Support Village Voice News With a Donation of Your Choice.
The attainment of republican status now 52 years ago represented the final shedding of our colonial linkages and meant that our country was now truly independent. Though, we became a Republic in February, 1970 we remained within the Commonwealth of Nations – that grouping of former British colonies. This was a major step, following Independence in 1966, and one which was intended to be in the furtherance of our independent status and forging of our nationhood. With this step a President, now elected, became our Head of State and this, with other Constitutional reforms, solidified our independent status.
The Guyana Agricultural and General Workers Union (GAWU) salutes our nation on this important anniversary of Republicanism but takes a sober look at where the Republic stands nearly half a century on. No doubt we made strides in various socio-economic aspects during this time but, we contend, that the economic transformation whereby the masses of Guyanese could experience fully the result of development is still to be achieved. To this day, the economic struggle for a reasonable standard of living continues.
Also, GAWU recognizes that disunity is still among our several vexing realities and, we believe, impacts our society, and contribute to a slowing down of our country’s progress. We urge our leaders, at this time, to recognize this deficit in our society and to consider in a matured, responsible way the need to forge unity which is generally recognized as desirable.
As we celebrate our republican, we recognise that our country is on the cusp of its greatest economic advancement in its post-independent history. It is indeed an exciting time as our people expect, quite reasonably, to benefit from the windfall associated with our patrimony. Alongside this development we cannot ignore the genuine concerns harboured in certain quarters. Undoubtedly, there is need to balance our people’s expectations while keeping an eye on the future. We believe at this time our newfound wealth needs to be utilized in the interest of all Guyanese and not a few if we are to continue to consolidate our gains and build a stronger Guyana for today and tomorrow.
Our observance of republicanism comes at a time when we recollect probably the most naked assault on our democracy. The stark attempt to ignore the collective will of our people represents one of the darkest chapters in our country’s history. Indeed, it reminded of us the fragility of our democracy and the wicked attempts to secure state power. Though we will forever remain disheartened by the dishonest attempts, we again salute the bravery of the many ordinary Guyanese who stood up in defence of our country and its cherished values.
None-the-less, GAWU calls on Guyanese not to abandon hope and unite and struggle for genuine progressive change. As the Anniversary’s Mashramani events take centre-stage, let us celebrate but, bear in mind our responsibilities as citizens of our Republic to bring about enduring prosperity and all-round progress benefitting every Guyanese.
A happy, peaceful Republic Anniversary and Mashramani 2022 to all!