of these issues-such as
latifundia or encomienda-that impede or
contribute to practical solutions? For exam-
ple, will higher production from land re-
sources depend upon expansion of
cultivated areas or an increase in the output
of existing farm areas? Are there problems
associated with agriculture in the humid
tropics that defy rational solution? Can ram-
pant deforestation be reduced by expansion
of forest plantations instead of regulation?
It is clear that exploitation of Latin Ameri-
can natural resources often suggests an on-
going tragedy of the commons based on
perception of unlimited supply. Unfortu-
nately Vitale provides neither perceptive his-
torical analysis of specific environmental
issues nor feasible solutions. Beginning
with the premise that current intellectual
efforts are incapable of providing a frame-
work for the analysis of man-environment.
relationships, Vitale explains the evolution
of environmental problems as the unfolding
of the Marxian version of the dependency
thesis, in five historical phases.
For instance, Spanish colonialism dis-
rupted the ecological harmony of early fish-
ing and hunting cultures by imposing
monocultural production to provide sur-
plus for the maintenance of capitalism. The


eventual result has been soil, air and water
pollution in places like Northeast Brazil, the
Amazon region and Latin America's cities.
Contemporary environmental imperialism
is transacted, of course, across multina-
tional corporations whose quest for profits
destroy the environment. Vitale complains
that such strategies as "import substitution
industrialization" only increased Latin
American dependency further and thereby
destroyed the environment. All of the above
arguments are common (or at least were 10
years ago) as well as the solution that cap-
italism be "liquidated."
In his zeal to make Latin American reality
conform to dependency precepts, Vitale is
unclear on several points. For example, how
did capitalism cause the droughts of North-
east Brazil? Why has import substitution
succeeded in some locales but not in oth-
ers? (Indeed, Jane Jacobs actually defines
"city" as a settlement proficient at import
replacement-those that do not continually
replace imports decline). Finally, why do
socialist nations suffer from the same or
worse environmental crises than those of
capitalist nations? For a more serious treat-
ment of this subject, I would instead recom-
mend the Worldwatch Institute's State of
the World, 1984.
GEORGE M. GUESS
University of Miami
Miami, Florida

The Samurai and the Machete
Siete migraciones japoneses en Mexico,
1890-1978, Maria Elena Ota Mishima.
202 pp. El Colegio de M6xico, Mexico,
1982.

Ota Mishima divides Japanese immigration
to Mexico into seven types spread over five
epochs. Between 1890-1901, two con-
tingents arrived: agricultural colonists
bound for Chiapas and "free immigrants."
Contract laborers came during the decade
preceding the Revolution of 1910 and
worked in the mines, at railroad construc-
tion and on sugar plantations. A fourth type,
illegals, came between 1907-24, while a
fifth, skilled workers, arrived between
1917-28. The sixth type, those invited by
earlier immigrants-usually for marriage-
arrived between 1921-40.
With the onset of World War 11 the Jap-
anese immigrants were forcibly concen-
trated in Guadalajara, Celaya, the Federal
District, and on farms in Morelos and
Queretaro. They survived by forming mu-
tual aid societies. Some 33 were deported,
in exchange for eight Mexicans seized by the
Japanese in Asia. Immigration resumed in
1951, and the seventh type came-the
technicians, a result of industrialization in
Japan.
The migrations, extending over a period
of 90 years, are treated chronologically, al-


54/CAlBBEAN IFTIEW








lowing us to appreciate why they came, how
many there were, where and how they be-
came established, and to what activities
they devoted their efforts. The immigrant
communities underwent important
changes, not the least of which was the
transformation of an eminently agricul-
tural society to one primarily urban and
commercial.
Ota Mishima's view is neutral, striving to
provide a basic history of the community
without, for example, chastising the govern-
ment for its treatment of the migrants dur-
ing the war. Her purpose is to celebrate the
achievements of a small community that
held out against adversity and, in the end,
prospered.
HAROLD SIMS
University of Pittsburgh
Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania

Not for the Birds
Pelican Guide to the Bahamas, James E.
Moore. 336 pp. Pelican Publishing,
Gretna, Louisiana, 1983. $9.95.

Candid observations of the more popular
Nassau, Paradise Island, and Freeport
stops, as well as the developing oppor-
tunities on the out islands make this book a
handy guide for movement among the
Bahamas' 700 islands and numerous cays.
Moore has left out the possibility of sail-
ing on one of two tall ships from the Wind-
jammer fleet. The S/V Fantome and Yankee
Trader alternate between Freeport and
Nassau every other week, concentrating on
Bimini and the Berry Islands in between.
Here is a great way to see the most popular
islands and witness the beauty of the
sparsely populated out islands.
I recommend this bookto both the tourist
and seasoned traveler. There is a difference;
however, both will be comfortable with this
guide. The author's accent on budget and
island personalities gives the reader a "feel"
for things before he arrives in the Bahamas.
NANCY OLSON
Florida International University


A Plague of Distrust
The Long War: Dictatorship and
Revolution in El Salvador, James
Dunkerley. 264 pp. Verso Editions,
London, 1982; Schocken Books, Israel,
1983. $10.95.

