In three days – July 4th, it’ll be 47 years since Caricom was launched by a group of leaders from the “British” Caribbean, which included the “founder leader” of the PNC, Burnham. It was ironic that they chose the anniversary of the US Declaration of Independence to launch the new “community”, which was to succeed the old “free trade association” – Carifta.
It was ironic ‘cause while Burnham wanted to signal the world that Guyana was going to follow the United States in charting a course to deliver real freedom to its people, he’d already set in train plans to deliver Guyana into bondage. Two weeks later, he’d pull off the biggest rigging exercise of his career to give himself a two-thirds majority in Parliament. With this he awarded himself the ability to change the Constitution at will to make himself “legally” the absolute dictator of Guyana! Some independence!!
The two citizens killed by the army that Burnham ordered to collect ballot boxes so as to stuff them with ballots that had been prepared beforehand (probably even as he was signing the Treaty of Chaguaramas) just happened to be collateral damage. David Granger, at the time in charge of political indoctrination of the army with Burnham’s totalitarian philosophy, pronounced the military intervention into civilian democratic affairs as a “splendid” operation.
As a founding member of Caricom, Burnham was given a free pass as he continued to rig elections until he died on an operating theatre at Georgetown Hospital in 1985. But the times were a changin’ since the Cold War between the US and USSR that had helped with the free pass was winding down. His successor Desmond Hoyte was summoned by Caricom Heads to a meeting at Mustique in Jan 1986, just months after he’d rigged the 1985 elections –- by an even larger margin than Burnham ever gave himself. He was told in no uncertain terms that Caricom wasn’t going to support rigging any longer in Guyana. It was antithetical to the culture and values of the Caribbean people.
In 1998, after Hoyte led violent protests against the results of the Dec 1997 elections – Caricom intervened to broker the Herdmanston Accord that addressed Hoyte and the PNC’s claims. Problem was the PNC was only interested in getting back into power, and was satisfied with nothing less. For the next decade the PNC was willing to have Guyana wracked by armed gunmen attacking the State and putative supporters of the PPP at will.
Today, we’re witnessing under the present PNC leader, David Granger, a frightening repetition of the PNC’s willingness to hold Guyanese voters hostage to hold on to power.
Can Caricom’s offspring, the CCJ rise to the occasion?
…on CCJ’s order
We’ll know by this afternoon whether, at least, the CCJ will accept jurisdiction to stop this barefaced hijacking of the March 2 elections by the PNC. As your Eyewitness has already said, he hopes this time the CCJ’s legal luminaries understand that this PNC lot aren’t folks who’ve got any respect for the rule of law – neither its strictures nor its traditions. They’ll have to unfortunately treat Granger and his minions as the criminals they are and issue very explicit sentencing guidelines.
None of this expectancy that the PNC will “do the right thing”. For them “might” is “right” and as such, they operate by the law of the jungle. To treat them otherwise is to be dismissed as “Christmas blow-blow”. For instance, the CCJ cannot just pronounce that “valid votes” has already been defined by ROPA and the Recount Order.
No…they’ll have to order that GECOM explicitly instruct their CEO Lowenfield to use the Certificates of Recount to create his Report.
Or that he’ll be flogged and jailed for life.
PM Mitchell of St Vincent revealed that at Mustique, the Caricom leaders got Hoyte to agree to stop rigging by threatening to have Caricom expel Guyana if he didn’t quit his cheating ways.
Caricom must now repeat the treatment.