Sep 05, 2021 Editorial
Kaieteur News – Trust us! Trust us! Trust us! Though the managers of Exxon did not actually utter those two self-serving words, it is clear that this is what they think should be, and from their smug faces that is exactly what they expect. When Exxon’s top brass and accountants did that with an increasing local content bill (“Exxon’s unaudited local content bill climbs to $19B” KN August 31), they have nothing else on their minds, other than full acceptance by Guyanese leaders and the Guyanese people.
Exxon is right in terms of Guyanese political leaders, who bow to its twisted will, and dance to its tune, since they give off the strongest scent of the tainted and woefully comprised. Leaders in the previous coalition government and this current PPP Government are noticeable for their timidity in dealing with Exxon’s financial rapaciousness. Similarly, the impotence of leaders is remarkable for their failure in calling out the company for what it is: a first-rate deceiver for a partner, a possible padderin what it claims, and an exaggerator in what it presents, as monies spent for local content benefits.
We have serious problems with what Exxon swells and forces down Guyanese throats. The $19B is debatable, with Exxon most likely guilty of inflating what it truly spent on Guyanese local content. In addition, we challenge that aspect of more than 750 Guyanese vendors of goods and services in numerous streams of activity, since we cannot believe without supporting details. We want to see the specifics for ourselves. That may be good enough for the President and Vice President, both the essence of slavish cooperating and nodding their heads in support of everything that Exxon puts forward, but it is not good enough for us.
We repeat our position so that all are clear, especially Exxon and its local political partners: presenting to this country insulting, bulked-up number of billions in spending, and impressive sounding figures about workforce increases and the like are not satisfactory. Until Exxon steps up and delivers the concrete details behind those billions and other related activity claimed to be engaged in, we disbelieve them as fanciful, and lacking in credibility. Exxon has not dealt fairly and cleanly with Guyana from the inception. It has obscured, it has deceived, it has ripped off Guyanese at every opportunity, knowing full well that one political leader and government after the other gives it carte blanche to conduct its business with Guyana in this manner, and to deliver what and how it does, without either exposure, or objection, or the sharpest condemnation.
Well, we have news for the people at Exxon and their political cronies in Guyana: we will continue to expose these types of financial sleights-of-hand with numbers and dollars. We will persist with our firm and frank objections on the underhanded things that the company does. And we will condemn, without letup, the attempted and actual skullduggeries of Exxon when it tries to pull these fast ones. We are not that slow, and we certainly are not stupid; at least, not to the extent that sophisticated Exxon manager may think that should be, that the devious is not recognised. That is the shabby lot of our political leaders in the PPP Government, as it was in the coalition government during the 2015 to 2020 period. They can roll over and pretend at dying, like the sellouts they are. Just don’t expect that of us and a growing number of Guyanese.
It is our belief, to some degree our knowledge, that Exxon has so wrapped up our political leaders into docile slavishness, there is the expectation on the company’s part, that the rest of Guyana would follow suit. That is, get down on our knees, lick the feet of the company’s managers, and eat out of the company peoples’ hands, while pretending to be well pleased with the kind of trusted partner that we have in our oil corner. There are serious problems with that, for we are not that kind of people. Our politicians and others can line up to do that, not us. We do not trust Exxon, and it just proved us right with this vague, hazy $19B local content claim.
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