I can remember that movie very well. I was still in primary school when it became a big international hit. I remember that time alright, because Guyana was about to celebrate Independence.
The advertising poster said it all – “it’s a plot to make the world die laughing.” The film was in the comedy genre and the New York Daily News said this in its review; “You will almost die laughing but you will live to tell others.” The plot centres on a Russian submarine that hit a sandbank on the shores of New England in the US.
The locals ran all over the town shouting “the Russians are coming” Both the submarine crew and the locals who organized themselves to fight the Russians ended up creating a huge comedic theatre with one bumbling figure fighting another with only one result – hilarity.
It appears that leaders in the AFC received advice from some aging diaspora financier on how to divert attention from the barefacedness of the rigged March 2020 poll. This gentleman, who is in his eighties, was a part of the film-making crew when the movie was being made. His role was to lock-up and secure the stuff after shooting was over for the day.
He left Guyana during the 1964 racial conflagration and settled in Massachusetts, where he worked as a grocery boy in a supermarket.
In later life he moved to New York, where he found financial comfort in real estate. He had been a founding member of Ravi Dev’s ROAR, but when that was disbanded he moved towards the AFC and has been a financial contributor ever since.
The movie has made a lasting impression on this diaspora Guyanese, because he was on the set while the filming was done. He suggested to the AFC that an ingenious way of dissolving the negative publicity of Mingo’s dangerous public statistical masturbation was to invent the plot of Russian involvement in the election.
So two AFC leaders – leader Khemraj Ramjattan and vice–chairman, Cathy Hughes – held a press conference at APNU’s campaign office, and told the Guyanese people that the Russians came, and like how the people of New England reacted, the Russians were chased out.
In New England, the Russians did come, and the locals were prepared to fight them. In the end, the locals became friends with the submarine folks, and all was well that ended well. Not so in Guyana. The Russian presence never existed. What the AFC leaders were doing were dancing to that lovely Italian, evergreen melody on that ghastly ship.
In the movie “Ghost Ship,” stunning Italian beauty Francesca Rettondini sang “Senza Fine”, while the guests waltzed away in each other’s arms. But Rettondini was not a living person and the waltzing guests were dead people. The crew of Ghost Ship was looking at people who never came on the ship as guests. They were never real, living persons.
The Russians never came. Airport officials said to me they never saw any Russians being escorted out of the country due to a deportation order.
Immigration officials I spoke to, told me they know of no deportation of any Russians before the March 2020 election, during the voting and after. Mr. Ramjattan, Mrs Hughes and the AFC leadership lost their imagination in two movies.
It is over a month since the AFC leadership told the nation that the Russians were in Guyana to tamper with the elections. Since Ramjattan and Hughes cried “the Russians are coming” we are yet to be told anything on how they planned to tamper with the voting process. But the Guyanese sense of humour has boarded a runaway train. The jokes are never-ending and rib-tickling.
I am not on Facebook, but I was shown some parodies. One person spoke about the trip from Barbados to Guyana with LIAT that the Russians made. The plane almost failed to get off the ground because the boxes the Russians were carrying were enormously heavy. When the plane landed at Ogle, what drew the suspicion of airport officials was the number of trucks that came to pick up the stuff the Russians brought – millions of boxes.
What were in those boxes? Erasers. Since Guyana does not have electronic voting and everything is manual – from voting to counting – the Russians planned to mentally paralyze the polling officials with a temporary drug. Then erase all the Xs for APNU+AFC and mark them for the PPP.
The New York Daily News said that after dying with laughter, you will live to tell others. Guyanese will live to tell others what Ramjattan and Hughes told them. Go to YouTube and see Rettondini sing Senza Fine.
(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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