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Tributes to Cheddi Jagan - Remembering CJ

A Kennedy - C.I.A. Plot Returns to Haunt Clinton

by Tim Weiner  October 30, 1994

W ASHINGTON -- It was a small clandestine operation in a little South American country three decades ago. President Kennedy ordered the Central Intelligence Agency to subvert the country's leader. The leader fell, and the C.I.A.'s men quietly left town. Time passed, and the wheels of history turned. The cold war ended, and with its end the fallen leader was elected President of what is now independent Guyana. United States law says it is time to unseal the secret documents that detail Kennedy's plot against him. But State Department and C.I.A. officials refuse to release them, saying it is not worth the embarrassment.

Keeping secrets can cause embarrassment too. In June the Clinton Administration prepared to send a new Ambassador to the little country -- apparently unaware that the prospective nominee had helped to undermine the restored leader.

The events of 30 years ago may be filed and forgotten in Washington; they are fresh in the memory of those who lived through them.

The story begins in 1953, when British Guiana, an English-speaking colony peopled by the descendants of slaves and laborers from Africa and India, elected its first native-born Prime Minister: Cheddi Jagan, a son of the colonial plantations, an American-educated dentist and an admirer of the works of Karl Marx.

Four months later, Churchill suspended British Guiana's Constitution and ordered its Government dissolved. Dr. Jagan was too leftist for Churchill's taste, though the people of British Guiana liked him.

Dr. Jagan and his wife, the former Janet Rosenberg of Chicago, were freed from jail after the British restored constitutional government, and he was re-elected in 1957 and 1961.

The latter year saw Kennedy's disastrous Bay of Pigs invasion, aimed at overthrowing Cuba's leader, Fidel Castro. A newspaper cartoon of the day depicted a double-barrel shotgun aimed at the United States. One barrel was labeled "Cuba," the other "British Guiana."

On Oct. 25, 1961, Prime Minister Jagan went to the White House, seeking financial aid and offering assurances. "I went to see President Kennedy to seek the help of the United States, and to seek his support for our independence from the British," he said in a recent interview. "He was very charming and jovial. Now, the United States feared that I would give Guyana to the Russians. I said if this is your fear, fear not. We will not have a Soviet base. I raised the question of aid. They did not give a positive response. The meeting ended on this note."

The meeting was recorded by the historian Arthur M. Schlesinger Jr. in "A Thousand Days," his memoir of the Kennedy White House. "Jagan was unquestionably some sort of a Marxist," he wrote, but also "plainly the most popular leader in British Guiana," adding, "The question was whether he was recoverable for democracy." Another question was whether he and his nation of 600,000 represented a threat to the United States.

Kennedy told Dr. Jagan that United States policy toward his country was clear: "National independence. This is the basic thing. As long as you do that, we don't care whether you are socialist, capitalist, pragmatist or whatever. We regard ourselves as pragmatists." A joint statement was issued, committing Dr. Jagan "to uphold the political freedoms" that were his inheritance.

After Dr. Jagan left Washington, Kennedy met in secret with his top national security officers. A pragmatic plan took shape.

Still-classified documents depict in unusual detail a direct order from the President to unseat Dr. Jagan, say Government officials familiar with the secret papers.

Though many Presidents have ordered the C.I.A. to undermine foreign leaders, they say, the Jagan papers are a rare smoking gun: a clear written record, without veiled words or plausible denials, of a President's command to depose a Prime Minister.

In short order, things started going badly for British Guiana.

"It was after the meeting with Kennedy that the cold war heated up here," recalled Janet Jagan, then a minister in her husband's Government.

Previously unheard-of radio stations went on the air in the capital, Georgetown. The papers printed false stories about approaching Cuban warships. Civil servants walked out. The labor unions revolted. Riots took the lives of more than 100 people.
The key was the unions, whose rebellion crippled the Government and the economy. And the unions were taking advice and money from an interesting assortment of American organizations.

Among them, say the Jagans and historians familiar with the events, was the American Institute for Free Labor Development, headed by a labor official named William C. Doherty Jr.

The institute, an international program run by the A.F.L.-C.I.O., long has aided anti-Communist unions abroad. In the 1950's and early 1960's, former United States intelligence officers say, the C.I.A. slipped money to the institute. The ties between the agency and the institute have long since been severed.

