I refer to Mr Charles Sohan’s letter in the Stabroek News of March 19 (‘The priorities on Leguan are road improvement, potable water and a reliable electricity supply’) in reponse to my letter carried in the same publication of March 16.
My contribution simply strove to show the possibilities − very practical economic plans which can be executed to raise revenues which in turn can be used to address the issues which Mr Sohan made so stark. We can make all the improvements we want in physical infrastructure. However, if we do not have the revenue, we can do nothing. I share Mr Sohan’s view on the economic and social decline of Leguan. However, I disagree that it is “rapid” or that the island is worse that it was. We cannot forget the days when only donkey, horse and bull-carts could traverse the island and people washed with river water and walked bare-foot in mud. We do not forget the days of the ‘jug-jug’ lamp and when a death announcement was aired on the radio and a ‘message’ was sent for the relatives. How quickly we forget for our convenience.
My blueprint in layman’s terms demonstrated simple, yet very practical ways for raising such revenues. I never said that ‘cut flowers’ are now flourishing on Leguan Island. I never said that there were sprawling aquaculture farms on Leguan Island. My ‘dream’ was to illustrate that these projects could be undertaken in time and in phases. Read again, please, Mr Sohan; you too dream of wind turbines and we seem to have a silent agreement that pasteurization plants as well as potable water could be realities some day.
Webster’s dictionary describes ‘hallucinations’ as a) “perception of objects with no reality usually from disorder of the nervous system to drugs, and b) the object so perceived…” I never perceived any objects and I am not on any type of drugs. I dream and one can dream. Great achievements come from dreams. Mr Sohan’s analogy of hallucinations is way out of bounds. I mentioned ‘negative’ and he has proven that.
I noted in his response that Mr Sohan distanced himself from the ‘unprecedented crime’ which he predicted if indeed an airfield was built on Leguan. Mr Sohan did attack the Government of Guyana in a coy manner under the disguise of addressing a serious social problem − crime. His intent was to muster opposition to this project. I cannot fathom how committed he is to the independent economic community of Leguan when he is trying to block a project which the government has identified
It does not matter how long I have been away from Leguan Island, my propositions are very practical and my letter spoke strictly of possibilities, real possibilities. Trust me, if we can accomplish these or some of these dreams, there will be more than many passengers to transport at the end of each shore. Mr Sohan’s vision is indeed limited to cattle, sheep, dogs and criminals using the infrastructure of Guyana. We experience and achieve what we think; it is far better to be an optimist than a pessimist and to fail to do anything.