At a recent town hall meeting at Woodbine Caterers on Church Avenue in Flatbush, Brooklyn, Guyana President Donald Ramotar was full of praise for expatriates who continue to make a difference at home.
“Some of you have not forgotten your country,” he said, adding: “You have helped families back home. That is making a contribution to our country” and “the country appreciates it very much.”
On the heels of his address to delegates at the 68th Session of the UN General Assembly in New York, Ramotar outlined some changes Guyana has undergone over the years due to the government’s hard work and the sacrifices of the people.
He said the government has adopted a model to improve the quality of life by investing in the social sector, in education, and science and technology.
“It is not possible for us to achieve progress unless we have a strong educated workforce,” Ramotar added.
The president promised the packed hall of over 200, that an effort is underway to bring the country’s Cheddi Jagan International Airport up to a Category One ranking with the aim of attracting more carriers while enhancing the country’s tourism industry.
He named Fly Jamaica and TravelSpan, the two airlines currently approved to service the New York/Guyana route and hinted that Delta Aiirlines Airlines may return to Timehri Interntional, as the country grapples with the thorny issue of high air-fares, and limited seating.
Mr. Ramotar also hinted that his administration is also considering the issue of reestablishing a national airline.
Not going into specifics as to how, or when these projects would take shape, Ramotar hammered the opposition, he said for denying proposals put forward by the government.
He went on to say however, that the government would move forward with plans to reduce crime, while creating every opportunity to fight racism and decimation.
Calling his cabinet the youngest in the Caribbean working for its people, the leader defended the large influx of Brazilians that nationals say are taking over Guyana. He argued that Guyana is a country of diversity, and claim that the immigrants would enrich ‘our culture.”
The leader that was heckled throughout his speech, did not back down from answering the myriad of questions put forward by the concerned citizens, who chided him about the high crime rate, and the garbage-ridden environment in the capital.
On cleaning up the city, Ramotar promised to tackle the problem with a sound-recycling program.
Mr. Ramotar was accompanied by Foreign Minister Carolyn Rodrigues-Birkett and Finance Minister Dr. Ashni Singh, who both addressed issues such as seeking help from the U.S. to resettle deportees, and an investigation into the assassination of former Working People Alliance leader Dr. Walter Rodney.
“We are establishing an office in Georgetown, employing the staff, and accumulating all the documents,” he said, adding that he would meet with the Rodney Foundation in Atlanta, Georgia to get the commission’s work off the ground.