James Dunkerley dedicates his book to a
certain Mercedes Recinos, one of the Sal-
vadoran regime's many victims, "that this
plague of tears compel not pity but victory,
over the barbarities of capital [and] the trea-
son of reform"-a gesture which is at once
misleading and revealing. It misleads by
suggesting that the author has personal ties
to the country he is writing about, when, in


fact, there is no hint in the text or 15 pages
of notes that he has ever been in El Salvador
or even talked to a Salvadoran. It does, how-
ever, reveal something of the author's politi-
cal perspective, which is Marxist-Leninist
and marked by a distrust of all whose politi-
cal ideas stop short of a dictatorship of the
proletariat and peasantry administered by a
vanguard party. His deep suspicion of those
he labels reformers encompasses both cen-
trist figures like Jose Napoleon Duarte, who
provide democratic window dressing for
the current regime, and left-wing politicians
such as Ruben Zamora and Guillermo
Ungo, who joined the insurgents in the wake
of the collapse of the civilian-military junta
of 1979.
For the most part, however, The Long
War is a more straightforward book than
Dunkerley's political predispositions might
suggest. Two chapters give a coherent, un-
surprising description of the country's polit-
ical economy. The remainder of the book is
a political chronology of El Salvador since
the 1930s-an election-by-election, coup-
by-coup, demonstration-by-demonstra-
tion, atrocity-by-atrocity account, heavily
dependent on the mainstream Western
press. Largely devoid of analysis, this de-
tailed political history often makes tedious
reading, but will be useful to anyone who
wants to know what happened when in El
Salvador.
Making a virtue out of the necessity im-
posed by his distant vantage point, Dun-
kerley emphasizes the regional and
international context of developments in El
Salvador. He gives special attention to the
role of the United States and tothe influence
of the Guatemalan revolution (1944-1954)
and the contemporary Nicaraguan revolu-
tion. Ironically, in his confusion Dunkerley
often sides with Reagan and his allies
against American liberals, European social
democrats and their counterparts, like
Zamora and Ungo among the rebels. No,
the Salvadoran revolution is not an im-
ported phenomenon, but that is irrelevant
since the struggle "is now irretrievably situ-
ated in the new Cold War." And an FMLN
victory would be a critical defeat for the
United States. A negotiated settlement is
both undesirable and impossible-undesir-
able because it stops short of total revolu-
tion, impossible because the domestic
compromise it assumes would be inher-
ently unstable. The dominos, Dunkerley
seems to be saying, are rolling; only those
who know the stakes can play the game,
which will be long and bitter.
DENNIS GILBERT
Hamilton College
Clinton, New York
Mistreated Goose
The Nationalization of the Venezuelan Oil
Industry, Gustavo Coronel. 292 pp.
Lexington Books, Lexington, 1983.


This corporate memoir was written a few
months after Petroleos de Venezuela
(PDVSA), the state holding company, lost
control of its self-finance investment fund to
the Central Bank, and the board of directors
was opened to political appointees. By
1982 General Alfonzo Ravard, the company
president, was no longer able to protect
PDVSA and the four operating companies
from what the author sees as the accelerat-
ing politicization of the national oil industry.
A formula which worked well at the outset,
when a viable industry under foreign owner-
ship was nationalized in 1975, was five years
later under mounting pressure from politi-
cians seeking short-term gains, and various
professional groups wanting a bigger piece
of the action in the form of jobs and service
contracts. Coronel, a vice president at Men-
even (ex-Gulf, today one of the four operat-
ing companies) was fired and soon left for
Harvard to write this valuable insider's ac-
count from management's point of view.
The Venezuelan managers were sea-
soned veterans of the international corpo-
rate world of big oil-rather conservative,
well-structured, profit-oriented and a mer-
itocracy. Theirs were mature companies at
nationalization, in Coronel's view ready and
able to meet the challenges of declining
production and the uncertain international
energy environment of the late 1970s. Gen-
eral Alfonzo Ravard, a technocrat with im-
mense prestige and experience and a
seasoned board (including Coronel) behind
him, was the interface with Congress, the
president, politicians and the public. Ulti-
mately, however, Alfonzo failed to protect
his managers from the politicians who in
Coronel's opinion transferred their distrust
of the old foreign companies to the Venezu-
elan managers while seeking short-term
advantages and mining PDVSA's hitherto
protected investment fund. Thus what had
been highly motivated, profit-oriented
organizations were by 1979, and certainly
by 1982, threatened by politicization and
decline. With oil providing 90 percent of the
budget, politicians in their eagerness to get
their hands on the golden egg mistreated
the goose.
There is a wealth of good detail on the
operating companies and their different
styles of operations inherited from the ma-
jors; on the play of personalities, including a
deft sketch of General Alfonzo, whose erra-
tic schedule and personal style put off many
technocrats schooled in North American
and British corporate ways; and there is a
good chronology of events and interest-
group activities starting with nationalization
in 1975. Missing is a broader vision of the
whole, how oil drives almost everything
about this society and its polity, and the
consequences.
JOHN D. WIRTH
Stanford University
Stanford, California


CAI?BBCAN reIe9/55











Recent Books


On the Caribbean, Latin America, and their Emigrant Groups

Compiled by Marian Goslinga


Anthropology and Sociology

Amazon Journey: An Anthropologist's Year
Among Brazil's Mekranoti. Dennis Werner.
Simon & Schuster, 1984. $14.95.

American Odyssey: Haitians in New York City.
Michel S. Laguerre. Cornell University Press,
1984. 200 p. $29.95; $9.95 paper.

The Andean Past: Land Societies and
Conflicts. Magnus Mbrner. Columbia University
Press, 1984. $25.00.

Anthropological Perspectives on Rural Mexico.
Cynthia H. De Alcantara. Routledge & Kegan
Paul, 1984. 245 p. $24.95.

The Aztecs. Brian Fagan. W. H. Freeman (New
York, N.Y.), 1984. 304 p. $27.95; $14.95 paper.

