Front Cover
 Table of Contents
 Front Matter
 Back Cover


Caribbean Review
Full Citation
Permanent Link: http://ufdc.ufl.edu/UF00095576/00056
 Material Information
Title: Caribbean Review
Physical Description: Serial
Language: English
Creator: Latin American and Caribbean Center, Florida International University
Publisher: Latin American and Caribbean Center, Florida International University
Place of Publication: Miami, FL
Publication Date: 1981
Copyright Date: 1980
Genre: serial   ( sobekcm )
 Record Information
Source Institution: FIU: Special Collections
Holding Location: FIU: Special Collections
Rights Management: All rights reserved by the source institution and holding location.
Resource Identifier: oclc - 1553369
System ID: UF00095576:00056

Table of Contents
    Front Cover
        Front Cover 1
        Front Cover 2
    Table of Contents
        Page 1
    Front Matter
        Page 2
        Page 3
        Page 4
        Page 5
        Page 6
        Page 7
        Page 8
        Page 9
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        Page 15
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        Page 24
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        Page 28
        Page 29
        Page 30
        Page 31
        Page 32
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        Page 34
        Page 35
        Page 36
        Page 37
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    Back Cover
        Back Cover 1
        Back Cover 2
Full Text


Vol. X No. 1
Three Dollars

Can We Live With Revolution in Central America?,
Sandinista Chess: How the Left Took Control, The Sandinistas and the Indians,
Revolutionaries and Conservatives in El Salvador, Honduras: An Oasis of Peace?,
Costa Rica's Political Turmoil



In Latin




* Over 55 Latin American and
Caribbean related courses in
the University.
* Certificate requirements include:
successful completion of five Latin
American and/or Caribbean
related courses and one
independent study/research
project, from at least three
departments; demonstration of
related language proficiency in
Spanish, Portuguese, or French.
* Certificate program is open to
both degree and non-degree
seeking students.
* Expanded University support as a
Title VI Undergraduate Language
and Area Center.
* Expanded Library holdings in
Latin American-Caribbean
* Special seminar series offered by
distinguished visiting scholars in
Latin American and Caribbean

Latin American-Caribbean Studies
Ricardo Arias, Philosophy and
Ken I. Boodhoo, International
John Corbett, Public Administration
Robert Culbertson, Public
Judson M. DeCew, Political Science
Grenville Draper, Physical Sciences
Luis Escovar, Psychology
Robert Farrell, Education
Gordon Finley, Psychology
Robert Grosse, International
John Jensen, Modem Languages
Charles Lacombe, Anthropology
Barry B. Levine, Sociology
Anthony P Maingot, Sociology
James A. Mau, Sociology
Floretin Maurrasse, Physical
Ramon Mendoza, Modern
Raul Moncarz, Economics
Pedro J. Montiel, Economics
Mark B. Rosenberg, Political Science
Reinaldo Sanchez, Moder
Jorge Salazar, Economics
Mark D. Szuchman, History
William T. Vickers, Anthropology
Maida Watson Breslin, Modem
For further information, contact:
Latin American-Caribbean Center
Florida International University
Tamiami 'Tail
Miami, Florida 33199

Miami Speaker's
On Latin America
and the Caribbean
The Latin American and Caribbean
Center of Florida International
University hosts a Speaker's Bureau
for scholars traveling through
Miami. The Bureau serves as a
means for area specialists to share
their experiences and research
during colloquia. A modest
honorarium and per diem expenses
will be provided. Scholars
anticipating travel through Miami
and interested in participating in
the colloquia should contact
Mark B. Rosenberg, Director, Latin
American and Caribbean Center,
FIU, Miami, FL 33199 at least
30 days prior to the anticipated
departure from their home cities.

Occasional Papers

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


WINTER 1981 Vol. X, No. 1 Three Dollars

Barry B. Levine

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

Art Director
Juan C. Urquiola
Marian Goslinga
Assistants to the Editor
Brenda Hart
Beatriz Luciano
Elena A. Parrado
Editorial Manager
Beatriz Parga de Bay6n
Production Assistants
Juan Cay6n
James F Droste
Robert A. Geary
Publishing Consultants
Andrew R. Banks
Joe Guzman
Eileen Marcus

Caribbean Review, a quarterly journal dedicated to the
Caribbean. Latin America. and their emigrant groups.
is published by Caribbean Review. Inc.. a corporation
not for profit organized under the laws of the State of
Florida. Caribbean Review receives supporting funds
from the Office of Academic Affairs of Florida Interna-
tional University and the State of Florida. This public
document was promulgated at a quarterly cost of
$5.546 or $1.23 per copy to promote international
education with a primary emphasis on creating
greater mutual understanding among the Americas.
by articulating the culture and ideals of the Caribbean
and Latin America, and emigrating groups originating
Editorial policy: Caribbean Review does not accept
responsibility for any of the views expressed in its
pages. Rather, we accept responsibility for giving such
views the opportunity to be expressed herein. Our
articles do not represent a consensus of opinion -
some articles are in open disagreement with others
and no reader should be able to agree with all of them.
Mailing address: Caribbean Review, Florida Interna-
tional University, Tamiami Trail, Miami, Florida 33199.
Telephone (305) 552-2246. Unsolicited manuscripts
(articles. essays, reprints, excerpts, translations, book
reviews, poetry, etc.) are welcome but should be
accompanied by a self-addressed stamped envelope.
Copyright@ 1981 by Caribbean Review. Inc. All rights
Subscription rates: For the US. PR. and the USVI I
year: $12.00: 2 years: $20.00: 3 years: $25.00. For the
Caribbean. Latin America. and Canada I year:
$18.00: 2 years: $32.00; 3 years: $43.00. For all other
foreign destinations I year: $24.00: 2 years: $44.00:
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America. Canada, and other foreign destinations will
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Charge: $3.00. Subscription agencies, please take
Syndication: Caribbean Review articles have appeared
in other media in English. Spanish. Portuguese and
German. Editors, please write for details.
Index: Articles appearing in this journal are annotated
and indexed in Historical Abstracts: America: History
and Life: and United States Political Science Docu-
ments. An index to the first six volumes appeared in
Vol. VII. No. 2 of CR: an index to volumes seven and
eight, in Vol. IX. No. 2.
Back Issues: Back numbers still in print are purchasa-
ble at $5.00 each. A list of those still available appears
elsewhere in this issue. Microfilm and microfiche
copies of Caribbean Review are available from Univer-
sity Microfilms. A Xerox Company. 300 North Zeeb
Road. Ann Arbor, Michigan 48106.
International Standard Serial Number:
ISSN 0008-6525; Library of Congress Number:
AP6. C27; Dewey Decimal Number: 079.7295.

In this issue

page 6

Nicaragua and Her Neighbors 4
By Mark B. Rosenberg

Can We Live with Revolution 6
in Central America?
By Richard Millett

Toward a New Central American Dialogue 10
By Daniel Oduber

Sandinista Chess 14
How the Left Took Control
By Stephen M. Gorman

The Literacy Campaign 18
Nicaragua Style
By Leonor Blum

The Sandinistas and the Indians 22
The New Indian "Problem"
By Richard N. Adams

Poetry and Politics 26
Nicaragua's Ernesto Cardenal
Reviewed by Aaron Segal

El Salvador

In Defense of the Junta 30
By Ambassador Robert White

In Defense of the Frente Democratico 34
By Ciilllirmo Manuel Ungo

In Defense of Restoring Constitutional 35
By Luis Escalante Arce

Honduras: 38
An Oasis of Peace?
By James A. Morris

Costa Rica's Political Turmoil 42
By Samuel Stone

Where to Study Central America 47
A Geography of Historical Materials
By Ralph Lee Woodward, Jr.

Central American Paintings 50
Including Cover Artist J.A. Velasquez
By Ricardo Pau-Llosa

Recent Books 57
An Informative Listing of Books
about the Caribbean, Latin America and their
Emigrant Groups
By Marian Goslinga

I =1

Las Luchas Por El Seguro Social
En Costa Rica
Mark B. Rosenberg

Este libro es uno de los es-
tudios, sino el Onico, mis
amplio y riguroso sobre la
historic de la reform social en
Costa Rica, centrado de pre-
ferencia en el Seguro Social y
el papel de la Caja Costa-
rricense de Seguro Social. El
ensayo, es complete, en el sen-
tido que abarca la reform so-
cial durante casi toda la vida
independiente de Costa Rica.
Su vastisima informaci6n
proviene de las mas variadas
fuentes: entrevistas, libros,
documents, actas de juntas
directives y toda clase de

Editorial Costa Rica
San Jose, Costa Rica

Avances en


Gordon E. Finley
Gerardo Marin
Las mos significativas y recientes
aportaciones al pensamiento psicologico
del continent americano, expuestas por
sus propios autores, se han logrado
conjuntar en este valioso texto que
permitira tanto a profesionales como a
estudiantes de psicologia actualizar
sus conocimientos.
B.F. Skinner, Edwin I. Megargee, Rogelio
Diaz-Guerrero, Ruben Ardila y otros
reconocidos psicologos desarrollan en esta
obra diversos temas cuyo studio result
imprescindible, por igual, para aquellos
que se desempenan en el ambito de la
ciencia de la conduct, y para quienes se
aprestan a hacerlo.
Editorial Trillas, S.A.
Av. 5 de Mayo 43-105, Mexico 1, D.E


and Integration

in Urban Argentina


By Mark D. Szuchman

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

290 pages, $19.95

University of Texas Press 083
Please send copies of Mobility and Integration in
Urban Argentina at $19.95 ca. Texas residents add 5% sales
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he rapid growth of crime and violence in the Caribbean
Spouses dramatic challenges to the citizens and govern-
ments in the region, who increasingly seek and even demand
immediate solutions. This first collection of articles on the
subject presents the results of investigations in the Dutch-,
French-, English-, and Spanish-speaking Caribbean, under-
taken by both scholars and civil servants currently at work in
the area.
The Role of the Sentencer in Dealing with Criminal Offenders
in the Commonwealth Caribbean-Delroy Chuck; Urban
Crime and Violence in Jamaica-Dudley Allen; Crime and
Treatment in Jamaica-Dudley Allen; Rape and Socio-Eco-
nomic Conditions in Trinidad and Tobago-Kenneth Pryce
and Daurius Figueira; Reflections on the Problem of Urban
Crime and Violence in Puerto Rico-Rafael Santosdel Valle;
A Profile of the State of Criminology in Haiti-Max Carr6;
Urban Crime and Violence in Guyana-Michael Parris; A Sur-
vey of the Guyanese Prison Population: A Research Note
-Michael Parris; Planned Research into the Criminological
Consequences of the Mass Transmigration of the Bush
Negroes in Suriname-A. Leerschool-Liong A Jin; Women
and Violent Crime in Suriname-J. M. M. Binda
x, 146 pages. Maps, charts, tables, index. ISBN: 0-8130-0685-6,
LC 80-21078. Paper, $6.00 U.S.
A publication of the Center for Latin American Studies,
University of Florida
with assistance from the Association of Caribbean
Universities and Research Institutes (UNICA)
Orders from individuals must be prepaid and include 85 cents shipping
and handling charge. Florida orders add 4 percent state sales tax.
S famu /fau /fiu /fsu /ucf /uf/unf/usf/uwf
S 15 NW 15 Street / Gainesville FL 32603

Barry B. Levine shatters
the myth of the victimized


A Picaresque Tale
of Emigration and Return
"Benjy Lopez's story is not one of despair and
resignation; it is a picaresque adventure in which
the hero works his way through and around the
labyrinth of race, ethnicity, class, and bu-
reaucracy in the cosmopolitan world of New York
City... Lopez rejects conformity, but his deviance
is strategic rather than decadent -decadence is
often a surprise to him. As far as I can gather, this
book is for him an attempt to convince the reader
of the value and ingenuity of the way he has done
things: perhaps differently, maybe even better,
the result of a man who rejects foregone conclu-

Using the first-person technique pioneered by
Oscar Lewis, noted sociologist Barry B. Levine
records and analyzes the life story of a Puerto
Rican emigrant, "one of the most colorful charac-
ters to make an appearance in sociological litera-
ture.... Barry Levine has that increasingly rare
gift, the sociological ear. In this book, we have the
result of his listening."
-Peter Berger
"A labor of love for Puerto Rico and its plight, and
a fine piece of scholarship."
-Ed Vega,
"Levine has rescued Third World man from in-
dignity....I believe that few works will better
demonstrate the circumstances of the Puerto
Rican in New York than this one."
-Miguel Barnet,
Caribbean Review
$12.95 at bookstores, or direct from the publisher

10 East 53rd Street, New York 10022


Nicaragua and

Her Neighbors

evolution is always attention-getting
even more so in this media age. In
our hemisphere during the twentieth
century, Mexico, Bolivia, Cuba. and now
Nicaragua have experienced the violence,
sadness, and exhilaration of a process
which aims to reorient the nature of society,
its political composition, social organiza-
tion, and economic productivity. What dis-
tinguishes the Nicaraguan Revolution of
1979 from others, however, is its region-
wide impact on Central America. Com-
pared to Guatemala, on the Northern fron-
tier of Central America, and El Salvador,
Nicaragua was the least likely of the three
countries to experience revolution. Perhaps
this situation is the condition that made
revolution possible.
Now the entire region is under intense
study and scrutiny. And it became the sub-
ject of heated debate during the recent US
presidential election. The Nicaraguan Rev-
olution and its aftermath have created a
new legacy for Central America. This issue
of Caribbean Review examines Central
America from the viewpoint of Nicaragua
and its impact on the other countries of the
Isthmus. Our investigation is not inclusive:
many important subjects have been left for
future issues. Moreover, we do not sub-
scribe to the view that Nicaragua is the
cause of the social and economic problems
of the region. These problems land in-
equality, rural and urban poverty, malnutri-
tion, the abuse of human rights, political
repression and terror, foreign interventions
- are composite historical characteristics
of the region. The Nicaraguan Revolution
has at once served as a symbol for the poor
that change is possible and for others that
change is probable unless adjustments are
made. The major problem however is that
both of these views are decreasingly finding
common ground for civil discussion. Vio-
lence rather than debate has become the
modus operandi for conflict resolution in
Central America.
Regionally, this assertion can not be
equally applied. Guatemala, the region's
most important country with a gross
domestic product equal to about one-third
the entire region's GDR has long been in a
virtual state of siege. Economic growth has

been substituted for political civility and as
Guatemalan social scientist Gabriel Aguil-
era has written, the country has become a
"militarized" society. This militarization,
however, preceded the events of 1979 in
Nicaragua and reflects the continuing
tragedy of a country which has not pacifi-
cally and civilly responded to the needs of
its people. We have chosen to exclude
Guatemala as a discrete subject of analysis
in this issue, reasoning that Guatemala's
enduring situation of militarization and
crisis demands far greater attention than we
could devote to it here.
The Sandinista victory in Nicaragua is
now almost two years old. The Revolution
has produced much analysis and study.
Caribbean Review's first special edition, on
Cuba (Winter, 1980), carried William
LeoGrande's assessment of Cuban influ-
ence there. Other successes and failures of
the Revolution need to be examined and
assessed; this issue studies two: the literacy
campaign and the Sandinista-lndian re-
lationship. And while the Revolution has
had dramatic public policy implications in
this Central American country of 2.5 mil-
lion, it has also had an effect on the poetry
of the struggle, which we also examine.
Other areas of the Revolution deserve as-
sessment: health and housing, the public-
private sector debate, the fate of La Prensa,
the Sandinista foreign policy, especially,
with regard to Central America, and the
growing opposition to Sandinismo, both
within and outside the country. Caribbean
Review intends to examine these in future
Writing in 1962, Abel Cuenca argued inEl
Salvador: una democracia cafetalera that
the preceding 30 years of Salvadorean his-
tory were the most turbulent in memory.
Clearly, the turbulence has continued. A
state the size of Massachusetts with a
population of 5 million, El Salvador is
locked in an internecine revolutionary
struggle one catalyzed and modeled
after the Sandinista cause, but one which
lacks the clear demarcations of good and
bad which characterized the Nicaragua
revolution. The violence of El Salvador is
played out at multiple levels: no one is safe
- its random nature undercuts all claims

for the nobleness of revolution as a cause
for liberation. The intractability of the Sal-
vadorean struggle further highlights the
complicated nature of social change. For
even as the early outlines of the Salvado-
rean situation may be painted as similar to
those in Nicaragua, the deeper class an-
tagonisms, the international connections
and the very Sandinista victory, have ren-
dered a final denouement to the long Sal-
vadorean struggle even more problematic.
The different views of El Salvador's situa-
tion published here in Caribbean Review
are only an imperfect sample and state-
ment on the country. They are however
representative of the differing approaches
to the conflict there.
Both Honduras and Costa Rica have
been directly impacted by the Nicaraguan
experience, but in different ways. While
Honduras has frequently been lumped into
that category of a Central American country
where the "dominoes" will also fall, this
does not at this time seem to be the case.
Perhaps Honduras in socio-political evolu-
tion is where El Salvador was ten years ago.
Much apparently rests on the willingness of
the Honduras military to encourage civilian
politics and political debate while dis-
couraging the paramilitary as well as mili-
tary abuses so characteristic of Central
American political life. As Honduras social
scientist Leticia Salom6n has argued, the
desgaste military of the late 1970s has coin-
cided with a new civilian concientizacion
about a "civilian opening" in Honduran
politics. Whether this opening can be
maintained and translated into a more
permanent, institutionalized civilian politics
is the subject of our analysis here.
Costa Rica's geopolitical role in the San-
dinista victory was critical, as the Salvado-
rean left is now finding out. This revolution-
ary role for the "Ticos" has left its impact in
Costa Rica. While Costa Rica's political in-
stitutions are more responsive and pluralis-
tic than in any other Central American
country, this fact has not protected Costa
Rica from being a Central American coun-
try characterized by a growing
consumption-oriented public sector, a
weak private sector, monocultural de-
pendence on coffee, and economic infla-

tion. Costa Rica's social, economic, and
political problems are ones of adjustment
and fine-tuning, rather than wholesale re-
placement or modification, as in the rest of
the region.
The Nicaraguan experience thus is the
thread which draws our attention to El Sal-
vador, Honduras, and Costa Rica. The arti-
cles printed here were written at different
stages of the extremely fast-moving
changes in the region. What gives them
their enduring quality is the timelessness of
the issues articulated. Millett's contribution
raises the all-important question about US
response to revolutionary change and the
nature of what Abraham Lowenthal called
the "US hegemonic presumption" in the
Caribbean region. Former President of
Costa Rica Daniel Oduber returns to a
theme articulated by Raul Haya de la Torre
in the late 1920s. The urgency of Oduber's
call is underlined by the fact that Central
Americans are killing each other at a fero-
cious rate; the end to this brutality is not yet
in sight.
It is difficult in one issue to capture the
dimensions of any culture. Even more dif-
ficult is the effort when it comes to an entire
region. So much of what has traditionally
defined Central America is under violent
questioning today. And it is likely to change
in composition before it has been
adequately studied and analyzed. This issue
of Caribbean Review is but a small and
incomplete contribution to that study and
-Mark B. Rosenberg
Associate Editor

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Can We Live With

Revolution in Central

By Richard Millett

shortly before his death President
Warren G. Harding observed: "I have
no trouble with my enemies ... But
my damned friends ... they're the ones that
keep me walking the floor nights." This
remark in many ways sums up the Carter
administration's experiences with Central
America. Efforts to formulate a policy which
could effectively respond to the rapid politi-
cal and social transformations within the
region were repeatedly frustrated by the
intransigent opposition of conservative
governments and elites which had long
been viewed as at least firm allies, if not
virtual clients of the United States. Even
within the United States Congress much of
the opposition to administration policies
towards Central America came not from the
Republicans, but from members of the
President's own party such as Con-
gressmen John Murphy and Charlie Wil-
son. By late 1980 the most visible results of
US efforts in Central America were the
domination of Nicaragua by a Marxist influ-
enced government, the existence of a state
of near civil war in El Salvador and an ac-
celerating slaughter of political moderates
in Guatemala.
Few observers would have predicted
such an outcome on inauguration day,
1977. With the exception of the ongoing
Canal Treaty negotiations with Panama, a
nation historically separate from Central
America, the region seemed to offer few
serious challenges for American policy.
Investments were small, strategic materials
were almost totally lacking and even the
area's geopolitical importance seemed to
be in decline. Except for Costa Rica, Central
America's governments were conservative,
generally undemocratic and heavily de-
pendent upon military support for their
Central America was also characterized
by a long tradition of.United States political
and economic dominance. Not since 1890.
when the British abandoned their efforts to
maintain a protectorate over Nicaragua's
Mosquito Coast, had any nation seriously
challenged America's regional hegemony.
Until 1933 this domination had been
maintained, at least in part, by the constant
threat and occasional application of military

intervention. In later years a combination of
economic incentives and pressures, mili-
tary assistance and training and the coop-
eration of domestic elites generally sufficed
to maintain American interests. On occa-
sion, as in the 1954 CIA sponsored over-
throw of Guatemala's government, more
direct measures were employed, but these
were rarely necessary. United States efforts
to maintain stability and control often re-
ceived effective support from private busi-
ness sources, notably those of the United
Fruit Company which, as late as the mid-
1970s, was still engaged in making regular
payoffs to the President of Honduras.
In the post World War II period, this tradi-
tion of dominance had been combined,
somewhat paradoxically, with a growing
tendency to downgrade the region and ne-
glect its basic problems. Diplomatic ap-
pointments to the region and the staffing of
Washington positions dealing with Central
America had low priority and were fre-
quently given to minor political supporters,
second-rate State Department employees
and military officers on the verge of retire-
ment. Foreign assistance programs were
usually small, poorly focused and ineffec-
tive. Occasionally, notably in Guatemala in
1954 and in El Salvador in 1961. there were
brief efforts at more comprehensive pro-
grams, but US attentions were soon di-
verted by the passage of time, the pressure
of events in.more important parts of the
world and changes of administrations in
Despite this heritage, Central America
seemed to be making limited economic
and social, in some cases even political
progress until 1969. In that year a brief war
between El Salvador and Honduras dis-
rupted the Common Market, damaged the
economies of both nations and
strengthened military domination of
domestic politics. In the next few years a
series of natural and political disasters
added to the region's problems. Earth-
quakes in Nicaragua and Guatemala and
hurricanes in Honduras caused extensive
damage to already fragile economies. Spi-
raling energy costs hampered development
efforts and contributed to mounting debt
problems, especially in Nicaragua and

Costa Rica. Electoral fraud in Guatemala
and El Salvador, growing economic domi-
nation and corruption by Nicaragua's
Somoza dynasty and scandals and military
coups in Honduras all undermined support
for existing political systems and produced
growing frustration and anger in those
sectors of society forcibly excluded from
power. Beneath a surface image of con-
tinued stability, Central America's problems
had reached dangerous proportions by the
start of 1977.

Carter and Central America
During its first year in power, the Carter
administration saw Central America as a
potential laboratory for developing its
human rights policies. Risks seemed small
and prospects for success reasonably high,
given the traditionally dependent nature of
Central America's politics and economics.
Initial results, however, were anything but
satisfactory. Both El Salvador and
Guatemala terminated military assistance
pacts with the United States rather than
submit to examinations of their human
rights violations. In addition, a patently
fraudulent election in El Salvador in 1977
and a controversial election in Guatemala
in 1978 brought to power new military
presidents with limited abilities and pre-
dilections for violent repression of dissent.
In Nicaragua, US administration pressures,
combined with adverse publicity generated
by religious organizations and congres-
sional hearings, did produce some reduc-
tion in the level of overt repression, but did
nothing to weaken the Somozas' grip on
The human rights policy did have
another significant, if somewhat unex-
pected result. Central Americans had long
believed that the ultimate decisions on the
exercise of power in their nations were
made not in their own countries, but rather
in Washington. Attaining power, therefore,
required that the United States be dissatis-
fied with the incumbent government and
satisfied with the programs of a potential
replacement. Adapting to what they per-
ceived as the current Washington fad, op-
position politicians began to embrace the
cause of human rights, forming commit-


tees, issuing declarations and traveling to
Washington to lobby and testify before
Congress against their own governments.
These activities, and the United States re-
sponse to them, transformed moderate
opposition politicians, as viewed by existing
conservative regimes, from the status of a
nuisance which must be controlled to that
of a potential menace which had to be
eliminated. Beginning with the January,
1978 murder of Nicaraguan journalist
Pedro Joaquin Chamorro and culminating
in the March, 1980 assassination of El Sal-
vador's Archbishop Oscar Arnulfo Romero,
Central America experienced a slaughter of
the democratic opposition unparalled in its
history. From 1978 through 1980 over
30,000 Central Americans died as a result
of political violence which the United States
seemed powerless to prevent.
The frustration of administration efforts
to respond effectively to Central America's
spreading violence and accelerating politi-
cal polarization has been due to three basic
factors: the heritage of both domestic in-
stitutions and past US policies, an inability
to establish credibility for American policy
goals in the region, and the continued re-
liance on a series of highly questionable
assumptions as the basis for policy formu-
lations. The impact of each of these
factors can be seen by examining specific
Central American history offers many
more examples of violent repression than of
democratic transitions. The most notable
case is the 1932 massacre of up to 20,000
peasants in El Salvador in retaliation for a
communist supported uprising. In
Guatemala a deep seated racial bias
against Indians has helped insure the isola-
tion and exploitation of that half of the
population. There, too, the traditional re-
sponse to dissent has been the violent
elimination of the dissenter.
History also gave much of Central
America a heritage of class divisions as
deep as anywhere in the hemisphere. In El
Salvador ten percent of the landowners
held 78 percent of the land, including al-
most all of the best agricultural land, while
the lowest ten percent owned 0.4 percent.
While that nation's more affluent citizens

Young guerrillas in El Salvador. Wide World Photos.


frequently flew to Miami for a weekends'
shopping, 60 percent of Salvador's children
suffered from malnutrition.
For decades United States policies had
been widely viewed within Central America
as contributing to political repression and
economic inequalities. This was most evi-
dent in Nicaragua where the Somoza dic-
tatorship had a definite "Made in USA" ap-
pearance. The Guardia Nacional, which
propelled the first Somoza to power and
had served eversince to protect and defend
his family's interests, was a US created,
trained and equipped force with more
graduates of American military training
courses than any other Latin American
army. The Somozas had been educated in
the United States, traveled repeatedly to the
United States and constantly gave verbal
support to American policies. Virtually every
educated Nicaraguan believed the apoc-
ryphal story that ED.R. had declared that
"Somoza may be a bastard, but he's our
bastard." Under such circumstances the
United States found it extremely difficult to
escape identification with the Somozas'
abuses and to convince Nicaraguans that
positive changes would ever be supported.

Credibility and Policy
The heritage of history was a major factor in
the inability to establish credibility. This
problem did not originate with the Carter
administration. In 1963, Kennedy adminis-
tration efforts to prevent Colonel Osvaldo
L6pez Arellano from seizing power in Hon-
duras encountered the same difficulty. Re-
sponding to threats of non-recognition and
suspension of military assistance, L6pez
Arellano reportedly observed that as soon
as he could produce evidence of Cuban
support for movements against his gov-
ernment both aid and recognition would be
rapidly forthcoming. History soon proved
his analysis correct.
This lack of credibility constantly bedev-
iled administration efforts to force Somoza
out of office, especially in the October, 1978
to January, 1979 mediation effort. Until his
last weeks in power, the Nicaraguan dic-
tator always believed that if he could force
the United States to choose between him-
self and the Sandinistas they would inevi-
tably support him. This view was
strengthened by his supporters in the
United States Congress. This reached an
almost ludicrous extreme in May of 1979
when newly appointed Ambassador Law-
rence Pezullo made his first visit to General
Somoza. The Ambassador had come to tell
Somoza he had to leave, but on his arrival
he found Congressman John Murphy of
New York sitting with the dictator and as-
suring him of his continued support within
the Congress.
Divisions between the executive and
legislative branches also act to reduce the
credibility of pledges of US support for


basic reforms. In a time of increasing
budgetary pressures Congress has been
most reluctant to fund even modest AID
programs for Central America. The nearly
one year struggle to obtain $75,000,000 for
Nicaragua this past year is the most obvi-
ous case in point. All of this has led to con-
siderable frustration within the foreign
policy establishment with one former high-
ranking State Department official declaring
that the net result was a tendency to "sub-
stitute posturing for effective policies."
The issue of credibility was magnified by
the approach of the 1980 elections. Partisan

Adapting to what they
perceived as the current
Washington fad, opposition
politicians began to
embrace the cause of
human rights.

political wrangling destroyed all vestiges of
a bi-partisan approach to the region. While
administration officials sought to convince
Nicaraguan businessmen and government
officials that economic assistance would
continue to flow so long as political
pluralism existed and basic human rights
were respected, the Republican Platform
Committee was adopting a clause pledging
an end to all AID programs for Nicaragua.
While the State Department was desper-
ately seeking ways to support the tottering
rulingjunta in El Salvador, Republican
Senator Jesse Helms was denouncing that
regime as "an unconstitutional government
acting illegally to set aside the fundamental
rights of the people." Under such circum-
stances, administration efforts became in-
creasingly futile. Guatemala's military rul-
ers, who openly expressed their hopes for a
Reagan victory, even went so far as to refuse
to accept the Carter administration's nomi-
nee for Ambassador, believing that a Re-
publican administration would appoint an
individual more to their liking.
Repeated administration speeches and
pledges have done little to diminish the
belief, articulated by Costa Rican congres-
sional leader Rodrigo Madrigal Nieto. that
"the United States does not really care
about Central America." Constantly preoc-
cupied with the problems of crisis man-
agement, the Carter administration was
never really able to overcome this impres-
sion and to establish effective credibility for
its policies. Trying to overcome the negative
heritage of the past and establish credibility
for current and future policies would have
posed formidable tasks for any administra-

tion. But even if such obstacles could be
overcome, the resulting policy would
still be unsuccessful if it were based on
false or seriously flawed assumptions.
There is considerable evidence that, in
the Carter administration's case, basic
policy assumptions were, at best, highly
The first dubious assumption was that
existing elites could be persuaded to sup-
port or at least accept reforms in existing
structures which would significantly reduce
their levels of economic and political power.
As viewed from Washington, this approach
seemed to have considerable support. In
his April 8, 1980 Pan American Day ad-
dress, Assistant Secretary of State William
Bowdler confidently declared that in Cent-
ral America "the old order is disintegrating"
adding that "the alliances traditional among
landowners, generals and bishops lie shat-
tered. The landed gentry's economic
monopoly has been broken by modern en-
trepreneurs and merchants." Under such
circumstances it seemed only logical that
the ruling classes would see the necessity of
change and give up some power to pre-
serve the rest. Unfortunately, much of these
apparent divisions are on tactical, not
strategic grounds. The controversy is over
the mix of repressions and reform and over
how best to exclude the left from any share
of power. Individual businessmen and of-
ficers have given indications of a recogni-
tion that change must go far beyond this,
but their ability to speak for the majority or
even a substantial minority of their associ-
ates is dubious.
During the Nicaraguan mediation, the
United States constantly assumed that
President Somoza had a serious interest in
resolving the crisis and would be willing to
at least risk, if not completely abandon his
control. It now is clear that the dictator saw
the process primarily as a means of dividing
and co-opting the opposition, isolating the
extreme left and ultimately persuading
Washington that he was the only viable al-
ternative to Marxism. A similar situation
may currently exist in Guatemala and El
Salvador. In the latter case, the critical na-
ture of the situation has led the business
elites to accept some degree of change, but
there is little reason to believe that this ac-
quiescence would continue if the threat
from the left were brought under control.
Nicaraguans in 1978 were and the
majority of Salvadoreans and Guatemalans
today are well aware of this reality. They
have never shared Washington's hopes for
an effective, essentially voluntary reform of
the current entrenched and intransigent
Related to this assumption is the North
American belief that Central American
armed forces can play a central role in the
promotion of positive change and that
United States training and support can

promote this process. In March, 1978 Con-
gressional Testimony before the House
Committee on International Relations then
Assistant Secretary of State Terence A.
Todman claimed that American military
programs had "helped to provide the Cen-
tral American with a sense of security,"
adding that "our training program is in-
tended to promote the standards of military
professionalism as well as US concerns for
democracy and human rights." Similar
views were expressed by Deputy Assistant
Secretary of Defense Franklin Kramer on
March 25, 1980 at a meeting of the Sub-
committee on Foreign Operations of the
House Committee on Appropriations. He
argued that increased military assistance to
El Salvador and Honduras would "aid those
countries to provide the secure environ-
ment which they themselves require to
make the significant social, economic and
political development that they ... desire so
Over a long period of time, carefully for-
mulated and applied programs of military
training and assistance might make some
contribution towards encouraging military
support for or at least acquiesence in pro-
grams of basic reforms. In a short-run crisis
situation, however, there is no evidence that
external support can do more than assist
efforts at repression and control. In the pro-
cess, such programs always run the risk of
further alienating the armed forces from the
rest of the population. Furthermore, in
times of internal conflict, armed forces tend
to develop a seige mentality, viewing criti-
cism as treason and advocacy of change as
A third questionable assumption under-
lying United States policies has been the
determination to base future hopes upon
the emergence of moderate, reformist
sectors. Such middle-groups as Christian
Democrats and Social Democrats have
long been looked on favorably by many of
those concerned with Latin American rela-
tions. They seemed to offer the prospect of
change without violence, reform without
attacks upon United States investments,
respect for human rights and observance of
democratic political practices. Their atten-
tion increased when the Carter administra-
tion found an alliance with the traditional
right unpalatable on both ideological and
pragmatic grounds. At the same time, sup-
port of the far left was ruled out for a variety
of reasons, including the long heritage of
distrust and conflict between Latin Ameri-
can leftists and the United States and the
domestic repercussions which would follow
any such policy.
The middle thus became the only viable
sector upon which administration policy
could be built. The problem was that these
moderate groups were, in most of Central
America, relatively weak, and alienated
from such traditional power centers as the

armed forces and the business community.
Furthermore, success for any moderate
solution was heavily dependent upon a ba-
sically peaceful political climate in which
the majority of the population believed in
the possibility of reform within the system
and in which there was a willingness to take
the time necessary for such reforms to take
Outside of Costa Rica, none of these
conditions could be satisfactorily met in
Central America. Faith in existing systems
had been virtually destroyed in El Salvador
and Nicaragua, badly weakened in

From 1978 through 1980
over 30,000 Central
Americans died as a result
of political violence that the
US seemed powerless to

Guatemala and was questionable even in
Honduras. While the Christian Democrats
of El Salvador had had a fairly effective
grass-roots organization a decade earlier,
by 1979 this had been decimated and
leadership of mass organizations had
largely passed to elements on the left.
Elsewhere, such elements had never been
strong and as politics began to polarize they
tended to lose, rather than gain adherents.
Far-right hit squads added to the problem
by decimating the leadership of
moderate-left parties. Finally, time simply
was not on the side of the moderates or the
Carter administration. Efforts at reform
were constantly overtaken by events. As
former Secretary of State Henry Kissinger
observed when interviewed for the Sep-
tember, 1980 NBC White Paper 'The Castro
Connection': "We have not found a defini-
tion of a moderate, democratic alternative
in the name of which we can replace the
oligarchies and resist the totalitarians. So a
process is starting in which we are far be-
hind the power curve and ... which has
spread already from Nicaragua to El Sal-
vador which is bound to affect
Guatemala and certain to have an impact
on Mexico."

US Involvement
Beneath all of these questionable assump-
tions lies one traditionally unquestionable
assumption, the belief that the United
States should be actively involved in Central
America and that such involvement will
advance national interests. This was suc-
cinctly summed up recently by a Salvador-
ean diplomat who observed "You North

Americans believe that for every problem
there is a solution and the problem is to find
that solution. But we Latins believe that
there are problems that have no solution, at
least not now." In Central America the time
may have arrived when there are no more
solutions, at least not within the capacity of
current United States politics. The Carter
administration did not cause the conditions
which produced the current climate of vio-
lence, fear and anti-Americanism. They had
incubated for decades, their growth en-
couraged by the ignorance and neglect of
previous administrations and by the in-
transigence and arrogance of Central
America's domestic elites. While slow to
recognize the depths of the changes taking
place, President Carter and his advisors at
least rejected the temptation to try to restore
the status quo. When efforts to prevent a
total Sandinista victory in Nicaragua
proved unavailing, the administration made
an apparently serious effort to live with rev-
olution, offering assistance and muting
criticism in the hope of preserving at least
some degree of political and economic
pluralism. It may simply have been beyond
the realistic capacity of any administration
to have pursued a truly effective Central
American policy without a commitment of
energies and resources which were unlikely
to be provided by a budget-conscious
Congress and which would have been, in
any case, disproportionate to the actual
importance of the region.
There is a general expectation in Central
America that the incoming Reagan admin-
istration will virtually end pressures on
human rights, will restore military assist-
ance to Guatemala, cease pressures for
basic reforms in El Salvador and, at the very
least, end assistance to Nicaragua. Rightist
leaders in Guatemala and El Salvador had
attacked Carter and hoped openly for a
Republican victory. The Nicaraguan leader-
ship, on the other hand, bitterly denounced
Governor Reagan. After the election the
far-right celebrated, the Nicaraguans began
to show signs of cracking down on dissent
and Salvadorean guerrillas blew up the
local branches of Hardees and McDonald's.
Both Presidents L6pez Portillo of Mexico
and Aristides Royo of Panama expressed
fears that the elections might signal in-
creased United States military involvement
in the area. Mexico's president wentso far as
to issue a direct warning that intervention in
El Salvador or Guatemala would "provoke
the Vietnamization of Central America."
.Actual confirmation of these hopes on
the right and fears on the left, of course, will
have to await the course of events. In all
probability performance will fail to match
the more extreme views of either faction.
While refusing to rule out military interven-
tion, the new president and his Latin Ameri-
can policy advisors have certainly not fa-
Continued on page 53


Toward a New Central

American Dialogue

By Daniel Oduber
Translated by Gloria Navarro

Former Costa Rican president Daniel Oduber. Wide World Photos.

he great unknown of the 80s is how
to realize that our Caribbean region is
more closely linked each day due to
the development of transportation and
communication and because we share the
same interests, the same neighbors and the
same problems in our social structure.
Maybe the most important factor is that we
are all mestizos, with a combination of
races and cultures that, if employed use-
fully, could very well be the principal force of
our development.
Many have tried to divide the hemis-
phere. We were taught about North
America, South America. Central America.
Later we heard about Latin America, as
opposed to Anglo-Saxon America. Then it
was Ibero-America. Then another concept
was introduced, developed America and
underdeveloped America. This concept
changed and we became a zone of minor
development. The common markets and
the free trade associations established yet
other divisions: the Caribbean Common
Market, Andean Pact, etc. But little by little, a

new plan began to regroup us: the Carib-
bean area, the Andean countries, Brazil, the
Southern Cone, the United States and
Canada. Whether we wish to admit it or not,
there are cultural and political currents that,
in addition to economic ones, are deter-
mining this regrouping. Venezuela and Col-
ombia, even though part of the Andean
region, have their eyes set on the Carib-
bean. Brazil is a world of integration. The
United States and Canada, the rich mem-
bers of the family, have a common destiny
that link them more each day. The new
countries of the Caribbean are beginning to
know each other, leaving aside the knots
that tied them to the European colonial
powers. We are beginning to realize that we
Latin Americans did not know each other
very well, much less our neighbors in the
We still have the provincialism that di-
vided our region after independence. If we
are realists we must recognize that we do
not know each other. Twenty years of the
Central American Market have not made

the Costa Rican think like a Central Ameri-
can, he still thinks like a Costa Rican. These
limitations will take a good while to disap-
pear; the Basque thinks like a Basque, not
like a Spaniard; the Welshman thinks like a
Welshman and not like an Englishman, and
the Breton like a Breton, not like a French-
man. But we are progressing. There are
individuals, in all fields, that speak in
hemispheric, or Latin American, or Carib-
bean terms. They may be few, but consid-
erably more than in 1950.

The American Struggle
The struggle in our America is a political
one as it should be and the confronta-
tion of two opposing theories does not
mean only the greater or lesser develop-
ment of each region or each country, but
the possession of a clear conscience that
there are now three political solutions for
our future: democratic governments, but
truly democratic ones, military dictator-
ships with their own philosophy, or com-
munist dictatorships allied with foreign


powers. The great political question now is
a delicate one, and almost difficult to ask:
would the confrontation of political ideas
and systems find a solution in arms or in
dialogue? Or, even harder to ask: Is it neces-
sary or even possible that this con-
frontation of political systems be solved
totally? Or can we accept that we solve it
only partially? Can we seek a political sys-
tem for all Americans, or should we seek to
have a minimum of respect for human dig-
nity, no matter which judicial-political
structure each country has? And, in this
case, what would the minimum be?
There are some who seek confrontation
by means of arms; to turn our continent into
a war arena; as it happened in Europe in two
wars, in the Korean Peninsula, in Indochina,
or today in the Middle East and the Persian
Gulf. When the Russian missiles arrived in
Cuba in 1962, we were already in the pro-
cess of becoming a war arena, with the
approval of the military and industrial inter-
ests that in 1960 President Eisenhower had
denounced. Only seventeen years elapsed
from that date to the scandal of a Soviet
brigade in Cuba in charge of telecommuni-
cations in 1979. But the possibility of us
being supporting characters in a war be-
tween superpowers in the Caribbean in-
creased. This is the reason why I am placing
great emphasis on this region, this is where
the danger lies for the Americas. I believe it
would be simpler if instead of all the fuss
that we make about elections every four
years, we could talk to the North Americans
about our area and discuss our mutual re-
spect. Then we could get rid of the dreadful
possibility that we could be involved, first in
the Caribbean and in all America later, in a
war like the ones described above.
The answer to the questions raised en-
tails a definition; but one that must be
created by we Latin Americans so that we
can then discuss it with our powerful neigh-
bors. But first, we the Americans of under-
developed countries should decide
whether we can talk to each other or shoot
each other (thereby giving an opportunity
for the super-powers to step in and try to
make us their allies, asking us in the name
of their ideologies to provide the dead on
both sides).

In my country we do not need armies, in
spite of the doctrinaire political divisions; we
do not need to make military expenditures
to protect us from our neighbors. We will
solve the border problems of our neigh-
boring countries through dialogue. But in
America we continue to spend great
amounts of money to buy weapons to
"protect our freedom" even though we
cannot save for our development or
achieve social justice. The military and in-
dustrial interests throughout the world sell
us their weapons for us to go to war. Also to
provide an excuse for the super-powers, in
their permanent endeavor to gain control of
the world, to utilize our territory and destroy
our cities and kill our youth.
The symbol of youth today is a proud
African child carrying a rifle on his shoulder,
but barefoot and malnourished. His politi-
cal standing will depend on the rifle's man-
ufacturer, even if he cannot understand
what it means. But to them and to many of
our children, it is more important to carry a
rifle than to wipe out the illnesses that will
kill them possibly sooner than the bullets.
Consequently, in our Caribbean Basin,
and in all Latin America, we must talk,
dialogue, agree about minimum aspira-
tions for our development and our political
ideas. Once we agree, we can discuss our
plans with our rich neighbors and those
who have used our continent for almost
five centuries for their own development.
But it is not easy to reach an agreement. It
is not easy to succeed at being left alone,
without interference from foreign interests
who try to manipulate us to achieve tempo-
rary political objectives which are never the
ideal ones for our America.
Our goal is to talk, not to kill each other: a
dialogue, not a war. The borders are clearer
and clearer in the 80s. Bolivia is the frontier
between two different political concepts.
One seeks to turn us into a democracy -
following our centenary thesis of human
rights and the other one, for circumstan-
cial reasons, brought to the armies from
their caves and set up a government of
blood and fire, supposedly to stop the
negative influence of the Cuban Revolution
in the Continent. Thousands of lives and
millions of dollars spent on weapons and

armies would have been saved if, instead of
maintaining these two doctrines, we would
have endeavored ourselves to democrati-
zation, like we began to do in the 60s. The
outlook of our region would have changed
The other frontier is in the Caribbean and
comprises all the political positions of the
hemisphere, and in a way, the world. The
Cuban concept of Communism and our
democratic concept more native and
more in accordance to what we really are -
come face to face. We must debate about
these two contradictory doctrines, to avoid
becoming a war zone, like Angola, Ethiopia,
Cambodia, or the Golan Heights. But if we
allow ourselves to be used as a war arena,
we cannot later demand that the super-
powers not invade us. We should talk and
talk, until topics are worn out. If towards the
end of this discussion about the Caribbean
Basin we can examine topics one by one;
we can talk about finding solutions towards
the XXI Century. If the people of Middle
America can see, with regional judgment,
the problems of our countries, we shall find
out that the solution is an easy one.
We could then talk about new industries,
as conceived by Raul Prebisch, in his accu-
rate opinions concerning trans-nationals;
the consumer and acquisitive classes of our
societies, and eventually of the political
systems to obtain a political and moral au-
thority in our region. According to our val-
ues here in America, merely to be able to sit
down to talk, without prejudices, is enough.
When we accomplish this then we will be
able to think and speak as representatives
of America in search of our destiny.

A New Dialogue
Once again, just as an example, let us im-
merse ourselves in the microcosm of the
Caribbean Basin, to understand what we
can expect with our political dialogue. The
danger of Castro is widely discussed in the
electoral process of Jamaica, but never the
subject of their economic problems. Some
estimated that if a certain candidate won,
Castro would do this or that, and con-
sequently, Russia would become stronger
in that country and in all the region. Others
think that the victory of a certain party would

result in radicalization and consequently,
more Castroism. Many people in Nicaragua
consider that the issue lies in whether or not
the revolution is communist. The liberation
movements in El Salvador and Guatemala
seem communist, mainly because the
Communists are always anxious to control
the liberation movements. There are a lot of
discussions concerning Haiti, but little at-
tention is paid to it. The independence of
Belize, Puerto Rico, and other Antilles ap-
pear to be isolated issues.
The independence of Panama and the
Canal treaties are still issues in the US elec-
tions, and appear to divide the political can-
didates between good and bad, between
friends of Castro or enemies of Castro. It is
understandable that many politicians,
commentators and professors who are
alien to our region may simplify concepts in
such an alarming and unhealthy way; but
for us to repeat this stupidity is inconceiv-
able, considering our enormous efforts
towards literacy
Only if the principal leaders of the Carib-
bean Basin countries have a clear con-
science of belonging to a common future
can these political issues be dealt with in a
proper manner. The purely economic or-
ganizations and the special activity ones
can be effective only if the leaders of this
region learn the basic rule of politics: that
one must talk before fighting. Even if
foreign interests have great importance for
the development of our region, we cannot
allow these interests to determine what is
best for us. We cannot allow political and
ideological guardians to force us to accept
a certain structure in our political or eco-
nomic set-up. Felipe Herrera has been cor-
rect in reiterating Haya de la Torre's mes-
sage denouncing our provincialism turned
into nationalism.
We should also remember Haya de la
Torre's thoughts concerning our historic
time-space. We are different, but we must
be ourselves and scream, as Unamuno
points out, at those who want to take away
our identity. The cultural underdevelop-
ment of some of our leading classes was
responsible for manyofthe foreign forms in
our political organization, and is now doing
the same with our social policy and our
policies concerning education and culture.
We must demand to be allowed to be differ-
ent, to be ourselves, and once developed,
we must be respected and treated as equal.
Our farmers believe the wagon should be
placed behind the oxen, not the other way
around. If we do not establish a special
priority for political agreements begin-
ning by sitting down to talk the good
intentions of technicians and institutions
will not be able to do much, as we have
recently seen. The Central American
Common Market, the one I am most famil-
iar with, will not improve until we have the
political desire to solve our political


The Persian Gulf is making the Western
countries nervous, because this area pro-
vides 60% of the oil that they need. The
Caribbean emerges as a great attraction to
the Western powers. Plans are made up, like
the North American Common Market, to
elegantly reach the oil wells of Tabasco. The
European countries that made us poor and
then abandoned us are again turning their
attention to our Caribbean Basin, and seek
it as an alternative to the Middle East to
guarantee their way of life. As the Middle

The great political question
now is: Would the
confrontation of political
ideas and systems find a
solution in arms or in

East and Persian Gulf crises become more
acute, our territories will become more and
more an area fought over for the advantage
of others, but never for our own develop-
We have begun to realize this problem. In
1974, in Puerto Ordaz, the government of
Venezuela gave special treatment to the
Central American countries and to some of
the Caribbean countries concerning the
purchase of oil. We were allowed to pay 50%
of the price in dollars and 50% in national
currency. Also, the monies in national cur-
rency remained as loans for development
programs in conditions similar to the
ones offered byBanco Interamericano de
The Merchant Marine of the Caribbean,
Namucar, was established, another step in
the right direction. The Latin American
Economic System was established, with
headquarters in Caracas, and also the par-
tial organization of the banana exporting
countries, UPEB, with headquarters in
Panama. Multifer was established for the
production of fertilizers. Talks among the
countries in the area have started to create
"proper" multinationals and protect our
natural resources. That is how the pulp and
paper project in Honduras and the bauxite
one in Jamaica were started; the BID is now
studying the integration of the railroads in
Central America. A multinational mentality
is finally being developed. We believe we
cannot think about our development and
our goals, explained by Prebisch and
others, without starting the difficult task of
understanding each other. And to do this
we must set aside the hegemonic pretenses
concerning political and economic ideas,

and, most importantly, set aside the old
habit of emotional subjection in the center
of the colonial power, past or present.
Mexico and Venezuela have recently
signed an agreement granting preferential
treatment on the purchases of oil to the
countries of Central America and the
Caribbean. Once again Presidents L6pez
Portillo and Herrera Campins showed our
zone, and Latin America in general, what we
should do with our resources. The oil drill-
ings in Costa Rica are done by Petroleros
Mexicanos, and not the transnational
companies that request part of our freedom
in advance. Only when we reach an agree-
ment in resolving our political problems so
that we can seek together our development
will the Caribbean Basin be for the people of
the Caribbean Basin.
It is not necessary to have a thorough
knowledge of history to realize that the great
empires, the super-powers, as we call them
today, need peace within their borders, and
that in handling these matters they are fero-
cious. This is a historic reality which cannot
be ignored. If we study the politics of these
great powers, we must agree with an old
storyteller who said that when the tigers
fight, it is best for the wolves to hide. To
make political plans which will jeopardize
the national security of the super-powers is
the same as participating, like wolves, in the
battle of the tigers. Possibly the tigers would
agree beforehand to demolish us in the
hope of taking the food that is left in the
The United States has a peaceful north-
ern border because Canada means peace.
But we, along with the Caribbean Basin, are
to the South. Until we reach an agreement
concerning how to achieve our political and
economic development, the United States,
instead of sending us ideas, will continue to
send us the "marines." Maybe this time they
will wear the military uniforms of the re-
spective countries in the region.

Toward Greater Cooperation and
If we are successful in reaching an agree-
ment as to what we want to be, and if in the
remaining years of this century we develop,
the southern border of the United States will
be more secure. In a word, the more devel-
oped the countries south of the US, the
more peaceful this border will be. Hunger is
the seed of revolution. And hunger, together
with the transistor radios that the US taught
us to use, is even more explosive than be-
fore. We have to get this across to the United
States, Russia, Europe and the socialist
countries, the Arab countries, China and
Japan, but most importantly, we have to
convince ourselves. Once Middle America
is convinced, we should then begin to work
together with other poor regions of
If the 150 million Americans that live in

the countries of the Caribbean Basin, as
well as those living in the rest of America,
are provided with technology, financial aid
and fair prices for our products, our region
will reach development and peace. We will
then be able to eliminate our armies and
superfluous expenses, and concentrate on
establishing a political system that respects
man, taking into consideration the indi-
viduality and historic traditions of each
It is not difficult to seek dialogue among
countries. It is not difficult for the countries
of the Caribbean Basin to reach the stage of
the countries of the Andean Pact. It is not
difficult provided the leaders of the area get
used to looking at their problems in that
perspective. I deeply respect the British
Commonwealth of Nations, because it has
achieved a political system of ideas and
traditions. The ties appear to be weak, but
this is not true. Very strong personal experi-
ences link them together and make them
come together permanently to solve their
common problems. We do not have a great
power to guide us, but we do have relatively
well-developed countries that could take
the initiative, as Mexico and Venezuela have
done in the oil treaty. If a majority of the
political class in the United States could
convince itself that peace can be obtained
on their southern border, without dis-
graceful walls to stop the wetbacks and war
ships to patrol our Caribbean sea, but with
respect for our decisions and support for
our aspirations, it will see that this Hemis-
phere will be able to eliminate poverty in a
few decades.
We are seeking a political community

that will be able to eventually deal with
similar communities in other parts of
America and who will be able to satisfy the
desire of Latin Americans that dream about
more regimes and happier societies. We
have spent many years talking about these
problems, and it is no longer a fantasy that
we will one day be able to fulfill our aspira-
tions in an atmosphere of mutual respect.
The old practice of intervention in other
country's affairs should take us into the
practice of no-intervention, but at the same
time, a strengthening of interaction. During
the last 20 years that the Bank of Inter
American Development has been in opera-
tion it has clearly proven that the regional
projects are the ones that can make us
owners of our resources.
The patrimonial ocean of our countries,
covering the Caribbean Sea and the coun-
tries that surround it, are beginning to
realize that the sorrow and exploitation that
we have been suffering for centuries have
given us a common destiny. Our popula-
tion came from all over the world, super-
imposed on our pre-European civilizations.
Universal expressions of art, political ideas,
economic teachings and social structures
have been the product of this mixture of
races, religions and cultures. In this effer-
vescence of ideas, the ideas that came from
the outside find a new and strong field
,which is ours. Once we know how to under-
stand each other, a portion of America will
put an end to misery and ignorance.

Daniel Oduber, former President of Costa
Rica, is a leading spokesman for the Socialist


Occasional Papers Series
Latin American
and Caribbean Center
The Latin American and Carib-
bean Center at Florida Interna-
tional University is pleased to
announce the creation of an Oc-
casional Papers Series on Latin
America and the Caribbean.
Research that addresses indi-
vidual countries or the whole of
Latin America and/or the Carib-
bean from the perspectives of
the humanities and social sci-
ences is welcome. Themes with
interdisciplinary approaches are
especially encouraged.
Manuscripts should be no
longer than 45 typewritten pages
in length, and should be sent in
duplicate to: The Editor, Occa-
sional Papers Series, Latin Amer-
ican and Caribbean Center,
Florida International University,
Miami, FL 33199.

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How the Left Took Control

By Stephen M. Gorman

he Sandinista National Directorate
(DNC), which had come into exist-
ence in 1979 with the reunification
of the Frente Sandinista de Liberacionr
National (FSLN), has successfully dic-
tated the institutional structure of the new
Nicaraguan government, defining both the
authority and composition of its organiza-
tional units. A month before the overthrow
of Somoza, the DNC announced the for-
mation of a provisional five-memberjunta,
issued a Program of Government outlining
policy objectives, and proposed the forma-
tion of a 33-member quasi-legislative
Council of State which would include
members of all political groups which had
opposed the dictatorship. Shortly after as-
suming power, the DNC formed a min-
isterial cabinet in which moderate and con-
servative members outnumbered leftist
members. The numerical superiority of
moderate and conservative members in the
new government led some observers to
anticipate a gradual diminution of leftist
influence in policy-making. Yet, the San-
dinista National Directorate succeeded in
tightening leftist control of the government.
How did they do this?
The DNC prevented their opponents
from usurping power by 1) retaining exclu-
sive control of all military and police forces,
2) preventing them from using their gov-
ernmental positions to pre-empt leftist
leadership of the popular organizations that
grew out of the insurrection, and 3) forging
an effective political alliance with small
groups of so-called moderate members
included in the new regime.
The first test of the DNC's capacity to
dominate the political process was its effort
to prevent the five-member Government of
National Reconstruction (JGRN) from es-
tablishing an independent political exist-
ence. The JGRN contained two repre-
sentatives of the Nicaraguan "bourgeoisie"
(Alfonso Robelo and Violeta Barrios de
Chamorro); two presumed social-
democratic moderates (Sergio Ramirez
and Daniel Ortega); and one known leftist
(Moises Hassan). The potential existed for
one of the social-democratic moderates to

align with the two conservative members to
dominate the JGRN which might then try to
assert its political autonomy from the DNC
and compete for effective control over the
cabinet. Daniel Ortega, a leading member
of the social-democratic Tercerista faction
of the Sandinista Front, might have done
this given his willingness to form alliances
with the progressive "bourgeoisie" during
the insurrection. However, Ortega turned
out to be committed to the DNC. Sergio
Ramirez did also. As a member of the so-
cially prominent exile group Los Doce,
Ramirez's identification with the Sandinista
Front was expected to wane after Somoza
was removed. Instead, he joined together
with Ortega and Hassan to provide the DNC
with a firm majority on the JGRN. By early
1980, the conservative members of the
junta were isolated apparently accepting
the impossibility of establishing a political
base in the JGRN. In April, Robelo and
Chamorro both resigned. This posed the
threat of an open political split between the
Sandinista Front and the "bourgeoisie." A
crisis was averted by the appointment in
May of two new conservative members to
the JGRN, preserving the "appearance" of
private sector participation in the govern-
Although nominally under the authority
of the JGRN, the Cabinet actually remained
fully under the influence of the DNC. The
DNC might have lost power by permitting
conservative office holders to consolidate
their control within key ministries. The
original Cabinet appointed by the DNC in
late July 1979 appeared to include more
conservative and moderate ministers than
leftist ones (these of the most sensitive
portfolios Economic Planning, Industry
and Agriculture went to representatives
of the private sector, equally important, the
Ministry of Defense was given to a former
colonel in Somoza's National Guard, Ber-
nardino Larios). Conservative control of key
economic ministries, however, did not re-
tard radical reforms which the DNC issued
by decree. Within a few months of the fall of
Somoza, the DNC had nationalized export,
exploitation of natural resources, and
domestic banking; it had expropriated over
180 industrial and commercial companies,

and nearly 50 percent of the arable land;
and it had initiated a number of social serv-
ices designed to improve health and welfare
among the masses.
By January 1980 the DNC had come up
with its plan for national reconstruction and
placed two of its own members in control of
two important portfolios originally en-
trusted to conservative businessmen: the
Ministries of Agriculture and Economic
Planning. At the same time, Larios was re-
placed in the Ministry of Defense by DNC
member Humberto Ortega. By 1980, mod-
erate members of Los Doce appointed to
the cabinet (d'Escoto and Tunnerman)
were more than willing to back radical pro-
grams and accept the political leadership of
the DNC. Thus, by February 1980 the politi-
cal configuration of the cabinet had
changed considerably. Most of the con-
servatives had been removed, several of the
moderates had become radicalized, and at
least nine important portfolios (Interior,
Defense, Economic Planning, Agrarian
Reform/Agriculture, Social Welfare, Cul-
ture, Foreign Affairs and Education) were in
the hands of leftists.
The conservative and moderate mem-
bers of the original cabinet were unable to
use their positions to present policy alter-
natives largely because of the DNC's cal-
culated delay in creating the Council of
State. The projected make-up of the Coun-
cil meant that the slightest political shift to
the right by certain constituent groups
could have produced a legislative body
dominated by conservative interests. A
conservative Council of State could have
provided the political backing needed for
private sector representatives in the original
Cabinet to resist the DNC's control of the
state apparatus.
The Program of Government issued by
the DNC in June 1979 called for the forma-
tion of a 33-member council whose seats
were to be apportioned among 1) the San-
dinista Front of National Liberation, 2) the
seven groups belonging to the leftist Na-
tional Patriotic Front, 3) the seven groups
united in the "bourgeois" Broad Opposition
Front, 4) the six member organizations of
the Superior Council of Private Property, 5)
the Autonomous National University of

Sandinista Poster art.

Nicaragua, and 6) the National Association
of Clergy. Though the left would have
gained a slight majority under the proposed
formula, the DNC postponed formalizing
the institution. Some of the parties and
unions having accepted FSLN leadership
during the insurrection might have com-
peted with theSandinista Front for political
leadership after the insurrection. Moreover,
some radical parties closely identified with
the FSLN and guaranteed representation in
the Council of State (like the United Peoples
Movement) had ceased to exist, while new
entities such as the Sandinista Defense
Committees and the Association of Rural
Workers had no participation according to
the June 1979 formula. The DNC, through
its sub-committee on popular organiza-
tions, strengthened its control over a
number of new mass-based organizations
and then elaborated a new formula provid-
ing for their inclusion in the Council of
A47-member Council of State was finally
instituted in May 1980. Popular organiza-
tions either controlled by, or closely associ-
ated with the FSLN received a decided
majority of the 47 seats, and Bayardo Arce
oftheDNC was appointed presiding officer.
The decision to expand the membership of
the Council and increase the representation
of Sandinista-led organizations was one of
the factors contributing to the resignation
of Alfonso Robelo from the Government of
National Reconstruction the previous
month. The willingness of other private
sector representatives to participate in both
the JGRN and the Council of State permit-
ted the regime to preserve its pluralistic
image and escape political polarization
between the right and left.

The Consolidation of Military
The National Guard (GN) was replaced
after the revolution with the Popular San-
dinista Army (EPS) which was organized
around a core of FSLN guerrilla veterans
and Sandinista-led popular militias. Police
and State Security Forces, which had been
incorporated into the National Guard under
Somoza, were given a separate institutional
existence from the army under the Ministry
of Interior. Finally, citizens were organized
into Sandinista Popular Militias (MPSs) to
serve as reserves for the army and aux-
iliaries to the Sandinista Police.
The organization of the armed forces
(including the police and security forces)
was the responsibility of the DNC sub-
committee on the military. Although the
Ministry of Defense was initially given to a
former colonel in the GN (who had fled
Nicaragua in 1978 after an abortive coup
against Somoza), the DNC actually kept the
new armed forces under direct Sandinista
control. This was accomplished in a
number of ways, beginning with the ap-


pointment of a General Staff in July con-
sisting exclusively of FSLN guerrilla veter-
ans. More important, each of the threeDNC
members on the military sub-committee
assumed key positions within the emerging
command structure: Tomas Borge became
Minister of Interior, Humberto Ortega
Commander-in-Chief of the EPS, and Luis
Carri6n second-in-command of the EPS.
Ortega later took over as Minister of De-
fense and Carri6n as Vice-Minister of De-
fense (while retaining their positions as

Conservative control of key
economic ministries,
however, did not retard
radical reforms which the
DNC issued by decree.

commander and second commander in
the EPS).
Though a certain degree of structural
differentiation exists between the chain of
command for the EPS and that for the
police and security forces, in reality there is
a close interrelationship between the army
and police at nearly every level. At the top,
the Minister of Interior and the Minister of
Defense participate in the DNC and the
DNC sub-committee on the military. At a
lower level, several ranking Sandinista vet-
erans hold posts in both ministries or in
both the military command structure and
the police command structure. For exam-
ple, two of the members of the General Staff
of the EPS were also important figures in
the Ministry of Interior: Eden Pastora,
Vice-Minister of Interior; and Hugo Torres,
Chief of State Security. Finally, at the level of
operations, EPS soldiers, Sandinista Police
and MPS members frequently engage in
joint actions.
To consolidate FSLN control over the
armed forces, Political and Cultural Sec-
tions were established in all units of the EPS
and the Sandinista Police. Political indoc-
trination was viewed by the EPS General
Staff as essential. This emphasis on politi-
cal indoctrination of the armed forces pro-
voked criticism from conservative politi-
cians who called for the complete de-
politicization of the military. The response of
Tomas Borge, however, was unequivocal:
"there is no apolitical army in the world.
This is a sophism ... There are no apolitical
armies: every one serves some determinant
political purpose. In the case of Nicaragua,
theEPS is a Popular andSandinista army. It
is not by accident that we call it such."
The majority of the troops came from the
lower social classes. A 1979 study of the
EPS revealed an illiteracy rate of 45 percent.

An intensive literacy program making use
of literate troops to tutor illiterate troops was
undertaken. The scarcity of skilled recruits
was overcome with the assistance of ap-
proximately 200 Cuban military advisors.
Three primary sources threaten the
post-Somoza government: ex-National
Guard units operating near the Honduran
frontier, ultra-leftist Milpas under the con-
trol of the Workers Front, and right-wing
guerrillas operating in the central prov-
inces. At least 2000 members of the Na-
tional Guard escaped to Honduras after the
collapse of the dictatorship where they pose
an armed threat to revolutionary officials in
the northern provinces. To defend against
periodic incursions by these ex-GN troops,
the EPS first organized and trained San-
dinista Popular Militias in frontier districts
before those of the rest of the country. The
MPSs were organized by districts and
weapons remained in the possession of
MPS leaders until a militia unit was called
into action. Over 100,000 citizens had been
incorporated into MPSs by the end of the
A more complex threat to the regime was
presented by the ultra-leftist members of
the Anti-Somoza Popular Militias (Milpas).
Milpa actions fall into two categories: en-
forcing strikes against the government
through armed intimidation, and carrying
out expropriationss" from banks to finance
Trotskyite groups. The first problem was
largely dealt with through the formation of
MPSs in factories to enable workers loyal to
the new regime to resist the pressures of the
Milpas. The second problem was con-
tained by police operations. The objective
of the Milpas was not to restore the pre-
insurrectionary order. They did not consti-
tute the same kind of threat to the regime as
did other groups, and the Sandinista
leadership entered into dialogue with their
leaders by mid-1980.
At the opposite end of the political-
military spectrum, the rightwing guerrillas
of the Fuerzas Armadas Democraticas
(FAD) attempted to initiate a protracted
struggle against the revolutionary regime in
the central province of Boaco during the
first half of 1980. The largest FAD action
involved an attack on the town of San
Ram6n de los Remates, which 20 FAD
guerrillas succeeded in holding for about
eight hours. This attack was followed by a
combined EPS-Sandinista Police opera-
tion that captured several leading private-
sector figures who were accused of al-
legedly financing and coordinating FAD
activities. By the first anniversary of the
revolution, the revolutionary armed forces
appeared to completely contain the activ-
ities of the FAD.
Sandinista control within the military can
be attributed to three factors. First, leader-
ship positions were concentrated in the
hands of a small group ofSandinista com-

bat veterans to the total exclusion of other
elements. Second, the new military was
shielded from potentially non-leftist influ-
ences. For example, not only were offers of
US military advisors turned down, but after
February 1980 US Embassy personnel
were prohibited from communicating with
members of theEPS without prior approval
of the Ministry of Defense. Finally, alle-
giance was reinforced through political-
cultural indoctrination.

The Consolidation of Political
The two dominant political coalitions after
the revolution were the National Patriotic
Front (FPN) on the left, and the Broad Op-
position Front (FAO) in the center. TheFPN
had been formed in late 1978 to provide
political support to the FSLN and consisted
of seven groups: the United Peoples
Movement, the Independent Liberal Party,
Los Doce, the Popular Social Christian
Party, the Nicaraguan Workers' Central, the
Workers' Front, and the Syndicate of Radio
Journalists. The FAO included the more
traditional parties and two conservative
trade unions. Had the Sandinista leader-
ship decided on an electoral approach to
building political support for the new re-
gime, these two fronts would have been
driven into open competition for votes. In-
stead, each front was accorded representa-
tion in the new government (and promised
participation in the Council of State), while
the FSLN attempted to organize the society
directly. The decision not to work through
the FPN to mobilize support for the regime
deprived the front of its political purpose,
and it ceased to exist by the end of 1979
(together with one of its leading members,
the United Peoples Movement).
Although there was considerable talk
during the first six months following the
revolution of establishing a Sandinista
Party, no move was made in that direction.
In place of creating a monolithic political
party alongside the state, the Sandinista
Front organized the society directly under
the government, eliminating political in-
termediaries and, by extension, political
parties. The basic unit of popular organiza-
tion became the Sandinista Defense
Committee (CDS), organized block by
block, each with its own meeting place and
CDSs perform a wide variety of functions.
Their two most important functions are
political and military. Each CDS holds
periodic meetings to discuss revolutionary
objectives. The political message focuses
on the popular character of the revolution
and the need to accept the leadership of the
Sandinista Front as its legitimate van-
guard. In a military capacity, CDSs serve as
the recruitment point for the Sandinista
Popular Militias which were organized at the
Continued on page 54


Bernardino Larios

Roberto Mayorga
(Economic Planning)

Cesar Amador Kheel

Noel Rivas Gasteasoro

Manuel Jose Torres


Tombs Borge

Ernesto Cardinal

Leah Guido de L6pez
(Social Welfare)

Jaime Wheelock
(Agrarian Reform)

Joaquin Cuadra Chamorro*

Ernesto Castillo L6pez*

Dionisio Marenco
(Transport and Public Works)

*Los Doce members


Original Cabinet and Ministerial Positions


Miguel d'Escoto*
(Foreign Affairs)

Virgilio Godoy Reyes

Carlos Tunnerman*

Miguel Ernesto Vigil

Reyando Antonio Tefel*
(Social Security)

Key Positions Held by DNC Members
After First Year

Tomas Borge Minister of Interior

Daniel Ortega Member of the Government of
National Reconstruction

Humberto Ortega Minister of Defense and
Commander of the Sandinista
Popular Army

Bayardo Arce President of the Council of

Jaime Wheelock Minister of Agriculture and
Agrarian Reform

Luis Carribn Vice Minister of Defense and
Second in Command of the
Sandinista Popular Army

Henry Ruiz Minister of Economic Planning

Carlos Nunez Involved in popular organization

Victor Tirado Involved in popular organization

The Literacy Campaign

Nicaragua Style

By Leonor Blum

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Literacy campaigns seem to be the
perfect follow-up to revolutions.
While revolutions normally involve
only a minority of the population, literacy
campaigns get down to the grass roots
teaching the four r's reading, writing ,
'rithmetic and revolution.
The Caribbean has already witnessed
two such campaigns: one in Cuba,
launched by Fidel Castro in 1961; the other
in Nicaragua, begun in 1980. The purpose of
the Cuban and the Nicaraguan literacy
campaigns, their mechanics and their
teaching methods do not differ signifi-
cantly The main difference lies in the clarity
and slant of their political content, direct
reflections of the tenor of the two revolu-
tions. Neither literacy campaign has denied
its political motive.

The Cuban revolution, once it defined
itself, became radically left wing and so was
its subsequent literacy campaign. Young-
sters sent to teach literacy in the coun-
tryside had to attend a seven-day indoctri-
nation. They learned, drank, ate, breathed
and dreamed revolution, far away from the
influence of home and family. The teachers'
manuals followed a clear Marxist line. Even
mathematical problems gave examples
based on "Yankee imperialist exploitation"
compared to an idealized, more equitable,
communist system.
Nicaragua's ideology still remains unde-
fined. At present, capitalism shakily coexists
with state ownership; only the mines, lands
and industries of Somoza have been na-
tionalized. Consequently the literacy pro-
gram is also less doctrinaire. Most student
teachers participated in three-day training
sessions before they left for the countryside.
But their training was far less rigorous than
that of the Cubans and they were permitted
to return to their homes at night. In
Nicaragua, the teachers' manual and the
accompanying primer (called The Dawn of
the People) are based on the conscientiza-
cion method of Brazilian pedagogue Paulo
Freire. Lessons focus on Nicaraguan his-
tory, geography, anti-Yankeeism, nation-
alism and the freedom gained by Nicara-
guans as a result of the revolution.

The Literacy Census
The first step in these campaigns has been
to conduct literacy censuses that point to
the failings of the prior regimes. In Cuba
929,300 illiterate persons were counted:
24% of the country's population could not
read or write. Statistics indicated that the
illiteracy rate was 40% in rural areas. Fidel
could thus accuse his predecessors when
he argued that: "Education is an index of
political oppression; the lack of education is
the best index of the state of political op-
pression, social backwardness and exploi-
tation in which a country finds itself. The
indexes of economic exploitation and eco-
nomic backwardness coincide exactly with
the indices of illiteracy and the lack of
schools and universities."
In Nicaragua, almost 20 years later,
Somoza left behind an even bleaker picture.
A census of the population age 10 and up,
by the Instituto Nacional de Estadisticas y
Censos revealed a 50% illiteracy rate. Rural
illiteracy ranked as high as 80%. Nicara-
guan Education Minister Carlos Tunner-
man Bernheim seemed to echo Fidel's
words with his assertion that: "We are con-
scious that the educational field, aban-
doned by Somoza, is in a shambles, and
that on its ruins we must build the founda-
tions and structures of a new education,
diametrically opposed to that of the
Somoza regime at all levels. Somoza's was
an alienating and submissive education,
inspired from the purpose of transferring
to our youth an ideology imposed by the
With the help of Cuban teachers, includ-
ing Raul Ferrer, once coordinator of Cuba's
literacy campaign and now a UNESCO ad-
visor, the Nicaraguans copied the initial
organization and structure of Cuba's cam-
paign, down to its very rhetoric.
A quarter of a million teachers' manuals
and a million copies of The Dawn of the
People rolled off the presses in Nicaragua
last December, while the first 80 hand-
picked Sandinista university students went
out into the field to reconnoiter. Based on
their experiences, the students then offered
workshops to 1,600 teachers, who, in turn,
trained students and other teachers until
180,000 volunteers had been prepared to

From the primer.

Photo by Leonor Blum.


instruct the 800,000 illiterates. In March, all
schools in Nicaragua closed down for five
months, as students, age 13 up, the
"brigadistas," and their teachers, went into
the field. Meanwhile, in the cities, adult vol-
unteers, called "alfabetizadores populares"
taught at their work places or in marginal
As in the Cuban case, continuity between
the revolution and the literacy campaign
was fostered by giving the literacy effort an
intensely militaristic flavor. Illiteracy was
painted as an evil human being. For the
Nicaraguans, the campaign became a
"crusade." The brigadistas were members
of the Ejercito Popular de Alfabetizaci6n,
organized into fronts, brigades, columns
and squadrons. Each squadron was
formed of one to three teachers from one
school, with about 30 teenagers, usually
members of the same school class, all of
whom were assigned to one small region
where they could keep in touch with each
other without having to travel long dis-
tances. And as in the Cuban case, the
brigadistas wore fatigues and sang military
marches. Tunnerman announced: "Illiter-
acy, the enemy of the revolution, has to be
defeated to the last man. While there is one
illiterate person left in Nicaragua, there will
remain in our country vestiges of tyranny,
places where secular oppression has not
been wiped out."
Both campaigns had an active prop-
aganda machine; both had weekly actos,
speeches and parades that glorified their
campaign and their participating brigadis-
tas. In both cases, the homecoming of the
brigadistas in trains, busses,and trucks was
treated like the return of a victorious army
from a major war. And, of course, touching
letters, haltingly composed in rude scrawls,
were sent by former illiterates to Fidel Cas-
tro and Fernando Cardenal (the priest who
heads the Nicaraguan literacy crusade).
Rail Ferrer once said, and no one knows
whether it was tongue in cheek or serious:
"What is a literate? He can be defined as a
comparfero who has gone through the en-
tire primer, who can read its simple sen-
tences, and who knows how to write well
enough to compose a letter to Fidel Castro
that ends more or less as follows: 'Long live

our great socialist revolution.' "
More interesting than the similarities are
the differences significant enough for
Nicaragua to receive support from the
Catholic Church and the Western World
(whereas Cuba has to rely on help from the
Eastern Bloc).
According to Richard Fagen, the Cuban
brigadistas' seven-day training period at
Varadero Beach was a total immersion pro-
gram.Brigadistas were "living in the hotels,
homes and clubs that a few years earlier
had housed the rich... Here the young
people received seven days of intensive
instruction in the use of Venceremos and
Alfabeticemos. There were special classes
on revolutionary politics, personal com-
portment, rural nutrition and hygiene.
Sports, movies and beach recreation, as
well as a physical examination ... were ... in
the program." The main emphasis was on
the spirit of the training to generate en-
thusiasm for the revolution.
Compared to this rigorous routine and
indoctrination, the Nicaraguan talleres
seemed more pragmatic. Held in neigh-
borhood schools, they were attended by
both brigadistas and alfabetizadores
populares, often parents of the former. Most
people attended three talleres. They were
instructed how to use the teachers' manual
and how to initiate dialogues around the 23
themes covered. Persons interviewed
found the talleres informative, not with re-
gard to ideology, but as sociology. Empha-
sis was placed on how to relate to peasants,
how to behave in their homes, and how to
protect oneself from tropical disease and
how to help the peasants maintain a basic
level of hygiene.
In Nicaragua, as in Cuba, the instructor's
manual was far more important than the
primer. In both cases the manual was the
political weapon and the primer the al-
phabetizacion tool. In fact, each instruc-
tor's manual gives a simple, but relatively
accurate account of the history and the
purpose of the revolution. The Cuban
manual was profoundly political, consisting
of 24 themes of revolutionary orientation
on such subjects as nationalization, racial
discrimination and imperialism. Theme
one, for example, was called "The Revolu-

Photo by Leonor Blum.


Elercro A
1 Leamos la orfaci.
Sandino: guia de la Revoluci6n.
2- Leamilasalabas-
la Revoluci6n

a e o u i
A E 0 U I
-. L y A ..U..L .m. .v es-

tion" and was headed by a quotation from
Castro: "Revolution means the destruction
of privilege, the disappearance of exploita-
tion and the creation of a just society.
People need revolution to develop. When a
nation is dominated by another more pow-
erful nation, only through revolution can it
end foreign domination and establish its
own government free from such domina-
tion." The use of such strong anti-capitalist
rhetoric lost Castro support from the West.
The $20 million Cuban literacy campaign
had to be financed by international organi-
zations like UNESCO and by the Com-
munist Bloc. During the Year of Education,
Castro nationalized all church property to
punish the Catholic Church for actively op-
posing his Marxist ideas and increasing
friendship with the Soviets.
The Nicaraguan instructor's manual
uses relatively moderate language. It begins
with a short review of Nicaraguan history in
which the role of Augusto Cesar Sandino is
defined. The leading recent hero is Carlos
Fonseca Amador, who in the 1960s created
the Frente Sandinista and who died in
combat a few years before the success of
the revolution in 1979. It also describes the
people's heroic involvement in the revolu-
tion, encourages them to participate in
Sandinista organizations, and blames the
country's current economic plight on the

Somozas who cooperating with the Yankee
imperialists granted them control of
Nicaragua's natural resources.
Since about one half to two-thirds of
Nicaragua's industries and land are still in
private hands, the lesson on nationalization
is somewhat ambiguous. Nationalization is
praised, but there is no indication that state
ownership will be extended to other lands,
or that peasants have the right to invade
private property. In fact, although agrarian
reform is advocated, the book firmly estab-
lishes that the confiscated land will remain

The US could easily
sponsor a mass literacy

in the hands of the government and not be
The government's position vis a vis the
Catholic Church is discussed in some de-
tail. Freedom of worship will be respected
by the Sandinistas, it says, because the
Church has helped the revolution. As an
example, the heroic deeds of Commander
Father Gaspar Garcia Laviana who died for

the revolution in December of 1978 are
detailed. Fernando Cardenal, a Jesuit
Priest, is the head of the Nicaraguan literacy
crusade, and there are various priests and
nuns, particularly Maryknolls, who are
working on the literacy campaign at the
grass roots level.
With only a few diatribes at the expense of
the Somozas, the National Guard and Yan-
kee imperialism, Nicaragua's $25 million
literacy campaign has received support
from various international organizations.
UNESCO and the Organization of Ameri-
can States have funded a teacher's training
program, the United Nations Development
Programme provided essential medical
supplies for the brigadistas and their hosts.
Sweden gave 50,000 lamps to carry the
crusade into the night and the World Coun-
cil of Churches, Holland and West Germany
have each contributed substantial funds.
Spanish-speaking countries have made
their contribution by sending teachers:
1,200 came from Cuba, 70 from Spain, 40
from Costa Rica, and 39 from the Domini-
can Republic. The overwhelming Cuban
presence has created a furor in the Western
World, and the Nicaraguan government,
not wishing to lose Cuban advice, has re-
sponded by reducing Cuban visibility, hav-
ing the Castroite teachers instruct peasants
in the most remote areas.

Institute de Estudios del Caribe
Universidad de Puerto Rico

Problems del 1


Contemporary CHRIBBERNf Issues


E Contemporaneo

fngel Calderrn Cruz

CONTENTS: Gordon K. Lewis, Caribbean Society and Culture;
Philip Sherlock, The Role of Education in Caribbean Develop-
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sil A. Ince, The Commonwealth Caribbean in Int'l. Politics; Fuat
Andic, Integraci6n econ6mica en el Caribe; Tony Thorndike,
Associated Statehood in the Eastern Caribbean; A. Calder6n

Cruz, Modelos de libre asociaci6n en el Caribe; Lynn Bender,
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How successful this massive campaign
has been remains to be seen. Brigadistas
who were interviewed highly praise the
teaching method. However, they are skepti-
cal about the political impact on the peas-
ants. Peasants we talked to, seemed de-
lighted with their newly acquired literacy
skills, but were apprehensive that the return
of the student teachers to the cities would
cause them to fall back into oblivion. They
acknowledged that the literacy campaign
was teaching them what the revolution was
all about but that they could only begin
praise of the revolution once they improved
their own material welfare. In contrast, city
workers who were being alphabetized and
unionized were far more aware of the revo-
lution. Yet the question remains: Are those
who completed their readings in the primer

Should the US fund literacy?
Since a literacy campaign has the potential
of becoming such a powerful social tool, it
is interesting to consider whether the US
should try to get involved in Latin American
literacy campaigns. Castro said that a
change in the education system could only
be effected through revolution. Yet, revolu-
tion is not a prerequisite for a successful
literacy campaign. The US could easily
sponsor a mass literacy effort. Ideally a
literacy effort should occur after a change in
government from a right wing dictatorship
to a democratic regime. Honduras and
Peru could be ideal examples. Some social
reform by the new government would be
necessary to generate popular support.
However, these changes need not be revo-
For a US-sponsored literacy campaign
the propaganda elements could be the fol-
lowing: 1) The merits of a mixed economy,
where those who can help themselves do
so, while those who cannot receive gov-
ernment aid; 2) The freedom associated
with democracy, in contrast to the controls
that bind the Latin American spirit in either
right- or left-wing totalitarian systems; 3)
That the US is now on the side of the people,
witnessed by US interest in the literacy
campaign. The US should be interested in
sponsoring literacy campaigns because of
their relatively low cost ($25 million for the
initial effort) and because they provide an
ideal way to reach all levels of society. Any
US-sponsored program should only be at-
tempted, however, where the host govern-
ment is willing and able to take a leadership
role in adapting and implementing the pro-
gram as required.

Leonor Blum is a journalist who writes fre-
quently on Latin America. She was recently in
Nicaragua to study their literacy campaign for
the United Nations.

Latin American Literature and Arts

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fiji 111


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The Sandinistas and

the Indians

The "Problem" of the Indian in Nicaragua

By Richard N. Adams

he expression, "the problem of the
Indian" in fact expresses something
of the nature of the "problem." Its
classical meaning in Central America is that
Indians present a problem, a problem to the
non-Indian dominant population, because
they have not always been cooperative
about being exploited for slavery, debt
peonage or cheap labor. They have been a
"problem" because they have not readily
cooperated in buying all the industrially
produced goods that western capitalists
have produced for the market. They have
been dubbed "a problem" because their
preference to continue to use their own
language has made communication dif-
ficult for the growing urban-oriented gov-
ernments of Central America. While the
problem has been ascribed to the Indian, it
has been, in fact, a problem for the non-
Indian. If only Indians would do as they were
instructed by their betters, then Central
America would flourish and enjoy the fruits
of economic development! They stand in
the way of progress.
This perspective is not precisely that of
the Indians themselves. It was not that they
are short of problems. On the contrary, they
had from the outset of the conquest a series
of problems. The nature of the "problem"
from the standpoint of the Indian, however,
has been survival. This first meant physical
survival in the face of the military and
biological onslaught of the Spanish con-
quest. More recently, it has meant eco-
nomic survival and culture survival in the
face of exploitative economic enterprises
for foreign markets and by often hopelessly
corrupt governmental plans for national
development. Until very recently, the most
exaggerated cases of threats to Indian sur-
vival were universally derived from regimes
and societies that were fundamentally part
of the capitalist world, even though their
organization was often more impressive for
its similarity to feudalistic regimes than to
modern states.
The Historical Background
Let me contrast two contemporary Indian
survival problems. One is that of
Miskito Indians during the Somoza
regime. Photo by Bernard Nietschmann.

Guatemala, the other that of Nicaragua. In
the early 16th century Central America
aboriginal populations varied in their de-
gree of evolution towards social complexity.
We can distinguish three: (1) the hunting,
gathering, and horticultural societies of the
Atlantic coastal regions that were varyingly
based on community level and tribal level
political organization; (2) the somewhat
more complex and demographically
denser chiefdoms of the Pacific coastal
regions of Nicaragua and neighboring
Costa Rica and Panama; (3) the even more
complex kingdoms of El Salvador and
Guatemala, the southernmost extensions
of the great Mesoamerican societies that
had yielded the great ceremonial centers
and the most recent empire that of the
Aztecs of central Mexico. While there is
much evidence for lowland origins of these
more advanced states, their degree of de-
velopment at the time of the conquest was
clearest in the highlands of Guatemala and
The Spanish conquest affected these
different kinds of society in different ways.
The great Mesoamerican civilizations were
politically decapitated, and their people
were reduced to various kinds of peonage,
ranging from direct slavery at the beginning
to encomienda labor and wage labor.
Shortly after the conquest there began what
was to be a repeated series of epidemics
that reduced the aboriginal populations
even more severely than had military
conquest or even the often inhuman labor
The Indians living in the chiefdomships
of lower Central America were the most
vulnerable to total destruction. While chief-
doms were fairly well organized, they gen-
erally did not have the control over labor
that characterized the more advanced
kingdoms of Guatemala. Their fairly dense
populations could not be readily harnessed
for labor within their own political organiza-
tion as was possible further to the north. As
a consequence the Indians of Nicaragua,
for example, were rapidly reduced to slavery
early in the conquest, and the Pacific region
of the country was effectively depopulated.
As slaves, the people perished in short order
in Panama and Peru. A similar tragedy be-

fell the Indians of Costa Rica. The impact of
the conquest in these areas was obviously
devastating, and the surviving Indians of
today are in great part refugee assemblages
of social fragments, not representative of
any particular pre-Colombian society.
Probably the aboriginal populations least
advanced on a scale of social complexity
were those that best survived the conquest.
There were few of them, scattered in the
Atlantic coastal regions of Nicaragua and
Honduras. Their political organizations had
evolved little beyond that of the local com-
munity. They could not be effectively har-
nessed for labor because they had never
been so harnessed in their own society.
And, possibly most important, they oc-
cupied a tropical lowland that promised
little by way of immediate and rich yields of
silver and gold. As a result, while they were
affected by disease and slave raids, they
were able to survive with some degree of
societal integrity. Over the centuries that
followed, colonial Spanish societies grew
up in the Pacific region of Nicaragua where
the Indians had, with a few exceptions, been
exterminated by slavery. In Guatemala a
similar Spanish society gradually took root
in the eastern part of the country, while the
Indian numbers continued to dominate
But while the Guatemalan Indians were
gradually being reduced to a labor force on
colonial haciendas, the Indians of the At-
lantic coastal region of Nicaragua were
evolving in quite a different direction. Since
they were of little direct interest to the
Spanish colonists, they were not extermi-
nated. So much the worse for the
Spaniards, because their lack of interest left
a vacuum that was filled by the English. The
pirates, privateers and merchant interests of
Great Britain found in the Nicaragua Atlan-
tic coast an almost ideal foreign base for
their Caribbean operations. With no
Spanish officialdom or military forces in the
region, a relationship of mutual benefit de-
veloped between the Miskito Indians of the
area and the British. The latter needed
places where they could replenish their
supplies, effect minor repairs on their ships,
and even have a base for occasional raids
on Spanish settlements. The Indians, for

their part, wanted some of the trade items,
especially metal tools and weapons. They
also found it occasionally of interest to ship
on as sailors although one may suspect
that it as often occurred without their ex-
plicit connivance, given the practices of the
period. Even more, they enjoyed the Eng-
lish practices of going inland to raid the
Spanish towns in the highlands and Pacific
coastal regions. The British set up a con-
venient "Miskito Kingdom." that was to
allow a facade of legitimacy to appear in
their dealings with the Indians. This grew to
be of some importance to the Indians, as it
was the mechanism by which they received
the benefit of British interests. The warrior
traditions of the Miskito were thus rein-
forced and continued, but with the targets
now being somewhat shifted toward the
Spanish colonial settlements and less well
armed Indian populations.
The 19th century saw important changes
in this arrangement since the growth of the
economic interest of the United States put
pressure on the British to abandon their
support of the Miskito Kingdom. British
activities were quickly replaced by United
States commercial and exploitative inter-
ests, and logging expanded, along with the
establishment of banana plantations, and
the development of the mines by Ameri-
cans. The inability of the descendants of the
Spanish colonists to cope with American
interests coincided with United States im-
perial expansion. Sometime after Spain's
expulsion from her remaining holding in
the Caribbean, the United States Marines
were landed in Nicaragua where, with the
exception of one brief interval, they were to
remain until early in the 1930s. When they
left, the country came under what was to
evolve into a dynasty of the Somoza family,
finally terminating with the flight of the last
Somoza in July of 1979.
The Miskito and Sumu Indians found in
the Americans something of a substitute for
the now lost relations with the British. While
raids on Spanish towns ended in the colo-
nial period, the access provided by Ameri-
cans to cash and foreign goods through
work on the plantations and in the mines
served to perpetuate the Indians' de-
pendence on Atlantic trade and on English
speaking cultural relations. When Augusto
Cesar Sandino, Nicaragua's guerrillero
archetype, raided the American mines in
the 1930s as a part of his campaign to har-
rass the foreign invaders, the Indians
showed little sympathy with the guerril-
leros: rather, they were irritated that their
jobs had been temporarily stopped and
their incomes threatened. From their
standpoint, Sandino was just another of the
interventions from the Pacific coast that
interfered with their way of life. Thus the
Indians of the Atlantic area had maintained
virtual autonomy in many aspects of their
life, and where they had become dependent


on outside resources, it was on an Atlantic
economy rather than on the national econ-
omy of Nicaragua.
The history of the Guatemalan Indians
was quite different. Early in the colonial
period the basic relations between Indian
and non-Indian were set by relegating the
Indians to the category of laborer for the
Spaniard. Guatemala, unlike Mexico, did
not yield the riches in metals that made the
larger colony such a bonanza for the
Spaniards. It was neversuccessful in finding
a major resource that would bring wide-
spread wealth to the colonists. Indigo and

Ortega emphasized that
the Miskito and Sumu
should not think of
themselves as Indians ...
they should identify with
the poor of the world.

cochineal were the two major products, and
while the latter stood in second place in
colonial trade for some time, its total value
was microscopic in comparison with that of
Mexican silver. While there was a certain
amount of reduction of Guatemalan In-
dians to towns, in general the Indian popu-
lations remained in their original com-
munities, and where not displaced by
haciendas or colonists, they occasionally
expanded to set up new communities. By
the time of independence, the Indian
population was in uneasy harness, as early
19th century rebellions in the highlands
testify. The great new era of expansion of
control over the Indian population came in
with the growth of coffee.
The best coffee grows at an altitude of
three to six thousand feet. It was almost
exclusively cultivated for export although it
did replace cacao as a basic drink in the
Indian diet. The growth of coffee cultivation
in Guatemala saw the gradual expansion of
need for labor, and coffee farmers in search
of it would regularly capture Indians in the
highlands to bring them to the Pacific
piedmont farms. Out of these forced mi-
grations, there were usually some who re-
mained on by preference. Beginning late in
the 19th century, the system began to
change as the growth of Indian community
population was placing increasing pressure
on the land. This, of course, was exacer-
bated by the expansion of non-Indian land
holding, often with the explicit design of
restricting the areas of potential Indian cul-
tivation in order to force them to labor in
coffee harvests. While coffee provided fairly
good profits until the depression of the

1930s, it was not the custom to share any of
the wealth with the laboring populations.
Between 1930 and the Second World War,
the price of coffee was so low that some
farms could not afford to pay labor at all,
and the level of poverty of the dependent
Indians obviously worsened.
The Indians did not accept economic
servitude without contest. Under the
stimulus of the efforts of the First Interna-
tional, a revolution in El Salvador in the
early 1930s was seen to be a rebellion of
Indians, and they received the brunt of a
repression so violent that the dead num-
bered in five figures. In the 1940s, the basic
inequality at the community level was man-
ifested in an Indian uprising in the town of
Patzici in Guatemala, and it too was violently
repressed, so much so that it is still difficult
to obtain accounts of what happened from
the Indian standpoint.
A difference between the Guatemalan
and Nicaraguan Atlantic coastal Indians
was that the former have long been peas-
ants and proletarianized laborers under a
state system, whereas the latter have been
independent farmers, hunters, gatherers,
and laborers who needed cash for the ex-
ternal market, but have not been often the
direct target of the Nicaraguan state. The
culture of the Guatemalan Indian retained a
basic integration with old forms of cathol-
icism, and included many elements of the
earlier indigenous religions. The Miskito, in
contrast, became divided among a variety
of churches, with a majority of the popula-
tion being one or another variety of Protes-
tant, the Moravians predominating. These
churches had been the basic channel of
education, of the formation of local gov-
ernment, and of the orientation to the out-
side world.

