As we celebrate 43 years of Independence, we need to look back at the economic growth of our Nation and ask ourselves: What have we achieved as an Independent Nation?
We have seen the rich getting richer and the poor getting poorer, the drug trade has now infiltrated our nation like a sudden cancer, a mass exodus of our graduates going overseas over the years and no economic growth in our economy as we plunged further and further in debt.
Under the previous PNC dictatorial regime our country became the poorest Nation in the Western Hemisphere under Burnham and Hoyte’s mis-rule. Our present administration is taking our Nation into more debts and poor economic growth; where the rich businessman getting richer by exploiting the poor man by the implementation of VAT. Jobs are difficult to find even though many are qualified thus pushing people to get out of Guyana in search of jobs legally and illegally.
More and more we are seeing the rise of illiteracy in our society, a moral breakdown in homes and family living; constant drinking and domestic abuse, beggars, thieves and touts roaming the streets all over our country, trying to making a living. Many of our politicians cannot understand the moral decline in our Nation though they will try their best to assist in their various Ministries. The cost of living is too high for the average government worker who earns less than $40,000 per month; has to pay a light bill half their salary, phone bills, and rent. It’s not surprising bribery and corruption has become the order of the day.
Many believe we would have been better off under British. The PNC under Burnham’s leadership destroyed the economic growth of our Nation. Burnham ruled Guyana by race and selfish ambition as a self style autocratic dictator but failed to make Guyana the bread basket of the Caribbean; though many boasted he was the greatest scholar on earth. The late Dr.Cheddi Jagan hard core communist dictator followed a wrong political ideology, inspired by his late wife Janet Jagan, and was ousted from power by the British and Americans because of his Communist Ideology. Had he continued leading Guyana we would have been far worst than Cuba.
We have seen the downfall of Socialism by Burnham and the death of Guyana by the Communist Ideology implemented by Cheddi and Janet. Yet many illiterates believe we have arrived and done well as a Nation.
Today, we brag of roads from Georgetown to Berbice and the Berbice Bridge that is the most expensive bridge to cross. Those things can be good for the physical infrastructure of our Nation, but it’s not bringing economic growth into our country. Many are bragging about the amount of schools we have built. Where are the qualified teachers? What have we achieved academically as a Nation over the past 43 years? More and more illiterates and dysfunctional illiterates are graduating every year from our University with the lowest GPA. Yet we boast we are doing well academically.
What we need in our country is to create job opportunities for every one; open up more factories and industries by bringing in foreign investors, implement more computer technology for every home to benefit from. Stamp out GPL and create our own cheaper electricity; bring in cheaper phone companies to compete with GT&T and Digicel.
Drop the price of rice and sugar and other basic food commodities for the poor man to stop starving. Today millions are wasted in Mash and CARIFESTA on some very immoral and vulgar events while half of our Nation go hungry. I really would like to know if CARIFESTA brought any economic change in this Nation. What have we achieved as a Nation after 43 years of Independence compared to our Caribbean neighbours?
Guyana is a country of many waters, yet I cannot get water from GWI, but still receives some very huge bills; we are greeted by blackouts everyday, but GPL bills are still climbing higher without giving adequate electricity to our Nation. It’s not surprising some communities don’t want to pay bills, but resort to thief electricity which I would not condone. Our present administration failed to take Guyana forward into the 21st century because we still have water woes, house lots but no money to build, lights in our home with constant blackouts. Where are we heading as a Nation?
I observed with interest at the late former President Janet Jagan’s funeral that no religious leader was given the opportunity to say anything at her funeral, no hymns, bhagans, gazals were sung. That tells me clearly as a Communist she was also an atheist. It’s mind boggling that we are being ruled by an atheistic administration. A Nation without God is like dry leaves in a running stream. We are not very far away from becoming an atheistic Nation. Gandhi said, ‘’Any leadership without God will fail’’. What we need is a spiritual and moral revival in our Nation.
V. S. Naipaul wrote: ‘’Nothing was produced in the Caribbean’’, I think his prophecy is fulfilled in our Nation Guyana.
Rev. Gideon Cecil
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