Saturday, October 30, 2010

Females for President

There are a number of declared aspirants to occupy the highest office in the land. Frankly speaking there remain a number of unanswered questions. What is their program to promote development in Guyana? What problems have they identified as culprits hand-cuffing the nation? What methods would they employ to address the issues? What is likely to be their program for community development of the rural districts?
The mentality of blind faith must be retired. It has not reproduced tangible results. Ethnic cleavage has fostered neither development nor national unity. How could it? Guyanese have to realize it’s in their best interests to arrest and /or reject the legacy of prior generations. They must stand for either National unity or complete separation. I believe national unity is preferable. Then, therefore, the majority of the populace cannot exclude others for political power. The decision making process must be made available and beneficial to every Guyanese national.
The Candidates must address reforms. Political, constitutional, local government and educational reforms are urgently needed and necessary to return the nation to some semblance of the nation building process. It is utter rubbish that foreigners are allowed to vote in Guyana but not Guyanese resident overseas who contribute to the national economy. The simple fact remains remittance makes up a huge percent of the cash flow in Guyana. Overseas based Guyanese must be allowed to vote in elections in Guyana. Foreigners should never be enfranchised in Guyana. What’s to prevent 250, 000 Brazilians or Venezuelans from handing over Guyana either Brazil or Venezuela as the case might be? All they would need is meet the residency requirements. One Foreigner as head of State is one too many. Enough with the future Janet Jagans, already. Constitutional reform is absolutely necessary to prevent the possibly of such an occurrence. If Guyana is to be over run let it be by superior military or natural catastrophic events and not aided by the Guyanese Constitution.
I realize it is similar to pouring water on duck’s back – however, for crying out loud - how long must Guyanese people turn their collective heads, shut their eyes and point their fingers at each other as individuals or ethnic groups? Instead of addressing and arresting the issues plaguing our society, Guyanese people simply allow the blind to continue to lead them down the pathway of no growth. Thus then escapism is a Guyanese as apple pie is to Americans. Migration is the best option for many a Guyanese and who can blame them – remember there are no second chances and guarantees in life. Thus one has to make the most of the opportunities as they present themselves in the interest of their personal survival and those of their relatives and members of their kinships. Any person would be foolish to stay in conditions which are not conducive to livelihood when alternatives are available. Such a person would have no self love and low self esteem.
It is rather obvious Guyana and Guyanese need visionaries at the helm. They have been rudderless for more than 57 years. Gross negligence seems to be the order of the day. Look at the in fracture after some 44 of political freedom. It’s a mess. Go ahead blame one dictator or the others –if that makes you feel better about yourself. Well, simply, look at absurd conditions of the cemeteries in your communities and elsewhere – is that anyway for the living to treat their dead? Most are covered with shrubs, and refuse such as old cars and appliances. Often times it’s an exercise to local family plots to inter the dead therein. A people must be measured by the way the majority treat the other ethnic groups, by the way the males treat the women and children by the way the people treat dumb animals and very so by the way the living treat the dead. By any measuring rod Guyana remains a failed state. Thus then it high time females Guyanese females man the highest offices in the land they simply could do no worst than the brutes who have delivered absolutely nothing during the last 57 years. Could they? I simply don’t think so…I am no male chauvinist. Only chauvinistic males would ever utter such rubbish as woman can not run countries. Please believe me they are still breathing here upon earth in this late day and age. I ascribe to the thought that females contribute to that sort of thinking. They simply ought rebuke such idiots and move onto relationships with open-minded males. Have you ever seen a rich cane-cutter? I don’t ever expect to see any such. However, I would love to witness females as the leaders and not just simply window dressing of most organizations, and political platforms. I would love to witness females playing leading roles, particularly in Village Administration and in the fields of education and health. Yes it high time girl power run Guyana.

