EYEWITNESS: Tussle… with Trini carpetbaggers

The content originally appeared on: INews Guyana

Looks like these Trinis won’t ever give up on preventing us from benefitting from our oil industry, just as they’ve done for 100 years without being harassed by others. They, of course, used their petrodollars to build up their economy to tower over the rest of us in Caricom – where they replaced the departed colonial power and shipped manufactured goods to flood our markets!! And then smarmily inform us that they “weren’t nobody’s cash machine” when help was needed!! Right after our Local Content Law was passed, Trinidad’s Massy – which is flooding our country with businesses, from security to supermarket – threatened to take us to the CCJ for violating the Treaty of Chaguaramas. Luckily, good sense – meaning their bulging pocketbooks – prevailed, and they backed off!!

Now comes the director of the “Trinidad and Tobago Coalition of Services Industries” (TTCSI) with the same complaint – but more crudely threatening that if the Government doesn’t do a backflip on the Local Content Secretariat’s decision on Trini business Ramps Logistics, they’ll take their business to Suriname!! Can you believe this arrogance?? The matter of whether Ramps satisfies the qualification on Guyanese participation in ownership is now before the Courts, do the Trinis want us to tell the Courts how to make their decisions?? Maybe that’s how it’s done in Trinidad, but not here!! More recently, the GRA pointed out that Ramps played fast and loose with the tax laws; will the Government be blamed for that also??!!

Recently, Pres Ali and PM Rowley held bilateral discussions to straighten out this issue. Have the Trinis no confidence in their PM?? Point is, the Trinis are a bunch of hypocrites on Local Content regulation. They’ve had one for decades, but simply didn’t LABEL it as such!! Stories of Guyanese manufacturers being denied entry to TT markets are legion. In 2004, the Trinis finally made their policy on local content explicit under the heading: “LOCAL CONTENT & LOCAL PARTICIPATION POLICY & FRAMEWORK FOR THE REPUBLIC OF TRINIDAD AND TOBAGO ENERGY SECTOR LOCAL CONTENT & LOCAL PARTICIPATION POLICY & FRAMEWORK FOR THE REPUBLIC OF TRINIDAD AND TOBAGO ENERGY SECTOR OCTOBER 7TH, 2004”. It’s on the web!!

Under the heading “LOCAL CONTENT AND PARTICIPATION POLICY STATEMENT”, the Government declared it’d be “giving preference, firstly, to locally owned, controlled and financed enterprises, then to those that demonstrate a clear culture, commitment and capacity for maximising local value-added, participation and capability development, consistent with the country’s aspirations and vision.” What the heck is that, if not “Local Content Legislation”?? Is the fig leaf of not calling it such intended to fool us “simplistic” Guyanese?

Look, these people better get real. They should be told, “Good riddance to bad rubbish”. Good luck to the Surinamese!!

…between Saudis and US

Did you notice, dear reader, the announcement by OPEC – read, the Saudis – that they’ll be cutting oil production by 2 million barrels per day, starting Nov 1st?? This, of course, is being justified as shoring up lagging prices due to “overproduction”. But it shouldn’t escape notice that the cut comes on the heels of Biden’s July trip to Saudi Arabia to meet MBS in the face of widespread criticism over human rights’ violations. And that the cuts gonna benefit Russia, which the US is trying to eject from Ukraine.

But moreso, that the cuts come just one week before the Congressional midterm elections, and won’t redound well for the Democrats!! So, what’s the US to do?? Remove its protective shield over Saudi Arabia via its weapons programme?? But that risks the Chinese stepping in to fill the void!! Wouldn’t want THAT, would we?? Will the Europeans step in?? While not as dangerous as the Chinese, that removes the US leverage over Saudis even further!!

It ain’t easy being a superpower!!

…with smugglers

As if smuggling cocaine weren’t enough of a headache, news has come of an ambulance busted with smuggled frozen chicken. Your Eyewitness wonders about all those ambulances and their wailing sirens.

Gotta deliver the frozen chicken before it thaws out!!