4'.. Photos by Rafael Rivera Rosa, Jorge Rodriguez Beruff, & Benjamin Torres Ortiz.

miles from the Court House. Paul
Bogle, a small freeholder, a black man
of note in his little circle, and a minister
of the native Baptist Church, deter-
mined to resist the officers. For this
purpose he organized a small company
of laborers from the neighboring
estates, and officered them by
freeholders. At a court held on
Saturday, the seventh of October, some
disturbance arose. A man was arrested,
and subsequently rescued from the
police, who were beaten, and forced to
retreat. The following Monday the
police went to arrest the rioters, but
were again attacked and repulsed.
Three of their number were made
prisoners, and released upon taking the
oath to "join their color, and cleave to
the blacks." Threats were uttered by
the rioters of their intention of going to
the Bay to kill all the white men and all
the blacks who would not join them.
When the Custos, Baron Ketelhodt,
heard of this, he ordered a volunteer
company to be present at the vestry the
following day, and sent to Governor
Eyre for troops.
On the 11th of October the vestry
assembled at the Court House, and
proceeded with their regular business
for several hours without interruption.
Some of the members, anticipating no
disturbance, had left for home, when,
at three o'clock in the afternoon, an
alarm was given that a crowd of
negroes were coming. It was a mob of
two or three hundred men, women, and
children armed with clubs, stones, and
machettes- an implement resembling a
cutlass, and used in cutting canes. They
approached the Court House and
commenced an attack by throwing
stones. The soldiers who were stationed
around the building fired a volley and
killed several persons, when the mob
retreated, but seeing the troops
defenseless rushed in and overpowered
them before they could reload. The
troops broke; a few retreated into the
Court House the rest were lost in the

crowd. A fight then commenced, which
lasted several hours. Suddenly a cry
was heard, "Go and fetch fire! Burn
the brutes out! If we don't we will not
manage the volunteers and Buckra." A
school-house near by was fired the
flames spread to the roof of the Court
House. The inmates fled; one or two
made their escape, but the greater
portion were overtaken by the mob,
and brutally beaten until long after life
was extinct. The next morning a crowd
of negroes were gathered about the
physician. Dr. Major, who was caring
for their wounded, when an armed
cutter, with 100 regulars from
Kingston, appeared in sight. The
terrified negroes fled, leaving the doctor
the only man on the shore to receive the
troops. Most of the negroes had
,returned to their homes, but some had
fled eastward, where they were joined
by others from the estates. They
plundered the houses of planters, broke
open stores, stole property of every
description, drank all the rum they
could find, and killed a few white
planters who were especially hated by
their laborers. The disturbance lasted
three or four days, the rioters moving
slowly eastward from Morant Bay to
Elmwood, a distance of thirty miles.
They did not' spread westward, but
confined their fury to the sugar estates
on and near the Plantain Garden River
District. Not a woman or child was
injured, nor a single house burned. The
same day Governor Eyre received
information of the massacre. He im-
mediately ordered troops by water to
Port Antonio, and sent others across
the mountains to hem in the insurgents
at the various gaps and passes. These
movements were well planned and
promptly executed. No resistance was
anywhere offered to the soldiers. The
frightened multitude fled at their
approach; yet, as soon as the troops
arrived at their several stations, they
commenced indiscriminately whipping
and killing men and women, burning

houses, ravaging the country,
sometimes under the direction of courts
martial, often without. The inhabitants
of the island, colored as well as white,
terrified lest the insurrection should
spread over the island, urged on the
soldiers in their work of destruction
until their barbarity and inhumanity
exceeded that of the negro mob.
Governor Eyre, though he had no
direct control over the troops, advised
their movements, and knew and ap-
proved of their operations. The cooler
judgment of those removed from the
scene of action is that the soldiers and
police, with such aid as would have
been rendered, could have repressed
the revolt, arrested the ringleaders, and
delivered them to the proper tribunal
for trial and punishment. The
execution of justice by the ordinary civil
tribunals would have made a more
powerful impression on the negro than
the inhuman treatment he received,
and the cruelties he witnessed,
betraying as they did the terror of the
white man. But this is not the view of
the people of Jamaica, either then or

A stranger, unacquainted with life in
Jamaica, does not appreciate the
immense disproportion of the white to
the black population ; -- the distance
which separates one family from
another, and the insufficiency of the
military force for their protection. He
cannot understand the terror which
made the people think measures
prompt and energetic, which were only
cruel and barbarous. The writer of this
Article rode with his party for some
weeks daily among the St. Andrews
mountains, only three or four months
after the insurrection. The women and
children watched for our coming and at
the first sound of approaching horses
rushed to the roadside to exchange a
pleasant greeting. "Good day, massa!
Good morning, sweet missus," were
their salutations, while they dropped at
the same time a short, quick, spasmodic

little courtesy, and looked up with glad
faces, and a brilliant display of ivories.
We traveled through the mountains of
Port Royal, and the high lands of St.
Ann's. Here we missed the welcome 9Q
familiar faces, though our greeting was
always cordially and cheerfully an-
swered. We entered the houses, begged
a drink of cocoanut water, or a sweet
orange, inquired into the mysteries of
cassava bread making; and examined
into the simple and homely domestic
arrangements. So on leaving Kingston
for Morant Bay, and driving along the
sea-coast, we noticed no especial dif-
ference in the appearance of the people
until we crossed the Yallahs, a river a
few miles west of the Morant. Here we
were struck at once by the scowling
face, the sullen, averted look, or the
angry, defiant gaze of the women; we
realized that we were among those who
had suffered bitter wrongs, who had
neither forgotten nor forgiven injustice
and cruelty, and whose muttered words
seemed to threaten vengeance on every
white man and woman. We visited also
the houses of the planters in the
neighborhood which had been pillaged
by a furious mob, and to which the
owners had just dared to return. We
saw marks of the machette on the
windows, walls, and furniture. We
heard accounts from the planters of
their escape in the darkness, while the
yells and shouts of the savages sounded
but a few yards from their flying
footsteps; of mothers, with young
infants and sick children, spending
days and nights in the bush, in heavy
rains, without food, not knowing where
to seek for shelter. We spent several
days with one who was himself in the
Court House at the time of the attack
and massacre, and whose life was
spared because he was a surgeon and
physician, and the blacks had need of

him. The horrors of that scene, and the
terrors of the few succeeding days we
would not repeat if we could. It is
sufficient that we hardly needed the

Caribbean Review
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Permanent Link: http://ufdc.ufl.edu/UF00095576/00016
 Material Information
Title: Caribbean Review
Physical Description: Serial
Language: English
Creator: Latin American and Caribbean Center, Florida International University
Publisher: Latin American and Caribbean Center, Florida International University
Place of Publication: Miami, FL
Publication Date: 1971
Copyright Date: 1980
Genre: serial   ( sobekcm )
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Full Text

WALDEN, N. Y. 12586

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Address Correction

Published Quarterly at: 180 Hostos, B-902, Hato Rey, Puerto Rico 00918

Summer 1971, Vol. 3, No. 2

Rro Piedras, Puerto Rico. Photo by Alicia Femrnndez.


In this issue...

The New Caribbean History, by Anthony P. Maingot. Caribbean
intellectuals will have to reconcile ethnic-racial perspectives with a
class view of society according to Trinidadian Tony Maingot. Here
he examines how effective the just-published From Columbus to
Castro works by ex-Dominican President Juan Bosch and by
present Trinidad and Tobago Prime Minister Eric Williams
reconcile these perspectives. The author directs the Antilles
Research Program at Yale. Page Two

A far cry from Africa, by Derek Valcott. West Indian poet Derek
Walcott offers a poem about a conflict of heritages. Page Four

Slae'.s As People. by Melvin Drimmer. The vision of the slave as
sambo Iwidely held b) the comparative slavery writers such as
Elkins and Genovesel is attacked as incorrect. The author appeals
to us to see the creative role of blacks in their own destiny. Melvin
Drimmer has written Black History: A Reappraisal iDoubleday,
19681. Page Five

Toussaint Breda. by John Hawes. Author John Hawes presents
here a chapter from his forthcoming work on the life of Toussaint,
the Haitian revolutionary. This chapter deals with Toussaint's life
on the Breda plantation before he emerged as a hero. John Hawes is
also working on a life of Juarez and is the author of "The Islander"
column which ran in The Island Times. Page Six

The Ruin of Jamaica, by Gardiner Greene Hubbard. In this 1867
review of eight books, Gardiner Greene Hubbard discusses the
attempts by the Jamaica planter class to keep former slaves under
subjection, much to the detriment of their island. Page Eight

Wagenheim s Profile of Puerto Rico, by Gordon Lewis. British
expatriate Gordon Lewis asks how close an American can come to
understanding Puerto Rico in this review of Kal Wagenheim's
Puerto Rico: A Profile. Lewis, himself an author of a book on
Puerto Rico, has also written books on the West Indies and on the
Virgin Islands. He is currently writing on race relations in England
and preparing an anthology of his essays on English political
thought. Page Eleven

Bread and Roses, by Mela Pons de Alegr(a. The state of con-
temporary Cuban graphic arts is examined in this review of The Art
of Revolution, a collection of 96 Cuban posters. Mela Pons de
Alegria teaches art appreciation at the University of Puerto Rico. She
has designed several expositions for the Puerto Rican Institute of
Culture as well as illustrated various books. Page Thirteen

Chile's Past Malaise?' by Louis Wolf Goodman. A Yale sociologist
analyzes two books on Chilean development and asks whether
Chile's new president, Salvador Allende, will be able to avoid that
country's traditional malaise. Page Fourteen

Recent Books, by Neida Pagan. Caribbean Review continues to
introduce its readers to new books about the Caribbean, Latin
America, and their emigrant groups. Page Fifteen


Summer 1971

It is a pleasure to announce the
appointment of three new people
to the o'staff" of Caribbean
Victor Luis Diaz Rivera, 22, is
the new art director. While he has
promised to allow me to still fool
around with the layout his veto
will assure that our pages
maintain the same clean look for
which they have been recognized.
Victor Diaz is a commercial artist
working with the Ernie Potvin
Design Studio in San Juan.
Neida Pagan Jimenez, 25, is
the new bibliographer. Hopefully
her presence with this magazine
will assure that our Recent Books
listing will include an even greater
representation of books about the
Caribbean and Latin America
that are published in languages
other than English. She is the
librarian for the Institute of
Caribbean Studies of the
University of Puerto Rico.
Adela G. Lopez Martinez, 21,
is the" Spanish translator. Her
efforts will allow us even more
liberty to publish articles and
excerpts originally written in
Spanish. She is a student at the
University of Puerto Rico.
Please note our new address. o
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Summer 1971, Vol. 3, No. 2
Editor: Barry B. Levine
Art Director: Victor Luis Diaz
Bibliographer: Neida Pagan
Translator: Adela G. Lopez
Caribbean Review, a books-oriented
quarterly journal, is published by
Caribbean Review, Inc., a non-profit
corporation. Mailing address: 180 Hostos,
B-902, Hato Rey, Puerto Rico, 00918.
Caribbean Review is listed in Abstracts of
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companied by a self-addressed stamped

BEAN 1492 1969. Eric Williams.
579 pp. Andre Deutsch, Ltd., London,
1970. 4.50 p. Harper 8c Row, $10.95.
TERA IMPERIAL. Juan Bosch. 738
pp. Ediciones Alfaguara, Madrid,
1970. $7.95.

One of the major tasks facing
I Caribbean intellectuals is the recon-
ciliation of two distinct ways of looking
at their society, i. e., through ethnic or
racial identifications, or through social
class identifications. In much of the
work done in the area these two views
tend to be mutually exclusive. You can
have one only at the expense of the
other. The matter has no easy
The Puerto Rican independentista,
as he strives to reassert his Hispanic
identity as a counterbalance to North
American cultural imperialism, makes
the distance between him and the
British Caribbean even greater. The
Black Power advocate in Trinidad or
Guyana who stresses his race and origin
as a counterweight to white Western
cultural domination widens the gap
between himself and both the equally
disadvantaged East Indian sector and
the economically disadvantaged
Dominicans, Cubans and Puerto
Ricans. In short, as more and more
emphasis is placed on racial, ethnic or
religious sources of identification cross
national identifications along objective
class lines become more difficult. Thus
divided the Caribbean peoples pursue
the comforts derived from their unique
and particular cultural and ethnic
concepts and institutions only to their
long-range 'political and economic
detriment. Unfortunately the activities
of the internal minorities and the ex-
ternal forces who share throughout the
area, and indeed the world, a similar.
attitude towards their real class in-
terests, are not stopped.
To reconcile these two views a new
version of Caribbean history is in fact
being written. The new history at-
tempts to provide the Caribbean
masses with a true picture of their past
as one means of integrating their own
sense of identity, worth, and purpose,
and at the same time make them aware
of the objective conditions they share
with their counterparts throughout the
area. The new Caribbean historian
searches for the truly structural
characteristics, social and economic, of
the area.
If ever there were two men who, on
the face of it, would be in a position to
do the job, they would be the scholars
Juan Bosch and Eric Williams.
Williams Trinidadian, Oxford trained
historian, statesman, teacher in the
United States, official of the Caribbean
Commission (a defunct colonial entity
at one time located in Puerto Rico), a
researcher whose interest in the
Caribbean has led him to virtually
every major archive in the area, the
U.S., and Europe is a man whose
study accurately reflects his scholarship
and his Caribbean-wide vision. Bosch -
Dominican statesman, exiled for years
in the Cuba of Prio Socarras, the Costa
Rica of Jose Figueres, the Venezuela of
Romulo Betancourt and more recently
the archives of Spain is a self-made
man, with this book establishing
himself as a scholar of Caribbean-wide
The titles of their new books, "From
Columbus to Castro," not surprisingly
arose by "spontaneous generation"
from the experiences and visions of

these two Caribbean intellectuals.
Their own political careers are the
living proof of the need to reconcile the
awareness of ethnicity with an
awareness that in the Caribbean the
masses share a common social,
economic, and political condition. To
this condition, and to those interests
wishing to maintain it, the area needs to
present a unified opposition.
But, if there are some parallels
between the Caribbean experiences of
the authors, the similarity between
these books ends with the identical
titles and the fact that neither author
footnotes or cites the sources of his
data. Not that the differences are
merely matters of geography or
historical emphasis. These, to be sure,
exist. No British West Indian author
today would assert that the Bahamas
are not historically, politically,
culturally or economically part of the
Caribbean; nor would he call Trinidad
and Tobago and Barbados
"republics;" nor would he leave the

three Guianas out of his geographical
and historical definition of the
Caribbean as Bosch does. No Hispano-
Caribbeanist would write, "The Platt
Amendment,. . was to govern
American relations with Cuba down to
the advent of Fidel Castro. .;" nor
would he accept the interpretation that
"The Castro Revolution in 1958 was a
belated attempt to catch up with the
nationalist movement in the rest of the
Caribbean." Both are in Williams'
work. The real difference between the
books, however, lies in their focus and
Bosch sees the Caribbean as a major
imperial frontier, and sets out to
describe the European events which
have a direct bearing on conditions and
events in the frontier area. He writes
from a Spanish point of view justified,
as he tells us, because this was a
Spanish frontier which others were
determined to rip apart and conquer.
Over half the book is spent on the
period up to the Peace of Paris (1763).
All major imperial military campaigns
are described in detail, complemented
by very insightful treatments of "in-
ternal" violence against the imperialists
by Indians, black slaves, and later, free
men. In essence, Bosch writes in a vein
which in British Caribbean scholarly
circles is no longer acceptable the
Caribbean seen as an extension of
European history.
Williams, on the other hand, spends
little time on European political and

