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V IE AVol. XV, v Nol.
Colombia Under Stress; Revolutionary Humor; Art and Politics in Panama.
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. in FL (800) 432-3364
Seis de Mayo, 1984. No. 1., by
Panamanian artist Rogelio Pretto
(tempera, 13 x 23 inches).
The Psychological Divide
in the Caribbean Basin
By Robert A. Pastor
Responses and Replies
Does the New Man Exist?
By Reinaldo Arenas
Colombia Under Stress
A Presidency Lamed by Instability
By Gary Hoskin
The Man of Peace Takes Up
By Bernard Diederich
Colombia in the Eighties
A Political Regime in Transition
By Ricardo Santamarna Salamanca
and Gabriel Silva Lujdn
Nature Strikes at Colombia
By Bernard Diederich
Political Humor from Nicaragua
Cartoons by Roger Sdnchez Flores
Ritual, Paradox and Death
Internacionalistas in Nicaragua
By Alfred Padula
Political Systems as Export
Democracy and the Role of the US
in Central America
By Ricardo Arias Calder6n
An Interview with
Four Months Before His Death
By Beatriz Parga de Bay6n
What Graham Greene Didn't
Five Accounts of the Torrijos Legacy
A Review Essay by Neale Pearson
Searching for Pretto
Politics and Art in Panama
By Sandra Serrano
An Exhibition for
By Sandra Serrano
In this issue
In this issue a
Analysen Daten Dokumentation
El Institute de Estudios Iberoamericanos public desde 1984
una revista sobre temas econ6micos, politicos y sociales de
la actualidad latinoamericana. Cada numero contiene las
Analisis (ensayos-en aleman)
Datos: colecciones y datos procesados
(cronologias, estadisticas etc.)
Documentos (textos de leyes, programs, planes,
declaraciones y actas fundamentals, entrevistas
etc.-documentados en relaci6n con los andlisis y
presentados en su version original)
Bibliografia select de monografias y revistas
latinoamericanas (200-300 referencias
bibliograficas por numero)
Resefas de publicaciones nuevas
(o latinoamericanas o sobre temas
ResOmenes de los andlisis en espafiol y/o
1: ))Oportunidades y limits de la democracia en
(Mayo de 1984, 96 paginas)
2: n Chile: Oposici6n contra el modelo econ6mico y
(Noviembre de 1984, 104 paginas)
3: ) La cuesti6n agraria de Brasil: Modernizaci6n y
(Abril de 1985, 110 paginas)
4: Crisis econ6mica y political de ajuste en
(Julio de 1985, 142 pAginas)
5: ,, Sindicatos y relaciones laborales dentro de la
empresa en el sector industrial))
(Noviembre de 1985)
ATION aparece tres veces al aho (primavera/verano/otofio);
tamahfo octavo mayor.
Favor dirigir pedidos al Instituto de Estudios Ibero-
americanos, Alsterglacis 8, D-2000 Hamburgo 36 (R.F.A.)
Suscripci6n annual (3 cuadernos): DM 40,-; precio por
ejemplar DM 15-; mas los costs de franqueo y envio.
Institute fir Iberoamerika.Kunde, Hamburg
Barry B. Levine
Richard A. Dwyer
Anthony R Maingot
Mark B. Rosenberg
Gilbert L. Socas
Book Review Editor
Forrest D. Colburn
Linda M. Marston
Henry S. Gill
Eneid Routt& G6mez
Aaron L. Segal
Andr s Serbin
Olga J. Wagenhelm
Vol. XV, No. 1
Art Director Board of Editors
Danine L. Carey Reinaldo Arenas
Ricardo Arias Calder6n
Design Consultant Errol Barrow
Juan C. Urquiola Germhn Carrera Damas
Contributing Artists Yves Daudet
Terry Cwikia Edouard Glissant
Velinka Patkovic Harmannus Hoetink
Gordon K. Lewis
Circulation Manager Vaughan A. Lewis
Maria J. Gonzhlez Leslie Manigat
James A. Mau
Distribution Manager Carmelo Mesa-Lago
Everardo A. Rodriguez Carlos Alberto Montaner
Project Manager Robert A. Pastor
David Kyle Selwyn Ryan
Project Director Carl Stone
Anna M. Alejo Edelberto Torres Rivas
Project Coordinator 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
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receives supporting funds from the Office of Academic Affairs of Florida International
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Copyright: Contents Copyright @ 1986 by Caribbean Review, Inc. The reproduction of
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The Psychological Divide in
the Caribbean Basin
By Robert A. Pastor
Mexico City. Below our feet, the earth
seemed transformed, as if by Biblical com-
mand, into the waves of an ocean, undulat-
ing, rising, and falling. Our house rose, then
gently descended as if it were a buoy in
the ocean. The waves continued their
advance north, lifting Mexico City, and for a
moment, I thought that nature and geopoli-
tics were conspiring to float Mexico into the
proverbial Caribbean Basin.
Just when man-made disasters seem so
over-powering, nature has a habit of assert-
ing its primacy. Problems like the suffocat-
ing debt burden and the civil wars in Central
America pale in comparison to the devasta-
tion wrought in a few short minutes by
While severe, the physical and financial
effects of the earthquake actually seem less
important than the psychological impact
on the Mexican people. Polls confirm that
Mexicans are not only losing confidence
and faith in their government but also in
To be living in Mexico, particularly now, is
to realize the importance of perceptions in
assisting or impeding people and nations to
cope with life's problems and opportunities.
During the depression, Franklin D. Roose-
velt was able to rekindle optimism in the
future. But even if the Caribbean Basin had
the leadership, its problems are too large,
and the nations, especially in comparison to
the US, are too small and vulnerable. Some
form of regional cooperation and develop-
ment is essential to cope with the pivotal
development challenge-reducing vul-
nerability-yet mutual suspicions and di-
vergent perceptions frequently make the
The divergent perceptions between the
US and the rest of the region are the product
of asymmetry in power and wealth and dif-
ferent interpretations of history. In no two
friendly countries is the gap between per-
ceptions wider than between the United
States and Mexico. Most US Presidents
would consider themselves fortunate to
have one-quarter of the power over events
in Mexico that Mexicans are certain they
have. Mexicans fear US manipulation when
the larger problem is US disinterest. The
political-economic crisis in Mexico, exacer-
bated by the earthquake, make it incum-
bent for the US and Mexico to begin
thinking about the contours of a long-term
relationship. However, such an exercise is
confounded by the intricate and convoluted
psychological web that has grown up
around the relationship, making communi-
cation often so exasperating, and coopera-
tion always tenuous.
Throughout the Caribbean Basin, the
power and the presence of the US has
shaped values and perceptions. Some in
the region admire the achievements of the
US and look to it for answers; others see the
US as the region's biggest problem and look
to eliminate all its influence. Attitudes are
strongest and most divergent on the causes
and consequences of US intervention. US
interventions generally have been viewed in
the region as an unwanted projection of
hegemony or imperialism, while the US has
tended to view it as a necessary response to
either an invitation or a provocation.
The United States not only fails to re-
ciprocate the region's strong feelings-
both positive and negative-it has difficulty
understanding the basis of those feelings,
and attributes them to some character flaw
or to the region's inability to deal with its
Sir Eric Williams ends his epic history of
the Caribbean with contradictory conclu-
sions that reflect these two perceptions.
"The whole history of the Caribbean so far
can be viewed as a conspiracy to block the
emergence of a Caribbean identity-in poli-
tics, in institutions, in economics, in culture,
and in values." And yet, Williams also con-
cludes: "In the last analysis, dependence is a
state of mind," suggesting that under-
development is not just a function of foreign
conspiracies but of internal inadequacies.
Similarly, Jean-Paul Sartre wrote of
the "split personality" of Third World
people, who are born with "a nervous
condition introduced and maintained by
the settler among colonized people with
With their consent ... isn't that the
point? The clue to the psychological rela-
tionship between the US and the Caribbean
Basin lies in the intersection between the
concepts of free will, so deeply ingrained in
the United States, and dependency, so pop-
ular in the Caribbean and the Third World.
While the US tends to attribute to the Carib-
bean Basin responsibility for their own in-
stability and underdevelopment, many in
the region tend to stress the structural
obstacles and impediments placed in their
way by US power.
Both perceptions are valid. The region is
vulnerable to outside forces in ways the US
will never be, but it also has considerable
room and choice to reduce its dependency.
The path towards greater autonomy lies be-
tween those who prefer to pay the price of
defiance and those who would reap the re-
wards of subservience. Perceptions matter;
they can either facilitate or impede the jour-
ney toward greater autonomy. One only has
to contrast the Sandinistas' approach to the
US with Torrijos' strategy to regain control
over the Panama Canal.
Both the US and the Caribbean need to
understand each other's perspective better.
The US needs to appreciate what it feels like
to be on the receiving end of its policy or of a
traumatic external shock over which a na-
tion has no influence, let alone control. In
turn, the region needs to accept that it has at
least as much responsibility for its problems
as the US.
Because the US shares in the conse-
quences of the region's instability and
underdevelopment, it has a stake in assist-
ing the region to become more developed
and less vulnerable. The US should pro-
mote regional unity even at the cost of lever-
age over individual nations, and the region
needs to look more to its neighbors to solve
problems and less to the US. Perceptions
need not be a barrier to communication;
they could be a stimulus to overcome joint,
common, or shared problems. O
Robert A. Pastor is
Professor of Political
Science at Emory Uni-
versity in Atlanta and
Director of the Latin
American and Carib-
bean Program at the
Carter Center. In
1985-86, he is on
leave as a Fulbright
Professor at El Colegio de Mexico. He is the
editor of Migration and Development in the
Caribbean: The Unexplored Connection
(Boulder: Westview Press, 1985).
THE HAITIAN JOURNAL OF PANAMA MONEY IN BARBADOS,
LIEUTENANT HOWARD, 1900-1920
YORK HUSSARS, 1796-1798 BONHAM C. RICHARDSON
EDITED, WITH AN INTRODUCTION,
BY ROGER NORMAN BUCKLEY
An essential primary source for the British invasion of and defeat
in Saint Domingue as well as an adventure story filled with in-
formation about the West Indies in the late eighteenth century.
248 pages. Illustrations. $22.50
Crown, Military, and Society
ALLAN J. KUETHE
In this account of the Cuban military forces following their
humiliation by the British in 1762, Kuethe discusses the interac-
tion among military priorities, the emerging colonial social struc-
ture, and the broader reform program of the Bourbon monarchy.
232 pages. Illustrations. $23.95
CRIME IN TRINIDAD
Conflict and Control in a
Plantation Society, 1838-1900
DAVID VINCENT TROTMAN
Trinidad's plantation system, Trotman argues, exerted a profound
effect on the rate, pattern, and characteristics of criminal activi-
ty. 320 pages. $27.50
FREE COLOREDS IN THE SLAVE
SOCIETIES OF ST. KITTS AND
EDWARD L. Cox
Focusing on the crucial seventy-year period that preceded eman-
cipation, Cox shows that the frequency and ease with which slaves
obtained freedom did not necessarily correlate with improved
status for free coloreds or with improved race relations. 212 pages.
Using oral history and archival sources, the author analyzes the
social and economic changes on Barbados caused by the migra-
tion and return migration of the 40,000 black men and women
who dug the Panama Canal. 308 pages. Illustrations $24.95
Environment and Human Survival
on St. Kitts and Nevis
BONHAM C. RICHARDSON
"[An] interesting and highly readable account of Carribbean
emigration touches briefly on regional movements in the southeast
islands, then focuses sharply on St. Kitts and Nevis in the former
British Leewards."--Journal of Historical Geography. 224 pages.
Illustrations. $19.95 cloth, $12.50 paper
FOLKLORE FROM CONTEMPORARY
DARYL C. DANCE
The first comprehensive anthology of the rich folklore of Jamaica
offers a fascinating and informative introduction to contemporary
Jamaican life and culture. Dance provides brief critical and
analytical introductions to each chapter, a glossary, and maps of
Jamaica and Kingston. 272 pages. 20 photographs, 11 original
drawings, 2 maps. $23.95
Responses and Replies
Does the New Man Exist?
Comments by Reinaldo Arenas
I have just read in Caribbean Review, Vol.
XIV, No. 1, an impassioned literary review by
Mr. Leonel de la Cuesta of the book Al norte
del infierno, by the Cuban writer Miguel
Correa. I was a member of the jury of the
"Jesus Castellanos Prize" (along with writers
Hilda Perera and Celedonio Gonzalez) which
was awarded to this literary work, and I am
intimately familiar with present Cuban real-
ity, both that described in the novel and the
even more pathetic one not described. I
therefore feel it is my sacred duty to criticize
such literary criticism.
It is curious that Mr. de la Cuesta,
coauthor of the well known Itinerario Ide-
ol6gico de Lourdes Casals, and who rarely
writes literary criticism, has chosen to do so
with this novel, which has not been trans-
lated to English. I respect the right to voice
an opinion, just as I commend literary criti-
cism as such. But I will refer here to parts of
the review which fall outside the parameters
of literary criticism without infringing on Mr.
de la Cuesta's right to voice his opinion. I will
limit myself to clarifying grave errors con-
tained in Mr. de la Cuesta's review of Cor-
rea's book, which color his analysis of the
history of my country.
Mr. de la Cuesta writes, "Correa is thus a
product of the 1959 Cuban revolution, but
he is far from being the hombre nuevo
(reviewer's emphasis) dreamed of by Che
Guevara." This is a misguided conceptual
error. Does there or will there ever exist a
New Man such as the one dreamed by Che
Guevara? Can a new man be created who
will not only condone but celebrate his own
enslavement? Only a robot could approxi-
mate that kind of creature, and if one were
for sale, I'd be the first to go out and buy
one. Push a button and the New Man will do
headstands; push another and he will throw
himself off a cliff. Such fun. This machine
does not have the option to choose, to voice
an opinion or to refuse. Is this the appliance
dreamed by Che Guevara? Because the
man of flesh and bones, the one with warts
and dreams, will never tolerate such a des-
tiny. I will take this even further: if that man
did exist, he should be set free. If that
dreamed-of man, that enslaved being, were
possible, humanity would be bound for ex-
tinction. A man that comes to understand
persecution, militarized suffocation, con-
centration camps and jail as a form of
human expression would be a man of ques-
tionable principles. It occurs to me as I sift
through all the demagoguery that the only
true and glorious New Man is the free man.
Mr. de la Cuesta continues: "In fact, his
vision of this revolution is negative." Could it
be otherwise? Could one have a positive
opinion toward a system that pretends to
create a man in the style of a machine,
without access to the most elementary
human rights? Could the blacks of South
Africa sing praises to the white minority that
subjugates and kills them? Undoubtedly,
only a technological invention, wired with
cables, can have a positive attitude to a kick
in the face. Only a General Electric product
would see love in the chains of oppression.
But a human being is different: he seeks
freedom, he exists because of freedom and
for it. And he will fight against any and all
who try to tear it from him. Thus it has been
through the centuries. Only the creature
dreamed of by Guevara, the one not guided
by the light of freedom, will wait in ware-
houses for the deadly blade of the guillotine.
The reviewer tells us: "Nothing created or
done after 1959 seems to be positive for
this 'prodigal son' of Castroism, not even
the hospitals, schools or sports successes."
My dear sir, nothing is positive about a com-
pletely free hospital stay to heal prison
wounds. A school to teach you where the
wires of absolute submission are located is
"Nothing after 1959" can be positive for
Correa because he realized these things.
But it is truly odd to mention the sports
successes: this is the scenario of the as-
sassin who allows his victim one last ciga-
rette before strangling him. What a
humanitarian assassin. Sir, would we justify
Hitler because of the magnificent highways
he built, the athletes he trained, the modern
hospitals, the low level of unemployment
that German society enjoyed under him?
Nothing can justify Hitler or hide the
corpses of millions of Jews slaughtered
throughout Europe. In Cuba, how valuable
could a free hospital be if the sons of the
people are sent to fight to the most alien
places? In Cuba, what hospital could heal us
of desperation and the certainty of a most
uncertain future? How do you heal the an-
guish of slavery?
But there is still more: the coauthor of
Itinerario Ideol6gico de Lourdes Casals
says other things. He establishes that "his
(Correa's) strong dislike for the living condi-
tions in Cuba appear to be the leitmotif of
the novel." The critic's analysis is truly
alarming this time. Living conditions in
Cuba are not what inspired Correa's novel.
Haiti could suffer from worse living condi-
tions and so could the Hotentotes or the
Navajo Indians, but Correa did not choose
these people as his literary subjects. The
author has given us, and in this resides the
importance of the work, a novel that is a
work of history, the history that transpires
behind the closed doors of Cuban society
under Castro. It is the novel of shattered
teeth, frustration as a way of life, the absurd
and of fear. It is the novel of Castroism.
Living conditions in Cuba, bitter and hallu-
cinatory as they are, are the work of an inept
and predatory government. All this touches
on the lives of Correa's characters but it does
not constitute the leitmotif of the novel. The
true leitmotif lies in the reasons that have
made those conditions unbearable and that
have victimized those people.
De la Cuesta writes ". . a country per-
ceived as the new El Dorado (the US) and
later found to be only quantitatively better
than the 'hell' located ninety miles to the
south..." In the first place, I believe that Cor-
rea's criticism of the United States does not
indict the whole nation or imply that it may
be quantitatively better than the hell left be-
hind. His strong criticism is directed to
those places where that intolerable "Cuban-
ness" that we all know has entrenched itself.
Correa attacks gossip, mediocrity, the bour-
geois lifestyle, spite, the narrow and asphyx-
iating morality that characterizes us. I do not
believe that the freedom the author found in
these shores is seen as detrimental. What
the novel rejects is narrowness of vision and
intolerance. Secondly, deleting the quota-
tion marks from the word hell, I do believe
that there is a hell left behind, and a new one
here as Mr. de la Cuesta suggests. But the
Northern hell is another one, it is the one
that participates in the idle gossip and the
intolerance; it seems we cannot live without
a hell nearby.
Finally, a literary comment: the reviewer
writes about "his lack of interest in the
search for objectivity. . Who told Mr. de la
Cuesta that a novel need be objective? Who
told him that this novel isn't? What con-
stitutes objectivity in a work of fiction? I am
afraid that our critic is referring to the tech-
niques of socialist realism when he men-
tions objectivity. Are socialist realist novels
objective? A novel is a work of art. That is all.
And, as an art form, the novel carries a
different objective clarity to each different
Rib T ip
Colombia Under Stress
A Presidency Lamed by Instability
By Gary Hoskin
olombia's democratic system is pres-
ently under siege from every quarter.
The legitimacy of the political system
is being seriously questioned. A persistent
source of conflict in the administration of
President Belisario Betancur is guerrilla
warfare and the unrest within the military
and Congress related to the president's ini-
tiatives to make peace with the dissident
groups and bring them into the system. The
additional inventory of problems besetting
the nation is lengthy: labor and civic strikes
have been frequent, government efforts to
control the drug traffic have met with lim-
ited success, there has been unhappiness
with the electoral monopoly of the two tradi-
tional parties, and relatively low rates of elec-
toral participation. Congress has become
increasingly marginalized from the policy
process, policy makers have shown an in-
ability or unwillingness to ameliorate severe
socio-economic stress and the government
has taken facile resort to a state of siege in
an effort to secure stability. This discontent
has been aggravated by the worst economic
recession since the Great Depression.
The political repercussions of the M-19
assault on the Palace of Justice in Bogota
on 7 November 1985 and the long-term
implications of the disaster resulting from
the Nevado del Ruiz volcanic eruption on 12
November 1985 are not all that apparent at
this juncture. The two tragedies are seem-
ingly eliciting a heightened sense of na-
tionalism and considerable support for
Colombian institutions, at least among key
groups. What is obvious at this point is that
the way in which the government has con-
fronted the two events has seriously under-
mined President Betancur's credibility.
Criticism of governmental performance
has been vociferous and will certainly cur-
tail the President's ability to govern effec-
tively throughout the remainder of his term.
Gary Hoskin, Associate Professor of Political
Science at SUNY, Buffalo, was Visiting Pro-
fessor at the University of the Andes in Bogota
during several summers from 1973-1982. He
is co-author with Francisco Leal and Harvey
Kline of the two-volume Legislative Behavior in
No significant changes are likely to occur
until after the 1986 elections; the more rele-
vant tests of the resiliency of the political
system will unfold then.
Without minimizing the severity of the
current legitimacy crisis, an historical per-
spective necessarily reveals that Colombian
political behavior has been reflective of and
shaped by omnipresent crisis. But, as Fer-
nando Cepeda has noted, the system "with
all its defects, with its almost permanent
violence, has survived the most difficult
tests." How has the Colombian political sys-
tem managed to sustain itself in light of
persistent challenges to its legitimacy? To
what extent will the present crisis lead to
The Colombian Party System
Although the roots of the Colombian party
system run deep into the 19th century, not
until the consolidation of the economy
around the production and exportation of
coffee did parties become a focal pivot of
Colombian political life. At least since the
institutionalization of the two-party system,
the Liberal and Conservative parties had
faithfully represented an extension of the
oligarchical structure of power prevailing in
the society. Challenges to the traditional
power structure, which is sustained by a
highly stratified social system, have been
thwarted consistently throughout Colom-
bian history. The dominant groups have
demonstrated their capacity to mobilize
their resources at crucial junctures in the
country's development when serious
threats appeared. The inability of challeng-
ing elites to disrupt the predominant struc-
tural features of the system has been
predicated upon a policy of cooptation of
dissident elites into the power structure
and, with a few exceptions, by the political
quiescence of the masses.
In this respect, the National Front, formed
in 1958 in the wake of the Rojas Pinilla
dictatorship to unite the Liberal and Conser-
vative parties in a contractual alternation of
political power, is by no means a unique
arrangement. Although unlike previous
governing coalitions, the National Front was
institutionalized through a constitutional
plebiscite. As a consequence of the 1968
constitutional reforms, power sharing be-
tween the two traditional parties was ex-
tended beyond the 12-year termination
period of the National Front. Both Presi-
dents Turbay and Betancur have governed
jointly with politicians from the major op-
One of the principal goals envisioned for
the National Front was to curb inter-party
competition by achieving parity in the dis-
tribution of bureaucratic and legislative
posts and in the alternation of the presi-
dency. The National Front was quite suc-
cessful, in part because of the conscious
cultivation of a non-sectarian style by the
principal actors involved. However, this
non-sectarian style contributed to the weak-
ening of party organizations and their ca-
pacity to elicit partisan support from the
masses. Consequently, the locus of political
power shifted increasingly away from party
organizations to the executive branch of
government, further widening the breach
between what Gaithn labeled el pais pol-
itico and el pais national. The role of the
state was fortified as a result of the develop-
ment policies pursued under this program.
Rather than relying upon traditional pat-
terns of partisan politics, the expansive
state increasingly turned to technocrats to
manage the development process, a ten-
dency that has been reinforced by mount-
ing dependency of the state upon financial
assistance from international agencies. In-
terest groups assumed more significant
roles in the policy process, often bypassing
the political parties. Despite an expanding
economy and a proclaimed commitment to
socio-economic reform, scant progress
was made during the National Front era in
reducing the pronounced income in-
equalities of Colombian society.
All is not well with the party system in
Colombia. This is reflected in the declining
role of the parties in the policy process,
electoral absention in urban areas, a pattern
of declining partisan identification, and the
growing inability of the parties successfully
to represent various societal interests.
About 74 percent of Colombia's population
currently resides in urban areas. In 1982,
27.5 percent of the nation's electorate resi-
ded in the four major metropolitan areas
(Bogota, Medellin, Cali and Barranquilla).
The traditional parties have not adapted
well to these demographic changes in that
they have not succeeded in mobilizing ur-
ban voters. High urban abstention rates re-
flect, in part, the attenuation of traditional
party loyalties among the population.
The increasing lack of accountability of
the two major parties to their electorates as
a consequence of the compartmentaliza-
tion of the party and governmental arenas,
coupled with the failure of the parties to
penetrate the society very deeply in terms of
the representational process, has produced
a rather paradoxical situation in which the
traditional parties continue their electoral
domination, yet are unable to exercise effec-
tive control over civil society. Fernando
Cepeda's prophecy is becoming more and
more accurate: "We are going to discover
that societies do not live from votes alone,
and there is no doubt that this discovery is
going to be very painful." The pain is re-
flected increasingly by the failure of politi-
cians to control the society (el pals
national), even with frequent resort to the
state of siege, institutionalized by the Turbay
administration as the Estatuto de Segu-
ridad. The principal source of conflict in the
Colombian political system has shifted
from pronounced partisan struggle be-
tween liberals and conservatives, so charac-
teristic of the pre-National Front period, to a
confrontation between supporters and op-
ponents of the system.
Initial expectations ran high with respect
to President Betancur's ability to bridge the
expanding gap between the political system
and civil society, thereby reversing a trend of
mounting civil disobedience and societal
instability. Despite the prevailing Liberal
Party majority, Betancur won the presi-
dency in 1982 for a variety of reasons. First,
the electoral calendar was revised for the
1978 elections, with legislative and presi-
dential elections held separately, which en-
hanced Betancur's candidacy because
presidential elections produce a higher
turnout that is based less upon clientelism
than congressional elections. Second,
feuds within the Liberal Party were so for-
midable that two Liberal candidates even-
tually went to the polls, thereby splitting the
Liberal vote. In contrast, both major fac-
tions of the Conservative party supported
Betancur. Third, in order to forge a winning
electoral coalition, Betancur conducted a
campaign directed toward all Colombians,
not primarily toward partisans. His cam-
paign was exemplary-it was highly profes-
sional, well-organized, amply financed, and
very skillful in terms of campaign style and
issue focus. Fourth, a rather pervasive an-
tipathy toward the two previous Liberal gov-
ernments prevailed among a sizeable
segment of the electorate. The deepening
economic recession, high inflation rates,
Liberal tax reforms, government deficits,
corruption, clientilism, and increasing civil
disobedience contributed to this anti-gov-
ernment sentiment. Fifth, Betancur mobi-
lized a significant proportion of voters who
generally abstain, largely on the basis of a
successful populist campaign. This seg-
ment of the potential electorate generally
has been mobilized, if at all, by the Liberal
Party, but neither L6pez Michelsen nor Luis
Carlos Galan enjoyed much success with
lower class barrio dwellers. Finally, the tra-
ditional vote surplus of the Liberal Party
from the Atlantic coast failed to materialize.
No significant changes are
likely to occur until after
the 1986 elections.
A Failed Program for Peace
Despite the severe crisis confronting the
government during the first half of his ad-
ministration, President Betancur enjoyed a
higher popularity rating at the beginning of
1984 than when he assumed office. This is
somewhat paradoxical in light of the gov-
ernment's limited success in producing tan-
gible economic benefits for Colombians,
particularly those at the bottom of the social
structure. Betancur's popularity stemmed
from his consummate political skills, which
he utilized to convince Colombians that he
was working tirelessly to improve condi-
tions. Until the early part of 1984, Betancur
fortified his populist image-based largely
upon symbolic rather than concrete gov-
ernmental benefits-through political ac-
tivities such as: a personal identification
with the pueblo, reminding Colombians of
his own humble origins; reorientation of
Colombian foreign policy along more na-
tionalistic lines; a sincere effort to negotiate
a political peace with guerrilla groups
through an amnesty program and a "na-
tional dialogue;" an attempt to perpetuate
the non-sectarian stance associated with
the National Movement; and a largely suc-
cessful government effort to restore the
badly shaken stability of the country's finan-
However, the constraints of populism be-
came increasingly apparent during the sec-
ond half of 1984, and the bubble finally
burst with the M-1 9 assault on the Palace of
Justice. President Betancur's popularity
nosedived from over 80 percent in late 1983
to just below 19 percent in mid-1985. The
inability, or unwillingness, of Betancur to
restructure the political party system
through the consolidation of a populist-
based National Movement during the initial
half of his administration, coupled with the
traditional lame-duck constraints operative
during the second half, has not permitted
him to overcome formidable opposition to
his peace plan. Moreover, the dramatic re-
versal of the initial drive toward a more au-
tonomous role for Colombia in the inter-
national arena, largely as a consequence of
a sluggish domestic economy and the tight-
ening of international credit, has under-
mined Betancur's leadership.
