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Aboard the Commandante Pineres: Dominica, The 11th World Festival of Youth & Students, Cuba July 1978, & the Caribbean Struggle for National Liberation

Ratings:
385 pages4 hours

Summary

"Aboard the Commandante Pineres, Dominica, the 11th World Festival of Youth & Students, July 1978 and the Caribbean Struggle for National Liberation" is a riveting memoir by Caribbean trial lawyer Gabriel J. Christian of his early years on the British colony of Dominica. Born to a civil service family of modest means in 1961, Christian had six siblings who were reared in a family led by a stern World War II British Army veteran, Wendell McKenzie Christian. Christian's mother Alberta, a former 4-H Club leader, Women's Institute secretary, and Red Cross volunteer, was the manager of the Workshop of the Blind and a strong proponent of economic self reliance by his family. Both of Christian's parents were part of the striving middle class in the post war Caribbean. It is a time of the Cuban Revolution, Pan Africanism and a surging Black Power movement, set amidst the strident calls for self determination by the youthful leaders of the British colonies in the Caribbean. Christian becomes a leader at his high school and President of the Dominica Federation of Students, a left leaning pro-independence organization allied to Rosie Douglas' Popular Independence Committee. Douglas, a well known 1960s Black Power radical in Canada, forges links between Dominica and the Cuban Revolution and arranges for the trip to the 11th World Festival of Youth & Students in Havana, Cuba. Christian makes that trip aboard the Cuban ferry Commandante Pineres, after first flying to Barbados and Jamaica. His visit to Cuba is transformative and the Eastern Caribbean's history is changed thereafter, with left leaning political changes taking place in Dominica and St. Lucia, and the Grenada Revolution erupting on March 13, 1979. This memoir provides a detailed and hitherto unknown insight into a dynamic time in Caribbean history by one who was there.

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