Kaieteur News – It has been difficult, but critical comment has been withheld in this time of national testing. But now that I hear Excellency Ali imploring the United States to do more, I must speak. Gently does it.
First, I touched upon this concern last week in Demerara Waves (“America -where are you, Guyanese, do you see what I see?”) Though a play on a seasonal song, it was my nuanced way of telling the world that America has been MIA. Missing in Action, without a word. Any reassuring words would be helpful. So, there I was, and now here is President Ali articulating his woes to the world. I feel for Guyana. For without America, Guyana is nothing. Guyana does not even have itself (the wholeness of it) in one piece at this daunting hour.
Second, and now fasten seatbelts, national leaders saw it fit to engage countries from the East to a) borrow; b) build; and c) bruise American priorities. After tireless and tremendous efforts by the Yankees to put democracy on track in 2019-2020, new friends were quickly found. Why? Because they lend US$100M, and they don’t give a (expletive omitted) hang if only a fowl pen is built with it. America was out, others favoured. One local leader spoke brilliantly about the ‘right terms and conditions.’ Thus, decisions were made. As said, they are from the East, which meant that the West (US) had to sit on their available loans. But now the Yanks are needed urgently, and there are only whispers from low-level functionaries, or mostly the barrenness of silence. It is ominous.
Third, it is against this backdrop that I marveled at ‘not a blade of grass’, Guyana flag waving, and no Venezuelan flag burning. I also heard and read that there will be “consequences” and ‘Venezuela will not go “unpunished””, and came to a full stop. Who will apply those “consequences?” Who has what it takes? Regarding that rousing phrase that Venezuela will not go “unpunished”, from whose hands that hoped-for intervention and resolution will come? Notwithstanding all the failures and foolishness, the scheming and calculating, I think “unpunished” and “consequences” represented hoping against hope. Having been guilty of a roving eye, a lustful heart, and the momentary ecstasy of adultery, there was hope of the door opened and welcoming arms. It seems that the arms of America (to be taken literally or militarily) are not so warm at present. The lesson is that what hurts men and women, trusted partners, also hurts relationships between nations. The common denominator throughout is people. Get on the wrong side of those who were and should have been continued to be held as the closest allies and business partners, and there is hell to pay. I am not crying for local leaders. I am crying for the Guyanese people and the creek that those in charge today have dumped them.
For fourth, there is Venezuelan strongman Maduro making waves, and Guyanese leaders are running around on empty, and left to sweat the stupidities out of their system on their own. America is nowhere in sight. When I said that Guyana should not have such a great Eastern presence given our place on the map, the bigshots laughed and mocked. Like the song by the Temptations says, “who yuh gonna run to” now? Memory doesn’t help, but there was one by a Guyanese from way back that asked” “who you gonna run to the next time?” They apply to where Guyana is today. America barely nibbling; as I see it, America wigging and jigging. I took the time to warn the top dogs here. They responded with vehemence and vitriol. There is no way in hell that a wily political man like Nicolo Maduro has not detected America’s sloth, America’s sluggishness, America’s low temperature on the border developments.
Fifth, and of conspicuous note, Guyana’s friends from the Gobi Desert have not uttered a single word on this border controversy. Tangled interests and priorities, I see; too much invested over there, which means Guyana comes up second again. Meanwhile, amid his sweeping post ICJ moves, Maduro was wise enough to offer an overture cum reassurance to Chevron to CONSOLIDATE in Essequibo. It is a loaded word (consolidate). Steven Wirth of Chevron must have a decent relationship with Maduro, given authorization to operate in Orinoco and Maracaibo. I am grappling to figure out the significance in that extraordinary exception (“consolidate”). How much of a wedge does this drive into Guyana’s expectations about help from America? Is this still another layer in the mystery of America’s lukewarm attitude and tepid assertiveness to Guyana’s immediate needs? How does Exxon feature in the bigger, longer, wider considerations between America and Venezuela, especially given that OPEC countries are barred from participating in Venezuelan rehabilitation? Chevron alone cannot handle 300 billion barrels of oil. Interests, not friends.
Last, I hate saying, but Guyana looks increasingly on its own, aside from polite noises from America. The big people here dug a hole for Guyana. Guyanese flag wavers and social media warriors will have to show how much there are going to guard democracy and this nation’s territorial integrity. I have already volunteered.
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