Back to the past practices

Dear Editor,
The People’s National Congress (PNC), when it was in government during 1964-1992, had mastered the art of diverting attention from negative socio-economic and political news. It is the same party that now leads the APNU+AFC regime. We have now seen them returning to this practice.
In the Kaieteur News last week, they commented on the economy. Unable to match the performance and record of the PPP/Civic in office, when our economy boomed and our country was transformed from being a Heavily Indebted Poor Country (HIPC) to now, according to the IMF, an upper level middle income country, the regime and the press that supports it have gone on a spin.
In an article published in Kaieteur News of 25 July 2016, positive of the regime’s hatchet auditors, Anand Goolsarran, is reported to have said that the growth of the economy under the PPP/C was due to money laundering and drug trafficking.
Clearly, Goolsarran has cast off all pretence of being professional and has decided to come out openly as a political hack of the PNC-led APNU+AFC regime.
He made that statement without offering a shred of evidence to back up his claim. This has been the modus operandi of the AFC+APNU ever since those parties were in the opposition. The approach is to tell a big lie and keep repeating it so that people will believe it.
It is a Hitlerite tactic developed by the Nazi Goebbels.
Goolsarran chose to conveniently ignore the fact that the PPP/C continued its relationship with the World Bank and IMF even after Guyana exited their programme.
Those bodies had an overview of Guyana’s economy and this idea of drug money fuelling growth never arose. Guyana’s economy, and the society as a whole under the PPP/C administration, was an open one.
Therefore, the statement of drug money and money laundering is an insult to the hard working people of Guyana. It is a slap in the face to our private sector, which grew their businesses in a conducive climate under the PPP/C administration.
Goolsarran seems to have forgotten that it was the PPP/C that introduced the Anti-Money Laundering Bill and measures taken to identify sources of income; it was the APNU and AFC that used their one-seat majority in the National Assembly to vote it down. Now in government for more than a year, they can’t get it rectified.
Since he has put himself forward as a champion defender of the regime, he must tell us why the APNU and AFC members of the National Assembly voted against a motion of the PPP/C to have all MPs publicly declaring their assets, including overseas holdings. False declaration was to be punished by compulsory jail sentence.
If they are interested in a clean government, why reject such a motion? If they want to expose the members of the PPP/C government, why not accept the motion?
If they truly want to find out about corruption under the PPP/C administration, why have they refused the suggestion of the Leader of the Opposition to bring in reputable forensic auditors from abroad to examine the records and pronounce on it? They would be objective and not use political hacks who have disregarded the ethics of their profession.
Talk is cheap. The regime continues to throw mud and false accusations, but have refused to take credible steps to clarify these issues.
It must not be forgotten that it was the PPP/C government that established the CANU and that organisation made an outstanding contribution to the fight against drug trafficking, both locally and internationally.
The fact is that the regime knows that the PPP/C ran a tight ship and corruption was nowhere near to what they have been saying. However, that does not serve their purpose. They prefer to continue with disinformation and downright lies.
This is to hide their incompetence and poor management of our economy, just like the PNC of the past.

Donald Ramotar
Former President