Caribbean Transformations. Sidney Wilfred
Mintz. Johns Hopkins University Press, 1984.
355 p. $9.95. Reprint of the 1974 ed.

Chicano Studies: A Multidisciplinary
Approach. Eugene E. Garcia, et al. Teachers
College Press, Columbia University, 1984.

The Church and Society in Latin America.
Jeffrey A. Cole. Center for Latin American
Studies, Tulane University, 1984. $12.00.

Co-wives and Calabashes. Sally Price.
University of Michigan Press, 1984. 256 p.
$24.00; $12.50 paper.

Education and Poverty: Effective Schooling in
the United States and Cuba. Maurice R.
Berube. Greenwood Press, 1984. 176 p.
$27.95.

L'eglise catholique d'Haiti a I'heure de la visit
du Pape Jean Paul II. Francois Wolff Ligonde.
Archeveche de Port-au-Prince (Haiti), 1983.
107 p.

Estudios sobre la sociedad argentina. Juan
Carlos Agulla. Editorial de Belgrano (Buenos
Aires, Argentina), 1984. 290 p.


Marian Goslinga is the Latin American and
Caribbean Librarian at Florida International
University.


Free Coloreds in the Slave Societies of St.
Kitts and Grenada, 1763-1833. Edward L.
Cox. University of Tennessee Press, 1984.
240 p. $16.95.

The Haitians: Class and Color Politics. Lionel
Paquin. Multi-Type (Brooklyn, N.Y.), 1983.
271 p.

Hispanics in the United States: A New Social
Agenda. Pastora San Juan Cafferty, William
McCready, eds. Transaction Books, 1984. 330
p. $29.95; $12.95 paper.

Little England: Plantation Society and Anglo-
Barbadian Politics, 1627-1700. Gary A.
Puckrein. New York University Press, 1984.
272 p. $39.50.

Maya Society Under Colonial Rule: The
Collective Enterprise of Survival. Nancy M.
Farriss. Princeton University Press, 1984.
584 p. $50.00; $19.50 paper.

La mujer en las sociedades del continent
americano y su participation en el desarrollo.
Fabiola Cuvi Ortiz. Editorial Publitecnica
(Quito, Ecuador), 1983.

Peruvian Contexts of Change. William W. Stein,
ed. Transaction Books, 1984. 270 p. $29.95.

The Plight of Haitian Refugees. Jake C. Miller.
Praeger, 1984. 222 p. $26.95.

The Poor in Bogota: Who They Are, What they
Do, and Where They Live. Rakesh Mohan,
Nancy Hartline. World Bank, 1984. 106 p.
$5.00.

Population Research Policy and Related
Studies on Puerto Rico: An Inventory. Kent C.
Earnhardt. University of Puerto Rico Press,
1984. 132 p. $5.00.


Puerto Rican Youth Employment. Jose
Hernandez. Waterfront Press (Maplewood, N.J.),
1984. 155 p. $17.50; $7.50 paper.

The Quality of Life in Barbados. Graham
Dann. MacMillan Caribbean, 1984. 290 p.
5.25

The Redivision of Labor: Women and
Economic Choice in Four Guatemalan
Communities. Laurel Herbenar Bossen. State
University of New York Press, 1984. 396 p.
$46.50.

The Religious Roots of Rebellion: Christians in
Central American Revolutions. Phillip
Berryman. Orbis Books, 1984. 464 p. $19.95.

Ritual Kinship: Ideological and Structural
Integration of the Compadrazgo System in
Rural Tlaxcala. Hugo G. Nutini. Princeton
University Press, 1984. 520 p. $55.00; $22.50
paper.

Slave Populations of the British Caribbean,
1807-1834. B. W. Higman. Johns Hopkins
University Press, 1984. 832 p. $65.00.

The Triple Struggle: Latin American Peasant
Women. Audrey Bronstein. South End Press,
1984. 268 p. $7.50.

Tropical Nature: Life and Death in the Rain
Forests of Central and South America. Adrian
Forsyth, Ken Miyata. Scribner's, 1984.

The Tzutujil Mayas: Continuity and Change,
1250-1630. Sandra L. Orellana. University of
Oklahoma Press, 1984. 304 p. $32.50.

Unemployment and Social Life: A Sociological
Study of the Unemployed in Trinidad. Farley
Brathwaite. Antilles Publications (Bridgetown,
Barbados), 1983. 163 p.

Vision of Hope: The Churches and Change in
Latin America. Trevor Beeson, Jenny Pearce,
eds. Fortress Press (Philadelphia, Pa.), 1984.
288 p. $6.95.


Economics

Belize: Economic Report. World Bank. The
Bank, 1984. 154 p. $5.00.

Brazil: A Review of Agricultural Policies. World
Bank. The Bank, 1984. 424 p. $20.00.


56/CAPlBBEAN PEVEW










Brazil: Country Economic Memorandum. Fred
Levy, et al. World Bank, 1984. 40O p. $15.00.

Colombia: Economic Development and Policy
Under Changing Conditions. Jose B. Sokol.
World Bank, 1984. 320 p. $15.00.

Demographic, Economic and Resource-Use
Trends in Seventeen Caribbean Basin
Countries. Norman Graham, Keith L. Edwards.
Westview Press, 1984. 145 p. $17.00.

Development and Population in Minas Gerais,
Brazil. Ricardo Pinheiro Penna. Latin American
Studies Program, Cornell University, 1984.
$10.00.

Economic Liberalization and Stabilization
Policies in Argentina, Chile and Uruguay:
Applications of the Monetary Approach to the
Balance of Payments. Nicolas Ardito Barletta,
Mario 1. Blejer, Luis Landau, eds. World Bank,
1984. 240 p. $17.50.

