The criticism hurled at the leader of the opposition last week in Parliament by the Minister of Natural Resources exposed Mr Bharrat Jagdeo for the kind of leader he was. His failures were broadcast for all to hear. Today, from all indications, there seems to be a radical change. It seems that some good things are happening in Guyana. Crime, especially murder is down, the production of rice and gold has increased and the illegal narcotics trade has been set back.
Georgetown is now clean; the stench that had hovered over the city during the tenure of the last administration has disappeared. The city streets are joys to ride on. The potholes have disappeared, something that twenty-three years of the previous government failed to achieve.
Today, Guyana is no longer considered a pariah state as it used to be under the last administration. Fear and hopelessness have slowly drifted away and there is confidence and optimism for a bright and prosperous future, especially among youths.
As Guyanese, one of our unique traits is our ability to rise above adversity. We actually obtained such traits from our leaders who seemingly overcame insurmountable odds in their struggle for independence. Such traits became very useful during the abysmal failure of the last administration to end the sale of illegal drugs and arrest the escalating crime wave that led to the assassination of the former Minister of Agriculture, Sash Sawh, journalist Ron Waddell and more than 450 youths.
Until recently, just before the administration was forced out of office, there were senseless murders, rapes, burglaries and home invasions. In that period, Guyana was a crime-ridden and drug-infested state.
Our history has proved we are tough. Those who preach doom and gloom and damnation need to know that people are embracing hope. Any political party which does not understand that people, especially youths, are hopping off the cynicism bandwagon is involved in a zero sum game. People are interested in issues that will improve their well-being in the short, medium and long term.
It is not surprising that people are very informed about what is happening in the country and they have pronounced upon who among our politicians are performing poorly. They are concerned about the disappearance of traditional values and a myriad other issues, but they are not about to throw in the towel. Many are very hopeful about a better and brighter future for Guyana.
Contrary to what some in authority may think, ordinary Guyanese do not have a tremendous amount of goodwill for the government.
Many believe that things are getting better; they hope that the government does not do as some others before it in the face of oil, pin all its hopes on the impending production of oil. Several AFC and PNC ministers in the coalition government have told Guyanese in the New York Diaspora that Guyana will earn in excess of US$1 billion with the flow of oil in 2020. It is dangerous for these ministers to paint such a rosy picture without taking into consideration that international conditions could impact the cash inflows from oil.
They may be in for a surprise because the oil price has fallen before; it is rising again, albeit slowly. With the exception of a few oil producing countries in the Middle East, most of the other oil producing countries are struggling. Poor planning and ignoring certain non-oil industries were the causes. Despite its vast amount of oil, Venezuela’s economy has crumbled and Trinidad and Tobago is near a recession. But Guyana’s best days are ahead because its leaders have learnt from the mistake of others.
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