Title Page
 Table of Contents
 Part I: Political capacity
 Part II: Economic potential
 Part III: Social patterns
 Part IV: Cultural influences
 Part V: International position
 Part VI: Bibliography and...


The Caribbean : its hemispheric role
Full Citation
Permanent Link: http://ufdc.ufl.edu/UF00100624/00001
 Material Information
Title: The Caribbean : its hemispheric role
Series Title: The Caribbean conference series
Physical Description: xxii, 202 p. : illus. map. ; 25 cm.
Language: English
Creator: Wilgus, A. Curtis ( Alva Curtis ), 1897-1981
University of Florida -- Center for Latin American Studies
Conference: Conference on the Caribbean, 1966
Publisher: University of Florida Press
Place of Publication: Gainesville, FL
Publication Date: 1967
Copyright Date: 1967
Subjects / Keywords: Congresses -- Caribbean Area   ( lcsh )
Congrès -- Antilles   ( rvm )
Genre: bibliography   ( marcgt )
non-fiction   ( marcgt )
conference publication   ( marcgt )
Bibliography: Includes bibliographies.
General Note: A publication of the Center for Latin American Studies University of Florida Ser. 1, v. 17.
General Note: "Papers delivered at the seventeenth Conference on the Caribbean held at the University of Florida, December 1, 2, and 3, 1966."
Statement of Responsibility: Edited by A. Curtis Wilgus.
 Record Information
Source Institution: University Press of Florida
Holding Location: University Press of Florida
Rights Management: All rights reserved by the source institution and holding location.
Resource Identifier: oclc - 00225005
lccn - 68003818
Classification: lcc - F2175 .C55 vol. 17, 1966
ddc - 910.03/16/614
bcl - 74.00
System ID: UF00100624:00001

Table of Contents
        Page i
        Page ii
    Title Page
        Page iii
        Page iv
        Page v
        Page vi
        Page vii
        Page viii
    Table of Contents
        Page ix
        Page x
        Page xi
        Page xii
        Page xiii
        Page xiv
        Page xv
        Page xvi
        Page xvii
        Page xviii
        Page xix
        Page xx
        Page xxi
        Page xxii
    Part I: Political capacity
        Page 1
        Page 2
        Page 3
        Page 4
        Page 5
        Page 6
        Page 7
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        Page 37
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        Page 39
        Page 40
    Part II: Economic potential
        Page 41
        Page 42
        Page 43
        Page 44
        Page 45
        Page 46
        Page 47
        Page 48
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        Page 76
        Page 77
        Page 78
        Page 79
        Page 80
    Part III: Social patterns
        Page 81
        Page 82
        Page 83
        Page 84
        Page 85
        Page 86
        Page 87
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        Page 118
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        Page 120
        Page 121
        Page 122
        Page 123
        Page 124
    Part IV: Cultural influences
        Page 125
        Page 126
        Page 127
        Page 128
        Page 129
        Page 130
        Page 131
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    Part V: International position
        Page 153
        Page 154
        Page 155
        Page 156
        Page 157
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    Part VI: Bibliography and references
        Page 191
        Page 192
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Full Text






A publication of the
which contains the papers delivered at the seventeenth conference on the Caribbean held at the
University of Florida, December 1, 2, and 3, 1966

I s 1 00 40 0 1 00 I s. so 7 70 65 0


; IS I ". "0 4 -. ns # 5


edited by A. Curtis Wilgus



A University of Florida Press Book

CATALOG CARD No. 51-12532


GERMAN ARCINIEGAS, Professor, Instituto Caro y Cuervo, Bogota,
MARGOT BOULTON DE BOTTOME, former Venezuelan Delegate to U.N.
Assembly, Caracas
DAVID D. BURKS, Associate Professor of History, Indiana University,
JACOB CANTER, Deputy Assistant Secretary for Educational and
Cultural Affairs, U.S. Department of State, Washington, D.C.
JOHN EDWIN FAGG, Chairman, Department of History, Washington
Square College, New York University
ROLAND H. DEL MAR, Major General, U.S. Army (Ret.) former
Director, Inter-American Defense College, Washington, D.C.
FREDERICK E. KIDDER, Director of the Department of Social Sciences,
Mayagiiez Campus, University of Puerto Rico
MARGARITA MACAYA, Chairman, Inter-American Commission of
Women, San Jose, Costa Rica
THOMAS MATHEWS, Director of the Institute of Caribbean Studies
and Professor, Social Science Faculty, University of Puerto Rico
OFELIA MENDOZA, Field Director, International Planned Parenthood
Federation, Western Hemisphere Region, Washington, D.C.
JosE A. MORA, Secretary-General, Organization of American States,
Washington, D.C.
MATIO MORY, Executive-Director, Banco Inmobiliario, S.A., Guate-
IRVING E. MUSKAT, Chairman, Interama, Miami, Florida
ALFONSO OCAMPO-LONDONO, Rector, Universidad del Valle, Cali,
JOHN N. PLANK, Director, Political Development Studies, The Brook-
ings Institution, Washington, D.C.
JOSEPH W. REIDY, Consultant on Latin America, Washington, D.C.
J. WAYNE REITZ, President, University of Florida, Gainesville
JUAN D. SANCHEZ, Senior Vice President in charge of Supervision of
Caribbean Area, First National City Bank, New York City

vi The Caribbean: Its Hemispheric Role
CARLOS SANZ DE SANTAMARIA, Chairman, Inter-American Committee
on the Alliance for Progress, Washington, D.C.
A. CURTIS WILGUS, Director, Caribbean Conferences, University of
Florida, Gainesville
ROBERT WOOL, President, Inter-American Foundation for the Arts,
New York City
RAFAEL A. ZUNRIGA, Chief of Area III, Loan Division-North, Inter-
American Development Bank, Washington, D.C.


BEGINNING in 1950, the University of Florida has sponsored a
series of conferences on the Caribbean area generally with the
cooperation of business organizations, and with a gathering of ex-
perts from the Hemisphere and overseas, including scholars, busi-
nessmen, and government officials. This volume is an account of
the seventeenth and final conference held in the series. The suc-
cess and significance of these conferences can be attributed in
large measure to the capable leadership of Professor A. Curtis
Wilgus, who for thirteen years served as Director of the University
of Florida's School of Inter-American Studies. The selection of a
wide variety of topics for discussion and the invitations to speak-
ers have been under his supervision and direction.
Beginning with the first meeting, the Caribbean area has been
considered to include Mexico, Central America, Colombia, Vene-
zuela, and the independent islands. This definition has made
possible the wide description and comparison of the many factors
influencing the region. Indeed, the Caribbean was originally
selected as a conference topic because most problems found else-
where in Latin America may also be found in this area, and since
Florida is virtually a part of the Caribbean geographically, it
seemed logical to select this portion of the Hemisphere as our
province for consideration.
This series of conferences has reflected the interest of the Uni-
versity of Florida in Latin America and the University's leader-
ship in examining the problems of the Caribbean area. Each year
a volume of proceedings, containing the papers delivered at the
meetings, has been published in an attractive format by the Uni-
versity of Florida Press and advertised all over the world. The
University of Florida feels proud that it has been able to play a
prominent part by means of these conferences in promoting a
better understanding of the countries to the South while at the
same time developing a superb faculty with extensive course
offerings in the field of Latin American affairs.
J. WAYNE REITZ, President
University of Florida


The Caribbean Conference Series

Volume I (1951): The Caribbean at Mid-Century

Volume II (1952): The Caribbean: Peoples, Problems, and Prospects

Volume III (1953): The Caribbean: Contemporary Trends

Volume IV (1954): The Caribbean: Its Economy

Volume V (1955): The Caribbean: Its Culture

Volume VI (1956): The Caribbean: Its Political Problems

Volume VII (1957): The Caribbean: Contemporary International Relations

Volume VIII (1958): The Caribbean: British, Dutch, French, United States

Volume IX (1959): The Caribbean: Natural Resources

Volume X (1960): The Caribbean: Contemporary Education

Volume XI (1961): The Caribbean: The Central American Area

Volume XII (1962): The Caribbean: Contemporary Colombia

Volume XIII (1963): The Caribbean: Venezuelan Development,
A Case History

Volume XIV (1964): The Caribbean: Mexico Today

Volume XV (1965): The Caribbean: Its Health Problems

Volume XVI (1966): The Caribbean: Current United States Relations

Volume XVII (1967): The Caribbean: Its Hemispheric Role


Map of Caribbean Area . . .. ... Frontispiece
List of Contributors................ v
Foreword-J. WAYNE REITZ .. . . .... .vii
A. CURTIS WILGUS ..............Xi

CARIBBEAN . . . . . . . . 3
CARIBBEAN . . . . . . . 28

4. Juan D. Sanchez: RESOURCES OF THE CARIBBEAN .... 43
5. Carlos Sanz de Santamaria: OPPORTUNITIES FOR
IN THE CARIBBEAN .............. 59

CARIBBEAN . . . . . . . 83
11. Margot Boulton de Bottome: VENEZUELA AND THE
CARIBBEAN . . . . . . . 114

12. Alfonso Ocampo-Londofio: EDUCATION-A LOOK AHEAD IN
THE CARIBBEAN .. . . . ...... .127
CHALLENGE . . . . . . . .138


x The Caribbean: Its Hemispheric Role

THE CARIBBEAN .. . . ........ 155
19. German Arciniegas: THE IMMEDIATE FUTURE OF THE
CARIBBEAN . . . . .... 187

20. Frederick E. Kidder: HEMISPHERIC ROLE OF THE
OF CURRENT BIOGRAPHY .. . . ..... .193



IN THIS SERIES of conferences during the past seventeen years,
an attempt has been made to examine carefully and fully the many
details and aspects of the culture, life, and history of the Carib-
bean area. Experts from the Americas and elsewhere have brought
their special knowledge to bear on many aspects of Caribbean
affairs. Virtually no phase of knowledge relating to this area has
been omitted. In consequence, the volume of proceedings result-
ing from each conference has made a contribution to the better
understanding of the region. Not all of the papers have been of
equal value or significance, but each in itself has presented a
point of view of the author which has served a variety of pur-
poses for the reader. Although the volumes have never been
intended as textbooks, several of them have been used in classes.
Others have been assigned as up-to-date references, which no
teacher of the Caribbean area should omit from his list of readings.
The University of Florida owes a debt of gratitude to the more
than 360 different speakers in these seventeen conferences who
helped make this Institution an outstanding academic leader in
Caribbean interests. This appreciation is here recognized by the
many persons connected with the conferences over the years, and
as Director and organizer of these meetings, I wish personally to
record my feelings of satisfaction and gratification.
In planning this final conference in the series, I thought it wise
to select a topic which would evaluate the various facets and
factors in Caribbean life today in order to catch a glimpse of the
immediate future and, without predicting what may happen, to
consider possible trends. This attempt seems all the more reason-

The Caribbean: Its Hemispheric Role

able now because the first conference in 1950 tried to summarize
the various factors and conditions in the Caribbean at mid-century,
when in some respects the area was on the threshold of a great
leap forward.
For the purposes of these conferences, we have considered the
Caribbean in its broadest sense to include Mexico, Central Amer-
ica, Venezuela, Colombia and the islands; but we cannot and
should not make any generalized conclusions regarding the area
as a whole. This region has a vast storehouse of historical infor-
mation which extends back several thousand years. But like facts
in other areas of history, possibly nine-tenths of these have disap-
peared. Unlike research in certain scientific fields, we cannot press
any computer buttons in the Caribbean to retrieve this lost knowl-
edge. A student of this area therefore works with what informa-
tion he has, with what knowledge he can find, and with what
conclusions he can reach.
Before 1800 the area presented a great many similarities, and
its history was more uniform than in later years. But the nine-
teenth century saw upheavals, some a backwash from Europe,
which brought independence to many of the countries and in-
numerable attendant disorders. If the colonial period was one of
childhood, the nineteenth century was one of adolescence and was
marked by growing pains of every type: political, economic, so-
cial, cultural, and environmental. The twentieth century brought
new responsibilities and consequent disorders. The two world wars
permanently affected life in all of its ramifications in the Carib-
bean area. But not all of these countries have proceeded along
the path of progress with equal rapidity. Indeed, some like Haiti
have taken backward steps, while new forward-looking govern-
ments have been born in the former colonies of Great Britain.


National advancement in many countries has been limited and
determined by what is appropriately called nationalism. This in-
cludes the development of a national personality for each coun-
try in political, economic, social, cultural, and other areas. In
many instances, nationalism has prevented international cooper-
ation and has cut across lines of contact with the United States.
On the other hand, for example, nationalism has not prevented
the development of the Central American Common Market.
Whenever boundary disputes have arisen, and boundary problems
still remain, nationalism again expresses itself, quite often in bel-


ligerent attitudes. But no one will criticize nationalism for its
many weaknesses since the practice of nationalism has been the
key to and the cause of wide and progressive development in
most of the countries of the Caribbean.
Viewing the Caribbean area as a whole, we see that it contains
a collection of civilizations and cultures similar to one another in
many ways but differing radically in others. For example, there
are a number of different political philosophies found in the sev-
eral governments which result in political constitutions reflecting
local history, philosophies, prejudices, and aspirations. Despite
the inroads and influences of foreign political ideologies, the con-
cept of the nation-state in the Caribbean has been steadily grow-
ing. Yet in all political development, theory and practice have
usually been poles apart.
In each of the countries, political factions have first tended to
multiply and then to coalesce and combine, only to fracture once
again. The franchise in the Caribbean has been broadening dur-
ing the last three decades. Women now enjoy political rights in
all of the countries except Haiti. Frequently the widening of the
franchise has given rise to pressure groups, and in every country,
with the possible exception of Costa Rica, the army and other
branches of the military may at any time constitute a powerful pres-
sure group. Military coups d'etat are of frequent occurrence, for
the armed services constitute a continuous threat to every govern-
ment in the Caribbean. On the other hand, various non-violent
methods of changing the government are now practiced in the
Dictators have existed in all of the countries, and constitutions
are frequently refurbished or replaced by new political instru-
ments which sometimes are more literary than politically prac-
tical. In all countries, the use and abuse of executive power has
occurred. The caudillo psychosis is still present in many of the
countries, and while personal ambitions are often denied, the ac-
tions taken by egocentric politicians to win power are anything
but modest.
In some countries, conflicts of interest between the central gov-
ernment and local governments result not only from constitutional
provisions, or the lack of them, but also from the selfish ambitions
of military or church leaders or of local politicians with national
and international ambitions. Unfortunately, both local and na-
tional governments are subject to the machinations of dishonest
officials, and corruption in everyday political life is observable
in many localities.



The Caribbean: Its Hemispheric Role

No one would be so bold as to predict the political future of
any country in the Caribbean. The problems facing democratic
institutions in all of them are innumerable and appear in some
instances to be insoluble. This condition is aggregated frequently
because of the political control of the press which can be both a
benefit and a threat to the party in power. Perhaps the most
general and persistent criticism leveled at the governments of
Latin America has come from the Inter-American Press Associa-
tion, which each year evaluates the degree of press freedom or
control in each Latin American country. Theoretically, such criti-
cism is beneficial, but it often leads to unhappy results, especially
for editors and newspapers.
In looking at the political prospects of these countries, one may
conclude that, until detrimental traditions and conditions have
been overcome and logical practical politics can be adopted, per-
manent political improvement in many of these Caribbean coun-
tries is still on the far horizon.
Political factors and characteristics are so related to environ-
ment that national advancement cannot be considered without
full reference to economic factors. In early days the colonies in
the Caribbean were widely separated by water, but in the past
half century these countries have been closely connected by water.
Likewise, rivers, once effective barriers, are now convenient
means of transportation, as are railroads, highways, and air routes.
Internally, moreover, each country has had a problem of water
supply. Some areas, Mexico for example, are arid and need water
obtained through irrigation. In other regions, especially along the
Pacific coast of Central America, rainfall is much too abundant
and constitutes a handicap to economic development. In several
countries the building of dams has helped to solve related prob-
lems of economic life, while in some of the Lesser Antilles rain-
water must be stored for drinking. Many of the countries are
without first-class natural harbors, although some have been arti-
ficially improved. Even though the countries have had a Catho-
lic background, the fishing industries have not been developed in
a number of them to the ultimate potential. At any time the warm
waters of the Caribbean may breed storms of a dangerous nature,
and several of the countries have suffered from time to time
economic disaster from these "acts of God."
All of the countries of the Caribbean area have depended in
large part upon agriculture. But when this has not been developed


to its fullest extent, numerous products have had to be imported,
especially those which are consumed by a majority of the people
such as corn and rice. On the other hand, there are surpluses of
certain products, for example sugar, coffee, and bananas, and
while these have had to compete in the international market, the
United States, being nearby, has absorbed many of these exports.
Another important factor affecting agriculture is soil, and various
specialized studies are being conducted, such as those supervised
by the University of Florida, in selected Central American areas.
Mineral resources are also of great importance, especially in
Venezuela and Mexico. Petroleum and natural gas have provided
large revenues for further national development. Mexico and Vene-
zuela also produce an abundance and variety of minerals in use
in the world markets as well as in the United States.
Industrialization has developed unevenly in various countries,
and assistance from the United States and elsewhere has been
needed. In recent years, the Inter-American Bank, the Interna-
tional Bank, and the Alliance for Progress have stimulated eco-
nomic development in all of the countries of the Caribbean. Un-
fortunately, many of these area governments cannot contribute
their share to this mutual undertaking, nor can they, as in the
case of Puerto Rico, pull themselves up by their economic boot-
straps. But economic progress is encouraging in most of these Carib-
bean countries, and even though Cuba is outside of the economic
sphere of the Alliance for Progress, it has attempted with assist-
ance from other sources to solve a number of critical economic
The economic future of the Caribbean is still somewhat clouded,
but if the United States can continue to render assistance through
financial gifts, loans, and technical cooperation, the whole area
should become a region of increasing economic prosperity. In this
connection, however, one must always keep in mind the possibility
of national expropriation of land and industries and of various
other economic tinkering by national governments in their prac-
tice of nationalism. Besides, one must remember also that the
labor factor, like that in.the United States, often becomes a dis-
rupting influence in local industries and in various sensitive oc-
In some respects, the Achilles' heel crippling national develop-
ment in the Caribbean is found in the realm of education. Illiter-
acy has been a key factor in all of the countries although Costa



The Caribbean: Its Hemispheric Role

Rica, Mexico, Puerto Rico, and Cuba have the lowest percentages.
One of the most illiterate countries in the world is Haiti, but no
one has suggested an effective cure for this condition. All coun-
tries recognize the problems connected with illiteracy because
they affect everyday aspects of life. In several of the countries
nearly a half or more of the population is of school age, yet
there are not enough schools for them to attend and not enough
teachers to supply the schools that exist. Adequate financing in
education is a problem in each Caribbean country. About the best
that can be done in most of them is to afford as many people as
possible an elementary education, sometimes through the sixth
grade or even the eighth grade. In several instances, private in-
struction supported by funds from the Catholic Church or from
Protestant missionary organizations has helped develop schools
and courses far ahead of those in the public state-supported
schools. In some countries, non-denominational schools are avail-
able for students but these are used chiefly by children of foreign
parents or by upper-class nationals. Technical vocational schools
are needed everywhere in addition to schools for the training of
At the college and university level, many current educational
methods and procedures are antiquated, and some date back to
colonial days. Even the educational reform movement which began
in C6rdoba, Argentina in 1918, and reached Mexico in 1921, has
failed to bring about serious improvement in many of the national
educational systems. Generally, students in Latin American uni-
versities take a greater interest in politics than do those in the
United States-at least until recently. Student influence in Latin
American universities, especially in administration and manage-
ment, has always been greater than in the United States. Because
of student and faculty participation in political activities, many
universities in Latin America have frequently been closed by the
governments for long periods of time. This disruption of the edu-
cation of college students has been a nationwide problem in the
Caribbean countries.
For a century and a half, young men and more recently some
women, have sought training in law and other professions includ-
ing medicine, dentistry, engineering, and architecture. In some
countries large numbers of students educated in the professions
have gone first to Europe and more recently to the United States
for further training in their specialties. The Catholic Church for
almost a century and a half has attracted large numbers of men
and women seeking careers in its activities. Currently, however,


fewer and fewer have been attracted to the church by its minis-
terial and propaganda branches.
Since the Second World War an increasing number of students
from Latin America have come to the United States, while stu-
dents from the United States have gone to Latin America, although
in fewer numbers. Many young men and women from these
countries have come as exchange students to particular univer-
sities in the United States. Under the Fulbright-Hays Act a grow-
ing number of teachers and students have benefited professionally
from such educational travel. At the present time, many univer-
sities in the United States have "adopted" universities in the
Caribbean area. Sometimes this results in the financing of special
activities in the Latin American institutions, but in most cases it
includes the exchange of students and teachers for special pro-
fessional purposes. All signs point to the future growth of this
important activity in the improvement of inter-American under-


Closely connected with educational problems are those relating
to health. Here again the environment is all important, with me-
teorological factors often being crucial and critical in various re-
gions of individual countries. Everyone who has gone to the
Caribbean has experienced adverse effects from food and water,
despite the fact that many natives seem to have become immune
to both. Pollution of water is much worse than pollution of air in
the Caribbean countries. The problem of sewage disposal is im-
portant in every country of the Caribbean, including Puerto Rico,
although it is possible to drink water out of any spigot in any
locality without serious effects.
In all of the Caribbean countries, diseases are related to the
environment. Some of these are endemic and some are epidemic.
Diseases causing high mortality in the Caribbean are gastritis,
enteritis, and related infections. Malaria, yellow fever, smallpox,
tuberculosis, and diarrheal diseases are endemic in some areas.
The death rate varies in different countries in the Caribbean, but
Guatemala, for example, has 233.2 deaths per 100,000 as com-
pared with the death rate of the United States of 4.4 per 100,000.
Life expectancy varies from 42 years in Haiti and 43.6 years in
Guatemala to 65.8 years in Venezuala and 66 in Mexico, with
70.2 the figure for the United States. Everywhere in the Caribbean
the current population explosion appears to be continuing.



