The Americans, the brigadier and the brigands

-The necessary big brother, U.S.A

As a citizen of this sorry Republic, formerly somewhat “political” and still with a lively interest in its survival, I am given to wondering: of what significance is Guyana to the U.S.A. these days?

Old and interested enough I know of American/British concern that the B.G. colony of the mid– to–late fifties and early sixties would be plunked straight into the geopolitical lap of Soviet Communist Russia. Naturally, the Americans and British could not allow that, so after a popular PPP electoral victory in 1953, the British promptly scrapped the colony’s constitution and installed a caretaker government for four years. Again, by ‘64, seven years later, the Americans engineered the Cheddi Jagan administration’s demise with some cash, trade union unrest and the natives’ own penchant for “opposition”. Twenty–eight years on (1992), Jimmy Carter advised Desmond Hoyte to behave “democratically” and that was that for the PNC.

So what is the American attitude towards Guyana of 2013? Any interest, concern or pleasure, at all? After Venezuela’s Chavez, does President Obama or his Secretary of State care about Guyana’s behaviour? Or its vote at international fora?

I suppose America needs all the friends it could keep – big or small. But I suspect that Guyana is not as strategic as it once was, when the Soviet Union and its Cold War existed. Frankly Speaking, America’s Drug Enforcement Administration (the DEA) is more interested in how significant a player this country has emerged in the area of international drug trafficking. Our politics apart, cocaine to America’s market from Georgetown would capture the USA’s interest continuously.

What the Americans
(must) know

That DEA, in collaboration with their FBI, ICE and NSA, must use its office of Global Enforcement to compile its Guyana’s Drug Barons list. Oh, the names it must know when those caught in New York sing! The USA keeps this info in its back pocket for future reference. And action.

And since the recent imbroglio over the Amendments to the 2009 money laundering legislation, knowledgeable observers out of the U.S.A have been describing how the Americans and indeed, the international financial (watchdog) institutions, can activate their monitoring systems to trace and identify any huge transfers or deposits of suspicious funding from these parts.

Blacklisting by the U.S.’s FINCEN; the FATF scrutiny resulting in wire transfers and other transactions being investigated, and the unveiling of politically–exposed persons (PEP’s) all point to American interest in such matters as local “laundering”, corruption and trafficking. Be careful Bad Guys!

The Brigadier, the

Why do I regard it as “refreshing” when I see the Americans and the IDB (Inter-American Development Bank) talking with the Retired Brigadier who heads the Parliamentary Opposition, which together polled more popular votes than the governing party?

Does it mean that the Brigadier’s status has improved? Or are the consultations mere protocol courtesies? These things add up (later) you know.

Recall that Brigadier Granger was a National Security Advisor. Would he know some of what the American DEA and NSA know? After all, the former National Security/Defence Advisor did attend, after Mons, American institutions in Maryland, Washington, D.C. and Florida. Discuss…

The Brigands – meaning: “bandits” – must be also honing their own “security techniques” locally and overseas now. They too would analyse British, Canadian interests and attitudes these days. Trying not to self–destruct our Guyanese Cocaine Crooks must be troubled, if not yet beaten.

Big brother USA,

It’s fascinating watching and hearing how the fall–out from the young American National Security Agency (NSA) Contractor Snowden’s revelations about NSA surveillance of phone and internet communication, is unfolding.

On the one hand, the eternal debate about a citizen’s Constitutional privacy, versus the entire nation’s security has once again been stoked. On the other, America’s top security institutions were made to bare a few confidential details on Capitol Hill this Tuesday. I often try to count: which nations would subject their top security apparatus to such open international scrutiny? I know they won’t/can’t reveal all, but why such “democracy”? Would Russia, China Egypt or Israel expose their guardians of protection like that?

As the debate continues even the politicians from both sides of the American spectrum agree that Americans are never that really private. The Smart Phones, the Traffic Cameras, Cities’ surveillance cameras, the Post Office Mail systems, Consumer Marketing, their Medication Records from Pharmacies all render Americans subject to scrutiny and exposure. The Security people need to re-construct terrorist plots after the fact, even if they can’t pre-empt them.  The “mining” of mega-data is just one vital aspect of investigative work to keep America safe.  But those same Americans are “spoilt” by their “democratic rights”. What will they do about imminent DNA data banks?  From Laptops to Bank Accounts to Toll Booth data, the American Big Brother needs to watch and to hear. What price security?


*1)  Reading Re-migrant GHK Lall’s book on Corruption in this place, made me emphasise a small but important element of that phenomenon.  It is the fact that because there is really no super one-stop shop to conclude bureaucratic business, that makes us victims to the greedy.  The re-migrant must present himself to the OP, Foreign Affairs, GRA in all its manifestations’, the Police, the City Hall et al. Bribes non-stop!

*2)  Name five entities to be approached out of a hundred, if you want to build and operate a hotel in Guyana.

*3)  Believe it! The British monitored Finance Ministers’ phone calls during an international conference in London in 2009.

*4)  Meet the Guy with 43 children on CNS TV6 Cook-up show tomorrow morning (8.35)

Til next week!


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