As soft incursions go, the local news headline of Guyana signing a security master plan was deliberately unnoticeable.
It’s not that the headlines failed to capture the event, which was reported as it was seen.
But the act itself warranted, at least, an Opinion Editorial to delve in to why Guyana, Suriname, and French Guiana, three of the poorest and smallest countries in South America, sitting side by side and each with its own language and colonial ties, would be signing a security master plan in 2021.
And let’s not be tempted to quibble over Guyana’s poverty by citing its oil discovery, without remembering that Suriname has laid claim to some of Guyana’s oil, has had its battles with Exxon …and is now engaged in what is referred to as joint offshore basin Guyana’s oil and Surinames’s oil – with Exxon exploring.
That’ll be another conversation, particularly on why Guyanese have not been told that there’s joint exploration with a country that laid claim to their patrimony and sent a couple of gun boats to make its point.
The political story of Guyana right now reads like the subject of guardianship.
Its advisor on democracy is the International Republican Institute (IRI), formerly a Department in the CIA, subsequentally removed as direct regime change agents, per Ronald Reagan’s directive, because of its reputation for gore.
Back in 1983, Suriname’s Desi Bouterse, was causing Ronald Reagan anxiety.
In a letter to Brazil’s then President, João Baptista de Oliveira Figueiredo, he lamented Bouterse’s “longstanding predilections toward Cuba and Grenada” and his entrance into the “Cuban/Soviet sphere”. Another ‘Cuba’ in the region made Desi target for the CIA, a plot that was dropped only because US Congress felt there was not enough evidence to depose – not because invading a country was modern day marauding.
Not so lucky Grenada, when Maurice Bishop who was flaunting with Nicaragua’s Sandinistas and finessing Cuba’s Castro, had become an equal irritant.
Ronald Reagan invaded, Bishop was killed in its wake and Bouterse, favoring life, broke ties with Cuba.
America exhaled, as the threat of growing communism amongst neighboring nations eased with the invasion and murder of a sovereign leader.
But Bouterse’s continued engagement with Libya kept them engaged.
Guyana had already been on their radar.
Cheddi Jagan, then leader, had imported his own communist, in the form of Janet Rosenberg whom he wed, then, as a pair, courted every communist regime that would entertain their ambitions to own a country and establish a ‘fantastic new India’… discriminating and ethnically enclaved.
By the time Bharrat Jagdeo came along, Washington had a referential blue print on how to deploy its diplomatic efforts to Suriname and Guyana.
There were lots of similarities between their leaders, with Jagdeo being both communist trained and a practitioner of the ideology but stopped short, with Bouterse’s military training predominating his leadership style versus Jagdeo’s rancid governance, riddled with his propensity for malice and cantankerous public displays of denigration.
Their criminal profiles, though, were more similar, per State Department and its Dutch counterpart’s notes.
Bouterse, convicted in absentia in 1999 for smuggling cocaine into the Netherlands via diplomatic pouch, was viewed as parallel to Jagdeo, copiously documented as leader of a corrupt Government that gave excessive accommodation to Roger Khan, whom State Dept. deemed Guyana’s Pablo Escobar .
Bouterse had escaped the imprisonment and fines imposed by Hague because there was no extradition treaty and other jurisdictional solutions but what is of greater importance is that there was a planned invasion of Suriname and with US backing, to extract him.
This brings us to Guyana, its projected billions in new found oil, largely being harvested by America’s biggest publicly traded company, Exxon with the world’s highest market capitalization in the sector and a very generous donor to its Republican Party.
Interconnected are Exxon’s very robust political lobby, its muscular support of IRI which has a sturdy record of promoting and executing Exxon’s pro-drill, anti- environment and questionably honest contracts in countries they categorize as unsophisticated- not because people don’t wear suits but because they are no match for the cunning crafters of oil contracts which enrich Exxon more than it does the source country.
Now, just to drill a point, America must never be made to feel afraid.
