Happy 35th Birthday, Guyana

To The Editor
Guyana Chronicle
May 27, 2001

I remember May '66, like it was yesterday,
When Guyana chose to chart its own political way.
"Independence!" we all said,
"Down with the Union Jack, up with the Golden Arrowhead!"

In 1968, our Governor-General died in a freak accident,
Paving the way in 1970 for our first Guyanese President.
"Co-operative Republic" was now attached to our country,
As we set out to control most of the economy.

Things looked bright, as most would agree,
And taking credit, as usual, was the ruling PNC.
"Feed, clothe and house ourselves by '76,"
Sounded nice, without political gimmicks and tricks.

But in 1974,
We booted capitalism out the door,
Adopting "Co-operative Socialism" as the ideology,
To guide the economy and create a Utopian society.

That resulted in dashed dreams, as by 1977,
Guyana was far from being the anticipated little heaven.
As far as most could tell,
It was just about this time we started catching hell.

Things did not go as planned,
And we longed for the foods that were banned.
Problems with water, electricity and transportation,
Began breaking the backbone of the nation.

Mass Games, People's Parade and MASHquerade,
Quickly became a political charade.
When people could take it no more,
Many packed up and fled the shore.

In 1985, the Kabaka died,
And his successor, well...he tried.
"Bold new initiatives" sounded strange,
And "Things are happening" indicated a change.

In 1992, change brought the PPP/Civic into power,
And that started its most defining hour.
For from then until now,
It has managed to survive in government somehow.

With the riots stopped and the coast now clear,
The question is: where do we go from here?
My fellow Guyanese, the ball is in our court,
As we reach out to give each other solid support.

May we grow as we learn, and learn as we grow,
That we are children in a colourful rainbow.
Let's celebrate our differences in a multiracial society,
And see what beauty there is in diversity.