On Friday, March 13, the African Cultural and Development Association (ACDA) issued a statement in condemnation of the international observers because they unambiguously and unanimously rejected the Mingo declaration of the votes for Region 4 as unverified and lacking in transparency.
Here is a part of that statement; “This peculiar recolonization effort is displayed in the relentless attempts of some Ambassadors to keep African Guyanese under the control of foreign sovereigns. ACDA views their present positions as an extension of their disregard for the sovereignty of Guyana and as a cloak to hide their partisan disposition towards people of African descent,”
In response to a question by Leonard Gildarie when we were on Kaieteur Radio as to what to make of ACDA’s stance, I dubbed the lamentation as pregnant with extreme dishonesty and explained why. Here is a repetition.
Among the clearest voices about election tampering was the US ambassador.
The US was not a colonizer in the 19th and 20th century in the West Indies. Unlike European colonizing countries, the US has had in recent times a Black president who is half Kenyan. The US administration had before the Obama administration and after, African, Hispanic and Asian personnel with vast state power. It cannot be thus classified as a past colonizer in the British West Indies.
Secondly, the most articulate critiques of the flawed election process came from two top former prime ministers of CARICOM states that have wide international admiration from the countries around the world – Jamaica and Barbados.
Thirdly, the Commonwealth Secretariat, which wants a credible election outcome, is headed by a Black woman originally from a CARICOM state – Dominica.
The extract of ACDA’s position above clearly obfuscates the issues of human rights, democracy and the rule of law, and turned an election fraud in Guyana into an arena of East Indians versus Africans.
Before we move on to the attitudinal metamorphosis of ACDA that took place exactly one week after that overtly racially-oriented statement, the point must be made that ACDA does not exclusively speak for African-Guyanese, because dozens of African observers not attached to the PPP characterized the elections as flawed, among whom was the prominent lawyer, Selwyn Pieters.
Dozens of African-Guyanese were election contestants who belonged to political parties other than the PPP.
One week after the accusation of re-colonization, ACDA joined a crescendo of voices asking for a recount of 2020 election ballots to settle the question of winner and loser. We need to remind readers that the chorus for a recount was a national anthem for all opposition parties and observers, because it would be the definitive conclusion.
Why the volte-face by ACDA? Read this part of the volte-face and you will see how scared some folks are becoming over the election impasse and what lies at the bottom of this trepidation.
In the authors’ own words as part of their plea for a total recount; “ACDA is of the view that no one should be elated about sanctions or the threat of sanctions being imposed on Guyana since all investments in Guyana will be at risk and those with the greatest amounts of investment are likely to lose the most.”
So some pertinent questions raise their heads.
First, was the threat of sanctions by powerful government the motivating factor behind ACDA’s stance that the ballots should be recounted?
Again readers need to be reminded of certain things. It was President Granger who advocated a complete re-tabulation which CARICOM agreed to that would remove opaque dimensions of the results. The president’s initiative was stalled not by any of the other ten contesting parties, but by a court case initiated by an ANPU election candidate.
Secondly, if ACDA wanted a recount, why did the authors find the desire to include a paragraph of the consequences of sanctions on Guyana? What’s the relevance of that? Since Guyana is moving towards consensus of a recount being the only avenue to go to settle the swirling contentions, why not call for a recount and leave it at that?
So the third question is; was there a Freudian factor at work in the mention of possible sanctions?
Finally, were there financial or profit-related considerations, personal or otherwise, consciously in the minds of the authors when they composed their statement? Is there something just too significant to lose?
(The views expressed in this article are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the opinions of this newspaper)
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