The agitation grew throughout 1962 and 1963. "A fire was set in the center of town," Dr. Jagan said. "The wind fanned the flames, and the center of the city burned. There are still scars. Then they changed their tactics. This is where the C.I.A. support came in full. They imposed a full blockade on shipping and airlines. We were helpless. We had no power."

The British, at the suggestion of the Kennedy Administration, delayed their colony's scheduled independence and changed its electoral system in October 1963. Now the electorate had to vote for parties instead of people, and a still popular but politically weakened Dr. Jagan fell from power. Once he fell, the British granted independence to the new republic of Guyana.

For the next 20 years the country was governed by Forbes Burnham -- "as the British described him, an opportunist, racist and demagogue intent only on personal power," to quote from "A Thousand Days." He held power through force and fraud until his death in 1985.

He ran up a foreign debt of more than $2 billion, a sum more than five times Guyana's gross domestic product. Interest on that debt now consumes 80 percent of the country's revenue and more than half of its foreign earnings.

"They made a mistake putting Burnham in," Janet Jagan said. "The regrettable part is that the country went backwards." One of the better-off countries in the region 30 years ago, Guyana today is among the poorest. Its principal export is people.

In 1992, in the country's first free elections in three decades, Dr. Jagan was elected President. In June of this year, unaware of the still-classified Kennedy-Jagan documents, the Clinton Administration prepared to nominate a new Ambassador to Guyana: William C. Doherty Jr., executive director of the American Institute for Free Labor Development.

"I was flabbergasted," President Jagan said. "We let it be known that we were not happy." His unhappiness derailed plans to nominate Doherty, who has declined several requests for an interview.

Dr. Jagan said the documents about the plot against him should be published, and he laughed at the idea that they might anger him or embarrass the United States.

"Everybody in Guyana knows what happened," he said. "I don't understand why they should be kept secret. I'm not going to use these documents to blackmail the United States. Maybe President Clinton doesn't know our history, but the people who advise him should at least know their own history."

The law demands the declassification of Government papers after 30 years, unless they compromise national security secrets. Dozens of Kennedy Administration documents on British Guiana remain locked away, and the State Department and the C.I.A. say they should stay that way.

Another volume dealing with Japan is in limbo, because it details the Kennedy Administration's secret support for Japanese conservatives, Government officials said. If either set is blocked, it would a first. No full volume of the State Department's foreign policy documents has ever been withheld because of Government secrecy.

Schlesinger, whose "Thousand Days" offers the best-known account of the Kennedy-Jagan encounter -- an account that he now acknowledges is incomplete -- said the documents should be released, so history can be revised.

"We misunderstood the whole struggle down there," Schlesinger said. "He wasn't a Communist. The British thought we were overreacting, and indeed we were. The C.I.A. decided this was some great menace, and they got the bit between their teeth. But even if British Guiana had gone Communist, it's hard to see how it would be a threat."

The full story, he said, proved the truth of Oscar Wilde's witticism: "The one duty we owe to history is to rewrite it."


He Pulled My Teeth!

by Dudley Kissore
(Former archavist of the CJRC)

In the early nineteen-fifties someone suggested that I visit Dr. Cheddi Jagan for my dental needs. His reputation as a good dentist, and that he did not charge much had become known. One of the reasons I went to him as the low fees he charged. I could not afford much as a teacher. By that time, I had heard him speak at meetings in the countryside and he quite enraptured his audiences and endeared himself to people.

On the fateful day, the waiting room was quite orderly and I did not have to wait long to see him. The office assistant, whom I later learned was Mrs. Jagan, was courteous and kind, neatly clad in white uniform. The air smelled of some cleansing fluid and I felt I was in a sanitary environment.

I looked up at the framed certificate from North-Western University with Dr. Jagan's name as a graduate and small photos of the graduates of that year. Of course I tried to spot Dr. Jagan's picture, and I wished I could go to such a school to become like him.

Once I got into the chair I felt completely at ease. Always fearful of dental work, this was an entirely different experience. He gave me the feeling I was in very capable hands. I felt the confidence he gave out. After the examination of every tooth, there was the diagnosis of an extraction. I had the extraction, I had to return later in the day, because it turned out I was a bleeder. He sutured the gums and sent me to the Public Hospital outpatient's department for a hemophiliac examination. It turned out to be negative. I suffered only from dental bleeding. After that, he always had the sutures prepared when I had an extraction. Later on, I took fellow students from my college into the surgery on Saturday evenings to discuss politics and economics.