Uby Anthony P. Maingot I
military doings, but rather speedily
plunges into a meaty and engrossing
treatment of Caribbean social and
economic history. His knowledge of the
economics of the plantation Caribbean
is nothing short of overwhelming.
If Bosch's study is littered with the
tortured bodies of slaves, Indians,
rebels, pirates, corsairs and the
decapitated ones of .erstwhile leaders,
Williams' study is littered with the
balance sheets of slave traders, in-
vestment houses and sugar plantations.
While granting that the history of the
Caribbean is the history of both,
Williams presents us with that part of
the Caribbean past which is especially
relevant for the area today. A few
points will suffice to illustrate the
At a time when Spain considered its
Caribbean possessions "islas inutiles,"
as Bosch correctly notes, Barbados,
according to Williams, was "the most
important single colony in the British
Empire" (p. 142). As Bosch provides a

detailed account of fillibuster and
baccaneer life, Williams is more in-
terested in demonstrating how, by the
17th century, the Caribbean Sea had
become "virtually a Dutch canal. ."
with all its economic implications (p.
157). While Bosch is still describing the
doings of corsairs, buccaneers and
pirates, Williams tells us that Jean
Babtiste Colbert, French Minister of
the Marine, had become "the architect
and symbol of the seventeenth-century
colonial system" (p. 159). It is not
surprising that Colbert is not men-
tioned even in passing by Bosch.
Similarly, Bosch notes that the Spanish
- (Cuban) American War of 1898
signaled the entry of the U.S. into the
Caribbean as an "empire." Williams'
analysis of the Yankee trading circles
illustrates how the New Englanders
had already entrenched themselves
economically in the area by the second
half of the 17th century. American
economic interests in the Caribbean
antedates by over two centuries their
military and political designs on it. The
economic frontier consistently an-
ticipates the military-political one.
Williams does not waste much time
in getting to the point regarding
Caribben "internal" history. By page
25 Williams brings Caribbean history
into focus by noting the main features
already present in 1520: subsidies
from and protection by the state;
concentration of ownership; all
productive activity for export and an

The New

Caribbean History

I-rom the cover design ofr I ne rrenistory of the I ehucan Valley,
Vol. 3: Ceramics.' U. of Texas Press, 1971, $15.00.

Summer 1971 A 3

abandonment of the domestic market.
The central concern had already
become the question of insuring a
stable market.
We have the paradox, therefore, that
while Bosch's intent throughout is
revolutionary, (in a sense this work is
the historical treatise complementary to
his two recent pieces Pentagonismo,
1967, and Dictadura con respaldo
popular, 1969), his approach and
method are traditional. On the other
hand, in his successful attempt at
producing a major historical work,
Williams' intent is traditional; his
method and approach are radical,
similar, in fact, to the approach of his
Capitalism and Slavery (1944), one of
the most influential pieces of
scholarship in Caribbean history.
It is because Bosch has the most
pronounced (though implicit)
revolutionary thrust that one does well
to probe into the intellectual structure
of his arguments. And there are
weaknesses. Bosch has a way of
describing the behavior of various
actors and sectors in an excessively
mechanistic fashion: all petit bourgeois
members behave the way petit
bourgeois are supposed to behave; all
upper class members behave as their
class is supposed to behave; the success
or failure of any movement is nearly
always attributed to the particular class
origins of its leaders; all leaders who
spring from the people fight for the
people, all those who spring from the
bourgeoisie or aristocracy have ulterior
motives when they take up the cause of
the people. This deterministic focus
leads Bosch to the creation of a few new
myths. The bloodthirsty Jose Boves,
formidable leader of the Royalist
cavalry in the Venezuelan Wars of
Independence, becomes a new hero on
the grounds that his followers were the
rural mulatto and mestizo llaneros.
Bolivar's motives, on the other hand,
are suspect; true popular leadership
could not come from a member of the
mantuano class to which he belonged.
Nowhere does Bosch tell us that Boves'
real name was Jose Tomnas Bobes y de
la Iglesia, that he was a white Asturian
of considerable education and some
economic status before he took up the
Royalist cause or rather the cause of
pillage and sadistic cruelty a veritable
"monster of cruelty" as the Spanish
historian Salvador de Madariaga called
him. It is ludicrous for Bosch to try and
include him in the pantheon of popular
Caribbean heroes which includes the
likes of Cesar Agusto Sandino, Jose
Marti, and Toussaint L'Ouverture.
It is crude determinism which in-
variably weakens Bosch's attempts at
explanation. Consequently there is no
explanation, or in fact description, of
why Henri Christophe, King of the
Northern part of Haiti and an ex-slave,
maintained the large latifundia with its
harsh labor routine and discipline,
while Alexander Petion, prominent
member of the mulattre class and
President of the Republican South,
carried out one of the most radical land
reforms in recorded history to that
time. Petion, by the critical assistance
he provided Bolivar and the cause of
Spanish American independence, on
condition that the slaves of the
Mainland be liberated, was a
revolutionary figure in a way
Christophe never was. Origin of birth is
only one of the variables involved in the
making of a revolutionary.
The fact is that Marx was always
aware of the revolutionary role that
dissident and disaffected members of
the bourgeoisie could play. The history
of the Caribbean is repleat of cases

which confirm the validity of Marx'
view. How else then to explain the
divergent historical roles of a Fulgencio
Batista, mulatto, lower class from rural
Oriente, and a Fidel Castro, white,
upper class from rural Oriente? Social
and revolutionary movements are to be
explained through the social and
economic contradictions existing within
a society. The timing of exact acts and
the behavior of particular individuals
are not quite as readily explained nor
indeed predictable.
Similarly, Bosch's idea that the
Haitian Revolution embodied every
idea Marx ever had of revolution is
surprising. Bosch notes that this is
limited to the struggle stage since af-
terwards the Haitian revolution would
be something else than Marxist, "but
up to the moment of gaining power any
student of Marx can find all the ideas of
Marx converted into actions" (p. 400).
One wonders why Marx, who knew the
history of the French Revolution well
and should certainly have known about
the Haitian Revolution, never men-
tioned Haiti in any of his major works.
Naturally, once accepting this in-
terpretation of things, it is only logical
to extend the analogy one step further,
and indeed Bosch does not make us
wait long. One hundred and sixty years
later, he notes, what had happened in
Haiti would be repeated in Cuba and it
would not be a fortuitous repetition.
"The Cuban Revolution of Fidel
Castro would historically be a daughter
of the Haitian Revolution" (p. 411).
Unfortunately Bosch's treatment of the
Cuban Revolution is limited to an
analysis of the Bay of Pigs invasion and
combat. The statement, thus, must be
judged on exterior evidence or deduced
from Bosch's central thesis.
The Caribbean, according to Bosch,
is a unit shaped by one major historical
phenomenon, imperialism. This
imperialism had one common source
and thus one common impact in the
Caribbean. "Logically, therefore, no
country of the Caribbean can be seen

isolated from the rest" (p. 20). To
Bosch the only way to confront this
imperialism throughout the Caribbean
is with revolution. But the question is,
does Bosch's thesis of the imperial
frontier provide a sufficient and
necessary explanation of the
revolutions of the Caribbean -- even as
described by Bosch himself? The
answer is no. Let us cite but one case,
the history of Cuba during the 19th
"No country in the Caribbean has
had an historical process similar to that
of Cuba. The wars in Haiti were
provoked directly by the French
Revolution; the wars in Venezuela and
Nueva Granada by the Napoleonic
intervention in Spain; the in-
dependence in Central America was a
by-product of the wars in Venezuela,
Nueva Granada and Mexico; all the
events which resulted from the French
Revolution influenced the birth of the
Dominican Republic. But the case of
Cuba was and has continued to be
different .... Cuba became the source
of its own historical acts, something
singular in the Caribbean." (pp. 593-
Why should Fidel Castro's revolution
be a daughter of the Haitian
Revolution when Cuba's history of
struggles up to then responded to
unique internal socio-economic con-
tradictions? Part of the explanation lies
in a methodological confusion in the
structure of the book.
First, there is Bosch's statement that
"This book is designed to be exclusively
an account of the imperial aggressions
produced in the Caribbean" (p. 32).
Thus in describing the Haitian
Revolution Bosch notes that the
phenomenon of the social displacement
of one group in Haiti "corresponds to
what we can call the private history of
Haiti" and therefore had no place in
the book (p. 417). Similarly, in his
discussion of the Wars of Independence
of Nueva Granada, Bosch suddenly
stops to announce that "in any case,

given the fact that these struggles were
internal there is no place in this book to
describe them; . ." (p. 486).
So that, by fiat, historica privada"
and "luchas internal" have no place in
Bosch's work. The problem is that
nowhere is the reader told where
"internal history" ends and "imperial
history" begins. The two are very
difficult to separate. Fortunately, not
only does Bosch depart from this
methodological stricture, but the best
parts of the book are precisely those
where he does depart from his stated
aim; for example as in the description
of the internal social-structural con-
ditions which were conducive to Cuba's
revolutions during the 19th century.
There is, therefore, an intrinsic
weakness to Bosch's definition of
"imperialism." The military conquest
and aggression aspects of imperialism
are only the tip of the iceberg, the real
form embodies the enduring "internal"
consequences of that structure:
distorted colonial economies, ethnic
groups divided against each other,
intellectuals with Metropolitan views
and ambitions, societies which in the
end are tossed into the trash bins of
history once their usefulness to the
Metropolis has come to an end. And
imperialism came under many different
forms and guises. Bosch's overriding
anti-Americanism often distorts his
view of that fact. Spain, he asserts, was
not an imperial power since it did not
have the one social ingredient necessary
for such a role: a national bourgeoisie.
Time and again he repeats this
assertion without ever fully explaining
why a national bourgeoisie is essential
for imperial colonization. It brings to
mind the contemporary role of Portugal
in Africa; can anyone claim that that is
not an imperial colonization? Yet few
would claim that Portugal's weak and
underdeveloped national bourgeoisie is
the crucial factor in that imperialist
venture. Portuguese imperialism, like
Spanish imperialism before it, is a state-
administered enterprise which responds

'Venceremos' Cuban engraving, 6'6" by 3'. Photo by Rivera, Rodrlguez, & Torres.


Summer 1971

to the interests of the social and
economic elites which run that country.
Because Bosch attempts on the one
hand to provide, a Marxist in-
terpretation of events, and on the other
hand to leave out "internal" history,
the results of his study are blurry. With
the exception of the analysis of Cuba
there is little effort at social history. But
surely Bosch must understand that, if
one concludes, as he does, that the
history of decolonization and liberation
in the Caribbean in the past as in the
present and future has been, is, and will
be achieved only through revolutionary
violence, something more than an
analysis of battles and conflicts is
necessary. First an understanding of
the elements and sources of the an-
tithetical forces in each island and in
the area as a whole is necessary. Then
one must gain through analysis, a
better understanding of the structure,
measuring the true depth of conflict;
and on the basis of this analysis, one
must come to grips with the real social
configurations of Caribbean society.
Only then can one project revolutionary
action, violent or non-violent. The
continual reaction to national or ethnic
sentiments is often followed by
romantic political actions easily
subverted or crushed by the Empire.
The task is to move out of the era of
social-psychology and into the era of
true and hard-nosed social con-
Williams' treatise on the other hand
consistently reveals how and why a

given political or constitutional act in
the Caribbean hardly ever has its
expected social and economic com-
plement. To win a military battle was
rarely to win the social war. The
passing of slavery in Haiti and then in
the West Indies meant the dawn of a
new era of slavery in Brazil and Cuba.
Metropolitan interests were hardly
affected by Abolition in the British
West Indies: England adopted a free
trade policy in 1852 to so become the
largest single market for slave-
produced sugar, against which the free
labor-produced sugar could not
compete. In the same way, the decline
of the sugar economies of Haiti and the
British West Indies signaled a new era
of sugar latifundismo in the Caribbean,
the beginnings of the industrialization
of the colonial crop.
Wateisheds for one island rarely
meant the same for the rest of the
islands; somehow historical lessons, no
matter how heroic, were lost as each
Caribbean people seemed determined
to go through the same historical
process. Characterized by the same
colonial structures and competing for
the same metropolitan markets, the
problems and travails of one meant the
profit of the other. It was so in the past,
it is so today; witness the redistribution
of the American sugar quota following
the cutting off of the Cuban share!
Williams' study honestly faces this
fundamental economic issue of the
Caribbean and his candidness is
chillingly stark. Commenting on Rene'

Dumont's suggestion that Cuba should
diversify its economy and seek a
broader market in the Caribbean area,
Williams does not beat around the
bush: "But Trinidad and Tobago,
producing sugar, ammonia, petroleum,
garments, condensed milk and other
products complementing Cuba's, could
hardly be expected to surrender its
independent development of its own
economy in order to be a dumping
ground for Cuba's products and allow
Castro to be the sugar bowl of the
Caribbean." (p. 497) The vision of a
Cuba capable of producing ten million
tons of sugar annually is not one the
present Caribbean leadership relishes
nor could their island economies long
withstand it.
If the "Castro" cut-off point for both
studies implies a sort of Caribbean
domino theory that events in Cuba
will eventually materialize elsewhere -
the very historical treatments of both
authors show that to be a myth. The
international demonstration effect of
social acts,is a double-edged sword, as
Che Guevara noted in 1961. The
Cuban Revolution, like the Haitian
Revolution before it, provided hope
and stimulus to some and a lesson in
prevention to others. Revolution, both
in the Caribbean and in Latin America
has, in fact, been made more difficult.
For one, both areas, in a sense, have
been "Vietnamized."
Both authors aspire to final
liberation, i. e., the matching of
economic to political independence. It
is difficult, however, to see any concrete
similarities beyond that in what these
authors project for the future. Bosch
implicitly projects a future of struggles
similar to those of the past four cen-
turies; the Bay of Pigs symbolizes the
first major victory against the
American frontier. But, aside from the
constant allusions to the benefits of
socialism, there are no other indications
as to the kind of program or form those
battles will take. Bosch, therefore,
makes no contribution to the so direly
needed discussion of the reconciliation
of racial and ethnic movements and
"identities" with broader social ones in
the area. Despite his Sorelian concern
with violence, nowhere does Bosch's
analysis reach the level of theoretical
sophistication of Frantz Fanon, a
Caribbean scholar who saw in violence
the necessary "cleansing" process to
psychological decolonization. Bosch, in
fact, does not even mention Fanon.
Williams' projection is more complex
and forms the most complete discussion
of possible Caribbean futures available.
As such his work will be of invaluable
help in contemporary debates over
alternate paths to development and
integration. It is in the last two chapters
on "Castroism" and "The Future of
the Caribbean" that Williams, the
scholar, complements Williams, the
statesman. Three competing models are
discussed: the Puerto Rican type of
industrialization for the United States
market, the Cuban model, and the
Trinidad and Tobago model, "a path
less revolutionary and more
gradualistic, and less totalitarian and
more democratic than the Cuban path,
but more autonomous and ultimately
self-reliant than the Puerto Rican one"
(p. 511). Williams projects this model
only for the Commonwealth Carib-
bean, noting that it is not possible to
sketch at this time what the
relationship will be towards the rest of
the area. But what about the rest of the
area then? Williams' analysis loses
some of its sharp focus on this score. On
the one hand he asserts that integration
makes necessary looser ties between
France and its departments in the