External Debt and Economic Development in
Latin America: Background and Prospects.
Inter-American Development Bank. BID, 1984.
218 p.

Hacendados, precaristas y politicos. Lowell
Gudmundson. Editorial Costa Rica, 1984.

Labour Organization and Labour Reform in
Trinidad, 1919-1939. Sahadeo Basdeo.
Institute for Social and Economic Research,
University of the West Indies (St. Augustine,
Trinidad), 1983. 285 p. $23.50.

Latin America and Caribbean Contemporary
Record, 1982-1983. Jack W. Hopkins, ed.
Holmes & Meier, 1984. 900 p.$150.00.

Latin America, Economic Imperialism and the
State: The Political Economy of an External
Connection During the 19th and 20th
Centuries. C. Abel, C. Lewis, eds. Humanities
Press, 1984. 320 p. $38.00.

Mexico's Economic Crisis: Challenges and
Opportunities. Donald L. Wyman, ed. Center
for U.S.-Mexican Studies, University of
California (San Diego), 1984. $9.00.

Mexico's Energy Resources: Toward a Policy of
Diversification. Miguel S. Wionczek, Regaei El
Mallakh. Westview Press, 1984. 240 p. $21.50.

Opportunity: Industrial Growth in Latin
America. Roberto W. Kwan. T B. Thomassen
(San Diego, Calif.), 1984. 245 p. $12.95.

The Political Economy of Income Distribution
in Mexico. Pedro Aspe, Paul E. Sigmund, eds.
Holmes & Meier, 1984. 520 p. $59.50.

Problems of Development in Beautiful
Countries: Perspectives on the Caribbean.
Ransford W. Palmer. North-South Pub. Co.
(Lanham, Md.), 1984. 91 p. $12.50.

Public Policy and Industrial Development: The
Case of the Mexican Auto Parts Industry. Mark
Bennet. Westview Press, 1984. 115 p. $16.00.


Revolutionary Cuba: The Challenge of
Economic Growth With Equity. Claes
Brundenius. Westview Press, 1984. 160 p.
$22.00.


Scheming for the Poor: The Politics of
Redistribution in Latin America. William
Ascher. Harvard University Press, 1984. 348 p.
$25.00.


The Spatial Organization of New Land
Settlement in Latin America. Jacob 0. Maos.
Westview Press, 1984. 170 p. $16.00.


The State and Underdevelopment in Spanish
America: The Political Roots of Dependency
in Peru and Argentina. Douglas Friedman.
Westview Press, 1984. 300 p. $22.50.

Sugar and Slavery in Puerto Rico: The
Plantation Economy of Ponce, 1800-1850.
Francisco A. Scarano. University of Wisconsin
Press, 1984. 242 p. $21.50.

Technology Policies for Small Developing
Economies: A Study of the Caribbean.
Norman Girvan. Institute for Social and
Economic Research, University of the West
Indies (Mona, Jamaica), 1983. 224 p. $17.50.

The Transfer of Petrochemical Technology to
Latin America: An Empirical Study of
Participants, Policies and Processes. Mariluz
Cortes, Peter Bocock. Johns Hopkins University
Press, 1984. 200 p. $25.00.


Biography

Biography of a Human Being in the Unknown.
Aurelio G. Zarate. Vantage Press, 1984. $6.95.
A Mexican in the U.S.

Eden Pastora: una vida en busca de la
libertad. Gladis Miranda Arellano.
Publicaciones ARDE (San Jose, Costa Rica),
1984. 90 p.

Far Away and Long Ago: A Childhood in
Argentina. W.H. Hudson. Hippocrene Books,
1984. 332 p. $9.95.

El General J.V. Gbmez en anecdotes. Luis
Cordero Velbsquez. Editorial Fuentes (Caracas,
Venezuela), 1983. 207 p.


I... Rigoberta Mench6: An Indian Woman in
Guatemala. Rigoberta Mench6; Elisabeth
Burgos, ed. Schocken Books, 1984. 200 p.
$19.50; $8.95 paper. About a Guatemalan
revolutionary. Originally published as "Me
Ilamo Rigoberta Mench6 y asi me naci6 la
conciencia."

An Unfinished Song: The Life of Victor Jara.
Joan Jara. Ticknor & Fields (N.Y.), 1984. 288 p.
$15.95. About an assassinated Chilean
folksinger.

William Henry Bramble: His Life and Times.
Howard A. Fergus. University of the West Indies
(Montserrat), 1983. 61 p. About the
Montserratian political and labor union leader.



Description and Travel

Costa Rica. Paul Glassman. Passport Press
(Moscow, Vt.), 1984. 200 p. $11.95.

Cut Stone and Crossroads: A Journey in the
Two Worlds of Peru. Ronald Wright. Viking
Press, 1984. 320 p. $20.00.

Getting To Know Our Southern Neighbor.
Chauncey L. Thornburg. Vantage Press, 1984.
$14.95.

Key To Costa Rica. Jean Wallace; revised by
Beatrice Blake. Publications in English (San
Jose, Costa Rica), 1984. 146 p.

Travels With My Father: A South American
Journey. Daniel Topolsky. David & Charles
(North Pomfret, Vt.), 1984. 257 p. $19.95.



History and Archaeology

Africa, The Atlantic Slave Trade and The West
Indies: African Background to West Indian
History. VB. Thompson. NOK Publishers (New
York, NY), 1984. $12.50; $4.95 paper.

