Statement by Dr. Festus L. Brotherson, Jr.

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Posted February 14th. 2001

Please circulate as much as you see fit

NOTE: This is NOT the sworn affidavit of December 1989 to which earlier mention was made. I am still working with my attorneys regarding release of that document. This attached document is being re-released in view of the resumption of those attacks by HUGH DESMOND HOYTE using the name of Rickford Burke of New York who heads the PNC/R's front organization called Guyana Institute of Democracy.

Burke has neither the writing capacity nor access to personal information as flows from his "authorship." That he would allow the ex-dictator to abuse him in this manner is testament to Burke's own lack of character, the effectiveness of my writings, and the fact that the Reform element of the PNC is so far effectively clamping down on Hoyte's instincts for violent threats and actions. The ex-dictator's attacks on me must be therapeutic for his benefit.


The Issues
Since I broke publicly from the People's National Congress (PNC) in 1987, the ruling party has been seeking to discredit my speeches and writings by means of a campaign designed to falsify my role and relationship with the PNC government. Recently, the campaign has taken a nasty and more vindictive turn because my works are being cited in the Guyana parliament by opposition leaders, in the Caribbean media, in Western Europe, North America, and in other distant lands.

The PNC claims that I was a policymaker in the party from 1964 when Forbes Burnham took power until 1985 when he died - a twenty-one year period. They state that I sought and was denied a senior position with the party and government under President Hoyte, and, because of this, I have become embittered and personally biased against Hr. Hoyte. They further allege that I used to rig elections and that my conversion from Marxism to become a severe critic of the ideology is specious and convenient. They also allege that the PNC government saved my life and that of my wife's when our family was struck by ill-health. They claim too that it was the PNC which funded my graduate studies. The total effort of the campaign is designed to portray me as ungrateful to the PNC government and as a principal contributor to the strife-tom, bankrupt, authoritarian society which is today's Guyana.

Rebuttal of the More Outrageous Falsehoods
When Forbes Burnham came to power in 1964, I was a fifteen-year-old high school student preparing to sit General Certificate of Education (GCE) examinations. My period of service with the regime was from June 1977 to December 1979 - a period of two and one half years, not twenty-one. For every general election in Guyana - 1973, 1980, and 1985 - I was away from Guyana during the campaigns and polling, and had no role whatsoever.

In 1973, for example, I was a freshman at Loyola Marymount University in Los Angeles, California. In 1980, I was in graduate school at University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA) reading for my master's degree, and in 1985 I was at the same institution concluding studies for my doctorate. My one and only role in any plebiscite was the 1978 national referendum on a new Guyana constitution. My job with the PNC at that time required me to promote the campaign.

These are facts in the public domain and, as such, they are readily verifiable. It is thus easy to refute the outrageous claims regarding the length of my tenureship with the PNC in an influential position, and my role in elections over the years. The other falsehoods (seeking and being denied a senior position; convenient conversion from Marxism; PNC saved my wife's life and mine; and PNC bankrolled my graduate education) are exposed throughout this document.

Tactics Designed to Discredit
I am aware of the tactics commonly used to discredit former senior functionaries. These have been so very effective that there has not been a single case (except mine) of any former stalwart openly criticizing the regime once leaving the organization. My case is different because the PNC government has never been able to compromise or muzzle my independence. I never stole and had to have the matter covered up, as was the case with others. I was the owner of my own houses and cars so that these were not perks that could be taken away or the threat of such action used to compel me to silence.

Policy Disputes
Like many persons in the era of the 1970s, I was intoxicated with the rhetoric of revolution and I genuinely believed in the PNC's policies during my period of service from June 1977 to December 1979. In retrospect, what contributed to my outlook was my first long sojourn overseas (1972-1977). This period had removed me from the local scene and I was out of touch with political events save for training in the theory of politics learnt in classrooms abroad and the propaganda fed me about Guyana by the regime during local "orientations." By 1979, growing wariness with the PNC's ideas and tactics led to disputes and frictions over what I deemed muddle-headed policies, resulting in my departure in December of that year.

