The past two weeks witnessed some remarkable outpourings of praise for the late Cheddi Jagan, thus it would be superfluous to add to this rather devotional acclaim. However, no one was candid enough to highlight the numerous blunders and shortcomings of their fallen comrade. I will not mention his Jerry Springer like antics during the Cold War as I indicated that theme in an earlier letter.
Upon his ascension to office, the President made some bizarre cabinet appointments. Many of the chosen Ministers did not even have a high school education while other positions were equally mind boggling. Some programmes were so absurd that they bordered on abject hypocrisy.
* In 1993 BASS (Berbice Anit-Smuggling Squad) descended upon vendors and traders in the Corentyne, seizing foodstuff, boat engines, clothes, etc, in the name of illegal imports. These very people were some of Jagan’s most ardent supporters and heaviest campaign donors.
* Customs became ‘supervised’ by the Fraud Squad with a security guard as its head.
* A tighter system to curb illegal emigration was established, yet millions from illegal immigrants in North America were collected.
* Laurie Lewis, vehemently condemned by Jagan while in opposition, was retained as Commissioner of Police.
* Beer prices doubled as consumption tax increased for D’Aguiar Industries and Holdings. Was this payback for the coalition with the PNC in 1964?
Gail Teixeira started out in the Health Ministry, with a degree in Political Science, then later Home Affairs and finally the most comical position as Minister of Sport.
One wonders where Reepu Daman Persaud (Agriculture) received training to suit that portfolio.
I do hope that Mr Rohee is staying away from the Guyana goats before one bites him.
To this day, the PPP continues to select, rather than elect, the candidate for President. What kind of democracy is this?
President Jagan, on a visit to New York in 1995, stated that there was no need for him to name his successor (in response to a question). He declared “Do I look like I would die soon?” Two years later he was gone.
It is public knowledge and utter hypocrisy, that while Guyanese were lining up to purchase oil and soap and eating rice flour, the son and daughter of the Marxist Cheddi Jagan were enjoying the spoils of capitalism in Canada and the United States.
Leyland Chitlall Roopnaraine