Sep 11, 2022 Editorial
Kaieteur News – Guyana’s Vice President, Bharrat Jagdeo, stands as the best partner for the interests of foreigners. Guyana’s Oil Minister is the best friend that all the foreign oil companies could have in their corner. Mr. Jagdeo pushes and pushes endlessly, tirelessly for what is best for the foreign oil companies, as they explore in and produce from our rich offshore oilfields. When Mr. Jagdeo conducts himself so unconcernedly, so unashamedly, for what prospers the leaders, shareholders, suppliers, and workers of the likes of American oil operators, such as ExxonMobil and Hess Corporation, and not to forget China National Offshore Oil Company, then he loses sight of what is right, what is proper, and what is best for Guyana.
We invite anyone from Guyana, or anywhere, to review the Vice President’s record of words and actions, and there is a story of a leader who has either mixed up his priorities, or lost his way entirely on how he went over to the other side, the side of the foreigners, and none more than the foreign oil companies. When Guyana’s biggest prize, its richest patrimony, is involved, this country’s own Vice President, is closest to what works out to be most prospering to ExxonMobil and Hess Corp. It should hardly come as a surprise that the leaders of those two American companies are boasting and crowing before the world about how good Guyana has been and is going to be for them for years to come.
Pick an area that benefits ExxonMobil and its partners, and there is Guyana’s Vice President Jagdeo leading the charge with his constant loud and determined defenses for the foreigners. It does not seem to matter at all to Mr. Jagdeo that on each occasion that he rushes to the forefront on behalf of ExxonMobil and others that Guyana’s interests are left behind, and that Guyana’s future prosperity is weakened. If it is ring-fencing, Mr. Jagdeo is a study in let’s wait and see, the time is not ripe, the time will come, but it is not today. Naturally, the oil companies are delighted since they can carry on their shenanigans with moving, even duplicating, expenses from one offshore project to another, at will, and all because Mr. Jagdeo does not possess the courage to put it on the table before the foreigners. It is as if he is waiting for a signal from them, regarding when the time is right to approach such issues that would help Guyana get fairness from its oil.
On the issue of full liability coverage for Guyana in the instance of a disastrous oil spill, Mr. Jagdeo does not manifest the same energy and passion, which have been the norm when he goes after Guyanese who dare to disagree with him, object to the way, on how he manages this trillion-dollar (U.S.) oil business that is in his hands. When he should be confronting ExxonMobil for that non-negotiable protection, he wimps out, is a frail shadow of the aggressive figure he usually is with Guyanese, and speaks limply of waiting for “acknowledgement” and some vagueness of ‘up to US$2B’ in coverage. For this vital issue, Guyana’s oil leader should be standing straight and tall, and getting in the faces of Routledge and Woods to make it clear to them that this full liability coverage has to be had, and it must be now. No more pussyfooting on it by them, and only when he does so insistently and powerfully, would he cease being the voiceless, listless, clawless pussycat that he becomes, when he is around the foreign people.
Look at renegotiation of the oil contract that Mr. Jagdeo and his party promised so sincerely to deliver, but about which he is now all on ExxonMobil’s side, while leaving Guyanese cheated and feeling the pangs of leadership betrayals. It will happen sometime, but not now, is Mr. Jagdeo’s present mantra. If ExxonMobil has its way, sometime will be never, and they have just the man to maintain their rich reality, their serial raping of Guyana’s lush oil resource. His name is Bharrat Jagdeo and he is mostly about what is good for ExxonMobil, and so much about what is impoverishing for Guyana.
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