Caribbean, on the other he visualizes
"true" integration without Puerto Rico
which he sees irremediably ( a fait
accompli he calls it) moving toward
closer ties with the U.S. (pp. 511, 515).
Not that Williams seems happy over
this. "Economic growth has been
achieved (in Puerto Rico), but national
identity lost," he notes, adding, "What
shall it profit a country if it gain the
whole world and lose its own soul?"
What indeed!
It is clear that if Williams judges the
Cuban model to have resulted in
totalitarianism and advocates steps to
prevent its exportation, and opts the
Puerto Rican model out of the
Caribbean, one is left only with the
Trinidad and Tobago development
model as a viable alternative. Un-
fortunately, nowhere does he submit
that model to the kind of scrutiny given
the Cuban case. At no time could one
predict the April 1970 uprising in
Trinidad from Williams' study, for
while he is cautious, he nevertheless
gives the picture that the program is
viable and working. But the facts speak
differently. For instance, the Industrial
Development Corporation, the entity
which carries the burden of the Island's
development program, simply is not
meeting the needs of the island. In
1966 there were 79 enterprises assisted
by the IDC; these enterprises gave jobs
to a mere 1,758 persons; unem-
ployment stood at 48,700 and there
were 8,000 young people leaving school
that year. Since 1966 things have only
deteriorated. Unemployment in 1971 is
considerably higher than the 15 percent
cited by Williams and corruption in
higher circles has tended to demoralize
lower echelons of the civil service. In
short, the development program
Williams projects is not one which
Caribbean scholars interested in a new
approach to the area's future can
readily accept. It is not one, indeed,
which is sufficiently justified by the
very historical analysis of colonialism
which Williams has so masterfully
presented here.
On a more general plane, Williams
places the burden of future integration
on a "psychological revolution" (p.
512) taking place in each island; this
will lead to economic independence and
from that independence "the
development of a cultural identity will
involve them in even closer ties one
with another at economic and at other
levels" (p. 512). This is putting the cart
before the horse. Strongly developed
cultural identities, in the midst of
colonial social structures and neo-
colonial economic and market
situations is, of course, a tragic
possibility as much of tribal Africa
demonstrates. Williams is on record as
opposing this. It is unfortunate that the
very "model" he projects, the present
Trinidad and Tobago development
program, has so far resulted in
something approximating that.
Neither Bosch nor Williams has
meant these works to be vehicles
through which to convey their own
personal experiences as Caribbean
leaders. They have done this elsewhere,
(i. e. Bosch, La crisis de la democracia
de America en la Republica
Dominicana, 1964; Williams, In-
ward Hunger, 1968). But historical
consciousness is a three dimensional
phenomenon: the past, present and
future constantly interact to shape
one's vision. The two works, therefore,
are more than two histories by two
prominent Caribbean scholars, they are
also testimonials of the historical
consciousness of two great Caribbean
citizens. o

A far cry from Africa
by Derek Walcott

A wind is ruffling the tawny pelt
Of Africa. Kikuyu, quick as flies
Batten upon the bloodstreams of the veldt.
Corpses are scattered through a paradise.
But still the worm, colonel of carrion, cries:
'Waste no compassion on these separate dead'
Statistics justify and scholars seize
The salients of colonial policy.
What is that to the white child hacked in bed?
To savages, expendable as Jews?

Threshed out by beaters, the long rushes break
In a white dust of ibises whose cries
Have wheeled since civilization's dawn
From the parched river or beast-teeming plain;
The violence of beast on beast is read
As natural law, but upright man
Seeks his divinity with inflicting pain.

Delirious as these worried beasts, his wars
Dance to the tightened carcass of a drum,
While he calls courage still, that native dread
Of the white peace contracted by the dead.

Again brutish necessity wipes its hands
Upon the napkin of a dirty cause, again
A waste of our compassion, as with Spain.
The gorilla wrestles with the superman.

I who am poisoned with the blood of both,
Where shall I turn, divided to the vein?
I who have cursed
The drunken officer of British rule, how choose
Between this Africa and the English tongue I love?
Betray them both, or give back what they give?
How can I face such slaughter and be cool?
How can I turn from Africa and live?

S197I by John Figutem. From CARIBBEAN VOICES-AN AN.
HORIZONSl. Wmid by Jom gFrwo. PublhAd by Eva Brothwrs
Umtld. Ro.lntd by p-mlulon of k. FIguru.

Summer 1971


Slaves as


From the works of the students of
comparative slavery we are learning a
good deal about the world which the
slaveholders made, but very little of the
world which black people and
abolitionist sympathizers made. The
historians of comparative slavery have
given us the Sambo of Stanley Elkins
and the Nat Turner of Styron, but we
look in vain for real people. In their
writings, blacks are made objects, not
creators of history. They are faceless,
nameless, bloodless, called slaves or
sambos, whose only dreams were of
"catfish and watermelons" (Elkins) or
sexual fantasies (Styron). They have an
obsession, as do many whites, with
slavery but not slaves, of the oppressors
rather than the oppressed. Nowhere do
we have so much as an inkling that
black people existed except as
something called slaves.
Where is the Toussaint for whom
Wordsworth wrote a sonnet and Comte
placed on his new calendar as one of the
modern saints? Where is Henri
Christophe, Jean-Jacques Dessalines,
Andre Rigaud, Vincent Oge, George
Liele, Edward Blyden, Custavas Vassa,
Samuel Crowther, John Mensah
Sarbah, Richard Allen, Prince Hall,
James Varick, Daniel Coker, Benjamin
Banneker, Paul Cuffe, Frederick
Douglass, David Walker, Harriet
Tubman, Martin Delany, Robert
Purvis, Henry Highland Garnet,
Alexander Crummell, Denmark Vesey,
Gabriel Prosser, or Nat Turner.
But the works of the comparative
school have not only excluded blacks as
people, as actors, as makers of history.
They have also excluded its history. We
read about slavery in a historical
vacuum as if the institutions and thc
slaves lived in a timeless universe. Pick
up any book on life under slavery and
whether you come in at 1650 or 1750
or 1850, the narrative is the same.
There is no reference to the French or
American Revolutions. There is no
acknowledgement of the industrial
revolution, the Napoleonic Wars, the
abolitionist movements which were
everywhere in the hemisphere. There is
no indication that black people ever
knew what was going on in Haiti, or
America, or Brazil, or Jamaica, or
Africa. There is no tying together the
black diaspora. There is no reference to
Nat Turner ever having heard of Vesey
or Gabriel or Toussaint or David
Walker. There is no mention of the 600
Haitian soldiers who fought on the side
of the French in the American
Revolution, two of whom Henri
Christophe and Andre Rigaud, were
Toussaint's generals. There is no
mention of George Liele, who settled in
Jamaica after escaping with the British
from Georgia and who founded in
Jamaica the black Baptist church.
There is no mention of the American
black refugees who settled Sierra Leone
in the 1790's. There is no world beyond
the confines of the plantation.
The comparative slavery approach is
oblivious to the black revolution which
shook the nineteenth century. The
great movers were not the George
Fitzhughs, but the Frederick
Douglasses. It was the blacks in the
hemisphere, not as sambos or statistics
but as movers, and shakers, on which
comparative history should be focusing.
The movement for freedom engulfed

by Melvin Drimmer J
blacks and whites alike in the greatest
movement of the hemisphere. While we
have studies of comparative slavery in
the Americas we do not have one study
of comparative black rebellion or
abolition. The movement for black
freedom affected four continents.
DuBois' prophetic lines that "the
problem of the twentieth century is the
problem of the color line" was built on
his intimate knowledge of what the
nineteenth century had started and left
unfinished. The victory of the blacks in
abolition, throughout the countries of
the Americas, was in the long range the
opening battles of the twentieth century
against colonization, racism and the
exploitation of the metropolitan
countries. The task of the comparative
historian is to see this movement in the
light of new world history. For it was
the blacks of the hemisphere and the
issues which their slavery engendered
that brought down the government of
Brazil, the stablist government in Latin
America in the nineteenth century; that
brought the great Napoleon to his
knees in Haiti; that gave America the
opportunity to buy Louisiana; that
brought on the bloodiest war of the
nineteenth century, the American Civil

slave revolts, actual wars, took place in
Latin America; nothing on this order
occurred in the United States.
"Compared with the countless
uprisings of the Brazilian Negroes, the
slave revolts in our own country appear
rather desperate and futile. Only three
emerge as worthy of any note. . the
Nat Turner Rebellion was charac-
terized by little more than aimless
Elkins ended with the question he
asked himself when he began: why
were there no major slave revolts
comparable to Brazil in the United
States. But why did he choose slave
revolts as a criterion for black
resistance to the system? Why not a
great Civil War? Why not massive
sabotage? Why not a mighty
abolitionist movement that moved
millions on both sides of the Atlantic?
The evidence is there if he wanted to
use it. The Coronor's Court Report
from Concordia Parish, Lbuisiana in
the 1850's tells us much about the
black personality: "On Tuesday
morning the driver Bill came to me and
stated that Samuel had become un-
mangeable, was destroying cotton, that
he had ordered Samuel down to be
whipped, that Samuel then swore he
would not be whipped. Bill then told
him he would get the overseer. .. I then
asked Samuel if he had refused to get
down for punishment when the driver
ordered him, he answered at once, Yes,
by God, I did and I am not going to be
whipped by anybody, either black or

Engraving by Roland L. Richardson, Grand Cass, Saint Martin.

War, and freed millions. Martin
Delaney, in 1860, had called upon
blacks, like "every people... (to) be the
originators of their own designs, the
projectors of their own schemes, and
creators of the events that lead to their
destiny. ." The events of the
nineteenth century in the Americas
gave testimony,to Delaney's prophetic
Stanley Elkins, the progenitor of the
school of comparative slavery, cites
studies by Freyre, Tannenbaum and
others to explain the absence of great
slave rebellions in the United States.
Slaves in the United States were in-
capable with few exceptions of
mounting a major attack upon slavery.
Because of the rigid nature of American
race relations the black man was never
given the chance of playing a role, of
developing a personality which would
transform him into a rebel:
In Latin America, the "slave could
actually to an extent quite un-
thinkable in the United States -
conceive of himself as a rebel. Bloody

white. I told him to stop, as I allowed
no Negro to talk in that way and that
he knew that. I then ordered him to
throw down his hoe and get down, he
swore God damn him if he would... he
turned and ran off. I kept my horse
standing and called to the rest of the
hands to catch that boy, not one of
them paid the least attention to me but
kept on at their work. I then started
after Samuel myself. . he wheeled
around, with his raised hoe in both
hands and struck at me with his full
force. . his hoe descending I think
within one or two feet of my head. (I)
pulled my horse up, and drew my
pistol. Samuel was then standing with
his hoe raised. I fired across my bridle
arm when he fell."
Or let us read Frederick Olmstead's
report in A Journey in the Seaboard
Slave States on how blacks sabotaged
the system: "I saw. . gates left open
and bars left down, against standing
orders; rails removed from fences by
the Negroes, as was conjectured, to
kindle their fires with; mules lamed,

and implements broken, by careless
usage; a flat-boat carelessly secured,
going adrift on the river; men ordered
to cart rails for a new fence, depositing
them so that a double expense of labor
would be required to lay them, more
than would have been needed if they
had been placed, as they might almost
as easily have been, by a slight exercise
of forethought; men, ordered to fill up
holes made by alligators or crawfish in
an important embankment, discovered
to have merely patched over the out-
side, having taken pains only to make it
appear that they had executed their
task not having been overlooked
while doing it, by a driver; men, not
having performed duties that were
entrusted to them, making statements
which their owner was obliged to
receive as sufficient excuse, though, he
told us, he felt assured they were false -
all going to show habitual carelessness,
indolence, and mere eye-service."
Or let us hear the voice of John
Finnely, age 86, who told an in-
terviewer for the Federal Writers
Project of his escape from slavery: "De
War am started den for about a year, or
something' like dat, and de Federals am
north of us. I hears de niggers talk
about it, and about running' away to
freedom. I thinks and thinks about
getting' freedom, and I'se goin' run off.
Den I thinks of de patterrollers and
what happen if dey cotches me off de
place without de pass.
-"One night about ten niggers run
away. De next day we'uns hears
nothing so I says to myself, 'De pat-
terrollers don't catch dem.' Den I
makes up my mind to go and I leaves
with de chunk of meat and corn bread
and am on my way, half skeert to death
I sure has de eyes open and de ears
forward, watching' for de patterrollers. I
steps off de road in de night, at sight of
anything and in de day I takes to de
woods. It takes me two days to make
dat trip and just once de patters pass
me by. . De Yanks am camped near
Bellfound and dere's where I get to
Imagine my 'sprise when I finds all de
ten runaway niggers am dere too."
The Union Army was able to recruit
over 125,000 men from the slave south
during the war, many of them field
hands like John Finnely. Certainly we
might take any one of these categories
of common black people and make
them our criterion for black rebellion.
Orlando Patterson in his masterly
study of Jamaican slavery (The
Sociology of Slavery) never falls back
upon questionable analogies in ex-
plaining the causes of Jamaican slave
revolts. He found the reasons for revolt
in very concrete causes: the ratio of
masters to slaves, the ratio of creoles to
African slaves, the very high percentage
of slaves who were from the militaristic
Akan peoples of the Gold Coast and
were skilled in warfare, the inefficiency
of the Jamaican whites, the excessive
degree of absenteeism of white owners,
the mountainous interior of the country
making escape easy, the "impact of
certain social, religious and political
forces current at that time." Patterson
cites the American Revolution as
playing a role in the Jamaican revolt of
1775, the Haitian, French, and
American revolutions in influencing the
revolt of 1795, and the abolitionist
movements as factors in the revolts of
the nineteenth century. Yet with all
these advantages, the Jamaican slaves
failed to overthrow the planters. The
slaves were divided among themselves,
with tribe versus tribe, and creole
versus Africans, the whites had
superior arms and strength, and most
important, unlike Haiti, the planter
class, was not divided.


