Material Information

Place of Publication:
Tapia House Pub. Co.
Creation Date:
June 2, 1974
completely irregular
Physical Description:
no. : illus. ; 43 cm.


Subjects / Keywords:
Politics and government -- Periodicals -- Trinidad and Tobago ( lcsh )
serial ( sobekcm )
periodical ( marcgt )


Dates or Sequential Designation:
no. 1- Sept. 28, 1969-
General Note:
Includes supplements.

Record Information

Source Institution:
University of Florida
Holding Location:
University of Florida
Rights Management:
Copyright Tapia House Pub. Co.. Permission granted to University of Florida to digitize and display this item for non-profit research and educational purposes. Any reuse of this item in excess of fair use or other copyright exemptions requires permission of the copyright holder.
Resource Identifier:
000329131 ( ALEPH )
03123637 ( OCLC )
ABV8695 ( NOTIS )

Full Text
NEW YORK 21, N. Y.


THE Tapia Qpen House series have ranged thus far from the Tapia members and residents aspects of'life in Trinidad On the panel will be Sheila
of Community Presentations Architect's presentation on of the Community. Next week shall be shown and these will Solomon, Raoul Pantin and
continues next week at the Tourism to an evening of the presentation moves to the be followed by a panel dis- MacDonald Canterbury. As
Tapia House in Tunapuan. Drumming have been proving world of films. cussion on the possibilities of usual admission is free and all
The presentations which to be a great success with Documentaries depicting a Film industry in Trinidad. are invited.

as a



Pages 6 & 7.






Pages 2, 4 & 8.

THE morning after the
simulcast last week Thurs-
day night, one of the
barber-shop shit-talkers
in Tunapuna was heard to
say: "Boy, the onliest
thing I understand about
that ole talk was the num-
bers. One Texaco; two-
Tesoro; three-Amoco." In
the days of yore, he
would have said: "too
high for me and too high
for them, PM father".
In some ways the man-in-
the-street has already made
up his mind. The answer is
no; Williams and the PNM
are not the people to take
advantage of the oil bonanza
for the benefit of Trinidad
and Tobago.


There is no doubt that the
country is suspicious of these
grandiose announcements.
After the long years of bram-
bling, it could hardly be
otherwise. But responsible
people in the country must
place their judgments on the
firmest possible ground. If we
want to clear the decks of
this corrupt and incompetent
government and open the
gate to greener pastures for
our people, we need to make
the most clinical estimate of
the trumps they hold.
There can be no question
whatsoever that the alumi-
nium smelter project could
be a major breakthrough. If
we brought it off, it could
take anything like seven years
for concluding the negotia-
tions, raising the finance, de-
signing the plant, securing
the supplies and completing
the construction. So the imme-
diate impact will clearly not
be economic but political.
And Williams appreciates that
very well which is why he
claims to have originated the
idea four long years ago.

The Little King is clearly
gambling to make good his
claim to be the moving spirit
of West Indian nationhood
with just one last desperate
throw. When he was setting

up the Messiah's Second
Coming in the "retirement"
speech of September 28, he
pointedly remarked that:
"On the question of Carib-
bean integration, it is
quite clear that we are
further from it than we
ever were, and that if any-
thing the Trinidad and To-
bago population has moved
away rather than towards
At just about the same
time, the Prime Minister was
publishing an article in the
July-September' Number of
The Political Quarterly, en-
titled "A New Federtiona for
the Commonwealth Carib-
"We can count on the
participation of Guyana...
and with the emergence of
a new Government under
the leadership of Michael
Manley Jamaica has
demonstrated a spirit of
practical co-operation in
striking contrast to the
fears and hesitancies before


For his foreign audience Wil-
liams concluded that:
"The successful political
integration of a large part
of a region traditionally
fragmented will go a long
way towards the achieve-
ment of the aspiration con-
tained in the motto of one
of the independent Com-
monwealth Caribbean
States: "One people, one
nation, one destiny".
Abroad, quiet optimism
and hope; at home, depres-
sion and despair. Unless we
assume that Williams is an
extreme case of the manic-
depressive, a case for St Anns
- in which event we'd better
certify him now and move
on we are forced to face
the unpleasant fact that all
along he has been playing
two distinct political hands.
Some say that this two-faced-
ness goes back as far as
Chaguaramas in 1960. CLR
James certainly claimed that
something funny happened
when McCleod, Secretary of

State for the Colonies, ar-
rived during the Crop of
1960 and "agreed" with
everything proposed by Wil-


We were to reap the bitter
harvest in December when
the final stage of the settle-
ment was announced throw-
ing the national movement
into a total disarray for so
many sheckles of filthy lucre.
We in Tapia cannot vouch
for that older generation of
political experience. What we
do know is that double-cross
is the clue to what is going
on now in oil. It is a sad thing.
The day following the
September Speech, Tapia
made clear what we thought:
"It is of course possible
that Dr Williams' merciless
insistence on our tradi-
tional weaknesses is no
more than a desperate con-
spiracy to reinforce our
dependence on messianic
deliverance. On past evi-
dence,it is even probable".
We shall see how ambi-

dextrous the Government is
with oil..On the face of things,
its policy is moving in
three healthy directions.
First towards more reve-
nue by way of a tighter and
more sophisticated tax-
regime. Secondly, towards
more control by way of great-
er participation in the owner-
ship of petroleum companies.
And thirdly, towards more
industrial diversification and
structural transformation of
the local and regional econo-
my by means of the establish-
ment of energy-using and
energy-based projects, where
possible, on a Caribbean scale.
It sounds excellent but
what does it actually mean
in practice? We cannot judge
the effectiveness of the tax
regime purely in terms of the
revenue that we get and the
shrieks of joy over the mil-
lion-dollar budget are sus-
piciously reminiscentof na-
tive rejoicing over the trinket-
ry and pacotille accepted
from the pirate captains in
exchange for gold.

Continued on Page 3.

Tapia secretary at

Catholic Teachers


THE issue of Church
Education vs State Edu-
cation is a phony one
and it is pointless to
think of education as free.
Archbishop Tony Pantin,
Father Valdez, a large
cast of national educators
and 400 Catholic Teach-
ers assembled at Arima
on Friday last, May 24,
and heard Lloyd Best
argue these controversial
claims in an informal,
unscripted, hour-long rap.
When the Tapia :Secretary
finally convinced a sceptical
audience, he was greeted by
repeated bursts ot applause
particularly when lie said that
we had to begin a frank dis-
cussion and to tell the people
the truth. Best said that lie

had come to the Convention
both as a public man and a
teacher and he was not trying
to win any easy support.

lie commended the Ca-
tholic Teachers Association
for reaching its 23rd Annual
Convention because, he felt,
people were too accustomed
to only the now-for-now. "The
solutions in education can not
be worked by any special
magic; they require a long
historical perspective:'.
"Arimna" Lloyd Best
urged at the star. "is a fitting
place Ifo this (onventioin, be-
cause the township is identi-
fied in the public mind as the
Land of the Ca;ribs the
place where the native peoples
of this land held out against
lie conqueror".

Vol. 4. No. 22

25 Cents

St Michaels


for boys

The school



Page 5.

V iew


EDUCATORS must no-
tice that the motive force
in the current revolution-
ary crisis was grounded in
the education system
which the nationalmove-
ment has established in
the last 25 years or so.
"It was the budding,
white-collar, student elite,
not the conventional
trade-union marcher, who
initiated the February
Revolution in October
1968". That is how Tapia
Secretary, Lloyd Best,
started his interpretation
of the current crisis in
Best pointed to four high
points in the February Revo-
lution. The first was the Rod-
ney March which brought the
students out in Kingston,
Georgetown and Port of Spain
and marked the beginning
of the current political up-

The second was the Basil
Davis funeral where possibly
30,000 participated "dressed
in every manner and mode of
African raiment ", proving
that the education of recent
times had failed to provide
our people any sense of an
identity of our own.
The third was the Second-
ary School student March
after Carnival of 1971 which
made it clear that the revolu-
tion had embraced the schools
as well as the University.
And the fourth high point
was the Guerrilla confronta-

Education for

Living VS

Education for

l exams s

tion of 1973 which had led
Tapia to publish a headline
"Blood On Our Hands" and
had revealed for all the world
that the cream of the educa-
tion system were leaders of
the military and political re-

"If there is a crisis in the
University and a crisis in the
Secondary Schools, it follows
that there must be a crisis
in the Primary Schools as
well. The Primary Schools
are the base of the entire
education ststem".
Detailing the crisis in the
Primary School System, the
Tapia Secretary reminded the
assembled teachers that the
new 15yr Education Plan had
been initiated in the same
year as the tuning-up of the
February Revolution. The
1968-83 Plan had begun by
noticing that "The problems
of Primary Education today
are so many, varied and inter-
,woven as to defy classifica-

"When that plan was
written", Best reminded teach-
ers, "overcrowding in schools
was estimated at 25,000 or
13% of available places (1966
figures) and it was reckoned
that 91,000 places would
have needed replacement by


