Today Brazilian President Bolsonaro’s gonna be dropping by for a short visit, to make up for the one he’d cancelled when his mom passed in late January. Your Eyewitness respects a man who respects his mother. He doesn’t go in for this “nation Uber alles” when it comes to filial duty – especially to mothers. Anyhow, when the first visit was in the offing, a group of the woke chatterati – who always know what’s best for the rest of Guyana – fired one of their patented “letter-in-the-press” fusillades against the visit!! They screamed that the man was so right-wing and reactionary he might just infect our oh-so-moderate politics!!
Yup…believe it or not, that’s right!! Most of the woke brigade isn’t even in Guyana, but are comfortably ensconced in countries whose leaders are right in synch with Bolsonaro. Yet we don’t see them wiping the dust off their feet from those countries or leaders – but presume to tell us to make the man persona non grata!! Now, let’s get one thing straight with this bunch, in case they crawl out of the rocks they slither under between bouts of fevered letter-writing.
In International Relations, the only test for a patriotic Guyanese is our NATIONAL INTEREST!! To quote something that’s probably too clichéd for these hipsters of international relations, in realpolitik, “there are no permanent enemies or permanent friends – only permanent interests”. But no, these are the very folks who’d have us leave our 11 billion barrels of oil (and counting!) under the ocean for the sake of the rest of humanity! Especially that bunch of humanity that created the very crisis the do-gooders want to avert – to live high off the hog, leaving us wallowing in the mud.
With Bolsonaro, his sin was to cut swathes of his Amazonian rainforests, so his country can grow more grain; raise cattle, to export the products to bring in foreign currency, and raise the living standards of their poor. Now, whether or not the strategy works depends on a whole range of factors – but at least he’s trying to better the lot of his people! The other Bolsonaro sin is that “right-wing” tendency to insist that before you distribute wealth, you gotta create it. But that, of course, is heresy to the woke brigade! Never mind the converse – as proven by leaders from Burnham to Lenin – that it never works!!
Anyhow, Brazil is an economic behemoth at our southern border, never mind its present hiccup; so, it’s in our interest – for so many reasons – to cultivate better relations. Just the shipment of industrial goods from Brazil’s landlocked Manaus should keep us going for many moons.
Interest trumps all!!
…to eastern neighbour
And just two days ago, Public Works Minister Juan Edghill signed an agreement to conduct feasibility studies with Suriname, to determine financing, traffic flows, and toll and other revenue-generating options for the Corentyne Bridge. Now, while we need Brazil to get us a bridge – and not just the Takutu! – into our continental destiny…a closer relationship with Suriname would give us a bit more heft to fulfill that destiny quicker.
For too long, our commonalities with Suriname were kept shrouded because of our imposed tunnel vision of historic connections to the separate European “mother” countries – Britain and Netherlands. But those commonalities are there, and as we become physically connected through the Bridge; economically connected through petroleum; culturally connected through shared origins, we will increase in strength.
It can’t happen with Brazil; with them, there’s the disequilibrium of size. Suriname would deal with us as equals!!
Who knows…they might even drop their claim to the New River Triangle!!
…on the west?
As we proceed on our upward trajectory through connectivity with our neighbours in the east and south, let’s not forget that on our west lies an enemy that must be checkmated.
And this is where a friendly Brazil comes in, as the historic rival to Venezuelan pretenses!!