Feb 22, 2021 Letters
Guyanese behaviour follows a pattern. Guyanese climb to incredible heights, then they slink away whimpering to their dismal corners, where they bicker and brawl endlessly. They watch raindrops that bring sneezing, but ignore the storms that introduces flooding.
For nineteen months, there were no more agitated and acrimonious people anywhere than Guyanese. Those who honestly desired to be above the fray either got sucked in, or pushed in, or collapsed upon themselves when they should have known better. I talk about elections. To repeat an oft stated conviction, last year’s elections was not of democracy, but of our internal selfishness and greed, and of the externals around us. Those were the motivating ingredients that made us soar with rank stupidities, crudities, and bigotries. We were fighting for the ascendancy, not of democratic (cut that crap out) rulership, but of tribal ascendancy and racial governorship. That is well known.
Previously, it was about the spoils of natural resources and personal benefits that divided and drove to madness. We blamed Burnham and Jagan, and they did make their contributions. We blame the British and they are not unblemished. But, as we do so, we are not looking at what and where matters the most. That is, at ourselves. We allow ourselves to be divided, because we want to be so, we like it, no matter the imbecilic denials that come from learned to losers. And that was when the potential political and racial plunder was rich, but on the thin side. We hated then, and we fought then for supremacy. So, why shouldn’t we, and why wouldn’t we be far worse, when the prospects dangled before us, confirm a multiplication of wealth for every Guyanese a thousand fold?
Editor, the oil came with a trickle, and then with an ocean of prosperity highly likely. It was enough to transform weak saints into something unimagined, to make martyrs forget the spiritual and snare a barrel of oil goodies for themselves. To put differently, oil opened up visions, the palpable reality, of enormous wealth for every man Jack, and that was enough to make forgetting mother and father, wife and children, and God and principles. This was the sum of struggle in the last elections, not the ethos of democracy, with which make us mad. It was what intensified our divisions and hatreds more. Guyanese flew in trajectories not seen before; but now they melt when real challenge come. That of standing for what is right, what is best for us. We must appreciate what all the noise was about under the charade of democracy: merely money and the supremacy for the personal prospering of a few.
For here we are, again having Exxon by the gonads, and there are Guyanese in the divide, who are well-perched to feather their nests, who rise up against other Guyanese, who dare to call for applying the squeeze on Exxon. The squeeze for careless and dangerous gas flaring; the squeezes that were not applied for Payara, and subsequent oil developments. Exxon’s billion-dollar shareholders are applying the squeeze for climate change (Blackrock being the latest), but divided Guyanese shrink from doing so. Instead, they attack the messengers from the ambush of social media and the backstabbing of don’t go so far. Why not? Because their relationships will be strained; their bankrolls held up; their brutish greed unfulfilled.
Exxon had us against a wall with money, expertise, and technology and it didn’t spare us. It went below the belt and held Venezuela over our head, which we weren’t spared (2%); so confident was the company in Sarah Ann Lynch and Michael Pompeo, and those who officially follow. It is why I say that we should not be sparing of Exxon in any way today. Exxon bought the silence of our political leaders, who can’t even speak to take shame from their faces. Exxon has bought out Guyana’s elites, professionals, civil society, and the whole sorry lot of them masquerading under one joint program after another. It is why they say: go easy. Don’t shut Exxon down. I say to hell with that. The company is vulnerable, squeeze it and rock it: shut down its operations until it fixes gas flaring satisfactorily. Exxon can’t afford delays. We can.
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