Ranji Chandisingh estaba convencido de que no tenía sentido ir a mitad de camino . En su opinión, la mejor opción para el PPP era unirse a las filas de la PNC y crear un frente socialista en Guyana.
Apoyo crítico significó que el partido apoyará las políticas que se trataba de acuerdo y que se sentía representado un verdadero movimiento hacia el socialismo. Pero el partido se reservará el derecho de criticar lo que consideraba como desviaciones del socialismo.
The Cubans also saw Cheddi Jagan as a Marxist hero since his involvement in struggling for socialism preceded the Cuban Revolution and the coup against Salvador Allende of Chile. And Cheddi himself had been a victim of imperialist destabilization.
What happened at the meeting in Cuba which was attended by Ranji Chandisingh, just before the PPP declared critical support, was part of a development within the international communist movement. The struggle against imperialism had reached the stage where it was necessary to give recognition to all forces fighting against imperialism and to reduce conflict between socialist parties, since this could further fracture the anti-imperialist struggle. Such fractures would fortify imperialism and weaken the gains made by the socialists.
Burnham had begun to take progressive steps against imperialism, both in terms of his foreign policy and also within the domestic sphere. He had, for example, signaled his intention to create a socialist society, had begun the nationalization of the commanding heights of the economy, and reshaped the PNC along the lines of a vanguard party through the promulgation of the principle of paramountcy.
Following the direction in which the global communist movement was moving and the PPP’s own failure over its boycott of parliament following the massively rigged elections of 1973, a decision had to be taken by the PPP as to the new phase in the struggle.
This, of course, triggered a debate within the party. Not many of the existing leaders, including the recently departed, would have firsthand knowledge of this debate, but they surely could contact the older heads who are still alive and outside of the party who would have knowledge of this issue.
There were some persons within the party and leadership who saw Burnham as a bogus socialist, a political opportunist who would play any card to keep power. There were others who, like Jagan, knew Burnham better than most, and believed that despite his political opportunism, Burnham had socialist sympathies. Jagan, of course, also had a soft spot for Forbes, and always viewed him like a son who had gone astray.
The PPP was faced with a choice. Should it challenge Burnham and thus force him to reverse some of the progressive policies which the PPP felt he had begun to pursue? Or should they jump in bed with him and build a solid local anti-imperialist front even though the PPP was at odds about the admixture model of socialism that Burnham was fiddling with?
Ranji Chandisingh felt strongly that it made no sense to go halfway. He felt that the best option for the PPP was to join ranks with the PNC and create a strong socialist front in Guyana.
Jagan and others were more cautious, knowing how cunning Burnham could be and because of suspicions about the manner in which Burnham was proceeding with his peculiar brand of socialism. As such, the party opted for the middle road, that of critical support.
Critical support meant that the party would support those policies that it was in agreement with and which it felt represented a genuine movement towards socialism. But the party would reserve the right to criticize what it saw as deviations from socialism.
There was an ideological difference on this count between Chandisingh and others within the party. This was the difference that caused the defection. It was a tactical difference. Ranji felt that if the PPP was going to support the building of socialism in Guyana, it needed to join with the PNC and not stay outside of the process.
Now Ranji may have had personal and opportunistic reasons to adopt this stance. He may have, for example, recognized the futility of Jagan’s struggle and may have believed that Burnham would forever keep Jagan out of power through fraud and deceit. As the foremost ideologue, behind Jagan, he also had his enemies within the party who saw him as the likely successor to Cheddi.
He therefore took a decision to join forces with Burnham. But he did not go alone. Ranji was influential enough to take along some prominent members of the party with him, many of whom felt that the PPP was not going anywhere under Cheddi and they were not getting any younger.
To blame the Cubans for these defections totally ignores the local and international context in which these defections took place. Both the Cubans and the Russians had the highest regard for Cheddi Jagan and would never have engineered divisions within his party, because they always felt that when it came to socialism he represented the gold standard.