One Tom Linden, perhaps a fake name, attacked me in his party-aligned internet paper (April 7) for defending the internationally recognized democratic outcome of the Guyana, March 2020 elections. Guyanese and I am grateful to the United States for helping to save our democracy.
Linden slammed the US and global forces for protecting voters ballots and Guyana’s democracy.
Linden’s position on the USA lacks a principled stand. Also, his stance on the 2020 elections and his arguments are flawed, lacking consistency. It is laughable. He ought to be embarrassed for defending electoral fraud. And he is an ingrate for attacking the US that has done so much for Guyana and Guyanese including restoring in 1992 democratic governance after 28 years of dictatorship. Also, more Guyanese and their descendants live in The US than in Guyana. Clearly, Guyanese are attracted to the US and would want it to protect their fragile democracy.
Linden disagrees with the majority position of GECOM and domestic and international observers that the 2020 electoral outcome was reflective of the will of the electorate. Linden, not unexpectedly, supports the position of his APNU+AFC, opposing the duly, legally declared outcome of the election.
Because I defended democracy and free and fair elections, he describes me as a PPP apologist and supporter. And because I chastised New York State Afro Guyanese Senator, Roxanne Persaud, on her distorted position on the electoral outcome of Guyana, I am deemed ‘narcissistic’.
Linden is adamantly opposed to US‘s willingness to protect democracy in Guyana and promoting free and fair elections that unseated his party. Linden excoriated the OAS, Commonwealth, Caricom, UN, European Union, and other international organisations for endorsing the electoral victory of the PPP, as declared by GECOM and endorsed by all observers.
Linden praised the dictator, Forbes Burnham, for his statement opposing the US invasion of Grenada in 1979 to restore democratic governance there. But he had no problem with the US toppling Dr Cheddi Jagan and installing Mr Forbes Burnham as Premier in December 1964. Clearly, he had no problem with Mr Burnham and the PNC rigging elections between 1968 and 1992 and the attempted rigging of the 2020 elections by the PNC- aligned GECOM staff. He had no problem with US involvement in Guyana’s election of May 2015 that installed the APNU (PNC) in office. But he has a problem with the US protecting the ballots and democracy in March 2020. When it benefited his party, he supported US involvement in Guyana’s affairs.
Unlike Mr Linden, I support a permanent and continuous oversight of the US in Guyana’s affairs as the protector of democracy. Had the US not taken a strong position to restore democracy in our homeland in 1992, Guyana would have remained a dictatorship till this day. Unlike Linden, I will forever be grateful to the US (other countries and international bodies) for rising to the occasion to protect our democracy in 2020 by advocating for an accurate count of the ballots.
Linden refers to the APNU-led coalition as a regime. This aptly describes that government after the passage of the No-Confidence Motion in December 2018. August 2, 2020 saw a change from the coalition regime to the duly constitutionally elected PPP/C government.
Linden attributed APNU regime change to Granger‘s aloofness and arrogance but does so only after electoral defeat. Granger’s aloofness and arrogance never created the condition for any plan by the West to remove him and his government from office. It was the Guyanese people who voted Granger and the coalition out of office for bad governance.
I stand by my critique of Senator Roxanne’s distorted presentation in NY State Senate condemning US involvement to protect the ballots. She seemed to prefer the outcome that was rigged in favour of APNU. Her statement was deliberately misleading and inciteful. It was a regrettable performance from someone whom I had previously believed was fair, objective, and non-racial.
While Linden chides me for bringing up Roxanne’s shortcomings, he has the audacity to castigate diplomats who saw first-hand how the PNC operatives and their GECOM-aligned staff tried to execute an electoral coup through rigging while the world was watching. Was he also watching this?
Given the coalition’s poor performance and allegations of massive corruption, as well as their destruction of the country’s economy, what makes Linden believe that the coalition would have won the elections? No right thinking person would believe that the coalition had a good chance of winning the 2020 elections, except if they decided to steal it. This helps to explain why a rigging machinery was activated belching out fraudulent Region 4 polling figures in the glare of cameras. Linden and other PNCites are duly upset with the western countries and OAS because their plan to conduct an electoral coup was aborted through the vigilance of election observers, including western diplomats.
Clearly, transparency and accountability are not friends of Linden. His acceptance of false narratives could have been eliminated if the PNC had submitted its Statements of Polls to the world to substantiate its claim that it won the elections. Those SOPs would have immediately confirmed that the PPP won the elections. Also, a document that was posted at each polling station on election night was kept a secret, as the PNC did with the $US18 million oil bonus. Trying to cover up and divert attention from blatant attempts to rig the elections with faulty and misleading narratives, do not lend credibility to Linden’s position.
Linden excoriated CARICOM and OAS for their intervention in Guyana’s elections. Member countries signed agreements adhering to democratic principles. Urging member countries to accept outcome of democratic elections is not interference. Also, it would be recalled that Granger invited CARICOM to Guyana to “supervise” the recount, calling it “the best interlocutors”. Why question their professionalism after they reported the results?
The European Union, CARICOM, Commonwealth, OAS, UN, Carter Center, and other observers, by just advocating for a clean process, has been accused by Linden of interference. These Entities never issued any directive other than expressed the need for transparency. This position of theirs was taken against a background of electoral rigging perpetrated by the PNC in all elections through 1992 and the failed attempt in 2020.
All the observers can’t be wrong on the attempt to rig the election of March 2020. Not one domestic or international observer or international organisation or political party, except APNU+AFC, disputed the attempt by some GECOM staff to rig the elections in favour of APNU.
The APNU coalition has not received support for their electoral claims from any country. Over 100 countries congratulated the PPP/C on their electoral victory.
The coalition attacked Mia Mottley in her capacity as Chair of CARICOM and vilified PM Ralph Gonsalves of St Vincent and the Grenadines for just asking to respect the outcome of the elections. Linden and the coalition described that statement as foreign interference in the internal affairs of Guyana. Yet, only last month, the Opposition Leader, Joe Harmon, asked CARICOM new Chair, PM Keith Rowley of TT to intervene in respect of allegations of executive lawlessness by the PPP.
They only seem to support what they refer to as foreign interference when it favours them, but opposes when it works against them. It is consistent with his and their embrace of an ambivalent and duplicitous position. Also, just last week, Harmon appealed to the US, through Ambassador Sarah Ann Lynch, to be a “mediator” between the PPP government and the opposition APNU. Guyanese were supportive of the US and other foreign countries’ efforts to protect the ballots in 2020, and I am certain they (Guyanese) would welcome all assistance to consolidate democracy to prevent electoral fraud.
I note the name Linden. (Is there any connection to Linden Forbes Sampson Burnham, the fascist dictator?).