Guyana has been a democracy since 1992

Dear  Editor,

Reference is made to Mr Malcolm Harripaul’s letter (‘Granger wants real democracy, Jagdeo/Ramotar will continue with Stalinism and cronyism’ SN, Jul 25) in which he pens, “Granger wants to restore democracy.” I salute anyone who is defending,  promoting, encouraging democracy in Guyana or anywhere in the world.  It is always better to have more rather than less democracy.  But to state someone will “restore  democracy” suggests democracy is lacking. As best as I can attest, democracy was restored in 1992 with the first free and fair election monitored by the Carter  Center and other international organizations.

Guyana was a dictatorship from 1968 through 1992, in which peoples’ rights, especially those opposed to the dictatorship, were violated.  Freedom of the press was non-existent and all the other prerequisites of democracy were missing. The right to criticize the government that Mr Harripaul enjoys today, was not possible during the dictatorship.

Many of us, including Mr Harripaul, fought the dictatorship. I don’t recall Mr Granger fighting the dictatorship or advocating for the restoration of democracy or offering support to us in our long, hard battle.  If Mr Harripaul has information that Mr Granger fought the Burnham/Hoyte dictatorship, then it is incumbent upon him to correct any misconceptions or inaccuracies about Mr Granger’s role as a champion of the people. The United States intervened and restored democracy in Guyana, just as the US prompted Forbes Burnham to take away our democratic rights during the 1960s after the Anglo-American axis installed Burnham as leader of a fiddled  government.

I am not aware that Guyana has not been a democracy since the generous American intervention in 1992.  If Mr Harripaul has contrary information, he should so inform us. I will be the first join Mr Harripaul and others to fight for the restoration of democracy rather than have Mr Granger fight that heavy battle all alone.

Yours  faithfully,
Vishnu  Bisram

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