Kaieteur News – Famous cultural icon of Guyana, Clairmont Taitt, died in Barbados a few days ago. It is predictable that his life will be celebrated. His contribution to Guyana’s cultural life was large. When many other prominent Guyanese who are in advanced age leave this world, recognition and admiration will come from all parts of this nation. Not so for Drs. Clive Thomas and Rupert Roopnaraine.
I, in my own little way since the WPA (that both men founded) became part of the 2015 government which lasted until 2020, have tried to expose the political frauds these two men have become. The deportment of these two men in power offers a priceless insight into how power can literally rip the soul and heart out of the human.
It has been revealed by Attorney General, Anil Nandlall, that the Rodney family, consisting of wife and three children, has approached President Irfaan Ali to have Walter Rodney’s legacy be officially recognised and concretised on the fabric of this nation. The President has agreed.
When I looked at Mr. Nandlall informing the nation of the family’s request, horrible anger penetrated my emotions. Rodney was the face and physiology of the WPA. Rodney’s three most intimate revolutionary comrades were Clive Thomas, Rupert Roopnaraine and Eusi Kwayana. Today, look at the uninspiring, betraying, political life of this miserable trio.
Kwayana even wrote a book about Rodney. Last Monday, in the National Park, the publisher of Kwayana’s book, Robert Lalljie, came up and introduced himself informing me that he is the publisher of Kwayana’s book on Rodney. Unfortunately, the conversation was not as smooth as it should have been because I gave Mr. Lalljie a piece of my mind of what a political mischief-maker Kwayana turned out to be. I don’t want to hear anything about Kwayana.
Roopnaraine described the extreme closeness, which he shared with Rodney by revealing that only he, Rodney’s wife and Kwayana knew that Walter was leaving the country illegally to go to Zimbabwe where he, Walter, would confront President Forbes Burnham who would be there (see, Clairmont Chung, “Walter Rodney: A Promise of Revolution”).
Rodney’s three children no doubt have deep memories of their father sharing close emotional moments with Thomas and Roopnaraine. They must be filled with immeasurable memories of Thomas and Roopnaraine playing with them when they were kids. These very children grew up and saw their father’s comrades become part of the Guyana Government.
Imagine what they felt when both men never lifted a finger to honour their father when they were in power between 2015 and 2020. To crown it all, Roopnaraine voted in Parliament against the public release of the report into their father’s death.
It is obvious to a school child that the fact that the Rodney family waited until the PPP came into power in 2020 to ask that Walter’s legacy be part of the official policy of the government showed the contempt and dislike they have for Thomas and Roopnaraine.
I will not mention the other WPA members who were part of the APNU+AFC regime – Dr. Maurice Odle, Tacuma Ogunseye, and Desmond Trotman – because they were literal nobodies in the government without recognition shown them by the PNC leadership.
It is incredible to think that the WPA shared power with the PNC, yet each year from 2015 to 2020, PNC leaders held an annual ceremony in honour of two PNC leaders – Burnham and Desmond Hoyte – yet in those five years, only one event was held to mark Rodney’s assassination and it was sponsored by a private group and none of the WPA well known personalities were present.
I will end with a little story that happened a night at the now defunct Celine’s Atlantic Resort at Vlissengen Road and Clive Lloyd’s Drive next to the Kitty pump station. I was having dinner with two of my Kaieteur News colleagues from the sports department – Rawle Welch and Edison Jefford. A person that will remain unnamed who was at the table said something that startled all of us.
He said he believes that the WPA was involved in the assassination of Rodney. There were wild talks about the PPP being involved. ACDA about 12 years ago, made such a silly reference for which I pounced on them. But it was never mentioned that the WPA was involved.
This gentleman is a prominent citizen who as far as I know is not PNC, PPP or ever dabbled in politics. Rawle and Edison and were all smiling but I was in hilarious laughter. This was said 15 years ago. Today, I look back and I believe the story of Walter’s death is yet to be told.
(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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