The Caribbean: Its Hemispheric Role

An increasing proportion of government income must be de-
voted to solving health problems in the different republics than is
now available. Fortunately, these countries have assistance from
the Pan American Health Organization which is a subdivision for
the Western Hemisphere of the World Health Organization. In
many instances, health problems have been difficult to solve be-
cause of a lack of health experts and administrators within each
government. In all countries hospitals are not numerous enough,
and doctors and nurses, tending to go to urban areas, have left
vast regions in the rural communities unstaffed. Moreover, good
medical schools are not available to adequately provide instruc-
tion of a specialized nature for persons wishing to become physi-
cians and surgeons. In recent years some of the governments have
been complaining of the "brain drain" in which their most prom-
ising young men go to regions outside the area for further training
and practice. The United States has attracted many of these, and
since Castro took over Cuba, large numbers of physicians and
surgeons from that island have come to the United States where
they eventually engage in medical practice. There appears to be
no reason why these trends should not continue, at least for a
few years.


No discussion of present and future conditions in the Caribbean
is complete without looking at the many varieties of culture which
exist there, including the culture of poverty and the culture of
frustration. Culture provides the backbone for Caribbean society
even though the social order is progressively plagued by political
practices, the frequent disruption of economic life, and the rapid
rise of an ambitious middle class.
Religion as an aspect of culture plays a vital part in the lives
of the people of the Caribbean. At one time most persons were
considered Catholic, having been born into the church or baptized
by it. But the Caribbean area is one of immigration, and religions
were brought in from Asia, Africa, and other parts of the world;
some remained and grew and some lost their influence. Religion
everywhere, even atheism, has affected the thoughts and actions
of the people of the Caribbean and consequently has had im-
mense repercussions on Caribbean culture. Many aspects of art,
for example, have been influenced by religious ideas and practices.
Even superstition has had a wide influence, especially on painting
in Haiti. From earliest days, painting and sculpture have been


handmaidens of the church in the Caribbean area. But the exer-
cise of artistic individualism and the example set by foreign art-
ists have also been influential in the development of distinctive
paintings and sculpture, especially in Mexico. Throughout the
Caribbean, various schools of painting have been founded, while
many individual artists have gone off on individual tangents, fre-
quently producing remarkable and surprising results. Sculpture
in the Caribbean has never developed to the extent that painting
has, although busts and statues of heroes abound in all of the
In music and the drama, religion and especially the Catholic
Church has played an important part. However, because of for-
eign influence, music has gotten out of hand, so to speak, and all
of the modern characteristics of the United States dances and
popular themes have been adopted and sometimes modified in
the countries of the Caribbean. Because of Negro and Asiatic in-
fluences, music in several of the countries has assumed special
erotic characteristics. In the Indian countries of Mexico and Cen-
tral America, the themes and characteristics of the music are
largely native. However, the Spanish influence has found its way
into all parts of the Caribbean and can easily be recognized
wherever it is heard.
Drama has often been connected with church activities. But, in
recent years Latin American dramatists have branched out into
individual fields of experimentation, resulting in forms sometimes
entirely dissimilar from those found in other parts of the world.
In literature, the essay has long been of importance in Latin
America, treating themes of every type. Especially since the
Second World War, novelists in all Latin American countries have
been writing feverishly, each trying to outdo the other in modern-
type literature. The new freedom in morals and sex attitudes has
spread throughout Latin America as it has in other parts of the
world. This has given rise to a new literature not only in novels
but in candid biographies and autobiographies. Poetry also has
been affected by this erotic tendency and along with novels and
essays has been increasingly translated into English and other
languages. In connection with these types of literature, the writing
of history and special scholarly studies is being pursued more
frequently in the Caribbean area. Technical works and scientific
treatises are also growing in importance, and a number of these
have been translated into other languages.
Perhaps through its culture the Caribbean area will exercise its
greatest influence on the future of Latin America. Its art and its



The Caribbean: Its Hemispheric Role

literature are being exported in all directions. Art exhibits, musi-
cal concerts, and translated literature are spreading over the
hemisphere. It is conceivable that in the near future this cultural
influence may also have an observable effect on the culture of the
United States, and as more and more of these artists and musicians
are invited to world university centers, frequently to teach courses,
their individual and collective influence may have far-reaching
One of these results undoubtedly will be that more people from
the United States will visit the Caribbean as tourists or as re-
search scholars or simply as observers. Increasing numbers are
attending schools as students or visiting universities as temporary
lecturers. Men, women, and children of the United States are
finally getting to know better the peoples and cultures' of the
Caribbean and the future of tourism is brighter than in the past.

In the international field, the Caribbean area is playing a more
important part than ever before. It was once said in the United
States that the Caribbean was at our back door. Now we say that
it is on our front doorstep. The Caribbean and the Gulf of Mexico
constitute, indeed, an "American Mediterranean," a great hemis-
phere lake. The whole region, once looking exclusively toward
Europe, is now oriented toward the United States. Hence, our
relations with the Caribbean are crucial and paramount.
The United States' concern over Cuba has given rise in some
areas of the Caribbean to suspicions regarding our national mo-
tives both political and economic. Our Alliance for Progress has
been called by some in the Carribean the new "Dollar Diplo-
macy." But fortunately, a majority of these governments do not
feel this way about the United States. They all, however, seem
to have decided that they will not remain exclusively under the
thumb of their big neighbor but will widen their world horizons
politically, economically, and diplomatically. They are aided in
this objective because international communications have brought
all of these countries closer to other parts of the world with the
result that these areas are more interested now in the Caribbean
than ever before.
The diplomatic relations of the Caribbean area have been re-
markably varied. In the last few years, communism as a doctrine
and as a political force has been introduced into the region. Rus-
sian communism, and more recently Chinese communism, have


been factors to be reckoned with in several of the Caribbean
countries. Cuba has tried to promote its own brand of communism
in several of the Latin American countries but with little success.
Foreign ideologies undoubtedly have affected the practices of
diplomacy throughout the Caribbean. Generally, the relations of
these countries with each other have become closer and more
friendly, and with their rising aspirations (a better term than
rising expectations) have been drawn closer into the sphere of
United States influence.
The British, French, and Dutch have modified to a varying
extent their relationships with their territories and former colonies
in the Caribbean. Changing relations between Britain and her
former colonies have brought about some interesting results and
no doubt will present some critical problems in the future. Gen-
erally the Dutch and the French have liberalized their associations
with their Caribbean possessions, and these peoples will probably
be drawn more and more into the orbit of the United States, es-
pecially through the Alliance for Progress and other economic
projects; their needs are becoming more American than European
in the broader sense. Now that the Caribbean Organization, for-
merly called the Caribbean Commission, has ceased to exist, these
governments have increasing incentives to join the American sys-
tem, or at least to be associated with it.
Diplomatic relations between the United States and the Carib-
bean area have come a long way in the past century. Manifest
Destiny, which dominated our relationships from 1846 to about
1870, and the practice of Dollar Diplomacy and the Big Stick
policy under Theodore Roosevelt gave way to a friendly Pan
Americanism and finally to the Good Neighbor Policy. Because the
United States has not always appeared sincere and honest in its
dealings with the Caribbean countries, suspicions still remain in
some areas today. But two world wars and the need for each
other through mutual hemispheric assistance have brought us all
closer together.
Although many of the people of the Caribbean have never heard
of the Alliance for Progress, or even of some of the other policies
which the United States has practiced in the past, the general
suspicion toward the United States which long existed seems to be
gradually subsiding. Government leaders, through enlightened and
friendly policies, have taken it upon themselves to promote closer
inter-American cooperation in the broad sense. And by cooperating
more closely with each other, they feel that they are taking the
edge off some of the detrimental influences which the United



xxii The Caribbean: Its Hemispheric Role
States has exercised in the past. By practicing more self-assurance,
by putting their political-economic houses in order, and by main-
taining friendly cooperation with the United States, the Caribbean
people should move into the future with greater confidence and
self-respect, swept along on the wave of history.
Caribbean Conferences

Note: No specific references have been used in preparing the above obser-
vations, but the reader is referred to particular chapters in the previous volumes
of proceedings of the Caribbean Conferences for the elaboration of all the
topics so briefly mentioned here.

Part I




IN OPENING the first of these Caribbean Conferences in 1950,
Professor A. Curtis Wilgus observed that "in no other portion of
the globe are there at present more numerous or more interesting
problems than in this area."' His statement is as valid today as it
was sixteen years ago. Probably nothing has done more to produce
information and penetrating analysis of these problems than these
annual Caribbean Conferences. Since most of us are committed to
the belief out of knowledge come progress and hope, we can only
hail the previous participants in these gatherings and those who
sponsored them.
A historian who treats the subject of handicaps and liabilities
that bear upon the political capacity of the Caribbean people to
play a worthy role in this hemisphere can find a significant theme
going all the way back to Columbus: the often unfortunate and
tragic effect of the activities of outsiders on this beautiful part of
the world that might support a paradise. Of course, many of these
influences have also been constructive and benevolent. For nearly
half a millennium, however, intrusion by foreigners has been ran-
dom and exploitative, so much so that much of this area offers a
shocking contrast between nature's bounty and the "wickedness
of society," of the splendor of landscapes and the destitution of
human beings.2
"Notes to this chapter begin on p. 11

4 The Caribbean: Its Hemispheric Role
Columbus himself initiated this theme, when he seized inter-
preters during his first voyage and carried them away, when he
clashed with Caribs on the second expedition, and in his pathetic
efforts in Hispaniola to adapt the natives to Spain's purposes
through the tribute and encomienda. The conquest of Puerto Rico
by Ponce de Le6n, of Jamaica by Esquivel, and of Cuba by
Velazquez, together with the activities of assorted slave-catchers
and such enterprisers as Ojeda and Nicuesa on the mainland
brought ruin to the primitive societies of the Caribbean. Montejo
in Yucatan, Pedrarias, Cortes, and Alvarado in Central America,
and the numerous Spanish and even German conquistadors who
overran present-day Colombia and Venezuela continued the work
of disorganization that European expansion signified. What the
military conquest and forced labor did not accomplish in the way
of depopulation, germs brought by the Europeans did. Within a
generation after the Discovery, the Indian element had been re-
duced in most localities to demographic insignificance.
Sadly enough, this devastation did not clear the way for a
wholesome reconstruction of any kind of society for ages. The
more energetic Spaniards moved on into Mexico and Peru, or
into the present-day United States and lower South America. The
path of empire passed quickly through the Caribbean, accom-
plishing little but destruction. It was at least a century before any
of the Spanish colonies in the Caribbean enjoyed an orderly and
civilized pace of life. And the function of some Caribbean settle-
ments as forts and sites for fairs implanted a tradition of vice,
crime, and brutality that has long degraded Havana and other
cities. The deep roots of Caribbean corruption that Ronald Hilton
once noted also trace to the intrusion of Spain's rivals.3 Except for
John Hawkins in his first voyages, the foreign adventurers who
came into the area, however much they have been glamorized
by their respective nationals in Europe, were likely to be thieves,
murderers, kidnappers, and swindlers. The Caribbean's role as a
center for piracy intensified an already powerful tendency toward
violence and inhumanity. Occasional efforts at European settle-
ment introduced fewer sturdy builders than lawless characters
unwanted at home. Furthermore, the vast forcible importation of
Africans brought the curse of slavery to nearly every section, as
well as disoriented, embittered individuals. In times when plain
outlawry gave way to the more dignified practice of declared
international wars, the Caribbean was the scene of battles, sieges,
occupations, and almost continuous fear.
By 1700 Spain had acknowledged the loss of Jamaica, Haiti,


Cura9ao, and most of the Lesser Antilles. Her own Caribbean
provinces, conditioned for two centuries by disorders and cruelty,
endured a political system that later generations would regard
as handicapping them for modern progress. These liabilities would
include autocracy, with a minimum of participation of the ruled
in the processes of law-making and government; a rigid caste
system based largely on race; a dilapidated commercial establish-
ment that encouraged corruption, extortion, and hypocrisy; priv-
ilege and intolerance. To be sure, conditions were scarcely better
in the eighteenth-century colonies of Britain, France, the Nether-
lands, and Denmark, even if they were usually administered
more efficiently, for slavery and the degradation that goes with it
were more deeply rooted. And the frequent wars among European
powers caused terror and destruction in most of the Caribbean
Not even the Age of Revolution brought unmixed benefits to
Caribbean society. Haiti, the first to become free, expelled or
killed the Europeans, only to wallow in poverty for long periods,
and to drag Santo Domingo down with her. Yucatan probably
endured more depression and oppression in the nineteenth-cen-
tury Mexican nation than it had under Spain. The Central Ameri-
can nations gyrated wildly between tyranny and anarchy. These
were also buffeted by self-seeking foreigners and repeatedly failed
through "adolescent political attitudes" and exaggerated nationalism
to federate,4 setting a discouraging example of man's inability to
get along with his fellows.5 In Colombia true issues and men of
admirable idealism at times appeared, but the protracted civil
wars prevented the growth of a viable republic for most of the
nineteenth century. Venezuela's early promise was spoiled by the
destructive wars of liberation and the long periods of strife and
dictatorship that came afterward. The remaining European colo-
nies sank into stagnation as the Caribbean sugar industry lost
ground in the world economy. Not even the liberation of the
slaves compensated for the dreadful social, economic, and intel-
lectual degradation that prevailed. And the mother countries
either took comparatively little interest in improving them, or
achieved much when they undertook uplifting projects on occasion.
The massive intrusion of the United States into the Caribbean
in 1898 and after has certainly resulted in fewer political benefits
than optimists predicted. True, the Panama Canal and the mighty
increase of American investment, as well as trade in sugar, oil, and
fruit, energized economic life, but their long-range effects have
been uneven and sometimes harmful. Puerto Rico felt compara-

6 The Caribbean: Its Hemispheric Role
tively few political benefits until World War II when spectacular
progress began. The transformation of Cuba within sixty years
from a United States protectorate, supposedly grateful and fa-
vored, into an outright enemy is a development too well known to
need sketching. American interventions in Hispaniola and Cen-
tral America may well have retarded the development of whole-
some political attitudes and sound government practices. In these
and in other lands, the overwhelming might of the United States,
even when wielded with the best of intentions or not brandished
at all, has somehow inspired only frail emulation of the political
institutions of the big neighbor, and has often served as an excuse
for failure. Meanwhile, the colonies of the European powers were
largely neglected until the Second World War and did little on
their own to prepare themselves for nationhood.

These burdens of history have lightened somewhat during the
last generation. Handicaps and liabilities imposed by past events
have not prevented a remarkable movement toward political ma-
turity by Puerto Rico, honest elections at crucial times in Venezuela
and recently in the Dominican Republic, and some improvement
in democratic practices in Colombia and parts of Central America.
The Netherlands and France have in recent years extended to
the Caribbean many of the liberties they enjoy, and while the
failure of the British West Indies to federate may be disappoint-
ing, the experiment was not altogether a loss, even if they appar-
ently have to postpone the idea until the present generation of
leaders has gone.6
Yet the legacy of the past still hangs heavy. It has left the
Caribbean nations with no true models. The national experience
of the United States seems to have little relevance to most of
these countries in finding their own political style. Nor does that
of the former European colonial powers, though some admirable
practices have been implanted. It would appear presently that
Cuba is not flourishing or even showing promise as a Communist
state. The recent return to militarism by Brazil and Argentina re-
moves what might have been two important models for orderly,
representative government. Apparently some Mexican intellec-
tuals think that Mexico has not offered sufficient guidance and
has even lost the initiative even though her modern political
evolution usually is admired.7 Perhaps models are not what the
Caribbean lands need. It may well be that Latin America has


lived too long already under alien institutions.8 Maybe western-
style democracy, or even communism, cannot and should not be
imported.9 These countries should find their own identities and
develop systems that accord with their methods and needs.
Most of them have not done so. Nearly everywhere we note a
lack of strong consensus and an absence of true patriotism-not
nationalistic bombast but the sober citizenship that produces sound
planning, persistence, and cooperative effort. So often we discern
that there is no institutional way to transform basic aspirations
into realistic action, and that victims of evils cannot channel their
demands effectively. So frequently we see defeatism and timidity
on the part of governments. As Harry Bernstein observed, the
obsession with the hero-caudillo obstructs the growth of construc-
tive nationalism and idealism,10 as does the tendency to swing
between caudillos and pensadores, as Russell Fitzgibbon put it.11
In a previous conference of this series Jose Figueres bluntly asserted
that those of Spanish descent have not been very successful in
handling their own affairs and that they are not adept at self-
government.12 Yet the United States, which has not effectively
promoted democratic governments for long, is often made the
scapegoat for the shortcomings of other peoples. This has not, as
J. Fred Rippy stated, kept the Caribbean lands from expecting too
much from the United States,13 nor of remaining unaware of the
serious problems, including poverty, with which Americans must
The persistence of conservatism has often been identified as a
force in the way of development,14 even though in most cases
conservatives now have to be covert and disguise their purposes
by infiltrating supposedly liberal groups.15 Seldom do we find a
solid and long-lived middle way in Caribbean politics. Radicals
are often inclined to make demands that are beyond realistic
attainment and to deceive themselves with words. The immatu-
rity and incapacity of so many leaders of the left, as well as their
intolerance, demagoguery, and fractiousness, frequently shred their
own organizations and lead to self-defeat. The Church, as Jerome
Fischman has demonstrated in the case of Puerto Rico,16 has lost
much of its power to constrain radicalism. But it cannot be counted
inevitably as a force for conservatism.
Much has been done to improve public education. Everyone
knows how frightening the rate of illiteracy in most of the Carib-
bean is and that it embraces perhaps half the total population.
Such education as there is, as S. S. Steinberg,17 Ronald Hilton,18
and Gordon Lewis19 have brought out in a previous conference,

8 The Caribbean: Its Hemispheric Role
tends to be too theoretical or classical and to inflate raw students
with the notion that they are intellectuals simply because they are
enrolled in schools. While the cult of youth flourishes nearly
everywhere, the very youthfulness of a high proportion of the
Caribbean populations poses dangers.20 Young people are a great
reservoir of idealism and energy if conditions are stable, but even
in the United States the youthful character of the citizenry is
seen as productive of violence and agitation and must be so to a
much greater degree in the Caribbean.
Here, as elsewhere in Latin America, as Daniel Cosio Villegas
has stated in despondent accents, one finds true insularity and
isolation.21 People of one community are detached from the others,
and, if they are not indifferent to each other, see one another as
a threat.22 A lack of human fellowship impedes advance toward
political stability. And this stability-or merely good government,
any workable system-is and has long been the fundamental need
of the Caribbean area. More than a year ago, before the recent
elections, Selden Rodman said: "In the longest history of any
country in this hemisphere, the history of the Dominican Republic,
a history stretching back almost five hundred years, there has
never been a single government, competent, efficient, honest, ideal-
istic, that represented the Dominican people."23 His statement
cannot be applied to the entire Caribbean region and may well be
too inclusive for the Dominican Republic, but its fundamental
implication must be acknowledged as sound.