The Ancient Kingdoms of Mexico. Nigel
Davies. Penguin, 1984. 288 p. $5.95.

Archaeology: Biologia Centrali-Americana: Or,
Contributions to the knowledge of The Fauna
and Flora of Mexico and Central America. A.R
Maudslay; F. Ducane Godman, Osbert Salvin,
eds. University of Oklahoma Press, 1984. 4
vols. $250.00.

Archaeology in Northwestern Honduras:
Interim Reports of the "Proyecto Arqueol6gico
Sula." John S. Henderson, ed. Latin American
Studies Program, Cornell University, 1984.

The Archaeology of Lower Central America.
Frederick W. Lange, Doris Stone. University of
New Mexico Press, 1984. 600 p. $45.00.

The Brazilian Monarch and the South
American Republics, 1822-1831: Diplomacy
and State Building. Ron Steckinger. Louisiana
State University Press, 1984. 224 p. $20.00.

Builders of Barbados. F.A. Hoyos. Macmillan
Caribbean, 1983.


CAI?BBEAN PeVIeW/57









Caribbean Generations. Shirley Gordon.
Longman, 1984. 320 p. $5.95.

The Conquest of America. Tzvetan Todorov.
Harper & Row, 1984. 288 p. $17.95.

Costa Rica colonial: la tierra y el hombre.
Elizabeth Fonseca. Editorial Universitaria
Centroamericana, EDUCA (San Jose, Costa
Rica), 1983. 388 p. $4.85.

Fourth Palenque Round Table 1980. Merle
Green Robertson, Elizabeth Benson, eds.
University of Texas Press, 1984. 416 p. $70.00.

The Invasion of Grenada. Tony Martin, ed.
Majority Press (Dover, Mass.), 1984. $22.95;
$6.95 paper.

Jose Marti, The United States, and the
Marxist Interpretation of Cuban History. Carlos
Ripoll. Transaction Books, 1984. 95 p. $6.95.

Latin American History: A Teaching Atlas.
Cathryn L. Lombardi, John V. Lombardi, K.
Lynn Stoner. University of Wisconsin Press,
1984. 144 p. $22.50; $6.95 paper.

The Maya. Michael D. Coe. 3d, rev. ed. Thames
& Hudson, 1984. 207 p. $9.95.

Maya Ruins of Mexico in Color. William M.
Ferguson, John Q. Royce. University of
Oklahoma Press, 1984. 256 p. $16.95.

Mexico. Michael D. Coe. 3d, rev. ed. Thames &
Hudson, 1984. 207 p. $9.95.

New Iberian World: A Documentary History of
the Discovery and Settlement of Latin
America to the Early 17th Century. John H.
Parry, Robert G. Keith, eds. Times Books (New
York, NY), 1984. 5 v. $500.00.

The Olmecs: The Oldest Civilization in
Mexico. Jacques Soustelle. Doubleday, 1984.
224 p. $17.95.

Passage Through El Dorado: The Conquest of
the World's Last Great Wilderness. Jonathan
Kandell. Morrow, 1984. 320 p. $17.95.

Puerto Rico: A Colonial Experiment. Raymond
Carr. New York University Press, 1984. 384 p.
$25.00.

Pulltrouser Swamp: Ancient Maya Habitat,
Agriculture, and Settlement in Northern
Belize. B.L. Turner, Peter D. Harrison, eds.
University of Texas Press, 1984. 294 p. $22.50.

Quirigua: A Classic Maya Center and its
Sculptures. Robert J. Sharer. Carolina
Academic Press (Durham, N.C.), 1984. 128 p.

To Slay the Hydra: Dutch Colonial
Perspectives on the Saramaka Wars. Richard
Price. Karoma Publishers (Ann Arbor, Mich.),
1983. 247 p. About Surinam.

Treatise on the Heathen Superstitions That
Today Live Among the Indians Native to This
New Spain, 1629. Hernando Ruiz de Alarc6n;
J. Richard Andrews, Ross Hassig, tr. & eds.
University of Oklahoma Press, 1984. 540 p.
$48.50. New translation of the 1629
manuscript.


Venezuela: A Century of Change. Judith Ewell.
Stanford University Press, 1984. 300 p. $25.00.


Yaqui Resistance and Survival: The Struggle
for Land and Autonomy, 1821-1910. Evelyn
Hu-DeHart. University of Wisconsin Press,
1984. 400 p. $27.50.


Language and Literature

Aibel In Pain: A Poem of Vincentian Growth
and Experience. Camm G. 0. King. Vini Folk
Secretariat (St. Vincent, W.I.), 1983.


My Deep Dark Pain Is Love: A Collection of
Latin American Gay Fiction. Winston Leyland,
ed.; E. A. Lacey, trans. Gay Sunshine Press,
1983. 383 p. $20.00.

Narrative Irony in the Contemporary Spanish-
American Novel. Jonathan Titler. Cornell
University Press, 1984. 211 p. $25.00.

Nuevas voces hispanas. Silvia Burunat, Julio
Burunat. CBS College Publications (New York,
N.Y.), 1984. 224 p.

Nuevos critics cubanos. Jose Prats Sariol, ed.
Editorial Letras Cubanas (La Habana, Cuba),
1983. 623 p.

Passing Through Havana: A Novel of a
Wartime Girlhood in the Caribbean. Felicia
Rosshandler. St. Martin's Press, 1984. $13.95.

Poetics of Change: The new Spanish-
American Narrative. Julio Ortega, Galen D.
Greaser, trans. University of Texas Press, 1984.
208 p. $20.00.

