There is still time to chart a new course

Kaieteu News – Peeping Tom’s article, titled “Nationalize the Oil Blocks” (KN 12.11.20),quite rightly points out that “neither Cheddi Jagan nor Forbes Burnham would have allowed the country’s oil wealth to have been hijacked by the oil companies and by individuals who are acting as front men for political charlatans.”

The Peeper was also right when he said that a change in direction is possible “but not under either the PPP/C or the PNC/R or even what remains of the AFC. These three parties and even most of the new parties are all neo-liberal in their orientation and would therefore subscribe to the sanctity of contracts – which in reality means that ExxonMobil gets away with the deal it made with the country”. Finally, the Peeper laments that for a change of direction to occur, “a left-wing socialist party consisting of the workers would have to be formed immediately. That party would have the responsibility of seizing possession of the oil blocks and returning it to Guyanese. No non-liberal political party is going to do that. Only a socialist party can do that.”

However, he does not call our name – Organization for the Victory of the People (OVP). He is too afraid to do that. The Peeper and most Guyanese have a penchant for talking ad nauseam about the problem and about the need for radical transformation, but when it comes to effecting it – that is another matter. The truth is that neither of the major political parties nor the smaller parties are interested in transforming this society. They compete, via an obsolete electoral and parliamentary system, left behind by our colonial masters, to show their masters who can best oversee the neo-plantation we call Guyana.

The Peeper is looking for OVP! An independent, revolutionary nationalist formation that is dedicated to dismantling the existing neo-plantation arrangement in Guyana – an arrangement that the PPPC, PNCR and AFC are quite happy to maintain. OVP is the only political entity that is vehemently opposed to the imposed neo-liberal economic model. All the other parties are defenders of neo-liberal ideology, and that most bogus form of democracy, known as “liberal democracy”. OVP is committed to a radical democracy – real democracy that would put the masses of our people at the centre of the decision-making process. How? Through a national network of People’s Assemblies, Popular Committees, Community Councils and Workers’ Councils.

Unlike the neo-colonial parties, we believe that democracy is not something static, but rather something that is continually evolving, its highest expression being self-determination. OVP is committed to realizing economic justice for every Guyanese by democratizing the economy. What does that mean? It means ensuring that the wealth of Guyana benefits every Guyanese man, woman and child, not just a small elite. Imagine in 2020, in one of the most resource-rich countries in the world, the masses of Guyanese workers remain impoverished, earning too little to live a decent and dignified life.

OVP rejects the failed system of neo-liberal capitalism, as well as failed Soviet-style communism. There has been and will always be a market. The issue is how the marketplace is governed. So-called free-market economics, where the market is left to regulate itself, has failed miserably worldwide. Everywhere it has been implemented, the results are the same – an ever increasing gap between haves and have-nots. When left to itself, the mechanism of the market necessarily regulates in favour of the few – the 1%.

Furthermore, OVP is dedicated to debunking that worn out mantra “the private-sector is the engine of economic growth and development.” It simply cannot be substantiated by hard empirical evidence. The private sector is not in the business of nation building; they are in the business of building themselves and families. Finally, OVP rejects the absurd and irrational idea of “endless growth on a finite planet with finite resources”. This is one of the biggest lies we have been sold.

Guyana has a wealth of natural resources, one of the largest tracts of protected rainforest in the world. We are stewards of the world’s lungs. There is still time to chart a new course – one that is sustainable, people-centred and emancipatory. We have an opportunity to be innovators and leaders on the regional and world stage, rather than sycophants and clowns.

The Peeper was on target when he said: “The oil companies are taking Guyana for a royal ride. By the time they are finished with us, our tyres will be worn and our tubes will be punctured.”

Gerald A. Perreira
Organization for the Victory of the People

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