We should seek allies on the the border issue
Stabroek News
December 3, 2001

Dear Editor,

The Editorial [ please note: link provided by LOSP web site ] on Thursday, Nov.28, on the current and continuing talks between Venezuela and Guyana concerning our borders, is to be complimented. The absence of a Protocol is to the detriment of our country's development. But I would venture to expand that argument by proposing that the development of the Essequibo region and the border dispute are intricately tied into larger issues which could impact upon this hemisphere.

Sept.11 and the terrible results of that criminal terrorism have changed the world and indeed this hemisphere. The Venezuelan government has chosen , over the last couple of years, under the leadership of Mr.Chavez, to squeeze the Guyana government on the issue of our common borders, in order to expand its influence and increase its bellicosity in the region. As a matter of fact Venezuela, under Mr.Chavez, has seen fit to try to expand its economic and political voice onto the world stage with positions which are hostile to the interests of the oil consuming nations of the world. Mr.Chavez's push to influence world oil prices upwards has been a complete failure and the stand he has taken will leave Venezuela in a weakened position both regionally and internationally. While the USA is embroiled in a desperate struggle against international terrorism and at war, we see Venezuela trying to galvanize the oil producing nations-OPEC- into undermining the American economy. This will fail and Mr.Chavez will incur the wrath of the rest of the hemisphere as he commits more and more blunders.

But in the meantime, over the last couple of years, what has been the position of the Guyanese government to a new protocol; to the security of our borders; to investment for our advancement. The leftist Gang of 8 who run our government has found it important to invigorate ties to Cuba (recently we saw a front page picture of Mr.Jagdeo and the Cuban dictator, Mr.Castro) which encourages and has close ties to Mr.Chavez. Cuba has a government which has never held a free and fair election since Castro came to power in 1959 and which has exported state terrorism in this hemisphere over the years . It is clear to the world that Mr Chavez and Mr.Castro are working together to further their leftist agenda in this hemisphere and ironically, the first victim of that axis will be Guyana, if we are not careful. Mr.Jagdeo is boasting about scholarships which the Cubans are giving us but what about the lost investments and the lost opportunities which the Cuban-Venezuela axis is taking away from us by threats and intimidation on our border.

Unfortunately, we see the" wishy-washy" approach of our Government to such important issues at stake to our development. Mr.Insanally, as Foreign Minister,knows full well, after spending years at the UN, the dangers facing Guyana when dealing with such an axis as Venezuela-Cuba, but yet he continues to serve the Gang of 8 who continue to lead this nation down the path of marginal development due to their leftist tendencies.

Our positions should be clear-cut and regionally pertinent . We should insist that the United Nations intervene to settle our border problem with Venezuela once and for all; we should seek the assistance of the fellow Caribbean countries (except Cuba) and the United States in safe-guarding our border from any incursions even if it means signing treaty agreements and obligations; we should deploy and increase security measures on our borders and use our military to make sure that no incursions occur while making sure that the Essequibo region is secure for investments beneficial only to our country; we should encourage investments from Brazil and other Latin American countries into this area while also inviting Venezuelan commercial entities to come and develop Guyana's Essequibo region; we should push for the concept of free trade in our region in order to strengthen our hand in dealing with the anti-free trade axis of Cuba-Venezuela and ultimately to defend our land; we should expand democracy internally by having more local elections and at regular intervals in order to de-centralize power into more local control; we should hold one voice, one backbone and one resolve to make sure that the motto of "not a blade of grass" is always adhered to. Remember Kuwait.

Yours faithfully,