Because of the deep economic recession
and Colombia's deteriorating international
credit standing, President Betancur's gov-
ernment has concentrated not upon social
and economic change, but almost ex-
clusively upon political reforms that were
designed to open the system to groups that
essentially had no political access. Peace
agreements were signed with the largest
guerrilla group, FARC (Fuerzas Revolu-
cionarias Colombianas) in March 1984,
along with the M-19 and ELP (Ejercito de
Liberaci6n Fbpular) in August 1984. Minis-
ter of Government Rodrigo Escobar Navia's
proposed new institutional framework was
packaged by the government and sent to
Congress for its approval in the 1983 legis-
lative session. Opposition to the reforms
proved to be formidable and little progress
was achieved during this session. Conse-
quently, the new Minister of Government,
Jaime Castro, presented a revised set of
proposals to the 1984 Congress, involving
two constitutional amendments and six leg-
islative bills. Because of the slowness of
congressional action, the President called a
special session of Congress in 1985 to
complete action on the proposals.
In a recent overview of the status of the
reform package before the Sociedad de
Agricultores, the Minister of Government
revealed that some of the minor bills have
been approved, but that the constitu-
tionality of the congressional reform mea-
sure is in doubt and that the amendment
pertaining to popular election of mayors
still awaits a second approval in the Senate.
Moreover, it is rumored that leaders of the
two traditional parties have agreed to repeal
the reform dealing with political parties. In
summary, the legislative treatment of Presi-
dent Betancur's proposals for a "Demo-
cratic Opening" through institutional
reform has demonstrated formidable op-
position from the traditional parties, and,
apparently, the failure of the project. This
rather bold effort to restructure the Colom-
bian political system encountered an igno-
minious fate in Congress as a result of the
refusal of either major political party to
commit itself firmly to the proposals.
The peace process thus is endangered
not only because of congressional opposi-
tion but also by the withdrawal of two guer-
rilla groups from the "National Dialogue",
and the decision to return to armed opposi-
tion. On 21 May 1985, the M-19 announced
that it would not participate in additional
discussions with the Comisiones de Dii-
logo, proclaiming that in the future it would
hold direct talks with the president. The ELP
also broke the truce with the government
when its leader was assassinated. The
agreement with the FARC expired on 1 De-
cember 1985, but it was extended for an-
other year, awaiting the outcome of the
1986 elections in which its new political
party the Uni6n Patri6tica will participate.
Since the M- 19 returned to armed combat,
political violence has once again become
The peace process likewise has been un-
dermined by unfavorable domestic and
international economic conditions. Para-
doxically, the foreign exchange bonanza of
previous Liberal governments, based
largely upon high coffee prices and the drug
traffic, resulted in economic slowdown. The
Turbay government sought to stimulate the
economy by increasing public expendi-
tures, reducing restrictions on imports, and
removing governmental controls over for-
eign indebtedness. Between 1980 and
1982, a trade surplus of $72 million dollars
turned into a deficit of $2 billion dollars;
huge government deficits were recorded
that were financed largely through foreign
loans; and economic growth slowed to .9
percent during 1981-1982. Declining cof-
fee prices, the devaluation of the Venezuelan
Bolivar, and the imposition of foreign ex-
change controls by the Venezuelan govern-
ment and the contraction of international
credit sparked by the Mexican crisis of 1982,
further contributed to Colombia's eco-
By the fall of 1984, the Minister of Fi-
nance began negotiations with interna-
tional banks for loans to prop up the
Colombian economy. The banks, however,
refused to extend sizeable credits to Colom-
bia without the approval of the International
Monetary Fund. After prolonged negotia-
tions, the Minister recommended that Co-
lombia sign an IMF stabilization program,
but Betancur refused the advice for political
reasons. Instead, the government imple-
mented its own austerity program which,
ultimately, was deemed insufficient; in April
1985, Betancur agreed to "enhanced" IMF
monitoring of the Colombian economy de-
signed to placate the international bankers.
Even the "enhanced" monitoring failed to
satisfy critics, for on the eve of an IMF team
visit to Colombia scheduled for late October
an internal IMF document was leaked to the
press. It called for a series of even harsher
austerity measures, including a call for
massive devaluation and wage restraint.
The government's expectation of signing
loan agreements in the vicinity of $1 billion
failed to materialize because the bankers
are waiting until "relations are clearer" be-
tween the Colombian government and the
IMF. Banking sources say that one demand
L~ ~ - --
Ameo, Colombia, a he eupon ohe Nevado del Ruiz, November 1985
Armero, Colombia, after the eruption of the Nevado del Ruiz, November 1985.
will be approval of foreign banks' plan to
accept stock options in return for infusion of
capital into local banks, effectively giving
the former control of Colombia's financial
institutions. Contrary to Andean Pact reg-
ulations, Betancur had already allowed for
the possibility of majority foreign control of
Thus, despite his previous attempts to
restructure his foreign policy in a more au-
tonomous direction, President Betancur
was compelled by the economic situation to
seek United States support for debt re-
negotiations. The United States responded
favorably because of the government's im-
plementation of austerity measures, Betan-
cur's democratic trajectory, and the
decision in 1984 to cooperate more closely
with the United States in controlling
Limping to the Elections
Within this context of economic crisis and
political instability, what are the political im-
plications of the M-1 9 assault upon the Pal-
ace of Justice and the catastrophe of the
Nevado del Ruiz? The M-1 9 clearly miscal-
culated the government's response to its
attack upon the Palace of Justice, expecting
to hold the hostages for a few hours while
negotiating directly with President Betan-
cur. Their expectation undoubtedly was to
replicate the experience of the 1980 capture
of the Dominican Embassy, which ended
peacefully after sixty days of negotiations
between the Turbay government and the
M-1 9. However, the ambiente had changed
considerably since 1980, with powerful elite
groups and sectors of the middle class ex-
pressing frustration with the failure of the
peace initiative to stem guerrilla violence.
Reaction to the congressional reform pro-
posals had underscored the opposition of
the industrial sector, the business commu-
nity, and agricultural groups. But the princi-
pal resistance to the peace proposals came
from the military, which torpedoed Turbay's
efforts to negotiate a peace with the guer-
rillas and undermined Betancur's initiatives
Although the President accepted the re-
sponsibility for the decisions associated
with handling the attack upon the Justice
Palace, the interpretation that seemingly
prevails is that the military acted autono-
mously, presenting Betancur with two alter-
natives, supporting their action or resign-
ing. President Betancur was receiving the
credentials of foreign ambassadors in the
Palacio de Narifio when the attack began,
then he convoked a marathon cabinet ses-
sion which all attended except the Minister
of Defense, General Vega Uribe, who ap-
Continued on page 34
The Man of Peace Takes Up the Sword
By Bernard Diederich
It was during a light drizzle on Wednesday
7 November 1985, that an old tarp-cov-
ered telephone company Ford crashed
into the underground garage of the modern
buff-colored marble Palace of Justice in
Bogota, Colombia. Crammed into the back
of the truck were more than two dozen guer-
rillas of the April 19 Movement known as the
M-19. The commandos opened fire with
handguns and machine guns, killing two
garage guards. From the basement parking
area the guerrillas shot their way up the five-
story building. On the fourth floor they took
as hostage Chief Justice Alfonso Reyes
Echandia, as well as other members of the
24-man Supreme Court and the 20-man
Counsel of State.
No courts were in session, preparations
were underway for afternoon hearings and
there was a wild rumor that the supreme
court was going to review extradition cases
of Colombian drug traffickers wanted by the
United States. This rumor became so
strong that the M-19 commando leader
Luis Otero denied in a telephone interview
from the palace that they were in league
with narcotics traffickers, but had seized the
palace to "denounce" the government for
"betraying" the 1984 government-guerrilla
truce. The M-19 misjudged the govern-
ment's capacity to respond and what en-
sued was called by leading newspaper El
Tiempo the "most spectacular counter-
guerrilla operation in contemporary times."
For El Espectador it was a "bloody
The "Red Alarm" in the Justice Palace
brought the Presidential Guard running
from the Palacio de Narifio three blocks
away, where President Belisario Betancur
was in the act of receiving the credentials of
the Algerian and Norwegian envoys. Sud-
denly the brick-tiled Plaza Bolivar was alive
with security forces and soldiers. The guer-
rillas had managed to close the huge main
door over which is engraved "Arms Gave
You Independence, Laws Will Give You Free-
dom," a statement made by Colombia's
Bernard Diederich is Caribbean Bureau Chief
founding father Francisco de Paula
The army launched the retaking of the
Palace without awaiting the Presidential seal
of approval. The battle to retake the Palace
of Justice began at 2 p.m. with police Swat
teams landing by helicopter on the roof
while three Brazilian made cascavels
blasted the main door with their 90 mm
cannon and then crashed through it into the
lobby. Firing was intense. Some forty per-
sons managed to escape. Smoke and cor-
dite spread over the plaza. During the 27-
hour battle hundreds more miraculously
managed to flee the building.
Bogota's feisty radio stations interviewed
by phone guerrillas and hostages caught
inside the palace. At 4 p.m. the voice of the
Chief Justice Alfonso Reyes Echandia was
heard emotionally pleading for a cease fire;
"For God's sake, stop shooting or there'll be
a holocaust." A guerrilla interrupted the
Chief Justice's telephone plea to accuse
President Betancur of "not even listening to
Dr. Reyes Echandia."
One guerrilla commander identified him-
self as Luis Francisco Otero Cifuentes, who
had planned and participated in the take-
over of the Dominican Embassy in Bogota
in 1980. Julio Cesar Turbay was then Presi-
dent and because the M-19 held 16 foreign
ambassadors, including US Ambassador
Diego Ascencio, he made a deal. The guer-
rillas got a reported million dollars in cash
and safe conduct to Havana. This time, the
man who says "I am the peace," chose to do
battle. All through the night, Bogota echoed
with the dull thuds of percussion explosions
and shell fire. In the early evening the mili-
tary detonated an explosive charge which
turned the palace into a blazing inferno.
President Betancur said his government,
which had made peace with all but the ELN,
smaller guerrilla group, "would not negoti-
ate with the M-19." Later in a TV post-mor-
;em, the president said they had gone from
being guerrillas to mere terrorists and upon
falling into the trap of terrorism they had
"progressively isolated themselves from the
people, especially when seeking help from
the narcotics traffickers."
The shooting finally stopped shortly after
3 p.m. on 7 November, when combat troops
made their final assault on the charred, gut-
ted remains of what was one of Bogota's
finest contemporary government buildings.
Almost immediately, workmen began clear-
ing away the blood and stains of Bogota's
worst battle since the 1984 Bogotazo,
which ignited the Violencia, the Colombian
civil war that became one of the most dev-
astating of Latin American history. Scaffold-
ing went up around the battle-scarred
palace the next day and the rebuilding and
repairing was quickly underway as the na-
tion tried to understand how its temple of
justice had been turned into a bloody bat-
tlefield that decapitated the high court. How
did it happen? Thousands of Colombians
crowded before the barriers that closed off
the plaza and discussed the events in which
100 lives were lost, among them eleven su-
preme court justices, Chief Justice Alfonso
Reyes Echandia, 33 other judges, and all of
the 40-odd guerrillas.
One lawyer called the events of 6 and 7
November "Betancur's tragedy." The man
who had campaigned with the slogan of
peace, the innovating populist who sought
to end 40 years of guerrilla warfare and
open up Colombia's starchy old political
system, had also shown he was a stubborn
man of the sword when the authority of the
state is challenged by an act of terrorism.
The campaign banners and posters for next
year's general elections that festooned the
streets around Plaza Bolivar bore the slo-
gans "Fbr la Paz Democratica" (For a Dem-
ocratic Peace), featuring images of former
guerrillas, such as Patriotic Union candidate
Manuel Marulando, legendary guerrilla
commander of the FARC, the Moscow-lean-
ing Marxist Colombian Revolutionary
Forces, who was also known as 7ro Fyo
("Sure Shot"). Sure Shot and his compan-
ions not only signed the peace with the
government of Belisario Betancur, but they
have formed their own political movement
and are campaigning for office in the March
and May elections.
Yet when the M-19 invaded the Palace of
Justice on November 6, they demonstrated
that they had completely misread Betancur.
This miscalculation of the maverick non-
Marxist group that looks down on other Co-
lombian guerrillas such as the FARC, as
Marxist country hicks who had none of their
sophistication, nationalist feelings and intel-
lectual capacity, has cost their 11-year old
movement dearly. They were the urban yup-
pies of Colombia's guerrilla groups, with
lawyers, doctors, architects and other mid-
dle and even upper class professionals in
their ranks. They thought this would be an-
other smooth and bloodless Dominican
But Betancur had done enough listening.
He had talked to the M-19 on a number of
occasions, and when they returned to the
armed struggle after charging that the Mili-
tary were not only breaking the truce but
planning to eliminate their leaders, Betan-
cur admitted he couldn't understand them.
He assumed full responsibility for his deci-
sion. In fact, he acted the way he did pre-
cisely to save his peace process. One
Colombian university group declared him
persona non grata.
In a city 125 miles west of Bogota, Supe-
rior Court judges filed an impeachment pe-
tition against the President for his handling
of the palace takeover. The judges said they
were acting because of the "inhuman and
vituperative decision to not order a
ceasefire, taking into account the lives of the
country's highest judges were more impor-
tant than the capture of a few subversives."
The Government declared three days of
national mourning. On Saturday, grieving
families of the eleven Supreme Court
judges buried their dead in cities through-
out Colombia. The surviving judges told
Justice Minister Enrique Parejo Gonzalez
that they did not want a single government
official to attend the memorial services for
their dead colleagues and that they would
boycott the government services for the vic-
tims as a sign of protest over the govern-
ment's handling of the palace takeover.
In the ancient cathedral on the corner of
Plaza Bolivar across from the Justice Pal-
ace, Betancur appeared pathetically iso-
lated as he officiated at a ceremony for the
victims on Sunday morning. He told the
government officials and foreign diplomats
who attended the service that he had no
Colombian soldier leaves Palace of Justice clutching crucifix, Bogota, November 1985.
Colombian soldier leaves Palace of Justice clutching crucifix, Bogotd, November 1985.
alternative but to reject negotiations. "No
more shouts of war ... Pray for peace,"
pleaded the president. Bogota's Archbishop
Mario Rebollo said while mourning the loss
of life, that the tragedy had "fortified the
principle of legality" for all Colombians.
After the ceremony, Justice Minister Enri-
que Parejo Gonzales defended the govern-
ment's action, saying it could not enter into
negotiations, but had offered the guerrillas a
"fair trial" if they surrendered. Ironically, the
guerrillas had said they had wanted to
put President Betancur on trial as well
as the elected government of 27 million
Continued on page 35
Colombia in the Eighties
A Political Regime in Transition
By Ricardo Santamaria Salamanca and Gabriel Silva LujAn
Translated by Gilbert L. Socas ,
,i -fl ,Km '. .T ,
Contemporary Colombian history
reached a watershed with the take-
over of the Palace of Justice in
Bogota on 6 and 7 November 1985 by the
M-19 guerrillas. Never before had a guerrilla
group attempted such a daring action and
never before had the government and the
army responded so radically. The ideologi-
cal crisis within the Colombian political sys-
tem became acutely evident; public opinion
was drastically polarized within all sectors.
The strategy of national pacification im-
plemented by the government of President
Belisario Betancur since 1982 was mortally
wounded bythe Palace of Justice battle. The
military acquired more autonomy in deal-
ing with problems of internal public order,
and the peace process, which sought to
pursue political over military solutions, took
Ricardo Santamaria Salamanca is Executive
Secretary of the Center for Studies of Colom-
bian Reality (CEREC), and professor of politi-
cal science at the Central University in Bogota.
He writes for El Tiempo and is co-author, with
Gabriel Silva Lujin, of Proceso Politico en Co-
lombia: del Frente Nacional a la Apertura
DemocrAtica (1984) and Juventud y Politica en
Gabriel Silva Lujdn is a researcher at the Cen-
ter for Studies of Colombian Reality and as-
sistant editor of the magazine Estrategia
Econ6mica y Financiera. He is on the graduate
faculty of political studies at the Pontificia Uni-
versidad Javeriana in Bogota, and author of
Politica Exterior: LContinuidad o Ruptura? Re-
sefa de un Debate (1985).
a 180 degree turn. But worse still, M-19
actions created the unfavorable conditions
that today threaten the peace treaty enacted
in March 1984 between the central govern-
ment and the main Colombian rebel group,
FARC, Fuerzas Revolucionarias de
The political history of Colombia, like that
of many other Latin American nations, has
been marked by violence. As Peter Wald-
man points out, it is not the volume of politi-
cal violence that distinguishes Latin
America from other regions, but its promi-
nence and continuity within the political
arena. Nevertheless, Waldman and most
other specialists agree that the Colombian
situation issuigeneris. Despite the fact that
there were 63 civil wars in Colombia during
the nineteenth century alone, and that more
than 300,000 people died during La Vio-
lencia (1946-66), dictators have basically
never been in control of central power. The
reverse was true in Mexico, Brazil, Venezu-
ela, Cuba and more recently in Argentina,
Chile and Nicaragua. This is partly due to
the capacity of Colombia's traditional par-
ties to modernize and adapt to social
change. Bruce M. Bagley characterizes the
Colombian political regime since theFrente
Nacional as one of "inclusive authoritaria-
nism." The traditional parties have commit-
ted themselves to coalitions and compro-
mise in the competition for and exercise of
political clout. In the last hundred years, Co-
lombia has lived under sixty-six govern-
ments formed by Liberal-Conservative
coalitions, 64 percent of the time.
The ability to adapt and modernize
shown by the traditional parties and their
ability to dominate the political scene
through the coalition formula explains why,
institutionally, Colombia has developed
within a somewhat restrictive liberal demo-
cratic framework that has allowed the im-
plementation of reformist and modernizing
policies. Political conflicts resulting from
economic development and social diversifi-
cation have been mediated by the parties.
Historian Alvaro Tirado Mejia has docu-
mented how every twenty-five years since
1886 (when a new constitution was en-
acted), the Colombian political system has
undergone significant reforms, permitting
new groups and social interests to integrate
into the general framework of the State.
From Regeneration to the Frente
Under the slogan "Regeneration or Catas-
trophe," conservative President Rafael
Nuihez undertook in 1886 radical constitu-
tional reform. The most significant modifi-
cations were in the political-administrative
branch of the government. This movement
toward regeneration soon turned sour, and,
as Tirado Mejia explains, all channels of
democratic expression were closed to the
opposition. The Liberal Party was able to
place only two representatives and no sena-
tors in Congress from 1892 to 1904. Liberal
Party leaders took up arms and transferred
the political struggle from the voting
booths to the battlefields. The War of the
Thousand Days began in 1899 and ended
with the implementation of President Rafael
Reyes's integrational policy, the forerunner
of the constitutional reform of 1910, a quar-
ter century after the Nufiez constitution. At
this time, parliamentary representation of
the opposition was established and the Su-
preme Court became the guardian of the
During the next two decades, until the
1930s, the country changed radically.
Growing coffee exports with a resulting cur-
rency flow unknown until then, oil produc-
tion and industrial growth in urban centers,
produced radical social changes. The
masses of peasants, now turned pro-
letarian, demanded rights and services. In
1936, the state adapted again to meet these
modern needs under the framework of the
"Revolution in Progress" of the first term of
President Alfonso L6pez Pumarejo. The
state intervened in social and economic ac-
tivities, the principle of the social function of
property was adopted and trade unions
Half a century after the reforms of 1910,
the 1957 plebiscite produced new institu-
tional formats grounded in the bipartisan
coalition of the Frente Nacional, ending the
bloody battle fought by Colombia under
Liberal and Conservative banners. The
Frente Nacional established the bipartisan
ideal as a constitutional norm, and excluded
other sectors from the electoral colleges
and public administration, within the na-
tional, departmental and municipal govern-
ments. The parity of the two majority
parties was established in parliament and in
The installation of a bipartisan coalition
brought a series of important results in the
process of pacification and political stabil-
ization in Colombia. The most prominent
outcome was the end of bipartisan political
violence, the acceptance of negotiated po-
litical confrontation and the creation of ap-
propriate conditions for economic growth
and social development. But it sowed the
seeds of its own destruction by closing off
access to political power to all those forces
not aligned with the traditional bipartisan
The consequences of this severe curtail-
ment of participation in the political system
were traumatic, and are seen today in dwin-
dling party membership, the erosion of
ideological consensus, electoral apathy
and, most significantly, the growth of non-
constitutional forms of political action. Vio-
lence was primarily partisan throughout the
nineteenth century until 1957. Until then,
guerrilla groups had stated political affilia-
tions. This was the case with Liberal guer-
rilla warfare that scourged the eastern plains
and Andean mountains between 1948 and
1953. This was anti-government, not anti-
The situation today is quite different. New
guerrilla groups emerged during the Na-
tional Front period: The FARC, (Colombian
Revolutionary Forces) the ELN (National
Liberation Army), and theEPL (Popular Lib-
eration Army) were born in the 1960s; the
M-19 and theADO (Workers' Self Defense)
in the 70s, and finally theRicardo Franco, a
dissident group of the FARC, and the
Quintin Lame, in the 80s. All of these,
whether Marxist-Leninist, Maoist, Cuban-
leaning or nationalist, share a new charac-
teristic: they not only seek power through
violence but the total overthrow of the exist-
ing political system. Colombia has gone
from bureaucratic violence to ideological
violence, from violence within the system to
violence against the system.
Can these subversive forces effectively
take over the country? Waldman points out
that despite the fact that guerrillas in some
countries have considerable military and
political clout, it is unlikely that a revolution
such as Nicaragua's will be repeated. A care-
ful analysis of the Nicaraguan and Cuban
situation and the experience of guerrilla
groups yet to attain power, prove that rebels
can obtain victory only under special cir-
cumstances: events must concern a small
and underdeveloped country; a schism
must exist in the middle class so that a
reformist fraction from within its ranks sup-
ports the rebels; not only must the regime in
power lose prestige and legitimacy, but the
rebels must make use of the situation and
present their cause as the only viable alter-
native. Clearly, this is not the case of Colom-
bia. Even when, as in most Latin American
countries, the Colombian government does
not have a monopoly on weapons, the guer-
rillas do not have sufficient military might or
middle class support to overthrow the gov-
ernment. Nor can the government annihi-
late the guerrillas, or the guerrillas take
power. The rebels remain an independent
CAIRBBEAN FEVIeW/ 13
power that control certain small regions,
maintain a militia and hold the fluctuating
opinion of the public.
A third alternative is the policy put in ef-
fect by President Betancur in 1982: To reach
an agreement by treaty whereby the guer-
rillas lay down their weapons, cease hostili-
ties and eventually dismantle their military
apparatus as the government offers political
and social guarantees to incorporate these
sectors into the political system, while start-
ing a process of reform. The hoped-for re-
sult is national harmony and the creation of
a peaceful and democratic climate within
which antagonistic political forces can
A Profile of Modernization
Economic development in Colombia dur-
ing the last 30 years has been swift and it
has brought profound changes to both the
economy and the society. A mainly agri-
cultural society evolved into one of growing
diversification, with new means of urban
employment and the growth of modern la-
bor-management relations. Public health
has improved, illiteracy has fallen and en-
rollment in institutions of higher learning
has increased. As a consequence, unskilled
labor rates went from 41 percent in the 50s
to 21 percent in 1973 and to 9 percent by
the end of the 70s. The economy of the
country has been modernized and diversi-
fied. Between 1950 and 1980, there was
dynamic growth in industry, finance, gov-
ernment, communications and public ser-
vices. Colombia also saw significant
diversification in the demand for imported
goods and an increase of exportable goods.
In the 70s alone, the economy grew by 75
percent. All these changes took place dur-
ing the National Front period. But while the
society and the economy were transformed
at great speed, this change generated social
destabilization and political unrest. Mean-
while, political institutions remained un-
changed and strongly attached to the
decree of 1957.
The tensions caused by accelerated
change and a stagnated political structure
have caused significant transformations in
the Colombian's polity if not its political in-
stitutions. The ranks of the politically un-
affiliated have grown, reaching 50 percent
in Bogota. A considerable block of voters
question the legitimacy of the political sys-
tem and are attempting to mobilize through
illegal or marginal channels. The social sec-
tors that did not accept the legitimacy of the
bipartisan coalition found that the Liberal
Revolutionary Movement (MRL) and others,
including the administration of President
Betancur, offered them a vehicle for opposi-
tion and political expression within the tra-
ditional structure. The MRL brought
together different dissidents that considered
the existing political system to be anti-dem-
ocratic, contrary to the interests of liberal-
ism and guilty of perpetuating the rule of
the privileged. This group grew to a point
that it represented 40 percent of the Liberal
electorate, and then soon disappeared. This
strengthened the ANAPO (National Al-
liance for Opposition), thus ending the pos-
sibility of channeling the participation of
these new forces through traditional
These new forces channeled their efforts
through the established political institutions
but divorced themselves from bipartisa-
nism. Led by General Gustavo Rojas Pinilla,
ANAPO became the principal manifesta-
The strategy of national
pacification of President
Belisario Betancur was
mortally wounded by the
Palace of Justice battle.
tion of this phenomenon, remaining out-
side bipartisan parameters but gaining
membership from the dissidents of the two
traditional parties and the dissolved MRL.
ANAPO's crisis came as a result of the 1970
elections and as a response to the attitudes
and decisions of its rulers regarding the
coalition, and finally, the death of its leader.
The impossibility of participating in the po-
litical process through electoral means radi-
calized those sectors unhappy with the
existing political and social structure lead-
ing to the de-institutionalization of political
participation and eventually, the birth of the
M-19 and other illegal groups.
A New View
Leading the National Movement, a coalition
that included the Conservative party, an in-
significant group of Christian Democrats
and a large segment of independent voters,
Betancur became president of Colombia in
1982. He began his term with the promise
of establishing a dialogue with rebel groups
and of solving the demands for greater po-
litical participation of the different regions of
the country and the population at large
through a vast process of political moderni-
zation and democratic opening.
During recent years, violence and politi-
cal crime had increased in Colombia. Be-
tween 1974 and 1984, officials estimate
that more than 611 people were kidnapped
and 3,000 Colombians killed or wounded
for political motives. These numbers do not
include guerrilla losses, which by now
should be in the hundreds.
The Betancur administration interpreted
the phenomenon of violence as a protest
against an inadequate political and so-
cioeconomic system. During L6pez
Michelsen's administration (1974-78), a di-
alogue was attempted, but only Betancur's
administration gave the effort real strength.
Betancur pushed for a national policy of
pacification encompassing three basic
strategies: amnesty for rebel groups; the
widening of channels so that non-tradi-
tional groups can work through the estab-
lished system, and a commitment to Third
World causes and peace in Central America.