Summer 1971

The United States, unlike Brazil or
Jamaica, had the highest percentage by
far of whites to blacks. The federal
government was highly effective. For
example, within hours after John
Brown's men captured the arsenal at
Harper's Ferry thousands of federal
troops were on the march against his
meagre force. The geography of North
America offered less unpopulated and
inhospitable places for blacks to escape.
But even here, as Kenneth Porter has
shown in studies of the blacks and the
Seminole Indians, where escape was
possible, countless blacks over the years
fled to Indian lands in Florida. It may
be worthwhile to recall, that John
Brown's original plans called for
guerilla bands to occupy sites in the
Appallachian mountains and strike
upon the plantations in the valleys.
For all the rebellions, the American
black, the Sambo of Elkins, fought his
way out of slavery twenty-five years
before his Brazilian brother. The tears
shed by historians who decry the fact
that a Civil War had to be fought to end
slavery while in Brazil it was ended
without major bloodshed hark back to
the days between the First and Second
World War when the Craven-Randall
school of Civil War historians argued
that slavery would have been ended
without bloodshed and that the war
was too great a price for freedom.
Certainly the death toll of the American
Civil War was great, greater than both
sides had anticipated. To suggest
however that Brazil's way towards
abolition might have been America's
way is to disregard factors far greater
than the institutional ones which
Tannenbaum and Elkins suggested.
The fact is the U.S. did not have a
church, a state, a population, a history
like that of Brazil. Brazil's movement
towards abolition was certainly less
bloody, but it was the end process of a
historical development which the
United States was not to have.
One of the strange affectations of
both Elkins and Eugene Genovese is
their admiration for U.B. Phillips.
Phillips' view that blacks were children
fitted well with Elkins' Sambo, the
difference being that Phillips came to
his conclusion because of his belief in
black inferiority while Elkins argues
that the black was conditioned to that
behavior. Genovese notes with
satisfaction the close kinship between
Elkins' Sambo and Phillips Negro.
"Phillips' view of the Negro slave, with
its racist underpinnings comes out close

to the Sambo that Elkins seeks to
explain'." But regardless of the origins
of their reasoning, their conclusions
were similar. Genovese has written a
long introduction to Phillips' American
Negro Slavery, claiming for Phillips the
honor of coming "close to greatness as a
historian, perhaps as close as any
historian this country has yet
produced." The best we might say of
Genovese's evaluation is that he has a
penchant for lost causes, or antique
furniture. Notwithstanding Phillips'
notorious racism which he never tried
to hide, ("Slavery," wrote Phillips,
"was in fact just what the bulk of the
Negroes most needed. They were in an
alien land, in an essentially slow
process of transition from barbarism to
civilization") Genovese gives high
marks to Phillips as an economic
historian. As a self-styled Marxist
Genovese probably likes Phillips
nonmoralistic, no-nonsense, realistic
view of the peculiar institution. We
could all agree that treatment of slaves
varied from plantation to plantation,
and in accordance with Genovese's own
research which he presented in the
Political Economy of Slavery,
American slaves may well have been
better fed than in Brazil. But man does
not live by the standards of bread
alone. This was so clearly seen by
Carter G. Woodson who almost alone
among professional historians
-hallenged Phillips study of slavery.
Writing in the Mississippi Valley
Historical Review in 1918 Woodson
charged Phillips with falsifying history,
with so arranging the facts as to make
the reader believe "that the Negroes
were satisfied with it (slavery)."
Woodson, unlike Phillips or Genovese,
clearly saw that whatever side benefits
it might have had, slavery was "a
system of exploiting one man for the
benefit of another."
What all this means is that the
comparative approach to the study of
slavery and to black people will do little
to aid an understanding of black
history and of the black diaspora. Only
in Winthrop Jordan's White Over
Black do we get some inkling of what
was really happening to black people in
the hemisphere. In his chapter "The
Cancer of Revolution," Jordan comes
closer than any of the historians of the
comparative schools to writing black
So far older American historians -
Morison, Handlin, Hofstadter,
Boorstin, Morris -- with. the partial

exception of Allen Nevins have
written the history of slavery, rebellion
and abolition as if there had been no
Haiti, no Sierra Leone, no international
abolitionist movement, no relationship
between Haiti and the Latin American
revolutions and emancipation, no
mention of corresponding develop-
ments in Africa, such as the opening of
Fourah Bay College, the survival,
under great pressure of Liberia and
Sierra Leone, the creative genius of
Blyden, the emergence in French and
English West Africa of a European
educated African elite who laid
groundwork for the formation and
independence of Africa. There is no
mention of the great interest of
American, West Indian and Brazilian
blacks in Africa. There is far too little
knowledge of the West Indies, the
cockpit of black nationalism, and there
has been a criminal slurring of Haiti,
whose very survival as an independent
state is a testimony to its greatness.
As for scholarship, there is yet to be a
full appreciation of the creative work of
Melville Herskovits whose pioneer
studies on black life in the Americas is
the largest body of scholarly work yet
produced. His studies of Dahomey,
Haiti, Trinidad, the Bush Negroes of
Surinam, of black- history, and of
cultural survivals are yet to be in-
tegrated into a picture of black life. We
still await a comparative study of the
black experience in the new world. The
future of black history will lie less with
historians and more with an-
thropologists, sociologists, and
folklorists who, unlike historians, have
been freer of cultural, racial, and
nationalistic biases. Recently published
works bode well for the future. These
include Herskovits posthumously
published The New World Negro
(1966), M.G. Smith's The Plural
Society in the British West Indies
(1965), Orlando Patterson's Sociology
of Slavery, Harry Hoetnik's Two
Variants in Caribbean Race Relations
(1967) Magnus Morner's Race
Mixture in the History of Latin
America (1967). The Writings of
Sidney Mintz of Yale make him far and
away the most perceptive American
student of the Caribbean and com-
parative race relations. The recent
collection of essays, Afro-American
Anthropology and edited by J.F. Szwed
and N.F. Whitten, Jr., shows the
creative direction in which younger
anthropologists are heading, and we are
promised in the near future by the

foremost scholar of Pan-Africanism, St.
Clair Drake, a collection of documents
on the Black Diaspora.
The great West Indian poet, Aim-9
Cesaire, has understood the dimensions
of black history in the new world. He
wrote in Return to My Native Land

These are mine: these few
gangrenous thousands who rattle in this
calabash of an island. And this too is
mine: this archipelago arched with
anxiety as though to deny itself, as
though she were a mother anxious to
protect the tenuous delicacy with which
her two Americas are joined; this
archipelago whose flanks secrete for
Europe the sweet liquid of the Gulf
stream; this archipelago which is one
side of the shining passage through
which the Equator walks its tightrope
to Africa. My island, my non-
enclosure; whose bright courage stands
at the back of my polynesia; in front,
Guadeloupe split in two by its dorsal
ridge and as wretched as we ourselves;
Haiti where negritude rose to its feet for
the first time and said it believed in its
own humanity; and the comic little tail
of Florida where they are just finishing
strangling a Negro; and Africa
gigantically caterpillaring as far as the
Spanish foot of Europe: the nakedness
of Africa where the scythe of Death
swings wide.

My name is Bordeaux and Nantes and
Liverpool and New York and San
not a corner of this world but carries
my thumb-print
and my heel-mark on the backs of
skyscrapers and my dirt
in the glitter of jewels!
Who can boast of more than I?
Virginia. Tennessee. Georgia.
Montrous putrefactions of revolts
coming to nothing,
putrid marshes of blood
trumpets ridiculously blocked
Red earth, blood earth, blood brother

At the end of the small hours these
countries whose
past is uninscribed on any stone, these
roads without memory,
these winds without a log.
Does that matter?
We shall speak. We shall sing. We shall
shout. *

Toussaint Breda

FOR ALMOST A MONTH, the slaves
on the Breda plantation, just outside Le
Cap, watched the great tongues of
flame that leaped into the dark night
sky, or the hot red glow on the distant
horizon, as the plantations of the North
Plain burned. During the day a gentle
snow of white wood ashes and black
bits of charred cane, almost as light as
the air itself, drifted down from the
smokey sky. The armed bands of slaves
in revolt that roamed the countryside,
rarely approached Breda. It was too
close to Le Cap where de Blanchelande
and his regular garrison were waiting to
attack the unwary. Life at Breda was
tense, but it was peaceful and orderly.
The manager, M. Bayon de Libertas
was away, and the plantation was
nominally managed by Madame de
Libertas, but in fact, all the actual
administration was carried out by an
elderly slave. Small and wirey, with a

by John Hawes J
large head and misshapen features, he
was forty-five years old, considerably
beyond the life expectancy of a slave at
that time. Officially, his name was
Toussaint Breda, for slaves were
always called by the name of the
plantation that they belonged to, but he
was generally known as vie Tousan, old
In the midst of the spate of violence
that swept the North Plain of St.
Domingue, changing its people and
changing the very face of the land, old
Toussaint remained outwardly calm.
While the colonists in Le Cap sweated
with fear, Mme. de Libertas lived on
her estate quietly and confidently,
protected by the old slave. The daily
routine of the plantation continued just
as if nothing was happening. At sunrise
the slaves went to work as usual, and at
sunset they returned to their quarters.
Everything was supervised by the old

Still shot from the movie: 'Los Barrios Se Oponen' by Cine Pueblo.

Summer 1971


slave with a kerchief tied around his
kinky, gray hair. He went everywhere
and saw to everything. There was never
any question of his position. Without
any kind of ostentation, he commanded
everything around him. But for all his
outward calm, he was deeply disturbed.
When night had fallen, strange men
came to talk with him. They moved
almost invisibly from shadow to
shadow, half naked Black men. The
knives that they carried at their waists
were wrapped in rags so that no telltale
glint of reflected light should betray
them. In the almost total darkness of
Toussaint's little wattle and daub hut,
they argued. The slaves in revolt
needed a man of old Toussaint's caliber
and capabilities. The old man listened
to them; asked a few questions, but
they had to leave without an answer.
Alone, Toussaint went over their
arguments again and again. He asked
advice from no one. That was not his
way. From this difficult beginning, to
the tragic end, twelve years later, he
asked for information, but never for
advice on important decisions. It was
his great strength, and in the end, his
mortal weakness. He made all his
decisions alone.
In the years that followed, Toussaint
almost never hesitated over a decision,
but this time he waited for almost a
month. It was not fear of death that
made him pause. On countless oc-
casions he demonstrated that he was
not afraid of dying. But he may have
been afraid of something else.
Throughout his life he hated the waste
of human life and work. He hated
slavery as the culmination of this waste.
And hatred is almost inseparable from
fear. He feared the tragic waste of an
unsuccessful rebellion.
Strike while the iron is hot, says the
old proverb, and the analogy is sound.
Many of our institutions, like iron, can
be readily shaped by well directed
blows in the heat of social crisis. But,
like iron, when the heat suddenly fades
they become hard, unmalleable and
resistant to the greatest pressure. It is
an experienced smith who knows just
how long a bar of iron will hold its heat
before it must be plunged back into the
forge and reheated. Old Toussaint's
experience was limited.
His father, an African chief, cap-
tured in one of the tribal wars
frequently instigated by the European
slave traders for their own advantage,
was sold into slavery. He made the
terrible voyage to Saint Domingue in
the hold of a slave ship, and was bought
by the manager of Breda plantation.
His new master, an intelligent man,
soon recognized that this newly
acquired Black was a person of ex-
ceptional talents, and gave him a
privileged place on the plantation. The
new slave became a Christian, married,
and Toussaint was the first of his eight
As a child, Toussaint was undersize
and weak. People nicknamed him
Fatra Bato, worthless stick, and ex-
pected that, like so many slave
children, he would live for only a few
On the broad savannas of Breda and
the steep slopes of the Haut du Cap
that rise abruptly from the North Plain,
to more than two thousand feet,
Toussaint and the other slave boys who
were too young for the strenuous work
of the plantation, tended the grazing
livestock. Ponderous oxen did the
heavy work of Breda, but there were
also milk cows, goats, mules, elegant
carriage horses and fine riding horses
for the use of the master and his
overseers. All of them had to be wat-
ched constantly, moved to fresh

pastures and delivered to the barns and
stables when they were needed. This
was little Toussaint's job. For many
strong Black boys it was an easy task; a
time for loafing and enjoying the
warmth of the morning sun and the
cool midday shade, and dreaming not
for Toussaint. He had to prove himself,
not against anyone else, just for
himself. By the time he was twelve
years old he could swim the river of
Haut du Cap when it was in flood, and4
intercept the fastest horse, at full
gallop, spring onto its back and make it
do as he wanted. No longer a useless
stick, by the time he was a young man
he was known as the centaur of the
His father and grandfather had been
kings or chieftains in Africa, and thus
thoroughly versed in the collective
knowledge, the laws and traditions of
their people. History records only that
Toussaint learned about medicinal
plants and simple cures from his father,
but surely, even under slavery, con-
sidering his father's privileged position,
the boy must have inherited much of
the accumulated wisdom of generations
of free Africans. An exceptional man
attracts exceptional friends. As god-
father for his firstborn son, Toussaint's
father chose an elderly slave from Haut
de Cap, named Pierre Baptiste, who
had learned to read and write French,
knew a little Latin and some geometry.
All he knew, he taught to his godson,
and Toussaint was an avid pupil.
Although he never really mastered
French, he learned to read it and speak
it fairly well, but he thought in Creole.
He learned a little Latin from the
church liturgy; and the elements of
drawing and measuring.
This was the extent of his formal
education. It was greater than the vast
majority of his generation of slaves, but
it was not the extent of his education
that was important. The important
thing was its cumulative continuity. A
medieval philosopher, speaking of the
flowering of the thirteenth century,
said: "We do not see far because we are
big ourselves, but because we are
standing on the shoulders of giants."
Toussaint's father had been uprooted
in a most brutal way, but because of the
intelligent self-interest of his owner, he
was allowed to live, as a slave, in his
own way. The tap-root of culture and
tradition was allowed to find itself in a
new soil. It was not broken, as it was
with almost all of the slaves that were
brought to the New World. Most of
them suffered the total agony of
transculturation -- the inherited values
of their patterns of life had been
washed away in the cruel suffering of
capture, transportation and slavery.
They had to begin again at the lowest
level of human existence. Toussaint, a
giant himself in spite of his small
stature and his ugliness, stood on the
shoulders of giants.
From early childhood, he had the
driving will to be able -- the will to
power in its purest sense, not power
over others, but power over himself -
he drove himself to overcome his own
weaknesses. The will to govern, to rule
others, came later as the outcome of his
will to competence, and always took
second place. He was the reverse of his
more celebrated contemporaries,
Bonaparte and Bolivar, whose over-
whelming will to govern drove them to
As he grew out of childhood, this
struggle with himself continued. It is
difficult enough for any boy to become
a man and take on a man's respon-
sibility, but it is much more difficult for
a slave, who is denied responsibility by
the condition of his slavery, to become a

man, Yet he did it.
His extraordinary skill with horses
earned him a place as a stable boy, and
later he became his master's coachman.
In his late twenties, he married a Black
woman who belonged to the plantation,
named Suzanne Simon. Many years
later he told a traveler: "I chose my
own wife, my masters would have had
me marry one of the frisky young Black
girls; I have always known enough to
resist those who would thwart my
inclinations.". Before her marriage,
Suzanne Simon had born a son whose
name was Placide. Toussaint adopted
him, provided for him and treated him
as his own son. She bore Toussaint a
son named Issac and all four lived
together happily. "Up to the moment of
the Revolution," Toussaint said later,
"I had not left my wife for an hour.
Hand in hand we went to and from our
garden, hardly noticing the fatigues of
the day. Heaven always blessed our
work; for we not only lived in abun-
dance and set aside our savings, but
were also able to give provisions to the
Blacks on the plantation when they ran
short. On Sundays and holidays we
went to mass, my wife and I and our
children; returning to our cabin we
enjoyed a good meal and spent the rest
of the day together, ending with family
prayers in the evening."
Even as a slave, Toussaint was a very
prudent man. Making the most of his
privileged position on the plantation, he
had saved until he amassed a con-
siderable fortune. He paid 900 livres in
colonial currency for the freedom of an
old woman named Pelagie who had
been his foster mother. Later, when he
was a general, Pelagie was given a
home on his plantation at Enery, and
treated like a member of the family.
Why didn't he buy his own freedom?
He didn't have to. As a slave a
"good" slave living under the
protection of a kindly master, he had
more real freedom than most of the free
Blacks who were subject to the
suspicion and persecution of the
colonists. He showed his appreciation
of his master some years later. Bayon
de Libertas, past sixty, had fallen on
hard times and was threatened with
expulsion from the colony. Toussaint,
the Commanding General of St.
Domingue, wrote to the legislature of
Le Cap demanding that "Bayon de
Libertas be granted the right to live in
the colony, or his old slaves will give

himr a livelihood as recompense for the
old days when he treated them with
Not content with fulfilling his duties
as coachman, he set to work combining
the knowledge of curing and primitive
medicine that he had learned from his
father, with his own understanding of
animals, and earned a considerable
reputation as a veterinarian. Although
reading was not easy for him, he
pursued it with determination. He read
Caesar's Commentaries, and learned
something of military strategy and
tactics, and a bit about politics. As a
thoroughly mature man, he was given
the position of steward of the livestock,
a job that was usually reserved for a
white man.
By the time he was about forty, and
already turning gray, he could look
back on a chain of accomplishments
that few Black slaves of his time or any
other could match. It was at this critical
point that he acquired the Abbe
Raynal's book -- L'Histoire
philosophique et politique des
etablissements et du commerce des
Europeens dans les deux Indes. Here
he found an explanation of the politics
and economics that underlay the
colonial world he knew so well; here he
was introduced to the inner workings of
the Eurupean nations that owned the
colonies and here, for the first time, he
found an educated, articulate white
man who voiced his own feelings about
"Natural liberty is the right which
nature has given to every one to dispose
of himself according to his will. ." the
Abbe had written, and further:
"Nature speaks louder than philosophy
or self-interest. Already there are
established two colonies of fugitive
Blacks, whom treaties and power
protect from attack. Those lightning
announce the thunder. Only a
courageous chief is wanted. Where is
he, that great man whom Nature owes
to her vexed and tormented children?
He will appear, doubt it not; he will
come forth and raise the sacred
standard of liberty. This venerable
signal will gather around him the
companions of his misfortune. More
impetuous than the torrents, they will
leave the indelible mark of their just
resentment everywhere. Everywhere
people will bless the name of the hero
who shall have reestablished the rights
of the human race."

