Cheddi Jagan, Communism and the African-Guyanese – By Clem Seecharan

Cheddi Jagan, Communism and the African-Guyanese

March 22, 2018 – Stabroek News

By Clem Seecharan

Clem Seecharan is Emeritus Professor of History at London Metropolitan University. His latest book, Hand-in-Hand History of Cricket in Guyana: Vol. II, A Stubborn Mediocrity will be published in the UK this summer by Hansib. He is working on a book on Cheddi Jagan and the Cold War to be published by Ian Randle Publishers.

Cheddi Jagan

One hundred years ago today Cheddi Jagan (1918-97) was born at Plantation Port Mourant on the lower Corentyne Coast. This sugar estate, its resident population virtually all Indians, was the seminal source of his radicalism. A narrative of ‘bitter sugar’, and the arrogance of the white ‘sugar gods’ inhabiting a different universe, encapsulated the plantation culture of deprivation.

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  • ANTICONQUISTA  On 04/29/2018 at 4:55 pm

    Long live Cheddi Jagan and Guyanese resistance to colonialism.

  • Ron Saywack  On 04/30/2018 at 6:05 pm

    A brilliant piece by Clem. It is true that though Cheddi was an honest, honorable man, who had Guyana’s best interests at heart, he unwittingly failed to recognize and close the simmering racial divide in the country in the early days. However, he cannot be entirely blamed for it because there were many hostile forces concurrently converging against him – the Brits (M15) and the U.S.A. (CIA), for example.

    Nothing can irrevocably change the ugly, violent events of the 1950s and 1960’s which further alienated the two major ethnic groups and widened the divide. But the hope now is that we must not repeat the mistakes of the past. We must learn from them, recognize the missteps, and begin the healing process.

    It is therefore incumbent upon today’s political leaders (and teachers) to reach out to all of Guyana’s citizens (at home and abroad) and to seminally chart a course of action that will lead to lasting peace and harmony, the template of which is, collectively, ours to shape.

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