The reasons for the absence of political stability lie partly in
the historical experiences and psychological attitudes we have
touched upon. Yet every serious student knows that economic
and social conditions have decisively retarded the thrust of these
lands toward effective government. Participants in earlier con-
ferences have explored these factors in abundant detail. First of
all one confronts the population explosion. Those who predict a
world-wide famine by 1985 may not be altogether hysterical alarm-
ists. Certainly, the problem of runaway human reproduction in
the Caribbean is acute and threatening to an extreme degree. It
is sad to note that poor health, malnutrition, and short life spans
go side by side with this outburst of procreation. Poor sanitation
prevails widely, almost everywhere. "Horror housing" and unstable
family life have easily understood political effects.24 The legacy
of slavery and of monoculture in so much of the Caribbean spells

long periods of idleness for many workers, and this idleness is
seldom utilized for constructive purposes.25 Most workers toil for
others often apathetically and inefficiently and certainly for small
wages. Low production has long characterized the Caribbean econ-
omy.26 There is little for the lands of this area to exchange with
each other. Even if there were, transportation is notoriously awk-
ward and expensive. The Industrial Revolution, which caught Lat-
in America by surprise in any event,27 has ameliorated economic
conditions sporadically in the Caribbean but too often has re-
sulted in artificial, rigged enterprises existing at the mercy of
shocks from the outside and stimulating premature efforts at dis-
tribution. Technical backwardness on the part of the general
population is matched by managerial ineptitude or indifference
on the part of native elite groups.
Hence we have the prominent role of the outsider. The out-
sider, however, is not necessarily determined to risk his effort
and capital even when he is encouraged by local authorities.
Political conditions such as those that led to expropriation in
Cuba brought fresh American investment in Latin America al-
most to zero in a few months during 1962.28 The brutal fact may
well be, as Peter Nehemkis stated here, that "United States invest-
ment capital does not need Latin America."29 It can do better
elsewhere. Thus production lags, and when it flourishes in some
localities, the benefits often fail to reach the masses. The Carib-
bean area, along with Latin America in general, falls farther and
farther behind the rest of the world, or most of it, in technology,
commerce, and economic growth.30

What a dreary picture we have of misery and discouragement!
How could one expect peoples so burdened with handicaps to
exhibit political capacity? Are most of the Caribbean lands doomed
to eternal punishment because of the past? Is there no way to
develop good government so that these appalling problems can be
dealt with, or that conditions can improve so that good govern-
ment will be possible?
Certainly no formula can be offered with confidence. There is
hope, however, because there is life. Further, as Wendell Gor-
don has written, "The world now possesses the technical knowl-
edge necessary to provide every man, woman, and child with
enough food, clothing, and shelter so that all may live in decent
comfort."31 A distinguished Argentine recently said, "Countries

The Caribbean: Its Hemispheric Role

which are economically and socially underdeveloped could bridge
the gap that separates them from the advanced countries within
a surprisingly short time if they made use of the potentialities of
modern science and technology."32 Sudden and almost miraculous
development has occurred in the course of history. One thinks of
as badly endowed a land as Denmark where poor grain farmers
transformed themselves into prosperous and cultured producers
of butter, bacon, and eggs.33 The Netherlands offers another ex-
ample. In our own time we have witnessed the spectacular rise
of Japan, the Philippines, and Germany literally from the ashes.
Israel's recent career may be the most encouraging example of all.
Undoubtedly, striking increases in agricultural production and
industrialization have sometimes occurred in Latin America, in-
cluding the Caribbean.34 We have seen the Caribbean Commission
during World War II and after kindle hope and ferment.35 It is
clear that the recent record of Britain, France, and the Nether-
lands in the Caribbean has been honorable, more so than it has
usually been credited.36 Puerto Rico has experienced not only an
economic improvement that has amazed the world but has also
exhibited a remarkable growth of political capacity.37 It seems
that statesmanship in Central America is producing economic
union and with it, betterment. There are many signs of vigor in
Colombia and Venezuela, political as well as economic.
The human race is not so helpless that it must accept perpetual
frustration in the Caribbean. Populations can be stabilized through
birth control, and they probably will be when the need is faced
squarely. Even emigration, so often regarded as a mere palliative,
could redistribute Caribbean peoples and lead to stabilization.38
Ancient problems of water and soil are not hopeless.39 Health
can be improved. The lumber40 and fishing41 industries could be
greatly expanded. Transportation, with the development of pas-
senger missiles and hydrofoils, may well link the Caribbean in a
way impossible for present-day ships and airplanes. Above all,
tourism beckons as the possibility with the most immediate and
lucrative rewards. If significant economic amelioration occurred,
why should we remain defeatist about ancient problems of land
tenure and monoculture or of inadequate political systems?
The barriers to betterment are essentially human factors.42 Man
can change his environment if he wants to badly enough.43 In this
area, technology, managerial proficiency, and favorable attitudes-
a "can do" philosophy-are needed more than capital.44 However,
capital is likely to be forthcoming if there is any reason to suppose
that it will help. Pride in craftmanship and manual labor can be


inculcated.45 Books and other communication even more vivid than
the printed word have in some cases brought about a spectacular
upgrading of civilization; this surely could be the case here.
Educators are perhaps the most receptive of all groups to new
methods and ideals, and they could exert the most influence in
changing the psychological climate.46 The problem is ultimately
one of will and of spirit.
One may dwell interminably on the liabilities and handicaps
of the Caribbean peoples. The burdens of history can be chroni-
cled and lamented to the point of despair, yet a humanist must
address himself to what could be done to inspire potential Carib-
bean leaders to conquer their problems. They will surely have
help if they try.

1. The Caribbean at Mid-Century (Gainesville, Fla., 1951), p. xiv. This and
all the other volumes in the series are edited by A. Curtis Wilgus.
2. Daniel Guerin, The West Indies and Their Future (London, 1961), p. 19.
3. The Caribbean: Contemporary Education (1960), p. 37, citing Luis Alberto
4. Carl C. Moses in American Political Science Review (June, 1962), pp.
5. Thomas L. Karnes, The Failure of Union: Central America, 1824-1960
(Chapel Hill, 1961), p. 3.
6. Thomas Mathews, "The West Indies After the Federation," Current His-
tory (January, 1966), p. 52.
7. Daniel Cosio Villegas, Change in Latin America: The Mexican and Cuban
Revolutions (Lincoln, Neb., 1961), p. 42.
8. Wendell C. Gordon, The Political Economy of Latin America (New York,
1965), p. 2.
9. Harry Hoetink, "Cuba and the New Experts," Caribbean Studies (July,
1961), p. 18.
10. The Caribbean: Its Political Problems (1956), p. 3.
11. Ibid., p. 33.
12. The Caribbean: The Central American Area (1961), p. 313.
13. The Caribbean: Natural Resources (19N9), pp. 287-88.
14. Claudio Veliz, Obstacles to Change in Latin America (London, New York,
Toronto, 1965), Introduction; W. Arthur Lewis, in Inflation and Growth in
Latin America, edited by Werner Baer and Isaac Kerstenetzky (Harewood,
Ill., 1964), p. 25.
15. Morley Ayearst, The British West Indies: The Search for Self-Govern-
ment (London, 1960), p. 54.
16. "The Church in Politics: The 1960 Election in Puerto Rico," The
Western Political Quarterly (Dec., 1965), p. 839.
17. The Caribbean: Its Culture (1955), p. 143.
18. The Caribbean: Contemporary Education, p. 45.
19. The Caribbean: Natural Resources, p. 220.
20. Arturo Uslar Pietri in The Caribbean: Venezuelan Development, A Case
History (1963), p. 31.
21. Cosio Villegas, p. 20.



The Caribbean: Its Hemispheric Role

22. J. J. Ochse, in The Caribbean: British, Dutch, French, United States
(1958), p. 93.
23. "The Reason Why," The Caribbean in Crisis: Report of the IV Institute,
Caribbean Institute and Study Center for Latin America, p. 14.
24. Guerin, p. 22; Charles Wagley in The Caribbean: Natural Resources,
p. 203.
25. Lowry Nelson in The Caribbean at Mid-Century, p. 145.
26. James G. Maddox in The Caribbean: Peoples, Problems, and Prospects
(1952), p. 29; Gilberto Loyo and Rail Ortiz Mena in The Caribbean: Contem-
porary Trends, p. 34; Raymond E. Crist in The Caribbean at Mid-Century, pp.
27. Cosio Villegas, p. 18.
28. Peter Nehemkis in The Caribbean: Venezuelan Development, A Case
History, p. 133.
29. Ibid., p. 141.
30. Ibid., p. 145; Lewis, pp. 27-28.
31. Gordon, p. 386.
32. Rolando V. Garcia, "Organizing Scientific Research," Bulletin of the
Atomic Scientists (Sept., 1966), p. 12.
33. Ralph H. Allee in The Caribbean: Natural Resources, p. 5.
34. Erich O. Kraemer, ibid., pp. 47-49.
35. Frances McReynolds Smith in The Caribbean: British, Dutch, French,
United States, pp. 290-91; see also the Caribbean Commission Reports for 1942
through 1948, published in Washington.
36. Sir Harold Mitchell, Europe in the Caribbean (London, 1963), p. 176.
37. Petroamerica Pagan de Col6n in The Caribbean: British, Dutch, French,
United States, p. 186.
38. Carl S. Lokke, ibid., p. 132.
39. E. A. Norton in The Caribbean: Contemporary Trends, p. 5.
40. Monroe Bush in The Caribbean: Natural Resources, p. 64.
41. William Saenz, ibid., pp. 187-88.
42. Charles Wagley, ibid., p. 193.
43. Ross E. Moore in The Caribbean: Peoples, Problems, and Prospects, pp.
44. Maynard Phelps in The Caribbean at Mid-Century, p. 61.
45. Richard M. Morse in The Caribbean: Contemporary Education, pp.
46. A. Curtis Wilgus in The Caribbean: Its Culture, p. xvi.




THE POLITICAL DYNAMICS of Caribbean America is both a
challenging and an important subject. It is challenging because of
the human environmental diversity of the region, and it is impor-
tant because the future peace and security of the Americas will in-
evitably be affected by the course of political developments within
this vital area.
Consider for a moment the vast spatial extension of Caribbean
America. A line passing from the city of Tijuana in northwestern
Mexico to Cayenne in French Guiana bisects the region, con-
nects its most distant points, and covers a distance of 5,000 miles.
The physical environment of Caribbean America is marked by
sharp contrasts. The human mosaic of the area is characterized
by diverse ethnic and cultural groups with varied traditions, atti-
tudes, values, and institutions. The diversity of the region sug-
gests that some introductory caveats are clearly in order.
While there are threads of unity in the political development
of Caribbean America, generalizations are difficult and predictions
of future trends are hazardous. Many of the comments which
follow could not be qualified as much or as often-due to limita-
tions of space-as would seem prudent in view of the diversity of
the region. Furthermore, while it may suit our convenience to
discuss the political, economic, social, and cultural components of
Caribbean America's development separately, it is well to recog-
nize that in so doing we are considering pieces of an integrated

The Caribbean: Its Hemispheric Role

With these caveats in mind, the commentary which follows
attempts to follow the main currents rather than the minor eddies
of political change and growth in Caribbean America. The objec-
tive is one of presenting an overview in which the ambiente of
political development is stressed rather than the details concern-
ing leading personalities, individual political parties, or specific
issues. There is an effort to glance backward briefly into the past
since the region's history lends weight to the old adage that
asserts "what is past is prologue." Subsequent comments are pri-
marily concerned, however, with projecting into the future basic
political trends which can now be identified.
Growth and possible change in the political capacity of Carib-
bean America can perhaps best be judged by assessing progress
made in achieving three basic political tasks: (1) the building of
nations; (2) the development of democratic institutions; and (3)
the formulation of national policy regarding Caribbean integra-
tion and international alignment. It is to these three topics that
we now turn.
I. The Building of Nations
The history of Caribbean America, just as that of other world
areas, demonstrates that the building of nations is often an ar-
duous and prolonged process. Today, no less than in the past, the
winning of independence is but a prelude to the challenging task
of forging more closely integrated societies. Even the establish-
ment of peace and order-a prerequisite to national integration-
has been a difficult task for much of Caribbean America.
A divisive physical environment often combines with the ethno-
cultural diversity of the Caribbean to impede the formulation of
national 'consciousness. The cultural mosaic of Caribbean peoples
is reflected in their varied-and at times conflicting-goals, values,
traditions, and institutions. The weak social fabric of many Carib-
bean peoples does not lend itself to formation of a closely knit
national community. The predominant Iberian stamp of the region
has contributed as much to fragmentation as it has to unity of the
area. Exaggerated Spanish pride and individualism, combined
with Iberian resistance to change and mutual accommodation, lend
support to Salvador de Madariaga's observation that anarchy is the
natural state of the Spanish mind.*1 In short, Iberian cultural values
have exerted a centrifugal effect.
Lack of administrative talent and political experience in self-
rule is a legacy of Spanish colonial rule. In all the Spanish colonies
*Notes and appendix to this chapter are on pp. 26-27.


of America, only four of 170 appointed viceroys were American-
born.2 The development of able leadership remains a major task
in the pursuit of national unity.
The barriers to national integration are not confined to areas
heavily influenced by a Spanish heritage. As a case in point,
witness the present state of flux within the newly created "na-
tions" that formerly comprised the British Caribbean. Guyana is
racked by racial tension and has yet to prove that it is a viable
nation. The West Indies, a confederation of widely dispersed
islands given their independence by Great Britain in 1958, has
since disintegrated. A number of British dependencies within the
Windward and Leeward chain are soon to become "associated
states" and eligible for independence; they may unite in a con-
federation with other areas of the British Caribbean or go their
separate ways. There is a lingering sense that common interests
favor the creation of an Anglo-Antillean "nation," but the eventual
outcome of the current flux through which former British depend-
encies are passing is most uncertain. To cite another non-Iberian
case, the heavy Amerindian influence in certain areas of Carib-
bean America can hardly be said to contribute to the building of
integrated nations. In Guatemala, for example, one estimate indi-
cates that only 125,000 of this country's three million people can
be counted as "effective actors in reaching political decisions at a
national level."3
It is not surprising that the consolidation of national power in
many areas of the Caribbean has been achieved more often by
force than by consent. Military intervention and rise of the caudi-
Ilo could in many instances be traced to civic irresponsibility and
administrative chaos. In more recent times, insurrectionary efforts
inspired by Communist Cuba's open support of "wars of national
liberation" have posed still another threat to national integration
in certain countries. Castro's disruptive efforts have been effective-
ly blunted to date. Rural insurgency and urban terrorism in
Venezuela are now under effective control, and la violencia suf-
fered by Colombia through many years appears to have been con-
tained. Insurrectionary efforts by the radical left in the Dominican
Republic and Guatemala have also been stymied. Consequently,
the role of force in maintaining internal security and strengthen-
ing the control of the central government has diminished. Several
military establishments have fortunately turned to more construc-
tive tasks of "civic action" and "nation-building."
A number of changes are in process which are overcoming past
obstacles to national integration within individual Caribbean states.



The Caribbean: Its Hemispheric Role

Technology exerts a unifying influence. Expanding air and high-
way links combine with astounding advances in the field of elec-
tronic communications to facilitate the consolidation of central
government control and administration. An increasingly complex
economic structure and growing industrialization provide still oth-
er integrative influences. Social changes accompanying the mod-
ernization process have increased the number of politically aware
and their participation in national affairs. The growth and im-
provement of educational institutions have expanded the horizons
of millions and served as vehicles for introducing the dynamic
values of the modern West. Nationalism provides an emotional
bond to overcome parochial political allegiance. Except for newly
emerging nations whose boundaries are in dispute, and the con-
tinuing state of flux in the British Caribbean with regard to na-
tional amalgamation, the nation-state structure of Caribbean Amer-
ica has become relatively firmly established.
Looking toward the future, the prospects of individual Carib-
bean countries becoming more closely integrated political units
are decidedly favorable. Unifying trends of modernization are
well established. Separatist tendencies of the past seem to have
lost appeal. To the degree that the present and emerging nation-
state structure of Caribbean America is altered, it is most likely
to change in favor of confederate movements which join existing
political units in a broader association. But of more immediate
concern is Caribbean America's progress in creating democratic
institutions which, in themselves, serve an integrative function in
the process of building nations. It is to this subject which we now
II. Development of Democratic Institutions
Authoritarian past.-A Latin American writer once commented
that independence from Spain was achieved on "the last day of
despotism and the first day of the same thing."4 Power was trans-
ferred to new hands but an authoritarian heritage hampered for
many decades the development of democratic institutions. While
there is something essentially democratic in Spanish individualism,
it produced men who were more inclined to govern than to be
governed. The attitude of personalismo has been well expressed
by the Ecuadorian writer, Alfredo Perez Guerrero who described
it as "an exaltation of the I, which does not perceive itself as a
unit in the group, but as the whole group itself. Pride and
dignidad are exaggerated, and the group serves as a pedestal for
the self."5 Other Iberian attitudes and traditions combined with


environmental obstacles and ethnocultural diversity to complicate
the transplanting of democratic institutions to Spanish America.
Sim6n Bolivar, with great insight and realism, was reported to
have said that the "new states of America, once Spanish, need
kings with the title of President."6
Despite the unfavorable soil for democratic institutions, Creole
political leaders borrowed heavily from the political theory of the
French philosophes and from the constitutional pattern adopted
by the United States. As might have been expected, political
theory and constitutional law gave way to governments of men. It
could hardly have been otherwise. Strong rulers were needed to
bring peace and order. The political history of Caribbean America
has been marked by numerous golpes and caudillos. Democratic
rule has more often been the ideal than the practice. Constitu-
tional forms ill-suited to the realities of Caribbean politics have
more often served as useful statements of democratic intent rather
than rigid strictures governing political conduct in the here and
now. Over 200 constitutions have been adopted throughout Span-
ish America's history-many of them having their origin in Carib-
bean America. For example, Venezuela, the Dominican Republic,
and Haiti have had at least 24, 22, and 18 constitutions respec-
tively.7 Chronic political instability in many areas of Caribbean
America has given rise to doubts as to the region's political capac-
ity, and to pessimism concerning the future of democratic in-
stitutions in the region. Before passing judgment on the future
of democracy in Caribbean America, it would be well to muster
as much empathy as possible and view political realities within
the region as they are rather than as one might wish them to be.
The current reality.-Strong Latin American rulers who bring
peace, prosperity, and efficient administration to their country will
receive general support-as long as they do not deny unduly basic
human freedoms. While the tyrant is despised, the firm and effi-
cient political leader is admired even if he operates with fewer
executive restraints than the North American concept of "checks
and balances" would permit. Latin American presidents must rule
if they are to be effective administrators and avoid devoting most
of their time to a struggle simply to remain in power. Even the
strong executive must answer ultimately to the people. Democracy
cannot be equated with exercise of the ballot. Military golpes,
with the passage of time, have been less power-motivated and
more designed to end the abuse of power or other instances of
misrule. Moreover, even popularly elected presidents have been
ousted frequently for good reasons and with public approval. In



The Caribbean: Its Hemispheric Role

increasingly complex societies in which power is ever more widely
distributed among a growing number of interest groups, the days
of the old-style caudillo are over. It would be rash, however, to
predict the early end of dictatorships in Caribbean America. Nev-
ertheless, it seems certain they will be fewer and shorter in dura-
tion. The modernization of the region-through education, im-
provements in transportation and communications, the impact of
new ideas from abroad, political and economic pressures from
within the Organization of American States (oAs)-favors an evo-
lutionary trend toward greater democracy.
In one way or another, Latin Americans have been exposed in
increasing numbers for over two centuries to the ideals and merits
of democracy. They do not require further lectures on the subject,
and they have accepted democratic institutions as their goal. What
is required is patient cultivation of the soil in which democracy
can grow. This will take time. Revolutionary changes-in the sense
of fundamental changes, whether political or otherwise-have
been rare in Latin America. Democracy, involving as it does ac-
ceptance of social values foreign to most of Caribbean America,
cannot be imposed; a product of human development, it can only
come about slowly. Advocates of "instant democracy" would do
well to be content in the knowledge that the pace of change is
quickening through Latin America, and popular participation in
political decisions-whether by exercise of the rights of suffrage or
otherwise-has grown at a rapid rate.
Quest for indigenous solutions.-One of the criticisms most often
levied against Latin American democracy is that foreign models
have been copied too slavishly, with few indigenous contributions
to political philosophy and few creative solutions to problems
peculiar to the local ambiente. The criticism is sound, but it ap-
plies more to the past than to the present. Unfortunately, Latin
American political innovations have not been recognized as such
because they have been regarded as "distortions" of North Ameri-
can or European "models." Foreign critics cannot expect to have it
both ways. They should examine what they have labelled as
"distortions" to see if they are not, in fact, practical adaptations
suited to Latin America's environment and intended to provide
creative solutions to real problems which the foreign critic has
neither experienced nor adequately understood. For example,
these are Latin American constitutional provisions which fre-
quently draw criticism: (1) suspension of individual guarantees
during times of national emergency; (2) exceptional federal pow-
ers to intervene in state affairs; (3) rights of presidential initia-


tive and decree-making power (which, it is asserted, grant the
executive quasi-legislative functions), usually providing for sub-
sequent congressional ratification; (4) assigning the military a role
of "guaranteeing constitutional powers" (which, say the critics,
invites military intervention in political matters).8
There is little question that provisions such as these can lead to
"constitutional dictatorships" within the terms, if not the spirit, of
the constitution. Examined with more empathy, however, there
is also little question that they provide the Latin American execu-
tive with powers needed to deal with separatism, insurrection, or
chaos caused by irresponsible political opponents. How to grant
the president the powers he requires, yet prevent his abuse of
provisions intended for true emergencies? There are, of course,
many ways of measuring public opinion other than submitting
issues to one or another form of popular vote. Therein lies the
basis for the assertion made previously that even the strong execu-
tive must answer ultimately to the people. Professor William S.
Stokes has posed a key question: "Is it possible that Latin Ameri-
can political culture has developed procedures for measuring and
representing opinion different from but as valid as the techniques
of election, initiative, referendum, and plebiscite of the Anglo-
American and Western European states?"9 This question suggests
others. How can the Latin American executive who has assumed
emergency powers demonstrate convincingly that his actions en-
joy popular consent? Times of crisis do not normally permit the
exercise of popular suffrage. Can the absence of public resistance
and a return to "normalcy" be interpreted as "popular consent"?
Can new techniques-perhaps a combination of modern communi-
cations, scientific polling methods, and automated tabulation-pro-
vide still other evidence of popular consent without the formality
of voting? These questions suggest a new area in which innova-
tions might be devised so as to demonstrate that Latin Americans
can develop not only the substance of democratic government
but also unique procedures well-suited to their environment for
measuring popular will. A challenging field for research is clearly
open for the student of Latin American political dynamics.
Area contrasts.-As might be expected in an area of great diver-
sity, the progress of democracy has been, and is likely to remain,
very uneven. To bring general commentary down to concrete
cases, a brief look at individual situations is in order.
Respect for parliamentary government has taken root in those
countries (or countries-to-be) which compose what was formerly
the British Caribbean. But it is difficult to predict how firmly the



