PNC dictatorship operated execution squad


 
 
Special Report on the Rodney Commission of Inquiry by Shaun Michael Samaroo

WHAT went wrong with Guyana?

Why had the nation plummeted to socio-economic depression, authoritarian dictatorship, food shortages and a crippling housing crisis? Could we avoid that ever happening again to our nation?

President Donald Ramotar

Guyanese see emerging out of the Walter Rodney Commission of Inquiry the answers to these troubling questions, with yesterday’s hearings providing sobering insight into how the Guyanese people suffered from covert political maneuvering and dictatorial abuse of law and order under the autocratic Government of the People’s National Congress (PNC). The PNC rigged elections in Guyana for 28 years, operating as an authoritarian dictatorship, resulting in the political assassination of several Guyanese.

Dr. Walter Rodney

Testimony at the Commission yesterday revealed how Guyana sunk to a staggering totalitarian state by the 1980’s. Guyanese citizens saw the PNC Government deny them basic food and freedom of the press, and left them lurching under a crippling housing crisis and devastated local communities.

The situation got so draconian and ugly that Guyanese saw the political assassination of their populous political leader and world famous scholar, Dr Walter Rodney, in a bomb blast on the streets of their capital city, Georgetown, on June 13, 1980.

The dark secrets, murderous plots and dictatorial conspiracies of the PNC Government lay dormant for over three decades, before President Donald Ramotar overcame obstacles to establish a Presidential Commission to probe why Dr Rodney was assassinated. The Commission’s job is to unearth the truth about why Guyanese saw their nation plummet to the deadly point of assassinating its foremost historian and intellectual leader, Dr Rodney.

The Commission also posts live updates throughout the day on Social Media, as follows:
Twitter: @WalterRodneyCom
Facebook Page: Walter Rodney Commission of Inquiry
Blog: commissionofinquiry.wordpress.com
Google+: Walter Rodney Commission of Inquiry
Pinterest: Walter Rodney Commission of Inquiry
YouTube videos are also posted online for global access to live testimony.

Yesterday’s hearing resumed the Commission’s vital task to probe the socio-political dysfunction in Guyana that caused Dr Rodney’s death.

Witness Robert Gates resumed his testimony in the Witness Box, dressed in a light green shirt and tie.

Under examination from lead Counsel for the Commission, Glen Hanoman, and cross examination from Trinidadian Attorney-at-Law Keith Scotland, who is representing Donald Rodney before the Commission, Gates revealed additional details of his sinister involvement in clandestine conspiracies to assassinate Guyanese citizens under the PNC dictatorship Government.

Gates’ testimony before the Commission reveals how top Army, Police and Government superiors strangled Guyana’s development in the PNC’s desperate grab for political power, with the State operating a menacing, clandestine “Execution Branch” within the Guyana Police Force that assassinated Guyanese citizens, including Dr Walter Rodney.

Under cross examination, Gates said he knows of “25 to 30 people” who the “Execution Branch” assassinated. “Some were justified, and some were not. Two that I know of were members of the Working People’s Alliance (WPA),” Gates said.

Gates’ testimony before the Commission reveals how top Army, Police and Government superiors strangled Guyana’s development in the PNC’s desperate grab for political power, with the State operating a menacing, clandestine “Execution Branch” within the Guyana Police Force that assassinated Guyanese citizens, including Dr Walter Rodney.
Under cross examination, Gates said he knows of “25 to 30 people” who the “Execution Branch” assassinated. “Some were justified, and some were not. Two that I know of were members of the Working People’s Alliance (WPA),” Gates said.

Gates had detailed to the Commission how he worked as an undercover Police Officer, involved in a plot of the law-flouting PNC Government, Cecil ‘Skip’ Roberts, ex-Police Crime Chief now residing in the US, Major General (retired) Norman McLean, and the late Police Commissioner, Laurie Lewis, to rob Guyanese citizens of their political human rights.

Yesterday, Gates several times named Mr Roberts, Major General (retired) McLean, and Lewis, along with PNC ruler and authoritarian Head of State, Forbes Burnham, as masterminds behind the political intrigues that crippled the nation.

Himself a colorful character, now serving a jail sentence at the Camp Street jail after being convicted of forgery, Gates shocked the Guyanese nation early this month when he revealed his role as undercover double agent spy, working for the Police under direction of the dictatorship PNC Government, and for Dr Rupert Roopnarine, co-leader of the WPA.

