Friday, August 31, 2007

Stella Says…School is in session, Aunty Stella teaches the boys a lesson

by Stella Ramsaroop

(Originally published in Guyana's Kaieteur News on 31 August 2007)

Gather round boys and listen to Aunty Stella as she schools you on some good leadership traits. Heavens know there could be some decent lessons on leadership lately. Whoa, not that close Smart and Sharp Robert – but I admire your eagerness to learn because education is the foundation upon which humans will continue to flourish, Mr. MBA.

All right boys (I say boys because most of those who like to take up so much space in the news lately are the guys. Surprise, surprise), its like this, of late there has been quite a bit of confusion from all directions when it comes to defining a leadership style that both puts the people of Guyana first and effectively runs the nation.

Don’t you worry your little heads though, I completely understand how difficult it must be to lead a nation since it is no easy job to pretend to care about the people and jerk them around at the same time. Never fear little ones, Aunty Stella has done her homework and will help you to define a cohesive leadership style that I promise will work brilliantly.

I have quite a few books on leadership, but my smallish library does not come close to exhausting the references on this topic. I have Plato (of course) and Machiavelli (to study how not to lead). I have books by old philosophers as well as new authors with contemporary thoughts on leadership.

However, I was stumped when I read a letter in the Chronicle yesterday where someone compared President Jagdeo’s leadership style with an ancient Swedish king named Aun. I had never heard of this Aun character so – being the student of leadership styles that I am - I did a little studying on the life and leadership of Aun.

It seems Aun did not like to wage war. That much is good. However, it seems when he was 60 years old he decided to sacrifice one of his sons to Odin (the chief Norse god) so that he might live to lead for another 60 years. These sacrifices continued through another eight sons (Poor guy got gypped. He only received an extra ten years for each additional son sacrificed to Odin) until the people stopped him from killing his last son.

Of course, without any further sacrifices, King Aun finally died. It is said that he was so old when he died that he could only eat by sucking mush from a horn like a baby. Personally, this association of Aun to President Jagdeo in the PPP propaganda newspaper is a bit perplexing for me.

Is this the PPP’s way of letting the country know that Jagdeo will be around for quite a bit longer than any of us anticipate? I suppose if Jagdeo plans for these sacrifices, he might have to offer some of your sitting at my feet to Odin since metaphorically speaking you are his political sons.

Hmmm, it seems the President’s new leadership path may not bode well for some of you, but never you mind that, it is all for the good of Guyana. And that is all that is truly important to every single one of you anyhow – the good of Guyana – right? (Wink, wink)

Before you boys start visiting Norse temples with the President, please give Aunty Stella a chance to tell you how I would define a good leader. Or rather, allow me explain how I quickly pinpoint poor leadership from just few telltale signs. Sometimes it is easier to weed out the bad rather than digging around frantically to find the good.

Now boys, here is how Aunty Stella weeds out the power hungry gluttons from the real leaders. If you treat the people who work in your office like the only reason they are on earth is just to serve you – Bam! You are a power hungry glutton.

If you think more about yourself on a daily basis than you think about the people to whom you are obligated by your office to serve – yep, you are a narcissistic stooge. Oh, and by the way, in case there was any doubt, a narcissistic stooge does not a good leader make.

If you begin each day knowing you will make more money than what your paycheck and lawfully gained investments allow – you are not a good leader. Instead you are a criminal that could end up being be some toothless fiend’s very good friend behind the privacy of jail bars.

If you are obsessed with power and money and if you are completely consumed with making it to the next rung on the political ladder – well, I have some very bad news for you. Not only are you not a good leader, you are the worst leader society could ever produce.

To be honest, boys, if you want to know if you are a good leader, just ask those who work with you (yes, boys, I said with you – not for you. A true leader understands the tremendous value of the input and contributions of others). If those who work with you are not afraid to tell you the truth, their honest feedback will help you grow as a leader and make them feel appreciated.

If you cannot “lower” yourself to the level of asking someone who works “for” you to assess your leadership capabilities – once again, you are not a good leader. If you intimidate your co-workers into giving you a dishonest answer just to build your ego – oh brother are you a sick person who needs a lot of psychological counselling.

Listen boys, Aunty Stella is just tired of the ego clashes. It is just pathetic to watch you boys try to outdo each other in personality brawls. The question at hand is not who has the biggest personality – the question is about who has the biggest personality disorder.

Why do boys always have to have the biggest toys? Guyana does not need big personalities from egotistical leaders; it needs some down-to-earth leadership from guys who know how to be humble and can work well with others for the good of the people of the country.

That is all for today’s lesson. You were all such good boys. Tomorrow’s lesson will be on leaders who have to manipulate or scare people into supporting them so they can stay in power.

School is out for the day, boys. You are dismissed.

Email: StellaSays[at]

Wednesday, August 29, 2007

Stella Says…And Jagdeo comes to Corbin’s rescue

by Stella Ramsaroop

(Originally published in Guyana's Kaieteur News on 29 August 2007)

As much as we might like to do so, we cannot conveniently overlook the magnanimous generosity exhibited by the President of Guyana this week when he granted Mark Benschop a Free Presidential Pardon and set the man free after years of imprisonment on the charges of treason.

At the same time, I am forced to ask some obvious questions that just do not add up. For example, how can we say Benschop was freed from his charges of treason since he was never given a trial? How do we know he was in fact guilty of anything at all if no court said as much?

Moreover, how can a president of any country pardon someone who was not found guilty of a crime? Is it just me (I am a long way away from Guyana) or are some pieces missing from this puzzle?

I suppose Benschop, as well as Corbin and the PNC, are not willing to look a gift horse in the mouth. After all, Corbin could use all of the help he can get from the PPP to look like a reputable leader nowadays.

To say the PNC is hobbling along would be kind after all of the many telltale signs to show just how much of a beating Corbin has taken from the whole Team Alexander fiasco. Whispers of rigged party elections and announcements of disciplinary actions against those in the party who ran against Corbin certainly did not help the PNC’s already spotty reputation.

I did expect Corbin to start pretending like he was a leader. I expected to see the ego posturing and veiled intimidations in hopes that the world would be impressed and finally believe he was a good leader. Things could not have been worse for Corbin in the past few weeks.

It sure is a lucky thing that Jagdeo came to his rescue. Just when Corbin’s situation was going from bad to really, really, really bad – Jagdeo came riding into a press conference on his white horse and saved Corbin just in time.

Just in time for what you may ask? Just in time to save Corbin from yet another failed leadership move. Never mind that all Jagdeo did was pardon a man of treason who was never convicted of treason. I told a friend weeks ago that Corbin would have to feed his ego and in the process would make yet more decisions that would be detrimental to his party and the nation.

