SUNDAY 12th NOVEMBER, 1972 ,i : 1TTi
ELECTIONS are in the air. A chilly wind for
some, but then, so the folk legends have it,Christ-
mas is coming.
Can it be that we'll have elections as a sur-
prise Christmas present this year? THAT is not
what people are asking or even thinking
about, it seems. But what more and more people
are sensing all over the country is the likelihood
of elections soon.
And it's more than just making out the shape of
discernible movements on the political stage. People
are scentipg something in the air an air already
laced with superstition of a kind that accords ready
attention to the divinations of a Harribance.
And then there are the rumours, always swirling,
often contradictory, mostly implausible.
But last week Williams was walking the road in
South-East Port-of-Spain, seeing things, meeting people,
and taking notes. The country took note too, for this
is the kind of exercise we have come to associate with
one thing election campaigning.
OLD WAR HORSE
In a system like this one where the ruling party sets
the election date, such manoeuvres are ominous.
Nevertheless, the fact that people are wondering
aloud in this way has instructive significance. Tapia has
always insisted against the sense of helplessness of people
and politicians alike that a government is elected for
AT MOST five years. At every stage it remains in office
only at the pleasure of the people's sovereign authority.
So now that the prospects of a change of govern-
ment are being entertained fully four years ahead of
the constitutional deadline, it just shows how much
things have changed over the last year or so.
Obviously such prospects are not entertained by the
PNM. The clamorous gearing up of the party's "election
machine" at the last convention was simply an exercise
to soup-up the power of the PNM's one, old War Horse.
Whatever optimism was generated then was based
almost entirely on Williams' assessment of the opposi-
tion forces in disarray.
Just add to that the intriguing Singapore precedent
so gratifying to PNM hopes of vanquishing the opposi-
tion next time around after an elections boycott. And
Voting machines: Free and fair elections 1971
you can picture the fond scenario of the PNM suddenly
announcing "so-many shopping days to go" and
romping home to victory in a Christmas election with
the opposition left standing bemused like so many little
boys that Santa Claus forgot.
And if anybody remembered the Constitution Com-
mission in all that, the PNM could righteously pretend
that it felt the government which would have to con-
sider the Report ought to have a clear mandate from
the people, an opposition in Parliament etc.
For now that the ballot box has been "conceded".
those opposition parties who had irresponsibly indulged
the population in a futile debate over voting machines
would be bound to contest this time. The reality of
gerrymandered boundaries and of government-controlled
Elections and Boundaries Commission AND of a govern-
ment monopoly of radio-and TV time remaining intact.
So that the prospect of a Christmas election may
not be so implausible after all. And as usual, both the
motive and the likely outcome have to be related to the
core issues in Trinidad and Tobago today.
The PNM Government desperately needs the con-
siderable income from the new oil and gas finds as
much to deliver its ill-fated promise of "roaring
seventies" as to fatten a wider clique of party retainers.
But to handle the corporations effectively it needs to
have real popular backing clearly a resource even
harder for them to exploit than black gold.
From as far back as 1970 the Nation querulously
suggested that the February Revolution had been en-
gineered precisely to prevent the PNM from being the
party to lead the country into the new era of oil-based
But as we have noted before in Tapia, the only
favourable reports coming at this stage is that Padmore
is to be axed. AMOCO has with impunity adopted a
foot-dragging policy. Texaco may at any time go back
to the ranch leaving the up-and-coming AMOCO in
From Badger right through the current gas plant
issue to the clearly distressing shortfall in crude output,
the whole matter of oil is fraught with problems that a
government so constituted and so disposed can hardly
hope to solve.
All of this the country can sense intuitively and
would be willing to pledge its all to a movement that
makes a credible proposition about how to deal with
Instead, the PNM clearly wants to sell itself as the
only sane, rational hope for orderly progress against the
background of disorganised opposition fragments and
confusion. A quickie election, they feel, might do just
But the population which didn't buy that last year
will see that its interests lie with a movement com-
mitted to a long term strategy of change, and perma-
nent organisation, possessing clear plans and strategies
to deal with the problems and not an election apparatus
activated occasionally to service a Doctor-leader.
And the proof of THAT Christmas, pudding will be
in the eating.
TO CELEBRATE four unbroken years of
full-time professional political life is certainly
a record in this land of inveterate now-for-
now. And to have made it without scandal,
splits or dirty linen is plain and simply some-
To have done it without declaration of a party in
the papers or offers of any kind of quick success is
more than just a political record; it is that important
change of rules which every political movement must
make if it is to have a lasting impact.
You might say that we are New World's most
successful child in that when we name our shots we
play them without fanfare.
We take success for granted in advance because all
the idealistic and impossible programmes which we
undertake depend on the one assumption that can
make the difference: that the Caribbean people have
the capacity to save our future by our own exertions
and by example to save the entire civilization even.
There is absolutely nothing that we do not have the
strength and wit to do provided that we band our belly
for the hardwuk.
One of these mornings we are surely going to come
to terms with all those charlatan messiahs who keep
trampling on our self-respect by defining us a bunch of
transients fated, at their bidding, to come and go; who
keep parading all our weakness in their fearless papers;
or who dare assume that the only way to woo us to-
wards dedication is to adopt gimmick after gimmick.
YEARS OF TAPIA
Well Tapia is on an altogether different scene. We're
young, we're strong, we are competent and organised
for sustained and solid effort. We are in fact the only
prospect for an authentic political party in this
country one that is not an extension of the better
village programme nor the faceless cast of thousands
in another play for maximum leaders.
We are concerned with materials for reconstruction.
And those that we have lacked to date are fast appear-
ing everywhere we go these days.
As the nation judges wisely where our bread is
buttered, we're making vital contact in the country
and in the town, in oil and sugar, in industry and
agriculture, amongst young and old and middle-aged
While the soda-fountain pundits in the morning
papers and the academic tourists who never leave the
beaten track delude themselves that we-are an ivory-
tower intellectual pressure-group, we have been build-
ing organically and solidly from the mud and grass.
Now everything we touch these days is gold. Every
Tapia face is beaming with excitement; our morale is
higher than a mountain. We trust ourselves and people
trust us. We are ready now for anything.
