Kaieteur News – The American government requested a meeting with the head of government of Guyana. It has never happened before in CARICOM. The dialogue had to be important. The first asininity to be relegated to the dustbin is the interpretation that the president was summoned.
There had to be a statement from the State Department or a mention by a State Department official to the press so that the analyst could have read in its subliminal invisibility that President Ali was summoned. There was no such indication. By what logic then could the media and the political observers see the request as an edict to meet?
Anyone who read just one book on international relations would know that the government of a superpower demands a meeting with the governmental head of a friendly nation to insist on a course of action in an outbreak of internecine domestic violence, civil war, a border war or an escalating national crisis that has implications for American foreign policy.
It is virtually impossible for the Secretary of State to demand a meeting with the head of a friendly ally just to assert that there must be national dialogue with the rest of society for inclusive governance.
Such a desire is channel through the local embassy or through a visit by a low-ranking State Department official who would convey what the Secretary of State wants to the country’s Foreign Minister.
That did not happen. If the US Government wants inclusive governance in Guyana, and it has an ambassador here, but if it is left to the Secretary of State to convey that directly to the country’s president or prime minister then two things can be alternatively defined.
One is that the US now has become a mediocre government that doesn’t know how to conduct diplomacy or Guyana now features largely in the geo-strategic, geo-political configurations of a great superpower. Guyana then as a small, unimportant actor in international relation has now assumed global importance in the same context as strategic nations like Israel, New Zealand, etc.
President Ali was not summoned and the discussion of inclusive governance was not the essential topic. Those who think that the American concern was the nature of Guyanese politics do not know anything about international relations. One of the fulcrums on which the foreign policy of the United States stands is oil security.
After World War 2, America was devouring oil the way a river receives a waterfall. After the Cold War began in earnest in 1945, US security rested on a guaranteed supply of oil. The area of the world that the US ensured that guarantee was permanent was the Middle East. Anyone who doesn’t know that knows absolutely nothing about international affairs and should start reading some books about the subject.
The US military establishment, its industries and its technology are the largest in the world. That country drinks oil the way grass grows on your lawn when it rains. The US began to be suspicious that the oil guarantee would be derailed by two developments – the acquisition of superpower status by China and the defection of Hugo Chavez from the Munroe Doctrine. Both of these factors created headaches for US foreign policy.
China has now caught up with the US in terms of oil insatiability. What China is doing is buying oil at a higher cost from many oil-producing Third World countries and some Middle East monarchies. In the midst of this competition for oil, comes the Ukrainian War.
China and India will not sanction Russia because Russia is the world’s largest oil producer. What China and India have done is to take up the quantities of Russian oil that the US and the EU used to buy. The US needs that guarantee of oil the way it was crazy about it during its reign in the fifties, sixties and seventies. But it cannot get it because it has sanctioned Russia.
In step, Saudi Arabia, Venezuela and Guyana. President Biden has sought rapprochement with Saudi Arabia so the Saudis can pump more oil. The kingdom agreed to do that. Venezuela has agreed to restart selling oil to the US but it is making humongous demands about US easing sanctions. The Republicans senators are pressing Biden not to ease the sanctions.
This is where Guyana comes in. Guyana can fill needed gaps in supply and it is one of America’s reliable allies since the Hoyte government came in power in 1985. The US knows that Russia is going to spend years in Ukraine so it tells Guyana that it expects a consistent supply of oil. This, and concerns about China in Guyana were what the Ali visit was all about.
(The views expressed in this article are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the opinions of this newspaper.)
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