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OPINION: The Beasts of two nations

By Paul Sanders, New York, April 2020

Take it or leave it. There is an Indian Guyana, and there is an African Guyana. And somewhere in between there’s a sort of a No Man’s Land – for the moroons.

The trouble is both Indo and Afro Guyanese have serious vision impairment; they don’t see eye to eye; they can’t get along. They won’t get along. Because they never truly tried getting along. Hence, there is a Guyana for Indians and their ideological idiosyncrasies, and there is a Guyana for Afro Guyanese and their political/philosophical eccentricities.

There’s nothing generic about this. It’s been happening in plain sight. It exists at the intersection of two very tired obsessions. Behind the facade of pretensed fellowship is a grimy reality: racial scorn, racial strife.

Both combatants are bound by the uncomfortable combination of post-slavery economic coonditions and indentureship; by ideological/political mistakes of the independence struggle.

And electoral malpractices.

Come to think of it, elections seems like an alien concept to Guyanese. Not until the challenge to British colonialism and exploitation, has Indo and Afro Guyanese brawled over the elections process. The profane showdown has always been about political power.

Who owns it? Who has sole rights to it? Who wields it?

Characterized by racial incitement and violence, tribalism and Apaan Jaat bigotry, iniquitous maneuvering, the electioneering practice has always been a deeply uneasy, harrowing, cranky experience. It’ll make your heart constrict with frustration and sadness.

They’ve never got the damn thing right. Never got it all together. One party’s victory was at the expense of the other. The numbers never mattered. The hooliganism and the mugging of ballot boxes and votes always assured the power of the gunmen. In its buried conscience, the PNC has had a fascinating meditation on that ritual. In fact, they wrote the book on that.

The majority of East Indians who, by racial extension, are the property of the “revolutionary” PPP have remainded – for the most part- fettered in the political wilderness framing a narrative on the numerical philosophy and its majoritarian supremacy, are enraged that a such a notion has become meaningless in the Guyana equation.

The end result? A sense of poison so completely it strips layer after layer of innocence in the Guyanese pysche. Indo Guyanese hate their Afro Guyanese counterpart – and vice versa.

Brutal. Treacherous. Dark. It is the picture in the picture. Simple as that.

Now that the APNU-AFC has approached Washington via lobbyists, the dossier that has accused the opposition PPP for cozying up with Russia, China and Venezuela is supposed to have some magic on U.S. policymakers. Of course, these listed countries are not part of the U.S. most favorable partners. So the big PR intent here is to influence the U.S. to turn a blind eye; to adopt a more pleasing attitude toward the APNU-AFC. It is the one of the latest of stratagems to stay in power after very controversial handling of the ballot count.

Now you know this sheet can fly. It’s a damn shame. But things have gone very far. In its retort, the PPP’s acolytes, have spearheaded an online petition to pressure the U.S. to declare personal sanctions against a long list of APNU-AFC top men.

So both sides believe they can push the U.S. between a rock and a hard place? Hmmm.

In the middle of that, the everyday question remains: when is GECOM really going to start the start of the recount to start? Yeah, it’s a riddle. But it is born out of the constant manufacturing of acrobats and palliatives by APNU-AFC commissioners at GECOM. Clearly, the Caronavirus pathogen has joined the APNU-AFC and GECOM to assault the goodwill of the people.

Good Lord. Isn’t seven weeks good enough to resolve this issue of 500, 000 votes in a fair, transparent way? No and yes, depending on who’s asking or who’s answering.

In passing, the general agreement is that whoever wins in the end- if there’s one- the masses will get the same thing that they have grown quite accustomed to: nothing but a further degradation of their destitution and squalor. The PPP’s 23 years of corruption, malfeasance and wicked governance was followed by the APNU-AFC’s emulation.

Garbage in, garbage out. There’s a ruthless redundancy to the mudland politics of Guyana.

What is evident now is the raw realism of this animosity on social media. Obviously, the public discourse has degenerated to nasty adjectives, ugly nouns, violent verbs and other parts of speeches that do not engender mature, civilized, respectful positions.

If there’s anything that can unify Indo and Afro Guyanese, it is the monumental failures of the PPP and the PNC. History has the word on that. Both parties have been a huge weight on the people.

Instead, party hard-liners and supporters are holding out. They are championing for nothing less than a declaration of victory. This is the exposition of winner-takes-all mentality. In other words, my tribalism is bigger than your tribalism. All of this upheaval is conducted in the fight for “democracy.”

The viciousness in the extrapolation is an eerie reminder of the kind of chauvinism, demagoguery and bombast that catapulted Rwanda into genocide in 1994.

Google it. Update your racism.

The coolieman/blackman syndrome is not just an international embarrassment; it is backward and an affront to modern thinking. It is the affliction that’s egging Guyanese toward the loss of their own humanity.

The PPP, GECOM and the APNU-AFC – they all knew that all along. You can count on it.