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Letter: David Hinds jaundice views are often in conflict with reality

Last Thursday, September 7th, Kaieteur News featured an article in which WPA Executive Member, Dr David Hinds believes, “For the good of Guyana… PPP’s barrage has to be countered and stopped.”
In this article, Dr Hinds was quoted as saying, “The People’s Progressive Party (PPP) has been peddling the perception that the APNU+AFC coalition is not only fraught with incompetent ministers, but also virtually incapable of running the presidency effectively.” He added that since losing power in 2015, the PPP “has been relentless in its campaign to delegitimize the government, often without challenge from the governing parties.”

Like other WPA members of old, David Hinds was one of those who fearlessly fought the PNC in the trenches for a better Guyana. But like Moses Nagamootoo and Khemraj Ramjattan of the AFC, he too has abandoned the noble goals of fighting for the downtrodden, and has now aligned himself with the oppressors for personal gains, much to the disgust of those who once admired him.

As a political commentator and civil rights advocate, Hinds jaundice views are often in conflict with reality, and exposes his bias preference for one ethnicity over another.

I admit that the PPP’s media blitz have indeed been relentless since losing power in 2015, but when we expose the remarkable ineptitude and incompetence of the APNU+AFC coalition he supports, and accuses the Granger Administration as being “virtually incapable of running the presidency effectively” because of the high numbers of “incompetent ministers” in government, it is not a “perception”, it is factually correct. And David Hinds knows it.
Perhaps he is making a pitch to take over the government’s PR department that has long been criticized by KN Peeping Tom as being hopeless. He argues, “The PPP’s barrage, in the context of weak responses from the coalition parties and basic errors of judgment by the government, has had the effect of casting doubt in the minds of Guyanese. The (PPP) party has also been able to successfully hitch its assault on the government to legitimate Civil Society concerns about protests against government policies such as the parking meter issue, the sugar impasse, the broadcast legislation, the vendors issue and the wages struggle. This has led to the PPP gaining sympathy in sections of the media establishment, the business sector and the brown middle-class.” Did Hinds actually say that? Why is it that people like Eric Phillips and David Hinds always seem to view things through their ethnic eyes? Where were David Hinds and Eric Phillips, the Black-rights activists, when the government they protect and serve evicted 41 mostly Black cash-crop farmers from their farms in Naarstigheid, West Bank Berbice and took away their livelihood? The PPP did not do a color-test, neither did we ask what shade of Black or Brown they were when the farmers asked for our assistance. It was the PPP who defended their rights in the Courts, and I did not see David Hinds nor Eric Phillips there.

But like some of his ilks, David Hinds is now an apologist for the Granger Administration. They have made campaigning and defending this government a profession. It is no longer about people’s rights, their interest is defending the perks they’re benefitting from. Like Nagamootoo and Ramjattan of the AFC, the WPA leaders have it good now. They’re the ones living the “good life” with the lucrative state jobs they now hold, doing basically nothing… just living off of the sweet.

Dr Hinds is so willing to excuse the government’s ineptitude as a learning curve, that he describes the continuous scandals and corruption as “basic errors of judgment by the government.” Yet under the PPP, basic administrative errors were described as “massive corruption”. And after two years of exhaustive investigations by SOCU, there is still no evidence to prove massive PPP corruption and the raping of the treasury. These were all deliberate, fabricated lies and PNC propaganda designed to taint the PPP in government. The same, however, cannot be said about the state-sponsored corruption involving the rental of the bottom-house Drug Bond as payback for campaign contributions; the construction of the D’Urban Park white elephant project costing taxpayers over $1 billion; and the $632 million sole sourcing drug deal in exchange for a $20 million arch with the presidential seal.

