Eddie Rodney on Tuesday denied that he was the military adviser to his brother- late Guyanese historian Dr. Walter Rodney-in the operation of explosive devices disguised as walkie-talkies.
Dr.Rodney was killed in a bomb-blast death while seated in his brother’s car on June 13, 1980 a short distance from the Georgetown Prison. Another brother, Donald, was with him at the time.
That incident occurred at the height of a call by Dr. Rodney’s Working Peoples Alliance (WPA) for a civil rebellion against the then Peoples National Congress (PNC) administration of Forbes Burnham. The WPA has consistently maintained that then Guyana Defence Force (GDF) electronics expert, Sergeant Gregory Smith had provided the device to Dr. Rodney.
Eddie told the Commission that is inquiring into his brother’s death that he (Walter) had advocated the use of labour strikes and violence to topple the Burnham administration.
Donald’s lawyer, Keith Scotland of Trinidad and Tobago, relied on a book by Smith and his sister, Ann Wagner, titled “Assassination Cry of a Failed Revolution: The Truth About Dr. Walter Rodney’s Death”. Under cross-examination by Scotland, Eddie denied that he had advised Dr. Rodney about the features, functions and range of an electronic device that had been controlled by transmitters and receivers.
In the book, Wagner and Smith spoke of Smith interacting with Dr. Rodney’s brother, who was his military adviser. Asked if he was the only one of the five Rodney brothers who had experience with walkie-talkies, Eddie said “Not as far as I know but I wouldn’t rule it out”.
Rodney has testified having a regular military background, being a former member of the Royal Air Force (RAF) who had some knowledge of walkie-talkies. He has insisted that Dr. Rodney was killed by anti personnel device.
Eddie said Donald at no time had conveyed to him that he was involved in anything that could have harmed him.
Eddie also replied in the negative that he had no means of independently confirming that Smith had warned Dr. Rodney about explosive or dangers of a system. “None whatsoever.”
Former WPA activist, Karen De Souza had told the Commission of Inquiry that on the night of June 13, there was a very urgent ringing and banging at the door. When she responded, Donald had said that there had been a terrible accident or something terrible had happened.