Aug 10, 2022 Editorial
Kaieteur News – Is this country’s Vice President of Oil, Bharrat Jagdeo, at long last seeing the light, actually being touched by its rays? Has he really been listening all along to the intensifying clamours from many Guyanese minds and mouths about their concerns with Guyana’s crime-of-the-century oil contract with ExxonMobil? Is the Vice President feeling the heat of rising temperatures from locals on how they view this monstrous oil deal, and what it means for them, in how it cheats them? Or is it yet another instance of more leadership games being played by the Vice President who now stands as a proven master with such slick skills?
It is clear that Vice President Jagdeo has not merely changed his mouth, but he has shifted his prior postures (“Jagdeo flip-flops on Exxon contract…now saying that the deal “not the worst in the world” …attacks critics who point out flaws in the deal” -KN August 8). Every day that dawns in Guyana delivers a new wonder, with the latest being this turnaround by Mr. Jagdeo. There could not have been any harsher critic of this rotten, villainous oil deal than the Vice President himself. He never missed a beat in beating down the Coalition executed oil contract on behalf of the Guyanese people. Mr. Jagdeo made sure his people followed suit in trashing the former Coalition Government’s oil deal, with scorching language about it being an unimaginable horror for Guyana, among the most heinous of capital crimes ever committed in the history of the world. But today, he signals a change in his tune, and his people are sure to quickly fall in line and join the chorus singing the praises of a horrible oil contract, which now finds favour in PPP/C Government quarters.
“It is not the worst in the world” and for that a word of thanks is due to Mr. Jagdeo for his conversion, his born-again status. Now like a true believer, he sets his sights on infidels (critics), those not toeing he and his party’s new line on the contract. He denounces those who assert that the contract in its many enslaving provisions is nothing but a hard, choking yoke around the neck of this nation, and all its peoples. This is nothing new for us at this publication, for we have grown accustomed to being the messenger singled out and vilified for exposing truths, and the nakedness of governments and leaders, without exception. The messenger is always the first to pay the worst of prices.
We can deal with that, but how does the wily Vice President Jagdeo plan to deal with this not-so-worst contract in the world? He has cleverly staked out the position that he and his PPP/C Government are trapped in the middle, so that it would require a lot of time and wisdom to move on the contract. He refuses to renegotiate, which is on record, since it was what was promised. Today, rather artfully, what Mr. Jagdeo has just succeeded in doing is dangle change in the air, while giving himself breathing space to ease the squeezes coming at a rising level from enraged and impatient Guyanese. At the end of the day, and however this is analysed, what Guyanese heard was that the PPP/C Government is only going to move when it is good and ready on the oil contract for the urgently needed improvements. And, more importantly, when ExxonMobil signals its own interest in listening, and giving a little crumb here and there to pacify hostile, and increasingly outspoken, Guyanese. In other words, any renegotiation of this horror story of a contract will only begin when ExxonMobil is ready. It is not because the Vice President and his Government found the fearlessness and straightness to make such renegotiation a prime component for continued oil production in this country by anyone.
What should be obvious to all citizens watching and listening to the Vice President is how much this confirms that there is so little that separates the PPP/C and the APNU+AFC, whether they are in government or in opposition. They promise, they betray, they live to govern, and continue the partnering with those who cheat us and rob all Guyanese.
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