On top of that, it was
proposed to build in the same
period 119,000 new places so
that, with a decreasing use of
the shift system, the problem
of unsatisfactory and dilapi-
dated accommodation will
largely have been solved".
Curriculum Reform, Best
continued, envisaged:
* new assumptions regard-
ing teaching methods and the
content of syllabuses.
* a reorientation towards
the needs of Trinidad and
* provision of Secondary







School for all and therefore
an alteration of the practical
relationship, of the Primary
School Curriculum to the
The Plan, he recollected,
saw the need for:
* new mathematics and an
early scientific orientation of
* exposure of pupils to
urgent and more mean-
ingful social studies centred
around the local scene
* introduction of a foreign
* more pupil involvement
in individual work and in
proper physical educa-
tion and initiation into the
cultural arts.
It was hoped, he added,
that the Primary School Sys-
tem would have been re-
organised to embark on pro-
grammes of grouping children
for team teaching and for
teacher specialisation, on pro-

grammes to provide specialist
rooms and libraries, on new
methodsofschool supervision,
teacher training and nursery
school education.
The most exciting hope
of all, Lloyd Best concluded,
lay in the plan to intervene in
the old colonial education
system with, the Junior Se-
condary School. "The source
of our excitement was our
anticipation that the Junior
Secondary Schools, planned
to raise the intake of 12yr
olds from 22% in 1968 to
77% in 1977 and 85% in
1983, would have been ex-
perimental, making revolu-
tionary demands on the
teachers, stimulating the native
wit of the students by the
provision of broader courses,
richer in technical, vocational
and human content than
those courses dictated by the
deadly dull academic criteria
of the prestige secondary
schools .. "


"What has happened? -
You are the jury, the judge
and the witness". So far as
the Junior Secondary Schools
are concerned, the crisis is
already upon us with over
4,000 or 60% of the 7,000
soon to graduate being threat-
ened with condemnation to a
labour market where, among
the age-group 15-24 .more
than 1 in 3 are already un-
"Condemned to that
world where the order of the

Continued on Page 4.



Continued from Front Page.
Absolutely the first problem in the taxation of
crude-oil output is the.proper poli, cing of the flow of
wells. Production is said now to be at 180,000
barrels per day of which AMOCO, off- shore to
the East, is. rated at 73,000 barrels or41%.
But who knows? when there are only 9 inspectors,
when these inspectors depend on company transport
to the off-shore rigs; and when, according to reports
from workers in Guayaguayare, the Company handl-
ing of inspectors is decidedly not gentle and in any
case, the techniques of monitoring the flow are so
variable that part-time inspectors are of little use.
The projection for AMOCO by this date was fully
100,000 barrels per day and it is nearing nine months
now that we were told that the problem of the
sanding-up of wells had successfully been solved.
So policing is defective. The second problem
is conservation. Williams' first response to the "energy,
crisis" was a boast that the companies had upped
their output. One reason why we must police even a
State-owned company is that we must conserve. Oil
in the bush is worth infinitely more than oil in the
hand. The Arabs are calling for an oil-standard not a
gold standard. Prices in early 1973 stood at $5.60
per barrel. By October they had reached $7.60. They
are now $22.00. In concrete terms it means that at
180,000 barrels per day, the tax-take is of the order
of $900m per year, infinitely more than this govern-
ment can spend, what with no Five Year Development
Plan,no thrust to resolve unemployment and inequal-
ity, no Throne Speech even.

The honest thing to do now would obviously be
to cut back production to about 150,000 barrels.
That would avoid the embarrassments to the Central
Bank which is already hard put to place the funds in
an. uncertain market for international securities,
ravaged by inflation and by widely swinging values.
It would avoid the difficulties posed for the Ministr
of Finance, now forced to invent all kinds of
Funds, designed to obscure the size of the Con-
solidated Fund for fear that Mr Manswell's demands
for wage and salary increases would become
irresistible, fuelling the inflation, the corruption, the
mad scramble for advantage.
The companies are now agreeing to buy partici-
pation oil at 93% as against the old 60% of
posted prices. Gulf, Mobil, BP and Shell have recently
swung deals with Nigeria, Quatar, Abu Dhabi; Kuwait
is soon to follow. Prices are up. We cannot lose by
conservation because the new terms of trade for
political reasons represent a shift in favour of basic
resource producers, especially of energy. It is the
corollary of the big independence movement of the
post-war years.The Prime Minister keeps regurgitating
the orthodoxy that he picks up from reading the
metropolitan weekend journals; he understands little
of what is happening. Politically he is a has-been, out
of touch with the world of today. A Victorian liberal,
colonial, he instinctively saw oil as a defensive politi-
cal weapon; he invariably takes his cues from the
metropolitan corporations; always late on the uptake,
when they are ready to concede as a means of attack.
Always following the big countries, seeking legitimacy
elsewhere, never leading; we are too small, too black,
too stupid, too everything for that.
The moves towards participation must be seen
in this light. The announcements have all been
headlines meant to appeal only to the mindless of
whom there are less than 28% left in the country.
Opponents, practical people interested in the future
of this country, even businessmen have in no way
been impressed. Except by one thing which is that
the Government does not know what it is doing
about participation. Why else would it want Shell to
expand refinery capacity as a condition of take-over?
Why should Tesoro be thinking of establishing a re-
finery plant as well? Or is the report true that Williams
went up to New York only at the request of Augustus
Long? And that we have now agreed with Texaco's
1970 policy of hands-off the refined en while they
are now agreeing to participation : i 'li-'p!e" a.

The facts on which to base a ;
policy are crystal '.ear to Tapia and

ne n

"The Prime Minister keeps regurgitating

the orthodoxy that he picks up from

reading the metropolitan week-end

journals; he understands little of what is


"The facts on which to base a sound

national policy are crystal clear to TAPIA

and the new generation of technical

experts in the Public Service".

"In fact national control of production

of gas and oil must be the highest

priority of today. From there we could

easily call the shots".

N .

"The way the Government has been
handling the. energy based industrial

possibilities suggest that its problem is

both incompetence and crookedness".

generation of technical experts in the public service.
Our total refinery capacity is 455,000barrelsper day
With crude output at 180,000 and withthe ideal
output at present being about 145,000, the ratio of
capacity to crude output is 5 to 2. Our policy must
therefore be to use existing refinery wisely which is a
complex matter. This is partly because our plants are
specialised in heavy ends since we are effectively US
colonies in the Caribbean Mediterranean; partly be-
cause existing and future US legislation will try to
keep it so; partly because there would be difficulties
with tankers to transport a new and wider range of
refined products;and partly because we are in no way
organised for independent marketing; not even in the
CARICOM neighbour markets.


Against this background, we need to be super
careful about expanding refinery capacity. Refinery
capacity is averaged to cost $4000 per barrel at pre-
sent construction rates and no company would invest
without at least a 10 year guarantee of 85 per cent of
the throughput of crude needed and firm contracts,
for marketing a sizeable proportion of the output.
What manner of madness can it then be to be
projecting all these wanton increases in refinery
capacity when we are such a small producer of crude
petroleum? Or is it that Williams is playing two hands
again and that one of these mornings he will announce
another "Chaguaramas Settlement" which would
amount to making Trinidad and Tobago a long-term
banana-republic, the stable refining centre par excel-
lance? Perhaps Tapia is being uncharitable here and it
is simply that they are too desperate to show signs of
an economic revival to grasp the full significance of

their action.
The way the Government has been handling the
energy-based industrial possibilities suggest that its
problem is both inaompetpee and crookedness.The
mark is sooi to burst open on these crazy missions
led by Moore who was under a cloud at the time,
Alleyne who is tired and Rampersad who has always
been a square peg in that PNM world of loyal party
technocrats. When the mark buss in truth, the coun-
try will see that you can not go about the universe
asking 30 to 40 countries exactly the same questions.
Not after you have made a public announcement of
your dilemma and your hopes and your fears. For by
so doing you demolish any chance of effective diplo-
macy. Naturally, all the missions have come back
with myriad pregnant possibilities of successful colla-
boration. The thing would be to translate these into
bricks and niortar. The sorting out alone is going to
take another seven years, into the second term of the
successor realme.
In the meantime, the valid prospects centre
around two projects only. Strictly speaking, if we had
proceeded snlely, a number of projects should now be
on the drawing board, carefully investigated and
costed in thl light of specific approaches made to
other countries for information, technical assistance,
marketing commitments etc. These are Methanol;
sponge iron; protein for animal feed; petrochemicals
over the whole range; fertilisers and aluminium smelt-
ing, ': practice only the last two have any oper-o*,
significance now which explains the tran-p:
vagueness of the simulcast declarations.


There ii said to exist at least 25 trillion cub. fl
of natural gas in the East Coast fields some two
billion c ft per day for 20 years. At least. With the
world food crisis and the Caribbean need to brealkup
the plantation economy and establish agriculture for
home consumption, the next CARICOM project is
certain to be a rationalisation of sugar, bananas and
food production on a regional scale. The fertilizer
project is in the logic of Caribbean history; even the
old regime cannot avoid it.
The srtelter project too, has arisen because
balance-of-payments pressures have demolished the
old mercantile walls and are throwing even the
reactionary Jamaican elites into the scheme of
Caribbean economic integration. That Williams pro-
posed the project four years ago is of no importance
whatsoever because in any case, the University
economists, long before that, put it into the pot as
part of a strategy of integration of production instead
of trade.
The flyin the ointment is the deal which the
PNM Government will swing with AMOCO. It is
quite clear that the Government is making its declara-
tions in a relm of pious hope. Carr of AMOCO has
been reported as saying that "all I know about what is
happening is what I have read in the newspapers".
(Trinidad 'Guardian, May 30). "We think our gas
production and making gas available to the projects
that are envisaged for this country is our top
The control and the pricing of the gas; that is
the central issue. If participation is to be an effective
road to industrial transformation via the development
of energy-baed and energy-using industries, the
Government of Trinidad & Tobago must control the
gas from the moment that it leaves the well-head. In
fact, national control of production of gas and oil
must be the highest priority of today. From there we
could easily call the shots.
AMOCO is very clear on thatrTapia understands
that they are insisting on winning, distributing and
pricing the gas. The result will be a fundamental
limitation on our industrial policy. Texaco, on the
other hand is willing to yield production because in
Texaco it is refining which holds the magic. Shell,
for its part, will be handing over all once the price is
high and right. For them, it is the marketing which
counts and they are letting all their contracts lapse.
The game, clearly has only just begun. A decent
government, informed, equipped with the resources
of the entire class of technocrats and experts of the
region and supported to the hilt by the population
could take on all these horrors and still cope. But is
that Government the PNM? Bet we get an attempt to
answer next time there is a TV and Radio hookup!






Continued from Page 2. tion. We continued the old the population. to pay for it,
colonial education of select- succeeded in forcing down
day is wappie, whe-whe and ing a favoured few. That is the wage rate and in fragment-
weed". To a world where for why, instead of admitting ing and dividing the peoples.
every hundred people em- that we were simply making We could save ourselves
played for wages, not more all available secondary e4luca- neither by farming nor by
than 15 make jobs for them- tion free,we sold the false idea labour organisation. In Trini-
selves, so shorn of creative that education would thence- dad and perhaps in Demerara,
skills do our students emerge forth be free for all. education was far and away
from the system of formal "There is one cause of the our chief salvation.
schooling. current education crisis, be- After that strategy came
"The only purpose of cause it has since become im- After that strategy came

Primary School is to prepare
pupils for the Secondary
School and the only purpose
of "O" Level is to prepare
students for "A" Level and so
on for B.A. and M.A. and
"The crisis in Junior
Secondary Education which
is today upon us therefore
opens up a window on the
educational crisis as a whole.
The real crisis in Junior Se-
condary Education today is
that it is not fulfilling its pro-
piise to open up education
suitable foi living as distinct
from education for examina-

INTHE 1950's, our stra-
tegy of saving ourselves
through the education of
our brightest sons finally
came of age. Therearrived
a personality, a move-
pnnt, a new hope and
the teachers above all,
rose to a man behind the
It was time for a new
dispensation. We had played
possum for over one hundred
years; we had infiltrated the
corridors of power. We could
provide education for the
large majority of the dis-
But what did we do? -
asked Lloyd Best at the
Catholic Teachers' Conven-

possible to tell the people the
truth". Much of the current
confusion is due to the un-
willingness to face up to the
costs of education in the
service of a living for the
country as a whole.


After Emancipation, ela-
borated theTapia Secretary.
our people could have saved
themselves by any or all of
three means.
Either we could have
taken hold of available land
and built An economic base.
This is what the Jamaicans
succeeded best in doing and
they have created foundations
for a more solid political
system than all the other
Secondly, we could have
embarked on labour organisa-
tion as they did in the older
colonies like Antigua and St.
Kitts where there was no land
to take hold of. "It is no
accident that Trades Union
parties dominate political life
in these older sugar areas.
Or thirdly, we could have
emergedby the route of higher
education. Everywhere this
was important to Black West
Indians after Emaniipation
bllt in Trinidad most of all.
In Trinidad land was cheap
and plentiful and initially sold
in such large consignments
that it turned out hard to get.
And then the planters brought
in indentured labour, taxed

oi age in iage a Se w
found it hard to make the
break; we are still educating
in the interest of the favoured
few.The February Revolution
exploded when it appeared -
to those whose hopes had
been raised in the 1950's.-

that change was extremely
slow in coming.
"The ,data are very re-
vealing", the Tapia Secretary
pointed out, the informa-
tion on the distribution of
educational welfare which

doubtless generated the cur-
rent political upheaval.
"The Whites, according to
the 1960 Census, were do-
ing better than everybody
else. Some 53% of them fell
in the classof people with
'0' Level or above. Other
arces (Chinese,Syrians,etc)
had 2% with University
education and 12% with
school certificates or above;
the Mixed Race had figures
of 1% and 10%. Africans
and Indians enjoyed only
an insignificant proportion
of their number with Uni-
versity educationand under
4% with 'O' Level or above.
A quarter of the Indian
population had literally no
education at all.

Continued on Page 8.



NAME ----------------------

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RETURN TO: Tapia House Publishing Co. Ltd.,
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Trinidad and Tobago.

Discussion & Dissen:tt]



Tapia Reporter

EVEN as another wave of
protest mounts from resi-
dents in the area, the St.
Michael School for Boys
in Deigo-Martin, is about
to suffer another serious
blow as the single most
progressive force in its
history, Manager, Mr. Fitz
James Williams, retires in
frustration and despair.
Mr. Williams, when asked
about these complaints, read
ly admitted that the position
was unsatisfactory and ex-
pressed himself to be in sym.
pathy with the residents but
declared that there was very
little that the Staff of the
School could do about the
situation. It is but one aspect
of a whole series of inter-
related problems, he said,
ndne of which are being ade-
quately tackled.


The St. Michael School
for Boys, the only one of its
kindin the country, stands on
a slight promontory overlook-
ing the Diego Martin Main
Road. When it was built over
80 years ago it was isolated in
.the middle of a secluded
estate. Today it stands in the
heart of a posh residential
Yet even though progress
has flowed around it, the
school itself in both appear-
ance and function is a dela-
pidated derelict of the Vic-
torian sentiment which
spawned it. Mr. Williams
pointed out that one of the
central issues which remain
unresolved' is whether the
school is a penal institution
or whether its primary func-
tion should be the education
and social rehabilitation of its

All the boys who come to
the school are,sent by the
Courts, for committinfg in
the main petty offences. But,
as Mr. Williams stressed, the
majority of the boys come
from broken or unstable
homes. Their real crime, he
added, was that they had
chosen the wrong parents.
What these boys needed
therefore apart from a formal
and/or technical education, is
a situation which provides
them withthe love, care and
attention of which they had
been deprived.
Yet this has been difficult
to do simply because there
are some students, the small
minority, who are genuine
problem cases and need to be
in a custodial situation The
problem arises because the
law specifies that no person
under the age of 16 can be
sent to a penal institution
and the magistrates have been
inflexible on this point, often
sending back repeated offend-
ers to the school.
So the manager is faced
with a choice between main-
taining harsh custodial mea-
sures designed to keep the
few troublemakers in strict
detention and thus destroy
the atmosphere of trust so
vital for the other students;
or relaxing the custodial at-
mosphere and so running the
risk that the few offenders
will be free to run away and
get into trouble.
Mr. Williams stressed that,
1i his four years as Manager
of the schoolhe had attempted
to take the prison out of the
school. There used to be
a cell which he had done
away with and he had also
introduced a behaviour and
privilege system which gave
the boys the incentive to work
to obtain such privileges as
camp leave, carnival leave etc.
He had also introduced

School nobody wants

the "licence" system whereby
boys were able under certain
conditions to leave the school
before their eighteenth birth-
day, as is stipulated by their
committal papers. Over 150
students had been granted
such licences and only one
had been sent back to the
Nonetheless, Mr. Williams
insisted that there was a limit
to what could be successfully
undertaken by the manager on
his own initiative. Part of the
problem in this regard was
the unsettled nature of con-
trol and direction.
At present the school is
suspended in mid-air some-
where between the Anglican
Church, where nominal re-
sponsibility rests, and the
Government, from which most
of tfie funds for its upkeep
In such a situation, not
unexpectedly, the minimum
gest done. The church has no
money to spend and Govern-
ment is quite, prepared to give
as little as possible, on the
excuse that the school is only
an appendage of the Ministry
of Education and not really

its concern.
So that the school suffers
from chronic financial dis-
tress. The staff is inadequate
and underqualified. Their
salaries are small and their
chances for promotion, in
such a small organisation,
very limited.
As a result; both in terms
of supervision and of educa-
tion the barest minimum is
being accomplished. There are
times when all 200 students
are under the control of a
single supervisor.
The training that the boys
receive is not sufficient, both
because of the inadequacy of
teachers ar because the
school is ui der pressure to
produce material for sale in
order to make ends meet. So
there is no graduated system
of training and the teachers
domost of the work anyhow.
Yet the necessity of pro-
ducing for themselves cannot
,be escaped since the grant
provided by Government
,amounts to 75 cents per day
for food for each boy and 6
cents per day for clothing.
But even in terms of try-
ing to develop their finances

by their own exertions pros-
pects are very limited. For
apart -from the time spent in
school the students are ex-
pected to be responsible for
the maintenance of both
grounds and buildings.
In addition the land on
which the school is situated
is very poor and the chances of
any significant farm and gar-
denactivity severely restricted.
In spite of all these prob-
lems however, the boys of the
school were able to raise
about $20,000.last year from
sale of handicraft items, poul-
try, and pig farming.
Another problem is the
fact that the Graduates of the
school find great difficulty in
marketing their skills. And
this in spite of the fact that
skilled workers are in short
supply on the labour market.
In this regard the attitude
of society towards the school
and its pupils is the most
serious stumbling block. Un-
til members of the society
are rehabilitatedin their thir*-
ing about the school the task
of rehabilitating the boys at
school shall remain an impos-
sible one.

