Drugs! Drugs!! Drugs!!!

Frankly Speaking...
by A.A. Fenty
Stabroek News
September 1, 2000

(With my editor's permission and like everyone else, I'm really "on leave" today. But to keep my seven-year record intact, I never-the-less share these brief, alarming observations with you.)

Firstly, three weeks ago we were made aware of an American-style (or should I write Colombian?) drugs bust shoot-out. The McDoom cocaine caper has attracted international attention - Canadians, US DEA et al. The case is engaging the Chief Magistrate's legal consideration right now, so I prefer to write little. Just consider the implications, I enjoin all of you upright, hard-working citizens once again. We have really "arrived", have we not?

Then secondly, over in nearby Venezuela tonnes and tonnes of cocaine were seized in a record-breaking bust that makes even Colombia seem like a virtuous virgin. Right next door to us! Noteworthy, as Stabroek has editorialised, "the seizure was the result of a six-month operation financed by the American DEA, and involved more than 200 anti-drugs agents, three aeroplanes, eight boats, three helicopters and phone bugging equipment."

The governments of Britain, Colombia, France, Greece, Italy and Panama were involved. This is testimony to the truth that cocaine production is now rivalling the production of coffee, coca and gold. To name any permissible legal product.

The fact is, as any Colombian Amerindian peasant would no doubt agree, the illegal cocaine narcotic is a crop, just as cassava or corn used to be regarded. The fact that it is illegal, dangerous and causes destruction and death is of no concern to those who profit from it.

Without being preachy or stating what everyone else does, I wish to record that it is obvious these days, as people's moral values change world-wide, there is the hint of acceptance of the manufacturing and trafficking of this evil substance by many "normal" people. I mean, slowly but evidently, good folks are turning a blind eye to this wickedness. Acceptance of an evil reality is evident, I fear.

As I like to pound in, even if it can't be proven in a Court of Law, the Court of Public Opinion and public knowledge know the truth. That hotel, supermarket, five-storey building or mall was built with the takings of drugs "business". No amount of laundering or sanitising hides the fact. But there is acceptance! It is all pervasive. The Barons make donations to charity and sports. And folks who go to church and Bible Class on Sundays and Wednesdays participate in the enterprises spawned by drug funds - knowingly or unwittingly. O.K., I'm becoming preachy. I know how well hidden or laundered the takings and results could be. I suppose it is unfair for me to believe that a Minister of Government would declare open a new enterprise if he could know or prove that it was funded by illegal means.

And hey! Like past Mexican governments, should I suspect that Suriname's Desi Bouterse or the revered Fidel of Cuba ever benefited from the takings of the drugs trade? Should I "understand" the alternative drugs industry because the down-trodden are pauperised in poor battered economics. Help me, dear readers, with these thoughts. And conclusions. Meanwhile, I salute the efforts of our fledgling CANU.

I'm on leave...

1. See what "Bad news" TV or Press can do? The reportage regarding 13,000 Public Service positions being lost serves only one interest.

2. Shame on the CIVIC! Never thought I'd see decent Bank of Guyana staff having to hold hastily penned placards and yelling for increases.

3. Good for all of you who like to speculate over PNC business. No Successor/Leader for you!

4. I actually met, live and in living colour, our Ambassador to Suriname, His Excellency K. Arjun last Sunday evening.

5. Great work being done by the National Blood Transfusion Unit as shown on T.V. Congrats!

6. The Sanitation workers were astounded to discover scores and scores of condoms when cleaning the sewers of a certain High School recently.

7. Notice how many columnists and "feature writers" are now ending their pieces like I do?


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