Letter: The “Vice” President in VICE News

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Vice President Dr Bharrat Jagdeo during his interview with the Vice News journalist

Dear Editor,

Permit me to lend my voice to the so-called revelation that VICE News recently broadcasted. I looked and listened with some intrigue at the musings of the VICE News and their conjecture et al.

News media are the 4th estate, and are meant to keep the Government in check. Sometimes their uses are to manipulate the masses to some end, especially in nations in conflict. Those who control the media tend to win the war, as the media control the narrative and sway public opinion to influence the kind of change that some are looking for in the backrooms.

Guyana is a country that recently came of age. The new kid on the block seems to be generating a tremendous amount of energy and buzz! It is the only country on this side of the hemisphere that is slated for double-digit GDP growth. Imagine the threat that poses to some who do not have their claws in Guyana; or those whose wealth a growing Guyana has the potential to upset; or those who do not think that Guyana and Guyanese are deserving of their own future. It reeks of ulterior motives. To paint the VICE President as corrupt obviously paints the country as corrupt, and begs the question as to the motivations behind VICE News.

I may not agree with the Vice President on many things. We stand on opposite sides of the House and opposing political parties. We also contested the 2020 elections leading our respective parties to the final current dispensation, and sometimes have different, not necessarily opposing, views on a variety of issues.

Despite these opposing political positions, the Vice President enjoys my eminent respect. Having hailed from Unity Village, Mahaica, a village where I spent a significant amount of my childhood days, his father used to have his clock repaired at my uncle’s place, Suideen Ragbeer, on a coconut walk. The then VP was a timid and humble young man who later became the leader of Guyana.

Having toppled the sitting Government despite the full force of all the institutions against their party, he managed to muster the gusto to rebuild a party that suffered defeat in 2015, and is now supporting His Excellency and his team to building Guyana into a regional economic superpower.

I think that there are those who can better pronounce his achievements than I, but I can say that I have known the VP longer than he may realise, and I can say the same humble young man that I once knew has become a brilliant tactician in a country that otherwise would have been relegated to a dictatorship, had it not been for his efforts.

He is financially sound, enjoys a Presidential pension, a Vice President’s salary and benefits, a significant degree of state security as a past President, and unabated freedom of movement globally. He is sought after to represent global agendas on economic and environmentally responsible growth amongst a variety of other demands on his time.

Mr Su and VICE News offered no evidence to support any of their claims or allegations. I have not seen a clip where VICE News asked Mr Su for supporting evidence, nor did I see any being offered. In the absence of ANY evidence, it is important that we do not prosecute our Nation’s Champion, VP Jagdeo, on hearsay and conjecture. Put in perspective the above, and what does it say of us as a society when we are so quick to prosecute our Country’s Champion so easily and quickly? To be critical is one thing; however, to publicly prosecute on opinion is completely and absolutely a more sinister thing.

If we are to pronounce on the guilt of any person on hearsay and conjecture, why have a court at all? Should we go down such a path, then we are a nation that is deserving of being imprisoned, as there is conjecture that can prosecute every one of us. The Vice President not only enjoys my eminent respect and support, I stand by him against the maligned.

Most respectfully,
Hon Lenox R O
Shuman, MP
Deputy Speaker