2nd of August, 2020. Georgetown, Guyana, South America.Last updated: August 2, 2020 at 13:40 pm
Guyana is potentially a rich country – with the first 100 million USD having poured in from oil revenues – and many more expected to follow.
The Fund received its first revenue of US$54.93 million on March 11 from the country’s initial million-barrel oil cargo. Royalty payments for the first quarter closely followed, amounting to US$4,909,505. Then on June 10, an additional sum of US$35,063,582 was deposited into the NRF account for the second million-barrel oil lift pushing the amount in the fund to US$94,921,803. Added to the second royalty payment (US$3,698,152.63), the total deposit into the NRF account so far now amounts to US$98,619,955.Source: OilNow.gy
But the people of Guyana are still struggling on the ground – unable to enjoy the benefits of the economic springboard due to corrupt politicians who are hellbent on controlling Guyana’s oil wealth. The country is now polarized not along ethnic lines – but along lines of political sentiments and ideologies. The APNU/AFC leans more towards the Burnham/PNC leadership mentality while the PPP/C follows in the footsteps of the late Dr. Cheddi Jagan – who took office from the PNC in 1992.
The lust and lure of oil wealth magnetizes the two forces to the seat of government – with the emerging political parties such as the LJP and ANUG serving as referees in the game of politics. The incumbent APNU/AFC has lost the March 2, 2020 elections but is doing everything in its power to remain in office. And this includes acting through corrupt political agents such as the Returning Officer of Region 4, Mr. Clairmont Mingo and the CEO of GECOM, Mr. Keith Lowenfield.
The United States has already implemented the first and second phases of sanctions against APNU/AFC and their partners with warnings of more to come if they do not step down and allow a democratic transition of government. The United Kingdom has also stated that is has started the process of implementing sanctions against the APNU/AFC if they continue along their path of undermining democracy in Guyana.
Meanwhile, some diehard APNU/AFC supporters are calling for their leaders to remain in power regardless of the consequences of sanctions and international isolation.
On the local scenes, while GECOM has, for 5 long months, failed to deliver a result of the March 2, 2020 elections, the leader of the opposition, Dr. Bharrat Jagdeo, has finally agreed to meet with Mr. David Granger, leader of the incumbent APNU/AFC, to discuss the way forward and hopefully end the political stalemate that has held the country at ransom since March 2.
Having lost the March 2 elections and all attempts of rigging having been thwarted, the APNU/AFC is now crying out for shared governance with the man they once slapped with 19 alleged fraud charges – Dr. Irfaan Ali – the presidential candidate of the PPP/C and winner of the March 2, elections in Guyana.
The APNU/AFC government has long boasted of its partnership with ExxonMobil to bring unprecedented oil riches to Guyana, but many critics have condemned the agreements signed as unfair, lopsided and parasitic in nature to the country of Guyana. When the APNU/AFC government fell by a no-confidence motion in December, 2018, the David Granger Administration, clinging illegally to office, rushed to fast-track the oil production – pushing the sale of the first million barrels of crude to December 2019 instead of previously projected early 2020. Nevertheless, this “landmark achievement” failed to win the hearts of the electorate who voted the APNU/AFC out of government in the March 2, 2020 elections.
With Dr. Bharrat Jagdeo and Mr. David Granger expected to meet today, 2nd of August, the country is hopeful that a viable resolution will be agreed upon. While the APNU/AFC government is hoping to strike a middle path with the leader of the opposition, the world is crying out that democracy must prevail. We’d like to see how this one ends.