(St. Michaels

A den of thieves ?)

RESIDENTS of the Diego
Martin and Petit Valley
area in the vicinity of the
St. Michael's School for
Boys are demanding that
the school be removed
from its present site.
These demands come in

PHONE: 62-21551
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the wake of reports that boys
from the school have been
running away and burglarising
the homes in the area. The
most serious complaint to
date comes from Steve and
Joyce Martin, a young couple
ofCrystalStream,Petit Valley.
Three weeks ago their
home was broken into by a
group of young men, one of
whom was caught and iden-
tified as a pupilof the school.
This was the fourteenth time
in the last two years that the
Martin's home had been


Mrs. Martin, speaking to
this reporter at her home
explained that her husband
was a salesman and that she
ran a small snackette in St.
James. As such they left very
early on mornings and did not
get back until late. So that the
thieveshad ample opportunity
to do their work.
Neighbours around the
Martin's home have in fact
seen the boys breaking into.

the house, but since there is
no phone in any of the houses
close by they have been un-
able to call the police in time
to have the intruders appre-


Mrs. Martin indicated that
after past robberies, items
taken from their home have
been recovered by the police
from boys at the school. And
in fact the items stolen have
been things like clothing,
jewelry and cosmetics.
The Martins are really
angry over the conditions in
which they have been forced
to live as a result of these
raids. Their house is now a
virtual prison. The windows
have been barricaded on both
the outside and the inside
and apart from being very
unsightly it is very incon-
On this last occasion the
thieves after breaking open a
window at the back to gain
entrance to the house,decided
to smash two gaping holes in

the ceiling in order to get into
'the bedrooms.
Other residents of the
area, while not suffering as
harsh a fate as the Martins,
complained that the boys of
the School frequently came
around harassing and verbally
abusing the residents. Repeat-

ed appeals to the police had
not solved the problem.

Most of the residents now
share the view of Mrs. Martin
that it is now a choice be-
tween moving the school and
moving all the residents in
the area.






By Lloyd King

NICOLAS GUILLEN is one of Cuba's most
honoured men of letters. There is little doubt
that most of his aspirations as a political
activist and "social protest" poet have been
realized since the Cuban Revolution. Within
Cuba itself his most popular collection of
poems is his Songs for Soldiers and ballads for
Tourists (Cantos para soldados y sones para
turistas) which he originally published in 1937.
These poems are seen as anticipatory
blueprints of the relationship between the
people's militia, formed since the Revolution
as part of Cuba's embattled response to U.S.
aggression, and the Cuban people. Written at
a time when the soldier seemed rather to be
the tool and guardian of U.S. interests and
the power hunger of Fulgencio Batista, they
yet called on the soldier to recognize his links
with the ordinary folk who were the victims
of exploitation and political gimcrackry, and
the need to forge fraternity with the oppress-
ed masses.
The sones para turistas expressed the repug-
nance felt by many Cubans towards the insensitive
American tourist, and sought to dramatize the re-
sentment and bitterness towards him as an inane but
all too visible symbol of the rigorous and painful grip
on Cuba's monoculture economy of American im-
perialist-capitalist interests.
As in well known, the Cuban Revolutionary
leadership ran out the tourists and the capitalists and
aligned itself with the Cuban Communist Party, of
which Guillen was a member since the thirties. The
Revolution also acted swiftly to eliminate a feature of
Cuban life against which Guillen had campaigned
both in verse and prose, namely racial discrimination.
The Revolution desegregated the schools and the
beaches and provided equal educational opportunity
for all. Guillen has expressed his recognition of this
reality in a poem "Tengo" (All is mine)
And what about being black
They can't stop me now
at the door of a dance hall
or a bar
or at a hotel desk
and shout at me
that the rooms are all taken
both the small rooms and the large
so that I don't have
a pillow to rest my head on
Nevertheless, there is some evidence that a complete
state of peace and love has not characterized the
Revolution's dealings with the black subculture.


First of all, one has to note that in 19/1, the
First National Congress on Education and Culture
cameoutnotonly against homosexuality, andJehovah's
Witnesses but quite strongly against the well-known
Afrocuban cults, namely the nanigo and abacua cults.
The Revolution's hostility to these popular Afrocuban
societies may seem contradictory but is not altogether
surprising. For one thing since the thirties, the Cuban
Communist Party has been uncompromisingly hostile
Sto these cults on the grounds that they were anti-
social and counterproductive, and secondly there is
little doubt that, both for reasons of survival and
profit, many cult leaders manipulated their members
for political ends.
In her study, El Monte, Lydia Cabrera notes
ironically that at seances spirits came back from their
adobe to instruct devotees on which candidate they
ought to vote for: Many "spirits" are so politically
conscious that they came back from the other world
to support a candidate with the same passionate inter-
est as the living, and in the same tone of apocalyptic
fury which characterizes the deafening oratory of
flesh and blood politicians they called for votes for
the party of their choice.
Nevertheless it is difficult to see what the
Revolution had to fear from these cults. More dis-
turbing to those interested inthe Afrocuban 'contribu-
tion to Cuban culture is the suspicion that Guillen,
who has been so strongly associated with the struggle
for black men's civil rights in Cuba, has acquiesced in
direct assault on a neo-African survival.
Taese Afrocuban cults have been a living
example of that interlinking cultural network which
Guillen, as the outstanding proponent of the notion
of Cuba's mulatto culture, has posited over the years.
In a very' important article in Hoy, the Cuban Com-
munist Party newspaper, in 1959, Guillen not only
reiterated the call for recognition of the mulatto
character of Cuban culture but suggested that Cuban
history needed some rewriting, if Cuban children
'were to develop the right focus on their multiracial

society. His words deserve to be quoted in some
The Spaniards contributed their genius al-
ready so complex and variegated their lan-
guage, their culture. But the blacks also con-
tributed, and not less either, in addition to their
labour on the plantation and in the factory in a
merciless state of servitude. Thus the national
meltingpot is not only the result of the easy
coupling of master and slave woman, who
shows up in the most distinguished families,
but another more deeply rooted cross fertiliza-
tion which comes from our mixed roots. For
this reason, in Cuba the white is mestizo, the
black is mestizo, and the mestizo is ... mestizo.
Why not therefore revise our history with
this in mind, enriching it with the discoveries
and research methods of modern sociology,
when applied to our reality Without the
black man Cuba would not be what it is today,
Cuba with its peculiar character and outlook;
as it would not be what it is without the white
man, who because European by descent is no
less a part of our people, in the same way that
he who is African in derivation is, be he from
the Congo, or Carabali tribe. Both, together,
mixed up make that which is Cuban, a new
precipitate neither Spanish nor African.
In referring to this interpenetration of cultures, Guillen
might have referred precisely to the Afrocuban cults,
for Lydia Cabrera tells us in El Monte that in some
of the "abacua" cult groups, whites outnumbered
blacks. (c.f. p. 40).


Following on Guillen's journalistic note, Wal-
terio Carbonell, a black Cuban and a Communist,
wrote a long angry article in 1961, which has
apparently been withdrawn from circulation, called
"Como surgio la Cultura Nacional," (The Origins of
our National Culture) in which he maintained that
the African cult groups had formed the original cole
of opposition and rebellion, that their significance and
importance was not being recognized in Cuban history
books, and instead they were being denounced as
primitive, savage survivals. His words are quoted by a
black Cuban disaffected, radical, Carlos Moore, in an
article in Presence Africaine. These (African) religious
organizations resisted the attempts of Spanish colo-
nialism to destroy their rich traditional culture. It, is
for this reason that these religious organizations
played such a progressive role,.not only by preserving
African culturebut in the political and cultural aspects
of our nationality. This assertion may surprise rnmay
people, because in our time, it is the contrary thesis
which holds sway, that's to say, that African religions
.are a manifestation of savagery. In truth, the silence
of certain revolutionary writers in regard to the politi-
cal and cultural role of these sects of African origin is
becoming a cause for some concern.
Moore was quoting Carbonell in 1964, precisely
in order to maintain that things had not changed since
he wrote. When Rene Depestre, the exiled Haitian
poet who now lives in Cuba, replied to Moore with
an article entitled "Lettre de Cuba", he was in fact
forced to agree with Moore that Cuban history needed
No revolutionary would dare maintain that the
history of Cuba is not in need of revision and
rewriting in line with scientific criteria in order
to sweep out of existence the racist distortions
and myths which historians at the service of
the bourgeoisie concocted.
There is therefore evidence that Guillen's call
for the rewriting of Cuban history went unheeded,
and even that the Cultural Establishment were not at
all happy that the Afro-Hispanic precipitate had
existed most vigorously at the "culture of poverty"
level. One sign of this is surely the quiet suppression
of the play Maria Antonia by Eugenio Hernandez
Espinosa. This is a play which was particularly
praised by the Jamaican novelist and critic Andrew
-Salkey, who went to Havana in 1968 to attend the
First Cultural Congress of Havana. In his Havana
Journal, Salkey who saw the play, claimed that it was
by far the finest acted, most exciting and thought-
provoking folk play he had ever seen.
It evoked, Salkey tells us, the trials of the people
in a Black ghetto in the dark days of pre-Revolution-
ary Cuba. "All the tensions of the drama were con-
centrated in the central character, Maria Antonia, an
Afro-cuban ghetto goddess, young enough to attract
all the men, black and white,inthe ghetto, to her,
and maternal in the manner of the West Indian Black
Woman who has had, historically, to be ill-used
love-object and mother to her irresponsible lovers".
Speaking of the similiarity of behaviour and intensity
of feeling among the Black, white and Mulatto
character, Salkey writes that "Their outbursts of bad
temper and violence, their gestures and physical atti-
tudes were uniformed and racial ." The white
Cuban was non-white and the Black non-black, in