Photos of Che normally and on the passport he used to enter Bolivia. In Daniel
James (ed.), 'The Complete Diaries of Ch6 Guevara' (Stein & Day, 1968, $6.95).


, .. U, .

*' ..., , . .,t.' !

o. -'
a'.4 4. a', ,a,'. ..

'a.. ,,,*. .


Engraving designed by Carmelo (Havana, Cuba, 1960 Afio de la Reforma Agraria), 14' I

Toussaint read this book slowly, with
difficulty, and re-read it again and
again, as Lincoln read his Blackstone,
until he had completely absorbed it.
.He said later that, from the very
beginning of the uprising, he felt he was,
destined for important things, but he
was not sure what. Weeks passed. He
still hesitated.
In the meantime his duties on the
plantation kept him busy. Bayon de
Libertas had joined the other planters
in Le Cap, where they had armed
themselves against the slaves. He
visited the plantation from time to time,
but the main responsibility was
As he rode about his work, Raynal's
phrase went through his mind over and
over: "Only a courageous chief is
wanted." Was there such a person? It
seems quite certain that he didn't think
of himself in the part at that time, but
he knew that without such a leader, this
rebellion, like many other rebellions,
would be only a waste of all the hopes
and work and bloodshed and vitality
that had gone into it.
Those great discoveries and
decisions, those flashes of insight that
change the course of many lives in one
important instant, are usually the result
of a cumulative process. The mind
gathers information, observations and
evidence, wherever they may be found,
without any kind of organization or
form. It ponders them and puts them
together in countless kaleidoscopic
combinations without result. The tired
mind rests. Then quite suddenly,
surprisingly, some trivial observation or
incident awakens it, and everything
falls into place to make a new pattern,
as happened with Archimedes in his
bath; Saul on the road to Damascus,
and Newton in the apple orchard.
So it was with Toussaint. After a
lifetime of preparation for important
things, only dimly realized, he hesitated
and weighed his responsibility. He was
responsible to Breda, where he had
lived all his life. Breda's people were his

people; he knew them intimately and
cherished them individually. He also
felt responsible to his people in a much
larger sense -- all the Black slaves of St.
Domingue. He knew what he could do
for his people on Breda, but he could
only hazard what he might do for the
others. One wrong step now could
destroy both possibilities; could
destroy him, his family; his fellow
slaves all the things he had lived for.
A single straw broke the dilemma,
broke the kaleidoscope, and everything
fell into place.
In the course of his rounds, word
reached him that Mme. de Libertas' life
was in danger. That did it. He saw it
clearly. If he could no longer defend
those who had defended him, the old
protected life was over.
He explained to Mme. de Libertas
that she was no longer safe on the
plantation, helped her gather her
valuables together, made her com-
fortable in a carriage and sent her to Le
Cap under the protection of his brother
Paul. His own wife and the two boys
were sent to Spanish Santo Domingo.
History tells us nothing of any other
arrangements he made, but we may be
sure that he foresaw most problems,
warned, or provided for those who
might fall into danger.
Then, when everything was in order,
Toussaint rode down the shaded
avenue of the plantation, checking
everything. At the gate, he paused to
look back. The highly mettled horse
churned up little spurts of dust --
dancing hooves on the road. Toussaint
Breda, satisfied that everything was
right at home, wheeled his horse and
trotted away.
No caterpillar that ever spun itself
into the darkness of a cocoon, only to
emerge, transformed, as a magnificent
moth, has gone through a more
complete metamorphosis. When that
old salve left the gates of Breda,
Toussaint Breda ceased to exist.
In a little more than a year, he would
reappear as Toussaint L'Ouverture. e

Underhill. London: 1862.

Richard Hill. Kingston, Jamaica:

By W. G. Sewell. New York: 1862.

Panton. Jamaica: 1866.

Jamaica: 1866.


JAMAICA PAPERS. Published by the
Jamaica Committee. London: 1866.


In 1865, three years after the
Emancipation Proclamation ended
slavery in the United States, an in-
surrection broke out in Jamaica,
where black sugar estate laborers
revolted against white planters who had
long oppressed them. The slave trade
had been abolished in the British
colonies in 1807, and the slaves were
freed about three decades later, but

-- by Gardiner Greene Hubbard 1
most blacks (who out numbered white
Jamaicans by 32-1) were barely better
off as free men. Whites denied them
land ownership, treated them cruelly in
the fields and unjustly in the courts and
The following review appeared in a
Connecticut magazine, The New
Englander, in 1867. New England
interest in the Caribbean dates back
somewhat earlier. The abolitionist
movement in the states was very much
enchanted with the West Indies' ex-
periment. All kinds of missioners came
down to the Caribbean to see how
emancipation was working out.
Gardiner Greene Hubbard's review
represents an extention of this concern.
Its contemporary nature, with all its
immediacy and prejudices, makes for
rewarding reading today.
Kal Wagenheim
The island of Jamaica is divided into
three counties and thirty-two parishes.
The parish of St. Thomas, in the east,
was the seat of the disturbance of
October, 1865. The most fertile and
densely populated portion of this parish
is the valley of the Plantain Garden
River. Here are the richest lands and
largest sugar estates, the smallest
number of freeholders, and the most
degraded population in the island. The
Court House, a large stone building
with a wooden roof, stood on one side of
the market place at Morant Bay, on a
river of that name, about thirty-two
miles from Kingston.
In the autumn of 1865 writs of
ejectment were served on squatters at
Stony Gut, a village of blacks, a few

The Ruin of



Summer 1971

warning not to drive out far after dark,
and certainly, as we recrossed the
Yallahs, it was with a feeling of relief
and satisfaction that made us
somewhat appreciate the feelings of
fathers, mothers, and children flying in
scattered groups for their lives but a
few months before. We would not be
understood to approve the measures
used in quelling the insurrection.
Nothing but the wildest terror can
explain the wholesale and in-
discriminate hanging and shooting. No
wonder that we feared these dark,
revengeful faces. No wonder that the
memory of houses burned, husbands
and sons murdered, and wives and
daughters cruelly whipped, should still
rankle in their hearts, and look out of
their eyes. Their huts have been rebuilt,
but in their midst are the graves into
which hundreds of their kindred were
thrown, heaped high by the whites as a
warning to them and their descendants.
The Jamaica slaves were overworked
and cruelly treated. Statistics show that
for many years prior to the abolition of
the slave trade, in 1807, nine thousand
slaves were annually imported to repair
the waste of human life: while, since
emancipation, the freedmen have
rapidly increased. The laws prohibited
the spiritual and mental education of
the slaves. The Sabbath was the market
day and a holiday. Marriage was
forbidden. Each slave had his little
patch of ground, for the cultivation of
which he was allowed every other
Saturday, and from which he was
obliged to derive his entire support. He
received two suits of clothes a year, and
medical attendance in sickness.
During the time of slavery the
English government, by a heavy dif-
ferential duty imposed upon foreign
sugars and coffee, protected the
products of Jamaica, and gave them the
monopoly of the English market; but, a
few years after emancipation, finding
that these could be raised at less cost by
slave than by free labor, she changed
her policy to one of free trade. The
discriminating duty in favor of sugar,
the product of free labor, was gradually
reduced until all sugars paid the same
duty. The price was consequently
reduced one-half to the English.con-
sumer, and the profits of the planter
were greatly diminished. But even
before this change Jamaica had begun
to decline. The abolition of the slave
trade had cut off her supply of
laborers; her rich lands were
exhausted; her exports steadily
decreased; her laboring population was
wasting away; many plantations were
abandoned; and the whole Island was
heavily mortgaged to English creditors.
Then came the act of emancipation
with its apprenticeship system, in-
tended as a preparation for freedom
and the giving of full liberty to the
In the act of emancipation the rights
of the planter to property in his slave
was recognized, and 6,000,000
were paid for three hundred and eleven
thousand slaves, or nineteen pounds for
each slave, not half their market
value. The greater part of this sum was
retained in England in payment of
debts, and the Jamaica planter was left
without laborers, with impoverished
lands, with diminished profits, and
estates encumbered to their full value.
The slaves were freed in opposition to
the wishes of their masters, who strove
by every means in their power to retain
them in a state of bondage. By the act
of emancipation the hours of labor were
limited to eight a day; but the planters
required of the freedmen the same
amount of work as that exacted of the

slave in fifteen hours, and offered him
only half the price paid for a hired
slave. Such a course produced great
dissatisfaction, and the negroes refused
to work. In order to force them to work
on the planters' own terms, a series of
laws was passed, many of them most
severe and cruel. Among them was the
Ejectment act, by which planters could
eject the negroes at a weeks' notice
from the homes in which they had been
born, root up their provision grounds,
and cut down their fruit trees, and a
police law under which they might be
arrested for trespass if they remained
an hour after the expiration of the
weeks' notice; a heavy stamp duty
upon the transfer of small parcels of
land; an import duty on corn food,
largely used by the slaves, which was
raised from three pence to three
shillings a barrel; an increased duty
upon shingles for their huts, while on
staves and hoops for sugar hogsheads it
was reduced; a discriminating tax
imposed on sugar and coffee un-
favorable to the small negro grower and
favorable to the large producer; a law
requiring a license from the vestry to
sell these articles at retail, while no
license was required for selling at
wholesale; and others of a similar
character, some of which were so
barbarous that they were disallowed by
Many of the freedmen returned for a
while to work, but the ill-treatment
received caused them again to leave the
estates and squat upon abandoned
plantations. The planters refused to sell
or lease the land except at exorbitant
prices, and it is only as estates have
been thrown into market by creditors
and sold in small parcels, that the
negroes have been able to purchase the
little plots which they now cultivate all
over the Island. ..
The negro buys, hires, or squats
upon a parcel of ground, of three or
four acres, near a running stream, builds
a thatched hut of one, two, or three
rooms, usually with no floor but the
earth, and* without windows or
chimney. The furniture corresponds to
the house. Dr. Underhill estimates the
average value of house and furniture at
$80, but this estimate is considered
much too high. The little plot of ground
yields all he needs for food, and the
surplus borne on the heads of the
women to market, or a few days' work
on a neighboring plantation, supplies
his scanty clothing. Marriage is still the
exception probably less than half of
the children are born in wedlock. Petty
thefts are so common and annoying,
that few gentlemen attempt to raise
fruits, vegetables, or poultry, for their
own tables, but are limited to the few

articles which they purchase of the
negro. Crimes of a greater magnitude
are rare. The laws of Jamaica give the
negro, with few exceptions, the right of
voting, and of being elected to the
highest offices in the state, but the
negro has been too ignorant to value
this franchise, and Gov. Eyre reports
that "representation exists. only in
name, for the whole forty-seven
members of the Assembly were
returned by one thousand four hundred
and fifty-seven votes, out of a
population of 436,000." If colored
members were elected, they were
generally the lowest demagogues, who
purchased their seats by bribery, and
used them only for their own advantage
and that of the upper classes....
Different classes of negroes: 1st.
Those working regularly on the estates,
living and depending on them for
support. 2d. Those having no regular
employment. 3d. Those who won and
live upon their small farms.
The first class is found only in those
portions of the islands where sugar
estates are still worked -- they live to a
great extent in barracks, men and
women herding together. They are
extremely ignorant and degraded,
retaining the vices of slavery, without
gaining the virtues of freedom.
The second class have thrown off
their dependence on the estates, but are
more lazy than either of the other
classes -- not being obliged to work with
the first, nor stimulated to labor with
the third; owning no land, they are
shiftless and improvident, and paying
their rent irregularly or not at all, they
are forced to wander from place to
place, working occasionally, and
stealing when too lazy to work. They
are a curse to the land, and dangerous
alike to white and black ....
The third class are the most
numerous nearly three-quarters of the
whole black population. Their small
farms are scattered all over the island,
excepting among the large sugar
estates. They raise a little sugar, coffee,
and pimento, and own many small
sugar mills. Their cabins are more
comfortable, the marriage relation is
more respected, thefts and petty vices
are less frequent, they wish to educate
their children, and have some desire to
improve their condition in life. They
are the small farmers, and upon their
,elevation the island must depend for its
future wealth afd prosperity. They
have elevated themselves in spite of
unfavorable laws and influences,
receiving aid from the Baptist,
Wesleyan, and Moravian Missionaries,
many of whom have labored with great
fidelity and devotion for the welfare of
the people.
The first class, we have said, live
upon the sugar estates. These estates
are managed by attorneys or overseers
for absentee proprietors. The laborers
are overworked and ill paid the wages
are often withheld, or paid but in part,
large deductions being made for alleged
unfaithfulness. If the negro appeals to
the court for justice, the judges
themselves are planters or overseers,
and may in the next case change places
with the defendant. The Royal com-
mission reports that "these courts are
additional incentives to the violation of
the law from the want of confidence felt
in them." It was on these estates that
the insurrection commenced and
spread, and it was these men and
women, degraded and brutalized by
neglect and oppression, whose savage
nature broke out into acts of violence,
plunder, and bloodshed.
In 1861, there were 13,816 whites,
346,374 blacks, 81,074 colored; total,

441,261, i.e., thirty-two blacks to every
white. The influence of the whites upon
the blacks has consequently been small,
and they are far inferior to the negroes
of our Southern States. The blacks are
envious of the colored people, and the
colored people of the whites.
The colored population steadily
increased even while the blacks and
whites were deminishing. Many of the
offices of government and of the
judiciary are filled by them, they are
head in the pulpit and at the bar, are
consulted as physicians and surgeons. .
In many families of the highest
respectability the master of the house is
white, the wife colored, and many of
the colored ladies are highly ac-
complished and fitted to adorn any
Four or five years ago a general
revival occurred during the planting
season. The educated and pious
ministers refused to attend and advised
the members of their churches not to be
present. Many, therefore, left the
church, and gave themselves up for
weeks together to the religious ex-
citement. The cultivation of the field
was abandoned; and a long drought
occurring just at that time, want and
distress were the result.
At the same time the attention of the
negroes was called to the oppression
under which they suffered by a series of
what were called "Underhill
Meetings." In 1865, Dr. Underhill had
addressed a letter to the Colonial
Secretary of Great Britain, in which he
had set fourth the grievances of the
negro. This letter was sent back to Gov.
Eyre, and by him copies were for-
warded to the Custodes of the various
parishes. Wherever this letter was read
and discussed at the different vestry
meetings by the planters assembled,
Dr. Underhill's statements were
denied, or if the sufferings of the negro
were admitted, they were attributed
solely to his laziness and his refusal to
work for wages. In St. Ann's the people
sent a petition to the "Missus Queen"
herself, complaining of their wrongs,
and asking redress. In reply they were
counseled to industry, to submission to
the planters, and loyalty to the
government. This answer was read with
comments from the pulpits, and printed
and posted generally throughout the
parish. Such being the only results of
the efforts made to obtain redress,
meetings were called by Mr. Gordon
and others, who espoused the cause of
the blacks, to consider this answer and
advice. These meetings were attended
by excited crowds who had never been
taught to respect the laws, and a strong
feeling of discontent and disregard of
authority manifested itself and
gradually grew. In such a state of
excitement and disaffection, it needed
but a spark to kindle a general in-
surrection. That spark was the attempt
to eject negroes from lands upon which
they had squatted.
The act of emancipation was fatally
defective towards the slaves, in
nominally freeing, them, but leaving
them, without protection, to the care of
their former masters. The English
Government has made but little inquiry
into the affairs of the island has
refused to receive petitions from the
negroes, or referred the petitioners for
justice to the very persons of whose
injustice they complained.
The Established Church, with large
funds at its disposal, and eighty
ministers, has accomplished but little in
the christianizing of the people. Some
of its ministers are at the same time
planters, and against them the fury and
hatred of the mob were especially

minic Convent, SJ., P.R.
t by Edmund Glaser.