River of Dreams. Gay Courter. Houghton
Mifflin. 1984. 555 p. $16.95. A fictional history
of Brazil.

The Road to Lagoa Santa. Henrik Stangerup;
Barbara Bluestone, trans. M. Boyars, 1984.
$14.95. Novel about Brazil.

Sister Outsider. Audre Lorde. Crossing Press
(Trumansburg, N.Y.), 1984. 190 p. Essays and
speeches by a Grenadian writer.

Studies in Caribbean Language. Lawrence
Carrington, Dennis Craig, Ram6n Todd-
Dandar6, eds. Society for Caribbean
Linguistics (St. Augustine, Trinidad), 1983.
338 p.


La tragedia del generalisimo. Denzil Romero.
Argos Vergara (Barcelona, Spain), 1983. 393 p.
About Francisco de Miranda.

Volcan, Poems From Central America: A
Bilingual Anthology. Alejandro Murguia,
Barbara Paschke, eds. City Light Books (San
Francisco, Calif.), 1983. 159 p. $5.95.

The West Indian Novel and Its Background.
Kenneth Ramchand. 2d ed. Heinemann, 1984.
310 p. $15.00.

Women in Colonial Spanish American
Uterature: Literary Images. Julie Greer
Johnson. Greenwood Press, 1983. 212 p.
$29.95.



Politics and Government

Alessandri to Allende: The Destruction of
Democracy in Chile, 1920-1970. James R.
Whelan. Caroline House (Naperville, 111.), 1984.
$18.95.

Catastrophe in the Caribbean: The Failure of
America's Human Rights in Central America.
James R. Whelan. Green Hill (Ottawa, Ill.),
1984. 200 p. $14.95.

Central America: Crisis and Adaptation. Steve
C. Ropp, James A. Morris. University of New
Mexico Press, 1984. 442 p. $22.50; $10.95
paper.

Centroamerica: la guerra de Reagan. Alvaro
Echeverria Zuno. Sociedad Cooperativa de
Publicaciones Mexicanas, 1983. 265 p. Articles
from El Dia (1982-1983).

Changing Course: Blueprint for Peace in
Central America and the Caribbean. Policy
Alternatives for the Caribbean and Central
America, PACCA. Institute for Policy Studies
(Washington D.C.), 1984. 116 p. $5.00.

Confrontation in the Caribbean Basin:
International Perspectives on Security,
Sovereignty, and Survival. Alan Adelman, Reid
Reading, eds. Center for Latin American
Studies, University of Pittsburgh, 1984. $9.50.

The Crisis in Latin America: Strategic,
Economic and Political Dimensions. Mark
Falcoff, et al.; Howard J. Wiarda, ed. American
Enterprise Institute for Public Policy Research,
1984.

Cuba and the Revolutionary Myth: The
Political Education of the Cuban Rebel Army,
1953-1963. Fred Judson. Westview Press,
1984. 260 p.

Cuba: Dilemmas of a Revolution. Juan del
Aguila. Westview Press, 1984. 175 p. $22.50;
$11.95 paper.

Demonstration Elections: US-Staged
Elections in the Dominican Republic, Vietnam
and El Salvador. Frank Brodhead, Edward S.
Herman. South End Press (Boston, Mass.),
1984. 270 p. $8.00.


58/CAI?BBEAN REVIEW









The Dynamics of Foreign Policy Making: The
President, The Congress, and the Panama
Canal Treaties. William L. Furlong, Margaret E.
Scranton. Westview Press, 1984. 215 p. $19.00.

Foreign Policy Behavior of Caribbean States:
Guyana, Haiti and Jamaica. Georges A.
Fauriol. University Press of America, 1984. 338
p. $23.75; $12.25 paper.

Free Fire Zone: An American Doctor in El
Salvador. Charles Clements. Bantam Books,
1984. $15.95.

From Gunboats to Diplomacy: New US
Policies for Latin America. Richard Newfarmer,
ed. Johns Hopkins University Press, 1984. 254
p. $25.00; $11.95 paper.

Geopolitics of the Caribbean: Ministates in a
Wider World. Thomas D. Anderson. Praeger,
1984. 192 p. $25.95.

Grenada: Revolution, Counter-Revolution.
Trevor Munroe. Vanguard Press. (Kingston,
Jamaica), 1983. 165 p. Speeches by the
general secretary of the Workers Party of
Jamaica.

Guyana: Fraudulent Revolution. Latin
American Bureau. LAB, 1984. 106 p. 2.95.

Haiti: Political Failures, Cultural Successes.
Brian Weinstein, Aaron Segal. Praeger, 1984.
175 p. $25.95.

In Nobody's Backyard: The Grenada
Revolution in Its Own Words. Tony Martin, ed.
Majority Press (Dover, Mass.), 1984. $22.95;
$6.95 paper. Reprinted from the Free West
Indian.

Informe sobre la situaci6n de los derechos
humans en Argentina. Inter-American
Commission on Human Rights. General
Secretariat, Organization of American States,
1984. 293 p. $10.00.

The International Crisis of the Caribbean.
Anthony Payne. Johns Hopkins University
Press, 1984. 177 p. $18.50.

Marxist Thought in Latin America. Sheldon B.
Liss. University of California Press, 1984. 374 p.
$35.00; $8.95 paper.

The Miami Report: Recommendations on
United States Policy Toward Latin America
and the Caribbean. Ambler H. Moss, Jr., ed.
Graduate School of International Studies,
University of Miami, 1983. 105 p.

The Morass: United States Intervention in
Central America. Richard Alan White. Harper &
Row, 1984. 256 p. $14.95; $6.68 paper.

