In his first press conference since the airing of a controversial Vice News feature last Sunday, Vice President Dr. Bharrat Jagdeo said no international investor believes the narrative the publication crafted.
“You ask any of the oil companies whether they will take that seriously… People saw it. They know the reputation.” Dr. Jagdeo said.
He reminded that Isobel Yeung, the journalist at the center of the Vice report, had asked him in February what he thought Guyana has to offer given the recent influx of investors.
He had responded that they have an opportunity to make money.
Dr. Jagdeo noted that Opposition Leader, Aubrey Norton, described this statement as crude. But the Vice President said this is just because of how blunt he is.
“Why do investors come to a country? It is because of the opportunities to make money, or it’s just blunt.” Dr. Jagdeo stated.
He said, “All of these oil and gas companies, they are tripping over each other to come here, and everyone else, to come to our country, and they have seen now, an attempt, a dedicated attempt to basically frame someone and it didn’t work.”
The narrative of the Vice News feature is that Chinese investors and the government of Guyana are engaged in corrupt practices. But no evidence was shown that the Vice President ever collected a bribe.
Dr. Jagdeo has since indicated that he will sue Su Zhi Rong, the individual at the centre of the feature, who he said extorted their friendship for financial gain.
Vice News was accused ofcarrying an agenda against China by Chinese Ambassador to Guyana, Guo Haiyan. She said she believes that Chinese companies in Guyana do business consistent with local laws, international practice and market rules, and participate in projects through open and fair competition.