It used to be said that Guyana – unlike its West Indian neighbours – didn’t suffer from natural disasters like earthquakes and hurricanes. God figured the “unnatural” disaster called “Burnham” was enough of an infliction on us!! But of recent, even though Granger’s vowed to continue Burnham’s legacy, it looks like he can’t measure up to his mentor, since there’s been a number of seismic events in the land recently.
We can start with the tremor felt across the land with the outcome of the PNC Biennial Congress. Here it was, most folks assumed it was a straight fight between Lil Joe and the moustachioed AG Basil Williams. One of them, the smart money said, would be a shoo in to become the Chairman of the PNC. But when the dust had settled after it took seven hours to count of 800 ballots, Volda Lawrence had whupped both favourites. What did this portend for politics?
Would Basil Williams go quietly into the night, to sulk over his legal defeats by his bete noir Nandlall and now the cruellest cut of all, his political rejection by his PNC compadres? Would he turn his defeat into a victory by claiming he fell on his sword for Lawrence so the PNC wouldn’t fall into the hands of the Army clique? But with an Army man in the driver’s seat, he might’ve just written his own pink slip, no? Would that Army man, do a Desmond Hoyte and now purge the PNC to his image? Seismic questions!!
Then there’s the tremor that left folks from Point Playa to Crabwood Creek and from Georgetown to Gunns Strip “all shook up” – literally and figuratively! As the ground started moving and houses started swaying it looked like Martin Carter’s poem “Black Friday” being acted out in Georgetown: “Were some who ran one way./ Were some who ran another way./ Were some who did not run at all./ Were some who will not run again…/And I have seen some creatures rise from holes/ and claw a triumph like a citizen,/ and reign until the tide!”
Carter, of course, was describing the reaction of the good folks of Georgetown to the riots and arson when the downtown area was practically razed to the ground in the 1962 opening act to remove the PPP from office. Was the physical tremor a portent of what’s in store for 2020?
But some feel there’s another tremor on the way – an “aftershock” – the teachers strike threatened for this week. Your Eyewitness still believes this tectonic event ain’t gonna happen.
Why would the army types further alienate a subset of the constituency they need to maintain control? Naah!
…and Nagamootoo’s ideological hypocrisy
Nagamootoo has always boasted about his “fifty years in the PPP”, where he served faithfully under Cheddi Jagan. As a member of the declared “communist party” since 1969, Nagamootoo was one of the most hardline in his espousal of the Communist line. He routinely marched against US “imperialism” in Vietnam and other parts of the world.
So it was more than a bit disorienting – but not surprising – to read his last Chronic column where he practically split himself into riding two horses simultaneously. He tried to ingratiate, himself with the coming delegation of US Congressmen by condemning locals he claimed were denouncing America as “a blood-sucking empire descending on Guyana.” But he couldn’t resist asserting that after 1964, Guyana “was subsequently converted into a laboratory for every conceivable ideological stratagem of American imperialism, which has since been well documented.”
He claims the US has now “changed”. But what he denounces as “imperialism” was simply defence of US strategic interests.
So he’ll denounce the US as “imperialists” if they were to intervene to protect those interests again?
Back in the day, the ruling class would pass “sumptuary” laws which forbid the lower classes dressing or consuming like their “betters”.
Will Granger follow up his denunciation of “Guinness Bars” with such a law??