Monday, October 18, 2010

Political Violence in Guyana

I am taken aback. I am horrified. I simply cannot accept as factual that Dr. Rupert Roopnarine would make such statements. Even if Dr. Roopnarine and the producers of the documentary film WAR Stories and the reporters were accurate in their expressions - What’s to be gained by stating WPA was accumulating weapons? What are they really saying? What does this mean? Was WPA acquiring weapons for their personal protection or to launch a revolutionary effort in Guyana? I would have to agree that the members of the WPA needed protection from Forbes Burnham and his goons. It is known numerous persons attached to the WPA were victimized. Well the acquired weaponry did not prevent many of them from being executed. Their statements give the impression Forbes Burnham and his lackeys made preemptive strikes against threats to remove his illegal regime from the highest office of the land by removing the physical presence of Vincent Teekahsingh, Walter Rodney and numerous others from the society. Was it intended as a compromise with the PNC? Was the intent to whitewash and/or refurbish the image of Forbes Burnham? Was it an attempt to tarnish the image of Walter Rodney, Eusi Kwayana, Moses Bhagwan, Nigel Westmaas, Clive Thomas, Freddie Kissoon, David Hinds, Andaiye and Karen DeSouza, and others associated with the WPA? I cannot imagine how such statements are beneficial to the WPA and others who were opposed to the PNC regime. It was clearly understood. Rodney was a revolutionary thinker. Revolutions are bloody affairs. Also, the recorded history of societies informs us, that political affairs, in the human experience have always been bloody. This is especially true in developing nations. The bloodbath which occurred during the period February 1962 - December 1964 in the colony of British Guiana was as racial as it was political. The negative consequences of ethnic conflicts in the struggle for political power of opportunists and self minded theoreticians made lasting impression in the mind set of numerous youngsters of that era.
Fortunately, for myself, the people of New Amsterdam must have had their heads screwed on right. I do not recall noticing any signs of racial violence during that period in the capital of Berbice. Unfortunately, ethnic violence reigned supremely in the villages of my maternal ancestry. Golden Grove, Nabaclis, Victoria, Buxton and Friendship and other communities, on the East Sea Coast of Demerara, showed the aftermath of the bloody conflict which transpired in those political boundaries. There is no doubt that the adults were poisoned. The rhetoric emanating from the leaders of the PPP and PNC was a major factor. Those two political icons should have faced the judicial process in the colony for exacerbating and exploiting the ethnic tensions between two groups of nonwhites’ in the colony. Instead Guyanese seem hell-bent on making Jagan and Burnham national heroes. Many claim Jagan and Burnham were best Guyanese to have emerged out of the working class people of Guyana in the twentieth century. Those of us who ridicule Jagan or Burnham and/or both are considered racists by their supporters. It appears the vast majority of the Guyanese people seem to think every Guyanese ought to align themselves with either the PPP or the PNC. If not then they have choice expressions for those of us, who highlight the negativity of their beloved iconic figures.
I would love to think that our people don’t want to experience more events of ethnic slaughter. The citizens of Guyana need to draw lessons for the experiences of the 1960s and the recent times and simply refuse to do the biddings of the politicians. Violence is often the expression of oppressed people; however, in Guyana that fire, that militancy is misdirected. The beneficiaries are those who seek the highest offices in the land. The victims are always the members of the underprivileged working class people. I simply hope Guyanese are as intelligent people as I have always expected them to be – and has such distance themselves from unnecessary blood baths. What are the lessons to be drawn from prior events of political violence in Guyana?

Friday, October 15, 2010

Political Parties and the Community of Your Interest

What is on the agenda of the political parties, PPP, PNC, AFC, WPA and others respecting community development of the people and community of the following locations; No# 64, No# 65, No# 68, Line Path, Port Mourant, Sandvoort, Peyt Anker, New Amsterdam, Cumberland, Blairmont, Hopetown, Golden Grove, Nabaclis, Haslington, Victoria, Ann’s Grove, Two Friends, Buxton, Friendship, Beterverwagting, Lancaster, Enmore and Cove & John?
What is each of the political parties program for the development of the people and the infrastructure of the community of your interest? What are political parties’ ideas for Job creation and institutions and social and economic development of the communities?