The Betancur peace process is not yet
concluded and it is therefore difficult to at-
tempt a thorough analysis of the process.
We can, however, venture some preliminary
opinions. Throughout this time, the guns
have continued to blast and violent encoun-
ters have persisted. Even when the number
of violent incidents decreased during 1983
and 1984, what has happened in 1985 sig-
nals the new reality in Colombia. Since the
unilateral breaking of the government-guer-
rilla truce by the M-19 in mid-1985, the
battles, assaults and terrorist acts in urban
areas have returned. The failure of the Be-
tancur administration's methodology has
become evident. Since 1982, a total of 23
negotiating committees and sub-commit-
tees have been formed. This strategy di-
luted government responsibility and re-
vealed weaknesses in its leadership.
Moreover, the Armed Forces have acted in-
dependently of the government. From the
beginning, the Army expressed its discon-
tent with the peace proceedings of Presi-
dent Betancur, even if it publicly announced
that it would abide by the president's author-
ity. In 1983, Attorney General Carlos Jime-
nez G6mez denounced the existence of
paramilitary retaliation groups made up of
active and retired army officials. A few hours
before M- 19 leaders were to sign a ceasefire
agreement with the president, army troops
opened fire against a truck that carried
members of the M-1 9 headed for the meet-
ing in Corinto, nearly frustrating the signing
of the pact.
The peace process reached its dramatic
climax with the taking of the Palace of Jus-
tice by the M-19. Days before, an event had
taken place that would put the peace initia-
tive to the test- the Liberal Party, with a ma-
jority in Congress, had declined to
participate in the new Peace Commission,
thus expressing its dissatisfaction with the
policy of national pacification. Subse-
quently, Senator Cesar Gaviria Trujillo
would initiate a debate that questioned not
only the peace policy of the president, but
the way in which the Palace of Justice was
retaken from the rebels. The main point of
this discussion was that despite the fact that
the M-19 broke the agreement and started a
series of terrorist acts (the last of which was
the attempted kidnapping and assassina-
tion of the Commander General of the
Armed Forces), the government should
have taken retaliatory measures to salvage
Continued on page 36
Nature Strikes at Colombia
It was desolate and silent. except for the
occasional helicopter The sun glistened
off the pools oat water that remained on
the surface of the treacherous lake of mud
The mire seemed to have sapped the %i-
tality of all but a small team ot rescue %work-
ers. Each survivor had his own description
of the night of terror, .. hen. for the tirst time
since 1945. the Arenas crater aot he majes-
tic Nevado del Ruiz erupted on 12 Noem-
ber 1985. causing one ot the worst natural
disasters e'er suffered in Latin America.
one that has been compared to the explo-
sions of Mount Vesuvius in A D. 79, which
destroyed Pompeii and Herculaneum. This
natural disaster follo.Aed a fe\w days after
political tragedy threatened the stability of
the administration of President Belisarioc
Betancur by the takeover of Bogotas Pal-
ace ol Justice by AM-19 guerrillas on 6
Some likened it to a train and a roaring
wild animal. A.ll the survivors interviewed
agreed that the death toll was around
20.000. after a steaming. mile-wide ava-
lanche of mud had cascaded down the high
and narrow Lagunilla River canyon spread-
ing a brown stain far out into the plain of
rich green rice fields and burying much of
the tow\n of Armero
Before the eruption. Manizales. the ciry
of open doors.' with the picture window
view of the snow-capped mountain Ruiz,
sought to attract tourists ,ith a promise of
exotic excursions to the volcano, a site of
incomparable natural beauty and endless
vistas framed by rugged peaks Now the
visitors in Manizales's lo.ely hilly streets are
heavy booted scientists some of whom had
predicted what happened. The volcano had
begun to send up plumes of smoke more
than a year ago. Authorities had issued
warnings and emergency instructions to
the population. Maps plotting the likely
course ol the flow had been completed only
a lew weeks previous to the eruption, but
contingency plans were not implemented.
When the time came. the people panicked
and forgot all the safety instructions given
to them. Some anger Aas expressed at the
advice of an Armero parish priest, who had
told people to stay in their homes and cover
their faces with wet cloths.
Destination Ruiz had become a popular
passion with many of the ,world's leading
volcanologists There are about 21 pres-
ently in residence in Manizales, monitoring
the crater. Alter the 12 November eruption,
Ruiz became an unreachable destination
Shrouded in clouds and in constant agita-
tion. it appeared ashamed of shoving itself
except for fleeting moments. One i. ho tried
but failed to reach the crater after the erup-
tion was the Jacques Cousteau of volcanos,
Haroun Tazieff. France's Secretary of State
for the Mitigation of Major Hazards, both
natural and technological, but who ;s simply
known as the Minister of Disaster."
Tazieff is of the old school to volcanology
and feels that irlhout real experience in
eruptions. the scientists vith all their mod-
ern detection aids cannot really predict
'..hat is going to happen Practical experi-
ence in volcanic eruptions is indispensable.
he said while waiting for a break in the.
weather for his fourth and last try to reach
the crater. There are plenty of excellent sci-
entists but most of them have no experience
in diagnosing volcanic eruptions. A man
%who talked fondly of past volcanic explo-
sions and who was right in 1976 when he
said Le Soutriere in Guadaloupe would t
erupt. Tazieff sought to jump into the crater
from a helicopter if necessary. or to climb up
from below to observe and measure all that
could be measured.
By the end of the week after the eruption.
Ruiz had become a scientific laboratory and
with the aid of four US Black Hawk helicop-
ters. the scientists were getting their sophis-
Incated monitoring equipment in place
Tazieff tried to reach the crater several times
by helicopter and police hue.: when those
efforts failed, he proposed to walk. Spot ;n-
.estigations of the crater were ital. he said.
and must be repeated as frequently as pos-
sible For Tazieff the changes in the crater
were the key. but even on his fourth try. he
was unable to unlock the secrets of Ruiz
Shooting photos with two cameras and
furiously taking notes, he flew around the
rim of the ice cap, peeping out from the
cloud sitting under the crater -As the na-
tional police huey bucked at 17.000 feet, he
ordered the pilots to circle and finally traced
the mudslide from the edge ol the ice cap
down to Armero. where in the early morn-
;ng light only a black dog was visible hop-
ping Irom the roof tops of the few remaining
buildings standing near the cemetery on
The French scientist pointed out the great
gash near the ice cap where the water, mud
and rocks had dropped into the high-walled
Rio Azufrado. the Azufrado joined with the
Ro Lagunilla a short distance from the
mountainside and at this unction, from the
scars left on the jagged banks of the river.
must have been a furious fighting marriage
of millions of gallons of raging muck
Far below the crater, with its new white
plume, lay the human tragedy which de-
manded resources that were slow in arrnm-
ing. despite the generous outpouring of
sympathy and aid galvanizing not only in
Colombia but in other countries as well. A\s
one victim lay on an orange bedspread.
with other survivors. two doctors put card-
board splints on his broken left arm and leg.
They used an army carton, according to the
lettering. When the Colombian Army huey
landed and the doctors requested the in-
jured be moved to Manquita. the helicopter
left empty on another mission.
\\e are working against time. there are
still a lot of people out there to be rescued
and we are not getting to them." said PaLil
Aiferez of the Red Cross Julian Ramirez. 32.
a mechanical engineer from Armero. who
lost his fie year old daughter, predicted that
hundreds of survivors would die from lack
of care. They give us yogurt and frena.
.that good is that .' he wondered.
Full sacks from the coffee harvest rode
the crest of mud and for those seeking their
living or dead families. the big burlap bags
filled %ith beans became stepping stones
The fertility ol this rich coffee growing re-
gion was in fact, the result of the Nevado del
Ruizs last eruption on Februar, 19. 1845,
which deposited about 250 million tons of
lime on the plains near Armero and formed
a rich topsoil 25 feet thick
A child's exercise book carried a teacher's
note saving he had to write a hundred
times. "I must keep silent in class." We met
some of the living partially entombed in the
mire. COmaira Sanchez. 1 3. was still alive
after three days. up to her neck in water and
mud. tangled together with her dead aunt.
v. hose black hair bobbed next to her. Res-
cue workers were trying to tug her aunt
away, in a difficult struggle against rigor
mortis. The girl was completely lucid and
talked with reporters. Using a plastic bowl
and a fuel container, wreckers tried to bail
out the water, but it only seeped back. The
small rescue brigade was short of every-
thing imaginable: there were no pumps, no
antibiotics, no anti-tetanus, no stretchers.
Finally. after 60 hours. Omaira died of a
Tales of overwhelming loss, confusion
and heroism born of despair multiplied. In
Mariquita farmer Carlos Celes went to the
Red Cross and gave blood An hour later he
returned and tried to give blood again, but
the nurse in charge wouldn't let him. Later
the nurse discovered that Celes was the only
member of a family of six to survive the
tragedy. When a mud plaster of paris cast
was removed from a little tot. she was found
to be a girl wearing little golden earrings.
Using a bottle of mineral water sparingly, a
young Red Cross volunteer doctor removed
the mud from her eyes and mouth. "Mami."
The Armero tragedy is quickly becoming
the source of folklore and myth. A worker
relates how on the outskirts of the town, a
young woman, completely naked, appeared
walking through the tall grass. 'She was
long-legged and statuesque. a Venus. She
was clad in mud and didn't speak. I will
never forget the sight." A Red Cross worker
who heard the story of the naked girl said.
'Nothing is left in Armero but ghosts.' El
CAfBBEAN rfAtEW 15
Political Humor from Nicaragua
Cartoons by Roger Sanchez Flores
One of the most gifted spokesmen of
the Nicaraguan Revolution is a
young cartoonist, Roger Sanchez
Flores. All Nicaraguans-even those in
opposition to the government-enjoy his
cartoons in Barricada, the state newspaper.
His cartoons have been reproduced in
English, Russian, German, Swedish, and
Italian. The Nicaraguan has won a number
of international prizes, including a recent
West German competition featuring the
work of cartoonists from more than
Roger, as he signs his work, never has
had any formal training in art. His first note-
worthy cartoon was a professor sketched on
the back of an exam; he failed the exam. He
began drawing cartoons for Nicaragua's fa-
mous newspaper, La Prensa, but after the
revolution of 1979 he joined the staff of
Barricada. Roger is 25 years old.
The cartoons mimic a pantheon of char-
acters-speculators, the bourgeoisie, gov-
ernment bureaucrats, the contra (Nic-
araguan counter-revolutionaries), the CIA
and the Reagan administration. Each of his
caricatures has become familiar to Nic-
araguans: speculators are portrayed as
crocodiles, the bourgeoisie as middle-aged
men in suits and top hats, the contra as
Somoza's National Guard (GN), the CIA as
spindly spooks in dark glasses and trench
coats. Uncle Sam is Uncle Sam.
Some of Roger's recent work:
Listen, it isn't necessary to go into details; I've
already read about them in the newspapers.
This little piggy went to Miami, this little piggy
went to Honduras...
Here comes the American envoy.
And remember, we are here to defend the
national security of the United States.
Being of sound mind, I will half of my factories to
my wife and the other half to my son. I irrevoca-
bly will my entire ideology to Juan my chauffeur.
A military base? But of course, there's room for
Ritual, Paradox and Death in
Internacionalistas in Nicaragua
By Alfred Padula
M anagua. June 28. The parking lot in
front of the Sandinista newspaper
Barricada is crowded with mili-
cianos in dark green uniforms and black
boots. Later this evening they will march
from Managua to Masaya, twenty five miles
to the south. They are re-enacting the Rep-
liegue, a strategic retreat which led to the
Sandinista victory of July 1979. Upwards of
30,000 milicianos are to participate. It is a
moment of revolutionary ritual.
Our ragged platoon of interna-
cionalistas joins the march. White faces in
a sea of mestizos. The milicianos seem
very young. Few are over thirty. Many are
apparently Sandinista bureaucrats. Many
are women. Everyone is in good spirits.
En march we are a sinuous green ana-
conda weaving through the city, blocking
the late afternoon traffic. I wonder what the
drivers are thinking. A few days before a
young official at the agrarian reform minis-
try had said with a grin that the "class strug-
gle" was intensifying. Do the drivers fear
being swallowed? Will we wrench them
from their individualist cocoons? The driv-
ers smile and feign tolerance. No one
We coalesce with columns from other
parts of the city at the parade ground be-
hind the Mercado Roberto Huembes. The
field is ringed with a cordon of Soviet made
tanks and armored cars. The tank crews ask
the gringos to take their pictures. A helicop-
ter makes a low pass over the field, dropping
leaflets. The wind carries them out of reach.
Hard rock blares from a loudspeaker
mounted on an amphibious jeep. We await
now a benediction from the Sandinista
All that week the city had been gripped by
invasion fever. In Washington, Congress
had spoken. Now in Managua headlines
screamed: "Luz verde a la invasion."
-"Green Light for invasion." Tanks were
Alfred Padula is assistant professor of history
at the University of Maine, Portland. He is
working on a history of Cuban women under
the revolution. Professor Padula visited Nic-
aragua with a Latin American Studies Asso-
ciation delegation in June, 1985.
deployed in the fields around the city. Will
we awaken to gunfire and a sky full of
The kleig lights snap on, the television
cameras begin to whirr. President Daniel
Ortega and the Sandinista directorate
mount the stage. We sing the national an-
them. Ortega begins to speak; a US inva-
sion is his subject.
His presentation is intense, delivered at a
half shout and rife with images of death and
martyrdom. Later, the American embassy
will tell us that the Sandinista directorate is
obsessed with North America. "They blame
us for everything that has gone wrong
here." The minutes pass. Half an hour. Or-
tega's voice is increasingly hoarse, angry.
How can the gringos do this to us? "The
people are our atomic bomb" he says.
"Their heroism, their force, their dignity."
"No pasardn!" the milicianos reply, "the
Yankees will die here."
One scans the crowd to see if there are
any convenient exits. There aren't.
As if in response to our anxiety, Ortega
assures the milicianos that the pueblo nor-
teamericano is not responsible for the gen-
ocidal policies of their government.
Relieved, I notice that the attractive young
miliciana next to me has taken off her black
combat boots and is putting on a pair of
lavender running shoes.
An ice cream cart and a fritada wagon
press their way through the crowd. Business
Ortega goes on. He is not a good speaker.
He lacks charisma. There is no humor or
irony. The milicianos grow restless. Some
attempt to construct a human pyramid,
climbing onto one another's shoulders.
One expects a sharp rebuke from the presi-
dent. Nothing happens. They fall, get up,
and try again. This time, success. They
reach three tiers. The television camera
strays from Ortega to the gymnasts. An-
other pyramid begins to form. A bottle of
rum passes through the crowd. A pair of
lovers stroll by, hand in hand.
The formation which began as a great
gridwork spread geometrically across the
parade ground is gently disintegrating. As
Ortega presses on, fully half of the mili-
cianos have turned their backs to the
podium and are talking to their friends. Not,
one suspects, a gesture of disrespect. It's
simply that they know the speech by heart.
Finally he is finished. Acomandante sig-
nals to the tankers. "Gentlemen, start your
engines!" The march begins. Later a friend
complains that he was almost asphyxiated
by the diesel exhaust from the T-55 tanks at
the head of the column. It would be
rumored that the comandantes themselves
did not march to Masaya, but were driven in
air conditioned limousines.
Gringos go to Mass
One Sunday evening we went to Father
Uriel Molina's chapel, Nuestra Sehiora de
los Angeles, for the misa popular Father
Molina is a leading spokesman of liberation
The chapel is quite modern. It is a small
circular building with bright stained glass
windows and a slanting roof supported by
exposed steel trusses. The walls and ceiling
are covered with dramatic murals reminis-
cent of Mexico'ds Diego Rivera. The central
mural which soars above the altar depicts a
Sandinista soldier, his hands and feet rent
by stigmata, ascending towards heaven
where a large cross awaits him. Christ looks
on benevolently from a side panel.
A five piece band appears: three drum-
mers and two guitarists. One of the musi-
cians wears a black beret and thin mustache
a la Che Guevara. Father Molina comes on
stage and puts on his vestments. The musi-
cians chat among themselves. With a great
crashing of music, the mass begins.
"Who will read from the bible?" A woman
steps forward. Later Molina will speak, and
his sermon will be an attack on Yanqui im-
perialism and a celebration of Nicaragua's
martyrdom. More women are called from
the audience to burnish this theme. Of the
hundred or so present perhaps a third are
internacionalistas. Most seem to be West
Germans or gringos. There is a Hare
Krishna with shaved head, white robe, and
"Embrace your neighbor." The band
crashes again. The communicants rise.
One wonders: is this a mass, theater or agit-
prop? At the end a woman presents the
internacionalistas with small wooden
crosses engraved with the name of a Sand-
inista martyr: "Ariel Hernandez, July 6,
1957--June 17,1979." Don't forget us, she
Later we are told that this is the only radi-
cal church in Managua, and that the hier-
archy, which is quite conservative, does not
like it. Another source tells us that as a sign
of protest against the regime, Nicaragua's
three hundred parish priests are refusing to
give extreme unction to fallen Sandinista
The Blue Jeans Revolution
Paradoxically, this death obsessed revolu-
tion is also a revolution of youth, a
generational revolution. A friend complains
that some of the directors in the Ministry of
Education are only 18 or 19. They don't
know much, he says. The official Sandinista
uniform seems as much blue jeans as olive
drab. The intensity of the young Sandinista
elite is impressive.
The politician and sociologist Virgilio
Godoy tells us that a good number of the
Sandinista directorate were formerly his
students. They are "going to nationalize all
the means of production," he says. A univer-
sity official tells us that sixty percent of the
professors at Nicaraguan universities are
under 28. As we visit the Sandinista minis-
tries and research institutes it sometimes
seems that this is a revolution of graduate
Some of the principal Sandinista bureau-
crats are graduates of US universities. The
Vice Minister of Planning is an ABD from
Yale. The head of the Human Rights Organ-
ization has a Ph.D. from Kansas. A principal
foreign relations advisor has a Ph.D. from
There are also many Americans working
here. Some are graduate students. And
there are so many visiting delegations of
Americans who must be coddled and
fussed over that at times one wonders how
the revolution manages to accomplish any-
thing at all. The Americans get together at 7
a.m. on Thursday mornings for the weekly
protest demonstration in front of the US
As we dash about Managua in our brand
new airconditioned bus, the stereo system
playing "Nicaragua, Nicaragiita" at full
throat, our delegation flashes victory signs
to Managuans packed like sardines on an-
cient buses. We chide the chicas plasticas
of the defeated bourgeoisie while enjoying
an exchange rate of 650 to one. This means
that we can dine on beef or lobster at Los
Ranchos, La Terraza, El Eskimo or any of
the best restaurants in town for less than $1
US. Thus while most Nicaraguans are
struggling to find sufficient beans and corn,
visiting internacionalistas are enjoying the
splendid smorgasbord at the Hotel Inter-
Continental where Howard Hughes once
hid out. Our love of a bargain outshines our
revolutionary enthusiasm. The Hare
Krishna with string bag and shaved head is
at the next table. Bon apetit!
The Passion According to
We are preparing to leave. Nicaraguans tell
their departing American friends that they
do not expect to see them again. They are
sure that an invasion is coming.
Dark rain clouds scud over Lake Nic-
aragua, turning it almost black. An air of
foreboding hangs over the city. Managua,
not yet rebuilt from the earthquake of 1972,
still bearing the scars of the rebellion of
1979, awaits its crucifixion. O
Political Systems as Export
Democracy and the Role of the US in Central America
By Ricardo Arias Calder6n
The issue of democratization, con-
ceived as the process of political de-
velopment which establishes a
system of representative democracy where
it does not exist, has been the key political
issue in Latin America and most dramat-
ically in Central America, for the past dec-
ade and will remain so for the foreseeable
Since the days of Independence, democ-
racy has come to represent historical legit-
imacy. Dictatorship, however recurrent,
remained an interruption, a regime of ex-
ception. To overcome the conflict between
the democratic legal norm, autocratic so-
cial behavior, the ensuing cycle of unstable
democratic governments and intolerable
dictatorial interludes-some of them quite
lengthy-became the paramount political
As of 1960, Castro's regime introduced
not just another dictatorship, but because of
its Marxist-Leninist rationalization of total-
itarianism, one claiming to supersede de-
mocracy's historical legitimacy in Latin
America. During the following decade and
a half, even if no similar regimes managed
to establish themselves, the weakening of
democracy was quite evident. On the one
hand, democratic forces themselves under-
went a loss of conviction. Quite often they
accepted uncritically the denunciation of
so-called "formal liberties" of a political na-
ture, as a pretended obstacle to the fulfill-
ment of so-called "real liberties" of a social
and economic nature. On the other hand,
new military dictatorships went beyond
their usual attempts to justify themselves as
necessary interludes, with the argument
that democracy had failed under excep-
tional circumstances. In response to the
claim of a new legitimacy on the part of
Castro and his would-be emulators, these
latter-day military dictatorships developed
their own counter-claim. Operating behind
an enveloping national security rhetoric,
they established authoritarian regimes
Ricardo Arias Calder6n is President of the
Christian Democratic Party of Panama and
was candidate for 2nd Vice President in the
1984 election in Panama.
meant to be permanent, either with rightist
tendencies as in Argentina, Brazil, Chile and
Uruguay, or with leftist tendencies as in Pan-
ama and Peru.
Since the mid-seventies, the movement
toward democratization has swept across
great parts of Latin America. It represents a
new consciousness of the historical legit-
imacy of democracy, as opposed to the illu-
sions and failures of the two rival claims, the
Marxist-Leninist and the national-security
military claim. Few Latin Americans have
expressed this new consciousness as lu-
cidly and eloquently as the great Mexican
poet and essayist Octavio Paz in his recent
book Tiempo Nublado: "Latin American
democracy arrived late and has been dis-
figured and betrayed again and again. It has
been weak, indecisive, turbulent, its own
enemy, easy prey for the demagogue, cor-
rupted by money, corroded by favoritism
and nepotism. Nevertheless, almost all the
good that has been accomplished in Latin
America, for the past century and a half, has
been accomplished under the regime of de-
mocracy or, as in Mexico, for democracy. A
great deal has yet to be accomplished. Our
countries need changes and reforms that
are radical yet consistent with the tradition
and the genius of each people."
The present crisis of violence in Central
America nurtures controversy all over the
western world. The factors at work within
each country are evident: prolonged ac-
cumulation of pressures generated by inhu-
man levels of poverty; scandalous social
injustices dividing the poor and the rich,
and destroying the basic human solidarity
necessary to build consensus and coopera-
tion within a society; the frustration of those
expectations created by increased educa-
tional opportunities and the mass media,
especially in the emerging middle classes;
resentment of the overbearing role of the
Such factors emphasize the urgent need
for social and economic change. But they
would not by themselves have generated
the present crisis, if they had not arisen in
the context of closed political systems
which imposed undemocratic practices,
while proclaiming democratic norms. This
hypocritical denial of democracy, made
peaceful change almost impossible, fos-
tered the recourse to violence and condi-
tioned some to look towards an un-
democratic model as an alternative.
The denial of democracy resulted in vio-
lence. Democratization offers the only road
leading out of this violence. It is the condi-
tion for peace and development on a sus-
tained basis. And it is fundamentally in
terms of democratization that judgement
can be passed on each of the governments
of Central America. While Costa Rica leads
the way in the democratic process, followed
at great distance by Honduras, El Salvador
and Guatemala, Panama's contribution has
become quite negative and Nicaragua's is
Each time the peoples of the region are
given the opportunity to opt for the demo-
cratic way, they do so with conviction be-
cause they recognize it as their only
reasonable and humane hope. Each time
the democratic way is obstructed through
fraud or repression, the peoples of the re-
gion express their discontent, and tensions
rise to violence.
The Region, the Superpowers
Historically, the countries of Central
America have been vitally interconnected,
so that most significant developments have
had a regional scope. This interconnection
has often taken the form of mutual involve-
ment in each other's political affairs, even in
the form of military action. A deep rooted
sense of community has prevailed between
the countries of Central America, to the
point that they have constituted not so
much an ensemble of different nations, as
one nation fragmented into different states.
Inevitably the present crisis acquired a re-
gional significance and required a regional
Central America borders the Caribbean,
and both superpowers are geographically
present in the Caribbean basin: the United
States and the Soviet Union through Cuba
as its surrogate. Both superpowers were
bound to play a role in the Central American
crisis. The development of the crisis has
been conditioned by what an author close to
the Sandinista point of view, Xavier
Gorostiaga, admits to be the present "inex-
istence of a dominating hegemonic pro-
ject" on the part of the United States. As a
result, competing regimes in Central Amer-
ica are drawn indisputably into the super-
The prospect of the peaceful coexistence,
of opposing regimes, within Central Amer-
ica, is an illusion. Democratization is a re-
quirement of regional interaction, and a
stable balance between the superpowers
within the region. If Nicaragua were to
thwart its own democratization and consoli-
date itself as a Marxist-Leninist regime, the
foreseeable results would be: the mainte-
nance of high levels of militarization in the
region, with the subsequent obstacle to de-
mocratization everywhere; increased diffi-
culty in obtaining adequate rates of private
investment, both national and foreign, nec-
essary to respond to the most urgent social
and economic challenge of the region, un-
employment; sustained reduction of the
margin for national independence, as the
regional relation between the powers would
remain quite problematic. The possibilities
of peace and development in the area would
be very poor indeed.
The integration of the Contadora Group
in January of 1983 represents a recognition
of the regional character of the crisis and of
its eventual solution. It also represents an
attempt to interpose a Latin American level
of mediation, between the region and the
superpowers, while avoiding recourse to the
Organization of American States in the af-
termath of its failure to maintain inter-
american solidarity during the war over the
What gave initial legitimacy to the Con-
tadora Group was the fact that in its first
major statement of purpose, the Document
of Twenty-one Objectives of September
1983, it included both a call for democracy
and national reconciliation and a call for
security and peace. The Document, in fact,
not only expressed a "commitment to
create, promote and strengthen democratic
systems in all the countries of the region"
but also identified its fourth objective thus:
"Adopt measures leading to the establish-
ment and, if pertinent, the development of
democratic, representative and pluralist
systems which guarantee effective popular
participation in decision-making and in-
sure the free access of diverse currents of
opinion to honest and periodic electoral
processes, based on the full observance of
civil rights". The draft treaty orActa of Con-
tadora, in the version approved in Septem-
ber 1984, which is still under discussion,
incorporates these goals in the form of
Nevertheless, it is no secret that the Acta
has focused on security and peace issues,
rather than on democracy and reconcilia-
tion issues, and that it provides for no sanc-
tions in case of violations. As the Contadora
diplomatic process unfolded, the Nic-
araguan Government tied to sidestep the
regional approach in favor of bilateral
agreements, with the United States, in order
to deal exclusively with security and peace
issues. It has moved rapidly to organize and
institutionalize a regime that bears no re-
semblance to the "democratic, representa-
tive, participatory and pluralist system" it
would commit itself to "create, promote and
strengthen." Finally, the four members of
the Contadora Group, with the exception of
Venezuela, have to date shown no forceful
conviction with regards to the effectiveness
of the commitments on democracy and
reconciliation. Two of the four members,
Mexico and especially Panama, are in open
violation of democratic norms and in se-
rious need of undergoing democratization
Thus Contadora gives expression to the
urgent need for democratization of all coun-
tries of Central America, as an indispens-
able condition for peace and development
in the region. But it gives no assurance that
it can lead the region in this direction.
