VICE News fails to link Jagdeo to bribery or corruption

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In what was anticipated to be an exposé on ‘Guyana for Sale’, United States-based VICE News network failed to show or link Vice President Dr Bharrat Jagdeo to any corruption or bribe-taking.

The show, which turned out to be just about 16 minutes, was consistent with Jagdeo’s position earlier in the year where he said he would meet several persons interested in investing in Guyana but has never been offered a bribe.

“No no no, I’m not getting involved with business. Su is my friend, he gets all the support. Su deals with all the agreements. I don’t… My thing is that I’m in government, so I assist from the government side. That’s it,” Jagdeo is heard saying in the VICE News piece.

At this point, the VICE News reporter said Su interjected and said “this wasn’t the place (Jagdeo’s house) to talk about a bribe.

Su, from the translation, reportedly said, “His (Jagdeo’s) hands are very clean.”

Earlier this year, the VICE News team visited Guyana and met with a Chinese businessman who claimed that Su Zhi Rong, a close friend of the Vice President, would accept bribes on Jagdeo’s behalf.

The VICE News team had also interviewed Jagdeo and asked him pointedly if he accepted bribes, to which he vehemently denied.

Su has since said that the allegations by VICE News are completely false.

The news agency on Sunday released their full story on ‘Guyana for Sale’ and it actually shows when the undercover reporter attempted to ask Su to offer a bribe (in Chinese) and Su was quick to say he could not do that and they subsequently left.

As seen in the video, the undercover VICE News team, in the company of Su, visited Jagdeo’s house, during which the Vice President made it clear that he does not “get involved in business or agreements”.

While leaving, Su is then heard in Chinese, purportedly translated to say that he brokered deals in the oil sector and the construction of a hydroelectricity power plant.

But a quick check would show that there are no Chinese projects in the oil and gas sector nor the power plant mentioned.

Jagdeo had suggested that Su could be duping the Chinese community and that he was unaware of any bribes. The video shown is consistent with this position in which Su was unable to offer a bribe when asked.

Jagdeo had released the full interview he did with the news team earlier this year and had admitted to knowing Su whom he described as a close friend.

Then, he made it clear that Guyana will not be caught in the middle of any “cold-war-like” tensions between the two global superpowers: the United States (US) and China.

VICE News has published several articles that appear to be critical of the Chinese government and Chinese practices. Jagdeo had said that this anti-China media coverage would be particularly appealing in the US, thus proving beneficial for VICE

And so, he had claimed that the VICE News reporter had a “predetermined agenda” for the interview with him.

“We are a small country and if you look at the interview, we do not want to be caught up in a cold-war like scenario between the United States and China,” Jagdeo had said.

He added: “We believe in having friends everywhere.”

The show is being televised on Showtime in the USA.

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