Corbin Rewarding David Granger for services rendered

I was an enlisted member of the GDF 1974-1977. I was popularly known as Little Manish Puppy. I interacted with a number of Commissioned Officers. The majority of the officers referred to me as Young Ross. Lt. Boyce was the officer in command of recruit training at Tacama Battle School on the Berbice River. I was in D’ Company, in Pirai Battalion for three years. The commanding officers were; Capt. Victor D. Wilson, Capt. George Arlington Davidson, and Lt. Edward Collins.
The first two Guyanese Commissioned Officers I admired are Major Raymond Sattaur and Col. Desmond Roberts, then a second lieutenant. I kept clippings of articles which were printed in the dailies which also included their images. The image of Desmond Roberts at the flag raising ceremony was inspiration for me. I decided and often declared there after, that, I was born to be a soldier. I was never fortunate to participate in flag raising ceremonies in Georgetown. However, I lowered and raised the Guyana flag on numerous occasions in remote areas of the country. I always imaged I was doing so before dignitaries in major national events. I smile these days as I reminisce at how naiveté and how nationalistic I was. Well that was until I witnessed Black Venezuelan soldiers on the opposite bank of the Cuyuni River.
I did not possess a high opinion of Colonel Granger. During that three-year period I admired the following commissioned officers; Col. Ulric Pilgrim, Col. Carl Morgan, Col. Joseph Singh, Col. Fairbairn Liverpool, Col. Marcus Monroe, Maj. Brenda Aaron, Capt. Ian C. Fraser, Capt. George Arlington Davidson, Capt. Victor Orlando Wilson, Capt. Compton M. Ross, and 2Lt. Lenny Davis.
Cpl. Vibert Sancho, Cpl. “Boonkcum” Ross, Warrant Officer Class 1 Bolton Sutton, Warrant Officer Class 1 “Jungle Jim” Gerrard, L/Cpl. Sugrim, L/Cpl. Moe, L/Cpl. Buck Allen, L/Cpl. Malcolm Grogan, Sgt. Leland Solomon, Sgt. Ewart Reynolds, Dexter Sue-ho, Terry Milne, Bridgelall, WAC King and my squaddies, Herman Reynolds and Dennis Simon are numbered amongst the enlisted, I admired.
It is my contention. It must be made enormously clear that David Granger is a link to the policies of the past. The published reports stating David Granger is interested in being the Presidential Candidate of the PNC in the next general election scheduled for 2011 are not at all surprising. It is a vindication of the accuracy of the oral tradition. It is proof. It is positive proof that, the persistent rumours, especially during the 1970s suggesting David Granger is an operative of the PNC were absolutely accurate. It was my view that David Granger was simply stated a puppet, a crony of the PNC. He is linked to a monstrosity known as the Paramountcy of the Party. Granger is perhaps the greatest catalyst in the process of the politicizing and the policing of the GDF, during the era of Forbes Burnham and his ruthlessness. One must bear in mind, between 1961 and 1977; there seems a propensity of coups by the Military in various regions of the developing world. In fact, on April 21, 1970 Lieutenants’ Raffique Shah and Reginald Andrew Lassalle led a group of soldiers in what became known as Teteron Barracks uprising. It was indeed a short-lived attempt aimed at overthrowing the Government of Trinidad and Tobago. Please note no such attempt was ever propagated in the GDF. Was it the effect of David Granger, the fear of the aftermath of snitching or the fear of being labelled a traitor to the African race? Whatever it was, I am sure several factors contributed to this failure.
I charge the possibility of David Granger being selected as the Presidential Candidate of the PNC is nothing more than reward for services rendered to the PNC, 1966-1992
What was the image of the GDF? The military was not a singular entity. The military was an arm of the PNC. David Granger was a lackey of the outrageous dictator, Prime Minister Forbes Burnham. In the GDF, David Granger was said to be the eyes and the ears of Burnham. The Guyanese electorate must be concerned with such a possibility of David Granger as a presidential candidate. The electorate must be committed to distancing themselves from those associated with the Burnham illegal and dictatorial regime. It’s my contention. David Granger is a facilitator of one of the most brutally repressive periods in the history of Guyanese working class people. Granger is perhaps best remembered as one of the commissioned officers who propagated Paramountcy of the Party in the GDF. Deductions were taken out of the soldiers’ monthly pay. That transaction was referred to as PNC dues. Also, soldiers who were thought to be supporters and/or sympathizers of other political platforms were forced to discard their lifelong dreams of being a career soldier in the Guyanese military. I was shocked when intelligence personnel informed me that I was considered if not a supporter, then at least a sympathizer of the WPA. In that period, although, I revered Eusi Kwayana, the only party which interested me was those in which Sounds Dimension, Mischievous Guys, and Yoruba Singers were providing the musical entertainment. The Guyanese electorate should connect David Granger to destroyed Ballot Boxes, the fraudulent exercises of 1968, 1973, 1980, and 1985 and the murder of several East Indians at No. 63 Village in the aftermath of the deceit of November 1973?