The Role of the United States
In its political recommendations, the re-
port on inter-American relations published
in 1983 by the Wilson Center of Washington
demanded direct international action in
favor of human rights, arguing that multi-
lateral action on the part of foreign govern-
ments and other organizations does not
constitute intervention, but compliance with
an international obligation. At the same
time, the report rejected such direct interna-
tional action in favor of democratization. Its
argument was that democratization con-
stitutes a national process for which indi-
viduals and institutions of each country are
responsible, that democracy is not a com-
modity subject to exportation and must be
cultivated and developed within each na-
tion. It concluded that it is doubtful whether
any government can contribute much to the
building of political institutions in other
The answer provided by the Linowitz-
Galo Plaza Group to the question of whether
or not the United States should promote
democracy beyond its borders, is in my
judgment quite false. Human rights, in so
far as they involve a system of values and a
set of institutional guarantees, are no less a
national creation than democratic institu-
tions. One can even argue that as values
they are more deeply and vitally so. This
means that they, too, cannot be subject to
exportation. Nevertheless, they certainly
can be and should be promoted by direct
international action. One of the most signif-
icant developments of our times has been
the growing recognition that fundamental
human solidarity demands such action.
The Helsinki agreements are only one of the
latest of positive indications. The influence
of the church has been quite beneficial,
even if often one-sided.
The same is true for democratization.
The fact that it is not an export commodity,
does not preclude its being promoted inter-
nationally. And there are sufficient success-
ful experiences both in Europe and in Latin
America, to warrant hope in the outcome of
such a course of action. Democracy is the
one political system built on respect for
human rights and which guarantees them
as a matter of principle. Without democra-
tization, the promotion of human rights
turns into mere rhetoric or into a cover, a
political tactic to undermine one repressive
dictatorial regime in order to establish
Political cooperation of the United States
and Western Europe, with Latin America
and Central America, must link the promo-
tion of human rights with democratization.
Not to do so, while the militaristic right and
the Marxist-Leninist left support their own
kind through direct international action,
would be ethically and politically self-de-
feating for democratic governments.
Contadora is valuable as a means to con-
tribute towards democratization, national
reconciliation, and peace with security. But
Contadora is a means, not an end in itself. It
may be necessary to supplement its efforts
with assistance from the Organization of
American States or through other inter-
american treaty mechanisms.
We should remember that the Seven-
teenth Meeting of Foreign Ministers held in
1979 under the auspices of the OAS, with-
drew recognition from the Somoza regime
and called for its replacement by a demo-
cratic government. The meeting was never
formally closed, as a sign of an ongoing
commitment to its resolutions. Should
Contadora be unable to achieve democra-
tization and peace and should the OAS also
fail to provide recourse to the countries of
the hemisphere and other related inter-
American treaty mechanisms the inevitable
conclusion would be that the whole inter-
American pattern of political interaction has
reached its end.
The United States' effort for democratiza-
tion and peace is being thwarted just as
much by economic and financial difficulties
as by violence and warfare. The problem of
servicing the foreign debt constitutes as
radical a challenge to democratization and
peace, as militaristic repression, guerrilla
violence and prolonged civil strife. In July of
1983 the Jackson Bipartisan Commission
on Central America, named by President
Reagan and chaired by former Secretary of
State Henry Kissinger, estimated the net fi-
nancial requirements of the Central Ameri-
can countries at approximately $24 billion
dollars in the seven years from 1984 to
1990, and considered at $10 to $12 billion
dollars the sum that the United States might
provide in some form or other. These esti-
mates were based on the stated objective of
permitting the Central American countries
to regain by 1990 the level of income per
capital which they had enjoyed in 1980 and
have lost since then. Moreover, the esti-
mates were based on several relatively up-
beat assumptions which have not held true
from 1983 to the present.
Since the commission report, gross na-
tional product per capital in Central America
has continued to decrease. Servicing of the
foreign debt has more than absorbed what-
ever net earnings have resulted from ex-
ports of goods and services, even in
conditions of drastically diminished im-
ports, so that a net outflow of capital from
the region prevails. Unemployment has
continued to rise, affecting in certain areas
more than one third of the work force, and
standards of living have worsened.
To progress with democratization, under
these circumstances, gives testimony to the
irrepressible yearning for democracy of the
Central American peoples. Leaders in the
fight for democratization are men such as
Jose Napole6n Duarte in El Salvador, Vin-
icio Cerezo in Guatemala, and Adan Fletes
in Nicaragua, to mention a few fellow Chris-
tian Democratic leaders of exceptional vi-
sion and courage.
To give real support to democracy and
peace in Central America, the United States
must "put its money where its mouth is."
Nothing would be more significant than a
bold initiative to reschedule the foreign debt
of the region over a long period, at reason-
able rates of interest, with a significant num-
ber of years of grace. At the same time, it
would be indicated to act dramatically on
the proposals of the Jackson Commission
for economic assistance, taking into ac-
count the deteriorated conditions and
needs greater than previously estimated.
There is no question in my mind that the
United States' political cooperation for de-
mocratization and peace must include a
substantial security component. There are
people in the region committed to obtain-
ing totalitarian power and to keeping it
through force, terrorism and warfare, under
the guise of revolution. These people re-
ceive training, support and guidance from
likeminded regimes and organizations, un-
der the guise of internationalism. This chal-
lenge must be faced squarely by those who
can do so legitimately.
The United States must handle its rela-
tionship to the military and police forces of
the region in such a way to discourage il-
legitimate predominance over civilians and
arbitrary repression of basic human rights.
The upgrading of the military in Honduras,
for example, especially under the previous
Honduran military leadership, has en-
dangered that country's democratization.
Continued on page 37
J -24428, 1986. Third Ariftnu
:American Colom- insist.
SBogota, Pontificia -Universidad Jav--2
eriana. Contact: Jonathan Tittler-
Department of -Romance Studies, -
Cornell University, Ithaca, N-Y-
-. -" :- -. -
June-July,1986. XV Gentral Ameri-
can and Caribbean Games'D 0o
minican Republic. Special events:-
World Cockfighting Championship
and Festival of Popular.-Theater;-
Contact: Luis Midence -Sedretary_ -f
-thie Organizing Cmmittee.X-
Juegos Gentroarrr.ri anosiydc l
SCaribe, Direcci6 deArte .--Gtula-
Santo Bomingo, DR: -
August 18-22,1986. Xlth-Worl -ond
gress of Sociology, organizerey
S-SA.- New Delhi, india. Theme ST-
cial Change: Probiemr and-P ros'
pects. Organize-r Professor William-i
F. Straner, Population Researchd
Laboratory, Department of Sociol--
ogy. Utah State University Logan,
October 23-26, 1986. XIII Interna-
tional Congress of the Latin.
American Studies Association
(LASA). Boston, Mass. Contact:
Merilee S. Grindle, HIID, 1737
Cambridge Street,- Cambridge,- MA-
02138. _- -
An Interview with Hugo
Four Months Before His Death
By Beatriz Parga de Bay6n
Translated by Gilbert L. Socas
he life of Hugo Spadafora, the Pan-
amanian political leader and medical
doctor who exchanged a stetho-
scope for a gun, is not easy to summarize.
He considered himself to be a warrior for
freedom. He claimed to fight for democracy
and human rights. But often he seemed to
ignore the political stance of his allies and
he fought under very different banners.
He fought as an ally of Cuba alongside
Guinean nationalists in their fight to over-
throw Portuguese rule. He fought as a Sand-
inista to end the Somoza regime in
Nicaragua. He returned to Nicaragua allied
with the forces of Eden Pastora to fight
against what he called "the dictatorship of
the Nine." Subsequently, he left Pastora to
side with the Misquito Indians under the
command of Brooklyn Rivera.
In 1978, Spadafora resigned his position
with the government of Panama to organize
the Brigada Internacionalista Victoriano
Lorenzo, and under orders from the Sand-
inista Army began armed struggle against
the Somoza dictatorship in Nicaragua.
Eight days after the Sandinista victory he
returned to Panama, only to go back to
Nicaragua three years later, in 1982, this
time to fight on the side of Pastora against
the ruling Junta. Two years hence
Spadafora abandoned Pastora, openly ex-
pressing his disagreement with the Nic-
araguan leader's military strategy and
indignant over Pastora's relationship with
General Manuel Antonio Noriega, Panama's
His last battlefield was the Atlantic region
of Nicaragua, fighting alongside Indian
leader Brooklyn Rivera. At nights, by can-
dlelight, he wrote articles for the Costa
Rican and Panamanian press, in which he
unrelentlessly accused Noriega of admin-
istrative corruption, drug trafficking and
arms contraband. Ironically, he was killed in
his own country, where his only combat was
on the pages of the opposition newspapers.
On 12 September 1985 he delivered his
Journalist Beatriz Parga de Bay6n, a native of
Colombia, lives and writes in Miami. In 1982,
she was the recipient of the Givre Foundation
last article to Costa Rica's La Naci6n, an
article in which he compared General Nor-
iega with Machiavelli. Next day, he traveled
to Panama. In Bugaba, a small border town,
a man identified himself as an agent of the
G-2, the Panamanian Intelligence Agency,
and forced Spadafora off the bus in which
he was traveling. On 14 September, his
body was discovered under a bridge, be-
headed and showing signs of torture, at
El Robelito, on Costa Rican soil, 35 miles
Ardito Barletta, then president of Pan-
ama, who at the time was in New York on an
official mission at the United Nations, sent a
personal messenger to Spadafora's family,
promising to create an investigative com-
mittee. When Ardito Barletta returned to
Panama, he noticed on the door of his plane
a new designation: "F-8," the same letters
that were torn into the back of the assassi-
President Ardito Barletta was taken to
Army headquarters, where he stayed for 14
hours. He was given three drafts of letters of
resignation to choose to sign. Erik Arturo
del Valle was designated by the military as
the new president. From the beginning, the
new appointee showed no interest in set-
ting up an investigation into Spadafora's
death, claiming that to do so would be "un-
constitutional." The Panamanian Bar Asso-
ciation and 120 experts in law signed a
document dismissing that possibility. Pan-
ama's Legislative Assembly created a com-
mittee to aid the Public Ministry investigate
Spadafora's murder, but those who made
up the committee resigned, protesting the
fact that they were not allowed access to
government files. To date there is no official
explanation of what happened.
The following interview took place in
Costa Rica, four months before the as-
sassination of Hugo Spadafora.
Beatriz Parga-You define yourself as an
internationalist. What is the difference be-
tween the internationalism that you pro-
claim and that of the communist party?
Hugo Spadafora-Latin American inter-
nationalism, as the name indicates, has its
roots in the ideas of our continent, in
Bolivarian principles. A true internationalist
must have a political background; other-
wise, he becomes a mercenary. I consider
myself an internationalist because I have an
international vision of each country My ac-
tions stem from a background that is in
accord with the historical roots of Latin
America. If I did not have that true convic-
tion I would be an adventurer.
On the other hand, the internationalism
proclaimed by international communism is
an hegemonic imperialistic international-
ism, no different from other imperialistic
doctrines. The word hegemonicc" says it all.
It sees it as a worldwide movement that
wants to make all countries revolve around
a control center called communism.
B.P.-If you are against communist inter-
nationalism, what made you fight alongside
Cuba in Guinea's rebel army?
H.S.-Socialist democratic ideology
compelled me in 1966 and 1967 to go to
what was then Guinea and join the black
African patriots fighting Portuguese impe-
rialism. That same ideology made me
struggle against the Torrijos military coup
and subsequentlyto join that regime when it
changed course. And that ideology took me
to Nicaragua in 1978 and 1979, and it is the
same one that spurred me to begin my
struggle in 1982 against the nine total-
itarians that so flagrantly betrayed the Nic-
B.P.-On whose side?
H.S.-At the beginning, next to the natu-
ral leader of that revolution, as I have often
said in my writings, the democratic leader
Eden Pastora. Pastora emerged as the
leader of the revolution on two levels: civilian
and military. On the civilian side, he is the
leader of the Nicaraguan masses: the peas-
ants, all social classes, the people in gen-
eral. On the military, because he was the
most prestigious leader of the Sandinista
army. Fortunately, he is a man with demo-
cratic ideals who seeks to return that revolu-
tion to its democratic principles. I do not
agree with Eden's military strategy; nev-
ertheless, I personally applaud his demo-
cratic efforts because I believe in his
democratic vocation, but not in that of the
Nine totalitarians whose lives contradict
what they preach.
B.P.-How do you assess the current po-
litical situation in Nicaragua?
H.S.-Internally, as a totalitarian and re-
pressive policy imposed by the Nine, one
that alienates the mass of the population. It
is a process seen most clearly in the case of
Poland. It is thus that this totalitarian and
repressive government pummels the
church, the economy, private initiative and
the family through spying with its infamous
neighborhood committees. We find the
Nine facing a disastrous economy because
their own ideological views make them
think of private enterprise as an evil to be
eliminated with time.
B.P.-Will the Nicaraguan process be
contained or could it possibly advance
through Central America?
H.S.-Historically, Central America has
been a unit, as was readily recognized by
William Walker, that pirate turned president
of Nicaragua and who had on his banner the
motto "Five or None." He knew clearly that
either he had control of all of Central Amer-
ica or he would fall. Nicaragua could not be
a foreign body in the region, and surely
enough, he was overthrown by Central
America. The Nine have the weight of his-
tory against them. That is why it is easier to
fight against them than it was against
B.P.-Despite the Soviet tanks?
H.S.-In spite of everything. The army of
the Sandinista Front is no guarantee for the
Nine. On the contrary, the Sandinista Front
is the key in the triumph of Eden Pastora,
because of what he represents. Besides, the
Front is faithful to authentic Sandinismo,
not the deformed one imposed by the Nine.
B.P-How do you weigh Cuba's historical
role in Nicaragua?
H.S.-Cuba is consistent in its commu-
nist policies, but inconsistent in the
Bolivarian ideal of Latin American solidarity
and independence from foreign powers. I
believe that future developments will prove
right those of us who view the Cuban situa-
tion as an historical and political mistake.
B.P.-Why do you think that while public
opinion considers that there was a dictator-
ship in Nicaragua, that there is now one in
Chile, that one continues in Haiti, but that
after 25 years no one mentions that there is
a dictatorship in Cuba?
H.S.-That is not really true anymore.
There is an increasing belief that indeed
there is a hard and repressive dictatorship in
Cuba. What happens is that communism
and Fidel in particular, attained power riding
on a crest of nationalism, of anti-American
imperialist sentiment, of hatred for Batista. It
is an historical deed that cannot be ignored.
The difference with all the dictators that you
mentioned is that they have been home-
grown dictators who have reached power
allying themselves with the most reactionary
forces of their respective countries. Fidel
identified with the best historical and political
ideals of Cuban society. That is why we can-
not expect that suddenly everyone will ex-
claim "Oh, Fidel is a dictator." That is why we
see Felipe Gonzalez and Mitterrand and
other politicians of world stature criticize
communism in Poland, but be less harsh
with Cuba. The reason is simple: in Poland,
communism was imposed by Soviet tanks,
but in Cuba it arrived allied to historic forces
fighting against a dictatorship supported by
one of the two imperialist powers.
B.P.-You say that you are a Social Dem-
ocrat, but at the same time you attack com-
munism. How do you explain that social
democracy in Latin America is invariably
supported by the communists?
H.S.-The communists support social
democracy as a strategic measure. It is con-
venient for them to support the precepts of
social democracy, but when they attain
power, they are not allied to anyone. They
eliminate the forces that helped them rise to
power. As a matter of fact, Europe is a good
example of that. Everywhere you will find
Social Democrats who have been hung or
shot. Communists can work with the forces
in power-they are doing it in Panama-
with the forces that predominate. And I truly
believe that communists have a right, just
as the progressive capitalists, the Christian
Democrats and others, to participate in a
pluralist society, channeling their energies
to help a democratically established pro-
gram. But what I do not believe is that com-
munists should take over any revolution.
But beginning with this decade, we see
communism in decadence.
B.P.-But in Cuba communism did be-
H.S.-Yes, but in Cuba communism
came in 1959, and Nicaragua happened in
the 70s. But in the 80s, it will be shown that
the true course of the Nicaraguan revolu-
tion was not communism. That is the great
B.P.-Why did the Cuban revolution end
in communism and not in the democratic
restructuring of the nation?
H.S. -Because of the traditional near-
sightedness of the ruling US political struc-
ture. This nearsightedness is common, and
is creating a second Bay of Pigs in Nic-
aragua, around the border with Honduras.
This way they help the Nine totalitarian
commanders stir up the nationalist senti-
ments of the people, through a propaganda
campaign that presents the US threat as real
and tied to a Somocismo, so hated by the
people of Nicaragua. From a political stand-
point, this helps the Nine.
As for Cuba, I have always believed that
Fidel was forced to take the course that he
took. I remember a photograph of Fidel and
his son, in which Fidelito was dressed as a
Marine. I cannot forget that when I looked at
the picture I thought, "The things that Fidel
does to win over the Gringos." Nonetheless,
in the US, Fidel was received as a pariah. He
was at the time the great Latin American
hero and yet President Eisenhower did
not receive him. They treated him
Continued on page 38
Panamb, Desastre ... o Democracia.
Ricardo Arias Calderon. 2nd ed. Panama:
Fundaci6n ECAM, 1985. 219 p.
Red, White and Blue Paradise, The
American Canal Zone in Pamana. Herbert
and Mary Knapp. New York: Harcourt,
Brace, Jovanovich, 1984. 306 p.
Panama Odyssey. William J. Jorden.
Austin: University of Texas Press,
1984. 746 p.
Getting to Know the General, The Story
of an Involvement. Graham Greene. New
York: Simon and Schuster, 1984.
249 p. $14.95.
The Limits of Victory, The Ratification of
the Panama Canal Treaties. George D.
Moffest ll. Ithaca, N.Y.: Cornell University
Press, 1985. $39.95.
Panamanian Army Commander General
Manuel Antonio Noriega forced President
Nicolas Ardito Barletta to resign 27 Sep-
tember in an effort to end the growing scan-
dal of the power struggle within Panama's
National Guard. Noriega returned from a
trip to Europe to squelch a palace coup led
by Colonel Roberto Diaz Herrera, Chief of
the General Staff, that was probably
provoked by public demands for an investi-
gation into the torture and decapitation of
one of the Guard's leading critics, Dr. Hugo
Barletta, originally selected by Noriega to
be the governing coalition candidate in the
May 1984 elections, had fallen from favor
because he could not revive a debt-bur-
dened economy. He had alienated nearly
every sector of society with ineptly imple-
mented policies including increased taxes,
reduced protective tariffs for domestic in-
dustry and reduced protection for domestic
The Spadafora murder was an unusually
brutal act in a country that has escaped the
El Conquistador. Lithograph by Edwin GonzAlez Miranda of Panama. Neale J. Pearson is professor of political sci-
In the collection of Yuda Saydun. ence at Texas Tech University
What Graham Greene
Didn't Tell Us
Five Accounts of the Torrijos Legacy
A Review Essay by Neale Pearson
worst of Central American violence. Op-
position leaders and Spadafora's family de-
manded that an independent commission
be appointed to investigate the killing.
Spadafora had accused Noriega of govern-
ment corruption and involvement in narcot-
ics trafficking. According to a Costa Rican
police report, Spadafora tried to slip across
the border into Panama on 13 September.
His decapitated body was found the next
day just across the border inside Costa Rica,
stuffed in an old US mailbag. The body had
a tattoo cut into it that read "F-8." Only a few
weeks earlier, Dr. Mauro Zhfliga, one of the
leaders of COCINA, a group which devel-
oped in opposition to Arditto Barletta's tax
and spending proposals, had been kid-
napped, beaten and dropped off alive with
the same tattoo on his body near the border.
The Guard's changing political involve-
ment is one of several themes of the essays
composing Panama, Desastre ... o De-
mocracia. In an article titled "El Social Mili-
tarismo" published inLa Prensa on 26 May
1981, Arias Calder6n notes that "social mili-
tarism" is not a "reproduction of the
caudillismo of the 19th century in which a
caudillo, whatever his origins, is always a
political chief who usurps military func-
tions." Rather, the social military leader is a
military chief who usurps political func-
tions. The "militaristic chief" says his inter-
vention in politics is a "transitory stage until
conditions are produced for the return of a
civilian regime, real or apparent."
In an April 1981 article titled "Los Hijos
de Penonome," Arias Calder6n discusses
different contributions of two brothers of
humble origins whose public life in the
presidency "constitutes an enigma for Pan-
amanian history." Harmodio Arias Madrid,
built up the structure of the state through his
reorganization of the Comptroller General's
Office and the National Bank during the
1930 depression. His support for the Uni-
versity of Panama created the basis for state
responsibility for higher and professional
education. His creation of a new daily news-
paper was an important factor in the devel-
opment of public opinion. In contrast,
brother Arnulfo Arias Madrid, elected and
deposed three times since 1940, subse-
quently "increased state action on behalf of
the marginal sectors of the community with
family assistance, social security, voting for
women and the recognition of legal rights
for both legitimate and illegitimate chil-
dren," issues with which the traditional sec-
tors had not concerned themselves.
In those pre-World War 11 days, actors in
Panamanian political life were neither liber-
als nor conservatives but two competing
groups. These were the "populists," who
identified themselves with Arnulfo Arias
Madrid and the "developmentalists," busi-
nessmen and professionals with roots in the
Liberal Party and others linked to sectors of
the National Guard led by Colonel Jose Re-
m6n. Arnulfo Arias gained popular support
not only for these issues, but also for a na-
tionalistic program promoting hostility to
foreigners in general and to Americans,
West Indians and Chinese in particular. Dis-
satisfaction with Arnulfo Arias Madrid's
quasi-fascist constitution, his suppression
of political opposition and support for the
Axis powers, led to a civil-military coalition
forcing him out of office.
Arias Calder6n does not discuss these
latter points in any of the articles in the
book. Elsewhere he focuses on the role of
Guard officers such as Rem6n, on Torrijos's
move into government leadership and on
Torrijos's bid to exercise "permanent leader-
ship over the regime" after 1978. Rem6n,
elected to president in 1952, represented a
break in a traditional elite-dominated sys-
tem. A heavily regressive tax base was mod-
ified and collections enforced. Moves were
taken against ethnic discrimination, allow-
ing West Indians access to public schools.
The 1903 Canal Treaty was revised to allow
US and Panamanian citizens of every race
access to US Civil Service Examinations.
While class segregation of the West In-
dian population is not mentioned by Arias
Calder6n in this book, it is by Herbert and
Mary Knapp, two Kansas teachers who
served in the Canal Zone from 1963 to
1981. In the 1977-78 period of canal nego-
tiations and treaty ratification, Zonians were
considered "rednecks" opposing what
many Liberals thought was a correct move
in the signing of the Treaties. The Knapps,
in a sympathetic portrait of life "on the
zone," note that not only did white American
workers marry dark Panamanians and work
with the West Indians, but that the West In-
dian Employees Association and Civic
Councils invited the Canal Company to al-
low West Indian employees to live in the
segregated zone rather than force them to
live in Panama, "where there was no public
Zonians properly resented the sancti-
monious remarks of Senator Frank Church
of Idaho, Chairman of the Senate Foreign
Relations Committee, that Panamanians
were resentful of the Zonians and that there
was "constant friction between Panama-
nians and Zone police." Both the Knapps
and Ambassador Jorden point out that
there was considerable trust and camarade-
rie between Zonians and Panamanians,
who freely exchanged favors and services.
The Knapps discussion of the manage-
ment styles and personal philosophies of
Zone leaders John Stevens, George Wash-
ington Goethals and William Crawford
Gorgas (the doctor who rid the Canal and
Panama of yellow fever and other diseases)
contributes to a view of "socialism with a
human face." Goethals once chided one of
his employees for saying the Zone was so-
cialistic. The Zone, however, lived under a
system of muted militaristic paternalism. In
the Knapps's words, "the Zone Civic coun-
cils paralleled the student councils of Amer-
ican high schools with depressing
In 1968, the National Guard, led by Torri-
jos, Majors Boris Martinez and Amado San-
jur, ousted Arnulfo Arias. Martinez and
Sanjur were sent into exile in 1969. William
Jorden provides a colorful and intriguing
account of this episode in Panamanian his-
tory. Arias Calder6n observes that "a new
era of Panamanian politics developed un-
der which business associations, trade
unions and other groups were considered
as transmission belts for governmental de-
cisions and not as a means of expression of
different sectors of society."
Torrijos tried to substitute the representa-
tive democratic structures of the time with
Continued on page 39
-O F Io ,
El Que Da Carino. 1983. Tempera, 9" x 11", by Rogelio Pretto.
Searching for Pretto
Politics and Art in Panama
By Sandra Serrano
Rogelio Pretto is one of Panama's most
controversial contemporary painters.
With an uncanny gift for prophecy, he has
managed to predict recent Panamanian
political history in his canvases. With
technical skill and aesthetic sobriety,
Pretto has avoided the iconoclasm of mili-
tant art. Yet he has touched deep sen-
sitivities in his compatriots, articulating a
heretofore silent national conscience.
Pretto's 1984 exhibit at Panama's
Museum of Contemporary Art, titled
National Peace: A Pictorial Essay, drew
a public and media response un-
paralleled in Panamanian history.
Sandra Serrano first became interested
in Pretto when she was a graduate stu-
dent in fine arts in California. She spent
five months in Panama in 1984 to do re-
search and to interview Pretto. The follow-
ing excerpt is from her book in progress
on Pretto. Here, she narrates her journey
to Pretto's retreat in the mountains of Pan-
ama on the Costa Rican border where she
hopes to find the artist for an interview.
She reflects on hersearch for the artist and
for the underlying relationships between
politics, values and art.
Hike into Paradise
My stomach fidgeted with the queer
mixture of fear and excitement, ap-
prehension and fascination one
gets when something intense is about to be
experienced-much like what grips per-
formers minutes before curtain on opening
night. Despite cold and wind, I was perspir-
ing; my pores were open wide, my senses
keen to themselves.
I had passed the gate with the lock and
went over a drooping wooden bridge about
12 feet long that crossed the river, now nar-
rowed down to a fraction of what it was even
in Guadalupe. A short distance ahead 1
came to a cabin on the left. A large pond
stood in front of it. Flowers were blooming
everywhere around the house and down to
the water line. A pair of swans glided smooth
on the surface not far from a group of ducks
and ducklings pecking the ground. On the
far side, a small fall cascaded down several
steps into the pool. The scene was a fairy
tale illustration, live. It stood in such sharp
contrast with what I had seen in Guadalupe,
I was curious to know who the place be-
longed to. Seeing chimney smoke I decided
to move in closer to catch sight of someone
inside, but was stood off by a dog that
dashed from behind the house, hairs on
end, barking down the stone steps leading
from the house to the pond. He broke the
charge at the bottom of the steps and stood
yelping. I honored the distance he seemed
to want to keep between us and opted to
take a couple of pictures instead and went
on. I hadn't the time for curious inquiries.
From there on, the hike began to exact
constant physical exertion. At every step,
new strength was required because of the
sharpening angle of climb. My leg muscles
burned and gave initial signs of fatigue. The
rough path obliged a lumbering pace and a
stop every few minutes to catch my breath.
Only five feet wide, parallel tracks on the
path witnessed its occasional use as a rudi-
mentary road filled in partially with stone
sunk practically out of sight over time. Con-
stant erosion and use had worn it down and
had exposed big boulders, some jagged
and threatening. Deep grooves had been
carved by tires in a good number of places.
Even a jeep would have a jolting ride trying
to master them, and only jeep could.
