The population is manipulated by our politicians

Dear Editor,

The antics of the APNU/PNC government and opposition PPP continue. So too do their hypocrisy, lies and skullduggery. Today it’s about oil and sugar.

US oil company ExxonMobil did pay a signing bonus according to the Stabroek News, an issue which the current administration has been silent about. Reports indicate that politicians in both camps are trying to angle themselves behind the scenes to benefit from the impending oil wealth.

In the case of sugar, it’s a sad story. Thousands of workers will soon be on the breadline. Most of them have always faithfully provided electoral support for the PPP. What did the PPP do for the industry during its 20 odd years in government? The Moscow trained economist subsidized the industry to the tunes of millions year after year instead of coming up with a viable solution for the sector. Falling sugar prices on the world market was not a sudden development. Neither was the withdrawal of the EC subsidy. That the prospects for sugar were dim had been recognized decades ago by many, including the renowned Professor, Dr Clive Thomas. Nobody heeded his warnings.

With the coming of the APNU, a hasty and half-baked solution is in the making while the party concentrates on cosmetic changes and measures to ensure a second term in office to capitalize on the oil boom.  While it’s true that the treasury cannot continue to bail out the industry, the welfare of the workers should be paramount in the minds of all. When sugar workers take to the streets, it will reflect either the strength or weakness of the PPP.

Sugar workers, especially those in Berbice, felt betrayed and jilted by the AFC, a party of failed promises. Having become a rubber stamp party within the ruling APNU, the AFC is currently searching for ways to keep afloat as the 2020 election approaches. Uppermost in the minds of AFC executives is the possibility that the minority party runs the risk of losing its voters from Berbice, given the ceremonial power of AFC bigwigs, Prime Minister Moses Nagamootoo, and Minister of Public Security Khemraj Ramjattan.

Having covered the Guyana Parliament and observed the political scene for a number of years I have come to a few conclusions:  Firstly, both the government and opposition members try to make impressive speeches but end up like political parrots. Of course the orators are a vanishing breed. So too is the art of political debate.

Secondly, most in both the PPP and APNU/PNC camps are hypocrites. Just keep a file of their speeches over the years and do a content analysis. The conclusions won’t be otherwise.

Thirdly, what they say in and out of Parliament is far from what they do on the ground.

The result is a country in which the innocent population is manipulated for the material benefit of our politicians.

Yours faithfully,

Dhanraj Bhagwandin

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