Can we start seeing some action that benefits the people?

Dear Editor,

In all my observations in politics around the world, I have never seen another country where the people have entrenched themselves in party politics as much as in Guyana, for a country divided, is a country destroyed.  Now is the time for our politicians to put their differences aside to solve our true and real problems that face us today in order to protect our future.

Our crime situation is out of control and murders are rising at an alarming rate, while there seems to be no real solution on the table. I find it troubling to know that we are in the middle of the world’s largest oil find and our politicians are unable to work together on a solution. I wonder if they don’t understand that a destabilized Guyana will cause us to lose our share of this oil wealth. We are already getting a meagre piece of the pie and we are making it worse by not bringing crime under control.

We are in very turbulent waters with Venezuela that is determined on claiming 5/8 of Guyana. Again here, there seems to be no unity on this matter.

It is clear from the oil contract that our elected officials are unable to swim with the sharks of Exxon and therefore we are already seeing signs of the resource curse on the horizon. This is so because our leaders have come to the battleground with sticks in a gun fight. I said it last year, that our leaders underestimate the boardroom power of Exxon and that they will not be seen as equals in the negotiations. Guyana now more than ever, needs to stand together to ensure our leaders do not sell our future for a ‘bag of Yankee dollars’.

The economic crisis has been hitting everyone hard as the sugar industry becomes obsolete with no solid transition plan for the people who depend on this sector for their bread and butter. This will drive Guyana deeper into a position of weakness and therefore it will be forced to seek handouts from our investors. Of course, this will come at a cost tenfold more than what is given.

Guyana is continuing on a trend that affects all countries which suffer from the resource curse, and that is intense division and infighting. Multinational corporations have a long track record of benefiting from a broken system, and, as a matter of fact, they can make a windfall profit while the owners of the resources suffer from fighting each other.

So for those who are hoping that the multinational corporations will be their saviour, they have another thing coming. These corporations are completely okay with us living in poverty while they take our resources. They will have no sympathy for the suffering masses, since their interest rests with the shareholders.

Our only hope forward is coming together to solve our most critical problems that threaten to destroy the future for us and our children to come. We have destroyed ourselves too many times in the past. First our founding leaders got split apart, then we fuelled a racial divide, they assassinated Rodney and during it all, we are crippled with corruption.

I would like to see the leaders of the opposition and government publicly announce unified strategies to solve the problems mentioned above and outline a road map with clear results for Guyana. Can we actually start seeing some action that benefits the people? We have seen enough manipulation and schemes that benefit self and party interests only.

Yours faithfully,

Malcolm Watkins

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