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rad-waste, will learn something about the way the industry works in a documented and profoundly alarming book by Peter H. Eichstaedt. If You Poison Us; Uranium and Native Americans, published by the 5-yearold Santa Fe publishing house, Red Crane Books, is an indictment of government’s, industry’s and the scientific community’s abdication of responsibility for conditions in the nation’s uranium mines and mills where implementation of health and safety standards was resisted for decades. It is also a painful saga of injustice and deception imposed on an unwittingly patriotic segment of our society, the Native American uranium workers of the Four Corners region of Utah, Colorado, Arizona and New Mexico, who toiled during the Cold War under abysmal and deadly circumstances to provide the raw materials for the nation’s nuclear arsenal. Formerly an award-winning senior reporter for the New Mexican, Eichstaedt had exposed numerous problems with the Carlsbad, where military nuclear waste might eventually be stored \(much of which, incidentally, will be transported across stitute of American Indian Arts, Eichstaedt explores the disastrous impact that the almost-fascist nuclear triad of government, industry and science has had on the culture, health and land of the original Americans. He relates that workers were never told of the hazards associated with their work and documents that profits were more important than workers’ health and safety. He takes workers through difficult, protracted and disappointing court battles, and discusses Congress’ failure to act for decades, until the Radiation Exposure Compensapassed \(which only in part addressed the Yet as early as 1967, many workers in the nuclear industry had been diagnosed with cancer and other respiratory ailments linked to working in the uranium mines and mills. Of the 3,317 miners examined by 1960, 108 had died. Death from heart 11 times higher than that of normal unexposed populations. For those with three or more years of mine exposure, the rate was 17.8 times higher than the norm. By 1966, in the high-exposure group, the incidence rate of lung cancer was 40 times the normal occurrence. Among other revelations in Eichstaedt’s book: Controversy beginning in 1949, within the federal government, over safety standards .in the mines influenced a schism between the Raw Materials Division and the Health and Safety programs at the Atomic knew the miners would die but failed to take responsibility for the welfare, lying to Congress about the dangers and pretending to have implemented solutions to the problems because they feared that the truth would result in a mass exodus of the workforce. Many workers built homes from the mine tailings and mine waste; their children played in the mine tailings piles; their contaminated clothing which they wore home further spread the poison to their families; and no safe drinking water was provided by their employers, so the miners often drank water dripping from the walls of the mines; they had to breathe unventilated air. For Native Americans, qualifying for compensation payments was deliberately made difficult because claims processors for the U.S. Department of Justice took on “the mantle of the Grand Inquisition,” re Cuba, See BY STEVEN G. KELLMAN FRESA Y CHOCOLATE Directed by TomasGutierrez Alea, with Juan Carlos Tabio Wfalls or lies down, the next junta will no doubt be led by the likes of Colonel Sanders. . Yankee franchises, not CIA commandos, will conquer Cuba, and freedom will mean the choice of 31 scoops at Baskin-Robbins. For the moment, in the black-and-white world of people’s postre, strawberrynot boysenberry bubble gum jubileemust pass for gaudy at Havana dairy bars. Ordering fresa at an ice cream parlor is almost like wearing magenta combat fatigues. Fresa y chocolate \(Strawberry and is an apology for eccentricity, from a Caribbean testocracy where men who love other men are enemies of the state. Cuba quarantines citizens suspected of HIV and imprisons those who commit either poetry or sodomy. Yet it somehow allows Tomas Gutierrez Alea, whose earlier films include Memories of Underdevelopment and Death of a Bureaucrat, to grumble with a camera. In Strawberry and Chocolate, which Alea co-directed with Juan Carlos Tablo, strawberry is fruitful Steven G. Kellman teaches comparative literature at the University of Texas at San Antonio. quiring, for example, ancient paycheck stubs and culturally foreign items such as marriage certificates. This cautionary tale is especially instructive to Texans because what is happening in this state now is disturbingly similar to the story of greed and deceit laid out by Eichstaedt. The uck-passing, legislative gridlock, outright lies, vested interests and media paranoia endemic to the larger story he tells are still at work here as residents of the tiny desert town of Sierra Blanca know. Eichstaedt’s text is also complemented by two dozen interviews with miners, 32 color photographs and 50 black-and-white prints by documentary photographer Murrae Haynes. All who care about justice, are concerned about nuclear stupidity and are eager to understand this complex subject must read If You Poison Us. metonomy for defiant vibrancy. At the outdoor cafe where he tries to pick up David the one good thing in Cuba,” insists Diego, but David takes chocolate, straight. Diego manages to lure David to his apartment, and for the younger man it is like entering foreign soil, remote from the drab austerity of post-post-revolutionary Cuba. Contraband books, magazines and whiskey from the United States both excite and alarm David, who complains to Miguel dreary dormitory room that they share. Miguel is a righteous Marxist, and he insists that David return to spy on Diego, who deserves, he contends, 10-15 years in prison. A pre-credit prologue to Strawberry and Chocolate establishes virginal David’s amorous ineptitude. He brings a woman to a shabby motel room, and when she begins to play coy, mewling that all he wants from her is sex, he, pledges celibacy until they marry. Vivian appreciates David’s refinement, and marries someone else. David eventually finds both sexual fulfillment and the Communist vigilance officer for Diego’s tenement. Not only does Nancy relax her vigilance over her unconventional friend Diego, but she herself supplements her meager resources through bootlegging and prostitution. “She’s a little sparrow that . anyone can hurt,” says Diego about Nancy, 20 MARCH 10, 1995 -,