Dear Editor
THERE are times when, as human beings, we allow ourselves to be misguided – either directly or indirectly– by others who sometimes do not have our best interests at heart. Freddie Kissoon wrote that he’s had to ‘defend’ me from some obviously misguided folks who perceived me to be a ‘racist’ because of my political stances.
Yet, I’m sure that these very people who Freddie alleged spoke to him are unaware of the fact that both my paternal and maternal families comprise all ethnic groups in Guyana, mainly Portuguese, East Indian, Amerindian and African. Not to mention the fact that all of my beautiful children are mixed, and all have East Indian grandmothers and great grandmothers.

So, when I sit around my family table or peruse our photo albums, or attend weddings, birthday parties or other sorts of get-togethers, it’s really difficult for any sane person to describe me as a ‘racist’. After all, none of these people about whom Freddie spoke know more of the Hindu culture than I do, have ever read the Bhagwan Gita as many times as I have, and can sing old Indian songs better than I. That aside, I have also had to defend Freddie and have tried to convince folks that he too is not a racist, and that he’s not using (or attempting to use) Africans for political mileage, or for security purposes. Sadly, many folks still aren’t convinced even after my intervention on the issue.

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In fact, I have had cause to call Freddie on one occasion about an alleged confrontation with one of his neighbours, who happens to be African Guyanese, who claimed that ‘Mr. Freddie Kissoon’ referred to her in colourful language and derogatory manner. Of course, Freddie denied the accusation levelled against him, and the matter died a natural death. Moving away from the issue of whether I’m a ‘racist’ or not, I would like to thank Mr. Kissoon for ‘defending’ me, and people should note that once my friend Lord Kissoon seh no, well then it’s no, and story done.

However, it’s ironic that when Freddie and I would visit a particular video/music shop on Camp Street, he would go into the English section to purchase movies and songs, and I’d enter the Indian section to do the same. Now, on the subject of Kissoon’s misinformation and lies, as peddled by his long-time friend and former Minister of Finance, Sasenarine Kowlessar, under the corrupt and brutal PPP regime, Freddie writes: “I met former Finance Minister (an old friend when we were student contemporaries at UG and one of Guyana’s most modest ministers in its entire history), Sasenarine Kowlessar. Sase told me that the Ministry of Finance currently employs only African staff.

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He said it was not multi-racial when he was minister. Do I believe him? Don’t I have a right to my opinion? Yes, I believe him.” And here we go, without a shred of evidence, Freddie took his friend’s word as the gospel truth and published that level of falsehood and butcher type of journalism in order to suit his political agenda during this campaign season. Sadly, instead of researching the truth and confronting his friend about the lies, Freddie has allowed his emotions to take on the path of being mischievous and dishonest on this particular issue.

After reading Kissoon’s article and have noticed his glaring praises for that former incompetent Minister of Finance, who may not have much respect for African folk, and at one point during his tenure may have, by virtue of his position, used the police on several occasions to arrest a woman and her husband in Kitty as a result of a property dispute with his female friend, my impression of this very PPP friend of Kissoon is that whatever is said, I’d take with a grain of salt. So, having done my own research, I found that Kissoon is unfortunately peddling a dangerous lie on behalf of Kowlessar.


The facts are based on my research: (1) Since 2015, not a single person from the PPP regime has had his/her employment terminated by the Hon. Minister of Finance Winston Jordan. (2) 95% of the Minister’s staff are non-African Guyanese, including his two secretaries, office assistant and even the cleaner. (3) The wife of the notorious former PPP Minister of Home Affairs Clement Rohee still works there, and the son of former PPP Minister of Trade and Tourism, the late Michael Shree Chan, was hired after being dismissed from another agency. So, I wonder where is the evidence and why would Freddie Kissoon allow himself to be used like a doormat by certain PPP buffoons (disguised as his friends) to peddle misinformation and further an obviously racist agenda against this current government and the Minister of Finance. Unfortunately, I do see signs of a personal agenda by both Freddie and his PPP friends to make both the Minister of Finance and the government appear to be racist in the form of employment. Surely, there’s no truth to substantiate these blatant lies by Freddie and what was supposedly told to him by Kowlessar. Freddie, take my advice: your slip is showing and so are your emotions and personal agenda. And, by the way, I’ll respond to you on the issue of why you should not vote for Lenox Shuman. Wrong bang bro, wrong bang.

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Mark Benschop


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