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After the horrors, trauma and tribulations of slavery and indentureship, except for brief moments, we have failed to make optimum use of our enormous natural resources.
We recite the pledge and boast that we are a nation of six people.
Part of the failure to maximize the Creator’s bounty is our collective failure to know and understand the ravages of our colonial experience and the seemed to be forgotten imperial strategy of divide and rule.
Guyana, even before the advent of the oil and gas should be the wealthiest and happiest people in this hemisphere.
Apart from arable agricultural lands, marine and mineral resources, forest with some of the world’s treasured species, we have no debilitating natural disasters such as hurricanes, tornadoes and volcanoes.
Our occasional flooding is due generally to human error and our failure to maintain our sea defences, sluices, kokers and canals.
These are minor challenges compared to the trauma of other countries.
Recent statements and actions by both the sitting government and the sitting Opposition suggest that our present crop of leaders on both sides of the political divide seem incapable or unwilling to understand the background to our troubles over the past several generations.
For without this knowledge of our troubles, this and succeeding generations will fail the benefits from the bounty that beckons, what with vast oil and gas resources recently discovered and being developed.
Political leadership in Guyana requires first, understanding the vagaries of international politics and economics.
Second, failure to surf the turbulent waters of the global environment where the interest of small nation states such as Guyana are not the same as the mighty who control vast military and financial establishments.
We at the moment are suffocating in spite of President Ally’s asseveration of a one Guyana agenda.
Both sides are behaving the petulance and of tantrums 0f urchins.
The President is demanding that the Opposition Leader and Opposition publicly recognize him as Head of State, whether de facto or de jure is unimportant at this stage.
So, the Opposition is not consulted as is required by our Constitution.
On the other hand, the Leader of the Opposition continues this charade about not recognizing the illegitimacy of the government.
For me, both sides are wallowing in the cesspit of stupidity and arrogance.
I believe the majority of Guyanese accept the fact that Mr. Ally was sworn in on the 2nd of August and Mr. Harmon, Leader of the Opposition and others were sworn in as Members of Parliament,
This identifies the basis for a governmental structure in a modern democracy, that is a Government with a Cabinet in charge with affairs of State and an Opposition in Parliament whose business in democracy is to point out the missteps of the Government and where appropriate, offer advice in the interest of the residents at home and abroad of the Co-operative Republic of Guyana.
The time has come for both sides to get off of their ‘high-horse’ and give our people a chance to exhale and benefit from our God-given resources, the greatest per capital in the region,
I am not saying that the Coalition ought not to rely on the Judiciary, I have always felt that civility and meaningful dialogue is a superior tool than the relying on the judiciary to resolve what are essentially political matters.
The Opposition unnecessarily assails the fourth estate. Sometimes being critical of the very sections of the mass media, that once supported their cause.
A journey of folly.
On the other hand, the Government unable to learn or seek the advice pro bona of those who know plunges into a relationship with Taiwan, completely ignoring Guyana’s government commitment to one China policy since 1974.
Only after the gentle rumbling growl of the Chinese Dagon did they retreat, like the frightened puppy with their tails between their legs.
I avoid the tedium of examples of missteps by the leadership of all of our political parties
We see a complete reversal of the Jagan-Burnham PPP of a socialist policy intended to make the small man a real man.
Instead, local and foreign so-called private sector is dominant where citizens must buy inferior goods and machinery of all sorts, from the cheapest sources ignoring the need for quality and endurance.
A careful examination would show that we are slowly being re-colonized.
The rich harvest which should benefit the descendants of those brutalized slaves and immigrant labourers will not be realized.
The answer is, for government and Opposition Leaders to stop behaving like petulant urchins and put on a cloak of maturity, understanding that the philosophy of the imperial masters, extant for centuries, is still well and alive.
We saw the deep wounds that the Cold War inflicted on us, which caused an unfortunate split of the then powerful mass party and the problems between our two national heroes, Dr. Jagan and Forbes Burnham in 1955.
I’ve chatted with young and old political personalities, a few academics, and it is surprising to know how many do not recognize that the foot prints of the divide and rule still exist.
I give one example, which a group of bright young Guyanese did not fathom.
The Spanish-flu epidemic killed over 500 million worldwide and 12,000 Guyanese, mainly in the sugar belt. The British by then had put an end to indentureship. With the encouragement of the British Governor, two groups of prominent Afro and Indo fighters set out to visit India and Africa in an attempt to import labour to work on the estates where a shortage of labour was evident.
The recruiting group to Africa was led by Alfred A Thorne and the recruiting group to India was led by Dr. Jung Bahadur Singh.
Thorne’s group was made useless, when the white sugar estate managers and white overseers declared that they had no interest in bringing in Africans to work.
Some claimed because the Africans were lazy, other claimed the freed Africans were demanding too high a wage and that the Indians who came after the conditions on our plantations were improved, were better workers.
You see the Africans were not lazy, when they dug all those canals, they were not lazy when they worked sun up, sun down in sub human conditions and civilized the entire coastal belts with their blood, sweat and tears. There were not no bulldozers, hymacs in those days.
The Indians worked hard, employed deferred gratification and our Indo- Guyanese must be proud of the sacrifices of their ancestors,
Of course, the pattern particularly, in North America and the Caribbean has been that whenever African Leaders/Activists seek justice or recounting the truth of our history, they are deemed racist
The most recent has been the disappointing, disgusting and unjustified assault by Columnist Freddie Kissoon, when he described a respected, revered Patriot Eusi Kwayana, an Elder as being racist.
The likes of my friend Freddie, will do well to listen and learn from Elder Kwayana.
My advice, if both sides wish not to be swallowed up by the oil and other giants, they should do well, to set aside this petty bickering and after discussions with the masses, present to the oil and other giants formulae representing not fifty percent, not forty percent, but ninety-nine percent of the Guyanese.
A polarized divided nation as we seem to be is unlikely, in the words of a former leader, to reach the commanding heights of our economy.
Citizens must persuade their respective political leaders, that we must sit and talk in a civilized manner.
That we must know that the interest of the mighty may not coincide with what is in our best interest.
This require skill, patience and resolve.