Kaieteur News – At the start of the analysis to follow here, I want to state with pellucid insistence and unambiguous words, I believe Walter Rodney was right to want to overthrow the Burnham regime.
Any philosopher would tell you that context is a priceless requirement in understanding how humans make the dialectics just as the dialectics make humans, a point French philosopher, Jean Paul Sartre made that was a valuable to the study of political behaviour (see Jean Paul Sartre, “Critique of Dialectical Reason.” This is fantastic merger of two strands in philosophy – dialectical materialism and existentialism).
Interestingly, Sartre wrote his theory of the dialectics in 1960 but Vladimir Lenin, the catalyst of the Russian Revolution, long before Sartre, in 1902 wrote his book, “What is to be done?” in which he made the point without the philosophical trimmings of Sartre that the human can shape the dialectics without dialectics reducing human to passive actors. Nowhere in any philosophy book has Lenin been given credit for this.
I admire Rodney, classify him as a national hero and accept his activism against Burnham. But I believe the recording of history is sacred and we should never tamper with it.
Hubert Nathaniel Critchlow, Cheddi Jagan, Janet Jagan, Forbes Burnham, Martin Carter, Walter Rodney are pronounced names in Guyana’s historiography. But they each made vast mistakes and the historian’s admiration for them must not involve obfuscating these weaknesses.
For example, Critchlow agreed to the denial of the franchise for Guyanese East Indians. Martin Carter was one of the biggest, perhaps the biggest hypocrite politics produced in this country. He was supposed to be a devoted communist with admiration for Stalin but was the darling of the Bookers plantocracy and the British colonials in Guyana.
The only book on the rule of Forbes Burnham to date is, Tyrone Ferguson, “To survive sensibly or court heroic death: Management of Guyana’s political economy, 1965-85.” The book is good stuff that is required reading for understanding the nature of Burnham and his regime.
But the volume has serious distortions of history. For example, Ferguson tells us that some of the close influential Burnhamite state actors were afraid that Burnham was so weak politically that in the event that he had to go, Rodney would stand in their way of taking state power so they took matters into their own hands and killed Rodney without Burnham knowing (page 297).
This thought in the book is comical not worthy of a competent scholar that Ferguson was. It is also pathetic nonsense. Can you imagine any person connected to Burnham planning to murder an internationally respected global personality in Guyana and does it behind Burnham’s back?
Burnham was involved in the assassination of Rodney which the Commission of Inquiry concluded. Interestingly, the chief lawyer for the PNC at the Commission after Basil Williams became Attorney-General appeared on the Gildarie-Freddie Kissoon Show last Monday. Selwyn Peters stated that he accepted the conclusion of the Commission.
Burnham knew from his intelligence sources operating within the WPA that Rodney was planning to overthrow him. Here are the words of the closest comrade Rodney ever had and the second in charge of the WPA.
Rupert Roopnaraine noted: “We were at the time (the 1970s) attempting to equip, essentially ready ourselves…for an insurrectionary attack on the state…we were at the time attempting to put ourselves in a state of readiness to make an assault on the state… it is no secret we were accumulating weapons….,” (taken from Clairmont Chung (ed), A Promise of Revolution, pages 112-130.
When Roopnaraine’s words were published, this columnist supported his recording of history. Today, Roopnaraine stands as the only living person in WPA’s hierarchy that had admitted to the plan of violent revolution.
Those of us who believe history must always be recorded owe Roopnaraine display of thankfulness. The Rodney family denied that Rodney was involved in violent struggle. So did Eusi Kwayana. In fact, Kwayana noted in a letter to the newspapers that Roopnaraine was speaking for himself.
That was a nonsensical reaction by Kwayana. Roopnaraine and Rodney were extremely close in camaraderie and were the two leaders that planned and shape the WPA’s activism. He would know far more than Kwayana ever would about WPA’s secret war against Burnham. I believe Mr. Kwayana is a historical figure who distorts historical facts and has done so throughout his writing career
The Rodney family wants to portray Rodney as a Martin Luther King. Rodney was heroic and great but he did not perceive the struggle against Burnham the way King saw his time against White racism.
Burnham knew Rodney was planning violence. Historian should not deny that fact. To do is to falsify history.
(The views expressed in this article are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the opinions of this newspaper.)
Nov 28, 2022Team Suriname will head back to Paramaribo today with the Inter Guiana Games (IGG) trophy in tow after clinching the overall title when the curtains came down on the historic games last evening at...
Nov 28, 2022
Nov 28, 2022
Nov 28, 2022
Nov 28, 2022
Nov 28, 2022
Kaieteur News – When the APNU+AFC came to power, I told Khemraj Ramjattan who was made Minister of Home Affairs that... more
Freedom of speech is our core value at Kaieteur News. If the letter/e-mail you sent was not published, and you believe that its contents were not libellous, let us know, please contact us by phone or email.
Feel free to send us your comments and/or criticisms.
Contact: 624-6456; 225-8452; 225-8458; 225-8463; 225-8465; 225-8473 or 225-8491.
Or by Email: [email protected] / [email protected]