CARIEXIT – A Guyanese Start to A Free And Sovereign Nation

3 min read

(Hi it’s me your subconscious trying to figure why you so dotish.)

 

As a true Guyanese patriot, we should not allow people who live outside of Guyana to be ridiculing the sovereignty of this Great Island. People whose only interest came into being on the glorious day we found oil. For foreigners who consider themselves “Guyanese”  but who are still holders of their foreign visas and citizenship – they should also not speak about Guyana since they are no longer citizens that live here, they no longer pay taxes nor do the decisions of the island’s leaders affect them in any way since they have abandoned their homeland.

In moving forward, we islanders should start preparing to be a solely self-sufficient nation. This is what our fore-parents fought for generations ago; for us to be a free & independent nation and for us to self-govern without foreign interference. In response to these countries’ interference, we the oil-producing nation of Guyana should start boycotting products and start supporting our industries. Two of the most common sectors we should start with are:

  1. The simplest start is boycotting the Educational system of the Caribbean Community. As thousands of our children are set to write CXC&CAPE we should keep our children home since writing these exams only further embed the teaching of these foreign lands. Guyana should start developing its teaching curriculum to cater to our needs since we do not have to depend on any country to be educated. To take it a step further, persons who already have certificates that allow them to gain employment in these 15 countries should discard them up since they would no longer be needed in the future. #CARIEXIT. The island’s educational system should cater to the people of Guyana. The University of the West Indies, as the name suggests is for West Indians; Guyana is not part of that and has its university. Guyana as a whole does not need to depend on these foreign bodies to be able to formally educate the minds of the future generation since this country has brilliant people.
  2. Secondly, we need to target the Import/Export market of the United States of America, Canada, and CARICOM. The island of Guyana is world renown for being the breadbasket of the Caribbean and Western hemispheres but this needs to stop. What is happening currently can only be attributed to the proverb of biting the hands that feed it. These countries heavily rely on Guyanese products for their daily survival such as the rice of the Essequibo to the sugar of the Corentyne. According to recent data, 50% of Guyana’s export goes to these countries (CAD 26%, USA 15%, CARICOM 10 %), products that we as Guyanese can use and utilize for ourselves instead of giving it away for little to nothing just so that these foreign counties can survive. Furthermore, we need to stop importing their products 78% of all imports come from these countries (USA 57%, CARICOM 21%) that continue to interfere in Guyana’s sovereignty. As such, we should invest this money into our local manufacturing and production facilities.

It is about time Guyana took a stance against these international bodies and not be bullied since we are the ones who are in control of our sovereignty. Long Live the Island of  Guyana, the land of the Free.

 

Ravin Clean

 

Disclaimer:

The views expressed by this author are solely their own and not the representation of any organization they represent or might be associated with.

The aim of this piece was to provide commentary on the current political situation in Guyana with the use of satire

Satire is the use of humor, irony, exaggeration, or ridicule to expose and criticize people’s stupidity or vices, particularly in the context of contemporary politics and other topical issues.

As I am an aspiring satirist, I hoped you enjoyed!

Guyana’s Tragedy: Race is the tool, Oppression the result

[5 mins read]

There is no doubt that we have produced many brilliant politicians. The problem is that they have misused their intelligence. The following is an adaptation of a speech delivered decades ago by a politician who used his intelligence to serve (in so far as I am aware).

After decades of hurt and suffering too many of us have still not had enough of this foolishness of race. Allocating blame one way or another will serve no productive purpose. More than one political party has been responsible for the crisis of race relations which continues to plague this country. Our leadership has continued to fail us on that score. History shows us that external intervention was important in bringing races against each other in the 50s and particularly in the 60s. We must also acknowledge that this pitting of one race against another has served our political parties well. Race has been a key factor in gaining votes since the 60s. But I am concerned with the present. Ordinary Afro-Guyanese and Indo-Guyanese have been misled about the myth of race repeatedly. And though we could not afford it today, race has yet again been our undoing.

Do these words sound familiar? They are an adaptation of a street speech delivered by the late Dr Walter Rodney more than 30 years ago. Not much has changed. It’s almost as if Guyana is stuck in a time loop and doomed to repeat history. Does it have anything to do with race that families can barely put food on the table because of a pandemic? Does it have anything to do with race that businesses are closed and many jobless? Does it have anything to do with race that the weaknesses within the Constitution and electoral laws continue to be exploited by politicians? Does it have anything to do with race that young people cannot access government scholarships without the appropriate connection to the party in power? The more things change, the more they stay the same.

