Sep 21, 2021 Letters
Reference is made to the article titled, “Refusal to remove unfair terms in oil deals could be destabilising to countries – Chatham House” (KN September 20). I see this, through the eyes of Guyana’s Vice President (VP), and sense opportunity for improvement with this oil. If he is serious about promises, he must get dirty, which he knows how.
Every Guyanese recognises the deal is severely disadvantaging to this country, be they PPP/C, PNC, VP, or me. Never liked it, but understood its underpinnings. I said it before and say again: if I am Guyana’s leader, meaning the VP, I would seize any opening (including Chatham House’s) to squeeze Exxon. The onerous oil deal can potentially destabilise Guyana. The CIA or America or Russia or Venezuela does not have to destabilise Guyana, the oil deal could, though. If I am the VP that is what I would latch on to, and wield like a battle-axe. I spell out, so all can understand, with one audience in mind: the almighty VP. He has shown repeatedly that when he desires to get his way, he does not allow niceties (broadly interpreted) to interfere; a proven strength.
His approach to Exxon should be laid out in this manner. The people are unhappy, they are agitated. Menacing. That is not good, since the last thing the oil powers (and country backers) wish for is what is called ‘political instability’ in a heaving social environment. The VP’s position must be: I have difficulty holding them in check, and I am trying, but I am not optimistic that I can hold them. By the way, when ‘people’ are spoken of, it is not just PNC people, but also my own people. He has to deliver that with the same straight face, which he has practiced well before Guyanese and the Western world. So, I encourage this, when so much is at stake, so he can get to look very good in doing so, while getting something better for Guyana. What is Exxon going to do? Take us to court? Call in the gunboats? Dare I say it -sanctions? Exxon plays dirty, Guyana must, too.
Editor let’s be frank. The VP is a proven and outstanding Machiavellian operator. He can do this, because he is familiar with the dark and dirty. Meaning, that if he has to rile up some of his own people, get in the face of Exxon, he knows how. He can arrange that without much sweat. I suggest Guardians of Democracy, for a start. Why, even I would join in such native anxieties. In sum, I think that if the VP wishes to deliver proof of what destabilising looks like, he can arrange for a bunch of rowdy picketers in front of Freedom House. The only negative is that his private sector allies-mostly corrupt-would object. Still, I think he can do it, namely, wring Exxon’s hands. The other problem is that he is handicapped, doesn’t want to do so. Skeletons.
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