Gates faced criticism and hostility from the Counsel, before the Commission, for the PNC, Mr Basil Williams, because of his troubles with the law.

Trinidadian Lawyer Keith Scotland cross examining Robert Gates during Rodney’s COI yesterday. (Cullen Bess-Nelson photo)

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

But Gates said most of his testimony could be verified, and he named names with confidence and freedom. He said he recalls that at one public political meeting in Kitty, Georgetown, he pulled his Police guns on a group of religious fanatics from the cult, the House of Israel, who the PNC Government hired to break up political meetings. The thugs had started pelting broken bottles at the Opposition political speakers, with one bottle hitting Moses Nagamootoo, speaking on the platform on behalf of the People’s Progerssive Party (PPP), on his head.

“I pulled my guns on the House of Israel men, and the next day my superiors in the Police Force called me in and reprimanded me, telling me to leave them alone,” Gates said.

The witness, speaking clear and with dignified clarity in the Witness Box, said he personally has knowledge of the operations of a secret body that operated as a joint Armed Forces intelligence organ of the State. This organ got direct orders from Head of State of the dictatorial PNC Government, Mr Forbes Burnham, Gates said, emphasising that the top actors were “Laurie Lewis and Cecil ‘Skip’ Roberts”.

Under cross examination, Gates revealed that Roberts, though not head of the Police Force, ignored then Police Commissioner Lloyd Barker to report directly to Mr Burnham. “I know personally that Roberts accompanied Burnham horseback riding,” Gates said, noting that the two men were confidantes.

The witness, under a cloud of controversy because the PNC has indicated its unhappiness with his appearance at the Commission, ignored the criticisms, and testified with ease and comfort. Gates said the Guyana Police Force operated a Special Branch, “which became known as the Death Squad”. Within the Special Branch, the “Execution Branch operated”, tasked with killing Guyanese citizens, Gates revealed under cross examination.

Counsel Scotland spent considerable time cross examining Gates to prove that his client, Donald Rodney, was in no way involved in the bomb blast that killed Dr Walter Rodney.

The dictatorship PNC Government had charged Donald Rodney with being in possession of explosives, and Scotland cross examined Gates to prove that the Police charged Donald Rodney falsely.

The Commission resumes tomorrow, with Gates still in the stand.

Several key witnesses are lined up to appear at this session of the Commission’s sitting, which adjourns on July 2 next.

In the audience today, Dr Rupert Roopnarine sat quietly in the audience, and listened with rapt attention as his name came up several times. Gates has testified that Dr Roopnarine paid him as an undercover spy, on behalf of the WPA.

Yesterday, the name of a recurring mysterious agent of the Russian secret service, the KGB, came up several times as well, as the political intrigue and dark conspiracies take on international implications.

Gates said the KGB agent trained him, along with suspected assassinator of Dr Walter Rodney, the late Gregory Smith, to operate explosive electronics, and also provided them with “technical help”. Gates met the mystery KGB undercover agent with Laurie Lewis and his handlers within the Police Force at the Pegasus Hotel.

Gates said the Russian spy worked in Guyana as a consultant to the dictatorship PNC Government, to provide technical assistance in clandestine political plots to harm, harass and assassinate Guyanese citizens, a point that Counsel Scotland emphasised in his cross examination.

The Commission resumes its work today at the High Court building in Georgetown, with Guyanese all across the world showing keen interest in the revelations of dark political plots. The hearing is streamed live worldwide for free online by the National Communication Network (NCN).

President Ramotar has said that the Presidential Commission, officially called the Walter Rodney Commission of Inquiry, aims to provide answers for the family of Dr Rodney, and the Guyanese people, along with the WPA, as to why Guyanese Dr Rodney died in a bomb blast in his car.

Commission members are Chairman Sir Richard Cheltenham of Barbados, Mr Seenath Jairam of Trinidad and Tobago, and Ms Jacqueline Samuel-Brown of Jamaica.

Guyanese all across the world, especially the young generation, focus riveted attention to the testimonies coming out of the Commission, as for the first time the nation is seeing why Guyana suffered a socio-economic collapse in the 1970’s and 1980’s, and how the dictatorial PNC Government treated Guyanese citizens, with such authoritarian disdain.

 

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