So when rumour says elections are in the offing -
for Carnival or even Christmas the prospect does
not in any way make mas with Tapia. When the
country has a real alternative, there is no need for
politics to yield to government.
The country's terms for an election are very clear to
me, for one. We must first have a Constituent Assem-
bly or National Convention of the varied community
interests to expose how each would constitute the new
Secondly, the Constitution Commission must pro-
vide a fair Report on the technical feasibility of each
proposal, and on the contradictions which cannot be
reconciled. This is the only task for which they have a
Then and only then, after the constitutional issues of
the February Revolution have been sorted out, will it be
possible to resolve the crisis by election. Any attempt to
hold an election before the political moment is due will
only escalate the crisis and precipitate us towards a
military solution .
The election will have meaning only if it gives the
nation clear political choices as to what regime we are
going to have. What kind of economy, what kind of
society, what form of politics and government, too.
But even when those political choices have become,as
they surely will,crystal clear to all the country, we will
have to settle the election rules.
Tapia's terms are known and not negotiable. We in-
sist that the Government reduce the voting age, we in-
sist that they do justice to the opposition parties in re-
gard to television and radio time and we will not cease
to agitate until there is electoral machinery that all can
If the PNM Government is so foolish as to bring-off
any monkey-business, let them go ahead and try. Tapia
is nofly-by-night political movement; we will be
here to make them pay the price.
Vol. 2 No. 6 FOURTH ANNIVERSARY
1:14 A' C 2 TAP.L.X)
iN '68 the Government
banned Stokely Car-
michael. It was a grave
violation of human rights
to prevent a man from
visiting the land of his
birth, moreso when there
is no record of that man
having committed any
offence against this coun-
But the intention was clear.
On no account would dissent
be tolerated either from citi-
zens or foreigners. So by
October '69 while UWI stu-
dents were agitating over the
arbitrary exclusion of Rodney
from Jamaica the Government
had published the draft Immi-
gration Bill, an early specimen
of totalitarian legislation now
That Bill sought to confer
on the minister responsible
wide powers to exclude per-
sons, nationals as well, who
had ever spoken or written
anything that might be inter-
preted as being inimical to the
Government. The Bill has
since become law.
SIt is evidence that the
current attitude of repression
began before the February
Revolution, and in fact has
led up to it. Whether we
realise it or not, dual citizen-
ship for which so many of our
compatriots abroad called
when the Wooding Team
visited Canada and the United
States recently, is in part a safe-
guard against this growing
Riviere came to St. Augus-
tine in the latter half of '69.
The University was in continu-
ing crisis. October '68: the
furore over the banning of
Rodneyfrom Jamaica; February
'69: the blockading ofMichener;
March: student resentment
against the invasion of Anguilla;
May: the Bus Workers' Strike
and the eventual arrest of trades
unionists and- University stu-
dents; October: the exclusion
of Economics lecturer, (live
Thomas from Jamaica, and
the University refusal to re-
new the contract of Andrew
I remember seeing the
young historian standing in
sandal and dashiki over the
casket of the deceased Cama-
cho. To him "it seemed that
the cup of black patience had
overflowed its brim".
Bill walked right into this
situation, and became involved.
He accepted invitations to
teach history to colleagues as
well as to groups all over the
country. He became associated
with more than one radical
In '70 the brothers would
borrow his car to travel to a
meeting. On one occasion
they mounted a loudspeaker
on it. He was therefore brand-
ed as a subvert, and detained
on Nelson Island for '63 days
during the State of Emergency
which was proclaimed in April.
In "Interview With My-
self' published in the Septem-
ber "70 issue of NJAC's
LIBERATION he gave an
account of his arrest and re-
"On July 3, almost immedi-
ately after lunch, Marcano,
Greaves, Raymond, Pierre and
I were told to get ready to go
home.I hadapplied to have my
case reviewed before the
Detention Tribunal in the full
knowledge that the grounds
on which I was held were non-
"They did not apply to
us because on no occasion had
I incited persons to commit
acts prejudicial to the real
safety of Trinidad and Tobago.
"The case brought against
me was found to be lacking in
particulars, and so the Tribunal
commissioned the Ministry of
National Security to provide
further particulars. The Minis-
try allowed 24 days to elapse
before recognizing that it was
unable to do this.
"I was therefore released
an indication that I had been
forcibly separated from my
family, students and friends
for no satisfactory reason."
The ordeal of Marcano,
Greaves, Raymond and Pierre,
all of Diego Martin, is perhaps
the worst endured by detainees
in '70. Greaves had boarded
Raymond's taxi on his way
from school on April 21. Out
of curiosity, they drove down
to see the fire at Camp Ogden
and the barricade at the en-
trance to Chaguaramas. Where
they were detained and held
For almost nine days they
were actually forgotten in that
hellhole at Police Headquarters
- some 13 persons in a cell
hardly 10 foot square.
Bareback, under the blind-
ing blub, they huddled on the
'cold bare concrete in corners
to avoid the stinking effluent
from the clogged shithole.
They had to sleep in turns
without bath, without sunlight
and scant newsprint for toilet
paper on scrapings that were
not fit for dogs.
The new subscription rate is $
dents, this rate will not come int
when our Introductory Offer,
Issue, will finally be withdrawn. I
paid subscriptions, all overseas
91, Tunapuna Roac
Trinidad & T
arrest and fa
That he did
good name is
has been ma
he should ha
before a m
away at gun
had no evi
afraid of di
to use the -
pons that ar
have the right
to the natic
for any act
not enough f
to say thai
cannot be (
ought not t
in the case
Public and t
have been n
to be mor
right and outspoken: "When
because of excursions into its
past a people begins to under-
Sstand itself and to realise its
potential, then it is inevitable
I r e that it begins to question the
validity, the relevance of a
system that does not allow for
the meaningful exploitation of
"And so lectures, tutorials,
discussions and groundings
graduated to a level of Black
Power: a clarion call for black
S i.e. non-white peoples to re-
Ssume the fashioning of their
S own destinies by breaking the
S white metropolitan stranglehold
Son their economy, politics
"Of course to support a
) call for Black Power in a coun-
try (controlled by a white
power structure) almost ex-
clusively black is by definition
to be subversive."
