Over the past week, several United States government officials and lawmakers contacted the Caribbean Guyana Institute for Democracy (CGID) to express outrage about the racist and xenophobic attacks on Haitians in Guyana by opposition and People’s Progressive Party (PPP) leader Bharrat Jagdeo, Private Sector Commission spokesman, Kit Nascimento, the Guyana Times newspapers and other misguided Guyanese racists.
It is unfortunate that the bigotry being spewed by these rabid racists, has stained Guyana’s image internationally. CGID assures US elected officials that these racist sentiments are from a rejected few, and in no way reflect the view of the majority of Guyanese.
Haitians are nationals of a sister Caricom state. They are entitled to free movement within the Caricom region in accordance with the revised Treaty of Chaguaramas as well the Caricom Single Market and Economy (CSME). They therefore have a right to visit Guyana, seek employment, establish businesses and pursue a better life in Guyana, just like Guyanese have done in other Caricom countries for decades.
All of Caricom and the world have now seen how racist Guyana’s opposition People’s Progressive Party (PPP) and other elements in the Guyanese society are. The PPP governed Guyana from 1992 to 2015. During this period that ethnic- driven party operated a brutal ethnocracy that marginalized African Guyanese. They strategically shut out Guyanese blacks from operating major businesses, purchasing and leasing state lands and tied a noose of subjugation around their necks to suffocate their economic livelihood.
While in government, the PPP used the vast majority of the resources of the state to empower the ethnic collective which forms its political base. Moreover, the United Nations found that PPP regime complicit in the extrajudicial killing of over 400 young, black men.
The prejudice of the PPP and other Guyanese racists is directed at all people of color. It is within this context that the attacks against Haitians in Guyana must be viewed and condemned by all in Caricom and the international community.
The majority of Guyanese welcome our Haitian brothers and sisters and look forward to their visits and business to boost Guyana’s tourism sector and economy. Haiti has a rich culture and history. It is the first nation in the Western Hemisphere to gain republic status. The entire region can learn from the extraordinary experience of this resilient nation and its indomitable people. “Sak pase” to our Haitian brothers and sisters!
Caribbean Guyana Institute for Democracy (CGID)
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