Pres. Ali challenges VICE News to air full interview with Jagdeo


President Dr Irfaan Ali is challenging the US-based VICE News network to air the full interview its team conducted with Vice President Dr Bharrat Jagdeo in the interest of transparency.

President Ali, during an interview with the News Room on Monday, noted that the airing of the interview on the VICE network in its entirety will “expose the incorrect narrative” of the journalist who is accusing Jagdeo of corruption.

“My challenge to the reporter is to air, in its entirety, the interview between herself and the Vice President where all her incorrect narratives were exposed. In the interest of transparency, the network and the reporter should play that entire interview,” President Ali told the News Room on Monday.

The network failed to show or link Jagdeo to any corruption or bribe-taking even though its team went undercover as “potential Chinese investors” at the Vice President’s house where a discussion was held in a foreign language between the Chinese nationals about a bribe.

Vice President Dr. Bharrat Jagdeo

But as seen from the VICE News piece, Jagdeo was not a party to any of those discussions since he does not speak the foreign language and from the inception of the meeting, he made it clear that he does not handle agreements with potential investors.

The news piece, 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.

In response to the VICE News piece, President Ali said, “it is clear this publication came with an agenda and if one researches their history, it will be easily uncovered.”

VICE News has published several articles that appear to be critical of the Chinese government and Chinese practices. The Guyana Government has already made it clear that it will not be caught in the middle of any “cold-war-like” tensions between the two global superpowers: the United States (US) and China.

President Ali told the News Room that the piece aired by the US-based media house failed to find a “shred of evidence” linking the Vice President to any corrupt activities, and by its own reporting, revealed that Jagdeo’s “hands are clean.”

“With their greatest efforts at deception and what they call ‘secret reporting’ or ‘investigative reporting’, were they able to find a shred of evidence on the Vice President or any one else involved in corrupt act or activities?”

The Head of State further noted that the reporting was “factually incorrect.”

“The reporter was so bent on her own narrative that the basis of her reporting was factually incorrect,” President Ali said, dismissing VICE News report that a major hydroproject is underway in Guyana.

President Ali said it appears as if the undercover news team attempted to lure the Vice President into “something illegal” given the hidden cameras inside his house but this clearly did not materialise.

President Ali made it clear that he fully supports Jagdeo’s decision to sue the Chinese national Su Zhi Rong, who took the undercover VICE News team to his house.

“I support fully the proposed action of the Vice President in suing Mr Su who obviously was conducting his own arrangements. The behaviour and action of Mr Su is rightly being dealt with in this intended legal action,” President Ali contended.

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 but in the piece released by the media entity, Su can be heard saying he collects bribes on Jagdeo’s behalf.

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.

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