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Blunders of the APNU/AFC Government

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This article was first published on the 20th of June, 2020.

Last updated: June 20, 2020 at 22:45 pm

Due to its poor performance in government from 1966 to 1992, the PNC had never been able to win a free and fair election in Guyana, South America after 1992. In 2011, it contested the elections under the banner of the APNU: A Partnership for National Unity – which was a coalition of 5 or 6 parties – the PNC being considerably the largest faction.

In 2011, the APNU coalition lost the National Elections to the PPP/C, but in 2015, it teamed up with the Alliance for Change (AFC) which at that time held one seat in parliament. The coalition then renamed itself to APNU/AFC.

Campaigning under the banner of National Unity, Racial Inclusion and Transparency, the APNU/AFC barely managed to squeeze its way into government in 2015 with a victory of a mere 5000 votes – more or less.

Almost instantaneously upon taking office, the APNU/AFC began to show its true colors: a cleverly designed PNC which used the coalition as a Trojan Horse to invade and unleash terror upon the unsuspecting nation. Immediately upon taking office, all smaller parties where thrown onto the back-burner with the PNC politicians taking the reigns. This hit a climax when a PNC politician said on national media that she is looking to employ a doctor who speaks Spanish or Portuguese and that she is “looking for one who is PNC, because the only friends she got is PNC and she will only give work to PNC supporters.”

The statement sparked a series of backlash and outrage, but AFC politician Rafael Trotman came on air to try to justify the statement instead of condemning it. The PNC politician subsequently apologized for the statement, but the damage had already been done.

Read Also: Guyana’s First No-Confidence Motion.

A subsequent show of Burnhamism took place in Guyana’s government after 2015, starting with a 7 million dollars Burnham Restoration Tomb Project and a subsequent literary saga which heaped praises upon the former dictator via state media and social media posts. Forbes Burnham, by the way, was the former PNC dictator under whose reign of terror Guyanese fled starvation and poverty by the droves to Venezuela and other neighboring countries.

The next show of the APNU/AFC coalition was witch-hunting, persecution and vindictiveness. An organization called “State Assets Recovery United” was set up to persecute and jail PPP/C politicians and PPP/C affiliated businessmen. This organization, although having sucked perhaps billions of dollars of taxpayers’ money which most likely was paid to foreign investigation firms and persons, yielded little to no results. Dr. Roger Luncheon, a former PPP/C parliamentarian, was dragged before the court for one small house lot which was acquired in the previous 23 years of PPP/C government.

Now president of Guyana, Dr. Irfaan Ali, was slapped with 19 fraud charges by the coalition government Witch Hunting Team for allegedly selling land at an undervalued price. These charges had resulted in Dr. Ali being barred by the Canadian government from attending a meeting in Canada. However, to date, the charges remain unsubstantiated and while there may be some truth to the claim that land was sold at below market value, these actions by the coalition reek of witch hunting and vindictiveness.

If, instead of wasting billions of dollars on SARA and other witch hunting activities, the coalition government had invested all that time, energy and money into supporting industries and providing employment to Guyanese, then neither the coalition nor the country of Guyana would be in the dire straits that they are in today.

Bear in mind that in 1992, when the PPP/C took office from the PNC, they inherited a broken economy and a country left in financial ruins. But they didn’t go into witch hunting and persecution mode, and they didn’t seek to jail any PNC politician or businessperson.

The next charade by the APNU/AFC/PNC government was the closing down of several sugar estates leaving tens of thousands of Guyanese jobless without a contingency plan. This plunged the economy into a nosedive that was felt perhaps across all sectors of industries and the Guyanese population.

The David Granger led APNU/AFC political party had campaigned on the basis of job creation, but subsequent to taking office, more jobs were lost than were created. And just when you think it can’t get any worse, it does. When David Granger was questioned on national media about the jobs he had promised to create for Guyanese, especially the youths, he said that it is not the government’s role to provide jobs and that the people can go and sell plantain chips and cookup rice.

This may sound a bit ridiculous, but if this makes you laugh, this next blow from the APNU/AFC coalition might make you cry. Upon leaving office in 2020, the beautifully disguised PNC/R will once again leave Guyana in financial ruins. When the APNU/AFC took Office in 2015, gold reserves stood at 15 billion dollars. By May, 2020, gold reserves were depleted to less than 1 billion. But that’s not all, take a look at the video below.

Although having campaigned under the banner of Racial Inclusion and Unity, the David Granger Administration made several flagrant moves which heightened racial tension among Guyanese who are constantly seeking to heal from decades of segregation and acrimony.

