In response to Ms Teixeira’s letter in SN last Sunday, I would, in all modesty, thank her for her very lengthy dissertation on all my faults and betrayals of her and the head honchos of the PPP, including comparing myself and my “nemesis”, Mr Bharrat Jagdeo. I thank ‘Comrade’ Gail, for spending so much of her valuable MP time to spread fake news about my beliefs and positions, but as the saying goes, ‘any publicity is good publicity.’ I also thank her for drawing attention to certain questions which have to be raised, based on her letter.
Editor, let me be frank and say that at no time have I ever deviated, over the years, from my core beliefs on Guyana’s future: that the private sector has to be the engine of growth with the government as facilitator; that agriculture (Guyana as the breadbasket of the Caribbean) should be the central theme of future development with the co-operative theory driving this sector forward, along with an emigrant population of farmers to support this labour deficient sector; that democracy and freedom of the press be impregnable to any political interference for all time; that coalition government for Guyana is the best answer and the only answer to suppress racial division and thus increase the productivity of the nation; that the strengthening of ties with the USA in particular, is essential for Guyana’s future, both in the political and economic zones, especially since many of our people live there; that the Guyanese middle class must be broadened and strengthened because they are the backbone of the nation in the end; that religious and labour leaders should play a part in the governing of our country, along with academic and business leaders; and lastly, that we should be handing over political power to the younger generations ‒ if Canada, France and New Zealand can have leaders under 45 years old, then so can we, especially with new constitutional changes.
Editor, Comrade Gail and her group have no interest in agreeing to the above, and their record in government proves it. They are communists, pure and simple, and even though I tried to support my father’s party in 1997 and 2011, I had hoped for a change, but I never gave up on those beliefs which I still hold. No political party can claim that they believe in democracy if they run their party without democratic norms, and Teixeira, who has a Canadian imprint in her mental make-up, should know that. But no, fake news is better than explaining how she lost her job as Minister of Health after smoking so many cigarettes a day on the job (which infuriated President Cheddi) and did not implement a positive vision for her ministry while failing the needs of GPH. Accuse me all you want but I never occupied a ministry and failed President Cheddi.
Editor, let me sum up my position and debunk Teixeira’s assertion that Mr Jagdeo is my nemesis. In 1995, when my father was President and I was living at State House with him, the local elections occurred and he was bemoaning the fact that the PPP/C lost badly in Linden and that he thought Sam Hinds would have brought in more support. I told him to go in a new direction and bring Mr Hoyte as Prime Minister. As late as last week, when Moses’s health came up and I was told that his family was against him serving again, I said to those around me that this government should make Mr Jagdeo the PM and give his associates ministries (except Gail Teixeira ‒ an abject failure) and I meant it. Does that sound as if I consider Mr Jagdeo my arch enemy? I don’t think so. I stick to the truth and principle/s in politics and that is why I had nowhere to go in the PPP/C as truth and principles have gone by the wayside.
In closing, I would like to answer the last statement of Ms Teixeira’s letter when she asks which side of history Joey wants to be on. I’m on the side of coalition politics; I’m on the side of American investment and trade and I like the ExxonMobil deal which will open the doors for more foreign investments to follow; I’m on the side of protection of our borders and fighting crime, including money laundering; I’m on the side of weeding out any corruption or the perception of corruption; I’m on the side of the concept of a good life for all Guyanese. So, for now, because I do not control events, I support Mr Granger and his coalition government’s undertaking to follow Mr Hoyte’s ERP programme, started in the early 1990s which gave Guyana a real boost in the economy.
Cheddi (Joey) Jagan (Jr)