The Caribbean: Its Hemispheric Role

roots have been planted. Independence has been a brief experi-
ence and within former British areas the prospects of democratic
government differ greatly. Jamaica would appear to have a better
chance for internal stability and gaining experience with the
functions of a loyal opposition than, for example, would Guyana.
Troubled as it is by racial strife which takes on political lines,
Guyana must give priority to the task of achieving national sur-
vival in an environment which may curtail full exercise of demo-
cratic freedoms.
French and Dutch areas of the Caribbean have achieved greater
autonomy but not independence. French Guiana is without a
doubt the most dependent of European-administered areas in the
Caribbean. Established as a department in 1947, it is legally a
part of metropolitan France. Its prospects for the future are dim
on all counts-especially with respect to developing self-reliance
and indigenous democratic institutions. French-administered is-
lands of the Antilles, principally Martinique and Guadeloupe,
have the same legal status as French Guiana but a better prospect
of exercising real autonomy and developing democratic institu-
tions. The Netherlands Antilles and Surinam present a brighter
picture than French-administered areas since they possess good
physical and human resources and a populace fast becoming
equipped for self-government and eventual independence, should
this eventually be their wish.
The Commonwealth of Puerto Rico, a Latin American com-
munity of United States citizens, enjoys complete local autonomy
and has had ample experience with democratic institutions and
processes. While it favors its present association with the United
States over complete independence, Puerto Rico appears well
equipped to govern itself democratically in the future, whether
as a commonwealth or a sovereign state.
Haiti is the land of the classic tyrant-gripped by terror and
handicapped by poverty, ignorance, and political apathy. There
is no political dialogue in Haiti and little likelihood that one will
soon develop. Opposition elements in exile are divided and, in the
event they were to come to power, do not offer much promise
of developing democratic institutions.
Spanish Caribbean states occupy positions throughout the spec-
trum of democratic development. Efforts at a systematic ranking
of nations according to their democratic progress inevitably pro-
duce highly perishable listings subject to much debate. Nonethe-
less, in a separate appendix, the eleven countries of the Spanish
Caribbean have been placed in one or another of six categories


with the principal objective of conveying graphically varying rates
of democratic progress and different institutional patterns. The
essential observation which emerges from this categorization is
that the governments of the Spanish Caribbean range from es-
tablished democracies to outright dictatorships with intermediate
types which can be described as "functioning democracies," gov-
ernments with "fragile democratic institutions," "guided demo-
cracies" featuring one-party rule, and "limited democracies," which
present essentially a single option to the popular electorate. Once
again, to repeat a familiar theme, the diversity of Spanish America
is apparent. The conclusions to be drawn are: Future rates of
progress in achieving advanced norms of political democracy are
certain to be unequal; and, the institutions established to carry
out the functions of democratic government will differ consider-
ably from country to country in their effectiveness as well as their
Current trends.-Discernible trends in the development of politi-
cal parties in Caribbean America can only be generalized. Few
political parties of Caribbean America possess either the ideologi-
cal drive or the broad popular base to exercise an integrative
function although many have gained in strength and maturity. The
function of a loyal opposition is better understood and increasingly
adopted. Broader popular participation has definitely restrained
the force of personalismo in party affairs. Traditional conservative
parties are fighting a rear-guard and losing action. Centrist parties
are growing most rapidly of all, including in their ranks many
who have recently become active participants in the political
process. Leftist groups have had ups and downs and now stand
essentially at dead center despite their dramatic take-over in
Cuba. Ideological drive has appeared only in the Partido Revolu-
cionario Institucional (PRI) of Mexico (where it is more of an
historic than a living force), the Christian Democratic groups of
Venezuela and Central America (where it is a developing and
important phenomenon), and among the Communists of Cuba
(where it has been the source of truly revolutionary change and
catastrophic errors).
Political leadership will be drawn increasingly from an emerg-
ing group which may be called Caribbean America's "new elite."
The Church, military, intellectual and student groups, labor union-
ists, businessmen, and/or miscellaneous professionals have all
failed-considering each individually as a special interest group-
to provide effective national leadership. But among their mem-
bers are found intelligent men of vision who are willing to work



The Caribbean: Its Hemispheric Role

for constructive change to speed Caribbean America's moderni-
zation. They are prepared to place national interests above nar-
row group concerns. Unfortunately, the "new elite" remains dif-
fused and has not yet created a sufficient number of associations
capable of exercising effective leadership. This lack defines the
principal task of democratic political action in Caribbean America.
It is useful to distinguish between the substance of democratic
government and the procedures by which popular will can be
expressed. Substantive democracy as a concept has long taken
root in Caribbean America. With some obvious exceptions, basic
human rights are generally upheld. The will of the majority pre-
vails in the long run. Rights of the opposing minority are by and
large protected. Procedural democracy in Caribbean America
would be found wanting if judged by the standards of demo-
cratic systems of the modern West. Judged within the ambiente
of Caribbean America, however, procedural "shortcomings" in the
practice of democracy appear more as realistic adaptations than
perverse distortions of democratic ways as they are generally
understood in the United States and most of Western Europe.
In summary, Latin America is wedded to democratic ideals but
is still in pursuit of workable procedures which can reconcile the
need for a strong executive with the goal of subjecting such
political leadership to a test of popular will. Measured by Anglo-
American and most Western European standards, Latin American
democracy has fallen short and faces an up-hill struggle. Meas-
ured against the physical and human obstacles to democracy which
Latin Americans confront, however, progress has been encouraging.
In balance, it is safe to say that in the decades ahead democracy
in Caribbean America will flourish in a few countries, continue to
evolve slowly in most, and languish in some backward and un-
stable areas. The hard truth is that the road to democracy for
all peoples throughout history has been a long and a difficult one,
and it is unlikely that Latin Americans will find shortcuts.

III. The Formulation of National Policy Regarding
Caribbean Integration and International Alignment

The building of integrated nations and democratic institutions
has posed enormous challenges to the people of Caribbean Amer-
ica. Confronted by such tasks, they-not surprisingly-have de-
voted little thought and less action to more ambitious goals such
as that of creating a Pan Caribbean Federation. The idea of a
region-wide political union has never been taken seriously by


practical politicians. Homo caribiensis remains an abstraction. Di-
versity defeats idyllic notions of Caribbean unity. Technological
breakthroughs which vault physical obstacles have much less im-
pact on overcoming human differences, the emotional appeal of
nationalism, trade competition, and other sources of conflict.
While the region-wide political integration of Caribbean Ameri-
ca is generally regarded as impractical, sub-regional political inte-
gration may in a few cases prove feasible. The three most frequent-
ly discussed sub-regional groupings are, in a decreasing order of
probability: (1) A federation comprising some of the currently
fragmented segments of what was formerly the British Caribbean;
(2) A Central American Confederation composed of Guatemala,
El Salvador, Honduras, Nicaragua, and Costa Rica; (3) A resur-
rection of Gran Colombia (Venezuela, Colombia, Ecuador, and
Panama), or at least integration of some portion of that historic
With the guidance and encouragement of the British, the West
Indies, a federation of former Caribbean dependencies, was es-
tablished in January, 1958. (Guyana and British Honduras were
not incorporated.) The experiment was unsuccessful and the fed-
eration disbanded a few years later. However, the federate idea
persists. Economic self-interest may discourage Jamaica's re-entry
but favor Guyana's adhesion to a new effort at federation. British
Honduras, when it becomes the independent state of Belize, is
likely to go it alone for geographic and other reasons. In short,
some form of federation centered in the Antilles (possibly in
Trinidad) may evolve if for no other reasons than common lan-
guage (English), the logic of economic union, common experience
with parliamentary government, and realization that separate ex-
istence offers no attraction except the dubious one of absorption
by aggressive neighbors or extra-Caribbean powers. Straws in the
wind are Guyanan President Burnham's advocacy of his country's
federation with Trinidad-Tobago and Barbados, and his success
in forming the Caribbean Free Trade Association (CARIFA) now
linking Guyana with Antigua and Barbados.
A confederation of Central American states is favored by geo-
graphic propinquity, common language, a history of past union,
and progress in the formation of a Central American Common
Market (CACM) with its demonstrated economic advantages. The
Organization of Central American States (ODECA), founded in
1952, provides an existing nucleus around which closer political
union may be developed. But many obstacles remain. Despite
unifying factors, Central American states differ in many respects.



The Caribbean: Its Hemispheric Role

Divergent political traditions (contrast democratic Costa Rica, for
example, with some of its neighbors who have had little experi-
ence with democratic institutions) pose a barrier to effective
political union. This is one among several reasons why political
unification has been greeted with differing degrees of enthusiasm
among the countries of Central America. On the other hand, the
unifying effect of improved communications and transportation
may well reduce existing obstacles to confederation, especially if
such a union not only preserves but also increases material bene-
fits such as those already realized through the CACM.
Turning to the prospect of a resurrected Gran Colombia, analy-
sis quickly gives way to speculation. The rationale favoring some
form of political union (i.e., the evident advantages of greater
leverage in regional affairs and closer economic integration) is
well known. But the disparate segments that were once united
only briefly under the genius of Bolivar have developed with the
passage of time great differences in their mode and rate of de-
velopment. Moreover, geography still tends to fragment and to
counter the unifying influences of modern technology. Closer pol-
icy coordination among the nations of the former Gran Colombia
is a much more likely outcome than political integration per se.
If the prospect for region-wide integration is dim, and the like-
lihood of sub-regional political unions limited and heavily condi-
tioned, what extra-regional alignments are the countries of Carib-
bean America likely to choose in the decades ahead? There are
at least six alternative extra-regional alignments open to Carib-
bean America-some of them admittedly highly theoretical options.
First, the quest for broader political and economic integration
of Latin American states is a major contemporary current. A
lingering desire for regional unity has been described as a feeling
of "emotional commonwealth" or "continental nationalism" and is
sometimes expressed by Latin Americans in terms of patria grande
and latinamericanismo. Environmental differences and disparate
rates of progress, however, have combined over the course of time
to magnify differences between individual Latin American coun-
tries. Certainly if Caribbean political unity confronts enormous
obstacles, the far more ambitious goal of unifying all of Latin
America becomes little more than a nebulous political ideal and
sentimental goal-at least for this the twentieth century.
Second, gravitation toward the United States is a less-discussed
but nevertheless possible alternative-particularly for some areas
which formerly composed the British Caribbean. The advantages
of a commonwealth association with the United States similar to


that of Puerto Rico may have appeal over the longer run, es-
pecially for fragmented remnants of the Caribbean which fail
either to form individual national entities or a broader association
with their neighbors. Within the Caribbean psychological bar-
riers to closer association with the United States, combined with
reluctance of the United States to assume added responsibilities
in the area, may stymie the growth of commonwealth relation-
ships.10 However, considerations of defense, trade, and investments
are countervailing influences which favor closer ties between the
United States and the more amorphous geographic fragments within
the Caribbean.
Third, Pan Americanism will probably continue to be the pre-
vailing international alignment of Caribbean America, for it will
accommodate (even if under strain) either of the foregoing two
alternatives and is the logical status quo to the extent that neither
of these alternatives proves to be feasible or attractive. With the
creation of new nations in Caribbean America, membership in the
OAS family may be expanded considerably. One obstacle to the
admission of some prospective applicants is the Act of Washington
(1964) which bars states having border disputes with current
OAS members. This proviso would deny OAS membership to Guy-
ana and the future Belize. Moreover, Venezuela may oppose
Jamaica's admission because of the latter's advocacy of an English-
speaking commonwealth bloc within the OAS.11 Despite these prob-
lems and other weaknesses of the OAS system, Pan Americanism
appears assured of continued life-particularly in the absence of
feasible alternatives.
Fourth, continued and closer ties between Caribbean America
and Western European states with the traditional interest in the
area (Great Britain, France, and the Netherlands) is still another
option. This orientation may continue to be the preference of
Dutch and French administered areas. The likelihood of increased
ties between Caribbean America and European nations in other
than the political field appears favorable and inevitably carries a
political connotation, since such links may be motivated, in at
least some instances, by a desire to offset the overwhelming power
of the United States.
Fifth, an orientation toward the Soviet Union-following the
course of Castro's Cuba-is an alternative that may appeal to revo-
lutionaries of the radical left should they succeed in toppling a
Western-oriented nation of Caribbean America. But United States
opposition to such an alignment would have to be reckoned with,
and Cuba's experience under Castro has lessened the appeal of



The Caribbean: Its Hemispheric Role

"wars of national liberation" and the illusory benefits of member-
ship in the socialist camp. The Soviet Union itself may be reluc-
tant to encourage such a development for it would almost cer-
tainly lead to still another confrontation with the United States in
an area far removed from the base of Soviet power.
Sixth, a highly theoretical alternative is that of alignment of
Caribbean America (along with the remainder of Latin America)
with Afro-Asian nations in a third-world bloc. This option has
proven to be more of an empty notion than a practical alternative
-even in the economic field not to mention the more tenuous
political ties that link such diverse (and frequently competitive)
world regions.
Of the six alternatives, only the first three-all of which are
hemispheric orientations-appear to be realistic over the next few
decades. Narrowing the field still further, it is the third option-
Pan Americanism-which seems to "fit" Caribbean America most
closely. In geopolitical terms, Caribbean America forms a "crush
zone" where many political interests meet. A major challenge
confronting Caribbean leaders is that of exercising wisely the
options available to them so as to chart an international course
which best serves the hopes and aspirations of their people.

1. Sax Bradford, Spain in the World (Princeton, N. J.: D. Van Nostrand Co.,
Inc., 1962), p. 56.
2. Hubert Herring, A History of Latin America (New York: Harper and
Brothers, 1961), p. 83.
3. Kalman H. Silvert, "A Proposed Framework for Latin American Politics,"
in John D. Martz (ed.), The Dynamics of Change in Latin American Politics
(Englewood Cliffs, N. J.: Prentice-Hall, Inc., 1965), p. 9.
4. Pio Jaramillo Alvarado, El regimen totalitario en America (Guayaquil:
Editor Noticia, 1940), pp. 24, 71.
5. Alfredo Perez Guerrero, Ecuador (Quito: Casa de la Cultura Ecuatoriana,
1948), p. 74.
6. Rosendo A. G6mez, "Latin American Executives: Essence and Variations,"
in Martz, p. 47.
7. J. Lloyd Mecham, "Latin American Constitutions: Nominal and Real," in
Martz, p. 35. The author's essay was originally published in May, 1959. The
figures have not been up-dated since the essential point is clear, and-in any
case- there is a great deal of disagreement concerning the number of Latin
American constitutions, since many revised constitutions were promulgated as
new instruments.
8. Ibid., pp. 36-39.
9. William S. Stokes, "Violence as a Power Factor in Latin American Poli-
tics," in Martz, p. 149.
10. As an alternative, former British dependencies in the Caribbean may
attempt to forge a closer political link with Canada.
11. Latin American opposition to admission into the OAs of former British
areas may spur the latter to develop a special relationship with Canada (see
fn. 10). Alternatively, admission of former British Caribbean areas into the



OAS would tend to encourage Canada to join the Pan American family-a
move long considered by Ottawa.


Established Democracies-Costa Rica. This country-well-integrated, highly
literate, dedicated to democratic processes and possessing a non-political civil
service-clearly stands in a category all its own. Yet recent tension between
the administration of President Trejos and his political opponents who control
the legislature points up the fact that no country of Caribbean America is im-
mune to political upheaval.
Functioning Democracies-Venezuela, Colombia, and Panama. Venezuela,
despite its authoritarian past, has made rapid progress toward becoming an
established democracy. Colombia, a two-party state with each party alternating
in power, is attempting to break out of a period of political stagnation. Colom-
bian President Lleras Restrepo is seeking congressional authorization to rule by
decree on issues involving economic development and administrative reorgani-
zation, but his motive is one of pushing reforms rather than seeking authoritar-
ian power. Panama's volatile political atmosphere is such that it could, with a
serious outbreak of violence, drop from the ranks of functioning democracies.
Fragile Democratic Institutions-Dominican Republic and Guatemala. The
Dominican Republic has experienced four coups and seven governments since
Trujillo's assassination in 1961. Democratically elected President Belaguer must
steer a course between a military establishment on the right and opposition
parties on the left. This is a delicate task in a country which has exhibited
little tolerance for debate and has had practically no experience with demo-
cratic processes. Guatemalan President Mendez Montenegro is confined by
tacit understanding to a centrist position which avoids radical changes but
simultaneously advocates reforms. Mendez Montenegro's assumption of office
in July, 1966, was in itself an advance for democracy since the military did
not favor him. His basic problem is clearly one of survival.
Guided Democracy: One-Party Rule-Mexico. Mexico's PRi since 1929 has
always been assured of victory in a system of "guided democracy" in which
presidential elections are a formality. Political opposition is nominal. The Presi-
dent, with concurrence of the pRI-controlled Senate, can replace any elected
official. Hand-picked party favorites are frequently appointed to high govern-
ment posts without benefit of popular election. PRI deliberations are essentially
democratic, however, and the President is expected to follow party policies.
More designed for carrying out the Revolution-which ended over two decades
ago-than for reconciling the divergent interests evident in the increasing com-
plex society of a rapidly modernizing Mexico, PRI is showing serious strains.
Limited Democracies-El Salvador, Nicaragua, and Honduras. In El Salva-
dor it is widely accepted that the PCN nominee chosen by contesting military
factions will be elected in March, 1967. There is even less doubt that Anastasio
Somoza Debayle will be elected Nicaragua's President in February, 1967.
Honduras is ruled by General L6pez Arellano whose successful golpe in Oc-
tober, 1963, was followed by his election to a six-year term as President by a
constituent assembly in the spring of 1965.
Outright Dictatorship-Cuba. Cuba is still passing through the throes of a
revolution headed by el maximo lider, Fidel Castro. During the course of 1966,
the revolution experienced many setbacks: defection of long-time revolutionaries,
purges of party officials considered untrustworthy or ineffective, arrest of
labor leaders, student demonstrations, and continued economic woes. Such
difficulties will be countered by Castro's authoritarian hand. Predictions of
Castro's fall appear born more of wishful thinking than hard fact. At the
moment, at least, the hope for democracy in Cuba is a forlorn one.



FOR THE PURPOSE of this paper the Caribbean that we will
be concerned with is that composed of the Antilles, both greater
and lesser, and the three Guianas on the northeast coast of South
America. Limited time and the lack of direct knowledge of the
problems and leaders of the greater Caribbean, which includes
Central America, Panama, Colombia, and Venezuela, have forced
me to exclude these areas from my observations.
Economic problems which plague the Caribbean have been
passed over in order to give more attention to the political ones.
Of course, these problems cannot be completely ignored since
there is a relationship between politics and such phenomena as a
growing percentage of unemployed as in Trinidad and Jamaica,
the problems besetting the production of sugar as in Jamaica and
Guyana, the problems brought about by an abnormal influx of
foreign capital for industrial development and tourist programs as
in Puerto Rico, and the adverse balance of payments which is
putting strains on newly independent nations such as Trinidad.
Finally, since this is primarily a political analysis, it would be
wise to state in the beginning that although I am not so blindly
committed to the principles of a democratic political system that I
do not comprehend the dangers which this system entails and the
sometimes impressive advantages of alternative political systems,
I am nevertheless willing to make my position clear as backing
these principles (free speech, the right to organize politically,
free elections, respect for the rights of the minority, and so forth),

and my analysis will presume their acceptance, a presumption
which may not be shared by the leaders in every country in the
After the Second World War, the break-up of the colonial em-
pires has nowhere been carried out with such a peaceful transition
as in the Caribbean. The decade of the fifties saw complete or
nearly complete political autonomy, but not independence, given
to the Netherlands Antilles, Surinam, the French Antilles, and
Puerto Rico. In the sixties the former British colonies of Jamaica,
Trinidad and Tobago, British Guiana, and Barbados achieved com-
plete independence as members of the British Commonwealth of
Nations. Finally, if we add the freedom found by the Dominican
Republic after thirty years of terror and that new style of inde-
pendence produced in Cuba by the Castro revolution, then the
emerging peoples of the Caribbean present an attractive labora-
tory for political scientists concerned with the problems of nation
Assuming-with the reservation indicated-that democracy is the
goal of these newly independent people, what then are the politi-
cal problems faced by their leaders and how are they going about
solving them?2
The Caribbean, although freed from the legalistic bondage of
imperial powers, has yet to free itself psychologically from the
colonial past which hangs heavily over the political patterns now
developing in the new countries. In some cases such as Martinique,
Guadeloupe, and French Guiana, theoretically enjoying complete
political freedom as integral parts of France, the control of the
European power is all too real. The French Antilleans, beguiled
for a few passing years by the deceiving doctrine of assimilation
into the French political system, are now waking up to the fact
that their status as overseas departments of France is only a
euphemistic disguise which perpetuates the colonial control of
previous centuries. The sentiment for autonomy (a status quite
incompatible with the existing highly centralized French political
system) is growing within the two islands which together have a
population of over a half a million. Aimee Cesaire, now serving his
eighth term as the mayor of Fort-de-France, since his famous
break from the French Communist Party in 1956, has defended
the autonomist point of view and has more recently been joined
by Dr. Henri Bangou, newly elected mayor of Pointe-a-Pitre,
*Notes to this chapter begin on p. 39.



