You have a young accountant who fought for his country to have its first tinned sardine factory. He helped to birth it. He became its general manager. He stole the company’s money and bankrupted it; many lost their jobs and their families’ livelihood devastated.
Ten years later, as manufacturing businesses picked up, he extols his “virtues.” He tells the country to remember his accomplishments that he was the first person who canned fishes for export and the nation has benefitted from that. So what is wrong with what he said?
He is a pathological liar and a psychotic thief. But he didn’t state those perversities on his curriculum vitae. He found it convenient to list his positives. The negatives he hid. This is what the PPP leaders have been doing since they lost power in 2015. There are two types of such leaders. Those who keep dreaming of past glories of the PPP and by a frightening Freudian lust, accept that the dream is alive. The dream is alive alright in their psychologically contorted minds.
This mind set is best represented by Clement Rohee. The second group finds expression in Donald Ramotar. This column is about the first set of monsters so we will quickly dispense with the second school of devils. In a newspaper letter on October 13, 2018, Ramotar noted that when the PPP was in power, one of its achievements was the disappearance of fear in the society.
He wrote; “One of the greatest achievements was the freedom which all our people enjoyed. No one was ever afraid to speak their minds. People criticized without looking over their shoulders to see who was listening.”
There could not be in the history of this country a nastier and sicker example of a lie. Under Jagdeo and Ramotar fear even entered your bedroom and you pulled the curtain to see if anyone was outside your window listening. Let us analyze the dreamland of Rohee.
In a missive in the newspapers with the headline, “Achievements of the “Old Guard” cannot be wished away by a mere label,” of Friday, January 4, 2019, Rohee emptied the decades of the seventies and eighties into his letter. In those twenty years, he enumerated the pro-democracy, anti-dictatorship energies of the PPP’s old guard.
You do not know where to start in quoting him. The “accomplishments” of the old guard against the PNC government in the seventies and eighties are so voluminous in his letter, it was almost a page. I will cite two of the great actions of the old guard as adumbrated by Rohee because these are the two I want to throw in his hypocritical face.
One is that the old guard fought against racial discrimination by the PNC government and struggled for Walter Rodney to be employed at UG.
Now let us say that you arrived in Guyana from another planet and you read Rohee’s outpourings, you are bound to utter these words while reading; “Oh my, this is great stuff; this is a revolutionary party that reminds me of what happened in France in 1968, the struggle against apartheid, and all of the great democracy movements since the Second World War; I wonder what became of these superb fighters?”
You would not believe that Mr. Rohee and his old guard colleagues came to power in the very country they say they fought against dictatorship and became dictators themselves. Here are the two things I will now throw in Rohee’s face.
If the old guard fought against racial discrimination then the old guards committed the worst form of state racism this country has seen. Rohee and the old guard committed ethnic removal en mass at Customs and Excise and the Ministry of Foreign Affairs.
The old guard or the old gal, Gail Teixeira, sat eight feet from me in the UG Council meeting and told Vice Chancellor, Carrington, “I want the appointments of these four lecturers terminated immediately.” Let’s end with a story of the chief old guard himself, Mr. Rohee.
A US diplomat was leaving and implored that we have lunch. I told him such things are not my kind of things. The guy asked me to grant him the favour. We met at the Pegasus. We talked about the future Guyana. I asked one favour – tell me why Minister Rohee’s diplomatic and non-immigrant visas were suspended for six months.
He just wouldn’t budge. He said it was too sensitive. I told him I will probably never see him again for the rest of our lives. He relented and confided in me. Guyanese would get a collective heart attack if they know why the US suspended Rohee’s visas.
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