I was tempted to ask my editor if for this edition of the newspaper, I can republish my Friday article titled, “Zone of peace, zone of Mia Mottley, zone of the dangerous mind.” That column dealt with a long letter published in the Stabroek News last Thursday, signed by 75 organizations and individuals – essentially women activists. It bemoaned the visit of the American Secretary of State and was certainly not complimentary of the Guyana Government. It hoped that Mike Pompeo’s visit would not endanger the Caribbean’s pledge to be a zone of peace.
My Friday piece was a contemptuous dismissal of that letter and its signatories both of whom I found repugnant and sickening. My disgust centered on the fact that the zone of peace these hypocrites desire was almost derailed by five months of systematic, bestial, and evil attempts to deny the Guyanese people their right to vote. I inform you again, if you do not know, that this ghoulish event lasted for five months.
During those five months not one government from any part of the world used even one sentence in support of the riggers. Not one eminent or prestigious international organization in any part of the world uttered even one word of endorsement for the incumbent that was involved in the rigging. On the contrary, there was universal condemnation of the fraudulent processes that characterized those five months.
By what twisted, sick, logic could those 75 signatories see a threat to the Caribbean as a zone of peace by Pompeo’s visit when those very signatories refused to see the instability that the crisis in Guyana could have engendered in the Caribbean? There no longer could have been a stable, peaceful Caribbean once an illegal regime was accepted in Guyana. The pattern would have been simple to understand. No loser of an election would have conceded and would have cited CARICOM’s acceptance of electoral fraud as their bulwark.
I was so repulsed by that letter and its signatories that I was very tempted to try to persuade my editor to repeat my Friday article in today’s edition. I have never made such a request after 32 years as a columnist, so I didn’t go through with it. But here are a few dimensions of the five-month horror show which I will offer as further responses to those who penned that infamous letter.
I would walk my dog almost daily at the back of Giftland Mall just in front of the private, residential housing scheme, Demerara Estates. Because of the COVID-19 restrictions, the afternoons would be lonely, and a few times persons driving out of Demerara Estates would pull over to discuss the election impasse. Every one of them asked the same question – “Freddie how do you think it will end?” My answer was standard – “They are not going to come out and they don’t care what happens to Guyana.”
I know from reliable sources within the PNC and AFC that the firm, inflexible decision was that they will not come out. In that zone of rigging, I saw a zone of fear. I encountered faces of fear, sadness and depression everywhere I went during those five months. Guyanese just felt it would not end nicely and there would be a civil war and destruction. The words of Trinidad’s Prime Minister, Keith Rowley, reverberated all over Guyana, expanding the zone of fear. Dr. Rowley told the Caribbean media, he thinks it wasn’t going to end nicely.
In the end it concluded without devastation. This was because there was born a zone of Pompeo. If there wasn’t the intervention of Pompeo on Friday, July 31, the Caribbean would have lost its physiology as a zone of peace. I repeat here what was the plan of the PNC and AFC. There was preparation for the resignation of the three GECOM commissioners from the PNC should the Court of Appeal rule that the CARICOM observed recount must be used as the results.
The court did that on Thursday, July 30. On Saturday, August 1, the three Commissioners would resign if Jagdeo rejected an offer from GECOM chair, Claudette Singh, to meet with Granger for a peace settlement. Once the resignations occur before a statutory meeting of GECOM was called, then there could not have been a declaration because there would be no functioning GECOM. On Friday, July 31, Jagdeo refused Granger’s offer. On that same day, Pompeo spoke by phone with Granger and insisted he respect democratic norms in the Caribbean. Granger called off the GECOM resignations and Singh contacted the Chancellor to swear in Dr. Irfaan Ali. Pompeo created a zone of peace in Guyana.
(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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