ExxonMobil is feeding enough toxins to Guyanese – leaders and citizens – to ensure a slow death for them, one that has the combined effect of a thousand deep cuts that accumulate. The buildup of poison levels in the nation’s bloodstream hustle all of us to the Emergency Poison Ward. Things are so bad with the state of the nation’s leaders, as administered by the Exxon(s) of the oil world (and other rich minerals) that our stay in the Emergency Ward may have to be permanent, as in a never ending vegetative state.
It seems that we never learn from our past failures, most of them terribly draining and crippling to the hopes of the many peoples of this nation. This keeps on repeating itself, in government after government, and under one leader or the other, it does not matter which one. What matters is that the same diminishing things continue unaddressed and unchecked. This is the situation, when the leaders of this nation allow Exxon and Goldfields and Rusal and Bai Shan Lin to stuff their toxins down our gullets, and which reduce our gastrointestinal tract to shreds and our brains to mush. We keep on repeating the costly mistakes of the past. This is what was confirmed and which we pointed out in last Thursday’s headline, “Liza-1 EIA would not have passed T&T regulator – former Director of T&T’s National Gas Company – Payara EIA is similarly flawed” (KN September 3).
Our leaders over the decades have rode over Guyanese with unceasing haughtiness, without listening (except at elections times), and barely concealed impatience when they do descend from their air conditioned suites and duty-free chariots to share a quick minute with the public. Contrast that, on the other hand, with how they are, what they are reduced to, when they sit across from powerful foreign corporate agents as stewards for our mineral riches and to work diligently to get the best possible deal for us.
Then, they are fawning and negotiating for what turns out to be scraps and what leaves us sickened and retching. We all know of some street dwellers who, though hungry, near naked, and penniless, would refuse what they consider cheap handouts, insulting, and below their dignity. Even in their impoverished state, they still retain a degree of self-respect, which forbids them to settle for paltry pennies. But this is what our proud leaders (before local citizens) deal for and deliver to this nation when they kowtow and bring home not the bacon, but a kind of heavy pig smell. They are not loud and all-powerful when negotiating but reduced to the humbled Third World denizens patronized and patted on the head with some degrading contract or the other. This is the kind of poisons the leaders of all foreign companies feed our political leaders, who then give us the same bilge to imbibe. No wonder all of us are condemned to be emergency room cases, who are then quickly transported to the poor ward to lament our fate and the loss of it all.
We at this publication are tired and distressed (and furious, too) at having to share these news developments daily with the public. What is the matter with us? Do we have an inferiority complex before our one-time colonizers and now returning exploiters? When will we cut the nonsense out and get some sense? We desire what is best for our Guyanese brothers and sisters, but how can we when our political leaders continue to enslave us with these barbaric contracts and their rip-offs for provisions, be it timber, gold, and now oil.
We think that our political people should have the decency and dignity to find another calling in life, the heavy responsibilities that go with being prudent national leaders and stewards, if they are not up to the hard tasks at hand. They should cease opening their mouths wide and allowing themselves to be poisoned slowly and continually. We are not too concerned about the plight of careless leaders and weak leaders, who are helpless. What we are concerned about is that as they are being bamboozled, we are feeling the pain and paying the harsh prices for their endless stupidities, through the many giveaways.
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