“But let me make our position clear on this issue. While the People’s National Congress remains in office, the bauxite industry, the sugar industry and the other strategic industries which we have nationalized in this country will never, never, never be denationalized. For one thing, to do this would be an admission that we are abandoning the socialist ideal, and we have no intention of doing that.” Such was the reassurance given by none other than President Desmond Hoyte at the PNC’s sixth biennial congress on 19th August 1985.
However in late 1988, with Guyana’s economy on the verge of collapse President Hoyte implemented an IMF Economic Recovery Programme (ERP) inspired by the World Bank. The PNC reverted to a pro-capitalist market economy to replace its failed “cooperative socialism” programme.
How does today’s PNC in APNU differ from its past? Guyana’s current Ambassador to Kuwait, Dr Odeen Ishmael in the Guyana Journal of October 2007 titled ‘The rush towards privatization’ details the changeover to privatization under the PNC. It provides much information for evaluation and contemplation.
Even as Ambassador Ishmael analysed why President Hoyte “had sharply condemned external pressures on the PNC government to privatize more than 40 state-owned companies,” in 1985 it is not obvious why the PNC failed to sell them to Guyanese, including PNC supporters to their benefit. Were Guyanese wiser about the PNC or they could not afford to buy? Did the PNC leader realize the PNC’s inabilities to successfully manage private businesses? Few have publicly clarified why the PNC leader became so radically reformed in aggressively courting his Indo-Guyanese countrymen.
Could the PPP/C privatise those woefully failing operations allowing Guyanese to become owners-manage and build their own dreams? Privatizing prisons (like in the US) with bids from international investors will not only do wonders but be most economically lucrative. Who is best equipped to make it a business venture with Dr Yesu Persaud’s skills up for grabs?
Similarly all cemeteries, Mashramani and of course garbage pick-up and disposal will remove these responsibilities from rampant non-responsive or incompetent management. They will be less a burden on the national treasury. Can better business practices be so stimulated?
Relocating the Camp Street prison to the scenic Linden Highway will permit prisoners to work on their own kitchen gardens. A new school, park, playground or pool or a combination thereof will be a fitting replacement for the Camp Street area.
Why Guyanese today constantly witness APNU and their AFC ally illegally chopping the budget and blocking Guyana’s development is for them to justify or explain.
But power-sharing based on race will continue and enhance the current dependency syndrome. No race or culture can be expected to complete another by automatic agreement as the reverse is also equally true. But federalism does cater for and allows each to instead complement, not complete the other, both benefiting from their unleashed potential, as-suredly without dependency or hindrance in the same country. Under current power-sharing advocacy what is brought to the table does not seem to matter at all or right now. Rather what is demanded, therefore automatically owed by all Guyanese has becomes paramount to be shared with equal power if it was real.
Now that the usual suspects are correctly being pursued for reparations would two (power-sharing and reparations) rights make it wrong or right at the same time? The taxpayer funded Caricom was automatically dispatched by foregone conclusion to seek justice by reparations based on historic wrongs against one race. It would also require the same sensitive public reassurances of later sharing the proceeds due to historic entitlements. The going rate of exchange is ‘equality’ to the patrimony, just in case. The precedent became established when the PNC seized the Indian Immigration fund claiming it was common national patrimony and built a single Cultural Centre in the heart of its Georgetown stronghold. So the PPP wisely also supported the takeover.
Let the stones rain on the Jagan’s jumbies if in death they have not now become exonerated.