movement and personality.
If you wanted to stir things up, you might say
that the white Cuban in the ghetto was completely
Black. But, in fact, all of them were racially ungraded
ghetto-types acting together in a remarkable unison
of feeling and native intelligence (op. cit., p. 145).
Salkey here gives voice to certain perceptions about a
possible ground and texture of Cuban folk experience
which has caused unease among the cultural Establish-
If there seemed to be any difficulty about
Guillen's position in official cultural policy, an
interview he had with Professor Keith Ellis leaves
little room for doubt. Ellis asked him for tius views on
negritude. I quote:
It is not unusual to find your name mentioned
alongside the names of other poets, Leopold
Senghor for example, a poet who seems really
quite different from you, -as belonging to the
category of poets who represent negritude. As
you have been saying and as has been recognized
by your readers, you have shown profound
concern for the situation of blacks within Cuba
and, in your later work, of blacks outside Cuba.
But in spite of this, do you consider yourself.
to be one pf the poets who represents negritude?
As your questoin implies, negritude is a very
vague concept. And my answer to -your ques-
tion would have to be no. The problem with
negritude is the same kind of problem we en-
counter with other definitions, like that of
socialist realism .. .Sometimes this reminds me
of the definition given by Voltaire of meta-
physics: the search in a dark room for a back
cat that is not in the room. I believe that
negritude is a phenomenon which is produced

FUNE 2,1974


in countries where there is a black population
exploited by a white colonial sector. The
blacks find it necessary to strive to expose their
cultural values;their music, their sculpture, pain-
ting and so on In Cuba itself before the
Revolution, an emphasis on blackness was
explainable because the artistic, political, cul-
tural indeed the human values of the black man
had to be stressed in the face of discrimination
and slavery, and one had to give emphasis to
this element within the national culture. It was
one of the manifestations of the class struggle
.. There are moments historical moments -
when negritude is linked to movements of na-
tional liberation but it is impossible to main-
tain negritude as a primary attitude because
then it would be converted into another form
of racism.
We note the initial contemptuous attitude towards
negritude (the search in a dark room for a black cat is
not there), and then the Party view of the extent to
which negritude can have validity,namely that the
assertion of neo-African culture and racial identity is
merely a part of the class struggle.


This Party position is precisely the one which
some years earlier led Aime Cesaire to opt out of the
French Communist Party and write his famous
"Letter to Maurice Thorez" in which he refused to
accept that revindication of black dignity in the face
of the massive assault of Western civilization should
simply be seen as a secondary facet of the class-
struggle. Guillen, since the thirties, obviously ac-
quiesced' in the Party position. As far as Cuba is
concerned, he has become almost immoderately
sensitive to any hint of "black racism".
One begins to sense the terrible ways in which

blindly held ideological postures can twist judgement.
Has Guillen not seen what was noted by other
observers? For example, Elizabeth Sutherland, a black
American writer, sympathetic to the Revolution, who
spent a few months in Cuba in 1967 noted that in
posters, magazines, television, movies and theatre,
white faces were overwhelmingly predominant, and
tells the story of a black actress who was denied a role
in a Spanish play while an Aime Cesaire play was
performed by whites with their faces painted black.


How then, .did Guillen even come to have his
name associated with negritude and the affirmation
of a neo-African identity? For the answer one must
return to the twenties and thirties in Cuba and a
phenomenon which is referred to in the literary
histories as "afrocubanism" and also "negrismo".
But even before we do this we must also take note
that Guillen hal consistently rejected the term
"afrocuban".In an article in the newspaper EINacional
of Caracas in 1951, he rejected the term out of hand:
"Afrocuban" poetry, "afrocuban" music,
"afrocuban" art What does all this mean?
It is a convention which corresponds to no
reality in the panorama of our national cul-
ture. To suppose that something specifically
"Afrocuban" exists as a partial and independent
expression of the soul of Cuba is false, for we
are made of a profound intermingling of two
:n the light of Cuban history, it is really difficult to
accept Guillen's dismissal of the term "afrocuban".
We might start by applying one of the necessary
conditions of negritude according to Guillen, namely
the presence of a black population exploited by a
white sector, to.Cuban history.

As a colonial slave society, practically down to
the end of the nineteenth century, Cuba was certainly
a society in which blacks were exploited by a white
sector, except that there was also a poor white settler
group, known as guajiros, which would allow one to
speak in the twentieth century of. a black-white
proletariat. Secondly, whites, mulattos and blacks
joined to fight for Independence but not without an
atmosphere of distrust and mixed feelings. One of the
central obsessions of the whites was to avoid a recur-
rence of anything similar to the Haitian Revolution.
Phillip S. Foner tells us that Domingo del Monte, the
liberal reformer, was haunted by the fear that if the
blacks had a chance they would turn Cuba into
"a black Military Republic".


Partly for this reason, the Cuban plantocracy
co-operated with the State Department to turn a
formally-independent Cuba into a neo-colony of the
United States. Hostility to the former slaves received
every encouragement from the presence of racist
American troops, and a glance at Guillen's earliest
newspaper articles in the twenties shows him bitter
and ironic at the way in which the Cuban black was
scarcely better than an American black. The poem
"Tengo" written in the sixties, and from which I
quoted earlier, testifies to the relief Guillen and the
Cuban black felt at the end of such a long period of
racial discrimination. The Negro in Cuba lived in an
atmosphere of rejection and hostility not only in
relation to civil rights but found that all those aspects
of his beliefs which were rooted in his African past
and helped him to hold on to some sense of identity
and wholeness were disparaged as manifestations of

The great Cuban ethnologist Fernando Ortiz
has testified that even to refer to the Cuban black in
the early days of the Republic required considerable
courage. In a speech in 1942, referring to the circum-
stances under which he published his first study
The Black Witch doctors (Los negrosbrujos) in
1906, he says: "Even to speak of the black man in
public was dangerous, and had to be done on the sly
as it were and in whispers, as if one were speaking
about syphillis or some nefarious skeleton in the
family cupboard It even seemed that the black
man, and even more so the mulatto, wished to forget
about themselves, to deny their race, in order to put
behind them some of their bitter experiences and
frustrations, in much the same way as the leper hides
from the public eye some of the terrible aspects of
the le ersarium".


Or. 'himself in this early work was under the
spell of t e outrageous positivistperspective on racial
hierarchies, and his work would have simply helped
to reaffirm the worst kind of racialist stereotypes, for
a primary assumption of his study was that to be
black in Cuba was equivalent to being socially and
morally a criminal.
When the blacks landed in Cuba, they auto-
matically became criminals, not in the sense
of falling irom a plane of higher morality, but
simply as people incapable, for the moment at
least, of comprehending moral notions. In their
sexual relations, the blacks were lascivious, -
they even practised polygamy prostitution
provoked no abhorrence in them their
families were not cohesive their religion
inclined them to human sacrifice, the violation
of graves, cannibalism and the most brutalizing
superstitution. (op. cit., p. 20).
This intolerable and ferocious hostility to the black
psyche is well illustrated by the long story "La piel"
written by the white Cuban Alfonso Hernandez Cata
in 1915. The mulatto protagonist Eulogio Valdes is
shown gradually drowning in a quagmire of contempt
as he drifts along the weary road to acceptance in the
dominant society. His mother and sister, irresponsible
and sexually loose, haunt his life like so many ghosts
in the cupboard and he masochistically images him-
self as a man with a "white" sensitivity hopelessly
trapped in the barracoon of a black skin:
The slaves had been manumitted, but their
moral enslavement was even more visible,
more vexacious than before. The soul of the
race had not taken a single step towards re-
demption, the African heritage survived, the
barbarous, bloody instincts, the frenzied dances
to the sound of guttural shouts, now angry in
rhythm, now doleful; Belief in God co-existed
with the rites of a pagan liturgy and with badly
assimilated- ideas about democracy. Freedom
and licentiousness, authority and tyranny were
all the same to them.