The fact that I was due for medical treatment abroad facilitated a non-controversial exit by me from Guyana. Some opposers of the regime were not fooled by the arrangement. For example, the Mirror newspaper of January 25, 1981 wrote about my departure under the caption "PNC Casualties Mount."

Although I usually projected a very loyal public profile, my maverick ways had put me in serious trouble with colleagues in the ruling party many times; including one aborted major attempt by Mr. Hoyte personally to have me severely disciplined. Other complaints had even called for my expulsion because of my "refusal to follow orders." For example, I was a fierce opponent of the unleashing of the coal pot upon Guyanese housewives as "appropriate technology," and refused to promote it in any major way in New Nation. I held firm to the view that the coal pot was a fire-hazard given the dilapidated state of housing in Guyana.

I was also an opponent of the infamous cane cutting exercises and "volunteer" work at Hope Estate where workers were forced to toil at menial jobs in service of the "revolution." The explanation that I was excused on grounds of allergies was a compromise agreement to save the party embarrassment regarding my publicized absences from such activities. Guyana's uncompromising non-aligned foreign policy was also criticised by me.

Most importantly, I was a very strong critic of violent attacks on churches and their personnel in Guyana; especially the Roman Catholic Church.

I had originally supported spirited rhetorical engagements during the national referendum campaign of 1978. Indeed, in the view of many, one of the highlights of that campaign had been the competing political cartoons in the New Nation and the Catholic Standard newspapers. Because of my persistency, the PNC leadership finally agreed to the launching of a secret project by me which I had proposed as a means of rebuilding cooperation and diffusing confrontation with all religious bodies.

It was called PRAY (Promote Religion All Year). Indeed, even while based overseas, I vigorously protested the resurrection of violent tactics against the churches in a letter to then Prime Minister Desmond Hoyte on April 19, 1985. Mr. Hoyte replied in a letter of May 24, 1985. I have been told by some officials that my letter and ideas were influential in Mr. Hoyte's establishing an advisory committee on religion when he became president a few months later.

The Banning of the Caribbean News Agency (CANA)
But it would be dishonest for me to claim that all of my ideas were wholesome. This was not the case. In retrospect, I deeply regret the role I played in the banning of the CANA from Guyana in the early 1980s. This was a policy outcome I had pursued in 1979 before leaving Guyana in December of that year. It was implemented in my absence. But there is no doubt about the central role I played in this decision.

This weighed heavily upon my conscience for many years, especially as my intellectual development became irreconcilable with socialism and its authoritarian tactics. When the ban was lifted by President Hoyte in 1986, I wrote an article praising the decision, but it was "lost" in the Office of the President where it had been sent by muzzled media functionaries for approval for publication.

Change of Views
My change of views regarding socialism has surprised many in Guyana. This change did not occur suddenly or recently. It was a gradual process during my second long sojourn overseas (1980-1985) as I observed contradictions in socialism between theory and practice. Most importantly, as I engaged in deeper study and research, I no longer believed the key premise of the ideology - that human nature is perfectible.

The attempt now by the PNC to project my well-known association with the organization as some all-powerful negative, which denies me the right to be outspoken on Marxism and other issues, is rather ironical. It has put the ruling party in the uncomfortable position of grudgingly admitting that pre-1985 policies were ill-conceived. But I do not bring bitterness to my writings.

Instead, I simply provide insights derived from my former insider position. Beyond that, I bring to my work ideas and influences over thirteen year period of studies during which PNC politics has been marginal to my intellectual growth and development. Indeed, for the entire thirteen-year period from 1972 to 1985, all except two and one half years were spent overseas in advanced studies.

My Position on Hoyte and Burnham
I am frequently asked what is my position regarding Forbes Burnham. For example, do I prefer him to Desmond Hoyte? I do not prefer Burnham to Hoyte.

