…says “desperate politicians” making false claims
Opposition Leader Bharrat Jagdeo on Saturday denied making any derogatory remark about Guyana’s first people after a clip from his last press conference began making the rounds on social media in order to give that impression.
In a statement to the media, Jagdeo said it was brought to his attention that the Government and its cohorts have been circulating a clip from his last press conference with the claim that he had made derogatory remarks about “our Amerindian people”.
“The audio of two words – everybody (cut short by me) and people taken out of context is being used to substantiate this false claim,” the statement said. When the recording is played at a slightly faster pace, it gives the impression that something derogatory is being said.
But Jagdeo also said, “The truth is in the context of my criticism of the AFC for its lack of credibility and betrayal of Guyanese and the consequent loss of political support for that party. I said, “It is an avalanche, it’s not trickles, it’s a deluge — everybody (cut short), people who believed that they stood for something that was different have now seen the true nature of the AFC.” The discussion had absolutely nothing to do with Amerindians”.
Jagdeo reminded that the statement he made was done in the presence of the entire media corps, including all the newspapers, and not a single person there thought he had made a derogatory statement.
He went further by stating that there was an extensive question and answer session and the matter never came up. The only remark he made about Amerindians at that press conference was done at the commencement of the media engagement.
He urged people to look at the entire press conference, particularly the beginning, where he spoke extensively about the struggles of Indigenous Peoples.
“Only warped minds or desperate politicians (and there are many around now) would think that after a lifetime of struggling for greater respect, rights and development for our Amerindian brothers and sisters, I would resort to the use of a word that I find personally reprehensible,” the statement said.
He said he would address this issue further at his upcoming press conference.