Racism, last refuge for the PNC

Dear Editor,
The exposure of the grab for lands identified for important national projects has shown to the Guyanese people the true nature of this regime. It is a cabal that is intent on using the State apparatus to enrich itself.
This latest act is a continuation of their behaviour. It is a pattern that has emerged. Recall that among their very first acts were to raise the salary of the Cabinet members and to give themselves almost unlimited allowances, travelling, housing, etc.
In the process, they have practically abandoned accountability and transparency. Bribery and corruption became the order of the day.
Shamelessly, the Ministry of the Presidency seems to be taking the lead as the most corrupt in the raping of this nation’s assets.
Lands that have long been identified to do important projects, lands that should be kept by the State for allocation to projects that would benefit the country are now handed out to Government functionaries. It is clear that the intention is to make huge killings by selling back those parcels of land to Government or to oil companies for hundreds of millions of dollars.
The get rich quick syndrome is on full display.
What are these lands? These are lands where shore facilities are to be built to service the emerging oil sector. They are strategic lands for the building of deep water harbours or at areas where bridges could be built and where roads and highways are proposed to be constructed.
The one-acre plots handed out in Mocha are lands through which the road connecting the East Coast highway to the East Bank highway is to be built. It means that in a short while these pieces of land would become extremely valuable and no doubt could be used to speculate for big bucks. Or, indeed, the Government will have to buy it to facilitate the road.
This is shameless corruption. Worse, it has now reached the highest office in our country. After all, it is the President who has the responsibility for lands here.
The lands spoken about are not all the deals that are going down. The PNC/APNU/AFC vultures are also preying on poor people’s lands.
Small miners are being pushed out to make way for the new PNC elite. The Toroparo syndicate is a group of small miners hoping to make a living mining gold. They were working the lands before it became a closed area and were promised it when the area was opened.
They are now saying that the lands were taken away from them and given to Mr Sorato Phillips. This is the same man of the Parking Meter fiasco.
The response from the regime and its sympathisers was predictable. As usual, they are trying to make this a race issue.
Lincoln Lewis, the head of the Guyana Trades Union Congress, in a letter in the Stabroek News on June 30, 2019, twisted the story to claim that the Leader of the Opposition was accusing the Lands and Surveys Commission of “….favouring the African community…”. Other PNC propagandists and supporters are saying the same things.
That is total distortion with intent to mislead the people. What is being shown clearly is that the corrupt Government is giving themselves huge tracks of lands to enrich themselves at the expense of all the people of Guyana. Black, Indian, Amerindian, Portuguese, Chinese and Mixed.
However, it is a blatant and racist attack, including on Black people. They want African Guyanese to come to the defence of this vulgar rape of our country’s resources. They hope that the African Guyanese masses would defend this heist by the elite once hey frame it as racist.
Lewis and Ceres and those others have kept quiet when this PNC-led APNU/AFC regime took away lands from small Black farmers on the West Coast of Berbice. Those lands were given to some sixty African Guyanese farmers by the PPP/Civic Government.
The PNC big wigs in the area were seizing it for themselves. President Granger had actually cancelled the leases. The people living there have been there for generations. Now they had to take the matter to court to defend their homes. It was Anil Nandlall who took their case to court and had that repossession reversed.
Mr Lewis et al are not interested in those poor Black farmers. None of them went to their defence. That is not the class of Black people that they are interested in.
Indeed, Mr Lewis himself had created much nervousness in the village of Kingelly, West Coast Berbice, when he claimed the whole village, where mainly African Guyanese reside, as his, by inheritance. Those African Guyanese, working people of Kingelly, had to take the matter to court and are being represented by the PPP lawyer, Anil Nandlall.
Obviously, this labour leader has no interest in poor people, whether they are Black, Brown or White, he too is part of the elite.
Look at what PPP/C Member of Parliament, Mr Harry Gill, disclosed on the repossessing of lands from small cash crop farmers at Bath, West Coast Berbice, and giving it to friends of the regime, including the PNC/APNU parliamentarian for the area.
What the Leader of the Opposition exposed last Thursday is only the tip of the iceberg
Extremely serious and very worrying as well is the allocation of lands to persons at the Elections Commission and SARA. The apologists for the corrupt regime have not raised an eyebrow to what appears to be an attempt to bribe public officials in strategic positions.
The time and quantity of lands allocated to the Chief Elections Officer and the Deputy Head of the illegal SARA are bound to raise suspicions as to the real intent of the PNC-led regime. Are they hoping that Mr Lowenfield will do favours for them at the Commission? Are they rewarding Hetemyer for the harassment of PPP/C officials?
These are the types of behaviour that have damaged the moral health of our country in the past.
It is such behaviour in the previous PNC regime that entrenched corruption that Minister Hughes spoke about and has made it so difficult to root out.
Here we are, once again, on the same road, but Ms Hughes is now deafeningly silent.
The PNC has succeeded in the past in filling the African Guyanese masses with a fear of change.
The old PNC had plugged the line of “coolie domination”. This is the same message being plugged by today’s PNC, the APNU. They have not changed.
They want African Guyanese to defend the regime and protect it while it continues to pauperise the masses including the working-class Afro-Guyanese. In the meantime, the elite enriches itself by plundering the resources of the state.
The difference today is that the African Guyanese working people have experienced governance under the PPP/C and the more conscious of them have recognised that the PPP/C Government dealt an even hand. It did not discriminate, contrary to the discredited propaganda of the APNU/AFC elite.
Clearly, racism is the last refuge of these PNC/APNU/AFC scoundrels.

Yours respectfully,
Donald Ramotar,
Former President