OPINION: The US has moved, dropped the hammer

Last Updated on Tuesday, 11 June 2024, 18:44 by Writer

by GHK Lall

Like a new generation champion lion, the United States of America has marked out its territory. There are no physical barriers, but an infrared light flashes at high intensity: venture at own risk. The People’s Progressive Party tells itself that it is a power answerable to no one. Not even God, I think. There is God, then there is the United States. More pointedly, there is the US Treasury, the Office of Foreign Assets Control. It has its own commandments, and they are written in stone. SDNs are among the first commandments, and this is no abstraction. Specially Designated Nationals, is the term of art. Where does the PPP stand? What is the PPP Government going to do?

There is a senior public servant, very senior, and that shove to the ministerial backwater looks even more humiliating in the light of new developments. This is the party that lays claim to the highest moral and ethical purity, only for it to fall repeatedly into the septic tank. Transfer a social media reviler and telephone owner protected by party and police, and it is not the end of the matter. On the private side, there is so much that the Minister of Propaganda will be forced to refine at his Thursday afternoon jam sessions. With the occasional observance of his frequent pawing in the wind, an ancient memory comes hurtling forward: those who attack too much, defend too much, and angrily conceal too much, use those to disguise their inner collapse. One man has flaunted his power, flexed his muscles, and spoke loudly weekly before little people while misusing the power of leadership, now has a whole sewage tank dumped on his sorry face, and a world of calumny with which to cope. I have repeatedly said to him and the other big man: deal with the right people, do the people’s business right, and there will be renown left and right (and up north, where such things count), for what having lived right. Ah, this thing called leadership and governance can be a tangled web, even without the vacillations and deceptions, the obfuscations and concoctions.

Amid the rush of headlines that overwhelmed on Tuesday morning, there was that grand contradiction of a caption: “Guyana successfully defended anti-money laundering ratings at CFATF -AG’s Chambers” (SN, June 11). It was good for the leader of those Chambers to manifest the rare wisdom not to have his face and voice associated with that defense. I wonder what he is going to say now; how all of them are going to spin this one. The public servant must go. The Central Committee should be one less (at least temporarily) until the gales calm. I see a new career in the waiting for those who allowed themselves to get sucked into the swamp of PPP darkness and its dark and dirty deeds. The Minister of Natural Resources just broke his monastic silence, to announce that ‘rent-a-citizen’ is out, and those who violate that standing order risk being out of commission, even in a first-class seat on the next plane out. For old times’ sake, and in recognition of faithful servanthood, the lady could be given free passage to rent self out with a wink and a knowing nod. One for the girls from the boys. It would be a lucrative career move, starting over, with her head of secrets intact.

The private people must make their own way, pay their own fare. All their past generosity is of no meaning now. An old truism is proven right again: in seasons of sunshine and glitter, there are more friends and comrades than are wished for, who can be embraced. When it starts to rain, the only people getting wet are those who find themselves all alone. To touch is to taint. Oneself. To go near to is to contaminate. I told my fellow Guyanese over and over: don’t mess with the white people. They laughed and thought that they were making fools of others. Where has all the laughter gone, the revelries of August 2020? On a separate but still related note, the same AG area has been speaking about extradition developments in recent times. Who is the US going to ask for, who will be given up, are the first two questions. First, it was a predator, as claimed by the allegedly victimized; now today, there is the USA giving Guyana a Fourth of July blessing near the middle of June. They had surfaced before with a lady from a place called VICE News. Man, did everybody have a long, big, laff, in their chortlings of ‘how about some evidence…. What are they going to ask for now? Who will even have the anatomical brawn even to venture a word about all these startling messages flashing on the wind?

The headman talks a good game about transparency and accountability. The other bossman who doesn’t know anymore whether he still has a head is all about doing what is good for the Americans. As if that gives a pass. In normal circumstances, it would. But not when things are so far gone in PPP Guyana. Not when coded ambassadorial language (and all those CIA and NYPD visits) has been routinely ignored, scorned. The bell has tolled. There will be more tolling. Trust me, my fellow Guyanese. Just this once.