Indians and Revolutionaries
Guatemala and Nicaragua are among the
very few Latin American countries to have
had successful socialist revolutions, even
though the success of the Guatemalan rev-
olution was short lived. It is of some interest,
therefore, to examine what role the Indians
had in the revolutions and what effect, in
turn, they felt from it. Even though the two
revolutions occurred a quarter of a century
apart, they were a part of the same basic
movement against the entrenched dic-
tatorships that had their beginning in the
depression of the 1930s. The Guatemalan
revolution occurred during the final years of
the Second World War. After unseating
Jorge Ubico, a democratic government
was established that moved gradually left
until it was eliminated by the combined
efforts of Guatemalan insurgents and the
American government. While the begin-
nings of the Nicaraguan revolution can
probably be most accurately dated from the
same era that brought Fidel Castro to
power, it really did not become a major

threat to the incumbent government until,
like in Guatemala, a sizeable portion of the
middle class supported it. Since
Nicaragua's dictator Somoza had long
been the favorite of the United States gov-
ernment, the revolution was not successful
until the larger power withdrew support
from the dictator.
At the time of their respective revolutions,
the Indian populations of the two countries
were all but inactive in the rebellion and
were politically unsophisticated as to their
potential role in the process. Of the two, the
Guatemalan Indians were certainly the less
prepared for the revolution. The Miskito of
Nicaragua at least had some antecedents,
and were not unr a rini.lr .. th th-, long efforts
of the Sandinista guerrilleros to unseat
Somoza. But apart from this, the situation
of the two groups was different in most
respects, and the processes of change they
experienced were also somewhat divergent.
The problems faced by the two socialist
governments, however, were not dissimilar.
The Guatemalan government moved to-
wards a socialist position during the regime
of Jacobo Arbenz, and the Sandinista gov-
ernment that took over Nicaragua in 1979
has been socialistically inclined at the out-
set. Guatemala was, however, the first case
and the rulers faced their problems with a
greal deal of inexperience. The leaders of
the Nicaraguan Revolution gained from the
revolutionary experiences of Guatemala,
Cuba, Bolivia, and the efforts of agrarian
reform and national development in many
other countries. Moreover, the explicit
backing of Cuba as well as the Soviet Union
was much more effective than had been
possible at the time of the Guatemalan
A most interesting parallel between the
two revolutionary experiences is that the
class orientation of both governments
obscured the significance of ethnic distinc-
tions and the importance of ethnic identity.
The efforts of the government in revolu-
tionary Guatemala were carried out through
mass organizations political parties,
campesino organizations, labor unions,
and so forth but none of them made the
slightest bow to the ethnic identity of the
majority of the people involved in their ef-
forts. Nor did the notion that their people
were Indians seem to be even relevantto the
concerns of the revolution. Rather, the In-
dian language, the illiteracy in Spanish, the
fact of Indian customs and traditional ad-
aptations, were treated as incidental incon-
veniences that had to be corrected by active
work in the field. The Instituto Indigenista
Nacional of the era received little direction
to grapple with the problems of ethnicity.
The arrival of the Sandinistas in
Nicaragua brought to power a ruling group
explicitly socialist in intent. The Junta that
was supposed to be the major ruling group
divided the country for specific responsibil-

ity, and the Atlantic area fell to the Coman-
dante Daniel Ortega. The Indian situation
that he confronted was somewhat different
from that faced by Guatemala in the late
1940s since in the intervening years ethnic
identification had been recognized on an
international scale. The World Council of
Churches had become involved in such
matters, and the World Council of Indigen-
ous Peoples was also now active. Ethnic
militancy was common in many parts of the
In the Atlantic area, an all indigenous
organization called ALPROMISU (Alianza
para el progress del Miskito y Sumu) had

The class orientations of
both governments
obscured the significance
of ethnic distinctions and
the importance of ethnic

been formed. During November of 1979,
some 450 Miskito and Sumu community
leaders and representatives, many of whom
were also pastors of the churches in those
communities, assembled in Puerto
Cabezas. Just prior to the assembly, they
had been advised that Commandante
Ortega had announced that the AL-
PROMISU should be disbanded, that it was
no longer necessary since the Sandinista
government was now going to take care of
the Indians. The Indians recognized the real
threat and there was much action and dis-
cussion as to how this should be handled.
On the next to the last day of the Congress,
Ortega arrived to address the assemblage,
and spent the better part of the day doing
so. What he had to say was both revealing
and important.
He emphasized that the Miskito and
Sumu should not think of themselves as
Indians. They were among the poor, and
they should identify with the poor of the
world. The revolution was not made just for
Indians but to help all the poor. Also, they
should first identify themselves as Nicara-
guans for the revolution was for all Nicara-
guans, not just for Indians. Specifically, they
should identify with the othercampesinos
of the world, and not with other Indians of
the world. While he did not mention the
World Council of Indigenous Peoples by
name, he made it clear that he disfavored
any alliance or connection with such
extra-national organizations. Thus he
sought to create a class and national iden-
tity, to cut across and discard the ethnic
Continued on page 55



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

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


Poetry and Politics

in Nicaragua

By Aaron Segal

Zero Hour and Other Documentary
Poems. Ernesto Cardenal. 106 pp.
New Directions, 1980. $12.00,
paperback $4.95.
Nueva Antologia Poetica. Ernesto
Cardenal. 302 pp. Siglo XXI (Mexico),
Ernesto Cardenal. born in Granada,
Nicaragua in 1925, has already lived
several eventful lives. He has been a
graduate student in literature at Columbia
University, a youthful revolutionary, a novice
at a Trappist Monastery, an ordained Catho-
lic priest, founder of a religious commune
on an island in Lake Nicaragua, and as of
1979 Minister of Culture in the Nicaraguan
government. Most of all over the last 25
years he has been a prolific, gifted, and
influential poet, undoubtedly the most im-
portant contemporary literary figure in
Central America.
These two volumes make much of the
recent and best work of Cardenal available
respectively in English and Spanish. His
four translators are all personal friends,
confidants, and sympathizers who have
effectively rendered his style and meaning.
Altogether six volumes of poetry, one vol-
ume of prose, (an enthusiastic account of a
three month trip to Cuba in 1970), and three
volumes of sermons, responses and
dialogue from his religious commune at
Solentanime are available in English
translation. His influence is widespread
throughout the Spanish-speaking world
where his work has been published in
Argentina, Central America, Cuba, Mexico,
and Spain. His fervent, vibrant, vivid, politi-
cally radical and religiously questing mes-
sage has an impact in Latin America as well
as on North America's Catholic left. He is a
"documentary" poet. a poet of our times.
Five themes like leitmotifs dominate
Cardenal's poetry and thought. These are
first and earliest a balladic, episodic paean
of Nicaragua's past and present. Whatever
his poetic and political faults, he is a pro-
found patriot and nationalist for an often
desecrated and dishonored homeland. His
poetic history serves as an epic myth for the

Ernesto Cardenal

andOther Documentar Poems

4 I

From the dust jacket for Zero Hour.

Sandinista National Liberation Front
forces. Next to Nicaragua, Cardenal's sec-
ond theme is deeply anti-American, seeing
the US as the heartland of the capitalist-
imperialist Babylon that threatens his
country and the world. Yet his anti-
Americanism is tempered by his moving
personal and spiritual ties to the late
Thomas Merton, religious poet and once
his spiritual director at the Trappist Monas-
tery, to the radical Catholic Berrigan
brothers, and to the saintly recently de-
ceased Dorothy Day. founder of the Catho-
lic Worker newspaper and the House of
Hospitality for New York City's destitute. It is
as if Cardenal can only put on paper his
hatred of America's dark, manichean.
commercial, military tide because he has
drunk of its few cleansing, spiritual streams.
America's Indians. north and south.
provide the third theme of his work. He
celebrates their pre-European past in
Homage to the American Indians (Johns
Hopkins, 1973) and laments their fate at the
hands of the conquistadors and capitalists

alike. At times he finds in them the melange
of primitive communism and early Chris-
tianity which is his religious and material
ideal. Deliberately he seeks out the pacific
Hopi, early Maya and other groups and
shuns the imperialist Aztecs and others.
Religion is the fourth theme of his work,
sometimes a fearsome Old Testament
Jehovah implored to let his wrath descend
on the unjust. Besides the sword is the
search for a celestial God who will enable
puny man to find his place amidst the
planets and the galaxies. There is little ex-
plicity of Christ, he is curiously absent as the
redeemer of the poor, but it is his doctrine of
love that enables Cardenal to poetically wed
religion and revolution. "For Communists
there is no God, only justice. For Chris-
tians there is no God withoutjustice."
Finally, as the fifth theme, love reigns
through the Kingdom of God. It is a frater-
nal love, as equal distribution of the world's
goods replaces inequity, and man's exploi-
tation of man ends. His "Open Letter to the
People of Nicaragua" (1977) supports the
armed struggle "for one reason alone: out
of their love for the Kingdom of God. Out of
their ardent desire to establish just society,
a true and concrete kingdom of God here
on this earth." It is also love as a final recon-
ciliation, a final acceptance of the human
condition. "We only love or we are dying/
the great final act of giving all of one's
Cardenal's vision of Nicaragua, past,
present, and future is meant to be accessi-
ble to all. "I prefer verse, as you know, be-
cause it is easier/and shorter/and the
people grasp it better like posters/without
forgetting that/revolutionary art without
artistic value/has no revolutionary val-
It is a vision of Nicaragua defiled by the
Somoza dynasty and their US business and
government allies, where "the two kinds of
people who run things ... are the
bloodsuckers/and the shiteaters." In
league with them "the university of the
Jesuits. the INCAE (Business School), the
realists with no more reality than profits."
Opposed is a tradition of the Nicaraguan
people in arms, as in the rebellion led by
Augusto Cesar Sandino until his murder in

1934. "And he wasn't a soldier or a
politician/And his men:/many of them
were kids,/with palm-leaf hats and
sandals/or barefoot, with machetes, old
men/with white bears, twelve-year-olds
with their rifles./whites, inscrutable In-
dians, and blonds, and kinky-haired
blacks/with tattered pants and with no
provisions,/their pants in shreds,/
parading in Indian file with the flag up
front-/a rag hoisted on a branch from the
woods-/silent beneath the rain, and
weary,/their sandals sloshing in the pud-
dles of the town/Long live Sandino!"
Prophetically in 1956 Cardenal wrote
about Sandino: "But the hero is bor when
he dies/and green grass is reborn from the
ashes." His verses about Nicaragua are
often also a lyrical celebration of the land-
scape, the songs of tropical birds, the vol-
canoes, and their stirring as that of the
When Cardenal turns to the US he sees
that "(The Beast was a technological
Beast all covered with slogans)/and the
prostitute pushed all kinds of checks.
bonds, shares/and commercial docu-
ments." Capitalism and its soul-mate
commercials are all-devouring and "We are
foreigners in Consumer City./The new
man, and not the new Oldsmobile." The
American image exported acquires a
grotesque character as "The Brazilian
miracle/of a Hilton Hotel surrounded by
hovels./The price of things goes up/and
the price of people comes down."
Homage to the American Indians is a
poetic effort to restore dignity to destroyed
civilizations, and to extract from the past the
essence of a renewed future. Certain of the
Indians were for Cardenal innocent, uncor-
rupted: "They never had wars, nor knew
the wheel/but calculated the synodic
revolution of Venus:/noted every after-
noon the appearance of Venus/on the
horizon, above a distant silk-cotton tree/
... They had no metallurgy. Their utensils
were of stone/but they computed exact
dates that existed/as much as 400 million
years ago./They had no applied sciences.
They were not practical./Their progress
was in religion, the arts, mathematics,/
astronomy. They could not weigh."

Good and evil, Sandino
and Somoza, Cuba and the
US are his black and white
landmarks and there is
little of grey.

Cardenal views religion as social justice
writ large, celestial social justice. And you
are a clandestine God/why do you hide
your face?/forgetful of our persecution
and our oppression?/Awake/and help
us/For your own prestige!"
Some of his psalms wreak of vengeance
and righteous wrath. "O God finish with
the status quo/Rip out the oligarchs
gleaming fangs/flush them out like toilet
water/make them wither as herbicide
does to grass.../The God that exists is that
of the proletariat."
Gods' terms for man are simple and
drastic: "There is no communion with God
or with/man if there are classes./if there is
exploitation/there is no communion."
Those who live according to Gods' terms
experience their own reward as did Dorothy
Day. And she's been devoted since then
to/'the works of mercy and rebellion.' A
life/of daily communion and of taking
part/in every strike, demonstration, protest
march, or boycott.../A reverent good-bye
to this anarchist saint." Father Daniel Ber-
rigan, the anti-Vietnam War protester, tells
him that "You can't be with God and be
neutral./True contemplation is resistance.
And poetry,/gazing at the clouds is resis-
tance I found out injail."
Pope John Paul II, also a published poet,
has endorsed the quest for social justice
while rejecting violence as a means. He has
required priests to abstain from direct
political activities while continuing to
preach social action. The Catholic Bishops
Conference of Nicaragua ordered all priests
holding top government posts to resign by
the end of 1980 or face suspension. The

poet-priest and the pope-poet remain
theological worlds apart. In his recentEn-
cyclical on the Mercy of God the Pope
warns that "justice alone is not enough, that
it can even lead to the negation and de-
struction of itself." The love of which Car-
denal's poetry speaks is not that "kindly love
that we call mercy" which the Pope
preaches. Cardenal, after agonizing, has left
behind the pacifism of Thomas Merton, his
spiritual and poetic mentor. He has opted
for a potent combination of Marxism and a
vengeful God which points him towards a
collision course with the Pope and the
Church. If there is a way out it is Cardenal's
vision of love providing reconciliation. "I
will tell you my vision in San Jose Costa
Rica/My vision-in an evening taxi/after
flying in to a writers' congress-/My vi-
sion was: some neon ads. pharmacies,
autos/boys on motorbikes, gas stations,
bars, people on the sidewalk/groups of
uniformed schoolgirls, workers
gathering/and I saw all this organized by
love./The color of a sweater speaks to me
of love./love moved the cars, lit the
lights-/Love enables the Revolution to
produce rebirth: "(this is the paschal mys-
tery of the Revolution)/we shall be reborn
together as men and as women./It be-
comes a chrysalis and the/chrysalis
sprouts wings."
There is much that is naive and simplistic
in the work and thought of Cardenal. Poets
can be forgiven their lack of historical or
social science precision. More disturbing
though is the authoritarian, holistic cast of
his views. His Kingdom of God is a far cry
from that of Savanarola or the Ayotollah
Khomeini but one wonders whether it has
room for non-believers? Good and evil,
Sandino and Somoza, Cuba and the US are
his black and white landmarks and there is
little of grey. The plural pre-Hispanic uni-
verse receives kudos but pluralism has no
place in the post-Revolution Kingdom of
God. As intelligent and contemplative as he
is, Cardenal often slips into the guise of a
"True Believer" prepared to accept his doc-
trine as holy truth.
As a popular poet Cardenal has deliber-
ately set out to influence the youth of
Nicaragua and other lands. His poetry reads


like a documentary film strip; "objective
truth" crosscut with telling opinion. It is
stirring poetry, marching poetry, even
poetry to die by. It stands upright like the
posters and banners it seeks to emulate. It
can cause the blood to rush, the eyes to see
anew, and brain and body to engage. As
Manzoni was the poet of 19th century Italian
nationalism so is Cardenal the poet of a
reborn Nicaragua.
The danger in all of this has been pointed
out by Milan Kundera, the gifted Czech ref-
ugee writer. "People like to say: Revolution
is beautiful, it is only the terror arising from it
which is evil. But this is not true. The evil is
already present in the beautiful, hell is al-
ready contained in the dream of paradise,
from which it originated. It is extremely easy
to condemn gulags, but to reject the to-
talitarian poesy which leads to the gulag by
way of paradise is as difficult as ever. Nowa-
days, people all over the world unequivo-
cally reject the idea of gulags, yet they are
still willing to let themselves be hypnotized
by totalitarian poesy and to march to new
gulags to the tune of the same lyrical song."
Cardenal's poetry is for many as hypno-
tizing as it is dangerous.

Aaron Segal, the author of three books on the
Caribbean, is with the National Science Foun-
dation in Washington. All translations are his
except those from Zero Hour.

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Lea tambien en
OPINIONES de octubre:
Reveladora entrevista al
ex-vicepresidente Francisco
Villagrin Kramer sobre el future
de Guatemala La international
del terrorism por Jacobo
Timerman La conexi6n boliviana
por Vivian Trias El autoexilio
intellectual de Alfredo Bryce El
desprestigio de la dial&ctica por
Ludovico Silva Indoambrica y
la integraci6n por Otto Morales
Benitez El tabi de la campafia
electoral de EE.UU. por Ted
C6rdova-Claure y much mis.

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%-, ~c

El Salvador:

In Defense

of the Junta

By Ambassador Robert White

A recent article in The Economist, ar-
gued that: "working people eventu-
ally will revolt against any system of
social organization based on exploitation by
a single class: Feudalism by aristocrats,
capitalism by monopolists and now
socialism by apparatachiks." The last ref-
erence was to Poland and the magnificent
struggle of the workers in that country
against the communist bureaucrats. But
the first part of that quote applies very well
to the situation in El Salvador. As a recent
article in Foreign Affairs pointed out, El
Salvador has the worst income inequality in
Latin America. Sixty percent of the people
earn less than $250.00 a year. According to
a recent FAO study, malnutrition is worse in
El Salvador than anywhere else in Latin
America. And according to a Cornell study,
the highest percentage of landless and
near-landless people in the world is in El
Salvador. Bangladesh was second. In El
Salvador, the rich have ruled through the
military since 1931. There has never been a
civilian government. Jose Napole6n
Duarte, for example, of the Christian
Democrats, won the elections in 1972 but it
was stolen from him. As a result of this, the
political institutions of the country disap-
peared; after all, the only reason to form a
political party is to gain power and if you
can't gain power your political institutions
disintegrate. This is one of the reasons for
the emergence of the mass organizations,
the bloques.
The history of the United States's role in
El Salvador up until October 15 of last year
was typical of US policy in the region. We
neglected it. It was almost impossible to get
any high level attention paid to Latin
America. We uncritically supported dic-
tatorships, we winked at repression, we tol-
erated corruption, and we permitted the
perversion of the democratic process.
On October 15, 1979, in El Salvador
there was what might be called a revolution.
Whether it was a revolution or not depends
on your definition. But in any case, a new
mixed civilian/militaryjunta took over. The
people who made up that junta were prob-

Victims of the violence in El Salvador.
Wide World Photos.

ably the finest people in El Salvador, or their
representatives. By bringing that out I mean
to compliment the civilians who made up
thatjunta and the entire government-the
ministries and so forth. Unfortunately, these
people had little experience in politics. How
could you have experience in politics given
the situation in El Salvador? Only very few
people had had such experience. And so
after two and a half months, the junta fell
apart. The civilians left in a dispute with the
military. This is important because it
signals, in my view, the innocence, even the
naivet6 of these fine people who thought
that they could change 40 or 50 years in two
and a half months. The work of changing
the political ambiente of a country as frag-
mented as El Salvador is a work of years,
not of days.
The secondjunta then came in. Made up
of the same two military men, two Christian
Democrats and one Independent. The two
Christian Democrats were very prominent
men: Napole6n Duarte, who had been
mayor and presidential candidate and Jos6
Morales Erlich, who had been mayor of San
Salvador. Both men had been persecuted
by the military for their democratic beliefs,
tortured, and exiled. My point in emphasiz-
ing this is that the moral credentials of the
first junta are not superior to the moral
credentials of the secondjunta. The United
States in El Salvador is not supporting an
odious dictator; we're supporting people
who have moral integrity.
This government has done more for the
people of El Salvador than any government
in its history. The agrarian reform is the
most profound reform since the land re-
form of Mexico. They have expropriated all
farms over 500 hectares and have put
people'to work on those farms producing in
producers' cooperatives. This week begins
another stage of the land reform where
somewhere between 125-150,000 peas-
ants will receive the land they work. Land to
the tiller: share cropped, indirect exploita-
tion of land will end and those people will
become landowners. The banks have been
nationalized to the extent that the state now
owns 51 percent. The reason for this is to
finance plantings to make the land reform
possible. The banks formerly were in the

Ambassador White. Photo by M. Upright.

hands of a very small group of people who
used them only to finance their own little
"in-group." The export of coffee has been
nationalized to avoid capital flight and to
make sure that the proceeds from the cof-
fee exports are distributed equitably among
the people.

The Extremes
What was the response of the two ex-
tremes? The response of the right, the violent
right, was to inspire coups in the military, to
kill, to assassinate people both in and out of
the government who were bringing these
reforms forward, and to try to create chaos
in the country. We need not detain ourselves
too long with the extreme right because
they represent practically no one. Their only
God is their panza and the only thing that
they want to do is take the country back to
those early days when the country existed
for the few.
Let's look at the response of the extreme
left, because the response of the extreme
left is very interesting. Before the reforms
were put in place the bloques could put
150-200,000 people into the streets. This is
what gave them the power. In my view, the
profundity of the appeal of the extreme left,
of the Marxist left, was always overesti-
mated. I think that there was a general dis-
gust with the Romero government, people
knew that it was going to fall, they wanted to
hasten that fall and they were willing to go
into the streets and demonstrate against




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that government. But once the second
junta started to put their reforms into place,
the attitudes of the people began slowly to
change. And the left began making some
very great mistakes.
The first mistake was at the funeral of the
beloved Archbishop Romero (killed most
certainly by the right) where they tried to
create chaos. At the funeral of the Ar-
chbishop, the left sent 250 young men and
women, some only 16 years old, with Uzi
machine guns and bombs hanging from
their belts, into the peaceful crowd. There

The United States in El
Salvador is not supporting
an odious dictator, we're
supporting people who
have moral integrity.

were no government security forces there.
There are at least 10,000 photographs of
the Cathedral square that day. ABC has a
film that shows the whole panorama during
that day from beginning to end, and there is
not one photograph of one member of the
security force. There's no evidence of any
kind to show any shooting from any win-
dows nor any type of government activity
My own belief is that one of the young
people became understandably nervous,
and one of the bombs exploded prema-
turely. There was a panic and a great
number of people died or were trampled
and severely injured. But there is photo-
graphic evidence of members of the coor-
dinadora pumping bullets into the crowd,
Uzi machine gun bullets going into the
people who were gathered there to honor
this great man.
The people of El Salvador are just as
intelligent as anyone else and they know
that if they are going to be killed by the
forces of the left they're not going to go to
any more meetings. So, from that point on,
the left was incapable of putting more than
1,500 people into the streets. They an-
nounced the huge manifestation for the 1st
of May and it was a total flop fifteen
hundred people, no more.
The next thing that happened was that
the left called general strikes. The first gen-
eral strike had some partial success be-
cause Salvadoreans, like everyone else,
don't mind taking a holiday. But again the
security forces stayed in the barracks and
abandoned the field. It was about 50 or 60
percent effective. But the second general
strike, where the left said "We will enforce
the general strike" and the government
said, "No you won't," was a total flop. The
people went to work and they rejected the

general strike; they rejected this form of
violence. The people of El Salvador want to
work and they are tired of violence. And so
the left is on the decline, the extreme Mar-
xist left is on the decline because they have
no issue, they're reduced to terrorism;
they're reduced to hauling bus drivers off
their vehicles and executing them in front of
the passengers. They're reduced to kid-
napping innocent people and executing
them to give drama to their cause. They are
now throwing missiles into the American
Embassy (which I am also against).
What has been the result of all this? It's
that the left has lost moral authority and
without moral authority the left is nothing. It
is said that the United States is supporting
violence. That is the exact opposite of the
truth. The United States is supporting the
reforms and applying as much legitimate
pressure as we can to put an end to the
violence. It is no news to me and I have
stated it publicly that a certain percent-
age of the security forces of El Salvador are
participating in wanton violence directed
against the youth of the country, directed
against the people they suspect of being
involved with the left. Half the time they get
people who are involved with the left, and
half the time they get totally innocent
people. This is a shocking, unacceptable
thing. The United States makes that clear
on a daily basis to the Salvadorean junta
and the Salvadorean military.
It is a fledging government that's been in
power less than a year, it has stated publicly
its commitment to human rights, and it has
yet been able to bring its own military under
control. This is their stated objective and
this is what they are trying to do and this is
what the United States is supporting. The
revolutionary government of El Salvador is
in favor of profound reform, which they are
taking forward. They are against violence
and are doing their best to control the vio-
lence of the extreme right and the violence
that is admittedly participated in by some of
the security forces. Over the last six months,
10% of the military of El Salvador have been
dismissed for abuses. The government
doesn't make that public because it causes
them problems. But I'm telling you that is
The left is guilty of violence. It's not White
who's telling you this. They announced it.
Juan Chac6n publically took credit for
2,000 deaths. They execute bus drivers.
They execute innocent civilians. Yet I have
never heard any leader of the Frente
Democratico reject the violence of the left,
violence against innocent civilians. I'm not
talking about armed confrontations with
the military. If you want to go into revolution
and you want to fight, revolution is a game
for adults and that's what we call a fair fight;
but they execute innocent civilians. What I
want to hear is the great democrats of this
world, Dr. Ungo and Oqueli and Dada Hirezi


and all of the others I want to hear them
reject the wanton violence of the Ejercito
Revolucionario del Pueblo, of the various
armed branches of this coordinadora, of
which they have voluntarily assumed the
leadership. If they do not reject that kind of
wanton violence, what moral right do they
have to judge a government that's doing its
best to get control over recalcitrant ele-
ments of the military and bring the country
to profound change?
The people of El Salvador, like all the
people of the world, want an end to vio-
lence. The terrorists of the left exhalt vio-
lence and all of its forms over political activ-
ities. To them, violence is a necessary form
of social regeneration for the oppressed.
Political process is against their creed. They
reject politics as the normal means of solv-
ing the differences within a community. And
politics, my friends, is an essential part of
the machinery of civilization.

US Policy
What is the United States position what
are we doing? We are supporting the reform
process. We have assigned approximately
seventy or seventy-five million dollars worth
of economic assistance in the last six
months. The left consistently lies about
military assistance. I can quote statements
by Dr. Ungo, statements by all of the Frente,
about Green Berets in El Salvador, about
Marine bases in El Salvador, about the
provision of arms to El Salvador. We have
not given one lethal weapon to El Salvador,
not one. Less than two million dollars of
military assistance has arrived in El Sal-
vador in the last year and all of that has been
trucks no the trucks haven't arrived yet
- communication equipment. And there
was some tear gas to be used for riot con-
trol and that is it. There are some ambu-
lances on the dock right now so that will
take it up another million, I suppose to three
I reject categorically the lies which are
consistently told by the left about what the
nature of the United States support is in El
Salvador. The assistance of the United
States in El Salvador is economic and so-
cial assistance. It is not military assistance. It
is the left who is importing military equip-
ment: Chinese missiles, etc., to throw at the
US Embassy.
We are trying to assist the Salvadorean
people in reestablishing that vital center
which will recreate a political process. It is
the stated goal of the secondjunta to bring
the country of El Salvador to elections. It is
envisioned that there will be amnesty for all
political prisoners, for all political elements.
(There are few political prisoners in El Sal-
vador.) We support the private sector in El
Salvador, we support free enterprise, be-
cause socialism would be an absolute dis-
aster for El Salvador. There is no way that
you can feed 4V2 million Salvadoreans in a

country that you can fit in the entire prov-
ince of Olancho in Honduras unless you
utilize the tremendous competence of the
Salvadorean private sector. I have had ar-
guments with the Salvadorean private sec-
tor because I felt they were guilty of running
the country for the benefit of a few. But one
has to recognize that there is honest-to-God
entrepreneurial talent and ability to get the
country moving again. I want to point out
that the private sector supports this political
process of the junta and is backing the
political process.
What is the importance of El Salvador?
The importance is this: up until now there
has only been one model for revolution in
Latin America, and that has been the Castro
model. Marxists take power by force and
violence and eliminate all US influence
from the area. That is not a program that
has very much appeal to any administration
of the United States. Be under no doubt that
the Salvadorean revolutionaries as they are
constituted are Marxists, Marxist-Leninists,
are violent, and want the United States in-
fluence completely eliminated from the
area. That is their stated program. Those
are their statements, they are not my
If the revolutionary government suc-
ceeds in El Salvador, and the present gov-
ernment succeeds in making their reforms
stick, in bringing the violence of both the
extreme left and the extreme right under

control and bringing that country into a
political process that culminates in elec-
tions, Latin America will have another
model for revolution: a revolution that is
non-Marxist, a revolution that is pro-
democratic, a revolution that rejects statism
and has a definite and important place for
private enterprise and will accept the coop-
eration and assistance of the United States
I would just like to say that I find it strange
and even paradoxical that for one of the first
times in the United States when we're not
supporting total reaction in Latin America,
when we're not supporting dictators, we
find the people in the United States are
against the present policy. I regard this pol-
icy, honestly, as enlightened, sophisticated,
subtle, and reasonably well executed in
comparison with what we have done in the
past. I think it's positively brilliant, and I find
it paradoxical that we have so little under-
standing from supposedly democratic
forces in the US for what we are trying to do.

