For a Government under so many accusations of ignoring its pledge to include its Diaspora, Guyana’s Coalition Government looks like ….a Government ignoring its pledge to include its Diaspora.
Or maybe, it’s we who missed the broader meaning of what they intended Diaspora to represent…you know, the one that extended to wider Caribbean…or more so, anything but Guyanese from the Guyanese Diaspora, unless they’re hand picked and carefully vetted for preferred affiliations.
Whatever it is, Carl Greenidge is continuing to keep his pledge to merely look like he is satisfying the Diaspora end of his portfolio and President Granger is pretending that Carl is doing what he has been commissioned to do- lest, he, Granger, looks like he doesn’t quite have a handle on this thing.
There’s no campaign promise or Manifesto pledge that Team Coalition has ignored more flagrantly than Foundation 8 Diaspora Integration (see pg 10) which it does with a kind of nose-thumbing that feeds continued animus to resident Guyanese; many of whom remain uninformed of the significant part that Guyanese abroad play in the day to day existence of the country.
And this is not their fault because as a policy, the requisite education that should flow to and from the Diaspora about the importance of seeing Guyanese abroad and at home as being without borders continues to be a policy that the President and his Foreign Minister are not executing as one that needs the whole collective force of nation, on shore and beyond.
This is evident in the kind of feral subaltern skirmishes that so many at home resort to as a Face Book blood sport; standing behind their Guyana divide throwing barbs at those beyond that fence; urging with a demented kind of glee for those, resident to ‘cuss out’ those not; while others, at another stage of civil decay, blame expatriates for the underdeveloped state of the country because they “ran away” – and demand that expats give thanks because they “kept the country for us, giving us the chance to still call it home”.
Bull Stuff would best encapsulate that warped thinking but it’s borne out of frustration stemming from perpetual promise and sustained failure.
So, let’s stay on message, here.
It is the kind of disaffection not seen in Countries that have incorporated their nationals who live abroad; which have, as a matter of policy, educated those on shore on the powerful impact those abroad have on their economy; the wealth of skills that the country can utilize to expand in general; the investment potential that lies within the Diaspora.
And, this has to be a stance that the government believes in to make it policy; to create a two –way education program for resident and non- resident Guyanese; a policy that was not just hip for the campaign.
But, as it turns out, the commitment was obviously a seasonal strategy, an item on the crib sheet of talking points with a time-release component employed every time they board a plane for the ‘Diaspora’.
For, another foreigner has been employed to head another Guyanese Agency while hundreds of Guyanese, with matching qualifications await their country’s call to help to rebuild and restore decades of decimation… because the injection of the word Diaspora was a mere campaign gimmick to garnish enough aid for Team Coalition to ride off into the political sunset.
It’s becoming irrefutable that Guyana’s Politicians prefer the ease of appearing to have modernized political outreach, more than engaging the effort itself.
Vexingly, it’s the malediction of political continuity which, in essence, is a refusal to expand political vision beyond a Party’s ancient ideological framework.
It was this kind of climate that the politics of division, under the previous founding fathers, thrived and consciousness of racism took deeper root, when leaders mounted their pulpits and cast aspersions at those who chose to emigrate ….while they depended on the largesse of the very countries they berated and the remittances of the very people who felt compelled to leave to find what could not be found on their shores.
That was part of the entertainment that is politics in Guyana …when a meeting couldn’t end without the reward of the Adrenalin rush from the figurative stoning and the raucous ranting of the man at the mic bringing everyone to a ‘oneness’, exhausted and spent on cussing the enemy that lives outside but plays such a developmental role inside.
Five decades later, when there has been a historic marriage of race and parties, when the uninformed political rhetoric of the past should be laid to rest, it manifests itself in deliberate exclusion of a set of Guyanese by those who present themselves as the current power brokers.
There’s a sharp disjuncture between what Team Coalition pledged to do and what it does today, often because there appears to be (tongue in cheek) only a check but no balance.
With its unquenchable preference for self inflicted wounds, Guyana is not unique in its political dysfunction.
But it’s almost unique in its vulnerability to it…with its ragged political infrastructure, stubbornness to reform, resistance to change, absence of decisive governance, and voters who go to the polls to recycle the same folks who do all of these things.
So, no Diaspora Engagement agenda, says the government with a penchant for foreign hires.
That’s just a place holder we stuck in that document we called a Manifesto.