Jul 12, 2021 Editorial
Kaieteur News – It had to come out in the open at some time, and we put it before all Guyana. There are some familiar names now returning to position themselves to capitalise on our riches. As reported by this paper, “Eco Atlantic grabs up shares in suspiciously awarded Canje Block” (KN June 29). Eco Atlantic is not a new name. It should not be to watchful Guyanese. And the ‘suspicious’ has always been a monstrous part of our oil sector politics and management.
It is telling that in the biggest, richest development ever to hit Guyana, has been visited with mostly the hazy and ugly. It has been one ongoing leadership secrecy after another, with the latest being the acquisition by Eco Atlantic of a “10 percent interest in JHI Associates Inc.” This is another chess piece moved into place from time to time, to reveal how this nation’s oil business is handled by our political leaders in successive governments. As revealed by this paper, it was the PPP in the first instance, followed by the APNU+AFC Coalition, and back with the PPP again, which is now bent on closing out loose ends from old oil business and continuing with new ones. They are all suspicious operations, and the arrangements with JHI Associates Inc. did smack of much underhanded dealings by the prior PPP regime.
We at this publication had written about, and presented at length, the dirty dealings involving the Kaieteur and Canje Blocks. Today’s PPP leaders have slipped and slid around questions. Leaders now gone, the former president and former Minister of Natural Resources, have both danced and dodged around who knew what and did what, but with one notable position being made clear. That is, nobody (repeat, not one of the former PPP leaders at the helm in their government) has taken any responsibility for the oil vulgarities and oil skullduggeries that happened with the Kaieteur and Canje Blocks. In fact, one leader was so bold as to bluster that there was no law broken.
Since, as the man said, no law was broken, then it would be helpful for Guyanese to know why there was the need for such secrecy in the disposition of those two rich oil blocks, with unknown names like JHI Associates and Mid Atlantic Oil and Gas being awarded the two blocks. Both of the companies and their people had no experience in deep water oil exploration, but they somehow walked away, under cloudy arrangements and partnerships with local politicians, with two of Guyana’s oil blocks, which are proving to be fabulously enriching catches.
It should not escape the attention of alert Guyanese that there is one constant in the darkness and many highly likely corruptions surrounding the handling and disposing of this nation’s oil wealth.
There was one behind the scenes political leader wielding all the influence that mattered. Today, there is that one same leader again brandishing all the power relative to the decisions (and people to benefit) from our oil bonanza. At the core of all of this, there are people involved and arrangements made that reek of the suspicious, and the corrupt.
The coalition has come and gone, after leaving its own legacy of huge mistakes and a series of mismanagement deeds. The PPP was there before, and started the trail of darkness on this oil, and today it continues with more of the same shady underhanded behaviours. That much has been constant, with the costly coming for this country and its citizens.
In this network of secret dealings among Guyanese politicians and foreign partners, it is clear that the incestuous is at work.
There is a maze of below the table relationships that all seem distant and unconnected at the beginning. Nonetheless, with the passage of time, there come these revelations of all of them feeding off of each other, and linking right back to one another. In the centre of all of these oil shenanigans are some of Guyana’s leading political players. Some are on the sidelines counting their blessings, while one is in the forefront and is the poster for deception, suspicion, and corruption. This latest Eco Atlantic share grab continues the story, and continues Guyana’s oil curse.
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