This story about race is not in the interest of the common Afro-Guyanese or Indo-Guyanese. It is meant to divide the People. Those who are attempting to manipulate the current electoral process are not the ones who will suffer when all is settled. If the upcoming ruling of the Caribbean Court of Justice does indeed bring an end to the 2020 elections, the politicians will not be the losers or suffers in all of this. The losers will be those who participated in the sharing and receiving of blows. Because when all is said and done, the politicians will share the spoils, settle into their fancy positions and collect their salaries and allowances funded by your taxes, your sweat and blood. This is what the racial discrimination does, feed power to the wealthy at the expense of the ordinary man.

Will this race hate keep your children safe and alive? Will this race hate ensure that food is on your table after the elections is settled? Will this race hate keep you safe from the pandemic and ensure that the public health system can provide the best care possible? Will this race hate fix the weaknesses in the Constitution and electoral laws? What will it do for you? You see, it will not end with just racial discrimination. You know this story very well. It starts with one thing and then leads to another thing that is worse for every man, woman and child. This was and still is a system of class oppression that disguises itself under a racial cover. There is the class of fat pigeons who handle the sharing of the corn and then there are the half-starved yard fowls waiting for them to shit so they can eat. Those who have and continue to manipulate the electoral system are doing it for the corn, not for you and your children.

I am sure that by now many of you know that it doesn’t matter if you are a member of one party or the other today. It does not guarantee your safety or security and will not protect you from the injustices of tomorrow. The political machinery is only concerned with its own interests and will move against anyone regardless of the colour of their skin. It will move even against its own. Because when a bad thing is allowed to grow, it grows out of control and it will eat up even those who created it. Today, the right of the matter happens to coincide with the interests of one party, but that does not mean tomorrow they will not take advantage of the same systemic weaknesses which have been used against them. Every politician with half a brain knows this. Someday, I hope that more of us will understand this too.

 

❤ Sara

 

Disclaimer:

This article contains the personal views of the author and is in no way connected with any institution or group with which she may be affiliated.

 

A note from the Author:

Given the custom by party loyalists to misrepresent and misuse any type of political commentary to support their own positions, I feel that it is necessary to borrow the following from Thomas Paine (an English-born American political activist, philosopher, political theorist, and revolutionary) with whose work I became acquainted as a student of History at the University of Guyana:

Who the Author of this Production is, is wholly unnecessary to the Public, as the Object for Attention is the Doctrine itself, not the Woman. Yet it may not be unnecessary to say, That she is unconnected with any Party, and under no sort of Influence public or private, but the influence of reason and principle.

Craig Village, East Bank Demerara, June 27, 2020

Surviving Guyana’s Political Madness

[8 mins read]

Be warned, the following contains mature language and could produce volatile emotions if you suffer from blind loyalty.

For some people, it’s been a fucking nightmare waking up every day in a country which seems to have gone politically mad. Many Guyanese of African and Indian ancestry spew their hate for each other daily by any means possible. Any African or Indian who dares to openly oppose their respective tribe is othered in a vile manner. As for Guyanese of “minor” ethnicities, the black and brown tribes don’t really give a shit about them. But the worst attacks are directed at those who attempt to provide a voice of reason, to analyze the propaganda and offer some clarity amidst the seemingly endless manipulation of the People.

But where else was Guyana headed if not to this familiar chaotic state? By now, it should be a truth universally accepted that Guyana’s political system is polarized and the political class gains and maintains power by using race-based strategies. Did we really expect the same political system which created the violence of the 1960s to give birth to anything other than the chaotic electoral mess we find ourselves in today? We have had decades to get our shit together and yet, political leaders have been less focused on nation building and have pursued power by any means necessary. This is the “gamesmanship” to which Caribbean Community Chair Mia Motley referred in her statement today. It is a constant part of our past and present.

Many people are frustrated that almost half the nation seems to have their heads buried deeply in their anal cavities. Even as some of these people see the truth and speak in favour of it, this does not necessarily mean that they suddenly support any of the major political parties. In fact, those of us with a sound mind and functioning memory are fucking terrified of having either major party in power. I have coped with the madness by viewing it as a necessary part of Guyana’s political evolution and growth. While most people are focused on the issues before us right now, I am more concerned with the shit we’ll have to deal with after the elections.

