Sep 19, 2023 Editorial
Kaieteur News – Cricket, lovely cricket; or the calypsonian sang decades ago: wicked cricket. A cricket ground on playing day involving the host nation, Guyana, is a fine venue for expressing messages to both the local environment and the world at large.
The crowd gathered to thrill to the battle of bat and ball, and pros pouring all their energies on the field of intense competition. It is the perfect backdrop for messages about the injustices that riddle this country’s oil sector from the beginning to the daily developments that emphasize all that is wrong with this trillion-dollar oil patrimony.
It is about leadership derelictions of the most irresponsible, insidious kind. It is of the corporate piracies and plunders of global oil powerhouse ExxonMobil and its group of likeminded predators. It is of how local politicians have sold this country out, after selling themselves first. It is of many other components that negatively impact the hopes and aspirations of Guyanese, that grievously wound their potential, and that could take a toll on their rich destiny. It is of a birthright now feebly and shamelessly squandered by Guyanese politicians, who are impotent before the onslaughts of ExxonMobil.
Guyanese are staring at more than the worst of corporate and capitalist greed and covetousness. Guyanese are staring at a form of cultural imperialism, where men with considerable power in their hands are content to play second fiddle to the foreign exploiter, and fifth wheel to the white man’s assaults on the dignity of this nation. This is what the white man has done wherever he has gone in search of the treasures of others. He has converted the betrayers and divided to his side: first use them to weaken their own brothers and sisters, and while they claw at each other, hauls away the riches of a prostrateland.
Look at the people of ExxonMobil and how they have gleefully created an opening for themselves in the hearts of naïve, gullible Guyanese. There is cricket sponsorship evidenced all over the National Stadium at Providence, East Bank Demerara. The billboards and other symbols of ExxonMobil’s love for Guyanese and for one of their favorite pastimes (cricket) cost the cash rich company a handful of dimes, definitely not more than a few measly dollars. Cricket sponsorship in Guyana in 2023 is the equivalent of what the slave traders used to deliver to the African chiefs who sold their own people into slavery for a few bells and whistles and shiny mirrors.
Amid different groups of Guyanese protestors pointing to the barbarities of ExxonMobil’s 2016 oil contract, there is ExxonMobil’s people smirking to themselves about how cheaply they are getting Guyana’s oil. A billboard or two in Providence, a playground somewhere else, and a few dollars for studies at the University of Guyana are representative of the cleverness of the new slave dealers and slave masters. Throw the backward natives a couple of coins, and watch them push one another out of the way in a mad scramble for them.
This is what Guyana’s oil sector has become: cheap corporate tricks, smooth corporate gimmicks, and slick, self-enriching corporate partnerships with local political powers who matter. There are many elements of a great con game going on in Guyana today, with the continuing heist of this country’s oil at the top of the company’s agenda. It is done dirt cheap: no taxes, no ring-fencing, no control of decommissioning (cleanup) costs, no insurance of the kind that would protect and give peace of mind, no royalty of merit to speak about, no disclosure of billion-dollar bills, and no release of reports that the Guyanese just must know.
These are the monumental deficits which were emblazoned on the banners that were waved in the face of cricket-loving Guyanese, hurled before the eyes of the ExxonMobil masters in Guyana, and articulated in quiet fury and dogged insistence before a watching region, and a wider world. Guyana’s oil has led to the capture of a country, and its people being held hostage. This is the depths of unfairness, the breadth of injustice, and ExxonMobil is the godfather of both. This contract is denounced, and so also are those who profit from it, support it.
DECEPTION & CORRUPTION getting WORSE by the minute in GUYANA.
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