So today I encourage reflection as is my wont. A sober, reflective 51st Anniversary to all fellow citizens.
And now for my brief but ever-present cynicism: knowing full well that I dare not attempt to speak for all my over-seventy countrymen – (there are hundreds of senior die-hard PNC-ites for example – I still make bold to state that if you are over seventy/eighty now; if then you can be objectively honest with yourself; if you can submerge any solid partisan party politics you embraced); if you have travelled and can compare and analyse; if you can stare down development/non-development realities, you must conclude that we – led by our political managers – have let Independent Guyana and ourselves down. Down-down-down!
Yet in the face of our relatively delayed or stagnated development over half of a century I used to boldly attempt to itemize 10 or 12 good positive things since our (hoped-for) Independence, on a day such as today. Of course, you and I can come up with such a list. In spite of, or because of, your political leanings.
Such a list is bound to include: post 1966 Infrastructure – highways, schools, bridges, stadium, factories, drainage; new hospitals/clinics; a national university; a youth development programme a la Youth Corps/GNS; Republicanism; new amended constitutions; a (struggling) local judiciary and perhaps, a relatively peaceful-co-existence type of “cohesion.” I suppose you can’t dismiss all of the immediate above. Great! On paper – as history.
But we who resisted the valid reasons to migrate, as hundreds of thousands have done since 1966, would own the right and justification to regret and lament real sustained national development. No government since, say, 1975 has given us a civilized supply of electricity – to cite one humongous example symbolic of our non-development woes.
But fear not! Today I refuse to list that long list of long overdue development generations here so richly deserved. Instead as an-over-70 citizen I’ll will wish our under-sixties much better in the following manner. Hope does try to “spring eternal.”
Fast-forward development (49 vs 2)
Independent Guyana under Burnham, Hoyte, two Jagans, Hinds, Jagdeo and Ramotar has yielded billons of our natural resources from our land and water. Bauxite, timber, gold, diamonds, agriculture and marine life, nature’s ecological beauty all have provided billions. But for whom?
Political and economic mis-management, racial politics, discrimination and corruption, immigration exodus of bodies and brains, the rape of moral standards now have us behind little CARICOM states and other places with few comparable resources.
So after 49 years, a wobbly two-year-old coalition led by our retired Brigadier, scholarly President Granger, has promised those of us still remaining “A good life” – actual usage and description. (I recall when I served faithfully under Presidents Burnham and Hoyte, every year had a national, aspirational theme.)
I end here by stating that if this government – in whatever new configuration or incarnation, – cannot deliver in three more years, we are further doomed. Oil or no oil! (Imagine it in other hands!) Reflect. Discuss.
Cocaine: enterprise and questions
I say “enterprise” because the cocaine trans-shipment hub – Guyana has become just had to assume all the characteristics, status, expertise, backing and brains which any highly organized and structured business undertaking has to have.
So even to a concerned layman’s eye the expertise, the opportunity, the connections and varied necessary resources are all on display when big busts are revealed, ever so infrequently. From submersibles in the North-West District (Region One) to sawmills to light aero-planes to arranging US Visas, which type of individual(s) is/are most “qualified” to manage such enterprises? So – simple question. What do you – good citizen – think of our investigators and prosecutors? Name three really big barons ever convicted locally. Why did not the American DEA here advise that the Zeelugt lumber be allowed to be delivered in the U.S. so that both “local” and “American” could be snared? Do you see any conviction in this latest bust? Where do the cocaine (for onward “export”) come from? How?
No I’m not naïve. I know that detailed answers might cause people’s demise. But is it true? That as in Mexico, the best cocaine enterprises involve law-enforcement persons, businessmen and politicians? Never! Not in my Guyana. Discuss.
Independence Day Musings…
.1) What? After 51 years the Georgetown Abattoir is still most primitive?
.2) Can any state be really independent? Economically?
.3) Do you know of any big local successful enterprise – in commerce, sport or entertainment – which “evolved” from the profits of the cocaine trade? Name it. Name them. Ha!
.3B) Perhaps symbolic of his aim to put Linden to the top, young Mayor Holland recently easily mounted a coconut tree!
.4) Why was the date 26th May finally chosen to be our Independence Day? Ask Hammie.
.5) Finally! That old Co-op Bank building will become a modern vendors mall. Watch work finally begin!
’Til next week!