Tag Archives: Nigel Westmaas

A Summary Of USA – Guyana Relations In Light Of ‘Oil’ And ‘2020’ Vision – by Nigel Westmaas


The geo-political situation in the region and Guyana-US relations have attained a new level of intensity and focus amid the Exxon/Mobil contract. The 2020 elections and the apparent need of the Guyanese state (no matter the occupant) to “make good” with United States foreign policy and ideological orientation in the Caribbean region has shadowed the election and the aftermath. One dimension of this new situation has to do with the “tale of two contracts”. In 2019 the PPP announced that they had contracted Mercury LLC to assist in “strategic consulting” for the 2020 elections.        Continue reading

GUYANA SPEAKS – Berbice Rebellion; Buxton Spice & Reparations -Via Zoom -Sunday 25th October 2020


Berbice Rebellion, Buxton Spice & Reparations
Via Zoom
Sunday, 25th October 2020
(2pm – 4pm GMT / 10am – 11am GYT)
This Month’s Speakers
Nigel Westmaas, Oonya Kempadoo & Eric Phillips

MORE INFO: Guyana Speaks October 25 – Rebellion, Spice, Reparations

Zoom Joining details:
Enter the following URL into your computer browser:
This should take you directly to the meeting.
If you are put into the waiting room then the Host will let you into the meeting. Continue reading

Clive Thomas the intellectual and activist – By Nigel Westmaas

Clive Thomas the intellectual and activist

February 23, 2015 · By Nigel Westmaas – Nigel Westmaas teaches at Hamilton College

Clive Thomas

Clive Thomas

Any attempt to analyze or summarize the vast repertoire of Clive Thomas’s work in a single article is a daunting task. For over five decades the academic and political contributions of Thomas, who retired from the University of Guyana at the end of 2014, have helped shape intellectual and economic thinking in the Caribbean and beyond. More specifically, as economist, trade unionist, and politician, Thomas has contributed immensely to the political and social landscape of his native Guyana.

In the DiasporaThe contours and impact of Thomas’s overall work; his contribution to regional thinking not only in “third world” economics but the global economy and its operations; and his forthright support of the working class and the poor and the powerless in Guyana and the region are enormous.   Continue reading

Guyana’s 1905 Rebellion – Nigel Westmaas

 Guyana’s 1905 Rebellion

— Nigel Westmaas

“The people are doing nothing.  It is the Government who are rioting and shooting down the people.”
—Guyanese worker to British soldier: Guiana Chronicle, 5th December 1905 (1)

1905 WAS A landmark year in the history of Guyana, as it was for several places around the world.  In Russia, the Tsar and his troops shot workers delivering a petition in St. Petersburg.  In Bengal there were communal shootings; in South West Africa the German massacre of the Herero people was in full progress.

In the British Caribbean, just two years previously, the Trinidad Water Rebellion was characterized by violence and killings, culminating in the burning of the government Red House, symbol of the British colonial occupation.  British Guiana (Guyana)(2) in 1905 was no different.  The rebellion that year had a dramatic and forceful impact.   Continue reading

THE ARTS JOURNAL Volume 7 Numbers 1 & 2 (2011)


THE ARTS JOURNAL Volume 7 Numbers 1 & 2 (2011)

Review by Nigel Westmaas

Nigel Westmaas is Assistant Professor of Africana Studies

at Hamilton College, a liberal arts University in New York.

Keeping an arts journal (or for that matter any journal) alive and active is a traditionally difficult commission in Guyana. By the standards of journals and periodicals of any kind Timehri, Kyk-Over-al and Kaie are the three way ahead of the rest in terms of durability. Timehri has the record with a century of publication. Kyk-Over-Al, more exclusively cultural in content than Timehri, was started by the British Guiana Writers Association in 1945 and was still being maintained, with the occasional lapse, until the late 1990s. Fifty years plus! A remarkable record by any standard.

Download:  THE ARTS JOURNAL Volume 7 Review

Recording Guyanese political history – Nigel Westmaas

Recording Guyanese political history: Memory, `archives’ and narrative overlook

By Nigel Westmaas

This essay is concerned about the politics of memory.  As Guyana’s newest political (elections) season unfurls there will be  numerous references to events, concepts and phrases that support attendant political narratives, that is, Guyanese political history as mainly defined by the two mass political parties that have been at the helm of the country’s political life since 1953. This contemporary concentration on a convenient nomenclature of Guyana’s political history that devolves primarily on the narrative of the two dominant political forces is hardly surprising given the grasp these organisations have held on national political consciousness up to this point.

The nomenclature of  events and concepts by which the two main political parties (the PPP and PNC) define  and control the narrative of “modern” Guyanese politics include:  the “1950s” and “1960s”; “Disturbances”; Feed, Clothe and House the nation”; Enmore Martyrs”, “First Past the Post “ system; ”Sun Chapman” and the preceding Wismar incidents; “ Power-sharing”; “rigged elections”;  “Partition”; “Proportional representation”; and “paramountcy of the party”.  These favourites in the local political lexicon, as important as they are separately and collectively, sometimes uncritically legalize the philosophy and actions of one main party or the other in the representation of Guyana’s political history. This dominance leaves in its wake silences or ill attendance to other political narratives, past and present and the need for a thoughtful search for an improvement in our political narrative and culture.    [more]

Knowing Our Past: Current demonstrations and histories

Knowing Our Past: Current demonstrations and histories of public protest in Guyana

Stabroek staff On December 19, 2011

By Nigel Westmaas

Nigel Westmaas teaches at Hamilton College

“The people are doing nothing. It is the Government who are rioting and shooting down the people”
(Guyanese worker to British soldier, Guiana Chronicle 5th December, 1905)

The recent use of rubber bullets against APNU supporters and other citizens by Guyanese police was a disturbing use of force and a rude and unfriendly start by the new government. But equally troubling have been the official and unofficial reactions from various sectors to the demonstrations in the wake of the elections.  We have witnessed groups and individuals emerging out of the woodwork as if social sleepers to valorize the PPP’s hegemonic despotism.  Continue reading