An accurate analysis of the issue

Dear Editor,
Mr. Ravi Dev’s letter (Jan 22) is quite an accurate analysis of the issue of who gets what from whom. However, entitlement is never futile, and while being politically correct, he stops short of declaring that in the Guyana context, the issue of who endured greater suffering and made a greater contribution to national development was blunted by 28 years of PNC dictatorship.
The PNC solidified its power base by control of the 3 pillars of society: The Military, Judiciary, and Public Service exhibited a huge preponderance of African –Guyanese while “dem other people” did not receive similar entitlements. The Declaration of Sophia in 1975 by Forbes Burnham, who later installed himself as Executive President, conveyed direct messages to ‘his’ people in his utterances such as, who used to dig for the gold? Who has it now? What are you doing about it?
Entitlement to rulership was the mindset of the PNC perpetrated through rigged elections, but what people should understand is that he who steals for you will end up stealing from you. The narrative that Indians have more wealth is a fallacious analysis. Perhaps it is this concept that saw the emergence of the dreaded kick-down-door bandits in the early 80s as a form of wealth distribution. It is public knowledge that up to 1988, before the IMF-imposed divestments, the state controlled more than 80% of the economy. No prizes for guessing who was in charge, and while the Guyana Constitution guarantees equal rights and opportunities, 28 years of dictatorship embodied the Orwellian concept: all animals are equal, but some are more equal.
Without any doubt, people of African descent were horribly mistreated by colonial rule, and even today mistreatment is scattered worldwide. It is totally heinous, just like any form of racism; and while all races have the right to protest any wrongdoing, such protests ought not to become a pretext for looting. Anyone can trace the African journey from the inception of the Slave Trade in the sixteenth century through Emancipation, Segregation, Apartheid and, above all, military dictatorship perpetrated upon their own people’s rights in the African homeland. As an example, Sub-Saharan Africa has 53 countries: 34 are military dictatorships and one-party states. Uhuru (the Swahilian clarion call for freedom from colonialism) has not worked to this day.
It was none other than the late President Hoyte who threatened in 1990, while in office, to ‘let loose the dogs of war’, and after losing the 1992 elections to the PPP, later declared to make the country ‘ungovernable’! Talk about entitlement! The funds shunted to Alexander presently there is an organization IDPADA (International Decade of People of African Descent) which received huge funding under the Granger regime; not a single organization in Guyana has come remotely close to the $500 million the IDPADA has received! Why is there no similar organization receiving even a fraction of such a colossal sum? Perhaps only the IDPADA is qualified for such entitlement.

Leyland Roopnaraine

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