For oil to transform Guyana positively we cannot kneel and smile back thankfully for the crumbs

Dear Editor,

Former Minister of Foreign Affairs Rashleigh E. Jackson penned a letter on 06-Jun-2019 in SN where he stated that Jan Mangal (author of this letter) made unwarranted assumptions and arrived at foregone conclusions.

He seems to have forgotten to include the list of unwarranted assumptions and foregone conclusions.  Let’s hope he provides these in a subsequent correspondence.

But in case this was not innocent forgetfulness, then we should consider the following:

– Why challenge someone’s credibility when you have no evidence?  Is it because you realise you do not have an argument and your only option is to try to discredit the messenger?

– Why take the side of the foreign oil companies and their local agents?  Is it because you have been paid or are being paid by companies involved in Guyana’s oil industry for legitimate work?  I recall my letter on Sir Shridath Ramphal (18-Oct-2018) and the pointless response of another Former Minister of Foreign Affairs, Mr Carl Greenidge.

– Are some of these elder statesmen of Guyana similar to the “king with no clothes” (by Hans Christian Andersen)?  Do they exist on a completely false foundation, because they have nothing of substance to show for the last 53 years of their stellar contribution to the nation?  Or has their support for past dictators finally started to eat away at their conscience?

For oil to transform Guyana positively and make Guyana the rightful beacon of the Caribbean, we cannot behave like we have been behaving for the last 53 years.  We cannot behave like a banana republic and award oil blocks to non-entities.  We cannot kneel and smile back thankfully as the crumbs from the Stabroek Block are dropped on the ground before us.  This is not a time for the status quo and mediocrity.  This is a time for the young people to lead, for the young to aspire to excellence and demand excellence, and for new ways.  The rich world justifies giving us the crumbs of our own oil because they continue to see us as third world incompetent and corrupt brown and black people, who would squander the oil money anyway.  We have to do things differently, tackle corruption and incompetent government, not because of morals, but because we cannot progress anywhere if we continue to be led by the incompetent and the self-serving.  Please remember there is a real risk that our children and grandchildren will be living in a militarised oil state whilst their esteemed leaders in government and the private sector sail around on US$100 million yachts and fly around in their private jets.  We cannot let this happen.

Yours faithfully,

Jan Mangal

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