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If Guyanese are caught ill prepared- especially of mindset- for threats from foreign shores, this might be the result of our of most looming adversary seeing one thing:

Guyana’s leaders have allowed the information channel to be hijacked by the sharing of sensational, un-sourced, video images, with dramatized narrations designed to instill fear and suggest impending doom.

We say ‘allowed’ because the government is comparatively silent, commensurate with the information pollution and disinformation -dumping, in this time of due anxiety.

It’s the wrong time to shut up.

The threat to the integrity of our 83,000 square miles by Venezuela is real. It is being adjudicated by the International Court of Justice (ICJ) at this very moment, following the Hague’s order for Venezuela to submit basis on why a centuries old treaty should be discarded.

And writing a memorandum to file by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs is not the public sharing of vital information.

That’s just file keeping.

The Government has the responsibility of securing the nation from foreign invaders and has established a corps of practices to to execute that. A regular dissemination of information on the threat level and how the nation’s forces are situated to contain it should be shared with its citizens.

It’s easy to say that the aggressor, Venezuela, is bound by a multiplicity of treaties and international laws but there is mobility of troops, en masse, to Guyana’s entrance points.

Government information must be primary. When it’s late or absent, it becomes counter- information, elevating the propaganda or conjecture in a way that weakens confidence in what Government has to say.

It’s the wrong time to shut up.

Center for Strategic International Studies – once the PPP’s hype promoter – has recently published a ‘behind the scenes’ look at Venezuela’s activities, as they relate to Essequibo.

Exxon has dug in its heels behind its voluminous investment in extracting Guyana’s oil. Venezuela protests Exxon’s drilling in Essequibo and is uncomfortable with increased US military aid. Now, US planes are streaking across Guyana’s skies and Guyanese are yet to hear a word from their government.

People are nervous and grabbing information from the click- bait brigade in the face of perceived threats, with no clarification from their elected leaders.

It’s the wrong time to shut up.

The Government has the responsibility of protecting each citizen against border breach and foreign invasion. As matter of duty and obligation, a regular dissemination of information on the threat level and how the nation’s forces are situated to contain it is the commission of Government, to its citizens.

And Government is not confined to the ruling Party. We’ll reiterate, again, that elected Government is comprised of Ruling and Opposing arms. Both arms were elected as servants to the citizens.

The President, as commander in Chief and the Chief of Staff, as head of the military, are the heads of the ruling Party’s team of strategists. We will assume that the Opposition, that other elected arm of Government, has assigned personnel to liaise and confer with the ruling arm of government.

We’ll assume, in the interest of service to the nation, the Opposition has corrected its stance of waiting to be informed, invited and consulted. This is a not a game for political debutantes. In accepting the office, the promise was to work – not wait to be courted.

Both halves of government are elected and are servants of the citizens …not constituents, but citizens. And, this is especially critical in times of looming threat…which comes for the country, not Parties.

It would help, too, if the citizens were informed of the political driving forces behind Venezuela’s ramped up threat in defiance of ICJ and Treaty agreements. That’s part of the government’s dissemination duty.

And here’s one logical reason why Maduro is blustering.

Venezuela is slated to hold general elections on July 28th, 2024. It’s an obligation Maduro is forced to comply with at the peril of more sanctions and global ostracization for a population that is willing to walk from South to North America to escape poverty and tyranny.

Maduro sabotaged the participation of the preferred candidate, Machado , but she has deputized herself for a surrogate and is attracting millions against him. And all this may be propelling his defiance of treaties and laws barring his encroachment on Guyana’s soil, before an ICJ ruling.

The Guyana government needs to be apprising its citizens of these triggers effecting Maduro’s invading intimidation.

It’s the wrong time to shut up.

And we’re not going to confine shutting up to the Government which has been on Shut Up Scholarship…for way too long.

We’re addressing citizens. We’re not asking for their immersion in public affairs but we expect them to demand service from their politicians. They know why they vote.

And, we’ll add that it’s the duty of their Party to educate them on how government, at every level, works, how to hold their elected officials, at every level, accountable. Emphasis here is on PARTY and not click bait surrogate. This means it has to be a coordinated endeavor by the Party seeking office…not just single operatives offering single suppositions on their individual social platforms.

Everybody seeking political prominence is on social media. Do the simple things to bring your viewers up to speed. Tell them what the different levels of councils do for them. Don’t assume it’s common knowledge.

Keeping citizens informed of threats both foreign and domestic is inherent in Guyana’s constitution. The Government – both Ruling and Opposing arms -are duty bound to giving timely, factual and truthful information to all in this period of threat to the country’s 83000 square miles.

Anything less constitutes dereliction of duty.

And if the President, buttressed by his Military Commanders, seems disinclined to insist on frequent updates on how his government is containing Venezuela’s aggression, while the ICJ adjudicates an outcome, then the Opposition, via its ‘shadow’ Ministers has the obligation to inform- based on its job of liaising and conferring with its governing counterparts.

Otherwise, Guyana’s government would have failed at one of its most fundamental but mandatory duties to keep its people safe.

It’s really the wrong time to shut up.

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