Dear Congressman Meeks,
In this testing period of the COVID-19 pandemic, we hope that you and your family are well and in good health. We take this opportunity to applaud your appointment as the new Chairman of the US House of Representatives’ Foreign Relations Committee. We know that given your wide experience, knowledge of politics and diplomacy, you will be well positioned to help fashion public and international policy and action.
Your visit to Guyana in January 2020 and your commitment to free and fair elections, played an important part in the upholding of democracy. Your principled position matched that of the US Secretary of States, Mr. Mike Pompeo, and it led eventually to the election of the PPP/C Party to form the new government of Guyana.
We also recognize the role played by the U.S. Embassy, the European Union, the Organization of American States, CARICOM, the Canadian and British High Commissions, US State Department, and local stakeholders in defending the integrity of the electoral process. Your position and that of the international diplomatic community was supported by 100 countries. They watched in utter disbelief the brazen attempt at an electoral heist of the 2020 elections in Guyana.
Scarcely have Guyanese began to breathe easier consequent upon the PPP/C accession to office than no sooner we have begun to witness a resurgence of serious threats to the democratic tradition of our country by a group of racist agitators, some in New York, who are bent on creating race tension and hatred. They advocate a subtle call to violence, as had happened in West Coast Berbice in September 2020 when it was reported that opposition politicians were implicated in the disturbances.
The poisonous venom being spewed by opposition operatives is quite unsettling, especially given that Guyana is on the cusp of significant economic transformation due to significant oil discovery. On Nov. 25,th for example, PNCR’s Brooklyn based agent Rickford Burke issued a threat, and misguidedly accused the PPP/C government of ethnic cleansing and called for a revolution in Guyana, appealing particularly to young Afro Guyanese to shut down the entire Guyana and make it ungovernable.
We cite here two examples of Burke’s subtle appeal to race. “Richmond Hill’s few thousand Indian votes pale in comparison to the number of other votes in Congressman Meeks’ district of 745,000 people. 52% of the people in this district are Black.” He continues: “Indians expect that because Meeks represents Richmond Hill, and they may have made financial contributions to his campaign, that he must support the PPP’s agenda. The Congressman knows this corrupt strategy well. He has already been entangled in serious ethical challenges previously due to Indians nefarious designs.”
Congressman, your contributions to Guyana were recognized in an article in Guyana papers by Dr. Bisram who describes you as a champion of democracy and a person of integrity.
Burke’s is not concerned about working to alleviate the economic conditions of Guyanese, but he has a neurotic pre-occupation with creating race conflict and social upheaval. His call to the Police Force and the Army to defy the PPPC administration, is reckless. It is unfortunate that Burke also has the support of Congressman Hakeem Jeffries, to whom he has fed an avalanche of lies, deception, and distorted information. We wrote Hon Jeffries about this, but he did not respond. We wonder which person in good standing would ever want to be alongside a man who preaches race hatred and call for revolution to effect changes!
Independent observers and scholars have recognized that the PPPC is governing for every Guyanese and that they embrace equality of opportunity for all. It is a sad commentary however that this type of Burkean acidic rhetoric has always been an implicit objective of the PNCR Party since 1992.
We know that your new portfolio will present many challenges that will keep you continuously engaged but ask that you spend some of your precious time to understand our narrative of the situation in Guyana. Truth is not our enemy. We simply state that Guyanese are now breathing freely following the declaration of the 2020 elections results. Democracy has been given another chance to lay the groundwork for the country’s rapid development and providing the good life for all Guyanese.
Your Committee may even want to make a visit to Guyana to get firsthand information. The reality is that his party has lost the 2020 regional and general elections, and he and cohorts have decided to remain in denial and challenge the legitimacy of the PPPC government with a barrage of falsehoods and deception.
(This below letter was sent to Congressman Gregory Meeks in response to a racist pitch from Burke.)
Dr Vishnu Bisram, NYGDP
Dr Tara Singh, NYGM