I think Mr. Hoyte moreso than Mr. Burnham has the genuine interests of Guyana in proper perspective. But Hoyte does not have Burnham's leadership skills (See my article in Caribbean Contact, January 1989).

In fact I am an admirer of Burnham's political talents such as oratory, ability to nurture loyalty and to out-maneuver his opposers. But I am a severe critic of the use to which he put those skills, resulting in the Guyana monster state today. My position is this: I was unwittingly a part of creating the authoritarian monster state from 1977-1979 and I am now pledged to assure its dismantling or significant reform.

This position I do not take lightly and, apparently, neither does the PNC to judge from the campaign of character assassination they have embarked upon. As one senior official has put it: "Due to his background, training, and past high office with us (PNC), Brotherson could become a more serious threat than (Walter) Rodney."

Purpose of my Writings
All of my adult life I have trained myself for service to my country. Love for Guyana is the most powerful passion that burns in my bosom.

I say this to make the point that my writings and speeches have a particular purpose. They are designed to provide insight into the peculiar problems of Guyana which are rooted largely in the authoritarian machinations of the People's National Congress government, whose leadership functions under and seeks to legitimize the dangerous notion that Guyana is its fiefdom; that the PNC is all-knowing and all-vise about the country's problems and what solutions are necessary. I refuse to accept that service to Guyana can only mean alliance and cooperation with the PNC.

It had been my intention, as I had done in the past, to work for positive policy changes from within the leadership structure of the PNC. The terms under which I returned to Guyana in 1986 were flexible enough to assure this. But for reasons explored elsewhere in this statement matters did not turn out that way. Today, the analyses I provide audiences around the world and to Guyanese in particular are exactly what I would have done quietly from within the PNC.

Senior Position Never Requested
At no time at all during my association with the PNC party and government have I ever asked for a specific policymaking position. That was the secret of my independence.

For example, when feelers were made in 1978 and 1979 regarding ray interest in being made minister of information, I voiced disinterest. And when supporters nominated me for vice chairmanship of the party in 1979, I declined. I repeat: I have never ever asked the PNC for any specific senior position within the leadership structure of the ruling party and government.

I did not do this during 1977-1979, and I most certainly did not make any such request when I returned in 1986. In 1985, I declined spirited overtures from Vice President and PNC General Secretary Chandisingh to accept appointment as his Personal Political Assistant or Special Political Assistant or some such title. Unlike some, I have never needed titles to be accorded respect in the wider society.

I challenge the PNC to back up its propagation of this rumour with hard facts such as what positions I sought and from whom, as veil as what positions were denied me and by whom.

When in 1977 I returned home to fulfill obligations of my government scholarship, I was genuinely surprised by my rapid rise in the PNC after being sent to the Ministry of National Development. I have since understood that this type of advancement was an important part of the leadership strategy of Forbes Burnham. He had frequently demonstrated an uncanny ability to co-opt young persons for their talent and channel their energies on behalf of his policies while denying others the use of those talents.

Through a skillful process of using ideology as a form of higher cunning, individuals were made to believe that their service was to the country in search of a utopia, when the truth was that their service was merely to advance the personal power of the maximum leader who equated his own interests with that of the nation.

Action Line
My most controversial role was as moderator of the Action Line radio programme. This was a position I was instructed to accept almost as soon as I had returned to Guyana in 1977. Being a believer in the socialist philosophy in those days, I warmed to my task after initial annoyance at not being able to decline.

I was told it was a part of my job for which I was under contract in view of the scholarship I had been granted to study abroad. My manner of handling this programme was in retrospect quite wrong and I have had a lot of time to reflect on it. It fills me with a profound sense of shame about how caught up I was in defending the regime and ignoring the views of its opposers.

But I wonder if anyone could have done it much differently in those days. Indeed, I had been pressed into service precisely because of deep dissatisfaction with other moderators. But in 1979, when my position was stronger in the party, and friction over policies were escalating between myself and some of the ruling party leadership, I simply declined to continue moderating the program. I opted to devote my time to promoting a positive image for Guyana in the Caribbean; a task which was switched to the North American environment as part of the terms for my unpublicized departure from Guyana.

Wooing me to Return Home
As I was concluding studies for my doctorate in political science in Los Angeles, in 1984, Forbes Burnham asked me to consider returning home to help restructure the ruling party. I declined, citing the fact that I vas no longer a Marxist and could not help in rebuilding a socialist party. Because of my known commitment to returning to my homeland, informal dialogue continued that year and into 1985 through intermediaries. Among other things, I was assured that my changed beliefs would not be a major problem since fundamental changes were underway and more were planned in the party. In early 1985, I agreed to reflect on the request seriously. However, Burnham died before the matter was resolved.

The new top leadership hastened to assure that my services were still needed. But in the direct and indirect contacts made with me it was unclear to what extent persons were aware of the details of the earlier confidential requests. One of the central figures in the whole process had been Guyana's Ambassador to Washington Dr. Cedric Grant. In later contacts, others were Vice President Chandisingh, Prime Minister Hamilton Green, and former Prime Minister P. A. Reid. President Desmond Hoyte was himself also a principal player.

By special invitation, I visited Guyana in August 1985 to attend the Biennial Congress of the PNC (presided over for the first time by President Hoyte) and to have discussions with the leadership about my proposed return.

I had at least two private meetings with President Hoyte. The first, on Saturday, August 31 was no more than a re-acquaintanceship, because our contacts since 1979 had been limited for the most part to letters and cables. At the second meeting in his office on Tuesday, September 24, I told the president that I was not the same kind of person I was during the period 1977-1979. I did not raise the matter of restructuring the PNC and he did not raise it. I told the president that my specific interest lay in writing a biography of Forbes Burnham upon my return. He said he had been briefed about it. I did not ask or give any indication of interest in any other job.

I am sure that President Hoyte could confirm this. We also spoke about arrangements to bring me home, e.g. expediting payment to me of allowances owed for diplomatic work since 1980!

The Burnham Biography Prospect
Mr. Hoyte loved the idea of the biography but felt it insufficient. He said he wanted me to retain a significant role with the mass media, thus confirming what had been conveyed to me by intermediaries while I was overseas. He requested an expanded proposal about the biography project.

He felt my efforts should be expanded to include other PNC leaders such as Winifred Gaskin, Jainaraine Singh, etc., and trade union leaders. He thought that a formal structure should be created within the PNC to be exclusively concerned with this kind of "documentation." It was a more elaborate scheme than I had envisaged.

I complied and, the next day, Wednesday, September 25, proposed the entire expanded proposal to a full meeting of the Central Executive Committee of the PNC. The proposal won unanimous approval except for minor reservations expressed by Deputy Prime Minister Haslyn Parris.

Its most vociferous backers were Prime Minister Green, Vice President Shahabbudeen, Vice President Chandisingh, Vice President Viola Burnham and Deputy Prime Minister Robert Corbin. I left Guyana a few days later to conclude filing the necessary papers for my doctorate from UCLA with the clear understanding that the documentation unit would be set up in my absence and I would head it upon my return.

But during my absence nothing was done. Upon learning about this in late December 1985 while in Los Angeles, I sought to withdraw from the arrangement pointing also to delays in the arrangements to get me home and to a number of lucrative job offers in Los Angeles and elsewhere.

I was then courted weekly and then almost daily by telephone by the topmost leadership of the party and government and its intermediaries overseas. I was beseeched not to accept any foreign offers. I vas told that a person of my strong patriotism would be most unhappy living and working overseas when my skills were in demand at home. This was persuasive but I pointed to lack of progress on the documentation unit for the biography, the economic hardship posed by breakdown in the arrangements to get me home, and raised more vehemently the need for the government to pay me sums of monies owed for diplomatic work since 1980.