shouldd have sued another in the sight of the law In his "Thoughts on Vio-
nent for wrongful because of the strength of his lence", published in the Pelican
alse imprisonment. political connections. Annual of '70 Riviere wrote
not is an error of We have seen how a gang that "its anti-thesis, non-
,ecause until his of policemen armed with sub- violence, is a luxury inherently
cleared the stigma machine guns escorted Riviere violent societies in a process
to the plane. Had I not grown of decolonisation can ill
his detention rwa, accustomed to such Gestapo afford"
nd unfounded, it tactics my instinct for freedom
de the basis of the might have been shocked, but SOULS
order. There again, these Papadocratic scenes are
ave tried to appear now commonplace. A known critic of the
magistrate, but he Recently the entire popula- establishment, he was also very
til it was too late. tion viewed the horrors in the hard on revolutionaries, and
lice whisked him Oval when these guns were felt that their promises were
point because they pointed an innocent crowd. too vague, and needed greater
dence to support Such practices ought not to definition.
ion, and they are occur in a society that has a In an NJAC pamphlet of
ue process of the proper respect for the rights '70 there was an article which
ionaries must learn and freedoms of the individual. read, "Our demands are sim-
honstitutional wea- With no State of Emergency ple; we want our freedom, we
e available. in existence what excuse does want our manhood, and we
the Governmenthave for allow- want it now. .what we are in-
)NDUCT ing policemen to tote these evolved in is a revolution. A
deadly weapons? revolution knows no manifesto.
uld want to deny If Monkey continues to see The aims of the revolution are
t the right t in- beauty in the gun of jackass written in the souls of the
the conduct of one of these days the Rasta- people who wish to be free. The
or nationals for farian lion will really roar, and aims of the revolution are
whenever there the common dogs will bite. written with the blood of the
r iihenever theIt is ironic that Bill Williams people who have been en-
Government muston as Prime Minister and Chair- slaved."
ht to protect itself man of the National Security
version. But the Council, the former Pro- Commenting Riviere noted
bverhas an obligation Chancellor of UWI, was ulti- that "rhetoric of this kind re-
has an obligation mately responsible for the put- flects a basic misinterpretation
on to give reasons ting Bill Riviere in exile. of the accepted revolutionary
of expulsion. It is In his time Williams was principle that the leadership
or the Government considered a radical no less must at all times be the ser-
ivulgthe information extreme than Riviere is in ours. vants of the people the
divulged in the in- Both scholars focused their notion, translated in NJAC's
national security, lights to reveal the horrors of terminology that power comes
rbtrarye condoned. In the slave plantations to the people as the people
iiR et;o,,;,o ~ h, c has be forth- themselves make decisions."
of Otta Silva an ex-
id to be given for
of the American
he local and Carib-
resses of Labour.
nade in the case of
Person ought not
e important than
9TT for 52 issues. For resi-
o effect until December 1st
repeated on page 2 of this
Below are given the postage
s deliveries being air-mail.
KYV1ere LVV 1M wCII lVk-ll
TAPiA PAGE 3
spirits high in sugar
SUGAR workers at last
week Tuesday's meeting
in Brechin Castle re-
affirmed that they were
not prepared to accept the
present Agreement arrived
at between Caroni and
The All Trinidad Union.
And more so as it seeks to
rob them of payment for the
extra hours worked during
crop time 1972.
If there was one thing
clear about their position in
the present struggle it was just
that. For as Comrade Baxter
argued, sugar workers were
not bound to accept any
agreement made by the old
brigade of All Trinidad Union.
Especially since the Agree-
ment in question lacked the
prior approval of sugar workers,
and so had no legitimacy.
Also, the present Executive
of the Union should have long
since declared their posts va-
cant, making them. open for
and his boys have been treated
with the contempt they de-
serve. Workers in taking the
matter into their own hands
have completely by-passed
them. And the ball was now
in the Company's court.
At the moment workers are
preparing themselves to meet
any eventuality, while at the
same time generously giving
its hardline and meet their
But as Baxter pointed out,
the Company has only up to
November 8 to do this, when
the matter comes up for dis-
cussion at its Board of Directors
In addition workers heard
him repeat the call that the
present executive of All Trini-
dad Union should be disband-
ed. He noted that as far as he
was concerned workers were
without leadership, and with-
out plans. It was, he said, the
duty of the workers in sugar to
unify themselves and put these
instruments in place.
Baxter cautioned that what-
ever executive was elected to
office, the workers were the
ones who remained the watch-
dogs of the Union.
Already, he said, there
were rumours that the Union
was missing -funds, and that
these were being spread per-
haps in response to the current
feeling among workers that it
was time they called the
Executive to account for its
disbursal of Union finances.
He urged the sugar workers
to fight injustice wherever it
was to be found.
About 300 workers attend-
ed the meeting. From their
response it was clear that fer-
vour was still quite high.
- LLOYD TAYLOR
Discontent over AMOCO $1200m
SO concerned are the
people of Guayaguayare
over the siting of the
AMOCO Gas Liquefaction
Plant, that on Sunday
November 5, a special
meeting was arranged at
the New Lands Com-
Tapia was invited to give
an appraisal of the issue.
In fact, when Tapia first
learnt of the widespread dis-
satisfaction in the area over
the decision to site the plant
at Pt. Lisas, we mentioned
the matter to Independent
County Councillor John Wor-
rick, who informed us that
he had already arranged a
series of meetings on this and
related issues, and agreed to
the participation of Tapia
When the Tapia team
rolled into Guayaguayare
around 2 p.m. on Sunday, we
saw no sign of either the meet-
ing or Councillor Worrick.
Undaunted, we started with
an impromptu discussion at
the roadside with a group of
-'yourhs who spoke of the prob-
lems of employment, the low
wages in agriculture, the divi-
sions among the youth and
their problems with their
They were greatly en-
couraged to see the steps
taken by their brothers in
Mayaro, as reported in last
It was not until almost
3.30 p.m. that we finally
managed to catch up with
Councillor Worrick, outside the
home of Victor Campbell, the
representative for the area.
The Minister had agreed to
attend the meeting scheduled
for 2.30 p.m. in \order to
litien to the grievances of his
But after almost an hour
had elapsed, it was left to Mr.
