Category Archives: Commentary

Venezuela: Illicit Trade Represents 21% of Venezuela’s GDP: Is This Our Post-Oil Future?

Venezuela – Click to enlarge

Tony Frangie Mawad | Caracas Chronicles

 After calculating the current annual worth of drug, gold and gasoline trafficking and port smuggling in Venezuela, a study by the local chapter of the anti-corruption nonprofit Transparency International — with estimates from Ecoanalítica, a Venezuelan economic consulting firm — concluded that these illegal economies made up 21.74% of Venezuela’s GDP last year.

“This means they are more powerful than any other economic sector right now, including oil,” says Mercedes De Freitas, Transparencia Venezuela’s executive director. “And we are talking only about the size of four of these economies, the most important ones. THERE ARE OTHER ILLICIT TRADES: Certain types of food smuggling, diesel smuggling, cooking gas trafficking, human trafficking or timber trafficking, which could be important in some regions.”       Continue reading

GUYANA: Building Expo 2022- Govt. pledges millions of dollars in free building materials for eligible applicants

Building Expo 2022… -Slashes interest rates for houses and buildings

Scenes from Friday 22 July Launch of Building Expo 2022.

By Shervin Belgrave – Kaieteur News  – Guyana’s largest and most anticipated Building Exposition officially opened on Friday afternoon at the Providence National Stadium.

The event was noticeably enveloped by grandiose decorations, state-of -the-art architectural layouts for hundreds of booths and all the pomp and ceremony, one could envision for the opening that featured presentations from President, Irfaan Ali; Housing and Water Minister, Collin Croal; and Minister within his ministry; Susan Rodrigues.

READ MORE: https://www.kaieteurnewsonline.com/2022/07/23/govt-pledges-millions-worth-of-free-building-materials-for-eligible-house-lot-applicants/#

GUYANA: Four Points by Sheraton in Houston fits into expansion of economic zone – President Ali

– Says project strategically aligned to Govt’s development goals

His Excellency Dr Irfaan Ali said that Four Points by SheratonMarriott Bonvoy to be constructed at Houston, along the new Eccles to Mandela Road link, is just one component of the rapid economic zone set to change the landscape of the country.

He noted that the hotel, which is being developed by Caribbean Green Building Inc., would be a “natural spin-off” for development and key to the growth and progression of the area.

He stated that the area would have a private sector industrial/commercial development to support the oil and gas sector, which would be a part of a huge commercial zone, an upscale housing development, a medical and technological zone, and a service hub.        Continue reading

UK: Rishi Sunak steps up attack on Truss tax cuts as poll puts his rival – Liz Truss -well ahead

Former chancellor says opponent’s economic policies risk stoking inflation and pushing up interest rates

Rishi Sunak

Rishi Sunak

, and Thu 21 Jul 2022 20.23 BST – The GUARDIAN. UK

His attack came as a new poll of Tory party members gave Truss a commanding lead in the race to become prime minister.

Tax and spending has become the key battleground in the hard-fought contest, with Sunak insisting that cutting taxes immediately, as Truss has promised, would risk exacerbating the cost of living crisis.          Continue reading

USA: America’s Epidemic of Hate – Cynthia Miller-Idriss | Foreign Affairs

By Cynthia Miller-Idriss | Foreign AffairsUSA: America’s Epidemic of Hate – Cynthia Miller-Idriss | Foreign Affairs

The murder of seven parade attendees on July 4 in Highland Park, Illinois, was horrifying — and all too predictable. Over the past decade, there have been scores of mass killings across the United States. In 2012, a shooter murdered seven Sikh worshipers in Oak Creek, Wisconsin. In 2015, an assailant massacred nine Black people at a church in Charleston, South Carolina. An attacker killed 23 Walmart shoppers in 2019 in El Paso, Texas. And on May 24 of this year, a shooter killed 21 people in Uvalde, Texas.

