Backing down…

…or message sent?
Guyanese woke up to the good news that our 12 fishermen and their 2 boats were released by Venezuela. If all went well, they should be back in Guyana by now. We have a host of reasons to be jubilant, but right up there on top is: we showed that, by and large, we are united as a people. We showed Maduro and his coterie of allies in his armed forces – here his navy – that we weren’t intimidated by his bluff and bluster. As we mentioned yesterday, there are a few misguided souls in the PNC and its camp followers who provided sustenance for Maduro’s propaganda machinery. We hope they’ve learnt that guarding Guyana’s territorial integrity is bigger than individual ambitions and egos.
But there’s now a danger that, with the detained Guyanese back, folks may think everything is now hunky-dory. Nothing could be further from the truth!! All we have to do is simply remember that, after 60+years of massive propaganda, it’s now become an article of faith for Venezuelans of all stripes (political, cultural, ethnic, social or economic) that Essequibo is theirs! It is part of their Constitution, their schoolbooks, their maps and, most importantly, part of the repertoire of all politicians to whip up support for their political survival and ambitions.
So, Maduro has merely just blinked – because of the support we received from so many important players in the international arena. As we’d suggested last week, it was likely that he (like Granger here) figured that Biden would pivot away from Trump’s hard line against his illegal regime. He now knows (hopefully, also like Granger) that the US national interest demands free and fair elections – which he can’t afford to allow, but only that would produce a government with the legitimacy to tackle the intractable problems facing Venezuela, which threatens hemispheric security.
As such, he would most likely not repeat such a reckless gamble in the near term, but we can bet our bottom dollar he’ll continue with his efforts to destabilise us; or even intensify them as the ICJ homes in on the Border Controversy in our favour.
One of the weapons at his disposal is the “refugees” streaming over the Cuyuni River into Region 1. As we’ve already discovered to our cost, criminal gangs like the Venezuelan “Sindicatos” have infiltrated the refugees, and are wreaking havoc against Guyanese along the border. In the longer term, we have to be concerned about the number of Venezuelan refugees impacting the political control of a Region with a mere population of 27,000.
Strengthening our diplomatic services to lobby the international community against the continuing Venezuelan threat must be a top priority.
Good luck, Sam!

…from economic dogma
As the COVID-19 pandemic deals some heavy body blows to the economic system – which had collapsed in 2008, with none of the extant economic theories predicting it – economists are under extreme pressure to propose a sustainable path to recovery. This dilemma is most pertinent to us in Guyana, with our oil revenues promising “salvation”. Lord Keynes, whose theories helped extricate us from the 1930s Great Depression, offered some advice for our leaders. “Practical men who believe themselves to be quite exempt from any intellectual influence are usually the slaves of some defunct economist.”
So, who might be some of these new economists to rise to the challenges of the 21st century? One who’s creating some buzz is Kate Haworth, who came out with “Donut Economics: Seven Ways to Think Like a 21st-Century Economist” a few years back. Your Eyewitness will expand on some of her ideas.
The Dutch have already adopted the model for Amsterdam.
As we know, they’ve already tackled rising seas!

…from local challenges
Your Eyewitness noted that Barbados’s gift to the world, Rihanna, just weighed in on India’s farmers’ protests.
How come she didn’t listen to uncle Allan Fenty and PM Mia Mottley on the PNC’s threat to Caribbean democracy?