?reole democracy by Rufino Blanco-Fombona

Was born at Caracas, in Venezuela, in 1874. He comes of an old and aristocratic family of Spanish, descent. His extraordinary activities, not only as a writer, but as politician, revolutionary soldier, and government employee, together with his picturesque personal exploits, have all contributed to make him one ofthe most interesting figures in the Spanish-American world. He has traveled in many parts of the world. His writings include criticism, Poetry, political essays, novels, and short stories. His first collection of tales appeared in 1900. Of Creole Democracy, perhaps his finest short story, Dr. Goldberg has said that “not many tales that have come out of South America can match it.”The present version, revised from an earlier version, is here printed by permission of the translator, Isaac Goldberg. –Venezuelan poet, essayist and novelist, one of the leaders of Modernismo.

Active in Venezuelan political affairs, he lived exiliated many years in Europe and contributed to spread the knowledge of Spanish American literature abroad. His poems, as the collection “Cantos de la Prisión y del Destierro” are better than his novels. Among his novels are “El Hombre de Hierro” and “El Hombre de Oro.” Also a politician, during the II Spanish Republic, he was Governator of the Provinces of Almería (1932) and Navarra (1933.) (bio by:380W) — Rufino Blanco-Fombona, (b. June 17, 1874, Caracas, Venezuela²d. October 17, 1944, Buenos Aires, Argentina), Venezuelan literary historian and man of letters who played a major role in bringing the works of Latin American writers to world attention. Jailed during the early years of the dictatorship (1908-35) of Juan Vicente Gómez, Blanco-Fombona fled to Europe, where he established Editorial América in Madrid (1914), which presented Latin American writers to the European literary world.

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A prolific author, he wrote poetry, short stories, novels, and essays. Of Blanco-Fombona’s vast output,his literary essays are considered his best work. Two of his critical works, El modernismo y los poet as modernist as (1929; ³Modernism and the Modernist Poets´) and Camino de imperfección, diario de mi vida (1906-1913) (1929; ³Road of Imperfection, Diary of My Life 1906±1913´), are considered standard works on the Modernist movement in Spanish. Other important works include Letras y letrados de Hispano-América (1908; ³ Letters and the Learned in Latin America´) and Grandes escritores de América (1919; ³Great Writers of America´). His novel, El hombre de oro (The Man of Gold), was published in 1912

Creole Democracy
Pampas-the vast grassy plains of northern Argentina Creole -a person of European descent born in the West Indies or Latin America, a person descended from French ancestors in southern United States (especially Louisiana) Mulatto – an offspring of a black and a white parent

Peon -drudge: a laborer who is obliged to do menial work
Salvannah – savanna: flat grassland in tropical or subtropical regions Machete – a large heavy knife used in Central and South America as a weapon or for cutting vegetation Vaquero – local names for a cowboy (`vaquero’ is used especially in southwestern and central Texas and `buckaroo’ is used especially in California)

Creole Democracy
“Creole Democracy” is a clear presentation of one fundamental defect from of government. Democracy is based on the concept of the rule “of the people, by the people, for the people. “The success of a democratic form of government is based on the nature and condition of the electorate— that they are literate enough to express their will in the ballot, that they have sufficient education to understand and analyze and decide on vital issues, and that they canimpose discipline on their emotions and themselves. To meet these requirements of democracy, Fambona tells us, most developing countries are still incapable. So the story ends in tragedy and death with the participants not really knowing it is all about. II.Commentary

According to Edward Brathwaite, “creolization” ‘is a cultural process—’material, psychological and spiritual—based upon the stimulus/ response of individuals within the society to their [new] environment and to each other’—it is a ‘reciprocal activity, a process of intermixture and enrichment, each to each.” Generally, we use the term “creole” to refer to “new world” societies like the Caribbean and South America, as well as those postcolonial societies that have been made racially diverse through theconvulsions of European colonization.

Those countries that have such creole emocracy need to embrace, mixture of people, making a new community where there is co-existence of diverse races and culture. Creole democracy have two political parties rely on having the majority of votes on their side: “the efforts of the party leaders were directed toward herding the largest possible number of men.” One party is the government and the other one are rebels. Both of them in competition: “the bosses of each side would spy upon each other to see how many voters were being added to their rival’s forces.” The voters are uneducated about how they will vote and are just merely instructed by their chosen party: “party hacks were going from group to group explaining the procedure of the morrow’s election.” The voters already have a foresight that there will bewar that will happen in this kind election and begin to show mistrust on the electorates: “`Elections! ` scoffed one vaquero. `Before long we’ll be hearing Pum! Pum! And then, ho, for stabbing hides!’

“War is not new anymore to them because it happened before, especially during elections: “to this bit of grim humor in the face of possible tragedy.” and “this was a slogan familiar to everybody, and many smiled bitterly at the memories it awoke.” It is not impossible for this to happen because of the competition and influence of both parties. In war, the revolutionary officers have machetes while the rebels have guns on their hands. Both have a advantages and disadvantages: “for in a hand-on-hand struggle a heavy gun is a hindrance rather than a help. “Both parties are keeping a secret on the public: “they don’t tell the truth. If we’re going to war, let’s go but let them not hide from us. “The story reveals the role of women. Men compare them to hens and portray them as weak beings: “They’re not afraid that well run off into hiding like so many hens or women…

The party leaders don’t care much about the safety of their people: “Be sure to cry out loud, now, when you want us to come to your help.” sending the vaquero to spy on the other party. In this scene, it shows that women in that time are used as a shield: “Here’s a woman to go along and keep you company. “The vaquero acted arrogant and fearless as he go along and thought of his leader belittling him: “They think I’m afraid.” The young vaquero didn’t think of any elderly respect for the old man as he killed him defenseless. But when he killed the old man he was scared but proud of what he did: “the youth run off at one at his leader and not without a certain boastfulness told, in the presence of all, just what had occurred. “A woman was again portrayed as rather someone to be killed even an elderly one: “Kill and old man…

Why not an old woman” Realizing that the other group will hunt down the vaquero, he was just asked to hide or he’ll die, receiving no help from the leader who used him: “I can’t do a thing. Quick! Off to the mountains!” The vaquero didn’t know that what he did was a crime as a sign of an uneducated man who just his leader: “Then it is true that this was a crime?” All that he thought was to kill the other party with one reason at all. That he is an enemy. Realizing his mistake he turned himself to justice. Having regrets of his ignorance and still confused: “But weren’t we supposed to conquer them? Weren’t they our enemies?

“The people of Camoruco are not yet ready for democratic changes. For them to have a successful democracy, the public and the electorates should be first educated about the meaning of democracy. The story proved that education of people and the leaders will only turn into chaos. The leaders should not think about themselves and be selfish but rather to put into mind that democracy is “of the people, by the people and for the people”. Each of the public should have a contribution for the success of the country not just merely being influenced by powerful leaders. The leaders of both party in the story don’t have a clear goal of what they will do in their country, can’t even notice the issues they are facing and discipline themselves rather all they want is to be in power.

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