Sep 08, 2023 Editorial
Kaieteur News – With each startling new development out of the oil sector, there is greater confirmation for Guyanese of how ExxonMobil more than runs this country. What emerges with each new revelation is that ExxonMobil owns this country. Like any powerful property owner, ExxonMobil decides what it will do, when it will do it, and who should be told. The Government of Guyana does not exist in this scenario, and if does, then from President Ali to Vice President Jagdeo are content to play fifth and sixth wheel to ExxonMobil’s commander’s coach. The news concerning the relinquishment of a significant part of the Kaieteur oil block stands as a blinding example of how much ExxonMobil is in charge here, and how feeble the PPP/C Government is in the American company’s schemes.
A part of the huge Kaieteur Block had to be handed back to Guyana over a year ago. ExxonMobil decided to hold on to 45% of the block that by law had to be relinquished. It is not clear what role President Ali and Vice President Jagdeo, if any, in this ExxonMobil development; or even if they were consulted at all about the 45% that the company had to give back, but which it has not done so far. The Guyanese people who are the actual owners (Ali and Jagdeo doesn’t own anything) of the Kaieteur Block were kept in the dark, with the PPPC Government not having the decency and integrity to say something. Indeed, this is the glittering transparency of which President Ali boasts so shallowly, only for developments like these to fly right back in his face, and make him look less than presidential.
What is going on here is this: the people with top drawer smarts at ExxonMobil study at length their Guyana treasure house, and are awed by the sheer magnitude of what they have in hand via the ugly, monstrously unfair 2016 oil contract. For example, this Kaieteur Block has an area of13,500 square kilometers, which is bigger than either Jamaica or Trinidad. In that block alone, it could be said that ExxonMobil owns and controls two countries, and with billions of barrels of oil equivalents estimated.
From all appearances, with special emphasis on the extraordinary tight-lipped nature of the PPP/C Government of over a year and counting, it is obvious that ExxonMobil’s power is so unchallengeable that it treats our top people like either yo-yos or children. In the former, they are bounced around at the whim of Exxon. In the second, it is as if they are told to sit and stay quiet (be seen and not heard) by the people at ExxonMobil, and they do. Here is Guyana, a sovereign nation, and it is one without eyesight or teeth. In the hands of ExxonMobil, Guyana’s sovereignty is non-existent, which prompts them to walk all over this sold-out nation, and it’s now prostrate PPP/C Government.
With an estimated 2 billion plus barrels of oil in the block, it transforms into a prize possession of ExxonMobil, with the high probability of significant discoveries in the block waiting to be tapped. This explains why ExxonMobil holds tightly to 45% should have been relinquished. For here we are emptyhanded, and with a government and leadership empty of the self-respect to come forward and makeup some excuse as to why 45% of Kaieteur Block remains in ExxonMobil’s hands. Vice President Jagdeo is usually thunderous at those who press for answers on things like these. Yet he has retreated into monastic silence on the Kaieteur Block and the 45% of it that should be back with Guyana. He may be seeking divine guidance.
What conclusion is a reasonable citizen left to form when matters settle to this baffling state? It could only be that ExxonMobil has Guyana’s leaders under its thumb, jumping to its every wish or there was a memory lapse in informing Guyanese about this one-year-old non-relinquishment. Given where matters stand with this 45% of the Kaieteur Block, no Guyanese of conscience should need a word of evidence more as to who is running this country. It is not the PPP/C Government or, who owns it, and that does not look like the Guyanese people.
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