The Caribbean: Its Hemispheric Role

Guadeloupe, in opposition to the existing political relationship with
France.3 In spite of the fact that these two political leaders com-
mand the support of the majority of the citizens in the two largest
cities of the French West Indies, the power and attraction of
General deGaulle combined with the pride of being French is too
strong to allow any overwhelming rejection of assimilation. The
post-deGaulle period will undoubtedly produce a change in the
political relationship between the Antilles and France, but prob-
ably not in French Guyana where the population is so small that
economic and administrative aid from France will be necessary
for several decades to come.
While the French areas may present an exceptional case, else-
where the heritage of colonialism tends to warp the political
development in a manner all out of proportion to the real or more
meaningful problems being faced by the newly autonomous peo-
ple. In Surinam, which is one of the three members of the tripartite
Kingdom of the Netherlands (the other two being the Netherlands
Antilles and Holland), Prime Minister Pengle would prefer to
hide his government's inefficiency and corruption by an appeal for
a revision of the Charter of the Kingdom to allow Surinam to
apply to other nations for financial support for her development
program.4 Holland, which has underwritten the impressive eco-
nomic development of this small country, has been increasingly
reluctant to close her eyes to the extravagance and waste which
has come to characterize the government in power. By raising
the comparatively irrelevant issue of colonialism, Pengle smothers
the cries for reform and carries on a nationalistic political cam-
paign which will undoubtedly see him returned to office as the
outspoken defender of Surinamese interests. Thus disguised by
means of a political subterfuge, the economic situation in Surinam
will continue to deteriorate while the blame is erroneously placed
on nonexistent interference from Holland. Unfortunately the only
opposition party which could serve to clarify the issue is so strong-
ly committed to independence that it is reluctant to emphasize its
agreement with charges made by the Dutch government.
Although less autonomous than Surinam, Puerto Rico's political
picture is beclouded by the same problem. In spite of the success
of the Popular Democratic Party in almost all phases of public
life in Puerto Rico, except perhaps that particular way of life
studied by Oscar Lewis,5 the political debate on the island has
never been weaned away from the seemingly unending discus-
sion of status. Certainly for the nationalistic elements of the
political spectrum, Puerto Rico's limited autonomy leaves much to


be desired. Puerto Ricans are dying in Viet Nam in a war which
even if it were subjected to a vote in Congress could not be voted
on by representatives of the Puerto Rican people.6 Other sources
of irritation include the inability to vote for the president,7 the
restrictive shipping laws which hamper a freer participation in
Caribbean trade by Puerto Rican producers, and the lack of rep-
resentation in international organizations even though some of its
smaller and less fortunate neighbors are full fledged members of
the Organization of American States and the United Nations. These
are only a few of the more frequently mentioned areas of possible
change in the relationship with the United States.
The question of status looms large in the political drama of the
island. All issues from education to social welfare to industrial
development are seen not in the light of their relationship to the
welfare of the Puerto Rican but rather how they will further this
or that particular status. Luis Mufioz Marin, the founder of the
Popular Democratic Party and the architect of the present com-
monwealth status, has achieved great success in devising a political
relationship which allows a maximum degree of local political
autonomy combined with a permanent and integrated economic
relationship with the United States. He has failed, however, to
lay to rest the ghost of colonialism, but more damaging is the
fact that he has failed to secure any significant ardent defenders
among the population for the Estado Libre Asociado. Too often
it is looked upon as a half-way station which allows the island to
prosper without the need for any final decision as to independence
or statehood. As such it does not alienate either group and even
the majority party itself is split into two recognizable factions
each backing the commonwealth status but each reserving its
final preference, be it independence or statehood.
The coming year (1967) will see a plebiscite in Puerto Rico
in which well over 50 per cent of the participants will vote for
the commonwealth status. The remaining votes will be divided
between independence and statehood, whose advocates have af-
firmed their intentions of boycotting the plebiscite. This plebi-
scite, far from settling the issue of status, will only serve to add
fuel to the already hot fire of debate which keeps the island's
political pot boiling.
In these two cases, Surinam and Puerto Rico, the minor ties
to greater powers are real but are exaggerated beyond the actual
significance of their political importance. One final example of the
heritage of colonialism might be drawn from one of the newly
independent countries such as Trinidad or Guyana where the



The Caribbean: Its Hemispheric Role

political dialogue has yet to develop into the post-colonial stage.
The issue of independence is still being debated in the legislature,
or the party in power is being accused in the press of selling
out to this or that foreign interest. The hard task of day-to-day
governing, the solving of insatiable demand for employment, the
raising of capital for the exploitation of natural resources, all of
these responsibilities are somewhat less satisfying than the exciting
and rewarding activity of teasing the imperial lion. Criticism
tends to be personal rather than policy based, destructive rather
than positive or constructive, chauvinistic or narrowly nationalistic
rather than statesmanlike. For example, Guyana's free trade ar-
rangement with Barbados and Antigua is more an anti-Trinidad
maneuver than a positive effort for Caribbean cooperation. Trini-
dad in turn flirts with the Windward Islands more to irritate
Barbados or Guyana than to seek ways of mutual support and
closer cooperation.8
The pangs of birth of a new nation evolving out of a colonial
past are still being felt in some of the Caribbean countries and
this has determined the tone and direction of the political debate
to an abnormal degree thus delaying the identification of pressing
issues around which normal political discussion would revolve.

The most potentially explosive problem which three of the new
nations of the Caribbean face is the racial problem. The com-
parative racial homogeneity of the Antilles contrasts markedly
with the multi-racial heterogeneity of Trinidad and the Guianas,
particularly Surinam and Guyana. The East Indians are in the
majority in Guyana, which has been torn by racial violence in
previous years, but in Trinidad the Negro has a tenuous hold on
the majority position. In Surinam a third group, the Javanese,
holds an enviable position of balance between the plurality of
the Negro and a rapidly increasing East Indian minority.
In the three countries the major political parties are divided
along racial lines. This has not always been so. In Surinam, for
example, there existed both a Catholic and a conservative party
which were able to appeal for support from all racial blocs, al-
though the Hindus and Moslems were naturally reluctant to vote
for leaders of another religion. These two parties still exist and,
although it is highly unlikely, could possibly recover their former
positions of power. One small party, which has been referred to
above as being in favor of immediate independence, does make


an intense effort to appeal to all racial groups in the name of
Surinam nationalism. The radical posture of its founder and leader,
the brilliant lawyer Edward Bruma, unfortunately prevents any
considerable support from the more conservative East Indians and
Javanese, but he does receive some votes from the Bush Negroes,
the more sophisticated Creoles, and the young East Indian intel-
lectuals who refuse to follow the dictates of their pandits.
Racially divided Guyana would probably prefer to return to
the early years of the decade of the fifties when its two outstand-
ing political leaders, Mr. Forbes Burnham and Dr. Cheddi Jagan,
were working together in a rather uneasy harmony. Too much vio-
lence and racial hatred has been experienced by the people of
Guyana to allow this to come about even if the leaders were
willing to sacrifice their own ambitions. After about ten years of
chaos under Dr. Cheddi Jagan, who was prevented from ruling
by racial disturbances mostly stimulated by outside influences,9 by
resulting intervention by British authorities, and by the lack of
financial support necessary to carry out the most elementary re-
sponsibilities, the opposition coalition formed by Forbes Burnham
and the reactionary Peter d'Aguiar came into power. Racial dis-
turbances have ceased, Great Britain has granted independence,
and the United States which had allowed a mere $6 million dol-
lars in loans over a ten-year period has now flooded the country
with $225 million in authorized grants and loans in scarcely two
and a half years.10 With all of this, Forbes Burnham has failed to
crack the East Indian solidarity behind Dr. Cheddi Jagan. Dr.
Jagan and his East Indian followers know that time is on their
side. The East Indian majority, if free elections are to be held in
1967 or 1968, cannot be blocked from taking over the govern-
ment no matter how much manipulation there is of the so-called
proportional representation voting system implanted by the Brit-
ish before their withdrawal. In an effort to bolster his dwindling
support Burnham has decreed that all Guyanese, whether resi-
dents or not, are eligible to vote in elections. Also the next two
years will see efforts to secure immigrants spilling out of the over-
populated islands of Barbados, St. Lucia, St. Vincent, and perhaps
even Jamaica. There are those pessimists who argue that even
these methods are not enough and the only thing which will
prevent Dr. Jagan from taking over will be the suspension of the
constitutional guarantees and the indefinite postponement of elec-
Trinidad's East Indians, who expect to be in the majority by
1970, have failed to produce a leader who could compete success-



The Caribbean: Its Hemispheric Role

fully with the erudite and dynamic Dr. Eric Williams. As the
results of the recent elections clearly show," Dr. Williams and his
People's National Movement have failed to win the support of the
East Indian of the rural areas. As in Guyana the two races are
gravitating into two political blocs. Splinter parties or small politi-
cal groups formed around the personality of an important com-
munity leader all fared badly in the election, leaving the reins of
government in the hands of the Negro majority and the opposition
in the hands of the leaders of the dominant East Indian party.
Time and the natural increase of the East Indian over the Negro
will eventually reverse the existing power structure. As yet Trini-
dad has not seen the violence of Guyana but the slums of Port of
Spain, while not as bad as West Kingston in Jamaica, are worse
than any slum area in Guyana and will produce serious problems
for a racially divided nation.
The problem of a racially divided society can be aggravated by
pressures caused by a growing population inadequately absorbed
by slow economic growth. The solution to the problem lies in the
creation of a feeling of nationhood which transcends racial or re-
ligious loyalties or at least which manipulates such loyalties for
the benefit of the country as a whole. When the Surinamese thinks
of himself as a Surinamese and not Javanese, then these young
nations will have solved one of their most pressing problems.
Unfortunately, the politicians at this point seem to be more con-
cerned with building up a racial base for their political power
than with creating a united nation.

The problem of the passing of political power from one gener-
ation to the next is being faced in Jamaica and Puerto Rico. The
old leaders who battled the colonial system, whether British or
American, in the decade of the thirties are being hard pressed by
an impatient and younger group of politicians anxious to take over
the party and government leadership. The Prime Minister of
Jamaica, Sir Alexander Bustamante, is over 83 years of age, par-
tially blind, and disabled by a stroke about two years ago. Mr.
Norman Manley is a decade younger but still well beyond the
normal retirement age. A number of able cabinet members of
the present government in Jamaica are willing to take over the
leadership of the Bustamante political machine, but as yet the
struggle for power has not occurred because the "old man," as he
is affectionately called, refuses to retire and because the opposi-


tion would strive to take advantage of any potential split in the
Jamaica Labour Party. As yet there is no clear-cut heir to the
power of Bustamante who undoubtedly will endeavor to select
his own successor. The People's National Party is in a much worse
position because it does not have the number of able second
lieutenants in positions of responsibility gaining experience for the
eventual day when the reins of government will be available to
In Puerto Rico Luis Mufioz Marin has picked his successor, who
has been governing the island with considerable ability since 1964.
Roberto Sanchez Vilella is not a politician although he has tried
very hard to secure popular support. The lesser leaders in the
Popular Democratic Party have rallied behind another leader,
Senator Luis Negr6n L6pez, whose experience of many years in
elected office in the legislature is in contrast to the experience of
Governor Sanchez in appointed positions of the executive branch
of the government. The recent split (September, 1966) became
so public and open that only the direct intervention of former
governor, now Senator, Luis Mufioz Marin prevented the Popular
Democratic Party from having a public row. The division is very
real and will break out in 1968 when Governor Sanchez is ex-
pected to seek reelection. As long as Luis Mufioz Marin continues
to be active in the Puerto Rican political arena the party will not
divide, but this form of forced unification between the conserva-
tive and liberal factions of the party is temporary.13 The division
indicates that the party has still to develop its program and prin-
ciples beyond the dictates and influence of its founder. Until this
is done, to talk of the Popular Democratic Party as an institutional
party which will survive the passing of power from one generation
of leaders to another is quite misleading.
The same problem is faced by the opposition party, the State-
hood Republican Party, whose leaders have been active in the
party since the late 1920's. In this party such a suffocating hold
has been exercised over the decision-making power that there are
no leaders on hand to take over from the passing generation.
Those able figures who are sympathetic to the party have been
forced into the background or out of the party altogether by the
arbitrary action of the autocratic leader, Senator Miguel Angel
Garcia Mendez.
Only the independence movement gives evidence of strong
young leaders who unfortunately show no ability to accept party
discipline. In fact the aspect of an independent Puerto Rico
under the guidance of the current wave of leaders in the inde-



The Caribbean: Its Hemispheric Role

pendence movement is almost alarming and dismal. Just recently
one leader of the minor independence groups, the Nationalist
Party, challenged the leader of the Pro-Independence Movement
to a duel in order to settle personal and party differences.
The importance of the position of Fidel Castro in Cuba would
seem to be another example of the same type of political prob-
lem. The Cuban Revolution has been defined and carried out al-
most single-handedly by the powerful charismatic personality of
Castro.14 Still young and very much in control, only an unexpected
and unfortunate event could remove Castro from his position of
leadership; thus the problem of transmission of the position of
power is not an urgent one in Cuba today. The Cuban revolution
and all that it stands for to the thousands of enthusiastic support-
ers would falter and fail should the centralizing figure of the leader
disappear. If Castro can outwit his adversaries for another decade
or two, then the revolution will have had time to implant solidly
its principles and purpose on a whole generation who may be
able to carry on its effectiveness beyond the limitation of the lives
of its founders and current leaders. The Mexicans were able to do
precisely this, but that revolution did not have the dubious bene-
fit of one outstanding and all-powerful leader and did have the
massive support which rarely needed the intellectual orientation
provided by the doctrinaire dialecticians who currently seem to be
in vogue in Cuba.
Of all of the political leaders of the Caribbean the ones who
are faced with the most impossible situations live on the island of
Santo Domingo. Since the Haitian problem seems devoid of a
possible15 solution, I will limit my observation to the Dominican
Republic where President Joaquin Balaguer until recently had a
degree of support for his highly untenable position in the nature
of a democratically oriented and loyal opposition led by Juan
Bosch. Now this is gone and Balaguer, a lonely man by choice
and nature, faces an incredible set of circumstances, any one of
which would be enough to defeat the most dedicated democrat.
The heritage of Trujillo which can hardly be summed up in a
page or paragraph16-the military machine which has no under-
standing of, let alone interest in, political democracy; the utter
absence of any technological or bureaucratic administrative staff;17
the chaotic influence of anarchistic elements pouring out of the
misery of urban and rural slums; the corruption of a whole gener-
ation of public officials; the bankruptcy of a deplorable educa-
tion and public health program; the suffocating burden of almost
a whole nation accustomed to living off of the benevolent hand-


outs of a paternalistic government-these are just some of the
reasons why the task of governing the Dominican Republic would
be next to impossible for a man dedicated to the democratic
Rather than pick up each of these areas for further study, one
particular point upon which there seems to be general agreement
by most observers of the Dominican Republic is sufficient to sum-
marize the impossible task before Joaquin Balaguer. Robert Crass-
weller has expressed it in this fashion in his dramatic biography of
Trujillo. In the Dominican Republic there is "the tendency to
react more understandingly and tolerantly . to the very firm
exercise of political power. During the Era of Trujillo many able
men of the highest character believed simultaneously both that
the regime was in many respects barbarous and that only with a
strong hand could the country be governed."18 This basic lack of
faith in democracy is prevalent in the minds of the most dedi-
cated servants of the Dominican people. It may go a long way to
explain why Juan Bosch felt that his continued presence in the
country could only aggravate and complicate unnecessarily the
task of the president, who perhaps for the good of the country
should be free to act with force and decision. There are those who
would applaud this as applied to the case of Balaguer in the
Dominican Republic but would deplore its application to the ex-
ample of Fidel Castro in Cuba which in reality is very much the
same except that it is political power being exercised by the left
instead of the right. To pursue this further would lead us to a
more expansive topic which has been explored by more able minds
elsewhere. I refer to the questions of the heritage of Hispanic
culture and the role of the military in political life of the Latin
American countries.19


Before terminating this brief account of problems and leaders in
the Caribbean, I would mention one final problem: foreign inter-
vention. Intervention can take many different forms, the most
obvious being the direct military intervention in the Dominican
Republic by the United States armed forces. Similarly interven-
tion would also be the term to be applied to the missiles supplied
to the Cubans by the Soviet Union, since it could hardly be
conceived that this hardware would be under complete Cuban
control. Also one would be inclined to look with a questioning
eye at the immodest display of United States capital in the last



The Caribbean: Its Hemispheric Role

year in Guyana. Concern is being expressed by non-Jaganite Guy-
anese20 over the willingness of the Burnham government to pros-
titute itself and its principles for the American dollar. Not all
foreign influence is from the colossus to the North. In Surinam
Edward Bruma strongly feels that Dutch capital has deprived the
Surinamese of complete exercise of their supposed autonomy. The
weak cry of the opposition in Trinidad through the voice of
C. L. R. James is against the tendency to allow the public debt to
skyrocket while loans are secured-particularly in this case and
that of Jamaica-from Canada.
These are scattered examples, but to sharpen the problem at-
tention should be focused on two cases: Cuba and Guyana. Both
countries are plagued by the fact that they are used as pawns in
the game of cold war power politics. In each case Jagan and
Castro invite this problem by their understandable refusal to re-
linquish their independence by getting caught up in the suffocat-
ing embrace of the American market. Certainly Guyana under
Jagan and Cuba under the current economic blockade have suf-
fered severely for their posture of defiance.
Neutrality within the Caribbean is apparently not a position al-
lowed by the masterminds of our State and Military Departments.
We seem to be unable to understand the lessons to be learned
from our relations in this century with Mexico. We take the child-
ish attitude that if you are not with us then you are obviously
against us. Normal relations should be renewed with Cuba and
Castro's problem would then become a much more difficult one of
trying to outbid the pervading influence of American capitalism.
As matters stand now we are contributing to an easing of the
position of Castro, which is extremely difficult in an island unac-
customed to austerity, by providing a scapegoat and explanation
for the hardships the Cuban people are experiencing.
In the case of Guyana we are even blinder still since our policy
has failed up to this point to take advantage of the friendly
elements within the East Indian racial groups. By punishing them
for having chosen as their spokesman the charming and affable
Dr. Jagan because he is an East Indian and not because he is a
Marxist-Leninist, we have cut off our contact from a group whose
eventual takeover of the government is inevitable. Again we have
provided a political leader with a facile and for the most part
false explanation for his inability to solve pressing administrative
The result is a confused picture which can be clarified only
when foreign intervention ceases to be used as a political tool


both by the power intervening and the leader who has invited
the intervention, even though such intervention may be of a nega-
tive nature as in the case of Cuba and Guyana.


In summary, I have tried to pinpoint some of the more pressing
political, as contrasted to economic, problems which are facing
the current leaders of the island nations of the Caribbean. I have
tried to use as my guideline those problems which must be solved
in order to create a climate of political freedom and responsi-
bility which will allow the development of a stable democratic
political progress and tradition. The leader who successfully solves
these problems will become a builder of nations.
Many decades ago a young man admiringly wrote an apprecia-
tion of the political genius of his father.21 He likened him to a
sculptor who exercised his God-given power to mold the shapeless
clay into a work of art. The leader was Luis Mufioz Rivera, one
of the outstanding Puerto Rican patriots, who brought his people a
long way toward nationhood. Leaders of today, including Luis
Mufioz Marin, are in the process of creating new nations in the
Caribbean out of personality-less colonial entities. The quality of
their work of art will be judged by future generations.

