Apr 10, 2021 Editorial
Kaieteur News – Two of our top captions in last Sunday’s edition of this paper tell us where we truly are and what is ahead of us. The oil is there in the most attractive commercial quantities, but here we are shut out by some foreigners who come to exploit the rich business prospects available here. And as they shut us out, our leaders are content to shut up and say nothing, while we are in a fight for a piece of the oil action. Any piece will do, but even the scraps appear to be outside of the grasp of Guyanese.
The first story was titled, “Exxon contractor snubs local firm; cites lack of experience in supplying safety hats, gloves and vests.” And the second also from the April 4th edition was, “Guyanese deserve a fighting chance for oil contracts – GCCI Official.” We will tell our fellow Guyanese what we think of those two stories specifically, and where we stand on this oil in broader terms. We focus first on the second story.
Guyanese deserve more than a fighting chance, for this oil is theirs. Guyanese deserve the first chance, the best chance, the highest priority chance, and not the chance that comes from pitiful charity or foreign paternal condescension. A fighting chance infers that we compete with others, that we are stretching our hands for a handout. We are not, and if we are, then that should not be. This is our oil, and we Guyanese deserve and are due the foremost consideration for oil contracts. This is not the throwaway of some cheap, ragged bone of business to keep us distracted from those who take advantage of us, while they reduce us to growling and fighting among each other, like mangy dogs left to fend for themselves in the naked street. But this is the reality of the circumstances delivered to us by one government after another, and which the current one is taking to new depths on an almost daily basis.
Using the GCCI official’s statement and position as backdrop, we now take aim at that disturbing first story, which we repeat here so that the full import of what is happening can strike us in the face like the coldest rain, and bring us to our senses in the most jarring way possible. The headline is: “Exxon contractor snubs local firm; cites lack of experience supplying safety hats, gloves, and vests.” We are shocked at what we can only describe as insulting and humiliating to us. But there is more than that, we are mad as hell. But even as that anger boils, we calmly ask these few simple questions, which we sincerely hope would stir our countrymen and women to a similar state of acute agitations.
If we cannot instill confidence in our abilities and are not considered competent in supplying things as basic as hats, gloves, and vests, then what can we possibly supply? What are Guyanese firms and citizens trusted and allowed to supply? Can they, the locals, offer anything that is acceptable? If we believed to not be able to buy the bolts and nuts of the oil business (hats, gloves, and vests), then what in the world can be put in our hands for us to run with, and come back with in timely execution and consumption of contracts awarded? It just might be nothing.
From the perspective of that Exxon contractor, Guyanese are not fit and proper to be involved in things that call for responsibility, or flexibility, or creativity. By that same token, Guyanese can be cited for a failure at anything and everything.
By the standards of this Exxon contractor, we may only be trusted to wash the vehicles of the new foreign colonisers, shine the shoes of the oil enslavers, and be human beasts of burden to unload their big ships with their big loads, which they use to cart away big money from our oil. It is becoming more and more obvious that Guyanese will have more than a fighting chance to wash cars, shine shoes, take out garbage, and unload ships and trucks. Though the GCCI official may not have meant that, in the thinking of that Exxon contractor, Guyanese would have the best chances at those, and for one simple reason. They would be the only ones scrapping for all of that, which are the only things left for them.
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