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By GHK Lall
We are yet again wading through the muddy waters deposited on us by VICE News. The latest is a tale of clashing truths, which depends on how truth is defined, and who is the source of such purity. I have my views, which have been placed in the square of local considerations; they stand or fall on the record of those involved, the troubles they have had with walking a straight line, and the stories that they put out to defend themselves. Today, I want to continue to focus attention on this ugly and disturbing leadership development, but leave others to come to their own conclusions. Mine ought to be obvious, but I refrain from trying to influence others with my take.
Both principals in this shabby, sickly affair say that the other is playing games with truth, tampering with what really went down, and reconfiguring circumstances to suit their self-serving agendas. To say it my way, what I gather is that both the hitherto unknown and mysterious (still mysterious) Mr. Su and this nation’s own Vice President-its de facto head of state in everything but name-are hurling what amounts to the equivalent of labeling each other pathological deceivers. In view of the claims and counterclaims of the respective parties, I think that one of the better ways to proceed is for me to do this clinically, as in coldly and bloodlessly, with Guyanese on either side of this conflict free to sift and come to their conclusions.
First, Mr. Su has made some damning allegations (others from his neck of the woods have since added their own flavors to the toxic corruption stews bubbling around the Vice President). What prompted him to spill the beans, so to speak, in what was inarguably a very cozy relationship? Was this savvy operator an innocent victim of entrapment? Or, perhaps more relevantly, what did he not get that prompted him to lash out? For what purposes, to get even, while knowing full well that he could be impairing the prospects of his Far East fellows? Who could be using him for their own bigger purposes?
To ask and answer, let’s say it is the Americans who desire to undermine the heavy Chinese presence in Guyana, and who are also a tad miffed at Guyana’s abrupt about face on Taiwan. Even so, the stain and stench around the Vice President remains, no matter how he struggles to shrug such off, and how his people rush to ward off the blows. This is because there is some substance to what is before us and has damaged our Guyanese brother. Clearly, the Vice President and this man named Su were close (too close) and enjoyed a relationship that went deep. Or, one that had more than meets the eye, and raises endless questions and concerns now the lid is blown, especially given the skills of a wheeler dealer like Mr. Su. Upstanding leaders shun such close relationships with foreign supplicants, keep them at a distance.
Second, I pursue more this relationship aspect. Here is Mr. Su controlling more land than most native Guyanese. Obviously, he had a most unbeatable political sponsor. The only candidate is the Vice President. Why was he not dealing with subject ministers or relevant State boards, as opposed to this worrying intimacy with the Vice President, as admitted? What were the grounds that made his sprawling local holdings and interests possible, and by whose clearance? What was the quid pro quo? As one example, he is into mining. We have people who are struggling forever to get permits and licenses, and this foreign gentleman repeatedly walks away with the house, just like that. What language Mr. Su and the Vice President was speaking that no other local was capable of speaking, including those who have donated considerable campaign sums to the PPP? What about the access that this foreigner had to the Vice President’s private residence that even some high-ranking local presences may have to make an appointment, including possibly the Chancellor (ag), the Opposition Leader, and the head of the Guyana Press Association? Good neighbors would be a good one, but it is too good to be true for such a busy leader, given what we now know.
Third, this is a cash intensive society, and it is the choice currency of conspirators at all levels in every crooked endeavor. Anybody know any dummy who does these kinds of underhanded business transactions with a check or a line of credit or a company voucher? If yes, then he or she should be in another line of business; or languishing in jail. Cash is untraceable, cash is clean (even for dirty exchanges), cash is print-free, hence evidence free. Oh, one more thing: in cases such as these, cash has no claimant, no companion, no camera. Nobody gave, nobody took, is the regular yarn. Except in this instance, one side is not having any of that self-protection. The questions come again.
What compels this cool-headed foreign businessman to get a rush of blood to the head and throw the Vice President under the bus? Why does he throw caution to the winds, and implicate himself under the laws of Guyana? As I see it, there is no upside for him. Even the lovely Chinese Embassy in sudden sanctimoniousness presented that beauty about no corruption. Regardless, it is definite that something went terribly wrong and only the Vice President is around to claim ill-directed smearing, wounded innocence, and foreign vengefulness. What goes around does comes around, doesn’t it? Of the Vice President, himself a canny and cunning national leader, how is it that he has friends like Mr. Su? Who would want that kind of relationship, I say friendship, with a foreigner of this caliber? Why even as a tenant, I inquire?
None of this makes any sense; yet, illuminatingly, makes for a lot of sense. I maintain silence and keep my thoughts to myself. I invite fellow Guyanese to be the judges