We see that Granger met with Trinidad PM Kamla Persaud Bissessar this afternoon for talks which the Twitter feed said were about co-operating on oil and gas exploration.
Perhaps premature on the exploration part and actually we suspect he was there to talk about buying fuel from Trinidad and busting off the PetroCaribe deal. A Bloomberg report a week ago had quoted Winston Jordan as saying Guyana was “actively considering other options….This is a scenario where Venezuela has the oil and we are buying the oil on an arrangement from them — they could cut it off at any time. You have to be prepared.” Greenidge had also recently hinted that switching to another supplier would not be a big deal.
Guyana currently receives about 5200 barrels of fuel a day from Venezuela or about 50% of total supplies and owes accumulated debt of US$184M as of December 2014 – 15.1% of the country’s total external debt. While it is unlikely Guyana would get a similar deal with Trinidad – where some of the bill is paid right away and the rest financed – with the current low price of oil it would not be a great hardship. And who knows he might get Kamla to take some of that rice. Switching is the kind of proactive move Granger would do even as he suggests that he is amenable to meeting Maduro perhaps on the sidelines of UN General Assembly in late September. Although what really is there to talk about?
Two great longreads for the weekend. First a NYT profile of Guyanese bird racers in New York which includes audio of the different tweets of the “towa towa” in four different countries. “Federal agents have visited Mr. Harinarain’s home in Cypress Hills, where he lives with his wife and 43 birds that chirp from almost every corner, including the bathroom. The more valuable ones are monitored with webcams streamed to his iPhone…”
And this from Gaiutra Bahadur in Foreign Policy on how Guyana’s present cannot escape its tortured past. although is Granger suggesting we forget about it in this insightful quote? “But Granger says that historical accounting might not be what the nation needs in order to heal.”People have spoken about truth and reconciliation,” he told me. “I always tell them that the truth doesn’t always bring reconciliation. You can discover the truth about something, but it doesn’t always mean that you’re reconciled to the perpetrators of misdeeds. Sometimes, it can do more damage.”