Did Castro Deceive Cheddi Jagan? The Ranji Chandisingh Story.

by Ralph Ramkarran

"The great success of Fidel Castro and the Cuban Revolution lies not merely in its social achievements but in its inspiration to peoples all over the world oppressed by foreign domination, to the peoples of Latin America against the vestiges of the Monroe Doctrine, to the peoples of Southern Africa, particularly Angola, in which Cuban soldiers died, to the numerous countries like Guyana to which major assistance is being offered. Cuba’s mere survival is an inspiration to humanity by its modern replay of the victory of David over Goliath. And Fidel Castro is the symbol of that inspiration.

Cuba’s influence on Guyana’s recent political history has been significant but with no lasting impact. After years of hostility to Cuba and the Cuban Revolution, the Burnham Government opened diplomatic relations with Cuba in 1972. Close political relations quickly developed as the Guyana Government moved to the left. It appears as if the Cuban analysis of Guyana went something like this: The PNC is a friend of Cuba and is on the left. It is entrenched in power, which it will not share. Cuba’s fraternal party, the PPP, should therefore support the PNC and strengthen its capacity to resist imperialism.

The PPP’s fundamental objection to this analysis was that the PNC held power undemocratically and socialism cannot be built without democracy. Also, unconditional support to the PNC Government would have undermined its own support. The Cuban’s disapproval of the PPP’s posture was evidenced by Castro’s visit to Guyana in 1973, just after the egregious rigging of the 1973 elections in which the PNC gave itself a two-third majority and the brutal killing of three PPP supporters and not meeting with Cheddi Jagan.

The Cubans then sought to subvert the PPP. Ranji Chandisingh, seen as second in line to Cheddi Jagan and the PPP’s chief ideologue, and Feroze Mohamed, a rising star, visited Cuba in about 1975. It was believed, and later confirmed by Chandisingh to Billy Strachan, in a conversation in 1994/5 (unfortunately both has since passed and I have no way of proving this other than my word) that during that trip the Cuban Communist Party had persuaded him to leave the PPP and join the PNC, which Chandisingh did in 1976, creating a major division.

It is impossible not to believe that Feroze Mohamed did not know of the Cuban involvement in Chandisingh’s resignation. But he has remained silent; or that he was not also encouraged by the Cubans to leave the PPP and join the PNC. Burnham began at this time in Parliament to shower praises on him, maybe as encouragement to take the step across the floor. But if he was encouraged, he did not cross over. I know the whole story as told to me by senior PNC sources, but regrettably can say no more. Billy Strachan was a Jamaican-British labour activist and lawyer since the late 1940s. He and Chandisingh were extremely close friends and comrades from the 1950s.

Cheddi Jagan had long realised that it was necessary to show solidarity with the PNC’s progressive policies. He had offered ‘critical support’ in 1975 but finally concluded that something more was necessary, while remaining convinced that a solution not based on democracy would not endure. He may well have been further influenced by the Cuban view and feared a loss of their solidarity. Thus in 1977 the PPP offered the National Patriotic Front based on free and fair election in which the majority party would not field a candidate for president but for the second position of prime minister. Neither the Cubans nor the PNC was impressed but Cuban relations with the PPP, as well as the PNC, continued."

Original Post
RiffRaff posted:

ayuh need to move forward from de past....it's all BS

Why?  The history of Guyana tells the story of how we end up with a PNC government today.  Especially, the long lasting impact of Ranji Chandisingh crossing the floor to side with Burnham.  This is not an article for shallow minds.

Nehru posted:

Bibi, if you want to know how Guyana ended up with a PNc Govt read the released CIA and MI5 records. Panty wearing Churchill and Kennedy and their GOONS had much to do with that!!!!

I have read it several times.  With deep interest.  This new bit of information with Castro and Chandisingh is new and shocking to me.  Information like this is not in history books.   They die with the people who once knew.

RiffRaff posted:

to describe this as new or shocking is to be naive about politics in Guyana...anyway, half this stuff could be wrong

Did you know that Castro encouraged Chandisingh to cross the floor?  And do you know the impact that had on Guyana's politics?  The two greatest minds in Guyana's politics were Chandisingh and Balram Singh Rai and they both departed from the PPP under mysterious circumstances and changed the history of Guyana forevermore.  You should be writing a history book about this subject for the benefit of future generations, since it's not new to you.

Nehru posted:

Chandisingh was a Namakaram Carbdaag just like our Uncle Tom!!!!

Except that Chandisingh was an educated one.  He was a student at Harvard University in 1946 at the age of 16.  Uncle Tom doesn't even qualify to clean his shoes.  The US chose the two brightest guys in the party to weaken the PPP.  And it worked.

