The Venezuelan humiliation shows how clueless Guyana’s leaders are

Dear Editor,

As the latest Venezuelan humiliation unfolds, it reiterates just how lost and clueless the leaders of this nation are.  Past actions and decisions now haunt at the most sensitive time.

First, there was the Guyanese Head-of-State during the visit of his Venezuelan counterpart.  I thought he went overboard, but I held my peace then.  Effusive is not the word; he was guilty of fawning in characteristic boisterous ways.  If the President had any inkling of how he came across, he could not care less, for this is the PPP way. They like it. I should be clear: I think that diplomatic protocols and homegrown hospitality are wonderful, but the Venezuelans are neither our friends, nor comforting neighbours.  Not when 50,000 square miles are involved.  It would have been much better for the President to be keep things cordial, but be guarded.  Always.  Well, the newest military incursion teaches us again as to who is who, and what their real thinking is.  Now centre stage belongs to the Foreign Minister.

We hear that the Minister is scheduled to be locked in discussion with her Venezuelan equivalent.  What follows next is shared with due respect.  Given the incumbent, is this country well represented at this crucial juncture?  Does she have what it takes?  Can she garner the appropriate respect or wariness or the time of day from her peer from across the border?  To put it rather bluntly I don’t think so.  These and other concerns were raised when her appointment was made public.  Nothing has occurred in the interim to give confidence; if anything the concerns have intensified. Who is listening?  Who cares?

Next, when part of the national diplomatic strategy and thrust should be to align giant Brazil as a potential counterweight to the Venezuela threat, we have the body of an ambassador there.  Nothing more.  When grand strokes (à la Abba Eban) and studied nuance ought to be the lynchpins of our regional diplomatic pursuits and objectives, all we have is a shadow.  To restate the obvious, Brazil is not the captive audience of either Lusignan or Babu John, but that is how the PPP trustees view the world.

Last, it has been known for some time now that the worst political group is in power here.  But did it have to have the absolute worst choices in very vital positions?  The nation pays a price for this; the problem is that the toll of that price keeps mounting.  And the same can be said for the unending antics of these domestic panjandrums unable to bring anything of substance to bear when it matters most.

Yours faithfully,
GHK Lall

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