Harold Hoyte supported free and fair elections in Guyana

first_imgDear Editor,The publisher of the Barbados Nation newspaper, Harold Hoyte, passed away a week ago. Mr Hoyte will be long remembered for championing freedom of the press, for which he received widespread accolades. But he also supported democratic governance in Guyana during the critical period of authoritarian rule (1966 to 1992).I spoke with Harold Hoyte on the phone (from New York) several times during the period of the struggle against the dictatorships led by the tyrannical Forbes Burnham and Desmond Hoyte. From New York, I was closely affiliated with the struggle against the fascist, racist Burnham dictatorship and was charged, along with Dr Baytoram Ramharack, with the task of public relations, reaching out to media people and support groups across the Caribbean region, Canada, and the UK. Harold Hoyte and I also spoke on a few occasions after the restoration of democracy in Guyana in 1992. Pieces of mine were published in the Nation relating to Guyana.I came to know of Harold Hoyte (who has no relationship with the dictator Desmond Hoyte) through the Black nationalist Contrast newspaper in Toronto, for which he was a writer. When he returned to Barbados, he started a paper that catered to all nationalities. Although a Black nationalist, Harold did not seek to oppress or marginalise other ethnic groups, as currently happens in State media in Guyana, and he provided media space for responses to letters critiquing articles and viewpoints. Mine was published.I am most grateful for Harold’s support to help end ethnic supremacist rule in Guyana during the Burnham/Hoyte dictatorships and the struggle for democratic governance. Harold developed the courage to call a spade a spade unlike other media stalwarts in the region. He knew Burnham, Hoyte, and others rigged elections, and he called them riggers. He recognised that Burnham and Hoyte were oppressors and persecutors, and he boldly referred to them as such. He held Burnham responsible for the murder of Dr Walter Rodney. Few other media outlets in the Caribbean region gave support to the Guyanese people’s struggle against the dictatorship. Like other democratic loving media personnel, he courageously called for an end to food ban that denied ethnic groups access to their cultural diets and religious paraphernalia in Guyana. He also called for the restoration of democratic governance in the country.Harold Hoyte was enamoured with the persistence and long years of struggle of Dr Cheddi Jagan for free and fair elections in Guyana and for championing workers’ rights. Jagan was overthrown by the American Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) in 1964 and kept out of office in Guyana by the US and Britain (in favour of the opportunistic Forbes Burnham) because of Jagan’s communist ideology that hurt his supporters. Had Jagan abandoned communism, the US and UK would have restored democratic rule and free and fair elections decades earlier.Eventually, when communism collapsed in the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics (USSR) in 1990, the US forced the Hoyte dictatorship to restore democratic governance in Guyana. Jagan was allowed to return to office in relatively free and fair elections, after mellowing and embracing capitalist economics in line with the perestroika model promoted by Mikhail Gorbachev. Harold saluted Jagan’s victory.Harold also tried to bring the region closer together and was critical of the policy of his country that unfairly targeted (and maligned) Guyanese migrants who were fleeing the oppression of Burnham/Hoyte dictatorships and the economic difficulties experienced by that country in subsequent years.The Guyanese people are indebted to Harold Hoyte.Yours truly,Vishnu Bisram (PhD)last_img read more

Fundamental Baptist Women Fellowship To Build Conference Center

first_imgpartial view of the women that attended the conference in GantaA group of Christian women under the banner, “Fundamental Baptist Women Fellowship” has broken ground for the construction of a modern conference center in Ganta, Nimba County.The building, according to the women’s leadership, will contain a large conference room, offices, rooms for lodging and other essential facilities, and will cost a little over US$68,000.The center when completed is expected to annually accommodate the women when they converge for their conference in which they are taught how to serve as good examples for positive change in the family and society at large.They currently rotate the conference, touring every region annually where their members are found. For now, their members can be found in Nimba, Grand Bassa, Bong, Grand Gedeh and Montserrado counties.“When we established this women’s group through the instrumentality of Rev. and Mrs. Esther Gbor, we first decided to purchase a vehicle to be transporting us for conferences, but we received advice that it will not be a durable property. It is against this background that we finally concluded on buying 10 acres of land and on March 11, 2017 we broke ground for the construction of our proposed conference center that will also contain spaces for other activities,” Mother Rebecca Nyanquoi, president of the group, said.Mother Nyanquoi did not state when exactly the project will commence; however, she said they have held fund raising rallies from which they have generated L$399,860 and US$512,420.She said with what they have on hand, they expect to begin the project as soon as the Nimba County authority responds to them by allowing the county’s yellow machines to clear the spot on which they want to erect the center.Giving an overview of the motivating force behind the annual conference, the Fundamental Baptist Women president said they purposely organized it to teach both young and old women how to manage their families and live lives that will reflect the concepts and ethics of Christianity, and to serve as agents of positive change in the society.According to Mother Nyanquoi, prior to establishing the conference for women, cases of gross disrespect towards their husbands and instances of divorce were emerging among married women.“Since we established the conference and hundreds of women you’re seeing here started attending, we have gotten positive reports that great changes have taken place in many homes, and those single women devoted to Christianity are upholding their values and respect,” Mother Nyanquoi said.While the women are changing bad attitudes toward their husbands, Mom Nyanquoi also said men were ignorantly using the scripture to enslave women, using the scripture reference that “Women must submit to their husbands in all things.”“For this act on the part of men, we have also proposed to our church leaders to organize a similar conference for the men because the impact women are making will not last if the men continue such traditional style of treatment of women,” she added.Also commenting on the conference, the founder, Mrs. Esther Gbor, said they teach women lessons on Psychology, Sociology and others, with scriptural backing.She named conflict resolution and transformation, human temperament or personality, marriage and family, counseling and personal hygiene as some of the lessons they teach during the conference.Responding to the theory of gender equity, Mrs. Gbor said they believe as Fundamental Baptists that man remains the head of the woman; however, she clarified that it does not also give the man the power and right to inhumanely treat the woman and deny her education and other necessities.“We respect our husbands and honor them as heads of the home, and we are helpmates to them. This of course does not mean the husband should treat the woman bad because it will not even be in agreement with the scripture. While God’s word says a wife should submit to her husband, it also tells the husband to love his wife as Christ loved the Church,” Mrs. Gbor clarified.Share this:Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)last_img read more