It is clear that the government has dug in its heels with respect to a return of the Carter Center team. And just as clearly, I sense that the bad blood that stained relations has thickened rather than lessened. I must again disagree with the latest developments coming out of the Coalition’s corner. I say this because in Guyana, anything less than the fullest transparencies is not enough, and especially when elections are involved. Why there is this knowing contributing to falling short on this ideal, this standard, on the Coalition’s part is perplexing to me.
According to the government, concern about COVID-19 exposures is the only reason why the Carter Center team has been barred from returning to Guyana to participate in efforts aimed at pronouncing upon the credibility of the Elections 2020 recount. I would like to give the government’s newest position every benefit of the doubt, but a few circumstances make a mockery of its untenable position.
To begin with, the Carter Center people are veterans on the international scene, with much experience gained from operating under different contexts, ranging from the political to the environmental to the social. In many instances, they do countless as well as thankless tasks under very demanding conditions, with the severest of challenges placed before team members, in the many programmes designed at helping nations, who have a long record of being unable to help themselves. Unwilling too. Therefore, I find it bewildering to believe that the Carter Center team would not be fully familiar, perhaps more familiar than we Guyanese, as to what preparations and precautions are absolutely necessary relative to COVID-19 in general, and with regard to Guyana’s requirements specifically. Thus, I state that the Guyana government’s objection to the team’s return is neither plausible nor authentic nor reasonable. It fails on every count.
Then, when I scan the two mainstream dailies, there is news of ExxonMobil being given repeated clearances to move its people in and out of Guyana, without delay or humbug. When I weigh that ExxonMobil has been given free rein to fly in troops of workers without so much as a concern or objection, I am dumbfounded at the inconsistency of application of whatever standard the government is using to enforce COVID-19 restrictions. I question, what is that standard? The numbers cleared for Exxon to bring to our shores are many multiples of the possibly low single-digit composition of the Carter Center team. Yet, there is no concern on this, no concern with a corporation that recently was penalized by New York courts for breaches in other areas. Something is missing; I detect that it is truth and genuineness on the part of the government. Why the different strokes for different folks? Or very specifically, some particular folks who have run afoul of coalition’s visions? Those who have collided head-on with the narratives presented by the Coalition. Some of those-narratives and agencies are no longer sustainable. I would like to give that benefit, but it has deserted me.
Though, I have not been hesitant or silent with taking a stand against what I believe is too much-way too much-foreign involvement and influence in our efforts to sort out the tricky knots in our guts. If that is too much of the nationalistic for some, I am unyielding, for the partisan on this and so many other things lead nowhere. The plasters of foreign hands on a continuing basis, and to the degrees observed recently, only extends our dependencies and our terminal states of mind and life. Nonetheless, with that said, I still think that it is wrong and throws a spanner in the works to stable the Carter Center horse in midstream. It raises more suspicions as to the purity of motives, the straightness of the road contemplated by the coalition.
Whenever I take the time to listen to the local political wise men (so they see themselves), I appreciate the elasticities on which they string their arguments, positions, their very existences. Looks very frail, stringy they are, no matter how generous I try to be, and I have all but abandoned that norm also.
When this recount process came to the table, I thought that a clean and credible elections result was paramount for the Coalition. Now I rethink, since a paramountcy of a different kind may be responsible for the blocking of the Carter Center. As much as I try, I am ill-equipped to assess things differently and to arrive at any other place. Of course, what I criticize and condemn, others are sure to rise up and claim as being part of a noble democratic struggle. Clearly, lots of men and women in this country are not operating with a full deck. Year after year, on a constant 5-year rotational basis, there are these tiring and fruitless exercises that disgrace nationally.
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