Guyana President Ali’s Silence is Criminal

Guyana President Ali’s Silence is Criminal

By Arthur Piccolo

The ongoing dispute between Exxon, Chevron, and Hess presents a critical opportunity for Guyana to secure a fair and prosperous future. However, President Ali’s decision to remain neutral and his failure to renegotiate the terms of the contracts with these oil giants betray the nation’s potential. It is time for Ali to wake up and take decisive action to protect and advance Guyana’s interests. The future of the country depends on it.

President Ali’s silence and inaction are inexcusable. This is not a time for neutrality or complacency but for bold leadership and decisive action. By failing to protect and advance Guyana’s interests in this critical moment, Ali is not just missing an opportunity but committing a grave disservice to his nation. The people of Guyana deserve better. They deserve a leader who will fight for their future, not one who remains silent in the face of exploitation. Why isn’t Ali under criminal investigation

As Guyana stands on the cusp of an unprecedented economic boom fueled by its recent oil discoveries, President Dr. Mohamed Irfaan Ali’s silence, and inaction in the face of the ongoing dispute between ExxonMobil, Chevron, and Hess over the Stabroek Block is nothing short of criminal. This pivotal moment demanded decisive leadership to secure a prosperous future for Guyana. Yet, Ali’s administration has chosen a path of neutrality and complacency, failing to protect and advance the nation’s interests.

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The ongoing dispute between ExxonMobil, Chevron, and Hess over the control of the Stabroek Block has placed Guyana at a critical juncture. With the potential to significantly impact the nation’s economic future, the situation demanded proactive and strategic actions from President Ali. Instead, the government’s choice to remain neutral and accept the outcome of the arbitration process without actively engaging in renegotiations to secure better terms is a betrayal of Guyana’s potential and its people.

Drawing inspiration from countries like Norway and Qatar, which have successfully negotiated equitable oil contracts, Guyana had the opportunity to transform its future radically. Increasing royalty rates, revising profit-sharing agreements, and enhancing environmental safeguards are not just options but necessities to ensure that the wealth generated from Guyana’s oil reserves benefits its citizens. However, President Ali’s administration has failed to pursue these essential changes.

With its estimated 11 billion barrels of oil, the Stabroek Block represents one of the most coveted assets in the global oil industry. This high-stakes dispute is not just about corporate maneuvering; it’s about the future of Guyana. Revenues from this oil could fund critical infrastructure projects, improve healthcare and education, and lift countless Guyanese citizens out of poverty. 

Yet, by not actively engaging in renegotiations, Ali’s administration is losing billions in potential revenue and allowing multinational corporations to continue exploiting the nation’s resources on criminally unfavorable terms.

By choosing neutrality, President Ali is throwing away a crucial opportunity to advocate for better terms and ensure that the oil wealth benefits Guyana’s people, not just foreign corporations. The current agreement with Exxon is heavily skewed in favor of the company, and renegotiation is not only possible but necessary. Welcoming major operators like Chevron could be beneficial, done on terms that ensure Guyana reaps the maximum benefits from its resources, except that Guyana lacks a real leader.

The path forward is clear, yet Ali’s administration continues to ignore strategic recommendations that could secure Guyana’s future:

Ensuring all contracts protect Guyana’s interests and include strict environmental and social governance standards. Engaging with international organizations for guidance and support in negotiations and legal disputes. Managing oil revenues transparently and investing in long-term economic stability and growth.

So-called President Ali is nothing but a puppet serving Exxon’s interests.

Arthur Piccolo, Chairman of Bowling Green Association in Lower Manhattan, New York City, has long been interested in America’s greatest immigrant, Alexander Hamilton, who lived and is buried in Lower Manhattan. This interest led to his wider interest in the Caribbean generally, its past, present, and future.

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