Political pomposity is at an all time high right now and as usual it is nauseating. It is always such a hoot to watch people who think more of themselves than they ought as they behave in such a manner as to assume the rest of the world thinks as highly of them as they think of themselves. This would include almost every politician.

These types of people are so predictable, especially when they get their little feelings hurt. I am quite sure the PPP also knew to expect Corbin to do something drastic to prove that he should be taken seriously – like take to the streets in protests.

I have absolutely nothing against street protests to get the government’s attention concerning important matters. When I lived in the Midwest, I travelled over 800 miles to DC and protested the war in Iraq with tens of thousands of other people before the war had even started. Obviously, our efforts were in vain.

However, Guyana’s history with street protests has left a dark cloud over this form of demonstration. As such, when Corbin says his party will take to the streets in protest – the words can sound intimidating instead of like a healthy mode of democracy at work.

Enters President Jagdeo on his white horse with a freed Benschop and takes the wind out of Corbin’s sail. There is a national collective sigh of relief as fear of a street demonstration is quelled yet one more time.

Quite honestly, these back-and-forth movements by Jagdeo and Corbin seem mechanical and staged at times. Sometimes I cannot help but wonder if these leaders, both of whom are parasitically reliant on the other, have the history of Guyana planned out years before it even happens.

In the end, political posturing (or rather throwing a fit because your party is falling to pieces) does not make Corbin a good leader and pardoning a man who has not been convicted of a crime does not make Jagdeo kind-hearted – as the events of the past weeks are suppose to make us all believe.

The one thimble of truth in all this is that Benschop is finally free. All the rest is just pomp and circumstance.

Email: StellaSays[at]

Sunday, August 26, 2007

Stella Says…Power always regards the population as a danger

by Stella Ramsaroop

(Originally published in Guyana's Kaieteur News on 26 August 2007)

As I was listening to one of my favourite radio news shows this week, a clip from a show called, “The Time is Now” was played and instantly my sensibilities were touched and I knew I was listening to a treasure. The interviewee was noted scholar Noam Chomsky and the subject was dissent.

The interviewer began the segment with Chomsky by insisting that a prophet is one who speaks truth to power regardless of the consequences – someone who loves his or her country but will not shy away from pointing out the nation’s shortcomings so as to encourage the nation to live up to the better angels of their nature.

I had no idea Chomsky was about to be a guest on the show, but as captivated as I was by this introduction, I had no choice but to continue listening. It is refreshing to see segments of the American media finally break free from the nonsensical notion that to dissent against the wrongs of the nation’s leaders is akin to supporting terrorist activity.

I had never heard Chomsky speak before and was intrigued as to what he would have to offer on the subject at hand. I was not the least disappointed. He briefly touched on the fact that a dissident fringe has always existed throughout history – sometimes to their own peril depending on the state at the time – and how today’s governments have public relations machines that manufacture consent to keep the masses inactive.

Chomsky mentioned the affect commercials have on people. This made me think of Guyana’s Government Information Agency (GINA). When a person watches any commercial, one does not expect to be informed. The expectation is to be diluted.

However, with an endless bombardment of government engineered news and information, is it any wonder why the people are so compliant and inactive – even in the midst of crime, flooding and the introduction of VAT taxes? The aim is to keep the people marginalised and living in ignorance because, as Chomsky maintained, “Power always regards the population as a danger.”

The short interview was very enlightening. Although it seems I shared the same sentiment as Chomsky on topics such as government engineered consent and the dire need for dissent in every democracy, it was encouraging to hear these topics discussed in such an eloquent manner.

As the interviewer closed the discussion he added one last thought as he thank Chomsky for his efforts in trying to awake the people from their inactivity. Then saying he was a spiritual man, he went on to acknowledge that “without a serious understanding of the currents in my own nation and the way we impact the world, there will be a hollowness to that spirituality.”

This statement applies to so many people in Guyana. As a nation of very spiritual people, it is near to impossible to pretend to be blind to the government’s actions (and inactions) without making a serious indictment on your own spirituality. The pretences make that spirituality hollow and worthless.

In other words, the government is accountable to the people. What the government does, it does as if the people were doing it because the government is simply a group of representatives of the people. Therefore, when government officials practice racial politics, it is as if the people themselves were committing the act.

When the judicial system fails to convict rapists – over and over and over again – it is the people of the nation who are responsible. When crime runs rampant, when children are left in abusive homes, when schools become dilapidated, when food cost more than many families can afford – it all comes back to the people.

A person can claim to be spiritual all day long, but if that person wears a blindfold so as not to have the conscience seared by the horror all around or be forced to care about others – that spirituality means nothing. To wear ones religion on the sleeve is useless if compassion is not on the other sleeve.

In a country where the government tells the people what they should think about almost everything through the radio, television and newspapers, can it be more evident that the people need to take back control of their lives – and their minds?

I return to the thought that a prophet is someone who will speak the truth to power in spite of the consequences. Guyana needs more brave prophets who love their country but also clearly see the shortcomings and will persuade the nation to raise the standard of expectations from government representatives.

It is time to remove the blindfolds.

Email: StellaSays[at]

Friday, August 24, 2007

Stella Says…Listen to a tale of my brief regression into a submissive woman

by Stella Ramsaroop

(Originally published in Guyana's Kaieteur News on 24 August 2007)

I have always been intrigued at the socialisation process that expects women to defer to men. Then the other day I was in a conversation with a man who challenged something I said and I responded with a news piece to prove my position. The man dogmatically stood his ground and I decided it was not worth the fight – over dinner no less.

In retrospect, I know I should have continued the dispute, but I did not want to bruise this man’s ego. In other words, I had acted just as I had been socialised to act. I might as well have said, “Of course, you must be right, after all you are a man and I am just a woman.”

It occurred to me that when a woman is trained to defer to a man, she is actually being trained to protect his ego. I have a difficult time believing men have such fragile egos. Moreover, one cannot help but wonder why very few have ever given so much as passing thought to the female ego.

It would seem the female ego carries no more value in many cultures than the female intellect, the female aspirations – or in some cases, even the female herself. In some drastic cases, a woman can be killed if she bruises her husband’s ego too much by having an affair.

Yet that same husband can carry on with whomever he wishes and her ego should never feel the sting. She is to defer to him in this case and all others until death (or murder) do them part.

