President David Granger is optimistic that United Nations Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon will find a
solution to the Guyana-Venezuela border controversy. He has nevertheless renewed his government’s commitment to the Guyanese people to protect them from Venezuelan aggression at all cost.
During a recent interview, President Granger highlighted the fact that Secretary General Ban is in charge of the process. Granger said that Guyana remains in constant communication with the official and had written to him as recently as New Year’s Eve.
The President did not divulge information on the content of the letter, but there is information suggesting that Mr. Ban has missed certain appointments and follow-up visits to Guyana that were agreed upon.
Nevertheless, President Granger said, “I am very encouraged that (Mr. Ban) has a full grasp of the issues and that he has been asked by Guyana to identify a course that will lead to a solution.”
Further, the President said that he expects that the National Border Committee will be established soon. He said that while the 11th parliament is yet to establish the committee, “I do know that the Minister of Foreign Affairs (Carl Greenidge) has had meetings that members of the opposition attended last year to discuss our approach to Venezuela.”
Also, the President noted that there is a standing border committee within the Ministry of Foreign Affairs.
EDUCATING THE MASSES
President Granger admitted that there is more that his administration can do to educate the masses about the threat that faces Guyana and the danger that lurks.
However, he said that he has been to several major national events including the New Amsterdam Town Day and patrons at those events seemed to know the popular patriotic song, “Not a blade a grass” even better than the National Anthem.
“I am just saying as a symbol, people recognize that song, young and old. But more can be done to educate the entire population about the two claims—(Venezuela and Suriname).”
“We are sure that we are on the right side and we will continue to inform, educate and disseminate information to the population on these two claims. More can be done; more can always be done. We need to get booklets into the schools. We need to get films and we need to assure Guyanese that we are in full procession on our territory,” said Granger.
The President said that Vice President and Minister of Foreign Affairs, Carl Greenidge, and Vice President and Minister of Amerindian Affairs, Sydney Allicock, recently visited Kaikan which is situated near the border between Guyana and Venezuela.
Mr. Granger said that his two Ministers visited the community to assure residents there that Guyana is capable of protecting them from Venezuelan aggression.
“We are doing quite a lot on the border to secure it, and I will always agree with the assertion that more can be done.
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