I read an article in the Stabroek News on 23 February, titled ‘Gov’t hiding Venezuelan threat -Jagdeo’ and it made me very ‘cold’ and sad. This is one of the reasons I have been advocating, that instead of calling the opposition, ‘Opposition’, it should be called the ‘Wider Legislature’. Opposition connotes a posture in opposition to the executive, when really what is needed is ‘calculated oversight’.
My appeal to the Opposition Leader is not to address the Guyana-Venezuela border controversy in the press. Ninety per cent of our communication is non-verbal while 10% is verbal, therefore the government has been communicating to us much more with its non-verbal and indirect verbal communication, so that we can be more alert on this issue; and we have heard the government loud and clear. What we do not want is to create anxiety. I may disagree with President Granger on many matters but on this one, I like his approach. He and the government are being very tactical and steady; this is his area of expertise, and as a people ‒ well most of us ‒ we appreciate and support him and the government’s efforts so far on this matter, and we are very alert.
Finally, the public awareness campaign on the border controversy should also include an aggressive citizenship and civic education component.
We need to be 750,000 Guyanese strong on this issue, and if the opposition has a difficulty on this matter, they should meet with the government and work it out. They should not do it in the press; this is a very serious and highly sensitive matter. Whenever this matter is addressed in the press by the Opposition Leader or his party, it should be in a joint press engagement with the government. This is an opportunity to appear in public with one voice.