These episodes have no single formula, but recent assailants typically share a similar set of toxic traits: A history of murderous fantasies, violent nihilism, self-harm, or suicidal ideation; withdrawal from friends and family; and streaks of cruelty expressed through the torture or killing of animals, the stalking or harassing of women, or threats of rape and other physical harm. Investigators are still learning about the Highland Park assailant and his motive, but they know that the 21-year-old alleged shooter had threatened to kill his family and commit suicide. Similarly, the man charged with murdering ten Black Americans in June 2022 at a grocery store in Buffalo, New York, had threatened to commit a murder-suicide and had written about stabbing and beheading a cat.            Continue reading

Guyana SPEAKS / AGNAHP’s Annual Concert / Recording of ‘Empire to Independence

Please note that ‘Guyana SPEAKS’ is on a SUMMER BREAK. The next event will be held on Sunday, 25th September 2022 and will include a discussion on Wordsworth McAndrew.  Details to be provided nearer the time.
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In the interim, I hope you’ll be interested in supporting the ANNUAL CONCERT organised by the Association of Guyanese Nurses & Allied Health Professionals(AGNAHP).  This will take place on Sunday, 31st July at 2pm.  Tickets can be purchased via the following link:
I’d be grateful if you could please share this information with your contacts.
If you have any questions about the event, please email info@agnap.org       

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SURINAME: Politics: Protest gets grimmer; protesters want to storm Cabinet

Huge crows outside the Office of the President – Paramaribo. Suriname

July 18, 2022

(Suriname Herald) Protests against the policies of the Santokhi government are getting grim. At the Office of the President, protesters just tried to enter the grounds of the Office of the President. They were stopped by presidential security.

There is a huge crowd at both the Office of the President and the Independence Square. The people are very heated. One chants “Down with Chan!”.            Continue reading

GUYANA: World Bank slams Guyana over lax oversight of Exxon’s operation

Jul 17, 2022 – Kaieteur News – A recent report by the World Bank has criticised the Guyana Government’s offshore oil production arrangement with Esso Exploration and Production Guyana Limited (EEPGL)—ExxonMobil Guyana—based on safety, environmental concerns and inadequate payment and has since downgraded its rating of the country’s oversight of the project.

The report dated March 2022, documents the World Bank issuing an interim report that found the country’s rating had slipped from “Moderately Satisfactory” to “Moderately Unsatisfactory.”

According to the World Bank, while grant activities have been designed to help Guyana boost staff, experts, training and analysis at the Ministry of Natural Resources and Ministry of Finance, this came to a halt at the end of 2021. This is despite the fact that grants made to the country were expected to support work through 2024. Meanwhile, flaring pollution and other risks continue.    Continue reading

OPINION: Bribery and corruption – By Neville J. Bissember

By Neville J. Bissember

In February 1999, as the second round of negotiations on a successor Agreement to the Lome Convention advanced – the name Cotonou had not as yet been determined – the African, Caribbean and Pacific (ACP) Group and the European Union (EU) travelled to Senegal to hold those discussions, honoring the tradition of an ACP Member State playing host to a session.  Besides the EU’s intention to “balkanise” the grouping into six regional trade blocks and to dispense European Development Fund assistance differently, a priority area for them in the political dimension of the cooperation arrangement was on introducing good governance, which included addressing bribery and corruption, as an essential element.    Continue reading

Guyana: Opposition Leader Aubrey Norton asks youths to “desist” from robbing people during protests;

GUYANA: Opposition Leader Aubrey Norton warns of hidden motive to create ethnic tension

Residents of Mon Repos on the protest line.

Opposition Leader Aubrey Norton has urged supporters to be cautious about protest marches whose aim is to spark off attacks on Indo-Guyanese, in the wake of last month’s assault and robbing of vendors at the Mon Repos Market, East Coast Demerara by a group of persons who marched from Golden Grove to protest the police killing of a resident.

Addressing an event at Golden Grove, he urged supporters to desist from robbing persons. “We will fight for justice for all ethnic groups and so I want to urge the young ones, who seem to believe that every protest is an opportunity for them to rob people, to desist. They are destroying the struggle of the people,” he said.            Continue reading

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