Walter Rodney and the 3rd Regime – By Eusi Kwayana

Walter Rodney and the 3rd Regime – By Eusi Kwayana

The time has come for direct challenges on the issue of Walter Rodney’s unnatural death which international as well as Guyanese police experts determined from material found at the crime scene was caused by an electronically triggered device.  Rodney was then 38 and his message of “People’s Power, no Dictator!” had become an article of faith among thousands upon thousands in the post-colonial world outside the corridors of power.

Earlier deaths of political figures like  Vincent Teekah, Ohene Koama and Edward Dublin, though suspected by many of being politically motivated, had been treated as unworthy of any investigation. In the case of Walter Rodney, after 12 years the regime presiding over his uninvestigated death gave way to another which after many  pressures  saw the passage in 2005 of a unanimous resolution of the National Assembly ordering an international inquiry into  the death.  

In 2013, the PPP/C was in its 21st year in office  after its fifth consecutive election victory. Not caring to hide its partisan interests inside Guyana, it went through the motions of yielding to Rodney’s family and established a Commission by law in such a manner as to provoke non-cooperation by some parties and individuals. Finally weighing the significance of the process,  those parties entered appearance and for  68 days over the period April 28, 2014 to July 28, 2015  ensured the highest  level  of transparency  possible in an Inquiry, as it took place in open,  public,  adversarial session and was broadcast live.

Any observer of the issues would know that the delay of 30 years, shared between the PNC and the PPP, would reduce the speed of such an inquiry and add to its cost.

After the Commission had sat for one year, developments in Guyana compelled a general and regional election which resulted in a change of government with the APNU and AFC coalition gaining a one seat majority, and with the presidential candidate of the PNC, the largest party in the coalition, as President of  Guyana.

After revealing a series of suspected financial irregularities of an alarming nature by the former PPP/C government, the new government turned its focus on the Commission and the Secretariat which had been appointed by the PPP/C.  Government figures AND  mounted a campaign to discredit the Commission, using innuendo to place it alongside the suspect money launderers of the PPP administration. The upshot  of these developments was a presidential order, made after consulting only ONE side, and apparently without hearing the Commission’s opinion both as good practice and as a courtesy, that  the Commission close down after two further days of public hearings, devoted to lawyers’ submissions and that it submit its report by the end of November 2015. The government gave out that the Cabinet supported the decision without dissent. No one seemed alerted to its prejudicial nature.

The Government did not announce whether or not the Commissioners were to be assisted by the Secretariat in the period up to November 30 or left to manage for themselves.

The Government’s clear hostility to the Commission may be a reflection of the failure of the PNC to lead any evidence against Rodney but rather to place its faith in a book claimed to be written by the fugitive suspect in the crime and published five years after his death in Cayenne. One witness accused Rodney of planning an act of sabotage with no suggested relation to the date, the place, or the circumstances of his death.

The Minister of Governance, Mr. Raphael Trotman, a stranger to the climate of  1980,  described the inquiry as “embarrassing”, without any elaboration.

In this matter, the new President   has a chance to establish for himself a record of fairness. Despite the allegations of the PPP, his name was not implicated or compromised in any testimony, oral or documentary, in the public sessions.  Having to date not been smeared by the events and manoeuvres of the bloody and felonious assassination  of 1980, it is the  wish of fair minded people that he is not  by his  exercise  of  his authority to close down the Commission suspected of  the civic assassination  of the Commission’s findings.

The Guyana government’s principal legal adviser, the Attorney General, the main anti -Rodney protagonist in the Inquiry,   belongs to a learned profession many of whose members are dedicated to the upholding of ethical governance. Clearly he cannot allow these events to go by without a statement on the quality of the earlier trial of Donald Rodney, a trial which would be a stain on the most backward judicial system.  He will be failing in his duty and his professional ethics if he does not move to quash Donald Rodney’s mistrial and conviction.  The withholding from the court and the defence of evidence favourable to the defence is a feature of dungeon democracy and must be denounced at the highest level of a democratic legal system and government.

