…road to Lethem
When the Beatles came out with their #1 Billboard hit “the Long and Winding Road” in 1970, surely, they had Guyana in mind. Even though they’d just broken up as a band, Burnham declaring that he was cutting all ties with Britain and making Guyana into a republic had to also have hit them hard!! Britannia wasn’t ruling the Atlantic waves hitting our sea walls in South America no mo’!!
But here the yanks had completed the Highway from Georgetown to Mackenzie in 1968, and we coastlanders would soon be joining the folks who’d changed the name of their villages to “Linden”, after Burnham – to celebrate something called “Mash”!! But getting to the matter at hand, Burnham declared his desire to continue the Highway from Linden all the way to Lethem. From there, with Brazil just a hop, skip and jump across the Takutu River, we could exploit our continental provenance. He soon made a trip to Brasilia, and was promised help to build the Highway.
But this has remained the dream and desire of every president and administration since Burnham – and they’ve all been promised help from the Brazilians. Every Brazilian President has even visited our capital to make that promise. Lula at least had set the ball rolling with the Bridge across the Takutu back in 2009. For us Guyanese, the words of the Beatles’ song had to’ve resonated, as we ruefully reflected on how the Brazilians had let us down the garden path!! After all, the road would’ve helped them, even more than us, to ship their high-tech goods from Manaus up to North America and Europe.
“The long and winding road/ That leads to your door/ Will never disappear/ I’ve seen that road before/ It always leads me here/ Lead me to you door/ The wild and windy night/ That the rain washed away/ Has left a pool of tears/ Crying for the day/ Why leave me standing here?/ Let me know the way/ Many times I’ve been alone/ And many times I’ve cried/ Anyway, you’ll never know/ The many ways I’ve tried/ And still they lead me back/To the long winding road”.
Anyhow, with help from Britain (US$66M grant) – they haven’t forgotten us, even though we cut links back then – a loan from the CDB (US$112M) and a top-up from our Government (US$12M) – we’ve just turned the sod on extending the Linden Highway 72 miles to Mabura Hill.
So we still have another 150 miles to get to Lethem. So there’s still a lot of turns to cover – in addition to some rivers!
Hope we don’t have to wait another 50 years to finish this long and winding road!!
…fight against viruses
Real life’s always stranger than fiction. At least in fiction we have endings to whatever story’s being told. Viral outbreaks that decimated mankind and its “civilizations” have long been a trope of science fiction – and then came COVID-19!! Hadn’t we read about man-made viruses escaping from laboratories and unleashing plagues? Well, we still don’t have an ending to the real one “out of Wuhan”. But there are sure a lot of clues out there!!
One of the stranger-than-fiction happenstances coming out of this pandemic is that ONE MILLION AMERICANS DIED – and no one’s even lifted an eyelid!! This is more deaths than America suffered in all the wars it fought – including its Civil War – its deadliest to date!! Isn’t that factoid worthy of some sort of analysis?? Especially with the infection rate rising again!!
Anyhow, before we can even catch our breath, there’s a new pandemic – out of Africa this time – Monkeypox. It’s already in Europe and Canada.
America has just bought US$119M worth of vaccines!!
…to assisting Guyanese
The Opposition are disputing the number of farmers the Government’s gonna be assisting to bring down the price of farm products.
Have they factored in the new farmers inspired by the “25 by 25” programme??