Worrick to go to Campbell's
home to remind him of his
Uoyd Best, who spoke for
Tapia, briefly outlined the case
for siting the plant at Pt. Lisas,
and stated that on the surface,
there seemed to be sound
economic reasons for the
It was his guess, though,
th4t the residents of Guaya-
guayare, plagued with unem-
ployment and low' wages,
would feel a keen sense of
disappointment. Yet, the pro-
spects of long-term employ-
ment at the plant were not
great, and the greatest em-
ployment benefits would come
only during the three years or
so of construction.
What also seemed to rankle,
according to Best, wasi the total
absence of consultation with
those whose interests were
most directly affected.
AMOCO and the Government
appeared to have taken a closed-
room decision, and the people
of Guayaguayare had been in-
formed after the event.
In response to queries from
the audience as to what steps
they could take either to have
the decision reversed, or to
ensure that people from Guaya-
guayare had their fair share of
the employment created by
the plant, even if it were sited
at Pt. Lisas, Best pointed to
the breakdown of the represen-
tative machinery, so much so
that the central government
appeared as a "remote animal".
Despite several requests to
remain on to participate in
the rest of the meeting, the
Tapia members preferred to
make their departure at that
point, promising to return-
UNITED NATIONS (AWA) -
THE colonial legislature in the
Portuguese colony of Guinea-
Bissau says it wants Portuguese
"statehood." The legislative
council, whose members must
be by law "native born Portu-
guese citizens," made the re-
quest on October 17.
The day before, the revolu-
tionary African leader, Amilcar
Cabral, announced the inten-
tions of the African majority
of Guinea-Bissau to declare
independence from Portugal.
The "statehood" request
introduces an interesting aside
into the liberation process.
While Portugal deceptively
calls its African colonies
"overseas provinces," it has
made Angola and Mozam-
That only means that more
control has been placed in the
hands of the Portuguese
settlers there. Interestingly, a
similar situation led to the
white takeover in Rhodesia.
However, the likelihood of
Rhodesia-style takeovers in the
Portuguese colonies are not
considered seriously. The
Mozambican "statehood"' did
not prevent FRELIMO from
opening up a new front in the
heart of that territory. Nor
.has it reclaimed an lihberted
areas in Angola.
And if "statehood" should
happen in Guinea-Bissau, it is
equally unlikely to seriously
affect the liberation struggle
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PAGE 4 TAPIA
make it easy on yourself
The truth about borrowing money is that, like
most misunderstood things, we are afraid of it. When you
have a loan, the duration of repayment may be one to
three years. It often happens that during this period of
time you find yourself in need of funds to solve certain
other problems but naturally you feel reluctant to go to
your banker for recrediting. That used to be so hard to
do, but not any more. If you have kept up your side of
the agreement, repaid at least half the amount and now
find yourself in need of funds, you can be fully re-credited
with the original capital sum, the interest not included.
You see, with us, when you borrow, you establish
money-worth, a ready access to money; you simply
have to keep it up.
Start your Money-Worth growing with The National
Commercial Bank ] In future, borrow from yourself
through our "Money-Worth Credit". That's a loan and
a half That's our "Money-Worth Credit".
Bank in your Bank
:L I ':
SUNDAY, NOVEMBER 12, 1972 Tapia PAGE 5
Young Americans of the
going to work in the
S1 cane fields.
I'; ~V., E'
defeats US State Dept
In 1968 a delegation from
a women's peace organization
and two delegations from the
Students for a Democratic So-
ciety, among others, visited Cuba.
Until the end of the last
decade, visiting Americans lived
in Havana hotels and were taken
on tours of the island. Begin-
ning in 1970 new kinds of travel-
lers appeared who spent most of
their time in Cuba living in the
countryside and working in the
fields: The Venceremos (we shall
Un 1970, three Brigades
with a total of 1,308 Americans
and Puerto Rican youths came
to Cuba: two worked on the
sugar cane plantations and one
in the citrus groves. In 1971,
Venceremos Brigade IV cut sugai
cane and during the Spring of
1972 the 138-member Ven-
ceremos V helped to construct
a school near the city of Havana.
In total, some 1,667 youth
(with a sprinkling of oldsters)
came from all over the United
States in the Venceremos Bri-
gades. This excludes the Ven-
ceremitos Brigade composed of
young Americans (from 5 to 14
years of age) who attended an
International Pioneer Camp in
Cuba during August 1972.
Last July, the United
States broke its own policy by
sending an official US delegation
-- for the first time in eleven
years -- to an oceanographic
meeting in Havana. When Wash-
ington reporters asked about it,
the State Department spokes-
man denied that the visit signi-
fied a change in the US govern-
ment policy on travel by US
citizens to Cuba.
What is clear, however, is
that whether the US State De-
partment approves or not, US
citizens will continue, to visit
Cuba, probably with even
BEGINNING in 1961, shortly after the United
States government broke diplomatic relations with Cuba,
passports issued to American citizens were stamped: "Not
valid for travel to Cuba."
Over the decade of the sixties, the travel ban was defied so
often and so successfully that today it has virtually lost its meaning.
Since 1970 alone, an estimated 2,000 United States citizens have
visited Cuba without the U.S. State Department's official permission.
Following a supreme
'Court decision that weakened
executive authority to deny U.S. T R fE I
citizens the right to travel
wherever they desire, the govern-
ment announced that it would August and then returned to
give visas for travel to Cuba to the United States, by way of
"legitimate" academics and Spain. A congressional Com-
journalists. mittee immediately began in-
-----However,-7tavel to Cuba
by American citizens whosimpl[y
want to have a look around is
still discouraged. Those Iwho de-
fy the ban will inevitably be
denied the right to hold govern-
ment jobs or work in certain
private enterprises that require
During the first years of
the ban some Americans made
the "illegal" trip to Cuba, re-
turned, and were not bothered.
Only in the, case, of a Los
Angeles woman, Helen Travis,
did the government prosecute
and lose its case on technical
Late in 1962, the Cubar
Federation of University Stu-
dents tendered an invitation to
American students to visit Cuba.
In response, an organizing com-
mittee was set up in New York*
and began to solicit volunteers
for the State Department-de-
On December 17, 1962,
the State Department warned
publicly that students who defy
the travel ban face the prospect
of a $5,000 fine, 5 years in jail,
or at best, loss of their passport
The State Department's
threat discouraged some who
.had already signed on for the
trip but finally, on July 1963,
fifty-nine students flew to Paris,
then to Czechoslovakia and from
there in a direct flight to Havana.