To be Continued Next Week



N I~

%4 4




Fyzabad moves



Alston Grant

THERE is a certain
amount of dark pessimism
and despair pervading the
blocks of late, at any rate
this is how some people
interpret the mood of
the moment. Others,
however are of the
opinion that the problem
is one of "mortification".
I share this view.
When old perceptions
which were religiously
clung to, are being des-
troyed for new directions
new hopes and a new
world, the break with the
past is always problema-
tic, always uncertain.
With rising unemployment,
spiralling costs of living, and
systematized brutality, the
agony of men's existence does
at times lead to a measure of
"cynicism. This is undertaasd-
But to suggest that the
plight of the Fyzabad bro-
thers is a solitary pheno-
menon, is not to understand
the implications of the dif-
ferent non-political interest
groups that are continuously
fighting against an iniquitous
system and the manipulations
of an insensitive oligarchy.


The point is that the role
of people like HATT, the
fishermen of Cedros, the
villagers of Matelot and the
sugar-workers must be seen
in its true perspective.
The revolutionary vigour
displayed in the past by the
people of Fyzabad is well-
known. Butlers agitation in
the area exploded into the
riots of 1937, which there-
after, led to some reorganisa-
tion and gains for the ordinary
It was not surprising there-
fore that after the movement_


for change in 1970 had failed
to deliver the goods,armed up-
rising, aimed at bringing the
leviathan to its feet, originated
in the area.
That too failed. This fail-
ure has had an adverse effect;
for a government cognisant
of its unpopularity in the
area has subjected the resi-
dents to the intimidation and
terror that has been the hall-
mark of its tottering and
illegitimate rule.
It is nonetheless simplistic
to argue, as some do, that in
the context of pressure and
persecution Fyzabad repre-

sents a special case. Such
arguments distort the realities
of our present position.
It is a fact that through-
out the country there is an
inordinate reliance on terror
and intimidation directed at
anyone who dares seem to be
opposed to the existing re-
gime. The Governments and
its agents are mortally afraid
of solid independent organisa-
tions. For organisation solid,
committed organisation,is the
only weapon that can bring
this Government to its knees.
The movement for change
in 1970 failed primarily be-

cause when at the crucial mo-
ment, the State opened the
flood-gates of terror, the huge
crowds, the tens of thousands,
having no solid organisational
bases in their communities
from which to continue the
struggle, disappeared without
a struggle.


The coming into being of
the Tapia House group of Fy-
zabad and the Fyzabad Com-
munity Action Group is there-
fore of critical importance at
this point in time. These two

No solution

for Education

From Page 4
Lloyd Best argued that un-
less this situation had ra-
dically changed, it certainly
formed the attitudes of 1970.
"And if education tells a bad
story, the pattern of business
control tells one that is even
"In the University study
undertaken by Acton Camejo
in 1970 itself, after the peak
of the February Revolution
of 230 members of the busi-
ness elite, 53% were white,
24% off-white, 10% mixed,,
9% Indian and 4% African..
"Race and colour go to-
gether. Only 3% of the busi-
ness elite was black, 7% brown
12%highbrown (or off-black),
23% fair and full 55% fair or
As the audience tittered
nervously over this re-state-
ment of awkward facts, the
Tapia Secretary warned that,
in proposing solutions in edu-
cation, such information had
necessarily to be taken into

account. The mission of edu-
cation was to open up a more
equal world. We had to put
the 19th century behind us.

"THE one thing that can
not resolve the crisis in
educa iion isbuilding more
and more schools". The
audience gasped as Tapia
Secretary, Lloyd Best, im-
plicitly criticised current
public policy at the
Catholic Teachers' Con-
vention last Friday.
His own proposals for the
revolution needed in educa-
tion dictated that we first
accept full employment and
greater social and economic
equality as priority objectives
of national policy.
"The thing about Cuba",
said Best,"wasthat Cuba took
the decision not to wait for
the national cake to grow in
thehope that somehow she
would be in a better position

to provide more jobs and
promote more equal distribu-
tion of the benefits available
to the country; no Cuba took
the decision to go for an
equitable society first, to es-
tablish full employment and
then commit the country to
work for a different world".
Such were the aims. The
means? "The important first
step has nothing directly to
do with education at all". We
must establish a pattern of
local government municipal
authorities so as to begin
with a framework within
which the extra resources
could be mobilised.and allo-
Lloyd Best went on to
elaborate on the total irra-
tionality of moving so many
students and teachers into
Port of Spain, on the cost of
the centralization, its deaden-
ing weight on education.
Decentralization is neces-
sary if the country is to see
the why and the how of
change and to make the effort
we need. Against that back-
ground two other crucial
steps could be taken with
greater ease.
The first step is the inte-
gration and the development
of national service, of youth
service, of a comprehensive
scheme of apprenticeship and
of a related programme of
small business expansion with
subsidies from the State.

Lloyd Best lamented the
waste currently involved in
the Youth Camp programme
"where people are being
taught to be motor-mechanics
in the abstract.
"We should put appren-
tices in the garages of Cheesy
and Pouch and all the small
garages and use the funds of
the State to equip the shops
properly and to subsidise the
Such a programme, Best
explained, would require us

groups represent the founda-
tions of solid organisation in
-the community, and this or-
ganisation must spread to
other groups, and other inter-
The Community Action
Group has staged a successful
political-cultural rally last
April, and with the continued
support of the members and
the community its potentials
are very good.
Come July 7, the Tapia
House Group of Fyzabad pro-
poses a large Assembly. The
group is working and steadily
growing in the area and the
forthcoming assembly repre-
sents a chance to carry the
politics of community organi-
sation a big step along the
road that leads to the fall of
the old regime and the birth
of our new society.

to establish in the municipali-
ties Institutes of electricians,
carpenters, craftsmen and arti-
sans of every kind. You
would be able to pick up the
phone and call an electrician
and be sure someone would
come, do a reasonable job,
charge a reasonable price. In
the process apprentices would
be systematically trained.

"The point is that formal
schooling is merely a small
part of education". What is
needed is proper recognition
and certification of learning
and education in properly
organised circumstances.
Th1- greatest need, con-
cluded Best, was for a system
of certificaiton which would
allow people to enter, exit and
re-enter schools according to
their circumstances and which
would acknowledge the crea-
tive relation between school
and out-of-school. He was
making, he said, a point close
to that advanced by Ivan
Illich, celebrated Catholic
educator, who had written
Deschooling Society: educa-
tion could not be serviced
merely by schools.
The system he had in
mind would have a local
Nursery School system organ-
ised mainly by the housewives
in the districts where they
live. That would take care of
the up-to-seven year olds.
Next, a broadly _based
Primary School system with a
lower school for 7-11 year
olds and an Upper School
from. 11-14. This system would
cover the entire school popu-
lation and equip graduates
with the skills of basic living.
After the age of 14, ap-
prenticeship would become
the main arrangement for all
and work and study would be
the normal thing. The Secon-
dary Schools and the Univer-
sity would merge into a single
system linked by certification
facilitating entry, exit and re-
entry. "O Level and A Level
would speedily have to go".
"With people involved in
the politics of participation,
with a cultural revival in pro-
cess, with economic recon-
struction towards full em-
ployment and less iniquity, we
would be on our way to a
real solution".




Is Stephens




-- -^I -- ---.



THE merciless slaughter
of the giant female
Leatherback turtles at
Matura is nothing but
a cruel and heinous crime
for indeed there can be
nothing more detestable,
nothing more revolting
to the human spirit than
the killing of mothers
while in the very throes
of birth.
This abomination nightly
occurs at Matura beach on
our East coast and has been
going on for years. Yet Go-
vernment lifts not a finger to
stop this cruelty, Govern-
ment lifts not a finger to
protect these female Leather-
backs, though they have been
repeatedly told of it, though
numerous talks have been
held with the Chief Fisheries
Officer, though several ap-
peals have been made to the

In addition the Minister,
his Permanent Secretary and
the Chief Fisheries Officer
all have in their possession
the Bacon Report, a docu-
ment handed to them since
February of last year, a docu-
ment which spells out in clear
language what actions Govern-
ment must take to protect the
And these actions include
first and foremost, the decla-
ration of Matura beach (and
Pariabeac' )turtle sanctuaries
where the Leatherback can
nest unharmed. The report
also recommends that the
closed season for turtle hunt-
ing be advanced by at least
two months to include April
and May, the peak nesting
period of the Leatherbacks.

The present closed season.
begins on the 1st of June and
runs to the 30th September.
This is most irrational, and
serves no purpose. The
Leatherbacks have been com-
ing ashore since April and
being unprotected they are
cruelly slain.More than twenty
carcasses litter Matura beach
and the official closed season
has not even begun.
That piece of legislation
definitely was not meant to
protect the Leatherback.
Twenty female leatherbacks

have been slain as a result of
Government's unwillingness
to change the law and see that
it is enforced.
The latter is most import-
ant for it is meaningless to
pass laws if these laws are not
enforced. The turtle protec-
tion laws must be enforced as
hunting continues through-
out the closed season.


