The President of the Republic is on a roll…again; as the West Indies Cricket Board, the Caribbean Hotel and Tourism Association, the Trinidad and Tobago immigration authorities and Brigadier (retd) David Granger all found out in the course of the last week or two. Each, in turn, has come in for a fierce fusillade from Bharrat’s Bazooka. It was Jagdeo at his ferocious best and the rest of us here in Guyana and in the rest of the region can only stare in bewilderment as his tirades resonate across the Caribbean, shaking it to its very floorboards and reminding us that elections or no elections, Jagdeo ain’t finished yet.
St. Kitts was a command performance! He surely must have spent days and nights in New Garden Street rehearsing with his ministers and assorted minions applauding their approval. Who knows, Bharrat may well be auditioning for a stint in Hollywood in a few months time; and even if he turns out to be a second-rate actor, his ex-President’s perks should be more than enough to see him through.
The beleaguered West Indies Cricket Board got a fine dressing down, a tongue lashing to end all tongue lashings from His Excellency the President. Hunte and Hilaire must go! Time for a change! Why should term limits apply only to Presidents? And if they refuse to go they mussie know weh de cricket gun play. Providence and the other stadia in the region are government property. So except they intend to have West Indies cricket descend into the realm of pasture bat and ball they would do well to pick up their belongings and leave.
And, declared Jagdeo, this moanin and groanin by Caribbean hotel owners about high taxes must stop. It’s “absolute nonsense!” They charge an arm and a leg for what they offer, anyway and governments give them all sorts of concessions and rebates! And some of the hotels in the region – including some here in Guyana ain’t even up to standard. Bring on Marriott!
And how dare the President of the Caribbean Hotel and Tourism Association Josef Forstmyer talk back to His Excellency! How dare he say that when it comes to issues of “taxation” Mr. Jagdeo doesn’t know two hoots. For his pains Mr. Forstmyr got a fine dressing down from Manniram Prashad. “Ludicrous, careless and grossly disrespectful to one of the region’s and the world’s most respected leaders and authority on finance and taxation,” Manniram declared. You’re not in my President’s league Manniram made Mr. Forstmyr to know.
The Jagdeo tirade didn’t end there. He turned his guns on our oil-rich CARICOM neighbour. Piarco Airport is the pits and we don’t like how de Trinidad immigration treatin transiting Guyanese. And for good measure His Excellency don’t give two hoots if Kamla Persaud-Bissessar and Jack Warner and de whole Trinidad government vex. Yes! Jagdeo is truly on a roll!
And after he had peppered his targets in the region good and proper the Commander-in-Chief of the nation’s armed forces turned his sights on the enemies of the PPP/C’s revolution, blasting them for daring to suggest that Donald Ramotar’s quest to replace him in New Garden street was being bankrolled by the taxpayers. “No apologies for that,” says Jagdeo. What I do I do with the powers of the President!”
Of course it is no secret that would-be President Granger is never far away from soon-to-be ex-President Jagdeo’s mind. In his most recent salvo against the soldier man Jagdeo declares that Granger was never a real real soldier. He was, trumpeted the Commander-in-Chief, Burnham’s army Political Commissar sent to the GDF to teach the ranks the ways of party paramountcy. The Brigadier continues to retain his wall of silence, much to the consternation of his supporters.