GUYANA – DEMOCRACY IN PERIL WITH FOREIGN ASSISTANCE

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Governing has descended into dueling no confidence motions.

Afro Guyanese’ land use/ownership is decided by the Government.

Brutal murders are as common as Sports Minister Ramson’s gun in his waist.

Fearmongering  to make statements of Government /Racial power shows no signs of abating.

This is Guyana, where democracy/ human rights are now championed by its resident US Ambassador and her creed of the practice favors those who her State Department once documented as its violators.

Matters not that the PPP runs all sorts of contrary to the Constitution or the UN’s  Human Rights position.

Madam Ambassador’s – Sarah Ann Lynch- mission was accomplished when she was able to get a government to accept ‘assistance’ from the International Republican Institute whose tagline boasted “advances democracy, the rule of law, and free-market economics.”

“Rule of law and Free Market Economics , it seems, are best effected when you manufacture law to meet the moment and free market economics to ensure that supply never satisfies the demands of the Cuba’s and other countries that the IRI embargo’s to death with their ‘democracy’ selves.

Exxon?

That’s for another day.

But, as this political crisis deepens, it has become painfully obvious that there’s need for some real solutions … and fast.


Behind the façade of good bicameral order, Gail Texiera has publicly said that the Opposition’s agenda will be maliciously obstructed unless and until they ‘recognize’ the Government as legitimate.

Hardly some uniquely shocking disconnect from the fact that the Government has been sworn in, the foreign community has presented their credentials to Irfaan and his baby even received a diplomatic tug

on behalf of America

from US Ambassador Lynch while she was , allegedly, running election interference to secure the ascension of her preferred democracy operative to government – Gail’s PPP.

What other validation is needed other than the opportunity for the IRI, for example, to claim victory under some Big Tent politics that they “taught this troubled nation how to come together”, with their Democracy selves. 

Without detailing the derailing of ideology that was not of America’s liking- from Honduras to Haiti- and the removal of ‘Left Leaning’ leaders like Dilma Rouseff and Father Lugo,  from Brazil and Paraguay respectively, preserving pliant, pro US governments in the region is a State Department imperative, we’re thinking, even if recycling a Party it once tagged as Socialist and Communist gets it there.

Gail’s claims of being bullied for the tenure of the Coalition is the kind of word association strategically deployed to invoke an assigned and racist characteristic to the predominantly Afro Opposition.

The record will forever show, though, that it is her Party’s Government that ran an extra judicial  slaughter house under Appointed Minister Ronald Gajraj – as one of its multiple abhorrent deeds during its previous 23 year tenure and when she, Gail, was an enduring member of that thugocracy.

Threatening to derail the function of the Opposition could be ascribed to force of habit for this Party, with a record of using bribery as an operating system, this time holding the Opposition hostage to deny its constitutional obligation to serve as the other half of government.

The PPP knows that the perception of its validity is more important than the foreign communities’ declaration of them being legitimate.

And, that their demands interrupt the construct of government without the resident democracy giants saying how much their actions impede the functioning of democracy, says that they too- these resident diplomats– know that no political pressure will force anyone to call these political sinners, saints….

save, maybe, using Parliament to shut the Opposition out… at the suggestion of Team Foreign.

I mean, seriously.

The dossiers of criminality the US State Deprtment amassed during the PPP’s multiple -decade assault on government, particularly over the criminal enterprise that was Jagdeo’s reign,  have been studied by the IRI and its equivalents in the western countries donating to “democracy advancement” under PPP government .

Rebranding them co- champions of democracy is as much of an insult to the disenfranchisement of many, as it is to our political awareness and the loose use of ‘democracy’.

So, Hard Ball- shutting them down in Parliament -and Blind Eye- America pretending not to see the violation of rights -may well be the strategy…

We’re not as ‘unsophisticated’ as they think, you see.

Finding all the election irregularities against the Coalition was almost tongue- in –cheek and was a good attack on an incumbent leader, David Granger, too self-representing to even pretend he was in the battle for the national good.

Then he bailed out “for national good” while his members were in the midst of battle…in what may have been threats from the Champions of Democracy.

We’ll never know because he never said, on his way to abandoning his troops and deserting his post.

