Hamilton Green’s on his last leg…about to be booted out of City Hall where he’s held sway because of the bickering between the People’s Progressive Party (PPP) and the People’s National Congress (PNC) to grant real autonomy to local government entities – the NDCs and municipalities. But he’s not going quietly into the night. He’s responded to the Rodney CoI Report with a letter so replete with inaccuracies, innuendoes and outright lies, it’s more a window into his tortured mind than a clarification of any fact.
Green was an integral part of the thug element that defined the Burnhamite regime during Rodney’s swift ascent in Guyana’s political firmament. In fact, it was he who set the bomb rolling, so to speak, when as the PNC’s representative of UG’s Council, he moved to rescind the world renowned historian’s appointment to the university’s staff in 1974. He had to’ve been acting at the behest of Burnham – a relationship he revelled in since the bloody sixties’ ethnic riots.
Your Eyewitness will merely respond to one assertion of Green’s to illustrate his sly hatchet job on Rodney to justify the great man’s assassination: “Recall, that after Rodney was expelled from the University of Dar es Salaam in Tanzania, no less a person than the internationally respected Julius Nyerere analysis was that Rodney was frustrated in his efforts to climb the political ladder by words, but had opted for the route of violence.”
The fact of the matter is RODNEY WAS NEVER EXPELLED FROM THE UNIVERSITY OF TANZANIA!! In 1967, after earning his PhD at the age of 24, the year before on “the History of the Upper Guinea Coast” Rodney taught briefly at the University of Dar es Salaam where he taught Issa G Shivji, later holder of the Mwalimu Julius Nyerere Chair at the University. In his paper “Remembering Walter Rodney”, Shivji explained:
Rodney wrote “a very militant paper about the African revolution and so on castigating the first independent regimes as petit bourgeois regimes that had hijacked the revolution. He called it the “briefcase revolution,” where the leaders went to Lancaster House, compromised, and came back with independence and this was not real independence. This paper was published in the Party [TANU] newspaper called The Nationalist. Nyerere took very strong objection to it. The next day, the newspaper carried an editorial called, “Revolutionary Hot Air””.
It was assumed that Nyerere was the writer but Shivji continued: “This idea that Rodney left Dar es Salaam because of, or just ahead of, an order to leave – I do not think it’s true. If it was true, he would have definitely told us. Don’t forget, Rodney left early and went to Jamaica.”
AND RODNEY RETURNED TO TANZANIA and TAUGHT THERE 1969-1974 while NYERERE WAS STILL RULING!!!
…Green’s slander on Rodney
Contrary to what Green would want us believe, Rodney eventually left Tanzania and returned to Guyana to make his contribution to his native land that was being transformed into a dictatorship by Burnham. As Shivji recounts:
“From Jamaica he was deported. That’s where he wrote his very famous pamphlet ‘Groundings with My Brothers’. After the riots in Jamaica, he came back to Dar es Salaam. Then he left in 1974. Now, when he was about to leave, I remember specifically a personal conversation. We were driving from the campus, and at the time he and Pat were preparing to leave for Guyana.
“I told Walter, I said, “Walter, why do you have to go? Look, stay here. You can easily try and get your citizenship and continue the struggle. You don’t have to go back.” He said, “No, comrade. I can make my contribution here, but I will not be able ever to grasp the idiom of the people. I will not be able to connect easily.
“I have to go back to the people I know and who know me.” I heeded that. That was his position and he left. “