Falsehoods pedalled at Brooklyn rally: Open letter to Congressman Hakeem Jeffries

Dear Editor,
Greetings! We write about some serious concerns that have been triggered by the PNCR-aligned GCID-sponsored rally, with support of BLM, in Brooklyn on August 15, 2021. While we commend the organisers for the conduct of a peaceful rally, the rhetoric by Speakers betrayed that feeling of serenity.
Decent Guyanese, including the Guyana Government, have been bemused by a litany of falsehoods that permeated the event. The main organiser has referred to Hon Mark Phillips’s reaction to the event as follows: “the Prime Minister is a lightweight buffoon and a despicable token house slave.” Burke claims, further, that the PPPC government is building an “apartheid regime”. These are the most outlandish comments being made by an activist who fights for issues that do not exist, and whose cause is still a mystery.
Guyana’s Prime Minister rejected “all the malicious and false claims” spewed by speakers at the rally. He referred to those remarks as appalling. Hon Mark Phillips writes, “We are disappointed that the Congressman has allowed himself to be negatively influenced by individuals who are adamant in destroying our beautiful country by instigating violence and division among our people. We have been told that you are a man of integrity, but after your prominence and identification with people who support electoral rigging and reject democratic norms, our attitude towards you is now one of ambivalence.
“Congressman, we do not know what was the basis for your call to end racial discrimination in Guyana, but if you follow the real news from Guyana, you would have known that the PPPC Government has been the most inclusive in the country’s history that implements policies and programs to benefit all Guyanese, irrespective of race, gender, and geography. Very perplexing is your call for the removal of the American Ambassador Sarah Lynch, who is a great friend to all Guyanese.
“Of note, on the very day of the Brooklyn rally, at a national forum, a group of independent Guyanese, representing the legal profession, the private sector, political parties, the press, and civil society was loud in their praise of the government for the remarkable job they have done during the first year, despite major COVID-19 constraints and the devastating floods. The Government has touched the life of every Guyanese through various programs.
It is ironic that a PNCR-sponsored rally in New York seems to have hundreds of supporters, but in Guyana, where Guyanese have fist hand knowledge of the Government’s performance, attendance rarely reaches 30-40 at PNCR street rallies. To get better traction, therefore, the PNCR is taking their fight onto the streets of Brooklyn, New York! Their calls to make the country ungovernable have not only been rejected by most Guyanese, but their (PNCR) baseless claims have not enjoyed the support of the major diplomatic missions.
“This is significant, and necessitates your inquiry.
You should be aware that the PNCR party attempted to stage an electoral coup d’état at the 2020 elections. Stealing an election is the mother of all corruption. The head of the OAS team stated, “It was the most transparent attempt to steal an election.” It was the vigilance exercised particularly by the foreign diplomatic missions that saved democracy from collapsing.
“The PNCR’s claim about race discrimination could not be supported by empirical evidence. They use polemics and platitudes instead of evidence. One example will suffice. The Government has recently granted 6,000 scholarships (39% of awardees are to Afro-Guyanese, 40% are Indo-Guyanese, and 21% are Mixed and Amerindians).
“Allegations of racism are being made to detract also from rampant corruption by PNCR operatives. For example, they hired one person as an advisor to the then Minister of Natural Resources when she had no expertise in that area. More perplexing, though, was that she was receiving five salaries for multiple positions. This is the type of largesse that the PNCR operatives have missed. Thus, their desperation.
“The PNCR have power at all layers of Government, except at the ministerial level. They could add the remaining layer (ministerial power) by focusing to win the next general and regional elections. Using divisive tactics like stirring race hatred will divert them from this path, as they are more interested in getting there (ministerial power) through the fomenting of racism.
“Would you advise them to change their approach? We need to build Guyana, and not to destroy it.
“Finally, to dispel any misgiving, we urge you, Congressman Jeffries, and your delegation to visit Guyana to make your own assessment and judgment”.

Dr Tara Singh