I am writing this letter after considering statements made by the new chair of Caricom, Dr. Ralph Gonsalves, Prime Minister of St. Vincent and the Grenadines, in a broadcast on July 15, 2020.
Because of my own situation this broadcast was my only source until now of the alleged threats made in Guyana to the Secretary General of Caricom and to other officials of Caricom. I do not know what has been done to date about these reports but as a Caribbean citizen I wish to say that if they are true it deserves our general disapproval at all levels.
I am a Caribbean citizen of Guyanese origin living in the United States of America not because of fear of any government but because of an atmosphere created by the operation of two vigilante organizations aligned to the government and the opposition respectively. I therefore understand why my fellow Guyanese resident in Guyana may at times have sharp differences with what I write.
As I understand it, Caricom was invited by Guyana’s two most popular political leaders to enter the situation with a view to resolving an impending conflict in an election which they both hoped to win.
As is known, I have refrained from making pronouncements on a situation I could know only by hearsay and also through reports of persons with a political bias one way or the other. I have noted that Prime Minister Gonsalves, like many of the persons and agencies he has cited, has been speaking with finality on a process that was at that time before Guyana’s courts of law, which so far as I know have not shut the door to any litigant on the ground of political persuasion or any other ground. Personally, I welcome the fact that the immediate past chairman of Caricom, Dr. Mia Mottley and her colleagues have lent their talents and time to our predicament. I only wish to warn, as I have done since the 1960s, that what in many Caribbean countries is simply an election among citizens, in Guyana includes other complexities. Here in Guyana, in the tissues of every general election are the fibres of communal struggle resulting from conscious designs of the colonial occupation.
Many may wonder at the USA’s high activism in our affairs in the face of a global pandemic of the present scale. However, it is of some relief to some sectors in the US Empire, to find diversion in the affairs of a mini-state when faced at home with a unique uprising of a multi-racial nature in resentment of present day lynching. The US State Department is not part of this uprising.
I recall once again that at a public meeting organized by opposition forces including Mr. Desmond Trotman, at City Hall Georgetown that the PNC leader of that time reminded listeners, “Walter Rodney is not here now to unite the people.” True, an election must end, but that end may be seen as an end in itself or as a beginning. Coming from the source it came from, reasonable citizens will understand that it was not a tribute lightly made and that because of that it deserves to be taken seriously