Ali Says Independence Transcends ‘Mere Symbolism’ – St. Lucia Times

The content originally appeared on: St. Lucia Times News

Guyana’s President, Dr. Irfaan Ali, Saint Lucia’s guest of honour as the Island celebrates its 45th independence anniversary, told a joint sitting of parliament Wednesday that independence was a journey beyond mere symbolism.

“Independence, far from being a singular event confined to a specific date in history, is a dynamic and ongoing process,” Ali asserted.

He explained that the process embodies the aspirations and ambitions of a nation.

“Independence is a journey, marked not only by a solitary moment of achievement but by the continuous pursuit of development, progress, and self-determination,” the Guyana President noted.

He explained that a nation’s independence indicated its liberation from foreign control.

However, Ali declared that, more importantly, it also signifies unleashing its people’s boundless energy and potential.

“Independence represented a call to action, a commitment to harnessing the collective will of the people. Independence in this sense, transcends mere symbolism. It is a living, breathing aspect of national life and propels us in our quest for a more just, equitable and prosperous future for and by the people,” he said.

As Saint Lucia observed its 45th independence anniversary, Ali spoke of the importance of fortifying the ramparts of independence, working towards fashioning a united, resilient, and inclusive nation and region.

The Guyana leader also lauded what he described as the extraordinary relationship Saint Lucia shares with Guyana.

Many Saint Lucians traveled to and lived in Guyana, where they prospected for gold and diamonds during the colonial era.

Additionally, many Guyanese and children of Saint Lucians who live in Guyana have made Saint Lucia their home.

Ali said the relationship transcends trade and economic boundaries and systems.

He told the joint session of parliament that history, culture, friendship, and family shaped the ties.

“The relationship is deep-seated, as it is blood in nature,” Ali declared.

He observed that many Saint Lucians and Guyanese share the same blood, parentage, and heritage.

“That is why, for us, it is not strange that Saint Lucia continues to support Guyana’s sovereignty and territorial integrity,” the Guyana President stated.

He noted that Saint Lucia stands firmly with Guyana in that regard.

Venezuela claims over two-thirds of Guyana’s territory in the resource-rich Essequibo region.

The case is currently before the International Court of Justice(ICJ).

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