The decision to rescind the O.R. Tambo award for President Forbes Burnham

Hugh Masekela – Stimela

The decision to rescind the OR Tambo award for President Forbes Burnham by President Jacob Zuma of South Africa

Guyanese have sat on their asses and allowed others to define their history for them. They spend enormous amounts of time on Facebook spewing bile and agonizing over who is trying to upstage or conspiring against them by creating similar groups etc. We write lengthy pseudo-intellectual articles and none will be recorded in the annals of history to defend our legacy and our great leaders and heroes.
America had presidents who were slave owners, and until recently some in congress were members of the Ku-Klux Klan and all of these have been labeled great men. Guyana had President Linden Forbes Sampson Burnham and we must not allow anyone to decide for us his level of greatness, he is ours and he has served our country and the world in very positive ways like no one else. Just like the American “greats,” President Burnham may have erred, but point to a man without fault and it is either you are lying or he was never born. 
During the past 50 years the members of the PPP and some jaded individuals with axes to grind have waged a worldwide propaganda war against President Linden Forbes Sampson Burnham without any rebuttal. The crafty misinformation has even managed to get to the ears of President Jacob Zuma and the Government of South Africa with so much of an impact that they decided to rescind the decision to grant the OR Tambo to President Forbes Burnham
Some, included a Jamaican national living in the USA Mr.Horace Campbell have in the public court of opinion convicted President Burnham for the death of Dr. Walter Rodney, and Guyanese have not issued a repudiation.We do not have to wait on any one in the opposition to write for us, we must put on our pants like men and women and let the world know about our disapproval for their characterization of a “member of our family,” and not sit idly by waiting for someone else to fight our fight.
If Mr. Campbell or anyone else has any evidence to support their claim in the death of Dr. Rodney, please get it to the courts but in the case of the award to President Burnham, respectfully, the death of Dr. Rodney does not in any way diminish the efforts and support that President Burnham showed the people of Southern Africa in their fight against the cruel and racist regime of the South African Government of the 1960s, 1970s and 1980s.
My Guyanese friends you have much to learn, get out from under the rock that you are living, we must be trapped in a condition of mentally enslavement. Those who believe that President Forbes Burnham was so vile must take a poll and it will demonstrate that all of his vociferous and loquacious critics are beneficiaries of many of his self-sufficient and free educational policies, including the likes of President Bharat Jagdeo.
President Zuma and the people of South Africa, I was very troubled to discover you bestowed the very same OR Tambo Award to Dr. Cheddie Jagan in 2005. Dr. Jagan as a self-professed Marxist/Communist/ Socialist was able to squeeze under the credibility line and received the award. The details were sparse when it came to supporting evidence of his contributions to the freedom of Southern Africans from under the apartheid regimes of South Africa. Dr.Jagan per an article written in Time Magazine: “Once again, the fuse was lit in British Guiana, and holding the match—as usual—was Marxist Premier Cheddi Jagan. In 2½ years, as head of the self-governing South American colony, Jagan has developed into a curious combination of Castroite and racist,preaching Communism while leading some 290,000 East Indians against 330,000 anti-Jagan Negroes.” (British Guiana: Terror in theSugar Cane – Friday March 13, 1964)
Guyanese have allowed others to redefine the legacy of the only man who has done for so much with so little in the face of worldwide pressure to fight against the oppressive racist and brutal regime in Southern Africa. President Forbes Burnham staged almost a one man crusade against the policies of the South African Government and even banned West Indian and Guyanese cricketers who tacitly supported the racist inhumane Government by playing our beloved sport of cricket in that country. He gave the ultimate sacrifice, the lives of our Guyanese brothers and sisters to support the anti-apartheid movement in South Africa. He provided logistical, financial and allowed Timehri to be used as a staging post for aircraft en-route to Africa with supplies and troops in support of the anti-apartheid forces.
Our friends of South Africa, I implore you to petition President Zuma to review his decision to withdraw the OR Tambo award to President Burnham, not for President Burnham, but because it is important in any thriving democracy that we get the correct version of history.
President Zuma, I find it very disappointing that South Africa has waited this long to decide to honor the number one champion of freedom for Southern Africans from the brutal grips of apartheid, and to find that the decision was rescinded, is even more alarming. Please have your unbiased researchers and Historians present you with the actual speeches and text of the speeches of President Forbes Burnham and then form your own conclusion about the level of support that Mr. Burnham provided to the anti-apartheid forces of South Africa.
My Guyanese friends, I have said this for years. Let no one define your history for you.
NOTE: Facebook is a great tool for guiding a social theme but for recording history it is useless.
©2013 BrutalFactsGT | Georgetown, Guyana


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