Sep 27, 2021 Letters
Guyana is undergoing another long déjà vu moment. Indeed, it has been the exact same story in other parts of the world. The same defending and protecting of leaders, with grand words all the rage, until truths came, revelations embarrassed.
I encourage Guyanese to return to L.F.S Burnham. It is all there, what he said, and how his deeds proved or disproved him. If the record of his words and postures alone stands, then Guyana was all ice-cream and candy. Better yet, revisit the words of State-owned media, loyalists, worshippers, and others, and he couldn’t, didn’t, do any wrong. He was incapable of doing so, if their protective actions were to be believed. Pockets of citizens dissented, but were quickly drowned out by numbers and volume. Sometimes, it was by sheer force of weight, too. The dissidents persisted, because they believed that they spoke to truth and conscience; they were nationalists first, leadership loyalists second, and racial fundamentalists, somewhere down the line. Most times, none of the latter two. In time, their denounced narratives gained footholds, grew firmer and durable. The rest is history, which has been repeated the world over, ever so often. It is where even mighty collaborating First World powers see light, adjust programmes, yield some; this was what followed, especially when a sufficiency and consistency of exposure and pressure were applied.
My thrust is simple: from Forbes Burnham to Ferdinand Marcos to Reza Pavli to Manuel Noriega to Anastasio Somoza to Ariel Sharon, leaders misled and there was always a sturdy stock of zealous men and women, who swore to their authenticity, their responsibility and integrity, their commitment to duty. According to the advocates – open loyalists and closet tribalists – in those societies, their leaders were idealistic and altruistic. The archives are there. Yet, long stretches evidence devastating corruptions and leadership criminalities.
This is what took place in Iran, in Guyana before. Now look at Iran. I would have thought that after Burnham and the Shah, to name a couple from the long list of American missteps that America would learn. Similarly, after their pungent experiences right here from 1999-2015, I expected little gobs of wisdom registering, emphasising one lesson: refrain with everything from partnering with corrupt local leaders; leaders detrimental to the interests of their own peoples; Americans also. It returns to bite savagely (Iran refers). America can take care of itself; my concern is Guyana. For I again observe today, those who see and sense no evil, speak to none, where Guyana’s leadership trickeries (just like Burnham’s and the pre-2015 leaders) are concerned. Today, I condemn no one as blind, sycophantic, or partisan. I say this, though: be careful with accepting Hollywood and Bollywood fantasies, where leaders’ actions are deemed pure. Principled, they are not. Be prudent in willingly surrendering the record of history, experiences, wisdoms to accept wholesale and regurgitate wholesale whatever leaders serve up publicly, juicily. Be sensitive not to transform into one-man departments of public information, state-owned media, leadership deceits.
The only savior of Guyana.
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