Eyewitness: Exploring…

The content originally appeared on: INews Guyana

…old linkages

VP Jagdeo was shown honoring Kwame Nkrumah the first President of Ghana by planting a tree in front of his statue in Ghana. This is as it should be…we are connected to Ghana in so many ways…not the least because most foreigners up to now when hearing the name “Guyana” almost always respond, “Ghana?”!! So for sure they’re much more well known (infamous?) than us. But really our connection go back to billions of years when what is now African and South America were all physically connected.

And then again when the Europeans decided to drag Africans as slaves for their sugar plantations, many of them were brought from Ghana which was then known as the “Gold Coast” – while we were the “Wild Coast”!! Our climate is very similar and because of our geological connection we both produce gold and have oil deposits off our coasts. Nkrumah was also known to both Jagan and Burnham since all of them belonged to the same era of fighting for independence from Britain. Ghana was the first country to gain independence from Africa in 1957, a decade later than India – and both inspired local efforts for the same goal.

Like Jagan, Nkrumah was of a leftist bent and was quite skeptical about the intentions of the west, calling the condition after independence “neo-colonialism” to signal that nothing had really changed beyond some symbolic paraphernalia like flags and national mottos. Like Jagan, he was removed from office through colonial manipulation – with just as much violence by the CIA. Another similarity between us is the nature of our politics – ethnic politics. And this just goes to show that it’s not just racial difference that can form deep political cleavages but tribal (as in Africa) or religious (as in Northern Ireland).

The lesson for us is to look at the systemic factors that lead to the debilitating, zero-sum politics we practice and move to on to a less fractious model. Like with us free and fair elections were returned in 1992 after a series of military dominated governments through one coup or another. Since then, even though they’ve had some hitches, their two-party system has survived and have alternated governments fairly regularly.

It’s for this reason the PNC should take a leaf out of Ghana’s political playbook by electing leaders committed to democracy and work to cobble together majorities by appealing across their ethnic bases. Maybe VP Jagdeo should invite some members of the two parties in Ghana to have a chat with the PNC.
After all, in 1964, President Nkrumah had sent a personal emissary, Prof. Abraham, to mediate a settlement between Jagan and Burnham.
Burnham, of course, reneged.

…Venezuela’s recalcitrance

We all know that early last month, Norway was trying to bring Venezuela back into the fold of civilized nations on account of the human tragedy unfolding there as the Maduro regime continues their “socialist” experiment. Six millions of their citizens have fled – with 30,000 to our Reg 1. As a “low hanging fruit” -to get Maduro to speak to the Opposition (which the US recognizes) – they went along with the two sides “agreeing” that Essequibo was theirs!!
For all of Norway’s “progressive” reputation, they refused to recognize our rights to determine our destiny. And just as germanely, to recognise the UN system that has placed Venezuela’s border controversy with the World Court. Anyhow, after what was thought to be the ice breaker, the resumption of talks were scheduled for yesterday but were CANCELLED!! Why? Well, Maduro picked a money launderer to represent his government and when he was extradited to the US, he became miffed!!
Your Eyewitness hopes that Norway realizes they’re dealing with a Madurain criminalized state in Venezuela!!

…the Rolling Stones’ Id

The Septuagenarian Rolling Stones are about to tour the US. But they had to drop their super hit “Brown Sugar”.
In the age of BLM: “Gold Coast slave ship bound for cotton fields/” just don’t rock!