Filibusters and rebellions roil the Caribbean ; neighboring British colonies move toward independence; nationalism flourishes. Amidst it all, the French West Indies—Martinique, Guadeloupe and their islet dependencies—glide ever closer to full membership in Charles de Gaulle's French Community.

Sipping white rum and pure syrup poured over ice, Martinique's mulatto intellectuals last week argued politics in Fort-de-France's breezy cafes, but the politics were French rather than Caribbean. Over breakfasts of cafe creme avec croissants, citizens of Pointe-a-Pitre, commercial center of Guadeloupe, discussed the annual four-day bicycle race partly sponsored by the French Cycling Federation. Since 1946 the islands have been departments...

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