In a personal letter to President Hoyte on January 15, 1986, I set February 7 as a deadline for concrete action. The president directly intervened. He arranged for some payment of overdue monies, and expedited the arrangements for my return by early May 1986.

This retracing of developments again underscores that at no time did I seek any senior position in the PNC party and government as a condition for my return.

Upon my return to Guyana in May 1986, I met again with the top leadership of the PNC, including Hoyte, Green, Reid, and Chandisingh. In the first private meeting with Hoyte which took place in May or June during a General Council meeting of the party, I expressed regret that nothing had been done to set up the documentation unit. I told him again that I was not the same person I was in 1977. Mr. Hoyte pondered on the latter point and said he too was not the same person he was a few years ago.

In the context of our discussion, this appeared to mean that developments in and outside politics had brought about a change in his philosophy.

He shared my unhappiness that nothing had been done about the biography project and concurred in General Secretary Chandisingh's earlier explanation that the appointment of Malcolm Parris as Ambassador to Moscow had been partially responsible, since it was Parris who had been asked to set up the documentation unit.

The president also pointed to the recent 1985 general election campaign which had kept everyone very busy. He said the proposal for the unit needed more work. Specifically, the cost should be spelt out. But he said costing had become a major issue since during my recent absence a lot of financial irregularities and some fraud had been discovered in the PNC, an the organisation was for all intents and purposes bankrupt.

I proceeded to cost the expanded unit the president favoured. He did not indicate he wanted a scaling back of the project to the limited size and scope I had earlier proposed. In fact, he had reiterated the need for trade union and other leaders to be accommodated.

The help of experts in various agencies concerned with costing projects was sought. Their unanimous finding was that the project as preferred by the president would cost at least G$1m to launch and complete over a five year period. The proposal was seen and okayed by Chandisingh, and (I think) Green before I sent it to the president.

Hoyte Abandons Biography Project
Hoyte said he was most upset with the figures. In a meeting in his office on Monday, October 6, 1986, at which Chandisingh was present, he excoriated the proposal apparently having "forgotten" that the project had assumed a shape more reflective of his personal preferences than mine. (While fondly a small but thick wooden ashtray threateningly) The president displayed a most ferocious temper and rambled on about matters having very little to do with the project.

For example, I was rebuked for "joining the growing bandwagon" of senior officials complaining about Chandisingh's incompetence and racial prejudice. Subtle allusion was made to reports that I appeared more partial to Hamilton Green, and he made very erroneous personal comments regarding his own (misinformed) views about the PNC's kindnesses to me over the years, the need to groom me "tirelessly and properly for important leadership in the party", etc.

As the tirade ensued, I stopped defending myself and ceased offering any explanations. As a veteran of PNC politics and tactics, it had because clear that Hr. Hoyte was setting up a reason to abandon the biography project. I clearly recognised the signs since I had seen the tactic used on others in the past. I was now being instructed to "go home and await my orders."

The president said he was considering placing me in a suitable agency where my known talents could be fully exploited. This alarmed me because it seemed to indicate that he was not only abandoning the biography project but now also appeared bent on resurrecting aspects of my old role in 1977-1979. In days preceding our meeting, for example, there had been much talk about my being asked "to take on New Nation" again.

Later that day, I reported the sudden turn of events to senior party leaders, indicating that I was no longer interested in working for the PNC. Prime Minister Green was most perturbed by this turn of events but he urged me to remain in Guyana and "give Desmond (Hoyte) another chance." Two senior persons later explained that Mr. Hoyte was under enormous pressure from the United States administration to show disdain for Forbes Burnham. This apparently was a precondition for serious dialogue with the US on aid to Guyana. But I refused to sit at home and wait for the president's call. Instead, I discontinued all but necessary ties with the PNC, imported a minibus, and operated it to make up for loss of income. Apparently, to ensure my "good" behavior, the PNC halted my salary without informing me. This was a tactic routinely used in the past to coerce less affluent and independent functionaries into desired behavior.

