I am saddened and felt sick of the giveaway of our patrimony - Kaieteur News (2024)

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May 01, 2024 Letters

Dear Editor,

I am saddened and felt sickafter reading of the many new developments related to the extraction and perhaps more succinctly put, the exploitation of our vast non-renewable, and I repeat non-renewable natural resources particularly in gold mining, oil and gas.

The latest of course, by way of example is the report of a gold prospecting entity that announced that it sold 57% shares of its Guyana gold project for some US$638 million (C$875 million), days after receiving a go ahead from the Guyana Government.

Then there is the lopsided agreement inked by a Government which I supported in 2016 and in spite of promises made then by the current administration, we hear this Anansi story about the sanctity of Contracts. Of course, the word re-negotiation has now become a bad, vulgar, nasty word in the lexicon of our leaders on all sides of our political divide.

If I have to repeat this every day and if the independent media and concerned citizens and I to repeat every hour and every day that only the closing of our ranks among our political leadership to allow us to engage the powerful transnationals will produce opportunities for Guyanese from the Corentyne Coast to the Point Playa, from the Coast to the Rupununi to enjoy a much larger piece of the cake and translate into real independence and the reality of this fact that with the abundance of gold, diamond, timber, marine resources, arable land, oil and gas per capita. We are the richest people in the world, richer than the United States, Japan, China and Saudi Arabia.

However, for Guyanese everywhere to benefit from this bounty three things are necessary. First, our leaders must appreciate and understand the underlying everlasting philosophy of the Mighty Transnationals and in spite of inducements, in spite of the insinuation of corruption by weak decision-makers and the weakness of decision-makers that historically the leopard never changes its spots.

To enable our leaders in Guyana, in and out of Parliament, to walk the rocky road to progress, I recommend they read the dissertation entitled “Embrace of the Dragon,” but more particularly the powerful erudite and instructive booklet written by the Great Canadian thinker, author and economist, Kari Levitt titled ‘Silent Surrender.” Research showed how the mighty US Transnationals were taking over control of the Canadian Economy and that in essence, Canadian Political Leaders seemed unaware of this movement of economic imperialism and domination.

Her profound analysis was a wake-up call for the Canadian Political Establishmentto resist this subtle take over. By its mighty neighbour to the south. No political leader, no University Analyst, no Advisor, no Consultant can offer sound advice unless they read and digestthis seminal work Silent Surrender by Kari Levitt” and I recommend as compulsory reading to our present political eliteon the assumption that they really care for the well-being of this and future generations.

Lloyd Best and Arthur Lewis’ examination is also useful. You see Dear Editor and Citizens, in spite of our Constitutionally Independence, thanks to the experience of Big Brother, in Guyana and elsewhere it required shrewd, committed leaders whose interests are neither personal nor short term political benefits but to do all things to benefit the people they represent. In other words, to be true patriots.

Patriots not to be overcome by the glamourof co*cktails and visits. Not over awedby borrowingsfrom nations and multinational agencies when available to us is the abundance of gifts on land, sea and air given by a kind and caring creator. We need men and women, when in the face of pressure, in the sting of the Cold War could say to certain International Agencies whose officials were the agents of Massa that they can put their money where the monkey put the nuts. The media, people, religious organisations must give our leaders the bounce and courage to stand up like men and not mice.

The second hurdle is that a Government must avoid the tragedy and the folly of ignoring the question of the country’s ascorbic capacity, by way of example instead of rushing to build hospitals, health centres, schools, etc. with the abundance of money availableto train large numbers of health workers, nurses and teachers. In the case of teachers, the training should ensure persons skilled to deal with all aspects of pedagogy. We encourage Venezuelans and others to settle ignoring or oblivious to the fact that these immigrants bring their children to utilise an education system that is already facing challenges, putting further strain on our teachers. Yet the Government isreluctant to pay teachers a living wage, causing a high functionary to refer to the words found in the Book of Matthew Chapter 7: 9-11 “Which of you, “if your son asks for bread, will give him a stone?”

Mind you, the PPP Government rests on the foundation of the right ofworkers that a people’s government must secure the ‘commanding heights’ of the economy in order to let people everywhere, in the field, office and factory to enjoy our new found wealth. Finally, if as a people, if as a free, independent nation state, we must recognise the fact that history, all human history has a puckish way of repeating itself, sometimes with good, sometimes with disastrous results. The problem continues to be that so-called intelligent men placed in positions of responsibility are unable to use the experiences for their benefit and the benefit of the people they purport to represent and so we hug, kiss and seek photo opportunities with those whose interest often times do not coincide with those of the people they represent.

In our case, this is aggravated by individuals who say and do things pleasing to Massa and to our Oppressors, no matter how sophisticated, those people are dangerous because they are part of a group/groups that should be in the frontline fighting against Oppression and Discrimination. A few generations ago, such persons were described as ‘house slaves.’ I am uncomfortable using such a term because of its ugliness, but we see it in Guyana today at several levels.

When I represented Guyana at the Independence of Namibia, I recalled painfully speaking with a group of South Africans who appeared to be what we called coloured, maybe a mixture of Indian, Black African and White African. They sought to justify apartheid, contending that the average black South African was enjoying a better standard of livingthan those in other parts of Africa. This belief stems from the myopiathat material benefit irrespective of the quantum is all that matters when compared to others and so they felt that the opposition to apartheid, which I stoutly denounce was inappropriate.

So you have in Guyana, the fastest growing economy in the world. These ridiculous Contracts and Agreements which are allowing a new superclass controlling massive sums while ordinary workers, including public servants must subsistfor a month on sums that others can gamble in a day and with great publicity donate materials and machinery to show how generous they are.

To my friends who called me to complain that some of them were unfairly being categorised as house-slaves, look deeply and carefully why this administration is frustrating the Meetings of the Public Accounts Committee. Is it not to avoidan examination,therefore exposure of the breaches of our tendering process to favour the affiliates of the new emerging ruling class?

I ask friends who get upset to study the structure of this Government, in other words, who are the real decision-makers and the beneficiaries of our new found wealth? In 2021, 11 Gold Export Licences were granted, of which only two were granted to Africans, while in 2022, 6 licences were granted, here again, only one was granted to an African Guyanese. In that case, he could not be bypassed because he has been in the business for decades. The irony of this allocation of licences, gold prospecting opportunities is that it was the Manumitted Africans who first discovered gold and faced the hazards of the interior.

This monster existsand this generation must have the wisdom and courage to confront and contain it. Here once again, thanks to those persons who are out there shining light in the darkness and exposing arrangements contrary to the good of our people. We must thank them for continuing the struggle. The struggle for justice continues, the struggle for equity continues. The struggle for a fair distribution and allocation of this nation’s massive wealth must continue until there is victory for the Descendants of slaves, Indigenous people and the Descendants of Indentured Labourers. I hope, plead and pray that our leaders avoid silly steps but march us merrily to the magnificence that beckons.

Hamilton Green

Elder

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  • Government, Guyana, Hamilton Green, Mining, patrimony, Report
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I am saddened and felt sick of the giveaway of our patrimony - Kaieteur News (2024)
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