Please allow me to respond to “Who The Hell is Burnham?” published in the local newspaper.
We remember Burnham connived with foreigners to split the PPP.
We know Burnham was elected first Chairman because the PPP has always been an anti-racist party.
We know that he was on the payroll of the CIA.
We remember that Burnham used D’Aguiar to take power, only to disband him in 1964.
We recall Burnham rigged the 1973 election.
We know that when Burnham addressed his small audiences during the 1973 elections, the people responded, “Don’t call me Comrade, call me Señor.”
We remember Burnham rigged the 1978 referendum.
We remember Burnham was the force behind the murderous Rabbi Washington.
Who can forget party paramountcy, wherein the PNC was placed above the Constitution?
We remember the catastrophic failure of “Feed, clothe and house the nation by 1976.”
We remember who murdered Fr. Bernard Darke.
We remember who assassinated Walter Rodney.
We know Burnham begged the Guyanese diaspora for cutlery for his grand state events.
We do recall Burnham’s banning of newsprint, except for his New Nation.
We remember how Burnham ordered Permanent Secretaries to his estate.
We remember Burnham’s Knowledge Sharing Institute, where groceries were dispensed to party comrades.
We remember the Burnham-inspired forced labour of Guyana National Service.
We recall the necessity of a party card to get a job.
We know that despite his anti-colonial rhetoric, he tried to speak with a high-class English accent after spending only a few years in the U.K.
We recall civil servants and teachers being deported to the interior when they spoke up.
We know about Burnham living beyond his means, pretending to be a great Third World leader.
We know of Burnham riding around on a horse like a 13th century joker.
We remember Burnham’s foolish pretence in military uniform.
We do remember he cajoled or coerced people at Bourda Market to buy his propaganda sheet, New Nation.
We remember rice roti, tandem buses, empty rice pot, kick-down- the-door banditry.
We remember Burnham’s face on exercise books and his children’s names on housing schemes.
We can’t forget how he squandered money in hosting foreign heads of states just to get a few photo ops.
We can never forget how he made Guyana a bankrupted country.
We can never forget that Burnham’s policies resulted in forced political migration.
The whole Caribbean region knows Burnham was the one that created Guyana benches at airports.
We know that Burnham destroyed the train service in Guyana.
We know Burnham was intensely jealous of Michael Manley because the Jamaican was seen as the real leader of the Caribbean anti-imperialist and anti-apartheid movements.
And we certainly will never forget how his political progenies tried to rig the election in 2020.
And we know that the few bridges, roads, and schools it took him 28 years to build are being built bigger and better, and in five years.
All of Guyana can confirm that Burnham’s successors are as much authoritarian as he was.
And we know his sister warned, “Beware of my brother Forbes.”
And we know that one of Burnham’s top and feared lieutenants today writes as “Elder” and gets published as if he were a civil society democrat.
So yes, that is the Hell that we know of Burnham.
Dr Randolph Persaud