The David Granger administration pushed to allocate 15% percent of Guyana’s land to people of African descent as a reparation for slavery. Bear in mind that Guyanese did not enslave Africans, but the British. Any reparation is supposed to come from the British. All Guyanese toiled equality to build Guyana under, before and after the British, so taking from five other races and handing it to one is a clear case of favoritism, racism and bullyism and is unbefitting the head of a civilized nation.

Further, how does a government expect to win the hearts of the electorate with such barefaced moves? Bear in mind that people of all ethnicity have voted you in power and you can neither seek to disenfranchise nor show favoritism to any group.

On this note, the David Granger Administration has demonstrated by its refusal to adhere to Guyana’s constitution that it believes that it is incapable of winning a free and fair election, but intends to stay in power through rigging, dictatorship and fraudulent practices.

In December 2018, the coalition government fell by a no-confidence motion tabled by the opposition PPP/C party. The constitution of Guyana stipulates that elections were supposed to be held within 3 months and the government is to assume caretaker status until then.

In clear breach of the constitution, the APNU/AFC remained in power with business as usual spending and contract awarding until March, 2, 2020 – the date that the national elections were finally agreed upon.

But the PNC/R would stop at nothing in holding the nation hostage and seal its own doom in Guyana’s political history. As if ruining the economy is not enough, after losing the elections, the PNC/R led coalition refused to concede defeat, but instead, as Dominic Gaskin put it, they continued to “hijack, ridicule and tear apart” the country of Guyana.

Since losing the elections of March, 2, 2020, the PNC/R has gone to great lengths to rig the elections, bar international observers from observing the recount and called court case after court case to try to derail the electoral process.

Several AFC Ministers, including Dominic Gaskin and Khemraj Ramjattan, have conceded defeat and advised other coalition members to act in fairness to the recently concluded recount results. Further, leader of the Justice for All Party, which forms part of a coalition, Mr. Sharma, has admitted that the coalition has lost the elections, and advised David Granger to allow a democratic transition of government.

In addition, a conglomerate of international powers have called on the David Granger Administration to respect the recount results and let democracy prevail in Guyana. These include the Organization of American States, the United States Embassy, CARICOM, the Commonwealth and the Canadian High Commissioner.

As this article is being written, a court case which was filed by an APNU/AFC supporter is being heard to block the declaration of the PPP/C as a winner – an event that can be delayed but cannot be stopped.

As we speak, on the 20th of June, 2020, the APNU/AFC coalition is on the verge of disintegration. It is not clear whether there will still be an APNU/AFC coalition after the conclusion of this election. But one thing is sure: the PNC/R will rear its head again. The question is, under what disguise?

AFC – Guyana’s Failed Multi-Ethnic Party

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This article was first published on the 11th of May, 2015 by Patrick Carpen.

Last updated: May 11, 2020 at 14:46 pm

According to a US Democracy, Human Rights and Governance Report released in 2016, Guyana has long been plagued by ethnic based politics. One party sought to change that – a multi-ethnic party which campaigned on issues rather than race. At first, the AFC seemed to draw supporters from all of Guyana’s six ethnic groups, as well as the emerging seventh “mixed race.”

The AFC sought to break the curse of ethnic based one-party rule that had plagued Guyana for decades and that ultimately resulted in an oligarchy – a situation in which a small group of people have control over the entire country. In a democracy, it is the people who was supposed to have the power, as Abraham Lincoln expressed it in the Gettysburg Address: that government of the people, by the people, for the people, shall not perish from the earth.

The AFC sought to address the needs of the people, and bring together entire ethnic groups to solve common problems, but in the end, it ultimately failed, and was dubbed a “rubber stamp.” The AFC was formed by defectors of the two main political parties – such as Rafael Trotman from the PNC and Moses Nagamootoo from the PPP, as well as some new faces.

During their electoral campaigns, these bold politicians criticized both the two main political parties vehemently. However, at their first shot at the polls in 2006, the AFC only garnered enough seats to have a small voice in parliament. This happened again in 2011. But in 2015, for some strange, inexplicable reason, perhaps a lust for power and to be part of a majority government, the AFC joined forces with the PNC led APNU and the two merged into APNU/AFC.

In the 2015 national elections, the APNU/AFC barely managed to scrape a 1 seat majority over the PPP/C and took office. Taking office in 2015, the APNU/AFC had 5 strong years to prove themselves to the people of Guyana and cement their spot in Guyana’s parliament, but they failed miserably.

