Sep 09, 2021 Editorial
Kaieteur News – According to a July 8 Reuters exclusive: “Talks between Venezuelan gov’t, opposition set for August -sources.” It happened after wretched social turmoil and painful hardships for citizens and their families, with some level of sense slowly returning to stubborn political leaders in our neighbouring country. They did on August 13th, with both representatives of President Maduro and Opposition Leader Guaido “showing eagerness to find a common path out of their country’s political standoff” per the Associated Press. Well, they have, for Venezuelans leaders have signalled that they are now uniting over border controversy with Guyana. Bygones are bygones over there.
Guyana’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs quickly rejected that development, noting that Venezuelan leaders seem bent on using the border controversy with this country for deplorable reasons: Guyana as the sacrificial lamb. That may be so, but if ever there was a time and compelling cause for Guyanese leaders to bury the hatchet (not in each other’s heads), but deep in the ground, they have it now. Venezuelan leaders have presented them with one around which to gather and gain strength. As Venezuelans unite, so Guyana must work towards unity, starting right now. No more of this pussyfooting and stonewalling and going around in circles, while digging deeper holes for ourselves, and giving our enemies easy places in which to bury us.
What we have here cannot continue. Our own political leaders have been locked in a desperate war since December 2018. When will our leaders look for a common pathway out of our divisions, if only to give us a chance to stand with respectability on our own two feet? When will we start thinking and being like the Venezuelans who have self-destructed, through internal divisions and draining national spirit? Understanding that we can’t go on this way, that we must find our own way, through our own efforts, and from our own wisdoms?
Circumstances have been rough for millions of Venezuelans, but a ray of light comes. It could be coming at our expense. The national political stalemate has compelled them to beg, to flee, and to start over wherever they can. It has been harrowing for them, still worse, if that can be imagined, for their compatriots left behind. Food shortages, skyrocketing prices, dangerous criminal activities, and general breakdown of social order have all been part and parcel of Venezuela’s turbulent existence of late. Punishing American-led sanctions have bitten hard and deep, and the earlier unwise policies of government squandered the riches of a country endowed with the largest known current reserves of oil on the planet. Venezuelans should be the kings of this region, yet they have now been reduced to its beggars and alarming unwanted presences elsewhere.
There are so many lessons from Venezuela for Guyana. It has abundant amounts of precious oil and so have we. It has had one wasteful leader following the other, and so have we, too. It has had official policies that make no sense, to steer that troubled nation forward, and so have we. It now has foreign helping hands from North America and Europe that compelled leaders to the table of conversation but, in this respect, we are still to get there. We balk and paw at the air, in mulish fashion, with the moronic: legitimacy and recognition. The Venezuelans have existed in a state of near internal war for years now, but they have come to their senses. We have to do the same and, like them, detect the manipulations to which we have been subjected, the prices we pay.
The longer we stay divided, the weaker we are, as our neighbours just belatedly found out. Where they just summoned the courage that forced them to stare each other in the eye, and say: ‘we are going about this the wrong way. We are making fools of ourselves and wasting our gifts. Losing some of the gifts claimed before the world (Guyana’s territory), while others benefit from our divisions’. It is time that Guyanese leaders and warring Guyanese get a similar mindset. We stay disunited, others take advantage of us, and we damage ourselves. We put our heads together, and the world could be our oyster. Will we, finally?
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