I consider Donald Rodney a friend. Donald, my wife and I were holed up together in my home during the American invasion of Grenada. I got to know the inner thoughts of Donald during that one week of being hostages in a war zone in a foreign land (not exactly foreign, because Grenada is part of the Caribbean, and the Caribbean is one united land named CARICOM).
After a prolonged hiatus, because he was often out of the country for the past twenty years, we renewed our acquaintance in a two-hour conversation over the phone two weeks ago. He jokingly said to me, I might not recognize him, because he is hairless. I guess he may not recognize me, because my hirsute canopy is becoming grey.
We talked about so many things that I think we exhausted our topics. But the many political grievances Donald has about the past in this country in which his brother, Walter, was murdered, still resonate. Donald is unhappy, and has every right to be, about the way the report of the Walter Rodney Commission of Inquiry was consigned to the shelf.
In the Stabroek News yesterday, Donald Rodney wrote of some of the things that are on his mind. It is an absorbing analysis from the brother of an iconic Guyanese, the great Walter Rodney, who gave his life for the future of his country, a struggle that must be engraved on the collective psyche of the present generation and future ones.
I would advocate that Guyanese read Donald’s letter, because it breaks down the sordid dimensions of politics in this land, that preserve the drowning chasm of pessimism that this country has been living with since Burnham’s visionary and transformative highways turned into a huge cul-de-sac of authoritarian repression.
Here’s hoping we read more from Donald in the coming weeks. And here’s hoping that Donald and I can share the same political platform in the forthcoming election, so we can shape a future for Guyana that will see the end to one-party domination and one-race control.
I remind readers that this man almost died in the car with his brother when the device that Gregory Smith gave them exploded (it was Donald’s car that they were in) and was charged by the Burnham Government for committing a violent act and convicted in a sham trial of being in possession of the explosive that killed his brother – a conviction which still stands against his name, despite an appeal by the WPA to the Attorney-General, Basil Williams, to initiate proceedings to have the conviction removed; the same WPA which recently took the decision to retain its membership of APNU for the forthcoming national election.
Here are my areas of interest in Donald’s missive. He reminds readers that the PNC has had a sordid legacy of rigged elections and postponing national elections. He used a word that I find incredible, to describe the twisted politics of the WPA, Moses Nagamootoo and Khemraj Ramjattan. Let’s quote him; “Other notable features are that the PNCR has managed to bring into its bloc former elements of the PPP/C, (Prime Minister; Minister of Public Security) as well as the entire WPA: moves which are remarkable.”
Donald obviously didn’t want to come over as acidic or quarrelsome. But I don’t think perverted transformation of politicians who once fought for freedom and have now become sickening opportunists and power drunkards, such a metamorphosis can be described as “remarkable.” The word “remarkable” is not out of place here, since the word has the unique feature of having an oxymoronic quality.
The unexpected shocking action of a person can be described as “remarkable”, because it so stunning that it captures wide interest. In that context “remarkable” is germane. But “remarkable” is more applied in positive situations. A batsman at age forty-two making a T/20 hundred against a top team is remarkable.
There is nothing “remarkable” about the degradation and degeneracy of the politics of the WPA, Nagamootoo and Ramjattan. Power does that to over-ambitious politicians.
I quote the final paragraph of Donald’s instructive letter; “Objective consultation has generally not occurred across the political divide in Guyana, and if it happens, it will be a welcome (sic) watershed. However, equally if there is no consultation, it would be a new watershed of a precedent of one party wielding unchecked (sic) power over others.”
Donald was referring to the obligation of APNU+AFC to consult the Opposition on the postponement of elections, which in the opinion of this columnist is legally due this month. It was good to hear from Donald. The memory of our friendship in Grenada reminds me of politics’ once glorious past in Guyana.
May 19, 2019The opening day of the Guyana Overseas Based Sports Association’s (GOBSA) Fourth Annual Independence Track and Field Ch ampionship got underway yesterday at the National Track and Field Center...
May 19, 2019
May 19, 2019
May 19, 2019
May 19, 2019
May 19, 2019
By Sir Ronald Sanders Readers of this commentary, particularly those in small countries, might wonder why they should be... more
Editor’s Note, If your sent letter was not published and you felt its contents were valid and devoid of libel or personal attacks, please contact us by phone or email.
Feel free to send us your comments and/or criticisms.
Contact: 624-6456; 225-8452; 225-8458; 225-8463; 225-8465; 225-8473 or 225-8491.
Or by Email: [email protected] / [email protected]