I refer to comments made by Frederick Kissoon about Bharrat Jagdeo, in a column titled, “Jagdeo in New York: His Venezuelan Remark” (KN 10/07). He wrote: “Finally, Jagdeo is treading dangerously with his rhetoric on Venezuela… Jagdeo told his audience that APNU+AFC Government jeopardized the rice deal with Venezuela because of the government’s hostility to Venezuela….”
As he noted, Kissoon was not there. I was. The event was recorded. As such a tape exists to refute much of what Kissoon wrote, which is significantly incorrect and arrogant.
Regarding Venezuela, the former President said the Opposition will support the Government on all border issues. He reiterated what has already been stated in the press, as well as what was conveyed during his meeting with President David Granger.
Further, Jagdeo argued that while Guyana works to resolve any border issues, it should do so while maintaining good economic relations with its neighbours.
Accordingly, he noted that the regime’s decision to refuse a Venezuelan plane to land in Guyana because of an alleged outstanding bond of US$250,000 was unwarranted as it compromised a lucrative rice contract between the neighbours, which favoured Guyana tremendously.
He stated a figure, which I do not recall. But reporters in Guyana can get that from him, as some are bound to argue about profit and loss regarding Venezuela. After all, Guyana is now a loser, as the Venezuelans will buy rice from others, maybe the Surinamese.
Also, it is unnecessary for the supporters of any political party from Guyana, here primarily from the PPP, to be demonised as “flawed human beings” because they exercised a right to associate by attending a political event at which Jagdeo was guest speaker.
New York law was not violated. Yet, someone in Guyana is trying hard to say East Indians, by virtue of choosing the PPP, are automatic enemies of the state of Guyana. In all this talk of Venezuela and the enemy without, the first foe may very well be the PPP and its supporters, namely the enemy within.
If Kissoon or his New York source believes that a cause of action can be satisfied from statements made by Jagdeo in New York about Venezuela, then let them file a petition with the court. It is what nationalists would do.
If not, I point them to rhetoric made on or about March 17, 2015 by the leader of the coalition, now President Granger, when he said Guyana was a nation of jaguars led by jackasses.
His statement may have been clever for the coalition’s campaign, but it was not a remark a potential commander in chief would say publicly, as a jaguar is not a foremost symbol of strength, unlike a lion. Nor is a jackass a symbol of intelligence.
Said another way, this APNU/AFC coalition’s statement must have encouraged both Venezuela and Suriname regarding their recent land claims, because it openly portrayed Guyanese as weak and stupid. It further disrespected the Rastafarian community, as surely there must be at least one lion of Judah in Guyana, ready to do battle for love of country.