Tony Vieira's Comments
18 October 2017

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Me!
(Aired 1 July 2004)

    Before I go further and considering where these commentaries will ultimately take us, there are a few things you have to understand about me. It is there in all of the commentaries but apparently I have to spell it out in plain words.

   Recently there was a huge furore over statements that I allegedly made about Indian and Africans and their looks, these attacks have now ceased but I have seen no apology from the attacker nor have I seen any retraction or disassociation by the Kaiteur News which I now consider to be a PPP mouthpiece and therefore an enemy.

   I am not a racial person, Lorrie Alexander in trying to defend me in the Pfreddie matter was reluctant to tell what he knows about me not being racial, he just said that I was not.

   Put in its simplest terms my first marriage ended in 1987 and from 1988 to 1991 I lived with an Indian woman whose call name was Fazie and from 1991 to 1995 I lived with a black woman whose name was Denise. Now these were not dating arrangements, these girls lived here with me at Versailles and in every sense of the word they were like wives but not formalised by marriage, my second wife Jewel who I married in 1996 is arguably one of the most exotically beautiful women in the country, she is half Indian one quarter Black and one quarter Chinese.

   Ladies and gentlemen over and over again I have told you that there are no Indians living in this country just as there are no Africans living here, we are Guyanese, when you ask an Englishman to tell you who he is, he does not tell you black or white, Hindu, Christian or Muslim he tells you that he is British.

   We cannot move on as a nation until we resolve this issue and we have been stuck in this nonsense mode for nearly 50 years, who is Indian, who is African and who is a Guyanese.

    I don't care if you are Afro Guyanese, Indo Guyanese, Chino Guyanese, Porto Guyanese once you admit that you are Guyanese to me, then we will get on just fine, if however you are an Indian or an African then get out of the place and go back to India or Africa where you think that you belong, but none of you ever do, when you leave you are heading to that country where there is only one type of people, Americans!       So how come an Indian from Guyana or an African from Guyana cannot think of himself as a Guyanese but he can apparently with greatest of ease become an American? 

   To simplify this even further I will tell you of the four people on the West Demerara who are my friends they are Benjamin from Goed Fortuin, Kunzru Chand and Haroon from Pouderoyen and Fazil Rayman from Vreed en Hoop, now these are people who talk to me at least once if not twice a week, one is black, a Christian, one a Hindu and two are Muslims but these people have one thing in common they, like me, do not see race and they do not support the PPP. The evidence is that this question of race however it started, was started for political reasons nothing else, but now there is no question which political party, without blind racial support, would have ended up on the political scrapheap long ago because of their incompetence and their corruption it is the PPP; the party with the numerically superior racial numbers. It is they who benefit from racial voting; it is they who keep it alive and in doing so they are destroying us. The bible tells us that a house divided against itself cannot stand, this was known 2000 years ago, how come we still have people here in this country who don't know about it.

   In a commentary I did some weeks ago I pointed out that if we looked at the situation in the country along religious lines instead of racial lines, the Hindus would not be the dominant force, the Christians would be the dominant force. All I was doing was changing the equation from a racial one to a religious one, and I was doing it for a specific reason; I do not accept that there are any Indians or Africans living here, if you accept that, then the only thing that separates you is your cultural differences but since we are Guyanese where is our Guyanese identity? It is not there because we have been operating along racial lines for too long in this country and there is no longer any Creole or Guyanese identity and that is what we must fix or we will perish.

   I love all my Guyanese brothers equally, all ethnic groups, the colour of a man's skin has nothing to do with what is in his mind and I recognise in them their strengths and their weaknesses, now, not to put myself in hot water again this month, I will not tell you what those differences are but if you look at each other carefully and analytically, you will see strengths and weaknesses in both Afro and Indo Guyanese groups. But let me tell my Hindu brothers this, it was I as Manager of Versailles who donated the Estate's land free to build the Malgre Toute Hindu Temple, I even laid the cornerstone, anyone out there telling you that I do not like Hindus, is a liar.

   Now Religion need not affect our everyday lives as it pertains to politics, religion is living to certain standards, traditions and criteria that your church tells you to live to, so that you can enjoy eternity in a certain way and does not concern Guyana's politics which is for the body not the soul. But the Pundit, the Imam and the Priest will all tell you the same thing, be kind to, and respect your brothers. It would shock me if any of them did not.

   Do not look for hidden meanings in what I say about race or religion, I respect everyman's right to believe and worship God in his own way and I am colour blind when it comes to race.

   Which brings me to what I am against, I am against anyone who tries to divide us with racial lies and are taking advantage of the simplicity and loyalty of their brothers, and I am against all forms of corruption and incompetence.

   This brings me to the PPP, whatever the PPP may have been in the past, it became the government in this country under Cheddie Jagan in 1992, now Jagan, was, until the Berlin wall fell in 1989 heralding the end of the cold war, an avowed communist. But under the new dispensation of open markets and free enterprise he was after being a communist for so long, he was lost and dysfunctional man in the post cold war world, one of his first big mistakes, for example, was the threat just after he came to power, to re-examine the GT&T, the Barama, the Omai and the Demerara Woods contracts. This sent mixed messages abroad about this country's seriousness to work with international companies as investment partners and virtually halted all major international investment, until that disaster GP&L where so many concessions had to be made, but was necessary to undo the damage of Jagan's disastrous initial excursion into the world of attracting private investment.

   Up to today the PPP is fumbling in a sea of contradictions, corruption and chaos, unable to function in the world of open markets and business; a classic example is our Minister Shadick when this lady was made a Minister she boldly and unapologetically proclaimed that she was not completely sure what her job was but she will try, three years later this same lady is telling us that she did not understand the US's and Amnesty International's definition of trafficking in persons, since it differed with her own. After three years and several scandals, like the rest of the PPP, she is still completely dysfunctional and lost.