Within a few months in office, the AFC, who had put the PNC/R in power, was dominated and muzzled by the PNC/R. They apparently had to agree to every decision made by the PNC/R faction of the coalition. One example was where members of the AFC objected to the closing down of several sugar estates but had no say in the matter. Another is the case of when a PNC/R Minister said, “I will only give wuk to PNC…” AFC’s Rafael Trotman came out to defend the statement, but the Minister subsequently apologized, raising further speculations as to whether the AFC really does have the people’s interest at heart.

These and many other cases caused people to question the purpose of the AFC in the coalition to the point where the party was labeled a “rubber stamp.” In December 2018, AFC member Charandass Persaud brought the APNU/AFC government down in a no-condition motion tabled by the PPP/C. After voting against his own government, Mr. Persaud explained that he was sorely disappointed with the maneuvers of the PNC, the sidelining of the AFC in parliamentary affairs and the absolute fact that AFC had become nothing more than “yes men” to the PNC in parliament.

Ironically, AFC stands for Alliance for Change, but the only change they brought about in 2015 was changing themselves from politicians to puppets, and the APNU/AFC was viewed as nothing more than a beautifully clothed PNC/R.

Stay tuned for “blunders of the APNU/AFC government.”

Guyana’s Economy Stagnated from 1964 to 1992

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This page was first published on the 7th April, 2020 by Patrick Carpen.

Last updated: December 25, 2021 at 20:24 pm

If you are going to judge the performance of a government, you have to do so using a variety of parameters. These include, but are not limited to:

  • Happiness of the people.
  • Migration/emigration rate.
  • Gross Domestic Product.
  • Employment/Unemployment ratio.
  • Infrastructure Development.
  • Education.
  • Strength of Currency.
  • Debt incurred/repaid over a 5 years period.
  • External debt.
  • Reserves.
  • Religious Freedom.
  • Freedom of Speech.
  • Crime Rate.
  • And much more.

Someone from the APNU/AFC camp once asked me what was my opinion of the APNU/AFC government’s performance since taking office in 2015. I responded that I do not know since I have not yet done an in depth analysis of the government’s performance, but that I will work on it. I have not as yet taken the time to do an in depth analysis of the governance of the two major political parties, but I’m starting my research bit by bit.

Today, I’d like to discuss Gross Domestic Product (GDP) of Guyana from the year 1966 (Independence) to 2018 (when the APNU/AFC government fell by no confidence motion).

An independent report shows that Guyana‘s economy was stagnated for 28 years of PNC/R rule. In the year 1966, the GDP of Guyana was 344 US dollars per capita. By 1992, the GDP was only 499 US dollars per capita: a marginal growth which reflects a stagnated economy.

When the PPP/C took office in 1992, the GDP, as we mentioned, was 499 US dollars per capita. When the PPP/C left office in 2015, the GDP blew up to 4166 US dollars per capita.

Source: https://www.macrotrends.net/countries/GUY/guyana/gdp-gross-domestic-product

Guyana’s Failed Independence

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This article was first published on the 4th of April, 2020 by Patrick Carpen.

Last updated: July 10, 2022 at 1:53 am

It is highly evident that Guyana’s fight for independence from Britain was more racially fueled than policy driven. Subjects of the then Queen of England claimed oppression which led to uprisings. At that time, two learned laymen, Cheddi Jagan and Forbes Burnham, teamed up to form a new government of Guyana, but they subsequently split and formed their own political parties even before independence was granted – which largely contributed to the bitter 1964 riots and racial conflicts between East Indian and Africans.

The lowering of the Union Jack and the hoisting of the Golden Arrow Head in 1966 was only symbolic of a plummeting economy and rising corruption. Except for a handful of politicians and businessmen counterparts, the majority of Guyanese suffered from the ensuing post-independence economic decline. Many Guyanese, post 1966, sought refuge on the shores of the United States, Canada, England – yes – the very land against which they had rebelled. But it didn’t stop there, Guyanese fleeing poverty and starvation even fled to the then booming oil economy, Venezuela. Then there were others who fled to Suriname, Holland, Brazil, and just about anywhere else that they could have run to.

Very few choose to stay – or they stayed because they had no option. The declining economic conditions in Guyana led to the brain drain where intellectuals sought employment in foreign countries which promised a better life. Of all countries, the United States was the most welcoming in terms of offering migration opportunities for Guyanese to work and live a better life. In this context, the United States was viewed as the great and mighty savior – a land of opportunity where the streets were paved with gold – but that too was a bit of an illusion once you landed there.

But back home in Guyana, the leaders of the two main political parties – PPP/C and PNC/R continued to court race-based politics and political ideologies. The leaders of the PNC/R appealed almost entirely to the Afro-Guyanese population while the leaders of the PPP/C appealed almost entirely to the Indo-Guyanese population. The Amerindians, mixed and minority races provided swing votes for these two main political factions.

