Tag Archives: Burnham and Jagan

Politics and the Guyana Middle Class – By Ralph Ramkarran

Ralph Ramkarran

Ralph Ramkarran

The middle class, which supported the PPP in 1950 and was heavily represented in its leadership, began to divide on the basis of the ethno-political developments after 1955. This division and consolidation matured only in the early 1960s.

During this process Burnham saw the importance of the middle class, particularly the African middle class. He courted the United Democratic Party, which was the political expression of the League of Coloured People and eventually merged with it. According to some critics of the PPP, Jagan signaled the need for a similar outreach in his 1954 Congress speech.

If this is so then it is evidence that both leaders saw the importance of capturing the support of the middle class, or rather, that section of the middle class which they expected to be sympathetic. Continue reading

There is no reason to apologize for the “Burnham Era” – Commentary



FEBRUARY 23, 2012   By Brutal Facts http://brutalfactsgt.com/

A Republic day message:

Today as the nation celebrates the 42nd anniversary of the Republic, it is a good time to for us to revisit the Burnham legacy. Linden Forbes Sampson Burnham was the First Executive President of Guyana, and a visionary, who along with Dr. Cheddie Jagan, are undeniably the fathers of the nation. Over the years, Burnham’s political enemies and revisionist historians have succeeded in tarnishing his image and accomplishments to such an extent that today he has become their “Bogey man”, and whipping boy.

Burnham has become so unpopular that even those within his own political party the Peoples National Congress (PNC) rarely tout his accomplishments and are seemingly afraid to mount a battle to salvage his image. Continue reading

Cheddi Jagan and the Politics of Power… – Book review

Cheddi Jagan and the Politics of Power: British Guiana’s Struggle for Independence – Book Review

By Colin A Palmer – Chapel Hill, The University of North Carolina Press, 2010

André Gide when asked who was the greatest French poet replied, “Victor Hugo, alas.” Is this the best book on the political disasters in British Guiana between 1953 and 1964? Yes, alas.

Colin Palmer’s book tells a familiar story: the rise of the People’s Progressive Party, its landslide victory in the first elections with universal adult suffrage, the virulent opposition to it in power, the mistakes of its ministers and the suspension of the constitution. Then came the split between Burnham and Jagan and the racialization of Guyanese politics. Local and US anti-communism stoked the flames and the two became antagonists. Palmer is especially good on the psychological effects of colonialism and the hypocrisy and racist disdain of the USA (as if its anti-communism was not enough); he lays to rest the belief (much cherished by Cheddi Jagan) that the Americans had been responsible for the 1953 suspension of the constitution – that was a British affair. By 1960 the Americans were taking the lead, financing local opposition to Jagan and his party. He fails to point out that in backing Burnham they had absolutely no idea of his politics. Continue reading