Dr. Asante Vanwest-Charles-Le Blanc – an unconventional woman

An unconventional woman

Dr. Asante Vanwest-Charles-Le Blanc

By By Renée Cummings – Trinidad Express newspaper

Story Created: Apr 14, 2012 at 9:36 PM ECT

NOTHING is conventional about Dr. Asante VanWest-Charles-Le Blanc. Her unconventional upbringing began as the granddaughter of Forbes Burnham who reigned supreme over Guyana and ruled with might and myth for 21 years until his death in 1985; undoubtedly, and historically, one of the most controversial and colourful political figures of the region.

“I would play under the table where he held his cabinet meetings. I also went around with him on his horse. On Fridays, he rode around town and through the country areas. I also remember he would have his entire cabinet swimming in the pool at the residence. I can’t remember all the dignitaries I met but some of the African leaders, Clive Lloyd, and Sir Shridath Ramphal who I grew up calling uncle.” Her middle name is Indira. It is said that Indira Gandhi impressed Burnham so much when they met that he bestowed her name upon his granddaughter and first grandchild.  [ more ]

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  • Cyril Balkaran  On 04/20/2012 at 3:51 am

    Who can be comfortable to be called the grand child of Forbes Burnham. This once dictator of them Republic of Guyana who ruled the nation with an iron fist and did not hesitate to put away some of his opponents as the late Dr Walter Rodney and father Drake of the Catholic Standard. These men are today remembered as the Heroes of the ANTI Burnham Struggle. What is so great of a father and grand father who starved both children and the elderly when he banned imports as baby milk and ethnic dhall and aloo. Burnham not only ruined an entire nation but denied others their true places in the society he called the Cooperative Republic of Guyana. People left the shores in herd and droves. He also left us the legacy of Jim Jones. the California base People’s Temple cult that took 960 lives of their cult members in history’s most bizzare murder suicide pact at Port Kaituma Guyana. Do you remember the notorious House of Isarel, led by one Rabbi Washington,an American Fugitive that was equivalent to the Mongoose gang of Eric Gairy of Grenada? Who would want to be the proud grand father of such a demagouge and despotic ruler. No right thinking person of Guyanese ancestry can be happy and proud. God Bless Guyana.

  • Dr B  On 04/21/2012 at 4:10 am

    I do believe that Dr Asante Le Blanc has all right to remember, with pride ,the nostalgic and positive parts of her grand dad’s life and tenure- his misdeeds not withstanding….as someone who has studied, lectured and written on many international leaders, she (Asante has little to be ashamed of)..the late President .Forbes Burnham was a creature of the Cold War and was consumed by it…Let him who is without sin cast the first stone!!!!????

  • ILB  On 12/10/2012 at 4:25 pm

    It is important to remember that one recall their history, bad and good, also one should recall the a country’s founding fathers and also try to not be biased in their opinions. Why so much negativity? All those baseless allegations about one of our founding fathers, one should be proud of their heritage and also know of their heritage. Education is key …

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