Traps…and global realignments

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The Finance Minister was recently asked if the Government wasn’t worried about falling into the “Debt Trap” laid by China in its Belt and Road Initiative launched by its President Li Jingping back in 2013. It was originally patterned on the “Silk Road” between China and Europe back in medieval times, to transport the riches from “the East” into an awakening Europe.

The modern rulers of the “Middle Kingdom” decided to use the US$4+TRILLION Forex sloshing around its pockets from American imports to strategically lock those same countries into a permanently dependent relationship.

But China didn’t stop with the route to Europe…it deployed the same easy, massive loans towards infrastructural development in Africa and Latin America – including the Caribbean. Now, all of this sounds rather positive, doesn’t it? Quite reminiscent of the Third World development drive funded by the World Bank after WWII. But there was now a catch. Whereas, the World Bank had strict criteria in granting loans to avoid defaults, China became like an all-year-round “Father Christmas”, and threw money at poorer countries as if it were going out of style! To the tune of HUNDREDS OF BILLIONS to over 130 countries!

And then we saw there was a method to the apparent madness: when the mega loans couldn’t be serviced from revenues generated, China stepped in and took over ownership of the facilities. A good example is the strategic port in Sri Lanka that’s now owned by the Chinese for 99 years – after the former couldn’t service the US$1.1 billion loan! Sort of the reverse Hong Kong arrangement – with China now playing the old British imperial role! India and Japan are now rushing to build a comparable port in Sri Lanka, since they now realise China can now strategically control the Indian Ocean as it now does the South Pacific Sea!

While the PPP had accepted a US$138M loan from the Chinese back in 2013 for modernisation of CJIA, it never explicitly approved the B&R Initiative premises. The CJIA modernisation was supposed to facilitate Guyana becoming a regional hub for flights to neighbouring countries like Brazil, and even flights to South Africa. The increased revenues would’ve been able to service the Chinese loan, and it’s for this reason the PPP, unlike the PNC, didn’t accept the scaled down version with less boarding gates.

The PNC – after it slid into office in 2015 – even gave explicit approval to the B&I Initiative – which is driven by Chinese interests, rather than ours. It’s clear however, that the PPP would satisfy our infrastructural needs based on a solid Guyanese plan. One which ensures we “don’t hang we hat, whe’ we haan cyaan reach”!

…and hitmen

It was like a scene from one of The Godfather movies; or, more realistically, like the sleazier “gangster movies” that Netflix is now flooding us with. An individual whose name had cropped up in reports of skullduggery in the under-the-radar world of gold trading and money laundering (with the implication of even more shady areas!) is taking an evening drink at a popular Georgetown nightspot.

He gets a call and walks out to his vehicle parked on Main Street. But before getting there, he’s accosted by two men, who pump FIFTEEN bullets into him. No question of their intentions! The killers run into a waiting white station wagon and quickly make their escape – which was no great feat, since the streets were deserted at that time. So, the Police are now looking for them.

Now, we know that if the fella left after getting a call, he had to have known that person. And that number must be on his phone!

Call yours truly, “Eyewitness Colombo Holmes”!!

…and gas

Some folks got their bucktas in a knot when VP Jagdeo said the viability of the gas-to-shore project is a “no brainer”.

Would they rather the gas be left trapped under the sea? Or in their bucktas?