GTUC Will Participate in the Walter Rodney Commission of Inquiry

Submitted by Guyana Trades Union Congress
The late Walter Rodney

The late Walter Rodney

The Guyana Trades Union Congress (GTUC) has retained Civil Rights Lawyer Mr. Selwyn A. Pieters, to represent its interest on the Walter Rodney Commission of Inquiry. The GTUC met the commissioners when they were on their exploratory visit and expressed concerns with the Terms of Reference (ToR). Dr. Walter Rodney remains a national and international figure and in the present circumstance cannot be looked at as the property of a specific family or group, for he belongs to all of us, and consultation as to the way forward in arriving at the truth should have involved everyone. GTUC strongly holds the view that the ToR should have has the input of all the Members of the National Assembly since this was the forum that authorised and approved the decision for an inquiry.

That notwithstanding the GTUC considers the Inquiry an important factor in the nation’s activities, for Dr. Walter Rodney’s death has been used as a wedge in dividing families, friends, associates, political aspirants and communities. The GTUC is conscious of its role as a national organisation and guided by historical developments has taken a decision that it will not stand idly by and allow a national commission of this nature to commence and conclude without Labour making its position known. The GTUC prior to Rodney’s death had addressed issues surrounding him as a worker, historian and citizen, and on his demise called for an inquiry into his death. At this juncture, while there are understandable concerns about the absence of consultation and the ToR upon which the Commission will deliberate, GTUC owes this society a duty to assist in arriving at the truth.

Guyana is advised by history. In 1965 the Burnham administration commissioned the International Commission of Jurists (ICJ) to address the accusation of racial imbalance in the disciplined services made by the People’s Progressive Party (PPP). The PPP boycotted the commission. The ICJ said it was also guided in its deliberations by examining the press releases and public statements made by the Party. This assisted in informing its recommendations, which led to changes in recruitment policies such as height, size and other established requirements inherited from the colony authority. The Rodney Commission is on record saying it will be examining documents in the public domain.

Consistent with the foregoing the GTUC cannot afford to have any person or group apply interpretation to any statement made by Labour in the past without having the opportunity to ensure the use of our statements is consistent within the context they were made. Our non-participation would be an abrogation of our responsibility and contribution to this society on the matter and more so denying the country an opportunity in arriving at the truth.

GTUC is mindful of the various claims about how Rodney met his death, but no one has been brought before a judicial authority to answer to and/or justify any of these. In the circumstance there is no statute of limitation barring indictment or inquiry and this can be described as a Cold Case. This is not unusual and happens throughout the world, resulting in constant examination and re-examination and even judicial review. Rodney, as a national and international figure, name continues to be used in various pursuits and deserve closure, however long it takes. Guyana and Guyanese deserve closure to this chapter of our history and an end brought to use of Rodney’s name as a wedge. The GTUC is prepared once again to play its part to the achievement of this end.

For more on Mr. Pieters please refer to

42 thoughts on “GTUC Will Participate in the Walter Rodney Commission of Inquiry

  1. While we understand the sentiment that The Great Walter Rodney is a significant global figure we also happen to know the lasting pain his family has suffered for this ‘greatness’. Given these circumstances, we should be minded that whereas we would all like to claim Rodney as ours, and at many levels he was and is, we also need to find a language that gives recognition to his family and indeed the families of these sacred figures which the popular culture ignores, in life, but, in death, seek to make divine.Let the thinking of Rodney forever imbue our minds, hearts.

    • @Pacha

      Should it not be a talking point that we are ever ready to speak to issues in Venezuela and other geographies far away BUT in Barbados and the wider Caribbean the memory of Rodney and what he stood for fades?

      On Monday, 21 April 2014, Barbados Underground wrote:


  2. During the early 1970’s Rodney was deported from Nigeria for speaking a truism. He argued then that the same class of Nigerians who had cooperated with the global slavers were still selling out the country. This is still the case 40 years hence.

    So it was not only the CIA and the Guyanese government, as the commission may find, that committed crimes against Rodney and his family, but other governments, academic institutions and most importantly regional political leaders who were silent while the project to murder him was put in place. So all the regional politicians, from that era, are also to be put on trial for the silent conspiracy to murder Rodney.

  3. @ David

    You know the Bajans well. We are a ‘now for now’ people. This country can never be persuaded to move based on any core, progressive, ideological set of stances.

    • Will the true Walter Rodney story ever be known?

      Depending on who one talks to or read the story changes.

