Georgetown, Guyana – (December 22, 2019) President David Granger, this morning, remembered the late President Hugh Desmond Hoyte as a true patriot, whose policies laid a firm foundation for sustained economic growth and environmental stewardship in Guyana.
He was at the time speaking at the Commemorative Ceremony for the 17th Death Anniversary of the late President at the Mausoleum, Place of Heroes in the Botanical Gardens, where relatives and friends were gathered.
President Granger in his address said the late President, who was the second leader of the People’s National Congress and the country’s second executive President, led the country’s second economic transformation between 1985 and 1992.
President Hoyte’s work followed that of the late President Forbes Burnham, who bore the brunt of the battle against the forces of hatred and hostility, President Granger said.
He said President Burnham led this country into sovereign nationhood, as an Independent state and as a Republic – the 50th anniversaries of which we celebrated in 2016 and which we shall celebrate in 2020, respectively.
“Forbes Burnham led the country’s first economic transformation, between 1964 and 1985. This involved the expansion of public infrastructure; the extension of public services (especially of public education) and the establishment of huge drainage and irrigation projects to support the agrarian economy,” President Granger emphasized.
The Head of State in eulogizing President Hoyte, described him as a man of his times. “He was the author of the Economic Recovery Programme, launched in 1989, which led to high levels of growth during the period 1989-1992; the motivator behind the economic liberalization which transformed an inward-looking economy into a buoyant, market-oriented economy; and he was the visionary behind the environmental protection programme that we now enjoy,” he added.
President Granger, said too, that President Hoyte was one of the earliest world leaders to identify the vital role which small states could play in protecting the world’s environment.
To this end, he committed, in response to the Langkawi Declaration issued by the Commonwealth Heads of Government Meeting in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia in 1989, to set aside 371,000 hectares of forest to be used as model for conservation and sustainable development.
That Meeting, President Granger informed, sounded an ‘early warning’ of the threats to earth’s environment by identifying the ‘greenhouse’ effect, the depletion of the ozone layer, acid rain, marine pollution, land degradation and biodiversity loss as among the world’s worst environmental threats.
“Guyana, today, is about to embark on its third economic transformation. It is my honour to have been elected the third PNC Leader to be President of this Republic. It is my duty to continue the great work of my predecessors – Forbes Burnham and Desmond Hoyte – during their Presidencies,” he said.
President Granger told the gathering that the country’s third economic transformation is witnessing the inexorable transition to becoming a ‘petroleum state’, a ‘green state’, a ‘digital state’ and an ‘education nation’.
“Hugh Desmond Hoyte was a serious man living in serious times. He was a champion of change in the country. His policies laid a firm foundation for sustained economic growth and environmental stewardship. He embraced continuity in our Party, strengthening it as a major political force in charting collaborative partnerships. Guyana can learn much from his prudent approach to economic management and to political cooperation,” he said.
President Granger stressed that the late President’s contributions to the Party and the country are ineradicable. “They will endure. His achievements will not wither with the passage of time,” he said,
Among those present at the ceremony were President Hoyte’s sister, Gloria Hoyte; Vice President, Mr. Khemraj Ramjattan, who is performing the functions of Prime Minister; Minister of Legal Affairs and Attorney General, Mr. Basil Williams SC; Minister of Public Health and PNCR Chairperson, Ms. Volda Lawrence; Minister of Social Cohesion with Responsibility for Culture, Youth and Sport, Dr. George Norton; Minister of Natural Resources, Mr. Raphael Trotman; Minister of Education, Dr. Nicolette Henry; Minister responsible for rural affairs in the Ministry of Agriculture, Mrs. Valerie Patterson-
Yearwood; former Prime Minister Mr. Hamilton Green; Mr. Stanley Ming; former Minister in the Hugh Desmond Hoyte administration, Mr. Vibert Parvattan; and Mayor of the City of Georgetown, Pandit Ubraj Narine.
The ceremony culminated with the laying of floral tributes on the tomb of the late President.