Tony Vieira's Comments
22 October 2017

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(Aired 21 August 2006)

   In a previous commentary I said that Mr. Jagdeo is lying when he told the public that his Government initiated the auditor General's Reports, and that he was studiously reproducing them to ensure accountability since 1992. I also established that not only was he forced to live with Mr. Goolsaran and the legal powers that Hoyte gave the Audit Department, he and his government were accused of every conceivable fiscal irregularity possible over the years, and that not one of them was ever charged and put before the courts, these accounting breeches which Goolsaran pointed out to us, on numerous occasions in his annual audit, are fraudulent criminal offences but not once was any PPP functionary charged. So after persecuting the man for 14 years he resigned, the PPP have finally gotten what they wanted all along an Auditor General who is totally unqualified to perform that function and the 2004 audit report has numerous and glaring errors. Do not be misled, your future and mine stands in the balance here. The PPP cannot run this country, and they have done nothing to enhance the country's economy. And I will prove it here tonight. But first let us deal with a few problems.     

   The reason why you people are so poor is that the PPP is directly or indirectly stealing a substantial amount of your money, and their incompetence, which is now legendary, is wasting the rest. Sure we have a rehabilitated road here and a rehabilitated school there but those expenditures should have come from routine generation of revenue and not from Capital Borrowing and the PPP have been on a borrowing spree since 1992 nearly 1.6 billion US worth of borrowing, the PNC left us with a debt after 28 years of 2 billion dollars but we were not repaying those debts since we were negotiating to write them off, then the PPP and Jagdeo rushed in with their inexperience to renegotiate these loans and we ended up paying more interest as a nation, and if the PNC had borrowed at the same rate as the PPP we have had a debt of 3.2 billion after 28 years, so I ask the question again, where is there located a road, which goes somewhere new and opens land for development, or creates wealth for the nation, or creates jobs for you? The answer is nowhere. Whatever you want to say about the PNC they can show modern telecommunications since they privatised telecoms, they can show roads where there were no roads before in number 1 and number 2 canals, the East Bank and the East Coast roads, the Corantyne, the massive MMA scheme which brought lands the size of Barbados under cultivation and the Black Bush polder enhancement projects, the road to Linden, the Canje Bridge, the Demerara Harbour Bridge, the West Coast/ West Bank highways from Parika to Patentia, the 4 lane road from Pleasance to Georgetown, The National Park, the Cultural Centre, The road to Lethem, Hoyte had the Brazilian company Paranapenama converting the cattle trail to a road and it was almost complete with only one bridge left to be built when the PPP came to power and stopped it, there is no question that road would be surfaced today opening the gate to Brazil. You think back and tell your children the truth, that as bad as they are hearing that the PNC were, they did more for this nation and filled their pockets less than these criminals now in power who want to get back in power through lies and deceptions to thief more.

   You have numerous ministers who are openly doing things for which any self respecting nation would immediately demand their resignation. You have for example what is called conflict of interest, for people who do not understand conflict of interest, let me give you this example, we can't have a minister of Health buying drugs for this nation from a company in which he has shares, a minister who is probably happy when we have a natural disaster so that he can buy more drugs for people to prevent leptospirosis and other infections, now GPC is not manufacturing these drugs, they are buying them from India so why can't the government contact the company in India who supply these drugs and get a better price as Guysuco does, why must we buy from GPC to make the minister of Health richer, also one of the main shareholders of the New GPC is the PPP's head fund raiser for this elections, that is a total conflict of interest, is the US government who is giving us money to buy drugs to fight HIV/AIDS paying attention, is the IDB?

   These people are so contemptuous of you that they are not even trying to cover their tracks, also you can't have ministers who's incompetence and corruption are creating so much poverty, crime and economic chaos in this country, that they are sending their own children live and attend school abroad, whilst our children, yours and mine, have to live here amidst the crime the squalor and the poverty, you cant have a Minister of Trade who after 5 years is office has gone from rags to riches, you can't have a Pradoville without someone answering to an integrity commission, the corruption in this country is so apparent that you do not have to try to prove it, the PPP's own supporters understand and apparently accept it.       

   Recently Mr. Jagdeo lied, again, and I want to know how you can support a man who will speak the truth, he is now confirming what I have been saying since 2001, that he says one thing and something completely different happens. It happened in the Dialog with Hoyte, Jagdeo had the opportunity to unite this nation during this dialog with Hoyte, he was poised to become one of the most popular and important presidents this nation ever saw, and that includes Cheddie Jagan and Forbes Burnham but he betrayed the process, he did it because he was not strong enough to get the PPP to keep the promises he made to Desmond Hoyte and he betrayed the man and this nation, if I as the president in this nation gave my word to Hoyte, or anyone else for that matter, and I was prevented from keeping those promises, the PPP would have to look for a new President. Its called integrity.

  But it is now coming out that Bharat Jagdeo himself is a liar and would not know the truth if it jumped up and bit him in the face. He has now said in his new TV commercial that he has already negotiated with the IDB for a 20 million dollar loan with which he will fight crime and that he will hire Kerik or whoever else he thinks is necessary to get crime under control. In an unprecedented move the Inter-American Development Bank (IDB) issued a statement on Friday telling us that none of its current bank operations in Guyana is financing the consulting services of Bernard Kerik either as an individual or as part of a consulting firm. It was a huge slap in Mr. Jagdeo's face the IDB told us that it released this statement after the publication of several articles in the local media and the receipt of enquiries from different stakeholders. So Mr. Jagdeo is lying.........again!

   Now we come to the economics of Guyana, and for this purpose I decided to look at the national budgets for the period 2000 to 2006. during this period when the PPP said that they made progress in this country, they spent a total of 536 billion dollars, but only collected a total of 347 billion dollars in revenue and therefore lost, borrowed and got grant aid to the tune of 189 billion dollars which our children will have to repay, the revenue collecting of this beg and borrow government which comes mainly from taxing you and me at customs and at the revenue authority, increased by only 31 % from 2000 to 2006 but the national budget increased by 64% during this same period of 2000 to 2006! So in the area of economics Mr. Jagdeo and the PPP are can qualify as being national disasters. 

   But what did they do with all of this capital spending they borrowed; I am asking again can someone tell me where they invested money that employed people? Can anyone show me where they created economic wealth for you their citizens to ease the tax burden on you? Can anyone show me how they used it to pay you a better salary? Can anyone show me where they spent it to protect you from criminals? Can anyone show me where they put in place one project which can bring wealth to this nation and your children? Can anyone show me where they put it to create employment for you? Please show me where, I would like to see it!

  The experts tell us that whilst the legitimate revenue collection is around 58 billion Guyana dollars a year or around 290 million US dollars, the remittances, that is the money that people living abroad send to aid their family members still living here in Guyana is around 150 million US a year, and that the drug trade of around 25 tons of cocaine a year brings into the Guyana economy around 150 million US a year. So the people abroad and the drug trade is bringing in more money 300 million US that the PPP government who have borrowed nearly 1.6 billion dollars since 1992.