      The legacy of Rodney deserves to be told.

      Barbados has a vested interest given Rodney’s family association with Barbados.

      On Monday, 21 April 2014, Barbados Underground wrote:


  4. Pachamama | April 21, 2014 at 7:45 AM |

    During the early 1970′s Rodney was deported from Nigeria for speaking a truism. He argued then that the same class of Nigerians who had cooperated with the global slavers were still selling out the country. This is still the case 40 years hence.

    I wonder if the Reparations committee is aware of Nigeria’s role in the slave trade…..fellows we are now talking some serious oil money here,possibly the oil may even be on the land of our forefathers….hmmmm

  5. Pachamama

    That’s a good one: a silent conspiracy to murder Rodney. I guess the entire English speaking Caribbean, should also be put on trail for conspiring with America to murder Castro?

  6. @ dompey
    We have avoided replying to you. Some say that a little information is dangerous. You have again proved that. What about all the damage slavery did to Africa, itself? Obviously, those calculations could never be considered by a mind like yours. Because we gave you a tidbit of information that information, on balance, no pun intended, cannot lead to a the conclusion you found. Some like you are tireless in your efforts to avoid any blame from your colonial White masters, still. Rodney’s life’s work would have been worthless that one like you still exist.

  7. @donkey
    To us whether there was a ‘silent conspiracy’ or a continuing ‘conspiracy of silence’ is the same thing.

    @Vincent Haynes
    The above comment was directed at you. We have always found you to be the classical Bajan idiot.

  8. Pachamama | April 21, 2014 at 8:40

    @Vincent Haynes
    The above comment was directed at you. We have always found you to be the classical Bajan idiot.
    Hahahaha…..why thank you kind sir,I always thought we had a lot in common….now you have removed all doubt.

    • It is indeed sad Rodney gave his life for a cause which Black Caribbean people and others should be able to identify BUT we cannot.

  9. If there are any pictures of Rodney, please give them to David and he would get them to me. (I ain’ ask David yet, but I promise to get around to it … 🙂 )

  10. David……’s simply because the Caribbean people still do not understand and that starts with the leaders.

  11. Pingback: Guyana: The Walter Rodney Enquiry · Global Voices

  12. As a youth I read “How Europe Underdevelop Africa”; from that time I was not surprised that Rodney would have a difficult time in the Caribbean. Barrow, Eric Williams, Burnham and Manley were working on the model of cap and hand to the colonial masters, but Rodney was way beyond them in what and where the caribbean should have been. He was too forward thinking for his time. This commission of inquiry shall be a waste of money and time.

  13. @BAFBFP
    If there are any pictures of Rodney, please give them to David and he would get them to me.
    Would you settle for a Maurice Bishop? How about Jacqueline Creft? Bishop was consumed by the revolution that he led and his body was never recovered while Gairy died peacefully in bed, some people would say there is no justice.

    As a condition prior to being released Coard and Austin etc. should have been made to provide details as to where Bishop was buried (although a little bird old me that they should ask someone in Washington) that is for the conspiracy buffs like you.


    @ David,
    I previously sent you a confidential email with reference to the rising level of crime in Barbados. We should stop pussy footing around those groups who are fuelling this problem:

    There are certain “types” residing in Barbados who are covertly practising and facilitating criminal activity in a “soft touch” Barbados.

    Barbados is made up of some 90% Afro-Bajans according to Wikipedia ( This is the very group who are disproportionately affected more than any other group when criminal activity is introduced by stealth from a minority of those other ethnic groups who reside in Barbados.

    My solution to this problem is clear: target those groups “we know who they are”. Confiscate their misappropriated wealth, introduce stiff prison sentences, revoke their citizenship and then remove them from off these shores.

    Tell the world that Barbados will never be a safe haven for those other races who believe that they can break up and destroy yet another country of black African heritage.

  15. Exclaimer……i admire your hubris in continuing to expose what most everyone on BU have been saying for long before i started commenting here, but here is the problem as we know it, neither the AG’s office or the the DPP in Barbados see nothing wrong with the minorities on the island, be they foreign or local, committing crimes, destablizing or burning down the whole damn island, hell, as long as you have some money and false status on the island, he don’t mind the politicians, public officials, (notice these are taxpayer paid members of the Bajan society), lawyers, etc.doing whatever they feel like, including murder, his office as well as the office of the AG, both taxpayer funded as you and everyone else knows) just don’t see the urgency in locking up these fcukers who are just common criminals.

