A total ingénue in important position of Foreign Minister

Dear Editor,

Sir Shridath Ramphal, Rashleigh Jackson, Rudolph Insanally, are a few of the predecessor Foreign Ministers who must have been unheard of when the decision was made to appoint a total ingénue to a position whose earlier incumbencies would have been as highly respected, if not more so, as the recently demitted Carl Greenidge.

They all did have substantial track records in international relations before their respective appointments as Foreign Ministers. Now, in totally embarrassing contrast, too many of us have to endure the hasty appointment of someone without a semblance of qualification for this very globally challenging responsibility.

It simply does not reflect any ‘considered judgement’, certainly not that of the last Foreign Minister. For the learning curve is much too long and wide, during which period there could be little or no leadership ability to impress the experienced professionals who must be engaged.

One does not get the impression that here was any review of relevant experience within the Ministry, who could have at least been invited to act in the position for an appropriate period. Now the latter would have to ‘hold the hands’ of the new Minister during every single interaction. How exhausting!

The ‘considered judgement’ does not appear to have taken account of the sensitivities, however mixed, of the experienced staff – thus implying a substantial communication gap in the offing.  This one area of Ministerial competence in the recent governance structure has been embarrassingly depleted.

When next could we as a country be expected to be taken seriously? Guyana’s diplomats around the world could not be looking forward to explaining this travesty to their respective counterparts, who might well wonder why each in turn was overlooked.

Not unlikely, Venezuela’s Maduro, in the midst of his current stresses could take time out to fancy his chances with our long impending border issue. Just recall that our steadfast position is reflected in Dave Martins’ “Not a Blade of Grass”

Yours faithfully,

E. B. John

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