In response to Moses Nagamootoo’s July 26 column titled “Dialogue on the Way Forward”, please permit me to address the Prime Minister openly and directly. Prime Minister Nagamootoo, you will recall that your namesake Moses, a prophet and lawgiver of the Christian, Islamic, Jewish and Baha’i religions, and who was an adopted member of the Pharaoh’s family, abandoned his privileged status and asked Egyptian Pharaoh Haran to let the Israelites go.
Most Guyanese want the small group of APNU and AFC “Pharaohs” to “let the nation go” by accepting the recount results of the 2020 election and by bringing an end to this unprecedented “stupidness”. To deflect from their management failure of the APNU and AFC political campaign, the Co-Managers (Joe Harmon and Rafael Trotman) are blaming everyone, and they are trying to foster self-pity and fears of exclusion and marginalization among APNU and AFC supporters.
The overwhelming majority of the 217,920 APNU and AFC voters (47.34% of all votes) know that the “Pharaohs” will obtain the support of a few “big-eye, greedy” and “fast hand” business associates, from all ethnic communities, to get around the sanctions for the benefit of themselves and their families.
In contrast, most Guyanese know what is coming under the dictatorship; shortages of medicines and foods, no jobs in Guyana and the Caribbean, and many months without salaries. Robberies will increase and there will be more corruption in all “shapes, sizes, genders, ethnicities and classes”.
Reliving the Burnham years, nearly all Guyanese will become “small comrades”. Of course, there will also be a few “medium comrades” but, most importantly, there will be a very small elite of “big comrades”, composed of persons from all ethnic communities.
The late Octavia Butler, the successful African-American science-fiction novelist, said it very well when she stated that “to be led by a tyrant is to sell yourself and those you love into slavery”. APNU and AFC supporters are asking how come the “Pharaohs” do not realize that “when yuh start riding ah tiger, yuh can’t get off”. In today’s world, they will not be able to get away with their misdeeds. However, unfortunately, nearly all Guyanese will be victims until the dictatorship is defeated.
Moses, based on your column calling for dialogue, should we assume that you and some other “big-big” people in the APNU and AFC have the authority and influence to propose dialogue among all political parties?
If one does not have the authority and influence to call for dialogue, then follow the wise advice of our Guyanese ancestors, “if yuh nah got wing, nah guh a bird sport”, which means that when persons do not have the authority and influence to organize something, then they should not try to impress or is it that you are trying to influence and change the minds of APNU and AFC supporters? If that is so, you should be like the prophet Moses who led with wisdom, courage and respect for the law.
But Guyanese know, without using magical tea leaves, that “yuh can’t suck cane and blow a whistle” at the same time, that is, you cannot impose a “dressed up” dictatorship and simultaneously disguise it with a call for dialogue. Some people think that your call for dialogue is “a ting” to escape the revocation of visas and the imposition of sanctions?
Moses, you know better than many others that Cheddi Jagan always believed that any kind of shared government had to be based on the right of every Guyanese adult to express their political preference in regular, free, fair and transparent elections.
The AFC won significant and growing support in the 2006, 2011 and 2015 elections from Guyanese in all ethnic communities. After 2015, something went wrong but it is not too late to return to those pre-2015 days. All Guyanese want an end to the “worries” and the “punishing”. Whether they are from the African, Indian, Mixed, Amerindian, Portuguese, Chinese and European communities, no Guyanese person wants Guyana to wander in the wilderness for 40 years.
If Guyana is to move forward, it is mandatory that there must be dialogue for inclusive governance to overcome the political stalemate of one-seat majorities and one-percent margins of victory in the 2011, 2015 and 2020 elections, the inter-ethnic rivalry between the African and Indian communities, and the unfair ethnic and class competition.
All APNU and AFC leaders and supporters must be assured that these are new times in Guyana. The Guyanese people and the international community will welcome you and not allow any side or any political party to dominate or exclude any individual or ethnic community. Former CARICOM Chairwoman, Mia Mottley, recently noted that, “there must be space for all, regardless of who wins and who loses”. It is clear that, after the new PPP/C government is installed, the OAS, the EU, the Commonwealth and CARICOM will want to encourage, support and assist in the establishment of new inclusive governance mechanisms.
Most APNU and AFC leaders and supporters want to work for the fulfillment of their dream of justice, freedom and dignity for every single Guyanese. You will be respected and warmly welcomed under a broad pro-democracy tent. In the end, the way forward for the Guyanese nation must be based on resolving issues. Reflecting on what happened before with you and others, we believe that, in this unprecedented crisis, the overwhelming majority of PPP/C members and supporters believe that issues are always more important than personalities.
Geoffrey Da Silva
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