These issues are so crucial .that we are compelled to refer to the composition of the Coalition Government which exercises control over the Commission. The Working People’s Alliance is not now a major political party.  Because of its record, however, many will be concerned how it is treated within the Coalition.  Walter Rodney, standing above the divisions of the  sixties,   justified all that is noble in African Guyanese and struck a blow against the entrapment in race politics  when he declared in defence of Arnold Rampersaud,’

“Africans came out of slavery with dignity! ”

Those still alive who cherish Walter Rodney’s living call for all time, “People’s Power, No Dictator!” and use it as a   measure   of political   health may   number more than  five thousand, the Coalition’s   slim majority. Its consultants   will advise it that even for no higher motive  than self preservation it cannot  directly or indirectly be seen  as undermining the Walter Rodney Commission of Inquiry.

Eusi Kwayana

For Justice for Walter Rodney Committee   

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  • de castro  On November 29, 2015 at 4:32 am

    Interesting and an in depth exposé !
    May add… one is above the law, not king queen president or PM in a democracy.
    Dictatorships and unelected governments rule illegally.
    Agree the laws of the land must reflect that or anarchy follows.
    The laws of the land must not only be made but be rigorously imposed and respected.
    Past injustices as in the Walter Rodney case should also investigated regardless of
    past or present democratically elected government leaving no doubts or stone unturned.
    Their should be no time limit or cost restraint in seeking justice for the family and friends
    Walter Rodney…..leaving no doubts in the minds and hearts of the Guyanese nation.
    It would be interesting to know what were conclusions of this public enquiry and any
    implications that follow. RIP to all.

    Compton de castro ukplc

    • Albert  On November 30, 2015 at 11:36 am

      My friend which world you live in? Could not be the real world. For instance in the fantasy world Bush, Cheney and others would have been behind bars for crimes against humanity. A section of society is always beyond justice.

      • De castro  On November 30, 2015 at 1:11 pm

        Ha ha…albert my friend you are either “defeatist” or “pacifist”…..
        The world is aware of the crimes against humanity committed today in the name
        of “justice” ,…..some now say “revenge”.….
        Bush Blair Cheyney et al acted “illegally” and look where we are today……bombings
        to subjudicate a “fanatical” belief……using modern day technology to forcefully
        destroy an invisible enemy…..created by western political cl asses.
        Will any of these politicians be “criminalised” for their crimes against humanity.
        That’s the world in which we live today…….like or loath it !

        The only wars I support are War on ignorance or War on poverty.
        Military wars have “hidden agendas”……guess it keeps the war machine “oiled”.

        Sad world

  • Doreen  On November 29, 2015 at 8:58 am

    Thank you Eusi for your continued fight for justice. I lived in Guyana at the time of Rodney’s death and I firmly believe that this investigation should be re-oponed and allowed to be completed without interference and prejudice.

  • Rosaliene Bacchus  On November 29, 2015 at 2:29 pm

    Eusi Kwayana, thanks for raising this issue. Rodney’s cry of “People’s Power, No Dictator!” remains relevant today; not only in Guyana, but also across our planet where a tiny powerful elite dictates the future of our civilization.

  • guyaneseonline  On November 29, 2015 at 11:29 pm

    Walter Rodney Commission gets more time to complete report – Demerara Waves Online News – Guyana

    • De castro  On November 30, 2015 at 3:36 am

      The Gods are listening….+( ‘ ‘ )+

  • Deen  On November 30, 2015 at 10:36 am

    Based on all testimonies and information surrounding Dr Walter Rodney’s murder or assassination, call it what you want, it was obvious that there was high level government in his killing. The disappearance of GDF and Police files with logged informationn to support a conspiracy opened the Pandora box of circumstancial evidence. Also, since Dr Walter Rodney was diametrically opposed to thevPNC and Forbes Burnham’s dictatorship, there was motive to do away with him. Even Burnham had alluded to his disdain for anyone who opposed him in one of his political speeches.
    The persistent effort by the PNC and its memebers to suppress and disassociate themsd lves from Dr Walter Rodney’s killing, murder, assassination is a travesty of truth and justice. Also, it’s a reflection of the corrupt political system at the time in Guyana as well as the judicial system.
    As it’s said, the truth will always triumph. It’s invincible!