We’ll talk more about Guyana‘s failing race based politics in another article, but for now, let’s suffice to say that Independence in Guyana has largely been a failed project. Even with the advent of oil and the promise of great wealth, the future for Guyana appears dismal because of bitter ethnic divide, corruption, theft, greed, and the general inability of the laymen to govern.

Now take a look at this video which shows clippings from 1965 – one year before independence. If you walked through Georgetown and various other parts of Guyana in the year 2020, you will see that, 55 years later, after 54 years of Guyanese rule (or mismanagement) not much has changed for the better – things have only gotten worse.

A Confused and Confounded Leader

Take a look at this video showing Dr. Cheddi Jagan, leader of the People’s Progressive Party/Civic, wondering why the economy keeps declining backward post-independence. He declares that during British rule, they had so much food and milk that they used to give it away. And he asks why, now, decades later under self-governance, Guyana needed to import milk. The answer is, as they say in colloquial language, “you don’t put donkey to blow mouth organ.” This video was filmed in the 90s or late 80s I think.

Disclaimer: This article contains the opinion of the author at the time of writing. The author’s opinion is subject to change as new facts come to light. Further, the views expressed in this article are not necessarily those of the general Guyanese population. The views contained in this article are open to discussion and debate.

Contents

Bigger Bills Signifies a Weaker Currency

What Would Have Happened if the APNU/AFC Had Succeeded in Rigging the 2020 Elections?

Guyana’s First Parliamentary No-Confidence Motion

US Documentation States that the PNC/R Rigged Elections Up to 1992

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This article was first published on the 29th of March, 2020.

Last updated: February 3, 2022 at 15:43 pm
Photo by Diego Cambiaso

The two main political parties that have ruled Guyana since independence from Britain are the People’s Progressive Party/Civic (PPP/C) and the People’s National Congress/Reform (PNC/R). The PPP/C took office from the PNC/R in the year 1992 – after 28 years of PNC/R rule.

Some PPP/C supporters have claimed that the United States and England had helped the PNC/R to rig the elections and stay in power from 1964 to 1992. In fact, some PPP/C politicians have alleged that the United States had offered an apology to Guyana for its role in helping the PNC/R to stay in power. Although I could not find any documentation as yet to back up the apology, there are documentations published on the US government website that admits to US involvement in helping to keep the PNC/R in power.

It is understood that the United States and England had helped the PNC/R stay in power because they believed that the then PPP/C leader, Dr. Cheddi Jagan, held communist ideologies, and they feared that the leaders of the PPP/C might have turned Guyana into a communist state.

A report in the US Government archives explained how the United States, along with Britain, supported the PNC/R to stay in power. An excerpt of the report reads.

U.S. policy included covert opposition to Cheddi Jagan, the then pro-Marxist leader of British Guiana’s East Indian population. Read Report

The report further goes on to explain the United States‘ direct role in helping the PNC/R defeat the PPP/C.

The U.S. Government’s covert funding and technical expertise were designed to play a decisive role in the registration of voters likely to vote against Jagan. Burnham’s and D’Aguiar’s supporters were registered in large numbers, helping to elect an anti-Jagan coalition. Read Report.

The report further goes on to substantiate the claims of United States’ knowledge of PNC/R’s rigging of the Guyana’s election, and its passive allowance of such a course of action.

When the U.S. Government learned that Burnham was going to use fraudulent absentee ballots to continue in power in the 1968 elections, it advised him against such a course of action, but did not try to stop him. Read Report

In 1992, the international community, including the Carter Center, helped to mediate Guyana’s elections and ensure a free and fair electoral process. In fact, an official report published on the US Embassy Website states that:

The PNC was in power from independence until 1992 through tight centralized party control and rigged elections. In 1992, international mediation led to credible elections and a change in government to the PPP/Civic (PPP/C) party. Read Report.

After winning the elections in 1992, the PPP/C remained in power until 2015. The PNC/R, unable to win a fair election against the PPP/C, teamed up with about six other political parties and renamed itself A Partnership for National Unity (APNU). It subsequently joined forces with yet another political party, called the Alliance for Change (AFC) and renamed itself APNU/AFC.

In 2015, the APNU/AFC won the national elections and went into power. In December of 2018, the APNU/AFC fell by a no-confidence motion tabled by the PPP/C. Guyana’s constitution stipulates that, in the event that the government falls by a no-confidence motion, it assumes caretaker status and must call new elections within 3 months. However, the APNU/AFC breached the constitution and remains in office up to today, 29th of March 2020 – even while the March 2, 2020 elections are being contested in court.

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