-a president and protests
CARIFTA and CARICOM. No wonder Cheddi Jagan thought little of CARICOM. But PNC Leader LFS Burnham had quickly become something of a visionary statesman, hand-in-hand with his burgeoning autocratic tendencies. A competent Cabinet of Ministers moved the country forward during the Third Parliament under Burnham’s PNC Administration. This era featured names like Reid, Hoyte, Ramsaroop, Green, Jack, Hope, Ramphal, King, Naraine, Field-Ridley, Carrington, Clarke, Duncan, Nascimento among others. But Burnham delayed the next General Elections because he and the PNC had a Master Plan.
From an organised referendum (July 1978) to a Constituent Assembly a new Constitution was born and passed in the National Assembly on Valentine’s Day 1980. Forbes Burnham became Guyana’s first Executive President. The man’s political mind was phenomenal. The PNC became a paramount institution. Even though it never had the people’s paramount majority support!
(On a personal note I feel like mentioning that LFS stopped me and a small group of trained teachers from proceeding to Kenneth Kaunda’s Zambia. Quite correctly and justifiably. Also, I was selected to coordinate the PNC’s Public Relations for the General Election campaigns of 1980, 1985 and 1992). ’62 to ’64, he was artfully persuaded into PNC politics by Leader Forbes. It was also a Party political bombshell when Burnham catapulted Hoyte to Prime Minister over popular Party strong-man Hamilton Green. (One source said that Burnham wanted the technocrat Hoyte to marshal his ministers whilst Hammie was to keep the party “intact.” To me Forbes was also keeping a tactical eye on Hammie’s popularity and base. Hammie, are you reading this?)
So Hoyte became President on the passing of Burnham in 1985. The PNC won the elections of December 1985, Hoyte’s victory was “rampant”, 54 seats to 11 (others). But Guyana’s economy was in shambles. Thousands of the country’s finer minds had migrated or were fleeing to greener pastures. Banned consumer items gave rise to a flourishing type of vendor-import trading and various parallel markets. President and PNC Leader Hoyte was forced into fashioning an Economic Recovery Programme (ERP) even as he eased up on “Socialism”, reintroduced Press Freedom and tried to find a new image for his Party.
The first George Bush, American president, Britain and Canada insisted on free and fair elections through America’s most successful ex-president, Jimmy Carter. To his eternal credit Hoyte succumbed and his Party had to lose the Elections of October 1992. The PNC’S 28 year rule ended.
More analytical, hopefully non-PNC minds will attend to a full objective history of the PNC sometime in the future. Right?
1) American First Lady Melania Trump is a relatively recent immigrant to the U.S. She is probably uncomfortable when her husband speaks about immigrants and refugees.
And Michelle Obama could have complained: “an immigrant is taking my job.”
2) I suspect that PNC HistorianLeader Granger will one day write a complete history of the Party. And a Biography of LFS Burnham. 3) What does PNCR-1G mean? 4) Do you know one-man band Stitchie’s medley – Ruckatucks? I heard the other day all the way in Manhattan, N.Y. USA!