Kindly allow me to respond to John De Barros’s letter in the Kaieteur News of January 15, 2009, titled ‘Confusion of roles,’ in which he chides the ruling party for protest action taken outside the US Embassy in Georgetown against the Israeli massacre of Palestinians in the Gaza Strip. I might be wrong, but De Barros’s statement, “When politicians speak or utter pronouncements they ought to specify whether they are expressing personal, party, or State views,” clearly highlights his lack of familiarity with the events that preceded the PPP’s protest action and those subsequent to it.
If he was, he would have noted that condemnations were issued in the press by the General Secretary of the PPP, which stated them to be a PPP position. Similar condemnations were also made by the President on behalf of the government and people of Guyana, and unlike those that are of the view that the President cannot issue such a statement on their behalf without first consulting, I am in agreement with Mr Jagdeo. If governments or presidents were elected with the intention of them having to consult with the citizenry at large before arriving at every conceivable position then it would make no sense holding elections.
De Barros’s notion that, “Historically in Guyana, political parties have subsumed all branches of the State into their party formats,” seems to also highlight his fixation with governmental policies of a pre-1992 era, as clearly no one can make such an observation in Guyana currently.
While De Barros goes on to chide those who are against the Israeli aggression, he can, however, rest assured that our reaction to missiles being fired across our borders from our east or west ‘neighbours’ would not have resulted in untold suffering and death for so many of the innocent.
Surely, 7 years of rocket fire that has killed less than 10, would not have resulted in us depriving over a million people of food, water, the right to seek employment, the right to travel freely, medical aid, and us resorting to military action that has killed 1100 and wounded thousands in 19 days. It would not have resulted in the use of phosphorus bombs in clustered civilian areas; neither would it have resulted in us bombing schools, media entities and UN installations despite being provided with the co-ordinates of such.
Isn’t there definitely a confusion of the aggressors here?