Editorial – Before I get to what I really want to say, let me point out a few things that readers have to first understand, so that the crocodile tears that some crooked people are crying now, would be seen for just what they are; – the tears of ruthless and economically depriving crocodiles with their jaws wide open.
What the Guyana government did yesterday, taking temporary control of the Berbice Bridge, is nothing new on planet earth.
For this year alone, dozens of governments throughout the world were forced to abruptly take over investments that were either completely private or that were being operated via a public-private sector partnership arrangement, for one national reason or the other.
Four days ago, the US government seized Legacy Assurance, and the week before it seized two other private companies worth hundreds of millions of dollars, and have done so in the national interest of the United States.
A week ago, the Saudis seized an oil company, – in their national interest.
Across the UK, the British Government, only three weeks ago, took over HMP Birmingham from one of Europe’s largest security investors, and had also taken over more than five other private entities in the past one month alone. All in their national interest.
If you look across the rest of Europe from Slovenia to Croatia, you will discover that governments are continuously taking over private entities that they deem important to the economy and for which private investors are no longer operating in the national interest.
Want more? – Estonia, one of Europe’s most investor-friendly countries, took over at least 14 private entities so far for 2018, and did all of it in their national interest.
Over the past ten years, the Russian government, for example, had taken over more than two thousand companies, and subsequently jailed many of its directors for operating against the national interests.
Neighbouring Brazil and Venezuela have collectively taken over more than a hundred companies over the last year, all in their national interest.
Even before now, the collapsed on Wall Street during the global financial crisis, saw many governments from all over the world, taking control of banks and thousands of other economically important private companies without prior announcements and even without all of the required legislation to do so. But they had to.
Thereafter, many courts were unwilling to rule against the state considering the economic importance of the seized projects and companies, resulting practically all constitutional cases that had challenged State take-over of those private entities in the national interest, being thrown out of dozens of superior courts.
As far as the courts were concerned, state-initiated emergency measures genuinely aimed at averting a massive economic failure and socio-economic upheaval that could have affected more than half of the nation, was not a legally debatable matter under the circumstances. The seizures or takeovers had to be done. There was only a question of adequate compensation. Nothing else.
Therefore, the Guyana government’s temporary take over of the Berbice Bridge in the national interest is nothing to even frown upon or complain about. There are dozens of precedents out there to justify this.
In other words, the state was damn right to take over the operations of the bridge, whether the legislation had existed to do so or not.
Because if every other country in the world does it, why can’t Guyana do likewise in our national interest?
Goat Nah Bite We!
The operators of the Berbice Bridge should recall that the last company in the world whose directors had tried to force a ridiculous toll raise for using a bridge (though it was in the US), they were all jailed for obstructing the national interest and fraud under the Patriot Act.
After all, an economically important infrastructure that forms an integral part of a country’s economic lifeline and major transportation grid cannot be used as a profiteering bargaining chip.
So in Guyana’s case, the State did the right thing. You can also be assured that not a single Western country or any other nation would say anything to condemn the Government, for doing it.
Therefore, all of the non-supportive talks which claimed that the government’s action will scare away investors and would send the wrong message blah blah blah, is nothing more than a pile of splattered sh*t that is being yelled by a group of people who are bent on supporting the prolonged economic raping of Berbicians and the economy.
Just imagine, thousands of old people were robbed of their NIS contributions to build that bridge, while the government remains the largest investor and risk taker, but have to condone the skulduggery and greed of a few who did nothing more than inflating the investment cost so that the State would have unsuspectingly absolved 100% of the construction expense.
To add insult to injury, just imagine these crooks are now asking for more money and profits from cash investments that they materially never made.
The only decent way that I can put all of this over, is to insist that these so-called investment ‘crab dawgs’ have no shame.
It’s a pity that Guyana does not have an American-styled Patriot Act to jail them for investment leeching and ransom-making against the State.
The government should now note that all right-thinking Guyanese sincerely support the State taking over the bridge – forever. Forget the word “temporarily”.