David Granger is a direct connection to the ghost of Forbes Burnham. If David Granger is the candidate the PNC offers - then that platform is in a much more sorry position than I had concluded. Why David Granger? Then, amongst questions Guyanese should require honest answers are; Why not consider females? The political platforms in Guyana have been saying females are not up to the challenge of occupying the highest office in the land. What’s worst? The Guyanese people have supported that scenario for more than 57 years? It is high time. The Guyanese females become militant. They must object to the shenanigans of the political parties. Guyanese females were for the most part at the forefront of every struggle during the colonial era. This is not new. Gertie Woods made such statements in the early 1930s. Guyanese females were certainly not sitting around doing anything but praying for the arrival of the Czechoslovakian Chicago born Jewish Woman to migrate to British Guiana in the 1940s to be crowned the foremost female in history of the Guyanese people. If you accept such notions as factual then obviously you are ignorant of numerous accounts in the history of colonial Guyana.
Why not Cheddi Jagan Jr.? It is known. Forbes Burnham is a godfather of Cheddi Jagan Jr. I believe courting either Cheddi Jagan or Joe Singh would provide an indication that the current PNC is serious about healing and distancing itself from the period 1968-1992. It would be a definitive political move. Such a move or similar that would give every indication that the PNC is making positive steps with respect to correcting and eradicating the persistent problem of ethnicity in Guyana.
I simply kept my distance from the likes of David Granger, Keith Ross, Larry London, Hartley Liverpool, Maynard, and Bob Mitchell and numerous other commissioned officers. I am really sure I encountered David Granger on at least three occasions during that period. They are memorable to me because each occasion was progressively worst than the previous.
I recall vividly David Granger asking me a number of absurd questions at Matthews Ridge in 1975, and in the regions of the Venezuelan border at the foot of Mount Roraima in 1976. There I was with five soldiers and little or no ration at an outpost. We had resorted to catching shrimps in the nearby stream. The Venezuelan military planes flying so low over us one could identify the ethnicity of the occupants. A helicopter arrives out steps David Granger. After a few pleasantries, Granger asked me why the soldiers were not shaven. I am somewhat surprised that as angry and as hungrily as I was, I managed to offer up as polite a response to the absurd investigation.
Why wasn’t David Granger interested in occupying the highest office in the land between 1968 and 1992? It is an absolutely difficult proposition for me to associate the word respect with David Granger.
Did David Granger oppose the fact that Burnham placed the policeman Norman McLean at the head of the GDF? That was such a shame. It was reminiscent of Jean-Bédel Bokassa (1921 – 1996), placing his nine-year-old-son at the helm of the military in the Central African Republic. That was such a bitter pill the Guyanese military swallowed. The Guyanese military commanders did not possess the testosterone to necessitate an overthrow of the Kabaka albeit such a slap in their collective faces. The Commissioned Officers of The GDF were satisfied and secure with the trinkets the PNC administration permitted them. The GDF never took a stand in the interest of the Guyanese people. The GDF were certainly Burnham’s army. The GDF were called out against the underprivileged working class people. The GDF were used against strikers. I remember being ordered to cut sugar cane. The cane cutters were on strike. I politely requested not to participate in such an exercise. It was granted. I was simply unwilling and unable to hurt Guyanese people. Unless of course, it was personal matter.
The published reports stated David Granger considered himself a professional. I began to wonder, what was he alluding to? Perhaps he was simply saying he receives compensation for his services. That’s about the truth of the matter. Was David Granger simply saying he is in it just for the sake of financial rewards and material self worth?
I conclude the best thing about David Granger is that he has published historical accounts of the African experience in British Guiana (colonial Guyana). The articles are indeed useful. They are primarily informative. However, those that I have accessed demand further research. They often lack comprehensive approach and analysis. His efforts make truth seekers long for the talents of Norman Eustace Cameron, Walter Anthony Rodney, Tommy Payne, Alvin Thompson and Brian Moore and others of such esteem.