A New York Times Edi--
torial at the time said that
American citizens should have
the right to travel wherever they
want but added that the 59 had
no right to "complain" if they
were prosecuted on their return.
The group remained in
Cuba during July and part of
vestigating the affair and the
United States Justice Depart-
ment initiated judicial proceed-
ings against three leaders' of the
In April 1964, in am 81-
page decision, a Federal District
Court in Brooklyn, New York
found the defendants not guilty
on the grounds that they held
valid passports when they left
the country even though they
had not received State Depart-
The judicial decision was
another blow for the State De-
partment's disposition on travel
to Cuba. Successive Administra-
tions have waited in vain over;
the years for Congress to pass
a law that would make travel
to Cuba without a State Depart-
ment visa a crime under Federal
Following oh the-heels of
the first legal victory, a second
group of 75 students visited
Cuba in the Summer of 1964.
During the mid-sixties other
groups and individuals defied
the State Department dictum
which still remained in the rules'
16 Henry Street, P.O.S.
STARTING 17 NOV
PAGE 6 Tapia
THE TAPIA PROPOSALS for Constitution
Reform are based on three concepts:
BY REPRESENTATION we mean that all individuals,
groups and interests must be represented at the
appropriate levels directly and from day to day, not
exclusively through the medium of a national political
party and not only at election time. This will re-
quire decentralisation of power to reduce the present
excessive influence of the Chief Executive and give
elected legislators, a real accountability. It will require
interest groups to have at the national level repre-
sentatives constantly answerable to the groups in
respect of every legislative issue, and subject to
removal at any time by the groups they represent.
PARTICIPATION means the constant involvement
of all in the work-of government. This implies a
constitutional framework within which everyone can
see an opportunity for fruitful occupation, and the
evident possibility of influencing the processes of
15" 5-way 6-speaker/Fre-
quency range: 25-22,00OHz/
Max. input: 100W
61 Queen St., P.O.S.
government as they impinge on his or her life. This in
turn implies rationally-established organs of local
government with expanded power and the resources
to make that power a reality.
LOCALISATION is the name we give to the pro-
cess whereby the citizens of this country take and
exercise control of the economic resources of the
country. Localisation does not mean the acquisition
by Government of controlling shares in private indus-
try. It means:
Control of industry and agriculture through
ownership of them by the people most directly
affected.by them; that is to say, workers and trade
unions, residents of the areas where the industries
are sited, local government organs, in a flexible
pattern of ownership including where appropriate
the central government and private enterprise.
Incorporation in Trinidad and Tobago of all
foreign-owned companies, with management cen-
tred in this country and shares traded on the local
** A banking system that is fully local, based on
the mobilisation of local savings and designed to
afford credit for the development of small enterprise.
Development of a local technocracy to enable
the Government to deal from a position of greater
strength with metropolitan and international indus-
Local creation of all advertising material.
The evils of centralisation of power have been
much discussed in recent months. Tapia's proposals
for the organisation of government are designed to
overcome these. The inefficiencies arising out of
constitutionally sanctioned domination by the execu-
tive ...and especially by the Prime Minister are well
known. But there is one overwhelming disadvantage
of centralisation that is perhaps peculiar to the West
Indian system of government, and especially to
Trinidad and Tobago.
THE CENTRAL GOVERNMENT.
The populations of the West Indian colonies, un-
like those of other colonies, were comprised entirely
of immigrant groups African, Asian and European.
As a result there was no set of rules of political con-
duct native to these islands and springing from below.
An autocratic system, imposed from above, was accept-
ed as natural.
In this context, the individual could never escape
the all-pervasive central authority which became en-
trenched in these tiny islands.
As the most volatile, urbanised society of all, made
up of many fragments of only very recently arrived
peoples, Trinidad has been the extreme example of the
operation of these factors.
In such a situation, where it is already exceedingly
difficult for the citizen to gain a toehold in the con-
trol of affairs, the comprehensive patronage available
to the governor or prime minister reduces the citizen
to total political impotence.
In' a situation where open unemployment amounts
to 14%; and where the public sector employs 25% of
YOU GOTTA CRY
111 Frederick Street, & Campus St. Augustine
m usl C
TAPIA PAGE 7
the labour force, the cost of opposite
hibitive. While citizens are prevented
the party in power finds a ready-ma
ganisation among those who must be
The nation must become a repub
monarch replaced by a ceremonial He
The power of the professional
Lower House must be limited through
a. new type of Senate (a Permaner
Citizens) and a Panchayat (a Congres
and the Government).
The new Senate must be increa
widened to be fully representative of
The real issue
voting system is
L -trufS4-tthee I e ctio n n
must be in the h
an impartial ager
It must embrace the individual Trad(
and Student Groups; Community C
Ditrict and Village Councils; Business
and Sporting Associations; The Media
Prfisional Associations; Religious
This Senate will throw up plenty of
which is the best part of the scheme.
people in responsible positions to ac
nation for their stewardship. It will
mentary protection for speaking fre
bers of people.
The members of the Senate must
by either the Leader of the Governmi
of the Opposition or the Head of Sta
selected by the groups they represent
must be able to change them any tir
representatives must also be paid by t
will help the community to get itself
also help citizens t6 see the wide rang
and their relationship to the State.
SAt five, year intervals, there'shoul
the Natidhal Panchayat 'of the compo
nate. New interest groups will apply i
.:and defunct ones will lose their'repre
These changes should require a la
ion becomes pro-
de mercenary or-
g for work.
The Senate must have power:
in national arbitration
*in exposing national opinion.
It should appoint all watchdogs over the Execu-
tive the Head of State and the Auditor General -
as well as the Elections and Boundaries Commissions.
It. should have veto power over appointments to
the post of Chief Justice, to the Service Commis-
sions and possibly to posts such as that of Commis-
sioner of Police.
It should be responsible for holding Commissions
of Enquiry. As part of this, it should conduct annual
national wage bargaining and should administer the
It should supervise the State's interest in Radio,
TV, Newspapers and the media in general.
It should have the right to initiate legislation so
as to counter any government attempt at muzzling
the House of Representatives.
