Kaieteur News – Exxon and its people have been allowed the luxury of a long, tranquil holiday. Longer than mine. Now it is time that the tranquil bubble of Exxon be ruptured, and the bright glare of constant high beams be shone on its conduct and operations in Guyana. Guyanese take their eyes off of Exxon momentarily, and the odds are that lasting regret follows.
Return to late November/early December last year. There were simmering border developments from Venezuela, which distracted Guyanese from their already existing thorn in the eye, and most worrying invader, predator, and usurper. Venezuela has set its covetous eyes on Essequibo, a huge chunk of Guyana. On the other hand, Exxon has conducted a bloodless invasion of Guyana, and usurped its sovereignty.
Nothing is left: parliament is in Exxon’s bag; the PPP Government is at Exxon’s command, in its pocket; the PNC Opposition is in thrall of Exxon, impressed by the power it wields, and hopeful of what could happen to those who behave themselves by toeing the company’s line, being placid. This alone should emphasize the comparison between Venezuela and Exxon, and about which is greedier, more dangerous to Guyana, and more entrenched and determined. Exxon does not have to be anxious about America, or a British warship, or a visiting US general.
Refocusing on Venezuela and the controversy driven by Maduro, there was the Argyle Declaration, support from Canada, France, and assorted others. Guyanese were delighted. Many citizens got lost along the way. Was this a situation where those supporting this country loved Guyana’s cheap oil more, and loved Guyanese less.
Whatever the answer, this distracted Guyanese from keeping their gaze unswervingly fixed on Exxon. What is it up to? What new tricks to swindle Guyana was on the company’s drawing board? Turn one’s back on a cobra or a stingray, and it could be a goner. Just ask that Australian, the late Crocodile Dundee, if a connection could somehow be made to the twilight zone. Exxon is such a hustler, stalker, monster, predator to Guyana. Don’t take my word for it, just read the independent newspapers. When Venezuela and Maduro reared up, Exxon and Routledge got a chance to lie low, let the local whirlwinds pass overhead.
Next came the Christmas holidays, the month-long celebrations that spillover into early January. Guyanese consumed and were so consumed with such things, that Exxon was able to have its own celebration in a rare moment of peace. No lashes. No microscopic scrutiny. No hard stares, no hard squeezes. And no Hard Truths for an interlude. Even the devil must rest. Well, all that is now over, and it was time to breach Exxon’s peace, and resume the battle for better for Guyana. But one more interruption interfered that cannot be avoided, or delayed indefinitely.
It is the turn of the national budget, and Exxon and Mister Routledge received another lengthy reprieve. It is interesting how much passion and energy Guyanese can summon at the flash of an eyelash, to trash and bash other Guyanese. I must ask Mr. Routledge whenever I encounter him about what he thinks of the circus in parliament.
Truth be told, there is the sense that he and Exxon must have something to do with the way opposing members taunt, mangle, and disparage each other. Lest I forget there is the deplorable indifference of the Hon Speaker of the House. No Patrick O’Neill or Newt Gingrich is he. Keep the crab barrel busy. The lunatics have taken over the asylum, in the time-honored manner of One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest. All this is to the advantage of Exxon, which comes in for yet another moment of shelter from the scorching glare of Guyanese.
No need to worry fellow Guyanese. Because whenever the opening is present, I drag Exxon (and Mr. Routledge) into the middle of the conversation. If Guyana had received more, as in its fair and rightful share, then there would be no need for the volatile local environment, along with the crude politics, boorish antics, and loud hysterics.
If only Big Boss Bharrat J had rolled up his sleeves and muscled Exxon around, like he does and tries doing with some Guyanese, then there is no telling where the Guyanese owners of this oil would have been. If only Exxon had done the honorable and delivered the best of the hallowed American Way to Guyanese, then there would be no place for all the noise and performances. I keep the names of Exxon and Mr. Routledge in the spotlight, for such is due to the reigning monarchs of Guyana.
It is the right of all other Guyanese to curtsy, bow, and kneel before Exxon and Alistair the Great. Not I, sire. Other Guyanese are free to lineup for Exxon’s friendship and favors. Don’t look this way, please. Last, every other Guyanese from top to bottom, and across [the aisles], can take Exxon’s money to damage their fellow Guyanese. Don’t even cast eyes in this direction. The heat is on. Stays on Exxon. Deal with it, Mr. Routledge. The world watches, reads.
(The views expressed in this article are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the opinions and beliefs of this newspaper and its affiliates.)
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