Trust me, I believe that the Caribbean islands are god’s jewels. I would not wish to live anywhere else. However, the harsh reality is that the really influential numbers revolve around six million souls, sans Haiti. We are simply too small a market to get serious global attention and attract real foreign direct investment.
Therefore Guyana is at the crossroads. The situation is so dire that, for example, the pristine and strategic real estate and industry in the region is in the ownership of a small percentage of entrepreneurs and landlords. With the exception of Trinidad and Jamaica we are stuck in primary production mode.
Guyana can be of advantage to Caricom basically on two fronts:
1 the reallocation of soil assets for food and energy driven sources, etc;
- the realignment of intellectual capacity by positioning UG as a campus of the UWI.
Guyana by January 2017 had better realise that its destiny is with Unasur, Brazil in particular, and China. The United Nations is not very seriously regarded by the big global players who at a stroke of a pen can redistribute your oil reserves or decimate you like Syria. Tell me honestly, if Maduro marches on us next week where do we stand? If the USA sees Venezuela as a strategic ally going forward, what influence can a 750,000 republic with all its military brass from rear admirals to major generals, and a minuscule defence force do to safeguard our oil?
Independence looms large now as a mistake, in my opinion; the
euphoria took us nowhere and pensioners like me would have enjoyed far better conditions had we endured the wisdom of our French and other colonial counterparts who receive the best medical care and opportunities as if they were Parisians. Half of my ancestry is French and Dutch, so I am sensitive to these scenarios.
- Let us establish in Essequibo, Brazilian interests, eg, mega energy plants. North Brazil since Desmond Hoyte’s leadership has asked Guyana to let the north of that country have access to the sea on Guyana’s coast, with a deep water harbour complete with economic free zones and a hub for mainland continental cruise ships tour development.
- Imagine the roads and towns and transformation of regions from Lethem to Linden and Georgetown and Bartica all providing support services lowering the cost of goods.
- Stop bauxite overburden leaving, as there could be gold, marble and kaolin in there in commercial quantities.
- Resuscitate the glass factory.
- Continue to pave farm to market roads
- Establish a national development strategy and a code of investment.
- Bridge the Essequibo.
- Strengthen our justice system.
In terms of aviation, it is impractical to allow Miami to continue to be the gateway to South America, and America to the north, the gateway to Central America, and Mexico.
Travellers can leave South Africa, Brussels the Far East, Europe and Australia, and access the entire South American continent more cheaply, if CBJ Timehri becomes the hub of aviation activity with its capable English-speaking facility.
Denis E Moore