These proposals have the virtue of strengthening
popular representation while leaving all necessary
power in the hands of the Lower House and the Exe-
cutive. Central power is not diminished but balanced.
Local Authorities are needed to involve the localities
in government, to provide activity for the organization
of political parties, to decentralise authority and create
the talent and the machinery for effective implimenta-
tion of national plans. Local authorities are also need-
ed to make localisation of the economy possible with-
out a shift to government domination or unbridled
The proposal is to have Local Councils in areas such
ilic, ann wit me Maraval, St. James, Diego Martin,
ead of State. Belmont, Laventille, Woodbrook,
politicians in the Morvant, San.Juan, Barataria,
gh the creation of Tunapuna, Arima, Sangre Grande,
it Conference of Toco, Tabaquite, Rio Claro,
s of the Citizens Princes Town, Point Fortin, San
Fernando, Couva, Chaguanas,
based in size and Siparia, Pointe-a-Pierre. Port-
national opinion. of-Spain might be broken into
several sub-units under the present
in the City Council.
In order to finalize the list it will be necessary to
study carefully th6 population distribution and the'
One of character of the local economies, but what is certain
is that the units must be small and intimate enough to
permit real participation.
r Ochin ery These Local Authorities must enjoy greater tax re-
yenues, which can however be centrally collected. They
n ds of rnust have real responsibility in police, fire, education'
n ds and health services, housing and banking.
These proposals do not weaken central government.
ICy but rationalise government in general by providing
Different levels of decision and execution for different
es Unions; Youth functions.
groups; Municipal The legislative, planning and directive power of the
SGroups; Cultural Central government in matters of health, for example,
a; The University; will notbe weakened but made more effective by the
Associations and involvement of local government organs in the estab-
lishment and running of clinics and hospitals in their
f ordinarv nerole own areas.
It will also force
:count before the
I also give Parlia-
ely to large num-
not be appointed
ent or the Leader
te. They must be
and these groups
me they like. The
heir groups.. This'
organized; it will...
Sof their interests
It will create a.
Id be a review by
sition of the Se-
rge majority vote
Tobago Home Rule
It must be recognized at.once that Tobago' cannot
continue to be relegated to the. status of a county.
Both its location and the complexity of its problems
demand that it be given a high degree of autonomy.
This might be achieved. by entrusting to a Tobago
Council responsibility for a number of matters which
would in Trinidad fall under the central government.
or centrally controlled statutory bodies.
For example, the Tobago Council should be'able if
necessary t6 provide for carrying out,in Tobago func-
tionst such as -those of. the IDC and the Town and
C country Planning Department; it should be able to fix
..its own. local price Jevels for food etc., and have the
power of-review over all national plans, notably in
Agriculture' and tourism, which affect Tobago funda-
:m.entally,. At, the level 'of the" Central Government, it
will be necessary to ensure that a reasonable'nmimber
of representatives of national interest groups in the
PORT OF SPAIN SANFERNANDO
Senate will be drawn from Tobago.
The issue of machines versus ballot boxes has always
in fact been a non-issue. The real issue here is one of
trust. The election machinery must be in the hands of
an Agency which can be trusted to be imnpartial as bu-
tween the parties and interests contending for office.
This is why the Elections and Boundaries Commissions
must be controlled by an independent Senate repre-
senting a wide and diverse range of community
interests and opinions.
The Election System
The second issue is one of participation. The.electo-
ral system must always embrace all those people who
can conceivably be fit to exercise the highest national
This must mean that at least all working people and
all people who have families must be included on the
electoral register and must be automatically registered
by the Elections Commission.
In practical terms this means that the voting age
must be reduced to 18 and that even people under 18
who are married must be allowed to vote.
SThe aim: to bring
about the development
of party politics on a
basis other than race
Full participation also means that. the option of all
political groups should be given equal exposure in the
media. This will be achieved if the Senate is given
power to supervise the State's, interest in the media.
The demand for proportional representation is not
a new demand. It was first made to the Wood Com,
mission by the East Indian National Congress in 1921.
The conditions giving rise to the demand are the same
now as they were then the country's failure to in-
volve the Indian population into the governmental pro-d
cess, and the defensive reaction this situation imposed
The Tapia House Group would be prepared to sup-
port such a demand for a system of proportional re-
presentation, were it not that the risks are not calcul-
able in advance.
The legitimate motives of citizens who ask for pro-
portional ,representation must be distinguished from
the motives of the politicians who support the demand.
Attempts to solve problems of under-representation by
devices such as proportional representation may very
well lead to complication without solution, and tendto.
perpetuate divisions by institutionalising them.
We look to the strengthening of local government,
to localisation and to the independence of state agen-.
cies such as the Elections and Boundaries CommissiQns'
to bring about multiracialism. The achievement of
multiracialism implies, too, the positive promotion of
ethnic and cultural identity not "assimilation" but
Finally, all Tapia's proposals are designed to bring
about the development of party politics on a basis
other than race.
27th October 1972.
Coming on Nov17
16 Henry Street, P.O.S.
PAGE 8 Tapia SUNDAY, NOVEMBER 12,1972
How a Chinese
Chinese ideographic script presents problems not only to for-
eigners trying to learn the language but to the Chinese themselves.
The publication of a newspaper is one.
Given the number of cha-
racters needed, it is practically
impossible to mechanize type-
setting. With the exception of
engravings (which are received
by the printing plant already
prepared) the typographical set-
ting of the "People'sNewspaper"
is carried out entirely by hand.
Founded in 1945 during
Sthe war with the Japanese in
the liberated zone of the Pro-
vince of Hopei (where Peking
is also located) "Renmin Ribao"
- its namein Chinese -- became
the official newspaper of the
Chinese Communist Party in
1948. At that moment the
Kuomintang was beingdestroyed
and its army defeated.
Numerous newspapers were
being published in different li-
berated areas in China and the
"People's Newspaper" was one,
until it became the official news-
paper ot the central Committee
of the Party.
At tue present moment the
paper occupies a modem and
large office in. the downtown
section of Peking.
