Kaieteur News – There is a huge goldmine of revisionist history of Guyana waiting to be explored. When it will be done depends on the Guyanese diaspora scholars. Certainly not in the distant future will we see UG academics doing it. Research in contemporary political society in Guyana will not be touched by UG for a generation to come.
The areas are fascinating. First, the anti-colonial fighters 50 years later did not sustain their earlier obsession with liberation. Cheddi Jagan, Forbes Burnham, Janet Jagan, Ashton Chase, Rory Westmaas, Eusi Kwayana, Martin Carter, Jainarine Singh and others 50 years later were not the same embodiment of justice and freedom as they were seen by the masses in the forties and fifties.
Secondly, the post-colonial bulwark against Burnhamite dictatorship, outside of the PPP, were essentially middle-class agencies that had no sustained connections with the masses and thus the panegyrics we read about them need to be revisited. The Guyana Anti-Discrimination Association, the Movement Against Oppression, the Liberator Party, the Miles Fitzpatrick/David DeCaires outfit contributed no doubt to the broad spectrum of anti-dictatorship politics but they did so from a position of the enjoyment of extensive privilege and class snobbery.
Thirdly, the impetus the WPA created in the decade of the seventies until Walter Rodney’s death cries out for revisionist treatment. There has been absolutely no iconoclastic assessment of the WPA even though little bits and pieces that have emerged over the past 40 years are exciting for the researcher.
Three factors need to be researched. 1- WPA leadership had eerie and uncanny relationships with high ranking leaders in the Burnham government including Burnham himself. 2 -The Bohemian middle class abandonment that characterised WPA’s leadership alienated the PPP which saw it as a show-off group. 3- Except for Rupert Roopnaraine in the book, “Walter Rodney: A Promise of Revolution,” no other WPA big-wig has acknowledged the fact that the WPA sought the overthrow of Burnham. Rodney’s wife disputes that fact. But it is a fact.
The remaining paragraphs of this article is about a revisionist note on Eusi Kwayana in the light of his achieving his 96 years of birth last Sunday and a one-sided eulogistic analysis of him on his birthday by David Hinds. It is the indisputable view of this writer that after his attitude on the attempted rigged election of March 2020, Mr. Kwayana’s presentation of Guyana historiography is now suspect with strong doubts about his historiography. This writer also believes that in 2020 he showed his instinctive racial bias that he hid brilliantly since the 1970s until March 2020.
Hinds wrote, “Today is the 96th birth anniversary of Brother Eusi Kwayana and at 96 he still comments on political and social developments in his country.” Hinds has tripped himself up because, his hero has admitted in his reaction to the March 2020 election that because he is far away from Guyana (unlike Burnham and Jagan that Kwayana hates, they spent all their lives in their homeland) he cannot comment on things here.
Hinds observed, “Kwayana’s career has attracted its fair share of controversy…. But when all is said and done, he emerges as an embodiment of what is virtuous, uplifting and transformative in political practice.” Really David! We will have to examine that against his dishonest and racially driven attitude on the March 2020 election rigging.
Space will not be available but just before we provide evidence of that dishonesty and racist mentality, here is another questionable quote from Kwayana’s protégé, “I can say without hesitation that if there is a public person in Guyana who comes closest to the embodiment of political morality, it is the Sage of Buxton.” All that David has written on the seven decades of Kwayana’s praxis, Kwayana himself has damaged his legacy. The runner stumbles sometimes and after 70 years of running, Kwayana fell flat on his face in 2020.
Two quick rebuttals. First his dishonesty. As the rigging unfolded he refused to acknowledge its existence saying he cannot comment because he is far away and don’t have the facts. Then not “knowing” the facts, he quoted a PNC candidate, Ganesh Mahipaul, as saying that why the fuss on the spreadsheet used by Mingo for Region Four’s tabulation when a spreadsheet was used in Region Three.
Kwayana knew perfectly that the issue was not the use of spreadsheet itself but what Mingo was putting on the spreadsheet. In relation to his racism, he chose not to criticise any internationally known African in the world and from CARICOM who condemned the rigging except one – the Prime Minister of St. Vincent who is Portuguese. Kwayana was playing the race card as he did all his life.
(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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