Sep 18, 2020 Letters
The visit by US Secretary of State Michael Pompeo is a welcome event, and should be utilized as a basis for further strengthening of bilateral relations between Guyana and the United States of America. Indeed, the intervention of Secretary of State Pompeo himself was instrumental in overcoming the trenchant obstacles we faced at our recent national elections. A few recent opinions on this visit have cast it in a less amenable light. This is good, because it exposes some misgivings which we as a nation need to seriously rationalize and consider as our future unfolds before us.
There are a host of reasons for strengthening ties with America, principal among these being that it represents a bulwark of democracy and commitment to the freedoms espoused under the United Nations. There are benefits from increased trade and investment, which comes with it the realization of more and better permanent jobs which facilitate skills transfer to the local population. We should realize sooner than later that Guyana’s own reclassification as an oil-producing nation will ultimately force much needed change and advances, as we will continue to receive investor interest from nearly all corners of the world with our democracy secured.
For those thirty years and over, we should recognize that we are now living in our future, a future blessed with abundant oil and other resources, a future characterized by positive global investor interest and the real potential for heightened and continuous foreign direct investments, a future characterized by rapidly expanding job opportunities, a future where our democracy will be on a surer footing.
But America as a world power is not without its enemies, and it has undoubtedly made some mistakes in other regions of the world. In some instances, its interventions have been for the benefit and security of itself as a nation, and in this regard, few can fault its efforts to protect its future as a nation. Other interventions have been to stop wars, and to protect the citizens of some countries from their governments.
It is a fact that rivalry between capitalism and socialism/communism remains alive and well. And this is as it should be, because we as a nation have had our personal experience of being governed under the hooliganism that is communist/socialist ideology, and it is not something that we should remain silent about in other countries. It is a known fact that Russia, and China in particular, and other communist countries, continue to wage war against their people, have stripped them of their right to select their own government, stripped them of their freedoms. This is not something that we should sweep under our national mat and pretend it is not happening, because communism is a deadly anti-social disease which must be stopped, and stopping it begins with acknowledging it.
Other non-communist countries which engage in abuses against their citizens have had occasion to have disputes with America. The fact is, while the United States of America is not the paragon of virtue, and it yet has numerous issues with its government, even democracy, human rights and pervasive prejudice within its justice system, it has stood head and shoulders as a world leader in the advancement of the freedoms guaranteed by the United Nations to the peoples of the world, and has borne the brunt of the human and financial cost of securing better welfare and better livelihoods for the citizens of those countries who have been systematically abused by their governments.
We ourselves have endured some sorry experiences of trade and investment relations with Russia and China. China itself has been a notorious trade cheat, this stemming principally from many of its companies being backed by the government of China itself. The consequence of trading with China has not been one of fair trade, but one where China’s trading partners have opened themselves to economic plunder, as it is virtually impossible for even the best companies in these nations to compete with the financial and technological wherewithal of the Government of China. A quick survey of our economic landscape would attest to the destructive impact of trading with China. This said, Guyanese should be keen to examine our relations with these countries, as the possibility of predatory political ties may be developed and become part of the destructive forces which have previously brought Guyana to its knees. A quick review of some credible reports on China would reveal that China is using its diplomacy as a Trojan horse to systematic economic domination of its trading partners, ultimately rising to challenge the bulwark of its political anti-thesis, the United States of America, and other Democratic nations.
We should therefore look positively on the visit by Mr. Mike Pompeo and actively work with the instruments of government of the United States of America in strengthening all aspects of our bilateral relations. In this we will find much benefit.
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