University of Guyana Appointment
I applied to UG for a lectureship. As the process of recruitment was well underway, I was summoned by the president to his office. Fearing that disobeying the summons, as was my inclination, would jeopardize the imminent UG appointment and those who were supporting it, I responded to the summons and met privately with Mr. Hoyte in his office. I was amazed when the president told he that he was fully backing my application for appointment at the university, since I knew his role had been marginal up to that time. He wondered whether I would consider doing Burnham's biography while at UG. I was non-committal.

At UG, I was earning less than half of my former PNC salary. But not surprisingly, efforts by some strong backers in the PNC to have me paid the difference as a consultant were stalled in the Office of the President. By letter to the president on April 1, 1987, I ended the discussions. At the university, I resisted most efforts by the PNC to politicize my work. I refused to slant any lectures and tutorials to reflect favorably on the PNC government. I also declined "instructions" to cancel an invitation I had extended to opposition leader Dr. Cheddi Jagan to speak to one of my classes.

Hints For me to Leave Guyana
Soon, I began to receive threats to my health. And there was one attempted burglary of my Republic Park home which was very suspicious.

Next, General Secretary Chandisingh twice relayed hints that President Hoyte would welcome my departure from Guyana. I complained to the president about such intimidation in the same letter of April 1, 1987. No reply was received. But when I emigrated to the US in December that year my decision had nothing significant at all to do with bowing to such pressure. Indeed, precisely to underscore the point that I cannot be so bullied, I have returned to Guyana frequently for visits. On each occasion, I have been tailed by security police and "others" as if I had some criminal intent in visiting my homeland.

Banned from Conference on Afro-Guyanese
The boldest effort to scare me from returning to Guyana came in July 1988. I had been asked by the Deputy Vice Chancellor of UG, Dr. Joycelyn Loncke, to give a feature address to the plenary of the Conference on the Origins and Development of Afro-Guyanese which was being held in Guyana from July 29-31, 1988 under government auspices. I had agreed while in Guyana and then declined while overseas. Apparently, my letter indicating the latter was never received. The conference plans were being closely monitored by the Office of the President. Suddenly, on or about July 22 (the date of the document is unclear), I received a strange cable from Dr. Loncke advising me of "inability to accept" my paper, the implication being I should not return home.

At this time, my articles critical of the Guyana government were just beginning to appear in Caribbean Contact. Familiar with PNC politics, I became suspicious as to the origin of the cable. For the specific purpose of demonstrating to the regime that Festus Brotherson, Jr. is not some mediocre myrmidon who could be intimidated, I flew home to Guyana coinciding my visit with the conference.

Dr. Loncke said she was unaware of the cable sent in her name and was genuinely surprised. A few of my friends were repeatedly questioned and watched by security personnel during my stay in Guyana. The "best" treatment was reserved for me. I was followed everywhere I went. On one occasion, a security officer recognising that I had spotted him, came up and apologised, explaining he was only following orders.

I am again putting the PNC government on notice that I cannot be intimidated. I am aware of all the security background checks done on me since I began being publicly critical of the regime. The only "thing" found is that the PNC government paid a portion of my wife's medical expenses for a serious heart ailment. Under specific direction, the immoral new propagandists of the regime have corrupted that humanitarian gesture in a false claim about having saved my wife's life and mine when we were "dying." This then brings me to other vulgar falsehoods.

Vulgar Falsehoods About my Wife and Myself
According to one "J. Graham" (writing in the Caribbean Contact) who no one scene to know, but who apparently has full access to confidential information about me and my family, (JUST LIKE "RICKFORD BURKE" TODAY), I was very "privileged" in the PNC because I was able to obtain foreign exchange while based overseas, and because the PNC government paid my wife's medical expenses. It is alleged too that the PNC bankrolled my graduate education. What are the facts?

