Daily Archives: 03/21/2022

GUYANA: History: Summarising the 1856 ‘Angel Gabriel’ Guyana Riots – By Nigel Westmaas

Artist’s impression of John Sayers Orr by Guyanese Errol Ross Brewster, 2022
Artist’s impression of John Sayers Orr by Guyanese Errol Ross Brewster, 2022

The so called ‘Angel Gabriel’ riots in British Guiana (Guyana) in 1856 has generally been passed over as another of many local riots in the colony. This in spite of the immensity of its size as a riot, its reception at a global level, its layered origins, and of course the international footprint and character of the riot’s main protagonist, John Sayers Orr, whose nom de guerre ‘angel Gabriel’ stuck as an attractive descriptive. But the radical footprint of Orr is no exaggeration. If he had lived in the present, Orr might have be deemed an intercontinental ‘ballistic’ missile.

There are only two known published articles on the 1856 riots in Guyana, namely VO Chan’s “The Riots of 1856 in British Guiana,”(1970)  and Mark Doyle’s  more updated, “The Angel Gabriel in the Tropics: British Guiana 1856” (2016). These and other assessments have focused both on Orr, his apparent aberrant interventions and hold on the masses, and the wider context and undercurrents and conditions prevailing in Guyana that allowed Orr to almost seamlessly intervene.            Continue reading

GUYANA: BOOT illusions and Amaila Falls Hydro-Electric Project – By Dr. Tarron Khemraj

The build-own-operate-transfer (BOOT) financial arrangement has been used around the world to fund important infrastructure in partnership between government and private investors. In this financing model, the private investor upfronts the initial investment cost and expects to be repaid over some time period. The investor has an expected rate of return before underwriting the project.

Guyana’s government – particularly the pre-2015 and post-2020 PPP/C – has sold this financial arrangement as one where the government undertakes no risk or financial obligation. The public is often told that the government is not upfronting any money; as a result, the builder-owner-operator bears the financial burden and risks. If it sounds too good to be true, it is.        Continue reading
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