Kaieteur News – Yesterday, I described the collective mind of 60 persons who signed a letter in the newspaper demanding the government follow the law in relation to 26 detained Haitians but never composed a sentence about one of the most dangerous electoral fraud perpetrated by the loser in any general election anywhere in the world.
I named a few of the signatories in the hope of exposing their hypocrisy and chose not to name former APNU minister, Dr. Rupert Roopnaraine, because I wanted to do a separate analysis on his role as a minister. Now surely, if Dr. Roopnaraine could speak out on the mistreatment of the Haitians, he has an obligation, a deep moral one at that, to answer questions about the nature of the APNU+AFC regime in which he was a senior minister.
Did Dr. Roopnaraine know that more than 26 persons from different nationalities who served their term for illegal entry ended up in permanent jail in the holding cell of the Diamond police station because Dr. Roopnaraine’s government demanded that they pay their airfare out of Guyana? Since they couldn’t, they ended up with a life sentence. Two of them died in their cells and were secretly buried and one lost his mind. Please see my column on the subject of Tuesday, March 26, 2019, “Guyana secretly buries dead foreign prisoners.”
David Granger cannot be criminally prosecuted for acts committed during his presidency. He cannot be held accountable for what happened at Diamond. Neither can Dr. Roopnaraine because he was Education Minister. But the former Commissioner of Police and Khemraj Ramjattan should be investigated for crimes against humanity.
There are two questions I would do anything if the WPA or APNU or AFC asked me to, just to hear Dr. Roopnaraine’s answers. The first one relates to his sudden shift of portfolio from Minister of Natural Resources to Minister of Education in May 2015. Dr. Roopnaraine was pictured in all of the newspapers visiting a site in protective clothing (long boots and helmet) as Minister of Natural Resources where a mining pit collapsed killing a dozen workers. Within a week of that appearance, it was announced that he was now Minister of Education.
Who made the change and why? And did that person had the political (as opposed to constitutional) authority to make that move when WPA was a crucial element in the APNU formation? Christopher Ram alluded to the removal of Dr. Roopnaraine from the Natural Resources Ministry in a letter in the newspapers during the election saga but did not elaborate. Here is what I was told and this is where Dr. Roopnaraine’s integrity is up for discussion. I was made to understand that the king of the AFC, its Jamaican consultant, Alstrom Stewart, did not agree with Dr. Roopnaraine having the Natural Resources portfolio.
The second question relates to the attitude of Dr. Roopnaraine to the WPA after he became the WPA’s representative in the Cabinet. Tacuma Ogunseye informed the nation by way of a letter in the newspaper that Minister Roopnaraine conveyed to the WPA executive his position that he cannot discuss government’s business at the party level. He repeated his policy at a meeting with three WPA leaders in his office – Dr. David Hinds, Dr. Alissa Trotz and Keith Branch.
Dr. Roopnaraine can be accused of being a revolutionary fraud when you square this attitude of his as a government minister with his conclusion as to why the New Jewel Movement (NJM) administration imploded in Grenada. His take on that was that the NJM had lost touch with the masses once it came to power.
To provide proof of the revolutionary fraud that Dr. Roopnaraine became after power went to his head and that of Professor Clive Thomas causing Walter Rodney to turn in his grave, let’s quote what Dr. Roopnaraine had to say about the attitude of the NJM on page 76 of his book, The Sky’s Wild Noise, “…had the party conflict been taken out of the airless hothouse of the Central Committee and brought into the open for resolution, the course of Grenada and Caribbean history might have been different. And herein lies the revolution’s greatest sin to hold out the promise of the ordinary people taking direct control of their destiny….”
The man who wrote these lines above became a senior minister in one of the Caribbean’s richest and most powerful countries – Guyana – and told his own party that he cannot relate government’s business to them because they constitute party people while he sits in the government as a minister. There are millions of questions that Dr. Roopnaraine will never answer because his time in the APNU+AFC regime proved he was both a revolutionary fake and a revolutionary clown.
(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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