As Guyana marks half a century as an independent state, the Guyana Agricultural and General Workers Union (GAWU) is pleased to join with all Guyanese to celebrate this exciting and landmark anniversary in our history.
We need to recall, at this time, that there was near absolute consensus amongst our then leaders that we needed to shed the constitutional and other chains with which we were then wrapped. Independence brought us and we joyfully welcomed our new status as citizens of Guyana, no longer colonial subjects tied to a “mother” country. It also brought heavy responsibilities for a free and prosperous future. The onus was now ours to chart our own course and it was recognized that national independence needed to be strengthened by economic independence and social justice. Those objectives had to be attained and sustained.
GAWU feels certain that out Independence, which we fought for, is an attainment to be cherished and will be cherished by coming generations too. Since independence we have moved forward. There are successes in several fields nationally; and at the international level our country has earned recognition and respect especially when it took principled and laudable stance on issues that are of concern to humanity. That respect was surely strengthened with the resurfacing of our democratic culture over twenty (20) years ago, which today again faces new challenges. Notwithstanding, the trials and setbacks, periods of marking time, economic and social decline there have been also very many significant achievements in our endeavours to overcome the negative legacy of colonialism and fulfill our development obligations.
The GAWU is aware that several key objectives are yet to be reached. One of these is our economic sovereignty which we see crucial to safeguard our political independence especially in the context and circumstances that we see unfolding in today’s world.
The prospects for our country to grow and develop remain encouraging and we need to tackle the various tasks before us in a collective and united spirit. In this respect, acts and obstacle that tend to undermine our still fragile democracy should be discontinued, measures that bring hardships on working-people should be frowned upon and our people, especially our working people, need to become involved in the decision-making process at various levels of our society.
As we celebrate this historic anniversary, GAWU urges that we all recognize that we have a responsibility to build our nation, to make great efforts to realize enduring national unity and strengthen the strands that bind our nation. We must be justly proud of our well-deserved freedom and it must also be a joy for all our people.
At the same time, let us on this 50th Anniversary remember the struggles associated with the fight against colonialism and these organisations and outstanding leaders who were at the front of those history making efforts.
GAWU extends a Happy Independence Anniversary to all Guyanese!