Robert White was appointed as US Am-
bassador to El Salvador in early 1980,
following a similar assignment in
Paraguay Ambassador White presented
his views on El Salvador at Florida Inter-
national University on October 8, 1980.
He was recently removed from his posi-
tion as Ambassador to El Salvador by the
Reagan Administration.

Integration of Science and

Technology with Development

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

Edited by
D. Babatunde Thomas
Miguel S. Wionczek

S Offered by Caribbean Review in cooperation
with Florida International University,'The Institute of
Social and Economic Research,,University of the West Indies,
and the Institute of Development Studies,
University of Guyana.
278 pp. $9.95
Order direct from Caribbean Review, Florida International
University, Miami, Florida 33199.
Visa and MasterCard accepted.


El Salvador:

In Defense of the

Frente Democratico

By Guillermo Manuel Ungo
Translated by Beatrice Reed

Members of Salvadorean FDR, June 1980: Dr. Ricardo Silva, Dr. Guillermo Ungo, Dr. Rafael Mejivar, Juan Chac6n, Enrique
Alvarez C6rdova, Dr. Napole6n Rodriguez Ruiz. Photo by Freddy Arias, La Naci6n, Costa Rica.

Both democratic and revolutionary
organizations in El Salvador have
accepted that neither of them alone
is capable of overthrowing the reactionary
powers that presently control national poli-
tics within a framework that suffocates all
signs of popular affiliations. Consequently.
it is recognized that none of the two groups
have the ability to impose their own plans
after the defeat of the enemy.
Therefore the revolutionary opposition
collectively admitted that they needed to
overcome their disagreements and join
forces to establish a single revolutionary
front. Similarly, democratic organizations
also sensed this need for uniting as they
were mutually isolated and defenseless
against reactionary attacks.
As a whole, all democratic and revolu-
tionary components consider each other

indispensable to carry forth both a popular
victory and a revolutionary democratic
government. The distinctive traits of Sal-
vadorean political development demand a
revolutionary democratic government be-
cause it is impossible to construct a de-
mocracy without revolutionary changes.
Concomitantly. it is impossible to carry on
revolutionary changes without putting
pluralistic democracy to practice.
On one side there is the oligarchy, the
economic, political and military right that
constantly increases its power over the Sal-
vadorean government. They impose their
military scheme to solve the political prob-
lems by suffocating all forms of popular
organization. The American and other gov-
ernments give them support. On the other
side, there is a people who for legitimate
survival reasons cannot stand indifferent;

that become more rebellious and aggres-
sive utilizing various political and military
means in a self-defensive liberating war.
In measuring the strength of both sides,
the revolutionary and popular democratic
organizations are clearly leading. Hence our
only problem is the social cost of this un-
wanted yet unavoidable war. The social cost
does not depend on the Salvadorean
people but on the American government
which is the only true support of the current
governmentjunta. By giving it that political,
military and financial support, it is prolong-
ing the life of a government that is falling
gradually at an accelerating rate. That is in
effect an obstacle that prevents a more
rapid and less painful solution.
The Frente Democratico Revolucionario
is the farthest reaching alliance of different
Continued on page 53

El Salvador:

In Defense of Restoring

Constitutional Order

By Luis Escalante Arce

It is ironical that governments in Wash- -h
ington with the best intentions, at times, "
do unforeseen harm in the hemisphere's
countries. President John E Kennedy, in-
spired by Franklin D. Roosevelt's earlier '
Good Neighbor policy, set out to implant in
Latin America the precepts of his Alliance e
for Progress. In failing, that policy in fact '
acted to stimulate the growth of socialism
in Latin America, as its backwash disrupted
in various ways the normal social and eco-
nomic growth process in each country.
Later, in equally good faith, President Carter -
brought forth his policy based on human
rights. Circumstance had decreed that this
policy's penalties were to be applied by the
United States most stringently to the weak-
est countries, especially those in Central
The threat by the United States implicit in
this policy was that, regardless of circum-
stances, sanctions would fall upon regimes
that did not respect human rights. This
threat impelled the governments of the
countries of Central America to commit a
graver offense against their peoples. It
obliged those governments to embrace
weakness as policy, to the point of acting as
no more than observers rather than pro-
tecting their peoples from the communist
penetration of the Central American is-
In El Salvador's case, the US administra-
tion's commitment to human rights in
foreign policy has affected two successive
governments, neither for the better. The
government of General Carlos Humberto
Romero reacted to the threat of US
human-rights penalties by adopting indif-
ference to his people's well-being as policy. ,
He made no use of his presidential powers
to restrain the socio-political ferment that ---
was being brewed by a number of small
leftist and communist groups. These K
groups, which had acted in secret, were
emboldened to set about creating anarchy
in Salvadorean life. They disrupted urban
transportation, setting fire to buses and
automobiles and blocking streets in San
Salvador, the national capital. They as-
saulted people in the streets, and set fire to
buildings and to homes.
Meanwhile, certain of these leftist groups Archbishop Oscar Arnulfo Romero. Wide World Photos.

for some time had been kidnapping
widely-known Salvadoreans profes-
sional men and business executives, and a
prominent matron. For their victims' free-
dom they exacted exorbitant ransoms,
from industry associations when the
families could not pay. Over the years, it is
estimated that leftist guerrilla kidnapping
have extorted some $60 million, in some
cases for captives ruthlessly murdered at
the outset.
President Romero's response was con-
fined largely to avoiding, insofar as possi-
ble, human-rights charges conveyed by the
American Ambassador. Romero turned
aside the anguished pleas of Salvadoreans
for protection against raids, gangland-style
shootings of prominent citizens and all
such urban guerrilla crimes with the
"human-rights" excuse. He showed such
absolute indifference to the wave of leftist
kidnapping that it gave rise to whispers of
the complicity of high governmental and
Army officers in these highly remunerative
On October 15. 1979, a military coup
d'etat replaced President Romero with a
junta made up of two military officers and
three civilians named the following day. The
leaders of the coup issued a proclamation
in the name of the Fuerzas Armadas (com-
prising all the military and police services)
which pledged, among other things, to na-
tionalize the country's principal export
products, agree to agrarian reform, and
nationalize private banks. Thisjunta broke
up after some three months because its
three civilian members, along with almost
the entire cabinet and top government offi-
cials demanded of the Army a program to
carry out the reforms pledged in the proc-
lamation issued at San Carlos, headquar-
ters of the Fuerzas Armadas. This was tan-
tamount to demanding revocation of the
Salvadorean constitution as well, since our
fundamental law guarantees the right to
private property.
Upon the rejection of their demands, the
national officials elected to resign in a body.
This was taken as confirming that the
overthrow of President Romero had been
with the foreknowledge of the American
Ambassador, Frank Devine, who had con-
doned the coup. At the breakup of the
junta, Ambassador Devine participated in
the organization of a new governing junta,
which installed, in place of the three civil-
ians who had resigned, three members of
the Christian Democrat Party, it being ar-
gued that this would produce popular sup-
port for the junta.
Ambassador Devine's agreement to this
political strategy was ingenuous, since El
Salvador's Christian Democrats are at best
a small minority. The re-cycledjunta was
actively opposed by virtually all sectors of
Salvadorean society, to such a pointthatthe
country's rulers had great difficulty in get-


ting qualified people to accept cabinet
Meanwhile, the guerrilla groups that had
previously operated clandestinely were
emboldened to drop their masks. This en-
abled them to redouble their attacks, in-
creasing the level of anarchy rising daily in
El Salvador. The National University -
under distorted interpretations of university
autonomy supported by the state with a
sizeable slice of the national revenue for
years has been openly transformed into an
active communist-leftist center and guer-

The Carter Human Rights
policy obliged Central
American governments
to embrace weakness
as policy.

rilla garrison. As an act of leftist guerrilla
theatrics, a few years ago, the university's
rector, Dr. Carlos Alfaro Castillo, was
ruthlessly shot to death by gunmen from a
speeding car as he entered the university
campus. Dr. Alfaro was devoting his efforts
to de-politicizing the university, and to re-
versing its conversion into a leftist hotbed.
In what amounted to a guerrilla re-play, the
dean of the university's School of Eco-
nomics was similarly assassinated.
El Salvador's second university, the Uni-
versidad Jose Simeon Carias, is run by
Jesuit priests and has played an in-depth
role in the country's socio-political ferment,
both directly and through the Salvadorean
clergy. As a result, our country has suffered
an anguish of the spirit, and a crisis of con-
science unknown in El Salvador. Priests
bearing arms have joined in guerrilla as-
saults and engaged in killing have them-
selves been killed. With the obliteration of
the separation of Church from state, the
separation of the Church from violence has
also been tragically lost.

The Need for Change
Driven by political motives of its own, the
US Department of State in its policy for
Central America has spoken, in the voices
of recent US Presidents, of the need for
change, change, and yet more socio-
economic change in El Salvador. The cry
goes on oblivious to the fact that this small
country, impelled by the spirit, energy and
sheer hard work of its people, has indeed
been achieving change for the better in
the directions and at the pace dictated by
the needs of its society.
The replacement of Ambassador Devine

by Mr. Robert White had the effect of shak-
ing El Salvador anew. Ambassador White,
taking advantage of the weakness of the
presentjunta government, demanded -
as the "American Viceroy of El Salvador" -
implementation of agrarian reform and na-
tionalization of private banks. These two
demands seem to be regarded as cure-alls
in certain quarters of the United States. But
their blanket application without regard for
local conditions in a small country such as
El Salvador can be disastrous.
As to agrarian reform, the government
began by seizing the best-run and best-
cultivated properties. These, in addition to
their productive value, are the source of
employment for thousands of the rural
population. Reportedly, nearly 400 prop-
erties have been seized with what is called
Stage One of the land reform still in prog-
ress. The first effects to be expected from
these measures are a marked drop in ag-
ricultural production, and a rise in unem-
ployment. To offset the drop in production,
there is talk of administering the best man-
aged and most productive agri-business
farms as cooperatives. This would probably
not produce results. Instead, it would make
it evident that all the "reform" has accom-
plished is to put hundreds of farms under a
single task-master the government, as
exponent of state capitalism.
As to the nationalization of the nation's
private banks, onejunta member declared
that the step was taken because it be-
hooved thejunta politically to do so. In this
respect, the mythical "need for change"
was supported by a further myth that El
Salvador's private banks made loans only
to relatives and friends of the banks' boards
of directors. Those who echo such asser-
tions either forget or do not know of the
existence of Article 197 of the nation's
banking law which has been in force for
decades. That article of the Law for Credit
Institutions and Related Organizations pro-
hibits the directors of licensee institutions
from extending loans to family members or
relatives within the third remove of consan-
guinity or the second remove of relation-
ship by marriage.
As it happens, El Salvador's banking law
and the Superintendency of Banking that
enforces it through regulations and in-
terpretations are regarded internationally as
a model of scrupulous protection of the
public. It also should be noted that, under
the presidency of Col. Arturo Armando Mo-
lina (who preceded President Romero), a
Monetary Board was set up. The country's
President himself was the Board's presi-
dent, while the head of the Salvadorean
Central Bank was its secretary. Thus, in
effect, the Central Bank was made an ap-
pendage of the Monetary Board, which set
policy on money and credit and related
matters. Besides the country's chief execu-
tive, various cabinet members were on this


Before nationalization, nine private banks
operated in El Salvador, along with
branches of four foreign banks. The gov-
ernment had its own separate banking and
financial institutions. There was likely com-
petition among El Salvador's private banks
and foreign bank branches. The Banco
Agricola Comercial of El Salvador was
noted for its innovations in the field of
small-scale banking; it made a rule of busi-
ness of serving the greatest number of
people that it could. It is my belief that Sal-
vadoreans were well served by their private
banks, as were the country's commerce,
agriculture, its large industry and its small
For a developing country with a
forward-looking and enlightened free eco-
nomic system, the last thing needed is the
nationalization of private banking. If there
were any doubt as to the soundness of El
Salvador's banks, or the scope and effi-
ciency of their services, the most advisable
course would have been to follow the
example of the United States when Presi-
dent Roosevelt closed all banks for the his-
toric three-day "banking holiday." After that,
those banks which were shaky did not re-
open, while others recommended opera-
tions in closer compliance with regulatory
requirements protective of the banking
In El Salvador, daily turmoil in the politi-
cal, economic, civic, moral and social
spheres is plunging the country ever more
deeply into anarchy. The replacement of the
inept Romero government by force, by first
one and then another ruling junta, has
deeply eroded constitutionality. Thejunta's
padlocking of the legislature, deeply
wounding the fundamentally republican
national structure, has turned it into a slip-
shod five-man dictatorial rule.
There are also other ways in which the
amateurishjunta rides roughshod over our
basic constitutional principles, which can-
not and should not be set aside short of a
Constitutional Convention. We are now
without the caliber of freedom of the press
and of speech which are the prerogatives of
democratic peoples and the hallmark of
democratic regimes. Our guarantees of
individual freedom are shrinking further.
Deprived of the protection of life and prop-
erty by the authorities, the citizen sees
human life grow cheaper.
Penetration by Soviet Cubanization from
nearby Nicaragua is scourging our territory
and institutions. US foreign policy should
not go on turning a blind eye to what is
happening to the countries of Central
America. Bit by bit, the democratic
frameworks of those countries are being
warped, re-molded into socialistic struc-
tures to Soviet patterns.
However unimportant these countries
may have seemed to the United States, the

spreading of the Sovietized Cuban system
will bring the United States face to face with
Central America's geographic significance.
It can become a powerful springboard for
Soviet Cubanization of the countries to the
south, as well as for Mexico.
In El Salvador's sad case, it is urgent that
the present governingjunta give wayto one
with broad support and democratic temper.
This could continue to include military men
along with qualified civilians of proven in-
tegrity free of political commitments. An
obligation of any such new coalition will be
to call a Constitutional Assembly to restore
constitutional order to the country. Whether
by promulgating a new Constitution or by
rededication to, and reinforcement of, the
Constitution in force until the October 1979
coup, this must be done. Once constitu-

tional order is restored, presidential elec-
tions must be called, with guarantees as-
suring the citizens the opportunity to fairly
elect a President of proven ability, honesty
and responsibility, not least with due regard
for the handling and investment of public
funds. Such a President is needed to
scrupulously guide an administration of
economic freedom for the well-being and
progress of the Salvadorean people.

Luis Escalante Arce founded El Salvador's
Banco Agricola Comercial. He was victim of a
crippling kidnapping in El Salvador in 1979
and was ransomed for an undisclosed
amount. This article is abstracted from his April
1980 testimony before the US House
Foreign Affairs Subcommittee on Inter-
American Affairs.

from FlU's International Affairs Center

The Symposium on Inter-American University Cooperation for Economic and Social
Development was recently convened by Florida International University, the Universidad
Simon Bolivar, and the University of Miami. More than 60 delegates from academic
institutions of L.A., the Caribbean, Canada, and the United States met to discuss the
role of the university in development. The three day symposium, sponsored by the OAS,
considered the history and current status of interamerican university cooperation, the
need for and the characteristics of a new mechanism for cooperation, and the steps to
be taken to incorporate the university more completely into the development process. A
steering committee was nominated to consider and draft a proposal for increasing the
university's role in development through interamerican cooperation. The Committee,
selected by unanimous decision of the Symposium participants on an institutional basis,
is composed as follows:
Florida International University (USA)
University of Miami (USA)
Universidad Simon Bolivar (Venezuela)
Universidade de Sao Paulo (Brazil)
University of California at Los Angeles (USA)
Universidad Autonoma de Guadalajara (Mexico)
Indiana University (USA)
Universidad Peruana Cayetano Heredia (Peru)
University of the West Indies (Jamaica, Barbados, Trinidad and Tobago)
University of Texas (USA)
Centro Interuniversitario de Desarrollo Andino (Peru) Observer
Interamerican Organization for Higher Education (Canada) Observer
Organization of American States (OAS)
Dr. Maurice Harari (USA) Adviser
Dr. Jaime Lavados (Chile) Adviser
The committee members will begin deliberations in February 1981 at the Universidad
Autonoma de Guadalajara as guests of Rector Luis Garibay.

The School of Business and Organizational Sciences and Universidad Santa Maria
La Antigua, Panama, successfully concluded the first year of collaborative delivery of
USMA's new Master's Degree program in Business Administration.
In February the School of Public Affairs and Services will graduate a group of
mid-level executives of the Mexican Ministry of Finance and the Federal District of
Mexico who have completed a two year Master's Degree program in Public
Also in February, the School of Education's Global Awareness Education Program
will offer to Miami school teachers two curriculum workshops on the New International
Economic Order. In March, there will be a curriculum workshop on Haiti.

International Affairs Center/Florida International University
Tamiami Trail, Miami, Florida 33199, ph: (305) 552-2846



An Oasis Of

By James A. Morris

he irony of Honduras' position in
world affairs is well illustrated by that
country's transition from oblivion to a
keystone role in the geopolitics of Central
America. Amidst the turmoil of conflict in El
Salvador, the rise of political fratricide in
Guatemala, and the uncertain drift of the
Sandinista regime in Nicaragua, Hondu-
rans occupy what has been called a re-
gional "oasis of peace." In a desperate at-
tempt to regain influence over proliferating
Central American social and political
change, the United States has seized the
opportunity and now focuses its attention
upon Honduras in hopes that the poorest
country of the region might succeed in
nurturing the "oasis" into some sort of "re-
verse" domino theory. A return to constitu-
tional rule via free and open elections and a
government of progressive policies might
demonstrate that violent change and leftist
radicalism are not the only approach to
long overdue reforms in Central America.
According to World Bank estimates,
Honduras is indeed the poorest country in
Central America. Its GNP per capital of $480
(1978) compares unfavorably with that of El
Salvador ($600) and Costa Rica ($1,540).
the region's highest. Only Haiti's $260 GNP
per capital is lower in Latin America. The
country's 3.7 million people live in a
mountainous land of nearly 112,000 square
kilometers. Over 60 percent of the popula-
tion is rural and, according to official statis-
tics, over 60 percent of all Hondurans are
literate. Nearly a third of Honduras' GNP is
derived from agriculture, and almost 70
percent of that is export-oriented. Bananas
have been the classic produce, controlled
by North American transnational com-
panies and shipped mostly to United States
markets. However, coffee, meat, and
lumber have emerged as other important
export commodities. These products to-
gether represent 62 percent of all Honduran
exports. There has been some diversity
created in Honduran export-import mar-
kets since 1950, but the major partner re-
mains the United States. Industry has de-
veloped rapidly since the 1950s especially
around the capital city of Tegucigalpa and
the busy, torrid North Coast city of San
Pedro Sula. But its scope is restricted in

most cases to food processing, packaging,
clothing, some chemicals, and other prod-
ucts destined to supply the agricultural ex-
port sector.
Before and since the turn of the century,
Honduras has been closely tied with the US.
Early economic development along the
isolated North Coast, in particular the
banana industry, was heavily dependent on
foreign entrepreneurs and companies that
were often afforded special economic con-
cessions. Periodically, US influence has
been used, directly or indirectly, to resolve
Honduran political impasses.
Honduras has lagged behind its Central
American neighbors in its economic and
social development. At the same time,
however, the country has avoided the ex-
tremes of political polarizaton that charac-
terized the isolation of El Salvador's elites
and the ostracism of Guatemala's Indian
population. The history of Honduras from
1838 is replete with insurrection, civil wars,
and revolts by dissatisfied caudillos.
Nevertheless, while political conflict has
been perennial, clashes have seldom en-
veloped the entire society nor have they yet
resulted in deep cleavages. The population
is largely homogeneous, over 90 percent
are mestizos. Because of a relative lack of
population, land in Honduras was generally
available to those who desired to work it.
Like Costa Rica the scarcity of easily mined
minerals and a sparse native population
failed to attract great numbers of Spanish
colonizers. While rural and commercial
elites emerged, the extremes between rich
and poor have not developed to the same
extent as in El Salvador or Guatemala.
Despite its instability, Honduran political
history has been less vindictive than that of
its northern neighbors. The traditional
political parties the Liberals founded by
Policarpo Bonilla in 1890, and the Nationals
first established in 1916 under the aegis of
Manuel Bonilla, and Tiburcio Carias An-
dino, who dominated Honduran politics
from 1932 to 1949. had similar philosoph-
ical roots. Both stemmed from the princi-
ples of the Liberal Revolution of 1871-1876
that had spread throughout Central
America. Personal contact and familiarity, a
lack of real wealth, and the unstructured

means of gaining political power helped to
moderate the game of the "ins" versus the
"outs." Political compromise and pactos
have been commonplace though not al-
ways upheld.
Honduras's socioeconomic homoge-
neity and comparatively benign political
history have made it a less conflictive soci-
ety than other Central American nations. In
the context of Central America's current
crisis then, the Honduran "oasis of peace"
has some basis if the country's historical
and social realities are considered. This is
not to say, however, that conflict and pres-
sures for reform are absent in Honduras.
Moreover, the turmoil which accompanied
theSandinista victory and the rising level of
regional violence have sowed fears among
the more conservative classes, some mid-
dle sectors, and the controlling ranks of the
Honduran Armed Forces.

Threats to Honduran Stability
Tranquility in Honduras is threatened by
both international and domestic pressures.
Primary among the international factors is
the scope of regional conflict and change.
The countries of Central America are
closely linked; events in one country affect
events in others. Border conflicts, refugees,
migration, and armed invasions are part of
the region's history. The Sandinista Revo-
lution, for example, has catalyzed both the
political right and left in Central America,
and has had a direct impact upon Hon-
duras in the form of thousands of refugees
from Nicaragua and El Salvador.
Just as Honduran leaders are concerned
about the consequences of political change
elsewhere, other nations see Central
America in terms of their national interests.
Cuba, for example, does not possess the
economic leverage of the United States, nor
even that of Mexico or Venezuela, but seeks
advantage in the revolutionary conditions
that have emerged in Central America over
the last three years. As of 1980, conditions
in Honduras were not perceived by Cuba -
nor by the United States as revolutionary,
especially compared with those of El Sal-
vador or Guatemala.
It is for this reason that the geopolitical
status of Honduras becomes important.

Left: Col. O. L6pez Arellano, former military head of Honduras.

Above: Santa Lucia, Honduras. Photo by J.A. Morris.

The country occupies the central portion of
the Central American Isthmus with a long
northern coast and strategic control over
the Gulf of Fonseca that separates El Sal-
vador and Nicaragua. The Pan American
Highway crosses Honduras near the south-
ern coast, but regional communications
have been hampered as a legacy of the
1969 border war with El Salvador. The cur-
rent El Salvadorean conflict has been ex-
tended indirectly to Honduras as refugees,
now reported to be over 4,500, flee violence
from the left, the right, and government
forces. The Honduran military has been
accused by some witnesses and church
leaders of collaborating to prevent the
exodus of Salvadorean refugees. There
have even been reports of civilian mas-
sacres but little evidence has been pre-
sented. The government of Honduras also
has its hands full caring for Nicaraguan
refugees and controlling efforts of diehard
Somocista groups to counter the San-
dinista Revolution.
Mountainous and isolated frontiers with
El Salvador and Nicaragua are difficult to
patrol. The United States has leased Hon-
duras ten helicopters, and is providing
training and other equipment to help ex-
tend the monitoring capability of the armed
forces. Earlier in 1980, reports of arms
smuggling through Honduras were made,
but again evidence was never made public.
Although the borders are porous, the terrain
does not facilitate transport. For the pres-
ent, external threats of radical change in
Honduras derive from the example of the

Sandinista victory, the eventual outcome of
the Salvadorean crisis, and to some extent,
Cuban initiatives in supporting local radical
leaders and groups.
Since longtime dictator Tiburcie Carias
Andino retired in 1949, Honduras's political
development has been characterized by
demands for wider political participation
and socioeconomic reforms. After a long
but successful strike in 1954, labor gained
the right to organize and bargain collec-
tively. Though this development occurred
late, labor has gained many of its objectives
including a labor code, a ministry, a social
security law, and agrarian reform laws. The
large banana worker unions SIT-
RATERCO (United Brands) and SUT-
RAFSCO (Castle and Cooke) constitute
the basis of labor's national strength. In part
this is due to their size, but also to the fact
that the unions occupy a critical sector in
the export-oriented economy. Both unions
have composed part of the ORIT-
sponsored Confederation of Honduran
Workers (CTH) created in 1964. The Chris-
tian Democratic General Central of Work-
ers (CGT) was established in 1970. The
CGT has maintained a more militant politi-
cal stance, and over the last three years it
has been successful in attracting inde-
pendent and former CTH unions into its
organization. The labor movement, along
with the peasant movement, has experi-
enced a series of divisions as the CTH and
CGT confederations become more com-
petitive. The SITRATERCO banana-worker
union separated from the ranks of the CTH

in 1977 declaring itself independent. Simi-
lar phenomena have occurred among
peasant organizations. Dissidents have split
off from both the CTH backed National
Association of Honduran peasants
(ANACH) and the National Union of Peas-
ants (UNC), a CGT affiliate.
The agribusiness and industrial elites are
organized in a broad array of groups rang-
ing from Chambers of Commerce to the
stockraisers' association (FENAGH),
banking and financial (AHIBA), and indus-
trial groups such as the National Associa-
tion of Industrialists (ANDI). Most national
business associations are unified under the
auspices of the Council of Honduran Pri-
vate Enterprise (COHEP) first organized in
1967. Since 1973, the unity of the business
sector has enhanced its political role in
defending private sector interests and
counterbalancing the demands issuing
from labor and campesino sectors.
Women finally gained the right to vote for
the first time when Julio Lozano tried to
consolidate his position as president in
1956. As the number of associations and
political interest groups increased, more
groups requested legal recognition to seek
benefits from various government pro-
grams. New political movements such as
the Innovation and Unity Party (PINU) and
the Christian Democratic Party (PDCH)
sought legal status and the right to partici-
pate in local and national elections.
Amidst the array of proliferating de-
mands, the National and Liberal parties
were struggling to maintain or gain control

of the state apparatus. Public reaction was
reflected in complaints about electoral
manipulation. A prime example was the
1968 municipal elections won by the Na-
tional Party. Citizens were prohibited from
voting when their identification cards were
confiscated; others were stopped on the
highways on the way to the polls and in
some instances forced to disrobe. Rafael
Leiva Vivas (Un pais en Honduras.
Tegucigalpa, 1969) has coined the term
"elecciones estilo hondurenio" to connote
elections characterized by violence, intimi-
dation, and ballot box tampering. The
scandalous example of the 1968 elections
led to demands for broad governmental
reform, and eventually resulted in the Na-
tional Unity Government of 1971-1972 a
coalition of both Liberal and National parti-
sans. The National elections of 1971 were
considered fair and open, though the ad-
ministration of President Ram6n Cruz of the
National Party proved to be ineffective.
The military intervened in late 1972 and it
was not until mid-1980 that Hondurans had
the opportunity to visit the polls once again.
Originally scheduled for 1979, the 1980
Constituent Assembly elections were the
first phase of a return to constitutional rule.
The Sandinista victory in 1979 and deteri-
orating conditions in El Salvador have im-
pressed upon many Honduran leaders the
importance of carrying out elections. The
US government urged the military junta to
ensure clean and open elections. Four days
before the April 20 elections, the Armed
Forces declared: "categorically neither
General Policarpo Paz Garcia nor any other
member of our institution have intentions
or aspirations to be elected (as president)
by the National Constituent Assembly for
the next constitutional period .... For the

elections of a constitutional president of the
republic, the Honduran people should be
convoked in direct elections...."
On election day, over one million Hondu-
rans turned out to vote their first election
in nine years. Contrary to predictions, the
Liberal Party won a majority of the popular
vote although its dominance of the Con-
stituent Assembly was narrow, edging out
the National Party by just two seats. The
Innovation and Unity Party (PINI) gained
three seats based upon a national quotient
formula and held the balance-of-power on
close votes in the Assembly. For nearly ten

While rural and commercial
elites emerged, the
extremes between rich and
poor have not developed to
the same extent as in El
Salvador or Guatemala.

years the PINU had sought legal recogni-
tion. But it was not until 1979 that the
organization was inscribed as a legally
recognized political party. The Honduran
Christian Democratic Party (PDCH) also
solicited legal inscription before the 1980
elections, but its attempt was thwarted by
adamant opposition from the National

The Constituent Assembly
The Constituent Assembly was formally

installed on the 20th of July and proceeded
to legitimate a provisional government by
appointing General Paz Garcia, head of the
military Triumvirate and of the Armed
Forces, as president of the republic. The
Paz cabinet includes military members as
Ministers of Defense and Public Security,
and Foreign Affairs. The remaining minis-
tries were allocated among the political
parties represented in the Constituent As-
sembly. This arrangement was constructed
over several weeks via discussions among
the parties and the Superior Council of the
Armed Forces. More arduous tasks of de-
vising a new electoral law and reinstating a
constitution will occupy the Assembly until
August of 1981 when new elections for
president, a congress, and local govern-
ment officials are scheduled.
Political change continued in the wake of
the 1980 elections as the National Electoral
Tribunal (TNE) finally accepted the solicita-
tion of the Christian Democrats. Ten years
after its inception, the PDCH realized its
oft-frustrated goal of legal recognition. The
proposed 1981 elections will provide Hon-
durans a unique opportunity to choose
among distinct political parties other than
the traditional National and Liberal parties.
The reformist but middle-of-the road Inno-
vation Party is led by independent busi-
nessmen and younger professionals. It
draws most of its support from urban cen-
ters, especially San Pedro Sula and
Tegucigalpa, although the party did attract
votes from allmunicipios in 1980 primarily
due to its effective utilization of the mass
media in the campaign.
Christian Democrats seek a dramatic
transformation of Honduran society. Party
activists, whose roots are embedded in the
militancy of the peasant movement, con-



to satisfy the need for regular
and expert review on devel-
opments in and concerning
the Netherlands Antilles. By
means of responsible analyses
the political, financial-eco-
nomical, social and cultural
processes in the Netherlands
Antilles as a whole and
each island individually will
be spotlighted.


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City : .........- ...--.-...........................-.......
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O Cheque enclosed, payable to: GRAFIMU N.V.
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Bank (Curacao) in the name of GRAFIMU N.V.


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By airmail
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place after receipt
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stitute the core of business, professional
and community service workers who make
up the leadership of the PDCH. The PINU
and the PDCH will be competing for the
allegiance of middle-sector votes. However,
it would appear that the PDCH has an edge
due to its following among peasant and
worker organizations of the CGT and its
relationships with other popular sector
groups through the Honduran Patriotic
Front (FPH) formed before the 1980 elec-
The new parties face various obstacles to
political and electoral success: First, or-
ganizational development absorbs re-
sources; and, the key to electoral victory in
Honduras is mobilization of voters at the
municipio level. It is here, among the 282
municipios that the National and Liberal
parties have the advantage. Second, his-
torical loyalties are well entrenched and
follow family lines, patron-client relations,
and regional custom. In the past, Hondu-
rans have had little choice except to vote
Azul (Nacional) or Rojo (Liberal). Finally,
the historical parties are able to offer more
patronage, and are in a position to influence
electoral procedures via subtle bureau-
cratic ways as well as through control of the
judicial process.
On the other hand, there are indications
that Hondurans desire and seek new
leadership to resolve the contemporary
problems of the country. The Liberals, and
to a lesser degree, the National Party are
experiencing factionalization and are un-
dergoing a series of internal adjustments. In
part this is due to the changes in the
socioeconomic and demographic nature
of Honduran society. Preliminary analyses
of the 1980 elections suggest National Party
strength tends to be rural-based and
stronger in the less-developed departments
while the Liberal Party is favored in those
departments that are more urbanized and
The attitudes of the traditional political
elites are at best ambivalent toward reform
and at worst lack any vision of the future.
The last eight years of a semi-closed politi-
cal system have minimized opportunities
for individuals and groups that might offer
new ideas and programs. Potential new
leaders within the Liberal and National par-
ties have not successfully contested the
"old guard" though there are indications
that moderate and liberal tendencies within
the Liberal party may eventually prevail. On
the other hand, the "style" of Honduran
politics has remained relatively constant
since the days of old General Carias. Au-
thoritarian and personalistic modes are
strong characteristics of Honduran society
and pervade all sides of the political spec-
trum. To be sure, the degree of au-
thoritarianism differs between new and
traditional political parties, but the modes
still persist. Yet, with few exceptions, Hondu-

rans have retained the ability to talk with
each other. Conuenios, agreements to
share political power, and backroom deals
may not always represent the optimum in
democratic theory, but they are a step
ahead of daily killings and paramilitary or-
ganization. None of this is to say that the
social and economic problems of Hon-
duras would be easily resolved even if
highly "progressive" attitudes emerged
among both old and new political elites.
Poverty, low rates of literacy, the creation of
efficient economic infrastructures, and ris-
ing levels of external financing are stubborn
obstacles to overcome.
The development of a new political
consciousness has lagged behind the
domestic and external realities of Hon-
duras. Although the critical issues are not
completely overlooked by Hondurans, and
although they have demonstrated a willing-
ness to participate in the established politi-
cal processes, many political leaders do
seem to ignore contemporary realities.

Mankind is developing a new
relationship to the oceans one
that focuses upon the wealth
oceans hold in living and non-
living resources. Bargaining over
the distribution of this wealth,
conducted through the seventies,
now appears to be heading to-
wards a successful conclusion in
a global maritime agreement.
The projected Law of the Sea
treaty will constitute the
framework for the future global
order of the oceans, and as such,
will probably require to be filled
out through subsequent debates,
agreements and state practice.
Thus, the conclusion of one
phase of the global bargaining
process leaves mankind upon the
threshold of other similar future

Nevertheless, much of the rhetoric and
initiative for socioeconomic and political
reform has been stimultated by the San-
dinista victory and the deteriorating situa-
tion in neighboring El Salvador. Ironically,
the Central American crisis and the interna-
tional attention that has focused upon the
"oasis of peace" may have provided Hon-
duras sufficient motivation to work upon
strengthening its internal institutions and
political processes. The remaining question
is whether time will allow an adequate

James A. Morris is a frequent writer on Hon-
duras. He now lives and works in New Mexico.

The Conference on Maritime
Issues in the Caribbean brings
into focus some of the critical re-
maining areas of debate:
maritime delimitation between
"adjacent" and "opposite" states
and the management of the living
resources of the oceans. These
questions take on an air of
urgency in the presence of other
contemporaneous issues such
as the rising demand for re-
sources in general and for nutri-
tional food in particular.
For further information and
registration materials, please
contact: Dr. Farrokh Jhabvala,
Conference Chairperson, The
Latin American and Caribbean
Center, Florida International Uni-
versity, Miami, FL 33199.


Conference on Maritime Issues in the Caribbean
April 13, 1981, Florida International University, Miami


Costa Rica's

Political Turmoil

Can Production Support the Welfare State?

By Samuel Stone

he five Central American republics
are, and always have been, a
chessboard where ruling groups in
each country, for economic or political rea-
sons, have sought to checkmate each
other. Perhaps the best way to understand
the game is to bear in mind the differences
in nature and temperament between these
traditionally dominant sectors. These can
be generally defined as consisting of those
who at any stage in the history of the Isth-
mian (and even Latin American) nations
have descended from the Spanish colonial
nobility (the hidalguia) and who as such
have had control over the principal sources
of production and thus a direct or indirect
grip on their political systems. In the north-
ern states where there has always been a
relative abundance of land for export crops,
labor and capital, the traditional ruling
families have acquired a primarily eco-
nomic function and have delegated the
affairs of state to groups with other social
backgrounds. This explains the existence of
military governments which until the fall of
Somoza and the present tottering regime of
El Salvador, have been guardians of the
status quo for the purpose of allowing
those families to maintain and increase
their fortunes. In the case of Nicaragua,
Somoza was both a custodian of order and
a descendant of one of the long-standing
families. This made him a strongman, the
only one in Central America.
It may seem illogical to speak of El Sal-
vador in terms of a nation with an abun-
dance of land for export crops, particularly
in view of the fact that it is the smallest of the
five diminutive countries of Central
America. However, practically all of its
20,000 square kilometers have always been
suited for that type of production. This has
meant that once the process of land ac-
quisition by the elite was completed very
little if any national territory remained for
other social strata to cultivate agricultural
products for domestic consumption.
In the southernmost nation. Costa Rica.
the factors of production have always been
scarce, with the result that the old families
(who are quite closely related to their
counterparts throughout the Isthmus) have
been faced with less interesting prospects

for making money and therefore have
come to assume a direct role in politics.
As one goes from north to south through
Guatemala, El Salvador, Honduras, Nic-
aragua and Costa Rica, one finds varying
types of ruling groups who have historically
tended to form convenient ententes to es-
tablish economic preponderance. This re-
gional "jockeying" for position has today
taken on wider international dimensions.
Mexico and Venezuela, prompted by their
advantageous positions in petroleum
production, vie for leadership in Latin
America. Social and Christian Democratic
political ideologies are also in competition.
Fidel Castro and the Soviet Union, particu-
larly since the advent of the Sandinistas,
have also come to play important parts in
this drama.
In all of the countries there is a close
relationship between the productive and
political systems. In the northern states the
descendants of the Spanish colonial elite
have come to delegate political functions to
the military and administrative functions of
their agricultural enterprises to people
identified neither with the army nor them-
selves. The creation of this group of ag-
ricultural administrators has spawned a
small but inadequate buffer class between
the landed aristocracy and labor. This lack
of rapprochement amid the social extremes
in national society has prepared fertile
grounds for class warfare.
In Costa Rica, however, similar elite
groups faced with a chronic scarcity of
labor and less attractive prospects for
making money, have participated directly in
politics as Presidents, Congressmen,
Cabinet members and the like. By the same
token, in the productive system they have
not delegated authority, with the result that
there has been constant contact between
the upper and lower echelons of society,
particularly in the coffee complex, the most
important sector of the economy. This has
created an atmosphere that does not
readily lend itself to class warfare.
In sum, the northern Central American
countries, specifically Guatemala and El
Salvador have aggressive economic elites
who until now have controlled their political
systems. They have been competing for

alliances with foreign capital in the Com-
mon Market where they have taken the
lion's share. However, economic and politi-
cal conditions have led to the development
of leftist guerrilla organizations, organiza-
tions which thrive on the social discontent
which the productive and political systems
nurture. Many in those revolutionary groups
in the northern countries have taken
asylum in neighboring Costa Rica. This fact
begins to explain how Costa Rica has be-
come involved in the general Isthmian

Costa Rica and the Sandinistas
The recent crisis in Nicaragua between
Somoza and the Sandinistas had both
political and economic implications and
serves to illustrate the bearing of these
international problems on Costa Rican
politics. Somoza represented for the
wealthy Salvadoran, Guatemalan and Hon-
duran families engaged in production, a
certain guarantee of regional stability, due
in part to his aggressiveness in the face of
Cuban infiltration. Costa Rica, however,
unwittingly became the base of operations
from which the Sandinista militia attacked
Nicaragua. Three factors led to the open
intervention of Costa Rica on behalf of the
Sandinistas. One was a direct threat from
Somoza to attack Costa Rica if the Carazo
administration did not put an end to the use
of its territory as aSandinista base; another
was the contraband arms business which
reached uncontrollable proportions; the
third was a serious economic crisis (result-
ing from the presence of the Welfare State)
for which the Nicaraguan war offered the
Costa Rican government a timely opportu-
nity to temporarily divert public opinion. As
a result of Costa Rica's involvement, the
government enhanced its own image in a
human rights oriented world and turned
national attention away from increasingly
ugly inflationary problems. At the same
time, however, the nation began to sink in a
quagmire of scandal over the arms con-
traband affair. This issue still dominates the
political scene more than a year after the fall
of Somoza.
Why did members of the traditional rul-
ing class in Costa Rica not fear the possibil-

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ity of the establishment of a Castro-type
government across the northern border?
They did, but they have always been acutely
aware of the relative difficulty of having a
Marxist regime installed in Costa Rica, pre-
cisely because in terms relative to El Sal-
vador and Guatemala, the historical scar-
city of labor has led management to a
marked competition for workers. Since the
beginning of the twentieth century this
scarcity has resulted in constant reform in
favor of the laboring classes, which to an
important extent tends to explain the coun-
try's democratic institutions. Why did
members of that same ruling class not op-
pose their government's risky intervention
on behalf of the Sandinistas? Many did, but
many more, confident in the invulnerability
of their system, were too emotionally in-
volved against Somoza to oppose their own
government, even after the Central Ameri-
can Common Market was paralyzed as a
result of the closing of Nicaragua's borders.
This sentiment against Nicaragua is not
new, for as a former Costa Rican President
once said, Costa Rica has always had three
seasons: the rainy season, the dry season
and the season of war with Nicaragua.
The ruling groups in El Salvador,
Guatemala, and Honduras continue to be
allies against the Sandinista cause. Costa
Rica, for having sided with the Sandinistas
together with Carlos Andres P&rez and
Omar Torrijos and for having coincided
with Fidel Castro's own position with regard
to the rebels, has made political foes of its
three Central American neighbors. San-
dinista arms from Venezuela, Panama, and
Cuba to a great extent traveled through
Costa Rica. Such a predicament, in the light
of clearly increasing Cuban and Soviet in-
fluence, and a resurgence of the human
rights problem in the new Nicaragua, has
not put the government in the good graces
of either its own ruling class or those of the
outside world.
The dissatisfaction of the ruling class
with the government has made itself man-
ifest in recent weeks as the media indicate
that Costa Ricans are becoming increas-
ingly skeptical of the new Nicaraguan ad-
ministration. The general feeling is that the
latter has taken a full swing to the left and

Costa Rican president Rodrigo Carazo and his wife. Wide World Photos.

that the Communist problem is now too
close to home. It has been argued that any
future border skirmish and there have
been many in the past could lead to
serious problems for Costa Rica. Should
this happen, runs the argument, the Carazo
administration would be to blame, for as the
old Spanish saying goes, "Cria cuervosy te
sacardn los ojos" (Raise crows and they will
pick your eyes out).
Having helped to overthrow the rightest
dictatorship of Somoza in Nicaragua, Costa
Rica's recent offer to accept, at least for a
while, the totality of the 10,000 Cubans who
in April, 1980 stormed the Peruvian Em-
bassy in Havanna in search of asylum from
Fidel Castro's Marxist regime, could be
quite perplexing for people unfamiliar with
the situation. However, the step is under-
standable by Costa Rican traditions. The
country has taken pride in having been a
longtime haven for political exiles from the
entire Latin American Continent, ranging
from former Venezuelan Presidents
R6mulo Betancourt and Carlos Andr6s
Perez as well as Victor Rail Haya de la Torre
and the leaders of his exiledAprista move-
ment in Peru, to prominent politicians from
all of the Central American countries and
even to Cubans such as Jose Marti and
Fidel Castro himself. A large Cuban colony
has been in the country long before the
arrival to power of Castro. The decision to
accept the exiles, therefore, is logical from
all points of view. It is justifiable both as a
human rights measure and by tradition and
politics. The move which favored the foes of
Somoza in Nicaragua a year ago would be
offset by a subsequent move supporting
the foes of Castro in Cuba. At the same
time, attention is again turned away from
inflation at home and to a foreign issue
involving compassionate humanitarian
In recent months the Costa Rican gov-
ernment has openly given its full backing to
the new rightist Junta of El Salvador. At the
same time the media indicated that arms
have "found their way" to leftist Salvadoran
guerrillas through this country. This ap-
pears to be a continuation of the arms con-
traband business.
The general impression is that the Costa
Rican government would like to see
sweeping changes in El Salvador, particu-
larly in what concerns the excessive quota
of wealth and power in the hands of an
extremely small group of families.
Nevertheless, there is obviously great risk
involved in such change and the turn of
events in Nicaragua after the fall of Somoza
serves as-a constant reminder of what
might very well occur to all of the Central
American republics. Fear of such a possi-
bility is being expressed by both the media
and the public and undoubtedly has Presi-
dent Carazo in a quandry over what to do.
To decide on any course of action, Carazo
must weigh the degree of emotional in-

volvement of the Costa Rican people, espe-
cially that of the ruling class, with any stance
he might take against the so-called "four-
teen families" of El Salvador.
Such is the confusing nature of Central
American politics. It can undoubtedly be
viewed from many other angles but when
considered within the framework of an
international struggle between elites whose
positions of power vary according to the
availability of land for export crops, labor,
and capital, several advantages come to
light: First, Costa Rica ceases to be the
eternal exceptional political phenomenon
in Centra America in particular and in Latin
America in general. Second, such a

Faced with extremely
serious economic
difficulties and a
pathetically disorganized
Congress, Carazo has been
taking bold steps.

panorama gives some insight into the rea-
sons for the existence of a Welfare State in
Costa Rica and its absence in the other
nations. Very simply stated, where a ruling
class is engaged directly in the functions of
government it sets an example other social
strata are prone to follow. Moreover, once a
large proportion of the active population of
a country in Costa Rica's case about 25%
- becomes dependent on the public sec-
tor there is very little that can stop the State
from growing beyond all reasonable limits.

Background to Contemporary
Costa Rican politics have been dominated
by two principal forces emerging from a
major social and political conflict which
erded in civil war in 1943. On the one hand
was part of a landed coffee planter aristoc-
racy with a leadership bent on pressing
social reform, under the guidance of late
President Rafael Angel Calder6n Guardia.
To assist him in a wealth-redistribution pro-
gram Calder6n paradoxically managed to
simultaneously draw to his side both the
Roman Catholic Church and the Com-
munist Party. On the other hand, rallying
around former President Jose Figueres,
also reform minded, there developed a new
political movement of Social Democrats
together with a significant number of dissi-
dent members of the old coffee planter
aristocracy who were leery of Calder6n's
unsavory alliance with the Communists.
With them there was an amorphous set of
followers who, like the planters, descended

from the ranks of the Spanish colonial no-
bility but had never enjoyed the benefits of
participating significantly in the country's
economic and political systems. Out of
Figures' adherents there evolved one
major party, the Partido Liberaci6n Na-
cional (PLN) which has exercised strong
control over the nation during most of the
presidential periods since 1953. The groups
rallying around Calder6n formed an oppo-
sition coalition held together mainly by their
anti-PLN sentiments.
Several new trends developed following
the Civil War which was won by the forces
backing Figueres. One of the most impor-
tant was the tendency toward the interven-
tion of the State in activities involved with
public services, which included nationaliza-
tion of banks, electricity and telephones.
This brought about a rapid growth of the
public sector and the consequent
emergence of a Welfare State which from
the outset put heavy pressures on coffee
production through taxation. While banana
cultivation was also important, in contrast
with coffee it had always been in the hands
of foreign investors. As the State began to
grow increasingly at the expense of coffee,
the planter groups tended to polarize
around more conservative leaders and in
1958 their candidate, Mario Echandi, was
elected President. The victory led to open
hostility with the State, which expanding
undermined the nation's productive system
through growing tax, inflationary and
budgetary problems.
During recent years as the country has
felt the pressures of world inflation it has
also experienced an accelerating effect of
this affliction from within the economy.
Constant demands for salary increases
from the public sector have been satisfied,
always under the threat of a general strike
and a consequent halting of production.
The unprecedented growth of this sector
and its repercussions on the economy is
without doubt the most serious problem
which Costa Rica has confronted in mod-
ern times.
Perhaps the clearest indications of the
dangers implicit in the Welfare State in
Costa Rica are the public statements of
three of the founding fathers of the system.
Former three-times President Jose
Figures lamented that he could not gov-
ern the country one additional year to
straighten things out. Ex-President Daniel
Oduber, who also contributed in an impor-
tant way to its creation, stated that the mid-
dle class which controls public administra-
tion (and is the product of the Welfare State)
has become an obstacle for the progress of
Costa Rica. Lastly, Alberto Marten, to whom
Figures gave the responsibility for de-
signing a plan to nationalize the banking
system in 1948, has recently assured
the nation that the entire State must be
Parallel to the welfare trend following the

1948 Civil War were other social, political
and economic changes brought about by
the Central American Common Market in-
stituted in 1960. Possibly one of the most
important aspects of this organization was
its drive toward rapid industrialization of the
entire area. In Costa Rica this meant the
opening of new horizons, above all for the
followers of Figueres who like the coffee
planters descended, in many cases, from
the Spanish colonial aristocracy, but who
had never enjoyed meaningful benefits
from production or politics. Many of these
were quick to take advantage of credit of-
fered by the State-nationalized banking
system for industrial investment within the
Common Market. As a result there devel-
oped a new heavily subsidized industrial
sector which inevitably entered into conflict
with the planters, for like the Welfare State, it
too grew at the expense of tax-burdened
coffee production and the agricultural
sector in general.
This industrial sector developed under
the protection of government subsidies and
exemptions from income taxes, export
taxes and import duties. Under certain con-
ditions it was even given almost
monopolistic control over some areas of
production. It has reached a point where it
has earned the wrath of the present close-
to-bankrupt administration, which is still
sacrificing tax revenue to keep the sector
alive. Furthermore, the State continues to
draw the necessary resources to subsidize
industrial activity by taxing the dwindling
production of other sectors of the economy
which are no longer willing to lend their
assistance. It has nevertheless become an
outspoken group bent upon retaining its
An important side effect of the
emergence of the industrial sector has
been the growth of labor unions. This was
to a great extent backed by the United
States Government over a decade ago.
Labor unions had hitherto only prospered
in the banana complex where workers have
been largely foreigners (Panamanians,
Nicaraguans and Caribbean Blacks) and
where management has represented "Yan-
kee Imperialism." They had met with little or
no success in the coffee complex due to the
paternalistic and personalistic relations,
dating from mid-nineteenth century, be-
tween the planters and their labor force.
Calder6n's Labor Code of the early 1940s
was drafted to accommodate that relation-
ship. The unions eventually came to be
courted by the PLN and play an important
role in politics today.
In the light of the above it can easily be
understood how pressure groups have de-
veloped and come to play a significant,
although peculiar, part in Costa Rican poli-
tics in recent years. They have been orga-
nized by the State itself through its unions
(called "associations" for legal reason), the
coffee planters, national banana growers,

management groups, labor unions, indus-
trialists and so forth. These institutions con-
stantly use the media (at a very high cost) to
publicize their different positions with re-
spect to political issues. By attempting to
influence public opinion in this way they
convey a weak political image and give the
impression that this is the only pressure
they can exert. They do, however, play an
important part in the political system
through the backing they give to the parties.
The most influential international politi-
cal organizations in Costa Rica have been
the Social and Christian Democrats and the
Communist Party. Fidel Castro has at-

Where a ruling class is
engaged directly in the
functions of government, it
sets an example other
social strata are prone to

tempted to make himself heard but has so
far met with relatively insignificant results.
To an extent these ideologies have been
able to surge due to the traditional asylum
which Costa Rica has offered to practically
all those who have sought it. Thus the
Communist Party was started by former
Venezuelan President R6mulo Betancourt,
among others, during his exile in the coun-
try in the late 1920s. The Peruvian Aprista
movement of Haya de la Torre had a signifi-
cant influence in the ideological orientation
of the PLN, also through exiles living here.
At one time or another Social Democrats
like Carlos Andres Perez, former President
of Venezuela, were once exiled in Costa
Rica, as was Juan Bosch of the Dominican
Republic, also a prominent member of that
movement in the Caribbean. By the same
token Costa Ricans have been exposed to
these doctrines by residing in other coun-
tries. The most recent example is that of
Carazo himself who turned from Social to
Christian Democracy while living in Ven-
ezuela. The German Social Democratic
Party has reportedly funded PLN cam-
paigns and maintains a mountain retreat in
Costa Rica where party members frequently
debate matters pertaining to their

Present-Day Politics
Against this rather ample background it
becomes more meaningful to discuss
Carazo's successes and failures and the
obstacles which he has confronted. A
starting point might be the 1978 electoral
victory of his party through a coalition of
four parties now bearing the name of Par-

tido Unidad (PU). The groups backing him
represented the followers of Calder6n
Guardia, now rallying around his son, Rafael
Angel Calder6n Fournier; the old coffee
planter groups and conservative busi-
nessmen through their organization called
the Partido Uni6n Popular (PUP); a
conservative industrial and business group
(although not with great enthusiasm after
their candidate, Miguel Barzuna Sauma,
lost to Carazo in the coalition's primaries in
1977); and finally the Partido Renouacion
Democratica (PRD), an organization prin-
cipally under the leadership of disen-
chanted members of the PLN like Carazo
himself and his former Minister of the
Interior, Juan Jose Echeverria Brealy, who
also turned from Social to Christian De-
In spite of the PU's victory its main prob-
lems have stemmed from the fact that it is a
coalition representing very diversified inter-
ests and held together only by its anti-PLN
sentiments. This has led to compromising
within its ranks on practically every impor-
tant issue. There have been many occa-
sions when the factions cannot agree on a
given question and the PLN opposition in
Congress often wins even with only 25 out
of 57 votes. (The PU has 27 votes, often has
had the backing of 2 independents, and
thus has a majority of 1 vote over the PLN
and the three communist votes which nor-
mally follow them.) Carazo's big political
problem then is the shaky and unpredicta-
ble majority of his own party in Congress.
Probably one of the most delicate situa-
tions arising from his difficulties in getting
the support of Congress is his increasing
tendency to govern by Presidential Decree.
An example of this occurred on 31 July
1980, after futile attempts to get the Legis-
lative Assembly to approve tax increases to
meet demands for salary raises in the pub-
lic sector. The nation's entire force of public
employees threatened the government with
a strike on the following day. To avoid this
Carazo levied the taxes by his own decree.
In the light of a nation faced with extremely
serious economic difficulties and a pathet-
ically disorganized Congress, Carazo has
been taking bold steps to keep the country's
head out of water.
There has been a tendency for the public
in general, including his own supporters, to
blame Carazo for all of the country's eco-
nomic ills. However, one cannot overlook
the fact that since his arrival to power infla-
tion on both a world-wide and national
scale has reached unprecedented levels.
The energy crisis has hit the economy
equally hard. The price of coffee, which is
the main source of foreign exchange earn-
ings, has been on a steep decline, falling
from over US$ 300 a sack under the past
administration to under US$ 100. It has
often been said that the best Secretary of
the Treasury in Costa Rica is a good coffee
crop at high prices.

When Carazo took office the price of
gasoline was about (CS$ 1 per gallon. Today
it is US$ 3. To confront this situation he has
managed to promote fruitful meetings with
the Presidents of both Mexico and Ven-
ezuela for the purpose of seeking a prefer-
ential price arrangement. He has undoubt-
edly been playing on the open rivalry be-
tween those two nations for leadership in
the area but it has apparently been worth
the effort. On a recent visit to Costa Rica,
Venezuelan President Luis Herrera
Campins announced what he and Carazo
were up to. The Third World, he said, was no
longer willing to "sell cheap and buy expen-
sive" in its dealings with the industrialized
nations. There appear to have been two
orientations in Venezuela's and Mexico's
plan of action. On the one hand, said Her-
rara Campins, neither country could offer
Costa Rica preferential petroleum prices.
However, both nations were fully aware of
the difficult and unfair situation of those
developing societies without petroleum
resources. At the same time, hinting thatthe
electric car was just around the corner,
Herrera said that those Third World nations
with petroleum must take advantage of the
resource while they can.
Following Herrera's visit, Mexican Presi-
dentJose L6pez Portillo came to Costa Rica
for a four day stay to discuss the same
problem. As a result, on August 3, the two
Chiefs of State returned to San Jose where
they signed an agreement in the presence
of Carazo. According to its terms the two
countries will supply not only Costa Rica,
but also the five Central American nations,
Panama, the Dominican Republic, Bar-
bados and Jamaica, as well as Cuba if it so
desires, with up to two thirds of the petro-
leum products they currently import. Pur-
chases can be made with a cash payment
of 70% of their value and the remaining 30%
can be paid over a five year period at 4%
interest per annum. If the financing is used
for developmental purposes, the loan can
be amortized over periods ranging up to
twenty years at 2% interest. All such opera-
tions involving the use of credit will be sub-
ject to careful scrutiny by the lenders.
This arrangement enables most of the
Third World Caribbean nations to slow
down the drain on their increasingly hard-
to-earn (as the terms of trade deteriorate)
foreign exchange reserves. At the same
time it represents a step in the direction of
eventually consolidating the new Latin
American Economic System known as the
Sistema Econdmico Latino Americano
(SELA), an organization which is to serve as
a forum for discussing common problems
and strategies and implementing mecha-
nisms for economic integration. It is also
beneficial for its two promoters from the
point of view that it serves to both bolster
their area leadership and to guarantee fu-
ture income at today's petroleum prices
should these decline.

Carazo's role in making the ar-
rangements for this important treaty has
not been made clear. This becomes im-
portant considering it has included all the
nations in the area. As the treaty was being
signed, reporters made clear the fact that
none of the other nations concerned had
even received details on how it was to affect
them. Carazo appears to have engineered
this alone with the Mexican and Venezuelan

The Political Future
The 1982 political campaign is already in
full swing and everything points to a splin-

Costa Rica began to sink
in a quagmire of scandal
over the arms contraband

tering of the party system to a degree that
can only cause decision-making and agility
for future administrations to become next
to impossible. Issues now under discussion
center largely around the difficult economic
situation, the arms contraband business
and relations with the other Central Ameri-
can states. However, judging by increas-
ingly frequent media reports on the subject,
what to do with the Welfare State should rise
to the top position if anybody dares tackle it.
The major trends in the party system are
not yet clear enough to form opinions. In all
probability the PLN and the PU will again be
the two major parties but with a different
make-up. The PLN held very premature
primaries last April and in the run-off union
leader Luis Alberto Monge won hands
down over one of Costa Rica's leading
economists, Carlos Manuel Castillo. The
PLN will get the backing of the Welfare
State, which is one of its own products. The
primary, however, which was all but clean,
left deep wounds within the party and there
is talk of a split to be organized by former
Minister of Foreign Affairs, Gonzalo J.
Facio. Should it occur, the PLN would un-
doubtedly have great difficulties in the
The PU is scheduled to have its primaries
early next year. The names in the running at
this writing are Calder6n Guardia's 31 year
old son, a lawyer and former Congressman
who has received his position as a legacy;
Jos6 Hine Garcia, with the backing of con-
servative planter and business groups; en-
gineer Rodolfo Mendez Mata, current
Minister of Public Works, although it is still
too early to know where his support will
come from; and lawyer and businessman
Rodrigo Madrigal Nieto, a PU Con-

gressman who will seek the support of the
bulk of the coffee planters and the business
community. Other conservative business
and industrial groups have already named
their candidate, industrialist Miguel Bar-
zuna Sauma, who lost to Carazo in the 1977
primaries of the PU. This time, however,
Barzuna does not form part of the PU
The left, which over the last decades has
received about 6% of the votes, will probably
be represented again by a coalition (Pueblo
Unido) of the Soviet-backed Communist
Party, the once-Cuban-supported Socialist
Party and a radical small group called the
Movimiento Reuolucionario del Pueblo.
The coalition is and probably will continue
to be under the control of the Soviets. There
will also be other less important candidates
and a number of regional parties which will
present tickets at the Congressional and
Municipal levels. In 1978 there were ap-
proximately 30 parties and by all appear-
ances there should be more in 1982. This,
for a country of two million, is excessive.
Regardless of how these forces align
themselves the major domestic problem
for any winning group will still be the Wel-
fare State which by all indications is con-
tinuing to grow. Should this be the case,
production, too, will be severely affected.
Production has been one of the principal
obstacles to progress in the rest of Central
America where the emphasis has been, as
in the case of Costa Rica, on the redistribu-
tion of wealth. However, as the Peruvian
military regime which came to power in
1968 has just learned, the real political
problems start with the discovery that there
is nothing left to redistribute. It took that
succession of governments almost thirteen
years to assimilate the lesson and to the
misfortune of the rest of the population, this
did not occur until well after those who
knew how to organize production had lost
their firms and been forced out of the
country. This explains the plea of the armed
forces to lure productive capital back by
promising the return of confiscated prop-
erties. It also clarifies the reasons for allow-
ing elections which placed the government
under civilian control once again.
Nicaragua and possibly El Salvador appear
to be heading in the same direction. They
would do well to steer an intermediate
course between abusing and not abusing
production. This means seeking a happy
balance between producing and distribut-
ing. In the case of Costa Rica, while the
wealth redistribution programs have
doubtlessly contributed toward the bol-
stering of democracy, the cake of produc-
tion is now too small. Perhaps the moral of
the experience is that you can't have your
cake and eat it too.
Samuel Stone is editor of Estudios CIAPA (San
Josd) and has authored La dinastia de los
conquistadores, a socio-political history of
Costa Rica.