In my case, I merely allowed a man to feel he had bested me. I rationalised that it was dinner and why would I cause a stir at such a peaceable time? Of course, he obviously had no problem with a stir, but the others at the table might have not enjoyed it as much. I also reasoned to myself that the point at odds was nothing more than a piece of information, which was not as important as a relationship.

It is amazing the hoops an intelligent woman will jump through to justify a wilful act to submit to the stereotypical female role. I was simply acting according to societal expectations. What could possibly be wrong with that? As I type that question I have a million answers to it.

The first and foremost question is why on earth would I pretend to be less intelligent than the male sitting next to me just so his ego could be stroked? The next important question is why society expects me to swallow my pride so that a male can walk around with his feathers cocked?

This is not the first time I have deferred to a man for the sake of societal propriety. When I think of the times I have stepped aside to allow a man to do a job in which I could have done much better, it makes me sick. On numerous occasions I have held my tongue and pretended to be uninformed or uneducated about a matter just so a man could feel more important.

I cannot count the number of times I have consciously stopped at a door and adjusted my countenance to portray a less confident and more submissive representation of myself. This is nothing but a lie to the world though, because my footsteps are not light and my confidence is not shaky.

I would wager an entire year’s salary that every single woman reading this column has deferred to male when it was unnecessary. It is a sad indictment on society that it forces women to lower themselves to such a despicable position just so men can feel as if they are on a higher plane.

I have promised myself time and again that I would not act like someone less intelligent or less capable just to appease a male ego, yet here I find myself feeling guilty for knowing I am at equal but acting like I am less just because society demands it.

Unguarded moments, like the one I had at dinner, are the most treacherous for me because they steal my resolve and force me to behave in a manner that I would never willingly act. It is at these times that my knee jerk reaction is to revert to my conservative upbringing that demands female submission.

I write this very personal essay for one reason and that is to show other women that regardless of the number of times we mindlessly fall in line with patriarchal socialisations, we must not give up.

It is more important than ever to continue to allow our real selves shine through – the intelligent, strong and confident women. Otherwise, our daughters will spend their lives pretending to be lackeys instead of leaders too - and the world simply cannot wait much longer for women to take their rightful place of leadership.

Email: StellaSays[at]

Wednesday, August 22, 2007

Stella Says…What does it mean to be pro-West?

by Stella Ramsaroop

(Originally published in Guyana's Kaieteur News on 22 August 2007)

In yesterday’s Kaieteur News, our dear Sweet and Sensitive Freddie challenged my assessment of any politician using a pro-West platform to garner support for office. I said it was political suicide to do so and used the recent Lebanese elections to prove my point in part. Freddie maintained that Guyana does not feel the same about the West as those in the Middle East.

Far be it from me to encourage anti-West sentiment. Now anti-Bush sentiment - that is a whole other story. I’ve been against this president’s so-called foreign policy initiatives since it was clear that he intended to attack Iraq no matter what. Moreover, his charade of wanting to spread democracy causes me great ire.

I love chocolate cake. However, if it is shoved in my face because someone is trying to force it on me, even chocolate cake will taste horrible. I feel the same about democracy. Introducing democracy in a nation is a decision that should be brought about by the people because they want it. A nation that has democracy forced on it will despise this idea that is by and large very good.

Bush has done whatever he pleases during his terms in office and America has paid for his insolence in so many ways – including, but not limited to the loss of freedoms, the lives of thousands of servicemen, the compromise of America’s national security and by making the US a laughing stock around the world.

It is amazing what one poor administration can do to change such a strong nation in such a short amount of time. If democracy has one Achilles' heel, it would be the fact that poor leaders can find their way into office and use their power to wreak havoc on the nation – and in America’s case, the world.

Freddie said in his column from yesterday, “Guyana has always been in the orbit of the West.” In the respect that the Guyanese people demand to be governed by representative leaders (as demonstrated by Freddie’s point on their refusal of communism), I would never argue the veracity of this choice. Moreover, there are actually many aspects about the West that I enjoy and would encourage.

However, I also feel the past few years have seen Western democratic principles compromised because of the same leaders elected to protect the people’s inherent freedoms. Likewise, Western corporate leaders have introduced a whole new level of corruption to society. Therefore, at this point in history I think it would be wise for any developing nation to be careful of the Western traits it chooses to emulate.

Bear with me, Freddie dear, as I make a short list of recent Western behaviour that a developing nation should guard against. Firstly, no country should ever attack another country in a “pre-emptive strike” in modern days. It is my position that humans have evolved beyond the need for such primitive actions.

Just imagine if I went to my neighbour and slapped her just because I thought there might be a possibility that she would slap me at some point in the future. Nonsense. Humans are a far more advanced species than to behave in such a manner.

This type of behaviour is childish and would be found on the playground with a bully trying to gain more power through intimidation techniques. Rational thinking adults do not strike before being struck and most certainly a modern society should be above this type of conduct.

Another Western trait I abhor is global ignorance. So many Westerners spend their lives totally oblivious to the plight of the rest of the world. Like the Classical Romans, their gluttony consumes them and they give nary a thought to the millions of starving children around the world, the AIDS overrun regions of Africa or the women who die every day because of the patriarchal sexism so ingrained in our cultures.

However, it is the Western corporate attitude of “step on others before they step on you” that completely repulses me. I love watching my husband do business because he is one of the shining examples of a corporate executive who cares about the people who work in his company.

Meanwhile, I get a kick out of watching the voracious, mean-spirited businessmen/women sink their companies because they pilfer every dime for their own personal gain and leave nothing but a shell to run the business.

In short, I like the free-market, but despise American greed. I would fight tooth and nail to defend my freedoms, but I loathe elected officials who squander those freedoms for malevolent agendas. I give an affirming nod to the predominantly effective judicial systems, but I know there are loopholes and therefore do not trust the system fully.

It seems we are at a point in history in which there are many negative Western traits that are on display for the entire world to see. Freddie insists that Guyanese do not care much about these harmful characteristics. I can understand this thinking because most Americans do not care either.

I suppose I have the ability to put myself in the shoes of an Iraqi woman and can feel her pain. I know that if another country destroyed my country the way Iraq has been decimated, my feelings would be strongly negative toward the destroyers. As an American woman, I find it contemptible that I am connected to the atrocious behaviour of the Bush Administration by association of citizenry.

Be that as it may, I do hope any politician who decides to run on a “pro-West” platform in Guyana has the good sense to draw a line of distinction between the ugly Western traits I have listed (and others) and the Western principles that could be good for the nation.

Also, a politician who simply claims to be pro-West leaves too much to interpretation. For example, my interpretation of pro-West did not leave a good taste in my mouth. Clearly there should be some clarification of the Western principles a politician believes to be important for Guyana.