Thank you Dr. Jagan. You were both my dentist and my teacher.


What Dr. Cheddi Jagan did to promote the Steel Band Movement

by Roy Geddes, A.A

In 1962 the late President Dr. Cheddi Jagan had mobilised a National Steelband. Players were paid by the State. However, this orchestra was disbanded by the People’s National Congress government when they took office. I feel that this has had a long-term negative effect on the Steel Band Art Form in this country.

Also in 1962 a truly National Steel Band was formed to go and perform in Trinidad and Tobago for their Independence Day.

Dr. Cheddi Jagan would never be forgotten by those who truly have a sense of patriotism – a love for one’s country.

 Discipline Is Love

 P.S A Black Art-form

The steelband instruments were invented by hard-working dedicated and committed black youths from the ghettos who have never gained the respect they truly deserved.


Great Memories of Cheddi and Janet Jagan

by Oscar James    31 March 2011

OVER the past months I have been reading and seeing comments made by a columnist from the Kaieteur News and former supporters of the PPP/C.

Most of them indulge in criticising the party and the Jagans out of a sense of disappointment of not being able to get more out of the party and the government. I remember well one of them who was a director or chairman of the Electricity Corporation running away from Freedom House while it was being attacked in 1962. He ended up in Canada and returned to Guyana in 1992. He claimed he made sacrifices but lots of comrades made sacrifices too.

Some comrades felt the heavy hands of the previous regime, some lost their jobs, some were detained and imprisoned and some even lost their lives because they were Afro-Guyanese and supporters of the PPP. The Fords,  Edwardses, Holders, Gonsalves, Shepherds, Campbells, Browns, Burgesses, McLeans and Fernandes, just to name a few.

Let me not dwell too much on that part of my letter but let me write on some things of the Jagans that I know:

I was 13 years old when I first came into contact with Cheddi and Janet Jagan in 1953. My father used to give me sets of magazines (China Reconstruction) to take to Cheddi for him to distribute to members of the party.

I wonder if these critics know of the time in the late 1940s when Cheddi was refused entry on the upper deck of the McKenzie steamer and Janet came down to the bottom so that she could be with her husband.

Do they know of the many times during the 60s and 70s when he picked up children going to school on Lamaha Street on his way to Freedom House?

Do they know of the time when the British troops raided Thunder Newspaper Office and as Janet Jagan approached the building a British soldier challenged her, bayonet at ready to her chest, and she continued to advance to the building until she was arrested?

Do they know when Cheddi was jailed for six months hard labour and crowds would gather and sing the party song ‘Oh Fighting Men’ until the police fired tear gas at us?

Do they know the number of small businessmen Dr Cheddi helped to start their own businesses?

Janet and Cheddi paid visits to several long yards in the city from Kingston, Lacytown, Werk-en-Rust, Charlestown, etc encouraging parents to send their children to school. They both assisted in preparing breakfast and bathing the children.

There is a certain long yard in Charlotte Street between Camp and Wellington Streets, which had two big buildings in the front part and two range houses, which had 10 rooms (as much as eight persons lived in a room), six outdoor kitchens were provided as well as three toilets and three baths for the tenants.

These were the conditions he met the poor living under when he returned home and he fought against it.

From this same long yard was produced several seamen, two photographers, three land surveyors, one electrical foreman, director of prisons and a professor of mathematics.

Do you know that in the 1940s – 1950s the City Council had employed women to break bricks for the building of roads? Janet paid a visit to these women and fought tooth and nail for this practice to stop, which eventually did.

Cheddi only saw the good in people; I believed a saint walked among us.

I have written this letter hoping for it to be published in your newspaper (Chronicle). I am not a scholarly person as I only attended class up to third standard. I am not gifted with the intelligence of these gentlemen, who write and try to distort and demonise the memories of the Jagans. To them I say look into your hearts and seek forgiveness, for forgiveness is there.


A crooked rewrite of political history
`…opinions and commentaries must be held to the same standards of accuracy with regard to facts, as news reports’

by Prem Misir October 9, 2006

RECENT commentaries on the electronic and in the print media are deeply troubling. The commentaries continue to aggressively distort the political history of this country.

It is one thing to have an opinion about something, but another to present this opinion as a fact. Opinions are not necessarily facts.