The road meandered through small
patches of brush until it reached another
bridge about 15 feet long. It was dan-
gerously veneered with wet moss, and it
leaned rather precariously to the left. A
mass of boulders directly below in the mid-
dle of the river warned of pain should I fall.
The bridge had no railings. It was made of
two large logs strewn parallel across and a
few feet apart connecting each side. Two by
twelves-nailed rather doubtfully to the
logs, a few severely warped-served as the
platform. The light rain made the wood
shine menacingly. I took every step care-
fully. A few boards felt loose. I was trembling
and looking down at my feet. Occasionally 1
would stop to look up. My mind was trapped
between the desire to glance at the beauty
surrounding me and the thoughts of falling.
I've dreaded falls and heights all my life. I
was tempted to crawl across.
Safe on the other side at last, I paused to
observe the river and absorb the peace of
the forest cradled around it. The boulders
below were covered with moss; water sliding
smoothly by them and turning bubbles as it
fell and swirled. Through the different
sounds the river murmured, I could hear the
silence and listened. "I'm alone", I thought. I
was breathing strong and even, my palms
moist and blushed. My face must have been
too; it tingled and felt warm. Heat flushed
through my body ... like a rush of sexual
excitement. It was a moment, exotic and
I don't remember how long I remained
there, perhaps ten or fifteen minutes. The
feeling of the sun burning my back bunted
me out of the spell. It had stopped raining.
According to my map I was a third of the
way. I passed a wooden gate with a wire loop
as a latch. Maria had emphasized to be sure
to leave it shut. "There is a group of wild
horses up there that shouldn't escape
through the gate because they damage gar-
dens and crop," she said. "Some neighbors
have threatened to shoot them if the owner
doesn't keep them from coming down."
"Who's the owner?"
"Sehior Paul. He used to live up there and
had a farm, but he hardly comes anymore."
"Where is he now?"
"He lives in Panama City now."
1 crossed a meadow, half of which was
occupied by a fenced yard and house. An
Indian woman hung clothes for drying.
"Hola," I said, "could you tell me if I'm head-
ing in the right direction to the house of Mr.
Pretto?" She looked at me in silence and
nodded 'nd but I could tell it wasn't in re-
sponse to my question. I was about to re-
phrase it when a man, an Indian too, came
out of the tiny wooden house. "Follow this
road and cross the river," he said after a brief
greeting. "The road will take you straight
there." I thanked him and moved on. I was
glad to see that, although far apart, at least
people lived on the way. It relaxed some of
my apprehensions of being alone.
CAIBBEAN P VIeW/29
Flechista Nacionalista. 1983. Tempera, 13" x 18", by Rogelio Pretto.
The river had no bridge. The path ran
right into it and steeped up on the other
side. A gate guarded the river on my side. It
was even more primitively engineered than
the one before. It was made of small thin
tree stems joined by barbed wire nailed in
three evenly spaced points, forming a few
feet of fence. One end was fixed on one side
and the other kept loose, pulled in place
when closing. The loose end stem is slipped
into wire loops fixed on the bottom and top
of a supporting stalk on the other side. It
took me a while to pry the gate open. The
gate slipped from my grasp and snapped
back across the path like a rubber band
nearly slashing my face. It was just as trou-
blesome to close.
The mud made matters worse. The
abundant precipitation of the region keeps
the soil wet and soft. Horses and wheels had
churned the path to a paste. I was getting
stuck in it constantly, forcing me to step
from rock to rock to keep atop ground. It
required balancing expertise which I dread-
fully lacked, so inevitably I would fall off into
a gape of mush every two or three stones.
Once I had to pry myself loose by pulling on
a tree branch. My shoes and jeans were
caked in mud up to my knee. I realized why
rubber boots were so prevalent in the area.
I washed off some of the mud in the river.
It was the first time I had come in direct
contact with it. It was fairly level at that spot.
The water was cold and clear. I was tempted
to drink, but I refrained for precaution. I had
to walk through it to make the other side. It
wasn't deep, but it was full of rocks of all
sizes up to a foot and a half in diameter.
Once across, the road got rougher and
steeper... and narrower. Walking was diffi-
cult, even more than before until the path
levelled a bit into an open meadow studded
with trees spaced randomly apart. It took
me a while to cover the length of it. As the
path veered into dense forest, it began to
rain again, this time heavily enough to force
me under a tree.
I couldn't get over the splendor of the
terrain around me. More and more it was
taking on the true complexion of a rain for-
est. To my back I could hear the river. On
each side of it trees grouped close together
overshadowed the water creating a cham-
ber for the water's song trapped inside.
Twisting white and green moss covered the
tree trunks and limbs from which parasite
plants dangled and bred orchids. Fog
prowled mysteriously through the treetops.
On the ground, fungus and moss feasted
on the moist dead bark of fallen trees. Ferns
were everywhere, growing in the same
abundance of grass. I had the sense that
time had slowed to a stop. I looked down on
some dark red berries growing on a bush to
my right. "The zarzamoras," I thought.
They looked like raspberries all right, ma-
roon, almost black.
As I squatted to pick one, a flutter a few
inches from my hand startled me. It was a
bird feeding on the bottom of the bush. I
must have frightened it when I reached for
the berries. He sprung up about a foot and
stood poised for flight on an outward
branch, its neck twisted so his eye could
keep me under observation. I froze, wanting
not to frighten it, to savor the opportunity of
watching it so close, but I betrayed my good
intentions. I guess the fact that I ceased to
move was taken precisely as a threat, like the
freeze posture cats adopt when stalking
their prey. So, it flew to a branch above me
where its assessment of my intentions could
be more safely determined. Seeing it gob-
ble up a berry before, encouraged me to
pick one for myself. I picked a deep colored
one and nibbled cautiously, looking fre-
quently for bugs or worms.
When the rain let up, I was chilled by a
breeze that swept across the path. I was
soaked and I hadn't really noticed how
... ........ -
7- i ,_ "i
S '- 2- .. -
-. .- .. -- .-:
much. Renewing the hike was a dishearten-
ing thought. I was feeling fatigued and hun-
gry and cold. I had to stop more frequently
to catch my breath. The altitude was affect-
ing me. Without much food in my system, I
felt faint and dizzy and decided to sit on a
boulder to regain my balance. An over-
whelming sense of fear crept over me. I
began to think about where I was. The
thought of being in the jungle alone made
me shiver even more than I already was. I
could see no one, hear no one. There wasn't
a house in sight and the forest had become
so dense around me that the rocky path was
the only clearing. I had no idea what was
ahead and my growing paranoia gave way
to visions of wild animals lurking in the
bushes. "My God, what are you doing here
Sandra?" I questioned myself punishingly. I
couldn't understand my sudden feelings of
compunction. I was about to cry. I felt vul-
nerable sitting there, feeling so insecure, so
remorseful. I decided to shake myself from
those feelings and got up to fight the nega-
tive inertia that had set in on me. As I was
getting up I heard a noise. I listened care-
fully. They were thumps, even and forceful,
like strong steps. Goose bumps sprung up
all over my body. I could feel them crawl
down my neck and shoulders. I was frozen,
almost in panic.
Suddenly a dog popped into view from
out of the bend in the road. Apparently he
too was alarmed, because he froze with a
jolt when he saw me and began barking
frantically, the bristles on his neck spiked
straight up. Moments later, a man appeared
clumping down the path wearing rubber
boots. He was bearded and wore a thick
corduroy jacket and a funny cone-shaped
hat. His jeans were snuggled into the boots.
He was white, tall, his appearance rugged, a
machete in his hand.
When he saw me half-terrified-to-death,
he yelled at the dog and followed with a firm
loud whistle-"Runcho! Fieuuu!" The dog
immediately stopped barking and
crouched submissively to the man's side,
slurring his "grrrrr" as he kept his eyes on
me. Runcho had blotches of black and
white fur all the way down to his legs. A large
patch of white on his chest. His look was
timid behind his long snout and framed by
ears half bent down.
The man walked towards me smiling, his
eyes fixed strong and firmly to mine. They
were dark brown. His smile was pleasant
and reassuring under the beard. I tried to
appear calm as he approached me. "Good
afternoon," he said. "Good afternoon," I
"What are you doing here alone and wet?
Are there more coming behind?"
"Uh, no. I'm alone. I was on my way to Mr.
Prettds house. Am I on the right path?"
"Yes, but Mr. Pretto isn't there now."
"Oh. Uh. Do you, uh, know when he will
be back. He is here, isn't he? I mean, he is
here and not in Panama City or somewhere
else, is he?" I held my breath. My God, I
didn't want to hear that he was away. I
couldn't bear the thought that I had gone
through this whole ordeal to miss him.
"No. He's here, but he's not in his house
right now." He was smiling and not once
took his eyes away from mine. I felt as if he
were looking right through into my insides. I
watched desperately for signs that every-
thing was OK, that he wasn't outto harm me
or anything. I had felt so afraid and misera-
ble a few moments before.
"Would you know when he will be back?
Maybe I could wait for him in his house, if he
won't be too long. Could you tell me how far
is it from here? I need to see him very
"Yes, I can tell you do. You're drenched.
You look exhausted, afraid and you're alone.
It must be important." He paused and then
said, "Its only a few minutes further. I'll tell
Trapeador de Rojo Color. 1983. Tempera, 18" x 23", by Rogelio Pretto.
you what. Come up with me to the house
and dry up. I'll fix you something warm to
drink. The climate here can be treacherous
if you're not careful." He picked my bag and
began walking, Runcho running ahead of
him. In a second he had covered a few
meters effortlessly. He knew how to handle
the terrain. I scrambled to catch up. I had no
idea who he was, but I figured he was famil-
iar enough with Pretto since he knew where
he had gone and had offered so readily to
take me to his house, let alone use his
kitchen. I tried to talk to him as I scuttled to
keep up, the words barely making it out of
my lips. I was panting, gulping for oxygen.
"Ah, uh... Have you known him long?" I
asked as I stumbled behind him.
"Yes. All my life and all his life as a matter
of fact," he said without turning his head.
"That's interesting," I said sucking in air
desperately. He could be a source of history
and information about Pretto for me if he
knew him so well, I told myself. I fumbled for
more conversation. "Where uh, ummm ...
ah ... where, uh did..."
I gasped. He turned and approached me
and said, "Look, let me give you some tips
on how to walk over this ground."
I surrendered to his suggestion willingly. I
needed some help, any kind. I stopped and
felt my eyes fogging. I was about to faint. He
noticed and helped me sit down on one of
the boulders on the side of the path. "Oh,
God, yes, please do. Teach me how to do it.
My heart's about to burst." I said abandon-
ing myself to his arms.
"Rest for a few minutes. You look very
pale. Let your heart beat settle down again.
Don't jerk your breaths, just take each one
long and gently. Let it out quickly, but easy.
Don't pant. That's it." He squatted, facing
me. He looked at me intently now, watching
over my breathing. He looked all around
me, at all of me. Runcho moved closer, wag-
ging his tail and smelling me. "You're ob-
viously not from Panama, where are you
"Why? Does being grossly inept on this
mountain hike, give my alien origins away?"
I asked him jokingly. He smiled.
"No. Your accent and looks, obviously."
He dug the machete into the ground and
drew out a knife from a sheath on his belt.
From his jacket pocket he pulled out a small
brown lump of something wrapped in plas-
tic. He carved a piece from it and gave it to
me. "Here, eat this. It'll stabilize your ener-
gies a bit. It'll give you some vigor for the
rest of the way."
"What is it?" I hesitated and did not reach
"Here. At least take it in your hands and
look it over while I tell you what it is. It won't
kill you for one thing." I gave him a reserved
smile. He took a piece himself and put it in
his mouth and chewed, crushing it with
ease. "It'spanela It's made of raw sugar. It's
the purest cane sugar there is second to
chewing on the cane. Other than a few dead
bugs you might find in it once in a while, it's
safe and all natural. It's a great quick energy
I nibbled at it as I had done with the berry.
It was sweet, and, yes, its taste raw and
strong, mildly sour. It was deep brown. I
took a larger bite and held it on my tongue. It
was delicious. As it melted I craved for more.
"This is great!" I said. "I've had brown sugar
before, but this is really rich and delicious.
Thank you." I took another bite and this
time crushed it and swallowed.
"So, where are you from?" he asked. He
put away his knife and flung a piece of pan-
ela at Runcho. The dog snatched it in mid
"San Francisco, California." I've lived
there most of my life.
"And what is a young woman from San
Francisco like you doing here, looking for
"I'm working on a book and he's the sub-
ject of it. I was hoping to meet and talk with
him to see if he could help me with first-
hand information about his work and him-
self. Perhaps you can help me too, since
you've known him for a long time."
"Well, anything I would tell you he'd tell
you the same, believe me." He leaned back
against a tree stump and when he did his
hat tipped accidentally down over his face.
He pushed it back making a comical ges-
ture that made me giggle. I wondered how
old he was. His beard had strands of grey
hair and had wrinkles around his eyes. He
He picked some berries from a bush
nearby offered me some. I declined. "Go
ahead, eat a few, they'll mix well with the
panel and keep you from getting dizzy."
"Funny," I said. "Just before your dog ap-
peared I got really dizzy after eating one."
"Oh, that wasn't the berry," he said. "It's
the altitude and the way you were walking. It
had nothing to do with the berries. Go
ahead, eat a few. It'll do you good." He
Continued on page 40
An Exhibition for National Peace
Earl in 1983. Rogelho Pretto became irate
at the counterfeit promises oi national re-
demptior and peace being trumpeted by
the then military strongman ruling Panama.
General Ruben Daric Paredes The general
was making an early bid to the presidential
elections to be held the following year For
weeks. Pretto had focused his attention on
the media. noting the frequency, with which
the words 'National Peace were being ma-
nipulated by the contestants He grew
watchful ol the c rnical theatrics and the self-
set\ ing campaign rhetoric Pretto observed
ho`w the goernmert-co)ntrolled media e\-
ploited speeches riddled .*,ith hype about
social justice and peace Ne,.' quest icnabl -
enacted electoral laws were promoted as
the Insurance Policy lor Peace" b, officials
who were publicly perceied as corrupt
The artist produced a painting about his
concerns titled "Custodians at 84.' a w.ort;
courageously critical of the military -con-
trolled government and the electoral pro-
cess. That work was the beginning of what
would become the most significant exhibi-
tion in Panama's cultural history. Titled 'Na-
tional Peace- A Pictorial Essay.' it would
consist of 42 works in tempera dedicated toc
Panama's national conscience and shown
in the country, s Museum ot Contemporary
Art Ne\er had a Panamanian artist dedi-
cated such a large collec ton to the theme of
his country's political morality
The exhibits intellectual impact and the
fact that it predicted grate political events
were instrumental in altering the artist's im-
age-he had been accused by the left ol
being Gringo influenced' and b\ the right
as inconsequential Not ornl did he min offi-
c-al recognition but the exhibit increased
the base of both his popular and intellectual
support. The public flocked to the museum.
in record numbers. praising the artist's
commitment to the truth about the coun-
try's political malaise. More importantly, the
exhibit raised the issue of the need for Pan-
amas artists to address social and political
issues during troubled times. Art-lo ing
Panamanians were finding their artists too
commercial and indifferent to social con-
cerns This show. finally responded to the
need for a politically reactive art in Panama.
Two weeks into the show. President
Ricardo de la Espr-ella was ousted by the
military. The vacanco was filled by, ice pres-
ident Jorge Illueca. Pretto had used him as a
subject in four of the six works dealing with
the country's power hierarch,. Intriguingly.
the deposed president was conspicuously
absent from the entire 42-piece collection
Even General Noriega, the country s mil,-
tary strongman, had been portrayed in at
least one of the paintings Events ahead
would confirm the prophetic perception of
The arrangement ot images and symbols
in the paintings would prove a more precise
prognosis ot things to come than the ab-
sence of any figure in one work. the vicc
president is depic ted in sunglasses sitting in
..hat is obviously the president's chair, his
posture erect and pompous. A dote don-
ning a military cap is perched on his right
shoulder In an open book on the table in
front of him an inscription refers to otticial
deceit and corruption.' to the extreme left of
the painting a tiny figure on the table points
a videoo ne.s camera at him. Dollar bills
pour from the tice president s pockets un-
der the table In another picture, the same
Since president is seen reading from a piece
ot paper that is taken to be an inaugural
speech Pretto had foretold the events that
would place the vice president in the presi-
dency. It was the most acknowledged
"prophecy attributed to the collection.
Others had been fulfilled months before.
soon after he painted them. One in particu-
lar was trenchantly exact in forecasting the
tragic climax of a political drama expected
to end different\ by most of the country
fMter General Omar Tornjos's death in
what ,eas reported as a plane crash in 1981
power was transferred to Ruben Paredes
who soon after was promoted to general
One of Jimmy Carter's fringe legacies of the
Panama Canal treaty had been Torrijos's
promise to return the country to democratic
rule. v.ith the charismatic Torrjos dead.
Paredes's chances in the running were
good. and he played his ambitions to be-
come president to the hilt by publicly guar-
anteeing that elections would be held as
promised in May 1984. Hi then considered
his options by maneuvering and monopo-
lizing control of the media. To insure com-
plete coverage, he bullied stock holders of
T1' and radio stations that were reluctant to
support him into selling him a controlling
interest or by threatening to cancel go'ern-
ment advertising in the networks. Daily
propaganda poured out about the virtues'
ol Paredes through the servile stations and
newspapers. Impressed by the intense
hype. several political groups clustered to
his camp and formed a potent coalition that
appeared hard to beat. When Paredes's
chances of success seemed most secure.
Pretto produced a painting anticipating a
different late tor the general.
The artist showed him uniformed and
wearing sunglasses. on the screen of a
small. toyish, playfully colored T\ set sitting
on a tabletop image of the Panamanian flag.
Paredes's face is turned toward an empty
chair that has Panama's coat of arms elabo-
rately cared on its back. o\er which rests
the presidential sash. Behind the table, a
solitary gray haired cholo plais a Iiddle as
he looks sadly down into the set. The knobs
are labeled with %% writing that identify the op-
pression co-sponsored by Paredes when he
participated in the Torriuc.s coup years be-
tore. 1968 replaces the TVs brand name
and the dial is set on channel 11. October
11 1968 was the da, the coup brought
do,,nr, constitutionally elected and three
times deposed President Arnulto Arias. The
words deceit and abuse" substitute
brightness and "contrast" on other dials.
On this T, set of Prettos. the power button
means something entirely different
Prettos insinuation wtas cleat. He was tell-
ing Paredes that his efforts to become presi-
dent were vacuous and he warned that
success would be denied him by the illegiti-
mate forces of Panamas corrupt domestic
realities he himself .-as perpetuating That
he better become resigned to them was
symbolized b. the fiddle-playing mestizo
paving his condolences to the time of col-
lapsed, over-inflated dreams.
Prettos forecast turned out to be fatally
accurate. Paredes's ambitions v.ere felled.
ironicall%, b', the principles of his own Ma-
chiaellean contrivance The militar-, back-
ing that guaranteed his only true SOurce of
political power was stripped from him b\
his colleague. General Manuel Antonio Nor-
iega. Immediatel, alter taking over as mili-
tary chief after Paredes's resignation.
INoriega forbade him access to military
headquarters, the public coffers and go'.-
ernment institutions that were the only sus-
taining force of his campaign. %\ith his
crucial leverage removed. Paredes's poten-
tial for the high office was doomed. Soon
after, the political factions that had pledged
him their support withdrew it sealing his
political fate Though he stubbornly cam-
paigned on. he ended with paltry electoral
pickings. beaten and forgotten The lesson-
the traditional realities of Panama s less-
than-loyal po.ver players are immutable.
and Pretto had reminded his fellow na-
tionals about that in a single but eloquent
canvas a mere 10 by 13 inches.
"Well. said a museum guard. "because
he predicted things that actually happened
later, a lot more people and even ones that
had already seen the show came back to
see it again, bringing friends and their chil-
dren. Several teachers from elementary
schools brought their whole class The
show meant something. People are dissat-
isfied with the situation in the government.
They liked the show because Pretto re-
flected what they felt. No painter had done
that before.' IJ
CAGBBEAN Fr-VIEW 33
Continued from page 9
peared three or four hours late. Moreover,
the early violent clashes between the mili-
tary and the guerrillas suggested that the
military might well have decided the appro-
priate response itself.
Although the government's action was
unanticipated in light of President Betan-
cur's deep involvement in the peace pro-
cess, key politicians and interest groups
offered their immediate support to the gov-
ernment-former presidents, presidential
candidates, the Conservative and Liberal
Parties, the Colombian trade union (U1TC),
and the Church. Despite these public dis-
plays of support, considerable skepticism of
the repressive response surfaced. The fall-
out from the episode probably will result in a
paralysis of presidential leadership through-
out the remainder of Betancur's term.
Does the military response to the M-19
attack imply that a "28 hour coup" occurred,
as some have suggested? Probably not, but
the event has strengthened the military's
position in the power bloc, to the point
where a return to the more activist military
role in the suppression of civil violence
characteristic of the Turbay administration
appears likely. The military command
seemingly respected the President's author-
ity, even though this involved the resigna-
tion of defense ministers who did not agree
with the President (the M-19 maintains that
the military consistently violated the cease
fire agreement). While utilization of force to
suppress guerrilla activity was curtailed
during the Betancur administration, con-
siderable role expansion for the military oc-
curred during the period. The military
command is in charge of the Plan de Mag-
dalena Medio, a governmental effort to
pacify and develop this violence plagued
region. In addition, Congress has just ap-
proved a Plan de Rehabilitaci6n Nacional,
which the military will administer. Appar-
ently, the civic-action model of civil-military
relations of the 1960s is reemerging,
spearheaded by a group of Antioqueio
generals. The military now has the freedom
to suppress those guerrilla groups not in the
peace process, which undoubtedly it will do,
but the crucial question that arises concerns
the military's respect for the cease fire with
the FARC, the major guerrilla group. Pros-
pects for peace are remote if the FARC re-
sumes its armed opposition; some have
already returned to the hills because they
are fearful of the Army.
Considering the long tradition of civilian
rule in Colombia, the resurgence of military
power, and the declining legitimacy of the
Betancur government, the probability of a
military coup in the near future is not high,
which means a period of muddling-through
until after the 1986 elections. The presiden-
tial campaign now is in full swing; the Con-
servatives have nominated Alvaro G6mez
Hurtado, the Liberal Party has selected Vir-
gilio Barco and, barring a sizeable defeat in
the congressional elections, Luis Carlos Ga-
lan probably will enter the race for Nuevo
Liberalismo. The Left, including the newly
formed political party of the FARC, Uni6n
Patri6tica, has yet to coalesce around a can-
didate. Within the presentambiente of eco-
nomic and political frustration, the Liberal
Party seemingly has the advantage. Barco
has the firm support of the Liberal Party
establishment, perhaps even from ad-
herents to Nuevo Liberalismo, including
former President Lleras Restrepo. The Lib-
erals surely will profit electorally from a
comparison of governmental action in han-
dling the Dominican Embassy crisis and
the Palace of Justice attack during the Tur-
bay and Betancur governments, not to
mention the horrendous economic situa-
tion which has been compounded by the
volcanic eruption. Alvaro G6mez carries the
heavy burden of his 1974 presidential de-
feat, as well as his association with the Bet-
ancur administration. In addition to
showing a comfortable lead for Barco, pub-
lic opinion polls reveal that the Left is gain-
ing strength in urban areas, but not to the
point of breaking the traditional party
hegemony, at least without an attractive
candidate capable of mobilizing the lower
However, the extensive public manifesta-
tions of support for Colombia's democratic
institutions and the forthcoming electoral
game will not be sufficient to restore the
legitimacy of the political system much be-
yond the first half of 1986. The military may
well be capable of curtailing the guerrilla
opposition in the short term, but not for very
long if the FARC resumes its militant stance
and economic conditions fail to improve.
Ironically, the government's harsh austerity
program, demanded by the IMF and the
international banking community, may well
create an economic environment that will
solidify support for guerrilla movements. At
some point, if it is to survive, the Colombian
government must confront not only the
pressures for political reform but also the
agony stemming from pervasive socio-
economic problems of the society. E
Recent Publications from the
Central American Research Program
Occasional Papers Series
OPS 4 Villanueva, Benjamin. "Cambios en las
relaciones entire el Estado y la economic en
Centroamerica." April 1985.
OPS 10 ** Crosby, Benjamin L. "Divided We Stand, Divided
We Fall: Public-Private Sector Relations in
Central America." May 1985.
OPS 11 Trejos, Juan Diego. "Costa Rica: crisis
economic y political estatal 1978-1984." May
OPS 12 Delgado, Enrique. "El impact de la crisis
economic en la region centroamericana y en
Guatemala." May 1985.
OPS 13 Orellana, Victor Antonio. "El Salvador: crisis y
reform structurall" May 1985.
OPS 14 Mayorga, Francisco J. "Nicaragua: trayectoria
econ6mica 1980-1984" July 1985.
* also available in English translation
* also available in Spanish translation
LACC Occasional Papers are available at $4.00 each;
make checks payable to "Latin American and Caribbean
For further information contact:
Latin American and Caribbean Center
Florida Internonal University
Miami, Florida 33199; (305) 554-2894
Continued from page 11
The government appointed 30 judges to
an official investigating commission while
Colombia's Attorney General Carlos Jim&-
nez said his office will conduct an indepen-
dent investigation of the taking and retaking
of the Palace of Justice. The country's judi-
cial system was in complete disarray. The
Judicial Employees Association paraded
on 9 November and declared a strike. Some
judges, survivors of the "holocaust," not in
agreement with the strike, said that it penal-
izes the nation's justice system, but they all
demanded an explanation as to why Presi-
dent Betancur and his government did not
obey the authority of the Chief Justice, who
ordered a cease fire and a dialogue. Why
was his authority ignored? Emilio Urrea quit
the President's Peace Commission asking
rhetorically why had the president, who ne-
gotiated with M-19 guerrillas in far-off
Madrid, Spain and in Mexico City, suddenly
had refused to talk to them or the hostage
As the country geared up for general elec-
tions, the debate gathered steam in Con-
gress, Betancur critics came out of the
woodwork, sensing he was mortally
wounded politically. The battle has become
campaign fodder. All the presidential candi-
dates have spoken out. Luis Carlos Galan of
the New Liberalism Party said, "the decision
of the government to defend its institutions
has the nation's backing, but this does not
mean that a humanitarian dialogue not be
attempted to avoid such a total tragedy."
Liberal Party official candidate Virgilio
Barco was softer in his criticism, saying "We
must correct the correctable." The candi-
date from Betancur's conservative party, Al-
varo G6mez Hurtado, former ambassador
to Washington, limited his comments to the
M- 19, saying "those who appeal to arms are
weak because they don't have enough force
or support to act within the law."
Betancur is said to have received thou-
sands of telegrams of support from indi-
viduals and organizations in Colombia and
abroad. One Government spokesman said
the takeover was "more than just another
terrorist act, it was the first act in civil war."
The government argued that had the mili-
tary operation been contained, it would
have given the guerrillas greater pos-
sibilities of success. El Tiempo expressed
concern that the military might have been
close to a takeover and stated "if the govern-
ment had decided to negotiate, Colom-
bians can be sure that today a government
of legal origin would no longer exist in Co-
lombia." El Tiempo columnist Enrique
Santos Calder6n, who recently published
La Guerra por la Paz (The War for Peace)
observed "the triumphalistic infantilism of
the M-19 doesn't allow them to understand
that a president weakened to the maximum
because of such terrorist action, doesn't
have a real possibility to dialogue or negoti-
ate in the context of this new, outrageous
defiance. Otherwise we would be witness-
ing the collapse of a civilian government."
