Home Features One Guyana has been on display in the last two weeks –...
Last week, Guyana stood as one and rejected Venezuela’s war call. The President spoke on our behalf, and calmly, gracefully, but forcefully rejected Venezuela’s claim to Guyana’s land, and rejected Venezuela’s threat of war to forcefully give effect to their false claims. President Irfaan Ali made us proud when he stood tall, unbending, and told Venezuela we were not intimidated by their threats.
We are a peaceful nation, but it does not mean we will capitulate to threats. He spoke in Guyana and outside of Guyana. He spoke to Guyanese, and he spoke to the world. The Leader of the Opposition and the Opposition parties spoke in support, and pledged that, on this matter, they stand firmly with the President, the Government, and the people of Guyana. Last week, and on this Venezuelan threat, Guyana was and is ONE GUYANA.
Last Sunday, the RBL CPL finals were played in Guyana. The Guyana Amazon Warriors faced their CPL rival. It was the 11th CPL finals. The Trinidad and Tobago Knight Riders had won four titles before Sunday; the Guyana Amazon Warriors had played in five CPL finals before Sunday and had never won any championship before. As they had done on all the previous occasions, the Guyanese people put aside all their differences and came out in support of the Guyana Amazon Warriors. Politics was put aside, religion took a dive, cultural differences melted; and racial animosity, to the extent it has divided us, faded into the background. ONE GUYANA was on display.
Led by the President himself, the Vice President and the Prime Minister, the Guyanese people came out to the Providence National Stadium, or looked at the game on TV, or listened on the radio. The Guyanese diaspora everywhere also got involved. Many took flights to Guyana, even if some had to watch the game on TV. Others watched the TV in cities like New York, Miami, London, Toronto, and across Caricom — everywhere Guyanese live.
ONE GUYANA witnessed the Guyana Amazon Warriors become the CPL 2023 champions, the first time ever that the Warriors lifted the trophy. But what they really lifted, what they really celebrated, was ONE GUYANA. The Knight Riders were worthy opponents. They could not win; they had no chance. They were playing Guyana in Guyana, a nation that stood with the dream of ONE GUYANA. No matter where we came from, no matter who had voted for whom in March 2020, no matter what our ethnicity and race, our culture was on display, and we were Guyanese.
Just as we stood as ONE and let Venezuela know that we were not intimidated, we stood for GUYANA STRONG on Sunday. The Knight Riders wilted like a daisy in sweltering heat in the face of a team with a whole nation behind them. Our country looked inside of itself twice in the last two weeks and we found goodness and pride in being Guyanese. We were proud Amerindian Guyanese, Afro-Guyanese, Indo-Guyanese, Portuguese Guyanese, Chinese Guyanese, and Guyanese of all ethnic mixtures.
On the Venezuelan issue, we also have the overt support of the UN, the Commonwealth, Caricom, and other nations. Venezuela stands alone. None of the countries that traditionally support Venezuela have come out in support of our South American neighbour. Venezuela stood alone as ONE GUYANA emerged and shone last week. The President led from the front, and Guyanese were proud of his leadership. Venezuela know that they rattled their military wares, but Guyana took the diplomatic road, and so far, Guyana has won. The so-called “sword vs the pen” scenario was in play, and the “pen” won. Diplomacy won over war. This was Guyana that chastised the rich and powerful countries that have jumped to support the war in Ukraine, but found justification for neglecting Haiti, an obvious racial divide.
As ONE GUYANA shone in our refusal to capitulate to Venezuelan intimidation, the whole coalition of countries in the Global South stood with Guyana as Guyana highlighted the hypocrisy of the Global North on existential threats such as climate change, food and energy security, and the Global North’s myth of intellectual superiority over the Global South.
Twelve years ago, the CPL concept was born. The Guyana Amazon Warriors became the first team to be established in the new CPL. A local entrepreneur had the vision and courage to invest in the first CPL Team. Dr. Bobby Ramroop defied the odds and stood still as one of the few Caricom nationals to invest in the dream. His Guyana Amazon Warriors franchise is now champion for the first time, but the GAW are also the most successful CPL team so far. It is the team with the most wins in CPL history, the team that has been in the most finals, and the only team that has played in all the playoffs in the 11 CPL seasons. It is the only team in any of the Caricom territories that is owned by a national of that country.
As we celebrate together as ONE GUYANA, we have before us the two possibilities – a divided Guyana, which we are most of the time; and the energy, passion, love, and opportunities that abound all over us with ONE GUYANA. President Ali and the PPP Government are leading the ONE GUYANA vehicle. The people are responding. The Leader of the Opposition must now stand with us.