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Pres. Granger to Diaspora: “I love the Diaspora” but urges “do more than talk” and invest in villages

President David Granger (at lectern) addressing the forma opening of the Buxton Gas Station. Seated at the front row in white shirt is the station’s owner, Morris Wilson.

President David Granger on Sunday recognised the role of the Guyanese Diaspora in his election to office, but at the same time he called on them to stop writing and help develop the country.

Addressing the commissioning of the US$400,000 upgraded Buxton Gas station, he dedicated small but significant parts of his presentation to highlight the importance of overseas-based Guyanese in his eventual election to office last May.

“First of all, I love the Diaspora. I have great respect for them. Six years ago I launched my campaign that brought me to this podium today in the Diaspora and I am always grateful to them for what they did then and the confidence that they showed in me,” said Granger, a relative newcomer to public political life.

The President reiterated the importance of the Diaspora in investing its capital, tremendous experience and determination to match local land and labour to develop villages. He called on overseas-based Guyanese to stop writing and take action. “We ask the members of the Diaspora to do more than talk and write but to put their money where their mouths (are) like the Wilsons (owners of the Buxton Gas station) and come and invest. If you love Guyana, come and invest in Guyana,” he said. Morris Wilson and his wife, Joceylyn, who are US-based Guyanese have invested about US$400,000 in rehabilitating and modernising the Buxton Gas station.

FLASH BACK: Then Opposition Leader and Presidential Candidate, David Granger mingling with the Guyanese Diaspora in New York ahead of the May, 2015 General and Regional Elections.

In clear reference to the group that had petitioned him with their concerns and hopes for improved relations, the President called on Guyanese at home to encourage the Diaspora to “invest in your communities” with technologies, industries and expertise.  “When they want to send a petition next time, ask them to petition for a permit to open a factory or a farm. Tell them I say so,” he said.

Granger acknowledged the need to build infrastructure to attract investors and industry. They include investment in education infrastructure and encouragement of youths to attend school.

Granger’s comments came about two months after a group of New York-based Guyanese accused him of treating the Diaspora as outcasts and not affording them jobs and a stake in decision-making, although they had campaigned hard and mobilized funds for his election campaign. The group subsequently issued a petition threatening to cut ties with the Granger-led APNU+AFC coalition if steps were not taken to repair relations between government and the Diaspora.

After the official opening of the Buxton Gas station, the Guyanese leader stayed around for several minutes, interacted with residents and took photographs with them.

He has already rubbished accusations by the group of Guyanese that he has become elitist and o longer meets with ordinary Guyanese in New York.

Another way in which the Guyanese Diaspora, he said, could contribute to Guyana’s development is by purchasing products made in the land of their birth. “It means that our Guyanese Diaspora if they turn around and support our local commodities would be able to make a meaningful contribution in that niche market in those places where they live,” the President said.

PICTURE OF A PICTURE: President David Granger and a little girl pose for a picture being taken by a relative of hers while others look on appreciatively at the Buxton Gas Station.

The Guyanese leader praised the Wilsons for demonstrating faith in Buxton, one of several villages across the coast that more than 100 year ago he added had been the source of several agricultural exports to the Eastern Caribbean. “We were the food bowl of the Eastern Caribbean,” he said.

“When it comes to this petrol station here today, it’s a very emotional time for me because I believe ot’s a form of economic renaissance even though it’s small,” he said. Granger hoped that the initiative started by the Wilsons would trigger other activities by other members of the Diaspora who want to see the country of their birth prosper

The President, who is a historian, highlighted the important role of villages such as Leeds and Fyrish in massive agricultural production more than a century ago to the extent that they had fed immigrants and had been the source of planting material for places like Black Bush Polder, making it a significant food producer today.

He called for innovation and the use of land in the quest of entrepreneurship to remove from waged labour.

  • Emile_Mervin

    Guyana’s second elected ceremonial President, after Donald Ramotar!

