IN another media, Hamilton Green queried Mr. Sam Hinds, former President and Prime Minister, to explain what he Hinds) did “to lift up Afro-Guyanese.” I don’t speak for Mr. Hinds. He can speak for himself. But I have a reality check for the 86-year-old Mr. Green. As a historian and political analyst and a student of Guyana’s affairs, Sam Hinds did a lot for Africans, much more than what most African leaders did for them. He helped to rescue the national economy after two decades of economic malaise and near starvation. The turnaround of the economy benefited Africans and other ethnic groups tremendously. While other African leaders placed Blacks and the nation in destitution, Hinds helped to transform their lives, reducing poverty and eliminating starvation.
Hinds is no bandit, no electoral criminal, no murderer, unlike several other African leaders who rigged or attempted to rig elections and ordered the murder of Africans like Rodney, Koama, Dublin, and even prominent individuals of other ethnic groups. Hinds condemned electoral fraud and obviously, that angers Green, who was part of a fraudulent government for many years. Hinds is a role model, an exemplar for Africans, on character, integrity, honesty, and professionalism, and good governance.
Green asked Hinds whether he is qualified to speak on behalf of Africans. The same question can be directed to Green – can he speak on behalf of Afro-Guyanese? Hinds is far more qualified because of his life of morality and decency. No one can accuse Hinds of murdering anyone or unleashing thugs on political opponents or using food and sports equipment as political weapons.
Green says one needs to understand what happened in Guyana from the 1960s as a consequence of the Cold War. Does the cold war justify rigging of elections and murdering political opponents? Does it justify apartheid like or racist or minority rule in Guyana? How can the White man be condemned for racist rule in South Africa and Rhodesia, and at the same time Green justifies rigging and racism in Guyana because of the Cold War?
Green asked what Hinds did for Afro-Guyanese? The same question can be posed to Green who held the second highest position in the country, PM, though neither he nor the PNC was ever elected to office (on its own). What productive measures did Green put in place for Africans?
Green claimed that Hinds did not speak out when what he claims that hundreds of Africans were killed in Guyana. SN did a study that disputes the number of Africans who were killed. The paper also stated that almost all of those killed were ‘criminals’ or ‘wanted’ or had links with the ‘underworld.’ A similar question can be posed to Green – What did he do when these alleged killings took place? (He was Mayor).
Green accused Hinds of telling Africans to forget the history of slavery in response to others who sought reparations from the White man. That is not correct. What Hinds said was it would be impossible to get reparations from the White man, and therefore, Africans should not depend on reparations in order to rebuild their lives. Indians, Chinese, Portuguese, and Amerindians are not tying their future to reparations. Most Africans have moved on from slavery and don’t condition their future on reparations.
Clive Thomas concluded in a study that it was under the PPP government that Sam Hinds served (October 1992 to May 2015) that Africans made the greatest economic strides. In contrast, under the PNC government, December 1964 to October 1992), in which Green was a minister almost all of that time, the standard of living of Africans and other Guyanese drastically declined to a fifth of what it was when Jagan was ousted from office in December 1964. It was the Jagan, Hinds, Janet, Jagdeo, and Ramotar presidencies that rehabilitated the lives of Africans and the rest of the nation.
The nation has some pertinent questions for Green that can help to bring closure to some unsolved crimes. Who shot Dr. Joshua Ramsammy? Who killed Shirley Field-Ridley? Why was she cremated so quickly? Was it to eliminate evidence to cover up the murder and the murderer? Who killed Vincent Teekah? Who killed Walter Rodney? Who planned the failed kidnapping of Dr. Clive Thomas? Who rigged elections between 1966 and 1992?
Dr Vishnu Bisram