Journal, December 18, 1975

Since I have not yet officially begun this journal, I feel no obligation to be consistent in what I write as yet. But on the other hand there’s no reason to wait ‘til January 1 to begin when I’ve already bought the book. I am in Managua, Nicaragua tonight, on my way to Costa Rica with Jaime Olson. Going through Nicaragua, and seeing immense, well cared for fields of cotton, sugarcane & banana trees has brought up an old internal conflict. Unquestionably, big haciendas {farms} can employ the latest technology, & if well managed, out produce the same amount of land in "minifundia" {small} holdings, but that still doesn’t justify people like the Somoza family, virtual owners of a country. Medium, commercial size farms use land most efficiently, but what do you do with all those extra people? Same problem as in El Salvador, & no solution short of political upheaval followed by land reform. And no assurance land reform will be a panacea if it leads to generalized minifundia. On to Costa Rica, and a little respite from such heavy stuff! Jaime’s fiancĂ© has found me a penpal, & now Jaime is foreseeing a blossoming romance before I’ve even met her.

On the journal, I hope to carry on indefinitely (beginning January 1). I take a healthy dose of cynicism from Mark Twain who said that a completed journal was of great value. (I have begun journals before, twice, unsuccessfully.)

No comments: