Tony Vieira's Comments
18 October 2017

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Casino Gambling
(Aired 10 March 2006)

     Being a good manager means numerous things, but mainly it means that you are in the middle of the PPP principle, the PPP principle was taught to me as a young manager when Justice Aubrey Bishop conducted lectures in industrial relations and management at the University of Guyana then located in Queens College. My uncle Frank Vieira explained to me that Forbes intended putting an Industrial court in place, so Bishop expecting this move did a masters degree in Industrial Relations but the Industrial Court never materialised and so he started these courses at UG, and it benefited a lot of people including me. We went to these courses for nearly a year as an ongoing GUYSUCO training programme for its mangers to improve our knowledge and understanding of management.

   The PPP principle, put simply, means policy, practice, problems. Right Justice Aubrey?

   It goes this way, your board of directors gives you a policy which you as a manager have to implement as practice, and if the policy is bad no matter how brilliantly you put it into practice, it will lead to problems, if the policy is good and you put in into practice badly there will also be problems; but if you have a good policy and you put it into practice properly then there will be no problems. Paradoxically the PPP political party in power in this country does not understand this and so they keep making the same mistakes creating problems for themselves and the country and it is getting worse.

    Recently the US State Department published a report about our country which said this "the launch of the 2005-2009 National Drug Strategy Master Plan was significant, but the government has not completed any of the short term milestones mentioned in the plan. Guyana made no other significant progress in achieving or maintaining compliance with the goals and objectives of the 1988 UN drug Convention". "During 2005 Guyanese law enforcement agencies did not make a single publicly reported cocaine seizure in excess of 10 kilograms, nor have any Guyanese authorities brought to justice a single important member of a drug trafficking organisation!"

    Ladies and gentlemen over and over again I have told you that this government makes promises and do not keep them. Hugh Desmond Hoyte found that out during the Dialog he told me personally about it, Jimmy Carter found that out, Robert Corbin found that out during the Communiqué he also told me personally about it, and now the US is openly making the same statement. In fact this state Department report tells us that by its actions or inactions this government may be facilitating criminals. I have been telling you since 2001 that all is not right with this PPP, this is not the PPP of Cheddie Jagan it has mutated to a semi criminal organisation facilitating ever increasing levels of corruption and criminality until it is becoming hard to separate the criminals from the government functionaries the state department says so now not just me.

    This US State Department report on the Caribbean, estimates that Guyana exports 20-25 metric tons of Cocaine per year to the US and Europe, this amount of cocaine earns the local drug barons 150 million US dollars a year, that is around 20% of our gross domestic product, the report also tells us that the last major domestic drug bust was made in 1996 when nearly seven thousand pounds was seized, Ladies and gentlemen I want you to reflect on who was in charge here in 1996, I see photographs of those now in charge laying wreaths at Jagan's monument at Babu John, if it were possible I believe that Cheddie would have reached out of the ground and strangle the hypocrites bowed to lay those wreath at his monument. The report also says this, "the drug trade generates violent armed groups who act as if they are above the law and are threatening Guyana's fragile democracy and that the drug barons may use their ill gotten gains to gain political influence but that it is corrupting society on a dangerous scale".

    So now we come back to the PPP principle we are a HIPC nation we owe everybody in the world money, why were we so gung ho to host the world cup cricket next year? Where will we find the 25 million US to pay back the cost of this stadium? It was bad policy, why did we fool the Guyanese public that we had a tourist trade here when in fact we did not? why is Mr. Jagdeo only now saying that anyone who builds a hotel for this world cup will get a gambling license, so that the drug lords can have new avenues to launder their loot, this is bad practice put in motion to offset a poor policy but it is still going to lead to problems since the Muslims and some Christian groups don't care if Jagdeo falls flat on his face with this world cup deal, they will not accept entrenched casino gambling. But we are finally being told a few things 1. We do not have a tourist trade and 2. Since we do not have hotels for this imaginary tourist trade they have been lying about for nearly 9 years, the only way the government can bail themselves out of the mess they have mired themselves in either deliberately or by sheer incompetence is 3. by dangling a gambling license prize if you build a hotel for the World Cup Cricket.

     Who does this government think that they are talking to? some dunce? this was probably the plan all along to introduce Casino Gambling in Guyana, to launder more drug money and to hell with the welfare of the citizens of the country, the state department report is clear that despite promises, this country has failed to pass effective legalisation against money laundering, including an amendment to the law enabling the seizure of assets of known money launderers.

   So in order to get the hotels built that will house the 2007 world cup cricket crowd we have to introduce Casino Gambling in Guyana thereby further increasing and entrenching the criminal element, money laundering and drug dealings!

   From the very beginning I could not understand this obsession the PPP had with committing this poor nation to hosting the world cup cricket, it just made no sense, people were flooded and suffering but we were wasting money on stadiums and not on drainage infrastructure, but now in view of this gambling dimension that has so abruptly entered the picture, I understand it completely!  

    Over the road from my house is a company called Roraima Trust and Investments Inc. which had started casting concrete blocks months before Goffy Da Silva let the cat out of the bag about this Casino Gambling license to be given with every hotel built for the world cup cricket on Christopher Ram's Plain Talk Show aired on VCT two Sundays ago, these people knew about this promise of the license months ago, not last week when Jagdeo made the official statement that he may have to introduce Casino Gambling licenses as an incentive for building the hotels, but what eye pass to the Christian and the Muslim population in this country, he made this decision before the consultations with the public began, since construction has already started. Nobody is building a gambling casino over the road from, my house! Nobody, even if it takes every cent I have to stop it! And if you people perform your function as responsible citizens in this country and exercise your franchise to vote for the right reasons in these upcoming elections, no one else will be building any Brothels, Gambling casinos and short time hotels across the road from your houses either!

    It is like the Amerindian Act there were allegedly two years of consultations with the indigenous peoples but they still passed a bill which every Amerindian Association in the country rejected, it is like the movie one eyed jacks when the sheriff played by Karl Malden told the alleged killer Marlon Brando quote "sure kid you will get a fair trial, and then I am going to hang you personally" sure people, we will have wide ranging consultations about Casino Gambling in this nation, then they are going to go ahead and introduce it anyway.  

    Can't the PPP find some other way to develop this nation? What happened to the road to Brazil and the deep water harbour which the Brazilians so badly need? what happened to decreasing the cost of electricity by building a hydro power station? What are we doing about our ailing rice, sugar and bauxite industries?