A large number of the 400
employees work in the manual
typesetting of the newspaper
which appears daily with six
pages (two of which deal with
'Ihe newspaper has a large
number of offices that are or-
ganized into three departments:
administration, editorial, and
The "People's Newspaper"
is published simultaneously in
nine different places: Shanghai,
Canton, Nanking, Shenyang
Wuhan, Shungchin and Siam)
where the matrices are shipped
The .Peking edition puts
out over a million copies while
the editions in the provinces sur-
passes three million.
In addition to the "People's
Newspaper", each province pub-
lished its own newspaper and
has its own sources of news as
in the case of Shanghai, where
three newspaper are published:
"Liberation", "The Newspaper
of the Rebel Revolutionary Wor-
kers" and "Wen Wei".
In spite of the disadvan-
tages presented by the slow,
manual typesetting method
(which is solved by the large
number of specialized typogra-
phers who set over 2,000 cha-
racters per hour) that innova-
tions introduced by the wor-
kers themselves had increased
the number of copies to a mil-
lion newspapers every two hours.
What has been extremely
useful to the typographers was
the decision taken in 1949 to
simplify Chinese writing a task
which was undertaken by the
Committee for the Reform of
At the present moment a
person must know at least 1,000
Chinese characters to read a
Although the most widely
used dialect in China is the Han,
it is not pronounced the same
way in the north where Mandarin
or Pelinese is spoken, or in the
South where the most common
is the Cantonese.
In addition, more than 50
regional dialects are spoken
throughout Chinese territory.
Writing, however, represents the'
most common method of com-
It doesn't matter if the
Pekinese or Cantonese don't
understand each other because
the written word is the same;
that is why the "People's News-
paper" can be read throughout
Renmin Ribao receives
around 5,000 letters' a day with
opinions, suggestions, articles,
commentaries etc. from its
readers and has a whole depart-
ment to answer the correspon-
dence. (Prensa Latina)
Workers read the "People's Newspaper" at a
textile factory in Peking.
STARTING 17 NOV
For the best in men's crimplene
Prices sweeter than ever !
vat1 18 Henry Street,
16 Henry Street, P.O.S.
"ISLAM prevailed because it was the best social and political order
the times could. offer. It prevailed because everywhere it found
politically' apathetic peoples, robbed, oppressed, bullied, uneducated
and unorganised; and it found selfish and unsound governments out of
touch -with any people at all. It was the broadest, freshest and
clearest political idea that had yet come into actual activity in the
world and it offered better terms than any other to the mass of mankind."
(H.G. Wells: "The Outline of History").
FROM ARABIA where it
obtained its birth around
600 A.D., to India and
then to .the Caribbean.
This has been the story of
'Islam in this part of the
That a-Teligion could have
existed since that time and
*'can today boast some seven
million adherents, not only in
the..land of.its nativity but
also in every other continent,
attests to the fact that "As-
lama", or surrender to the
will of. Allah, has stood the
test of time.
The festival of Eid-Ul-Fitr
which being celebrated on
Wednesday November 8 is an
integral part of Islam.
It marks the end of the
period of Ramadan, an event
which itself commemorates the
beginning of the revelation of
the. Holy Qu-ran to the pro-
phet Muhammed: "the month
of Ramadan is that in which
the- Qu-ran was revealed, a
guidance to men and a clear
: proof of the guidance and the
criterion.". (Chapter 2, Verse
An essential- part of the
whole. Ramadan observance is-
fasting. Muslims are required
to fast from sunrise'to sunset
for all the 30 days of Ramadan
Fasting is principally a
form of penitence, or in terms
of mourning, a symbol of
sorrow and affliction. It seeks
to develop in the Muslim the
ability td habituate oneself to
the denial of basic .physical
needs like hunger, thirst and
sex. When one has mastered
these essential areas of human
activity one is better enabled to
avoid the temptations that
daily appear in everyday life.
This is especially applicable
. to those who. are wealthy or
hold responsible positions.
throughthe discipline obtained
in fasting they are led to realise
that they are no more than
trustees of a divine grace and
have a sacred duty to those
over whom they exercise
SBut. fasting in Ramadan
must also be accompanied by
acts of charity: "Keep up
prayers and bestow upon
others from that which God
has given you." .
.. Again, the Qu'ran is clear in
stating one's obligation to per-
form charitable acts: 'Woe unto
those who pray or fast for
show, and prevent themselves
from being charitable."
Besides'being one of fasting
and charitable acts, the period
of- Ramadan is a month of
stocktaking during which Mus-
lims rejuvenate themselves
morally and spiritually to face
and to overcome the trials of
daily life and the ever-
recurring temptations to evil.
And so other observances
are important: prayer, a pil-
grimage to Mecca for those
who can afford it, jihad (a
struggle against the forces of
evil) and a declaration of faith.
The Ramadan observance
finally comes to an end with
the glorious festival of Eid-Ul-
Fitr. The word "Eid" is derived
from "qud" which means "to
return." Fitr means "to begin"
and from "Fitr" is derived
"Fitrah" meaning "nature".
Eid-Ul-Fitr can therefore,
be literally translated to mean
a day on which Muslims have
returned to ordinary life after a
month of vigorous self-
discipline. But they have re-
turned cleansed and purified,
nearer to the state of Fitrah.
Eid-Ul-Fitr then, is primarily
a day of thanksgiving and
charity. Mosques are filled to
capacity 'as the devout as-
semble to give thanks to their
Creator for having afforded
them the opportunity of wit-
nessing and participating in
yet another enlightening ex-
At the Mosque a special
zahat (charity) called Sadqutul
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BUY READY CREDIT AND SAVE
Fitr is collected, the purpose
of which is to ensure that the
less fortunate members of the
community can also be enabled
to celebrate the festival. In
the Mosques, too, young and
old, rich and poor prostrate
themselves together, symbolis-
ing the kind of equality that
Here, men who in their
ordinary lives might be of
different stations, now meet
in absolute equality and are
TAPIA PAGE 9
made aware of their own
humble position in the pre-
sence of Allah.
After leaving the mosques,.
Muslims visit each others'
homes in the community and
partake in specially prepared
meals. For the young this is a
time of un-mixed joy.
the aged it is a time of remem-
brance for those who were
present at previous Eids but
who are now departed. And at
Eid the celebrants wonder
whether they would be here
for next year's Eid.
