Rodney COI: Yearwood’s allegations are “ridiculous fantasies” – WPA Leader



By Tracey Khan – Drakes

WPA Leader, Dr Rupert Roopnarine.

[] – Leader of the Working People’s Alliance (WPA) Party, Dr. Rupert Roopnarine has vehemently denied that the WPA had any involvement with the suspected killer of its founder Dr. Walter Rodney.

Dr Roopnarine, during an interview with iNews, rejected allegations made by Dr Rodney’s long standing friend, 69- year-old Holland Gordon Yearwood, who told the Commission of Inquiry (CoI) that the WPA had corrupted the truth about its leader’s death and had further smuggled his suspected killer, Gregory Smith to French Guiana.

According to Dr. Roopnarine, Yearwood’s revelations “ridiculous fantasies” that does not even “warrant a comment.” The WPA Leader laughed when he was told of the accusations leveled against him and the Party.

“The WPA like Walter Rodney was a victim of violence and Dr. Rodney was certainly not killed by the WPA.”

Dr Roopnarine opined that the revelations from the COI are “odd.”

“Frankly, as that Commission unfolds I get less and less surprised by revelations that are very odd…so you can safely say that I have reached a point where I am beyond surprised.”

Holland Gordon Yearwood

Yearwood told the Commissioners that after he had acquired information that Rodney’s killer was in French Guiana, a meeting was arranged for November 27, 1981 at a hotel in Central Ville, Suriname.

There he met David Michael, Kwame Apata and Dr. Rupert Roopnarine and told them of his findings. He said they devised an operation to bring Smith before an international tribunal. Yearwood said, as per arrangement, he returned to the crossing at St. Lorrie to pick up two “operators” from the WPA which never materialized.

He said the plan was to extract Smith and place him before the tribunal. “That was being dealt with Roopnarine and Kwayana.”

He said in February 1982, he returned to Suriname and had a meeting with Michael and Apata. He said on March 29, 1982 that he met Michael and Apata again for dinner.

He said at that meeting he was told, “Jomo that man you had identified in Cayenne is not Gregory Smith. Gregory Smith was positively seen and identified in another South American country. Leave the matter as it is.”

Yearwood told Commissioners that the morning after the bomb blast which left Rodney dead on June 13, 1980, Smith was smuggled aboard a cargo ship that took him to Trinidad. He said that Smith was marooned in Trinidad and had no communication with WPA Georgetown Central, who had sent him there, for two weeks.

He said that it was the same ship that had brought Dr. Rodney to Guyana. Yearwood claimed that it was the works of the WPA, though he said Smith had not given a name.

Yearwood recalled Smith telling him that the Headquarters of the WPA finally made contact with him and by the third week, arrangements were made for him to be shipped to Kwakwani, Berbice.