Nov 24, 2022 Editorial
Kaieteur News – Thanksgiving is one of three top holidays celebrated in America. Most definitely, it is looked upon differently than the Fourth of July and the joys of Christmas. Thanksgiving is, hands down, the most solemn, the most heartfelt, holiday for Americans, especially native-born citizens who do not have those competing ties brought about by foreign birth and earlier growth. On this biggest and grandest of American holidays, some Americans are having a bigger and better Thanksgiving than they have had in recent years.
Thanks in good part to Guyana’s cheap, high-quality crude, and its nearness to American ports, the shareholders of ExxonMobil and Hess Corporation, and those companies that do business with them, are all blessed with a richer, sweeter Thanksgiving this year. Guyanese who were thankful at the beginning for their nation’s oil wealth are no longer so sure that it is going to mean anything for them, both now and in time to come. In a time of spiraling prices, the workers and families of ExxonMobil and Hess can feast on more Thanksgiving turkey, more stuffings, and more enriching gravy.
Alistair Routledge (“Mr. Best Ever Contract for Guyana”), the Country Head of Exxon Guyana is swimming in so much money that he can have his special Thanksgiving turkey flown in by specially chartered aircraft to enjoy an American Thanksgiving in Guyana. Or he can afford to fly in luxury to America to knock glasses and a few back with his cronies and fellow corporate conspirators in Irving, Texas. Anyway, that Boss Routledge celebrates his Thanksgiving, it would be on the backs of Guyanese who are forced to carry that torturous 2016 ExxonMobil oil contract for their new slave masters. It is the Guyanese taxpayers, who have to pay for the opulent luxuries of the likes of Routledge and John Hess. Guyana’s own Bharat Jagdeo sees to that, due to his ferocious resistance, his ongoing crumpling, to renegotiating the criminal 2016 contract.
Like Darren Woods and Alistair Routledge of ExxonMobil, so also John Hess CEO of the company with the same name. Hess is the man who can’t keep his mouth shut about how much the wonders of Guyana’s oil has done for his company’s profits, and what that means for workers, investors, and suppliers. Like ExxonMobil, Hess Corporation, too, is giving more to its people. Fat dividends and share buybacks, and increased stock market prices, are all handsome pluses for the Americans. They are all having a fine, if not exceptional, Thanksgiving holiday.
While the people associated with ExxonMobil and Hess partake of an exceptional Thanksgiving, the people of Guyana are forced to stare at, and deal with, days that are the essence of want and the dismal. They have all this oil, billions of barrels, and the best they can do is watch others, mainly greedy Guyanese and an army of foreigners, lift out and liftoff all their riches. Guyanese have next to nothing, on any given day, for their riches, yet they are bombarded with lavish economic numbers and government love songs, about how rich they are, and how much potential they have to prosper.
The problem with the PPPC Government’s promises is twofold. The first one is that Guyana has never lived up to its potential, it is always woefully underperforming; and this is precisely what appears to be the case again, even when room is made for the presence of oil. The local political and commercial predators at the top of the food chain, and their foreign corporate allies, grab the best of everything in sight for themselves. They leave the rest of Guyana’s poor, hungry, and needy masses to fight among themselves for the meager scraps and rancid leftovers that the high-flying foreigners and big shot locals have no use for anymore.
The second aspect of the bleakness for Guyanese, despite fabulous oil finds, is that their time for prosperity never seems to come; it is always so tantalisingly near, yet just as often far out of reach. So, it is a great Thanksgiving Day for Americans, and a long, endless stretch of days of mourning for Guyanese. Routledge and Hess celebrating with Ali and Jagdeo pretending, while Guyanese scrambling and quarreling.
Exxon has to put up a sign board across the Demerara Harbour Bridge to tell Guyanese what % of revenue we are getting from the Stabroek Block!
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