Whilst researching my commentary on hydro electric dams
and their effects on the economies of countries, I specifically studied the
effects of the Aswan high dam and the Venezuelan 16 Hydro dams, but in order to
do that I had to research the economies of both of these countries.
Egypt is 387 thousand square miles and Venezuela is 352
thousand square miles, almost the exactly the same but Egypt has 70 million
people and Venezuela only has 24 million people.
The arable lands of Egypt is an incredibly low 3 percent
because 97 % is desert. Venezuela amazingly has exactly the same 3% arable land
with 96% jungle. 1% has permanent crops. Incidentally what the hell do they
need our Essequibo land for, if they can only develop 3% of theirs.
So these two countries have exactly the same land area
available to grow food crops and almost exactly the same total land mass. Actually
Venezuela has much more water then Egypt, 11,600 square miles within their land
mass is water, rivers, lakes etc. compared to 2,317 square miles in Egypt.
The GDP per capita of Venezuela was 6100 US per annum;
in other words in Venezuela the average income per person was 6,100 US dollars
per year but Egypt was only 3700 US per person per year. The Venezuelan Exports
in 2001 was 29.5 Billion US whilst Egypt was only 7.1 Billion. Egypt however
has a huge tourist trade.
The national budgets for these two countries are exactly
the same with revenues of around 21 Billion US and expenditures of around 27
billion US the unemployment rate of the two countries were 12 and 14 % also the
So these two countries have exactly the same land mass,
exactly the same development of it, exactly the same budgets, but Egypt has 70
million people and Venezuela has 24 million people. This means that the 24
million people are living in a country which has a national budget that is to
all intents and purposes identical to Egypt but only have around one third of
the population of Egypt. But the Venezuelans export far more, three times more
Now here is what caught my attention, 67% of the
Venezuelan people live below the poverty line whilst only 22% in Egypt do.
Given all that I have told you so far and if you have
followed my amateurish presentation of the facts, I am after all no economist,
how can this possibly be?
Ladies and gentlemen I have studied the governmental
systems of both countries and they both have similar governments very much like
Guyana a Presidential system which to all intents and purposes controls
everything, and so I could not account for this incredible phenomenon of why a rich
country like Venezuela has so many of its people living in abject poverty.
Unlike Guyana however Venezuela has a federal system of Government, Egypt has
what is called a system of 26 governates which in effect is nearly the same
thing. So all those people who think that federalism in Guyana can change anything,
I am a catholic I have always been one and I do not
intend to change but Egypt is 98% Sunni Muslim and Venezuela is 98% catholic.
Are the Islamic leaders demanding that the pie be shared equitably in Egypt?
Whilst the corruption in the Venezuelan system of governance would make our
boys here look like mother Mary?
After reflecting on the problem for some time and
studying the social issues of the two countries, I have come to the conclusion
that the stabilizing force in Egypt IS the Muslim faith and the power of the
Muslim religious leaders who demand equitable governance, and get it. Venezuela
has no such check and balance so the rich are very very rich and the poor are
very very poor.
So the point of this comment is this, corruption destroys
countries just as effectively as WARS. This is probably true of almost all
Latin American states and that is why most of them are turning to the left, first
Venezuela, then Brazil and now Ecuador.
The problem is that even when they do, nothing changes
because their system of governance does not change, the Chavezs of this world
will not change their system of government, to allow the rule of law to stand
supreme and allow the Parliament and therefore the people of the nation to have
some say in what goes on, the media are to all intents and purposes muzzled and
are not allowed access to governmental data so that they can point out the
enormous inequity that exists within these countries, so they, like us, have
democratic elections to decide who the dictators and their henchmen will be for
the next 5 years and all they do is fill their own pockets during that period. But
the common man always ends up with the dirty end of the stick. No matter what
promises were made by these leftist leaders who promise to change the huge
disparity between the rich and the poor, nothing changes.
At this point let me tell you of a great Guyanese even
though he was born in Trinidad, I, consider him a great Guyanese and who has
been by far the most valuable asset in our sugar industry for nearly 33 years,
he is Dr. Ian Mc Donald, in his Ian on Sunday articles he has been hinting at
this phenomena of the rich getting richer and the poor getting poorer for at
least 10 years. What he says is true but what I am saying here is that
countries destroy themselves with greed and corruption from WITHIN, every much
as devastatingly as outside forces.
The CIA factbook for Egypt tells us, that the country of
the Pharos have listened to the World Bank and the IMF and over the past 20
years they have tightened up on their administrative spending and are prospering
as a result of it.
When dictators like Chavez get into power, they portray
themselves as socialists who will give more to the poor people of the country,
they never do. It is just rhetoric and lies to get them elected by playing on
the enormous sympathy of the poor.
This is a good example for Guyana, no amount of oil we
will find, no amount of hydro power we will generate, no amount of extra sugar
we will export will help us if we do not establish a system of government that
guarantees equal rights under the law to the citizens of this country,
everything starts there.
With a completely impartial, fair and functioning legal
system that is willing, ready and able to prosecute any public official for
misdemeanor in public office, and lock them up if found guilty of stealing our
money or failure to perform their functions with impartiality and fairness,
only then will we make them accountable, only then will they discharge their
stated mandate to serve the people of this country, all of us regardless of
race. That is where we start.
The Egyptians are one people the Muslim religion alone
guarantees it but their history dating back over 6 thousand years is also
important and therefore some measure of equity exists there, countries like
ours and Venezuela which do not have these stabilizing phenomena must establish
something that will guarantee it. And that is the rule of law.
Let me give you an example, one evening I was sitting
with my family having dinner and I was told that there were some women at my
gate who wanted to see me, after the usual security toing and frowing I decided
to see them. They were Guyanese women and men mostly women who are married to
Cuban professionals mostly doctors, but their spouses were being denied a work
permit in Guyana even though they are married to Guyanese women, and the
allegation they are making is that their constitutional rights are being
violated because of an obnoxious agreement that exists between our government
and the Cuban government, to deny any Cuban even though they are married to a Guyanese
from working and living here. If true ladies and gentlemen, these people's Constitutional
rights are being trampled upon. Can we ask the Americans, the Canadians or the
British to disallow any Guyanese from getting a Green card or a work permit in
those countries because it was the free educational system in Guyana that
trained them? You all know the answer to that, they will tell us to go to hell,
so if we are short of professionals and a Cuban doctor marries a Guyanese woman
and wants to live and work here, how dare this government make an arrangement
with the Cuban government that is unconstitutional to its citizens, it is gross
I don't care how many Cuban doctors come here to help us
with our ailing Public Hospital, I don't care how many Guyanese are given
scholarships in Cuba, the students all want to come back home anyway since I am
informed that the conditions in Cuba are atrocious, the law is the law and it
is being broken at its most fundamental level, the constitution. But it defines
the problem, the law even the constitution means nothing to those who run this
country and that is why our country IS and has been, falling to pieces.