But somebody got double crossed here big time.  Why would Castro support Chandisingh's crossing to the PNC, when the PNC was being orchestrated by the US?  There is some deep seated politics going on here.  In the US this would have been a movie!!!  Where is Steven Spielberg when we need him?

Bibi Haniffa posted:

But somebody got double crossed here big time.  Why would Castro support Chandisingh's crossing to the PNC, when the PNC was being orchestrated by the US?  This is some deep seated politics going on here.  In the US this would have been a movie!!!

Burnham made a left turn away from the U.S. at this time. He was in cahoots with Castro and Jagan and they were all taking orders from their Soviet bosses. Castro was the facilitator used by the Russians to bring Burnham and Jagan together in an unholy alliance (Critical Support and later National Front Government) which was used to nationalize the main industries in Guyana.

Nothing new here, Bibi. Way back in 1977, at the yearly International Bar at Colgrain House, Derek Jagan told me the story. Ralph left out Vincent Teekah but Fidel had also urged Teekah to support Burnham.

Did he say why Castro would encourage Chandisingh to be on the side of the PNC which was being backed by the US?  Or did the PNC break away from the US by this point?  Chandisingh was later Ambassador to Moscow under Burnham, after he had used the US to get power and then fell right back in the arms of the communists.  All of these guys outsmarted Cheddi.

Bibi Haniffa posted:
RiffRaff posted:

ayuh need to move forward from de past....it's all BS

Why?  The history of Guyana tells the story of how we end up with a PNC government today.  Especially, the long lasting impact of Ranji Chandisingh crossing the floor to side with Burnham.  This is not an article for shallow minds.

BH,

I may have a shallow mind, but this article only confirms what we all know by now...both Jagan and Burnham were two peas in a pod and with critical support, Jagan contributed to the legitimization of the PNC and Burnham's dictatorship....that also explains where we are where we at today.

 

Bibi Haniffa posted:

Did he say why Castro would encourage Chandisingh to be on the side of the PNC which was being backed by the US?  Or did the PNC break away from the US by this point?  Chandisingh was later Ambassador to Moscow under Burnham, after he had used the US to get power and then fell right back in the arms of the communists.  All of these guys outsmarted Cheddi.

He told me that in 1975, at an anti-imperialist conference in Havana, Fidel met privately with Dr Jagan, Ranji and other members of the PPP delegation. Fidel pointed out that Burnham was anti-imperialist and highly regarded in the Non-Aligned Movement. He urged the PPP to support Burnham because both parties were at that point anti-imperialist. Jagan promised to consider after consultation with the PPP Central Committee. When the matter was discussed at CC level, some urged caution and some were against supporting Burnham. Janet J was not enthused. Neither was Derek J. So, Cheddi bowled a googly named "critical support" and he hit the wicket.

Bibi Haniffa posted:
RiffRaff posted:

ayuh need to move forward from de past....it's all BS

Why?  The history of Guyana tells the story of how we end up with a PNC government today.  Especially, the long lasting impact of Ranji Chandisingh crossing the floor to side with Burnham.  This is not an article for shallow minds.

It confirms that Cheddi was a sad little tool of communists. In addition to offering critical support, as Burnham destroyed the economy by nationalization, he even begged to be part of this regime.

VishMahabir posted:
.

BH,

I may have a shallow mind, but this article only confirms what we all know by now...both Jagan and Burnham were two peas in a pod and with critical support, Jagan contributed to the legitimization of the PNC and Burnham's dictatorship....that also explains where we are where we at today.

 

Indeed this must be said.  To blame one and not the other is dishonest.

In retrospect Guyanese should have given more support to the UF, as they would have been better able to contain Burnham, had they had this support.

Instead the UF crumbled, and with it the private sector.

Gilbakka posted:

Nothing new here, Bibi. Way back in 1977, at the yearly International Bar at Colgrain House, Derek Jagan told me the story. Ralph left out Vincent Teekah but Fidel had also urged Teekah to support Burnham.

I think there was a thought that some of these "recruits" could have helped clean up the PNC from the inside.  That's what my brother told me.  He was recruited also.

Of course it did not work.  Most of them ended up getting the Burnham touch.

VishMahabir posted:
Bibi Haniffa posted:
RiffRaff posted:

ayuh need to move forward from de past....it's all BS

Why?  The history of Guyana tells the story of how we end up with a PNC government today.  Especially, the long lasting impact of Ranji Chandisingh crossing the floor to side with Burnham.  This is not an article for shallow minds.

