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As a Guyanese and Member of Parliament, my prayers and thoughts are with the families and relatives of those five brave men in uniform who perished in the crash of the Bell Helicopter, two days ago: Brigadier Gary Beaton- Project Engineer, GOG; Colonel Michael Shahoud- Commander 1st Infantry Battalion; Lt Col Michael Charles- Pilot; Lieutenant Colonel Sean Welcome- Commanding Officer Reserve Battalion and Staff Sergeant Jason Khan- 31 Special Forces Squadron. It is settled knowledge that Essequibo belongs to Guyana. Those men were on duty to secure that region, the integrity of our western border, and to protect the sovereignty of our state from that imperial aggressor- Venezuela. I am proud of our brothers. Guyana would be eternally indebted to those men, who served our country with honour, pride and distinction.
However, this incident signals the need for an effective and real national response to the crisis we face as a nation. As it now stands, the response to this crisis is essentially a PPP/C response. It is weak, inefficient, ineffective and betrays our national motto: One People One Nation One Destiny. It is shocking that, the PPP/C appears to be using this border controversy to sustain political power. Why else would it deliberately neglect to involve all other political parties and critical stakeholders to present a national response to the real and present danger we now face? In view of the announced measures illegally put in place by the imperial aggressor, to snatch Essequibo from us, the government must attach great importance to a national response. It is the most sensible thing to do, not only to defeat the imperial aggressor but to secure and maintain all of Guyana.
Nevertheless, Guyanese would have observed that even in this time of national danger the PPP/C seems worryingly comfortable entertaining itself, at rallies, and other campaigns. Apparently, it has not dawned on the government that it needs to craft an effective national political, diplomatic and military strategy to facilitate a genuine, not superficial, national response. And when one thinks that the government has a one seat majority, one would recognise that the PPP/C government is making a fundamental mistake in its response to the threats and unjustifiable negative and aggressive actions of Venezuela. government’s action is excluding half of the Guyanese population from participating in a national effort to protect the land of their birth. This mistake is definitely fatal to our social and economic wellbeing, and to Guyana as a nation.
Finally, in this time of great testing of the strength and fortitude of our nation silence is the enemy. Therefore, I encourage all Guyanese to speak up for a real national response. Indeed, this is the only clear path to victory against this bellicose bully- Venezuela.
Again, my condolences to the families and loved ones of those five brave men of the Guyana Defence Force, who served us well as a nation. May their Souls Rest in Peace.