Eyewitness: Changes…

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…wrought by PNC

As to whether the PNC has done anything FOR Guyana is questionable! But for sure they’ve done a helluva lot TO Guyana, first during their long 28-year-long dictatorship and then when they were resurrected for a return engagement in 2015. Which, it appears, was just to remind us that the more the WORLD changes, the more the PNC remain the same! Incorrigible is what they are!

In the estimation of your Eyewitness, among their worst inflictions on our body politic has been the destruction of hope that we can ever enjoy life in a democratic country. The recent upsurge in the discourse on the assassination of Walter Rodney should’ve reminded us of what could’ve been. His generation that went off to higher studies in 1960 should’ve returned to build their independent country with their new skills and indigenous perspectives. Let’s not forget that his 4th Form at Queen’s were the first to be exposed to the history of slavery from a local perspective.

When Rodney had completed his PhD at the age of 24 in the same year Guyana became independent, he chose not to return. Why? Because – he explicitly declared – of the deep racial chasms that had expanded in the country because of Burnham’s decision to go along with the machinations of the US and Britain. The riots of the sixties had turned Guyanese upon Guyanese and Rodney concluded that they were not going to be put together anytime soon.

And after Burnham rigged the 1968 elections and it became clear that Guyana was well on its way to becoming a dictatorship, many joined Rodney in the exodus to Britain and the US. This still hasn’t been staunched even by the COVID-19 epidemic. Rodney, of course, courageously and patriotically girded his loins and returned to Guyana in 1974 from Tanzania – by which time the country was morphing into a full-blown dictatorship when the army rigged the 1973 elections. After then, the exodus had exploded with Guyanese going front-track, back-track and side-track to Venezuela, Suriname and every other English-speaking island in the Caribbean.

Rodney rekindled some hope with his groundings in the slums of Georgetown, the mining town of Linden and to a lesser extent the villages. He appeared to’ve worked out a modus vivendi with the PPP to not mobilise in their base but yet impacted there. The WPA cell that was arrested and tortured by the Police in 1979 for training with weapons was in a traditional PPP sugar-village. And then came the assassination of Rodney in 1980 after Burnham warned him to “make his will”.
Hope became just a name of a village on the East Coast of Demerara.

…wrought by COVID-19

Your Eyewitness doesn’t know about you, Dear Reader, but his life has certainly changed drastically during this pandemic. For one, he’s been inviting far fewer guests than previously since he finds it too much of a chore to have folks keep on their masks in his house. There’s no way he can take their word about being vaccinated. And who can assure him that the pesky virus won’t get past his 82 per cent full vaccination protection??!! Not to mention whether that Delta variant mightn’t knock down even the 82 per cent walls!!
Your Eyewitness has also stopped eating out…but has discovered that the females of his family can whip up all sorts of fancy dishes right at home — using recipes and YouTube. Guyana now imports every spice and ingredient you can imagine!! He’s also been able to read some of those books he never got around to.
The downside, however, is he’s now stuck with quite a lot of fixing around the house and yard.

…in the climate

It won’t be until August that your cabin-fevered Eyewitness will be able to burst out into that old Johnny Mathis classic: “I can see clearly now, the rain is gone.”
But will he then “see all (political) obstacles in his way”!?