  16. One of the fundamental reason crime is on the rise in Barbados, is due in part to the kind of police officers we have today.
    Gone are the days when the police officer dedicated his entire career to keeping Barbados safe.

    Men the likes of:
    1) Lion Man CID
    2) Jasper Watson CID
    3) Assistant Commissioner Alvin Griffith- Mounted Branch.
    4) Fancy Basket CID
    5) Arthur CID
    6) Merrick CID
    7) Big Sam CID
    8) Rat Brown CID
    9) Barker CID
    10) Forte CID- now in charge of the Task Force.
    11) Dirty-Harry CID
    12) Invader 1 CID
    13) Invader 2 CID
    14) Wade Gibbons CID- now a journalist.
    15) Dorian Taylor CID- late Attorney.
    16) Bynoe CID
    17) Eastwick CID
    These man worked around clock to apprehended some of Barbados worse criminals.
    1) Doctor-Rat
    2) Buddy Brathwaite
    3) Mark Young
    4) Hall
    5) Harding
    6) Big Michael
    7) Pack- Rat
    8) Sand Fly
    9) Theophiles Piles
    10) Bradshaw from the CNN gang etc.

  17. Dompey…….. maybe you can now tell us why these same police officers were not able to apprehend the criminals in the minority group of people on the island, the politicians, the lawyers who debase the legal profession through their criminal activities, etc, etc.why are these people not arrested and jailed for their crimes in Barbados?

  18. Well Well

    Many of these honest officers hands were tried at the time. And that’s’ why many of them have since moved on to different careers because they did like what was going on in that institution. Also bear in mind that I am talking about some twenty-five years ago.

  19. Dompey:

    You pass by Bushie and had what he was smoking? The tools and techniques utilized by these men that you list would be obsolete today! Georgie, come Dompey over in this thread.

  20. All progressive people should welcome this Inquiry into the death of beloved freedom fighter and visionary academic and intellectual Dr. Walter Rodney. Rodney’s death was a blatant and calculated act of state terrorism engineered by Forbes Burnham and his CIA associates. We are not surprised that Rodney’s works have been largely ignored by the decadent self serving misfits, we commonly refer to as the political management class. This class represents the most dangerous and diabolical threat to the entire Caribbean region. The atrocities being now unleashed by the political management class are surpassed only by those carried out by the slave masters. We make bold to say that those who participated in the terrorist act that took Dr. Rodney’s life and robbed his wife , children and family of such a great father , husband and mind will find no peace and we pledge to hound them wherever they are and bring them to a justice that fits this crime. Death to all those whose hands carry Dr. Rodney’s blood.

  21. @ Well Well,

    It is the timidity of the Afro-Bajan that must be addressed. The Afro-Bajan represents 90% of the population of Barbados and was the only group whose blood was shed to “develop” what we now call Barbados. That 90% should be the eyes and ears of the people; the judge and the jury.

    The Machiavellian minority groups that exist in Barbados should be monitored closely. There exists a small but damaging cluster of these individuals who are eroding and degrading this island. Some of them would like to see this once beautiful island destroyed. They believe that once the economy is destroyed it will force the 90% Afro-Bajan population to flee to an alternative foreign country – eroding further their status. This would leave the doors open to the 10% minority to procreate and to make up for the short fall in numbers.

    Some of you will think that perhaps I am over stating things or worse. I would ask you to never underestimate the mind set of those minority groups residing in Barbados. Sadly it is fact: they do not like Black skin people.

    @ David,
    I will write a post one day – soon. However I am a very busy person. BU can take up a lot of one’s time especially if one has poor time management skills!

  22. Exclaimer……..that 10% with the grandiose plans would die for sure without the 90% Afro Bajans, you know it, I know it, lots of folks on BU know it except the 10% with the grandiose plans, they come just like the albino lions, check out their lifespan etc and you will understand what i mean……with people like AC and the leaders of the DLP/BLP, those plans could very well work because they love to kowtow to the same 10% at the expense at the 90%, let’s hope if that happens it’s only the DLP/BLP and their thousands of yardfowls, all the corrupt public officials both past and present and the criminal element with the pimp titles who are sell-outs of the Afro-Bajan are forced to leave Barbados, the rest of the population will have to show fortitude and herculean strength to beat back such plans.

