Home Letters Guyanese, our possibilities are limitless with Dr Irfaan Ali
Guyanese have seen an electoral process that went over one hundred and fifty days. We bear witness to the enduring strength of our Constitution. We affirm the promise of our democracy. We recall that what binds this nation together is not the colours of our skin or the tenets of our faith or the origins of our names. What makes us exceptional — what makes us Guyanese — is our allegiance to an idea articulated one people, one nation one destiny.
We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all Guyanese are created equal; that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable rights; that among these are life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness. The challenge of the next five years is whether we have the wisdom to use that wealth to enrich and elevate our national life, and to advance the quality of our Guyana civilisation. Our imagination and our initiative and our indignation will determine whether we build a society where progress is the servant of our needs, or a society where old values and new visions are buried under unbridled growth. For in our time, under the leadership of Dr Irfaan Ali, every Guyanese has the opportunity to move not only toward the rich society and the powerful society, but upward to the great society
Let us, each Guyanese now embrace with solemn duty and awesome joy what is our lasting birthright and birthplace with common effort and common purpose, with passion and dedication, let us answer the call of history and carry into an uncertain future that precious light of freedom.
And represent our greatest hope. We all as citizens. Young and old have the power to set this country’s course. We as citizens have the obligation to shape the debates of our time — not only with the votes we cast, but with the voices we lift in defence of our most ancient values and enduring ideals
Today we continue a never-ending journey to bridge the meaning of those words coming together as one Guyanese with the realities of our time. For history tells us that while these truths may be self-evident, they’ve never been self-executing; that while freedom is a gift from God, it must be secured by His people here on Earth. When Guyana gained independence from England in 1966, the unity embrace was between Dr Cheddi Jagan and Mr Forbes Burnham. There must be a reason why those two gentlemen embraced each other, they did not fight to replace the tyranny of a Queen with the privileges of a few or the rule of a mob. They gave to us a Government of, and by, and for the people, entrusting each generation to keep safe our founding creed.
And for more than fifty-four years, we have. Through blood drawn by lash and blood drawn by sword, we learned that no union founded on the principles of liberty and equality could survive half-slave and half-free. We made ourselves anew, and vowed to move forward together.
Together, as Guyanese, we are determined that a modern economy requires a transportation system, bridges, highways to speed travel and commerce, schools and colleges to train our workers. Together, we discovered that a free market only thrives when there are rules to ensure competition and fair play.
Together, we resolved that a great nation must care for the vulnerable, and protect its people from life’s worst hazards and misfortune.
Through it all, we must never relinquish our scepticism of central authority, nor have we succumbed to the fiction that all society’s ills can be cured through Government alone. Our celebration of initiative and enterprise, our insistence on hard work and personal responsibility, these are constants in our character as Guyanese and we must come together and support our ninth Executive President, Dr Irfaan Ali. He will be sworn-in in the next few days. But we must always understand that when times change, so must we; that fidelity to our founding principles requires new responses to new challenges; that preserving our individual freedoms ultimately requires collective action. For the Guyanese citizen can no more meet the demands of today’s world by acting alone No single person can train all the teachers we’ll need to equip our children for the future, or build the roads and networks and research labs that will bring new jobs and businesses to our shores. Now, more than ever, we must do these things together, as one nation and one people. This generation of Guyanese has been tested by crises of 2020, General and Regional Elections that steeled our resolve and proved our resilience. One hundred and fifty days of electoral “saga” is now ending. Our economic recovery will begin with Dr Ali and the People’s Progressive Party/Civic. Guyanese, our possibilities are limitless, “for we possess all the qualities that this world without boundaries demands: youth and drive; diversity and openness; an endless capacity for risk and a gift for reinvention. We are made for this moment, and we will seize it — so long as we seize it together. For we, the people of Guyana must understand that our country cannot succeed when a shrinking few do very well and a growing many barely make it. We believe that Guyana’s prosperity must rest upon the broad shoulders of all Guyanese. We know that we will thrive when every person can find independence and pride in their work; when the wages of honest labour liberate families from the brink of hardship. We must be true to ourselves and countrymen, woman and more importantly, our young people.
We understand that there are many outworn programmes that are inadequate to the needs of our time. So we must harness new ideas and technology to remake and support our new Government, revamp our tax code, reform our schools, and empower our citizens with the skills they need to work harder, learn more, reach higher. But while the means will change, our purpose endures: a nation that rewards the effort and determination of every single Guyanese That is what this moment requires. That is what will give real meaning to our success.
The path towards sustainable energy sources will be long and sometimes difficult. But as Guyanese, we cannot resist this transition, we must lead it. We cannot cede to other nations the technology that will power new jobs and new industries, we must claim its promise. That’s how we will maintain our economic vitality and our national treasure — our forests and waterways, our cropland, our mining areas
We, the people, still believe that every citizen deserves a basic measure of security and dignity. We must make the hard choices to reduce the cost of healthcare in Guyana, we must choose between caring for the generation that built this country and investing in the generation that will build its future. For we remember the lessons of our past, when twilight years were spent under the PNC, in poverty and parents of a child with a disability had nowhere to turn.