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Guyana is in a bad place. Our beautiful country, 83, 000 square miles, forming part of the Amazon Basin, rich in mineral resources, with less than one million citizens, is now on the brink of living up to its full ‘El Dorada’ potential with the exploration of its black gold. A country with so much promise, yet we find ourselves in a bad place where our people are being nurtured to hate, to disconnect instead of uniting, and to ignore and be insensitive to the hardship and struggles of others- their fellow country men and women.
Historically, a nation founded on plantation slavery with a labour force of Amerindians, Africans, Chinese, East Indians, Portuguese, European and mixed races under colonial domination saw early divisions as colonial masters sought control. Outside of the terror and brutal conditions, some often deadly, which were used to control the labour force, the act of dividing and stoking fears amongst different groups was utilised to protect the interest of the plantoclass and colonial state.
The unity of the citizens in the pre independent struggle dissipated as the quest for power and control of the state became the forefront of our struggles. Having fought the colonial masters and achieved independence, instead of working together to strengthen our internal capacity for nation building, the power struggle, driven by greed and ethnic rivalry, created an environment of political turmoil to topple the indigenous government.
Conditions, though trying under our early pre independence leadership, have since deteriorated approximately over the past 27 years. An objective analysis in draw comparisons of the different political leaders and the quality of leadership have deteriorated, in terms of what these meant for the quality of life, nation building, public safety and equitable distribution of the nation’s resources.
The entrance of Bharrat Jagdeo as a major political player has introduced an era of evil, divisive and vindictive politics never before seen. For many it was never imagined possible after years of relative peace and open sense of accord, even though fledgling. Whether at the forefront of leadership or behind the scenes his modus operandi is well known and easily identified. Once again fear stalks the land.
A country with lots of potential and wealth for every citizen, and even the greedy who want more than their fair share, is witnessing the planned economic, racial and political marginalisation of a significant segment of society. The exception to this is a token few who serve the purpose of political window dressing. Anyone who is not supportive of them also lives in fear.
Values and morality in public and private life have deteriorated under this dispensation. The culture of get-rich-quick by any means necessary, gaming the system, corruption, the promotion of socially degenerative activities flourish. Crimes became fashionable and vigilante justice wanton. The media flourished in this era too.
Whilst Guyana today has the largest mainstream media outlets, their independence from this political evil and degeneracy is infinitesimal. Guyana is really in a bad place with failing institutions and a fourth estate that is sucked in with little or no effort to empower the masses to believe they deserve better and should seek change. Guyana is in a bad place with bad people at the helm.