Almighty God and the mighty USA. In many corners, not necessarily restricted to inside the US alone, the thinking is that the order of God and the US are in the wrong order, and that the enhancing adjectives fit better when switched.
What have been the experiences and realties, as lived by many parts of the world? What is the story of Guyana in this context? What is very real and weighs very heavily today in Guyana?
Mexico has a tiger on its back and a weight on the head. Skip some decades, World Wars, and Cuba and come down to the heart of the American Century and there is this incontestable litter of national self-determination wreckages that span significant parts of the globe.
From communist containment to human rights indices to the war on drugs (and money laundering) to the global war on terrorism, nations have struggled. Now even little, inconsequential Guyana has found itself identified on radars of heat.
Iran and Venezuela and the DPRK are bone spurs in the heel and have crossed the path of the US. Sanctions and hurts have been remorselessly applied. They bring reeling. Iran made the fatal error of humiliating the Americans in 1979 with its long-delayed turn to theocratic government and what is fashionably termed, ensuing radicalism.
Venezuela did marginally lesser evils through violations in the sacrosanct commercial realm. Those were the extreme and unpardonable steps of nationalization first and then creeping socialism later. Guyanese do not have to look very far: it is right next door and should be a reminder of what went before right here. It should be a warning whenever Venezuelan neighbours are observed or shoulders rubbed in the remote regions of Georgetown.
Now enough of the quick foreign sketches. Time to come home; come home and examine right here and detect the fingerprints, footprints and biometrics of the al (mighty) United States right in the face. Well, at least, those who can see and do see. Cheddi Jagan brought his well-meaning ideology to the fore, and he was felled. Distant shades of what continues to spiral in Venezuela that older Guyanese should remember well.
Gone with the force of the American wind into the political wilderness for almost as long as Moses, Jagan learned enough to manage his rhetoric, public inclinations and pursuits better the second time around.
Forbes Burnham, a powerhouse by himself and in his time, followed a reverse chronology to that of Cheddi Jagan. The former started out with the Americans as friends and partners. And then, true to himself, he got ideas: fancy ideas, menacing ideas, powerful ideas that revolved around commanding heights of the local economy and control of those heights.
That was the beginning of his end. Too late he may have understood the risks taken and the graveyard traveled.
Guyanese should look at those tensions, shortages, conflicts, flights, and hardships in Venezuela and remember Burnham and Jagan, and next to those super patriots juxtapose Chavez and Maduro. The parallels of violence and decimations ought to be not only arresting, but eerily so. A bit frighteningly so, too.
One of the younger successors of the departed Cheddi Jagan was hubristic enough to dismiss the Norteamericanos when they tried to show him some light, the way that things really work. He refused to listen or to learn. He went. Unwillingly. And today, the current crop of leaders on both sides of the political divide struggle to be in the good graces.
Not of God, but of his self-identified chosen ones here on earth. Jagan did not listen; Burnham did not listen. The last man did not listen in 2015.
The present man and people better learn: terrorism and nationalism and all.
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