Kaieteur News – I am quoting the words of Dr. Rupert Roopnaraine in an interview of September, 2017, that he gave Dr. Dhanpaul Narine for The West Indian, a Guyanese run newspaper in New York. “President Granger was concerned about my workload, the amount of work I was carrying. He looked at my health report and he was concerned. The President and I go back a long way. We were in the same House in school… David Hinds and the others are not as attentive to my needs as the President.”
With the official recognition of the legacy of Walter Rodney, there is a crescendo of analyses on exactly what was the relationship between the WPA and Rodney. Jamil Changlee, frequent letter-writer in the newspaper, writing in the June 17, issue of this newspaper observed, “… it raises questions as to the true circumstances surrounding the death of Walter Rodney. How are we to now continue to believe what their party leadership says?”
Rakesh Rampertab, another name that has appeared often over the decades in the newspaper, had this to say in the June 19, issue of the Stabroek News, “This subject of betrayal or treachery (by the WPA) is perhaps more relevant now since an inquiry had been done. Ravi Dev wrote the following yesterday, “But apart from a very nasty spat with other WPA executives, including Desmond Trotman, over emails around the WPA secretly engaging the PNC, nothing happened.”
If Roopnaraine and Granger go back to school days, could Roopnaraine tell us if the friendship was still alive when Granger was one of the most trusted of Forbes Burnham’s officers in the army? What did Granger know about the following given his strategic role in the army:
1 – The killing of three protestors in Berbice trying to stop the army from taking away the ballot boxes in the 1973 election
2 – The WPA’s burning down of the Ministry of National Development
3 – The WPA’s theft of the guns confiscated from the People’s Temple after the Jonestown massacre
4 – The assassination of Walter Rodney
At the time of the WPA’s activism in the seventies, Joseph Harmon was chief of army intelligence. Is it logical to argue that Granger and Harmon did not know anything about the above named events? One must always bear in mind, that Granger along with Vincent Alexander are the custodians of Burnham’s so-called achievements. Granger has four foundations dedicated to Burnham in his former private house and is the patron of the organisation that Alexander runs, the Burnham Foundation.
Let us stay with the Roopnaraine interview. Asked why he did not testify at the Commission of Inquiry into Rodney’s assassination, here is how Roopnaraine responded, “I felt too close to the events. It was not something I wanted to speak on. I have not emotionally or intellectually come to terms with Rodney’s passing to date. Walter was my friend and June 13th will always be a traumatic date for me.”
This is a shameless, pathetic, sinister deviousness. The words, “I felt too close to the events,” is simply mind-boggling. If you want to establish the truths of history and assign justice for those who deserve it then you have to record history. Roopnaraine’s refusal to testify does not have anything to do with the commission for reasons people can find out if they keep researching.
Ravi Dev yesterday, brought out interesting aspects of Roopnaraine’s politics a part of which is an accusation by Dev of Roopnaraine’s role in scuttling a commission of inquiry into Rodney’s death, a story that has been circulating long before Dev wrote about it in June 2021. Leyland DeCambra, a founding member of the UK branch of the WPA in the seventies, remarked that to me years ago.
The quote from Dev about WPA’s invisible covenants with the PNC is potent material for which research should be pursued. Emphasis should be placed on Dev’s words, that he complained to the WPA and there was no responsive action. Dev noted that he complained to Moses Bhagwan and Clive Thomas about the secret meetings. Dev had to know that he was taking his case to two persons who were part of the conspiracy that he, Dev, was raging against. Why Dev thought that the rest of the WPA leadership did not know that certain WPA leaders had many unpublicised meetings within the PNC?
I will never forget the place where Dr. Josh Ramsammy said some words to me. He was Pro-Chancellor of UG at the time occupying an office inside the now defunct Mortgage Finance Bank directly at the corner of Parade and Barrack Streets, Kingston. He told me Roopnaraine always had a strange relation with the PNC. Do the research please!
(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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