BH,

I may have a shallow mind, but this article only confirms what we all know by now...both Jagan and Burnham were two peas in a pod and with critical support, Jagan contributed to the legitimization of the PNC and Burnham's dictatorship....that also explains where we are where we at today.

 

We are talking about two different things here.  I was referring to the fact that Castro was involved in the moving of Chandisingh from the PPP to the PNC.

caribny posted:
VishMahabir posted:
.

BH,

I may have a shallow mind, but this article only confirms what we all know by now...both Jagan and Burnham were two peas in a pod and with critical support, Jagan contributed to the legitimization of the PNC and Burnham's dictatorship....that also explains where we are where we at today.

 

Indeed this must be said.  To blame one and not the other is dishonest.

In retrospect Guyanese should have given more support to the UF, as they would have been better able to contain Burnham, had they had this support.

Instead the UF crumbled, and with it the private sector.

Burnham was the one who threw D'Aguiar the curve ball.  They took power in the name of imperialism backed by the US, and then Burnham ran right back to Moscow after he got what he wanted. 

Mars posted:
Bibi Haniffa posted:

But somebody got double crossed here big time.  Why would Castro support Chandisingh's crossing to the PNC, when the PNC was being orchestrated by the US?  This is some deep seated politics going on here.  In the US this would have been a movie!!!

Burnham made a left turn away from the U.S. at this time. He was in cahoots with Castro and Jagan and they were all taking orders from their Soviet bosses. Castro was the facilitator used by the Russians to bring Burnham and Jagan together in an unholy alliance (Critical Support and later National Front Government) which was used to nationalize the main industries in Guyana.

You have to take into consideration the context of the times. Fidel was committed to the struggle in South Africa. Both Africans and East Indians were experiencing hell from the Boar there. The South African apartheid government was playing up the leftist angle of the South African freedom movement to get American support. Fidel saw what the battle between the PNC and PPP had done to the Guyana society. For him it was self defeating for these two parties to fight each other.  Merger between the PNC and PPP was the only way forward.

Bibi Haniffa posted:
RiffRaff posted:

ayuh need to move forward from de past....it's all BS

Why?  The history of Guyana tells the story of how we end up with a PNC government today.  Especially, the long lasting impact of Ranji Chandisingh crossing the floor to side with Burnham.  This is not an article for shallow minds.

Bibi fish up Nehru and Rif.

Mars posted:
Bibi Haniffa posted:

But somebody got double crossed here big time.  Why would Castro support Chandisingh's crossing to the PNC, when the PNC was being orchestrated by the US?  This is some deep seated politics going on here.  In the US this would have been a movie!!!

Burnham made a left turn away from the U.S. at this time. He was in cahoots with Castro and Jagan and they were all taking orders from their Soviet bosses. Castro was the facilitator used by the Russians to bring Burnham and Jagan together in an unholy alliance (Critical Support and later National Front Government) which was used to nationalize the main industries in Guyana.

Until the late great outwitted all of them!!!!!

Bibi Haniffa posted:

Cheddi did not stand up to Kennedy and Churchill.  He rolled over and played dead.  Castro was the one who stood up to them.  Cheddi did not even stand up to Burnham who had the country on the brink of starvation.  He turned a blind eye every single time.

Chief posted:
Mars posted:
Bibi Haniffa posted:

But somebody got double crossed here big time.  Why would Castro support Chandisingh's crossing to the PNC, when the PNC was being orchestrated by the US?  This is some deep seated politics going on here.  In the US this would have been a movie!!!

Burnham made a left turn away from the U.S. at this time. He was in cahoots with Castro and Jagan and they were all taking orders from their Soviet bosses. Castro was the facilitator used by the Russians to bring Burnham and Jagan together in an unholy alliance (Critical Support and later National Front Government) which was used to nationalize the main industries in Guyana.

Until the late great outwitted all of them!!!!!

Chief with koolie like you and Ramkurran the East Indians of Guyana will always be in always be in the dump.

Now, I don't know whether the Soviets had a hand in Fidel Castro's effort to unite the PNC and the PPP, but they endorsed it for sure.

Over a decade ago I read a fat book titled MITROKHIN ARCHIVE. It's author, Vasili Mitrokhin, was archivist in the Soviet KGB. The book is based on notes and documents that he had secretly copied from the KGB archives. Mitrokhin defected to Britain 24 years ago with the archive in his luggage. 

So, when I read that book I was surprised to see how highly the Soviet leaders thought about we leader Forbes Burnham. They were convinced Burnham was a genuine Marxist-Leninist. Running through the Index, I failed to find Cheddi Jagan's name. Wha me must seh now? Me done talk.

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