Questions for David Granger

Dear Editor,

Stabroek News of Saturday, May 4, in a news item quoted Leader of the Opposition and Leader of the PNCR and Chairman of APNU Mr David Granger as saying that “Burnham was not responsible for the murder of Walter Rodney.” In support of his position Granger relied on statements from a book – Assassination Cry of a Failed Revolution ‒ allegedly authored by Rodney’s accused assassin, former GDF army sergeant now deceased, Gregory Smith and his sister, Anne R Wagner

This is not the first occasion nor will it presumably be the last when a PNCR leader has done/will do a great disservice to his credibility by denying that Burnham master-minded the assassination of Rodney basing their contention on Smith’s book.  When the book was published after the demise of Gregory Smith, Mr Robert Corbin took the same position as that taken by his successor, Mr Granger. On that occasion I wrote a letter contesting Corbin’s position. In my letter I pointed out the folly of Corbin’s position. I had expected that the incumbent PNCR Leader would have taken cognisance of that polemic and demonstrated greater political savvy, given his position as APNU leader, when defending the PNC’s founder leader’s worthiness for the South African award.

Since Mr Granger is so sure that Burnham was not involved in the demise of Rodney, he must publicly answer the following questions: (1) Is he in agreement with Smith’s projection of the state under Burnham’s control as being weak and disorganised and the WPA at the time being all powerful? (2) Why is it that neither Burnham when he was alive nor the PNCR after his death published, if they existed, state security reports which provided irrefutable or any evidence in support of the founder leader’s innocence? (3) Why in an effort to clear his name during his lifetime did Burnham not request the UN Human Rights Organisation, or some other appropriate international body to examine the evidence and make a pronouncement? (4) Is Mr Granger denying that GDF officers immediately after Rodney’s assassination took Smith by air transport to Kwakwani after Donald Rodney and the WPA named him as being responsible for planting the bomb on Rodney? (6) Was it the WPA that employed  Gregory Smith’s wife after she was smuggled out of Guyana in the aftermath of Rodney’s assassination, as an employee in the Guyana Embassy in New York? (7) Why did the Burnham government and the GDF high command publicly deny that Smith was at the time a member of the army, only to be embarrassed by the statement of Pamela Beharry (Smith’s friend and neighbour) and a Catholic Standard article carrying a photograph showing Smith in military uniform? (8) Was it the WPA minutes after Rodney’s car was blown up which dropped handbills in front of Rodney’s residence saying that he blew his head off while trying to blow up the Georgetown prison? (9) Is it not reasonable to assume that those responsible for the handbills had prior knowledge of the heinous plot to assassinate Rodney, bearing in mind that Donald Rodney in his statement had said that Smith had instructed that Walter must activate the walkie-talkie in the vicinity of the prison fence to see how it would function in the presence of extensive metal? (10) Was not the PNC’s propaganda at the time consistent with Smith’s instructions to Donald Rodney, which was not carried out by Walter Rodney – who instead activated the walkie-talkie in the car holding it in his lap?

Comrade Granger chose to stand on sinking sand when he placed his reliance on the book written by the accused Smith who was a known fugitive running from justice. Or is it that he is in possession of other information which he is guarding jealously for now?  I await his reply to these pointed questions.

Yours faithfully,
Tacuma Ogunseye

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