I refer to the letter of Mr. Vassan Ramracha in Kaieteur News of Sunday, October 3, 2010.
The essential proposition of Mr. Ramracha is that violence as a political tool is the antithesis of sainthood. I imagine that he scorns General George Washington, Hakikat Rai, Jomo Kenyatta, Camilio Torres and Ernesto Che Guevara.
From the information available to me, Eusi Kwayana was not a part of the ‘military wing’ of the WPA in 1978/1980. Members of that wing are still alive and well today. Then, a machine gun was stored at 177 Barr Street, Kitty. I lived there then.
It was a beautiful manifestation of Guyanese of African ancestry that at that time their struggle was not by race in itself or race for itself. After only 15 years of PNC rule, Guyanese of African ancestry gave up their lives, Dublin, Ohene Koama et al, their liberty, David Hinds, Tacuma Ogunseye et al, in the fight against an African dominated PNC Government. What more profound enlightenment could there be of a people?
Let not Mr. Ramracha seek to denude the heroic Dr. Walter Rodney by suggesting that he was shy of armed struggle when he asked the question, “Or…was it (violence) found laughable by the scientific Marxist Dr. Rodney?”
But the WPA in 1979 was not a homogenous entity. Sometime in early 1979, a decision was taken to defend the public meetings at the Bourda Green and to teach the Rabbi goons a lesson.
Appropriately equipped, my comrade B. K. and I went to the corner of Light and Second streets. We waited in the drizzling rain, the WPA troops never arrived. After about one and a half hour’s waiting, Tacuma Ogunseye came on his bicycle and told B. K. that the meeting was off. The goons were spared, never to be taught that lesson.
Tacuma Ogunseye is a heroic, noble and beautiful expression of the Guyanese people. Even though an Africanist, he was able to see the country first. Ogun’s greatest lamentation is that Guyaneseness still eludes the descendants of East Indians in Guyana. This has caused many to retreat into an induced relevancy of Africanness.
The Editorial of the SN of October 3, 2010, posits, “…the PNC as a party still has to take moral responsibility for what happened; whatever the identity of those who planned the assassination, there can be little doubt that Walter Rodney died at the hands of the State at some level and they were the party in government at that time”.
In the challenge for State power utilizing violence, the issue of pseudo morality does not exist. Violence itself begets its own rules; simply, violence becomes a weapon available to both sides. Where the issue of morality comes in, is that another hand did not reach out and pick up Walter’s fallen weapon and others did not intone his funeral dirge with the staccato singing of machine guns and new cries of battle and victory (El Che).
At the time of Walter’s funeral, I was a member of Prime Minister Burnham’s staff. I attended the funeral with my then wife Sharon Obermuller. There were no guns to be picked up. Alas! It was raining and the WPA does not like rain!
I have always argued privately, but now publicly, that Dr. Walter Rodney was not killed by the bomb plotters; he was murdered by the cowards within the WPA. Let my friend Frederick Mc Wilfred tell you of the morbid fear he saw that day in 1979 in the eyes of Rupert Roopnarine when the YSM challenged the WPA at Vreed-en-Hoop. The Honourable Rupert Roopnarine scurried for his life and left Dr. Rodneyto fend for himself.
Had Bourda Green effectuate, the history of Guyana would be different.
Let me put on record that after I returned to Guyana in 1990, I learnt that the efforts to extradite Gregory Smith were stymied. I offered Mr. Moses Bhagwan, then a co-leader of the WPA to bring Gregory Smith to Guyana with my own resources. I did not hear from him. Again in 1991, I repeated my offer to Mr. Moses Bhagwan that I bring Gregory Smith to Guyana, have him tried by a People’s Court and if found guilty, hang him in the Stabroek Market Square. Moses told me that he could not make such a decision by himself. When we met again, he told me that the WPA would not give approval.
In the present context of Guyana, violence as a political tool is not available. The electoral process is alive and well.
The myth of the African demon must be exorcised for Guyana to take the next step. The Indian, who is taught that Africans are the descendants of Rawan, comes to Georgetown and is robbed by an African or is robbed and killed by an African in the Corentyne, has this false indoctrination reinforced upon him by the African. Once again it is Guyanese of African ancestry who must lead.
Until then we must wait.
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