1. Fred R. Van der Mehden, Politics of the Developing Nations (Englewood
Cliffs, N. J.: Prentice Hall, 1964).
2. Lucien W. Pye, Politics, Personality and Nation Building: Burma's Search
for Identity (New Haven: Yale University Press, 1962). Particularly helpful
were Chapters 1-3.
3. T. Mathews et al., Politics and Economics in the Caribbean, Institute of
Caribbean Studies, 1966. See the section on the politics of the French Antilles
by Gerard Latortue.
4. Ibid., section on Surinam.
5. La Vida (New York: Macmillan Company, 1966).
6. San Juan Star of October 27, 1966, carried an article by an editorial staff
writer protesting this injustice.
7. El Dia, October 26, 1966. See the statement of Luis Ferre, one of the
two leaders of the Statehood Republican Party.
8. Sir Arthur Lewis, "The Agony of the Eight," The Advocate (Barbados:
Commercial Printing, n.d. but probably 1965), pp. 36-38.
9. Peter Simms, Trouble in British Guiana (London: George Allen & Unwin,
Ltd., 1966).
10. T. Mathews, "The Three Guianas," Current History (December, 1966).
11. See report on the November elections in the Caribbean Monthly Bulletin
(December, 1966).



The Caribbean: Its Hemispheric Role

12. Spotlight, Vol. 27, No. 4 (April, 1966), 11. See the report of Sir Arthur
Lewis' speech at the University of the West Indies on the occasion of the
granting of honorary degrees to Dr. Eric Williams and Sir Alexander Busta-
13. T. Mathews, "La Pr6xima Decada en la Politica Puertorriquefia," Re-
vista de Ciencias Sociales, Vol. IX, No. 3 (September, 1965). This complete
number is dedicated to an analysis of Puerto Rico's political picture.
14. Hugh Thomas, "Paradoxes of Castro's Cuba," New Statesman, LXXII,
(August 26, 1966), 283-85.
15. Gerard Latortue, "Haiti, Its Problems and Future Prospects," Current
History (December, 1966).
16. Franklin J. Franco, Republica Dominicana, Classes, Crisis y Com-
mandos (Habana: Casa de Americas, 1966).
17. There are some notable exceptions to this broad statement. See the work
being done by the Santiago-based Associaci6n para el Desarrollo: for example,
Bernardo Vega, La Republica Dominicana ante el process de integraci6n eco-
n6mica en Latinoamerica (Santo Domingo: Banco Central de la Republica
Dominicana, 1966).
18. Trujillo: The Life and Times of a Caribbean Dictator (New York: Mac-
millan Company, 1966), p. 350.
19. Lyle McAlister, "Recent Research and Writings on the Role of the Mili-
tary in Latin America," Latin American Research Review, Vol. II, No. 1.
20. New World, No. 47 (Georgetown, Guyana, September 5, 1966), p. 6.
21. Luis Mufioz Marin, "Luis Mufioz Rivera-como artista" La Democracia
(Noviembre 15, 1918), cited in Thomas Mathews, Luis Mufioz Marin, a Con-
cise Biography (New York: American R. D. M. Corporation, 1967).


Part II





THE CARIBBEAN AREA for the purposes of this paper has
been defined to include Mexico, Venezuela, and Colombia as well
as Central America, Guyana, Surinam, French Guiana, and the
Caribbean islands. Few generalizations can be made about so
diverse a group of countries which includes Mexico and Puerto
Rico, both of which are advancing rapidly into modern industrial
economies, as well as tropical palm-sprinkled island paradises
with natural air-conditioning provided by the trade winds. I shall
confine this paper chiefly to the Spanish-speaking countries and
Jamaica, Trinidad, and Guyana.

All the countries in the Caribbean area have certain basic re-
sources. Perhaps the most important is manpower and youth.
As we all know, this area has one of the highest birth rates in
the world, and in much of the region some 60-70 per cent of the
population is under 20 years of age. The Caribbean region is one of
the world's great melting pots. Dutch and English, Spanish and
Portuguese, Africans and Asians have all left their stamp on the
native Indian way of life. The overall result is a pleasing political
and cultural mixture.
Experience has shown that, given the tools and the training,
workers in these countries are quick to acquire the mechanical
skills needed to run modern agricultural or industrial machinery.

The Caribbean: Its Hemispheric Role

The experience of Mexico, for example, offers more than adequate
evidence of this. In addition, as these countries approach economic
maturity, the growing middle class is providing increasing num-
bers of management and entrepreneurial personnel. In all of these
countries, United States firms have gradually and successfully
been replacing United States nationals with local personnel in
managerial positions.
The most recent available figures indicate that literacy rates in
this area range from some 20 per cent in Haiti to about 85 per
cent in Costa Rica, Guyana, and Puerto Rico. A major target of
the Alliance for Progress is the improvement and expansion of
educational facilities, and many of the countries with which we
are concerned here today are making noteworthy strides in raising
literacy rates.
Vocational and professional schools are serving more and more
people. In Venezuela alone, in 1957-58, there were only 608,000
students enrolled in public primary schools, 30,000 in public sec-
ondary schools, and 17,000 in public technical schools. By 1965,
these totals had increased to 1.2 million, 118,000, and 75,000 re-
These countries lie in an area between the equator and 280
north-roughly comparable to the situation of African countries
north of the Congo, or of southeast Asia.
Middle America is a meeting ground of mountains and men.
The rugged spines of the South American Andes and the North
American Rockies make large sections uninhabitable. Except for
Honduras and Cuba, many of these nations suffer from lack of
cultivable plains. The mainland mountains lift the cities above
the steamy coastal lowlands. Thus there is, for example, a year-
round springlike temperature in Mexico City and San Jose.
Volcanic eruptions like those in El Salvador have enriched the
soil, which is ideal for growing crops of bananas, sugar cane, and
so forth. Corn, now a universal staple, was originally cultivated in
this area by the Indians; lima beans, peppers, and many other
familiar food plants also had their beginnings here.
This area is also rich in natural resources. Mexico alone, with
less than 1.5 per cent of the world's population, produces 7.5 per
cent of the world's antimony, over a quarter of world arsenic
output, almost 15 per cent of the bismuth production, some 4.5
per cent of cotton and cottonseed, over 90 per cent of henequen,
more than 15 per cent of silver, and 11 per cent of the world's
sulphur output.
Jamaica, Guyana, and Surinam produce each year over 40 per


cent of the world's bauxite; Colombia, Mexico, and Venezuela
account for almost 15 per cent of world petroleum output; the
Caribbean region accounts for over a fifth of world coffee produc-
tion. In addition, it is generally agreed that untold wealth in as
yet undiscovered resources lies waiting to be discovered and de-
veloped in the hinterlands of several of these countries, notably
in Colombia, Venezuela, Mexico, and Central America. It was only
in recent years that the mineral-rich Guyana region of Venezuela
was opened up; it is now believed that the iron ore reserves
there are sufficient to meet Venezuela's requirements for the next
All of these resources are not only useful in the domestic econo-
mies of the countries in which they are located, but they also
offer to each of them the means with which to trade for other
commodities not available locally-in particular for the machinery
and equipment needed for building industrial economies and for
modernizing agriculture production techniques.
The fact that the Caribbean region contains all of these natural
resources-and to those already mentioned must be added many
other agricultural products, lumber, and fish-enables the countries
in this area to trade needed raw materials with the United States
and other industrial countries in exchange for the capital equip-
ment required to build local industry and for many manufactures
not yet produced locally.
In 1965 Mexico alone supplied a third of United States imports
of graphite, three-quarters of imports of fluorspar, a quarter of
imports of barium, and two-thirds of imports of sulphur. The
Caribbean region as a whole supplied half of United States sodi-
um chloride imports, 22 per cent of iron ore and concentrates,
practically all bauxite imports, 27 per cent of zinc ores, 38 per
cent of crude petroleum, 77 per cent of naphtha, all jet-fuel im-
ports, 85 per cent of other fuel-oil imports, and 42 per cent of
coffee imports. This is a very impressive list.
In return for these and other products from this area valued at
$3.0 billion, the United States shipped some $2.9 billion worth of
goods, chiefly machinery, transport equipment, and other manu-
factured products.
In addition to labor and raw materials, the third major need of
any economy, whatever its stage of development, is capital. While
it is generally agreed that large infusions of foreign capital have
been and will be needed to accelerate the development of many
of these countries, it is often forgotten that local capital is playing
an increasing and in most countries a dominant role in the process.



The Caribbean: Its Hemispheric Role

Of total investment in Mexico, for example, at least 90 per cent
has come from domestic sources. While the percentage may not be
that high in some of the other countries with which we are con-
cerned, it is clear that considerably larger amounts of domestic
resources are now going into capital formation than was the case
even a half decade ago. In some countries these funds are being
channeled, according to plan, into the segments of the economy
where they are most needed through local development banks.
In all of Central America, Mexico, Puerto Rico, and Venezuela,
domestic investment has far exceeded the inflow of funds from
foreign private and institutional sources in recent years; indeed,
while there has been a consistent, though diminishing, net out-
flow of foreign funds from Venezuela in the sixties owing to special
circumstances, annual gross capital formation in that country has
risen from $1.3 billion in 1960 to almost $1.5 billion at present.
The figures appear to indicate that even in such relatively under-
developed countries as Nicaragua, political and economic stability
offer strong inducements to local as well as foreign investors.
The attached tables give some indication of the funds that
have been committed to the Caribbean area by some of the
larger international institutions and by the United States Govern-
ment. These funds constitute yet another resource upon which the
various countries of the region can draw for education, hous-
ing, improving agricultural techniques, road building, feasibility
studies, industrial projects, and so forth. From the end of the war
through June, 1965, all the countries in the area received some
$1,730 million in the form of loans and grants from international
organizations. An additional $3.4 billion has been made available
by the United States through various aid programs, the Export-
Import Bank, and so on. Of this, over $1.1 billion consisted of
outright grants.


To develop their resources with maximum benefit to themselves,
many of these countries whose local markets are too small to gain
the advantages that come with large-scale industrial production
are joining in larger groups.
Thus Colombia, Mexico, and Venezuela have joined with seven
South American countries in the Latin American Free Trade As-
sociation (LAFTA), and five Central American countries have
banded together in a common market. Antigua, Barbados, and
Guyana signed an agreement in December, 1965 looking toward


a Caribbean free trade area, and there has been talk of a larger
trading association including many of the smaller Caribbean islands
and Puerto Rico.
Of these existing and projected arrangements, the Central
American Common Market (CACM) has thus far been the most
successful. Its members have removed tariffs on some 95 per cent
of the items they trade among themselves. Indeed, although the
remaining twenty-seven items include cotton, coffee, sugar, and
tobacco on which it will be hardest to drop restrictions since they
provide substantial revenues to the governments concerned, the
substantial achievement of this group of nations is well worth
noting. Intra-regional trade has increased more than fourfold since
1960. Other organs, of which the Central American Bank for
Economic Integration is perhaps the most outstanding, have been
established and are in business. The success of this region's inte-
gration has been largely responsible for bringing in increasing
amounts of foreign investment and expediting the development of
an efficient industrial base in the area. Mexico, a member of LAFTA,
has expressed more than passing interest in CACM and may some
day provide the bridge to unifying that group with LAFTA in an
overall Latin American regional association.
In summary, the Caribbean Area has the human and economic
resources for continued progress and should become increasingly
important to the entire Western Hemisphere.



(At constant prices)

1965 Arable Gross National Product Per cap. Literacy
Population Area Land & Pasture 1965 % increases* GNP Rate
(thousands) (thous. sq. mi.) (% of total) (mil. $) 1960-1965 (dollars) (%)

Bahamas 136 4 1
Barbados 245 0.2 70 92 375
Bermuda 48 10
Honduras 106 9 26 250
Colombia 17,787 455 17 5,440 4.4 306 62
Costa Rica 1,433 23 20 593 3.9 414 85
Cuba 7,631 44 52 150e
Dominican Republic 3,619 19 26 700 200 65
El Salvador 2,929 8 58 860 7.7 295 50
French Guiana 36 35 320e 75
Guadeloupe 316 1 40 450e
Guatemala 4,438 42 19 1,410 6.2 315 30
Guyana 647 83 10 190 259 85
Haiti 4,660 11 31 73* 20
Honduras 2,284 44 38 504 4.8 220 50
Jamaica 1,773 4 45 873 3.8 490 80
Martinique 321 0.4 47
Mexico 42,689 758 48 19,416 5.9 455 72
Neth. Antilles 208e 0.4 6 900e
Nicaragua 1,655 57 12 576 8.3 330 50
Panama 1,240 29 18 615 8.1 495 75
Puerto Rico 2,633 3 68 2,800 1,060 85
Surinam 330e 55 340*
Trin. & Tob. 975 2 35 5.3 632* 80
Venezuela 8,722 352 21 5.2 833* 65
TOTAL 106,867 2,039.0



% of World
Year Commodity World Caribbean Region Production

1965 Antimony m. t. 67,000 Mexico 5,000 7.5
1964 Arsenic m. t. 58,000 Mexico 15,000 26.0
1965 Bauxite mil. m. t. 35.75 Jamaica 8.4, Guyana 3, Surinam 4 43.1
1965 Bismuth mil. m. t. 3.5 Mexico 0.5 14.3
1965 Coffee mil. bags 63.4 Colombia 6.8, El Salvador 2.0, Mexico 1.9,
Guatemala 1.8, Costa Rica 0.9, Venezuela 0.3 21.6
1965 Cotton mil. bales 52.2 Mexico 2.4 4.6
1965 Cottonseed mil. s. tons 25.2 Mexico 1.1 4.4
1964 Gold mil. fine oz. 46.1 Colombia 0.4, Nicaragua 0.2, Mexico 0.2 1.7
1965 Henequen mil. lbs. 362 Mexico 331, El Salvador 6 93.1
1965 Petroleum bil. barrels 11.0 Venezuela 1.3, Mexico 0.1, Colombia .07 14.0
1964 Silver mil. fine oz. 249.5 Mexico 41.94, Honduras 3.22 18.0
1965 Sulphur mil. n. t. 15 Mexico 1.7 11.3

(Millions of dollars)

Exports (fob)
1962 1963 1964 1965

29 41 35 37 Barbados
463 446 548 539 Colombia
93 95 113 112 Costa Rica
172 174 179 123 Domin. Repub.
136 154 178 189 El Salvador
35 38 35 38 Guadeloupe
118 154 158 187 Guatemala
99 102 95 97 Guyana
42 41 40 36 Haiti
81 83 95 129 Honduras
182 202 218 213 Jamaica
34 36 29 40 Martinique
930 985 1,054 1,146 Mexico
688 658 630 603 Neth. Antilles
82 100 118 144 Nicaragua
48 59 71 78 Panama
810 855 936 Puerto Rico
42 46 48 57 Surinam
345 374 405 404 Trin. & Tobago
2,594 2,629 2,742 2,784 Venezuela
115 140 140 140e Others
7,138 7,412 7,867 Total

Imports (cif)
1962 1963 1964 1965

52 58 64 67
540 506 586 454
113 124 139 178
148 184 221 106
125 152 191 201
57 69 79 85
136 171 202 229
74 69 87 104
46 39 41 36
80 95 102 122
223 226 282 295
57 74 79 92
1,143 1,240 1,493 1,560
872 841 784 746
97 111 137 161
171 192 195 219
1,124 1,202 1,477
55 58 81 96
353 377 426 472
1,096 950 1,269 1,289
340 350 380 370e
6,902 7,088 8,315

Source: International Monetary Fund, U. S. Department of Commerce.

(Millions of dollars)

Commodity Total Caribbean Area % of Total

Graphite 2.4 Mexico 0.8 33
Sodium chloride 4.0 Mexico 0.7, Bahamas 1.3 50
Fluorspar 20.0 Mexico 14.7 74
Barium 5.7 Mexico 1.5 26
Iron ore & cone. 444.0 Mexico 0.04, Colombia 0.1,
Venezuela 97.9, Surinam 0.3 22
Bauxite 149.0 Jamaica 94, Surinam 29, others 25.5 99
Zinc ores 54.4 Mexico 11.6, others 2.9 27
Coffee, green 1,058.0 Mexico 64, Guatemala 50, El Salvador
40, Colombia 199, others 88 42
Crude oil 892.0 Venezuela 299, Colombia 36,
Neth. Antilles 6 88
Naphtha 62.0 Trinidad 13, Neth. Antilles 17,
Venezuela 18 77
Jet fuel 95.0 Trinidad 19, Neth. Antilles 47,
Venezuela 28 100
Sulphur 27.0 Mexico 18 67

(Millions of dollars)

1960 1961 1962 1963 1964 1965

Colombia 758 714 576 799
Costa Rica 72 62 69 75
Dominican Republic 67 57 71 64 80
El Salvador 73 63 64 74
Guatemala 103 109 108 140
Honduras 48 44 56 64 63
Mexico 1,856 1,928 1,984 2,240 2,928 3,048
Nicaragua 47 51 60 78 94 93
Panama 71 87 96 108 102
TOTAL OF ABOVE 3,095 3,052 3,084 3,642
Puerto Rico* 352 376 445 480 576 714
Venezuela 1,346 1,028 1,146 1,233 1,433
Jamaica 138 135 130 127 153
Trinidad 156 150 171 168

Source: Statistical Bulletin
Monetary Fund.

for Latin America, Vol. III, No. 1, International

*Gross fixed domestic investment; fiscal years ending June 30.

1946-June 30, 1965
(Millions of dollars)

AID and predecessor agencies $1,077
Social Progress Trust Fund 254
Food for Peace 356
Export-Import Bank 1-t loans 1,220
Other U. S. economic programs 286
Military 231
of which:
Loans 2,316
Grants 1,108

CARIBBEAN AREA May 1, 1947-June 30, 1966
(Millions of dollars)



Colombia $ 430.6 $19.5
Costa Rica 47.7 5.5
El Salvador 50.3 8.0
Guatemala 18.2
Guyana 0.9
Haiti 2.6 0.3
Honduras 25.9 12.5
Jamaica 27.5
Mexico 625.3 -
Nicaragua 35.7 3.0
Panama 18.0
Trin. & Tob. 23.5
Venezuela 232.3
Total $1,538.5 $48.8

Source: IBRD Annual Report 1965-66

AS OF JUNE 30, 1966
(Millions of dollars)

Costa Rica
El Salvador

$ 309.0

TOTAL $1,164.8
In addition, the following loans had been signed but
were not yet effective:



Source: BRD Annual Report, 1965-66
Effective loans are total commitments made available
through mIRD less those which have matured, been can-
celed, repaid, or sold off to other participants.

1946-JUNE 30, 1965
(Millions of dollars)

World Bank $1,265
International Finance Corporation 32
International Development Association 49
Inter-American Development Bank 278
U. N. Technical Assistance Programs 39
U. N. Special Fund 51
Eur. Devel. Fund of EEC 14*
Total 1,728

*To Surinam.

(Millions of dollars)

1960 1961 1962 1963 1964 1965

Colombia 26.1 -6.5 34.4 89.0 126.5 59.4
Costa Rica 5.4 3.8 24.9 31.4 16.3 70.8
Domin. Repub. -15.9 -26.4 18.9 49.6 22.9 9.6
El Salvador 8.1 11.6 10.4 20.1 30.6 28.5
Guatemala 22.8 9.2 12.3 32.8 36.9
Honduras -5.6 -7.2 5.3 15.9 10.7 9.9
Mexico 120.0 243.0 253.0 287.0 552.0 156.0.
Nicaragua 4.0 -2.1 18.6 15.3 15.6 2.5
Panama 22.8 31.6 28.4 31.0 7.8 7.2
TOTAL OF ABOVE 187.7 257.0 406.2 556.2 819.3
Puerto Rico* 173.7 191.1 269.0 283.4 292.5 371.7
Venezuela -149.5 -424.9 -541.1 -353.1 -24.7 -48.0

Note: Includes private direct investment and other long-term capital (in-
cluding loans to private sector from international institutions and U. S. Govern-
ment agencies); private short-term capital; local and central government bonds
issued and retired; loans received by local and central governments, and sub-
scriptions to IBRD, IDA, and IABD.
*Fiscal years end June 30.



Carlos Sanz de Santamarfa: OPPORTUNITIES FOR

BEFORE GOING into the specifics of "Opportunities for De-
velopment," I should briefly summarize the purpose of the Alliance
for Progress and of the Inter-American Committee on the Alliance
for Progress (CIAP), its central coordinating mechanism.*

The Alliance was proposed by the late President Kennedy and
was launched by the Inter-American Economic and Social Coun-
cil (IA-ECOSOC) at Punta del Este, Uruguay, in August, 1961. The
twenty nations who signed the Charter of Punta del Este com-
mitted themselves to carry out a broad range of first priority tasks
in the fields of economic and social development. I will not list
them all in detail, but merely point out that the Charter calls for
the expansion and diversification of agricultural and industrial
production; sustained economic growth along with better distri-
bution of income; reforms in outmoded tax, social security, land
tenure, and other systems; action to prevent or eliminate inflation;
action to expand and diversify exports in order to earn foreign
exchange needed for the importation of development goods; ac-
tion to improve health, housing, and education; and action to
speed up regional economic integration. The essential point to
remember is that the commitments of Punta del Este were com-
mitments by governments to their own peoples as well as com-
mitments between governments.
*This paper was read by Paul Harrison, Inter-American Committee on the
Alliance for Progress, Washington, D.C.

