The PPP has made a big deal about its first 100 days in office. Every party has a right and more often than not exercise that right to inflate its performance. But the PPP did not inflate its performance—there was nothing to inflate. It instead mischaracterized its actions since March 2, 2020. The party has sought to project these three months as a period of triumph of “good over evil” as Anil Nandlall had described the PPP’s quest for office. It is my considered view that the PPP’s first 100 days in office amounted to a barefaced attempt at the worst form of political revenge,
Such revenge is grounded partly in the belief that the PPP has a God-given right to govern Guyana and partly in the belief that the Coalition government represented evil. This belief is similar to the American doctrine of Manifest Destiny whereby the early settlers felt they were ordained by God to occupy North America. This, of course, arises from the belief that Europeans had the superior attributes needed to turn the lands into productive spaces. The PPP has long branded the PNC as an unchanging party of inferior leaders prone to fraud, ineptitude and violence and their followers as a misguided people easily swayed by PNC demagoguery. They are. In the PPP’s eyes, lesser humans.
The PPP’s sense of its place in Guyanese politics is therefore based on a combination of ethnic and ideological superiority. In that worldview, the PNC and others have no right to govern. The PPP’s removal from office in 2015 was therefore un-natural and unjust—a case of evil overcoming good. The Coalition did not win, the PPP supporters were complacent. The Indian leaders in the AFC were ungrateful and treacherous—so the PPP’s narrative goes.
So, it has spent the first 100 days in office restoring the triumph of “good over evil.” This has meant uprooting and assaulting everything that the party deems representative of evil. The manifestation of this campaign is well-documented, so I will not detain readers with the details here. But suffice to say that those actions have deep ethnic consequences that would haunt Guyana for decades. It has been 100 days of “Operation Revenge” whereby those who are deemed PNC are fair game.
So, as we think about the PPP’s 100 days, we must cast our minds to the larger picture. Political revenge and Ethnic Cleansing; Prosecution and Persecution. Fear and Co-option. The cover of Superpower and domestic enabling. An over-biased media. Militarization of the streets.
First, they have used the military and political cover from external forces that comes with Regime Change to venture into places not gone before. The boldfaced rearranging of the top brass of the police and army was not routine or accidental. The PPP has long come to the conclusion that since they cannot prevent Africans from joining the army in large numbers or encourage Indian Guyanese to flock those institutions, the best option to ensure the loyalty of those forces is to control the top echelons. This, they have achieved with consummate ease. But they went further—they tested the strategy by ordering that protestors be attacked as a first resort. The officers complied. Soldiers were called out of the barracks to help the police. And the murders of the three boys in West Berbice has not been solved.
The second characteristic of the PPP’s first 100 days has been the open Ethnic-Cleansing of the African Guyanese segment of the government bureaucracy. Make no mistake about the significance of this act; it is meant to weaken the African Guyanese middle class. The middle class in post-plantation societies such as Guyana represent a source of skills and independence and has been a serious challenge to authoritarian governments. The PPP knows the influence of the African Guyanese bureaucracy as role models in the community. So, the push to emasculate them has deeper sociological significance.
A third characteristic of the first 100 days has been the prosecution and persecution of GECOM’s staff, including women. The real objective of this line of attack is the Election petitions. If the PPP could criminalize GECOM officials and staff, then it would be able to undermine the petitions. These are key witnesses in the petition hearings. In the process, it has driven fear in the ranks of the African Guyanese middle classes—some of them have already distanced themselves from the opposition. It has also demonstrated its ability to coerce or recruit the top brass of the police to carry out the PPP’s political agenda.
Fourth, the first 100 days has seen the PPP signal what economic direction it intends to take the country. As expected, it has reversed the Coalition’s “rightsizing” of the sugar industry. It will resume the subsidy to GUYSUCO whereby we produce sugar at 40 cents per pound and sell for 13 cents all in the name of buying political loyalty of sugar workers. Who pays for that subsidy? And the other heavy emphasis of the budget was its tilting towards the private sector. Who populates and do not populate the Private Sector? The ideological and ethno-political thrust is plain to see.
Finally, the first 100 days saw the PPP fulfilling its end of the Regime Change bargain. Mr. Pompeo came and secured the USA pound of the flesh. Guyana is now part of the Shiprider scheme. The Oil contracts will not be renewed. Guyana bought or were sold military hardware. We have formally joined the anti-Venezuela axis. The deal is done. Watch the next 100 days.
More of Dr. Hinds’ writings and commentaries can be found on his on his website www.guyanacaribbeanpolitics.news. Send comments to firstname.lastname@example.org