Home Letters Everyone knows 250,000 barrels of oil a day is a good thing...
Bharrat Jagdeo’s outreach to Linden seems to have struck a nerve; it prompted GHK Lall to pen a missive suggesting that Jagdeo reminded him of Burnham ‘jarringly’. Burnham indeed visited Linden (then Mackenzie) so often that they changed the name to suit him; but there is where the similarity ends, for Burnham always spoke in his strongholds and markedly avoided non-PNC areas and crowds. Not so Jagdeo, who is known for walking among the people in every district of Guyana, regardless of historical voting preference/pattern.
That aside, GHK raises some issues that should provoke discussion, and for that I thank him. A comparison between Jagdeo and Burnham is interesting. GHK says “Burnham knew how to deal with the white man”, I concur, Burnham was in the employ of the CIA before he became Prime Minister, and then shockingly continued in that service after his ascension to our highest executive office. Butter did not melt in Burnham’s mouth when he asked for an increase in pay from the CIA; GHK may view this as outsmarting the ‘white man’, but Guyanese know that ‘he who pays the piper calls the tune’.
Burnham betrayed and disgraced himself (and Guyana) by taking money to further the interests of the CIA as a sitting Prime Minister. So, yes, Burnham knew how to ‘deal’ with the ‘white man’ to get small bread, but the ‘white man’ owned the mouth that ate their bread.
To read the 303 Committee meeting reports detailing Burnham’s greed is sickening, and to see such behaviour championed by GHK Lall is a reminder of how he (Lall) views ethics; it is not forgotten that it was the same GHK Lall who started a capital works project two weeks before the 2020 elections in contravention of the Laws of Guyana.
Burnham also ran up massive international debts, and took ‘the jewel of the British West Indies’ and turned it into the poorest country in the world. Burnham took ‘the food basket of the Caribbean’ and turned it into a begging bowl. Ironically, it was Bharrat Jagdeo who insisted on the Paris Club accords, and toughed his way through negotiations to reduce Guyana’s external debt by almost US$2 billion during his tenure as President.
If GHK Lall is ‘jarred’ now, he would have been astounded to see Jagdeo travelling to Washington DC alone, not even an aide to fetch his bags; contrast that with Burnham’s entourage of 137, with whom he filled Guyana Airways’ only plane to attend the Non-Aligned Summit.
GHK Lall is a remigrant, and has demonstrated ignorance of what obtained in his absence; Burnham demilitarised the Suriname border in acquiescence with the wishes of that country’s leader. President Jagdeo took the border dispute to court, and emerged in 2007 with the only border settlement since 1899.
The oil wells that are producing so much for Guyanese every day are a fruit of this labour, and I would inform GHK that the PNC sided with the Surinamese Opposition and against Jagdeo’s decision to approach the courts in this matter.
The US$10 billion Yellowtail development is the largest investment ever made in Guyana’s history, that is an indisputable fact. If GHK Lall were to mount his scooter, tour the length and breadth of Guyana, and convince every person to contribute their entire savings towards investment, it would not equal the amount being spent on Yellowtail.
Even the taxi drivers on Wall Street know that 250,000 barrels of oil a day is a good thing for Guyana and Guyanese; seems odd the ‘analyst’ does not agree.