The Tunisian rebellion occurred because of mistreatment of a tomato seller by the city police. So fed up was the vendor of his harassment that he set himself alight. His death angered a nation which removed its oppressive president. In contrast, across oceans, in the English-speaking Caribbean in Guyana, the police descended upon a popular market square and forcefully and without prior notice, removed over a hundred vendors and two Ministers were barefaced enough to witness their eviction. And the Guyanese people accepted that expression of fascism.
The Libyan revolution began after the Gaddafi regime imprisoned a human rights lawyer over his representation of the families of detainees in an infamous prison. In contrast, across oceans in the English-speaking Caribbean in Guyana, the regime can arrest and detain who they want to including putting people in jail for minor traffic offence and seizing the truck of an innocent citizen who merely transported school children to a protest rally in Brickdam. And the Guyanese people accepted that expression of fascism.
Across the globe from the fancy districts of Paris, the streets of London to the brutal alley-ways of the Arab world, governments are scared of popular protest erupting out of unpopular policies.
In Guyana, unpopular policies continue to divide the Guyanese people, destroy their optimism and leave a trail of sadness and tragedies. While dictators around the world feel afraid and are dressed out in their new clothes of timidity, across oceans in the English-speaking Caribbean in Guyana, dictators glorify their gory rule by holding appreciation rallies.
And the Guyanese people accept these political games that Stalin, Hitler and Mussolini gave the world of autocracy.
Across the globe the suffocating fumes the Guyanese people inhale from the furnace of flames their government ignited two decades ago, continue to blow across the land. It is a combination of oppression and vulgarity. I couldn’t sleep a few weeks ago because a bacchanalian event at the Convention Centre kept the neighbourhood up with its extra-loud music.
In my column on that abnormality, I wrote that it appeared to be a wedding reception but I wasn’t certain.
The last such episode was that of Mr. Shyaam Nokta, son of one of the PPP leaders. He held his wedding reception at the International Convention Centre and in the process earned himself a place in the history of PPP rule in Guyana.
This week, I found out what that event was. It was another wedding reception. This time it was the son of an exporter who is very close to the ruling party and whose gigantic business vehicles continue to block the free flow of traffic on one of Guyana’s busiest streets.
After the ceremony in Suriname where there is a branch of the firm, the party aspect of the affair was held at the International Convention Centre. This is what Guyana has become. With a plethora of hotels dotting the landscape, the International Convention Centre is the new venue for wedding receptions.
Across the globe and into the Caribbean, scandals tend to bring the resignations of erring politicians. The exception is Guyana. Prime Minister Golding in Jamaica knew he erred in the way he handled the American demand for the extradition of drug lord, Christopher Coke.
Over the weekend, Golding announced he was stepping down. The PM said that he believed his presence at the helm of his party in the national election last year may damage its election chances. It was the decent thing to do. It was the morally right thing to do. It was the patriotic thing to do.
In Guyana, mountains of evidence point to an inter-locking relationship between vicious drug lords and powerful members of the Guyanese dictatorship. Unlike Jamaica, unlike Golding, they are shameless. They refuse to step down. They are happy to seek re-election. Coke was dread.
He headed the Shower Posse gang that is rumoured to have killed people viciously. Coke’s counterpart in Guyana, Roger Khan, is in a jail in the US serving 15 years in a plea bargain arrangement. Like Coke, it is alleged that he murdered his rivals in Georgetown.
Life is a huge fountain of ironies where the water cascades forcefully wetting even those who do not want to know about its existence. Golding didn’t have that closely knitted relationship with Coke that some political elites in Guyana had with Khan.
But Golding has become a casualty. In Guyana, the elites brought Khan into their domain, encouraged and empowered him but unlike Golding, see nothing morally depraved in wanting more power. Must be the greatest Caribbean irony.
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