We salute our Muslim
brothers on this most auspicious
occasion. May this year's Eid
be the starting point for a new
and fuller life.
PAGE 10 TAPIA
After years chasing the trail of an idea
took me more than two
years to make. It was a
time of creating and throw-
ing away pans., I had no
guidelines so it was trial
and error and you would
be surprised at how much
error a man can make when
all he has to follow is an
idea in his head.
But never for one moment
did 'I lose heart in the idea. I
had seen pan grow up, had
listened as steelbandsmen in
the early 50's made limited
sounds with inadequate pans.
More specifically, I was
agonised at our failure to cover
the range of musical notes.
Take the tenor-pan in use at
the time, for instance. To my
dismay, we couldn't get the
higher notes on it. Whenever a
tune called for high we
had to transpose the note with
a lower one. It was cheating
and it wasn't really music.
With the security given by
the job on the Base, I was able
to concentrate on my inven-
tions to meet pans' short-
comings. To gel a higher range,
I scrapped the tenor and in-
troduced an entirely new pan,
the soprano pan. Incidentally
it is the same thing that
people today insist on calling
the high tenor, when it isn't a
tenor pan ut itl.
In the world of invention,
things have a way of moving
with sometimes crushing logic.
Having introduced the soprano
pan to fill a gap made by the
inadequate tenor, I found that
the soprano man could not do
the work, done poorly though
it was, of the tenor.
Or to put it in less general
terms whereas with the tenor
pan, I had to struggle for the
low notes, with the soprano
man, I wasn't getting the low
notes. Clearly another pan was
needed enter the double-
tenor which, in fact, was an
extension of the single-tenoi
that I had discarded.
All these experiments of
mine took place in my house
and yard at the corner of
Erica Street and Old St. Joseph
Road, Laventille. I shared this
house with a preacher and his
family. Depending on the
mood of his Christianity, he
either called damnation down
on me, or prayed for the
eventual salvation of my soul.
For my way of life was such
as could bring many a mourn-
ing head-shake from a con-
cerned man of God.
To begin with I was in-
volved in pan which to the
Christian many was an indica-
tion that I had clearly signed
away my soul. And the trap-
pings of sin were only too
evident painted women and
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scarred men. These were vio-
lent times and I had friends
who were growing dp and be-
coming part of that world that
settled even the most trivial
agruments with blood.
One-time, one of them
brought a "putney" (a home
made gun) for me. I protested
that I didn't want it. He in-
sisted that I keep it, however,
"just in case". Many more came
offering putneys for protec-
tion, or simply to talk about
their role in the particular riot
that was occupying public
attention at the time.
Thunderbirds, Gunderos -
names that sounded as harsh
as pans falling on the road and
getting out of tune, as we
fought each other, sometimes
from the same area, always
from the same position in life
ketch-ass, looking for some
kind of way to get out of the
blanket anonymity into which
life had forced us.
I knew these fellers well.
Had grown up with a number
of them. And it was kinda
funny to see fellers who had
sat with me on the same bench
in that "Pong School" off
Plaisance Road now being
publicly appraised as "bad-
johns". It must have been the
closest I have ever come to
knowing on such a personal
basis celebrities in the Press.
Maybe it was because I was
on the trial of the idea I spoke
about earlier that I was not in-
volved in the battles of the
time. Indeed I remember think-
ing much later in the 60's
when my band was involved in
two steelband clashes that the
50's was in fact catching up
with me. I was paying a sort of
delayed dues, if I am to borrow
an expression from the
brothers in the jazz world.
To get back, however, to
the'period of violence. While I
was not involved in the vio-
lence, ever so often, it
threatened to engulf me. I
remember once we were play-
ing down at Sea-View in Care-
nage. The scene white and
wealthy. While playing, we
noticed a gang of Carenage
boys make their way into the
fete, their- look telling us quite
clearly that there was going to
They, were of the feeling
that they should have been
asked to play at the fete since
they were from Carenage and
we were not. Silently they
ranged themselves in front of
us, but ihe fight never came -
beca:.e two of the players in
our band recognized two cou-
sins of theirs on the Carenage
side so it was a case of
blood being thicker than the
social stresses of the day. What
was incredible about the whole
scene, however, was that though
the people at the party must
have wondered at the sudden
increase of black faces, they
never, to this day, were aware
of the drama that was being
played out as they tinkled ice
in glasses and called for 'Mary-
Back at home my neigh-
bour, the preacher, suffered.
Poor man. He would come
home after a hard day to be
disturbed by my incessant
pounding. At least, that is the
sympathetic view I take now.
In those days, however, I saw
him as little more than a
crochety religious old man for
whom pan was a vehicle of sin
and I, the principle agent.
Nights would come and he
would raise ihe heavens with
his complaints. Looking into
my wardrobe of postures, I
would draw on my favourite:
the role of the madman. Play-
ing mad, I would cuss him
back, run screaming out of the
house as if I was being pursued
by a thousand and one devils
and threaten to burn the house
Most often, he would re-
treat and go quietly into the
house, thus in the years we
have formed a rather tortured
alliance which a difference in
life-styles has prevented from
evolving into real friendship.
It was curious, but my
friends only rarely came from
among steelbandsmen. Perhaps,
this "was because that from the
beginning I was such a loner.
Initially my ideas didn't find
ready acceptance so I was
driven more into myself.
Highly individualistic by
nature Iexperimented with pan
while steering clear of pan-
men, while those like "Pops"
Harper, Alvin Romain and
Henry Carrington, who were
members of my band and with
whom I shared a liking for the
same things club life, food
cooked by our own hands,
rum and throwing supposedly
intimate parties with women
who gave freely long before
free love was even considered a
The years 1960-1964, then,
were for me nice years. The
late 50's had seen me inventing
and introducing two new pans
TAPIA PAGE 11
into steelband,but it was during
this period that they became
Perhaps by writing
down the development of pan
as I saw it, I can make sure
that my contribution is record-
I should be ashamed to be
so conceited, I suppose. But I
have always argued that with
me shame gone out, a hang-up
that too often prevents a man
from doing his individual
thing. Imagine, for example,
what would have been lost if I
had listened to the jibes of those
who disdainfully referred to
my soprano pan as a "basin". I
have no shame as you have no
doubt found out by now. If
not, you will, as the story con-
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