… in Rupununi
Your Eyewitness’s social media feed lit up early last night about Guyana being hit by an earthquake. This, of course, hit him for a loop – but it was because he hadn’t felt a thing as he lazed in his armchair watching reruns of “The Office” for the umpteenth time! Hey! It ain’t easy trying to get through this COVID lockdown! He then realised that the epicentre was over the border in the Brazilian town of Boa Vista and it only affected our southern Rupununi region. Now if there’s one takeaway it should be the vastness of our country: you could have an earthquake hitting one end and your teacup doesn’t even rattle at the other end! In the interest of fair disclosure, your Eyewitness must confess that the drink in his glass also wasn’t spilled!
We’ve always boasted about us being spared the hurricanes and earthquakes that regularly ravage our Caribbean neighbours. Of course, the Big Man up there evened all of that out by inflicting us with the PNC under Burnham, and Granger. They did more damage than all the natural disasters. What about Hoyte, you ask? Well, he got himself into a straight-jacket trying to clean up Burnham’s mess while defending his rear-end against the Burnhamites. He was forced to stick to the straight and narrow. Granger, of course, vowed to fulfil Burnham’s legacy but was headed off at the pass with his first rig! We were saved by the hair on our chinny chin!!
But back to the earthquake. Another epiphany came in the dailies the following morning when we saw pics of the walls of several huts collapsed and the debris of bricks scattered like confetti on the ground. The revelation wasn’t the bricks but the thatched roofs of the standing structures. Most of us on the coast don’t realise that, yes, many of our Indigenous Peoples are still living in huts covered with thatched roofs. While this might sound quaint to the tourists who we’re trying to lure with our ecotourism spiel, try to imagine what it means to live your entire life dealing with all the creatures that creep out of the straw thatching. It ain’t quaint!
And this is what your Eyewitness hopes with the “seismic” event coming out of this tremor in the Rupununi: the visualisation of what every economic survey has shown since records were kept in Guyana – that our Indigenous Peoples are the most poverty stricken of all.
And that it’s obscene for the PNC brigands to begrudge the assistance the PPP Government is offering those communities.
If we won’t be our brothers and sisters in the interior keepers, how can we ask for equity on the coast?
If you didn’t realise we’re living in a tinderbox, then the nasty chatter over a painting of our First Family connecting them with the First Lady’s outreach to the community, should open your eyes. What! You didn’t hear about that? Were you trekking in the Pakaraimas! The painting was by a Mixed artist, who’d done one of the most circulated images of the Henry boys and Haresh Singh after their murders – not to mention ones of David and Sandra Granger .
In the montage painting, President Ali is shown holding his son, while below is the First Lady next to a mother holding her newborn – with another daughter standing and a gift bag at their feet. It’s clearly inspired by a pic in the papers of the First Lady visiting newborns and mothers in GPHC over the holidays.
But because the mother was an African Guyanese, the painter was viciously attacked for being “racist”!! And what if the mother was Indian?
The President would’ve been attacked for “only helping Indians”! Poor Guyana.
The UN Secty General wants Guyana to engage Venezuela in discussions over their seizure of at least two Guyanese fishing boats. “Absolutely not,” replied President Ali, “until our boats are released.”
No negotiations with terrorists!