‘Somebody letting de cocaine pass’ Frankly Speaking...
By A.A Fenty

Stabroek News
November 1, 2002

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At the day’s end of Monday of this week, I wrestled with alternatives to today’s caption above. Should I, dare I use “the minister and the loot”? “the spin: the poor police”? or “on the bandits’ behalf?” or “Clem on cocaine - and crime”? I settled for the title of one of Clem David’s favourite calypsoes, “Somebody Letting de Cocaine Pass” (or is it the “The Cry of a Madman”?)

What am I going on about, you have the right, and curiosity, to wonder.

Well this past Monday began with the dramatic spine-tingling deaths of many at dawn. I know folks who had to abandon the comforts of their beds for safety lower down. For an extended period on this Monday’s “fore-day morning”. By day’s end seven had died including two of February’s Fugitives. Quietly, silently, thousands welcomed the demise of those two. Many dared not voice their relief out loud. After all their friends, relatives, beneficiaries and supporter-sponsors are still around. Others, appearing to be analytical, cautious - or indifferent, voiced views publicly.

By next day, Tuesday, the “positions” of the various “commentators” influenced me to come up with this piece.

Now, where today’s pro-opposition tele-activists are concerned, besides Enrico and his almost unique, innovative brand of opinion-newscasts, I appreciate sometimes, Clem David’s morning “presentations”, because of his good-naturedly-mischievous style and skills. Certain other activists can be downright dangerous. Also, Clem might reveal that he probably learnt a few propagandistic communication skills from me. When I used to “be PNC”. And Clem, thirty-odd years a journalist, could very well have been your Prime Minister.

So, predictably to me, by Tuesday, in “assessing” the events of Monday, the teleactivist fellows were offering their spin on details and implications of the busts. Predictably, to me, there was, from them, no relief that we were two escapees less. Oh no, perhaps justifiably, their “scientific/analytical” remarks had to do with the following emphases - skilfully shared, or fed to their faithful followers:

1. It was not the Police who were responsible for the initial big Lamaha Gardens Bust (Fair Enough).

2. So close to Minister Gajraj and he never knew of the safe-house? Why did he leave the country?

3. Where was all the ransom money?

4. The Police still shot persons unjustifiably and

5. “Somebody Letting De Cocaine Pass”.

These were the emphases of the tele-activists. Some even seemed sad and disappointed that the escapees, and acquaintances and supporters had passed away. No matter how late or after-the-fact the police had arrived, not a word of commendation for their role. Poor Police. But I couldn’t bring myself to be surprised. For my own (obvious) reasons. Yes there are crooked cops involved, but no praise for the good ones?

The letter-columns and other featured columnists will be filled with expert, informed views, so my habit is to let the dust settle. Even as I am exposed to all the theories and a few facts, I usually allow the other knowledgeables to expound. Then again, I scare quickly!

But dear P.M. Clem, who’s allowing the cocaine to “pass”. Just who? Care to discuss it? Cause you seem to, and claim to, be in the know. Let us use my own limited knowledge as a basis for elucidation when you see me, or invite me on your programme. I venture my limited views and many questions now.

There has to be senior, authoritative operatives representing narco-traffickers from Colombia, Venezuela and elsewhere. I’m sure you would agree, Mr David, that there will be implications for owners of sea-going vessels, airport personnel, customs people, some exporters, others in business and even politicians. Agreed? And when you play Rudder’s calypso, you seem, from your comments afterwards to be hinting at your insider knowledge. Not any groundless suspicions. And you know I respect to the maximum, your investigative tenacity and your fact-based conclusions. And we can even agree on who benefits when “de cocaine pass”. One type of “businessman”? Or, only one side of the political spectrum?

I must make more time to tune in to Clem. Seemingly, he can be a reliable, authentic source to lead to those somebodies who “letting de cocaine pass”.

Ultimately leading to the mayhem and disintegration of the society. God Forbid.

The eyes of the children

One emotional, haunting and lingering expression of the evil consequences of the wanton killings, is the look of wonderment, dismay, anguish and utter grief reflected in the eyes of the younger children whose parents were murdered.

The look of innocence (lost); of concern and sympathy for the surviving parent; actually the ultimate puzzlement: why? who? Then I put myself in the place of particular politicians, some of whom I hold responsible for those children’s predicament. What manner of persons are these individuals who created the environment for this sort of thing? Do they see those photographs? Collateral damage?

And yes, I’m thinking about both the children say, of murdered kidnapped victim Camaldeo Ganesh - Annie and Ajay - and the offspring of accused suspects and known bandits. Those poor children are not at fault...

Quo Vadis?

1) What I heard on certain television programmes after Monday’s events left me more intrigued about the role of the Broadcasting Authority based in Kingston in our capital.

Despite his government’s policy not to sue for libel or slander shouldn’t Minister Gajraj consider suing somebody? (One doesn’t even have to like the man!)

2) Despite President Jagdeo’s observation on the Corentyne: “Every single day that we talk, democracy is under threat ... they never give us a chance to run this country smoothly.” (That’s worth a thought. Justified or not consider the disruptive events from December 1997 to today...)

3) No, I can’t repeat again my dismay over the infiltration of drugs money into every facet of everyday life. And the moral contradictions flowing therefrom.

4) Christmas, December 1997 was taken away from us when the PPP/C victory was rejected by the urban opposition majority. What are the odds for a crime-free Christmas 2002?

5) Coming next week: 1) Mr Munroe of Region Four. 2) Major mistakes the Civic made.

‘Til next week!