…with BrazilSingapore is conceded to be a success story par excellence as far as the Third World – to which it once belonged – is concerned. Hard to believe we were once doing better that Singapore, isn’t it?? In his book, “From Third World to First”, miracle man Lee Kwan Yew (LKY) pointed out how Jamaica’s Manley used to be the big kahuna at Commonwealth Meetings in the seventies, with the answer to everything. Well, Lee Kwan Yew had the last laugh! He mightn’t have been as blunt as Naipaul, but he did imply we have more “talk men” than “do men” here in the Caribbean!!
One of the reasons Singapore succeeded so spectacularly was because of the strategic decisions LKY made. Leaders are supposed to look beyond the horizon to identity opportunities that others mightn’t even be thinking about. One of those decisions was to choose Europe and the US – thousands of miles away – as Singapore’s “hinterland”, to which it would supply services! Imagine that!! At the same time Burnham gave us co-operativism!
Well, our young President Ali is a “do man”, and not a “talk man”!! Your Eyewitness has always believed that one strategic decision we needed to make was quit looking so fixedly north when it comes to our trade linkages, and shift our gaze south – to the behemoth beyond the Rupununi. And it looks like President Ali has already pivoted south!! Brazil – the #7 economy in the world, with GNP of US$1.4 TRILLION – might be stuttering a bit because of the COVID pandemic, but it’s a giant that can only grow in the years ahead, and take us along with it in the diversification of our economy while taking advantage of our coming oil revenues.
President Ali and President Santokhi of Suriname, after coming together to create more heft, have already scheduled a meeting with their Brazilian counterpart, to discuss a number of initiatives on the strength of the two countries becoming South American energy powerhouses. Lat weekend, our ubiquitous Minister of Agriculture met with his counterpart from our adjoining Roraima State, to discuss concrete matters of cooperation in the agriculture sector and cattle rearing. Roraima has a long history in the cultivation of soya beans and corn that a private conglomerate is experimenting with in our Intermediate Savannahs. Now they want to explore getting into the business on our side of the border in Region 9, which has the identical terrain add soils like theirs. And the Rupununi may soon be crowded with cattle!
Minister Mustapha also brought up the not-so-incidental matter of us completing the Highway to the Takutu Bridge. Which will give Brazil entry to an Atlantic port to ship their products from Roraima and Manaus to their northern markets!Boom!!
…but do it legallyWe do know that one of the first things the PPP did, when the PNC finally got out of the way and let them have their legitimate seat of Government, was to effectuate the long-promised communication liberalisation. The PNC was just futzing around for reasons we can all figure out! Anyhow, while GTT had been holding up the works by insisting that they should have first dibs at expansion…the technology had leapfrogged over them with wireless.
Anyhow, today we got the shocking news that Digicel, which had been knocking on GTT’s doors for so long, had criminal and civil charges filed against it by the Government!! Seems like they just couldn’t wait to get their licks in, and had jumped the gun to use portions of the spectrum illegally!! Now, one can forgive a layman for thinking that folks can just send signals into the atmosphere. But an experienced operator like Digicel?So, what’s next? We’re going to see some of their executives in handcuffs?
…with GandhiWhat’s all this beating up on Gandhi?? Your Eyewitness looked up his honorific “Mahatma”, and it didn’t say he was PERFECT. Just that he was a “great soul”!Isn’t he allowed some slack?