Jul 12, 2013 Letters Comments Off on Thomas Carroll – a poorly written book
if you may permit, our perspective: The Thomas Carroll Affair by David Casavis.
The book: A poorly written “book”. With such material Ruel Johnson, among others, would have made a real book. Nevertheless, it put some important information in public place.
Firstly: We don’t think that we can ever take a deep breath in the US embassy again. It stinks of corruption.
One of the few things The Thomas Carroll Affair achieves is the exposure of a deeply corrupt system that was fostered, ignored and even encouraged by the US Government and its officers. It was only when the Carroll affair started to malign the US Government directly that they decided to act.
For that reason, if nothing else, Guyanese should read the book. Guyanese look up to the Americans and to those who work at the embassies of USA, Canada, UK etc. This book shows how the world is as dark and shadowy behind those embassy walls as they are on the outside.
Do we dare to call on the US Ambassador to assure us that there is no corruption ongoing at the embassy? Please assure us, Sir, that the embassy is free from corruption and that the deserving people are allowed visas.
Yes, as a country we embarrassingly take the blame for offering to bribe your officers – but, like law enforcement, your system should be as clean and professional as you are trying to tell the world to be.
Secondly: Some persons who were involved in the Thomas Carroll Affair are in public office. It is their prerogative to be reformed and to hold any position so long as an employer can accept the risk.
However, it is interesting to note the justification of not having been charged of any crime in Guyana. Maybe there is no problem with that. BUT they (and us all) must realize the difference between something that may be legally acceptable but morally wrong, especially if the persons are in leadership positions – or in positions where they influence people’s behaviour OR people’s thinking.
President Ramotar must assure us that he is satisfied with this. President Ramotar must accept the fact that he is the Chief citizen who is ultimately responsible for people in various positions, especially those positions of influence. So too, the subject Minister is responsible. The head of an organization is responsible for those below him.
Thirdly: The book gives a stark view of how the USA views Guyana and Guyanese—unflattering to Guyana; brutal to Indo-Guyanese.
The book achieves another aim, i.e., by drawing together some unrelated things and unsavory characters, it successfully stereotypes Guyanese people. This is the stereotype that we face in Barbados and elsewhere. But even worse, that stereotype is what we face when we visit a police station, a government ministry, a civic office and even the private sector.
Police, Government officials, Private sector persons were all involved and continues to be involved. That is the feeling.
The book also noted that the US Embassy in Guyana is the most tarnished in the world. A most tainted embassy in a most corrupt country – that is the feeling that comes over as you turn the last page.
And, after turning that last page, you put the book down as if it is compost, a poorly written piece about a desperate people who have no other aim than to get to America; with successive Governments having no other aim than to stay in power while empowering the one per cent of the people with 99per cent of the wealth. That is the feeling.
Conclusion: A lot more can be written – and, a lot more will be written. Already there is news of yet another visa scandal. The US ambassador and other officials must be as open and forthright with these matters as we all want our Government to be.
In the meantime, in our poor bleeding country there is one scandal after the other – followed by one excuse after the other. In almost every scandal, fingers point to Government, police or civil society; public officers; those who want to hold on to – and abuse – positions of influence and leadership.
As a people, we must ask ourselves – will we continue to allow our country to be the laughing stock of the world? Will we continue to run to every country in the world while we leave the richness of Guyana to the hands of a few unscrupulous people?
President Ramotar must come face to face with reality and make his mark in Guyana. He should make his legacy in the cleaning up of Guyana. Let the chips fall where they may; those who are corrupt must go. Time to set up such independent systems and review systems – like the procurement commission, like the integrity commission, like the independent judiciary, etc. As a people, ultimately we look up to the President to do the right thing and make the right decisions. We will continue to do so.
The clean-up campaign must start. Can we do it in our lifetime?
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