To enforce the law, the
Bacon Report recommends
that Game Wardens attached
to the Forestry Division be
requested to perform turtle
protection duties, these War-
dens being assistedby large
body of Honorary Game
Wardens comprising amateur
field naturalists who all share
a keen interest in the preser-
vation of our diminishing wild
life. In time, the report states,
Turtle Protection Officers,
working under the Fisheries
Department, can be appoint-
All this and much more is
contained in the Bacon
Report. Since February of
last year this Report has been
in thehands of Government
and not one single recom-
mendation has been imple-
mented. The wholesale slaugh-
tering of Leatherbacks con-
tinues unabated.

Every progressive country
has taken decisive action to
stop the wanton destruction
of the turtle. Only last week,
the Guyanese Government
acted firmly and clamped two
species under protective legis-
lation and are about to es-
tablish nature reserves at all
turtle nesting spots.
In Surinam, there are tur-
tle sanctuaries and Mexico
and Colombia have gone as
far as having their beaches
patrolled byArmed guards.
In Trinidad we do not even
have Game Wardens.

The Leatherback is the
largest species of turtles alive
today, attaining a length of
six feet with an estimated
weight of over 1000 pounds,
some weighing as much as
three quarters of a ton.
The Leatherback differ
from other species inthat
instead of a shell, it has a
thick black smooth skin with
longitudinal ridges. They out-
live all other vertibrae includ-

Massacre at Matura

Leatherbacks in danger of extinction

ing man, living to well over a
century. This means that the
six foot Leatherbacks now
slaughtered at Matura were
hatched about the beginning
of the last quarter of the

nineteenth century during the.
reign of Queen Victoria.
One has to see the size ot
these creatures, one has to be
confronted with a freshly
killed Leatherback to realize

the enormity of the crime that
is being committed at Matura.
One has to meet the hunting
parties at the beachto realize
the danger of extinction of
this remarkable species.

THOUSANDS thronged
into Thunderbird Terrace
to witness NJAC's cultural
rally held in commemora-
tion of African Liberation
week. Bro. Daaga kGeddes
Granger) gave a powerful
two-hour long address. He
started by reading a verse
of Lasana Kwesi's poem
which promised a monu-
ment for Gene Miles. He
said that the audience
present was a living mo-
nument not only for Gene
Miles but for Sylvestre
Williams, George Pad-
more, Marcus Garvey,
Daaga, Cuffy and all those
Black people who have
died fighting white oppres-
sion since the crossing.
The NJAC leader com-
mented that none ot the poli-
tical parties found it fitting to
commemorate African Libe-
ration week at a moment
when the Black struggle is

placed on the world stage of
The June 26 Pan African
Congress,he continued,would
be the biggest ever with some
eight hundred delegates from
the Caribbean, Latin America,
North America, Europe and
the Pacific.

The Steering Committee
of the Congress has decided
to urge the Congress to wage
war against all people who
kept the Black man in chains,
even those Africans inside and
outside the motherland who
hid behind the paraphernalia
of so-called independence.
What is more, Bro. Daaga
went on, the position of the
Blackman, in the Caribbean as
articulated by NJAC was ac-
cepted as the right position by
the steering committee meet-
ing in Guyana, much to the
chagrin of W.I. Governments.
This, Daaga, noted was a

spear in the hearts of the
Caribbean Governments and as
a result they are trying to
thwart the departure of the
unconventional political dele-
gation. He cited examples of
fraudulent charges, physical
harassment, and diplomatic
manipulation to make the
The members of NJAC
had had a laborious week of
work culminating with nine
community rallies on Satur-
day alone, even so the com-
memoration would be extend-
ed for one month.
In closing Bro. Daaga
claimedthat the white world
was dying and that it was
trying to use all strategems to
stay alive. Already Europe is
calling for a Council of Wise
men to rule the world. The
next step, he warned would
be to resurrect Christ for
Black Christians to follow
back into Babylon.


Month-end Bargains

shop at


the place where thrifty people shop

62 Queen St, P.O.S

NJAC stage African Liberation



JUDGING from their performance on Saturday evening, I feel it is safe ( say, that
ISWE is a group of serious young people dedicated to experimentation i, ii t- theatre
and devoted to breathing dramatic life into the written word. Those who ca- i': see
a show" on Saturday had the experience of total theatre; those who came tien to
"readings" had the West Indian experience dramatized for thern'; and those v.. came,
thinking that, because the event was taking place at Tapia House it would be political,
left with the understanding that to be born in the Caribbean is to be delivered into a
political arena; that to live here is to do political battle constantly; and that to be
politically conscious is but the responsibility of every thinking West Indian.
The selection of material for presentation was particularly pointed, most of the items being
very contemporary as well as,liberal in social and political comment. The programme also sought to
be fairly representative of the Caribeban area, although the majority of selections was taken from the
writings of Jamaicans and Trinidadians. Several individual pieces of poetry and prose made up the
evening's programme, but it was, perhaps a tribute to the continuity and thematic consistency of the
material when someone was heard to remark "It good boy, ah enjoy de play".

All of the actors were
good, though none was spec-
tacular, and their presenta-
tions were of an extremely
high standard; as such, it
would perhaps be unfair to
single out any particular piece
or actor, but I must mention
the group's presentation of
Victor Questel's Only Believe.
The dramatization of this
piece epitomized the concept
of total theatre.


Chanting and song began,
before the lights came on
Questel, as the preacher, en-
tered from the audience.
Singers were scattered at va-
rious points in the audience
and sounds came from every-
;rhere. The drums beat, the
p;eacher preached to the
audience, he involved them;
actors,planted in the audience
responded ("Amen, yes
father!") and, as the preacher
left the stage, he held the
hands of people in the audi-
ence as the singing of "A
Little More Oil in My Lamp"
faded. DuhI, ILiis piece,
Tapia House was virtually
transformed into a church.
After intermission, the
attempt to create, as naturally
as possible, an atmosphere of
limingg", was very successful,
The blocking here was good,
and much of the material
came out as though it were
spontaneous. It was also
theatrically impressive to al-
low each person in the "lime"
to do his own thing while the
rest of the actors focused
their attention on him.
The only item, which, in
my opinion, did not come off
successfully was Questel's
Man Dead This is perhaps
because of the weakness of
the piece itself, however,
which is too melodramatic.
The death announcement at
the end, rang false.
The use of music, song,
dance and chants in a drama-
tic presentation to a West
Indian audience, is a step in
the right direction. I feel that
West Indian theatre must
embrace all of these art forms
if it is to accurately depict'
the West Indian experience.
It was obvious on Satur-
day evening, however, that
the concept of total theatre
was alien to the audience.
Perhaps, we have become too
conditioned because of our
exposure to traditional drama.
The audience on Saturday
evening was a repressed au-
dience: one which never
really committed itself to the
theatrical experience. It seems
that we have become too used
to sitting in an audience view-
ing the players on stage. As a
result, to many, !SWE came on
a little too strong. Imagine
actors talking to you, laugh--


SIn West Indian Theatre

ing with you and touching
you! Maybe it will take some-
time for us to get used to
this, but this is not the way
it should be at all.
This type of total theatre
which demands audience in-
volvement should be natural
to the West Indian. But the
fact that we do not, now,
know how to respond~to this
type of experience reflects
the extent to whcih cultural
oppression has deprived us of
our true nature and has es-
tranged us from indigenous
art forms.


Because of this feeling of
discornFoitf o tli-e part i..'.ftie
audience many failed to re-
cognize subtleties in the pre-
sentation and worse than that,
much of the humor was
missed, and, when the audi-
ence did get the humor, the
response was more a chuckle
than a laugh strange re-
sponse, coming from Trini-
Saturday's experience also
drove home the greater power
of the spoken word over the
written word, in West Indian
culture. It would be impossi-
ble, for instance, to capture
the humor and vitality of
Robin Dobru's How God Mek
Ooman in black and white,
Barbara Jones' Chant of the
Blacks and Bongo Jerry's
Mabrak could never have the
same power and impact on
Finally, I would like to
comment on the possibilities
of a drama group such as
ISWE. It is a well known fact
that, as a people, we do not
like to read. This deficiency
in our national character
should suggest the first possi-
If we agree that oral inter-
pretation and dramatization
add richness to our literature,
and, if we further agree, that
we should be more exposed
to West Indian literature.
then the theatre can render
invaluable service in present-
ing West Indian poetry and
prose dramatically to the
public. This, of course, is
what ISWE has attempted to
do, but I am saying that more
of this is necessary.
Theatre in the West Indies
should become a vital medium
of information, education,
entertainment and involve-

ment. I further suggest that
we need more "roving com-
panies" to take dramatic pre-
sentations to the people. It is
all well and good to talk of
building a National Theatre,
but the people will still have
to come to it. Take drama,
therefore, to the people. A
roving company can easily
cover the entire country in a
few months.
This, however, will call
for seriousness, dedication and
commitment, but I have no
doubt, given the quality of
presentation "and the pointed
ness of selection that was
evidenced on Saturday even-

ing, that some of us are al-
ready seriously dedicated to
the arts and committed to
our people.