The way I see it, the political war taking place within the Court is out of my control. Eventually, Guyana will have a government and will have to move forward from the current standstill. When we do, we’ll find the familiar myriad of political, environmental, social and economic problems waiting for us. Public confidence in the Guyana Elections Commission is at an all-time low and we’ve seen firsthand the weaknesses of our electoral legislation. I hope that by now we understand that depending on the integrity of elected leaders is a poor game plan. Reforming the political system is the only way to ensure a positive outcome in future elections.

What do I think of the ongoing electoral issues? Well, my perception is completely irrelevant. There are only two perceptions which are very relevant to Guyana’s future right now:

  1. A Partnership for National Unity + Alliance For Change (APNU+AFC) supporters believe that the Opposition (East Indian Party) has attempted to rig the elections.
  2. Peoples’ Progressive Party/Civic supporters believe that the APNU+ AFC (African Party) has attempted to rig the elections.

This is the perfect recipe for far more chaos and disaster than we’ve experienced to date. The 2020 election has been well observed and documented in and out of the courts and there is enough information available to anyone who truly wishes to pursue the truth of the matter. As a result, answering “who is the rigger” is one of the easier questions. A more important question to our growth as a nation is – what could motivate a group of people to risk their reputations and careers by repeatedly attempting to alter the results of an election? Greed has been the most popular answer to this, but I believe it goes much deeper.

What scares the hell out of Indian and African Guyanese? Each other. Generally, Indians are afraid of an African led government and Africans are afraid of an Indian led government. Each tribe believes that if the other gets into power then they will be oppressed, abused and denied opportunities. These fears are not unfounded and make it very easy for politicians to manipulate their supporters. It is this fear which the riggers have likely used to justify having the moral grounds for such actions and of course, the rest of their motivation comes from the unwillingness to release power in a time of oil wealth (greed). Prepare yourselves for more nastiness and absurd theatrics. The gamesmanship is far from the end. Also, try to remember that growth is a painful thing.

❤ Sara

PS – I encourage you to be highly creative in your assassination of my character. I refuse to be the victim of sloppy bad talk.

Disclaimer:

This article contains the personal views of the author and is in no way connected with any institution or group with which she may be affiliated.

A note from the Author:

Given the custom by party loyalists to misrepresent and misuse any type of political commentary to support their own positions, I feel that it is necessary to borrow the following from Thomas Paine (an English-born American political activist, philosopher, political theorist, and revolutionary) with whose work I became acquainted as a student of History at the University of Guyana:

Who the Author of this Production is, is wholly unnecessary to the Public, as the Object for Attention is the Doctrine itself, not the Woman. Yet it may not be unnecessary to say, That she is unconnected with any Party, and under no sort of Influence public or private, but the influence of reason and principle.

Craig Village, East Bank Demerara, June 24, 2020

Learn from this Minister why it’s very important to ensure you put thought into what you say to the public

(Reading Time: 4 minutes)

As I opened my creaky kitchen door last night, I could hear her voice blasting from our old TV. I hugged nani and moved closer to the wall-divider. I don’t usually watch the news these days but I couldn’t help it. There was a flash of her face on screen and she continued to speak about grand and petty corruption in Guyana. If the TV wasn’t duct-taped to the wall-divider it would have crashed to the floor in disbelief. What the f**k was Minister of Public Telecommunications Cathy Hughes trying to communicate?

I wish I could tell you that I listened in disbelief as she committed a massive public communication mistake. But sadly, with only a few exceptions, not very many of our public officials excel at effective, meaningful and strategic communication. It’s very easy to learn the mechanics of speaking well publicly but it’s difficult to inspire positive change with a well delivered speech. To inspire change, a speaker must be well grounded in both their individual and collective purpose and have a very clear vision of where they’re headed.

The Coalition government has taken some hits for corruption and in recent months, questions have been raised about a Ministry of the Presidency contract awarded to a private video production company with which Minister Hughes is closely linked. Allegations of corruption are an occupational hazard for public officials. Any response to such accusations should be framed in a manner which does not appear to defy the principles of the Code of Conduct for public officials. Minister of Public Infrastructure David Patterson has successfully done this.