Nicaragua: America's New Vietnam? Karl
Grossman. Permanent Press (Sag Harbor, N.Y),
1984. 224 p. $15.95.

Nicaragua for Beginners. Ruis. Writers and
Readers (New York, N.Y.), 1984. 160 p. $5.95.

The Other Side of Paradise: Foreign Control
in the Caribbean. Tom Barry, et al. Grove Press,
1984. 288 p. $17.50; $7.95 paper.


Panama Odyssey: From Colonialism to
Partnership. William J. Jorden. University of
Texas Press, 1984. 768 p. $24.50.

Parteien, staat und entwicklung in Venezuela.
Nikolaus Werz. Weltforum Verlag (Miinchen,
Germany), 1983. 357 p. DM.59.00.

Puerto Rican Politics in Urban America.
James Jennings, Monte Rivera, eds.
Greenwood Press, 1984. 166 p. $27.95.

Puerto Rico: Equality and Freedom at Issue.
M. Garcia-Passalacqua. Praeger, 1984. 175 p.
$27.95.


Revolution and Counterrevolution in Central
America and the Caribbean. Donald E. Schulz,
Douglas H. Graham, eds. Westview Press,
1984. 425 p. $35.00; $14.95 paper.

The Rise of the Authoritarian State in
Peripheral Societies. Clive Y. Thomas. Monthly
Review Press, 1984. 288 p. $27.00; $11.00
paper.

Sovereignty in Dispute: The
Falklands/Malvinas, 1493-1982. Fritz L.
Hoffman, Olga Mingo Hoffman. Westview
Press, 1984. 180 p. $20.00.

Violent Neighbors: El Salvador, Central
America, and the USA. Tom Buckley. New
York Times Book Co., 1984. 368 p. $17.95.

Weakness and Deceit: US Policy and El
Salvador. Raymond Bonner. Times Books,
1984. $15.95.

Weapons of the Falklands Conflict. Bryan
Perrett. Sterling Pub. Co. (New York, N.Y.),
1984. 152 p. $6.95.

Witness to War: An American Doctor in El
Salvador. Charles Clements. Bantam, 1984.
$15.95.


Reference

Alejo Carpentier: Bibliographical Guide.
Roberto Gonzalez Echevarria, Klaus Miller-
Bergh. Greenwood Press, 1983. 271 p. $35.00.
English & Spanish.

Bibliografia anotada de obras, de referencia
sobre Centroamerica y Panama en el campo
de las ciencias sociales. Rachel Garst. Institute
de Investigaciones Sociales, Universidad de
Costa Rica, 1983. 2 v. $28.00.


Bibliografia de la literature dominicana,
1960-1982. Otto Olivera. Society of Spanish
and Spanish-American Studies, University of
Nebraska-Lincoln, 1984. 120 p. $18.00.

A Bibliography of Caribbean Migration and
Caribbean Immigrant Communities. Rosemary
Brana-Shute, Rosemarijn Hoefte, eds.
University of Florida, 1984. 339 p. $10.00.

Bibliography of Mexican American History.
Matt S. Meier, ed. Greenwood Press, 1984.
498 p. $39.95.

Biographical Dictionary of Latin American
Historians and Historiography. Jack Ray
Thomas. Greenwood Press, 1984. 420 p.
$49.95.

Directory of Central American Organizations.
Central America Resource Center. The Center
(Austin, Tex.), 1984. $8.00.

The Exploration of South America: An
Annotated Bibliography. Edward J. Goodman.
Garland Pub. Co., 1983. 174 p. $39.00.

HAPI, Hispanic American Periodicals Index:
Articles in English, 1976-1980. Barbara G.
Valk, ed. Faxon Press (Westwood, Mass.), 1984.
403 p. $75.00.

Human Rights in Latin America, 1964-1980:
A Selective Annotated Bibliography. Hispanic
Division, Library of Congress. Library of
Congress (Washington, D.C.), 1983. 257 p.
$13.00

Human Services in Postrevolutionary Cuba:
An Annotated International Bibliography. Larry
R. Oberg. Greenwood Press, 1984. 433 p.
$45.00.

Indice bibliografico de autores cubanos:
diaspora, 1959-1979 / Bibliographical Index
of Cuban Authors: Diaspora, 1959-1979.
Jose B. Fernandez, Roberto G. Fernandez.
Ediciones Universal (Miami, Fla.), 1983. 106 p.

Latin American Politics: A Historical
Bibliography. ABC-Clio Information Services.
ABC-Clio (Santa Barbara, Calif.), 1984. 350 p.
$60.50.

Modern Latin American Art: A Bibliography.
James A. Findlay. Greenwood Press, 1983. 301
p. $35.00.

Select Annotated Bibliography of Studies on
the Caribbean Community. Phillip Jeffrey,
Maureen Newton, eds. Caribbean Community
Secretariat (Georgetown, Guyana), 1983.

Spanish-American Women Writers: A
Bibliographical Research Checklist. Lynn Ellen
Rice Cortina. Garland Pub. Co., 1983. 292 p.
$35.00.

Who's Who: Chicano Office Holders,
1983-1984. Arthur D. Martinez, ed. A.D.
Martinez (Silver City, New Mexico), 1984.
$19.95.