Summer 1971


directed. The native Baptist Church
furnished the leaders and inciters of the
Jamaica, the Queen of the Antilles, is
about 140 miles long by 40 broad. For
richness of soil, for beauty of scenery,
for the agreeable temperature of its
climate, and the healthfulness of most
parts of the island, it is unsurpassed.. .
Yet, with all these advantages,
Jamaica abounds with ruinatee
estates" and abandoned "great
houses." Her exports have decreased
four-fifths, her white population is
diminishing, theft and other crimes
increasing, attendance on church and
school falling off, the superstitions and
idolatrous practices of Africa
spreading, and "poor Jamaica" seems
given up by her discouraged
inhabitants to utter ruin. A ray of hope
comes to them now in the change of
government, which has just been in-
stituted. The Assembly, the originator
of the unjust laws, which were injurious
alike to white and black, soon after the
insurrection, by an act of political
suicide, surrendered their powers and
charter to the British Government.
This surrender was accepted by
Parliament, and Jamaica is now a
Crown Colony, with a Governor and
Council appointed by the Queen, who
have almost despotic power, subject
only to appeal to the Colonial Secretary
and Parliament. The new Governor, Sir
J. Grant, who has just arrived in the
Island, and taken the reins of govern-
ment, has a difficult task to perform,
but if he is successful, Jamaica will
again become the seat of wealth and
power ....
"Poor Jamaica!" Her island princes
are ruined, her "great houses" are
deserted, her immense estates are
broken up, her exports are greatly
diminished, her warehouses are vacant.
The descendants of those who rode
through her streets, their horses shod
with silver, walk through the land in
poverty. Many of her largest "sugar
works" are abandoned, and the busy
slave is superseded by the idle
But there is another side to the
picture. The immense estates are
broken up, but little farms are
cultivated by freemen; the great houses
are abandoned, but the slave barracks,
where men and women herded
together, have given place to thatched
cottages, which husband and wife and
children call home. The exports of
sugar and coffee grown by rich planters
are diminished, but many a little mill
worked by hand turns out its hogshead
of sugar; and many a barrel of coffee,
with baskets of oranges and bananas,
and bags of cocoa gathered by wife and
children, find their way to market. The
imports for home consumption too are
increased. Where once large cargoes of
corn meal, the principal food of the
slave, were imported, ship loads of salt
fish, butter, lard, gay cottons and
woollens, and "yankee notions," are
eagerly purchased by negro customers.
Where, in times of slavery, the Sabbath
was the legal market day, and all
religious teaching forbidden, now are
gathered large congregations, attentive,
interested, and well dressed ....
The ruin of Jamaica has been caused
not by the freeing of the slave, but by
the efforts on the part of the planter to
retain the freedmen in ignorance and
servitude, to withhold the rights and
privileges of freedom, and the neglect
on the part of the government to protect
and support the freedmen in their
rights. The history of Jamaica plainly
teaches that the slaveholder is not a safe
custodian of the rights of freedmen. 9


Wagenheim. 286 pp. Praeger, 1970.
Cloth $8.50, Paper $2.95.

Kal Wagenheim has written an essay
in effective popularisation in this
volume on Puerto Rico. It is not
necessary to accept the claim of the
introduction by the Puerto Rican writer
Piri Thomas that the book fills a
tremendous need in the vast desert of
ignorance about Puerto Rico to
welcome it; for that claim really
demonstrates the vast desert of
Thomas' own ignorance of the massive
literature that has appeared over the
years, by expatriate and creole authors
alike, on the Puerto Rican tragedy,
very little of which has sought, as he
charges, to debase and derogate Puerto
Ricans. The book in fact is a much-
needed volume that is neither on the
one hand a ponderous American socio-
anthropological study nor on the other
a tourist brochure written with
breathless enthusiasm by some self-
elected "friend of Puerto Rico." It sets
its own style: a book that attempts to
offer a serious examination of Puerto
Rican realities for th- intelligent lay
reader. So, it lacks the c&"rm, say, of a
book like Louise Samoiloff's
Discovering Puerto Rico, which is the
record of a very personal encounter
with the island people by a sensitive
visitor-resident. It lacks, too, the
profundity of theoretical analysis of,
say, a historical treatment like Loida
Figueroa's Breve Historia de Puerto
Rico or a politico-sociological treatment
like Robert Anderson's Party Politics
in Puerto Rico. Mr. Wagenheim, I take
it, has in mind the needs of the jour-
nalist, the student, the open-minded
"Continental," the more serious-
minded tourist. He has eminently
succeeded in the task.
There are, successively, chapters on
geography and ecology, history,
economic structure, government, social
life, education, and culture, along with
a brief chronology of Puerto Rican
history. There is a remarkably good

el P

by Gordon Lewis
annotated bibliography. There is, too, a
set of photographs unusually selective,
which includes not only the usual
honorific portraits of the leading
political chieftains of the island
oligarchy but also the independentista's
Fran Cervoni's portraiture of the in-
famous Ponce Massacre of 1937.
Throughout all this Mr. Wagenheim is
a perceptive observer who can sum up a
whole slice of island life in a nicely put
phrase. He notes that the Puerto Rican
obsession with the romantic jibaro
image is not unlike the temptation of
the urban Georgian or Texan to
identify with the nostalgic "country
boy" tradition, so fascinatedly summed
up in the popularity of the Johnny Cash
phenomenon. He sees that the massive
triumph of American technology by no.
means implies the total destruction of
the native cultural tradition, as his
remark -- to take a single instance -- on
the difference between the American
and the Puerto Rican use of the
telephone aptly demonstrates. He has
been, himself, a practising American
journalist in San Juan; but that does
not prevent him from making the
pregnant observation on the San Juan
Star -- the main culture-carrier of
American prejudices that at times its
North American viewpoint seems
curiously detached from what is really
going on in the community. He can see
the sometimes illogical relationship
between the status question and the
language question in island politics,
evidenced in his astute observation that
it is sometimes easier to speak English
at a cocktail party of independentistas
than at many pro-American, pro-
statehood gatherings. He is fully
cognizant of the fact that both Hispanic
and American colonialism have
generated the famous Puerto Rican
docility as a colonial defense-
mechanism. At the same time -- as his
remarks on Rene Marques' well-known
essay show he knows that this, too,
can become a social myth, as the new
radical militancy of the Puerto Rican
student body in recent years shows.

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Moreover, he performs a useful service
by pointing out that the American-
Yanqui stereotype of the Puerto Rican
nationalist movement as a terrorist
movement of arson, violence and at-
tempted assassination of American
Presidents is dangerously naive and
wrong; there exists, he correctly
argues, a more subterranean and more
gentle nationalism that permeates every
corner of the Puerto Rican psyche and
transcends the orthodox political
alignments and divisions, constituting a
powerful cultural basis for in-
dependence. This, in itself, will be a
salutary lesson to learn for the resident
"Continental" businessman or the
visiting tourist who has been brain-
washed by the anti-independentista
propaganda of the imperialist mass-
Yet, having said all this, the book is
ultimately disappointing. This is not
because I myself believe in Puerto
Rican independence while Mr.
Wagenheim does not embrace that
position. It is, rather, that the book is
written throughout from the viewpoint
of that kind of liberalism which believes
that such ideological commitment is
illiberal. You must look at all sides of a
question; you must be tolerant of all
opinions; you must draw up, as it were,
a balance sheet in which you carefully
tabulate all the arguments for and
against a particular thesis or
phenomenon, and then abdicate the
responsibility to arrive at a conclusive
opinion one way or the other. This
mode of agrument, it is clear, confuses
liberalism with neutrality. It is
spiritually sterile. It leaves no room for
moral indignation. It assumes that all
sides to a question are, as it were, born
free and equal. It equates value-laden
judgment with "bias." The end result is
to produce a book which, for all its
strong points, is couched, at every
critical issue, in terms of moral in-
decisiveness. This, of course, is a well-
known disease of American liberalism,
summed up in the acid observation of
the Amerccan wit Don Marquis on the
figure of the Boston Brahmin George
Endicott Peabody: he was determined
to be a liberal even if it killed him, so he
was never a liberal, he was merely
That this is not caricature is, I think,
evident enough from the manner in
which Mr. Wagenheim treats the


Summer 1971

salient pheonomena of the Puerto
Rican reality. In each case, there is a
sympathetic examination of symptoms,
but little analysis of ultimate causes. He
notes, thus, the drift of the rural
peasantry to the urban centers. But he
fails to see that this is the result of an
American-style industrialising economy
which, in Puerto Rico as much as in the
States, sacrifices agriculture to in-
dustry. Capitalism, everywhere, has
destroyed native economic systems, and
the decline of the Puerto Rican coffee
economy is just one of the latest
examples. The author, again, notes the
massive indebtedness of the Puerto
Rican economy, held in thrall to the
metropolitan banks. But he ignores the
explanation of this: the well-known
Caribbean "colonial pact," in which a
metropolitan capitalist class, along with
its colonial parasitic class, exploits the
native masses. He notes the growth of
the new urbanised middle class, but
does not sufficiently emphasise what it
means: the growth of an American
client class, the new type of San Juan
professional who crowds the new,
gleaming Hato Rey tower offices as
corporate manager, government of-
ficial, banking executive, but still
playing a secondary role to the stateside
officialdom. He sees how, as a social
type, they are driven by what he aptly
styles the "success syndrome" of
economic enterprise; he does not quite
see that this, in grim truth, is the ex-
portation to Puerto Rico of the
acquisitive values of the American
corporate capitalist society, what
Henry James called the worship of the
"bitch-goddess Success." He quotes the
remarks of disillusioned government
economic advisers with respect to the
way in which "Operation Bootstrap"
has meant the control of the local
economy by capital-oriented expatriate
business enterprise with little
amelioration of chronic poverty and
unemployment; but he does not add to
that the unavoidable and logical
conclusion that this is the inevitable
consequence of a "development"

program that accepted uncritically the
American capitalist pathology of
"growth mania." It is, indeed, a wry
comment upon the nature of the
colonial mentality that younger
economic theorists, both in the ad-
vanced industrial societies and in the
newly-independent societies of the
Caribbean itself, have begun to query
the basic assumptions of Western-style
economic development Mishan's
book, The Costs of Economic Growth
comes to mind while the Puerto
Rican planners are still imprisoned
within the obsolete framework of
Rostow-type developmental theory.
Those planners still persist in the
utopian dream that Puerto Rico can
choose between the "good" and the
"bad" aspects of that development
style that tourism, for example, can
develop in such a way that San Juan
does not become another Miami Beach.
The ugly degradation of the San Juan
Condado tourist-hotel strip which
Mr. Wagenheim briefly notes should
prove that a colonially dependent
economy, frankly, does not possess
that power of choice. The architects of
"Operation Boostrap" Moscoso,
Pico, Durand, Amadeo Francis, and
the rest, some of whom have made
handsome private killings out of
American-sponsored development -
will some day be held to account for.
their role in this general process. It is a
pity that Mr. Wagenheim fails to make
the indictment against them.
Confronted with this line of criticism
Mr. Wagenheim if I read him
correctly would probably advance
two answers. The first would be, as his
discussion of the status politics of the
island seems to suggest, that the vast
majority of the island electorate favor
some continued associational
relationship with the United States.
The second would be that no island
movement has yet begun to build any
really constructive alternative to the
US-oriented "industrialization by
invitation" program. The answer to the
first point is that it assumes too

optimistically the pure character of
public opinion in a society where the
mass media are controlled by the press
lords. Public opinion, on the contrary,
is shaped by those media, so that people
do not so much get what they want as
want what they get. It is, after all, not
an evilly-minded socialist like myself
but a Puerto Rican public figure like
Ricardo Alegria who has pointed out
how, historically, the Puerto Rican
masses have been kept in their place by
carefully conducted fear campaigns on
the part of their rulers: fear of the
English pirates in the 16th century, of
the Dutch marauders in the 17th
century, of the democratic ideas of the
American Republic in the 19th cen-
tury, and of "Communist
totalitarianism" in the 20th century.
The result is that, today, the paranoic
equation of independence with com-
munism on the part of the Puerto Rican
propertied classes precludes any
rational dialogue on the matter. To
invoke the facile argument of "public
opinion" is to ignore completely how
public opinion is made in a society like
Puerto Rico where the combined
pressures of capitalism and colonialism
result in a fearsome mixing of the
psychic anxieties of the class struggle
and the national struggle.
The answer to the second point -
that there exist no serious alternatives
to some form of association with the
States is, quite simply, that such
alternatives in recent years have taken
on new, concrete, imaginative forms.
There is the new Cuban model to
demonstrate the viability of socialist
development; there is the Chilean
Allende model to demonstrate the
viability of radical development
through constitutionalist means; there
is the growing cultural nationalism of
the black and Puerto Rican minorities

within the American white society itself
to demonstrate the viability of cultural
separatism, challenging the old
"melting not" thesis. All of these play
an influential role in the new nationalist

groups in San Juan itself; and help
produce a serious theoretical analysis
like the recently published new
program of the rejuvenated Partido
Independentista Puertorriqueno. This
is, indeed, a far cry from the more
traditional San Juan-based in-
dependentista elite steeped in the
Romantic nostalgia of hispanofilia,
with their penchant for reading cultural
and administrative history through the
medium of a Victorian historiography
in Brau, Coll y Toste, even Cruz
Monclova, and, too, their predilection
for a genteel poetic tradition (as a
reading of the El Mundo weekly
literary section will show). Mr.
Wagenheim's section on Culture,
indeed, one of his best chapters, reveals
him as an extremely well-read mind on
all this. He is clearly aware of the fact
that a revolution is under way in Puerto
Rican art and letters, reflecting the
final dissolution of Puerto Rican in-

It is perhaps possible, indeed, that
the real worth of this book is the light
that it casts, indirectly, upon its author.
He is the epitome, at its best, of the
American liberal. He perceives things
acutely; he knows Puerto Rico in-
timately; he has a compassionate
sympathy for the individual Puerto
Rican. He is capable, even more, of
seeing what American cultural
pollution has done to the insular
culture, as the pages of his introductory
chapter demonstrate. Yet he cannot
bring himself to see that the only
solution is independence and, after
independence, socialism. Like King
Agrippa before .St. Paul in the scrip-
tures, he is almost persuaded, but not
quite; he cannot make the last,
irrevocable step of the final judgment
against American cultural imperialism,
of recognizing in its fullest sense the
gulf between the American Creed and
American colonial practice. It is in this
sense that he has written, not a profile
of Puerto Rico but a profile of the
American Tragedy. *



cover design by Celia Jimennez

Rose Nash

Melanie Pflaum.
Sol Luis Descartes

Use Adriana Luraschi

Bernard Lowy"

Herminio Lugo Lugo
Ronald G. D'Agostino

C. J. Bottenbly

Robert Hernandez
Augustine Fernandez
Juan A. Hernandez
Joseph Peary
Andrew H. Brenman

Donald B. Smith


February March April
1 1971

Vol. I No. 1

The Place of the English Language in the
Hemingway and Madrid, 1937
Up-Dating the Puerto Rican Tax System
Annotated by Aubrey Kosson
Lo Hogarefio Como Tema y Formas del
Lenguaje Corriente en Cesar Vallejo
Some Observations on Ethnomycology in
Mexico and Guatemala
Drawing by Ram S. Lamba
Ismael Vclez: In Memoriam

Black and White
Before Dawn
Poor Rican Home Returning
Caribe, Hombre de Agua

La Crisis Politica en Puerto Rico (1962-
1966) por Juan M. Garcia-Passalacqua
A Jungle in the House by Marston Bates
The Modernization of Puerto Rico by
Henry Wells
Caribbean Voices, An Anthology of West
Indian Poetry, Volume I, Dreams and
Visions selected by John Figueroa

Quarterly Journal devoted to the Social Sciences, Arts and Humanities
relevant to the Caribbean and circum-Caribbean areas.
Volume 1I1 July. 1971 No. 2
I. Articles
MICHAEL CRATON. The Role of the Caribbean Vice Admiralty
Courts in British Imperialism
URIAS FORBES. The Nevis Local Council: A Case of Formalalns
in Structural Change
II. Review Article
ALFRED P. THORNE. Comments on a Monograph on Ex-
ploitation and Some Relevant Reminiscenemvs
III. Research Survey
JOELG. VERNER. Socialization and Participation in Legislativo
Debates: The Case of the Guatemalan Congress
IV. Research Notes
BERNARD W. BENN. Metropolitan Standards and its Effects on
Caribbean Teaching
YVONNE J. BICKERTON. Ethnic Images in Guyanese Ad-
ALFONSO GONZALEZ. The Population of Cuba
V. Documentary Note
G. DEBIEN. A la Chasse des Marrons en Guyane. otutubre-
deaembre. 1808
VI. Current Dissertations on the Caribbean
Doctoral Research on the Caribbean and Circum Caribbean ac-
cepted by American. British and Canadian Universities. 1'l68-
1970. Introduction by JESSE J. DOSSICK
VII. Book Reviews
ERIC WILLIAMS. From Columbus to Castro: The Historyof the
Caribbean. 1492-1969: JUAN BOSCH. De Cristobal Colon a
Fidel Castro: El Caribe Frontera Imperial. reviewed by Thomas
G. Mathews
JUAN BOSCH. La Dictadura con Respaldo Popular. reviewed by
Luis A. Vega
WALTER RODNEY. The Groundings with my Brothers.
reviewed by Basil A. Ince
NATHAN KANTROWITZ. Negro and Puerto Rican Populations
of New York City in the Twentieth Century. reviewed by
Eduardo Seda
J.D. ELDER, The Yoruba Ancestor Cult in Gasparillo. reviewed
by Michael Lieber
HERBERT CORKRAN, Patterns of International Cooperation in
the Caribbean, 1942-1969, reviewed by Roland I. Permse
KENNETH J. GRIEB, The United States and Hurta. reviewed
by Juan Gomez QuIones
JAMES J. PARSONS, Antioquia's Corridor to the Sea: An
Historical Geography of the Settlement of Uraba, reviewed by
Gustavo A. Antonini
RICHARD P. SCHAEDEL, ed., Papers of the Conference on
Research and Resources of Haiti, reviewed by Jurgen Grabener
VIII. Current Bibliography
University of Poerto Rico, Rio Piedas, Perto Rico 00931
Annual Subscription: US. $ 6.00
Single Nsauhbers: ..0


Summer 1971





by Mela Pons de Alegria
CASTRO'S CUBA: 1959-1970.
Dugald Stermer. Introductory Essay
by Susan Sontag. 134 pp. (96 posters
reproduced on 13" x 17" pages.)
McGraw-Hill, 1970. $7.95
(Simultaneous editions in Dutch:
Bruna & Zoon, Utrecht; English: Pall
Mall Press, London; French:
Gallimard, Paris; German:
Kiepenheuer & Witsch, Cologne;
Serbo-Croatian: Mladinska Knija,
Ljubljana; Spanish: Libros McGraw-
Hill de Mexico, Mexico, and Editorial
Lumen, Barcelona; Swedish:
Wahlstrom & Widstrand, Stockholm.)

The Art of Revolution, a collection of
Cuban Posters with an introductory
essay by Susan Sontag and a prologue
by Dugald Stermer, is a visual as well
as a literary treat. Susan Sontag's essay
is a magnificent appraisal of the state of
contemporary Cuban graphic arts as
exemplified by posters that transcend
their utilitarian purpose and become
valid artistic statements by means of
their technical excellence, stylishness
and beauty.
We lament, with her, their con-
version from ideological, utilitarian to
marginal commercial objects.
Nevertheless, this perversion has af-
forded the general interested reader
and art fan the opportunity to enjoy an
enlightening aesthetic experience.
Susan Sontag makes various in-
teresting distinctions: between the
public notice directed to a limited and
literate public and the modern poster
serving the need of the masses; bet-
ween the poster as a means of
stimulating consumption in an in-
dustrialized capitalistic society and as a
tool for social change; between the
aesthetic, conformist, state-sponsored
art and the lively internationally
oriented and finely crafted Cuban
posters. With regards to state-
sponsored art she states; "The art of
propaganda is not necessarily enobled
or refined by powerlessness, any more
than it is inevitably coarsened when
backed by power or when serving
official goals. What determines whether
good political posters are made in a
country more than talent of the artist
and health of the other visual arts, is
the cultural policy of the government or
party or movement whether it
recognizes quality, whether it en-
courages even demands it. Contrary to
the invidious idea many people have
about propaganda as such there is no
inherent limit to the aesthetic quality or
moral integrity of political posters -- no
limit, that is, separate from the con-
ventions that affect (and perhaps limit)
all poster making, done for commercial
advertising purposes as much as that
done for the purpose of political in-
Thus, some state-sponsored art is as
lively and attractive as are the Cuban
political posters while others may be as
conformist and drab as the posters
produced in the Soviet Union and East
Germany, for example.
We insist in this line of thought by

referring to the words of William
Morris, 19th Century English poet,
writer and artist who endorsed a
socialist theory for the regeneration of
man by handicraft; "I don't want art
for a few any more than education for a
few or freedom for a few."
Susan Sontag's essay also traces the
origin, evolution and direction of the
poster as a modern art form, from its
beginnings in 19th Century France,
with the first color lithographed theater
bills introduced by Cheret, to the fine
arts posters by artists such as Toulouse-*
Lautrec, Mucha and Beardsley. These
first posters, offering marginal goods
and services such as night-club spec-
tacles, theater productions, and luxury
products, as well as the 19th and early
20th Century political cartoons and
patriotic posters, represent the
precedents to the modern political
The poster as an applied art form
catering to the cause of communication
is a new phenomena of modern society
(responding to the needs of mass
culture) with no pre-modem history. Its
importance is that of an art object
meant to be reproduced many times.
But aesthetically, however, it is
parasitic, depending on the art of
painting, sculpture, and even ar-
chitecture for its inspiration and style.
This inevitably leads to the eclectisism
and internationalism so characteristic
of the Cuban posters, reflecting such
influence as that of the psychodelic,
pop, op, neo-art nouveau and Polish
Their importance in Susan Sontag's
own words is; "In their beauty, their
style, and their transcendence of either
mere utility or mere propaganda, these
posters give evidence of a revolutionary
society that is not repressive or
philistine. The posters demonstrate
that Cuba has a culture which is alive,
international in orientation, and
relatively free of the kind of
beaurocratic interference that has
blighted the arts in practically every
other country where communist
revolution has come to power."
The question remains whether the
Cuban experiment will be a lasting one.
In Dugald Stermer's prologue, "Bread
and Roses," there is a hint that some
Cuban artists and intellectuals are not
satisfied with the lack of national
identity in their graphic arts. He quotes
the opinion of several of the most
important Cuban critics and artists in
an informal seminar, the proceedings of
which were printed in the July 1969
issue of Cuba Internacional. Cuba's
best-known writer and critic, Raul
Martinez, states his opinion as follows;
"I believe that the work has been
accomplished by a somewhat
mechanical copying of foreign in-
fluences without an authentic and
original expression. Sometimes the
Cuban poster reminds us of the Polish
poster, the photographism of some
American advertisement, etc.... That is
to say, we have not obtained a national
identity of our own in graphic design,
although we have attained a high
degree of technical quality." Graphic

designer Felix Beltran believes that;
"By merely assimilating the latest
:styles and methods in the world of
,graphic design, we run the risk of
forgetting that our art should represent
an active contribution in this world."
Let us hope that when and if the
Cuban artists find their personal as well
as national style and reconcile it to their
revolutionary cause, they lose none of
their artistic and technical quality. The
potentially antagonistic nature of an art
form which expresses and explores
individual sensitivity while serving
social, political or ethical aims must
first be resolved.
There is just one instance in which
we cannot agree with Susan Sontag:
her consideration of the Cuban as the
best example of poster art in Latin
America. Can it be that she ignores
.Puerto Rican graphic arts especially
its posters with their well founded
reputation for technical and aesthetic
excellence? Or is it possible that she
does not consider Puerto Ricans as
Latin Americans?
Dugald Stermer compares the art of
the various marxist-oriented societies
with that of the United States in his
prologue. Art in Communist China is
considered an avocation to be used for
the good of the Party and not a
vocation (for this is not considered
work). Art in other socialist societies
may be the most appropriate one for
the gradual political education and
advancement of their inmense
populations but Stermer believes that
they will not endure beyond their in-
mediate function in the way that the
work of the Cuban graphic artists will.
The production of fine films, paintings
and graphic arts of other marxist
societies of Western Europe have been
produced during periods of what has
come to be "liberalization" (en-
croaching capitalism), produced then,
in spite of rather than because of -
their socialist orientation. The fact that
many of Cuba's graphic artists have
been and still are painters and sculptors
is evidence that the new society has
bridged the gap between fine and
graphic arts.

The posters
collection were

represented in this
produced for various
the Organization of

Solidarity with Africa, Asia and Latin
America, the Commission for
Revolutionary Action, the Instituto
Cubano de Arte Industria
Cinematograficos, Casa de las
Americas, Instituto de Libro, by a
group of young graphic designers and
artists. The various organizations
represent the cultural emphasis and the
resulting upgrading of the artist in
present day Cuba.
The artists are free in the sense that
their statements are entirely personal
while reflecting an increasing concern
with social responsibility. The stylistic
eclecticism, resulting from the lack of
historic as well as national tradition in
poster art, is reflected in the various
influences used, absorbed and bent to
serve the new social ends. *

Caribbean Shells. Photos by E. M. Glaser

CINE-PUEBLO offer the
foMllowi lmces to the
the develop of f ins
and traunsparm the
enlarging of pbotogaiphs;
the photoaphic ad/
or movie S age of any
social activity dei*ed.
We are loted at:
Tapia No. 276, Santurcem,
Puerto Rico and mn be
reached by muil at:
Box 4668; San Juan,
Puerto Rico 00905.

Caribbean Voices--

An Anthology )f
West Indian Poetry.

Volume One (1966):
Dreams and Visions

Volume Two (1970):
The Blue Horizons

Selected and introduced
John J. Figueroa, U.W.I.,

Available from:

Evans Brothers Ltd.
Montague House
Russell Square
London WC1, England

Inter American University
of Puerto Rico
San German Campus

The Department of
Economics and Business
Administration announces
for August 1972, a new
Graduate Program leading
to an M.A. in Economics
with special emphasis on the
problems of economic
development in the
Caribbean and Latin

For further information on
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or to our regular M.B.A.
program please write to:


Summer 1971


Chile's Past

James Petras. 377 pp. U. of California
Press, 1969.

CHILE. Federico G. Gil. 323 pp.
Random House, 1966.

Arturo Alessandri (1932-38), Pedro
Aguirre Cerda (1938-41), Juan An-
tonio Rios (1942-46), Gabriel Gon-
zalez Videla (1946-52), Carlos Ibanez
(1952-58), Jorge Alessandri (1958-
64), and Eduardo Frei (1964-1970)
are the seven Presidents who proceeded
Chile's first publicly elected socialist
President, Salvador Allende. (After the
fall of the first Ibanez government in
July of 1931, military men led by Col.
Marmaduke Grove proclaimed a
"socialist republic" which survived
until September of 1932.) The term of
office of each of these Presidents was
marked by a malaise which is
characteristic of multi-party democratic
political systems. The coalition nature
of the presidential and or congressional
support for each of their regimes forced
these men to become increasingly
conservative as they continued in office.
Each of these men came to office with
leftist (socialist and or communist) or
mildly reformist (the two Alessandri's)
support, were initially pushed leftward
by their supporters, but gradually
turned to the right in response to social
unrest which had been engendered by
their partial reforms. These shifting
coalitions and vacillations in policy
greatly diminished the effectiveness of
Chilean government, splintered its
party system, and caused each
President to be ushered out of office on
a wave of public relief and un-
Will Salvador Allende be able to
avoid the traditional pitfalls of the
Chilean political system and strengthen
his coalition while implementing the
radical program of his Unidad
Popular? Some of the early events of
his term ring of the past. He was
carried to office as a leftist. His party's
platform is much more radical than any
program on which a Western political
party has ever before won. The


In our last ten issues,
Caribbean Review has
been to virtually every
nation and colony in the
West Indies and Latin

We've delved into
myriad disciplines, from
politics and fiction, on

majority opposition coa
Congress has been rejecting <
up his bills. Bills such as the
the National Labor Code,
recognition of the Worker's F
of Chile (CUT), and the esta
of neighborhood courts h
defeated or tabled; the
nationalizing Chile's copper
slowly and painfully debate
unrest has been formented b
leftist groups. The Moveme
Revolutionary Left (MIR)
organizing peasants and ha
invaded more than one hund
and many urban tracts.
Perez Zujovic, the uncom
Interior Minister of the
government, was assassin
members of a micro-Trotsky
In such cases President Al
had to unambigiously stand
order, and strict observant
constitution in order to maint
On the other hand Presiden
is a master politician and
student of Chilean history. A
has been careful to lead his go
on a path different f
predecessors and has taken
restructure the Chilean econ
political systems to give the s
autonomy. Copper (account
than 65 percent of Chile
earnings) is now a state-o
dustry; Chile's twnety-fou
banks are being bought
government, this giving
control of the national credit
the government is interveE
monitoring firms who
irregularities in business
communication between the
left and Chile's populace has
both through political organize
through the government's
access and control ove
television, and the press; a
code has been written which
increase the power of wor
unions; a far reaching judici
has been proposed which
liberalize Chile's slow mo
conservative courts.
It is impossible to confident
the future of socialism i

and race

We've introduced our
readers to over 1200

Our regular readers may
disagree as to their
favorite article. Some will
recall the Albizu &
Matlin analyses of the
theatrics of Puerto Rican
politics. Others will
prefer the in-depth in-
terview with Peruvian
novelist Mario Vargas
Uosa, or the perceptive
critique of Model Cities
by Howard Stanton.

