Politics is not only about power and money. It is also about culture and religion … ideology. The PNM is rooted in an Afro-Saxon culture and is quite conscious of the threats posed by the heathen cultures and religions of the East. Both Hinduism and Islam had to know their place in this society and the British and western interests, in general, were determined not to hand over power to the heathens.
The British were leaving but also wanted to preserve her influence. This was not only in Guyana and Trinidad but throughout the Commonwealth and even India. When the British and its landed gentry class felt threatened by Nehru’s socialist ideology, the country was partitioned to give them a more malleable state in Pakistan. Such a state was to be used as a military base to invade India, Russia, and the Middle East.
In Guyana, the British and the West were scared of the PPP in power. Coming to power in 1953, Chedi Jagan was a bright star on Guyana’s horizon. Guyana’s agricultural economy began to boom. Black Bush Polder in Berbice was developed as the breadbasket of The Caribbean. But the coming to power of Fidel Castro and the strong influence of the Soviet Union was too much for the US in particular to tolerate. Jagan should have dropped his leftist rhetoric and looked the other way, but he continued unashamedly his love affair with socialism.
The PPP was whipped by the British and the US for its association with the wrong company. With the Castro taking power in Cuba and Che Guevara’s open declaration to spread the revolution throughout the Americas, western powers had no choice but to secure their interests. The result was the removal of the PPP from office and the consequent destruction of free and fair elections in Guyana for 28 years.
All the people in Guyana suffered in the long run but the Indo Guyanese suffered from naked discrimination for jobs and other material benefits. The answer to their woes was flight, not to Cuba and the Soviet Union but to the bastions of capitalism-UK and the US. Jagan’s return to power in 1992 was because of the role played by the western powers and when Dr. Jagan fell ill, his wife did not rush him to a Cuban hospital but opted for the Walter Reed Army Medical Center, Washington DC, USA.
It appears that President Irfan Ali has not learned politics. Only recently, thanks to the US, UK, Canada, the OAS and CARICOM that democracy was restored after the defeat of the Granger-led APNU-AFC’s refusal to accept the results of March 2020 elections. But this kindness seems to have been forgotten by the PPP Government as it continues to increase its business assignments with the Republic of China, an ally of its hostile neighbor, Venezuela, while it marginalizes business ties with the US, Canada, and other democracies.
Indo Caribbean politicians are the little monkey that only sees the nuts in the jar and not his freedom being compromised. In its greed for nuts, the little monkey gets caught. Today, the monkey’s fists are in the Chinese jar, and when it is caught the Chinese captor may not put him in a gage but in a pot with noodles and soy sauce.
Always be kind to your benefactors. Politics is the law of the jungle and you have to negotiate your way to power. In 1955 the elections were postponed to give time to Dr. Williams to form the PNM. Sir Solomon Hochoy was the Secretary of State for the Colonies. Sir Edward Beetham was brought from the Leeward Islands to replace Sir Hubert Rance to facilitate a victory for the PNM.
In the 1960s when the Americans called for C.L.R. James’ head, Dr. Eric Williams delivered it on a platter. All relationships with James immediately stopped and when James was expelled from the US Dr. Eric Williams did not bat an eyelid. Dr. Eric Williams knew very well who were the power brokers? President Irfan Ali and the host of Indo-Caribbean politicains just don’t seem to learn.