CAI?BBEAN EIIv1W/59










Florida International University


Southeast Florida's Four-Year State University


Florida International University (FlU)-located in one of the
nation's fastest growing metropolitan areas and centers for
international trade, finance and cultural exchange-empha-
sizes broad interdisciplinary education for strengthening
understanding of world issues and preparing students for
membership in our modern interrelated world.
The International Atlairs Center promotes international
education, training, research and cooperative exchange by
encouraging a wide variety of faculty and student activities
and helping to develop the university's international
programs. Contact: International Affairs Center, (305)
554-2846.
The Latin American and Caribbean Center, one of 12 US
Department of Education National Resource Centers, coordi-
nates teaching and research on the region, administers an
academic certificate program, and supports research. Contact:
Latin American and Caribbean Center. (305) 554-2894.
The International Banking Center cooperates with banks
and businesses in Miami to support research and sponsor
seminars on international banking topics. Contact: Interna-
tional Banking Center, (305) 554-2771.
15,000 students come from 74 nations and 41 states. They
may select from undergraduate and graduate studies in the
humanities, social sciences, mathematical and physical
sciences, and a wide range of professional programs. Students
especially interested in international degrees and certificates


may wish to major in international relations, modern lan-
guages, sociology and anthropology, political science, history
or economics; they may also earn a certificate in Latin
American and Caribbean studies or international studies.
There are also special international programs at the
graduate level. The Graduate Program in International Studies
is a multidisciplinary curriculum leading to the Master of Arts
degree. Contact: Director, Graduate Program in International
Studies, (305) 554-2555.
A program in international economic development is offered
as part of the Master of Arts in Economics. Contact: Chair-
person, Department of Economics, (305) 554-2316.
A Master of International Business provides basic manage-
ment tools and familiarity with the international environment.
Contact: Director, Master of International Business, (305)
940-5870.
The Certificate in International Bank Management provides
training in international banking policy, practice and tech-
niques. Contact: Business Counseling Office, (305) 554-2781.
All students may use the facilities of the English Language
Skills Center, which conducts a writing laboratory for
individualized instruction in all types of writing, provides
diagnostic testing of oral and written English language
proficiency, and operates the Intensive English Program. This
consists of a four-month course, offered three times a year,
providing instruction in reading, conversation, grammar,
composition, TOEFL preparation and business English, using
the most advanced teaching methods and modern laboratory
equipment. Contact: Director, Intensive English Program (305)
554-2493.
Florida International University's faculty members are
renowned for their commitment to teaching, research and
service from an international perspective. Individual and
group research projects run the gamut of possible topics and
geographic regions. Faculty exchanges take FIU researchers
abroad and bring leading international scholars to the campus.
The university is also the base for several international
organizations. The Inter-American University Council for
Economic and Social Development (CUIDES) is an indepen-
dent, nonprofit association of representatives from post-
secondary academic institutions. Its primary concern is
assisting nations of the Americas with economic and social
development. Toward this end, FIU and CUIDES initiated a
scholarship program for 40 students from the Caribbean and
Central America to attend United States universities and then
use their knowledge in their home countries. The Institute of
Economic and Social Research of the Caribbean Basin
(IESCARIBE) is a group of Caribbean basin economists and
research institutes which develop cooperative projects of
mutual interest. Supported by FIU's Department of Economics
and Latin American and Caribbean Center, the group conducts
seminars and publishes resulting materials.


Florida International University
Tamiami Campus
Miami, Florida 33199








ry to find a better days


SUN.
Welcome aboard the M/S
Skyward. Relax, meet
new people. The chefs
are laying out a huge
spread, the casino opens
at 7 p.m., the Paradise
Lounge band is tuning up,
champagne's popping.
Prepare yourself for a
romantic night at sea.


THU.
A relaxed, sun-soaked
day at sea, then hello, Key
West! Dock just in time
for a glorious sunset, then
go out on the town (or
take in a current movie
on board) before another
lavish Midnight Buffet.


IF-ffl I 1

MONI
Breakfast on deck at the
pool, then a swim, a jog,
a gym workout, a sauna.
Go ahead and overdo (or
underdo). But remem-
ber, the Captain's Cocktail
Party, just before the flashy
Caribe Celebration Revue
tonight.


Fantastic snorkeling,
shopping, sightseeing,
deep-sea fishing, salty lit-
tle bars, nifty restaurants,
and the Hemingwayesque
setting- Skyward passen-
gers named historic Key
West their favorite port
in 1983. (Cabaret Show
tonight!)


Cancun, a spectacular
gem of a resort. Shopping,
cafe hopping, a fine beach,
clear waters, and the
nearby ruins of Chichen
Itza, Tulum, and Coba. Be
back in time to shove off
for the Mexican Fiesta
waiting when you anchor
in Cozumel tonight.


WED.
At Cozumel, the snorkeling
is first class. So's the 16th-
century get-away-from-it-
all ambience. Don't get too
faraway, though. Tonight's
Roaring Twenties Revue is
raring to roar, followed by
the Country and Westem
Barbeque on deck under
the stars.





















































egot the Card.
You know that i an emergency, no matter
Here ,r when, youI can !et another
American Express' Card. Usually within
24 hours or by the endof the next busi-
ness day. But in any event, you should
be back on the road, last. Because \ou
can go to nearly 1,000 Travel Service
Oftlices of the American Express Travel
-Related Services Company, Inc is affihli-


ates and Representatives.They can just as
easily help with emergenc\ Iunds. And
they'll assist you with any other l ost travel
documents and tickets. Noothercard
can do all thi,this fast, in this man\ places
around the world. Because even
without the Card in your hand, .
you'll al aysb hea Cardmember. PE
Don't leave home without it:


Jn r..,,-,:mrr rg n' .n.' r, . ,J all .r.J.dr r. pl-..: ra ai. JA K'. ma.1. Jd r ...* wi ill r; ,iJJr,-..