GUYANA | Venezuela’s aggression fuel by Jagdeo/Ali shenanigans

GUYANA | Venezuela’s aggression fuel by Jagdeo/Ali shenanigans

GEORGETOWN, GUYANA, MARCH 24, 2024 - The declaration by Venezuela that Essequibo is now its new state, following up on the country’s referendum in December, whilst it comes as no surprise I strongly believe the Irfaan Ali regime has a hidden agenda the citizenry is not aware of.  

The regime’s avoidance of sustained national conversations, parliamentary and civic engagements on Venezuela’s increasing aggression denies the input of competent persons to develop and shape a national policy and agenda. We must question this.

The Venezuela/Guyana controversy from inception was firmly placed in the hands of the multilaterals at the United Nations (UN) by the Forbes Burnham government that led to the matter ultimately being placed in the hands of the World Court for final determination by the David Granger/Moses Nagamootoo government in 2018.

In 2024 this nation does not have a clear and unambiguous position of the controversy from the People’s Progressive Party (PPP).

Former President and PPP General Secretary Bharrat Jagdeo is on public record making known that during his administration the PPP explored the possibility of granting Venezuela a channel to the sea via Guyana to resolve the controversy. 

It must be noted Venezuela is not a landlocked country and shares the Atlantic Ocean with Guyana.

When Jagdeo had the opportunity to participate in the Parliamentary Debate last November, denouncing Venezuela’s referendum on 1st December to covet the mineral-rich Essequibo, he was in the building but refused to participate.

His refusal has robbed the nation the opportunity of knowing whether he still holds the view and it be recorded in the Hansards for posterity.

Vice President Bharrat JagdeoVice President Bharrat JagdeoJagdeo must be called upon to say to this nation what informed his thinking to grant access to a neighbour that covets one’s land. 

His failure to do so denies the nation a clear path in combatting Venezuela’s aggression. His absence in the debate would not have escaped wily Maduro’s attention.

Whilst Irfaan Ali is the constitutional holder of the Office of President everyone knows the person who wields the power of the office is Jagdeo, the man behind him. Ali can do nothing without his orders.

This is evident in the continuation of Jagdeo’s policies of political, social and economic marginalisation, discrimination and widespread corruption. The hijacking of oil and gas by these two men and their local and foreign cabals is not lost on the nation.

Venezuela and other external forces are conscious of the environment and exploiting the dysfunction to the detriment of Guyana and Guyanese

The removal of the border controversy solely from being in the hands of the UN to that of bilateral level through the 14th December 2024 Argyle Agreement served to embolden Maduro to have his National Assembly in March 2024 pass a Bill claiming Essequibo as their new state.

Maduro has daubed the Agreement in Guyana’s face with the tacit support of St. Vincent and the Grenadines’ Prime Minister Dr. Ralph Gonsalves and Barbados’ Prime Minister Mia Mottley.

That Agreement flawed though it be at Clause 3 commits that “both States will refrain, whether by words or deeds, from escalating any conflict or disagreement arising from any controversy between them.

The two States will cooperate to avoid incidents on the ground conducive to tension between them.” But we are witnessing Venezuela’s contempt for it, a position also taken by Gonsalves who was seen in January holding a map with Maduro that shows Essequibo as part of Venezuela.

In response to outcries from the Guyanese people, Jagdeo said he accepted Gonsalves’ excuse that his action was an oversight.

Let’s not forget Gonsalves has appointed himself for life as an interlocutor on the controversy. The Argyle Agreement explicitly states:

 Prime Minister of St. Vincent and the Grenadines Dr. Ralph Gonsalves Prime Minister of St. Vincent and the Grenadines Dr. Ralph Gonsalves“Both States agreed that Prime Minister Ralph E. Gonsalves, the Pro-Tempore President of CELAC, Prime Minister Roosevelt Skerrit, the incumbent CARICOM Chairman, and President Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva of Brazil will remain seized of the matter as Interlocutors and the UN Secretary-General, Antonio Guterres as Observer, with the ongoing concurrence of Presidents Irfaan Ali and Nicolás Maduro.

“For the avoidance of doubt, Prime Minister Gonsalves’ role will continue even after Saint Vincent and the Grenadines ceases to be the Pro-Tempore President of CELAC, within the framework of the CELAC Troika plus one; and Prime Minister Skerrit’s role will continue as a member of the CARICOM Bureau.”

Nothing Maduro does is an oversight. Nothing Jagdeo does is an oversight. Nothing Gonsalves does is an oversight.

These are men who only value laws when it suits their purpose as evidenced by the iron-fist with which they govern their countries and political parties.  Caught in the middle of their greed is Guyana’s wealth and her people.

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