On the 40th death anniversary of Walter Rodney last month, I received a cache of declassified US government documents from Donald Rodney which was sent by Walter’s daughter, Asha. The documents were obtained from George Washington University. This was the first time such contents were made public since Rodney’s assassination 40 years ago.
From June 13, I have been occupied, preoccupied and mentally burdened with composing daily columns on the rigged elections of March 2. I found this period to be so frightening and dangerous, that I could not think of nothing but daily offerings on this page on this scary development that if not resolved will wipe Guyana off the social map of the world.
I was moved to break with my approach in these columns since March 4 with the Clairmont Mingo electoral savagery when I read yesterday of Donald Rodney’s critique or condemnation of Desmond Trotman, a GECOM commissioner and the manager of the WPA’s office. Trotman is using Rodney’s name for purposes of the worst kind of political banditry. Donald is Walter’s brother who almost died in the car with him when the bomb exploded and killed Walter.
There are 20 declassified documents. In one of those documents, there is mention of a certain WPA leader who was suspected of being a Burnham plant. That leader is very much alive today. I am not going to get a libel. I know a lot about libel since as a practicing media operative for 32 years I know a little bit of the laws relating to libel.
If I name that person, I know I will get a libel writ because the person will say I published something about him that is false. Even though it is a security document from the US Government, how I am going to prove that he was indeed a Burnham agent? You will have to go through each of the 20 items to find his name. Please contact me at email [email protected] or my cell at 614-5927. Asha Rodney has transmitted the documents so I do not see why you are not entitled to see them.
Before I move on to the infamous Rodney betrayal, a word about Burnham. There is one of those documents where it appears that Burnham was prepared to kill Rodney because in conversation with the US Ambassador, President Burnham asked (without being direct but the subtlety was there) the US Ambassador to get Rodney to desist from violent conspiratorial activities else he (Burnham) would have to do what he has to do. We will never know if the Ambassador did intervene with Rodney.
Now for the betrayal. I have long suspected that at a very high level, a WPA personality was close to Burnham during the apex of Rodney’s efforts to confront Burnham. The question is; was he loyal to Burnham out of psychic association or was Burnham doing some blackmailing or was money involved from a foreign government?
I spent some occasions talking to a man who Burnham trusted implicitly and who Burnham would have turned to for advice in killing Rodney. Elvin Mc David in the later years of his life took to me and revealed many things to me in our conversations at his Queenstown home. One was about Burnham’s perceptions about David Granger. I swear on my parents’ grave, it is true that in one of our conversations, he elaborated on Burnham’s views on Granger. Although the expressions of Burnham on Granger were not negative, they were not eulogistic either.
I honestly believe Mc David liked me and wanted to talk to me. I don’t know why. I will leave speculation for another column sometime in the future except to briefly say that he expressed regrets at advising Burnham not to employ me at UG and my wife at Guymida. Mc David wanted me to know that there was a mole right in the heart of the WPA leadership. He waxed lyrical on the successful strategy of Burnham in penetrating the WPA’s leadership. But Mc David was not a stupid man. He knew he could not tell me who that person was.
It is 40 years since Walter was killed and I have snippets of research notes. I think there was also a second mole. The question is; did the hierarchy of the WPA ever suspected that there were two moles among them? Given the type of middle-class bohemian activists the WPA leaders were, they would never have believed that Burnham would have penetrated their circle of camaraderie. He did and two of those comrades helped Burnham to murder their leader, Dr. Walter Rodney.
(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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