WALTER Rodney would have turned in his grave every time his former colleagues in the Working People’s Alliance (WPA) kick and spit on the legacy he built with them before being assassinated by their then common enemy.
The illustrious Guyanese son of the global soil worked with his brothers and sisters of all classes and races to build a genuine working people’s alliance against a dictatorship stifling the working class.
But that alliance also went way beyond the WPA’s ranks to include working with the People’s Progressive Party (PPP) and others in opposition during the 1980s, to agitate for and build a Patriotic Coalition for Democracy (PCD) launched in 1986, comprising five opposition parties and supported by trade unions and other mass organizations interested in bringing an end to the Linden Forbes Sampson Burnham-led People’s National Congress (PNC) dictatorship.
Burnham’s birth centenary also bears the bloodstains of Rodney’s murder on June 19, 1980 and the fact that today’s PNC/R and the WPA are like peas in the same pod, together colluding (for years) with the so-called Alliance For Change (AFC) under the umbrella of APNU, collaborating and conniving to reverse the forward march by Guyanese, under the leadership of the PPP/C.
The prudent management of the republic’s oil revenues and the success of its continuing efforts to ensure benefits are spread across all boundaries, has won the administration and President, Dr Irfaan Ali overwhelming praise and support.
The PPP/C administration is not only properly harnessing the nation’s new oil-and-gas wealth, but also building a sustainable future that will see gas added to current oil reserves over the next two-and-a-half years.
The PPP/C is in the best position to win the upcoming June Local Government Elections (LGEs) that the PNC/R, WPA, AFC and APNU all tried to derail into eternity, as what had happened under the PNC for decades until after democracy returned in 1992.
Rodney’s assassination helped change many minds that voted to oust the PNC dictatorship a dozen years later in 1992, but turnings in his grave would have increased from the day his former WPA colleagues entered into an unholy alliance with the PNC/R, campaigned against the progressive PPP/C and joined the APNU+AFC coalition government in 2015.
Rodney’s quiet soul would have raged with thunder every time he heard men (and women) who joined him in ‘groundings’ with brothers and sisters across Guyana, exposing the brutal dictatorship and agitating against it, defending its gruesome legacy and joining its Cabinet of ministers.
But to hear what was said recently by one of his fellow WPA disciples in Buxton in 2023, would surely have blistered what’s left of Walter’s soul nearly beyond repair.
After hearing the loud silence of the PNC and seeing the WPA’s sorry statement endorsing race-based violence (and also possibly) sedition, seditious libel and public disorder that the fateful preacher preached to the Buxton audience, Walter would also have found some hope in the way Guyana has responded to those very combustible remarks by a WPA spokesman.
The Joint Services, private and public bodies and all who’ve spoken – except the WPA, PNC/R and APNU – have roundly condemned the inflammatory race-baiting statement and supported the President and the government’s resolve to continue to heal national wounds and build the One Guyana that the authors of the republic’s constitution had to have had in mind when that supreme document was drafted.
Surely, this national alliance against the latest WPA-backed effort to incite race-based violence may have pleased Rodney’s soul, and might have allowed him to return to graceful solace, while continuing to rest in peace.