Dear Editor,
I have seen some pretty inept or to be kind to Henry Jeffrey, naïve political analyses, one of which was too shocking for me and I thought my objection should be published so when historians write they could make use of it thus I replied. Dr. Henry stated that he could not believe that some of the backwardness seen in the past could be attributed to the deliberate intentions of the two parties that were in government, the PPP and PNC. That may be a deeply held attitude but the search of contemporary Guyanese history would prove Jeffery wrong
I offered several examples of deliberate neglect the reproduction of which need not detain us here but it would be bordering on scholarly dishonesty for an academic to deny that the environmental neglect of Georgetown was not deliberate by the Jagdeo/Ramotar regimes. It would be interesting to hear the response of Jeffrey should someone put that question to him
Henry Jeffrey is at it again. Again the analysis falls off badly. I quote him; “The PPP was illegally kept in the political wilderness by the PNC for nearly three decades and when it came to office in 1992, the PNC became associated with persistent political disturbances and bickering with the government up to about 2004. These confrontations were largely responsible for the ending of Ms. Janet Jagan’s presidency in 1999. What was the moral thing to do in these circumstances? The PPP/C had two choices. If it was to govern sensibly in something of the liberal democratic mould, it had to risk sharing power with its arch-enemy, the PNC. Given the distribution of power in the state apparatus (army, police, public service) at the time, this was a huge political risk. The other choice was to go for political dominance: the substantial diminution of the PNC and all its associated organisations.”
That is half of the picture. Henry Jeffrey has been brutally unkind to President Hoyte and has obfuscated huge chunks of PPP’s egregious behavior that brought on the PNC’s recalcitrance. I will list three factors that drove the engine of power from 1992 until the demise of the PPP’s hegemony of May last year. The PPP’s leadership was the embodiment of messianism. Both Dr. and Mrs. Jagan cultivated this culture in every PPP member. It was a bombastic acceptance that the PPP was the only true historic party that had to face its baptism of fire but its vanguardist essence will cause it to survive and take its rightful place in leading Guyana.
What was dangerous about this is that through such lenses other competitors, intellectual critics and the citizenry are as politically inferior. I will offer just one example of each of the three factors as I go along in recognition of space constraint. For factor number one, I will cite the mistreatment of the WPA. The WPA was contemptuously tossed aside. PPP leaders went so far as to bad-mouth WPA leaders whenever the occasion arise. President Jagan told this writer that Professor Clive Thomas can only be appointed UG Vice-Chancellor if he competes with other applicants. Factor number two. The Hoyte period. Mr. Hoyte was a typical Anglo-Saxon emulator of West Minister politics
Mr. Hoyte wanted to; deemphasize political criteria for employment in the public service, party domination of the state, extirpate corruption in high office, remove invincible apparatchiks he inherited from Mr. Burnham’s regime, confront the legacy of race preferences. All four PPP presidents – the two Jagans, Jagdeo and Ramotar – completely reversed the directions of these journeys of Hoyte. This led to violent confrontation with the public service, the public sector, their unions and the PNC
Finally, number three. Race played a tragic role in the violence that characterized the reign of Janet Jagan and Bharrat Jagdeo. But they inherited it from presidency of Cheddi Jagan in 1992. The turning point in the political life of Desmond Hoyte as Opposition Leader was the Rosinante Coop issue under President Jagan Jagan in 1996. A cooperative of African land holders were dismantled and given over to Indians. Mr. Hoyte was livid and became an implacable enemy of the PPP Government from President Jagan’s era until he, Mr. Hoyte died. The Rosanante affair was one of the causes in the later creation of “my fyaah/ slo fyaah.”  It is simply not the entire picture as Jeffrey painted it that when the PPP came to power, to survive it had to demolish the PNC. I won’t argue against that but there was more, much much more in the PPP’s boiling cauldron of power. Dr. Henry Jeffrey ought to know better
Frederick Kissoon