Written by Paul Sanders
My two cents: President Bharrat Jagdeo should have you worried again.
His so-called Appreciation Day last Friday assumed that somehow Guyana has been all hunky dory under his watch, and that is a classic trope of fascists.
His raw enthusiasm is enough to tire an elephant and his messianic intensity can only be tolerated in short doses. He is very much like a high-power fluorescent light; in other words, he gives you an instant headache.
Perhaps the godly Juan Edghill has it right. Against the background of a propaganda portrait of President Bharrat Jagdeo, magnificent in a red tie, Edghill asserted that he was “keeping with what the scripture says…”
The righteous man continued with the horoscope: “There is an energy and synergy developed around this appreciation that is quite healthy. Some of the persons who have contacted me as one of the organizers of this activity are not people who have voted for Bharrat Jagdeo for president.”
Wait a minute. Back that truck up. Who are they? What the? Are you kidding?
So that twinkle in the eyes of this pious man at the news conference a week earlier as he fretted, was the telling look of a huckster who knows he was pulling a fast one on Guyana. He was socking it up to the nation in the name of the Lord. Recall, the sorcerers of ancient Egypt were doing the same thing, too. Hallelujah.
An embattled chairman of the Ethnic Relations Committee who hobnobs with the “Friends of Jagdeo,” and the pro-government body called the Federation of Independent Trades Union, Edghill’s startling performance was nothing short of rank unorthodox concealment of motives.
Juan Edghill may be a rodeo and radio clown whose grasp of history is what you’d expect from a college dropout, but he is also smart enough to know that using such motives is how Hitler and the Nazis rose to power.
Guyanese need to thank God for Reverend Kwame Gilbert, too, who claims he makes official state visit on behalf of the Jagdeo administration. He shot off a nice ecclesiastical letter to the press hoping to clear up confusion about “attempts to deify” President Jagdeo. The wizard, skilled in wisdom, did exactly that while simultaneously apotheosizing the president and sanctifying the Appreciation Day event.
In normal times, false prophets and brown-nosers alike who use esoteric pitch might leave the public bemused, bewildered or just bored. But these aren’t normal times, and the boisterous crowd on-demand that was bused, trucked, chauffeured in at the Providence Stadium – just like the Babylonian folks who assembled before Nebuchadnezzar – roared its approval.
Yeah, the people came, and stood before the king; they came with great readiness and willingness, esteeming it a great honor done them to be sent by the king; they sang and danced awaiting his will and pleasure.
George Orwell would have felt at home here. He would have recognized the rewriting of history. The event was so suffused with awareness that President Jagdeo has lost the public’s confidence long ago. And yes, the cyber world of bloggers gingerly await the Indian essay from lousy poet at the poll station; he likes to speak like Charles Manson.
Of course. At the NCN, Guyana Chronicle and the Guyana Times, one can find a people in denial and suffering delusions as they continue to deceive themselves into believing the world is buying that kind of turd.
All religions have a magical aspect. And in the tabernacle of the PPP, magical knowledge and power emanates from the gods and is bestowed upon the king and his substitutes: the religious spokesmen – the less exalted, who do not deal with life and death but with more mundane issues like good luck charms, enchantments, astrology, and serious propaganda.
The significance of Edghill and Gilbert was to interpret the Divine communication through the magic formulas, or incantations and the secret sciences of political occultism, and to extol the Guyanese fascist to blissful eminence. These scribes have brought to the altar the sacrifice of their conscience to make favorable before their Highness, and by their arts endeavored to avert the threatened misfortune of a bad election year.
What else can be made of the tribute to President Bharrat Jagdeo’s “contribution to the economic, social and political transformation of Guyana?”
It’s just a sad, dark day for intelligence and common sense in this country. The exponents of “transformation” are eager to keep people in the dark. The constant blackouts have cast a shadow on the country’s new heights of economic achievement.
Factories grind to a halt; essential services are immobilized and basic existence becomes a burden. No one needs that story from the snow cone man. And just when you think it’s as dark as it can get, you realize that there are men of God who can make it even darker.
Celebrate Guyana, celebrate. Stop in awe and begin to think how Guyana has morphed from Burnham’s era of “kick down the door” bandits to present day gun battles playing fiercely out on the streets; gun runnings linked to the military and police; massacres like the ones at Lusignan, Bartica and Lindo Creek; daily murders, good enough for a movie script; spectacular Hollywood style hold ups, daring sea pirates; government sponsored killing machines such as the “Phantom Squads;” and a host of anti-life orchestration all happening in an equal opportunity manner.
That’s the transformation Guyana celebrates. Moving from bad to worse. And it’s getting dangerously worse. Nothing is sacred. Under the PPP, Guyana has drifted from a pathetic Co-operative Socialist Republic (of the Burnham kind) steadily to the invidious position of a failed state and into a narco-state.
Drugs and money laundering that accompany; killings and sleek trafficking that associate with the industry are all ubiquitously synonymous with the Jagdeo Adminstration. So synonymous that the president is pointedly referred to as“Drugdeo” in bloggersphere.
In this democracy, there is a premium for being a jerk; just listen to the caustic forcefulness of folks like Clement Rohee, Kellawan Lall, OP’s poster boy Kwame McKoy and the rising superstar Minister Irfan Ali.