Even more importantly, I hope the Guyanese people understand that not all Western traits are good traits and can discern between the good and bad traits when choosing “pro-West” leaders. Obviously, the American people were not able to make this distinction.

Email: StellaSays[at]

Sunday, August 19, 2007

Stella Says…Whistle blowers welcomed and protected

by Stella Ramsaroop

(Originally published in Guyana's Kaieteur News on 19 August 2007)

The Freedom of Information (FOI) Bill presented for approval by Raphael Trotman is still hanging in limbo despite numerous calls for the enactment of such legislation from all parts of Guyanese society. However, it seems innovation has found a way around any governments’ stalling shenanigans and will no doubt be to the benefit of all free (and not-so-free) people.

Wikipedia is an online source of information that has made a sound impact on modern culture. Anyone in the world can contribute or edit entries on any subject; thereby creating the healthiest encyclopaedia that has ever existed.

Now these remarkably inventive Wiki people have gone one step further and created a new site specifically designed for those who have valuable information to share about their governments and corporations. The site is called Wikileaks ( Oh baby, is this going to be so much fun.

Here is what Wikileaks has to say about its brilliant idea, “Wikileaks is developing an uncensorable Wikipedia for untraceable mass document leaking and analysis. Our primary interest is in exposing oppressive regimes in Asia, the former Soviet bloc, Sub-Saharan Africa and the Middle East, but we also expect to be of assistance to those in the west who wish to reveal unethical behavior in their own governments and corporations.”

It continues, “We aim for maximum political impact. Our interface is identical to Wikipedia and usable by all types of people. We have received over 1.2 million documents so far from dissident communities and anonymous sources.”

The value of such a site is beyond measure to a country like Guyana that has a government that refuses to be forthcoming concerning its actions or to pass legislation to allow for the openness of information to the people. Just imagine the implications of a site like this.

This site provides an avenue for the anonymous, untraceable leaking of documents without censor, which means that anyone who has been sitting on information about their government and just waiting for a chance to let the world know about it without paying a stiff price for being a dissident can come forward now without fear of reprisal.

I can hear the angels in heaven singing, “hallelujah!” Governments worldwide will be held accountable to the people for their actions – like it or not. Wikileaks claims to have received over 1.2 million documents so far. If ever there has been a mechanism for keeping our governments honest, this far surpasses all else.

That is not to say that the proposed FOI bill should not be passed and enacted, as it is only proper for the people of any free country to have full knowledge of their government’s actions. There is no reason the people of Guyana should rely on leaks to attain the information they rightfully deserve from their representatives.
Still, as we have seen, some governments do not wish to be so forthcoming with information. This is where a site like Wikileaks will prove invaluable to the openness of information.

Here is how the makers of Wikileaks see the site, “Wikileaks looks like Wikipedia. Anybody can post to it, anybody can edit it. No technical knowledge is required. Whistleblowers can post documents anonymously and untraceably. Users can publicly discuss documents and analyze their credibility and veracity. Users can discuss the latest material, read and write explanatory articles on leaks along with background material and context. The political relevance of documents and their veracity will be revealed by a cast of thousands.”

The dissemination and analysis of documents posted on Wikileaks about Guyana will be the dream of every journalist from this nation who has been lowered to the position of information peddler for the government. It will also be the nightmare of every corrupt public servant.

I can see it now - the price tags of those mansions owned by government officials will become public knowledge, backroom deals will be brought to light and even information from the bygone days will be revealed. I simply love it when justice wins and corruption is exposed.

Wikileaks encourages those who have been bought or intimidated into silence to let the entire world know the truth. Whistleblowers have stood up for justice even when doing so risked retribution – or at times death. This new site shoves the injustice bully back and protects the whistleblower.

As mentioned on this site, there are many governments who rely on concealing reality from their people and sufficient leaking will bring these administrations down. While there will no doubt be several governments scrambling around to cover their corruption and to enact campaigns about how whistle blowing is unpatriotic, I expect this site will see the dawn of a whole new political world.

Moreover, Wikileaks also supports corporate whistle blowers. The site says, “A corrupt or unethical corporation is a menace to all inside and outside it.”

It seems Wikileaks is still tweaking itself to sustain the vast number of entries it is receiving and will continue to receive. However, the site expects to be up and running fully within the next few months. There is yet to be a link created for Guyana entries. Let’s hope this is remedied quickly.

Slippery politicians, be warned. Your days are numbered.

Email: StellaSays[at]

Friday, August 17, 2007

Stella Says…El Dorado is becoming ever more elusive

by Stella Ramsaroop

(Originally published in Guyana's Kaieteur News on 17 August 2007)

There has been a little stir of late over the confiscation of Guyana rum from those leaving the country and travelling elsewhere. The new Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) regulations in the US forbid passengers to carry liquids of more than three ounces in a bottle on the plane.

I have to admit that this news was particularly discouraging for my family as well since we always carry several bottles of rum from Guyana. Three ounces of rum simply will not quench our rum thirst.

None of the liquor stores in the cities I have lived carry the rum our family so loves. Therefore, if we intend to continue our imbibitions of El Dorado, it seems we will have to be creative and find other ways in which to purchase it. Since my personal stock is quickly dwindling, I am hoping to find El Dorado soon.

Last week I was on vacation in California and during my leisure time I decided to see if El Dorado Rum was available for purchase on the Internet. Yes, it seems there are a handful of wine and liquor sites that will sell me some El Dorado Rum – at a huge mark-up and with a shipping and handling fee – of course.

My mind can rest at ease now knowing there is in fact a way to find El Dorado when I need it. However, although El Dorado Rum has not become as elusive as the fabled city of gold, it certainly is not an easy task to attain the lovely drink. With a product this sweet, it seems to me the world should know about it.

Alas, this is not the case. In fact, as I was relaxing in a coffee shop in California last week, I picked up the Sunday edition of the Los Angeles Times and noticed the front-page article entitled, “Rum is lifting economic spirits.” Hey, since rum always lifts my spirits, I thought this article deserved some attention.

I found myself envying the Times writer, Carol J. Williams, who got to travel on assignment to various rum producing parts of the Caribbean to sample their goods. Surely Glenn Lall needs a reporter to travel around tasting rum here and there. I promise to keep my slurring words to a minimum and to wait until I am sober again before writing one word for my darling Kaieteur News.

The Times article spoke of the rise of rum to the status of a luxury drink. It seems that sales of ultra-premium rum grew by 32 percent last year, faster than ten of 11 other spirits. Only high-end tequila topped rum on this chart thanks in large part to the new popularity of Mojitos on the international club scene.