Where to Study

Central America

A Geography of Historical Materials

By Ralph Lee Woodward, Jr.

he most important storehouse of
historical records for the 300 years of
Spanish rule over the "Kingdom of
Guatemala," stretching from Chiapas to
Costa Rica is the great Spanish colonial
archives at Seville, the Archivo General de
Indias (AGI). Located in La Lonja, the
building occupied in colonial times by the
Casa de Contratacion, which supervised all
trade between Spain and the Indies, theAGl
contains in well ordered legajos the princi-
pal records and correspondence respecting
Spanish rule of Central America from 1524
to 1821. While the AGI is, by far, the most
important Spanish colonial archive for his-
torians, scholars are finding significant
Central American materials in other
Spanish archives as well, notably at the
Archivo Hist6rico Nacional, the Archivo
General Militar, the Archivo General de la
Marina (also known as the Museo Naval),
the Archivo General y Biblioteca del
Ministerio de Asuntos Exteriores, as well as
at the Biblioteca Nacional, Biblioteca del
Palacio Real and Biblioteca de la
Academia de la Historia, all in Madrid, and
at the Archivo General in Simancas.
Within Central America the most impor-
tant archive for the colonial history of the
entire isthmus is the Archivo General de
Centro America (AGCA) in Guatemala City.
Containing massive amounts of manu-
script materials from colonial government
offices, institutions and private individuals,
as well as provincial and municipal records,
this archive is located in a modern building
in the heart of the city. Thanks to the work of
J. Joaquin Pardo in the mid-twentieth cen-
tury, the colonial documents are well
ordered and indexed. More recently, micro-
filming projects by the Geneaological Soci-
ety of Utah and by McMasters University in
Hamilton, Ontario, have made this docu-
mentation available to a wider number of
researchers. After the AGI and AGCA, the
other national archives of Central America
offer much less for the colonial historian,
although both Honduras and Costa Rica
have respectable colonial materials for their
respective areas.
The respective national archives remain
the principal sources for the history of each
Central American state in the nineteenth

.L ...ki. -~-.'. ..u bILdI; hs ahAlah lar IhJ ; ,.: 'ih, nl-, 1'T"
V iLht\ nto ZC t rahom m .t4 .nm, wOi. l ,Ri '

ta V.%n. sy1------ &i' v14P

g, :
Si. ti -. . '

a Ar Ig k/ i LcL a

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u ,U r ,,,

,f L ,n.- -2 V
tc, r,,,R, 1 ,'i C
E;. I Ion1%,% 't Ler b

= .j-;l 77 e.-
.c -a- L _f -c sr- -- l ge
Le ,, -^^ '^ tt '^* i c

Will written in Kekchi Maya in 1583 ieseldorf Papers, Latin American Library,

Tulane University. ,

Will written in Kekchi Maya in 1583. Dieseldorf Papers, Latin American Library,
Tulane University.

and twentieth centuries. The AGCA serves
this function for Guatemala and continues
to collect the records of the government
ministries and agencies as well as vital
statistics and other public records. Unfortu-
nately, cataloguing for the national period
does not extend for most records past the
mid-nineteenth century, although access to
uncatalogued materials can generally be

arranged for historians by consultation with
the Director of the Archivo. The National
Library and the Hemeroteca Nacional of
Guatemala are located in the same building
as theAGCA, facing the city's central plaza.
The Hemeroteca has an excellent collec-
tion of Guatemalan newspapers for the
nineteenth and twentieth centuries.
Elsewhere in the capital are a number of

important archives and libraries for the re-
searcher which have not as yet been widely
exploited. Most important of these are the
archives in the Cathedral of Guatemala, well
organized and preserved, but with limited
access. Notarial archives have been largely
incorporated into theAGCA for the colonial
period and for much of the twentieth cen-
tury, but the Archivo de Protocolos de la
Corte Suprema has some of the records of
the nineteenth century. Avery useful archive
for economic and social history is the Ar-
chivo de Escribania del Gobierno y Sec-
ci6n de Tierras, which has recently been



t Are I b-Eroaktr ies Jtl lDI ii n Guatmala City amre
Si o. In tiu ol f I'.,* .o d a 9n-olo a I HAinF sI.
aUARRBHAr b* E4 WI 41 44a p. C 4. a.. ,Itr I..t. d. lh'lt.pibtk
I n c--i u u ao I I Uhgnstla apor n*rtru nraion al
d m ,a ip4 .uon. de la D recn G enral d
s Adlstic. r as well las t h e librarflesM of se v

er al tpe .i dty.s b ank O.uw d a44 ts d t he. ca itl
te a *mpo 0.* pn t m 0 u ni c a. ach* llve trat

i ncorporated into the AGCA. Other impor-

t oria. Institute de Antropologia e Historia,
Instituted In Mdigenista and Centro Nacional
de Informain r de lah Direci6n General de
Estadstica, as well as thde p lbraresim of se
eral of the cits banks. M Outside the capital

have not yet been consolidated into the

AGCA, especially at Quezaltenango, Anti-
gua and San Martin Jilotepeque. In Antigua
a imphran t research library is being de-

veloped at the Centro dee Investigaciones
In neigboring Belize there is a small but

useful National Archives located at Belmo-
pan containing records from the late

In addition, there is an ecclesiastical archive
and a library of growing importance for
for Social Research and Action at St. John'sIB

incorporated important, although hardly

exhaustive, collection on Belizean history. It
tant rcludesearch libraries in Guatemala City are
those of theAcademia de Geogralia e His-
toria. Institute de Antropologia e Historia,
Institute Indigenista and Centro 'lacional
de Informacion de la Direccion General de

Eand a f ew unpublished the libraries of sev-
eral of the city's banks. Outside the capital
there are important municipal archives that
have not yet been consolidated into the
AGCA, especially at Quezaltenango. Anti-
gua and San Martin Jilotepeque. In Antigua

written reportant rese of varch library is being de
veloped at the Centr de Inesigacines
Regionales de Mesoamerica.
In neighboring Belize there is a small but
useful National Archives located at Belmo-
pan containing records from the late
eighteenth through the twentieth centuries.
In addition, there is an ecclesiastical archive
and a library of growing importance for
serious study of Belize at the Belize Institute
for Social Research and Action at St. John's
College in Belize City. Also in Belize City, at
the Bliss Institute, is the "National Collec-
tion." an important, although hardly
exhaustive, collection on Belizean history. It
includes published materials, newspapers
and a few unpublished theses and type-
written reports of various kinds.


The National Archives of Honduras has
been the scene of some of the most im-
portant reorganization and improvement in
recent years. The archives were assembled
and developed in Tegucigalpa in the late
nineteenth and early twentieth centuries by
Antonio R. Vallejo, but it later fell into ne-
glect until the last twenty years when a con-
certed effort was made to classify and pre-
serve the documentation. This renaissance
began with a UNESCO project in 1958 that
microfilmed 100 rolls of colonial docu-
mentation (which, however, owing to the
disorganization of the archive, actually

del Congreso. There is also an important
archive of parish and ecclesiastical records
at the Cathedral of Tegucigalpa, which is
now being indexed by the Instituto Hon-
durerio de Antropologia e Historia. The
important ecclesiastical archive at the ca-
thedral in Comayagua (especially critical
for colonial and early nineteenth-century
historians) unfortunately has suffered
much deterioration, neglect and has gen-
erally not been open to scholarly research.
These Honduran repositories have scarcely
been worked by scholars, yet they harbor
enormous riches for the country's history. A

Left: 1863 decree by El Salvadorean president Francisco Duehas.Hojas sueltas Collection,
Latin American Library, Tulane University. Top: Archivo General de Indias, Sevilla.

contains considerable nineteenth-century
material as well). Additional microfilming
has been continued by other foreign agen-
cies. Owing largely to the efforts of Julio
Ponce, the archive has become much bet-
ter organized and its contents more acces-
sible for the study of both colonial and
nineteenth-century Honduran history. A
North American scholar, Kenneth Finney,
was especially instrumental in assisting
Ponce in these efforts in the 1970s. While
still not thoroughly organized and indexed,
the Honduran National Archives now repre-
sents a major source for the scientific study
of Honduras's past, especially welcome
since Honduran historiography is the least
advanced in Central America.
Located in the same building is the Na-
tional Library of Honduras, which holds
important collections of periodicals and
other published sources. Other important
archives and libraries in Tegucigalpa are the
well organized archives of the Ministry of
Foreign Relations and the archives of the
Juzgado de Tegucigalpa, the Consejo del
Distrito Central, the Direcci6n General de
Minas, the Ministerio de Hacienda y Cred-
ito Publico. Registro de Propiedades, Di-
recci6n de Estadistica y Censos, the In-
stituto Nacional Agrario and the Archivo

number of libraries in Tegucigalpa supple-
ment these primary collections, notably
those of the Banco Central, the Coleccion
Hondurenia of the Universidad Nacional
Aut6noma de Honduras, and the Instituto
Hondurerio de Antropologia e Historia.
Outside the capital, parish and municipal
archives are numerous but have hardly
been identified, much less organized. A
current project of the History Department of
the (niversidad Nacional is seeking to
remedy the situation.
The third major national archive in Cen-
tral America is the National Archives of
Costa Rica, founded in 1881 by the Costa
Rican historian Le6n Hernandez. This ar-
chive has enjoyed considerable profes-
sional development and, thus, is the most
carefully organized, indexed and adminis-
tered archive on the isthmus. Although
there are many ministerial collections that
are termed "incomplete" by the staff, the
archive is nevertheless a major, well-
catalogued source for historians of six-
teenth through twentieth century Costa
Rica. Most ministerial records more than
thirty years old are transferred to the Na-
tional Archives, but this rule has not been
fully adhered to, so that archives in indi-
vidual ministries, as in Honduras, also yield

important documentation. In addition to
the national and ministerial archives, schol-
ars have a number of other important
repositories of historical materials, begin-
ning with the largest and most well orga-
nized national library in Central America,
with its excellent collection of Costa Rican
secondary works, journals and newspapers.
Other important collections are in the
Museo Nacional, the University of Costa
Rica (especially the Central American Col-
lection of Franco Cerutti), the Banco Cen-
tral and other government and private
Additional Collections
The remaining three Central American
states offer less lucrative repositories, yet
diligent researchers are finding that these
may yet have more than formerly believed.
El Salvador has been especially unfortu-
nate in the preservation of its official histori-
cal records. Frequent warfare and civil
disturbance in the nineteenth century,
combined with natural disasters and fires in
the twentieth, have left the National Ar-
chives as only a minor repository of the
nation's historical legacy. Efforts have been
initiated in recent years to develop its role
for promoting Salvador's heritage. Ministry
archives supplement materials in the na-
tional archives, but they have hardly been
developed for use by research scholars,
except, as for all the Central American
states, the Foreign Ministry. Other impor-
tant collections are at the Museo Nacional,
the Universidad Centroamerican Jose
Sime6n Carias, and at the Archbishop's
Palace, but probably the most important
historical collections in El Salvador remain
in private hands. Of these, the most noted is
the Miguel Angel Gallardo collection in
Santa Tecla. Outside San Salvador, parish
and municipal records have scarcely been
touched, although the Geneaological Soci-
ety of Utah has microfilmed some parish
archives. The recent political turmoil in El
Salvador has hardly enhanced the oppor-
tunities for historical preservation and re-
search there.
Nicaragua, too, has been hard hit by both
natural and man-made calamities, so that
its national archives have not offered the
depth of materials found in most of the rest
of Central America. Little, in fact, survived
the earthquake and fire of 1931. The new
government, however, has made a con-
certed effort to develop Nicaragua's cultural
heritage, and under the capable direction of
Jorge Eduardo Arellano, the Archiuo Gen-
eral de la Naci6n is proceeding with the
acquisition, ordering and indexing of both
manuscript and published documentation.
Fire in 1972 also destroyed the old National
Library, and only a tiny beginning has been
made to restore it as a major collection.
Both the Library and the Archives are lo-
cated in the new National Cultural Center in
Managua, and although they have the

strong encouragement of the revolutionary
government, they are woefully lacking in
funds. The most ambitious effort to collect
and preserve Nicaraguan historical mate-
rials is at the Instituto Hist6rico Cen-
troamericano, at the Universidad Cen-
troamericana in Managua. The 1972
earthquake as well as the war against
Somoza were both serious setbacks to this
development, but its library represents a
major collection of nineteenth and twen-
tieth century Nicaraguan publications.
Another important collection is at the
Banco Central in Managua. In Le6n, the
library of the Universidad Nacional Au-
t6noma de Nicaragua has important his-
torical collections, including manuscripts,
and there is an extensive ecclesiastical ar-
chive at the cathedral there which contains
documentation dating from the colonial
period. Access and organization of this ar-
chive were problems under the Somoza
dynasty, but it may be hoped that the cathe-
dral may soon yield some of its secrets to
the serious scholar.
It is obvious that the political fragmenta-
tion of Central America has caused histori-
cal documentation to be more scattered
than would have been the case had unity
been preserved. In addition to the Spanish
archives and libraries already mentioned,
archives in Mexico City, Chiapas and Yuca-
tan have Central American materials, espe-
cially, although not exclusively, relating to
the colonial period. In the United States, the
National Archives in Washington contain
enormous amounts of diplomatic and con-
sular correspondence relating to Central
America, as well as materials from other US
government activities, such as military op-
erations, financial relations and cultural
exchanges with the isthmus. Much of the
National Archives material is readily avail-
able on microfilm. The Library of Congress
also houses a very large quantity of histori-
cal materials relating to Central America.
Several US universities have especially
important collections of Central American
materials, in several cases with more com-
plete libraries on Central America than any
found on the isthmus itself. Tulane Univer-
sity in New Orleans has emphasized Central
American studies since the early twentieth
century and its Latin American Library
contains perhaps the largest collection of
Central American materials in the world.
Rivaling Tulane in its Central American
holdings is the Latin American Collection of
the University of Texas at Austin, where the
Arturo Taracena collection of Central
American books, pamphlets and manu-
scripts is especially noteworthy. Other
major Central American collections at US
universities are found in the Bancroft Col-
lection at the University of California at
Berkeley, the University of California at Los
Angeles, the University of Florida, the Uni-
versity of Kansas and Yale University. In

addition, the Ayers Collection of the New-
berry Library in Chicago has important
Central American materials.
Several European archives, in addition to
those of Spain, contain significant Central
American material, either relating to the
period of European colonization of the New
World or to subsequent commercial and
diplomatic relations. The Public Record
Office and the British Museum in London
especially contain large amounts of Central
American materials, but Peter Walne (ed.),
Guide to Manuscript Sources for the His-
tory of Latin America and the Caribbean
in the British Isles (London, 1973), reveals
that additional primary records relating to
Central America are scattered in archives
and libraries throughout the United King-
dom. Elsewhere in Europe there are sur-
prisingly abundant Central American
materials in the official archives of several
countries. The West German Foreign
Ministry archives at Bonn has much mate-
rial and there are excellent guides to that
repository. The National Archives of West
Germany are divided, with economic rec-
ords being held at Koblenz, military and
naval papers at Freiburg, and other as-
sorted materials at Frankfurt. Materials rel-
evant to Central Americanists are most
likely in the first two locations. In addition,
business archives in Bremen and Hamburg
contain papers relating to German trade
and investments in Central America. Also,
various state archives in Germany contain
private papers relating to Central America.
In East Germany, there are important ar-
chives containing Central American mate-
rials in Berlin, Potsdam and Leipzig. Several
archives in Paris contain valuable Central
American materials, including the French
National Archives, the Foreign Affairs Ar-
chives, the Ministry of Economy and Fi-
nance Archives, the National Library and
the Archives of the Chamber of Commerce
and Industry. In addition, archives in port
cities where trade with Central America
originated should yield some material. Ad-
ditional research materials are found in the
Archives of the Vatican in Rome, the Italian
Foreign Ministry and in the Foreign Ministry
archives of Belgium and the Netherlands.
Smaller amounts of material would be
found in other European archives.
The sources for Central American re-
search are scattered widely; scholars in
search of keys to Central America's past
must be prepared to travel. The Research
Guide to Central America and the Carib-
bean, with more complete descriptions of
the archives and libraries mentioned here,
should help prospective researchers plan
their scholarly itineraries with greater
Ralph Lee Woodward teaches Latin American
history at Tulane University. His book, Central
America: A Nation Divided was recently


I _

Man and Nature in

Central American


By Ricardo Pau-Llosa

ne of the most significant motifs in
Central American art of this cen-
tury is the interplay between
human and natural principles. This motif
recurs throughout the diverse styles which
the region's artists have explored, from
primitivism to abstraction to surrealism.
The interaction between man and nature in
Central American art may, at first glance,
display a serenity which obscures the more
complex aesthetic depth of this motif. Be-
neath the thin veil of apparent ease there
lies a difficult balancing of these two princi-
ples. It is the process of bringing them into

On the Cover
San Antonio by Jose Antonio
VelAsquez of Honduras. It is a
1972 oil on canvas, 47!, x 601'2.
Courtesy of the Collection of the
Museum of Modern Art of Latin
America, The Organization of
American States, Washington,

harmony that is dramatized in the work of
Central America's masters.
One of the founding fathers of modern
art in Latin America is the Guatemalan
Carlos Merida. Drawing from Cubism, Con-
structivism, and other European currents
Merida united Mayan patterns and images
with the prevailing ideas of the modern
movement in Western art. His is essentially
a geometric art, a vision of patterns, of pure
forms in interaction. In Under the Skies of
Texas there is an expressiveness of move-
ment not frequently found in Merida.
Abstract calligraphies of color flow vertically
with the hard-edged forms in the center.
The amorphous velocity of the sky is con-
trasted with the geometric, clearly formed
human emblems. In La Acechanza a blue
circle dwells in an angular milieu of ochre
and grey.
The circle emerges in art, universally, as a
symbol of order, of cosmic harmony. It is a
symbol which recurs in Central American
art with diverse additional connotations.
The circle connotes the natural presence,
whereas angular space connotes the
human one. At times the human presence

is interjected in non-linear forms or in
spaces with erratic and unclear edges.
Such is the case with Nicaraguan Bernard
Dreyfus' Universe. The all-embracing
cosmic order reveals a plethora of minute
creatures and shapes fusing into one cell-
like existence.
An important current is that of the
Primitivists. Foremost among them is Jose
Antonio Velasquez from Honduras. He has
one subject matter, the village of San An-
tonio de Oriente, which he constantly re-
phrases in a rhymed language of green
mountains, round vegetation, and angular
rooftops and walls. Human figures accen-
tuate the street, though rarely in great
abundance; here and there a donkey, a dog,
some chickens. The church in the distance
stands as a balancing point between the
architectural elements and the roundness
of the lush Honduran highlands. The
church possesses both angular and circular
elements and stands at the point where
nature ends and the village begins.
A"chiaroscuro" effect results, where the
human and natural forces coexist, shading
one into the other, blended together in


harmony. We see this clearly in Vista and
San Antonio de Oriente (on the cover of
this issue). In both these paintings rounded
vegetation emerges among rooftops, and
vice versa. The human figures themselves
are composed of angular as well as circular
elements, as are the cobblestone streets.
Velasquez' vision is one of peaceful, in-
stinctual integration of villager with tame
nature. For another important Primitivist,
Nicaraguan Asila Guillen, nature is more a
setting for dramatic action. In her Rafael
Hernndez Defending the Castle Against
Pirates a particular event is rendered

Clockwise from upper left: Emilio
Sanchez, "Colonial Doorway." Armando
Morales, "Landscape." Rafael Soriano,
"Paisaje Errante." Mario Carreio, "La
conversation interrumpida." Asilia
Guillen, "Rafaela Herrera defending the
Castle Against the Pirates." From the
Collection of the Museum of Modern Art
of Latin America (OAS). Guillermo
Trujillo, "Perfil y Paisaje" From the Esso
Collection of the Lowe Art Museum,
University of Miami.


through the fanciful, distorted language of
primitive art. Proportion and perspective
become malleable properties at the
painter's disposal. Although this painting
depicts a pirate attack, and so would appear
to be quite the opposite of Velasquez'
serene village scenes, it shares many
common elements with the Honduran's
work. The river finds its parallel in the village
street. Houses and hills emerge in rhythmic
counterpoint in both paintings. Likewise,
nature is imbued with a circularity which
contrasts with the angular roofs of the huts
and the sails. Like the church in San An-
tonio de Oriente, the castle rests at a
juncture, here at the shore of the river, as
well as at the boundary between inhabited
and uninhabited landscapes. The castle is
also like the church in that it possesses
circular and angular structural elements,
embracing the full scope of both human
and natural principles. At first sight, then,
the combat here is between soldiers and
pirates. In reality, the painting dramatizes
the interplay and integration of village and
For Panamanian artist, Guillermo Trujillo,
the tension between human and natural
forces is the stage for a metaphorical elab-
oration of the motif. The fusion here is not a
simple coexistence or overlapping of the
two realms, but an actual fusion of man and
landscape, best seen in his Perfil y Paisaje.
Here faces become rocks in a desolate ter-
rain. They gaze at each other, at the viewer,
at the surrounding plain, at the ochre sky.
Seeing becomes part of the interplay of
forces. These are not villagers on their way
to market, but imposing symbols of human
consciousness becoming one with the
world. The conscious act of perceiving,
coming into intentional contact and fusion
with reality, enters Central American art,
opening new and fascinating possibilities
for the treatment of the motif.
Armando Morales of Nicaragua realized
a number of abstract explorations of tex-
ture. Landscape is one such piece. Angular
green and near-white planes of color, im-
pressed with textures of wood, form parallel
lines and triangles filled with tension. The
piece is a far cry from the serene geomet-
ries of M&rida or the villages of Velasquez.
This microcosmic vision of landscape is
also macrocosmic. Tension and dimension
are in the seeing.
For Guatemalan Rodolfo Abularach, the
circle is not a natural symbol, but rather the
presence, however abstracted, of the
human eye. What brings together the
dynamic interplay between internal and
external principles is the eye, the act of
seeing, the organ which gathers vision and
lies at the difficult frontier between mind
and perceived matter. The real castle, the
church at the foot of the mountain, is the
eye. In his untitled pencil drawing, four con-
centric circles hover over a lightly shaded
boundary; beneath it a square surface, also

in a shade lighter than the dark textures of
pencil and ink. Within the square a barely
perceptible amorphous shape, an echo of a
blood stain, perhaps, a dark red cellular
presence. The eye and the world are fully
abstracted, separated, but they are brought
into intimate interaction in the piece by
means of the rich texturing of the drawing.
The principles here are reduced to abso-
lutes, but made immediate by the workings
of the hand, our other frontier on the mate-
rial world, our other instrument for chang-
ing the landscape.
The work of Surrealist Benjamin Cafias
from El Salvador also explores the man-
nature motif. For Cafias the dramatic ten-
sion between inner and external realities
acquires a definitive oneiric dimension.
Space is open to the most intense abbrevi-
ations and expansions. The dialectic of the
human and the natural is cast in dream
imagery, with interiors of rooms serving as
the stage and an open door as an invitation
to the absent, though awaited, landscape. In
Melancolia del Ausente Cafias orches-
trates female and male principles into a
dreamt image of expectation. Minute fig-
ures people the large torsos and their world.
The opeh door through which light enters
to invent human shadow is guarded by a
halved torso: the castle, the temple, the eye.
Inside, floor and guilt are squared into pat-
tern, but their order is undulated by human
volumes. The inner landscape is the only

landscape at this point. The human figures
are symbols that inhabit this psychic terrain
and are made of its same fabric of meaning
and symbol. As human presence, they are
also emblems of the human consciousness
within the dreamt terrain. The double-
mirror effect that results is a testimony to
the infinite complexities of this motif, for in
every landscape there is a consciousness
perceiving it, which in turn is a landscape of
a psyche, which in turn is peopled with
human symbolic presence which are a
The motif, then, is not a simple one, nor
has it been addressed simply by Central
America's artists. There are other painters
whose works are an important part of the
region's artistic legacy but which limitations
of space preclude analyzing. Among them:
Mauricio Aguilar, Rafael Fernandez, Lolo
Fernandez, Carlos Cafias, Rodrigo Pefialba,
Arturo Luna, to name a few. In varying de-
grees, their work touches on this motif in
unique ways. The importance of the motif is
a testimony to Central America's legacy of
artistic communion with nature, and its
respect for man's place, as a free individual,
in his world.

Ricardo Pau-Llosa teaches Latin American art
at Florida International University. He recently
published Dirube (ALA Art Editions and Edito-
rial Playor, 1980).

Volume 10 UB
January & July 1980 u BII




Cuban-Soviet Relations and
SCuban Policy in Africa
Cuba's Involvement in the
SHorn of Africa
Limitations and Consequences
of Cuban Policies in
Economic Aspects of
Cuban Involvement in

Published by the Center for Latin American Studies. University Center for
International Studies, University of Pittsburgh. Annual subscription rates are $8 for
individuals and $16 for institutions. Address inquiries to: Center for Latin American
Studies, University of Pittsburgh, Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania 15260, USA.

Continued from page 9

vored such a course. What has been advo-
cated is, in the words of Roger Fontaine, "a
Truman doctrine for the region." This
means stepped up military assistance and
training as well as economic support for
Guatemala and El Salvador. Nicaragua, on
the other hand, would be denied assistance,
but there is no call to openly attempt to
reverse the Sandinista revolution. At the
same time, the President-elect had de-
clared that he will continue the United
States' commitment to human rights,
though in an unspecified, less-offensive
and more consistent manner.
The real question is what will the reaction
of the new administration be if and when
their policies fail to produce the desired
results. Will they pump greater amounts of
assistance, military aid and training into the
region? Will they consider more direct use
of United States forces? Will they, as seems
most unlikely, imitate the Carter policy fol-
lowing Nicaragua's revolution and seek
some sort of a modus uivendi with ele-

ments of the left? Or will they follow the
suggestion of Abraham Lowenthal of the
Woodrow Wilson Center and back off from
the region, deciding that costs and risks of a
deeper involvement would outweigh any
potential benefits? At the moment, the first
of these options seems most likely, but
much will depend upon events within Cen-
tral America, developments in other more
strategic areas and on the character and
ability of those appointed to positions
dealing with Central American affairs.
For the Carter administration, Central
America proved to be an area of continuing
frustrations. From its point of view there was
little good in the news from that part of the
world in the past three years. Even what
seemed to be good news, the beginnings of
a return to civilian rule in Honduras, the
establishment of a mixed civilian-military
junta publicly committed to basic reforms
in El Salvador and the continuance of a
viable democratic system in Costa Rica was
usually tempered with disappointments.
Mounting economic problems hampered
development efforts, tensions rose between
Nicaragua and its neighbors, in El Salvador
repeated Government pledges never re-
duced the level of killings committed by the

security forces and Honduras showed few
signs of being willing or able to implement
basic changes which might keep the
region's violence from spilling over its
At the moment the chances that the new
administration will have any greater suc-
cess in dealing with Central America seem
marginal at best. The most likely prospect is
continued and even escalated conflict,
growing involvement of outside nations in
the region and a continued emphasis upon
crisis management by the United States.
There seems no chance of Central America
reverting to its prior role as an outwardly
tranquil and stable backwater anytime in
the next four years. Chances for major
United States policy successes will be virtu-
ally non-existent, while the risks of failure,
embarrassment and even humiliation will
grow in direct proportion to the extent of
American commitments to maintaining at
least the image of regional hegemony.

Richard Millett teaches history at Southern
Illinois University at Edwardsville. He has au-
thored numerous studies on Central America,
including Guardians of the Dynasty.

Continued from page 34

national sectors and social classes. We are
still open to all other groups which advocate
anti-oligarchic revolutionary changes and
national democratic development. Pres-
ently, the FDR continues receiving affiliation
requests from other shopkeepers' associa-
tions and Salvadorean social sectors.
Therefore, our goal comprises an anti-
oligarchic program which is also anti-
imperialistic: we seek a national govern-
ment for the benefit of the popular majority.
Another fundamental element of our
program concerns the economy, which will
be neither socialist nor anti-socialist, but
mixed: three economic sectors will work for
national development. First, a state con-
trolled sector in charge of those basic activ-
ities now under oligarchic management
(the causal factor for the structural crisis
we have suffered). We are referring to the
financial and foreign trade system, key in-
dustries and basic services that the oligar-
chy has owned. All those sectors will be
state controlled but, in addition, another
portion of the economy will be socially
oriented through self-run cooperatives that
mainly benefit the farmers in an agrarian
reform process. Thirdly, a private economic
sector, emphasizing small and moderate
businessmen, be they agrarians, industri-
alists or merchants.
The FDR will accept foreign investment
in El Salvador, which we believe is a must in

advancing government plans for economic
development. Of course, these investments
will be subject to national priority regula-
tions. In light of this, we openly declare that
it will not be a socialist government but a
nationalist and independent one with the
purpose of accomplishing in El Salvador
whatever national and international histori-
cal conditions permit. That is, we are ap-
proaching national development with a
series of realistic, nationalistic and inde-
pendent criteria.
In the social sphere, this government
intends to establish a far reaching educa-
tional program beginning with a literacy
campaign in a country where over 50% of
the rural population, and almost 40% over-
all, are illiterate. Furthermore, we pro-
pose a national health plan, a single health
system, a general rural and urban housing
Internationally, the FDR advocates an
independent government which will de-
mand respect for its sovereignty.
Diplomatic relations will be established with
all the people and governments of the world
in an atmosphere of mutual respect and
subject to national priorities. In that sense,
we also advocate a non-alignment policy as
we consider that we do not need to protect
ourselves under the skirt of a world power.
We have already started negotiations to
become part of the Non-Aligned Nations
Movement at the proper time.
The FDR and the Direcci6n Reuolu-
cionaria Unificada themselves have pub-
licly declared that the doors are open for all
those in the army that do not agree with the

reactionary and repressive government.
They thus have a place to fill in the FDR.
This means that the FDR is non-sectarian.
Army members who have democratic be-
liefs can and should play an important role.
We openly assert that our program calls
for the establishment of a new army and
new security squadrons. The revolutionary
democratic government plans to respect
human rights to their fullest extent for the
first time in the history of our country. This
can only be achieved with an army for the
benefit of the people, not one which sees
Salvadorean citizens as enemies it must
destroy. Hence, building a new army is es-
sential and we believe that many who are
already enlisted can help accomplish this
To conclude, the Revolutionary Demo-
cratic Front sees the defeat of the current
regime and popular victory in a short politi-
cal span of time. We cannot predict in how
many months, but definitely it will not take
years. We therefore believe that the political,
economic and social corruption of the
present Christian Democratic Military
Council is visible and that soon El Salvador
will be governed by the people and for the

Guillermo Manuel Ungo is head of El Sal-
vador's FDR. He was a member of the first
civil-military revolutionary junta.


