EYEWITNESS: Where’s the investment… from the States?

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Back when the Yanks engineered Jagan and his PPP party – which represented the majority of the country – out of office, they felt compelled to support their installed PNC regime. Not just with talk and a firm handshake, but with funds and massive infrastructural investments. They even gave money to build the PNC organisation!! But, more substantively, they built the West Demerara, Corentyne and Linden Highways!! Of course, the projects were all executed by US firms, and the money was as such returned to the US. But we were left with some pretty well-built roads!!

So, when your Eyewitness heard the PNC insisting the US had “installed” the PPP after the last elections, he didn’t dismiss their claims out of hand. After all, having been installed in 1964, and supported in their rigging in 1968, 1973, 1980, 1985, and most recently in 2015 through the new civil society tactics, the PNC knows more than a thing or two about “installed regimes”!! Especially American-engineered ones!! Burnham had even been invited to President Johnson’s Texas ranch, where he and LBJ went horseback riding!! Wags quipped that Burnham thought the saddle LBJ gifted him signalled that the Yanks were okay with him riding the Guyanese people’s backs!!

Anyhow, for the past almost two years — following the historic 5-month-wait for elections’ results — your Eyewitness has been holding his breath for the Yanks to be showering the PPP Government (and Guyana) with all sorts of funding and infrastructural projects. With Burnham, the Yanks wanted to keep out their bete noire – the Ruskies – who were besties with Jagan. The Ruskies now out of the picture, but in their place the Chinese smoothly sidled in with their bulging bags of Western cash!! Earning the ire of the Americans for poaching on their Western Hemispheric turf, and wiping their feet on their Monroe Doctrine!!

But, sadly and confusingly, while the PPP has embarked on a massive infrastructural drive, the Yanks are nowhere to be see!! And it’s the Chinese who’re still winning all the bids – be it roads, bridges or hydroelectric power. What gives?? The US Ambassador – whom the PNC cussed out something fierce as being the architect of the “regime installation”, and demanded her head – had promised that American firms would be in the running with their high quality. And once again, recently addressing the Manufacturers’ Association, she called for higher standards, and promised that American firms would be coming down. The very active AmCham has also been very active, but like the mountain that famously laboured and only produced a mouse, we haven’t even seen that rodent!!

So, can your Eyewitness conclude that the US absolutely didn’t “install” the PPP Govt? What now PNC?

…on food?

As your Eyewitness has been belabouring ad nauseum – ie: until you want to barf! – Caricom’s been kvetching forever about their food bill. But as soon as Guyana tries to solve their problem, they become mute, or worse! More than a decade ago, President Jagdeo, when made the leader on Agriculture, proposed what was dubbed “The Jagdeo Initiative” to solve the problem. Responsibilities were divvied up depending on the strength of each territory – we had land – but it went nowhere.

Manning of Trinidad – which had the funds – decided they had land also, and invested in 18 “Mega Farms”, which of course were run into the ground!! Later, we offered them 20,000 acres in our Intermediate Savannahs, but still nothing. Well, we’re starting from ground zero once again, and only Barbados under Mia Mottley seems serious. They’re creating a facility to simultaneously handle 20 containers of our produce – while there are Bajan firms in both our Intermediate and Interior Savannahs.

“Too late!” shall be the cry for some!!

…from foreign?

A local business maven complained that furriners are subverting our local content laws by floating dummy front companies with locals as frontmen.

This trick is as old as Father Time, and we should have laws to winnow them out!!