Most codes of ethics in journalism require journalists to collect and report information of importance and interest to the public accurately, honestly, and impartially.

The main purpose of presenting an opinion or commentary is to inform the public and help them to make judgments on the issues of the day. So, opinions and commentaries must be held to the same standards of accuracy with regard to facts, as news reports. And indeed editors have some responsibility to ensure that their journalists comply with the principles of objectivity, balance, and fundamental fairness.

The work of Dr Cheddi Jagan is continuously being besmirched with distortions -- that Dr Jagan, among others, inflicted great hurt on Guyana, with anecdotes that really are not analyses.

But let us for now cast our minds mainly on Dr Jagan. No one could disagree that we all are embedded with fault structures that inform behaviours. But then in a force field analysis where we distinguish between the pros and cons, we would be able to see the magnitude of Dr Jagan’s contributions toward nation building, notwithstanding that we would be tapping a mere few, and not rhetoric, real achievements.

It’s hard to configure a ‘nation’ without independence; it’s hard to see the emergence of a ‘nation’ under colonial hegemony, colonial domination.

Naipaul criticizes colonialists’ perceptions that see local peoples as having no distinct qualities, and that all of them can be compartmentalized into one cultural non-distinguishing brownish mass. Culture makes a person, and colonial domination hurts the culture of the dominated, hurts human development, hurts national development. Dr Jagan understood the full wrath of colonial hegemony.

Former President Dr Jagan was a tenacious fighter against colonial domination, a fighter for Independence. Dr Jagan couched this idea of independence in a pamphlet titled ‘Cooperative Way’ in 1945 -- at a time when there was no mass following, no mass foundation. There was indeed a political vacuum and the working people’s interests were excluded from both the Indian and African middle-class agenda.

Dr Jagan with Ashton Chase, Jocelyn Hubbard, and his wife Janet Jagan, then sought to fill this vacuum, bringing forth a new dawn in Guyana’s politics. The creation of the Political Affairs Committee (PAC), forerunner to the People’s Progressive Party (PPP), heralded the beginnings of the mass-based party and the articulation and resolution of workers’ concerns. And indeed, this was Dr Jagan’s indomitable style of contributing to Guyana.

The unrelenting campaign for independence continued after the formation of the PPP in 1950. The PPP’s feverish struggle drew the ire of the British planters, prompting the arrival of the Waddington Commission. And its major recommendation gave birth to ‘one man, one vote’. This is universal adult suffrage and the PPP under Dr Jagan gave Guyanese this self-respect and dignity to voice their opinion. And indeed, this was Dr Jagan’s indomitable style of contributing to Guyana.

When independence finally became an agenda item at the 1960 Constitutional Conference, the People’s National Congress (PNC) exhibited little enthusiasm for independence. Again in 1962, the PNC, in a further effort to delay Independence, conditioned its granting upon the introduction of a new electoral system.

Again, when in 1961 the Secretary of State for the Colonies, Reginald Maudling, refused Jagan’s request for independence by May 31, 1962, Jagan pressured the United Nations Fourth Committee. The committee agreed to mull the matter of independence and to report back to the General Assembly.

And at the same time, this Fourth Committee requested the British to resurrect independence negotiations without further delay. We should know that only an independent territory was eligible to make representations on this Fourth Committee. In 1961, Guyana was not yet Independent, but Jagan was able to manoeuvre the hearing. And indeed, this was Dr Jagan’s indomitable style of contributing to Guyana.

Dr Jagan firmly believed that a university is inextricably linked with national development and that access to higher education should be available to all. Once Cabinet approved the proposal for the establishment of a university on December 6, 1961, Jagan rolled out intensive communications with academics abroad to assist him in this needed project. The presence of the University of Guyana today, largely a product of Dr Jagan’s guiding light and resoluteness, is a remarkable testimony to the heroic people who stood their ground to ensure that the university continues to have breadth and to be of high degree. And indeed, this was Dr Jagan’s indomitable style of contributing to Guyana.

And there are now desperate cries that Dr Jagan and the PPP bungled the opportunity for national consensus in 1992. Untrue. How so?

The PPP first initiated the proposal for a National Patriotic Front Government in 1977; then the Patriotic Coalition for Democracy (PCD) emerged after the 1985 elections. The PPP wanted the PCD programme to be disseminated, but others disagreed. The choice of a Presidential Candidate and joint slate for the National Assembly became problematic.