This was all quite ironic to me because I just happened to bring two bottles of liquor with me on vacation – one was a bottle of El Dorado rum and the other was a bottle of tequila. We enjoyed both bottles immensely.

According to Williams, rum is on the upswing with those who have money. She said, “Riding an international wave of demand, Caribbean rum producers are hard at work refining their famously ruffian wares for the connoisseur. Once a shameful profit of New World slavery, the rotgut fuel of the American Revolution and the favored tipple for frat parties and prom night, rum has entered the crystal-and-cigar splendor of fine parlors.”

The article went on to provide a fascinating history of rum. It also talked about the art of the rum-making process. The one thing this article did not talk about was El Dorado rum. Now I know how great Guyana rum is and so do you, but Carol J. Williams did not visit Guyana on her whirlwind rum tour and thus, El Dorado remains elusive to the rest of the world.

I could not help but think - as I sat in the coffee shop reading the newspaper – how wonderful it would have been if Williams had visited Guyana and included El Dorado on her list of delectable rums. After all, the LA Times is the third most distributed newspaper in the US.

Just imagine the free publicity our beloved rum would have received if only Williams had visited Guyana on her rum tour. Instead, she went to places like Martinique. I wonder if she even speaks French. I suppose we should not get bitter about missed opportunities such as this, but I cannot help but wonder how many opportunities Guyana misses every single day.

Meanwhile, my vacation is over and I will have to find alternative ways of buying the elusive El Dorado Rum since I cannot haul it in handbag on the plane anymore. My family polished off the bottle I took to California with me, but it was worth the sacrifice of one of my few last bottles as we enjoyed it on the patio in the blowing breeze during good conversation.

I feel it is important to close by saying that it one should always drink responsibly and never drive after you have been drinking. I promise to keep both of these principles in mind when Glen Lall sends me on a rum tasting trip around the Caribbean.

Email: StellaSays[at]

Wednesday, August 15, 2007

Stella Says…Roop-de-doo

by Stella Ramsaroop

(Originally published in Guyana's Kaieteur News on 15 August 2007)

Peter Ramsaroop announced over a week ago in a Kaieteur News column that he intends to run for president of Guyana in 2011. Yes, he is my brother-in-law and as such I should probably hold my tongue on this subject. However, it seems necessary that someone should point out the obvious for Peter Ramsaroop.

For example, it is four very long years before the next election. I remember thinking late last year - when American presidential hopefuls started announcing their candidacies – that it would be a long two years before the next elections. At least their excuse is that there will be a primary election early next year.

By the time Guyana’s next general election comes around, I could have grandchildren, global warming could force Guyana’s population to move further inland and Poised and Proper Priya could have outmanoeuvred Smart and Sharp Robert for the PPP’s nomination.

It is not as if anyone enjoys the prelude to an election. This is true no matter what country in which you live. However, there are some countries that find the pre-election mumbo jumbo even more precarious than others.

The pre-election political climate in Guyana is not an enjoyable time for people, so I am sure everyone will feel nothing but deep appreciation toward Peter for attempting to force this upon them so soon after the last election.

I saw a news report in passing on the television the other day in which it seems the American candidates are having second thoughts about starting their campaigns so soon. It seems this extra time has given the media plenty of time to dig around in their personal lives and pick apart the things they do and say even more.

For example, I can easily come up with a few things that deserve picking apart from Peter’s two columns in Kaieteur News. In his column from August 5 he declared himself a pro-West presidential candidate for 2011. To put it bluntly, this is political suicide from the get go.

I simply do not think it is good political stratagem to declare oneself a pro-West candidate nowadays. In case Peter does not know, the Lebanese candidate backed by the West lost the election last week and most political analysts are saying the loss was precisely because of the Western support he received.

Quite frankly, the West is viewed as a plague on the earth right now and the Western principles that Peter so proudly touts are scorned by many (and rightfully so) thanks to Bush and Blair. As such, any candidate with support from the West is sure to alienate a healthy portion of the population.

It also seems Peter should invest in a good public relations specialist to help him weed out bad ideas, like the idea to use a response by the government to one of his Stabroek News articles in an attempt to compare the PPP to Hugo Chavez (a comparison I think stretches reality quite a bit). If Peter intends to write columns that toss about criticisms of the government, he should expect a reply if the government feels one is necessary.

Every columnist has to learn how to bite the bullet and allow others to respond to the articles they write without feeling as if there is a boogieman behind every response. The government's response to Peter's column (though a bit childish in parts) should not even come close to being received in the same vein as Chavez expelling foreigners from his country for calling him a dictator. That is just silly.

In fact, if Peter were paying attention he would know that Guyana’s government is actually enacting a comprehensive ethanol strategy, which Peter had suggested in several of his earlier columns. I am sure they have their twisted agenda (as always), but they are in fact working toward ethanol production. No boogieman there.

It seems as if Peter wants to stir the pot and be known as a social agitator. I’m just not sure if Peter realises the complexity of such a role. Or if he does, it is not clear that he has yet to comprehend the weight of such a function and apply the necessary tact.

A public relations specialist, or maybe a good dictionary, would also keep Peter from embarrassing himself by tossing about words like “foreign coup,” in a positive light - like he did in his most recent column in Kaieteur News.

In that column Peter said, “It's our outside lobbying that is bringing in the Foreign Coup in order for our nation to develop and create wealth for our people and get them out of poverty.” No matter how one phrases the word “coup,” it is not a word that should be tossed about airily by commentators or politicians.

Peter’s phrase makes it seem as if some foreign forces are waiting to pounce on Guyana. Again, this is just silly. If he had just Googled the phrase “foreign coup,” then perhaps he would have known how dangerous the phrase truly is and saved some face in the process.

Yes indeed, this could be a long four years if Peter intends to continue to subject us to such writings. On the other hand, Guyana will have some well-needed entertainment between paying VAT taxes and fighting traffic.


Sunday, August 12, 2007

Stella Says…To hell with democracy, loyalty is all that matters

by Stella Ramsaroop

(Originally published in Guyana's Kaieteur News on 12 August 2007)

Over the past few weeks there have been some words spoken by Robert Corbin that I have not been able to shake. These words were quoted in the July 21 issue of Stabroek News from Corbin’s speech to the PNC party on July 20 in which – referring to the challenge of his leadership position by Team Alexander - he said, “democracy or not, no party interested in cohesion would tolerate the kind of indiscipline which was recently displayed.”

