Dec 11, 2017
“A luta continua” means “the struggle continues.” I got to know the slogan when I was one of those youths who looked up to Walter Rodney in the fight for a better Guyana. Its origin lies in the freedom wars of Southern Africa. It was clear to me, after day one, that the people who succeeded the PPP in 2015 will not manifest even a modicum of transformational thinking and that the struggle for a freer and a more caring Guyana will have to continue.
I thank my lucky star that I was able to combine my street upbringing with academic achievements. The combination allows you to make plausible analysis of your personal politics. I did just that and it helped me to distance myself from the AFC. From the time the election results were made known and in that room in the AFC head office, the AFC called a stranger to politics and asked her to become the Minister of the Environment, I knew this government would fail. And it has been failing.
After that incident came another and I wrote about it. This was the steel cordon around Parliament. After I saw as early as July 2015 that the new administration had extended the barricades to include several other streets that did not happen during the PPP’s time, I warned the nation in a column that the new office-holders had undemocratic instincts.
At the first sitting of Parliament, I was in the picket line, protesting Jagdeo as opposition leader when a journalist from Capitol News put the camera in front of me and asked for a comment. I told him of my anger at seeing the extension of those cordons. I remember his reaction vividly. He smiled and said, “Man Freddie that is not important.” He was a journalist, not an activist, not an academic. He could not see that small things mean a lot.
This silly, creepy, meaningless nation refused to see the danger in that little thing. Now look what that little thing has become. The barriers around Parliament are an undemocratic, oligarchic assault on the commuters, hire car drivers and mini-bus owners that use the Stabroek Square.
This nightmare has gone way, way past the immediate vicinity of Parliament to the point where its parameters have become a naked absurdity. It reaches Princes and Lombard Streets. Do you know how far that junction is from Parliament which is in Brickdam at Avenue of the Republic?
The secret bonus from EXXON has not surprised me. I will not write an entire column on it (will do a column on Jordan’s horrible reaction) because in so doing, I will repeat materials that I have expanded on in hundreds of columns (yes hundreds- I write a daily piece) since June 2015. There is a virtual ocean of surreptitious, hypocritical, undemocratic waves that characterise the functionalism of the APNU+AFC regime that threatens the future of this country; but then again, this country never had a future. The undemocratic tentacles have become measureless. With each passing day, we are seeing secret, undemocratic habits unfolding; the EXXON bonus is just another one.
They are not coming from the political corridors only but also in the institutions whose heads were the special appointed/anointed ones of the APNU+AFC leadership. It is particularly evident at UG, Lands & Survey, CHPA, GRA, etc. You can simply rattle off in literally seconds, dozens of these autocratic habits.
We had the unilateral appointment of a GECOM Chairman; the AFC telling the President he can take such a course of action; a big diaspora figure in the AFC putting an ethnically insensitive spin to the GECOM appointment, a special group in the AFC picking its GECOM nominee without democratic transparency; the Minister of Education, inside Parliament, making an ethnically sensitive statement of Diwali and Phagwah; a sex scandal in the City Council controlled by the ruling party.
Come tomorrow, we will see more. Why? Because those we elected do not have the leadership qualities to lead this nation. I want to be pellucid by asserting that I include David Granger and Moses Nagamootoo in this assessment. Both of these politicians should ride away into the sunset in 2020.
I am particularly angry at Nagamootoo. He was the only one whose experience among the total lot was rich. He chalked up more than forty years of experience in the struggle to shape a future for Guyana. We are seeing the most jejune Prime Minister, Guyana ever had. Ptolemy Reid was an effective Prime Minister so was Desmond Hoyte and Sam Hinds. Can one say the same for Nagamootoo? To Guyanese, I say; “a luta continua.”