Tony Vieira's Comments
22 October 2017

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(Aired 10 January 2003)

    I have been approached to put my commentaries on a web site, not only for the Guyanese living here, who would like to have the information contained in the commentaries in a more permanent form, but for those that live in the US and other countries who are not in a position to hear them on this newscast.

   I decided to explore this possibility, mainly because it is becoming difficult to email my commentaries to an ever-expanding group of interested persons.

     I feel very strongly about the things that I have been saying in my commentaries and there is no hidden agenda contained in any of them.

  For our businesses and indeed for our lives to flourish, there must be peace in the land, and for that to happen there can be no Indians or Africans living in this country, only Guyanese.  

  The website is now up and I have called it tonyvguy.com, short for Tony Vieira Guyanese.com, I have decided not to rewrite any of them and to leave them as I first wrote them for a verbal delivery and not a written delivery to the public. The commentaries are researched and written by me here at Versailles then they are faxed to the Quamina street Studio, at the studio they are typed into the prompter and I read them as a rehearsal, at that time further modifications are made, some sentences just do not come out right when I read them, so I sit at the computer here at this studio and change it. This means that the commentaries as placed on the website may not reflect exactly what the public heard when I read them.

   To change them would be a monumental exercise and inevitably there are some flaws, which in time will be corrected but there are around 60 commentaries, so reconciling them with the Evening News computer which is the FINAL draft will take some time, so be tolerant. Read them for the information and philosophy they contain and not as poetic literature.

   There are fundamental differences between the two methods of delivery ladies and gentlemen, one is more intimate, more conversational and the other is more formal, the verbal one has of necessity to be a little repetitive since in a written editorial you can refer back to any area that remains obscure when you first read it, but in a verbal, live commentary that cannot happen, so repetition for effect is necessary. I also assume that anyone listening to a commentary does not know anything about the matter I am commenting on, and so I start from the beginning of the matter and bring it up to date in that context.

  The one thing that disturbs me is that these commentaries are perceived as having a political agenda, in this country that means a racial agenda, yes I have been castigating the PPP for their poor performance, incompetence and corruption and they deserve it, but being a member of neither of the two major race groups in this country, there is nothing racial about the commentaries.

   I happen to believe that the Afro Guyanese are being given a raw deal and no one can convince me otherwise. I also happen to believe that most of the Indo Guyanese people in this country are wonderful people.

  I will give you an example, two months ago I decided to launch my boat in the Essequibo River and drive it north into the Atlantic and then East into the Demerara River, I was warned by my friends that it was a dangerous thing to do, since there are sand banks, jetties etc. which can damage the boat. I nevertheless decided to do it. My Arabic blood again.

    We started out well enough my son Anthony and I, and we drove all the way to Zeeluct but then we hit something very hard which we could not see and it damaged the foot and the propeller.

   We were about 1000 ft away from the shore and we were stuck in the Atlantic with heavens knows what problem. We were discussing who will go in first Anthony or I to swim and pull the boat to shore when we saw a small fishing boat coming toward us from the ocean, in it were two Indo Guyanese men, they came alongside and told us that they knew that we were too close to the shore and that we would hit that old structure, many, many boats do apparently run aground on this old jetty every year, begging the question of why it is not identified with some sort of marker, they towed us to shore, tied our boat where they tied theirs, then they invited us to their home and they offered us food and refreshment, they even told us not to be afraid that the people of Zeeluct were friendly and peaceful people, they told us that they have to sell their catch but as soon as they were finished they would help us with our problem.

  Whilst we were waiting Anthony and I fixed a small solar panel they were using to charge a battery for lights at night, since there was no electricity that far into the village, almost up to the seawall.

  This is 2002 ladies and gentlemen but believe it or not the fishermen come in, they blow their shell horn and the villagers come out to buy the fish they have caught. And I watched them carefully, it was a social event, the women coming out to buy this fish and to chat for awhile, I was so touched by these simple, friendly and hospitable people of Zeeluct, that when I overheard the fisherman reporting to his wife that the amount he had gotten for his catch could hardly pay for the fuel, I decided to give them a very high raise to follow us back to Roden Rust and if anything went wrong, they would tow us the rest of the way. So I drove very slowly and they followed us, two in the boat with me and two following in their boat, it took us over three hours to do it but we made it thanks to these kind people.

    No ladies and gentlemen I have no animosity against my Indo Guyanese brothers.

    My problem is with the USSR trained PPP who are proving to be every bit as dictatorial as Forbes Burnham but far more corrupt and incompetent and have inculcated in their supporters this hatred for their Afro Guyanese brothers for the sole purpose of getting their vote.

  John Da Silva wrote a few lines in the newspaper of 15th December captioned "Leave Tony Alone" and asked why I did not speak out about Burnham. When Mr. Burnham died I was the manager of a sugar estate and held no significant position in the media, the Evening News started in September 1992. In this same letter to the Chronicle John tells us that he was going to his favourite rum shop, when he was given a lift by this person who told him to leave me alone, do you visit the rum shop frequently John? Is that where you read the GP&L deal and told us what a wonderful deal it was, maybe those imbibitions are the reason why you cannot see past the tip of your nose, I must suggest that you register with the air traffic control at Timehri if you soar so high, but watch out for Mt. Roraima.

   Talking about Mt. Roraima, the people at Universal Airlines decided to do a wonderful PR exercise i.e. to fill their aircraft with over 300 school children and fly them over Guyana at 8000 ft to show them their country. AFTER all of the children were aboard with great expectations, some of them travelling for days from as far as the Rupanuni, the Civil Aviation Department woke up from their coma ON THE DAY OF THE FLIGHT and refused to allow them to do it, telling them about the 9000 ft. high Mt Roraima and offered no compromise whatsoever, I could be wrong but when they brought the body of Cheddie Jagan back to Guyana they flew over Georgetown and Berbice several times at less than 3000 ft. in the GAC jet.

  The CAD took this magnanimous gesture by Universal Airlines and turned it into a PR disaster for that company. These people have North American  and BWIA pulling their hair out trying to compete with them, so they are not inexperienced as is claimed by certain sections of the media, in fact I am informed that Captain Jerry Goveia made the arrangements for this flight on behalf of Universal, whatever else Jerry is, he is not inexperienced, he probably knows more about aviation within this country than the CAD, the flight plan should have been modified right there at Timehri by the CAD and not aborted completely, it was an incredibly insensitive and dictatorial thing to do. And it damaged this company's reputation for no reason at all.

  Ladies and gentlemen if the PNC were in power in this country today and I perceive that they are doing their Indo Guyanese brothers an injustice I will speak out as fearlessly as I am doing now, I would not be able to live with my conscience if I did not. Only then will my detractors have the right to say that Vieira is a hypocrite.

   It seems ludicrous to wish you a happy and prosperous new year when we are this close to anarchy, but I will do it anyway, because if we did not get up everyday and tell ourselves that this is the day when things will change and drag ourselves out of our beds to see if it IS, we would not get up at all.

  Happy New Year to you and yours.