Lest I be misunderstood,
let me point out that I am not
suggesting that the concept
of total theatre or integrated
drama is new. European and
American artists have long
recognized the need for it and
if we trace the history of
drama we will find that it
developed from song and
dance probably associated

with religious -ritual.
At present "avant garde"
theatre in the metropolitan
countries certainly fosters
audience participation and on
the local scene, calypsonians
recognized the possibilities
of the dramatized calypso-
when they floored audiences
with a production of Lord
Nelson's Stella some years ago.
I am merely asserting,
here, that drama, which in-
volves other art forms and
relies on audience participa-
tion for additional strength,
will be more meaningful to us
and certainly it will be true.'
to our own life experience.



Power to the People
Tapia's New World
Tapia Back Numbers
Tapia Constitution
Democracy or Oligarchy? C.V. Gocking
Reform of the Public Service Denis Solomon
Foreign Investment In T and T Mc Intyre & Watson
Central Banking C. Y. Thomas
Non-Bank Financial Institutions M. Odle
Foreign Capital in Jamaica Norman Girvan
Post War Economic Development
of Jamaica O. Jefferson
Underdevelopment and
Dependence ed Norman Girvan)
Persistent Poverty George Beckford
Readings in The Political Economy
of the Caribbean N. Girvan & O. Jefferson
Political Economy of the English
Speaking Caribbean W. Demas
The Dynamics of W.I. Economic
Integration Brewster & Thomas
The Adjustment of Displaced
Workers In A Labour Surplus
Economy Roy Thomas
The Integrated Theory of
Development Assistance Davidson L. Budhoo
Cuba Since 1959 James Millette
Caribbean Community (CARIFTA)
The Caribbean Community
- A Gruiae -(CAR 1COM)

'apia ho -. 8f-8. St. Vincent St. Tunapuna, Trinidad & Tobago.

Phone: 662-5126

$ 3.60










A review of.ISWE's presenta-
tion "Tanti go see we" by
Bhoendradatt Tewarie.



Photos by

Sam Bajnauth

members and friends had
two glorious opportunities
for coming together and
enjoying themselves.
Last Saturday nite the
Tapia House provided an
idyllic setting for the pre-
sentation by the ISWE
group of their dramatisa-
tions of Caribbean Writing
entitled "Tanti go see we".
Their presentation was
part of the new series of
Community Open House
presentations which has
been bringing large crowds
to the Tapia House on
The following day the
Bar-b-que and all day Fete
organised by Tapia as part
of its-current fund raising
drive took place at the
home of Asst. Secretary
Paula Williams.
With music supplied
by the Echo Harps Steel-
band and a D.J. and with
food tasting as only Paula's
food can taste, all those
presenthad a wail of a time.


lirs. Andre. Talbutt,
research Institute for
Study of Ian,
162, -East 78th Si1eetl
N YE YORK, i*.Y. 621'
Ph. Lehigh 5 3448,
U. S .A.



Ruthven Baptiste

THE appointment of
Clive Lloyd as Captain
must come as a surprise
to many people. To
change a winning captain
must have come after
hard even tortured deli-
beration on the part of
the West Indies Cricket
Board of Control. Tor-
tured because the Board
has come under such
severe criticism over the
years sometimes justi-
fiably and at other times
unjustifiably that it
hesitated when positive
action was required.
For the coming tour of
India, the widespread feeling
after the Oval Test has been
that new blood should be
brought in on that tour. But
how do you tell a cricketer of
Kanhfs stature who is not
yet over the hill and who has
led the WI out of those exas-
perating years (1968/73) that
it is time for a younger man
to run the show? It hard but
The continued presence of
Kanhai and Sobers whose

Team to visit

turtle grounds

at Matura

MEMBERS of the Tapia
House shall be visiting the
nesting grounds of Paria and
Matura over the long Whitsun
weekend We leave the Tapia
House at 5.00 p.m. on Satur-
day evening and the route
shall be along the EMR
through Valencia onto Matura.
The entire night shall be
spent patrolling the beach
warning hunters of the closed
season which begins that very
Sunday morning
members shall travel by bus
to Matelot from where the
trek to Paria shall begin.
"' Sunday night should find us
camping out at Paria beach.
Early next morning we
shall leave for Las Cuevas
where the trip back home
shall be by the evening bus.
Any person interested in
coming along can call the
Tapia House at 662-5126.
If you own a-car and have
room for folks going to
Matura please let us know.


extraordinary careers have
extended over two decades
must now be obstructing the
emergence of a new genera-
tion players of whom Rowe
and Kallicharan are only the
cream of the crop.
Certainly both Sobers and
Kanhai will be great player
well into their forties as Grave-
ney for example. Their pre-
sence on the team may have
the illeffect on West Indian
batting that Hall and Griffith
had on our fast bowling.
In the West Indies the
prospect of playing for the
WI is the only thing which
keeps young players going.
There is no professional
league and there are good
reasons why there isn't.
Moreover, and for good
reasons too, the West Indies
isn't to us what England is to
the English or Australia is to
the Australians. All that's
left is the personal triumph
of representing theWest In-
dies and the personal acclaim
that flows from it.
That's why when we are
evenly matched on paper with
any of the other cricketing
nations we are not in fact
evenly matched and it is only
when we are overwhelmingly

stronger than our opponents
that we have been able to
achieve the desired results.
This is a fact that we have
not been able to face .squarely
and the depression that fol-
lowed our losing the final test
against England earlier this
year is, I suspect, evidence of
In 1950, the three W's,
Ramadhin and Valentine put
the outcome of that series
decidedly in our favour. In
the sixties every player in-
cluding the wicketkeeper was
a matchwinner.
In i957 when we just
a slight edge over the England
team of that time we were
convincingly beaten. This
year we were not able to beat
a significantly weaker English

Will the appointment of a
new captain suddenly make
the problems in our cricket
vanish? Certainly, it will not.
Worrell's success ss a captain
created the illusion that mere-
lyaa black man, competent
and selected on merit will
correct all ills.
Worrell's success as a cap-
tain arose because loyalty to
Frank substituted for national
pride and not even Sobers
and Kanhai, two extremely
knowledgeable and famous
players were able to evoke a
similar personal loyalty.
The cricket autobiogra-
phies of Kanhai, Gilchrist,
Hall and even Roy Marshall
who never played under Wor-
rel are replete with statements

Tapia CoL

that reflect a loyalty to Frank
rather than to the West Indies.
Clive Lloyd is unlikely to
command the moral authority
of a Frank Worrell :but his
dedication to the game will
set a high standard for th4
rest of the team to follow.
It is peculiar how images
can obscure the real picture
of a person. Lloyd has been
identified as a swashbuckling
carefree batsman and indeed
one can lay the charge against
him that in any situation he
seeks. to hit his way out of
trouble revealing doubts about
his assessment.
It is as a fieldsman that his
dedication and discipline can
be clearly seen, qualities
which, .if he can inject them
into the team, will serve the
West Indies in good stead.

Jncil of

THE Trinidad Theatre Work-
shop invites you to "Readings"
by Carolynn Reid-Wallace at
the Little Carib Theatre on
Thursday, May 30, and Fri-
day, May 31, at 8.30 p.m.
A Fullbright-Hays lecturer
in American Literature and
Modern Poetry at the Univer-
sity of Guyana, Dr. Reid-
Wallace performed briefly,
but with great impact, at the
USIS Library in Port of Spain
and on the St Augustine
Campus of the University of
the West Indies in March this


The Trinidad Theatre
Workshop is sponsoring Dr.
Reid-Wallace for a full-scale
performance here as part of
its active participation and
deepening involvement in the
Caribbean arts.
Carolynn Reid-Wallace
reads poetry, or dramatic
prose, with an astonishing
feel of rhythm and mood.
Her voice range is extra-
ordinary. She can move easily
from the weeping anguish of

Owen Dodson's "Black Mo-
ther Praying" to the religious
fervour of James Weldon
Johnson's "Go Down Death".


She is not merely a reader
of poetry. She is an interpret-
er of the metre, metaphor,
message, and spirit of modern
Tickets ($2) for her per-
formance are available from
the Singer Mall on 'Frederick

THE May meeting of Tapia's
Council of Representatives,
the first for the 1974-75
term, was held on Sunday
19th May at Santa Flora in
South Trinidadand was hosted
by Cynthia and Michael
Billy- Montague
The meeting, chaired by
Ivan Laughlin Community
Relations Secretary, heard
reports from Administrative
Secretary Allan Harris; Cam-
paign Manager,Michael Harris;
and a review of the political
situation by Secretary Lloyd

The Council accepted the
proposal that Raynauld Cripin
be appointed to the Executive
position of Warden and the
proposal by Mickey Matthews
of the Tapia Fyzabad Group
that a Tapia Assembly be
held in Fyzabad'on Sunday
July 7th 1974.
All Council members are
advised that the next Council
meeting will be held on Snu-
day 16th June at the residence
af Assistant Secretary Paula
Williams, UWI Field Station,
at 10.00 a.m.










i.t; :. i'

i. .t.