by Rajendra Bisessar
Stella likes to refer to Marx often. However, as I explained in my article, she knows little of Marx. I explained Marx's approach, where he recognised objective laws that determine the transformation of society. If she accepts Marx's socialism then she has to switch from the paradigm she is using and adopt the corresponding methodology. I doubt though that she even knows it. And it seems that she finds it difficult to escape the thrust of the highly controlled American media, most of which is owned and controlled by the corporate world.
Stella has pronounced that “ Guyana 's sitting government has attempted to control the trade unions.” She should explain how. In her next article, she told me to go among real people while it seems that she can sit behind a computer and browse the net and be so understand what is happening here.
She mentions that Chavez has moved to control the courts. She should be more worried about where she lives. There was a judicial coup against the Democrats while the President is packing the judiciary to overturn “Roe vs Wade”
She further states, “Ideally, in a socialist country, Bisessar, this $84 billion would have been distributed to the good citizens of Venezuela .” She somehow got the information that this money goes to “Chavez's loyalists.” She continued, “Instead of using that big wad of money to alleviate poverty, he subsidises the prices of neighbourhood grocery stores instead of spending money on maintaining a functioning infrastructure, it should trickle into social services, such as run down clinics.”
Stella does not want money to be spent on the poor to alleviate poverty, which I indicated was 80 percent, and does not want groceries to be subsidised in a situation where 40 percent of those are malnourished even though these among other things are part of the approach to the globally accepted Millennium Development Goals.
While it's good to develop and diversify the economy, we cannot allow people to die while we move in that direction.
Today, to prevent eight million people from starving in East Africa , the World Food Programme is begging the world for food and when Chavez does the same for his people he is no good. Maybe, you would suggest that they stop and instead develop the infrastructure of Africa .
It's not difficult to understand whom Stella was referring to as the good citizens. Chavez has done the opposite to George Bush, who gave tax breaks to the rich (Stella's good citizens to whom she wanted Chavez to give the $84B) and neglect medicare.
I guess the fact that the Indigenous population and expecially women, who would all now have access to free health care and education up to university. The fact that there are one million more children enrolled in the primary education system is not something that Stella finds favour with.
The chaos she talks about in Venezuela is one that her government would like to see. Remember Chile , Iran and her beloved Guyana , where among other places her beloved CIA moved to remove democratically elected governments. All the government of Iran (and it was not socialist) wanted was some more royalty for its oil. Does this ring a bell Stella?
And Stella, when I spoke of lessons from New Orleans, it was not the approach to the flood but the understanding of the poverty that exists in the richest capitalist country in the world - and this excludes the one million homeless in NY City.
Stella decided to discuss me instead of the issues. I interact with real people and not by utilising cyber space and virtual reality.
Incidentally, Stella may not know this and may gain an insight. During the three years I spent in America , I hitch-hiked from Los Angeles to Cheyenne , Wyoming , staying some time in Santa Barbara , Carmel Valley , Pacific Grove , etc. I then hitched to Denver and then to Oil City, Philadelphia, New York City, Buffalo, Detroit, Chicago, Milwaukee, Grand Rapids and then on to Bemidji, Minnesota. Then I hitched all the way to Florida , most times with little money, working here and there in causal employment.
In Guyana , when I was victimised by the Burnham regime, as a graduate, instead of staying in Canada where I was in 1982, I returned to Guyana and drove taxi, bought and sold greens etc. in order to remain in the struggle against the dictatorship.
Stella, I, and no one in this government, have ever said that Guyana is flourishing and so I do not know from where you plucked that. I might have said things have improved.
This country was made poorer than Haiti and that was under the PNC. In 1992, the per-capita income was US$204. Today, it's approaching US$900; poverty was, according to the World Bank, 80 percent but has now reduced. The World Bank was stupid to reclassify Guyana as a middle-income country.
Stella, no one in the government denies that there was negative growth. In fact, most of the countries in the Caribbean have been experiencing negative growth recently.
You then quoted from a report from the U.S. Embassy in April 2005, “Political uncertainty and poor economic performance by the Guyanese economy since 1999 have eroded consumer and investor confidence.”
Stella, who can question the intelligence of the people that work at the Embassy of the richest country in the world? Stupid Bisessar, the guy incapable of independent thinking, would have, in his ignorance, written thus: “Political uncertainty since 1999 has eroded consumer and investor confidence resulting in poor economic performance of the Guyanese economy.” Of course, the reverse would then take place.
I could have added crime; some levels of incompetence on the part of the government, absence of creativity in some quarters, an economically and culturally weak private sector, a private banking system that concentrates only on profits and that has no development genes; unnecessary and highly politicised conditionalities imposed by the US, controlled undemocratically structured IMF and World Bank, specifically the IMF, Washington's Consensus (and this is also Stiglitz's views); and a vast array of persons with presidential and political ambitions who can do nothing but criticise.
I could have qualified that the crime may have had political backing and also was facilitated by the deportation of high level criminals, nurtured and trained in the land of plenty, the USA. And before I forget, the migration of skills, often facilitated by direct recruitment by “lands of the plenty,” as they seem incapable of training their own.
Stella took Stiglitz's statement in a different context but I would deal with this and the other issues another time.
And Stella needs to spell out her innovative ideas. Be specific.
Thursday, February 09, 2006
Stella and her cyberspace reality - Rajendra Bisessar
From today's Kaieteur News: