• 24 Jun, 2024

An oil disaster will decimate coastal communities where Indo-Guyanese engage in fishing and farming – PPP wrong to appeal case won by People of Guyana

An oil disaster will decimate coastal communities where Indo-Guyanese engage in fishing and farming – PPP wrong to appeal case won by People of Guyana

An oil disaster will decimate coastal communities where Indo-Guyanese engage in fishing and farming – PPP Govt wrong to appeal case won by People of Guyana in support of Master Exxon

As Exxon, HESS, and CNOOC ramp up oil production which will reach over a million barrels per day, the risk of an oil spill or oil disaster has gone up. In the event that there is a spill, it will decimate coastal communities where Indo-Guyanese are the majority of fishermen, rice farmers, vegetable and fruit farmers, and chicken and livestock farmers. Unless there is adequate insurance money available to make it right for those affected by any oil spill, people will suffer enormously. Therefore, Indo-Guyanese must voice their disapproval of the Government appealing the case where the Judge issued a strong decision ordering Exxon to provide such unlimited guarantee of insurance by Exxon’s parent company.

I am profusely disappointed in the PPP party that I supported and campaigned to elect in 2020 for appealing Judge Kissoon’s decision favouring all Guyana . While the PPP has outstanding, unprecedented, unparalleled successes in the housing sector, and we are seeing an explosion or renaissance in infrastructural development, there is simply poor governance of oil and lack of related transparency and accountability. They hang by a thread of a one-seat majority and is squandering the goodwill of crossover voters who voted to bring them back in office. I feel so ashamed of what the party of Jagan has become. Clearly, the PPP has no problem with the PNC/AFC-signed contract. Both parties are happy with it. PPP would have signed that contract too, as is. The VP acts as if he is the Captain of Team Exxon, as he defends everything about why we should not renegotiate the contract. He is clearly confused who pays his salary.

During the election, the PPP said “everything is up for review and renegotiation.” They quoted extensively from the Global Witness report which slammed the contract and exposed related skullduggery. The VP waxed eloquent in Parliament and raged against the contract as bad. That oil contract is the worst in the world and below industry standards. After pretending that they hated the PNC-signed contract, at election time, both the PNC and PPP had secretly promised Exxon they will not renegotiate. They were lying to the people to get votes. They both feel the “masses are asses.” The Government said they will not renegotiate the contract because of “sanctity of contract” and that those of us who want renegotiation are madmen and lunatics. They did a “bait and switch.” They said Exxon is a big, bad bully that will tie us up in court if we try to renegotiate. So now it’s our own “neemakharam” Government that is tying up those representing the People  of Guyana in court, filing an appeal against Judge Kissoon’s ruling ordering Exxon to provide full coverage liability insurance guarantees in case of oil spill disasters. This is a landmark victory for the people of Guyana in a case filed by citizens who are nationalists. As they say, “when your own dog bite you, is bad.” Our PPP Government is biting us. Exxon’s foot is on our necks, and now the PPP Government’s feet are on our necks too stomping on us with this appeal.

The VP had said “a ton of bricks” would fall on Exxon’s head if they don’t comply with audit issues. Instead, the “ton of bricks” is falling on our heads through this traitorous appeal of the Judge’s well-reasoned and fair decision for the safety and protection of all Guyanese.

When they were sworn in to Government in 2020, the President, VP and AG all took an oath. They swore , “I solemnly declare that I will bear true faith and allegiance to the people of Guyana…” There is no “sanctity” in this contract with the people of Guyana. They are showing allegiance to Massa Exxon, not the poor Guyanese people.

One blogger said, “PPP not ashamed to show whose side they are on. When they need us by their side on 2025, they will stand alone with Exxon. Alistair’s vote will not help them get in.” Another said, “The PPP, PNC/AFC makes Judas look like a team player.”

When the Government’s appeal argues that compliance with Judge Kissoon’s decision will lead to “severe disruption to the national economy and financial well-being of the public and private sector,” that is exactly what will happen if Guyana does not get the relevant insurance guarantees for liabilities in the event of oil disasters, as the Fred Collins-Godfrey Whyte case is arguing. I know our Appeal Judges will rule wisely. All are involved, all are consumed. Nation, if you are not outraged by our Government’s decision to appeal a case that gave us the greatest victory against a rapacious Oil imperialist, you are not paying enough attention. Wake up Guyana! Show support to Ray Daggers, Glenn Lall and team marching for renegotiation. Join in the walk.


Dr. Jerry Jailall