The Guyanese information networks are overloaded with an avalanche of propaganda attempting to portray Bharrat Jagdeo as an omnipotent and benevolent leader and head of state in Guyana, Caricom and the globe.
Before we examine the merits and demerits of this issue I hasten to ask what is the legacy of two Guyanese giants before him, namely Forbes Burnham and Cheddi Jagan, both responsible for our independence. Do we add Janet Jagan to the list? They are all dead, and in spite of their massive portrayal of themselves as the nation‘s benefactors, they are for all intents and purposes forgotten. No Guyanese cares to remember them. In fact now that we are free of them Guyanese refer to them fleetingly in humorous terms as we are wont to do in keeping with our West Indian tradition – laugh and make fun of our misery.
Hugh Desmond Hoyte for all his faults would be regarded as the one former Guyanese President whom history will view with a measure of kindness and deserving of respect for the policies he pursued upon assumption of power. Yes, there is a downside to his legacy given the depths from which he had to rescue the nation, but on the scale of justice he hangs on the right side in the hearts of thankful Guyanese, especially now that they can compare his rule and times with what prevails at present.
As a patriotic Guyanese I dare to posit the vexing question: Whither Bharrat Jagdeo? What legacy? We all need to answer a very simple but complex issue: Am I happy? Are we a happy people? Are we proud of our nation and its leaders and what our country has become? Why are there more Guyanese living abroad than domiciled on Guyanese soil? Why such an endowed country so blessed with natural resources can’t get out of the cycle of despair, underdevelopment and hopelessness?
Under Hoyte when things were beginning to change for the better Cheddi Jagan used to tell his audiences: Things are happening but for whom? Today that question applies in even greater measure. The society has been unbelievably transformed into a full-fledged, narco-economy, where morals have at every level taken flight and lack of ethics is the norm rather than the exception. And we want to celebtate! For what and for whom? Guyana’s leader and the PPP, wish to capture the imagination through the back door by surreptitious mechanisms. No one in Guyana doubts for one moment that the national treasury has funded this bacchanal at some level. Of course they think that they are getting away with this and Guyanese will march to the polls and return them for another five years. But every long rope has an inglorious end. And the Guyanese people will demand accountability and the new AFC government will listen.
I need not recount the ills of the Jagdeo years which will be left in the annals of Guyanese history. The independent press is replete with accounts of these wrongs. The PNC, after Burnham did not know how high to exalt Burnham, and try as they might they could not preserve his remains, so they took over the Botanical Gardens and made him a white elephant mausoleum.
Does anyone remember the New Global Human Order, or something to that effect, where a Guyanese leader bereft of solutions for his own country tried to impose his simplistic vision on an enlightened world? Look what we were left with – Mr Bharrat Jagdeo.
Absolute power corrupts badly, and there appears to be an inability of people to respond. But the hand of the people has always taken control of their affairs. So too will the Guyanese people. Mr Jagdeo and the PPP are answerable to the people.