During the last years of the PPPC administration, there used to be a man riding around, dishevelled and with a filthy tongue shouting profanities at the government and their officials. For years, he would ride around verbally abusing the PPPC leaders.
He had had his wish. On 15th May 2015, the APNU+AFC coalition won the general elections. The verbal tirade ended. He was hardly seen around. Some people thought that he had passed on.
He is still alive and kicking, but he is silent these days. He rides silently. His mission accomplished. He is still unkempt, still rides a bicycle. His political masters have not rewarded him.
He is still poor and looks even more emaciated these days. His fortunes seem not be have improved. But he is not complaining about the government.
This is the sort of personality which VS. Naipaul would have made a case study. There are many like him who are living contradictions.
There are many supporters of APNU and the AFC who supported them when they were in opposition who are in no better shape today than they were three years ago.
Yet, they have not given up on the ruling elite. They still believe that better days are ahead and that they will end up financially secure if not rich.
They are hoping that first oil will do what has not been done over the past three years. They are hoping that riches will come their way. But also they really do not care if it does not happen, because they have gotten their wish – the parties they support are in power.
When you consider the oil reserves which ExxonMobil says that it has discovered, then every single Guyanese should be rich today. No one `should be poor. People should not be emigrating. Reverse migration should be taking place. But it is not happening.
Nor should we be fighting among ourselves. The opposition should not have to criticize the government; the government should have been able to agree to some sort of plan with the opposition given the billions of barrels of oil which lie offshore.
The teachers should not have to strike for a 45% wage increase and then only agree to an additional 5% per annum. Every household would have been able to receive a cash-grant of $400,000 per month, not per year.
But instead of signing a proper agreement, instead of properly marketing our oil, instead of ensuring local content legislation, Guyana gave away its oil wealth in exchange for a 2% royalty and 50% of profit oil.
Now we are learning about free oil, without caps. And guess what? The supporters of the government could not give a hang about the poor deal which was negotiated with ExxonMobil.
It is not that they do not know that a poor deal was signed. They know. They are sane enough to understand what they have been hearing and reading. But they are not going to stand up and call a spade an spade, at least not when it comes to the government.
They have found and will continue to find excuses to defend the government. Like the man on the bicycle, they will blame the previous administration, even though they know better.
So why should they care about the Belt and Road Initiative (BRI). This newspaper has been pointing to the dangers of Guyana becoming part of the Belt and Road Initiative. This newspaper has pointed out the debt-trap into which many countries have fallen. This newspaper has exposed what happened in Sri Lanka and in Pakistan. But yet there is not a protest has been registered about the BRI.
Perhaps they are like the man on the bicycle. Perhaps the main priority was not the well-being of Guyana, but merely to see the backs of the opposition. Perhaps, like the man on the bicycle, their mission has been accomplished.
Sep 22, 2018The 2018 Indigenous Heritage Games (IHG) was officially kicked off by Minister of Indigenous Peoples Affairs, Sydney Allicock yesterday morning at the at the Everest Cricket Club (ECC) Ground,...
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