Dr Phil and Oprah heal Guyana Wednesday Ramblings

Stabroek News
April 28, 2004

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Announcer: "...and now our host Oooooooprah Winfrey! (the customary wild applause)

Oprah: Thank you, thank you. We have on our programme today two very special guests from the small South American country of Guyana. Now you all know that last year we had a refugee family from there and how we all cried for the hard life they had left and how well they were now doing in America. Well today Dr Phil and I want to go one further. We want to heal a whole nation by bringing the two main politicians of Guyana together for some tough love therapy Dr Phil style. We hope, and I repeat we hope, that in one hour, minus commercial breaks, we can solve this long-suffering country's problems and start the healing.

So please welcome President Bharrat Jagdeo and Robert Corbin (wild applause, they sit).

Dr Phil: Let's get down to it. You two are not talking. Is that right?

Jagdeo: Not officially.
Oprah Winfrey

Corbin: No.

Dr Phil: Why not?

Corbin: He's been ignoring my wishes, neglecting my needs, he's broken promises.

Jagdeo: That's not true. I set up the Disciplined Forces Commission for you

Corbin: But you don't have your heart in it.

Dr Phil: Ok, Let's pause right here. As you know both parties in any relationship are getting something out of a situation no matter how bad it is. It seems to me that you Rob are happy that are not talking. In fact you broke off the dialogue yourself on May 30 so you must want something from it. It seems you don't want this relationship to be a success...

Corbin: But he stalled on a lot commitments he had made to me.

Dr Phil: I don't want to hear it. What I see is that you are jumping up and down on the streets every week, boycotting parliament, having your friends write angry letters, complaining to international organisations but you are not achieving anything. And as for you Bharrat, I sense a coldness, a deep suspicion towards Rob. What do you have against this man?

Jagdeo: He's never satisfied. I gave him constitutional reforms, committees, commissions, you name it and still he wants more. Now he's talking about shared governance when for 28 years...

Dr Phil: I don't want to talk about the past, that's ancient history and it is not going to solve the present problems. Instead let me ask you this. Are you giving him these things because you genuinely want to or because you want him to be quiet?

Jagdeo: I am doing it for the sake of my people.

Dr Phil: Now that's one helluva cop out. You need to get real fast. Let me ask you this. What are you getting out of not talking to Rob?

Jagdeo: I don't need him. My poverty reduction strategy is working well, we have reached E-HIPC debt relief.

Dr Phil: Ok, so you think you're the big bad man that can do it all on your own, running from village to village solving everyone's problems. But is this right? Is this the way to have a proper relationship? I sense from both of you a lack of love. When was the last time you hugged each other?

Corbin: Never. I am not the hugging kind. It's very girly.

Dr Phil: Let me tell you Rob. You are dead wrong. Opening your arms and embracing another human being is a sign of trust and your failure to do this...

Jagdeo: I like to hug.

Dr Phil: I don't mean hugging market vendors and fishermen's wives. Both of you stand up and face each other. Rob. I want you to tell Bharrat how you feel and what you want from him.

Corbin: (Beginning to cry) You've been ignoring me. You haven't been returning my calls, you have been going on extended overseas trips instead of paying attention to me. Why don't you ever take me on one of your trips? Instead you are running off with Manniram or Manzoor or Tony...

Dr Phil: Rob! Rob! You are laying blame. Tell him how YOU feel as a human being.

Corbin: Ok Ok (Sobbing) I feel frustrated, unsatisfied, left out of the political process. I feel you are having all the fun with the tax-payers' money, while I have to drive around in a pickup. I want to be a part of your life...Sob Sob... for us to make decisions together...sniffle sniffle... and not just me nagging you to do this and do that and then you complaining to the media...

Dr Phil: Rob I know it hurts, but let it all out... We are making progress. Now Bharrat. I want you to look Rob in the eye and tell him how you feel and what you need to make this relationship work.

Bharrat: (Tears streaming down his cheeks) I feel insecure, nothing I do pleases you. Look at my initiatives to resolve the Suriname dispute. You never ever acknowledge my efforts... Boo Hooo!!

Dr Phil: Here take this box of tissues... Carry on...What do you need from him?

Jagdeo: I want you to stop the protesting, the threats, the press releases... I want a promise you won't try and take over power outside of the electoral process. Sob, sob ,sniffle, sniffle

Dr Phil: (Also choking back tears) This is heavy stuff. But we have made some progress. Now I want you both to tell each other what you are going to do to fulfil those needs. Rob you go first.

Corbin: Why me? Let him go first..

Dr Phil: I am telling you go first. Now go first!

Corbin: I am going to come back into Parliament. I am going to cut down on the press releases, put a muzzle on Jerome Khan, no protests for six months and I promise to sit down and talk with you when we get back home.

Dr Phil: Bharrat, is that enough for a first step?

Jagdeo: Er... I will have to speak to the PPP's Central Executive...

Dr Phil: Stop right there. Are you a man? Are you the democratically elected leader? I'm asking you, are you a man?

Jagdeo: Yes!

Dr Phil: Well act like one. Take the power and make it yours... Yes or No! Are you prepared to accept his offer?

Jagdeo: Yes!

Dr Phil: Good, now tell Rob what you are going to do for him and look him in the eyes.

Jagdeo: I will debate the police reforms with you. I will stop using GTV as my propaganda mouthpiece and I will....

Dr Phil: Yes, go on, say it...

Jagdeo: I will ask my Minister of Home Affairs to resign on full pension. There I said it! (Audience gasps)

Dr Phil: Will you Robert Corbin accept these promises to have and to hold from this day forward?

Corbin: I will!

Dr Phil: You may hug each other ... (they hug to wild applause).

Oprah: You see people. All you need is love. Let the healing begin. See you next time when we have the leaders of North and South Korea cooking together.

Announcer: Guests of the Oprah Winfrey show stay at the Chicago Marriott Hotels....

Question of the week

So changing the name of the police force to police service is really going to stop extra judicial killings?