Guyanese should think for themselves

Dear Editor,

In all fairness to former President Jagdeo, I am of the view that he recognized the critical weaknesses, vulnerabilities and fears of Guyanese and orchestrated a cunning plot to not only divide and rule the People’s Progressive Party (PPP) but also our country.  I believe most Guyanese share similar views and are only now beginning to realize that the PPP is only interested in complete control of the major/trending economic sectors like information technology, sugar, tourism, rice and mining.

What is a lesser known fact, one that all Guyanese must reflect on if we are to liberate ourselves from the deception of the PPP, is how former President Jagdeo and his core group of loyalists did their work.  Below I’ve offered a brief blueprint of the Jagdeo divide and conquer strategy:

1.  Recognize and consolidate power – the current Constitution of Guyana provides the executive branch of Government, specifically the President of Guyana with immense power.  It is not only the fact of immense power that is an issue, but the absence of a strong independent judiciary and checks and balances on the power of the President.

2.  Sustain oppression and repression indirectly – This is better explained using examples.  Let’s say there are two persons, person A and person B.  Person A is a powerful government that does not provide person B with the resources needed for a proper education, health care, income and so on.  Now note resources are provided, but they are minimal, just enough to help person B get by while at the same time keeping him/her dependent on Person A – government – for assistance.  This is marginalization which tends to be sustained by oppressive means such as an arbitrary annual 5% wage increase for public sector workers or refusing to pay the police a decent salary so the incentives for police corruption are reduced.  Repression on the other hand can be thought of as forcefully and unjustly limiting freedom of expression, the rights of people to govern themselves and the right to live a life free from fear.

(3) Use money and wealth to create allies and win friends – time and time again we have seen  friends and close associates of the PPP amass fortunes.  In addition, minsters of government have acquired sprawling properties. Money, or rather wealth unequally distributed creates power imbalances and segregation.  Those with money want to hold on to what they have and earn more, the poor would like to earn more money but remember oppression keeps them in a dependent position and limits their potential for self-development.  Repression keeps them from expressing their concerns for fear of victimization.  It’s a cycle underpinned by the axiom, “you scratch my back and I will scratch yours.”

Guyana is a notorious drug transshipment location, but we are yet to imprison any major drug player including those who have been imprisoned in ABC countries.  Guyanese can pretend that all is well, but all is far from well.  We can pretend that our struggle is against each other, but the truth is that our struggle is against oppression, repression and marginalization.  I urge all Guyanese to be vigilant, observe for yourselves what is happening and think for yourselves.

Yours faithfully,

Mike Archer   

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