– Foreign Affairs Minister ought to know better; Canadian High Commissioner’s action was well in order, in keeping with diplomatic protocol of her country
This author, during the course of last week, read with interest that the Foreign Affairs Minister adopted the same position put forward in this column last Sunday. To this end, readers would recall that in the concluding paragraphs of last week’s article, it was posited that, “…with the judicial challenge to the No-confidence Motion, if that ruling turns out in a particular manner, then there may be a constitutional crisis and a political crisis which will lead to an economic crisis and a social crisis, especially if fresh elections are not held within 90 days as stipulated by the Constitution. These events, if materialised, will inevitably weaken Guyana within these dimensions and it is when this happens that Venezuela may very well seize the opportunity to aggressively continue to threaten Guyana with the use of military force. It is no coincidence that the last aggressive move in this regard was done the very next day after the no-confidence vote. That was a strategic move by the Venezuelans and if Guyana’s political climate becomes further weakened – the outcomes are going to be devastating. Therefore, the politicians need to do what is best for Guyana and that is, to have fresh elections in the next three months.”
Just a few days after, this author was happy to see that Guyana Times reported in its January 11, 2019 edition with the headline “Internal tensions could weaken Guyana on world stage – Greenidge.” In that article, the Minister was quoted as saying, “I myself don’t think that it was a coincidence. The Venezuelans were notified on December 6 and 7 and they said nothing; the works started and they did nothing, but when they did move, it was immediately after this internal problem.”
Having said that on a positive note, it is at the same time disappointing to observe that the said Ministry – which is mandated to uphold the highest level of diplomatic protocol, especially with respect to the relationship management with Guyana’s diplomatic community – has taken a very unfortunate position on a matter that should have never become the subject of the Ministry in the first place.
The case in contention here is contained in an article in sections of the media where the Foreign Affairs Ministry stated that “the evidence suggests that the High Commission and by extension, the sending State, are complicit in an attempt to overthrow a sitting Government which was democratically elected.” Now, this position by the Ministry is unfathomable, baffling and incompressible. On what basis are they making such wild and careless charges at the Canadian High Commission? For offering protection to its citizen in a highly, nationally sensitive matter? This is blatant rubbish and ridiculous in its truest form.
In attempting to make sense of this matter, the person whom is the subject of this matter, on the night of December 21, 2018, and who happened to be a Canadian citizen and a Member of Parliament on the Government side, voted in favour of a No-confidence Motion that was brought against the Government in the National Assembly by the Opposition. Having done so, that person felt that his life was in danger; in fact, he reported being threatened to be killed by his own colleagues. It is therefore clear that the Canadian High Commission had absolutely nothing to do with the manner in which he voted in Parliament, which, unfortunately for the Government resulted in it being toppled so to speak. But the Foreign Affairs Minister and his Ministry must know that Canada, firstly, is one of the most peaceful countries in the world, and it is the norm to offer protection to its citizens in any part of the world, provided that such is sought from them. In fact, any country would do so for its citizens. Hence, the Canadian High Commission was obligated to act in the manner it did and this is no crime.
To accompany someone to a plane ensuring their security on a matter of national importance and of a sensitive nature, can never be characterised as a crime. Obviously, therefore, these events are making the Government appear very desperate in its cling to power. They have not yet recovered or come to grips with reality of what occurred on the night of December 21, 2018.