EYEWITNESS: Waiting to exhale…


…on Local Government Commission

The PNC-led APNU/AFC Government scraped the bottom of the barrel to come up with “125 accomplishments” during their first two years in office. Probably the same barrel they scraped for their 69 National Awardees! They should’ve at least gone back to their Manifesto and taken a gander at the 1254 promises that are still waiting to be fulfilled!

One of them was the formation of a Local Government Commission (LGC). Ever since the PNC had bludgeoned the PPP in the streets in the aftermath of the 1997 election, reform of the entire Local Government system was demanded and elicited. The PNC – and later the AFC – complained that the PPP at the Central level was emasculating local government to serve their own (nefarious) purposes. A LGC would remove and assume oversight of local government bodies from the Minister of Local Government (now Minister of Communities).

The PNC and PPP formed a committee to make recommendations since 2001. Finally, in 2013, the Bill was signed. But not before the PNC/APNU and the AFC strenuously demanded the PPP “do the right thing”. The AFC even used the PPP’s signing of the Bill as a prerequisite for them going along with the Money Laundering Bill in 2014. That’s how important they (virtuously) insisted, giving autonomy to folks at the local level was to the future of democracy.

But as soon as the Local Government Elections were held in 2015 and the PPP won most of the NDC’s and RDC’s, the hemming and hawing by the PNC/AFC Government began. At first, they bought some time by EXPLAINING the virtues of the LGC!! In March 2016, APNU announced: “The Commission, once established, will take over most of the current oversight role exercised by the Ministry of Communities. The Ministry, therefore, will no longer have the ability to degrade the capacity of local government organs which will now be able to exercise executive authority in keeping with the autonomy guaranteed by the constitution.”

Two months later, Minister of Communities Bulkan announced the LCD’s launch was “imminent” and could be “as soon as next month” – June 2016. By then the PPP had submitted their three candidates and the Trade Unions their one. All that remained was for Prezzie to submit his three, all on his own – without any list from the Opposition Leader!!… and Bulkan one, on advise of Local Government Leaders. Bulkan said they were “vetting” their candidates.

One year later, Bulkan says they’re still not ready to name their candidates. Presumably they’re still “vetting” them.

Now that Dr Surujbally’s free to practice his profession as a Vet, maybe they should call him in??

…on Venezuela

When it comes to getting rid of Maduro, the successor to Hugo Chávez who was more than a pain in the posterior to the US – the democrats and Republicans are as one. Starting with Clinton (D), followed by Bush (“sulphurous” smell!!) and Obama they all tried to oust Chávez. Obama didn’t skip a beat with Maduro and now that Trump’s in office, while he may be an outlier on many issues – Venezuela and Maduro isn’t one of them. Maduro must go!!

But it seems  not all of the institutions that keep America ticking share the same position. It was just announced that Goldman Sachs – just bought US$2.8 billion worth of State-owned Venezuelan PDVSA’s bonds. For a country that’s reeling from an imploding economy and a Government that’s facing a resurgent Opposition – whether or not backed by the US – that infusion of cash is like manna from heaven!

But then Goldman had to only pay .31 cents on the dollar for the bonds. Profits always trumps patriotism, no?

…to travel

Nandlall supported the claim that SOCU “blacklisted” 200 persons from leaving the jurisdiction. After two weeks, the Police replied indignantly it wasn’t so. It was 139 over the last 10 years!!

 They missed the point. If even ONE person’s blacklisted without being charged, it’s illegal!!



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