Still others may opt for
the poetry of Jorge Luis

*2 ^ i - - - i i i .

Borges, or the fiction of
Agustin Yanez, Rene
Marques or Pedro Juan

Moritz Thomsen's ac-
count of "Living Poor"
in Ecuador, or Carlos
Castaneda's study of
mind-expanding drug use
among the Yaqui In-
dians, or the
proclamation of
Colombian priest-
revolutionary Camilo
Torres, or the discussion
by Lloyd Best of Black
Power in Trinidad may
also rank as favorites
among many readers.

Or Gordon Lewis' piece
on the anatomy of

Caribbean vanity, or
Anthony Maingot's on
the new Caribbean
history, or any one of the
historical pieces that
we've dug up. .

Few readers, we find,
agree on anything. But
they all seem to agree
that Caribbean Review
has been a rewarding,
stimulating experience.
Won't you join them, and
us, by sending in your
subscription? Just fill in
the blank on page 3.

If you're young, just a
wee bit prosperous, and,
above all, healthy, we
especially recommend
the lifetime subscription.


by Louis Wolf Goodman
lition in However a careful reading of Politics
or holding and Social Forces in Chilean
revision of Development by James Petras, and
the legal The Political System of Chile by
Federation Federico G. Gil clarify much of the
iblishment history, politics, and social structure
ave been which the Unidad Popular government
law fully has intended.
has been The Political System of Chile focuses
ed. Social on politics and history; Politics and
y extreme Social Forces in Chilean Development
ent of the also had a political focus but chooses to
has been neglect historical detail and to analyze
s illegally important social structures such as the
Hired farms Industrialists, Middle Class, Peasantry
Edmundo and Bureaucracy. These books
promising complement each other marvelously.
previous Gil spends more time with Chilean
nated by history and Petras more time with the
ist group. present. Therefore, The Political
lende has System of Chile should be read first so
I for law, that Petras' fascinating analysis of
ce of the Chilean social structures can be more
ain public fully appreciated.
In the mid-1960's the star of the
nt Allende Chilean Christian Democratic Party
i a close was rising and its future as the
s such, he dominant political force in Chile
government seemed indisputable. In 1964, for the
rom his first time since 1942, a presidential
steps to candidate received a clear-cut majority
lomic and
state more Eduardo Frei received 56 percent of
ting more the vote. In the congressional elections
's export of 1965 his party again dominated with
iwned in- 41 percent. A "wave of the future"
r private mentality prevailed and the shifting
by the nature of Chile's political coalitions was
the state minimized. The memory of the
t system; Socialists, Communists, and Radicals
ning and combining to form the Frente Popular
o show in 1938 faded and the chance of the
practices; Christian Democratic left breaking
political away seemed too hypothetical. All of
improved this came to pass in 1970 and resulted
nation and in the election of Salvador Allende.
s greater With this turn of events, the flavor of
r radio, evolutionary change which permeates
new labor these two books has become stale and
ch would the failure of both writers to carefully
rkers and analyze the Chilean military and its
ial reform relationship with the state has become
.h would particularly unfortunate.
ving and
Despite these shortcomings they
tly predict illuminate the most important aspects
in Chile. of Chile's political and social struc-

tures. In doing so they deal with
problems which are crucial for un-
derstanding the future of development
for all of Latin America. Gil's primary
message is that politics is a system unto
itself and that small changes in this
system can have a huge impact on a
society. Petras complements this with
the skillfully reported finding that all
social groups in Chile are interested in
modernization in the long run, but none
is willing to make the short term
sacrifices needed to bring it about.
Although both authors show that
Chile's political stability has in fact
been equivalent to structural rigidity,
this point is made with more
imagination and detail by Petras. In
succeeding chapters he shows that
Chile's industrialists are not resour-
ceful, are non-competitive, and are
overportected by the state; effective
power is still held by the elite although
its domain is now managed by a
fawning middle class; the labor
movement is weak; the political left is
constricted; the Christian Democrats
are attempting to build a modern
political structure but are unable to
mobilize their resources; peasants are
about to enter the political system and
could transform it if they "participate
consciously;" the bureaucracy is the
traditional buffer which has moderated
political antagonisms by diminishing
conflict and slowing change.
Prospects for quick and dramatic
Chilean development appear bleak,
however Gil's and especially Petras'
work make this situation un-
derstandable. In most discussions of
Third World development it is im-
possible to square the ubiquitous
rhetoric of modernization with the
paucity of positive action. In his
chapters on the middle class and on the
bureaucracy Petras presents data
which show that even though the
middle class considers Chilean social
structures to be essentially inequitable
and would like it improved in the long
run, they prefer few changes in the
short run and see the status quo
working in their interest. This
resolution of apparent paradoxes in
terms of "objective" class interests in
the most important contribution of
Petras' work. The roots of stagnation in
Latin America are laid bare. The
middle class is shown to be the pivot.
They simultaneously oppose reform
which would spur socio-economic
development by increasing the working
class's access to opportunity and block
development through entrepreneurial
investment with their demand for
higher wages. By dominating the public
bureaucracy and by managing the
private sector they have so effectively
stagnated Chile that her level of
development has not changed
significantly in the last twenty years.
An understanding of the short run
interest of the middle class in slowing
Latin America development is crucial if
one hopes that the 1970's or 1980's will
produce the changes that were so
conspiciously lacking in the 1950's and
1960's. One must conclude that the
structural changes needed are so drastic
that an Allende in Chile or a Velasco in
Peru, acting with dispatch and con-
fidence is the only hope for rapid
equitable growth. Difficult, but clearly
designed plans must be implemented
and courageous decisions must be
made. If decisive steps are not taken to
counteract the stagnation of Chile's
political and social structures, a unique
chance will be lost and the malaise of
corporatist compromise will continue to
generate structural rigidity and social
inequality/exploitation. *

Summer 1971 CAfAN 1~ 15



by Neida Pagan.



BARRIO BOY. Ernesto Galarza. U. of Notre
Dame Press, 1971. Cloth $7.95; Paper $3.95. A
story of a Mexican who became acculturated to
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CHE GUEVARA. Philippe Gavi. Editions
Universitaires, 1970. In French.

CHE GUEVARA. Daniel James. 389 pp. Stein &
Day. $7.95.

Ebon. 226 pp. Universe. $5.95.

Nattiez. Seghers, 1970. In French.

FANON. Peter Geismar. Dial Press, 1971. $6.95.
About the famous Martiniquan writer and

Angelou. Bantam, 1971. $1.25. An autobiography.

MY FRIEND CHE. Ricardo Rojo. Trans. Hardie
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General Works

SINCE 1952. Eds. James M. Malloy & Richard S.
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Galo Plaza. 240 pp. Acropolis, 1971. $6.95. By the
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SALVADOR. Paul P. Kennedy. Ed. by Stanley
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true explanation of the Haytian mistery. C. S.
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ESTIMULOS HUMANS. Edna Coll. 147 pp.
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WEST INDIES 1880-1903. With special reference
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THE CRIME OF CUBA. Carleton Beals. 441 pp.
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MEXICO 1710-1821. Brian R. Hamnett. Cam-
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AND IRRIGATION. Richard S. MacNeish and
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Greenleaf. Knopf, 1971. $4.50.

PERUVIAN REALITY. Jose Carlos Mariategui.
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HAITI, 1915-1934. Hans Schmidt. 350 pp. Rutgers
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URGE IN THE 1890s. David F. Healy. 315 pp. U.
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SLAVE. Lafcadio Hearn. 193 pp. Scholarly
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SELF-PORTRAIT. Ed. by Robert R. Simmen.
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LATIN AMERICA. Irene Zimmerman. 139 pp.
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CARIBBEAN HISTORY 1763-1834. Comp. by
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Language and Literature

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Performing Arts

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VIOLENTO. Eduardo Gudino Kieffer. 187 pp.
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MEXICO. Jacques Soustelle. Translator E.
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TORRIQUENO. Juan Angel Silen. 224 pp.
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Nelson P. Valdes. 512 pp. MIT. $12.50.

David Green. Quadrangle, 1971. $10.00.
GUERRILLA WARFARE. Che Guevara. Trans.
by J. P. Morray. 133 pp. Vintage. Paper $1.65.
I. Rotberg & Christopher K. Clague. 462 pp.
Houghton Mifflin, 1971. $10.00.
CHANGE IN BRAZIL. Philippe C. Schmitter.
Stanford U. Press. $15.00.

FOUR WORLD CITIES. Delbert C. Miller. 320

pp. Indiana U. Press, 1970. $11.50. Compares
Seattle, Washington; Bristol, England; Cordoba,
Argentina; and Lima, Peru.
THE AMPARO SUIT. Richard D. Baker. U. of
Texas Press, 1971. $5.50.
IN THE 1970s. Ed. by Richard B. Gray. 370 pp.
F.E. Peacock, 1971. Cloth $10.00; Paper $5.95.
LAOS, CUBA, VIETNAM. Alexander L. George,
David K. HAII & William E. Simons. Little,
Brown, 1971. $7.95.
Tarniella. 161 pp. Ediciones Edil, 1970. $2.95. An
interpretive and historical analysis of Puerto
Rico's political development.
OBRAS, 1957-1967. E. Che Guevara. 4 vols.
Maspero, 1970.
Lowy. Maspero, 1970.

MEXICAN PEOPLE. Justo Sierra. Trans. by
Charles Ramsdell. 420 pp. Cloth. $8.50; Paper
Guevara. Trans. by Victoria Ortiz. 287 pp.
Monthly Review Press. Cloth $6.95; Paper $1.25.
AMERICA IN THE 1970s. Gary MacEoin.
Wiston, 1971. $6.95.
CAMILO TORRES. Ed. John Gerassi. Random
House, 1971. $2.45. About and by Colombia's
famous rebel priest.
Eds. Earl T. Glauert and Lester Langley. 200 pp.
Athens, 1971.
Marianne Alexander. 128 pp. Dutton. Paper
MEXICO. John H. Haddox. U. of Texas Press,
1971. $5.50.e

Le Colibri

Galerie D'Art

'Vie Paysanne' Oil by Raymond Jacques

If you'd like to find out more about us
(about our artists, our stock, our prices,
etc.) then just drop us a line....

Herv6 Mehu, Directeur
Le Colibri Galerie D'Art
27 Rue Pan Americaine
Petion Ville, HAITI

Look what a recent reviewer said
about us:
For many years painting in Haiti
remained submerged as a dormant talent.
Recently Haitian painting has experienced
a renaissance. The revival is largely the
result of tourism and the promotion of Le
Centre d'Art.
But while tourism has helped stimulate
the craft it also tends to favor the less
artistic and more commercial produc-
tions. To go to Haiti where great works of
originality and expressiveness exist and
come back with something equivalent in
style to one of those reproductions that the
local supermarkets are pushing back
home would be a shame.
Herve Mehu, who used to be the
Assistant Director of Le Centre d'Art but
who now runs his own art gallery on the
Rue Pan Americaine in Petionville,
cautions that the real Haitian contribution
to the painting medium is in primitive art.
The concept of primitive art doesn't mean
"fossil art that one finds in caves but
present-day production." So why then do
they call it primitive?
As he puts it:
"... at the level of pictural or sculptural
technique, our artists do not bother
themselves with conventional rules to
render and express a created universe.
Totally ignorant of formal and rigid
academism, they seize upon reality
through the primitive vision that they have
of it. They paint scenes of life which ap-
pear grotesque to us at first sight because
they do not correspond to the balanced
image that we have of the world. Three
dimensional space is turned upside down.
No more depth, breadth, or height. Only
forms of extreme mobility count to the
point of sometimes giving the illusion of
swarming animated, manifold life.
"The vivid, irridescent colors add a
touch of the bizarre to these forms which

throw them into relief. This predominance
of raw color has often intrigued the critics
of art who have finally recognized that
they are the expression of an enveloping
luminosity fixing everything in the
majesty, if not the magic, of the tropical
sun. This contributes to establishing the
close correspondence between art and
daily life, and better arouses our emotions
and makes us appreciate the 'multiple
splendors of life'."
Haitian poverty has sent her people into
the streets to look for their daily needs.
One sees them walking to and fro, carrying
things here and there, selling things in the
streets. They somehow don't seem
resigned to the meager fruits their
economy wants to assign them. The Afro-
Haitian popular folk culture reflects this
vitality, this active attempt not to accept
Frankly, the paintings that I liked best
not only demonstrate this folk vitality in
form but also in content. We bought two
paintings from Herve. They are both of
street scenes. The larger one by
Raymound Jacques shows a village street
over-flowing with men and women
engaged in the labors of market buying
and selling. The other one by Gilbert
Ddsird is of a street scene beneath a house-
filled mountain and boat-filled lake. Here
people are just walking back and forth
with no commerce involved.
In both cases the perspective is lousy but
the color just great. In the first one the
figures are fuller and more detailed while
the other has figures that are but stylized
lines and filled-in forms. Both are
miraculously endowed with life.
In case you can't get to Herve's place in
Petionville he says that he has some of his
paintings on consignment in New York's
Naive Art Gallery at 741 Madison Avenue.
Susan Sheinmnan.
writing in Caribbean Traveler


Acutely aware of the problems in
his native Jamaica, playwright and
journalist Barry Reckord went to
Cuba with some very basic ques-
tions: Is Cuban socialism working?
Are the people really better off than
before Castro? What's happening
in the areas of health, housing, and
education? Is there any freedom
and popular participation or is
Castro an iron-fisted Stalin? What
is replacing traditional capitalistic
incentives-and does it work? To
get the answers, Reckord moved
freely and spoke to the people
themselves-to street cleaners,
farmers, mechanics, students,
teachers,-doctors, and factory
workers as well as government
officials. His remarkable report on
these interviews, spiced with the
language of the people, cuts
through all the myth and propa-
ganda (from both sides) to give us
the first on-the-spot, grass-roots
picture of the total Cuban expe-
rience. $6.95





In Cuba Barry Reckord

At all bookstores

111 Fourth Avenue, New York, N.Y. 10003