Vincent Alexander is clutching at straws
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Dear Editor,

VINCENT Alexander’s “GWI terminations exemplify duplicitous policies,” dated June 11, 2021, is a classic continuation of the demise of the mind. Alexander has taken ‘death’ to the extreme, and at every level. Let me demonstrate in this short missive.
This man still posits that the opposition did not lose the Guyana March 02, 2020 Elections. He cannot bring himself, against incontrovertible evidence, to admit that the opposition was engaged in repeated attempts to rig the said elections — and I can go on, but these two cases more than suffice for my argument.
Now let me get to his fallacious reasons for saying that “GWI terminations exemplify duplicitous policies.”
He posits, in a general way, that “These (170) terminations will impact the lives of far more than 170 persons and exemplify the duplicity of policies that are applied to different constituencies of our society.”

I ask Mr. Alexander to read the following: “The manner in which the previous government went about shutting down four of Guyana’s sugar estates was “a bad decision from any perspective,” said Dr. Thomas B. Singh, Director of the University of Guyana’s GREEN Institute, who presented this finding of a socio-economic impact study sponsored by the International Labour Organisation (ILO) of the United Nations (UN). This study revolved around the ‘sustainable livelihoods framework’, and focused on examining the impact that the estates closure had on the lives of some 7,000 sugar workers and their families. It concluded that “As a result, the closures compromised the livelihoods of scores of dismissed workers, exposing many and their families to the poverty trap.” Then Alexander self-debunked when he stated that “GuySuCo’s workers work in a company that is profit-oriented, while the GWI workers work in the service sector that is not profit, but service-oriented.”

The obvious question then is why did the A Partnership for National Unity + Alliance For Change (APNU+AFC) close the Skeldon, Rose Hall, and East Demerara Estates?  Why now is he admitting to the viability of these estates? Dr. Clive Thomas, the Coalition’s economic point man, was the Chairman of the Guyana Sugar Corporation (GuySuCo), even though the then Opposition PPP/C objected, stating that Thomas was a notorious head, having presided over the failure of the Globe Trust and Investments Company Ltd.
Let me state that it is quite normal public policy for countries to subsidise agriculture, including sugar. For instance, the European Union and the USA subsidise agriculture in the sum of €59 billion and US$ 22 billion, respectively. In India, the annual subsidy on sugar is US$ 1.7 billion. These countries rightfully view subsidies as investments.
So, by virtue of size, numbers and economic contribution, Vincent Alexander’s opposition to GWI’s laying off of redundant workers falls woefully short and unconvincing. He is clutching at straws.

Yours sincerely,

Alvin Hamilton

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