In her communication, which responded generally to allegations of corruption against Government, Minister Hughes said we forget that corruption is a culture in Guyana and that it exists not just in government but across our society. She continued to deliver remarks which came across as if she’s attacking the “small man”, accusing him. When the message is framed is this way, it allows room for the listener to infer that the public shouldn’t point fingers at government when they too are guilty of corruption.

If I were Minister Hughes, I would have made the key message about government’s commitment to work on corruption (something she seems to mention only in passing). What has or is government doing to address corruption in Guyana? Is it part of a bigger plan? What is this plan? How far have we progressed with taking the necessary actions to shift this culture of corruption we so easily reference? These are important answers to provide, as honestly as she is able to as a public official.

Guyanese have not forgotten. We know that corruption is a big issue and we are worried about it now that our country is an oil producer. We are not stupid. We know that grand corruption creates the sort of political, economic and other conditions that breed petty corruption. I advise the next public official who speaks about corruption to keep these things in mind.

To even remotely suggest that corruption at the level of Government can be compared to corruption at the level of a policeman taking a bribe is foolish. Let’s examine the police bribery situation a little closer. Why does the police man feel the need to take a bribe? Would a well compensated police force reduce the cases of bribe taking? What drives this behaviour? So you see, it’s not as simple as it may appear.

Without Wax,

Bharrat

 

Featured Image: Corruption Watch

Disclaimer:

This article contains the personal views of the author and is in no way connected with any institution or group with which she may be affiliated.

A note from the Author:

Given the custom by party loyalists to misrepresent and misuse any type of political commentary to support their own positions, I feel that it is necessary to borrow the following from Thomas Paine (an English-born American political activist, philosopher, political theorist, and revolutionary) with whose work I became acquainted as a student of History at the University of Guyana:

Who the Author of this Production is, is wholly unnecessary to the Public, as the Object for Attention is the Doctrine itself, not the Woman. Yet it may not be unnecessary to say, That she is unconnected with any Party, and under no sort of Influence public or private, but the influence of reason and principle.

Craig Village, East Bank Demerara, May 18, 2019

Have a question or require further information? You can email me at sarabharrat@gmail.com

Should President Granger pursue a second term or retire to his family?

(Reading Time: 2 minutes)

I remember the first time I spotted him on the campaign trail leading up to the Coalition’s victory in 2015. He was wearing that green shirt and he wasn’t the one to make a lasting impression on me. It was his wife. First Lady Sandra Granger struck me as a no-nonsense woman who was well acquainted with rolling her sleeves up and getting things done.

When I heard that President David Granger was battling cancer and the whole nation buzzed with the latest gossip (“the President might die within the year”), my thoughts immediately went to his wife and then his family. I couldn’t imagine what it must be like to watch the love of your life suffer.

Since then, I’ve witnessed “debates” (cuss-outs) here and there about whether the President should pursue a second term or retire to his family. I have rarely heard an acknowledgement of just how challenging it is for any human to make a decision like this. Sometimes, I think that many of us have forgotten how very human we all are.

For President Granger, the decision is a difficult one which will really be made by the layers of his family and community. There is no middle ground for him in this matter and any path ahead will require him to sacrifice.

Whether or not President Granger pursues a second term, his service to Guyana will continue as long as he lives. The way I see it, he doesn’t have a choice in the matter.

Without Wax,

Bharrat

 

Featured Image: Copyright Aubrey Odle (Check out his work @APro)

 

Disclaimer:

This article contains the personal views of the author and is in no way connected with any institution or group with which she may be affiliated.

 

A note from the Author:

Given the custom by party loyalists to misrepresent and misuse any type of political commentary to support their own positions, I feel that it is necessary to borrow the following from Thomas Paine (an English-born American political activist, philosopher, political theorist, and revolutionary) with whose work I became acquainted as a student of History at the University of Guyana:

Who the Author of this Production is, is wholly unnecessary to the Public, as the Object for Attention is the Doctrine itself, not the Woman. Yet it may not be unnecessary to say, That she is unconnected with any Party, and under no sort of Influence public or private, but the influence of reason and principle.

Craig Village, East Bank Demerara, May 7, 2019

Have a question or require further information? You can email me at sarabharrat@gmail.com