Guyana presidential candidate David Granger has promised compatriots that they would enjoy the same good life they have in America if they return to their homeland.
“We want you to take your children and grand-children back to your villages and communities and show them where you grew up,” said Granger who assured the nationals that there would be safety and security under the APNU+AFC shared governance.
Accompanied by prime ministerial candidate Moses Nagamootoo, the politicians were welcomed with a resounding “we want change and we want it now,” at a March 22 town hall meeting set against the backdrop of a multi-cultural presentation at Narissa Palace in Ozone Park Queens.
Granger fired up the capacity crowd saying, “It is good to be called Guyanese. We are one, we are better together, than divided.” The candidate was on his third campaign stop in the United States.
The retired army brigadier looks to a new era of the transformation of the political culture and of the economic development of Guyana.
“We are not going back to winner takes all politics, we are moving forward to the politics of national unity,” said Granger who attacked the People’s Progressive Party (PPP) accusing them of plundering Guyana’s resources away from poor citizens.
Playing down claims made by the ruling PPP government that the coalition would collapse, and the assertion that Granger is another Burnham that would return to the PNC politics, the politician said I am David Granger, president of the future.” “We are going into an era of shared governance for you the people,” he added.
In response of claims that he is a danger to Guyana, Ganger quipped, “Granger is no danger he is a game changer.”
Born and schooled in the same Corentyne Berbice village, Granger said he and Nagamootoo were brought together to replace the corrupt PPP and to unite the races of Guyana.
The upbeat audience of mostly Indo-Guyanese applauded the candidates and cheered when Granger announced that he was proud to endorse Nagamoottoo as the prime ministerial candidate.
Nagamootoo in turn raised key issues such as high unemployment in Guyana and the high poverty rate he says has plagued the country under the PPP leadership.
“Human development begins with human capital,” said Nagamootoo who named jobs, manufacturing, agriculture and the sugar industry that the coalition will address immediately after winning the elections.
Sentiments ran high among expatriates who held signs that read: “It is Time” - “Team Unity,” and raised concerns about the PPP’s unwillingness to bring about unity among Guyanese at home.
Robbie Persaud, a former founding member of the Working People” Alliance (WPA) and educator who has lived in the U.S. for 30 years, came to the meeting in the hopes of finding honesty within the coalition that he said has been lacking in other parties for a very long time.
“Without peace and unity, an end to the inherent corruption in the country, poverty and lack of education, Guyana will never progress,” added Persaud.
Mel Carpen, a member of Civic Society in New Jersey, said he was still a Guyanese at heart and was interested in the plan laid out by the coalition to end crime, combat racism and corruption, and the party’s plan to re-energize the sugar industry, and return Guyana to the once bread basket of the Caribbean.
Eustace Hall traveled from Brooklyn to listen to the candidates with the hopes that they would do all that they promise, to make Guyana a better place.
“I want to see the races come together and I think this coalition will make that happen,” said Carlyle Harry a former political youth activist and trade unionist who said he discovered that there are two separate “Guyanas” in New York.
“When you go to Brooklyn you see one texture of people, and when you go to Queens you see another texture. All I want to see is racial unity, and the APNY+AFC coalition is a symbol of unity,” said Harry.
Harry added that the two politicians were born in the ‘countryside’ and went to school together. “This is where the healing will start,” said Harry who has lived in the U.S. for the past 27 years.
“We are hopeful that something positive will come from this new coalition, and they will bring the races together and work towards the good of Guyana,” said Denise Callison who traveled from New Jersey to attend the meeting.