And while the president and his associates continue to appreciate themselves, the rest of Guyana must make a judgment on how their lives measure up against the lives of the Guyanese rulers or their children. Case in point: the issue of Minister Manniram Prashad’s son vehicular homicide of a UG student; and the attitudes of the ruling class in the aftermath.
And what about the scams, too numerous and too fast to keep apace with? What does it say about transformation? It speaks eloquently about the conspiracy of family and best friends; the tangled tale of criminality and massive corruption, of politicians, government officials in thrall to the power of unsavory businessmen of the underworld. It is the quotidian existence.
Corruption is not only rampant; it is an epidemic. It is the new normal; another catharsis for “transformation” attributed by President Jagdeo. Shrewd business activity requires an ear to the vicissitudes of the administration; a razor sharp knowledge of the extent of the inherent venality in the system, and ruthless street smarts to equalize the equation.
That sounds like Ed Ahmad- an aficionado of alleged political gangsta-ism; the haughtiness and a personal friend of President Jagdeo. Ed is the quintessential example of how big money allegedly courts big corruption with the big boys at the top. Even as more details unfold about his $50 million alleged fraud in the U.S., and as prosecutors move for more indictments against him, Ed Ahmad provides the best example of how much accessibility money can buy, with the right moves.
It is the pace of commerce in Guyana. Getting “in” practically means ripping a page out of the “Who ya know” handbook; and guaranteed prosperity and success demands a kind of obsequiousness that graduates into an entitlement of the government franchise. But it requires a repudiation of self esteem and integrity supplemented by a stomach for violence – literally or metaphorically.
Say it ain’t so. For decades there have been two main forces in Guyanese politics: the Indo and Afro world outlook, alternately holding power and seeking it – by whatever means. Which means the exploitation of the race card.
How far (or close) has President Jagdeo brought the two races harmoniously together? No need to think; it’s not a tricky question. There is nothing too highbrow in his utterances when he seeks the audience in the East Indian strongholds.
It is almost a paradox that many East Indians who are traditional supporters of the PPP, and who have maintained a sense of self worth had to choose to escape – legally and illegally – to North American and, more recently, into the Caribbean islands to pursue their economic survival. These skilled men have had the sad realization that their ” Apaan Jhaat” votes did not translate into prosperity, but effectively transformed them into “runaways.”
What the Appreciation Day was intended to achieve, at a cost of more than $100 million – some of it “protection” money paid by business entities, in terms of election propaganda was to turn the tide against the revelations of Wiki leaks. Appreciation Day was meant to prop the mighty leader in order to outshine the damage of the cables.
Instead, it turned out to be a fiasco. Wiki leaks did not go away. The cables were a wicked deluge of a mess. Day after day Wiki leaks provides another confirmation of what the public already know about the inner workings of the PPP and the disgraceful Jagdeo cabal. And the responses by Donald Ramotar and President Jagdeo are further confirmation that these are indeed arrogant men.
So what are the lessons of the “transformation” of the Jagdeo kind? It tells us of a dangerous regional development: of all theCaribbean leaders, President Jagdeo’s tenure as a politician is not a catalog of triumphs.
And the Manchurian candidate, Donald Ramotar, whose image is built on the stellar combination of whims and idiosyncrasies of a fascist leader, is aiming at the presidency. He is a unique affliction that plagues Guyanese politics.
Where is everybody?
By Stabroek staff
Wednesday, July 6, 2011
President Bharrat Jagdeo is of the view that crime in the region cannot be solved by crafting regional organizations and is suggesting that the place where there will be greater impact on crime is in the domestic jurisdiction.
After refusing free help from the UK to protect the nation, Jagdeo once again does not want foreigners to be able to examine the security apparatus his PPP government have in place, why is this?
Maybe if foreigners are involved people linked to the PPP would not get away with crimes against the nation and the Guyanese public. Cases like those involving Manniram Prashad’s son Navin Prashad will not disappear, proper police investigations would take place in the cases like those involving Donald Ramotar’s son Alexei Ramotar, or that of Office of the president Nanda Gopal, or Minister Kellawan Lall rum shop fiasco. The Phantom Squad murders, the Shaheed ‘Roger’ Khan fiasco, the Minister Clement Rohee refugee scandal.
The case against Navin Prashad who is charged with causing the death of a University of Guyana student on Carifesta Avenue was put off until next month.
The case was called again before Magistrate Melissa Robertson-Ogle at Court Seven and the prosecutor indicated that she was not in possession of the file. She stated that she called her office and was told that the file would be sent over.
Prashad’s attorney K. Juman-Yassin asked for a date in April for statements.
It is alleged that on November 26 Prashad drove his motor pickup GJJ 6185 in a manner dangerous to the public, thereby causing the death of Rajendra Jailall. Jailall along with Thakoor Persaud were in another vehicle driven by their friend Talesh Yhuam when a dark coloured Ford 4×4 travelling in the opposite direction ran into them. Their vehicle flipped several times and crashed into a bridge outside the GT&T earth station. Jailall was rushed to the hospital but succumbed to his injuries. This was not the first time that the case was called and the court was told that the prosecution was not in possession of the file.
Prashad will return to court on April 19.
This case eventually disappeared, nothing ever became of it.