The day after…the Garden Party!

Looking at the just-concluded “Agri Investment Forum and Expo”, your Eyewitness couldn’t help thinking that VP Jagdeo must’ve been humming that old Rickey Nelson hit, “Garden Party” as he tried to keep a smirk off his face!! You remember? “I went to a garden party/ To reminisce with my old friends/ A chance to share old memories/ Play our songs again”.
After all, wasn’t this “déjà vu all over again on Agri – without the bells and whistles, of course – from the decade when as President he’d tried to get Agri on their agenda? Which proposal that the Caribbean Leaders were now extolling hadn’t been in the “Jagdeo Initiative”?? Justification to reduce food bill? Transportation? Financing? Trade barriers? Land in Guyana for cultivation? He must’ve thought “Been there….done that!!” So the tune continued…
“When I got to the garden party/ They all knew my name/ No one recognised me/ I didn’t look the same/ But it’s all right now/ I learned my lesson well/ You see, you can’t please everyone/ So you got to please yourself / People came from miles around/ Everyone was there”. Everyone knew the name “Jagdeo”. After all, they had to’ve been briefed on the Agri Summit – and the Jagdeo Initiative” had to be in the top of THAT agenda!!
At that first go-around everyone had given lip service to his proposals. But even with the land he was offering in Guyana, there wasn’t a single taker!! What was it? Just laziness? Or they figured that Guyana would benefit inordinately and just did not want that to happen? Didn’t one of them call Jagdeo a “panhandler” for seeking aid for Guyana?? Didn’t Trinidad’s Manning take the ideas and launched 8 “Mega Farms” in Trinidad…only to see them all collapse in a few years? So yes!! From what unfolded at the Expo…Jagdeo did “learn his lesson well”!!
The difference, of course, is that if push comes to shove…we can now go it all alone!! With our oil…we got the money! And with the land – and most importantly, folks who don’t mind getting their toes into mud! – it can all come together here!! So, the enthusiasm we saw from the Caribbean leaders comes from getting in on the ground floor of a fast-rising skyscraper of Agricultural opportunities!! After all, “food security” is now Global!!
One positive development from this Expo is the incorporation of timelines for accomplishing intermediate goals. Guyana has to monitor these and now has the clout to give some not-too-gentle-reminders to foot draggers!
All in all, it certainly was a very successful Garden Party!! Everyone left with a smile on their face and a spring in their steps!!

…the meeting with LoO
As your Eyewitness had pointed out…the first meeting between the President and the LoO hadn’t gone too well. That was to be expected, but was still disappointing. How’d you go from dubbing the President’s Administration an “illegally-installed cabal” to “skin teeth” bonhomie? Your Eyewitness had expected that first meeting to be an ice-breaker.
But it seemed to’ve been a jaw breaker!! Whatever goodwill might’ve been generated very quickly dissipated after the LoO’s second started cavilling about what was discussed!! Hey…it’s the responsibility of the President to set the agenda on appointments!! And from what we’re seeing (and hearing!) he was spot on not to bring up Judicial appointments. With Chris Jones taking the appointment of the acting CoP to the Courts…without waiting for the “meaningful consultations” to be scheduled – the President’s being strong armed.
And we can only expect a pushback. Which doesn’t bode well for the parliamentary democracy that’s in sight at long last!!

…the fishes went
As a “Gillbacka” connoisseur, your Eyewitness has a personal stake in this fishy business between lower catches and drilling for oil in the Atlantic. The FAO says there’s no connection. So, what is it? Folks wanna know!!