Guyana Resource Center
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Tuesday, April 04, 2006
Guyana - A Nation of Poverty and Debt?

The narrow-minded and simpletons revealed themselves by parroting their racist instructions. These people, whose instincts, and efforts were engaged in the reproduction of thoughts bordering on lunacy, your commentaries are not welcomed. I am positive every being who has encountered my thought process must have some idea by now, that I am well aware of the political, social, and economic history of British Guiana, and the livelihood of man in the rural communities of the Canje, Upper Corentyne Coast, West Berbice, and the East Coast of Demerara. Therefore, I beg of you, do not reply, if your thought process is incompetent, and or biased beyond the logical. Do not reply, if your level of understanding is reflective of a kindergarten pupil. Again, I have no interest in the agendas of Burnham and Jagan. They are long dead. They are useless to the future of Guyana. They achieved nothing tangible in the socio-economics of Guyana. I have no interests in either promoting or attacking their platforms. I am simply thinking of programs of economic recovery, for the people and state of Guyana. I am thinking of the revitalizations of communities, which during the first half of the twentieth century was regarded as the breadbasket of British Guiana.

The idea is economics, and effects of the international financial institutions on the Guyanese economy and the society. The first thing, which jumps out at me – is the devaluation of the Guyanese dollar. I can remember that in the days of my childhood, during the early 1960s, one British pound; the Sterling was equal to four dollars and eighty cents ($4.80) British Guianese currency. Today, the Guyanese dollar is monopoly money. I used to play Monopoly, a board game, when I was a youngster in Alexander Street, in New Amsterdam, primarily, because I could not endeavor to imitate Basil Butcher, for it was raining. Today, every person in Guyana is playing monopoly for it has become a way of life. I am confident the devaluation of the Guyanese currency is a direct result of the international financial institutions infiltration, intervention, and undermining the Guyanese economic philosophy.

Again, I am not interested in rehashing political and historical interpretations. I am seeking working class people’s understanding of the economic philosophies of the political entities in Guyana. I am interested in socio-economic development of the rural communities of the East Coast of Demerara, and ultimately the entire nation of Guyana. I am truly disappointed that Guyanese did not examine the topic and its stated primary goals. I was hoping someone could point me to flourishing developing economies, which were not affected by USA influenced financial institutions. Instead, I noticed a heap of utter nonsense. The expressions were so revolting, disgusting, and putrid enough to make the ancestors vomit. One has to wonder why the Education system in Guyana continues to fail to address conditions, which has bedeviled Guyanese society for one hundred and sixty eight years.

I am of the opinion the International Monetary Fund, World Bank, Inter-American Development Bank, and the World Trade Organization represents major obstacles in the pathway to industrialized nation status. The plight of the people and state of Guyana will be reminiscent of the days of colonialism, unless Guyana becomes a producer nation instead of a consumer nation.

Again, I offer the interest is how Guyana could embark upon a program of economic development without becoming further indebt to foreign financial institutions, which have devastated the economies of Third World nations.

What are the lessons of the last fifty-three years? What lessons were learnt from the experiences Guyana endured from December 1964 to this very day? What are your views? What are your impressions of socio-economic philosophy the Government and people of Guyana must immediately embrace and embark upon to become an industrialized nation? What are the economic programs of the political parties in Guyana? How do they plan to attract investors? How and where will they acquire the finances to established industries? How do they plan to avoid the International Monetary Fund, World Bank, Inter-American Development Bank, and the World Trade Organization?

Recently, I viewed a Tuff Gong produced documentary film entitled, “Life, and Debt.” The documentary displayed the disastrous consequences on the people and state of Jamaica, in the aftermath of procurement of loans from various financial institutions, including; International Monetary Fund, World Bank, Inter-American Development Bank, World Trade Organization, and conditions such as the Lome Agreement.

The film underscored the destruction of the agricultural sector of the Jamaican economy. The Jamaican small farmers who were involved in the dairy industry, and agricultural products such as banana, carrot, onion, and potato, for numerous years were forced to discontinue such activities because of the conditions set fort in the procurement of loans from the international institutions. The Jamaican farmers could not compete with the powdered milk, fruits, and vegetables imported into Jamaica from the USA. The free trade Agreement resulted in the destruction of the Jamaican farming industry. This in turn gave rise to further underdevelopment of the Jamaican economy. The negative effects of doing business with the international financial institutions included the escalation of criminal activities, within the Jamaican society.

I am of the opinion there are direct correlation between obtaining loans from the international financial institutions and underdevelopment of the so-called Third world nations. I further stressed the point I have never experienced the loan seeker arising out of the status of dependency and social chaos. In every society in which loans were obtains there was an increase in violent crimes because of the social degradation which followed.

I am confident reform is needed all cross the board in Guyana.

Usually the articles and comments by this contributor is usually worth reading and digesting. However, I am a little disappointed after reading ".....are all enemies of the people."

First, the comments remind me of the isolationist ideas of bygone era that resulted in the nationalization of most of the foreign owned industries in Guyana and the ruin of one of the most prosperous nations in the region at that time. The world was "sucking the blood" out of Guyana and its oppressed people. We nationalized the industries only to find the "blood sucking" was being done by a few Guyanese--under the guise of "national centralization." The wealth was no longer foreign owned and drained but was now the "people" wealth--only to be used by a select few, who were driving the "people" helicoter, land-rovers, trucks, etc.

The industries crumbled, not because of the world-wide economic recession that ensued around the same period, as Sancho mentioned in his comments, but because Guyana took independence and nationalization to an isolation extend and was not willing to interact with the "blood suckers" of the developed nations.

Guyana and other third world countries have to depend on trade and foreign investment with developed countries in order to become developed. No single nation can fully realize it potential for develpment by itself, it must depend on the experience, knowledege, equipment, machinery and wealth of other nations. It was good to take the bauxite industry over--but you still have to sell the product back to (for example "ALCAN") and get them to sell you the parts for the machinery they had owned. They could buy bauxite from other countries cheaper. "Alcan" could say, take the industry, take the machines but to which company are you going to sell the produce? It was good to take over Bookers and the sugar estates--but to whom you would sell the sugar.

Please don't get me wrong, I am not saying that exploitation by colonial "Lords" of poor nations and people groups is good. Exploitation at any level and in any way should be fought. However, no nation or institution will invest in other nations without trying to get back something in return. That is the reality of the world. Even if Guyanese invest back into the country, it will be for some sort of return. The world in which we live in is not a charity so we cannot get away from the "blood sucking"--old haige mentality of the economic system. At least the "blood suckers" can provide for the security of the victims, fatten them up so that "the blood sucked", would not be tainted in any way.

Your comment that it was only the "Blackman" who shouldered the pain and suffering during the period is not wholly correct. Please do not forget the "First Peoples" or Amerindians that were exploited, enslaved, and finally, were displaced from their settlements and had to flee to the interiors/hinterlands, and later confined to reservations.

It is individual Guyanese or even communities of people that will make or break Guyana. Regardless of how good a government plans for the economic development of a nation, if individuals, families, or small communities do not initiate viable economic ventures, the country wil not prosper. What the government should do is allow and facilitate local and foreign economic ventures by securing finances to provide soft loans and small grants for small projects, not being too hard on foreign investors and dropping the phenominal duties on equipment being imported into the country, for starters.

I have lots of other comments, but don't want to bore you too much on serious stuff.

Emanuel Mendonca

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