Dear Editor,

Reference is made to a Kaieteur news article dated June 23rd, 2023, with the caption, “Hess boss tells US conference President Ali assured him of stay in Justice Kissoon’s ruling before Court of Appeal handed down decision.”

This prompted me to immediately refer to the source to verify verbatim John Hess’s exact words at the forum. I have listened to the presentation by John Hess and can confirm unequivocally that he never said that the President gave him assurance. Those who have been following this matter closely would know that the Government’s position on the issue is very clear and there has been no attempt by the government to influence the court case in any way.

Having publicly expressed my views on the subject matter, I can understand where the President was coming from. That is to say, based on the merit of the case, I did not see any reason for the court not granting a stay to allow for the appeal to go through. I, too, was confident, as the President would have been, and I believe that it is this confidence in the merit of the case that the President expressed to Mr. Hess. It is understandable why he more than likely may have paraphrased and/or exaggerated what the President conveyed to him because of the audience whom he (Hess) was speaking to. That audience was none other than JP Morgan Chase, a group of global bankers and from an investor’s standpoint, they would want their bankers to feel safe about the security of their investments in Guyana.

With this in mind, one can only conclude that the media entity that published this story deliberately intended to mischievously mislead the nation. Suffice it to say, it is unprofessional journalism by the media entity. A professional journalist or a professionally managed media entity would have first sought clarification from the Office of the President to confirm if Hess is indeed quoting the President correctly. In this regard, soliciting a statement from the Office of the President would have been well in order before going to the press with this story. Unfortunately, this basic protocol was not followed.

Yours sincerely,
Joel Bhagwandin
Public Policy and Financial Analyst


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