Encouraging events, disturbing developments…
By GHK Lall
Kaieteur News – President Ali’s ‘One Guyana’ is something to be embraced. I love it, for what it could mean. But ‘One Guyana’ must be more than about a catchy slogan. For when there is a sufficiency of substance to the President’s ‘One Guyana’ slogan, then it is not about merely a slogan anymore, but of a material reality that is endearing. As much as I can love the ‘One Guyana’ vision, its substances, its bona fide essences, would be loved still more. For me, it would be to the hilt because it would represent the Guyana that I have dreamed about, longed for, but for which I have had to lick wounds repeatedly.
In presenting this the hope is that the President and all the President’s men will not reflexively rear up in anger, severe in stubborn resistance. Not a single Guyanese is better for such a reaction; and this is regardless of the source of the calls to President Ali and the PPP Government to make good, to prove to be genuine, on his ‘One Guyana’ motto. President and prejudiced people may rail against the few like me who say that ‘One Guyana’ is an exercise in smooth public relations, but which delivers a product that is far from satisfactory. My interest is how and what are their reactions to what American Ambassador Sarah Ann Lynch has had to say on a particular issue, which stands in some, some would say stark, contrast to this ‘One Guyana’ initiative. In view of what has accompanied it, and what has not, I think that it now stands as a clever political commercial, and nothing more.
Unlike me, Ambassador Lynch is restrained by diplomatic etiquette from using hard words in her public pronouncements. But the inclusion of which Ambassador Lynch has spoken about so persistently has a raw power in its very persistence. It is a naked persistence, which does not speak too well of President Ali’s vaunted ‘One Guyana.’ For anyone to point out and speak to the need for inclusion so doggedly has a certain infallible logic about it. That is, the President’s ‘One Guyana’ has some people outside of its circle. When one is not included, then what the President has is ‘One Guyana’ minus one.
It could be one community neglected, or one group of people squeezed to the margins, or one person denied his or her rightful place in this much talked about ‘One Guyana’ story. The fact that it is the American Ambassador that has had cause to address the roiling issue of inclusion in Guyana so often emphasizes that there is some alarm in Washington. In that what the PPP Government is engaging in (‘One Guyana’ and all) is detrimental to its interests and strategies. The last thing that America wants in Guyana is instability. I argue that if there is an inadequacy of inclusion then the grounds are ripe for instability. This is what America fears, and this is the message that Ambassador Lynch has been given to deliver.
I examine some of the audiences before which Ambassador Lynch has spoken highly of Guyana’s economic prospects. These are the same audiences before which she has purposely inserted her insistent calls for inclusion, for all, for a different Guyana from that what the PPP perseveres in claiming exists. Her selling of Guyana to American commerce is carefully blended with the skunk in the local environment. It is about the bitter partisanship that undermines the inclusion she preaches, and the ‘One Guyana’ which the President touts. Potential investors are put on notice. Beware! While Guyana’s Government is pressed to clean up its act.
Because both the PPP and its political opponents have opened the door that wide to foreign influences in our affairs, then all the Ambassador is doing is to continue her work that climaxed during the ugly 2020 elections. That was the beginning, not the end. And inclusion must follow from that most difficult of times, if Guyana is ever going to go anywhere, be other than what it has always been. Meaning, a divided nation, and a flashpoint for the unmanageable.
In conclusion, Ambassador Lynch’s continued chorus for inclusion clashes sharply with President Ali’s ‘One Guyana’ in action. It is insufficient and inauthentic. When there is universal inclusion there is ‘One Guyana’ that all can celebrate. I would. When there isn’t, then ‘One Guyana’ collapses from lack of reach, is undermined by an absence of sincerity, and speaks for itself in its results. That is abhorred.
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