Activist Post takes a look at the apparent brewing race war in the United States. Check out part 1 of this discussion right here.
Guyana is a former colony of the United Kingdom located in South America. It has been reported that U.S. officials feared Guyana would become a communist nation once it gained independence from the UK. The U.S. and UK worried their respective national interests would be threatened should Guyana gain independence under the leadership of Marxist activist Cheddi Jagan.
The paper, “When you’re handed money on a platter, it’s very hard to say, ‘where are you getting this?’: The AFL-CIO, the CIA, and British Guiana,”written by Robert Anthony Waters, Jr. of Southern University at New Orleans and Gordon Oliver Daniels of Mississippi Valley State University, explores the CIA’s connection to labor and race disputes in Guyana during the 1960s. The paper explains that until the 1990s the historical foreign policy files of the American Federation of Labor-Congress of Industrial Organizations (AFL-CIO) remained unseen by the public. Around this time, the papers of the AFL-CIO’s International Affairs Department’s chief, Jay Lovestone, were opened at the Hoover Institution. The Lovestone collection has a “tremendous” amount of files dealing with the CIA’s role in assisting the AFL-CIO’s international efforts. According to the researchers, the AFL-CIO foreign policy files related to the CIA were missing.
The US intervention in British Guiana is one of the CIA’s least known covert operations. The only mainstream news stories came out in 1967 when Neil Sheehan of the New York Times described the CIA effort to bring down Jagan, as did the Sunday Times of London. At the center of the allegations was the AFL-CIO, which had provided British Guiana’s unions with training and financial aid, and had provided secret funding to Guianese opposition parties. Most of the money for these operations came from the CIA, which finally acknowledged its role in April 2005. The New York Times and Sunday Times stories were part of a wave of revelations about CIA funding of the arts, religious and student groups, as well as labor, and were not followed up.
The CIA helped fund major strikes and riots that took place all over Guyana in 1962 and 1963. Using the AFL-CIO as cover, the CIA helped create labor tensions, race riots, and other violence that helped unseat Jagan in 1964. The leader preferred by the United States, Forbes Burnham, would go on to lead a twenty-year dictatorship. Foreign Policy reported on the CIA’s role in an article titled, “CIA Meddling, Race Riots, and a Phantom Death Squad“:
“Washington funded splinter and opposition groups challenging Jagan, who — as the country’s premier in its final colonial years — had developed close ties to Cuba’s Fidel Castro. (According to U.S. State Department archival documents, $2.08 million was spent on “covert action programs” in Guyana between 1962-1968.),” Foreign Policy wrote. “In the lead-up to the poll, the CIA and AFL-CIO were on the ground, allegedly inciting racially charged strikes and riots.”
“The U.S. fostered violence and death in British Guiana,” historian Stephen G. Rabe, author of U.S. Intervention in British Guiana: A Cold War Story, told FP. “U.S. money fueled this violence and death.” (Activist Post will have an interview with Mr. Rabe in September 2017)
I present this information not to dismiss or diminish the threats of violence faced by people of color in the face of white supremacy and nationalism. I am also not claiming that every Alt-Right and Antifa activist is a cop or a government agent. What I am attempting to raise awareness about is the possibility that various forces within the ruling class (government, media, unions, academia, etc.) may be stoking the flames of racial division, or in some cases, directly going to the streets to commit acts of violence. Make no mistake, this violence will be answered with a heavily militarized police state.
To be clear, I do not support or condone initiatory acts of violence at this point in time. I know there is still power in a face-to-face conversation which allows opposing view points to be heard and discussed rationally. I also know that in a truly free society there will be individuals who choose to favor their culture, ethnicity, nationality, or race (be they Native, European, African, etc.). Although these are not my preferences, I know that this is every individual’s right, so long as they are not initiating force or coercion on other free people. Having said that, I oppose violence and authoritarianism from both the right and left.
If you take anything away from this piece, let it be a renewed sense of skepticism and self-awareness. Remember to question everything, including your own presuppositions and motives. Remember that most people in the world enjoy experiencing and intermingling with a diverse set of cultures, customs, food, traditions, and languages. The majority of people are not judging people based on their color or nation of birth. Most of us are free, beautiful, powerful beings. We are surrounded by free, beautiful, powerful individuals. The sooner we recognize this, the sooner we can move past the division and centralization being forced upon our lives.