Tony Vieira's Comments
18 October 2017

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Revival of our Guyana
(Aired 23 August 2006)

    After 14 years of total mismanagement this country has lost the momentum of Hoyte's Economic Recovery Programme, some of the reasons why the PPP lost the momentum of the Economic Recovery Programme are contained in their 1992 manifesto, at that time the country had embarked on bold initiatives to liberalise the economy putting in the Cambios etc. and opening the country to investment, entities such as Omai, Barama, GT&T, Guyana Timbers etc. were privatised, the Economic Recovery Programme also visualised the privatisation of the Electricity Corporation and Guysuco, no one can doubt that if these entities were privatised in 1991 we would have had Hydro power here since 1996 since it was an important conditionality of the privatisation of the Electricity Corporation, and what happened to Guysuco today would have been the responsiblity of other people who have capital such as Booker Tate and not poor Guyana. The PPP's 1992 manifesto said this and I quote it "the PNC's privatisation/divestment policy, carried out with indecent haste, complete secrecy and preferences to foreign investors, is leading to the re-colonisation of Guyana and to the enrichment of some at the expense of our national and people's interests, a halt will be put to the wholesale sell-out of our national assets and give away prices, with rampant racketeering. We have no intention of repudiating past deals, but they will be subjected to review. However the PPPC assumes no obligation with regards to any pre-election divestment" as regards the secretly-concluded divestment agreements, full disclosure will be made of their terms and conditions, particularly those in forestry and mining deals which encroach on the rights of the Amerindian people. The process of divestment will be fully democratised and made transparent" end quote.

    This first manifesto was accusing the PNC of conducting secret negotiations, just as the PPP are doing now, but they were telling the investors that Jagan was going to revisit every privatisation deal and investigate them, that sent chills up the spine of the international investors, virtually bringing the process of privatisation and investment to a halt and sabotaged Hoyte's economic recovery programme, so the PPP sabotaged the economy of this country twice, once when they [as satellites of communist USSR] arsoned thousands of acres in the sugar industry and called totally unnecessary strikes in the sugar industry and paid on rice farmers not to plant rice, all of which was funded by money from the communist Bloc, after Jagan came to power in 92, he again sabotaged the economy by rushing in accusing the PNC of all sorts of corruption and impropriety and frightened investors away, the sad was that his government was even less transparent than the PNC.  

   In the 1992 manifesto we for example see this and I quote it "under a PPP/C administration a free and democratic media policy will mean no government or state monopoly over the media, a guarantee of private ownership in keeping with pluralist democracy and freedom of the media and opening the media to different shades of opinion " end quote, after 14 years in office, the PPP continues to hold a monopoly in radio, and they seek to victimise anyone who holds an opposing view to theirs, the PPP talks about a free Guyana we have a programme running right now called "parties on the issues" on VCT 28 from 9-10 nightly not one business wants to sponsor this programme since they are fearful of victimisation, that's reality of the Guyana condition today, fear, fear of speaking out, fear of killer gangs run by the government, fear of victimisation of your businesses if you support who you want to support but you are being told that you have a democracy. What democracy?

  But let's return to the PPP's 1992 election lies, in it we see this "subjective considerations such as race, gender or party affiliation will not form the basis for appointment or promotion. Appointments and promotions will be based on merit, qualification and experience" end quote..... yea right!

  In their 1997 manifesto when the PPP began to understand that you have to have liberal investment policies, foreign investment, a functioning brain and good negotiating skills to keep the economic recovery programme, which was by that time failing and instead of the economy growing at nearly 8.5% as it was in 1992/4, it was dropping at an alarming rate, so in 1997 the manifesto tells us that Dr. Jagan's dreams even though he had died remains undiminished and that they had attracted 500 million US in foreign investment! So the PPP were claiming credit for OMAI, Barama GT&T etc. and that they had done so through the following initiatives that the PPP said that they put in place for the private sector to flourish 1. The creation of a non discretionary incentive scheme, no one I have spoken to can figure what these were. 2. Reduction and removal of customs duties and consumption Tax for a number of commodities, earlier this year when the price of fuel escalated, the government's response was slow to help the rice farmers or the shrimping and fishing industry with lower fuel prices. 3. Promulgation of a new companies act, of course this meant the PPP was taking credit for Hoyte's new companies act by 1997. 4. Repeal of the exchange control act; again this was a Hoyte imitative setting up the Cambios. 5. Repeal of the Capital Issues act, again taking credit for Hoyte's initiative. 6. Establishing and refining GO-INVEST as a one stop agency. GO-INVEST in this election is advertising for the PPP, so this is not the promised one stop non political entity we were promised.  So in the PPP's 1997 manifesto they told this nation that they had accomplished 7 things, 6 of which were actually done by Desmond Hoyte.

  So lets look at their 2001 lies.... I mean manifesto, it is headed quote "let progress continue" now by 2001 the economy which was growing at 7-8 percent in the early mid nineties from Hoyte's economic initiatives had come down to almost 0 percent by 2001 due to poor management of the Economy. But "let progress continue' was the cry,... and progress down the tubes did continue since lack of jobs and poverty creates crime and so inevitably crime became a national problem and added a new dimension to the Guyana situation.   

      The 2001 manifesto nevertheless says that the PPP had rebuilt Guyana in 8 short years, it told us that we are one of the most democratic countries in the Americas, of course we had victimisation, marginalisation, human rights violations and freedom of speech violations around every corner in the country, but the PPP's 2001 manifesto claimed that progress in many areas were continuing. Nowhere did it tell you that the rice farmers were almost bankrupt, that the sugar industry which was giving 3 billion dollars to the national treasury in 1992 was in economic decline by 2001 with a wage bill it could not afford, that the bauxite industry which had more potential than sugar had declined due to political marginalisation of the people working in that sector, nowhere did they tell you why the cost of electricity was the highest in the world, nowhere did they tell you that the foreign debt was due to debt forgiveness and not good governance, nowhere did they tell you that the courts were not functioning to deliver justice to this nation and that in fact it was working against justice in this nation, nowhere did they tell you where the new industries and industrial zones they were claiming that they built were located, how many people they were employing, and how much money they were bringing into the treasury, nowhere did they tell you that in the 14 years since coming to power this country had become one of the most important conduits of cocaine to the US, nowhere did they tell you that they refused to pass anti corruption laws.

    So as far as the PPP's Manifestos are concerned, I do not take them seriously any more or I would have to drink tranquilisers to curb my rising blood pressure at the eye pass, the misrepresentation and the lies contained in them. For example this year's 2006 manifesto under "agriculture" these people have the effrontery to tell you that drainage and irrigation systems has been transformed through government investment of more than 18 billion dollars over the last 13 years, providing better control of water for farming purposes. Is the PPP speaking about our Guyana coast?