I note that my friend and CARICOM Brother, Dr. Ralph Gonsalves of St. Vincent and the new CARICOM Chairman, seems determined to throw stones towards Guyana.
Statements which are certainly premature.
As one of the most experienced leaders in the Region, and the longest serving Prime Minister, I remain disappointed that he has not taken a page out of the Book of many other CARICOM Heads of Government and Leaders of political and social groupings.
That is to maintain a level of cohesion and comradery within CARICOM.
When we behave this way, we earn the disrespect of outsiders and weaken the foundation pillars of CARICOM.
No sensible leader should contribute to the creation of this kind of environment.
I read a report by the Opposition Leader of St. Vincent. He certainly did not glorify democracy in St. Vincent.
Mr. Gonsalves and others use the term ‘democracy’ with gay abandon. He must know that throughout modern history, democracy is a chameleon term used for a variety of reasons and those of us who ought to know better should be careful not to ply this term without providing detail and credible information.
The truth is democracy means different things to different people and experienced political figures ought to be careful when we apply the term without providing data. In a few hours, we will be celebrating the Independence anniversary of the United States of America.
A country and the people I believe the majority of Guyanese cherish. A place where Guyanese have a family-member, relative, or friend resident there and in the majority of cases, enjoying the American way of life with the many avenues for upward mobility and where we happily refer to as “the land of opportunities.”
There and elsewhere the struggle to define and refine democracy is ongoing.
I quote from the Book, The Challenge of Democracy written by Janda, Berry and Goldman which states in the first chapter of the second edition, as follows: “Which is better: to live under a government that allows individuals freedom to do whatever they please or under one that enforces strict law and order? Which is better: to allow businesses and private clubs to discriminate in choosing their customers and members or to pass laws that enforce equality among races and sexes?”
“For many people, none of these alternatives is satisfactory. All of them pose difficult dilemmas of choice. The dilemmas are tied to opposing philosophies that place different values on freedom, order, and equality.” End of quote.
Even before we cut the umbilical cord with Great Britain, Demerarians (as Guyanese were then called) looked to the US for guidance and succor.
We can be reminded, however, that the first twelve Presidents beginning with George Washington, James Maddison, James Munroe, Andrew Jackson and others were slave owners in that democracy prompting Martin Luther King (jnr), a century after the American Civil War to note and I quote “I have a dream that one day this nation will rise up and live out the true meaning of its creed We hold these truths to be self -evident, that all men are created equal.”
President David A. Granger has neither violated our Constitution nor broken our laws but yet we see so many throwing stones at him and the government he leads.
And I wonder, Dear Editor, if the underlying philosophy of these stone throwers is that they regard our erect and proper leader as being one of the other folks.
I wonder, for I can find no valid reasons for this relentless stone-throwing by a few people in the US, Guyana and the Caribbean. I wonder.