Kaieteur News – The envoys of the EU, Canada, UK and USA came in for exceptional abuse from those who supported the five months of attempted rigging in the election last year. From the time those diplomats denounced what they saw Mingo doing on March 4, the criticism of them have been relentless going way beyond the August 2 swearing in of Dr. Irfaan Ali as president.
The question in 2020 in Guyana that had a pronounced presence was why the election riggers were insulting CARICOM leaders who were equally condemnatory of what was taking place? Here is the answer. It was easy to target the three white Ambassadors from Canada, EU and the USA respectively.
In a former colony of White domination, it was politically profitable to play on the psyche of African Guyanese. Also it was easy too to pick on the Canadian High Commissioner because she was Indian. There was capital to gain by suggesting she was being racial in the context of Guyana electoral competition.
The white stratagem failed. Those who were rigging the election had to falter because they were reaching for the strategies of Forbes Burnham whose moment of majestic showmanship had long gone. There were no reflections by the election riggers that 2020 bore no resemblance to 1973 when Burnham manipulated the national election of that year. There was no moment of reflection by the election riggers that whipping up hysteria among the masses by denouncing the Whiteman for interference was a thing of the past, a past long dead.
It was easy for Burnham to tell African constituencies that the White imperialist was coming again. The generation that listened to him was born into an age of colonialism. They saw the Whiteman’s snobbery on the sugar estates and in the bauxite communities. In 2020, over 70 percent of the population had no direct experience with that kind of racial contempt. They had no direct contact with their colonial masters.
As each week rolled by, the White stratagem was not working. People from African constituencies were not shouting down “the White imperialist.” Each night, talk show hosts supportive of the PNC were personally insulting the American Ambassador and the British High Commissioner, but the venom failed to spread.
Next the PNC went into the direction of yesteryear – copying from Burnham. The PNC employed an American PR firm to persuade the American political establishment that if the PPP takes office the Chinese and Russians would control the government. The dossier produced by President Granger’s relative, Michael Granger, to be circulated to American lawmakers was full of Cold War banalities. But the year was 2020 and such stratagems were long outdated.
Enter Mia Mottely. Despite the rightful plaudits the diplomats from the ABCEU countries received for preserving democracy in Guyana last year, the Barbadian Prime Minister played a crucial role at a most crucial period. She must be placed in the category of those ABCEU envoys that saved Guyana.
It was Mottley who first broached the CARICOM observed recount to Granger. In what can only be described as one of the most barefaced episodes of deceit in Guyanese politics, Granger announced that he had invited Mottley as chairman of CARICOM to organize a recount. That is not the truth. It is a sordid fiction. After agreeing to the recount, Granger earned the wrath of Mottley when he tried to undermine the CARICOM effort by asking the court through a surrogate to strike down the recount.
Trinidad’s Keith Rowley was livid and washed his hand of Guyana. But Mottley was not prepared to let Granger get away with his deceit. The die was cast. Once he agreed, Mottley knew that was the opening she wanted. She was not going to get frustrated and give up on Guyana. Mottley knew the rigging was extensive and the world was watching and she was not going to pull CARICOM out of the picture.
The PNC hierarchy knew that Mottley was going ahead with the recount in one form or the other whatever was the ruling of the Appeal Court. But they did not vilify her as they did with the envoys of the ABCEU countries. Had they embarked on that foolish direction they knew they would have destroyed their case. She was a Black Prime Minister and a woman. Scandalizing her would have alienated significant numbers of Black Guyanese. This explains why the PNC, AFC and their surrogates never attacked African personalities of eminence. The list included the former Liberian president, Ellen Sirleaf, who is a Nobel Peace Prize winner and Professor Hilary Beckles, Head of the Caribbean Reparations Committee. Mottley deserves Guyanese unlimited respect.
(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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