Eyewitness: Rodney’s words…

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…on the Burnham Dictatorship

Today, some “Rodneyites” from the WPA are rehabilitating the dictator Burnham for his “progressive” foreign policy, his “socialist” nationalisations, and his “regional“ outlook. While “honouring” Walter Rodney on the 41st anniversary of his assassination. Well, today your Eyewitness will let the great man speak on Burnham in his own words – uttered just before Burnham snuffed out his life.

“The Burnham dictatorship has masked and camouflaged itself. It would prefer that its vices be hidden from the public. Why is this? Men in the past have boasted of being dictators….like Idi Amin. (But) The world has come to shun racist regimes…and all dictatorial governments. This climate of international opinion offers the first explanation as to why the Burnham dictatorship prefers to remain disguised.

“The Burnham dictatorship presents itself as its own opposite…as a democracy….(like) Hitler who subverted German bourgeois democracy in the 1930s. Burnham has taken a similar road to power – subverting the democratic system of which he was part in 1953. Hitler had a mad wish to rule the world. For this reason, he is generally described as a megalomaniac. Hitler’s megalomania was backed by the powerful German economy and the might of the German army. Burnham’s megalomania is closer to comedy and farce. It takes the form of wearing a General’s uniform and hoping that the army will conquer his own people.

“Like all classic dictatorships, that which exists in Guyana has fostered the cult of the personality. The minority PNC regime has used all manner of tricks and gimmicks to make the “Comrade Leader” appear to be a demi-god. (Like) on the exercise books of school children, the face of the reigning English Monarch was simply replaced by that of the Prime Minister. (There is also) the highly personalised nature of the dictatorship. The dictator and his cronies make it their business to hire and fire….(via) the state control over the economy was the main weapon used to keep people in line. (or) who to prosecute in the courts…
“Burnham encourages around himself individuals who are weak or corrupt, because he then exercises vicious control over them….On the international scene, Burnham could never be a powerful force. But he has proved crafty and cunning in achieving his ends within Guyana. An old woman at Bourda shouted at a recent political meeting that “Burnham mek Satan cry!”

“The Burnham dictatorship crept up upon Guyanese people like a thief in the night. His violations of human rights were frequent, but they were sufficiently gradual that many persons did not realise what was going on until it was too late.”
And then Rodney was assassinated!

…to “Expose the Burnham Dictatorship”

“We have said before that the Burnham dictatorship would prefer to hide under the disguise of being a democracy. Elections have not been abolished; instead they have been rigged in such a way as to become a complete mockery of the most fundamental of rights – the right to self-determination and free choice of one’s government. The rigged elections of 1968 and 1973 and the amazing referendum fraud of July, 1978 all indicate that Guyanese people have not chosen the PNC clique. The regime holds power by armed force. Guyanese are finding from their own experience that the dictatorship hates to be reminded that it is a dictatorship. To expose the dictatorship, the first step is to denounce the government as illegal and illegitimate.”

“Psychologically, the domination of the dictator has to be rejected. The population must learn to despise the falsehoods which surround the man; they must refuse to accept that he has any halo of greatness around him. “

“They must remove any confusion in their own minds and see the dictator clearly for what he is:
a villain and a monster, the principal enemy of the people.”

…on Burnham’s touch

“Our language (describing Burnham) must express not only ridicule but anger and disgust. Guyana has seen the “Burnham Touch” – anything he touches turns to shit!”