    “I love the diaspora. Take a look ay my diaspora over there. Way, way over there. They helped me get here. But what the diaspora does not know is that I have given the reins of government to Joe Blow and the Blowhards. They have been blowing up the government, but I cannot blame them, because I never ran anything and they never ran anything. We are suffering from ‘disaccustomcy’. 32 more months of this and I can retire from ceremonies and speeches. Tell Donald hang in there

    • Kassem_B

      Emile_M
      You hard ears
      Your leader just said ‘talk less’ and instead ‘invest’
      You again writing lang lang letter and have not invest ‘one cent’ so far even you on the payroll for so lang

      • Col123

        Whaaat!.. EM gets paid for the stuff he writes??? I need to talk to Hammon…maybe I can get him to leave me something na!

      • Emile_Mervin

        Between my hard ears and your hard head, it is not even a close race, Kass-kass. All that you do is cut and paste captions and write two or three sentences that add nothing meaningful to whatever is the topic.

    • eddie

      Guyana’s second elected ceremonial President, after Donald Ramotar!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! I am willing to give the Don a pass because his qualification is always questionable but this one is supposed to be the bright one holding the highest position in the army gosh it make me shudder to know who was defending us and now leading us

      • Col123

        If you kiss ass on the way to the top and can only make it the Nigerian command and general staff college… you can figure the rest… the dude does not know chit other than shuffle ballot boxes to get the election results he wants!…

        • eddie

          it had a beautiful pc on 60 minute last night about Columbia maybe one day these politician can take cue and once and for all make this country the priority and not themselves

      • rs dasai

        eddie.
        The first after The Don.

  • Col123

    The Honorable President to them foreigners: ” Bend over a little more and send us some money, we have a lot of oil to use to make easier for you . I will still respect you in the morning. Tell them I seh so”….and ayou come and plant up the land, we gat folks who can help you reap it and help you spend you money.

  • rudeo

    This bloke is as dumb as one can be……better to shut up if nothing sensible comes out of that facial orifice…..invest in what?….where are we heading if not down?

    • Col123

      Hey..the presi maan a love them disaspora fuh long long time!

  • Kassem_B

    ‘Pres. Granger to Diaspora: “I love the Diaspora” but urges “do more than talk” and invest in villages’
    And the return on investment?

  • Mother Sally

    PLAIN AND SIMPLE – THE SO CALLED DIASPORA HAS SERVED ITS PURPOSE IN TERMS OF FINANCING GRANGER, HARMON AND THE REST OF THE BOYS SO THEY CAN GET INTO POWER AND TRULY LIVE UP ‘THE GOOD LIFE’ THAT THEY BOAST OF. PLEASE TELL ME IF THIS PLACE DOES NOT HAVE AN UNCANNY RESEMBLANCE TO THE FAMOUS GEORGE ORWELL NOVEL – ‘ANIMAL FARM’.

    NO ONE IN THE DIASPORA WILL GET ANYTHING FROM GRANGER AND HIS MOTLEY CABINET EXCEPT A LOT OF ROYAL PUSSYFOOTING, RUNNING AROUND IN CIRCLES WHILST HIS CRONEYS LIKE LONDON, BLACKMAN, BOBBY VIERA AND OTHERS HAVE A REAL GOOD TIME WHILST EVERYONE ONE SUCK SALT.

    HOWEVER, TIME AND TIDE WAITS FOR NO MAN AND COME 2020 – THEY WILL BE BACK EN VOGUE WITH CAPS OUTSTRETCHED READY TO FEAST LIKE PARASITIC INFESTATIONS ON THE BUTTS OF THE COLLECTIVE DIASPORA’S HARD EARNED MONEY. THEY ARE USELESS, SPINELESS, RUTHLESS AND CLUELESS TO TOP IT ALL OFF.

    GUYANA WILL ONE DAY DESCEND INTO RWANDA OR BOSNIA BEFORE THE PEOPLE WILL EVER LEARN.