When I first read these words, I had to stop and re-read them from sheer disbelief that an opposition leader in a free country, in front of so many people, would speak such words. I have already written a column comparing Corbin’s nasty little speech with that of the AFC’s Raphael Trotman at his party’s conference, but I feel these particular words spoken by Corbin should be examined in greater depth.

At face value alone, these words are some of the most dangerous words that could proceed from the mouth of a leader. However, when taken in context – that is, when we consider that these words were spoken because some in this leader’s party were challenging his position – these words are quite chilling.

I believe in democracy for one reason and that is because I do not trust one man or an elite group to oversee the best interests of an entire nation of people. Whether a sole leader feels he is divinely appointed or has right to leadership because he has “royal” blood, I believe humans in such a heady position to be dangerous.

Democracy provides protection against the evils that can emanate from an unchecked leader. Or rather, it should. Even when the people establish a healthy system of checks and balances, ego-tripping leaders still find ways of pursuing their own selfish agendas.

However, the thought of reverting back to a life of tyranny again where no one is free but those who have power and money is all that is needed to keep me singing the praises of democracy. I want my children to marry whom they please, to worship what they please (if they want to worship at all) and to come and go as they please without the permission of a slimy lord who imposes his will on them.

Can you imagine such power in the hands of someone like Robert Corbin or Robert Persaud? What a terrifying idea. Which is why it really pisses me off when I think of Corbin’s words, “democracy or not, no party interested in cohesion would tolerate the kind of indiscipline which was recently displayed.”

In short, this statement implies - to hell with democracy, everyone one of you had better do as I say or suffer the consequences. This statement, and many more made by him on July 20, shows Corbin expects loyalty above all else – even if he does not deserve such loyalty (and he does not).

From this statement alone, it is clear that it is Corbin who should be standing before a disciplinary committee. If the members of the PNC have a loss of confidence in anyone, these words show that it should be Robert Corbin.

How dare Corbin think he can sweep democracy away in one wide stroke to serve his own purposes? That whole horse and pony show was nothing more than Corbin’s attempt at swaying those in attendance to his side so he could serve yet a little longer as the bungling leader of the PNC.

Mark my words; the PNC will not be any different in a year than they are today. A sad reality that might have been averted had Team Alexander been given the chance to speak its mind before Corbin poisoned the conference with his dark words.

If anything, the PNC – under Corbin’s ongoing leadership - will remain the pawn of the PPP or become even more subservient to the wishes of the ruling party. As such, nothing will change for the better in Guyana because the ruling government has no motivation to alter its modus operandi for the likes of Robert Corbin.

Is it any wonder why those who challenged Corbin’s leadership operated outside of party lines? It is quite clear that within the confines of party regulations, Corbin would not have allowed his leadership to be challenged. If the members of the PNC were to have a choice of candidates – as well they should have – it was only going to happen the way it did with Team Alexander.

Even through the route taken by the challengers, which was to let the nation know fully what was transpiring in the party, Corbin still had the audacity to damn democracy and demand obedience in front of the world.

It is not a strong leader who acts thus. If a leader cripples democracy, this leader is the weakest link in the entire system. Those who re-elected Corbin as the PNC party leader have just enfeebled Guyana’s entire democratic state.

Corbin should have been flatly rejected as a leader after the people heard the words, “democracy or not, no party interested in cohesion would tolerate the kind of indiscipline which was recently displayed.” The PNC members should have responded to Corbin, “To hell with cohesion, no party interested in democracy would tolerate a leader with so little regard for democracy.”

Corbin’s words continue to ring in my ears weeks after they were spoken. They are words that will no doubt bring much suffering and pain.

Email: StellaSays[at]

Wednesday, August 08, 2007

Stella Says… Give us some semblance of 21st century competency on the AFC and PNC Websites

by Stella Ramsaroop

(Originally published in Guyana's Kaieteur News on 08 August 2007)

There is almost nothing a person cannot do on the Internet today. I can get my morning stuffed full of news from around the world, order dinner and have it delivered right to my door or buy some sexy new heels from my favourite store.

Every new day brings another great idea to the World Wide Web. is absolutely fantastic. A person can watch the latest videos and then laugh hysterically at all the Bush gaffs you want – and there are plenty. When I lived in the DC area, I could even do all of my grocery shopping online and have it delivered to my house. I miss that service in Texas.

Guyana has this new service though. Giftland OfficeMax has a new Website in which a person can place orders and have it delivered right to the house. I can place orders and have it shipped overseas too. Or if I want, I can place orders for my family in Guyana and have it delivered to them. The Internet is such a wonderful world.

Which makes me wonder why the PNC and AFC are so lax in maintaining their Websites. The PPP’s party Website was not up-to-date or anything special either (it is so busy that one’s eye does not know where to rest), but they are the ones in power and the ones with moneybag for radio, television and newspaper ads and they have GINA to spread their propaganda.

The AFC ( and the PNC ( cannot afford to allow their Internet presence to fail them. For example, the AFC had just updated its Website with news from its recent conference earlier this week and only with Trotman’s speech (which was also the AFC column in last Sunday’s Kaieteur News). It took the AFC at least a week to update their site. Sigh.

It is better to have no Web presence at all than to provide slow information. In today’s day and age, the AFC’s site should have been updated the very next morning after the conference before the rest of the world woke up. But even if we let everyone get some rest before the site was updated, it should have been up no later than the evening of the 29th.

In my mind, any political party of the 21st century that cannot daily maintain its Website will have a tough time of it if they actually won an election and were required to maintain a whole country. Moreover, this new political party should be portraying an image of being cutting edge and progressive – not antiquated and technologically inept.

Though nothing spectacular, at least the AFC has a decent enough Website to start with, unlike the PNC. The PNC did update their information from the conference. That much I must applaud them for, but that is where my compliments end. I bet there are teenagers in Guyana who could create a better Website than what the PNC currently has online for the world to see.

The PNC site has several links that are dead (do not connect to anything), is donning an extremely poor layout and design, and is so boring that I have to prop my eyes open with toothpicks so I do not fall asleep while reading it. Oh, and if I see one more picture of Robert Corbin on that site, I am going to puke.

Really now, the PNC would do better to create a personalised banner for a blog from Blogspot or Wordpress and use one of these programs to maintain a party site. It would look 100 percent better than what they have up now. Better yet, hire someone to create an effective Website – or even get a volunteer to do it. Just do something!

Neither the AFC or PNC sites gave the reader a sense of what can be expected from the future. It is important for political parties to keep the people informed about where the party stands on certain issues and what can be expected from this party in the short-term as well as the long-term. Yet both of these opposition sites highlighted the past – not the future. The AFC even still had a long diatribe about the seat controversy, but there was nothing about their future plans.