Like his pal Freddie Kissoon, David Hinds continuously propagates the notion that the People’s Progressive Party “ruined Guyana.” They are shamelessly trying to rewrite the economic and rights history of this country, when those two in particular lived and suffered through the perilous dictatorship of the Burnham era. The 2nd President of the United States, John Adams, is credited with the famous quote, “Facts are stubborn things; and whatever may be our wishes, our inclinations, or the dictates of our passions, they cannot alter the state of facts and evidence.
It was the prudent management of our resources by the PPP, that Guyana had grown from bankruptcy in 1992 to the vibrant economy that the APNU+AFC coalition inherited in 2015. And I fear this government is determined to take us back to those dark, perilous times.

Perhaps David Hinds is influenced by his friend Freddie, for he has conveniently overlooked the positive changes that the PPP has made to our Constitution; to Parliament; to the Judiciary; and to the economy. The PPP reduced the massive debt burden and recorded years of sustained GDP growth. There were more investments both local and foreign that led to prosperity and job creation; and the housing sector exploded with the distribution of over 100,000 house-lots to Guyanese of all ethnicity and political affiation; The PPP built new schools and health-care facilities in every region, and expand welfare to our citizens. Yet none of these progress they see.
How sad that David Hinds has now been reduced to being the mouthpiece of the same corrupt political legacy he once despised.

And in another recent article, “PPP has left Guyana in an ethnic trap” (KN, April 24), Dr Hinds wrote that the PPP political domination during its term in office, translates into ethnic dominance which “ensured that African Guyanese developed a very deep fear and hatred for that party.” According to the article, Hinds said that “the consequence is that attempts to reform governance will be seen by most PPP supporters as ethnic revenge on the part of the current government. He then went on to justify the political witch-hunt and ethnic cleansing of those perceived to be PPP supporters in the public sector as an “ethnic imbalance that needs to be corrected.”

Space does not permit an appropriate response to the erroneously racist views the learned Professor advocates, and to do so may very well put me in trouble. But I will say this: When the PPP/C took office in 1992, the Public Sector was made up of 90-95 percent Afro-Guyanese. Even after 23 years the composition of the Public Sector was still about 75-80 percent Blacks in a country that has a significant Indian majority. On August 30, the Guyana Chronicle carried a photograph of the Attorney General posing with the staff of the AG Chamber. They were all Afro-Guyanese. Of the 60 to 70 employees of the Ministry of Legal Affairs (professional staff included), only about 2 Indo-Guyanese now work there. The others have either been dismissed or forced to resign. Since Independence 50 years ago, there were only ONE Indian Head of the Army, Major General Joseph Singh. And in the 23 years of PPP rule, there were only one Commissioner of Police, Seelall Persaud.

At the recent Carifesta Games held in Barbados, someone asked “why such a huge delegation only had approximately four persons of Indo-Guyanese origin in their midst, given that demographically Indo-Guyanese are the biggest ethnicity in Guyana? Because of the small number of Indo-Guyanese in the delegation, it was then left to other ethnicities to depict Indo-Guyanese culture in dance routines on stage.” (Stabroek News, September 2nd). And recently, the REO of Region 5 employed 17 persons, all of whom are Afro-Guyanese in a region that is predominantly Indian.

During the 23 years of PPP rule, there were only ONE Indo-Guyanese Chief Justice, Carl Singh, who later became the only Indo-Guyanese Acting Chancellor of the Judiciary. And readers may recall that the PNC never gave Justice Singh the Agreement that would have confirmed him as Chancellor.

There is no doubt that Afro-Guyanese fared much more under the PPP than at anytime during the entire 28 years of PNC dominance. Some would readily admit that had it not been for the PPP, they would never be able to own a car, a bus or a home of their own. The evidence is everywhere. Ulrick Leacock, a vendor and APNU supporter said, “If I vote back I would vote for the PPP because they were doing quite well. Which in, when they were in power for 23 years I build a house and I was working for less money and now in APNU time I cannot by a bicycle.”

The PPP stand prepared and committed to a public fact-base debate anytime with the likes of David Hinds and Eric Phillips to debunk this racist rhetoric they have been peddling for years to prevent more Afro-Guyanese from supporting the PPP. But don’t expect them to turn up, facts are stubborn things!
PPP/C Member of Parliament

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