The vice president caved to ExxonMobil

Dear Editor,

The Vice President has done something out of character.  He shares the real story; he even speaks to truth (“Payara license could have been better but Govt. was under “enormous pressure” – Jagdeo” KN March 22).  After hiding so long, he finally owns up to his weaknesses and limitations.

Editor, there is no time at which Exxon will not exert “enormous pressure” on Guyana’s leaders, and that is even when it appears to be generous.  It is for our leaders to have the savvy and strength and steel to say, ‘hold on’ and ‘this has to have a lengthy fine tooth review period’ and ‘we will not be rushed.’  The fact that Exxon’s people were in a hurry was the best clue that they were desperate.  The Vice President had to discern that (which he did) and use their own strength and energy against Exxon’s hard charging musclemen like judo or aikido practitioners’ would.  But the Vice President lacked the acumen to bring that to bear.

Editor, the Vice President has shown himself not to be devoid of any of those ingredients when bullying the media or compromising domestic political opponents or confronting local critics.  Because he can be about all of those elements – when he chooses – I think that he faltered and fell before Exxon’s “enormous pressure” because its people had (and have) him where he is weakest.  It is of what is darkly suspected of him, of his all too human flaws, which is an open book to the foreign operators, and among which I include my brethren in the America Embassy, and the others from that clique. 

We existed as a society in the vacuum of a most wounding 19-month elections, with the piercings of crippling cardiac attacks that came in unrelenting waves.  But there was Exxon looking for closure in two weeks and two days into the new government.  That did not originate with me; it is from the VP’s lips. So, he tells the nation today of how well he did – he held Exxon off until September. August and September and 2020 were his opportunities to say – not so fast.  We are regrouping. We need to rethink our whole oil vision and approach.  But he caved.  He is due a medal.


GHK Lall