The history of Guyana and progress of Guyana have been weighed down, bugged down, and riveted down by racism. We must accept our racial differences, without being discriminatory, while continuously trying to burnish and enrich our differences in allowing for integration of citizens into the social, political, economic, civic and cultural attributes of our Guyaneseism, to progress and prosper as a nation.
This is the only way we can get out of the race trap and move towards voting in the best interests of Guyana; instead of for a cup or a palm tree; regardless of party policy, leadership values or racial politics and politricking. It will be foolish to ask anyone to forget their race, yet we can be aligned to being race conscious and pro-Guyanese, at the same time.
We have done enough swinging at each other. No to racist bottom-house meeting; no to employment for only cupholders; no to employment for only palm tree wavers, no to racial slurring. Yes to integrative employment and yes to voting on merit. We have to change our philosophy and our attitude so that Guyanese can prosper.
It is on the concept of prosperity for Guyanese that we must by any means necessary, benefit fairly from this phoenix-like opportunity. Seneca claimed that “the phoenix comes every five hundred years”. Guyana’s phoenix has come in the form of massive oil discoveries in Guyana’s offshore; between five to ten billion barrels of sweet crude oil with high porosity and high permeability.
We must own what’s ours, we are now at the touchstone, the mecca, the providence that represents good fortune for our population of less than one million people, comprising of peoples descended from African, Chinese, European, Indian, and Native American heritage. Whether you are from Region 10, Region 2, Region 4, or Region 6, the oil is for the significant ascendancy and prosperity of Guyanese people, and we must be the determinant and influential factor in how the oil revenue is shared.
Now we have to stand tall and act courageously, to ensure that we are sufficiently compensated for our oil resources. Let us not be quislings or traitorous to our country. The oil resources were not meant to benefit 3% of the Guyanese population; the oil resources were not meant for one ethnic group; it was bestowed on all Guyana for Guyanese, and we, like our ancestors have been waiting for too long, to now be subservient, when we have the oil fortune.
It is necessary to dismantle and abandon this unconscionable 2% oil contract with Esso, Hess and Nexen; a contract birthed in very shallow thinking and political expediency and not in the national interest of Guyana.
It is almost incomprehensible, as to why the decision makers in our two political parties cannot come together and see that we own the forest and stop accepting two trees for the forest. If we take control of our oil resources, by renegotiating for a 15% royalty, all our other internal fissures, frictions and follies, will be mitigated, forgiven and maybe even forgotten.
The lose-lose game of putting party power over having a fair oil contract is selfish, wicked and a mighty sin against the Guyanese people. Give the other parties to the oil contract, one hundred percent of the profit, let Esso, Hess and Nexen do all the calculus, computing and massaging in determining the bottom line profit, this will be of no concern to us. We Guyanese will manage, invest, and prosper from the 15% off the top line revenue, in the form of royalties, from our oil resources.
Let us move away from winner-take all, or race-take-all politics, this will happen if we renegotiate the oil contract with Esso, Hess and Nexen. We must believe in ourselves, believe in our ability to govern and serve the people of Guyana. The oil discoveries are transformative, and we must seize control of this oil tide of good fortune.
The fox, the wolf, and the hyena are all at the negotiating table with us, we have to act like lions and not like prey to be consumed.
Let us come together and unite in a manner that will result in an oil contract that will give us significant economic benefits. If the fifty-fifty profit share was so fantastical, it would not be a component of this asymmetrical and one side take all contract.
We the people have a role to play, by using every opportunity to speak out against the atrocious oil contract; and demand 15% oil royalty, from the contract with Esso, Hess and Nexen, the 15% royalty demand must be on the 2020 ballot. It is an issue we can all vote and agree on.
We have to believe in our destiny together, in our capacity to manage 15% royalties, in the rights of citizenship – regardless of race, and that we have the wherewithal, the confidence, wisdom, and courage, to fulfill our destiny and prosper. I support the US$5,000 annual grant to every household in Guyana, as first expounded by Dr. Clive Thomas of the Working People’s Alliance; however, such a disbursement is simply not possible under the despicable two percent contract. With a fairly renegotiated contract, disbursements to Guyanese of more value will be possible, with effect from January 1, 2021.
We don’t need ExxonMobil to be boasting of giving US$2.3 Million of our money, as part of their Corporate Social Responsibility, of which 85% went to Conservation International, an organization that has little to do with serving Guyanese. They just keep insulting our intelligence.
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