Emasculated by the assassination of their charismatic leader in 1980, the WPA has ever since spun erratically out of control in ever decreasing circles which has finally brought them plummeting mindlessly into depravity.
Although they held together somewhat until the early nineties, swept along on the wave of liberation fever sweeping Guyana and the world in the late 1980’s, and even had the gumption, despite their unproven electoral strength and lack of any real constituency, to attempt, with intellectual pomposity, to call the shots in the PCD and in the process insulting the incomparable Cheddi Jagan, alienating his powerful Party, their supporters and the electorate in general (the Roopnarine attributed statement that “the Africans won’t vote for the PCD if Cheddi is presidential candidate” was a most blatant example of pandering to and projecting racism on both fronts). That kind of rhetoric and mindset continues in the WPA to this day and they are deeply engrossed in racially divisive politics.
The break up of the PCD and the subsequent one to one face off between the PPP and the PNC in the 1992 elections presented the PNC with a gift, an opportunity to play the race card that they would not have had had the PCD gone through with ‘whoever’ leadership. Nevertheless, enough citizens rejected the race appeal and the combination with the PPP’s traditional strength carried the day. However, the surprisingly strong showing of the PNC confirmed the continuance of racial voting, the WPA actions to some extent generating a self fulfilling prophecy. They had missed the opportunity to possibly break the mold.
A Trotskyite vanguard party from the start, the WPA’s inflated and illusionary vision of their importance was subsequently rudely dissipated by the electorate’s rejection of them.
As the WPA has fragmented, the remnants, those who would not accept that revolution has passed them by, have increasingly expounded a strongly racial bias, abandoning, it seems, ‘the materialist conception of history’, if their previous claims to Marxist knowledge and acceptance was genuine, for a decadent ‘racialist conception of history.’
In recent years, the pronouncements of the WPA have been dominated by the aggressive and threatening rhetoric of Tacuma Ogunseye and David Hinds expounded from a platform of alleged racial marginalization. Ogunseye, notably’ was very supportive of his so named “African resistance”, the terrorist criminal group operating out of Buxton and probably like Waddle had close links to that outfit. Close links but not control “ or we would have overthrown this government” lamented that erstwhile WPA activist Freddie Kissoon on a “Groundings” programme, tacitly supported by David Hinds and that other paragon of democratic virtue Christopher Ram, who sat alongside. It seems a `Bigger Brother’ was directing operations.
It must be said that, at the time of “the troubles”, Hinds and elder Eusi Kwayana tried to interject a more sober message. ‘Separated from his navel string,’ Kwayana now resides overseas, reduced to penning occasional ‘plasters to put on sores’. As the situation was brought under control by the security forces, Hinds, who was mostly outside and safer, later returned, infuriated that government links with Buxtonians were becoming increasingly cordial and so started his vociferous race based anti-government campaign.
In his pugnacious style, David Hinds makes no bones that he is appealing to racial emotions. He rejects any benefits dispersed to Afro-Guyanese communities by the Government- “ this Indian government “ or any afro-Guyanese, not sanctioned by Hinds and his clique. It appears that to Hinds, no “Indian” could ever represent “Africans”.
It would be instructive to note here that apart from Jagdeo’s enlightened leadership in Caricom, one of the leading lights of the successful “Black Rights Movement” in Britain was Rudy Narayan, a Guyanese lawyer of Indian descent. Increasingly, over the last few years, the WPA has been moving towards political linkage with their nemesis the PNC, who though they sometimes tried to portray a multiethnic image, always quickly descended into “kith and kin” politics to bolster any flagging support.
The divisive ethnic and political foundations of Hinds, Ogunseye, and others were shaken by the cooperative response of afro-Guyanese to government initiatives. A crisis had developed for them. Die-hard vanguardists that they were they still harboured dreams of leading somebody. Having failed with the general electorate, they were going to narrow it down to “their own”; but ownership was already claimed by the PNC. As reality of another failure sunk home, the full picture of what had been happening to the WPA all these years was revealed. They had in fact long been `kidnapped’ by their tormentor (albeit with much help from within- Ogunseye and Hinds, and Thomas who, one feels, always had one foot there) and have finally displayed the classic captive psychological phenomenon of Stockholm Syndrome. They have come to embrace their captor.
The fall out from the indecent love affair with Rodney’s alleged and unrepentant slayers has had Hinds and company falling over each other to implement damage control and attempting to convince a shocked and skeptical public, especially old sympathizers, that it’s not as it really is- a marriage made in hell.
Almost even before the ceremony took place, that spinner of claptrap Freddie Kissoon in an obscene article in Kaieteur News was trying to convince us that if we performed enough mental gymnastics and intellectual dishonesty, we just might be able to conclude that the present PNC hierarchy, although they were in the thick of it, should be totally absolved of any knowledge of or guilt for Rodney’s demise.
The bridegroom was being cleaned up, without having to say “sorry”, and reinvented for the impending wedding. After Kissoon’s whitewash he was now so pure that the bride could happily marry him without any shame. No spin however can disguise the bride’s prostitution and her subservience to the will of her stronger partner.
Among the bride’s entourage is one Rupert Roopnarine, Rodney’s one time trusted lieutenant. Though long recognized as politically impotent, he has refused to go out to pasture and in recent years has walked hand in hand with the PNC in anti-government actions. Never politically ‘attractive’ to the common man, he has often been viewed as a poseur with delusions of intellectual superiority. He has also in recent times shown himself to be not averse to throwing true and trustful friends to the wolves for the sake of political expediency and if it is true that a person’s character hardly ever changes, one wonders who may have been betrayed in the past.
In true ethnic focused fashion, Hinds has suggested that the PPP is attacking Roopnarine, about his denial of Rodney, because they fear that he will pull “ Indian” votes. The same racist nonsense again. The only vote that Roopnarine can be, maybeassured of, is his own.
It is often overlooked, by would be wooers of the “Indian vote,” that “Indians” in Guyana have consistently rejected “ethnocentric Indian politicians and parties”, the latest being Ravi Dev and Roar. Many people of other ethnic groups are turning their backs on the ‘race’ call. “Amerindians” have long since abandoned GAP and “Africans” are turning their backs on such calls in ever increasing numbers. Beware racists, for whom the bell tolls!
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