Sep 21, 2023 Letters
When former US president Donald Trump lost the last US elections, he tried to subjugate the US elections institutions’ decision to remain in power. The US Speaker of the House at that time, a staunch supporter of Trump, Republican Senator Mitch McConnell said while conceding the elections for current President Joe Biden that, he was disappointed that his candidate and party lost the elections, but he cannot allow one man to bend the laws of the US for his personal self-interests, as this would destroy any country.
In Guyana before, there was Forbes Burnham, and now VP Bharrat Jagdeo who is doing just that, involving himself in all and every key decision with Guyana’s wealth and business interests to the detriment of all poor Guyanese. Jagdeo is involved in decisions on mining and timber concessions, disposition of state assets and lands, and now the oil operations. When in opposition, Jagdeo criticized the oil contract signed by APNU, and like a great general making a battle cry, said he would renegotiate the oil contract and get better royalty, taxes, and ring-fencing to benefit Guyana. Not only he has failed at this, but is also removing the good things for Guyana from the contract signed by APNU, like having ExxonMobil guarantee full liability for oil spills and flaring regulations. Whenever questioned on his decisions and no-decisions regarding key oil and resources issues, he spins googlies more than Lance Gibbs, Shane Warne, Abdul Qadir, and Muttiah Muralitharan combined, his latest being, instead of having oil monitoring production system and personnel aboard the oil ships, he would use a fiber optic cable which will transmit production data from a satellite way out in outer space.
Jagdeo response to critical questions has now become: he has dealt with those issues already like contract renegotiations, ring-fencing, full cover insurance, interest rate cap, taxation, auditing Exxon’s expenses, decommissioning funds, and oil blocks relinquishment. So he would no longer entertain certain questions such as the sale of the Marriot Hotel, soon he would no longer entertain questions on the GPC sale, the AT&T shares, the Skeldon Sugar Factory, the Enmore Packaging Plant, the CJIA expansion, Harbour Bridges and so forth.
The VP’s new response to questions from KN’s reporters is that Glenn Lall wants to form a political party, if so then what? Glenn Lall, like any other Guyanese, has the democratic right to form a political party. Anyone who now criticizes the VP’s handling of the oil sector wants to form political parties as per Jagdeo, meaning probably, Melinda Janki, Janet Bulkan, Tom Zanzillo, OOGN, the IMF, the IDB, CARICOM, the World Bank, and all who raise concerns of the oil sector’s management. Whenever Guyanese call out MPs for incompetence, MPs tell them to go form political parties, when people form political parties, the same MPs complain people are forming political parties, so what should Guyanese do?
Why in this country, if an Indo Guyanese forms a political party, they get blamed for taking away PPP votes? Likewise, the same happens to an Afro Guyanese who is not PNC, taking away PNC votes. Guyanese have allowed the PPP and PNC to have the patented rights to Indo and Afro votes respectively, that’s why Guyanese and Guyana are where they are and get nowhere, even with all the wealth in this country. With Jagdeo in charge, ExxonMobil is forging ahead with more oil projects, already placing orders and contracts even as project #6 has not started as yet, maybe the 7th, 8th, 9th, 10th, and more projects are already in the pipeline, literally as Exxon forges ahead with sneering confidence as if they know all the projects will be approved with no resistance from Guyana’s MPs and Guyanese.
The public consultation with ExxonMobil has their spokesperson saying, oil spills can bankrupt oil companies if they have to provide full liability insurance. Yet this is the same ExxonMobil that said, Justice Sandil’s Kissoon ruling did not consider Exxon’s financial capability, why then and there, they were not called out as liars and hypocrites? With all this going on, Guyanese continue to complain rather than protest for betterment, doesn’t Guyanese know by now that no resolution will come out from their complaints about neglect, mismanagement, and incompetence from the current MPs? I hope Guyanese feel good making complaints just to take it off their chests as nothing will not done, so keep on complaining until pigs fly. Guyanese will not get anything done by these current MPs since, these MPs were groomed, indoctrinated, and brainwashed in the youth movements of both the PPP and PNC to be nothing more than “yes” men and women to party leaders, sitting like dead motionless dolls in a toy shop’s display window while representing Guyanese in parliament.
The PNC used to protest against all things, everything, and nothing when in opposition, now since oil started pumping and under Aubrey Norton, they have forgotten how to protest, even as the stakes are now higher than ever. The President continues to give speeches saying Guyana will become a leader in global issues, yet not even the people of Haiti, Afghanistan, or Somalia will listen to a government that is shrouded with selling out, corruption, incompetence, and sexual assault allegations, so what delusions is President Ali under?
Guyana cannot move forward, particularly for the poor, relative to its massive wealth and potential unless the current political system changes. The only way this can happen is to have independents run in elections who are not under the control of PPP and PNC leadership, this includes Glenn Lall and any Guyanese. Oil price has now gone up to US$ 90/barrel and will keep going up just like food prices in Guyana, so, will Guyanese turn to independents for political leadership? Or continue complaining on issues affecting them, all to no avail with these current MPs? If Guyanese don’t want to change the current political leadership, they might as well sing “forget my money, just gimme PNC and PPP.”
$1,000 – 5US$ for a thin slice of pumpkin.
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