  23. Exclaimer…….Afro-Bajans need not be timid, that timidity arises from all the bullshit they were fed pre and post slavery and still believe with all their souls to be true, continually fed to them by the jackass politicians and the sell-out pimp title holders among others, the insult comes when they pass on said bullshit to their off springs and succeed in keeping the cycle of timidity intact to the detriment of their futures and that of their children and grandchildren going forward for generations, at least 6 to 7 generations of Bajans have been totally screwed up so far, let’s see if the damage can be undone.

  24. @Well Well,

    The Afro-Bajan still has a little further to sink before they see the light. Things will get a lot worse before they get better. Over the horizon, I can see a resurgence of the African diaspora unified, independent and strong.

    A time will come when the African diaspora will identify and determine which racial groups and nationalities it deals with. Some groups will be judged more favourably than others. The continent of Africa (certainly sub-Sahara Africa) may one day become a “white and Arab free zone”. The majority of the Caribbean islands and other regions could easily follow suite. Europe may one day hopefully become a “black free zone”. This would be a good thing. It amazes me why as a group we decide to live in such hostile regions.

    I see a future where the African diaspora shares one common language (Swahili for example); a single currency, a common economic market, a market that minimises its contact with the outside world and a culture rooted in Africanism. I see a diaspora more intelligent and better equip to deal with those interlopers (Arabs and Europeans) who have over the centuries tried to destroy it.

    Let us educate and teach this vision to our children.

  25. Pingback: Guyana: Untersuchung zu Walter Rodney · Global Voices auf Deutsch

  26. Exclaimer said:
    “I see a diaspora more intelligent and better equip to deal with those interlopers (Arabs and Europeans) who have over the centuries tried to destroy it.”

    They have been able to be destructive with the help of traitors who are rewarded with titles for betraying their own people, these traitors would have the genetic memory of traitors from centuries ago…….they have not gone anywhere, their role on earth is to continue to betray……but we now know who they are and should expose them at every turn until they cannot show their faces anymore.

  27. Listen carefully from 40 – 43.47minutes. Very interesting.

    Dr Marcus Garvey Jr – The Arab Slave Trade

  28. Exclaimer:

    I was not impressed with this video. Marcus Garvey Jr seems to think that he is the only source of knowledge. I agree with him that Jews, Arabs, All of Europe enslaved the black man, but I have a real difficulty with him dictating to me what I should believe because I took the time to listen to him. If I were a young seeker, I would really impressed.

  29. Over the millenia the African continent produced many tribes from different regions that amongst other things developed mathematics,worked out the stars,the tides, circumnavigated the world and mapped it out,built pyramids and all this at a time that tribes from outside of Africa were making drawings in caves…….

    Why are we their progeny reduced to begging for crumbs as opposed to continuing in their inventive spirit and leading the pack?….sad

  30. Vincent……..fantastic question, the answer may disappoint you however, it’s because the black race is still blinded and distracted by the former slave master’s system, when blacks in Africa used their brilliance, skills and ingenuity, they were using their own system.

  31. Well Well

    When will you and others around BU understand two things their is one race the human race out of which many tribes&sub tribes exist and the “System” as you call it had its origins going back to the Dogon’s,who carried it to Egypt,from where the Greeks learnt it and through them it was transmitted around the world over the centuries….splinter groups carried it to today’s South America(Olmecs),Asia(Jomons)….just a very brief synopsis with loads of gaps to be filled in..

    Instead of trying to understand the bigger picture you are caught up with the petty foibles of ignorant people in the truest sense of the word,who come in all shades of the melanin spectrum…..ah dun dis time.

    • Sir Richard under pressure in Guyana for not providing disclosure. Transparency is not a comfortable behaviour for West Indian politicians.

      PNCR flags Cheltenham’s Rodney bias

      • Thursday, 01 May 2014 00:03

      Fresh concerns about perceived bias by the Commission of Inquiry into the bomb-blast death of Guyanese politician, Dr. Walter Rodney have surfaced- now about the Chairman, Sir Richard Cheltenham who 30 years ago suggested that Rodney’s foes had killed him.

      “Whatever attempts are made to envelope his death in confusion and surround it with controversy, I doubt that it has brought solace to those who saw his presence and his preachings on the political scene as threat to their political survival,” Sir Richard was quoted as saying by the Barbados Advocate at a memorial service for Rodney.

      At that service held at the Ursuline Convent on that Caribbean island, he recalled meeting Rodney for the first time at Jamaica’s Mona Campus during the 1962-1963 academic year. Hailing the renowned historian for his intellectual prowess, Cheltenham also credited him with using historical knowledge for effective mass mobilization and advocating social change.

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