Many Guyanese have lost hope

Stabroek News
July 27, 2001

Dear Editor,

Ms Narendri Naraine's letter captioned "A fresh wave of emigration" (l9.7.2001) raises important issues about the future of this country and the responsibility of the leadership.

The lament from her is that the professional class and those we can least afford to lose are leaving Guyana. I have news for her, I am a professional. I too will leave shortly and it is not related to pre/post elections violence or the PNC.

I am leaving because this country like the Titanic is rapidly sinking, the collective leadership does not have a clue what to do except appoint more comrades as ministers who cannot get the job done. We have more ministers than the USA, they have 300 million people. It would seem that we must have two of everything, two ministers of agriculture, two ministers of regional development, two ministers of foreign affairs two ministers of social affairs. It would seem the more the merrier.

Professionals are leaving because they are fed up with the indecisiveness and mediocrity of decision makers and the corruption. The fact plain and simple is that there is no light at the end of the tunnel. We have lost hope.

No one leaves their roots, friends, family except for compelling reasons. The USA, Canada, the Caribbean and even Africa offer a more attractive life. What is the government doing to encourage those with skills to stay? Rather they are doing everything possible to ensure a hasty exit and a long exile.

Ms Naraine should not address her concerns to the American Embassy, rather it is Freedom House and the Office of the President who should answer why people are leaving.

Any government politician who feels the people should not leave should visit the lines of visa hopefuls who queue daily outside the American and Canadian embassies. Try persuading them not to leave, but to stay and develop Guyana.

But look at the faces of those who return in the afternoon, with their visas, it is as if they won the Lotto every week for the next year, only better than that, they have a visa to the promised land.

And then (mercy) look at the faces of those who did not get a visa, it seems as if they had lost everything, family, friends and house with all their belongings. It is worse.

They have lost more, Ms Naraine, they have lost faith in the politicians to provide a better life, and they have lost hope. That is why they leave.

Yours faithfully,
S Bissessar