Dr. Troy Thomas, director of Transparency Institute Guyana Inc. (TIGI) has called on the Government of Guyana to establish a policy regarding ministers owning companies (SN 4/16/2019). Such a call is very timely, given the expected spoils that will spill over from Guyana’s nascent oil and gas industry.
Under the leadership of the late President and Leader of the People’s National Congress (not PNCR), Forbes Burnham, his government issued the Declaration of Sophia in 1974, which provided a code of conduct for the President, the Prime Minister, Ministers of the Government, PNC Members of Parliament and Party Officers. This was established to prevent ministers or party members using their relationship to the State to accumulate vast amounts of wealth.
Today, with the neo-liberal mantra “greed is good” ringing in their ears, many of those that inhabit the PPP, PNCR and WPA are “feathering their nests” while they can, using political office to enrich themselves. Many are doing exactly as the promoters of the so-called free-market advocate – accumulating wealth and property, while the workers, the actual producers of the wealth, remain impoverished and are only valued for their votes when the political circus comes around. Rene Descartes famous dictum, “I think, therefore I am”, has been replaced by “I accumulate, therefore I am”.
A fundamental characteristic of the bourgeois politician is that they talk a lot about serving the people, but in reality they only serve their own interests and the interests of their class. This is what differentiates a revolutionary from a bourgeois politician. The fundamental characteristic of a revolutionary is to serve a higher purpose and a noble cause. The revolutionary uses power to serve the people, by putting their interests before profits and corporate greed, and establishing economic justice and true national independence. Their aim is to realize the Victory of the People.
That is why the late Forbes Burnham, despite efforts to discredit him at the time with claims that he had money stashed in overseas accounts, claims which have now been shown to be completely false, had no interest in accumulating personal wealth. In fact, when his wife Viola became ill after his death, the party faithful had to collect money for her treatment. I visited Viola many times and can attest to the fact that she lived in a humble farmhouse at the back of D’Urban Backlands. Real nationalists and patriots do not live their lives to benefit themselves, their families and their cronies, but to benefit the entire nation and all its people.
Gerald A. Perreira Organization for the Victory of the People (OVP)