But if these foreign endorsements still make Gail and company feel insufficiently legitimate about their ascent to the helm of leadership, they should take that up with their Branding Team…Lady Lynch and the team that she built -Fernando Ponz Canto (EU), Greg Quinn UK FCO, Michael Grant, Canada and the cadre of Caribbean Leaders whose club dues for UN and OAS membership are often paid by donors with an interest in their votes.


And, that’s one of the things that makes us leery of the new found favor of the PPP with the ‘leader of the free world’…to coin a moniker.

Because, for all of the 23 years of PPP governance, they were the recipient of foreign aid and loan forgiveness, yet Guyana remained one of the poorest countries in its hemisphere with a $5.50 per day poverty line and a 41.2%(pg7) poverty rate, amongst other horrific socioeconomic markers.

US Ambassador Bullen’s addition to the catalog of PPP administrative horrors captured in this Wikileaks cable and all the causes for IADB’s conclusion had to be homework for current Ambassador Lynch.

That these leaders were still considered for cohabitation at the international table always seemed to be about the border access to Venezuela and the criminality of the PPP that could be leveraged by Think Tanks like Carnegie Endowment for International Peace, which has ‘Re-imagined Governance in Latin America’  just fit  for American hegemony.

Donor rhetoric claims to “reward efficient and honest governments striving for economic and social development”.

Efficient and honest we still contest, given the years of aid pumped into Guyana under PPP governance to negligible and diminishing returns.

Inter American Development Bank- IADB- data confirms that unemployment under PPP remained in double digits, 11.9%, from 1992 through their handover to the Coalition in 2015  at 12% per Trading Economics…a ‘hefty’ growth of a whole .1%.

All this underscores how the PPP failed  at governance, failed to direct aid to its intended points and certainly calls in to question the claims of monitoring and oversight of foreign aid by its donors.

But, recounting their abysmal failure cannot be separated from the unattended spigot of foreign aid that normalized that failure and raises the question of the duality of purpose in foreign aid, when oversight is overlooked or deliberately not rigid.

That lapse in supervision seems to embed a utility component into aid that comes from America, which gets to tout its commitment to the preservation of democracy and global good with its targeted assistance, then gets to repurpose the mission by reassigning the misusers of that assistance to some other variant of democracy. 

We are not averse to aid.

Not at all.

There was a period of time when Foreign aid to Guyana would have been justifiable on moral grounds- medical assistance for epidemic diseases like HIV, assistance with technology advancement, etc.

But just rewarding errant governments for consecutive years of failure and syndicated murder suggests something that goes beyond aid and bad actors.

Which brings us back to the solutions that are needed for the Opposition to assume and function in its rightful place at the governing table…from where these pointed questions should be posed.

The Government, by Constitution, is intended to function with an Opposition that is functional not nominal.

The extended absence of a Party Leader with an ideological vision for the country manifests in the pockets of activism we see from those Party members on social media, representing their own issues.

Granger’s straddling the Party and Parliamentary Opposition, as their unabashed defacto leader, has made the country, effectively, a one Party State and provides marketable PR photo ops for Lady Lynch and her team of ‘Democracy Champions’ asserting a reformed Jagdeo, who is more than just a casual acquaintance of the UN HUMAN RIGHTS COMMISSION

Given that the star of this politicized show is Jagdeo, whose term in office became a synonym for villainy, it’s hard not to see how this disinfected diplomacy he’s suddenly capable of is not to advance America’s interests in our country…at least mostly if not entirely.

There are potential Opposition Leaders waiting for a Congress that the strong man gripping on to power has to convene, as the foreign promoters of democracy remain unperturbed by this power play which does not fit their model of democracy for a country constitutionally constructed to have a functional Opposition.

That should sound the alarm.

The reality may be complex but what is clear is that the Opposition has been effectively decommissioned as a functional arm of government with the silent approval of the foreign community and the complicity of an aged leader, whose preference for cunning over honorable is demonstrable by his cling to Party Constitution, in a crippling act of self service.

There’s an abundance of instances of America’s brand of US democracy turning antagonists into fabled protagonists to keep that happy ending for their story.

As Guyanese, we are not required to choose the lesser evil or be lulled into some form of contentment for another country’s plot line.

Rather, we should support those who are committed to resurrecting the other Party necessary for our government designed to function as a  two Party State – at least– which would bring us closer to the Democratic Sovereign State our Constitution says we should enjoy.

Congress or no Congress, no change is not an option .

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