It is noted that activists in the diaspora responded to an appeal to assist with restoration of democratic rule during the period of the PNC dictatorship (1966 thru 1992). The activists played a critical role in the struggle (1967 thru 1992) for free and fair elections. But they were cast aside (especially after Dr. Jagan’s death) following the PPP’s ascension to office. In fact, the activists in the diaspora were treated very badly resulting in many leaving the PPP and joining other parties that eventually led to the defeat of the PPP.
Will the diaspora activists respond to any new PPP appeal to join an international effort to get its nominee appointed as Gecom Chair and to enjoin the campaign to secure free and fair elections? There has not been much enthusiasm for that urgent plea among the diaspora. In fact, a largely Guyanese grouping coined International Committee for Democracy (ICD) was launched last September to champion the cause of democracy. There was a huge turnout at the largely free (black tie) affair at a posh (Italian) catering hall. But since the event, there has been little activism or zeal championing democratic governance in Guyana. And there has not been any lobbying or sensitizing of American politicians about challenges facing democracy and holding of free and fair elections in Guyana. Even political commentators have not committed to the struggle with literary contributions. The fervor that existed during the anti-dictatorial struggle is completely missing. The diaspora simply don’t trust political figures any more. Only a few of us (not affiliated with the PPP or ICD) are consistently involved in political activism in the US to champion the community’s issues. But it is unlikely any of us will respond to appeals to rescue Guyana from a creeping dictatorship. People have not forgotten that they were ill treated.
Given that the PPP attacked the ABC countries during its tenure in office, it is unlikely the ABC countries would be sympathetic to any pleas to assure free and fair elections in Guyana? The ABC countries seemingly have taken a hands off approach on the Gecom appointment controversy as opposed to 1992 when they demanded free and fair elections in an activist approach. It was the ABC countries that guaranteed free and fair elections in 1992 that led to PPP ascension in office. But some political figures did (do) not appreciate the contribution of the ABC countries in strengthening our democracy or making it possible for PPP to return to government. And they proceeded to attack the US unconcerned about the consequences of their actions. And not surprisingly, the PPP was effectively removed from office.
The PPP has not expressed regrets for its anti-American tirade of 2014. And for this reason alone, it is unlikely that the PPP can make a successful political comeback. But Hagdeo has not support an anti- American position. And the US has been known to be forgiving, America could come around to supporting free and fair elections if all the right moves are made by the political opposition. It is noted that after toppling the PPP in 1953 and putting the PNC in office for 28 years, the US (or ABC) proceeded to remove the PNC in 1992. Then the US took a conscious policy decision that the PPP had to be removed from office in 2015 resulting in the PNC led coalition being installed into office. There can be a change in US position again (to support democratic elections) if the PPP does all the right things. The PPP has to show that it has reformed itself and is open to outside ideas. And it must be willing to embrace the U.S and Guyanese Americans who are eager to build closer relations between the two countries. This will put the PPP in the good book of the US.