    • De castro  On November 30, 2015 at 11:29 am

      Truth to power indeed.!!

      You may fool most of the people all of the time
      But never all of the people all of the time.


      • Deen  On November 30, 2015 at 3:21 pm

        Compton, I agree with what you said that the only wars you support are the war on ignorance and the war on poverty. In addition, I’d support the war on injustice, the war on racial discrimination, the war on pollution, the war on political corruption, the war on human trafficking, the war on child abuse and child pornography,
        One of my favorite quotes is in support of all of this is Martin Luther King’s words: “injustice anywhere is a threat to justice everywhere.”

  • Albert  On November 30, 2015 at 11:26 am

    Was the objective of the inquiry not political in the first place, otherwise why would they have spent so much of taxpayers money to hold it. What is the benefit to the poor man at this point.
    There must have been corruption during Burnham period but corruption under the last government was way out of proportion.
    The limited resources now available should be use to benefit the country not for political gainmanship.

  • Albert  On November 30, 2015 at 10:35 pm

    Deen: the truth will always triumph
    When I was young I use to believe these sayings. You learn differently with age.
    In the case of Walter Rodney most of the people with “hands on” knowledge of his death are either dead, old and abroad or will say nothing. All they have is largely guess work……….I have not read anything of substance that most people with ears did not know while in Guyana. .

  • Deen  On November 30, 2015 at 11:11 pm

    Albert, with age I have grown more passionate in getting the truth and getting the facts. We all know that Dr Walter Rodney was murdered. We don’t need a Commission of Inquiry to verify that he was killed by those who had motive and who hated him. He was a fierce force opposed to the PNC and Forbes Burnham whom he called a dictator. Yes, evidence was suppressed files at GDF and the Police headquarters were missing. It’s obvious that the PNC Government having control of GDF and the Police was involved in a conspiracy to terminate Dr Walter Rodney. Only those who like an ostrich, burying their heads in the sand would not believe that the PNC Government was not involved in Dr Walter Rodney’s killing. Yes, the silent truth speak loudly in all of our conscience and I believe it torments the evil doers. Yes, I fervently believe that truth conquers and ultimately prevails.Freedom and truth we should never compromise.

  • Thinker  On December 1, 2015 at 12:05 am

    If the PNC was blameless it would have taken every opportunity to investigate Gregory Smitb. As it is the PNC controlled press didnt even publish a photo of. him. Albert is simply burying his neck in the sand. The PNC cant come to terms with its past because. too many players are still around.

    • Albert  On December 1, 2015 at 11:32 am

      Thinker glad to know you are around.
      There are things that cannot be written on an open board like this but I would welcome information on the players still around, other than the obvious ones. In a worst case finding what could be done about them.
      I would go so far as to say I communicate with one who know more about the hands on information than I do. He has a version that is difficult to discredit, even thhough I disagree with him. That’s how things are as I see it. We believe what we want to believe and often ignore the facts.

      • Thinker  On December 1, 2015 at 7:03 pm

        There are lots of people who know lots of things which cannot be said in public. Many should now be writing memoirs to be published after their demise so that they can be immune from prosecution.. They can also focus on who were the government spies within the WPA.

