Kaieteur News’ unfounded attempt to link Guyana to oil spill off Tobago further damages the newspaper’s credibility

Dear Editor,

It is imperative that I address the gross inaccuracies and misleading statements published in the Kaieteur News’ letter column of Wednesday, March 13, 2024 under the caption, “Will the businessmen behind oil spill be sanctioned?”.

While the letter was removed from the publisher’s website, perhaps as an acknowledgement that the claims were bogus, it appeared across the country in the printed copies cementing the reprehensible damage done in unjustly tarnishing the reputation of the Guyana Power and Light (GPL) Inc., the company’s executives and by extension, the Government of Guyana.

The decision by Kaieteur News to publish this letter reflects a shocking lack of editorial oversight and a blatant disregard for the principles of responsible journalism. This act is also dangerous, fueling misinformation and potentially inciting unwarranted public alarm and international condemnation.

This letter is not only an affront to the principles of accurate and responsible reporting but also a clear manifestation of yellow journalism.

First and foremost, the insinuation that GPL has engaged in illegal activities by purchasing oil from a sanctioned state is categorically false and baseless.

As explained previously by the GPL publicly, the procurement of Heavy Fuel Oil (HFO) by GPL has been conducted through a transparent process of national competitive bidding, adhering to all international standards and regulations.

The contract for the supply and delivery of HFO was awarded to Staatsolie Maatschappij Suriname N.V. and a joint venture between Rapid Results Inc. and Osher International Holdings LLC, after a rigorous evaluation process.

This procurement process is a matter of public record, and at no point has GPL been notified of any issues related to the delivery of this fuel that would suggest any deviation from our stringent procurement protocols.

Moreover, the attempt to connect GPL and the Government with the unfortunate oil spill off the coast of Trinidad and Tobago is not only erroneous but also maliciously intended to sow discord and mistrust among the Guyanese populace and our regional neighbours.

GPL has unequivocally stated that the company is not related to this incident, and any claims to the contrary are simply unfounded.

The portrayal of the Government of Guyana and its agencies, including GPL, as defiant or indifferent to international norms and sanctions is a gross misrepresentation.

The Government of Guyana remains committed to upholding the highest standards of governance and international compliance, and it is disingenuous to suggest otherwise.

It is deeply concerning that the editor of Kaieteur News chose to publish a letter riddled with inaccuracies and devoid of any semblance of factual integrity. This decision further damages the newspaper’s credibility.

In light of these circumstances, it is imperative that Kaieteur News take immediate steps to rectify this grave error. This includes issuing a formal retraction of the letter, along with an apology to GPL, the Government of Guyana, and the people of Guyana for the confusion caused by this irresponsible act of journalism.

Furthermore, the newspaper must commit to upholding the highest standards of journalistic integrity, ensuring that all content published is thoroughly vetted for accuracy and fairness.

The Government of Guyana and GPL remain steadfast in our commitment to transparency, accountability, and the well-being of our citizens. We call upon the Kaieteur News and all media outlets to promote informed and constructive discourse for the betterment of our country and its people.

Yours truly,

Hon. Brigadier (Ret’d) Mark Phillips
Prime Minister
Cooperative Republic of Guyana