Cheddi Jagan was a leading internationalist
Stabroek News
March 9, 2002

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Dear Editor,

Five years ago on the 6th March, Guyana and the world lost a great visionary and statesman, Dr Cheddi Jagan. Dr Jagan made significant contributions to the development of this dear land of ours. He was also instrumental in the return of democracy on October 5, 1992.

Dr Jagan was many things to many people. He was seen as a man of the people, a workers champion and, a man of world vision and, very fitting, "the father of the nation".

I would like to present our late President in a sphere that the world is now recognising, Cheddi Jagan the internationalist.

The Cheddi Jagan we know is a leader who fought rigorously to break the system of our colonial masters and represent the proletariat in an effort to create a better life for every Guyanese.

As a political leader, teacher and organiser of the working class Dr Jagan's goal was to bring freedom, equality and prosperity to Guyanese people; as an internationalist his struggle included the fight against injustice and poverty around the world. Economic growth, human development and national unity were central in achieving his goal. Dr Jagan is recognised globally as a politician and visionary of world stature.

He was deeply concerned with the problems of development particularly since these impacted on small developing countries. In his book A New Global Human Order he stated that: "Our times called for clear thinking: to diagnose the ills of our globe, to ascertain the cause of society's growing problems and to formulate what must be done a set of guiding principles and a programme of action ... the economic base is inter related and must interact with the political, ideological, institutional and cultural superstructure".

In letters sent to world leaders on May l, l994 Dr Jagan wrote "In response to memorandum issued in October 1993 by the Commonwealth Heads of Government in a meeting in Cyprus I introduced in March 1994, at the Inter Sessional Meeting of the conference of the Heads of Governments of the Caribbean Community in St Vincent and the Grenadines, an item; "The emergence of a global humanitarian order". Caricom heads discussed the item and agreed to work together at the Regional level and in concert with the Commonwealth high level group to advocate the concept globally".

This call for a New Global Humnan Order was further presented on October 24, 1995 to the United Nations. Dr Jagan stressed that in order to obtain this, it is necessary to establish a sound and just system of global governance based on genuine partnership between countries and democratic cultures of representative, participatory and consultative democracy and a lean and clean administration.

Cheddi Jagan advocated extensively for debt relief for third world countries. He outlined a global strategy, which would benefit both the north and south and which would lead to sustainable development, democracy, peace, freedom, and social progress. As an internationalist he achieved much for the Caribbean and his country. To illustrate: in 1996 the World Bank and the International Monetary Fund (IMF) agreed to grant debt relief for a number of poor countries including Guyana. Prior to this many from the international bodies doubted the late President when he advocated that the multi national financial institutions should explore the idea of debt relief.

Our late President Dr Cheddi Jagan was indeed a dynamic internationalist with a flair for diplomacy. Guyana is now in the spotlight of the international arena for his ideology.

Today, as a young individual I am proud to say that Dr Jagan's international policies are being realised. His vision for a New Global Human Order is turning into a reality for national and global governance. As young people we should carry on the torch and legacy left by Dr Jagan in a bid to ensure that internationalism continues to put Guyana into the spotlight that will bring multiple benefits for Guyana and the future generations.

Yours faithfully,

Ronald Harsawack (Jr.)