Guyanese are known to be hospitable and helping people. Long before independence we have been helpful to our neighbours in the Caribbean islands where hundreds if not thousands were attracted to the then British Guiana where they worked and earned a comfortable life for their families.
The government was also kind to other governments. I recall that Forbes Burnham was very helpful to his colleagues in his region in terms of advice and other assistance. It is understood that he even paid the salaries of public servants in St Vincent and the Grenadines when the then Prime Minister, the late Milton Cato called upon him to bail him out of his plight.
Guyana also accommodated scores of students from the Caribbean by providing education at the University of Guyana.
Unlike nationals of other countries the rank and file Guyanese are a kind and generous people.
Last May, President David Granger bestowed the Order of Roraima (OR), the second highest award on his Barbadian counterpart, Freundel Stuart when he visited Georgetown for the 50th anniversary celebrations of the Co-operative Republic, and the Guyanese leader and the First Lady journeyed to Bridgetown earlier this week for that country’s golden jubilee. I had expected that Prime Minister Stuart would have reciprocated in offering a knighthood or some other national award to Brigadier Granger, but unfortunately he did not. Instead he made kind remarks when he said, “The warmth and the hospitality and the generosity of Guyana can be unbounded” Guyana played a role in the Barbados celebrations with the Guyana Defence Force wowing the crowd gathered at the National Monument event with a spectacular fireworks display. In addition the GDF paratroopers, supported by the Air Corps were also there to display their skill, but unfortunately this had to be rescheduled because of heavy rains. A total of 25 GDF members participated in the celebrations in Barbados. I do not think that Barbados sent any army officers to Georgetown or any entertainers, or in any way tried to enhance the Georgetown celebrations.
At this stage I am forced to state that the Barbados government is not to kind to Guyanese and Jamaicans. The Immigration officials treat them with gross disrespect when they seek entry into that country. In fact they constantly violate the Treaty of Chaguaramas in denying some of them entry. One complaint reached the Caribbean Court of Justice and the court awarded damages to Shanique Myrie for being humiliated and manhandled.
Statistics show that 2128 Guyanese nationals and 1,485 Jamaicans were refused entry into Barbados between 2007 and last year.