My wife, Lurline, was in the United States on a business trip in 1978 when she suffered a grievous heart condition. Our family had no medical insurance there because we had cancelled our policies to return to live in Guyana. Following advice and precedent, I appealed to the PNC government for assistance while I explored other ways and means of paying the huge hospital bills which were in excess of US$50,000. The PNC government generously paid US$12,000. The balance was unpaid for many years. One option explored was taking a second mortgage on my mother-in-law's home. But the $12,000 grant was the full extent of PNC assistance. When my wife suffered relapses in 1981 and 1984, and underwent two more open-heart surgeries, those bills were all paid by our medical insurance.

When I myself underwent major back surgeries in 1984, my bills were also settled fully by my medical insurance. Earlier, when I had left Guyana in December 1979, I sought and obtained permission from the Bank of Guyana to obtain a small amount of foreign exchange to defray medical expenses with my own monies. And around 1981, when I needed more, I applied and was again granted permission to obtain another but even smaller sum with my own monies. The truth of the matter is that during the period of ill health in my family very few persons in Guyana even knew about our plight. The Brothersons have never been paupers or mendicants.

Payment in Foreign Exchange for Diplomatic Work
By written agreement, the PNC was supposed to pay me a token monthly US$ sum of money in Los Angeles for my diplomatic work. I performed minor duties from 1980 to 1985. But during that period the regime was so bankrupt that I was usually very surprised when I did receive anything at all same months. The PNC government was so unable to meet this small commitment that I had to press the issue of back pay as a condition of my return to Guyana (as explained earlier). Even so, I had to agree to be paid half of what I was owed in Guyana dollars because the government was impecunious, to put it mildly.

Who Paid for my Graduate Education?
My graduate education was funded by a combination of lucrative scholarships and teaching and research fellowships I won, tuition waivers and grants received, and subsidized housing arranged - all by the University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA). The PNC had no role whatsoever in funding my graduate education. That is sheer bunkum! UCLA's help to me has been costed at approximately US$3,000 per month over a five-year period. But the person most responsible for financing my graduate education was my wife. This gentle woman worked full time, despite her severe illness, and literally put me through school. It is particularly despicable that the PNC would attempt to claim that they paid for my graduate schooling and, by the power of their propaganda, seek to present fiction as truth. Worse, the PNC appears to believe its own lies - the crowning irony of despotic authoritarian regimes!

The record will show that my criticisms of the PNC merely continues a tradition begun in 1977-1979 when I was the regime's insider critic. The big and significant difference today is that those criticisms are made in public forums and not in confidential party meetings. But the spirit and thrust of my concerns are the same. These are given sharper edge not by any bitterness on my part; but by my disavowal of Marxism.

This statement has been released for the sole purpose of setting the record straight regarding my past role, functions and relationship with the PNC government. The details provided were necessary to rebut the more insidious aspects of the ruling party and government's character assassination campaign against me. Perhaps, even this detailed response may prove insufficient to halt the PNC's attacks.

However, I am confident that, over time, the consistency and honesty of my actions, statements, and writings will exonerate me. END

February 14, 2001

Dear Ex-Dictator.

Why don't you display the courage of your convictions by doing the following:

1. Sign your own name to the putrid bunkum you personally author while signing Burke's name.

2. Confess to gold smuggling through the diplomatic bag in Washington D.C. which was nearly exposed.

3. Unwrap yourself from the sweeping immunities in which you hide under the Guyana constitution you personally wrote with M. Shahabbudeen.

4. Sue me for libel and slander so that I can release the affidavit.

Wonder if you are in it?

Follow steps 3 and 4.

Dr. Festus L. Brotherson, Jr.

Dr. Brotherson is a Guyanese professor of political science and corporate risk-assessment consultant who resides in the USA.