David Granger seems to be a compromised candidate. The business of retreads and disasters such as Robert Corbin, and Hamilton Greene continue. The PNC hierarchy attempting to spray cologne on unwashed bodies is a most ridiculous scenario. The Guyanese electorate must refuse to be bought and sold repeatedly. Election after election the same old story, the same tired situation, the rural communities, particularly those on the East Coast of Demerara have taken serous beating during the last sixty years and has gotten progressively worst year after year, yet the electorate has time and again thrown their support and their votes to the PNC and the PPP and has not reaped any benefits whatsoever. What are the rural communities producing? At the beginnings of my sojourn the Mighty Sparrow used to sing a song which said “one BG plantain full up my belly.” I recently purchased plantains on Fulton Street in Brooklyn. The plantains were labelled products of Colombia and Peru. Don’t you think I would have preferred Guyanese plantains? Between November 1839 and May 1966, the villages of British Guiana were agricultural communities. The people of the rural communities were industrious. The vast majority were farmers. There were numerous District Agricultural and Livestock Shows. I am really quite certain the first such display was held at Golden Grove on the East Sea Coast of the County of Demerara on December 7, 1897. Products of all description were on display. It seemed every tropical fruit and vegetable was available in the rural communities. I am sure the same cannot be said today.
I must also state that petty criminal activity is linked to availability employment and/or the access of a satisfactory financial situation of those likely to participate in such immoral endeavours.
No social scientist would dare to favourably compare David Granger with the likes of Thomas Sankara, Yakubu Gowon, Idi Amin Dada Oumee, Douglas McArthur, George Patton, and easily the greatest soldier in the American experience, Antonio Maceo. I suppose David Granger is perhaps, familiar with print media on the lives of the above mentioned and others. I am well aware he fancies himself a historian.
I must call attention to the electorate especially those of the Golden Grove, Nabaclis, Victoria, Buxton and Friendship and other communities, on the East Sea Coast of Demerara, to reject David Granger if ever he is chosen to be the PNC Presidential Candidate. I also demand of the people of the villages of my maternal ancestry to refrain from voting for the PNC or the PPP. I call upon the people of the East Sea Coast of Demerara, and the Corentyne Coast to vote for the AFC.
I call upon the electorate to demand change in the political atmosphere in their communities. The electorate must simply refuse to be repeatedly taken for granted. The electorate must demand development and industry of their communities in exchange for their votes. The electorate must demand that they elect the members of a parliament as they did following the elections of 1953, 1957 and 1961. It is obvious. The political platforms have the authority of choosing the parliamentarians. That’s certainly not consistent with the democratic process they claim to uphold. The electorate must demand that Guiana be divided into numerous electoral districts as it were during the elections of 1953, 1957 and 1961. I charge that’s more in line with the philosophy that each vote is relevant to the process. The electorate must demand the self-government of their communities at the local government level in exchange for their support. It is high time the national government is excluded from village administration. The various administrations of the Government of Guyana have made a mockery of the process of Village Administration. Now, the administration of villages is worst than it was following any ordinance in the last half of the nineteenth century. What’s the agenda of each of the political parties for the people and community of your interest? I further think the Guyanese people must in 2011 abandon the political platforms that have done absolutely nothing during the last 57 years baring the period of the interim Government, 1954-1957. I would prefer to witness the WPA and other parties aligning themselves with the AFC. Wouldn’t you wish to witness a Guyanese of Portuguese, Chinese, and indigenous heritage being elected to the highest office of the land? Would the electorate elect a really Guyanese female as the President of Guyana? I’d love to witness change in the political climate in Guyana. But I doubt I would be alive to witness such an occurrence in Guyana. Chances are, there would be snow storms in Guyana before the Guyanese people change their disastrous practices and elect an administration other than either the PPP or the PNC. Just think about it. It seems the faces change, the names change, the physical appearance change but the politicians are allowed to remain male dominated, male chauvinistic, corrupt, inept, decidedly racist and mediocre. That is simply in a nutshell the horrendous spectre of the political climate in Guyana covering the last sixty years. No change is in sight. There’s no light in the tunnel.
Little Manish Puppy,
Regimental Number 3642
D’ Company, March 1974- November 15, 1977

