It is sad to learn about the final moments of former President Jimmy Carter as the Carter Center announced he has decided to end medical treatment for ailments.
Carter had a most enduring legacy post Presidency promoting democracy worldwide. Guyana is a beneficiary of that legacy in the restoration of democracy in our homeland. He was instrumental in bringing democracy to Guyana after 26 years of racist authoritarian rule.
Carter was a very courageous, polite politician. He spoke his mind and did what was right, not what was convenient. His decision making was very profound.
In his final moments, he also made another courageous decision — discontinue medical treatment and live out his last few hours at home with his family and close friends. His grandson, Jason, thanked the public for their words of support as the family prepared for the inevitable.
Guyanese will forever be grateful for Carter’s role in the restoration of democratic rule in Guyana in 1992. The Mustique Agreement (1986) between Hoyte and Caricom leaders which summit was facilitated by Trinidad Maha Sabha Secretary General Satnarine Maharaj and the collapse of the Soviet Union in 1990 helped to bring about and end to communist rule in Guyana and the eventual return of democracy. Carter was able to convince Hoyte to introduce political reforms as well permit the country’s first free and fair elections in October 1992. And when the PNC lost, he convinced Hoyte to accept the results and step down. Carter was also influential in Guyana’s development strategy post 1992. Hoyte is commended for respecting and yielding to democratic values unlike most of his colleagues who advised him otherwise, namely to reject he outcome of the 1992 electoral defeat.
Carter also had some influence in the country’s local politics and national development. Conversations with Guyanese politicians during the 1990s suggest that Carter was quite impressed with Jagdeo’s stint as Junior Finance Minister and Finance Minister and lauded his performance. Jagdeo shone when he was Finance Minister – brought down the debt and the economy grew.
Carter contributed immensely for restoration of democracy when the globe had given up hope that Guyana will ever become a democratic nation. Democracy has been thriving since Carter’s intervention in 1992. He returned in 2015 as an observer that led to a change in administration. And his grandson led a team of observers in 2020 that led to another political change in administration. Thank you President Jimmy Carter. The Guyanese nation owes you a debt of gratitude and can never forget you.
Guyana government should make an announcement expressing solidarity and support to the Carter Center and Carter family commiserating with them during the final moments of the President’s life.