Sep 15, 2020 Editorial
Let us get a few things straight immediately. US Secretary of State, Mike Pompeo, is not coming to Guyana on an official visit for either his health, our abundant sunshine, for a firsthand sampling of our world class rum, or for our once-fabled hospitality. Mr. Pompeo is visiting for a purpose, which is best summed up in a single word: Venezuela.
There are no two ways about this reality. It does not have anything to do with our oil, our relationship with Exxon, now reduced to being a beached American corporate whale, or about lending helpful voice and guiding hand in renegotiating that bone-in-the-throat contract. No! Mr. Pompeo is not gracing these shores and our Lilliputian selves with his mighty and unprecedented presence for any of those worthy things, which are of paramount importance to Guyanese.
To repeat: The Secretary of State, and they do not come any higher than that, is here for Venezuela. Thorny, stormy, sorry Venezuela is in the gunsights, and Guyana has a role to play, a crucial one. Guyana is expected to be bridgehead and launchpad.
This is so vitally important and supremely sensitive that the man himself, Mr. Pompeo, comes; or was dispatched to call in debts due and close this thing out by taking it into a higher gear. The old people in this country have a saying: now there will be understanding of how conkee boils. The leaders of Guyana better get real, for this is the bigtime of big power politics and big geopolitical interests and geostrategic visions. Venezuela is in the way. It must change.
Just like how the obstinate and troublesome coalition was made to bow and go before the mighty weight of the United States so, too, it is time for the Venezuelan caper to be addressed with the fullest force and power that the US can bring to bear. Gone are the days of coups, though a little of that was tried. Nowadays, there are these diplomatic ballets that, sooner or later, come out for what they really are: the street dance of break dance. Something has to give, something will break.
As KN noted in its Sunday, September 13 article regarding Mr. Pompeo’s visit, the Granger Administration had to go, because it stood in the way of progress. It is of the kind envisioned by American minds, and in which tiny Guyana becomes a pivotal place, and serves as a crucial cog in the chain of calculations. Those calculations are huge and what was asked of Mr. Granger and company could only have been the beginning of many other things to come. Well, Guyana is seeing that now, for the Secretary of State comes. He expects much for favours extended during a time of severe need. Think of this: US Secretaries of State do not visit just any place on the globe, and especially not a backward, woeful space like Guyana. But there he is, and it is not for a shallow courtesy call, but about a bag full of expectations. Better make that demands for elections goodies delivered.
Think of this also: relaying Voice of America broadcasts is not a stand alone. Those broadcasts are given a boost with covert energies on the ground, be it for purposes of intelligence gathering or, more alarmingly (for Guyana), destabilizing efforts to bring closure to the Maduro and Venezuela problem. Incidentally, a number of other longstanding and undermining issues also would be addressed with the removal of Mr. Maduro. These would encircle the business about socialism and the matter of Exxon’s presence.
The Ali Administration has already demonstrated it is up to whatever is asked of it. It has delivered by backing Mr. Mauricio Claver-Carone for that leadership role with the IDB. Now Dr. Ali will have to do much more. We wait to see what spin will be put on whatever is finalized. That is, if the Guyanese public is enlightened on what was agreed upon and what went down. Since Guyana must pay for elections favours rendered, it should include getting more from Exxon as part of the quid pro quo. We shall see, as Mr. Pompeo comes to town. Georgetown will never be the same again.
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