The Alliance was begun as a ten-year effort, estimated to re-
quire an investment in economic and human development of about
$100 billion, of which at least $80 billion would have to come from
Latin America itself. The remainder was to come from official and
private outside sources-international agencies such as the Inter-
American Development Bank and the World Bank; agencies of the
United States government such as the Agency for International
Development (AID); government institutions of other industrially
advanced countries; and the private investors of the industrialized
capital-exporting nations.
The Punta del Este conference did not attempt to provide an
executive body for the Alliance, and it soon became apparent
that such a body was badly needed. The United States found
itself in the position of principal decision-maker and the program
took on the character of a United States aid program for Latin
America when, in fact, it was meant to be a Latin American
self-help effort with external aid as an important and catalytic,
but still a minority element.
Recognizing this problem, the IA-ECOSOC, holding its annual re-
view of the Alliance in Sao Paulo, Brazil in 1963, voted to create
CIAP as central executive body for hemispheric development. The
Committee, which came into being in 1964, is made up of a full-
time chairman who is always a Latin American and seven part-
time members, one of whom is from the United States.
The Committee's principal functions are to study the develop-
ment efforts of the countries, to make estimates of their needs for
external financing, and to recommend the allocation of the exter-
nal financial resources available. Accordingly, in a manner some-
what similar to the approach used by the European countries dur-
ing the Marshall Plan, CIAP established the mechanism of an an-
nual review of each country's development. In these reviews-we
are now nearing the end of the third cycle-the international
financing agencies and the chief United States government finan-
cing agencies are present as active participants and representatives
of the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development
(OECD) countries as observers.
This approach has enabled CIAP to bring to bear on Latin
American development problems a wealth of talent in the fields
of economic and social development.
The first review was based on necessarily incomplete data-the
countries were simply not able to compile up-to-date and compre-



The Caribbean: Its Hemispheric Role

hensive data of the kind required for searching analysis. But the
second cycle was much improved over the first and third much
improved over the second. So, always bearing in mind that econom-
ic and social development is still far from being an exact science
(even as an art it is still primitive in many aspects), CIAP reviews
are beginning to give the individual countries and the external
agencies a clearer panorama of opportunities for development.

Viewing the panorama we see that the creation of a multilateral
coordinating body has helped development-so much so that in
the recently approved Foreign Assistance Act the United States
Congress decided that United States development loans under the
Alliance should be in keeping with the findings and recommen-
dations of CIAP in its country reviews. The Act also recognizes the
value of channeling funds through multilateral financing agencies.
Under the new Foreign Aid Appropriations Act, up to 10 per cent
of the funds for development loans under the Alliance may be
channeled through the Inter-American Development Bank or the
World Bank.
But multilateralizing action from the outside is not the only
desirable thing we notice as we scan this panorama of develop-
ment opportunities. One thing in particular has become clear: The
most challenging and promising opportunity for development lies
in strengthening and speeding up regional economic integration-
multilateralizing on the inside. Individual Latin American coun-
tries have made progress under the Alliance as a result of na-
tional efforts in many fields-development planning, tax reform,
infrastructural investment to name only a few-but they should be
able to make more and speedier progress if, together, they take
bolder action toward the creation of a common market.

We already have rather impressive evidence in support of this
thesis in the achievements of the Central American integration
movement. But the opportunities for future development are at
least as exciting as the achievements of the past few years.
The OAS Panel of Experts recently completed an evaluation of
the development plans of the Central American countries and
made a synthesis of the individual evaluations in a single volume,
which is available from the OAS secretariat in Washington. The


document, in Spanish, is entitled, "Informe sobre los Planes Nacio-
nales de Desarrollo y el Progeso de Integraci6n Econ6mica en
Centroamerica." I will not attempt in this brief exposition to
summarize the development opportunities that can be inferred
from this report. Let me merely say that there are some that
depend to a certain extent on speeding the course of integration
in the next few years and others that seem to offer good possibili-
ties with the present stage of integration arrangements.
Of the first type-those that depend on further steps toward
integration-there are the opportunities in infrastructural develop-
ment, especially in construction of the regional network of pri-
mary highways which is bound to lead to further development of
a secondary network. There are also the plans for industrial de-
velopment on a regional scale. The implementation of these plans
still requires political decisions, however.
Of the second type-those that offer good possibilities not so
dependent on further steps in integration-there are promising
opportunities for production and processing of livestock, poultry,
and certain types of fruits and vegetables, both for internal con-
sumption and for export. Looking at the Central American region
as a whole, the Panel of Experts said that the individual national
plans seem to underestimate the potential for export of livestock,
fruits, and vegetables and concluded that the production and
export of meat could well be the objective of a special program
either on a regional basis or on a national basis in Nicaragua and
Costa Rica.
Tourism is another industry that has a potential, not only in
Central America and mainland areas bordering on the Caribbean,
but also in some of the islands of the Caribbean that have limited
land and natural resources for major agricultural and industrial
Although CIAP is responsible only for studies of countries that
are signatories to the Alliance Charter, we note the attainment of
independence by Barbados and salute the people of this new
nation. We also note with interest the decision of the United
States, Canada, and Great Britain to establish a Regional Develop-
ment Committee for the Eastern Caribbean.

The basic trend in the Inter-American System is toward regional
economic integration, although there are some OAS members-
for example, the Dominican Republic in the Caribbean area-who



The Caribbean: Its Hemispheric Role

have not yet joined either the Central American Common Market
or the Latin American Free Trade Association. However, CIAP
is already working to establish links between the regional entities
and the non-member countries. And I believe that countries not
now members of the Inter-American System, such as Jamaica and
Trinidad-Tobago, may find it possible to cooperate more closely,
if they wish, with the integration movements, whether or not
they are members of the OAS. For example, Canada, while not a
member of the OAS, is participating in the Alliance for Progress
through the Inter-American Development Bank.
The other countries of the Caribbean-Venezuela, Colombia,
and Mexico-are large countries with great development efforts
already under way and still greater development opportunities
before them. From CIAP'S studies of Venezuela, it appears that
this country has an opportunity to do what few developing coun-
tries can do, that is, adopt an industrial development strategy that
bypasses the conventional import substitution phase and goes di-
rectly to the development of internationally competitive, capital
intensive enterprises in such fields as petrochemicals, metallurgy,
machinery, and metalworking. Mexico has already developed a
wide range of products for the export market and is intensifying
its export efforts.
Wherever you look in the Caribbean there are opportunities
for development. The question is, which are the most needed
from the point of view of the peoples of these countries? What
opportunities can best serve human freedom and welfare? For
let us not forget, the Alliance for Progress is for man. Its aim is
not just development but democratic development and the build-
ing of freer and greater civilizations.





A FEW YEARS AGO, when the Central American Common
Market was starting to show very promising results, the Com-
mittee for Economic Development (CED) decided to sponsor a
study of the region's economic potential. For this purpose mem-
bers of the staff made an extensive survey and collected infor-
mation dealing primarily with industrial and financial problems of
Central America.* The findings were included in a basic docu-
ment with some tentative proposals intended to accelerate the
economic development of the area. To consider these recom-
mendations, several meetings were held over a period of two
years with the participation of high-ranking United States busi-
nessmen and their Central American counterparts-an assemblage
of practical men, with one group genuinely interested in develop-
ing new investment opportunities and the other eager to attract
foreign capital to bolster the incipient development of their coun-
High hopes soon gave way to frustration as the participants
seemed unable to come up with satisfactory solutions. Finally
they realized that the area's inadequate supply of entrepreneurs,
competent managers, and skilled workmen would defeat any at-
tempt toward accelerated development. As a consequence, the
problem of education which originally had been neglected became
a pervasive subject throughout the concluding stages of the dis-
*For additional information regarding references, see p. 69.

The Caribbean: Its Hemispheric Role

I. The Role of Education in Development
When the final statement was published late in 1964, education
was given first billing, and the basic recommendation urged "edu-
cational improvements that will promote growth and enable more
people to participate in the growth process."
John Kenneth Galbraith, who has been deeply involved with
development economics, had reached a similar conclusion and
ably expounded it in a series of lectures that were later compiled
in book form under the title Economic Development. Here, and
also in an article published in Foreign Affairs, he again makes
the point that education abetted by orderly government is the
basic element in economic development, and hence must be given
priority over railways, dams, machine tools, or other tangible goods.
Another example of the greater importance that is being award-
ed to education may be found in the Charter of Punta del Este.
In this document, which represents the consensus of Latin Amer-
ican economic and political leaders, development of human re-
sources is given a conspicuous place among the goals of the
Alliance for Progress.
This increasing regard for education grew out of the European
economic recovery postwar experience. When hostilities ended in
1945 it seemed that rebuilding Europe to its prewar capacity
would be a matter of many decades. To everyone's amazement
an industrial Phoenix literally rose from its ashes, proving beyond
a doubt that tangible goods constitute just the trappings, while
skills and know-how are the very sinews of a country's economic
framework. Without this extraordinary opportunity to study de-
velopment in a veritable economic laboratory, we might still be
groping for an answer to the development riddle.
Now all the pieces seem to have fallen into place. For instance,
the outstanding growth of a country such as the United States
can be traced back to an early fulfillment of the educational
requirements. The bulk of its population is directly descendent
from Europeans who crossed the Atlantic in search of new oppor-
tunities and a better way of life. Those immigrants generally
had a high regard for education as well as liberty and were
invariably possessed with the spirit of adventure and the will to
conquer the unknown. In escaping from a wretched existence in a
semifeudal environment, they always risked a perilous passage, an
uncertain future, or both. Every new settler coming into the coun-
try was a proven entrepreneur, which accounts for the highly
selective makeup of today's American society.


There is one prominent case in economic history where the
educational requirements were satisfied not by a sequence of for-
tuitous events but rather as a result of deliberate action. This is
precisely how Japan, a nation without any natural resources to
speak of, in less than 50 years moved spectacularly from a poor
and backward condition into an enviable place among the great
industrial powers of the world. Here again the postwar experience
has shown that once people are in possession of skills and know-
how, full industrial power may be attained in a relatively short
period of time.
As the evidence is re-examined in the light of new experiences,
the trend in the literature is to favor education as the basic tool
of development. In practice, however, this holds true to a lesser
degree. There is an understandable tendency among economic
planners to favor programs concerned with the accumulation of
tangible goods because these are more easily subject to measure-
ment and may be neatly fitted into complicated mathematical
formulas. Harassed government officials also lean heavily on the
tangible-goods approach as an expedient to quell the clamor for
government leadership in development.
Even when governments are honest enough to resist this kind
of political pressure and approach the problem of allocating funds
from a viewpoint other than personal aggrandizement, one ques-
tion still looms formidably: What kind of educational programs
should be chosen from the myriad alternatives available to a
national planning board?

II. Education as a Factor of Production
In a broad sense, education is the acquisition of knowledge
not only by formal means but also through experience. When the
effort of transmitting knowledge is unsuccessful because the re-
cipient is incapable or unwilling to absorb new concepts, the
process could hardly be called education; in fact, under these cir-
cumstances, the net result will be a waste of resources. Therefore,
the amount of funds spent under the label of education is not
necessarily a measure of the changes that are taking place in the
cultural level of a given nation. These efforts must be effective
and produce the desired results-acquisition and retention of
knowledge-in order to qualify as an educational process.
When viewed from a strictly economic standpoint, education
is regarded either as a capital investment, a consumer. service, or
a combination of both. It is considered a capital investment when



The Caribbean: Its Hemispheric Role

it develops skills and know-how, thereby contributing as a factor
of production; conversely, it takes on the nature of a consumer
service when the purpose is mere enjoyment or cultural refine-
ment. Knowledge itself is not subject to this classification because
its final usefulness is not dictated by content alone but in con-
junction with the circumstances under which it is absorbed. While
the study of history may help a highly placed government official
to guide the destinies of his country, time spent on the same
subject by a punch press operator will not have any bearing what-
soever on his productive occupation. The relationship of content
and circumstance in regard to the end purpose of education is
perhaps the crux of the economic development question.
There is no disputing the advantages of a liberal education
insofar as it develops reason and judgment. Indeed, diffusion of
general knowledge provides an ideal climate for freedom and
democracy. However, as long as the great majority of the popu-
lation lives in abject poverty and is unable to perceive abstract
concepts, the choice must be narrowed down to education as a
factor of production. This was the consensus among the parti-
cipants of the Fourth International Manpower Seminar held in
1964 who felt that "in developing countries, education should be
regarded more as an element of production than as a product for
If public funds earmarked for education are used effectively
with a view to increasing the national wealth of useful skills and
know-how, the productive capacity of a country will automatically
increase, and self-sustaining growth will be reached sooner than if
a different criterion were to be applied.
A primary education in itself is worthless to the typical child
in the rural area of a developing country. The knowledge at his
disposal will be forgotten a few years after leaving school, either
by the action or inaction of his environment; yet the records will
show that the funds spent on such programs have gone for educa-
tion. At the other end of the spectrum there is, for example, the
building of a modest country road that will bring small villages in
contact with civilization. The extension agent, the fertilizer sales-
man, the public health worker and the political candidate-all
very enterprising or dedicated people-will balk at the prospect of
an eight-hour horseback ride. But with reasonable communications
their useful messages will not miss reaching the isolated villages
allowing the peasants an insight into a new way of life. In other
words, a project which is not generally thought of as related to
education may significantly enrich the country's aggregate wealth


of knowledge and thus contribute to raising its national economic
Unhappily, governments are prone to evaluate programs purely
from a tangible-goods standpoint, completely disregarding the hu-
man element involved. For instance, the effectiveness of a new
highway will be established in terms of the estimated marketable
production as computed from the area of the heretofore inacces-
sible region. Roads into arid, heavily populated but forgotten
areas are left unbuilt in favor of imposing highways leading into
potentially rich, unexploited territory. But as a result of fear and
ignorance, people will not migrate as expected from the poor
congested lands into the new havens. More often than not, when
choosing from several alternatives, the educational content of a
program is not taken into account as a criterion for selection.
All government programs, in greater or lesser degree, have an
inherent educational content. Legislation designed to protect in-
fant industry or subsidy programs promoting crop diversification
are obvious examples. Though sometimes criticized for stimulating
the inefficient use of capital, the fact is that these programs with
built-in incentives promote new economic activity by infusing the
meek and timid with daring entrepreneurial spirit, thus creating
new opportunities for development of skills and know-how. This
type of knowledge, as the European economic recovery has shown,
is priceless. And how else are people in the emerging countries
to acquire these skills and know-how unless they learn by doing?
People must be confronted with service and production problems
if they are ever to master the new technology. If this means stim-
ulating and protecting what may initially appear as inefficient
enterprises, the price must be paid. It should be remembered that
the most important element in development is the acquisition of
useful knowledge: in possession of this tool, tangible goods are
Funds spent in education-oriented programs are to be consid-
ered investments not in a metaphorical sense but rather on an
equivalent plane with tangible capital goods. Skills and know-how
constitute wealth that may be resorted to, as with machinery, in
order to produce goods and services more efficiently. Naturally, to
justify the label of education-oriented, programs must meet the
requirement that knowledge is not only acquired but also retained
and available for repeated use. An educational program is not a
good investment when the knowledge that is transmitted becomes
lost through disuse. Indeed, one does not install an expensive
lathe without regard to its ultimate purpose; yet this is often the



The Caribbean: Its Hemispheric Role

case with poorly designed educational programs. Utopian visions of
a cultured society where everyone has the opportunity to enjoy
a liberal education have induced leaders in underdeveloped coun-
tries to devise wholly ineffective curricula in detriment of a more
practical utilization of traditionally scarce resources. Instead of
approaching the ideal society, this policy only contributes to re-
tarding its evolvement.

III. Toward Education-oriented Planning
Because education taken in the sense of a production factor
constitutes a veritable investment, programs that effectively pro-
mote it must be studied and selected accordingly. The same
criteria used by planners in passing judgement on the intrinsic
value of tangible goods must be applied to the educational con-
tent of a given program.
Planning is a tool used by business as well as government in
trying to maximize the return on capital investment. In business
the theoretical optimum is determined by comparing the present
value of future profits expected from alternative expenditures,
while in government the maximization attempt is focused on the
expected increase in national income. Previous discussion has
shown that national income is directly proportional to the aggre-
gate wealth of useful skills and know-how possessed by the bulk
of the population; hence the criteria that planners must use in
selecting from the available alternatives should be based princi-
pally on the educational content of every program under consider-
ation. In other words, the long-term objective of government
planning should be to maximize the growth of useful knowledge
at the disposal of the population in order to obtain a concomitant
increase of economic potential.
To be education-conscious in planning does not mean that all
efforts should be directed towards building schools and training
teachers. Many programs seemingly unrelated to education con-
tribute more to this end than attempts to give backward people a
liberal education. In this light, planning provides an exciting op-
portunity to match mutually supporting programs that properly
coordinated will bring about the maximum educational yield pos-
sible for a given investment.
When an industrial plant is to be erected, the investor must
make sure that raw materials are either available in the vicinity
or may be brought in at reasonable cost; that managers and
laborers are found willing to work on the site; that the cost of


shipping finished products to the marketplace leaves margin for a
competitive selling price; and that working capital is available to
provide interim financing for the production process. When these
four basic conditions are satisfied, other minor obstacles are usual-
ly surmounted and in all probability such an investment will pro-
duce reasonable returns. But when any one of these conditions is
partially unfulfilled, the yield on the investment will surely be
less than optimal. Moreover, if one of the conditions is sufficiently
unsatisfied, the plant will grind to a halt and the result of the
investment will be a net loss. Similarly, when any one of the
necessary supporting elements in a development plan is missing,
the investment represented by the programs that are put into
effect will not be fully effective.
Consider, for instance, a government program designed to pro-
vide credit for the small farmer in the hope of thus helping to
increase his production and therefore his income. Left unsup-
ported such a program will founder, and the funds used in the
process will not only fail to produce the desired increase in na-
tional income, but in all probability will be totally lost. Instead of
increasing the assets of a country the net result, then, will be a
negative entry in the national accounts. To succeed, a credit
program for the small farmer must be accompanied, in the first
place, by an adequate extension service meant to improve the
skills and know-how at his disposal. Second, communications and
storage facilities must be improved-and subsidies provided when
deemed necessary-so that crops may be marketed advantageously.
Further, to insure against breakdown of these basic investments,
additional programs must be implemented covering adult literacy
and health. It should become self-evident that as each comple-
mentary program is added, the value of the other programs is
more and more enhanced, and their collective chances for success
increasingly assured.
Interestingly enough, under such circumstances a development
plan will also indirectly boost the value of strictly educational
programs, since children in the area will be able to retain a greater
portion of primary education than is usual. They now return to
an environment charged with motivation where their newly ac-
quired knowledge is bound to be of some use.
The total educational content of an integral development plan
is always greater than the aggregate educational value of the in-
dividual programs composing it. As the environment is changed
by inducement and design providing added opportunities for the
profitable use of knowledge, the retention process will be more



The Caribbean: Its Hemispheric Role

pronounced and the wealth of skills and know-how will be shown
to have increased accordingly.

