Latest update March 21st, 2023 12:59 AM
Jan 05, 2009 Features / Columnists, Freddie Kissoon
The Marriott Hotel project is dead. But within its demise lies the deceit and corruptibility of power that has dissolved any historical truth the PPP embodied; not that the PPP ever had an enduring integrity. One has to be innately an indecent and deceitful person to watch at sixteen years of the nasty use and the nauseating abuse of power by the PPP yet think that this is one of Guyana’s great institutions.
One has to possess the mind of Nazi supporter in his/her eager wish for Hitler to rule the world not to see that the line that separated the Burnham dictatorship has been crossed by the present PPP Government.
The so-called Marriott Hotel project is one that every leader when the PPP was in opposition would have got up in Parliament and denounced. The Mirror newspaper would have devoted all its pages for all its editions to “Burnham’s secret hotel deal with dubious investors.”
If you want to see how far the PPP has crossed the line that demarcated it from the Burnham Government it had classified as a dictatorship, then go back to the past issues of the Mirror newspaper. What we saw the PPP criticizing and attacking Burnham for makes for child’s play when you take into consideration some of the most perverted acts of corruptibility that has dominated the sixteen-year rule of the PPP.
The so-called Marriott conspiracy of 2008 marks yet another sign of the decay that the PPP is swimming in, and it also highlights how apathetic civil society has become in this country.
The decision by the unnamed, unseen investors not to proceed with the building of a hotel in Kingston whose name they lied about has absolutely nothing to do with the financial crisis that undermined the US economy about a month ago. We can follow the contours of this drama to see where the conspiracy took shape.
First, there was no negotiation in earnest with the Marriott people to get their brand. The Marriott tag was used to fool both the Guyanese people and the US Embassy. Marriott is a huge international name and once that was thrown around, Guyanese would have accepted the project and the US Embassy would not have become curious.
Stage two is where the comedy of errors began to unfold. Since the city’s main sewage line had to be moved, then it was natural that the identity of the investor(s) would surface. The local liaisons of the drama could not have given us the name(s) because we would have started to investigate. But this strategy backfired on the little kings in Guyana.
Had they given us a name then it is possible that the media would not have done any inquiry. I guess we would have all accepted that an Italian man was financing a complex by the seawall.
It was when the little kings began to hold back on the identity of the investors that the media began to check. Who were the guys behind Adams Development Urban Associates (ADUA)? Where was ADUA’s office located? In what building and owned by whom? From the time the media tracked down ADUA, the construction was dead.
We, in the media eventually knew who were the investors and the release of their names would have caused serious problems. I suspect the US Embassy knows about the Italian connection too. The existence of this project died around the month of May last year. So why wasn’t work on the re-aligning of the sewage system stopped? Because it has to be completed since the old system had already been destroyed by ADUA.
Secondly, the local kings still thought that the Italians were going through with their plans. The fear was with the Italian connection, not the local kings who didn’t care what the Guyanese people or the US Embassy thought of the investor.
One has to be naïve to think that the US crisis has affected the investment. We were told by the local kings that the banks had already lent the money and it was just for the EPA to approve the impact assessment. How come many other hotels are still going up in the Caribbean?
The Marriott fiction has gone down as one of the infamous scandals that the PPP has chalked up in its sixteen years of rule. But one dimension of it will ring out loudly as long as we analyse the nature of the Jagdeo presidency.
To think that this government would never reveal who the investors were. What is there to hide? The deal is dead. Or is there something to hide. “Show me your company and I tell you who you are.”
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