Prime Minister of Guyana, Moses Nagamootoo, told expatriates that Cheddi Jagan and Forbes Burnham, late presidents — on the night of the country’s Independence ceremony in 1966, put aside their political differences and embraced each other, and urged nationals to see that embrace as a mandate for unity.
Nagamootoo, who, arrived in Brooklyn, with wife, Sita, on Sunday, June 2 to celebrate the nation’s 53rd Independence Anniversary, was the Grand Marshall of the 4th Annual Guyana Independence Committee Parade, which began at the corner of Church and Utica avenues.
The politician, joined by Ambassador, Rudolph M. Ten-Pow, and Consul General to New York, Barbara Atherly, and accompanied by the Guyana Defence Force (GDF) unit from Guyana, and the Seventh Day Adventist Marching Band, celebrated with Guyanese who waved Golden Arrowhead flags, along the parade route, that ended in Preston Court on Ralph Avenue.
The prime minister then stood for a march past, by the GDF, before Assemblyman, Nick Perry, joined, to observe the hoisting of the Golden Arrowhead flag by Lt. Neil Asregadoo, and singing of the national anthem.
The politician, who thanked, members of the diplomatic corp for their work in the Guyanese community, reminded the gathering of Guyana’s dream for freedom, and their fore-parents, who made sacrifices. “Don’t matter where you are, you are Guyanese.”
He also thanked Assemblywoman, Diana C. Richardson, and Assemblyman, Nick Perry for their contributions to the Guyanese community, saying, “We need friends, to move forward, to build our country on the basis of the dreams of those who fought for independence.”
“We have one Guyana, one motherland, our dear land, our great land, our green land. We are on the cusp of becoming one of the wealthiest countries in the world, so we can’t blame ourselves because we have differences,” said the politician, adding, “We have to celebrate the fact that we, at long last have come out of that dark era of oppression, and have become a model country in the world, with a model democracy. For the first time, we have six parties coming together to form a coalition government.”
“Of course we have challenges,” said Nagamootoo, taking a ‘jab’ at the Opposition, saying, these challenges are due to those denied success, to their corrupt greed, and will make all kinds of subterfuge, so they can return, and put their dirty hands on the wealth that is to come.”
“We must now be satisfied that this AFC / APNU government, led by President Granger and I, have brought this country to the verge of untold wealth and riches, and we need clean experienced, honest leadership, to take us safely into this new paradise, which we call the oil rich Guyana.”
He asserted that the 5.5 billion barrels of oil reserves are enough to “spark the greed of those who had wanted to take us back to the past.”
He said, Guyana would make a leap forward, with the continuation of the AFC / APNU Coalition to make sure the country’s future is secured.
“My wife and I look forward to celebrating with you, Guyanese are known for their hospitality and peaceful nature. We are a fun-filled people, and we also want to tell the world that we are a model people, committed to good relationship, peace, and friendliness.”
“I bring greetings from the President of Guyana, the people of Guyana, adding, Guyanese, we must recommit to ourselves, to the love of our country, and to coming back home to made a contribute.”
“Enjoy your day, happy independence,” concluded the PM.
Sita Nagamootoo, in turn, emphasized unity and encouraged Guyanese to give back to their homeland during her greeting.
President of the Guyana Independence Committee, Rickford Burke, during the parade applauded Guyana as being the only country in the Caribbean to have such a parade, and praised the spirit of the Guyanese people, noting that he hopes this is a vista into the country’s newly found wealth industry of oil and gas.
A Unity Concert packed with talented Guyanese artistes, took center stage after the parade and ceremonial presentations.