Sep 11, 2019 Letters Comments Off on Response to the accusation of Xenophobia
In a letter in another newspaper titled “Xenophobic fear-mongering of Haitians”, the author claims that the problem in Haiti is not due to Haitians. Firstly, the title of the letter is not supported by an argument within the body of the letter. Secondly, the author suggests that Haitians are not to blame for deforestation in Haiti, but instead it is the fault of corporations, which are owned by Haitians, thus weakening the author’s argument. I would recommend that the author look at the various documentaries also available on YouTube concerning the deforestation issue in Haiti. It will help enlighten the author as to the extent of the problem and what are the key reasons why it is continuing to this day.
As for the issue of Xenophobia, which means a general prejudice against those from other countries, it should be noted that in my letter titled “Guyana for Guyanese must continue to be our mantra” the discussion is focused on only two countries. One of which is willing to execute one of its leaders over possibly relinquishing their claim on Essequibo. This is a very serious situation that affects national security and should not be taken lightly. The clarity of such a potential act should inform the reader of the letter that no citizen from Venezuela will be allowed to relinquish his or her claim on Essequibo.
On the other hand, I have not been critical of many countries, some of which have helped improve our medical and health services within the country by training our doctors, supplementing the shortages found in our public hospitals. It should be noted that one can find doctors from African, Asian and other Caribbean nations helping in the medical field. Nor have I been critical of those who have helped by teaching in our schools where shortages of teachers have occurred. Nor have I been critical of the many other immigrants from nations where the culture is that of a positive disposition to help by adding value to our nation. We have immigrants also from developed countries who have helped in construction, natural resource development, agriculture and security. None of which I have been critical of. These countries have embraced us with a supply of talent that willingly adds value to our developing nation. This is what we should continue to embrace and pursue. It is clearly not an issue of Xenophobia, it is an issue of practicality and national development coupled with national security and its sustainability.
It is not very useful to open our borders to those who will add to the burden of our nation at a time when our own people are suffering. It makes more sense to allow those who are willing to help reduce such a burden to come into our country. This is just good immigration practice. Guyana cannot afford a refugee programme for the poor while not being able to attend to its own poor. When people think that new found wealth will be distributed easily to the masses, you end up with the risk of a rush of opportunistic people who look only to take advantage while not being committed to the vision and mission of the nation, and in some cases, they may see benefit in undermining our nation’s integrity and goals of national unity. This we must guard against.
There was a time not too long ago when the price of sugar was high and Guyana was a very profitable and comparatively well off nation. Our country was very generous with other countries, made many loans, gave part of our profit to others in need and when economic misfortune came to Guyana many of those same countries did not pay what they owed and turned their backs on us when we needed help. Those who have remained steadfast partners to this day are the countries we should give higher priority to when it comes to economic partnering and joint national development, especially if they are amicable and the motive is an outcome that is a win-win for both countries.
Mr. Jamil Changlee
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