I welcome the high level Caricom team. Please proceed to make yourselves useful in our dear land. Try not to forget that one of the staunchest and most brilliant founding members of your organization, was Guyana’s President L. F. S. Burnham. The remnants of the party he once led do not follow in his august footsteps. He was a regional giant, as was his cohort the late Dr. Cheddi Jagan, another stalwart in the history of the Caribbean. They roared and bargained and won us independence. Guyana reports to no monarch.
Now that the party that Dr Jagan belonged to has actually metamorphosed, it more ably demonstrates that it paid attention and adhered to one of Mr Burnham’s more famous quotes: “Guyana first, Guyana second, Guyana third….Guyana is for all Guyanese”
The present inheritors of a purported ‘Burnhamist’ ideology have clearly never read his ‘Destiny to Mould’, as the Guyana he envisaged is poorly represented by the actions and paltry utterings of some of the newest incarnations of those who seek to laud him. Mr Burnham was clever, complex and canny. These traits were clearly interred with him.
Nowadays it appears they are intent on creating an impression of being Caesar-like, without truly understanding the underlying astute and unmatched intelligence of the most important founding members of CARICOM
“I blame you not for praising Caesar so.
But what compact mean you to have with us?
…Or shall we on, and not depend on you?”
Good luck in whatever process you have been invited here to conduct, lawfully.
Feel free to not take offence at my few words, I am the proud daughter of one of Guyana’s true heroes, the late Capt. Asad Ishoof. I will now, and forever, see Guyana as the jewel of the Caribbean.
My late father (I will admit) felt Caricom had little relevance to Guyana, as it lacked the bountiful resources we have always had as a nation of producers. He bravely defended both the eastern and western boundaries of our nation, proudly and fearlessly leading men who were prepared to put their lives in his capable hands. Their unmatched courage created Guyana’s claim to the geographic space for what riches would later be discovered offshore, within boundaries defended.
His was a patriot’s championing of Guyana. Not one race, not one type of people, not the moneyed classes (he was a poor lad from the country), not urbanites, but all Guyana. In his rise through the ranks of the GDF, he was trained to be an elite officer who then turned around and imparted discipline and knowledge to the many who were subsequently trained in a disciplined fashion by him. He was held in high esteem by all soldiers alike, who clearly, to this day felt a loyalty gained from knowing he valued them…not for what they had or where they came from, but that they were his troops that he personally invested in, imparting whatever wisdom he could to the regular ranks and subsequent officers.
The first Guyanese citizen to reach the peak of Mt Ayanganna on Independence, he also raised the Golden Arrowhead when Guyana retook Camp Jaguar after the New River Operation.
This land is the patrimony of his progeny and that of all Guyana’s children.
So, dear Honourable Guests, please ensure you comport yourselves accordingly, the world is watching. Do not make us further into a grotesquerie; it is certainly not what our illustrious past leaders Dr Jagan or Mr Burnham would have wanted. And it is most certainly not what one of its most outstanding field officers, Capt. Ishoof, or those truly loyal to him, would have wanted.
We Guyanese are a proud people. We were wealthy long before the discovery of black gold. Agonize as we all certainly do, few of us plan to ever give up on our manifest destiny to regain importance in the region. As long as we have visionary, bold and intelligent leadership.
Lawfully, democratically elected leadership.
The votes have already counted legally, long before you arrived. A winner has been evident for some time now. Let us see if you have the integrity and chutzpah to declare the obvious.
Scheherazade Ishoof Khan