The M-19 leadership, meanwhile, has
been decimated, but to prove they are not
dead, had one of their commando units
stage a raid, killing eleven soldiers, in the
department of Cauca the Saturday follow-
ing the Palace of Justice battle. The group
that sprang to prominence on 17 January,
1974 by stealing Liberator Sim6n Bolivar's
sword from the Bogota Museum, swearing
they would not return it "until we realize our
promise to bring democracy and freedom
to our fatherland" suffered a mortal blow on
the Plaza Sim6n Bolivar. The Military could
be expected to respond to any future vio-
lation of the truce and they are the ones
who will decide if and when the truce is
violated. The M-19 accuse the army of
breaking the truce and leading them to the
Palace of Justice. O
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Continued from page 14
its credibility as well as the treaty with the
FARC. Even after the M-19 had announced
its position of all-out war President Betancur
insisted on negotiating with the group.
The final blow to the peace commission
would come after the event at the Palace of
Justice, when the Attorney General and the
new Liberal Party resigned from it. By late
1985, the peace strategy of President Be-
tancur had reached a critical stage. Many
fear a new wave of generalized violence.
Every day, the FARC moves farther from its
objective of incorporation into the main-
stream. The gap has widened instead of
closing. What rebel leader is going to cam-
paign, knowing that he will be killed? The
most dramatic consequence of the attack
on the Palace is that it has polarized and
radicalized all groups.
Internal strife within the M-19 has be-
come apparent: a new militarized leadership
has taken over. The M-19 made two strate-
gic mistakes with the attack. The first was
that they took the Palace of Justice expect-
ing that a few shots would be fired and then
followed by negotiations. According to
sources, they had provisions for ten days.
The two who masterminded the attack, An-
dres Almarales and Alfonso Jaquin, were
negotiators and not military strategists. The
Armed Forces launched its counterattack
without any intentions of lowering their
guard, even at the expense of the life of the
hostages. They would not be humbled only
meters away from the headquarters of the
forces, the Presidential Guard Batallion. The
M-19 did not know how to respond to the
plight of a weak president cornered by the
Armed Forces clamoring for strong action
against the rebels.
The second error was the very target of
their operation. Few institutions have as
good an image among Colombians as the
Supreme Court and the State Council. To
the general populace, it seemed irrational
that the M-19 would vent its anger on one of
the only true bastions of freedom and de-
mocracy in the nation.
What was the motivation of the M-19?
Our hypothesis is that the group wanted to
show its new style of open warfare. The
government was to be cast as repressive
with its counterattack and the movement
hoped to gain the sympathy of the trade
unions, academics, and journalists.
After the attack, the Armed Forces
changed their way of dealing with subver-
sive elements. There are now questions
about the pact with the FARC and the elec-
tions of March and May 1986. Surely one of
the objectives of the M- 19 was to compel the
FARC to break their agreement with the
government. And they are achieving this
goal. As the right and center become radi-
calized, the FARC loses possibilities of real
integration within the system.
As for the elections, this sad event gives
more value to the vote of the Colombian
people. Strong candidates will gain more
strength and dissidents will lose support.
When violence threatens democracy, there
is a natural tendency to support those can-
didates that seem stronger to preserve the
survival of a civilian government.
In practice, the political system in Colom-
bia faces its own limitations. What really is at
play is more than an attempt to make some
reforms to appease rebel groups. The par-
ties and the political system face the re-
sponsibility of creating institutional means
to integrate new social sectors within the
political system. Ideological consensus
must be restored by demonstrating that the
political institutions of Colombia are suffi-
ciently flexible and democratic to permit
growth and modernization from within. In a
way, it would be to return the hope of institu-
tional change to the nation, just as L6pez
Pumarejo did fifty years ago. O
Continued from page 23
More vivid still is the case in my own
country, Panama. For seventeen years, we
have lived under an illegitimate and arbi-
trary military regime. So blatant is this con-
dition that in the past three years we have
had five different presidents, imposed and
later deposed by the National Guard, and
also five different attorney generals, whose
time in office has been marked by failures to
investigate fully major scandals of crassest
corruption and severe violations of human
rights, including only last month the savage
assassination of an opponent. Further-
more, over the years this military regime has
fostered or tolerated the traffic of arms and
men to extremist guerrilla movements in
the region, and also the transfer into Pan-
ama of important operations in the growing
narcotics business between Latin America
and the United States.
Because of purported security consid-
erations and some undefined services ren-
dered in the spirit of double dealing which
often characterizes such regimes, the
United States government and even US
public opinion has generally avoided identi-
fying the regime for what it is. In 1984, in the
first presidential and legislative elections in
sixteen years, fraud was unquestionably
committed. Even the State Department, in
its 1985 report to Congress on human
rights, admitted that close to 10 percent of
the votes cast had gone untallied. Neverthe-
less the US Government kept up the pre-
tense that Panama finally had its first
elected civilian president in sixteen years
and, for the first time in our history, granted
Panama two gifts (not loans) of $20 million
each to help balance the budget. Further-
more, it saw fit to hold during two months
the largest joint operations between the mil-
itary of Panama and the United States,
which included activities enhancing the im-
age of the Panamanian military as the effec-
tive problem-solvers of the country's ills.
It was not till the fourth of five Panama-
nian presidents was deposed, the day after
addressing the United Nations and after
being held for fourteen hours at military
headquarters, on the wake of the assassina-
tion by beheading of one of the leading
adversaries of the military chief, that the US
Government cautiously expressed its nega-
tive reaction to the undemocratic situation
prevailing in Panama.
Central Americans share with their North
American neighbors the "rights to life, lib-
erty and the pursuit of happiness." What
Central Americans hope is that the United
States remain faithful to those key words of
its Declaration of Independence, which we
can translate into the political language of
our times as "human rights, democracy
and development." Democratic faith would
then bloom into democratic solidarity, and
democracy could no longer be treated as a
mere export commodity. O
CUBAN FOREIGN POLICY
Pamela S. Falk, Hunter College and the Institute of Latin American
and Iberian Studies at Columbia University
The author discusses Cuba's foreign policy before the revolution
in 1959 and assesses its modem policies. Dr. Falk explores the
Cuban involvement in the Falkland/Malvinas Islands conflict and
assistance to El Salvador and Nicaragua, and examines Cuba's
contribution to Third World unrest. Using such primary sources as
interviews with U.S. and Cuban government officials, foreign
ministers from countries in the hemisphere, and Cuban exiles, the
author offers a novel and timely assessment of the politics of an
increasingly turbulent area.
"Pamela Falk's able demonstration of the historical
continuities of Cuban foreign policy reminds us that Fidel Castro
is acting on national as much as on ideological motives a fact
that all who think, write or make decisions about Cuban policy
must take into account."'-Arthur M. Schlesinger, Jr.
"Pamela Falk has written a smooth-reading and authoritative
history of Cuban foreign policy. Hereafter, when people say they
want 'to go to the source' on Cuban foreign policy, this will be the
book they mean."-The Honorable Daniel P. Moynihan, United
352 pages ISBN 0-669-05127-6 $29.00
The Political Status of Puerto Rico
Pamela S. Falk, editor
Few people in this country are aware that an overwhelming majority of Puerto Rico's 3.5 million U.S.
citizens favor changes in the island's association with the United States. Whether statehood, a modified form
of commonwealth, or full independence would best meet Puerto Rico's needs remains a question of heated
debate. This first-hand account of the history and positions of the various factions features articles by the
governor of Puerto Rico, the mayor of San Juan, Puerto Rico's congressional representatives, and the head of
the Puerto Rican Development Association. Additional sections analyze Puerto Rico's economy and the
international implications of the status debate. An Americas Society Book.
June ISBN 0-669-08279-1 $23.00
125 Spring St.
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(617) 860-1204 or (800) 334-3284
A Bayliean company
Con-inued from page 25
At the time communism still had this
aura of idealism, a mask that attracted the
young, and we had still not seen the Sino-
Soviet divisions, and the phenomenon of
communist repression was not that well
known. The Americans kicked him and the
communists opened their arms with all their
revolutionary jargon. That is why I say I un-
derstand why Fidel embraced communism,
although I do not share his enthusiasm. To-
day he has become part of a great commu-
nist bureaucratic machinery.
B.P.-How do you explain the fact that
Fidel came to power fighting for demo-
cratic ideals against a dictatorship and now,
25 years later, he himself embodies a
H.S.-That is due to communist ideol-
ogy. There comes a time when they dog-
matically convince themselves that they
represent the interests of the people, of the
masses. It is self-deception, another form of
the corruption of power. It is not the blatant
case of corruption through contracts, theft
or fat bank accounts. In the case of Fidel, it is
self-deception and in the process, he de-
ceives everyone else. He might realize that
he is a dictator, but he imagines that he is a
dictator that represents the interests of the
people. What worse corruption than self-
deception? It is the worse form of intellec-
tual corruption and it is the kind that Fidel
B.P.-Now let's talk about Hugo
Spadafora, of Panama. Have you always
gone to battle by your own free will?
H.S.-I know why you say that. Before,
when Torrijos was in power, it was thought
that he commanded me. Now that Torrijos
is dead and I criticize the military in power, I
have shown that no one controls me. I do
not identify with the policies of Noriega, the
present military commander of Panama.
With Noriega in power and me fighting in
Nicaragua, it is clear that no one supports
me, and yet I continue fighting for my dem-
ocratic ideals as a matter of principle.
Simply, I have been consistent with my-
self. In 1978 and 1979, I enjoyed relative
good health, youth and had the experience
in Guinea. Why not go to Nicaragua then?
As a Bolivarian, I did it. I have always resolved
to go, but there will come a time when I will
not go, when I will not be able to go.
B.P.-What is your own political stand?
H.S.-That of social democracy, under
Bolivarian and Third World ideals. On one
occasion, some Panamanian security
agents detained me thinking perhaps that I
was a communist. The inspector asked me
what my political line was and I answered:
"The only politics that I follow is that of my
B.P.-lIf the Nine are overthrown in Nic-
aragua, what will you do?
H.S.-I will return to Panama, to devote
all my energies to Panamanian politics with-
out abandoning internationalist politics.
And to be coherent with what I have said
before, being an internationalist does not
mean that one is always a guerrilla. I am not
B.P.-But until now you have been a
H.S.-Ah! That the majority of those who
do not know my ideas, my beliefs, see it
thus, is something else. But it is not that way.
Believe it or not, I plan to stay in Panama.
After the liberation of Nicaragua, I will return
to Panama. Panama faces ever-increasing
problems. I will stay there without aban-
doning the struggle, but I repeat that you
do not have to be a guerrilla to be an
B.P.-Hugo Spadafora, combatant ...
Hugo Spadafora, writer ... Which do you
prefer, the gun or the pen?
H.S.-1 have always said that action and
thought cannot be separated. Action with-
out thought is barbarian and thought with-
out action is fainthearted passivity. I cannot
separate one from the other; they are two
sides of the same coin.
B.P-Have you ever been wounded in
H.S.-No, I only suffered a broken bone
while firing a mortar. When we retreated in
Naranjo and the Somoza forces arrived,
some bodies had to be left behind, and one
had light eyes like mine. Since my docu-
ments had also been left there, they thought
I had died and Somoza announced my
death. I found out through the radio. I have
seen many deaths in battle, but until now I
have been fortunate.
B.P.-Have there been attempts against
your life outside the battlefield?
H.S.-I have heard that there are plans to
B.P.-Do you go around with a
H.S.-There were times when I was care-
ful in Panama, but now I travel alone.
B.P.-Do you aspire to the presidency of
H.S.-Well, I do not think of those things,
I do not think of positions because one of
the subjects that truly fascinates me is the
way power corrupts men. Not only when
they exercise power, but the struggle to at-
tain it, it changes them totally, it deforms
them. So I go through a process of mental
hygiene and avoid thinking about positions.
That is why that phrase that "Power cor-
rupts and absolute power corrupts abso-
lutely" is so valid. However, that phrase is
partially interpreted. Generally, it is thought
that power corrupts only those that have it.
That is true, but only partly true. For every
man that arrives, there are hundreds who do
not, but in their struggle to obtain power
they have been deformed. I have seen it in
Panama so often that I am not willing to be
deformed like that seeking a position. As a
matter of fact, I have promised myself that I
will never solicit votes from anyone. No one
will ever hear me ask for votes or hear me
say that I am a good candidate. Never!!
B.P.-Were you in favor of Torrijos?
H.S.-Yes, I am a Torrijista because I be-
lieve Torrijos was good for the history of
B.P.-Why aren't you fighting in
H.S.-Armed struggle is not now justi-
fied in Panama and hopefully it never will
be. I am the first one to wish the need never
arises. Furthermore, I do not think that there
is a political party that calls for it, not even
the communist party of Panama. Many peo-
ple have said, and with good reason, that if
the situation in Panama is not handled deli-
cately, it could become explosive and pro-
duce a war.
The ideal is to avoid an armed struggle,
that this not be imposed on the people. It is
preferable that there be an accelerated evo-
lution that would include the just distribu-
tion of wealth, that the worker receive the
salary he deserves, the liberation of the
masses through culture and that the people
have access to health services and schools
and that the ethnic traits of each minority be
respected. In other words, that there be a
balance between economic and social fac-
tors. That is the ideal. But what happens in
Latin America is that personal appetites
and rivalries can become very powerful.
They do so much harm! I hope that in the
case of Panama the personalities of some
military and civilian leaders will not hinder
B.P.-According to your internationalist
vision, what do you see as the future for
H.S.-I see the future of Latin America
through my Bolivarian principles. In Europe
and other countries, a powerful movement
against the two superpowers is now rising,
and I think that Nicaragua in Latin America
will be a decisive point in the Americanist
definition of our revolutions, of our
Nicaragua overthrew a pro-US dictator-
ship in 1979 and soon we will see the over-
throw of a pro-Soviet dictatorship. Histor-
ically, this circumstance will help our
continent find our own path and to define
our own destiny. Also, Cuba and Puerto
Rico will cease being historical anomalies
and join the Latin American block. I am
convinced that once we, the Latin American
revolutionaries, define the dividing line be-
tween democratic socialism and commu-
nism-which will be reaffirmed in the case
of Nicaragua-then no country will be able
to escape the influence of these ideals. E
38/CAI?BBCAN F ~EEW
Continued from page 27
"an ambiguous legitimacy that tried to
shape social and economic life differently."
In Arias Calder6n's words, it was a "leftist
version of the ideology of National Security
because there were no internal phenomena
without an international dimension." In the
1968-78 period, Torrijos was Chief of the
National Guard. He was called the "Max-
imum Leader of the Panamanian Revolu-
tion," and his rule was absolute.
It was from 1976-1983 that Graham
Greene made five visits to Panama. Despite
the title, his book, Getting to Know the
General, The Story of an Involvement, tells
us more perhaps about Greene and his
travelling companion and translator Pro-
fessor Jose de Jesus Martinez, better known
as Chuchu, than it does about Torrijos.
Greene visited many Latin American and
Caribbean countries as a journalist, novelist
and unofficial courier for revolutionary
causes. Getting to Know the General is
based on articles published in The New
York Review of Books from 1977-78.
Greene introduces us to a large number
of personalities involved in the politics of
Central America and the Caribbean. How-
ever we get only superficial glimpses at
Fidel Castro, Salvador Cayetano (the Sal-
vador guerrilla leader), Eden Pastora (Co-
mandante Cero), Daniel Ortega and Father
Ernesto Cardenal. We meet very few Pan-
amanians in everyday settings because it
appears that Greene spent most of his time
in hotels or at events organized by Chuchu
Martinez. We come to learn a lot about the
amorous activities of Chuchu and Torrijos,
but never meet Torrijos's wife or children.
We never meet President Demetrio
"Jimmy" Lakas, Ambassadors Aquilino
Boyd and Gabriel Lewis, or Foreign Minister
Juan Tack who played such an important
role in the negotiations with the United
States. Former Ambassador Jorden's book
is much more informative in this respect, as
is his assessment of Americans such as
Ellsworth Bunker and Sol Linowitz, who
were involved in the treaty negotiations.
Greene's portrait of Torrijos, Panamanian
politics and the negotiations between Pan-
ama and the US is colored by his leftist
politics and his anti-Americanism. He was
denied a transit visa to Miami and was also
deported from Puerto Rico in 1954 for po-
litical reasons. William Jorden gives the best
perspective on Torrijos of the five books
reviewed here: "He was a complicated mix
of good and bad, of openness and mystery,
sophistication and nzilvete. But probably
the most compelling attraction was power.
Here was a man who had seized it by force,
held it for years, used it with moderation,
and by all appearances, retained the sup-
port of his people throughout."
In 1978, Torrijos informed Greene, "I'm
going to give the politicians a big surprise.
I'm designing a system, a political party (the
PRD), to get out. They think I am designing
a system to stay in. The politicians are aim-
ing their guns in the wrong direction. They
will waste their ammunition and then they
will say 'But the son of a bitch is unpredict-
able.' A party is necessary to me now be-
cause I'm bored with politics."
The balance sheet shows a populist who
accomplished a lot in terms of putting
money into rural education, health and
other services as well as writing a banking
law that laid the groundwork for Latin Amer-
ica's biggest banking center. On the other
hand, Torrijos's failure to attend to the de-
tails of party organization, government ad-
ministration and above all, failing to create
an institutional framework within the Na-
tional Guard so that it would perform only
the functions of national security, were ma-
The Canal treaties were an important ac-
complishment for Torrijos. Jorden's discus-
sion is more effective in terms of the
analysis of parties and issues involved than
Moffett's, which focuses principally on the
seven months of effort by the Carter admin-
istration to winning public and congres-
sional approval for the treaties. Moffett,
research director for a citizens' group sup-
porting the Treaties and assistant to Hamil-
ton Jordan, White House Chief of Staff, from
1978-81, notes the paradox of the "striking
contrast between the administration's ad-
vantageous political position at the start of
the ratification debate and the enormous
effort and cost that proved necessary to win
a fragile 68-32 majority for approval in the
Senate. Just as the administration sought to
work out a new relationship with Third
World countries based on equity and to end
one of the last vestiges of American imperi-
alism, more and more Americans came to
feel a psychological hurt for the inability of
the US to do what it wanted to do in the
post-war period through the defeat in Viet-
nam, the attainment of parity by the USSR
and the challenge to energy security posed
by the OPEC oil cartel. Thus the passions
aroused by efforts to 'give away' the prized
possession of the canal came at a time
when Americans did not like what Kevin
Phillips has called the 'forced retreat of US
global power over the previous two dec-
ades.'" Instead of gaining a quick legislative
victory, the Canal issue provoked the "long-
est foreign policy debate since the Versailles
Treaty of 1919-20." Instead of knocking out
the political right, the treaty debate regene-
rated the right as a major force in American
politics and gave Ronald Reagan an issue
on which he could ride into the White
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Continued from page 32
leaned back on the log again, and this time
seemed to be settling in for a long rap, as if
he had forgotten that he was to escort me to
Pretto's house to dry up. I wasn't feeling cold
anymore, though. The discomfort had left
me completely. A warming dash of sunlight
was spotlighting us. In fact, I felt rather well. I
decided to let him continue directing my
energies as he obviously had been doing
rather effectively already.
"Why is he the purpose of your book?" he
"Oh, geez, that's such a long story." I
wasn't about to go into detail about the
book. At that moment it was the last thing I
wanted to do. Besides, I had been riddled
with doubt the night before, thinking that
perhaps it hadn't been such a good idea
after all to have taken this trip and made the
expense. Although the adventure and chal-
lenge was interesting to contemplate and all
that, the complications the whole thing
might involve were seriously discouraging
my optimism and desire.
"Be brief," he said.
"Well, I'm an art major in a California
university and wanted to write on Latin
American political artists, or artists that do
political themes in their work. I was bored
with the whole thing, because I had been
finding nothing really new or different to say
about politics in art. Everything seemed to
have been said about the subject already. I
wanted to contribute something different,
and didn't know how or what. One day I
found out about a Panamanian artist that
had become very controversial for doing
political painting in a different, well, very
serious way. It wasn't the usual radical pro-
test, denouncing style of painting that is
normally seen in political art. I did some
minor research on him to see if he was
interesting enough to include him among
the Latin American artists I was going to
cover and I liked what I found, so I did some
more research on him. I discovered even
more interesting qualities about him that
seemed perfect for my paper. One day..." 1
stopped myself. I became self-conscious,
because I felt I was revving into a long mo-
nopolizing tale about myself. It was a habit I
wanted to break as I could easily bore any-
one to death that wasn't interested. I was
sure this man was not banking on listening
to a long story about my personal scholastic
ordeals. He seemed intent enough, how-
ever, leaning against the log, his head
nestled back against his hands; but I felt I
would soon bore him.
"I'm sorry," I said. "I think I'm about to get
carried away with the story, and I just real-
Viaje a Fantasia. 1981 Tempera, 5" x 7", by Rogelio Pretto.
ized I've told it many times before and each
time is hard for me to stop blabbering about
"Please, please go on. I'm interested, re-
ally. Don't mind me. I'll stop you when I can't
"Oh... well. If you really want me to. Let's
see, where was I... um ..."
"Oh, yes! Well, one day it dawned on me
that perhaps my best bet at broaching a
whole new perspective would be not to
focus on politics in art in general but rather
to do the reverse. Why not investigate the
nature of how political interests arise within
an artist to the point where he feels com-
pelled to express them pictorially by view-
ing it through his personal viewpoint? But, I
figured, to be able to do that, to be able to
dig into those motivations, I should concen-
trate on just one artist... If I could find an
artist that exemplified the motivational
qualities I wanted to investigate, that would
be enough to concentrate on. It was better if
the artist were unknown internationally be-
cause the spectrum of his political con-
cerns could be better studied within a more
restricted range of social environment.
Pretto fits the bill, perfectly."
"Why did you choose him in particular?"
"To tell you the truth I didn't have many
artists to pick from. The information is sim-
ply not available for me to know who they
are. Learning about Mr. Pretto was like a
prize find, and the more I found out about
him the more interesting it became to use
him. His approach to political commentary
through his art was unique, and the things
he had said about his beliefs and his ideas
were perfect. He seemed clear and very so-
ber about what he was doing. That could be
a plus in analyzing his purposes and moti-
vations, because he could do his own re-
fleeting and explaining. I've read some
articles and interviews that have been writ-
ten on him and I would like to meet him and
talk with him to see if he can grant me an
interview. I decided to come to Panama and
try to see him personally for an interview.
Do you think he'll give me one?" I turned to
him as if I hoping he would set up the oppor-
tunity for me.
"That could be arranged." He smiled
again, somewhat mischievously, I felt. "Who
told you he was here?"
"I spoke with his wife. She encouraged
me to come to see him here."
"Obviously you don't know what he looks
like," he said.
"Well, I've seen some pictures of him in
"Why did you say I obviously didn't know
what he looked like?" I couldn't tell what
difference that made.
"I'm afraid I've played with you a bit,
Sandra. Please don't be offended with what I
am about to say. Have you noticed that nei-
ther of us have introduced ourselves for-
mally to each other?"
He was right. When meeting people for
the first time, I automatically introduce my-
self, but had completely overlooked the for-
mality. The circumstances and the unusual
place had something to do with it, I thought.
I was anxious to hear him out. He knew
something I didn't and he was about to let
"You are ... ?", he said coming towards
me with arm extended for a handshake. His
grip was firm but gentle; his hand was
warm. Slightly perplexed, I looked into his
eyes and said, "Sandra, Sandra Serrano."
"I am very pleased to meet you Sandra.
And I mean that. I'm Rogelio Pretto." 0
Critics Look at the New Literature
Compiled by Forrest D. Colburn
Requiem for the Artist
Heroes Are Grazing in My Garden (En mi
jardin pastan los heroes) Heberto Padilla.
Translated by Andrew Hurley. New York:
Ferrar, Strauss & Giroux, 1984. $16.95
Heberto Padilla's HeroesAre Grazing inMy
Garden is a slow-paced, fragmented novel
about the process of psychological disin-
tegration under conditions of intimidation
and political repression. It is a novel about
frustration and disappointment, about bu-
reaucratic excess and the excess of political
dogma, and about the contamination of
family relationships by politics. It is also a
novel which for observers of recent Cuban
intellectual and political history will be diffi-
cult to evaluate objectively: the international
attention focused on the author's conflicts
with the Cuban government in the 1970's
(ending with his temporary imprisonment)
and the "Afterword" in which Padilla links
Heroes Are Grazing in My Garden with
those personal conflicts (and their conse-
quences for artistic and intellectual free-
dom under a Communist regime) blur the
customary distinction between autobiogra-
phy and fiction. However, it is for these very
non-literary or extra-literary considerations
that the novel undoubtedly will receive a
great deal of serious commentary.
The title of Padilla's work is an ironically
satiric evocation of Pablo Armando Fer-
nandez' El libro de los heroes (1964). The
latter gave "modern Cuban poetry a new
beginning," in the words of J.M.Cohen,
through a series of "laments for the heroes
of the Revolution" whose spirits are trans-
ported to the magical realm of Afro-Cuban
(lucumi) mythology. The "laments" of
Padilla's Heroes, however, are not only for
the dead "of all sizes and ages-heroes sud-
denly as puzzled as clumsy, frightened chil-
dren ... heroes from remotest history and
from today, moving like leeches but so
downhearted and inept"-; the laments are
also for the "heroes" who survived to experi-
ence betrayal, disillusionment and escalat-
An oneiric quality permeates this highly
self-conscious narrative. Dreams, visions
and nightmares mingle and produce a dis-
Forrest D. Colburn teaches politics at Prince-
turbing atmosphere of claustrophobia and
political surveillance. At times the charac-
ters' actions assume an almost Gogolian
pathos whereby the logic of dream dictates
reality's perimeters. The principal character
of the novel is Julio, a translator (like Padilla)
and former supporter of the Revolution,
whose hallucinations and paranoic visions
of Fidel Castro now reflect his deep-seated
fears of the Revolution's failure and the in-
creasing danger to his individuality and
mental stability. Julio's repeated criticisms
of government policy have put him under
suspicion of "counterrevolutionary opin-
ions." Trapped by a social system he de-
tests, a job he deplores, and a marriage he
finds confining but which he cannot live
without, Julio exists in virtual isolation. His
encounters with others-male and
female-serve only to confront him with his
own frustration and alienation.
This torment from both within and with-
out gives the narrative a tone reminiscent of
the Cuban existential novel of exorcism of
an earlier decade. Indeed, there are ample
allusions to existentialists from Dos-
toyevsky to Sartre and Camus. Julio sees
foreign tourists, for example, as either Ro-
mantic automatons who view the Cuban
revolution as a form of "exoticism" or as
decadents whose attitude is a mixture of
"fatuous ingenuousness with the most ab-
ject nihilism, all under the rubric of 'under-
standing'." In either case, Julids cynicism
reveals complete frustration and a total
abandonment of hope.
