Kaieteur News – Today begins a long look back at one of the worst years in both British Guiana and Guyana – 2020. There is an ocean of materials to be covered. I am not going to serialize my thoughts. People do not like serial commentary. By the time they reach part three, they are interested in new things.
Over the coming weeks, I will reflect on the terrible, frightening, incredibly damaging year of 2020 and intersperse those columns with different topics. For example, my next piece will be my selection of the best article, which I have written over the past five years during the reign of the APNU+AFC regime, 2015-2020. Next week, I plan to vent my anger on a High Court sentence of 30 years for a father who killed his three children. For now, let’s look back at 2020.
I knew 2020 would have brought a psychic trauma to every citizen who was 18 years in 1970. I sense the PNC was not going to give up power. Five antecedents have to be analysed because those were the seeds planted that brought poisonous weeds in 2020.
The first one was the 2015 election results. I am still undecided as to what really happened with that poll because the American involvement complicated things. Whatever are the objective, concrete, scientific facts about the 2015 election, the result transformed the PNC into Burnhamite monster.
It was either there was a PPP victory or the PPP lost by a few hundreds of votes. That was when the PNC knew that it couldn’t win another general election. Even with the influence of Moses Nagamootoo, Raphael Trotman, and Khemraj Ramjattan, the PNC couldn’t win. The PNC planners figured it could not win in the future.
From May 2015, the PNC decided it had to go back to the machinery of rigging as developed by Forbes Burnham. The second factor was Justice Patterson as GECOM chairman. The world knew that President Granger was making a fool of himself by asserting that the constitution stipulated that the GECOM chair must be a past or present judge. He clung to that song because he had Patterson in mind all the time because this was where the rigging would be planned and carried out – by a Patterson-led GECOM.
Thirdly, the creation of the ministry of the presidency was the control mechanism to achieve hegemony. That ministry and Granger virtually dominated the entire operations of government. There was no coalition government. It was a PNC administration. But the AFC and the WPA were enamoured with the crumbs of power so they accepted the PNC’s hegemony.
Fourthly, Granger wanted a type of state power that would be similar to what Burnham had but without many of the essential characteristics of the Burnhamite state. For example, Burnham had serious intentions of introducing socialist economics into policy-making.
Granger was an unashamed neo-liberal president so the state would not have involved itself in commercial investments. For Granger, power had to be used the way Burnham used it. I am of the opinion that he would have settled for forms of the doctrine of paramountcy of the party and there would have been a change in the school curricula to incorporate historical materials on Africans in Guyana and the role of Burnham.
Fifthly, there is no question in my mind that the state sector would have excluded East Indians in substantial ways. The 2015 government was racist. The PNC state after 2020 would have differed in frightening ways from the presidencies of Burnham, Jagan, Hoyte and Jagdeo. All four presidents had long decided that they would favour their own constituencies. This was the reality of Guyana. But all four presidents agreed in their own minds that the state would have people from across the ethnic fence in important and strategic roles.
I’m afraid under rigged elections in 2020 and 2025, Guyana would have seen an African dominated state sector with the ideological thinking that the state belongs to Africans and Indians’ place was in business. I am convinced in my mind that just as how I accused President Jagdeo of discrimination in an academic paper titled, “Ethnic power and Ideological Racism,” I would have done identical research with similar conclusions at the end of 2021 under a Granger presidency.
These then were the factors that merged in a confluence at the beginning of 2020 that led to Guyana experiencing one of its most dreadful moments in more than 100 years. As the days go by, I will look at some startling occurrences of 2020 that were so shocking that it changed my way of looking at my country forever. 2020 has been a Freudian gold mine for me.
(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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