Saturday, September 17, 2011

Lurlene Nestor, Mark Archer, David Granger & Robert Corbin would like to keep the PNC's atrocities hidden from our youth

Persons protesting food shortages in 1972

Harry Gill: The philosopher George Santayana is credited with this ominous quotation, which is very appropriate to remember as we approach national elections: “Those who forget the past, are condemned to repeat it”.
In her letter “Remember, Mr. Gill, a democracy is not a dictatorship”, Lurlene Nestor deliberately misconstrues what I wrote, in her response to my earlier letter “PNC Kool-Aid drinkers have no moral grounds on which to criticize the PPP/C”.
I never said or insinuated that “massive corruption and misuse of public funds in the PPP/C administration is justified” because “…Burnham and the PNC did the same thing.”
Forbes Burnham was brilliant with great ideas, but he was corrupt, and so was the PNC.
I empathise with Nestor because it must be very difficult for her or anyone else to defend the party she belongs to. In her long diatribe, she has not once refuted the facts I presented that:
1. Burnham and the PNC siphoned off public funds from the flour mill through the formation of a holding company controlled by the PNC, Greenland Investment Company (GLICO) in an amount that exceeded US$28,000 annually. And in the last six months of 1969, the PNC siphoned off US$40,000 from the sale of flour through GLICO, all of which went towards building the People’s National Congress, at taxpayers’ expense.
2. Burnham and the PNC received covert assistance from the US Government to prevent the PPP from gaining office, and in 1969, Burnham requested US$10,000 a month for two years from the US Government to build the PNC Party. He was given US$5,000 per month for 2 years with the request that his PNC discontinue the practice of robbing the treasury. Of course, this practice continued.
3. Burnham and the PNC rigged the elections in 1968 and again in 1973, courtesy of the GDF. These are not allegations Lurlene Nestor, they are documented facts.
She added, “Gill tells Guyanese that we should not criticize the PPP/C nor denounce their action because he claims that Burnham stacked away money in some bank overseas.”
This statement alone proves that Nestor is less than truthful, twisting what I’ve written to serve her purpose. So here is what I will do: If Nestor can prove to the Guyanese people that in my letter of Sept. 11, 2011 I wrote that “Burnham stacked away money in some bank overseas”, as she accuses me of, I will personally donate US$5,000 to David Granger’s Presidential campaign.
She can be a hero to Granger’s financially starved APNU, or she will be exposed for what she really is… a shameless, barefaced individual who will do or say anything to prevent young voters from knowing what it was like to live under the corrupt PNC government that bankrupted this country and destroyed the economy.
She has the audacity to criticize the PPP/C that inherited a failed economy, and has transformed Guyana into a thriving economy with over US$1 Billion in foreign exchange reserves. Surely more needs to be done to reduce crime, increase wages, reduce the VAT, beautify the city of Georgetown, and improve the quality of life of all Guyanese.
But when one considers the lack of critical support by the opposition, and herculean task of climbing out of the enormous hole the PNC had put us in, credit must be given to President Jagdeo and the PPP/C for turning this economy around.
Progress is ongoing everywhere: In healthcare; education; infrastructural development; housing; utilities and the economy.
There is a lot more to be done, but that is why it is so important to elect Donald Ramotar to continue the progress.
Lurlene Nestor may be right when she noted that “young people in Guyana are not interested in the ills of the past they are concerned about their present and future situations”.
This may be true only because the youths do not know what it was like to stand in long lines every day for bread, a pound of flour, and toilet paper.
Most of the youths then could not get a job without joining the PNC and having a party card to prove it.
They’re not interested because they were too young then, and most were not aware of this shameful past.
Like Lurlene Nestor, others like David Granger, Robert Corbin and Mark Archer would like to keep this dark past hidden from our youth so as to prevent them from making an informed decision at the polls.
But this will not happen. For those who forget the past, are condemned to repeat it.

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