While watching the news on television recently I witnessed Mrs. Gail Teixeira robustly defending the PPP/C regime’s decision to withhold government ads from the Stabroek News, a paper that was in the forefront of the struggle for the restoration of democracy in Guyana.
It was a shameful display of political opportunism by this veteran of the anti-dictatorial struggle. Undoubtedly, “comrade Gail” who struggled so valiantly alongside a number of other individuals and organizations in the efforts of the opposition umbrella organization, the Patriotic Coalition for Democracy (PCD) in what has come to be known as the “anti-dictatorial struggle”, is slowly and surely losing her political credibility. Her present employment in the Office of the President has apparently shifted her loyalty from the party to the President and she is now prepared to do anything to please Jadgeo and by extension, to preserve the sauce and her privileged position that she now enjoys – what a shame.
I wish to make it very clear that I am not directing low blows at Mrs. Teixeira. I am only describing the situation as I see it. Gail Teixeira is fully aware of the role SN played in what she likes to refer to as “the dark days in Guyana’s history.” Gail Teixeira is aware that SN’s role in the struggle for the restoration of Democracy in Guyana was tremendous and principled, and incomparable when set alongside that of some in the regime who lacked the courage to fight in that difficult period and only emerged out of their worm holes in the post PNC period. She is aware that today, some of those who were bitterly opposed to the anti-dictatorial struggle are tightly closeted with the PPPC’s hierarchy and are integral parts of Jagdeo’s inner cabal while patriots like David de Caires are made to suffer and Stabroek News has its existence threatened. Stabroek News’s great offence is that its publishers believe that their duty to the people of this country is to present news in an objective framework. Whether we agree or not that is their position. It is this that has brought them into conflict with Jagdeo because that newspaper’s presentation of issues does not always agree with government’s spin.
Gail Teixeira is aware of the division in the party and government on the President’s refusal to retreat on his decision to deny SN government ads. She is aware that no less a person than the matriarch of the ruling PPPC and former President of Guyana, Mrs. Janet Jagan, broke her silence on this grave and distressing matter and disassociated herself and the party from Jagdeo’s dictatorial and retrogressive step. Teixeira is aware that because of Mrs. Jagan’s principled position she was publicly ridiculed by Jagdeo who reminded her that she was no longer Guyana’s Head of State and as a private citizen, she should shut up and not meddle in the State’s business. Gail Teixeira cannot deny knowledge of these matters. However, she, like a number of other ambitious party stalwarts, who are tied to Jagdeo’s coat tail and were afraid to defend Mrs. Jagan against Jagdeo’s wrath, is prepared conveniently to ignore the past and advance a number of spurious reasons to justify Jagdeo’s ridiculous position. History will remember them unkindly.
While Gail Teixeira was seen on national TV supporting Jagdeo’s dictatorial behaviour, former minister Moses Nagamootoo who was interviewed by media personnel supporting Stabroek News in its just struggle to be treated fairly outside of the international convention centre on Monday, October 15, 2007, took a more principled position and advocated the need for a free press in Guyana. Nagamootoo said that the press in Guyana must always be free. The struggle for the return of government ads to Stabroek News may be protracted but in the interest of the preservation of democracy in Guyana it will have to be won. If it is not won, the pace of the perpetuation of the dictatorship that is emerging in Guyana will increase at an amazing rate. In such a situation the behaviour of those who wield power will be worse than anything that we have seen so far. The late founder leader of the PPP and former President of Guyana, Cheddi Jagan must be turning in his grave/resting place wherever that may be, at Jagdeo’s antics.