Continued from page 17

neighborhood level in the cities.
The DNC paid close attention to the or-
ganization of the popular classes, primarily
through its sub-committee on popular or-
ganization composed of Henry Ruiz, Carlos
Nufiez and Victor Tirado. Below the DNC
sub-committee on popular organization, a
Secretariat for Mass Organization was es-
tablished under the direction of Coman-
dante Monica Baltodano, a Sandinista
guerrilla veteran.
The government has promoted other
forms of organization: such as the July 19
Sandinista Youth, and the Association of
Nicaraguan Women. Most notable, how-
ever, was the organization of workers. The
Asociacion de Trabajadores del Campo, in
particular, became an important political
force by the end of the first year. An indica-
tion of government efforts to mobilize sup-
port is witnessed in the Literacy Campaign
begun in March 1980.
The Sandinista National Directorate
functioned during the first year in power as

an effective collective decision-making
body. The formation of three DNC sub-
committees with responsibilities in the
three sensitive areas where power could
have slipped away from the left suggests a
great deal of planning and foresight on the
part oftheSandinista leadership. Factional
identities within the FSLN disappeared
quite quickly after the fall of Somoza. No
visible conflicts had emerged between
DNC members by the first anniversary of
the revolution.
TheSandinista leadership's treatment of
"bourgeois" political parties facilitated their
consolidation of power. By neither exclud-
ing private sector representatives from gov-
ernment, nor allowing them to acquire
control of key political institutions, the DNC
avoided political polarization between right
and left. The Sandinista Front was able to
contain "bourgeois" political participation
in government by moving quickly to secure
exclusive control of the military and pre-
empt political leadership of the mobilized
masses. Most importantly, the delay in the
creation of the Council of State, coupled
with the absence of elections, deprived the
traditional political parties of both a possi-
ble independent political base in the new
government and a public forum for policy

The defection of Alfonso Robelo from the
government in April 1980 and the increas-
ing political disaffection on the right that
followed are both indications that the pri-
vate sector is beginning to reject what it
sees as purely symbolic participation in
decision-making. Indications are that
political conflict in the second year of the
new government will grow over the pace
and direction of revolutionary programs.
But our analysis of the consolidation of
power suggests that the Sandinista Front
now occupies a hegemonic position within
the new political system.
Stephen M. Gorman teaches political science
at North Texas State University. He recently
edited Post Revolutionary Politics in Peru, to
be published by Westview Press, 1981.

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and the Indians
Continued from page 25
identification that lay clearly behind the
ALPROMISU organization. Then, more
specifically, he criticized the Miskito for
using too many English words and argued
that they should reject all North American
things as being of the imperialists and used
only to exploit them.
Although he did not mention it in the
course of his rather long discourse, there
was an additional threat. Word reached
Puerto Cabezas before the meeting that the
government was going to void all the land
titles issued by the British under the Miskito
Kingdom, arguing that such titles were not
of any native validity and were the interven-
tion of imperialists. These titles, however,
were of great importance to the Indians.
They were not arbitrary decisions handed
out by the British, but rather reflected the
recognized community claims of the era,
and legitimized them in writing. They were,
therefore, the major basis of indigenous
land tenure. To deny them would throw up
for grabs practically all the Indian occupied
land of the coast. The notion that the gov-
ernment would do this again indicated that
the "Spanish"* were basically disinterested
in Indian problems. Of course, this entire
situation is taking place in a context of seri-
ous agrarian pressure from highland peas-
ants moving into the piedmont and coastal
agrarian frontier.
At the Meeting, Ortega's advisors, some
of whom were Miskitos, succeeded in di-
verting the demand to disband AL-
PROMISU, and instead he proposed the
formation of a new organization, one that
'See note on page 56.

included all the Indians of the Atlantic coast
and the Sandinistas as well. This new
name was to be MISURASATA, that is, Mis-
kito Sumu Rama -Sandinista -
Asia Takanka. Thus co-optation was fa-
vored over direct confrontation. The sug-
gested change illustrates the confusion
faced by the government, and the factthat it
was far from clear about the issue of ethnic
identity. The new organization included the
Rama, a small Indian group in the southern
Atlantic area that was not a part of theAL-
PROMISU. Rather, it had banded together
with the Creoles and Black Caribs of the
south to form a complementary regional
organization, the Southern Indigenous
Creole Communities (SICC). Because of
this, there were no Rama present at the
congress, and hence none that might be
consulted as to whether they wanted to be
included in the new organization or not.
Moreover, the insistence that the Rama be
included because they were Indian -
which was the reason given by Ortega -
seemed explicitly to contradict his call for
the Indians to forget their ethnic identity.
At the breakup of the Congress, the new
organization had been accepted by the as-
semblage. There was little else they could
do without risking a direct confrontation
with the new government. Since some of
their own people were among the San-
dinistas, and worked hard to achieve the
compromise, it was better to accept it and
see how things worked out. The basic
problems remained however, now coupled
with some important new ones. The new
government wanted to open up the Atlantic
area for much wider exploitation, a thing
that could only come into conflict with In-
dian lands in the long run. This was already
in evidence by the agrarian infiltration of
Spanish peasants from the Pacific looking
for new land.

In Managua, a huge billboard proclaimed
that the Atlantic Coast was a giant, awak-
ening. The implication that it had been long
asleep smacks of the Australian colonists'
assumption that the great continent before
them was empty when, in fact, it was long
inhabited by the Aborigines. Moreover, the
suggestion that the Atlantic area was a giant
implied a much greater potential yield from
the region than was probably realistic. Like
the Amazon, a great deal of it is poor land,
and much of it is flooded during important
epochs of the year. The view of the govern-
ment, however, was that it was a major area
in the future development of the country. It
is not surprising that Ortega considered the
assembled Indians as something of a
threat. The Guatemalan revolutionaries
never had any such confrontation, and in-
deed, they spent much time in trying to
create such organizations among the cam-
pesinos, as were the Sandinistas in the
Pacific region.
It is quite impossible to predict just how
the Nicaraguan situation is likely to develop
but there are some suggestions from the
longer experience of Guatemala. After the
Guatemalan revolution was squashed in
1954, Indians and non-Indians alike who
had been involved in the government either
went into hiding or were put in prison for a
few months. Most were subsequently re-
leased. All revolutionary activity stopped,
and even discussion of it in the com-
munities was regarded as dangerous.
Nevertheless, out of this emerged things of
extreme importance. One was that the
years of the revolution had been a period of
profound political awakening for the Indian
campesinos. Second, the failure of the rev-
olution certainly served to increase the
pressure on revolutionary groups elsewhere
to push ahead with their efforts. By the early
1960s, there were guerrilla groups in many

Florida International University
Tamiami Trail, Miami, Florida 33199

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Latin American countries, and among the
first to become active following the success
of Castro were two groups in Guatemala,
beginning two decades of a clandestine
civil war that still continues. In the course of
this there emerged in Guatemala the first
clear indications of a pan-Indian move-
ment. This effort was not itself intended as
an insurgent movement, but rather as a
course of political self-defense for the In-
dians. As repressions followed, groups of
Indians emerged who also began some
overt guerrilla actions the occupation of
some farms, and the killing of land owners.
Since this was done in the midst of wide-
spread killing by people of all kinds, the
ethnic significance of the actions was not
always appreciated.
It is certainly within reasonable pos-
sibilities that if the Nicaraguan government
fails to meet the needs of the Atlantic Coast
Indians in the new organization, then the
latter may well move toward forming
another organization possibly even an
insurgent one to cope with the situation.
The warrior past of the Miskito is still a mat-
ter of pride, and much to the discomfort of
the Sandinista government, Somoza had
successfully recruited many Miskito into his
National Guard.
Some four and a half centuries has not
been sufficient to eliminate the Indian

ethnicities from Central America, and their
numbers are expanding. Since Indians sel-
dom enjoy the public health and sanitary
benefits available to the non-Indian popula-
tion, this increase is not as rapid as is that of
the general population. But the impulse
towards maintaining a higher birth rate re-
mains more intense because of this. So the
Indians are not going to gradually disap-
pear through acculturation, as was pre-
dicted by some (including myself) twenty
five years ago.
The Indian's problem, that of survival, is
now changing its definition from that of
sheer physical survival to that of survival of a
way of life and economic improvement. But
the so-called "Problem of the Indian," that
is, the difficulties faced by the non-Indian
population due to the conduct of the Indian,
seem to consist of the very problems faced
by the Indians. Indians want survival
through better economic and political cir-
cumstances; non-Indians believe that these
Indian needs are obstacles to development.
So what is a problem for the non-Indians
contains what are the principal elements of
what constitutes the problem for the In-
Feelings apparently are running high in
some portions of the Atlantic region. San-
dinista efforts to bring the region more
actively within the orbit of the nation are

necessarily seen locally as threats to more
established patterns. The tendency to see
the Creoles as the local bourgeoisie and
therefore the inheritor of foreign-
oriented-imperialist capitalism has made
them particularly vulnerable to attacks by
more radical sectors of the government.
For their part, the Sandinistas are con-
fronted with the dilemma that often arises
after a successful popular revolution. Dif-
ferent peoples want and need different
things, and usually see these needs in dif-
ferent ways. The view from the Atlantic
coast continues today to be quite different
from that of Managua.

*The term "Spanish" is used by many people on
the Atlantic coast to differentiate the spanish-
speaking Nicaraguans of the central region and
Atlantic coast. I use it here with no intended
offense to the Nicaraguans, but to identify more
clearly the population so referred to by the Atlan-
tic coastal peoples.
Richard N. Adams teaches anthropology at
the University of Texas. Among his works are
Crucifixion By Powerand The Second Sowing.





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

~v~u~vv ,

Recent Books

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

By Marian Goslinga

Anthropology and Sociology

AIRES, 1800-1900. George Reid Andrews.
University of Wisconsin Press, 1980. 352 p.

Jaime Wheelock, Luis Carri6n. Secretaria
Nacional de Propaganda (Managua,
Nicaragua), 1980. 104 p. $10.00.

Esteva. Siglo XXI Editores (Mexico), 1980.
242 p. $6.35.

Filomina C. Steady, ed. Schenkman, 1980.
400 p. $19.95; $9.95 paper.

Martinez. Texas Western Press, 1980. $3.00.

CARIBBEAN. Rosemary Brana-Shute, Gary
Brana-Shute. University Presses of Florida,
1980. 146 p. $6.00.

EDUCATIVA, 1955-1978. Martin Carnoy,
Jorge Werthein. Editorial Nueva Imagen
(Mexico), 1980. $6.35.

Economic Commission for Latin America
(CEPAL), 1980. 195 p. $6.00.

Wilbert, Miguel Layrisse, eds. University of
California Press, 1980. 252 p. $29.50.

BRASILEIRA. G. Velho. EditBra Campus
(Rio de Janeiro, Brazil), 1980. 184 p. $6.00.

SOCIALISM. Ben Hahm, ed. Institute for the
Study of Human Issues, 1980. 3 vols.
Reprint of the 1971 ed.


M.K. Bacchus. Wilfrid Laurier University
Press (Waterloo, Canada), 1980. 260 p.
$10.00; $6.50 paper.

AND AFTER 1973. Enrique B. Kirberg.
Center for Developing-Area Studies, McGill
University (Canada), 1980.

AND THE USA. Manuel Maldonado-Denis.
Tr. by Roberto Sim6n Crespi. International
Publishers, 1980. 156 p. $11.00; $3.75

MEXICO. Arturo Warman. Editorial Nueva
Imagen (Mexico), 1980. 216 p. $10.90.

FAMILIES. Alex H. Westfried. Schenkman,
1980. 180 p. $16.95; $8.95 paper.

CARIBBEAN. Gloria Cumper, Stephanie
Daly. Dept. of Extra-Mural Studies,
University of the West Indies (Mona,
Jamaica), 1980. 256 p. $15.00.

Thomas H. Holloway. University of North
Carolina Press, 1980. 240 p. $21.00.

History Task Force, Centro de Estudios
Puertorriqueios. Monthly Review Press,
1980. 287 p. $6.50.

ARGENTINA. Mark D. Szuchman. University
of Texas Press, 1980. 290 p. $19.95.

VIRREINAL. Jes6s Estrada. Sep-Diana
(Mexico), 1980. 164 p. $45.00.

Juan R. Garcia. Greenwood Press, 1980.
304 p. $25.00.

Elisa Larkin Nascimento. Afrodiaspora
(Buffalo, N.Y.), 1980. 190 p. $10.00.

Carmack. University of Oklahoma Press,
1980. 400 p. $24.95.

MEXICO, 1819-1906. Leticia Reina. Siglo
XXI Editores (Mexico), 1980. 440 p.

CASE. Gino Germani. Transaction Books,
1980. 350 p. $17.95.

MAMMALS. George Gaylord Simpson. Yale
University Press, 1980. 266 p. $17.50.


BORGES ORAL. Jorge L. Borges. Libro Amigo
(Barcelona, Spain), 1980. 121 p.

DE LOS CHICHIMECAS, 1548-1597. Philip
Wayne Powell. Fondo de Cultura
Econ6mica (Mexico), 1980.

JORGE LUIS BORGES. George R. McMurray. F
Ungar, 1980. 255 p. $13.50.

University of Arizona Press, 1980. 259 p.

Anguizola. Nelson Hall, 1980. 472 p.

Texas A & M University Press, 1980. 536 p.

RICO. Gonzalo F C6rdova. University of
Puerto Rico Press, 1980. 231 p. $7.50.

HISTORIA. Francisco de la Maza, ed.
Institute de Investigaciones Est6ticas,
Universidad Nacional Aut6noma de M6xico,
1980. 612 p. $20.00.

MIRANDA, 1750-1816. Pedro Grases
GonzAlez, ed. Editorial Seix Barral
(Barcelona, Spain), 1980. 575 p.

GUERRILAFUHRERS. Sergio Ramirez. Peter
Hammer Verlag (Wuppertal, Germany),
1979. 160 p. $15.00.

Description and Travel

Houghton Mifflin, 1980. 326 p. $10.95.

CIUDAD HIDALGO. Roberto L6pez Maya.
Gobierno del Estado (Morelia, Michoacan,
Mexico), 1980. 443 p. $13.00.

DEZ ANOS NO BRASIL. Carl Seidler. Tr. by
Bertholdo Klinger. Itatiaia (Belo Horizonte,
Brazil), 1980. 336 p. $20.00.

FODOR'S BRAZIL 1981. McKay, 1980. $8.95;
$5.95 paper.

1981. $7.95.

Record (Rio de Janeiro, Brazil), 1980. 150 p.

Moseley, E.D. Terry. University of Alabama
Press, 1980. 432 p.


ECONOMICA. D.D. Carneiro, ed. Edit6ra
Campus (Rio de Janeiro, Brazil), 1980. 196
p. $6.50.

British-American Trust Co. Books for
Business, 1980. 168 p. $50.00.

Cano. Universidad Aut6noma de Puebla
(Mexico), 1980. 476 p. $16.50.

Centro de Estudios Hist6ricos del
Movimiento Obrero Mexicano, CEHMOM
(Mexico), 1980. 248 p. $100.00.

BRASILEIRO. W. Baer. Edit6ra Campus (Rio
de Janeiro, Brazil), 1980. 400 p. $12.00.

O DINHEIRO DO BRAZIL. Wladimir de Toledo
Piza. Duas Cidades (SLo Paulo, Brazil),
1980. 192 p. $7.00.

HISTORICA. Paulo Neuhaus, ed. Edit6ra
Campus (Rio de Janeiro, Brazil), 1980. 411
p. $14.00.



Eduardo Arze Cuadros. Los Amigos
(Cochabamba, Bolivia), 1980. 578 p.

Berry, ed. Westview Press, 1980, 269 p.

BRAZIL. Mario Luiz Possas. International
Labor Office, 1980. 135 p. $8.55.

Juan Carlos de Pablo. Macchi (Buenos Aires,
Argentina), 1980. 527 p. $64.00.

DE MEXICO, 1821-1875. Ines Herrera
Canales. Institute Nacional de Antropologia
e Historia (Mexico), 1980. 288 p. $16.50.

AMERICA. Jean-Claude Garcia-Zamor,
Stewart E. Sutin, eds. Praeger, 1980. 354 p.

REFORM. Richard A. Musgrave. Harvard
Law School, International Tax Program,
1980. $15.00.

BOLIVIANA. Guillermo Lora. Editorial Los
Amigos (La Paz, Bolivia), 1980. 283 p.

Spindel. Paz e Terra (Rio de Janeiro, Brazil),
1980. 186 p. $7.50.

1875. Paco Ignacio Taibo II, ed. Centro de
Estudios Hist6ricos del Movimiento Obrero
Mexicano, 1980. 124 p. $30.00.

Montavon, Miguel S. Wionczek, Francis
Piquerez. Premia Editora (Mexico), 1980.
152 p. $6.00.

Argentato. 3d. rev. ed. Asociaci6n de
Economistas Argentinos (Buenos Aires),
1980. 236 p. $21.40.

Harrigan. Published for Caribbean Research
Institute, College of the Virgin Islands by
Center for Latin American Studies,
University of Florida, 1980. 88 p. $8.25.

SECULO XX, 1900-1979. Edgar Levenroth,
et al. Vega (Belo Horizonte, Brazil), 1980.
112 p. $6.00.


Jorge Lozoya, Jaime Estevez, eds.
Published for UNITAR and the Center for
Economic and Social Studies of the Third
World (CEESTEM) by Pergamon Press,
1980. 93 p. $14.00.

James A. Gardner. University of Wisconsin
Press, 1980. 272 p. $20.00.

CHIHUAHUA, 1709-1750. Phillip Hadley.
Fondo de Cultura Econ6mica (Mexico),

BRASILEIRA. Jose Roberto do Amaral
Lapa, ed. Vozes (Petr6polis, Brazil), 1980.
237 p. $9.00.

Karam. Civil (Rio de Janeiro, Brazil), 1980.
108 p. $5.00.

Sigmund. University of Wisconsin Press,
1980. 440 p. $22.50.

Taques de Almeida Paes Leme. New ed.
Itatiaia (Belo Horizonte, Brazil), 1980. 240 p.

Tamer. Nova Fronteira (Rio de Janeiro,
Brazil), 1980. 356 p. $11.00.

History and Archaeology

Herrera Frimont. Costa Amic Editor
(Mexico), 1980. 102 p. $6.95.

Manuel Romero de Terreros. 2d ed. Editorial
Porria (Mexico), 1980. 159 p. $225.00.

Maria Teresa Huerta, Concepci6n Lugo,
Rosa Maria Meyer. Institute Nacional de
Antropologia e Historia (Mexico), 1979. 532
p. $13.80.

A CARDENAS, 1805-1940. Jan Bazant.
Premia Editora (Mexico), 1980. 206 p.

Mor6n. Austral (Madrid, Spain), 1980.

CALDERON GUARDIA. Jorge Mario Salazar
Mora. Imprenta Nacional (San Jos6, Costa
Rica), 1980. 240 p.

BRASILEIRA. Antonio d'Oliveira Pinto da
FranCa, Edit6ra Nacional (Sao Paulo Brazil).
1980. 186 p. $7.50.

CARTAS DE INDIAS. Andres Henestrosa, ed.
Secretaria de Hacienda y Credito Piblico
(Mexico), 1980. $264.00. Facsimile of the
1877 ed. published in Madrid.

CERAMICA NAZCA. Concepci6n Blasco
Bosqued, L.J. Ramos G6mez. S.
Americanista (Valladolid, Spain), 1980. 282

DEL AGUA. Roman PiFia Chan. FCE
(Mexico), 1980. 177 p. $7.10.

Fasano Mertens. Editorial Nueva Imagen
(Mexico), 1980. 354 p. $11.50.

1823. Carlos Mario de Bustamente. Institute
Nacional de Antropologia e Historia, INAH
(Mexico), 1980. 334 p. $26.50.

MEDEL. Stella Ma. Gonzalez Cicero.
Editorial Font (Guadalajara, Mexico), 1980.
125 p. $300.00.

MEXICO. Wilbur T Meek. Porcupine Press,
1980. 114 p. $13.50. Reprint of the 1948 ed.

ASIA, SIGLOS XVI Y XVII. Ernesto de la
Torre Villar, ed. Fondo de Cultura
Econ6mica (Mexico), 1980.

NACIONAL. Luiz Toledo Machado. Ebrassa
(Sao Paulo, Brazil), 1980. 288 p. $10.50.

Porras Muioz. Fomento Cultural Banamex
(Mexico), 1980. 457 p. $15.00.

Pedro Grases Gonzalez, ed. Seix Barral
(Barcelona, Spain), 1980. 560 p.

DI ANTIA. Hetty Paerl-van Driel.
Socialistische UitgeverijAmsterdam
(Amsterdam, Netherlands), 1980. Nf12.50.
An illustrated history of the Netherlands
Antilles with accompanying text in Dutch
and Papiamentu.

Vitor. Thesaurus (Brasilia, Brazil), 1980. 235
p. $7.50.

HISTORIC DE JUJUY. Emilio A. Bidondo. Plus
Ultra (Buenos Aires, Argentina), 1980. 482
p. $25.00.

Flores. Fomento Cultural Banamex
(Mexico), 1980. 647 p. $40.00.

Plus Ultra (Buenos Aires, Argentina), 1980.
617 p. $32.00. History of an Argentine

Gonzalez. Editorial Seix Barral (Barcelona,
Spain), 1980. 625 p.

INCA ARCHITECTURE. Graziano Gasparini, L
Margolies. Indiana University Press, 1980.
352 p.

AMERICAN EMPIRE. Jorge I. Dominguez.
Center for International Affairs, Cambridge
University, 1980, 384 p. 17.70.

NORTEAMERICANA, 1891-1970. Luis
Vitale. Editorial Fontamara (Barcelona,
Spain), 1980. 219 p. $12.20.

Gosalvez. El Cid (Buenos Aires. Argentina),
1980. 172 p. $10.00.

Wendy Ashmore, ed. University of New
Mexico Press, 1980. 464 p. $25.00.

1828-1847. Ana Ines Ferreyra, ed. Centro de
Estudios Hist6ricos (C6rdoba, Argentina),
1980. 163 p. $17.80.

MEXICO EN 500 LIBROS. Enrique Florescano,
ed. Editorial Imagen (Mexico), 1980. 187 p.

Jaime E. Rodriguez 0. Fondo de Cultura
Econ6mica (Mexico), 1980.

TRADE. David Murray. Cambridge
University Press, 1980. 420 p. 15.00.

Lewis. University of North Carolina Press,
1980. 350 p. $22.00.

FLOODPLAINS. Anna C. Roosevelt.
Academic Press, 1980.

NACION: ARGENTINA 1846-1880. Tulio
Halperin Donghi. Biblioteca Ayacucho
(Caracas, Venezuela), 1980. 615 p.

Language and Literature

Hartt. AMS Press, 1980. $11.00. Reprint of
the 1875 ed.

Press, 1980. $14.50. A collection of
Jamaican short stories first published in

PROSE AND POETRY. Trevor Fitz-Henley.
Anbasa-Judah Press (Jamaica), 1980.

Salvador Bacarisse. Scottish Academy
Press (Edinburgh, Scotland), 1980. 120 p.

Comhaire-Sylvain. AMS Press, 1980. 2 vols.
in I. $33.50. Reprint of the 1937 ed.

A. Laval. AMS Press, 1980. $14.50. A
collection of Chilean short stories first
published in 1925.

Laval. AMS Press, 1980. $25.50. Reprint of
the 1923 ed.

lbarra. AMS Press, 1980. $28.00. Reprint of
the 1941 ed.

Espinoza. AMS Press, 1980. $30.00. Reprint
of the 1917 ed.

de Arellano. AMS Press, 1980. $30.75.
Reprint of the 1915 ed.

Julio MarzBn, ed. Columbia University Press,
1980. 184 p. $15.00.

ed. AMS Press, 1980. $28.00. Reprint of the
1907 ed.

Fernandez Moreno. Holmes & Meier
(London, England), 1980. 280 p. 15.00.

Minc, ed. Montclair State College, 1980.

1915-1961. J. Michael Dash. B & N, 1980.

MacAdam. University of Chicago Press,
1980. 150 p.

Politics and Government

Ricardo Bueno, ed. Vozes (Petr6polis,
Brazil), 1980. 152 p. $3.00.


Portantiero et al. Editorial Edicol (Mexico),
1980. 247 p. $130.00.

Maldonado. Marymar (Buenos Aires,
Argentina), 1980. 120 p. $6.85.

GLOBAL, 1937-1979. Teixeira Soares..
Civilizacao Brasileira (Rio de Janeiro, Brazil),
1980.240 p. $9.00.

Gerardo Navas Davila. University of Puerto
Rico Press, 1980. 214 p. $8.00.

Donald L. Herman. University of North
Carolina Press, 1980. 350 p. $24.00.

BRASIL. Roberto Lyra. Sophia Rosa (Rio de
Janeiro, Brazil), 1980. 128 p. $6.00.

MEXICANO. Rafael Loyola Diaz. Siglo XXI
Editores (Mexico), 1980. 169 p. $68.00.

Zinn. Pleamar (Buenos Aires, Argentina),
1980. 535 p. $39.00. About contemporary

CUBAN COMMUNISM. Irving Louis Horowitz.
4th, rev. ed. Transaction Books, 1981. 550 p.

DE LA POLITICA. Mario Ezcurdia. Editorial V
Siglos (Mexico), 1980. 184 p. $100.00.
About modern Mexico.

Lawrence Hill, 1980. $12.95; $6.95 paper.
About the assassination of Chile's exiled
foreign minister and the political climate in

BRASIL. Leandro Konder. Graal (Rio de
Janeiro, Brazil), 1980. 160 p. $6.00.

JAMAICA. Carl Stone, Transaction Books,
1980. 230 p. $16.95.

Chavez Padr6n. 5th ed. Editorial Porria
(Mexico), 1980. 459 p. $300.00.

Westview Press, 1980.360 p. $26.50.
ERRORS DE MADERO. Adrian Aguirre
Benavides. Editorial Jus (Mexico), 1980.
178 p. $10.90.
ENSINO SUPERIOR. Betty Antunes de


Oliveira. Cortez (Sao Paulo, Brazil), 1980.
112 p. $4.00.

Martins. Hucitec (Sao Paulo, Brazil), 1980.
182 p. $5.50. About Brazil.

PERU. Timothy E. Anna. University of
Nebraska Press, 1980. 291 p.

de Meira Mattos. Olympio (Rio de Janeiro,
Brazil), 1980. 216 p. $6.00.

Hippolyte-Manigat. Tr. by Keith Q. Warner.
Institute of Social and Economic Research,
University of the West Indies (Mona,
Jamaica), 1980. 256 p.

Moreira Alves. Vozes (Petr6polis, Brazil),
1980. 198 p. $9.00.

Santa-Pinter. University of Puerto Rico
Press, 1980. 302 p. $9.00.

CRISTIANA. Jose Ignacio Rasco. Ediciones
Universal, 1980. 64 p.

Gregorio Weinberg, ed. Fundaci6n Juan B.
Justo (Buenos Aires, Argentina), 1980. 126
p. $7.00.

Benjamin S. Orlove, Glynn Custred. Holmes
& Meier (London, England), 1980. 260 p.

DEVELOPMENT R. Fitzgibbons, J.
Fernandez. 2nd ed. Prentice-Hall, 1981.

RICA. Ruben Hernandez. Editorial
Juricentro (San Jose, Costa Rica), 1980.
250 p. $17.50.

COSTA RICA. Mark B. Rosenberg. Editorial
Costa Rica (San Jose, Costa Rica), 1980.

Luis Mufoz Marin. Inter-American University
Press (San Juan, Puerto Rico), 1980. 358 p.

VICTORIA. Fernando Carmona, ed. Editorial
Nuestro Tiempo (Mexico), 1980. $15.00.

DE INDIAS. Niceto Alcala-Zamora y Torres.
3d ed. Editorial Porrua (Mexico), 1980. 170
p. $125.00.


NOVO. Plinio de Abreu Ramos. Vozes
(Petr6polis, Brazil), 1980. 216 p. $7.50.


CRITICISM. Richard L. Jackson. Garland
Publishing, 1980. 129 p. $20.00.

A. Rivera de Figueroa. University of Puerto
Rico Press, 1980. 203 p. $15.00.

Castells Montero, ed. Ministerio de
Relaciones Exteriores, Direcci6n de Asuntos
Culturales y de la Informaci6n (Montevideo,
Uruguay), 1980. IV (unpaged) $11.00.

HISTORIANS. Robert M. Levine. Garland,
1980. 336 p. $35.00.

BOLIVAR. Pedro Grases Gonzalez. ed. Seix
Barral (Barcelona, Spain), 1980. 580 p.

HISPANOAMERICA, 1978. Antonio Matos,
Blaine Ethridge Books, 1980. $80.00.

ESPANOL. Antonio Ortiz Mayans. Rev. ed.
Editorial Universidad de Buenos Aires,
EUDEBA (Buenos Aires, Argentina), 1980.
557 p.

de Publicaciones (Montevideo, Uruguay),
1980. 688 p. $74.00.

Rodriguez de Baliero, ed, Universidad de la
Republica, Facultad de Humanidades y
Ciencias (Montevideo, Uruguay), 1980.
1980. 118 p. $112.00.

TO ST LUCIA, WITH LOVE. Robert V Vaughn,
ed. Aye-Aye Press (St. Croix, VI), 1980. 49 p.

Peres Martinez, ed. Documentary
Publications (Salisbury, N.C.), 1980. 133 p.

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

Ships' Registry: Norway

"We hada gmrat time.The S/S Norway

is a beautiful ship. And the entertainment

is byfar the best.MMrs.John Noterman,Sarasota,FL.

"This was our first cruise and I thought it was
really great.
"To start with, aboard the S/S Norway you don't
have to worry about reservations anywhere. For the
price of your room, you have your meals and practi-
cally everything else included.
"The entertainment aboard the ship during the
whole cruise was excellent. We had a really profes-
sional performance of the Broadway show 'Hello
Dolly.' One night Al Martino, the famous singer, gave
us all a great show. And it's really hard to believe
but even the television shows on the TV set in our
stateroom were good.
"A lot of times we had food that I didn't think
they were able to serve aboard a ship. One night we
had prime rib and another night it was a delicious
roast duck. It was really very, very good.
"All the different sports you were able to play
aboard the S/S Norway were really surprising. I
mean we were actually able to play volleyball and
basketball. Imagine volleyball and basketball aboard
a ship. I was really impressed!"

For more information about one-week cruises
departing from Miami aboard the magnificent
S/S Norway- our $100 million resort-and her visits
to St. Thomas and the unforgettable beach party
you can enjoy on NCL's private Out Island, see your
travel agent or use the attached coupon.
We'll be glad to send you a free booklet about
the S/S Norway that's full of hints and tips on how to
get the most out of your cruise vacation.
r--- ----------------m--
I Norwegian Caribbean Lines
SFirst Fleet of the Caribbean
Norwegian Caribbean Lines
P.O. Box 1111
Addison, Illinois 60101
SPlease send me your FREE S/S Norway cruising
1 booklet (#102).






Air Florida has the only daily non-stop flights to
Freeport, the only non-stop flights to Rock
Sound (Eleuthera) and a connecting flight to
Treasure Cay. Air Florida also has daily service
to Freeport out of White Plains.
Air Florida has daily non-stop flights to Free-
port and 20 flights a week to The Bahamas Out
Islands: Treasure Cay, Rock Sound, North
Eleuthera, Marsh Harbour and George Town.
Air Florida has daily flights to Freeport and
connecting service to Rock Sound (Eleuthera).

For information call toll free 1-800-327-2971.

Air Florida
QAAt our prices now everyone can go.

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