Last Friday, June 13th marked 34 years since the Dr. Walter Rodney was killed on that fateful day in 1980 – on Friday the 13th. Dr. Rodney was a revolutionary and noted Guyanese scholar-activist - particularly for his work in Caribbean and African history and politics. Due to the still unanswered questions regarding Dr. Rodney’s death, his wife, Dr. Pat Rodney waged a relentless campaign for over 30 years - pressuring the Guyanese government to investigate her husband’s death. You see, Dr. Rodney was killed by a bomb, apparently planted in a walkie-talkie, given to him by one, Gregory Smith, a former officer in the Guyanese Defense Force (GDF). Dr. Rodney paid the ultimate price for his political views and for his subsequent political activism - death - death by political assassination.
Dr. Pat Rodney’s efforts paid off when last year, the Walter Rodney Commission of Inquiry was set up to investigate Dr. Rodney’s murder. President Donal Ramotar said that convening the commission was “in response to a direct request from Ms. Patricia Rodney.” The President told the Guyana Chronicle: “At no time did we discuss the Commission at any level of the People’s Progressive Party/Civic (PPP/C). This is purely a Presidential Commission; I responded to the heartfelt cry of Ms. Rodney, who is advancing in age, and who wants to get some answers.”