As your Eyewitness predicted he would, President Ali threw a monkey wrench into the craftily-laid plans of Maduro and his enablers to save their nefarious plans to keep their Border Controversy like an albatross on our necks. You’d remember that – supposedly out of sympathy for the human tragedy unfolding in Venezuela – Norway brought the Maduro and Guaido governments (well, both sides have countries recognising them!!) three weeks ago in Mexico to hammer out a rapprochement.
And guess what?? As part of their agreement to set the stage for democratic elections in Venezuela, the Norwegians went along with the two sides agreeing that the 1899 Arbitral Tribunal decision wasn’t final!! Imagine that!! The Norwegians protest every time the Swedes plough snow on their border and accidentally go over a few feet, and here they are, giving away two-thirds of Guyana (61,600 sq miles!) as if it’s just sweetie!! Dividing Guyana like the European Empires carved up Africa in their 1885 Berlin Conference! We always knew all Venezuelans are as one on their Border Controversy, but the question is, who gave Norwegians the blasted right to encourage this sordid “agreement”?
Anyhow, as we recounted, even though his party and Government are firmly committed to liberal democracy and the free market system, Pres Ali bearded the leftist allies of Venezuela – the Pink Wave! – at the CELAC meeting on his way to the UNGA. As is the norm, he didn’t make his ire public, but in one-on-one meetings with other Latin American and Caricom members, he must’ve expressed our position very forcefully. As the new oil giant in the region, when Guyana speaks nowadays, people listen!!
And so it was at the UN – where leaders are expected to be as candid as they want to be when addressing the entire body of world leaders – Pres Ali came out swinging. As luck would have it, he was scheduled to speak the day after Venezuela, and boy, did he get his kicks in!! As we Guyanese say, “tek first lick, but not last lick!!”
Referring to Venezuela’s “overt threats” over their Border Controversy, Pres Ali asserted forcefully, “We have responded in clear terms. And I repeat our response now in these hallowed halls in which nations of the world meet in peace and co-operation: Guyana cannot be used as an altar of sacrifice for the settlement of Venezuela’s internal political differences.”
In the meetings with other world leaders, President Ali “worked the room”, and his aggressive defence of our national interest paid off. The Norwegians had arranged for Venezuelan “governments” to schedule a follow-up meeting on Friday.
And lo and behold, the Maduro “government” didn’t show up!!
Knockout punch by Pres Ali?
…the race card
While the President was away, the Opposition provocateurs had quite a “field day”. Having seen the teachers’ strike wither like a jumbie umbrella and pegged on their back foot with their manufactured COVID-19 issue – “my body my choice” – they couldn’t contain themselves when a SWAT team egregiously killed a young Essequibo businessman, Orin Boston. That he was African Guyanese, gave them just the political frisson they were desperately seeking – RACE!!
And boy, did they jump on it!! Just because Pres Ali had held an outreach in Essequibo – which Boston had attended – it was shouted from the rooftops (via Facebook and other social media platforms) that this was another politically directed “extrajudicial murder”. That the Commissioner of Police (appointed by David Granger, mind you) and his Crime Chief flew in immediately and promised an inquiry by the Office of Professional Responsibility didn’t cut any ice.
So, expect the opportunists to “keep on keeping on” with the race card, even though from NY, Pres Ali also promised an “impartial” inquiry.
Some sprouts of corruption are evidently germinating after a year of the PPP coming into office following the PNC’s five-year rape of the state treasury.
President Ali has to nip these in the bud pronto!