Led by Jagan, Burnham, D’Aguiar and others too many to mention, Guyana embarked on nationhood with purpose, talent and a firm belief that service to the people came before the enrichment of self. This competent, selfless cadre of patriots has over the years given way to cabals of the corrupt, incompetent and visionless. Through all this negative change, Guyanese who benefited from the efforts of our early patriots have mostly chosen to sit on the sidelines. Mostly appalled at the destruction of the Land of Many Waters, few have embraced the effort needed to create a better tomorrow for our children. After working in and out of Guyana on the edges of politics and social service, and after my deeply tragic experience of the senseless brutality of the system, I have decided to stand up. As I have stood up, so have many compatriots, young and old; Amerindians, Africans, Indians, Chinese, Portuguese, Mixed Race and others; rich and poor – everywhere Guyanese are standing up, but more need to stand up!
But just as a country’s degeneration was a process, so must be its rebirth. And not being from a connected family, or having made money in the recent bonanzas, the Independent Party must and will build. And the rebuilding of our nation does not depend only on who sits in the office of the President. No.
It depends on how many of us hold hands and march lockstep into a fairer, more transparent future. So, in 2015 the Independent Party will contest the upcoming elections – not for the presidency, but rather to secure a few seats in Parliament. And while I believe that I can and will provide the leadership Guyana needs, our party has many other talented members who will soon be revealed to the public.
Together, we will rebuild Guyana; rebuilding this great nation which once boasted of clean, wide promenades, canals that kept the Atlantic at bay and schools that produced many proud and distinguished patriots: Lionel Luckhoo, Winifred Gaskin, Lakshmi Kalicharran, Walter Rodney, Rohan Kanhai, Clive Lloyd and others too numerous to mention at the moment.
Mark A Benschop