Sep 20, 2021 Editorial
Kaieteur News – This country is on the move -shore base, gas-to-shore, deep-sea drilling, underwater mapping, and suddenly the home of people talking an altogether new language. By Guyana’s standards, this is the dawn of its space age, where it is supposed to shake off the cobwebs of its ancient ways and rush into the 21st century. So far, despite all the leadership noise and expectations of citizens, it has been more of a stumbling forward, with the hazy and secretive relaying of what this society stares at for its destiny.
Guyana is a textbook case of Rip Van Winkle stirring, with a lot of catching up to do, after his 20-year holiday. Like chronic drunks ‘coming to come’ (as Guyanese are fond of saying), we are slow and anemic off the blocks. We have hundreds of years in the gutter and cesspool to overcome in a fraction of the hours that race by us, leaving us choking in their dust.
The clock is not waiting on us, and the big, muscular, well-wired (connected), well-endowed (capital), and well-favoured (politically) Guyanese are way ahead of every other Guyanese, who make up almost all of the rest of the population. They are on the move with gigantic strides, and much assistance from political leaders, helping them to tower above their less fortunate countryfolk. The latter is left behind, all 99.99 percent of them. This is what was feared, what is becoming more obvious daily.
It means that we have overnight transformed into what is a bona fide less-than-one-percent society. Is this what Guyana has turned into with all this wealth, after all the noise? We are talking of 0.001 percent who are the Guyanese Rockefellers, Getty(s), and J.P. Morgan(s), who benefit enormously from a direct line to helpful political leaders, who partner with them to make things right for each other: the business magnates prosper and so, too, do the politicians who boost them. In this greedy grab for the treasures of this land, the rest of Guyana is left far behind, where the great bulk of citizens has always been consigned.
The less-than-one-percent elite (globally recognised as super elites, about 20 here)) is democratically spread and are feasting on this country’s natural resources banquet. Whenever they need a plot of prime land, all they have to do is say how much and where, and it is done, it is theirs. A concession, a customs wharf, clearance to carry on with what capitalism demands? Consider it done again! These are the people capitalizing on the first fruits of Guyana’s blessings, and they are less than a thousand Guyanese: oil subcontracts, mining licences, lucrative business partnerships, upstream, downstream. This is the local story of commercial and political conspirators having a grand time.
Life is sweet and rewarding. But not for the other 749,000 Guyanese.
For sure, they have jobs and contracts, and scholarships, and access, but let’s get real: the real big deals for the big boys (less-than-one-percent patriots) goes to a handful of comrades and cronies (many criminal), financiers and front men (for leaders) to cash in on the Great Guyana Bonanza.
Some of their capital is dirty, but the Americans don’t prioritise that anymore. Remember what the EU spoke of in its post-elections report. Money talks, and the less-than-one-percent people gave big millions, which added to billions. Today, these few reap incredible rewards.
Meanwhile, the smaller Guyanese in the middle don’t have a chance. They are locked out due to lack of capital, contacts, contracts that never go their way. Also, the small Guyanese, voters, get some chickenfeed held out as gold: GOAL, virus relief, tax relief, pension relief, a well here, some wellness talk over there, with a few schools and clinics and roads thrown in to sweeten the pot. And in each one of these helpful endeavours, the lesser fry (political and bureaucratic comrades) makes sure that they get their million-dollar piece of the billions doled out.
All this confirms what is present and growing stronger in Guyana -a master money race. It is the mindboggling prosperity for that special group of Guyanese, the less-than-one-percent people.
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