Jagdeo is enormously popular

Dear Editor,

In ‘The PPP no longer represents the interests of its supporters’ (SN, Dec 28), Craig Sylvester unjustifiably slandered my name without offering any evidence to buttress his claims. I don’t know Mr Sylvester, and I never denigrated him.  I think he mistakes me for someone else.

Contrary to what he claimed, I am not now nor was ever a supporter of the PPP, much less “a boastful supporter”.

He charged I am involved in “misinformation, misrepresentations of the truth, and propaganda”, but he cited none, making the charge empty misleading words. And he simultaneously contradicts himself with “even if Bisram makes strong points … it is artfully done … ” Either my writings are misrepresentations or strong points on reforming the PPP. They can’t be both.

He also indicted me with being “a canvasser for the PPP and perpetuates the falsification of the glory of Jagdeo”. Here, as in the other charges, he offers no evidence on which to draw his absurd conclusion. I never canvassed for votes for the PPP and I never wrote any commentary praising Jagdeo’s leadership. On the contrary, I critiqued Mr Jagdeo’s comments and policies as well as the PPP’s neglect of constituents; hundreds of such commentaries appear in the mass media. It is not for me, an objective analyst, to praise or condemn or lobby PPP supporters on how to vote or whom to support.

I don’t know if Mr Sylvester visits the PPP belt or surveys their views. Contrary to what he believes, Mr Jagdeo is enormously popular, but that does not mean he would return as President or that the PPP would return to office. It is indisputable that Mr Jagdeo is the most popular political leader in Guyana, and the PPP is the most supported political entity in the country. In a free and fair election, Mr Jagdeo and/or the PPP would win a clear majority; the business community and even many PNC and AFC coalition supporters stated the PPP would win the next election because of the poor governance of the coalition.  However, as I penned repeatedly since June 2015, neither Mr Jagdeo nor the PPP is returning to office. The US, which giveth and taketh democracy in the Americas, will not allow it. There is ample evidence to substantiate this argument; just look at what happened in Honduras last month and a few years ago when the left-wing President upset US interests. The US is not comfortable with the current composition and policy positions of the PPP, and they would not allow the PPP to win an election in 2020 unless it is thoroughly reformed and/or led (even in an alliance) by someone the US finds acceptable, say in the form of a Ralph Ramkarran or Joe Singh or Ravi Dev or Ryhaan Shah or Chris Ram or Nigel Hughes or Nigel Hinds, or some other person of integrity.

I note that Mr Sylvester says he is offering himself as a representative of the interests of PPP supporters. That is a very kind gesture. Many have tried and failed in that endeavour. Breaking ethnic chains is more difficult than visiting the sun.  Mr Sylvester is reminded that Indians broke from the PPP in 2011 and 2015 and voted for the AFC and the coalition, but have been badly burnt. In light of that betrayal, it will be almost impossible to get them to trust another third party. But I wish him all the best, and I do believe Guyana needs a third party to act as a balance between the two behemoths.

Mr Sylvester also claims that coalition supporters are fed up with the PNC and AFC and willing to put aside race and vote for other parties. I don’t know how he came to that conclusion. That is not what I found. It is true that coalition supporters are disenchanted with their parties, but they are not switching to any other party. Mr Sylvester is reminded that in spite of its abuse of the nation between 1968 and 1992, the PNC retained its support. Nothing has changed since May 2015 to give credence to the belief that Africans will support another party.

Like Mr Sylvester, I too believe Guyana needs a credible alternative to break the racial logjam. But it will not come about by attacking me or condemning my suggestions to reform the PPP. Instead of attacking me, Mr Sylvester should canvass the ground to come up with practical ways to reform Guyana’s politics.

Yours faithfully,

Vishnu Bisram

Around the Web