Compiled by Odeen Ishmael
(Thunder, 5 November 1960)
AFTER A DECADE OF STRUGGLE
Victor Hugo once wrote that
great perils have this one beauty, that they bring about a fraternity of strangers.
The grave perils confronting the Guianese people today are those of colonialism (British political rule) and imperialism (foreign economic domination). This is not to say that these dangers are of recent origin On the contrary, they have been the inseparable companions of all those who are proud to call themselves Guianese ever since this country fell under the yoke of European rule. What is important to note, however, is the fact that the Guianese people have only become really conscious of these perils within the past decade.
Why did the realities of colonial conquest and exploitation take such a long time to dawn upon Guianese people?
The fact is that prior to 1947 there never existed a political leader or party, equipped with a knowledge of the theory of scientific socialism which could have been applied to the education and organisation of the broad masses for the termination of foreign rule in Guiana.
Because of the tireless efforts of the People's Progressive Party over the past ten years, during which time it faced savage opposition from the privileged and also experienced betrayals, the masses have been able to grasp the fundamentals of socialism and to discover the reasons for their poverty and want. They can no longer be deceived by exploiters or by their political agents, clerical defenders and editorial servants.
Credit for this great work of political enlightenment belongs solely to the PPP. Of even greater historic significance is the fact having created a popular awareness of the traditional perils, the party was able to bring about in 1953 the fraternity of the overwhelming ,majority of Guianese ? those of all ethnic groups who work, manually and mentally, and alone produce the national wealth, but as yet do not enjoy the full fruits of their labour.
The exertions of the colonialists and imperialists and of their resident agents and native allies to destroy this fraternity are now well known. Some measure of success has been achieved by the
oppressors because they were able to discover within the PPP means of disuniting the Guianese people. Although traitors were kicked out of the PPP, a fake movement was set up which usurped the genuine Party's name and only abandoned it after experiencing retributive justice in the form of defeat at the last general election.
Today, political renegades, established opportunists, and shameless apologists of the exploiting class have ganged up in the service of colonialism and imperialism. For verification, it is only necessary to point to the link up between the PNC and Bookers through the chairman of the former, and to the sabotaging by the PNC of the PPP independence proposals at the London Constitutional Talks.
The perils facing Guiana are as formidable as they were before the advent of the PPP because of the organised campaign inspired and backed by the rich, native and foreign, to keep the people divided. All the propaganda media of the privileged minority are disseminating the vilest lies, stirring up racial hatred, and attempting to smear the PPP because it continues to stand like a rock, alert and watchful, guarding the rights of the majority and ever seeking to extend them.
Let the handful of oppressors be warned that they continue to underestimate the intelligence of the Guianese working people at their own peril. A Party that is outspoken and straightforward, whose fearless independence and integrity of purpose have been demonstrated over and over again is bound, in the long run, to win the respect and confidence of those whom it aims to weld into a peaceful, cooperative society, free from the conflicts and injustices of contemporary capitalist society.
If another party of reaction is born out of the ?Third Force” conspiracy to mislead the Guianese people, it will have been fathered by personal greed, ambition, and self seeking, the very same forces responsible for the creation of big business parties like the PNC and others.
In the crucial campaign of 1961, the same grave perils to Guianese social and economic progress will be the basic issue. They are perils for which parties of big business, pledged to preserve a system of exploitation, can have no solution. Once this fact is widely known, despite propaganda of the imperialists and of their editorial and clerical defenders, there are good prospects that after ten years of courageous PPP struggle, it will reunite all working people and bring about the fraternity of all those who up till now are apparent strangers to the PPP programme of realising absolute freedom and plenty for all.