Sep 25, 2012 Editorial
Very often people fail to see the bigger picture because they are often consumed with the everyday matters. In Guyana, such has been the drive to improve personal welfare that people sometimes lose track of the things that could actually impact on lives.
For example, there is much talk about children underperforming in school. That may be true but the reason rests with the fact that no longer are wives and mothers prepared to stay at home to be homemakers and mere rearers of children. And in any case, many mothers are single parents so they are busy trying to put food in the mouths of their children. The result is that children are often left to their own devices, often to their own detriment.
Nations, especially the poor ones, are no different. They are too often forced to cope with development. infrastructure always need upgrading; schools need to be built; medical facilities constantly need improving and of course, there is always the need to develop the skills to use whatever facilities are put in place.
But there is always more. There are the international issues. In Guyana’s case there are the territorial issues. Venezuela has laid claim to some two-thirds of Guyana. This claim is said to be rooted in the arbitral award of 1899 when the British still ruled this country.
There was a boundary exercise and in the end this country got the shape it currently has. But one of the arbitrators, a Venezuelan wrote a letter that he ordered not be opened until his death. That letter claimed that there was some hanky panky by the boundary commission. The result is that Venezuela, despite all the evidence, has set store by this letter.
Things remained quiet until this country gained its independence from Britain in 1966. Soon after, Venezuela made its claim known. There were talks that led to a moratorium on the claim. Then the deadline for the moratorium came and Venezuela once more rattled its sabres.
Diplomatic negotiations spearheaded by the British and the United Nations led to the appointment up of a Good Officer. There have been two of them to date and the situation is not as tense as it was a few decades ago. One cannot underestimate the influence of the British in protecting this country.
And it is this influence that is needed at every turn. Indeed, such was the demand by Venezuela that that country successfully blocked a loan for the construction of a hydroelectric project back in the 1970s.
When Guyana attempted other major products in the Essequibo region Venezuela again protested. As recently as last year when Guyana moved to extend its maritime boundary to the end of the continental shelf, Venezuela again protested. In each case, quiet British diplomacy spared Guyana any blushes.
Now there is the embarrassing episode of the reprinting of copyrighted material without due regard for the intellectual property of the authors. A British entity has already signalled its intention to approach the courts in the event the exercise goes ahead.
Guyana thus needs to look at the bigger picture. It is not believed or expected that the British would abrogate their support for Guyana in the face of the Venezuela challenge. At least this is not expected. However, out of an abundance of caution Guyana needs to examine the bigger picture.
If the truth be told, this country, in deference to the economic position of its people, thirty-five per cent of whom live in poverty, the government has been seeking ways and means of easing the financial burden invoked by supplying textbooks.
It has been reprinting textbooks for some time now. The only difference between then and now is the fact that there is a hue and cry this time around.
Textbooks are not the only things that have been pirated. This country has been and continues to pirate satellite signals to the extent that people expect to see just about everything. They are frustrated this time around because they cannot follow the current T-20 series in Sri Lanka. Even those who see the matches via cable are in fact enjoying pirated signals.
The other countries in the region are firm adherents to the protection of intellectual property. Guyana needs not be the aberration.
Guyanese you are being prostituted by your politicians!
Dec 04, 2022Kaieteur News – The Khalil siblings, Jason-Ray and Ashley, were crowned the country’s men’s and women’s National Squash champions, when the Guyana Squash Association (GSA) brought the...
Kaieteur News – A person by the name of Andre Brandli has stated his qualifications and listed his academic status... more
By Sir Ronald Sanders Kaieteur News – (The writer is Antigua and Barbuda’s Ambassador to the United States of America... more
Freedom of speech is our core value at Kaieteur News. If the letter/e-mail you sent was not published, and you believe that its contents were not libellous, let us know, please contact us by phone or email.
Feel free to send us your comments and/or criticisms.
Contact: 624-6456; 225-8452; 225-8458; 225-8463; 225-8465; 225-8473 or 225-8491.
Or by Email: [email protected] / [email protected]