EYEWITNESS: Mouth (finally) open…


…on land giveaway

On Sept 19th, Prezzie spoke to the regional press corps on the sidelines of the UN General Assembly, and made an intervention on Hurricane relief for the just battered Caribbean islands. GINA reported the Ministry of the Presidency’s press release the same day on its website: “Guyana stands in solidarity with Dominica, ready to offer support”. There was not a word about what form the “support” would take.

However, CARICOM followed up the next day (9/20) with some more details on their website, which, for some reason, indicated the Government’s news agency was rather modest in its announcement: “Guyana’s land space can serve as ‘gift’ to the Caribbean battered by hurricanes – President Granger”. The following day, TT’s Newsday cut to the quick about Prezzie’s offer: “Guyana offers land for hurricane victims”. In the meantime, the state-owned Chronic, whose local reporter had featured prominently in the photograph of Prezzie briefing the press, remained mum.

It took this newspaper, on Sept 24, to break the news of the Government’s generosity of offering land to the hurricane-hit ‘small islands’. Now, this subject of “giving away lands” was a very touchy issue in Guyana. ACDA, for instance, had made quite a stink about Indigenous Peoples getting lands in the interior – even though some pointed out it was ALL their lands to begin with!! Your Eyewitness figured the Chronic didn’t report Prezzie’s extraordinary offer because they feared ACDA might take to the streets if they found out about it!

If they’d objected to Indigenous Peoples getting land, imagine how they would object to these FOREIGNERS getting land!! The plight of the hurricane-hit islanders wouldn’t cut any ice with ACDA, since surveys from Independence to last month showed the Indigenous Peoples had never recovered from the hurricane called the “European Invasion”, which had hit since 1500!! But ACDA, for some reasons that escape your Eyewitness, didn’t utter a word of protest, and it took the ex-AG from the PPP days to take an ACDA-like line and complain that Prezzie had no legal authority to give away Guyana’s patrimony.

Well, the Minister of Information’s water boy finally had the Chronic give the OFFICIAL version of the land giveaway. They quoted the Foreign Minister, who made such a ridiculous statement that it bears full repetition: “If West Indians are interested, and if those who are providing relief, need a place in the short term, at which people can be resettled while (their) land is being rebuilt and made habitable, Guyana is prepared to assist in that regard.”

So the islanders would leave the land they own (but where their houses were destroyed); move to Guyanese undeveloped land; develop those and erect TEMPORARY housing, and then MOVE BACK to their islands to rebuild their PERMANENT houses?
Something na regulah!!

…on reason for land giveaway

The unanswered questions set your Eyewitness thinking as to what is really going on. He found a clue in the Chronic’s paraphrase of Minister Greenidge’s explanation: “…making lands available to islanders is nothing new…lands were made available to St. Lucians and other Caribbean nationals along the Linden/Soesdyke Highway in the past.” The “past” of course, was during the first PNC regime under Burnham, whose reason for bringing in Caribbean nationals weren’t on humanitarian grounds.

According to declassified US 1965 files, the Dep CIA Director wrote: “In a conversation…on 20 November, Forbes Burnham stated that his immediate objective is to launch his economic development plan so that he will be able to induce large numbers of West Indians of African descent to settle in Guyana prior to the December 1968 elections. His purpose is radically to alter the racial balance now existing in the electorate in sufficient time to enable him to win a plurality in the 1968 elections.”
Is the latest offer déjà vu for 2020?

…on Amaila Falls Hydro

After playing ducks and drakes for two and a half years, the APNU/AFC government’s finally admitted what’s been clear from the beginning: they’ve abandoned AMFHP.
Cutting Guyana’s nose to spite Jagdeo’s LCDS face? Pitiful…


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