Really now, political parties have it so easy nowadays with the Internet at their disposal for dispensing information to a large bloc of people in a very short amount of time. Technology does all the heavy lifting for them. I realise that not all Guyanese have access to the Internet – neither do all Americans, Canadians or Brits – but there is a growing population that can get online and these are the ones who demand up-to-the-minute information.

Surely these national leaders know people who can create and maintain respectable Websites. If nothing else, track down the person in charge of Giftland OfficeMax’s Website and ask for a referral.

Also, it wouldn’t hurt if all those in photos on the “Candidates” page for the AFC cracked a smile for the people of Guyana. Hey, at least the AFC has photos of someone besides one person. The only person anywhere on the PNC’s site is Robert Corbin. How fitting. It is utterly ironic that when one clicks on the “Leader” button on the PNC Website, it goes to a blank page. Again, quite fitting.

Get it together AFC and PNC. Stand up and act like some real opposition parties for a change. The people of Guyana do not have time to wait around for you to get your act together. That is a job that should have been done yesterday. Meanwhile, crime is running high and annual incomes are running low.

Let’s see some semblance of 21st century competency – especially from the AFC – which is suppose to be the party of the future, but looks a lot like the past on its Website.

Email: StellaSays[at]

Sunday, August 05, 2007

Stella Says…People are more important than money

by Stella Ramsaroop

(Originally published in Guyana's Kaieteur News on 05 August 2007)

I despise those bosses who treat their employees like dirt so the boss can feel more important. The ironic part of it is that no one – I repeat, absolutely no on – respects such a person. The only place that mean boss becomes more important is in his or her own head.

For example, one day a couple of years ago I was in the presence of a businessman for whom I already had very little respect. I had seen this man back out on deals he had made, I watched as he expected his employees to work all hours of the day regardless of their families and I saw him put money before everything else in the world – everything that actually mattered.

On this particular day though, I was to see another side of him that made me shake my head in pity for any person who would ever work for him. I watched as he ordered people about as if they were his slaves instead of employees. But it was how he treated these people, as if they were so much less important than he was, that made my stomach turn.

He treated them as if their feelings held no importance to him whatsoever and it was clear that if he said jump, they must jump or pay a heavy price for the insubordination. Moreover, he had no manners whatsoever. There was no please, thank you or any appearance that his workers’ feelings mattered whatsoever to him.

If ever I had seen an abusive situation, this one rank on the very top of the list. Of course, he probably thought I was impressed by his management style when in fact I was repulsed by it. It was obvious that this man’s ego needed to be stroked in a big way, so he used money to create an atmosphere in which he could put himself on a pedestal of superiority to all those around him.

To make matters worse, this man paid his employees a mere pittance, which was not worth the job considering the abuse to which these poor people were subjected on a constant basis. Like I said before, I despise this type of person. In fact, I would never work for such a sad excuse of a human being who thinks money and self is more important than the people around him.

These types of people, the type that abuse others for money or ego, come in many forms. One perfect example of this in Guyana is the destruction of infrastructure by some in the mining community. Can you imagine what insolence it takes to destroy a roadway that also serves as the network for water distribution?

Ah, but making money is all that matters. What does it matter if the people of the local towns cannot get water as long as the mining activity continues and money keeps coming in? Again, I am repulsed by the absolute disregard for others in quest of the almighty dollar.

According to an article entitled, “Guyana Road Destroyed by Illegal Miners” from the Houston Chronicle on August 2, “Kellawan Lall, an adviser to Guyanese President Bharrat Jagdeo, said the government will have to cut a new road through dense forest due to the extensive damage by unlicensed Guyanese miners and Brazilian prospectors, or ‘garimpeiros.’” Lall continued, “From what we have seen it would be too costly to repair the roads.”

It seems redundant to say that people are more important than money, yet still it seems it must be said. The government must now repair or replace the devastated infrastructure for these people – and who knows how long that is going to take. In the meantime, it is the people who suffer the consequences of this insatiable greed.

The aforementioned article said, “Workers on Thursday were repairing severed underground water pipes that supply nearly 15,000 inhabitants. Authorities could not estimate when service would be restored.”

Right now there could well be a thirsty child crying for water to drink as the mother comforts the child with words of assurance that water will come soon. Down the road a little, there is a mining boss man smiling over the bounty from the past few weeks without a thought as to how much suffering he caused so many people just to get that bounty.

I have to admit that I cannot comprehend this type of callousness. It is beyond my personal capacity to understand the heartless insensitivity to which humans are driven for money or power. Is it any wonder that many religions declare the love of money as the root of all evil?

I truly have no issue with those who have money. My issue, and it is a big one, is when it is obvious that money has the person. It is pathetic when a person will give up family, friends and personal values just to have money.

Sure, money might buy comfort of situation – a nice car, a big house and fancy things - but it can never give that person’s conscience any comfort for the sins committed against others in quest of fortune.

How on earth can those miners who tore that roadway to pieces sleep at night knowing the suffering they caused others just for a few pieces of minerals? At the end of it all, money means nothing and those around us mean everything.

People are the most valuable commodity on earth. Be cautious of anyone who would tell you otherwise, because this is the person who will treat you like dirt just to make another dollar. At the end of that person’s life, everyone will pity him or her for never understanding the most important things in our lives – each other.

Email: StellaSay[at]

Friday, August 03, 2007

Stella Says…If you are looking for women, don’t look on the sports page

by Stella Ramsaroop

(Originally published in Guyana's Kaieteur News on 03 August 2007)

I do not like golf very much. If I am going to watch a sport, it needs to have a lot more action to keep me interested for a long period of time. Otherwise, I will be off to find something else to do that can maintain my short attention span.

However, although I do not like golf – I certainly become interested when women start making the headlines on sports pages around the world, which is the case right now because of the Women’s British Open. Normally, I would not give any sports page much more than a cursory glance.

Why should I give the sports page any attention – or for that matter a sports report from a news show on television? I probably have more pencils in my desk drawer than there have been articles on women athletes in my local newspaper this year.

I watch the news almost every day on television. Sometimes I watch the local news, sometimes the national news and sometimes the international news – just to keep up on what’s going on around me. A few weeks ago I was watching the local newscast in which all of the news stories had been covered, the feel good piece was done and the weather had been forecast, so guess what time it was.

It was time for the sports report. There was basketball, baseball and football – all of which have professional teams that are populated only by men. Click. The television was turned off and I strolled to my computer to browse the Internet for a while. Its not that I cannot watch something that involves men and omits women, its just that I simply don’t care to do so.

