After the Death of Burnham in August 1985, the U.S sent Elliot Abrams as the U.S representative to the funeral, Abrams who was accused of War Crimes in Guatemala used the opportunity to push for Desmond Hoyte, viewed as a moderate, to be the next leader, undercutting the next in line, Hamilton Green. Hoyte was promised financial support in return for stopping the PNC’s attacks on the Indian population via the PNC supported House of Israel and the “break down the door gangs,” liberalising the economy and neutralizing the radical elements within the PNC. In return, the U.S supported a large IDB/IMF loan package and Dictator Hoyte was given a State visit to the White house. The U.S successfully groomed its second installed dictator in Guyana.
The next election was scheduled for 1990, and as an “American asset”, Dictator Hoyte was confident that the U.S would look the other way if he rigged the election. But with a rapidly changing world, emergence of democracy in autocratic nations and the collapse of the USSR, the U.S was under pressure to force a free and fair election, this effort was led by the Diaspora in the U.S and Canada. Dictator Hoyte tried to portray Jagan as “still a communist”, later, as the “free and fair election campaign get momentum, he offered to resign in 1991, (Newspaper articles suggest this was due to pressure from hardcore PNC officials, specifically Green and Corbin). After pressure from the Carter Center, Cheddi Jagan proclaimed he’s for free enterprise and said “unwavering support of Soviets policies was a mistake. The PNC tried hard to rig the election with many iterations of the valid voters list, nevertheless the PPP won the 1992 election. Despite election violence orchestrated by PNC hardline thugs, Jagan was able to be sworn in and the PPP became the first legitimate Gov’t in 28 years.
After the election results were announced, a mysterious fire occurred at the Presidential compound, according to Shariff Khan, documents were destroyed. Later it was found that only foreign correspondence from 1985-1992 were missing, suggesting that some power(s) wanted to whitewash their involvement in Hoyte’s dictatorship. Around this same time, U.S marines seized 14,000 pages of documents from Haiti’s government offices. The Clinton administration refused to hand over these documents. According to the New York Times, the documents contain evidence of U.S involvement with Haiti’s paramilitaries.
The U.S continues its cleanup activities by hustling “Rabbi Washington” out of the country, two embassy personnel remove him from prison, drive him to the airport and watch as the plane departs, according to The Chronicle. Washington, armed by the PNC, was preparing for a “race war” according to a NYT article on the House of Israel.
Georgetown was in chaos, as PNC supporters began attacking and burning Indian stores, as tension mounts, a contingent of GDF soldiers drove to the Presidential compound determined to stop Jagan from assuming office. Curiously, U.S embassy officials were dispatched to stop them. I believe this was a covert operation to send a message to Jagan, that his hold on power is fragile and it’s the U.S who can save him. (A leaked Wikileak cable show that one of the officer involved had a meeting with the U.S ambassador Bullen about a possible coup)
Around this time the GDF, totally loyal to the PNC may have transferred weapons out of the GDF inventory and stashed them around the country. Only after the Nadoo bar, Bartica and Lusignan massacres did Presidential Secretariat Dr. Luncheon asked about the “missing AK47.” Apparently the PPP knew about this all along. What this evidence clearly shows is that Jagan’s return to office was carefully orchestrated with the intention to counteract/control/mitigate the PPP.
CIA renegade officer, Phil Agee, responsible for running the CIA Western Hemisphere’s clandestine services was the first to expose that Jimmy Carter authorized a million dollar bribe to Burnham in exchange for refusing Cuba’s planes to refuel in Guyana. He revealed that the CIA ran covert operations against all of the elected leftist leaders in the Western hemisphere in the 1990’s. According to Agee, the goal is to counterbalance leftist leaders, including Bertrand Aristide as was revealed by Alan Nairn in The Nation. Here is a synopsis of the creation of FRAPH.
According to Ratner, U.S. suspicions of Aristide’s leftist populism prodded them to seek support from even the most brutal anti-Aristide elements. Observers such as Ratner, Nairn and Lisa McGowan have argued that covert assistance to antidemocratic forces such as FRAPH was used to pressure Aristide into abandoning his ambitious program for social reform and adopt harsh economic reforms when the U.S. returned him to power.
It subsequently emerged that the US government had in fact played a significant role in establishing and funding FRAPH. The investigative journalist Allan Nairn broke the story in an article published in The Nation in 1994. Nairn based his findings on interviews with military, paramilitary and intelligence officials in Haïti and the United States as well as Green Beret commanders and internal documents from the U.S. and Haitian armies. Nairn spoke directly with Constant himself, then being held in a Maryland jail, shortly before he was due to be deported to Haïti. According to Constant, Colonel Patrick Collins, a U.S. Defense Intelligence Agency (DIA), attache who was stationed in Haiti from 1989 to 1992, pressured him to organize a front that could oppose the Aristide movement and do intelligence work against it. he started the group that became FRAPH as a counterweight against leftist Aristide and that even after the U.S. occupation got under way in September 1994, “other people from [his] organization were working with the DIA”, aiding in operations directed against “subversive activities”.
The United States also tried to make a move against Leftist Hugo Chavez, however Chavez was able to counter their move. First Chavez has the expertise of Soviet/Cuban intelligence who were able to ferret out anti Chavista forces in the security services (it was Soviet intelligence who saved Castro in 1962, as the over 100 agents the CIA thought were under their control were actually double agents working for the KGB). Notwithstanding, a failed coup was launched in 2002, the U.S first supported the Coup, but reversed its position after learning that the OAS will unanimously support Chavez and don’t want to be the only anti democratic vote. Chavez later distributed arms to “chavista groups”, this effectively killed any covert operation against him, as any further move against him could trigger a civil war.
The U.S Gov’t doesn’t need to recreate a “force” to counter Cheddi Jagan in 1992, one was already on the ground, the GDF/Police they will play that role. In 1981, Covert Action Information Bulletin revealed that 901 Guyanese Police/Army officers were trained at School of the Americas. It’s well known in intelligence circles that many graduates went on to become spies, pulling the American line. In 1992, Congressman Robert Toricelli said that “Generals trained at the School of the Americas” were instrumental in stopping a Venezuelan coup in 1991” Around 1979, the United States became alarmed about the PPP/PNC talk about a “unity front”. Phil Agee, mentioned in this book, that “if both political parties are going Marxist, then the U.S will use the security services as the counterbalance”. Unable to stop the left leaning Jagan from winning the election and concerned about his radical policies, the United States turned it attention to containment and counterbalancing as it has done in Venezuela, Haiti and later Bolivia.
To be continued
Mr. Budhu can be reached at Guyana1838@gmail.com