What the WPA, and the preceding actions of its constituents along with other sectors in Guyana, accomplished, was the visible representation of multi-racialism in its, rank and file, the importance, in the Guyana’s context of prominent black leaders opposing mainly black regime and the engagement of sections of the Indian indo-Guyanese shifting towards was at least at the non-electoral level. note that none of this multi-racial enthusiasm was tested at the ballot box, which in 1974was far from the radar of the WPA.
But how far did the new politics reach? How was it possible to fight for a democratic society amidst all the confusion of the outside world, where the Soviet Union and its allies, although supportive of liberation movements around the world, did not endorse the local struggles for democracy; and played realpolitk with small countries? The Guyanese state had also by that time, with its critical role in the non-aligned movement, its anti-apartheid stand, and increasing ties with socialist countries benefited from the that most of the allies of the opposition Marxist-Leninist PPP welcomed Guyana’s support as a state. While the PPP was caught in this quagmire the WPA managed to avoid some of the pitfalls of this conundrum that pitted democracy against socialism. It achieved this by its concentration on local issues, its vigorous defence of democratic struggle and its programmatic-ideological positions which fused Marxism with democratic ideals, what is commonly deemed the ‘new left.’
Perhaps this contradiction led an alert Guyanesese middle-class lawyer to ask a provocative question at the height of the PNC's repression of the WPA and the PPP, in a context where all three contenders were self-identified Leftist organisations. De Caires asked then:
"What does a party mean in the Caribbean today when it describes itself as
Marxist-Leninist? Clearly the bare label is not enough (the three main
political parties in Guyana, the PPP, PNC and WPA all described themselves
as Marxist-Leninist at one time or another) and at the very least it is
incumbent on each party to spell out its position on certain basic issues
like a democratic constitution, free elections, the multiparty system and so on"
Several of these issues arose during the WPA heyday. Among them, the historical and contemporary ‘relevance’ of Marxism to the region; the relationship between democracy and socialism; race and ethnicity in political practice; and the role of the state. Clive Thomas, himself an active member of WPA was a key contributor from the Anglo-Caribbean and dealt very early with the connection between democracy and socialism...