The PPP then recommended a provisional Presidential candidate and a provisional joint slate. Both provisions were rejected, including the rejection of Jagan and Dr Roger Luncheon as Presidential candidates, the former for being an Indian and the latter a communist.

And the wrangling went on. Dr Jagan and the PPP made significant recommendations to break the impasse at several points, but all were severally rejected. And indeed, this was Dr Jagan’s indomitable style of contributing to Guyana.

Jagan was no bootlicker. He stood for the moral law of truth. Tim Hector of Antigua puts it beautifully thus: "…Cheddi Jagan…exemplar of the new Caribbean, lived a noble life. Of few, if any, that can be said in the Caribbean, among those who held state power…Winston Churchill and Harold MacMillan, John Kennedy, Robert Kennedy, Dean Rusk had all conspired against him backed by their enormous intelligence and military machines. Jagan resisted, retreated but never surrendered." And indeed, this was Dr Jagan’s indomitable style of contributing to Guyana.

History will remember Cheddi Jagan as a world leader who struggled for social progress among the dispossessed and the disadvantaged, who vigorously implanted progressive political thought, who was a resolute builder of political movements, who forged the political-labour nexus, who was an unwavering Caribbean integrationist, who was a true internationalist in his unrelenting promulgation of the New Global Human Order, and whose authentic local legacy has to be his tireless fight for national unity, working class unity, and racial unity.

And indeed, this was Dr Jagan’s indomitable style of contributing to Guyana --real and formidable political performance.

(Printed in the Guyana Chronicle October 9, 2006)



Caribbean Person of the Century - Cheddi B. Jagan, Freedom Fighter

by Gerald V. Paul

The turn of the century provides a unique opportunity for all of us to reflect on the past and those who helped shaped the future as we now know it.

For Caribbean people, the one who stands out the most is an extraordinary man who dedicated his life to better the lot for his own people, much to his own peril, to ensure that the future they would face would be one offering far more freedom than before.

Freedom fighters, a rare breed, are heroes, whether they come in the form of Mahatma Gandhi, Nelson Mandela, Che Guevara, Martin Luther King Jr. or Cheddi Jagan. They all stand head and shoulder above the rest, for what makes them special is that their fight is for the people.

But Cheddi Jagan was more than a hero, more than a freedom fighter. To the People of Guyana, the country he helped forge from the shackles of colonialism, C.B.Jagan was the man on whom all their hopes and dreams were pinned. And beyond Guyana’s borders, Jagan became the epitome of democracy - an irony that was never lost on a small dentist whose early political life was purely Marxist.

In the concrete jungle at home and abroad his message was that human rights must embrace civil and political, as will as Economic, social and cultural rights. "Human needs and human security must be the object of development," declared Dr. Jagan in the various continents around the world.

I still have the autographed copy of The West on Trial by Dr. Cheddi "Berret" Jagan. "Berret", not Bharrat was a middle name he adopted because it was fashionable at the time for East Indians in the Caribbean to anglicise their names.

The book is inscribed: "To Gerald: In the cause of Peace, Freedom and Socialism. Cheddi Jagan, 28/3/85."

I remember when he signed it, He was smiling, though he had just experienced another rigged general election by Forbes Burnham, his former partner and then self-declared President-for-Life, which once again cast him into Guyana's political wilderness. It was a place to which he had become accustomed, though as we were soon to find out, he was soon to emerge in triumph.

Our conversation was brief. He asked if I was a member of his People's Progressive Party (PPP) - which will be celebrating its fiftieth anniversary on January 1, 2000 - and although my answer was in the negative, he appeared unperturbed. Just being in his presence, however, was awesome. Here was a man who had gone to prison for his beliefs, survived a bomb attack which killed a loyal supporter, Michael Forde, had been beaten, belittled and ostracized, and yet refused to give up the fight, simply because his people needed him and he had no intention of letting them down.

Cheddi Jagan was born in humble surroundings on March 22, 1918 in a Plantation in Port Mourant to Hindu parents who hailed from Baste in Uttar Pradesh, in India. The shoeless - until he was twelve - Dr. Jagan spent a stint at Port Mourant Primary School, then at Scots School at Rose Hall Village and R.N.Persaud's private secondary school in Port Mourant, the only secondary school of its kind in the area.