Parallel to Julids incoherent existence is
Gregorio's. A writer and struggling alco-
holic, whose awareness of lost youth and
approaching death is surpassed only by his
fear of creative and sexual impotence, Gre-
gorio (as his name suggests) is a Cuban
variation of Kafka's dehumanized man. The
new political dispensation, family difficul-
ties (not unlike Gregor Samsa's in The Met-
amorphosis), and the absence of meaning-
ful relationships all have contributed to his
transformation into something less than
Padilla's narrative alternates between
these two characters (who live in adjacent
houses), consistently exploring the subtle
ways in which each has been affected over
the years by the Revolution, how each-as
an intellectual-has reacted to the forces of
history. And it is this unresolved conflict,
finally, that Padilla's Heroes Are Grazing in
My Garden is all about: whether a commu-
nist state can ever allow intellectuals and
artists freedom of creative expression which
is not subordinated to the ideology of the
The author's "Afterword" emphasizes that
under such conditions writers in particular
will be subjected always to a "ceremony of
abasement" and that the fates of the charac-
ters they produce, consequently, will be "in-
conclusive, because everything written in a
suffocating political atmosphere is in-
conclusive and fragmentary." As observers
from afar, we can only hope otherwise.
ROLAND E. BUSH
California State University
Long Beach, California
A Development Agency with a
Grassroots Development In Latin
America And The Caribbean: Oral
Histories Of Social Change, Robert
Wasserstrom. New York: Praeger
Publishers, 1985. 197 p. $11.95
Can peasant cooperatives and worker self-
managed factories survive Latin America's
economic crisis? Can development pro-
grams initiated at the local level succeed?
Yes, according to members of seven com-
munity-based organizations interviewed by
anthropologist Robert Wasserstrom. Rural
and urban projects in six countries (Bolivia,
Colombia, Ecuador, Jamaica, Mexico, and
Paraguay) are represented, ranging from a
consumer store to a women's theater. A key
element in their success is support from the
IAF (Inter-American Foundation), a devel-
opment agency with a difference.
Begun in 1969, the IAF responds to
(rather than initiates-a crucial distinction)
requests for assistance on projects chosen
and organized by local people. The goal is
"empowerment," or "helping poor people
to create viable organizations of their own:"
The author's method of reporting on these
grassroots organizations, oral history, com-
plements the IAF's "bottom-up" approach.
Wasserstrom relies on first-hand narrative,
which he skillfully selects and organizes
with a minimum of intrusion-an introduc-
tory chapter and background for each
The result is an eloquent testimony in
which there are several recurring themes.
First is the magnitude of the economic
transformation of the last 30 years in Latin
America and the Caribbean. Consequences
include frequent migration by poor people
and the vulnerability of male-female rela-
tions. Far from being "marginal," poor peo-
ple are impressive in their adaptability in
economic activities and in their commit-
ment to education for their children, in
hopes of a better future. Self-actualization
and participatory forms of organization are
emphasized, as is the commitment to in-
clude the very poor in projects.
Wasserstrom concludes that IAF support
reaches poorer people, helps them develop
skills, use resources more effectively, and
most important, make their own planning
decisions. The result is personal growth in
skills and attitudes, and social growth in
group cooperation and solidarity.
This book could be read in conjunction
with Hirschman's (1984) and Esman and
Uphoff's (1984) books on local organiza-
tions, reviewed in this journal in Spring
1985. Taken together, the three books pro-
vide an excellent, in-depth look at local-level
development, as seen by social scientists
and by participants.
Center for Latin American Studies
University of Florida, Gainesville
A Review of Urban Life in Kingston,
Jamaica. Diane J. Austin. New York:
Gordon & Breach, 1984. 282 p.
The third in a special Caribbean Studies
series, Austin's book focuses on what she
refers to as the "culture and class ideology"
of two Kingston neighborhoods. At first
glance the work might easily be dismissed
as just one more addition to a long list of
ethnographic studies on selected features
of Jamaican society carried out by one
more European outsider. The work, how-
ever, presents an interesting departure from
many of the earlier more or less "culture of
poverty"-type studies of the Jamaican
working class (e.g., the works of scholars
such as Blake, Cohen, Hartley, Goode, and
Henriques). In this work Austin makes a
credible effort at grappling with the cultural
confusions, complexities and contradic-
tions prevalent in Jamaican society; in so
doing she correctly places class rivalries
and clashes in the cultural perspective of
Jamaica's position as a neo-colonial, de-
Building on, and at the same time modi-
fying, theoretical formulations in both an-
thropology and sociology, mainstream as
well as Marxian, and drawing extensively
from the empirical studies of "on the spot"
experts like Stone, the author's central the-
sis is that "culture is always an historical
product subject to the changing needs and
aspirations of men." For her, culture is nei-
ther "grounded" nor totally reflective of
some national, "collective will or conscious-
ness" in the Durkheimian sense. Culture,
she believes, is bound up with the specific
dynamics associated with economic and
social class. And in a highly class-divided
society like Jamaica's, in which "there are
immense conflicts of interest involved in
fulfilling some needs rather than others,"
culture must be seen as "responding to dif-
ferent needs in one and the same society."
Relying on her own extensively collected
ethnographic and survey data from two rel-
atively distinct Kingston neighborhoods
(one solidly inner-city and working class,
the other near-suburban and marginally
middle class), Austin argues the existence
of two separate and diverse cultures (she
avoids referring to them as "subcultures") in
urban Jamaica; each responding in differ-
ent ways to the reality of its own structurally
imposed circumstance. For example,
among other things the "class culture" of
Kingston's working class exhibit a type of
urban gemeinschaft (shown most clearly
in patterns of mutual sharing and depen-
dence that characterize the "yard life" of ten-
ement housing), public airing of grievances
(the institutionalized "fuss"), modes of
dress which symbolize both resistance and
disaffection (such as the "tam" often worn
by Rastafarians), and distrust of the entire
political apparatus politicsics, as reggae
singer Peter Tosh likes to call it).
On the other hand, the values of the mar-
ginally middle class (referred to as the "aris-
tocracy of the working class" by Lacey)
typically emphasize privacy, diffuse social
contacts, especially those that are politically
useful, individual achievement, and a mea-
sure of reasoned trust in the abilities of
"qualified" (i.e., educated) leaders to "orga-
nize the affairs of the nation." At the same
time, however, she asserts that there is a
powerful, inescapable degree of middle
class hegemony over certain areas of the
Jamaican sociocultural order. This middle
class domination is reinforced and legiti-
mated by a dominant "class ideology" that
seeks, first and foremost, to subordinate
and undermine the cultures) of the weak
and dispossessed. The dominant middle
class ideology, for example, underscores
formal education as the essential qualifica-
tion for placing individuals in socially useful
or productive positions. It is an ideology to
which even the poor and dispossessed sub-
scribe; hence the "hegemony of middle
The analysis of this important ideological
component should make the work an im-
portant contribution to building further un-
derstanding of the peculiar social and
economic position of Jamaica's native
black petite bourgeoisie vis A vis the old
wealthy, basically white expatriate, aristoc-
racy and the newer merchant-owner class
(e.g., the Chinese, Syrians and Lebanese)
on the one hand, and the black proletar-
ianized masses on the other. It is this class
who in the absence of property has, by and
large, become not only the professional
elites, managerial and service workers, but
also leaders of the political state. To have
achieved this required a belief system-an
ideology-that emphasized education and
"qualification" over property, wealth and
skin color. It has also meant, strangely
enough, establishing a fair amount of social
distance between themselves and the poor
"uneducated" black masses, those with fun-
damentalist religion, "irreversible socializa-
tion", and an altogether dissolute culture.
If one views ideology as the projection of
specific beliefs that promote and protect
specific class interests, as Austin obviously
does, then the "ideology of education" has
become, in the contemporary Jamaican
setting, and perhaps in much of the En-
glish-speaking Caribbean, an important
middle class cultural weapon used against
both the light-skinned propertied class and
the black poor ("an educated person"
should be treated with the utmost respect
by all relevant parties). And in a society
characterized by persistent shortage of so-
cial and eocnomic goods, it is education
which places individuals in important pat-
ronage positions, notably in the political
sphere where they can regulate and control
the flow of scarce resources.
BERNARD D. HEADLEY
Northeastern Illinois University
Starting to Redistribute
Scheming for the Poor: The Politics of
Redistribution in Latin America. William
Ascher. Cambridge, Mass.: Harvard
University Press, 1984. 348 p.
William Ascher is unabashedly "can do" in
his approach to the political economy of
redistribution in Latin America, and he
comes close to assembling a cook book for
political leaders who wish to promote re-
distributive policies. Those who see the
world in terms of structural blockages, fun-
damental contradictions, and revolutionary
break-throughs will not like this book.
Ascher has little patience for what he labels
deterministss;" "... this book," he asserts,
"focuses on the policy-making process out
of a conviction that it does (emphasis in the
original) make a difference. This is not sim-
ply a fond hope; both the questionable logic
of the determinist arguments and a careful
examination of the redistributive record re-
veal that pessimism and fatalism are
What Ascher offers instead of, or at least
parallel to, determinist arguments are ele-
ments of political style, policy packaging,
timing, alliances, and dissimulation, that
can be combined in ways that successfully
bring about significant redistribution of
wealth in Latin American societies in favor
of the poor. To substantiate his assertions,
Ascher uses case materials from Argentina,
Chile and Peru. He analyses three periods
and three styles of redistribution. In chrono-
logical order they are "Authoritarian-popu-
lism" represented by the regimes of Per6n,
Odria and lbaflez; "Centrist reformism"
championed by Frei, Belaunde, and Fron-
dizi; and "Radicalism" practiced by Allende
and Velasco (Argentina has no protagonist
in the radical camp). All of these experi-
ments were redistributive in intent, and
each had to construct its own "pro-re-
distributive alliance." There was a wide
range of success and failure across these
experiments, but what, in Ascher's view,
best explains the variations is not the struc-
ture of the economy and class interests, but
rather more mundane factors of political
agility. "The virtues of forthrightness, open-
ness, ideological consistency and courage
to face attack often turn out to be liabilities
to successful redistribution. Progressive re-
distribution may be more readily effected
when regime leaders indulge in improvisa-
tion, obfuscation, and even insincere threat-
ening." It is impossible to trace out Ascher's
argument in any detail, but the flavor of it is
conveyed by his summary of the Peronist
approach which he portrays as successful.
"By manipulating wage levels through
many separate, governmentally influenced
collective bargaining agreements, rather
than by legislating broad, industry-wide
wage adjustments, Per6n's wage policy was
differentiated. That is, different rules applied
to different conditions and therefore to dif-
ferent cases. Instead of having the same
wage adjustment for all workers, imposed
directly by the government, each bargain-
ing outcome was unique. Therefore the full
weight of the industrial owners could not be
mobilized for or against a sweeping pack-
age; nor was the government held responsi-
ble for a blanket wage increase disappoint-
ing to the workers. Equally important,
industrialists in one subsector, or workers in
another, could be favored or deprived with-
out the necessity of treating all industrialists
or all workers in like fashions.
On most counts this is a useful and im-
portant book. It is clearly written, and care-
ful in its use of evidence. The author
constantly draws lessons for leaders, often
put in the form of mini-laws. ". . There is an
asymmetry between redistributive and re-
gressive policy attempts, in that the re-
distributive efforts, if they go astray, are
quickly abandoned; regressive attempts, if
they do not produce more rapid growth,
often result in conviction on the part of the
leaders that the same measures have to be
enforced with even greater vigor." Other les-
sons that Ascher draws are that the benefici-
aries of redistributive policies frequently
force their benefactors to greater, and
sometimes disastrous, efforts at redistribu-
tion and fail to support their benefactors in
times of crisis. Further, the redistributionist
cannot afford to alienate, en bloc, the mid-
dle classes. They must be lured or tricked
into cooperation with the leadership above
all to avoid "punitive disinvestment" and
capital fight. Although he does not say so, it
derives from Ascher's agrument that the
programs of Allende and Velasco were both
doomed to failure.
The weaknesses of the book lie in three
areas. The issue of macroeconomic struc-
ture should be given greater due. Ascher's
only concession to it is to note that success-
ful redistribution in dual economies may
affect only those within the modern, or what
E.VK. Fitzgerald has called the corporate,
sector. In that sense it is very hard to com-
pare Frei to Belaunde or Allende to Velasco
given the relative importance of dualism in
the Peruvian and Chilean economies. Sec-
ond, while international and multi-national
actors are occasionally included in the anal-
ysis, they are portrayed for the most part as
ancillary to the success and failure of re-
distributive efforts. This weighting goes too
far in Ascher's attempt to challenge the 'de-
terminists'. Finally, Ascher begs at least one
major question: under what circumstances
does the redistributive impulse emerge in
the first place? Did its sponsors have a more
determinist political economic understand-
ing in mind than the author?
This is a welcome book and should
provoke considerable debate. Having
shown how redistribution may start, Ascher
might now tell us how it is to be sustained
Princeton, New Jersey
Mexico: A History. Robert Ryal Miller.
Oklahoma: University of Oklahoma Press,
Norman, 1985. 414 p., plates. Hardcover
In the perennial market for introductory
texts to Mexican history, and as a service to
that elusive "general reader," we have a new
entry by Professor Miller and the University
of Oklahoma Press. This finely manufac-
tured, nicely illustrated, and reasonably
priced synthesis may well find good fortune
in even such a fickle marketplace as that
The work is intended as a summary of
past and recent research on Mexican history
for the beginning undergraduate student. It
also offers an excellent topical bibliography
of materials available in English, including
various titles only published in 1984. It gives
approximately equal space to the Pre-Co-
lumbian and Colonial periods as to the Na-
tional period, with relatively weak coverage
of present day (post-1940) Mexico. Thus,
the text will be ideally suited for those whose
interests, or course syllabus, deal exten-
sively with early Mexican history, but rather
less so for those, such as this reviewer,
whose course offerings concentrate on the
Modern or National period.
The guiding thread of the text is basically
a traditional, political narrative, spiced with
both primary documents and detailed de-
scription of social, economic, and cultural
aspects of Mexican development. Indeed,
the author has done a masterful job of weav-
ing a complex narrative around a basically
traditional skeleton of politics and diplo-
macy. This will no doubt endear him with
the often unprepared and reluctant under-
graduate readership, perhaps even relieving
the instructor of the task of much of this
narrative detail, but it does present some-
thing of a problem as well. To the extent that
the often insightful descriptions of social
and economic structure or cultural life ap-
pear to be digressions or add-ons to the
political "story line," the student will have a
very hard time evaluating any argument for
structural or non-political causation. How-
ever, this is remediable with additional read-
ing, and the descriptions offered of social,
economic, and cultural matters are quite
good, reflective of the best and most recent
scholarship in the field.
As a basic text for a Mexican survey, this
volume will find a significant readership,
although the "general" reader will no doubt
find that it neither fully explains "the myste-
ries of the temples", nor those of contempo-
rary Mexican society, and will continue to
look elsewhere. Ultimately, the work's
strong points are its synthesis of research
on Colonial and Modern Mexico through
the Revolution and its easily readable style,
in themselves a strong recommendation for
potential readers both in and out of
University of Oklahoma
Panama Odyssey.William J. Jorden.
Austin: The University of Texas Press,
1984. 746 p.
William J. Jorden, former United States am-
bassador to Panama, has written a
remarkably complete insider's view of the
1977-78 Panama Canal Treaty negotiations
and ratification process. It is indispensable
for any student of those events and makes
fascinating reading for anyone even re-
motely interested in the subject.
Panama Odyssey is an eyewitness ac-
count of the events and people which were
part of Jorden's life during that period. He
was a central figure in most of the negotia-
tions. Even where he was not, his account is
comprehensive. He has painstakingly re-
constructed the meetings, trips, negotia-
tions and the conversations by means of
extensive interviews with all of the actors in
the process, all of whom he could legit-
imately call his friends. In particular, it is
remarkable to note how the Panamanians
were willing to reveal to him their own strat-
egy and tactics in negotiations as well as
their own reactions to the negotiating posi-
tions taken by the United States.
Jorden himself had a remarkable career
in government. Formerly a correspondent
of the New York Times, he entered the Na-
tional Security staff of President Johnson
and then held non-career appointments un-
der the Nixon, Ford and Carter administra-
tions. He was appointed ambassador to
Panama in 1974 and retired in 1978,
spending most of the subsequent period
working on this book, which is the most
complete record published of that period.
Representing the best in the journalistic
tradition, Jorden researched carefully every
relevant document he could find. Despite
its breezy and sometimes novelesque style,
the 746-page length of the book may give
some readers more than they would want to
know about the Panama Canal Treaties. In
recognition of that fact, Jorden wanted to
leave his full scholarship to posterity, and he
deposited his entire collection of papers
and documents used in his research at the
Lyndon Baines Johnson Library at the Uni-
versity of Texas at Austin. He also put there
his penultimate draft, with extensive foot-
notes, which ran to some 1600 pages.
The stormy procedure of obtaining the
advice and consent of the Senate for
ratification of the Treaties is a colorful part of
Jorden's book. He records in stark detail the
most regrettable part of the Treaty process,
the acceptance, by the Carter Administra-
tion of the "DeConcini reservation" to the
Neutrality Treaty, introduced by Senator
Dennis DeConcini of Arizona. Jorden had
warned Washington that the DeConcini lan-
guage was "flatly unacceptable" to the Pan-
amanians. Nevertheless, President Carter
accepted it in a desperate move to round up
the necessary votes. Reminiscent of the in-
famous Platt Amendment, it interpreted the
Treaty as permitting the United States, even
beyond the year 2000, "... the use of mili-
tary force in Panama, to reopen the Canal or
restore the operations of the Canal, as the
case may be." Panama's strongman Omar
Torrijos nearly denounced the Treaties on
account of this move, a fact which is not
surprising even in retrospect.
A recent book by Graham Greene, Get-
ting to Know the General: The Story of an
Involvement (New York: Simon and Schus-
ter, 1984), is currently considered a "must"
for Panama buffs. Nevertheless, the portrait
of Torrijos which emerges from Jorden's
pages is even more complete, if perhaps not
Several books on the subject of the Pan-
ama Canal Treaties have been written since
their ratification, and there may be more in
the future. Jorden's book, in my opinion, is
now the definitive work and is likely to re-
AMBLER H. MOSS, JR.
University of Miami,
Once Too Many
Endless War How We Got Involved in
Central America-and What Can Be
Done About It. James Chace. New York:
Vintage Books, 1984. 144 p.
This opportunistic book was published as a
"Vintage Original." Such a designation is
doubly misleading: not only is there little
original in the book's concept, style, or con-
tent, but much of it had previously been
published in The New York Review of
Books. James Chace can do better;
Solvency-The Price of Survival showed
him to be a perceptive observer. But End-
less War feels like the social science equiv-
alent of those ghastly books that appeared
immediately after the death of Elvis Presley
or John Lennon-a cynical exploitation of
someone else's bad luck.
The book's first section reviews the con-
nections between US and Central American
history. The footnotes show how it was cob-
bled together: a reference to a standard his-
torical work, then a cluster of Ibid.'s, then
repeat. The process resembles a profes-
sional football team's march down the field.
Chace's debt to Walter LeFeber's Inevitable
Revolutions also shows up here, rather
than in the acknowledgments: more than a
third of the references are to that more use-
Part Two describes the Reagan Admin-
istration's responses to the Central Ameri-
can crisis, including the work of the
Kissinger Commission. It is primarily a re-
telling of events based on articles from the
New York Times.
The last part of Endless War mentions
Chace's 1983 trip to Central America, Cuba,
and Mexico. He writes that he "spoke with
high officials both in and out of govern-
ment." Apparently, none of them told him
anything unusual or different from what
they had been telling everyone else. The
Mexicans are worried about Nicaragua; they
want peace on their southern border. The
Cubans insist they have cut back military
aid to Salvadoran rebels; they see power-
sharing as a solution. Unfortunately,
Chace's own suggested solutions, while ad-
mirable, are no more original: demilitarize,
warn the Russians not to take advantage by
putting in nuclear weapons, solve the debt
crisis by interest payment postponement
and trade agreements, deal with the root
causes of poverty and revolution.
Most academics and journalists write
pulled-together pieces like Endless War oc-
casionally, usually under the pressure of
time. Some writers, notably James Fallows
and John McPhee, have even raised the pro-
cess of soaking up a subject and sharing it
to something like an art. But Endless War
is not artful. All its seams and joints show. If
James Chace had not been a cozy insider of
the New York publishing establishment (for-
mer managing editor of Foreign Affairs, an
editor of The New York Times Book Re-
view) he most certainly would not have
been able to sell this material once, much
ALEXANDER H. MCINTIRE, JR.
University of Miami
What Price Equity? A Macroeconomic
Evaluation of Government Policies in
Costa Rica. Fuat M. Andic. Caribbean
Occasional Series No. 4. Institute of
Caribbean Studies, Rio Piedras: University
of Puerto Rico, 1983. 70 p.
This book, which is a result of an AID mis-
sion report, is divided into two parts: the first
dealing with the development of the Costa
Rican economy, and the second with a criti-
cal evaluation of government development
The social and economic performance of
Costa Rica is given for the last two decades.
The achievements of this economy, in terms
of growth, employment, productivity, sta-
bility, and equity, in a democratic setting,
were at first outstanding for a less devel-
oped country. But now Costa Rica is in a
state of economic crisis: the growth rate is
negative, many sectors are sagging, and
some signs of inefficiency are evident.
Some of these negative trends are the result
of cyclical fluctuations, but others, accord-
ing to Andic, are precisely the result of pub-
lic policies. After analyzing Costa Rican
government development policies and in-
stitutions, Andic reaches the conclusion
that "the economy suffers from serious inef-
ficiencies which are now beginning to
hamper the development efforts and erod-
IRMA T DE ALONSO
Florida International University
44/CAPBBEAN FEV IEW
On the Region and Its Peoples
Compiled by Marian Goslinga
Anthropology and Sociology
Animal Myths and Metaphors in South
America. Gary Urton, ed. University of Utah
Press, 1985. 288 p. $17.50.
Art, Knowledge and Health: Development and
Assessment of a Collaborative Auto-Financed
Organization in Eastern Ecuador. Dorothea S.
Whitten, Norman E. Whitten Jr., Cambridge,
Mass.: Cultural Survival, 1985. 126 p. $25.00.
Bondmen and Rebels: A Study of Master-
Slave Relations in Antigua with Implications
for Colonial British America. David B. Gaspar.
Johns Hopkins University Press, 1985.
352 p. $35.00.
Breaking Faith. Humberto Belli. Westchester,
Ill.: Good News Publications, 1985. 176 p.
$6.95. [About religion in Latin America]
Caribbean Life in New York City: Sociocultural
Dimensions. Constance R. Sutton, Elsa M.
Chaney. Staten Island, N.Y: Center for Migration
Studies, 1985. 250 p. $14.95; $12.95 paper.
The Chicano Experience: An Alternative
Perspective. Alfredo Mirande. University of
Notre Dame Press, 1985. 272 p. $19.95.
Les chichimeques: archeologie et etnohistoire
des chasseurs-collecteurs du San Luis Potosi,
Mexique. Francois Rodriguez Loubet. Mexico:
Centre d'Etudes Mexicaines et Centrameri-
caines, 1985. 239 p.
Church and State in the Social Content of
Latin America. Alberto Espada-Matta. Vantage
Press, 1985. $7.50.
Colonial Indian Education in the Andes: The
Transplanting of a Culture. Robert D. Wood.
Culver City, Calif.: Labyrinthos, 1985. 150 p.
Los comuneros: guerra social y lucha anti-
colonial Mario Aguilera Pefia. Universidad
Nacional de Colombia, 1985. 277 p.
Cuba: Twenty-Five Years of Revolution,
1959-1984. Sandor Halebsky, John M. Kirk,
eds. Praeger, 1985. 480 p. $16.95.
Cultura brasileira e identidade national. Renato
Ortiz. Sao Paulo: Brasiliense, 1985. 148 p.
Cultura urbana latinoamericana. Angel Rama,
et al. Richard Morse, Jorge Enrique Hardoy,
eds. Buenos Aires: Consejo Latinamericano de
Cencias Sociales, CLACSO, 1985. 264 p.
Marian Goslinga is the Latin American and
Caribbean Librarian at Florida International
The Disappeared and the Mothers of the
Plaza: The Story of the 11,000 Argentinians
Who Vanished. John Simpson, Jana Bennett.
St. Martin's Press, 1985. 416 p. $17.95.
La educaci6n superior de la mujer en Mexico,
1876-1940. Luz Elena Galvan de Terrazas.
Mexico: Centro de Investigaciones y Estudios
Superiores en Antropologia, CIESAS, 1985.
Folk Literature of the Chorote Indians.
Johannes Wilbert, Karin Simoneau, eds. Los
Angeles: Latin American Center, University of
California, 1985. 288 p. $25.00.
From Slavery to Vagrancy in Brazil: Crime and
Social Control in the Third World. Martha
Knisely Huggins. Rutgers University Press,
1985. 183 p. $25.00.
Haiti. Ruth Simmons. American Association of
Collegiate Registrars and Admission Officers,
1985. 108 p.
Handbook of Latin American Popular Culture.
Harold E. Hinds, Jr., Charles M. Tatum, eds.
Greenwood Press, 1985. 320 p. $45.00.
Hist6ria da music brasileira. Renato Almeida.
Brooklyn: Revisionist Press, 1985. $79.50.
[Reprint of the 1926 ed.]
La inmigraci6n italiana en la Argentina.
Fernando Devoto, Gianfausto Rosoli, eds.
Buenos Aires: Editorial Biblos, 1985. 270 p.
The Jade Steps: A Ritual Life of the Aztecs.
Burr Cartwright Brundage. University of Utah
Press, 1985. 256 p. $22.50.
Latino Ethnic Consciousness: The Case of
Mexican Americans and Puerto Ricans in
Chicago. Felix M. Padilla. University of Notre
Dame Press, 1985. 208 p. $22.95.
La lucha por la salud en Cuba. Leopoldo
Arbujo Bernal, Jose Llorens Figueroa, eds.
Mexico: Siglo XXI Editores, 1985. 382 p.
Mexican-Americans in Comparative
Perspective. Walker Connor, ed. Washington
D.C.: Urban Institute Press, 1985. 400 p.
Musique aux Antilles. Maurice Jallier, Yollen
Jossen. Paris: Editions Caribeennes, 1985. 170
Los nifhos de la frontera: ;Lespejismos de una
nueva generaci6n? Margarita Nolasco, Maria
Luisa Acevedo. Mexico: Editorial Oceano, 1985.
183 p. [About the U.S.-Mexico border region]
Outlaws in the Promised Land: Mexican
Immigrant Workers and America's Future.
James D. Cockcroft. Grove Press, 1985. 288 p.
$27.50; $8.95 paper.
Reflexiones sobre la crisis educativa
panamefia. Virgilio Ara(z. Panama: Imp. Sigio
XXI, 1985. 108 p. $11.00.
Sanctuary: A Resource Guide for
Understanding and Participating in the Central
American Refugees' Struggle. Gary MacEoin,
ed. Harper & Row, 1985. 224 p. $7.95 [Papers
from the Inter-American Symposium on
Sanctuary, held in Tucson, Ariz., Jan. 23-24,
El sincretismo iberoamericano: un studio
comparative sobre los quechuas (Cuzco), los
mayas (Chiapas) y los africanos (Bahia).
Manuel M. Marzal. Pontificia Universidad
Cat6lica del Peru, 1985. 237 p.
Les soeurs de solitude: la condition feminine
dans I'esclavage aux Antilles du XVII e au XIXe
siecle. Arlette Gautier. Paris: Editions Cari-
beennes, 1985. 284 p. 128E
Tsewa's Gift: Magic and Meaning in an
Amazonian Society. Michael F. Brown.
Smithsonian Institution Press, 1985.
192 p. $19.95.
Umbanda: Religion and Politics in Urban
Brazil. Diana D. Brown. Ann Arbor, Mich.: UMI
Research Press, 1985.