However, if more attention were paid to female volleyball or to women’s football, my television would have remained on during a sportscast. Really now, is it so difficult to include at least one article a day about women athletes on the sports page? If there is one place where the old boys club still exists – it is in the sports page.

Sure, every once in a great while there will be an article on a women’s team or a spotlight on a female athlete, but those articles are the exception, not the rule. If sports editors want to increase their readership, there is a whole section of the population biting at the bit for some interesting sports stories about the world’s excellent female athletes.

The stories about these female athletic champions go untold in most newspapers today, while the world heralds the male athletes for even insignificant activities. For example, I know tonight that my local sportscast will talk about the upcoming football season – sports that has yet to happen - and there will be nary a mention of a Mexican female who came out blazing on her first day of the Women’s British Open in Scotland with a 6-under 67.

One might suggest that the lack of reporting on female sports has to do with the lack of females who play sports. However, there women are playing every type of sports – even boxing and skydiving – and still very little is ever said about it. Moreover, I maintain that the lack of females on professional sports teams has to do with the lack of professional sports teams for females.

It is all about the male dominated teams of football, basketball, cricket, baseball, golf, hockey, etc. Where there is no team, there is no opportunity and women are sidelined to obscurity. Be that as it may, this has not stopped women from becoming outstanding athletes. The biggest difference is that the whole world knows who Joe Jock had sex with last night but the female athlete who just broke a world record goes unheralded.

It seems completely absurd to me that one complete section of the newspaper highlights male physical accomplishments and at the same time very seldom does the same for female physical accomplishments. I bet that for every 50 males mentioned in the sports section of a newspaper or in a sportscast on television, there is maybe one female.

This is insulting to women each and every time a woman picks up a newspaper or turns on a sportscast. The sports page signifies one more place where women are made to seem insignificant when in fact they are every bit as competitive and athletic as men.

Until sports writers and sports editors start taking female athletes more seriously, my television will continue to go “click” when the sportscast comes on and the sports page will keep getting a cursory glance from me – if that.

There is actually only one reason I even glance at the sports page at all and that is to see if there are any stories that will be of interest to me. To be more precise, I’m looking for that elusive article on a female athlete. This is what I want to know about – what a woman can do – after all, I am a woman.

Email: StellaSays[at]

Wednesday, August 01, 2007

Stella Says…Let us compare Corbin with Trotman and Ramjattan

by Stella Ramsaroop

(Originally published in Guyana's Kaieteur News on 01 August 2007)

As I read over portions of Raphael Trotman’s address to those gathered at the AFC’s first conference last Saturday, I could not help but compare it to Robert Corbin’s address from just the week before.

The feeling of Trotman’s speech left a completely different taste in my mouth than Corbin’s. In fact, Trotman’s tasted like refreshing chocolate ice cream with nuts (my favourite) on a scorching hot day. Corbin’s tasted like the repulsive liver my mom forced me to eat even when she knew it made me throw up every time.

It is good to see that the AFC is holding strong to the ideas of democracy within the party. I was highly impressed with Khemraj Ramjattan for refusing to be reinstated as the party’s leader so as to adhere to the AFC’s policy of leadership rotation.

Ramjattan’s move made Corbin appear even smaller – if that is possible – on the political stage. Corbin embarrassed himself with some sneaky moves to keep his position of party leader of the PNC at all costs (the biggest cost being democracy) and a week later Ramjattan comes along and nonchalantly gives up his position willingly.

I have to admit that I was one of those who did not understand the need for leadership rotation in the AFC. It was an original idea, but seemed unnecessary. Moreover, when this idea was introduced, all I could see is a leader getting settled into her/his position just in time to relinquish it to the next person. It made no sense at all.

However, with the PNC and the AFC elections being held so closely together, it is now crystal clear why leadership rotation is so vital to Guyana’s newest opposition party. The desperate need for new leadership in the PNC – and Corbin’s refusal to step down for the good of the party - punctuated the brilliance of the AFC’s leadership rotation.

This new opposition party is just the breath of fresh air Guyana has needed for a long time. The fresh ideas and original leadership approach is just what the doctor prescribed for a nation of jaded voters. That old opposition party is stanky.

I have been waiting around to see if those in the AFC were truly capable of putting Guyana before their egos – and it appears they are indeed. If there is one thing Guyana’s politicians are not short on – it is ego. In fact, there are so many overblown egos in Guyana’s politics that I sometimes wonder how on earth they all fit into one country.

Very, very seldom do we see these megalomaniacs able to restrain their exaggerated sense of self-importance long enough to do right by the people to whom they are honour bound to serve. Enters Khemraj Ramjattan – who makes all those squirrelly sort a laughing stock for all to see by doing what none of them have the decency to do.

Let us return to the comparison of Trotman’s address to the AFC and Corbin’s address to the PNC. Corbin left us feeling as if the “muzzle” was put on and it was time to run for a corner and hide from the big, bad wolf. Trotman’s words birthed hope and reinforced faith in democracy.

Corbin’s words made me rejoice that he was not the leader of Guyana. Trotman’s words made me wish he lived in the Presidential Palace. But there is still a long path ahead of the AFC before the next general elections to prove it can hold unrelentingly to the sentiments it displayed last weekend.

Of all the obvious comparisons that can be made between the AFC and the PNC during the past two weeks, the one that stands out the most is that the PNC leader refused to step down for the good of the party - and thus for the good of the nation - while the AFC leader appears to have insisted on stepping down.

This proves beyond a shadow of the doubt that the PNC is most certainly not Guyana’s future opposition party. The PNC is the past, and a sad and scary past at that. The AFC is now Guyana’s opposition party of the future.

After Corbin’s undemocratic verbal retaliation toward a leadership challenge from some of its most senior members and the PNC’s subsequent decision of disciplinary actions to be taken against those who challenged Corbin, it becomes difficult to hold on to any hope that Guyana has an opposition party worthy of the nation’s citizens. Which is why it is good to have the AFC around right now.

During the last elections, a large number of PNC supporters voted for the AFC. I predict today that come the next general elections, the AFC will become the primary opposition party in Guyana. Who knows, maybe it will even be the ruling party in short order as well?

If those from Team Alexander are as smart as I think they are, they should be thinking about joining the AFC, but only if they are as capable of putting their egos aside for the good of the country like Trotman and Ramjattan. Otherwise, they should just stick it out in obscurity in the PNC as it continues to sink into a black hole of dictatorial oblivion.

Email: StellaSays[at]