It used its economic and political capital to establish bodies like the United Nations to ensure that.
Personnel where selected to assure that.
As Foreign service and CIA history will affirm, the brothers Dulles are the framers of its reputation-
Allen Dulles the premier CIA director who had a knack for making countries compliant, assisted by his brother, then Secretary of State, John Foster Dulles ,who made policy for CIA ‘compliant programs’ to be implemented.
It’s all covered under that ‘American Sense of Global Responsibility’ clause, which endures to this day.
So, when countries in America’s backyard engage in communist mischief making” and their porous, cross- borders provide ease for Desi’s drug running and terrain for Bharrat’s ‘cocaine highway’ that leads to Western front doors, there’s enough anger to trigger America’s ‘global responsibility’, especially when there’s common link in Roger Khan, there’s elevated weapon and drug smuggling activity across French Guiana into Guyana and Suriname, and Bouterse was already flaunting with Libyans.
French Guiana, a colony of France which had signed UN treaties to contain/eliminate the trafficking of weapons and drugs and is bound by those laws ,was engaged diplomatically to do its part in its colony.
President Granger’s accreditation of non-resident Ambassador, Antoine Joly, in 2017 started a process that Ambassador Sarah Ann Lynch extended, when she was assigned political duty in Guyana and to which CARICOM, The Lessor, leaned back to accept.
We may remember Joly as a member of the Choir Lynch, assembled to meddle in Guyana’s elections.
Lynch’s declaration of “we won”, in Texas, could/should be interpreted as her country neutralizing the Desi Bouterse equivalent in Guyana, Jagdeo, whose dictatorship was as marred with murder and drugs and communist leanings.
He’s now their Champion and any thoughts of extracting him for past crimes maybe on hold, as long as his government agrees to a show of Western military might on it waters, along its borders and, possibly, a base that would serve as a wagging finger to Maduro and Miguel Diaz Canel of Cuba…today’s Castro.
Desi may be gone but America’s ‘Sense of global Responsibility’ is ever present in the region because of criminal elements like Desi and Bharaat who gave them the excuse to ‘step in’ to ensure those UN treaties that America initiated, that came with all that aid that Desi and Bharaat didn’t inject into the economy to raise poverty, are not violated.
The fate of Presidents Manuel Noriega extracted from Panama and Ricardo Martinelli, deported to Panama would give seasoned thugs a glimpse into what happens when America feels fear- even cause them to agree to play the role of Champion of Democracy to commit the highest crime and misdemeanor – TREASON.
The issue now is averting what is an obvious soft occupation of Guyana under this ‘Guiana Security Master Plan ’ umbrella, that made quiet news in vague language.
Three of the poorest and smallest countries in South America signing some security master plan that exceeds their collective military and monetary capacity screams for itemized clarity….and don’t say Venezuela …please.
Preventing Guyana’s occupation requires a government with an Opposition that is more functional than nominal.
The leading and largest Party of the Opposition remains in a crisis of legitimacy, fueled more from internal turmoil than from its political opponent.
David Granger’s strict application of a provision to merge Presidential Candidate and Party Leader into one person – made at a time of emergency, 30 years ago, speaks directly to the over-evaluation of his character by so many who sought change.
And there’s more.
Seldom discussed is the leader of the second largest Party, Khemraj Ramjattan, now better known for using his capacity as Minister of Home Affairs to provide security and escort for Charrandass, who cast a No Confidence vote against their Coalition.
That the arrangement was made PRIOR to the provision of safe passage for Charrandass to escape his sabotage, still questions what Ramjattan knew and when he knew it.
Confidence in Ramjattan as Co Leader, hence, remains below support levels.
As much as we need a functional Opposition, we cannot forego the need for character that exceeds personal ambition or the propensity for treachery.
We cannot just think in terms of who’s available to run.
There is fundamental tier structuring and organizational rebuilding to be done.
We’ve got to see it for the repair it needs, the expertise required for its restoration.
We’re all out of shortcuts to succeed at this one.
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