…with benefits
So much for the “peaceful coexistence” Mad Maduro promised at Argyle last December!! He’s inexorably pursued his “annexation” of Essequibo with first his referendum to “legitimise” it, then announced the “annexation” just before the Argyle meeting – and had to’ve assumed we didn’t view his temerity as “not peaceful”!! So, he then proceeded to have his Assembly approve his “annexation” by passing an Act to that effect, and massing troops near our border. And just two days ago, he signed an “Organic Law for the defense of Essequibo”, which takes for granted that Essequibo is theirs – and they can do what it takes to “defend” it! Give the man a peace agreement – and he takes Essequibo!!
For those who thought the Argyle Declaration meant more than the paper it was written on, Mad Maduro took special pains to insult our President. He gloated that nothing has given him more satisfaction than when he defended Venezuela’s claim to Essequibo in front of Pres Ali at Argyle!! Said he: “The liberators” (fighters for Venezuela’s independence from Spain, like Simon Bolivar) gave us the land, our identity, our character, and they gave us the complete Guyana; the right on the Essequibo is always, and always will be, a libertarian right.” So much for Pressie’s bottle of El Dorado as a peace offering!!
And if that weren’t provocative enough, Russia just announced that it’s preparing to host Mad Maduro in style – and as such, explicitly giving approval to the Venezuelans’ claim to Essequibo. It’s a matter of mutual backscratching. Venezuela’s been a firm supporter of Putin ever since Chavez started ruling Venezuela, and embarked on his disastrous socialist experiment. A common hatred of the US and friendliness towards Castro’s Cuba binds them even closer. It was Putin who supplied over US$30 billion in advanced military equipment – including Sukhoi fighter jets and missile-armed drones – that have given Mad Maduro the spunk to not only challenge us, but rattle his sabres at the US and UK!!
In the international arena, Mad Maduro has followed Russia’s lead in thumbing his nose at multilateral institutions like the UN and ICJ – and invaded and annexed neighbouring countries. Russia also helps Mad Maduro survive by evading US sanctions on its oil shipments, while the latter’s been a staunch supporter of Russia’s Ukraine War. Mad Maduro‘s visit will definitely end in some sort of arrangement to give assurances of further evasion of oil sanctions since the US’ easing of sanctions to allow Chevron etc to recover and ship Venezuelan crude will expire later this month.
For this and other reasons, we should expect Mad Maduro’s hostilities to be ratcheted up even further as their July elections draw nearer.
So, who can WE count on??

…in squatting
In Guyana, squatting’s been a widespread phenomenon ever since the abolition of slavery. The newly-freed Africans wanted to get off the plantations as fast as they could, and while some scrimped to purchase several bankrupt plantations, others went upriver and squatted on Crown Land. They were ousted.
After independence, Burnham’s unfulfilled promises to “feed, house and clothe” the nation for the good life led to a new wave of squatters. This has continued unabated 58 years down the line, but it would seem that the illegal squatting phenomenon has migrated into other areas of national life – even into the bastion of law-making itself – the National Assembly!!
We’ve got the case of three micro-parties using an obscure constitutional “joiner” provision to agglomerate their votes to gain a seat at the last elections. They agreed they would rotate the seat, and all went well – till the incumbent with just 244 votes balked!!
Will GECOM now stick to the spirit of the law and do the right thing?? Doubtful!!

…different strokes on LGBT
The US just imposed sanctions on Ghana and Uganda for passing legislation discriminating against LGBT persons. Sounds OK. But those countries have pointed out that Qatar FORBIDS LGBT practices – yet is not only unsanctioned, but approved!!