Guyana may soon find itself in the eye of a geopolitical storm. Guyana carelessly allowed itself to be lured into a dubious alliance of states known as the Lima Group whose singular purpose is to place diplomatic and political pressure on the Maduro regime in Venezuela.
The Lima Group consists of Argentina, Brazil, Canada, Chile, Colombia, Costa Rica, Guatemala, Guyana, Honduras, Mexico, Panama, Paraguay and Peru and Saint Lucia. Canada is seen as the ring leader of the grouping. Guyana and St Lucia are the only two states from the Caribbean Community that are members of the Lima Group.
The Lima Group does not enjoy recognition as an international organization. It is an ad hoc arrangement which was created because the United States want a puppet grouping to do what cannot be done through the Organization of American States: intervene directly in Venezuela.
The Lima Group is instigating problems rather than finding democratic solutions to the situation in Venezuela. In April of this year, the Lima Group renewed its call for the National Armed Forces of Venezuela to demonstrate, show loyalty to the imposter president, Juan Guaidó. This amounted to a recognition of Guaidó as the de facto President of Venezuela. The Lima Group Statement of April also amounted to encouragement of the armed forces to Venezuela to engage in mutiny.
The Lima Group statement is also in conflict with the “democracy clause” of the Constitutive Treaty of the Union of South American States (UNASUR). The democratic clause allows for the members of UNASUR to implement sanctions against any member who disrupts the democratic order. Among the sanctions which can be imposed are the suspension of the rights and/or benefits enjoyed the adoption of additional political and diplomatic sanctions.
Come tomorrow, Guyana will find itself in a delicate situation. The democratic order would have been ruptured because of the failure of the APNU+AFC to call elections ten months after the passage of a no-confidence motion. It would be interesting to see what position UNASUR and the Organization of American States take in respect to representatives of the Guyanese government participating in their deliberations given the expiry of the three months period for the holding of elections.
It would be interesting also to see how comfortable the Lima Group will be having Guyana within its grouping, given the situation in the country. Would it consider Guyana as being an undemocratic state?
The United States is sensitive to the dilemma facing Guyana. It recognizes the legitimacy issues facing Guyana’s continued participation in the Lima Group.
As such, it has launched a diplomatic offensive to legitimize Guyana’s continued participation in the group. Demerara Waves reported last night that the United States (US) Department of State expressed its appreciation for Guyana’s support for the 14-member Lima Group.
The Guyana Desk Officer at the State Department was reported as saying “I want to thank the government of the Cooperative Republic of Guyana for its partnership with the United States. We are appreciative of the role it plays as an active member of the Lima Group, helping us respond to the humanitarian and political crisis in Venezuela”.
The United States is now superseding Canada as the cheerleader for the Lima Group. But the timing of the US’s support for Guyana – on the eve of a constitutional crisis in Guyana – must not be missed.
The threat of a United States invasion hangs over Venezuela. And like in Grenada in 1983, the US would need an “invitation to invade”. If there is any grouping which will support such an action, it will be the Lima Group.
Guyana must stay clear of any such involvement. It is not in Guyana’s interest for it to ever be siding of any invasion. And therefore it should pull out of the Lima Group before it finds itself isolated within it.
Guyana should get out of this rogue grouping before it finds itself being blackmailed to sanction foreign intervention in Venezuela in exchange for overlooking the ‘illegitimate’ status of the Guyana government after September 18, 2019.
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