Last Updated on Monday, 20 June 2022, 10:37 by Writer
by GHK Lall
VICE News is back in town, and it has all the ferocity of a Cat-5 hurricane. Though a bit of old hat, it still has the power to sweep across this town and cause much consternation in high places. I understand the Hon. Vice President is upset, but he shouldn’t expect better. Not when he surrounds himself with a certain kind of people. Not when he himself exudes a seeming distinctive odor that appears to give him away, anger and all. Not when the troubled culture of this land is usually laid at his feet by all, including winking and nodding supporters.
There he was in person, Mr. Su in this his fabled second coming, and with my own dear Vice President as the star attraction. The Vice President is the man of the moment; the man who can make mountains move, and get things moving at the required clip, at his slightest command, the merest lifting of a regal eyelash. Jesus may have walked on water, and Mohamed gained a reputation for moving mountains, but Guyana’s Vice President make them talk and dance to his tune.
In the Vice President’s own words, and I don’t for a minute think it was that of an impersonator, it was something to the effect of ‘Mr. Su handles all the agreements.’ Say what? That is placing a lot of trust in one man, and a foreigner at that. It is a killer, no matter how mild a meaning I put on that beauty of ‘all the agreements.’ I wish that I was in such a position, with that kind of connections, such kinds of relationships. To say in my own words what the Vice President said is this: Comrade Su, is a brother of the flock, he is one of us; and one who is trusted to do business with because he claims to know how the system works, what is expected as his side of the bargain. He has delivered in the past, and he is good for the future, no matter the size of the undertaking.
As a self-proclaimed middleman, Brother Su and tenant Su (soon to be out on his derriere) can’t be beat. For claimed connections to the top of Guyana’s political heap. For allegedly doing his part, delivering his share, and keeping his mouth shut. That was so, until now, and that is why the needle on the measurement scales are in the red Cat-5 zone. It is an earthquake zone here, but not to worry (to come back to later). From my perspective, that was a cardinal error in putting all the eggs in one basket as fetched by one man. Recall: he gets all the agreements, which is playing with fire. And it is not because he speaks English, but because of the kind of language in which he is versed in speaking.
According to Su and his newfound Chinese friend, everything in Guyana is up for grabs, and it goes right up to the heights. The biggest man on the block is the one that businessman Su calls the boss. It is part admiration, part awe, and the last allocating respect where such is due. In Cosa Nostra lingo, the Vice President is a man to respect, a man of honor. It is do business with him, or get lost.
Incidentally, and in his own defense, this is the very claim that the Vice President makes for himself. That he is a man of honor, that he doesn’t do business of that nature, and that he doesn’t take bribes. I hear the Vice President loudly and very clearly, but that is all. For all I can promise the Vice President today is that I will get back to him some day, when I arrive at that wonderful place where I can say that I am for him and with him on these bold assertions of his. I regret that cynicism and this degree of skepticism have crept into my considerations about leaders in Guyana. It is the environment, stupid. Still, I feel for the Vice President, and I had warned him: lie down with dogs and the fleas are hard to be rid of; they stick. The problem is who is the dog, who are those coming to do the lying down, and who are the sticky fleas. I take a raincheck on that one, too. I am sorry that my support is not of the unequivocal kind that the Vice President gave on behalf of dear Mr. Su. I am simply not made of such magnificent stuff.
Despite all this, I go back to what I said earlier, the Vice President has nothing to worry about, nothing to sweat over too long. This, too, will pass, as everything inevitably does in Guyana. For this is Guyana, and nobody really cares about corruption and bribe taking and leadership deceptions anymore. This is so second nature to our natures that it is anything goes and the bigger the better. In the simplest way I can put this: who cares? And to ask and answer—not a single Guyanese does anymore. Thus, the Vice President is on safe ground, and lives to fight many other days. He has lost nothing, not even face; and nothing to fear or lose. Underminers and all. Foreign betrayers and all. And naysayers and critics and all can go to, ah, hell. Talk about sellouts, can’t trust anybody these days. On this one, I am one with the Vice President, but nothing else.