Jul 10, 2019
President Donald Ramotar approved of a Commission of Inquiry into the death of Dr. Walter Rodney. It appears that Ramotar gave in to repeated requests from the Rodney family. The report is out. It can also be had online through various websites one of which is devoted to issues of African people in general.
At the time of writing (yesterday at 4PM) I did not have time to consult friends of mine who are lawyers to ask them if I can quote what the commission said about Jerry Gouveia and Norman McLean. So I will not do so here.
I am unsure if you can quote from the report without invoking the flesh-eating monster of libel. But these two men were seriously accused by the commission using unambiguous language.
I will shortly inquire from ex-judges and lawyers if I can quote what the commission accused Gouveia and McLean of. Surely, Ramotar had to read the report. The conclusion is the section that points fingers at Gouveia and McLean.
I am in no doubt that Ramotar has read the report. Ramotar writes a letter a week, sometimes twice a week in all the daily newspapers fulminating against bad governance under the present regime (he was far more undemocratic as head of a government. Many of his egregious output I will never forgive him for, including my contract termination at UG, the victimization of attorney, Gino Persaud, now High Court judge and my nephew’s road accident).
Ramotar once wrote a reply in this newspaper asking me directly what I meant by the expression, “the poetic essence of history.” You have to be poor in your understanding of history and philosophy not to know what the term means. I was so contemptuous of him at the time (still am) that I replied and did not provide an explanation.
I would suggest that Ramotar ask the Rodney family what the “poetic essence of history” means.
I am now confronting Ramotar directly. Are you not ashamed that the PPP, of which you are part of the leadership, has put forward the names of Jerry Gouveia and Norman McLean to administer the affairs of GECOM for the upcoming elections?
I know Ramotar will not reply to me (perhaps the contempt is mutual; that is fine with me; I have contempt for others who have contempt for me; that’s life) but others who lived during the time of the great heroics of Walter Rodney and still adore Walter Rodney need to confront Donald Ramotar. It was Ramotar who ordered the commission.
This column here is saying most graphically, most boldly, that I would close my eyes and accept Justice James Patterson to be the GECOM chairman over Norman McLean and Jerry Gouveia.
If President Granger selects Gouveia or McLean, I will stage a hunger strike outside GECOM offices on Main Street. I know my wife will have a problem with that but I will do it. I will ask all those who admire the indomitable courage of Walter to join me.
This is my opinion and I will defy anyone who tells me tomorrow that I should not say what is about to be written here in this line – I will not accept Jerry Gouveia and Norman McLean to be part of the broader spheres of the state in any form whatsoever.
I cannot stop the government in July 2019 and whichever government comes into power from employing these two men but I can raise my voice and pen.
I read the Walter Rodney Commission’s report. I accept what is contained in that document. I owe Walter Rodney this not because I knew him personally but because I know deep inside the intimate parts of my psyche that he did it for me, my fellow Guyanese, and the people of the world.
Walter Rodney was one of my heroes. I say so unapologetically. I told Mark Benschop that on Monday night when he interviewed me on his radio station.
We all have heroes. Burnham and Jagan are not on my list of Guyanese superstars. My paper has names like Walter, Yesu Persaud, Father Andrew Morrison, Sister Mary Noel Menezes.
So we come back to Ramotar. I will take this opportunity here in this column to ask him if he still wants to know what “the poetic essence of history” means. But the main question is; does he accept Gouveia and McLean to be GECOM chairman?
I know Ramotar is barefaced enough to ignore my question. But who says that will deter me from asking the question again even if Gouveia and McLean are not selected?