When Women Rebel: The Rise of Popular
Feminism in Peru. Carol Andreas. Westport,
Conn.: L. Hill, 1985. 320 p. $19.95;
Women in Argentina. Marifran Carlson.
Academy Chicago Publishers, 1985. $14.95;
Contra toda esperanza: un testimonio de la
realidad de las carceles de Castro. Armando
Valladares. Barcelona: Plaza & Janes, 1985.
Daniel Cosio Villegas: imprenta y vida p6blica.
Gabriel Zaid, ed. Mexico: Fondo de Cultura
Econ6mica, 1985. 181 p.
Jesus Silva Herzog. Manuel Aguilera. Mexico:
Terra Nova, 1985. 143 p.
Joao Manuel de Lima e Silva: o general
farroupiliha. Enrique 0. Wiederspahn. Porto
Alegre, Brazil: Escola Superior de Teologia Sao
Lourengo de Brindes, 1985. 142 p.
Memorias de campahia. Francisco L. Urquizo.
Mexico: Secretaria de Educaci6n Publica, 1985.
[Autobiography with inside facts on the
Description and Travel
El Salvador: Beauty among the Ashes. Faith
Adams. Minneapolis: Dillon Press, 1985.
144 p. $10.95.
Guide to Jamaica. Harry S. Pariser. Chico,
Calif.: Moon Publications, 1985. 175 p. $6.95.
Haiti. Hildebrand Staff. New York: Hippocrene
Books, 1985. 160 p. $8.95.
St. Vincent and the Grenadines, Bequia,
Mustique, Canovan, Mayreau, Tobago Cays,
Palm Union, PSV: A Plural Country. Jill
Bobrow (author), Dana Jinkins (photographer).
Stockbridge, Mass.: Concepts Pub.,
So Far from God: A Journey to Central
America. Patrick Marnham. Viking, 1985.
253 p. $17.95.
Le volcanisme en Martinique: la montagne
Pelee. Helene Pascaline, Jean Jacques Jeremie.
Fort-de-France, Martinique: Universite Antilles-
Guyane, 1985. 35F.
The Voyage of the "Water-Witch": A Scientific
Expedition to Paraguay and the La Plata
Region, 1853-1856. Robert D. Wood. Culver
City, Calif.: Labyrinthos, 1985. 114 p. $10.00.
White River, Brown Water: A Record-Making
Kayak Journey Down the Amazon. Alan
Holman. London: Hodder & Stoughton, 1985.
192 p. $10.95.
Who is the River?: Getting Lost and Found in
the Amazon and Other Places. Paul Zalis.
Atheneum, 1985. 336 p. $15.95.
Un yucateco en Cuba socialist: morrocotuda
historic de un viaje. Alberto Cervera Espejo.
Merida: Maldonado Ediciones, 1985. 82 p.
America Latina y el proteccionismo
norteamericano. M. Rodriguez Mendoza, et al.
Buenos Aires: Grupo Editor Latinoamericano,
1985. 87 p.
Bourbons and Brandy: Imperial Reform in
Eighteenth-Century Arequipa. Kendall W
Brown. University of New Mexico Press, 1985.
320 p. $29.95.
Brazil: Medium-Term Policy Analysis. Kenneth
Meyers, F Desmond McCarthy. World Bank,
1985. 122 p. $5.00.
Chile: Experiment in Democracy. Sergio Bitar.
Institute for the Study of Human Issues, 1985.
350 p. $33.00.
Cuba: el movimiento obrero y su retorno
socio-politico, 1865-1983. Rodolfo Riesgo.
Miami, Fla.: Saeta Ediciones, 1985.
251 p. $15.00.
Debt and Development in Latin America.
Kwan S. Kim, David F Ruccio, eds. University
of Notre Dame Press, 1985. 256 p. $24.95.
Derecho laboral hondurefio: los sindicatos y la
contrataci6n colectiva. Arnaldo Villanueva
Chinchilla. Tegucigalpa: Editorial Baktun, 1985.
Dominican Republic: Economic Prospects and
Policies to Renew Growth. World Bank. The
Bank, 1985. 174 p. $10.00.
Economia e sociedade no Rio Grande do Sul,
seculo XVIII. Corcino Medeiros dos Santos.
Sao Paulo: Companhia EditSra Nacional, 1985.
Economic Policymaking in Mexico: Factors
Underlying the 1982 Crisis. Robert E. Looney.
Duke University Press, 1985. 309 p. $37.50.
Energy Efficiency and Conservation in Mexico:
Perspectives on Efficiency and Conservation
Policies. Oscar Guzmhn, Antonio Yfilez-
Naude, Miguel S. Wionczek, eds. Westview
Press, 1985. 330 p. $28.00.
External Debt and Development Strategy in
Latin America. Antonio Jorge, Jorge Salazar-
Carrillo, Frank Diaz-Pou. Pergamon Press,
1985. 268 p. $39.00.
Factories and Food Stamps: The Puerto Rico
Model of Development. Richard Weiskoff. Johns
Hopkins University Press, 1985. 240 p. $25.00.
Latin America: Capitalist and Socialist
Perspectives of Development and
Underdevelopment. Ronald H. Chilcote, Joel C.
Edelstein. Westview Press, 1985. 250 p. $32.00;
Latin America, Economic Imperialism and the
State: The Political Economy of the External
Connection from Independence to the Present.
Christopher Abel, Colin M. Lewis, eds. London:
Athlone Press, 1985. 540 p. $52.00.
A New Earth: The Jamaican Sugar Workers'
Cooperatives, 1975-1981. Monica Frolander-
Ulf, Frank Lindenfeld. University Press of
America, 1985. 240 p. $24.50; $12.50 paper.
The 1982 Cuban Joint Venture Law: Context,
Assessment, and Prospects. Jorge E. Perez-
L6pez. Institute of International Studies,
University of Miami, 1985. 93 p. $7.00.
La organizaci6n cooperative en Costa Rica.
Hernan Mora Corrales. San Jose, Costa Rica:
Editorial Universidad Estatal a Distancia, 1985.
Origins of Church Wealth in Mexico:
Ecclesiastical Revenues and Church Finances,
1523-1600. John Frederick Schwaller.
University of New Mexico Press, 1985. 256 p.
Panama: Structural Change and Growth
Prospects. World Bank. The Bank, 1985.
384 p. $20.00.
The Peruvian Mining Industry: Growth,
Stagnation, and Crisis. Elizabeth Dore.
Westview Press, 1985. 195 p. $21.00.
Plantation Agriculture and Social Control in
Northern Peru, 1875-1933. Michael J.
Gonzales. University of Texas Press, 1985.
251 p. $25.00.
The Political Economy of Argentina,
1880-1946. Guido di Tella, D. C. M. Platt, eds.
St. Martin's Press, 1985. 256 p. $30.00.
Politics and Economics of External Debt
Crisis: The Latin American Experience. Miguel
S. Wionczek, Luciano Tomassini, eds. Westview
Press, 1985. 482 p. $37.50.
La productividad y el desarrollo industrial en
Mexico. Enrique Hernandez Laos. Mexico:
Fondo de Cultura Econ6mica, 1985. 448 p.
Provincial Patriarchs: Land Tenure and the
Economics of Power in Colonial Peru. Susan E.
RamireL University of New Mexico Press, 1985.
512 p. $37.50.
Rural Development in the Caribbean: Selected
Essays. P 1. Gomes, ed. St. Martin's Press,
1985. 272 p. $32.50; $14.95 paper.
The Search for Public Policy: Regional Politics
and Government Finances in Ecuador,
1830-1940. Linda Alexander Rodriguez.
University of California Press, 1985. 281 p.
Sobre la deuda externa impagable de America
Latina: sus consecuencias imprevisibles y
otros. Fidel Castro. Buenos Aires: Nueva
Latinoamerica, 1985. 132 p. [Based on
interview Feb. 13, 1985]
Trade and Foreign Direct Investment in Data
Services. Karl P Sauvant. Westview Press,
1985. 244 p. $23.50.
A Tumpline Economy: Production and
Distribution Systems in Sixteenth-Century
Eastern Guatemala. Lawrence H. Feldman.
Culver City, Calif.: Labyrinthos, 1985.
152 p. $20.00.
Underdevelopment Is a State of Mind: The
Latin American Case. Lawrence E. Harrison.
University Press of America, 1985.
210 p. $17.95.
History and Archaeology
Ancient Mexico: An Overview. Jaime Litvak
King. University of New Mexico Press, 1985.
128 p. $12.95; $6.95 paper.
Apuntes de historic cultural del Paraguay.
Efraim Cardozo. 2d ed. Asunci6n, Paraguay:
Universidad Cat6olica, 1985. 377 p.
The Assassination of Gaithn: Public Life and
Urban Violence in Colombia. Herbert Braun.
University of Wisconsin Press, 1985. $32.50.
46/CAnIBBEAN FEVi E
Atlantic Empires of France and Spain:
Louisbourg and Havana, 1700-1763. John
Robert McNeill. University of North Carolina
Press, 1985. $32.00.
Chucherias de la historic de Yucatan. Juan
Francisco Pe6n Ancona. Merida: Maldonado
Editores, 1985. 134 p.
Compendio de historic uruguaya, 1800-1985.
Ricardo Rocha Imaz, Roberto Varesi, Dante
Pizzirusso Lofiego. Montevideo: Ediciones
Blancas, 1985. 92 p.
Contribuci6n a la historic political de
Colombia. Libardo Gonzlez. Bogota: Editorial
La Carreta, 1985. 272 p.
Las corrientes ideol6gicas en la historic
argentina. Marcos Merchensky. Buenos Aires:
Hachette, 1985. 323 p.
Cuba: From Columbus To Castro. Jaime
Suchlicki. 2d, rev., ed. Pergamon Press, 1985.
260 p. $19.95; $12.95 paper.
Excavations at Tiahuanaco and Elsewhere in
Bolivia. Wendell C. Bennett. Garland Pub. Co.,
1985. 360 p. $62.00. [Reprint of the 1934 ed.]
Haiti: Family Business. Rod Prince. London:
Latin American Bureau, 1985. 96 p. E 3.50.
Histoire de l'expedition des franCais a Saint
Domingue. Antoine M. T Metral. Paris:
Karthala, 1985. 348 p. 89F. [Reprint of the
Historia del Paraguay: 6poca colonial. Luis G.
Benitez. Asunci6n, Paraguay- Comuneros,
1985. 263 p.
Hist6ria e historiografia: Brasil pbs-64. Jose
Roberto do Amaral Lapa. Rio de Janeiro: Paz e
Terra, 1985. 119 p.
History of the Conquest of Mexico. William H.
Prescott. Abridged ed. University of Chicago
Press, 1985. $18.00.
Honduras: State For Sale. Richard Lapper.
Monthly Review Press, 1985. 128 p. $8.00.
Juan Manuel de Rosas y la historic del Rio de
la Plata, 1815-1852. Gonzalo Aguirre
Ramirez. Montevideo: Editorial de la Plaza,
1985. 365 p.
Latin America in the Twentieth Century. John
Griffiths. No. Pomfret, Vt.: David & Charles,
1985. 72 p. $14.95.
Mural Painting in Ancient Peru. Duccio
Bonavia; Patricia J. Lyon, trans. Indiana
University Press, 1985. 208 p. $57.50.
[Translation of Ricchata quellcanil
The Murals of Bonampak. Mary Ellen Miller.
Princeton University Press, 1985. 248 p.
The Nicaraguan Revolution: Ideas in Conflict.
Gary E. McCuen, ed. Hudson, Wis.: G. E.
McCuen Publications, 1985. 136 p. $10.95.
Significado hist6rico del gobierno del Dr.
Ram6n Villeda Morales. Stefania Natalini de
Castro, Maria de los Angeles Mendoza Saborio,
Joaquin Pagan Sol6rzano. Tegucigalpa:
Editorial Universitaria, 1985. 220 p. [About
Language and Literature
Antologia de la modern poesia venezolana.
Otto d'Sola. Caracas: Monte Avila Editores,
1985. 2 vols. Bs.90.00. [Reprint of the
Cantares mexicanos: Songs of the Aztecs.
John Bierhorst, ed. and trans. Stanford
University Press, 1985. $48.50. [Aztec and
O carter social da ficcao no BrasiL Fabio
Lucas. Sao Paulo: Editbra Atica, 1985. 80 p.
Critical Analysis of Valle Inclan's 'Ruedo
iberico'. Linda S. Glaze. Miami: Ediciones
Universal, 1985. 206 p. $12.95.
Critical Perspectives on Gabriel Garcia
Marquez. Nora Vera, Bradley Shaw, eds. Society
of Spanish and Spanish-American Studies,
Dept. of Modern Languages, University of
Nebraska-Lincoln, 1985. 220 p. $20.00.
Cultural Policy in Cuba: Partial Proceedings
from the Third Congress of the Union of
Writers and Artists of Cuba. Armando H.
Davalos, et al. Minneapolis: Shadow Press,
1985. 48 p. $2.50.
Hispanic Feminist Poems from the Middle
Ages to the Present Angel Flores, Kate Flores,
eds. Feminist Press at the City University of
New York, 1985. $24.95; $9.95 paper.
Ideologia y ficcibn en la obra de Luis Spota.
Sara Sefchovich. Mexico: Editorial Grijalbo,
1985. 308 p.
Literature chicana: Creative and Critical
Writings Through 1984. Roberto G. Trujillo,
Andres Rodriguez. Oakland, Calif.: Floricanto
Press, 1985. 95 p. $23.00.
A Nation of Poets: Nicaraguan Poetry. Kent
Johnson, trans. Los Angeles: West End Press,
1985. 160 p. $5.95.
Once novelistas latinoamericanos. Manuel
Antonio Arango L. Bogota: C. Valencia
Editores, 1985. 180 p.
Realismo mgico y concienc miticamitica en
America Latina: textos y contextos. Graciela
N. Ricci Della Grisa. Buenos Aires: Garcia
Cambeiro, 1985. 219 p.
Sociedad y tipos en las novelas de Ramon
Meza y Suarez Inclan. Manuel A. Gonzalez
Freixas. Miami: Ediciones Universal, 1985.
184 p. $12.95.
La tematica narrative de Severo Sarduy. Jose
Sanchez-Boudy. Miami: Ediciones Universal,
1985. 103 p. $10.00.
Tempos da literature brasileira. Benjamin
Abdala Junior, Samira Youssef Campedelli. Sao
Paulo: Editora Atica, 1985. 304 p.
Vocabulario congo: el banth que se habla en
Cuba. Lydia Cabrera. Miami: Ediciones
Universal, 1985. 164 p. $15.00.
Woman as Myth and Metaphor in Latin
American Literature. Carmelo Virgilio, Naomi
E. Lindstrom. University of Missouri Press,
1985. 192 p. $20.00.
Politics and Government
La Argentina electoral Natalio R. Botana, Luis
Gonzalez Esteves, et al. Buenos Aires: Editorial
Sudamericana, 1985. 160 p.
Big Red Diary 1986: Nicaragua. Nicaraguan
Solidarity Campaign, ed. Dover, N.H.:
Longwood Publishing Group, 1985. 128 p.
Bitter Grounds: Roots of Revolt in El Salvador.,
Liisa North. Rev. ed. Westport, Conn.: L. Hill,
Central America and the Western Alliance.
Joseph Cirincione, et al., eds. Holmes & Meier,
1985. 238 p. $26.50.
Central America and United States Pqlicies,
1820s-1980s: A Guide to Issues and
References. Thomas M. Leonard. Claremont,
Calif.: Regina Books, 1985. 133 p. $17.95;
Centroamerica: conflict y democracia. Jaime
Darenblum, Eduardo Ulibarri. San Jose, Costa
Rica: Libro Libre, 1985. 206 p.
Crisis del bipartidismo y mitos del sistema en
Colombia. Nodier Botero Jimenez. Bogota:
Ediciones Lerner, 1985. 323 p.
The Democratic Mask: The Consolidation of
the Sandinista Revolution. Douglas W. Payne.
New York. Freedom House, 1985. 100 p.
Democratizacibn via reform: la expansion del
sufragio en Chile. J. Samuel Valenzuela.
Buenos Aires: Instituto de Desarrollo
Econ6mico y Social, ILDES, 1985. 150 p.
Diplomatic Claims: Latin American Historians
View the United States. Warren Dean, ed. and
trans. University Press of America, 1985. 330 p.
$26.50; $14.50 paper.
El studio de las relaciones internacionales en
America Latina y el Caribe. Ruben M. Perina,
ed. Buenos Aires: Grupo Editor Latinoamer-
icano, 1985. 223 p.
Guatemala: revoluci6n de octubre. Tomas
Herrera Calix. San Jose, Costa Rica: Editorial
Universitaria Centroamericana, EDUCA, 1985.
Guyana: Politics and Development in an
Emergent Socialist State. Kempe Ronald
Hope. Oakville, Canada: Mosaic Press, 1985.
180 p. $19.95; $12.95 paper.
0 Hacia d6nde va Costa Rica?: 56 preguntas y
respuestas sobre la crisis. Miguel Gutierrez
Saxe, et al. San Jose, Costa Rica: Editorial
Porvenir, 1985. 158 p.
Historia de los municipios de Cuba. Joaquin
Freyre. Miami: Moderna Press, 1985.
638 p. $25.00.
Historia del trotskismo argentino,
1929-1960. Osvaldo Coggiola. Buenos Aires:
Centro Editor de America Latina, 1985. 159 p.
Honduras: Portrait of a Captive Nation. Nancy
Peckenham, Annie Street, eds. Praeger, 1985.
336 p. $36.95.
La infiltraci6n comunista en los partidos
politicos paraguayos. Leandro Prieto Yegros.
Asunci6n, Paraguay. Cuadernos Republicanos,
1985. 521 p.
Jamaica Under Manley: Dilemmas of
Socialism and Democracy. Michael Kaufman.
Westport, Conn.: L. Hill, 1985. $19.95;
Latin American Democracies: Colombia,
Costa Rica, Venezuela. John A. Peeler.
University of North Carolina Press, 1985. 193 p.
Military Rule in Chile: Dictatorship and
Oppositions. J. Samuel Valenzuela, Arturo
Valenzuela. Johns Hopkins University Press,
1985. 352 p. $35.00.
National Marxism in Latin America: Jose
Carlos Mariategui's Thought and Politics.
Harry E. Vanden. Boulder, Colo.: L. Rienner,
1985. 215 p. $20.00.
Nicaragua: revolucibn y demografia. Jose Luis
Coraggio. Mexico: Editorial Linea, 1985.
Nicaragua: The People Speak. Alvin Levie.
South Hadley, Mass.: Bergin & Garvey, 1985.
224 p. $25.95; $10.95 paper. [Interviews]
Opciones political peruanas 1985. Eugenio
Chang-Rodriguez. Lima: Centro de Documen-
taci6n Andina, 1985. 466 p.
Political Power in Ecuador. Osvaldo Hurtado;
Nick D. Mills Jr., trans. 2d ed. Westview Press,
1985. 432 p. $28.00. [Translation of El poder
politico en el Ecuador]
Politics in the Semi-Periphery: Early
Parliamentarism and Late Industrialization in
the Balkans and Latin America. Nicos P
Mouzelis. St. Martin's Press, 1985. 320 p.
Problems of Succession in Cuba. Jaime
Suchlicki, ed. Institute of International Studies:
University of Miami: 1985. 105 p. $10.95.
Rafael Nfilez and the Politics of Colombian
Regionalism, 1863-1886. James W. Park.
Louisiana State University Press, 1985. 336 p.
Realidade brasileira: visao humanizadora.
Lauricio Neumann, Oswaldo Dalpiaz.
Petr6polis, Brazil: Vozes, 1985. 156 p.
The Rise and Fall of the Chilean Christian
Democracy. Michael Fleet. Princeton University
Press, 1985. 274 p. $35.00.
The Sandino Affair. Neill Macaulay. Duke
University Press, 1985. 320 p. $12.50. [Reprint
of the 1967 ed.]
State and Opposition in Military Brazil. Maria
Helena Moreira Alves. University of Texas Press,
1985. 268 p. $22.50.
Transicibn a la democracia en America Latina.
Pilar Armanet, et al.; Francisco Orrego Vicuia,
ed. Buenos Aires: Grupo Editor Latinoamer-
icano, 1985. 240 p.
The United States and Mexico. Josefina Z.
Vizquez, Lorenzo Meyer. University of Chicago
Press, 1985. 204 p. $29.00.
U.S. Foreign Policy in the Caribbean, Cuba,
and Central America. James N. Cortada,
James W. Cortada. Praeger, 1985.
251 p. $35.95.
Bibliografia de la literature uruguaya. Thomas
L. Welch, ed. General Secretariat, Organization
of American States, 1985. 502 p. $35.00.
Bibliografia del teatro hispanoamericano
contemporaneo, 1900-1980. Fernando de
Toro, Peter Roster. Frankfurt: K.D. Vervuert,
1985. 2 vols. 718 p. $48.00.
Bibliografia sobre financiamiento y
endeudamiento externo de los paises en
desarrollo, con especial 6nfasis en America
Latina. Asociaci6n Latinoamer-
icana de Instituciones Financieras de
Desarrollo. Lima: ALIDE, 1985. 107 p.
Bibliography of Commissions of Enquiry and
Other Government-Sponsored Reports on the
Commonwealth Caribbean, 1900-1975.
Audrey Joyce Roberts. Madison, Wis.: Seminar
on the Acquisition of Latin American Library
Materials, SALALM, 1985. 89 p.
Brazil: A Handbook of Historical Statistics.
Armin K. Ludwig. G. K. Hall, 1985.
430 p. $75.00.
The Central American Fact Book. Tom Barry,
Deb Preusch. Grove Press, 1985. 288 p.
$27.50; $8.95 paper.
Chicano Periodical Index: A Comprehensive
Subject, Author, and Title Index for 1982-83.
Chicano Periodical Indexing Project, et al., eds.
Chicano Studies Library, University of
California, 1985. 660 p. $75.00.
Diccionario de antropologia meso-americana.
Cesar Macazaga Ordofio. Mexico: Editorial
Innovaci6n, 1985. 2 vols. 503 p.
Index to Spanish American Collective
Biography: The River Plate Countries. Sara de
Mundo Lo. G. K. Hall, 1985. 400 p. $90.00.
Latin American Music: An Annotated
Bibliography of Reference Sources and
Research Materials. Malena Kuss. Garland Pub.
Co., 1985. 300 p. $40.00.
Latin American Society and Legal Culture: A
Bibliography. Frederick E. Snyder, ed.
Greenwood Press, 1985. $37.50.
Petroleum in Venezuela: A Bibliography.
William M. Sullivan, Brian S. McBeth. G. K.
Hall, 1985. 550 p. $75.00.
Universities in the Caribbean Region:
Struggles to Democratize: An Annotated
Bibliography. Barbara Ashton Waggoner,
George R. Waggoner. G. K. Hall, 1985.
450 p. $55.00.
MAYO/JUNIO 1985 NO 77
Director: Alberto Koschuetzke
Jefe de Redacci6n: Daniel Gonzdlez V.
ANALYSIS DE COYUNTURA: Omar
Luis Colmenares: CEE: Los Allados
Proscritos; Andres Serbin: Cuba: Entre
la Ideologia y el Pragmatismo; Juan Car-
los Puig: Malvinas: Tres Anos Despues.
TEMA CENTRAL: INSTITUCIONES
PARA LA DEMOCRACIA: Alfredo
Vsquez Carrizoa: Democracia Nominal
y Democracia Real. El Problema de las
Elbertades en America Latina; Luia Bus-
tamante Belaunde: Explorando el Parla-
mento en el Perul; Manuel Gaggero P6-
rez: Continuidad y Ruptura. La Legall-
dad Revolucionaria: Aristides Torres:
Fe y Desencanto Democratico en Ve-
nezuela; Fernando Cepeda Ulloa: Po-
der Judicial y Estabilidad Democratica;
Jorge Nufiez: Teoria y Practica de la
Pugna de Poderes; Rafael de Is Cruz:
Encuentros y Desencuentros con la De-
mocracia. Los Nuevos Movimientos So-
ciales: Humberto Nogueira Alcala: El
Presidencialismo en la Practica Politica.
"POSICIONES: Reorientar, Reconstruir,
Renovar el Proyecto del MAS.
Willy Brandt: Cooperacion en un Mundo
de Tensions; Sergio Bitar: America La-
tina-Europa: 4Conflicto o Colabora-
cion?; Francisco Iturraspe: IManos a la
Obra! Sindicatos Nacionales por Rama
de Actividad; Carmen Rosa Balbi: 4Huel-
ga o Participacion? Nuevas Formas de
Lucha Sindical; Ernesto F. Villanueva:
Peronismo: Entre sla Esperanza y sla Dis-
gregacion; Carina Perelli Juan Rial: El
Discrete Encanto de la Socialdemocra-
SUSCRIPCIONES ANNUAL BIENAL
(Induido flf a*no) (8 nmus.) (12 ndm-.)
America Latina US$ 20 US$ 35
Resto del Mundo US$ 30 US$ 50
Venezuela Ba. 150 Ba. 250
PAGOS: Cheque en dolares a nombre de
Direcci6n: Apartado 61.712-Chacao, Ca-
racas 1060-A. Venezuela.
Rogamos no efectuar transferencias ban-
carlas para cancelar suscralpciones.
Florida International University
Southeast Florida's Four-Year State University
Florida International University (FIU)-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. It offers
courses and programs at three locations: Tamiami Campus in
Southwest Dade County, Bay Vista Campus in North Miami
and the Broward Center, on the Central Campus of Broward
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.
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 sci-
ences, and a wide range of professional programs, earning
degrees and/or certificates. Of special international interest
are the Graduate Program In International Studies, a multi-
disciplinary curriculum leading to the Master of Arts degree
[contact: Director, Graduate Program in International Studies,
(305) 554-2248] and a program in International Economic
Development, offered as part of the Master of Arts in
Economics [contact: Chairperson, Department of Economics,
(305) 554-2316]. A Master of International Business provides
basic management tools and familiarity with the international
environment [contact: Director, Master of International Busi-
ness, (305) 940-5870].
Several professional programs provide academic and ap-
plied courses in fields applicable to an international focus. The
School of Nursing's program leads to the Bachelor of Science
and prepares its graduates to practice professional nursing in
a multicultural and changing society [contact: School of
Nursing, (305) 940-5915]. The School of Public Affairs and
Services offers undergraduate and graduate degrees in Crimi-
nal Justice, Health Services Administration, Public
Administration and Social Work emphasizing needs, issues
and alternatives in rapidly changing urban societies [contact:
School of Public Affairs and Services, (305) 940-5840].
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, supports research and sponsors
public activities on Latin America and the Caribbean [contact:
Director, Latin American and Caribbean Center, (305)
A certificate in International Bank Management provides
training in international banking policy, practice and tech-
niques [contact: Business Counseling Office, (305) 554-2781].
The International Banking Center cooperates with banks and
businesses in Miami to support research and sponsor seminars
on international banking topics [contact: International Banking
Center (305) 554-2771].
The International affairs 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 English Language Institute conducts a writing labora-
tory for individualized instruction, provides diagnostic testing
of oral and written English language proficiency, and operates
the intensive English program, a four-month course of instruc-
tion in reading, conversation, grammar, composition, TOEFL
preparation and business English [contact: Director, English
Language Institute, (305) 554-2222].
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 assist-
ing nations of the Americas with economic and social
development. 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. The institute conducts
seminars and publishes resulting materials.
Florida International University
Bay Vista Campus
North Miami, Florida 33181
Miami, Florida 33199
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