  • De castro  On December 1, 2015 at 5:59 am

    Exactly ….too many may be “implicated” in the cover up.
    Guyana is failing in establishing a”free” press….unfortunately this will not help in establishing
    “Openness and transparency” in government.
    Maybe a “leftie” daily not unlike “UK s independent” will enter the fray sooner than later.
    BBC has proved a “success” over the years world wide……guyana should think global and act local
    in mainstream media. Of course “social media” is playing big part in worldwide information gathering
    also. An informed nation is a powerful influence worldwide.
    USA an example of how uninformed/misinformed a nation can become.
    Que sera

  • Albert  On December 1, 2015 at 11:55 am

    USA an example of how uninformed/misinformed a nation can become.
    Que sera
    Yet the most brilliant ideas comes from and is expected from the U.S.
    Strange you call me names but yet in your writing you come around to agreeing with me.
    True many people here dont know whats going on. But I would argue you have to be living (or lived) in the U.S. to really understand the nation. Reading about Trump followers, for instance, would not give you a correct picture of the US.

  • De castro  On December 1, 2015 at 1:48 pm

    Albert my friend will take that one on the cheek and respond.
    Most of my family and friends from UK and Guyana now live there but are not happy with the
    situation….but have to remain there with their children who are born and bred there.
    Some agree that america is “culture” of death ……still executing its citizens and where most
    carry a gun.
    Have no intention visiting USA or ever residing there until their laws are seriously addressed.
    Where one person “El Presidente” decides to declare war on any other nation state regardless.
    UK parliament has to vote/decide on such issues.
    Obama Putin or Maduro no difference….!
    All “war mongers”…seeking world dominance.

    Sorry if I offend… anti wars but not anti USA


    • Deen  On December 1, 2015 at 3:53 pm

      Kamptan, I strongly support Albert about the US. I’ve lived here most of my life, I’ve done a lot of traveling and based on all that I’ve seen and experienced, I’m convinced there is no other place I’d prefer to be and live in than the USA. Of course we are not a perfect society, and like you I’m opposed to the liberal gun laws in the US. Every country has its political and social problems ..,, even the UK. Ironically, I have a couple of British friends who live in York and have been coming to the US every year for vacation for many years. They have taken over 22 cruise out of Florida. They would love to come to the US to live but they can’t. And as you know, there are people from all over the world who illegally come to the US even at the risk of their lives. Why? The USA, a country 239 years old, is the greatest country in the word in terms of the technological contributions to the world. One company alone, Apple, with its computers and phones, has enormously impacted the communication capability of the world. The US has long been a benevolent country to the world. We are a humane society. However, since 9/11 much has changed. On the Internet, I read a lot of US bashing from people who don’t know the US, have seldom or never visited this country and don’t know about much about it. Critics will always find faults with every country. Personally, I think it’s unjustified to criticize other countries an condone the vices of yours. Yes, despite my allegiance to the US, I’m critical of politics, disagree with certain policies and opposed to the war and foreign political involvement.

  • De castro  On December 1, 2015 at 4:45 pm

    Yes every nation state have the “good bad and ugly” aspects. USA no.exception.
    Given the choice many may choose “paradise”….unfortunately one mans paradise is another’s hell.
    Am happy with UK as my children and grandchildren live there…..but spend more than 6 months a year
    elsewhere…..UK weather is its only drawback..much too much rain…..and very changeable.
    However I do feel “safe” and with free medical from cradle to grave….would take some beating.
    Rest is “politricks”……
    USA is much too “massive” for this retired “old fart” to tour…..prefer EU or Carribean. Much more
    diverse/interesting/entertaining culturally.
    Sorry USA is too AMERICAN for me……”we are the greatest” “best” attitudes…..loud.!
    Just my humble opinion.

  • Theodeore Raffudeen  On March 2, 2016 at 10:58 am

    E. Kwayana is a monolithic political figure in Guyana’s politics, a man with profound personal convictions for the advancement of his country and its peoples-an intellectual stalwart who dared to defy the oppressors of Guyana. Thank you, Mr. Kwayana. Now for a little Guyanese talk: You gon push for the hundred or what? Ah think you finish “not ought.” Love to you sir. You have walked the walk and talked the talk and then some.

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