IV. Advantages of Regional Development Plans
Regrettably, emerging countries lack the necessary resources
to promote development integrally in one great effort. A widespread
plan of integrated programs would require more financing than
the borrowing capacity of a country in these circumstances will
permit; and even if foreign resources were unlimitedly available,
there would not be enough qualified government officials to im-
plement such a plan satisfactorily. Surprisingly enough, as a rule,
governments attempt precisely such an impossible objective caus-
ing public funds to be spread thinly and ineffectively across the
A farmer who has a large plot and only a small amount of
seed will be able to produce more efficiently if he concentrates
all his planting to one single patch of land-where the soil is richest
-than by scattering his limited resources all about the property.
By taking advantage of the most logical alternative he will be
able to maximize his production and improve his chances of
increasing the cultivated area in subsequent seasons. This simple,
basic technique is the underlying principle in regional develop-
Development plans, to be helpful, should be circumscribed to
a limited area that will allow execution of adequately integrated
programs comfortably within the bounds of the nation's financial
Such a course is not always an easy one to follow. Governments
have political commitments to uphold and feel compelled to dis-
tribute expenditures piecemeal as pressure from different areas is
felt. Consequently, programs are forever being launched but sel-
dom carried through successfully for lack of sustained financing or
adequate supporting programs. Credit to the small farmer is given
in one area; literacy is intensified in another; communications are
improved in still another; and thus the favorable, complementary
action of mutually supporting programs is pitifully lost.
Regional development takes its lead from the currently accepted
economic development theory, with the difference that take-off
is viewed from the standpoint of a circumscribed region instead of
the country as a whole. Concentrating a great portion of the
public expenditure in the selected area provides a good substitute
for one of the important pre-conditions in take-off-namely, a sud-


den surge in available resources historically derived from the dis-
covery of minerals, the increase in the price of an important ex-
port commodity, or as in more recent cases, by the intelligent
promotion of tourism.
The area subject to this concentrated governmental investment
is bound to prosper and eventually achieve self-sustained growth.
When this objective is reached, the plan should be shifted to a new
region until, by repeated use of the process, the whole population
has crossed the threshold of prosperity and is able to enjoy an era
of gradual but ever increasing improvement.
Undoubtedly this is a painstaking process that requires time,
patience, and perseverance. But this should not be a deterrent.
The last few decades have shown that there is no shortcut leading
to development; rather, dramatic schemes that are periodically
brought forth with the purpose of achieving instant, widespread
development have only resulted in the chronic loss of scarce in-
vestment capital. It seems more sensible to draw up a ten-year
regional plan that practically insures development in a fraction
of the territory, than to try unrealistically to achieve widespread
improvement by means of a broad development plan.
At least this would be the case with the rural primary educa-
tion program in Guatemala. Schools have been built sparsely
throughout the country, all being subject to control by the Minis-
try of Education through zonal supervisors. By means of this net-
work the Guatemalan children are expected to learn how to read
and write, but, lamentably, this is not the case. Take the example
of a small village located on an all-weather road only two hours
away from Guatemala City: the teacher of a one-classroom school
makes an appearance only two or three days a week and some-
times is absent for a month at a time; supervision by the Ministry
has been rare and ineffectual; consequently, in the eight years
since the school has been operating not one single child has
learned how to read or write, in spite of the fact that the villagers
are truly desirous for their children to acquire a basic education.
Unquestionably the Guatemalan government will be able to com-
bat ignorance more effectively by regrouping its efforts and cir-
cumscribing the attack to a more limited area.
Special care must be exercised in choosing the region that will
benefit from this concentrated investment. The less backward areas
should be given preference simply because they will be able to
attain sustained growth sooner than the more backward regions.
However crude it may sound, the more undeveloped a region,
the less likely it is to regress upon being forsaken. On the con-



The Caribbean: Its Hemispheric Role

trary, as the economic and cultural levels rise in the selected
regions, the outlying areas will benefit from spillover effects. Ob-
viously the process will be less strenuous if managed in this
fashion rather than by attempting to develop first the more back-
ward areas.
In other words, when applying the regional development tech-
nique, the selected area receiving the benefit of concentrated in-
vestment will necessarily represent a relatively small part of the
nation. Since this is unavoidable, the other regions in the country
will simply have to wait their turn. However, the damage inflicted
is insignificant since the programs to be de-emphasized in these
forsaken regions are usually unsupported and therefore worthless
for all practical purposes. There is very little difference between a
weak development plan and no plan at all. On the other hand, the
regions subjected to intensive investment will thrive and become,
in time, stepping-stones in the development of the remaining
The vicious cycle of poverty and ignorance cannot be broken by
half measures. Instead, vigorous action is required in attempting to
establish a self-sustained development process. Only when a suffi-
ciently large amount of resources is coordinatedly channeled into
a circumscribed region will economic activity be stimulated enough
to provide opportunities for private investment, thereby creating a
propitious climate for the development of skills and know-how.

V. Conclusions
Education is being recognized more and more as the crucial
factor in the economic development of emerging nations. To avoid
paying lip service alone to this concept, the educational contents
of all government programs must serve as criteria in assigning
priorities in the process of preparing a national development
plan. This educational content must be measured against the
amount of useful knowledge that may be acquired and retained by
the population for repeated use in the efficient production of
goods and services.
When mutually complementing programs are simultaneously put
into effect, their educational contents are considerably boosted.
The collective benefits obtained in this manner far exceed the
results that could be derived from an equivalent investment
through isolated, unsupported programs. However, an integral de-
velopment plan can only be applied on a modest scale within a


given region because, for lack of resources, a developing nation
is unable to use such a technique throughout the country.
By discriminating in favor of the selected region, little or no
damage is inflicted upon other areas since unsupported, haphaz-
ard programs thinly spread across the country have little or no
educational value from a long-run point of view. On the other
hand, the concentrated effort in a given region is bound to bring
about, within a reasonable time, self-sustained development; when
this occurs, resources will be released for application in subsequent
regions until this priming effect is achieved throughout the country.

Committee for Economic Development. Economic Development of Central
America. A statement on national policy by the Research and Policy Com-
mittee of the CED. November, 1964, p. 32.
Galbraith, J. K. Economic Development. Cambridge, Mass.: Harvard University
Press, 1964.
"A Positive Approach to Economic Aid," Foreign Afairs, April, 1961,
p. 444.
Lockwood, W. W. The Economic Development of Japan. Princeton, N. J.:
Princeton University Press, 1964, pp. 510-12.
Agency for International Development. Proceedings of Fourth International
Manpower Seminar, 1964, VIII, 56-58.




Rafael A. Ziifiiga: INTEGRATION, THE

THE CONCEPT of integration is not new, although in recent
years it has taken on economic connotations which it formerly
lacked. As feudalism collapsed, the formation of the European
states on the basis of geographic, ethnic, or religious criteria (Spain,
Germany, England, France) was the result of integration move-
ments. The ideals of Bolivar in South America and the establish-
ment of the Union in North America were also manifestations of
integration. Perhaps the first attempt to find a multilateral solution
to development problems could be traced to the first Economic
Conference of the Rio de la Plata countries in 1941 and to the
Charter of Quito of 1948 which aimed at the integration of the
former members of Greater Colombia (Colombia, Ecuador, Pan-
ama, and Venezuela) into a customs union.

I. Integration and the Inter-American Development Bank
In a recent speech the President of the Inter-American Develop-
ment Bank (DB), Dr. Felipe Herrera, said, "It is well to keep in
mind that the United States was the first integrated geo-economic
area in the world." The tremendous strength of the United States
at the present time is undoubtedly attributable in part to the
country's unity, which is simply integration. In the Caribbean
area, Central America is a special case. After attaining its inde-
pendence as a united Country (the Central American Federation),
it was unable at first to resist the tendencies toward separation

and was divided into five small republics, as proud of their in-
dividuality as they were poor in their economy and weak in de-
velopment. Fortunately, now that this narrowly nationalistic phase
has been left behind, Central America offers a model of integra-
tion for the Americas and perhaps for the entire world.
Integration, increasingly based on economic criteria transcend-
ing mere geographic considerations, is a dynamic process which
assumes diverse forms and proceeds through different stages. Be-
ginning with bilateral or multilateral agreements to lower and
eventually eliminate customs barriers, it proceeds to the establish-
ment of free trade associations or customs unions within the
Caribbean area. Central America has completed this stage by
creating a common market, and is advancing rapidly toward an
economic union and the final goal of complete economic integra-
tion. In doing so, it progresses from the purely economic fields
of activity to those of a political nature.
The Americas witnessed a far-reaching development when four
of the most outstanding leaders of the Pan American System pro-
posed the establishment of a "Latin American Common Market,"
defined by the authors of the proposal as "a form of association
in which a group of countries join together to take concerted ac-
tion toward common objectives of economic development and
social welfare." This common objective implies unanimously ac-
cepted lines of action in matters of commercial policy, orienta-
tion of investment policy, coordination of monetary, fiscal and
social policies, and in the fields of transportation and agriculture.

II. Regional Integration Associations
The Latin American Free Trade Association.-In 1961, with the
signing of the Treaty of Montevideo, the Latin American Free
Trade Association (LAFTA) was brought into being. The goal of
LAFTA is to gradually eliminate, beginning on June 1, 1961 and
over a period of not more than 12 years, the duties and restrictions
on the importation of products from the member countries, even-
tually achieving an area of completely free trade.
LAFTA has ten member countries at the present time: Argentina,
Brazil, Chile, Colombia, Ecuador, Mexico, Paraguay, Peru, Uru-
guay, and Venezuela which became the most recent member in
September, 1966. Bolivia, which has yet to join any system, can
probably be expected to become a member of LAFTA eventually.
The Treaty of Montevideo does not make specific provision for
the establishment of a common external tariff, but neither does it



The Caribbean: Its Hemispheric Role

prohibit such action. It establishes a Secretariat and a Permanent
Committee, but it provides no regional financial organization.
LAFTA'S ten member countries account for 88 per cent of Latin
America's population and over 90 per cent of its gross product.
Intra-zonal trade has made substantial progress, having increased
almost two-fold in absolute terms in five years. From 7 per cent
of the total external trade of the region in 1961, it rose to more
than 11 per cent in 1965 (over $1.4 billion, United States).
Actions taken by the Conference of Foreign Ministers of the mem-
ber countries at the end of 1965 warrant the expectation of sub-
stantial policy commitments and new institutional arrangements
in the near future.
The Central American Common Market.-As mentioned before,
Central America, which emerged as a federation of five states
upon achieving its independence from Spain in 1821, turned to
political individualism fifteen years later; the passage of approxi-
mately 115 years was required for the area to awake from its
separatist lethargy and recognize the benefits of integration. After
a long history of efforts it was not until 1950 that Central Ameri-
can integration began to take shape.
The Central American School of Public Administration (ESA-
PAC) established in Costa Rica in 1954, the Central American
Institute of Industrial Research and Technology (ICAITI) founded
in Guatemala in 1955, and the Central American University
Council (CsUCA) inaugurated in 1948, were practical steps toward
regional integration in special fields and helped to spread the
doctrine of integration throughout the Isthmus. While the decisions
establishing these institutions were highly important, they lacked
the general scope that was finally achieved in the multilateral
Treaty of Free Trade signed in 1958, and the General Treaty of
Economic Integration signed in 1960, with Costa Rica adhering
two years later. Under the latter treaty, the signatory countries
agreed to establish a free trade area and, within five years at
most, a common external tariff.
The members of the Central American Common Market are the
five republics that formed the original federation: Guatemala, El
Salvador, Honduras, Nicaragua, and Costa Rica. Panama has not
joined the Common Market, but there are indications that it may
do so in the near future. In June of this year, Panama became a
member of several subsidiary agencies of the Organization of Cen-
tral American States. One of the paragraphs in the preamble to
the Membership Protocol establishes that "for geographic, historical
and political reasons, the Republic of Panama should be part of


the Central American community." The Central American inte-
gration treaties provide for a common external tariff and for
various institutions to carry out their provisions, including the
Central American Economic Council and the Permanent Secre-
tariat of the Treaty of Integration (SIECA). There has been remark-
able progress in freeing intra-regional trade for nearly 98 per cent
of the items listed in the Central American Uniform Customs
Nomenclature and in adopting a common external tariff, which
also covers 98 per cent of these items.
Extraordinary progress has been made in the industrial field.
Five instruments have been created: (1) the system of integrated
industries; (2) the Central American agreement on fiscal in-
centives to industrial development; (3) the protocol on assembly
industries; (4) the special system for the promotion of productive
activities; and (5) the Central American Bank for Economic
Integration (CABEI). This Bank, created in 1961, has done com-
mendable work, and with the establishment last year of the Cen-
tral American Fund for Economic Integration under its admin-
istration, is now able to make a further contribution toward build-
ing the necessary infrastructure to accelerate the integration of
the five countries.
As a result of efforts to coordinate public investment, there are
now a regional road plan, a program for telecommunications, and
several electrical interconnection projects under consideration.

III. The Inter-American Development Bank
The Inter-American Development Bank was established in 1959
and began its operations in February, 1961. This was the cul-
mination of a long-felt Pan American aspiration. Under its charter
agreement, the principal function of the Bank is to provide tech-
nical and financial assistance to its member countries in their
efforts to achieve economic and social development. The Inter-
American Development Bank emerged to foster the individual
and collective growth of the independent Latin American coun-
tries and became the chief multilateral instrument for channeling
financial and technical resources for this purpose. The Alliance for
Progress, whose basic principles were set forth in the Charter of
Punta del Este, defined the multilateral responsibility of national
and regional development on the hemispheric level, emphasizing
the need for accelerated social change. The Charter of Alta Gracia
defined the bases on which Latin America was willing to cooperate
in the achievement of a more harmonious world trade system.



The Caribbean: Its Hemispheric Role

Development is a lengthy process involving interdependent re-
lationships between the participating countries, which makes it es-
sential to organize those relations in such a way as to obtain the
greatest benefits for all concerned. This process leads inexorably
to integration, and thus it was that the Inter-American Develop-
ment Bank inevitably became the "Bank for Integration." Within
the general context of promoting development, the Bank has en-
couraged those projects which favor integration, providing tech-
nical and financial assistance to institutions that study this move-
ment and devoting special interest to projects with integrational
characteristics. In this connection, special mention should be made
of the assistance furnished to the Central American Bank for
Economic Integration, the establishment of the Institute for Latin
American Integration, and the Fund for Latin American Inte-
gration. As of October 31 of this year the Bank has granted 368
loans totaling $1,753,398,000 to its Latin American member coun-
tries, of which the Caribbean area, as conceived by this confer-
ence, had received 164 loans for a total of $888 thousand millions
United States, representing more than one half of the total. Table
1 shows the breakdown of the loans according to fields of activity
financed. The percentage of total operations granted by the Bank to
the Caribbean Area evidences the importance of this region within
the hemisphere.
(In thousands of dollars)

Total Caribbean Area
No. Amount No. Amount

Agriculture 74 387,682 38 189,214
Industry and Mining 86 384,309 33 112,439
Electric Power 20 153,981 7 28,633
Transportation 14 151,120 8 96,380
Water and Sewerage 58 301,354 28 112,346
Housing 37 261,878 20 127,750
Education 32 54,890 11 16,925
Financing of Exports 6 15,770 2 6,202
Preinvestment 41 42,414 16 18,490
Total 368 1,753,398 164 888,379

IV. Aspects of Integration
Despite the fact that integration is a single movement, in its
practical application it involves a number of specific activities
with distinctive characteristics.


In the financial aspect, it was precisely in a Caribbean country,
Jamaica, that a highly important event occurred in April of this
year: the governors of the Latin American central banks signed
the Declaration of Jamaica, which refers to a reform of the inter-
national monetary system. Far-reaching in scope, and symbolic
because of the place where it was signed, the Declaration of
Jamaica is a new and important instrument for monetary under-
standing among the people of the Americas. The process of finan-
cial integration must be parallel with integration in other fields,
seeking an adequate balance among its many manifestations. In
this meeting, to the great satisfaction of the central banks, a study
was begun to analyze the international monetary system. Progress
was made in the aspects of international liquidity, and recommen-
dations were approved for better coordination between the Inter-
national Monetary Fund and the agencies responsible for financing
regional integration and cooperation.
Specific resolutions were taken to establish a practical system
for the exchange of IDB bonds among the central banks when-
ever it is necessary to reduce their investments, and for the es-
tablishment of a common fund to provide greater liquidity in
international payments "as one more step in the program of suc-
cessive advances toward the system of Latin American financial
integration" approved at the previous meeting in Mexico. The
Declaration of Jamaica, with its implications for the future, can
be regarded as a forerunner to the establishment of a Latin
American monetary unit, which would be an essential part of
general integration.
With regard to an integration policy for Latin America, two
meetings of special significance were held this year in July and
August, in San Andres and in Bogota. The first recommended the
adoption of viable and dynamic formulas for integration and com-
plementary economic development in the hemisphere. For the
Caribbean area it was agreed to establish a study group to seek
ways and means of increasing trade, technical, and financial
cooperation. The Bogota meeting approved the Declaration of
BogotA which contains, in addition to important statements on a
common international economic policy, several recommendations
on Latin American economic integration, such as those to improve
the institutional machinery of LAFTA, increase relations between
LAFTA and the Central American Common Market, and move to-
ward a unification of the two systems.



The Caribbean: Its Hemispheric Role

V. Instruments of Integration
Institute for Latin American Integration.-Aware of its historic
mission and convinced that the integration of the Americas is
primarily an educational process, the Inter-American Develop-
ment Bank showed great foresight in establishing the Institute
for Latin American Integration (INTAL). Late in 1964 the Bank
authorized the creation of the Institute with the following pur-
1. To increase the technical knowledge of officials and special-
ists in the public and private sectors of the member countries of
the Bank with respect to problems of Latin American integration
by means of training courses, seminars, and round-table discus-
2. To conduct the theoretical studies necessary for the process
of Latin American integration in the institutional, juridical, social,
and economic fields;
3. To advise the Bank in matters of integration;
4. To collect information on integration movements in other
parts of the world and to analyze these experiences in terms of
their value for Latin American integration;
5. To render advisory services to the member countries of the
DB in the conduct of courses or seminars on the process of Latin
American integration;
6. To disseminate studies on integration in its various aspects
and to publish the results of research in the Institute;
7. To serve as a clearing house for documents and technical
studies on Latin American integration;
8. To conduct periodic seminars for Latin American leaders,
for the purpose of analyzing the problems relating to Latin Amer-
ican integration; and
9. To cooperate in matters of economic integration with inter-
national organizations, world-wide or regional, governmental or
non-governmental, with national universities and with other teach-
ing and research institutions, in order to determine the assistance
and cooperation needed for the fulfillment of the purposes of the
Institute and to avoid duplication of effort.
Central America's position of leadership in the integration move-
ment, as well as the interest repeatedly shown by outstanding
representatives of the Central American area, have led the Bank
to study the possibility of establishing a regional office of INTAL
in one of the Central American countries. The Institute itself has
declared "that the progress of the integration movement in Cen-


tral America can offer valuable experience for the rest of Latin
America" and that "the Central American Common Market can
be used as an integration laboratory where formulas could be
developed for later application throughout Latin America."
It should be noted that in the documents referring to the es-
tablishment of INTAL, it is provided that "special attention will be
given to studies aimed at relating the Central American countries
to the rest of Latin America. . These studies would also ,be
aimed at evaluating the integration experience of Central America
in terms of possible application to the rest of Latin America." The
approval of this program would represent a new milestone in the
development of integration institutions.
Preinvestment Fund.-Considering favorable comments in many
international meetings, including its own Annual Meetings, the
Inter-American Development Bank, in July of this year, estab-
lished the Preinvestment Fund for Latin American Integration.
As an initial allotment, $15 million (United States) were assigned
from the Bank's Fund for Special Operations to the newly estab-
lished Fund. For its part, the United States Government agreed
to allocate the equivalent of $1.5 million United States from the
$525 million United States Social Progress Trust Fund which the
Bank administers for the United States within the framework of
the Alliance for Progress. The resources of the new Fund will be
used to finance studies in the following fields:
1. Multinational infrastructure works including highways, air,
ocean and river transportation, regional communications systems,
and related services;
2. The integrated development of geo-economic regions em-
bracing areas in two or more countries, such as international river
basins, including their power resources, inland navigation, irriga-
tion, rural colonization, and forest resources;
3. Basic industries of regional scope operating within a market
embracing several countries; and
4. Other integration activities, including studies and programs
for joint exploitation of natural resources or any others that will
strengthen the principle or execution of American integration.
The Bank's loans and technical assistance operations, reimburs-
able and non-reimbursable, financed with the resources of the
Fund, as well as the studies it makes with its own resources, will
be negotiated with governments and their agencies, development
corporations, multinational organizations, institutions responsible
for integration activities, and private companies.
In order to coordinate this activity, the Bank will prepare



The Caribbean: Its Hemispheric Role

annual working programs for regional preinvestment, taking into
consideration the proposed studies that the Latin American Free
Trade Association (LAFTA) and the Secretariat for Central Ameri-
can Economic Integration (SIECA) may have under consideration.
These programs will be prepared in consultation with the Inter-
American Committee on the Alliance for Progress (CIAP), which
will evaluate them with the assistance of LAFTA and SIECA.
In a study made by the Bank prior to the establishment of the
Fund, it was pointed out that the principal role to be assigned by
the DB to the Fund would be to ensure a rapid and appropriate
preinvestment study of all programs and projects for regional
investment that go beyond the initial planning stage.

VI. Integration in the Caribbean, a Region of Contrasts
More than any other part of the Americas, the Caribbean is a
region of contrasts where cultures have come together, races have
blended, and varying ideologies have resulted in bloody conflicts.
In the period of discovery and conquest, the European powers
made the Caribbean their battlefield and even the victim of
picturesque but highly unjust acts of piracy. They left behind
them the seeds of profound discord which even today bear fruit
in absurd antagonisms between neighboring countries, such as
those sharing the island of Hispaniola, and in the existence of
characteristic political systems still linked to the Old World which
are not to be found in other regions of the Americas. In the
Caribbean area, the Anglo-Saxon, Latin, and African cultures were
thrown together with the force of a tropical storm.
In the Isthmus of Central America, the Caribbean area has
witnessed substantial strides in the field of integration, creating
an example for the rest of the continent. However, the same
Caribbean area, particularly the islands, is the site of isolated
countries which would seem to suggest that their nature as an
archipelago had prevailed over other historical and social consid-
erations of greater validity and importance. The Caribbean is-
lands, which were the gateway through which European civili-
zation first entered Hispanic America, are today, paradoxically,
in the rear guard of the most promising movement in the continent.
Cuba, Haiti, and the Dominican Republic, as well as Panama on
the mainland, have yet to join any of the systems of integration
previously mentioned. Cuba, for well-known reasons, is temporarily
outside the inter-American system. Panama, while showing an
inclination to join the Central American Common Market as a