Tag Archives: Agri-Investment Forum and Expo in Guyana on May 19-21

GUYANA promotes agriculture; fends off protectionism charge in oil diversification — By Mohamed Hamaludin

By MOHAMED HAMALUDIN

“Oil “don’t spoil,” the late Dr. Eric Williams, prime minister of petroleum-rich Trinidad and Tobago, was reported to have once said. To which the late Forbes Burnham, then prime minister of agriculture-oriented Guyana, retorted, “But you can’t eat it.”

What happens when you have both oil and food? Lots of headache.

Tension between the two Caribbean Community (CARICOM) nations has existed for decades, even though Trinidad and Tobago once wrote off a US$400 million debt Guyana owed for petroleum products, according to former Guyana Parliament Speaker Ralph Ramkarran.

Many Guyanese traveled to other CARICOM countries to live and work in the 1970s and 1980s, “creating monumental chaos” during transit at Trinidad’s Piarco International Airport “with huge bundles packed with goods being brought back to Guyana for trading,” Ramkarran wrote in a Guyanese Online column.“ No single Guyanese passing through Trinidad during this era, and even much later, has not experienced surly, enhanced scrutiny and less than accommodating reception at Trinidad’s Immigration and Customs desks.”          Continue reading

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