Tony Vieira's Comments
18 October 2017


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The President's 5 year report card
(Aired 14 September 2004)

   On the 17th August the Stabroek News published an editorial described as the presidential quinquennium in which the editor of the Stabroek sought to give a report card of sorts for our young president after 5 years in office.

   The Stabroek news is the most conservative, professional newspaper operation in this country stabilised by its publisher the distinguished David De Caires, many times during the past several years I found that the Stabroek's position on certain matters of grave national importance, tended to give the benefit of the doubt to the government, when in fact to my mind condemnation was indicated, but the Stabroek news does not condemn without a fair trial.

  The Stabroek's assessment comes against the background of numerous accusations levelled against this government of wrongdoing of monumental proportions by local and international organisations concerning government sponsored killer gangs, the US embassy revoking our Minister of Home Affairs and our Commissioner of Police's US visas, World Bank reports calling us a failed state, and a hopeless economic basket case, the Local UN representative condemning the way the members of the commission to inquire into the Gajraj matter was selected, and not least President Carter's condemnation of the lack of cooperation/consultation/dialog between the major political groups which the National Development Strategy [the same one that Mr. Jagdeo likes to quote from so much] tells us is the single most important matter that has to be addressed for there to be peace and progress in this land, so after giving [in my opinion] far too much latitude to Mr. Jagdeo the Stabroek News now decide that they have looked at his performance and found it wanting.

   I have been telling you all along that I also have found Mr. Jagdeo's performance poor, littered with deception and non delivery on promises, now according to the Stabroek news I was right. My only observation is that our situation is so dire that we cannot afford ourselves the luxury of giving anyone, especially the president of this poor, dying country so much rope and time to hang himself along with the rest of us whilst he bungles around learning his job.

   The Stabroek editorial sums up Jagdeo's performance this way, during his 5 year period of stewardship, economic growth slowed down; investment has shrunk to almost nothing; unemployment has grown; migration of skilled people has increased; his handling of the narco trade has been inconclusive and has consequently escalated under his watch; increasing graft and corruption has punctuated his presidency, especially in the Office of the President and the Ministry of Finance both of which he personally heads.

   A few years ago there was a young office boy working for the PPP at Freedom House who was known as lambada since he used to perform that dance for the then stalwarts of the PPP Nagamootoo etc. Lambada however fell afoul of Dr. Cheddie when he threw away Dr. Cheddie's mail in the Metropole's trash Bin, a thoroughly irresponsible and reprehensible thing to do, so he was fired from Freedom House for gross dereliction of duty, Lambada however sneaked back into the good graces of the PPP by begging and promising to do anything comrade Janet told him to do, so he was her slave forever and that is the kind of commitment she likes.

   This lambada having discovered a sponsor in the PPP in Bharrat Jagdeo now parades as the Liaison Officer for the President and they make a great couple.

  So in defence of Jagdeo, Lambada writes a full page letter in the Stabroek news telling us that the PPP and Jagdeo have achieved accomplishments too numerous to recount here, which are all in my opinion imaginary, but of all the diatribe he published, I want to take issue with only one item which is that the PPP has restored freedom of speech in this country and that the Stabroek news is abusing that privilege by condemning Jagdeo in the editorial they published on his 5 year report card and that on the contrary Jagdeo has done a great job. Now apart from the fact that Persaud is hardly an impartial observer in this matter and his competence for this job we are paying him to do is seriously in question, I find that the Stabroek News was very magnanimous indeed in giving him a whole page to write a pile of garbage which is bigger than dump site on Mandela Avenue.

   I have already outlined for you the PPP's concept of freedom of speech as expressed by the functioning of the ACB so I will not even attempt to discuss it further; but inevitably there are very few members of the media, if any, who would venture to discuss or report what is going on in this country between Jagdeo and elements of the drug Cartels, for fear of reprisals and execution. This is Lambada's claim to the return of freedom of speech. This is not Burnham's time when you would be invited to leave the country if you spoke out against the government in a big way, this is death squads time. No, lambada there is no freedom of speech in this country and the PPP is mutilating the human rights' covenant on free speech daily; the letter written by Dr. Rashleigh Jackson in the Sunday Stabroek News of the 15th August 2004 is absolutely true, the state's understanding of fair play and free speech is to allow NCN formally GTV to expand in Berbice and deny Sharma and VCT similar rights. This makes the letter written by the executive director of NCN in the Stabroek news of the 19th August 2004, refuting Dr Jackson's claims of discrimination against Sharma and VCT, utter nonsense and despite what Lambada has written the Guyanese people will record this period as the darkest in our history under Mrs. Jagan and Bharat Jagdeo.

   Finally ladies and gentlemen I leave you with this question, who exactly is paying for these courses Lambada is taking in Barbados? I hope that is it not coming out of the consolidated fund.

   But here again, we have this incredible phenomena, unheard of anywhere else, where we give the person the job based solely on their loyalty [not to this country] but to a single person, then we send them to school to learn how to do it, in the mean time we all suffer because this is a person with an inferiority complex the size of Mount Roraima wallowing in self importance and incompetence and would be a joke anywhere else!