Lannie Abrams

I am seeking the relatives of Charles Abrams (Dispenser), Daphne Abrams (his daughter), and Richard Landroy Abrams (his son), and the descendants of Mr. W. O. Garnett
The need is to ascertain how the members of this kinship of Abrams are members of the kinship of Sancho. Whom do I consult?
Charles Abrams was Sick nurse and Dispenser. The Official Gazette dated February 28, 1920 gives the Date of Registration as January 8, 1917. It states his address is Friendship, East Coast Demerara. I am told at some point Charles Abrams was employed at Enmore Estate, East Sea Coast of Demerara, British Guiana (colonial Guyana). In fact his son Richard Landroy Abrams was born on February 25, 1927 at Plantation Enmore.
Ruth is the given name of the wife of Charles Abrams. I am also told Charles Abrams is related to Clarice Abrams of Middle Walk Road, Friendship. He is also related to members of the kinship of Abrams of Mahaica District. The source also stated Charles Abrams is a member of the kinship of Sancho.
It is said Charles Abrams, also had at least two daughters Daphne Abrams and another, a son, Lonnie Abrams. One of the daughters of Charlie Abrams married School teacher Garnett. Mr. Garnett was the First Assistant to Mr. Carlton Paton Browne Melbourne at St. Andrew’s Anglican School located at Cove & John Front Lands, East Sea Coast of Demerara, British Guiana.
Richard Landroy Abrams was educated at Golden Grove Methodist School, Central High School, and Enterprise High School He was employed at Guyana Airways Corporation. He was the Deputy Chairman and the General Manager of Guyana Airways Corporation, 1967-1974. Lonnie Abrams has at least one daughter. He became wheelchair-bound. He migrated to the USA.
Kenneth Winston Cubert Abrams was a Civil Servant. He was born on July 27, 1924. He was an Inspector of Co-operative Societies
Wilfred Astor Gordon was born on June 10, 1921 at Enmore Estate, East Coast Demerara. He was an Electrical Contractor. He was employed at Rose Hall Estate, 1937-1943. He resided at 94 Eccles East Bank Demerara.

I am told the descendants of Louisa Sandy also include members of the family of Dutchin, the family of Marshall including; Faye Marshall, Florence Marshall and Miriam Scott Zephyr, Herman Lowe, Elaine Abrams, Sheila Abrams, Sandra Abrams, Cousin Phelp, Malcolm Spencer and Morris Spencer, Lynette Sandy, Odessa Sandy, Judy Sandy, June Benn; the daughter of Buddy Benn and Lynnette Sandy, Pet Sandy, and Elaine Sandy among numerous others. I am told they are indeed descendants of Sancho by Louisa Sandy. Other relatives include the descendants of Petal Sandy and her daughter Elaine. I am aware; one of the Sandy females died in the Bronx a few years ago.

What is the relationship of Dutchin, Herman Lowe, Elaine Abrams, Sheila Abrams, Sandra Abrams and Cousin Phelp, Faye Marshall, Florence Marshall and Miriam Scott Zephyr, Malcolm Spencer and Morris Spencer, Inez Blair, Odessa Sandy, Judy Sandy, daughter of Buddy Benn and Lynnette Sandy, Pet Sandy, Elaine Sandy to Christopher Bentick Sancho (1875-1956)?
What is the relationship of the members of the kinship of Sandy of Bush Corner to descendants of Christopher Bentick Sancho (1875-1956)?
Mary Johnson and her sister, Miss Johnson,
Leila Layne, relative of Cousin Bobby, resided near the Jeune residence at Bush Corner
Beulla Elliott, Boston, Massachusetts
I would dearly love to communicate with the persons mentioned in this correspondence and/or a number of their descendants and other relatives….
Whom must I contact and consult?

SOURCES: Notice # 91 – Medical Board - List of Registered Sicknurses and Dispensers –the Official Gazette of British Guiana – February 28, 1920: page 133.
Personalities Caribbean Volume five, 1973: page 275
Kay, Ernest (editor) 1970 Dictionary of Caribbean Biography