Venezuela now talks about remapping. Guyana torments itself with voting and electing. Remapping is almost certain to cast a wide arc, and infringe heavily on Guyana’s territory. Voting and electing here are sure to continue the national diminishment.
According to a Bloomberg News article dated January 9 and titled, “Venezuela plans to remap its offshore oil territory escalating tension with Exxon”, Exxon means Guyana.
An excerpt from that same article states: Venezuelan President Maduro said that the territory belongs to his country and has vowed to defend it “at any cost.”
Strong words, vast, penetrating possibilities.
Meanwhile, Guyanese leaders speak of “instability” and are fixated on perpetuating what has failed before and is destined to fail again. Oh, at any cost, too. Surely, Venezuelan leaders cannot be that wise and patriotic and Guyanese ones this narrow-minded and irresponsible.
Do Guyanese leaders really care about husbanding and doing all that is required to ensure that this precious (still elusive, now threatened) wealth accrue to the benefit of all citizens? Do Guyanese citizens really care about all that is involved, including the powerful negatives, before this disputed bonanza proves to be the rich reality that it can be?
Or are locals still so obsessed with percentages and agreements and such that this bird, almost in hand, may prove to be a mirage after all?
For though this is the time to close ranks politically, emotionally, and mentally, it is still this debilitating, distracting business of one foot in parliament, the other in the polling station, and no eyes on that which matters the most right now.
When Guyanese leaders and citizens should be rallying to one cry, one call, one vision, one single-minded objective, they are locked in the usual quest for power at all costs, and to the exclusion of the rest.
It is at the sacrifice of the oil promise, and to the injury of the future. There is too much energy, too much circling around each other, too much sizing up each other, while the holes are being drilled in the walls and the safe is plundered, if not removed in its entirety and with its storehouse of accumulated assets.
All of this bickering has generated internal exhaustion; all of this distraction has enabled external escalation and intervention, even aggression.
After all the domestic arguments and quarrels, the self-serving and self-congratulatory debates, the only entity, the sole guardian and allystanding on the Guyanese side of the fence is Exxon. Much analyzed and much maligned, and not unjustifiably so at times, but Exxon (and its big Uncle) is the alpha and omega of Guyana’s accessing and capitalizing on that oil. It had better be cultivated sensibly.
Clearly, the Venezuelan leadership has a careful and concerted plan of action. It is well-thought out, incremental, and indicative of serious focus and determination to not yield, but to raise the stakes directly and unmistakably.
Slowly, but inexorably, this oil prize is assuming the character of a dogfight. It could be one step away from the unthinkable, perhaps the inevitable: a firefight. Nobody with a sober thinking strain desires to witness such a deplorable development.
Still, there is an ominous ring to “at any cost” as issued by the Venezuelan leader. It should be noticed that there are no contradicting voices from across the border coming out against such a far-reaching pronouncement. It can only be interpreted as part threat, part promise, and total commitment.
As the temperature slowly ratchets up, both Exxon and the US State department have been studiously reserved. This may be part of a strategy to not engage in saber-rattling in turn. Others watch and wait.
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