Dr. Jagan - who once wore earrings because of his culture - laboured diligently as a child and credited his father as the fountain for any leadership qualities he had acquired. However as for the elements of finance, his mother was called blessed.

He enrolled in the prestigious Queens College in Georgetown in 1933, one of the few poor children at the institution at the time. He was then sent abroad to the United States to study dentistry, and while there, he married Janet Rosenberg, the woman who would stand by his side through trial and tribulation - and even prison - until his death.

But dentistry was not his passion. What Cheddi Jagan wanted more than anything was to be in a position where he could better the lot for his fellow Guyanese, most of whom, like his parents, remained poor as the country's wealth was filtered to the colonial masters in Britain. So in 1947, four years after his return from the United States, he ran for office and became the youngest member at age 29 of the Legislative Council of Guyana. Three years later, he co-founded the People’s Progressive Party with an affable bright young lawyer named Forbes Burnham, and his wife Janet.

The PPP became a thorn in the side of the British for a turbulent decade. Jagan’s Marxisist philosophy ran counter to the democratic systems being touted by the Western World in what was then the Cold War era, and the possibility of a communist ruling an important chuck of South America was not something neither the British nor the Americans were prepared to tolerate.

So from day, one, they devised a system called proportional representation, or PR, to keep Jagan from power; and threw their support behind Burnham, who by then had broken away from the PPP to form his own party, the People's National Congress. That support for Burnham never waned, in spite of reports coming out of Guyana of horrendous atrocities against the people. Jagan, once kept out, remained out, even as Burnham openly rigged elections to remain in power. And while eventually, Burnham fell foul of the "masters" through a campaign of nationalization which saw the British and Americans lose millions of dollars in assets, there appeared to be no international will to pressure him to return to the system of democracy they touted.

Undefeated, Jagan kept up the battle, winning the support of labour movements in neighboring Caribbean countries who then began pressuring their respective governments to turn the screws on Burnham. But there was little political will to do so, even following Burnham’s death in 1985.

Jagan also began championing the New Global Human Order cause, which as mentioned earlier, began attracting the attention of the intellectual communities in North America and Europe. This coming out of the cold, so to speak, as well as his shift to acceptance of a more democratic system of government, is what eventually won him grudging support from the United States and Canada, which then mobilized its own systems to push Burnham's successor, Desmond Hoyte, into holding free and fair elections in September 1992.

Jagan's victory at these polls was a vindication as well as a testament to his strength as a person, and a realization of his lifelong promise to deliver freedom to his people. It brought an end to three decades of one of the most oppressive regimes in the history of the Caribbean, and with it the dawn of a new era for the impoverished nation. Jagan's return to the Presidency from which he was so unfairly removed by the superpowers was also roundly applauded by the Caribbean for it ushered in the only time in the post-colonial era that democracy in none of the member nations was under threat.

That he came to power so late served as both a testimony to his resilience as well as a sad footnote in history, for Jagan would not live to serve out his first full term in office.

In March 1997, just shy of his 79th birthday, he succumbed to heart failure. Jagan’s popularity as the greatest Caribbean Person of the Century was evident at his funeral, where an estimated half of the entire population of Guyana attended the ceremony. It was the biggest ever funeral for a leader in the region.

Globally, Dr. Jagan stressed interdependence, particularly between the North and the South, between the developed and the developing countries but with human development as the unifying factor between the two camps. He was bold enough to point out that the availability of new financial resources was critical for human development. His was the view that developing countries, because of their high foreign debt burden, could not embark on the road to prosperity and that handouts, and mendicancy were not the solution, nor was aid with strings attached. What was needed, he argued, was a totally new approach which would address the debt question and find new and innovative ways of mobilizing fresh resources to overcome underdevelopment so as to enable the developing countries, in partnership with the developed countries, to play a more positive and meaningful role in the global marketplace, currently characterized by rapid globalization and trade liberalization. This was long before the World Trade Organization (WTO) got a run for their money in Seattle.

Dr. Jagan also believed that the ideal of freedom is tied to the reality of poverty and suffering of tens of millions of human beings. Until the problem of "freedom from want" is tackled, the other freedoms, important as they are, can have little meaning for them.

"Men, parties, notions, systems and faiths can only be judged by their attitude to this, the fundamental problem of our time. It is only when the system of exploitation ends and poverty is abolished that men will really begin to be free," he once said.

 (Printed in The Caribbean Camera, January 1, 2000)