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I wish to observe that the Brazilian President Bolsonaro has postponed his visit to Guyana due to the death of his Mother.
In a well researched letter, published in today’s Stabroek News, a group including Dr. David Hinds, Lincoln Lewis, Ras Kali, Leanna Thompson, Charlene Wilkinson and others brought to our attention the racist policies of President Bolsonaro.
As recently as Wednesday evening, on the Programme Public Platform, the City Mayor and I drew annexus between the Clean-Up sections of the City and Bolsonaro’s visit.
For reasons which are not obscure, I could not obtain from official service that this visit was indeed on. We’ve since confirmed that the official visit was planned.
The visit seemed to be shrouded in secrecy.
Since Independence, Guyana Leaders have always strived for good relations with our neighbours to the East, South and West, and Islands to the North.
Beyond that, we supported the struggle in Southern Africa against Apartheid and racism. We persuaded our Cricketers not to take to the playing field with South Africa and Rhodesia, whose Administration practiced Apartheid.
Evidence available suggests that President Bolsonaro has little tolerance for Brazil’s Indigenous people. The kith and kin of our Amerindians and his similar intolerance for the descendants of Africans who centuries ago made their way in boats to Brazil and now constitute a substantial portion of Brazil’s population.
For sporting fans in Guyana, Pele, the Soccer genius is the best known figure of African descent and as Mayor, it was my honour and pleasure to welcome this Brazilian genius, when he visited with us some years ago.
Notwithstanding our desire to welcome to our shores Leaders and personalities from our neighbouring Brazil, Bolsonaro ultra right and racist behaviour makes it difficult for us to welcome him with open arms.
In a polarized society such as ours, the Government must be careful in having State visits, without appropriate information and consultation with the general public and their organisations.
We love the Brazilian people but deplore President Bolsanaro’s treatment of certain sections of the Brazilian population.
to the public, using their well-oiled propaganda machine that deplores his obnoxious behaviour to native Brazilians and Africans in Brazil.
His visit will offer us benefits which should be discussed openly and allow citizens and their organisations to say that the State or secret visit is alright.
However, I doubt if our Amerindian Brothers, the Descendants of African slaves and Indentured Labourers will welcome a personality, who is clearly racist.
It seems to me that President Ally and his Advisors, either think we are fools and therefore take us for granted, or is it that he has reached the point, where arrogance prevails and that courting of evil or the devil matters not.
I complement those who have shown a sense of patriotism by declaring Bolsonaro ‘persona-non-grata’ and I close by asking this Administration to recognise that a cardinal aspect of democracy is to have meaningful consultations with Guyanese and their Organisations on important matters..
I hope we are not being consumed by the current Administration, who feels that offending Indigenous People, those of African descent and decent Guyanese, East Indian, Portuguese, Chinese, and Mixed race, no longer matter.
Why is President Ali pushing the people with the questionable deals surrounding oil and gas, the City and now the secret of the planned Bolsonaro visit?
A vibrant democracy must secure the pride and dignity of its people.