Guyanese will not defect from, but defend Essequibo

Dear Editor,
Make no mistake about it, Guyana is united at the front, middle and back to face a common, potentially “threatening situation”, whether it’s a work-in-progress, an infancy stage, or rapid-fire development due to Venezuela’s military aggression and political proactiveness, regardless of who says what, when, where, why or how! ‘United we stand, divided we fall’ is the song all races of this nation wake and sleep to. Guyanese are undivided as ‘One Guyana’ in all the regions of Guyana, hoping for a ‘blow hot-blow cold’ issue to blow over as soon as possible, contingent upon the ICJ’s reaction and resolution and Venezuela’s response and responsibility.
A hotly debated topic, and one that occupies the minds of all at home and abroad, inclusive of the diplomatic and international communities, the momentum is building with the swing of the pendulum, as each second ticks away and Friday approaches to herald the crescendo of the ICJ’s voice over the inferno of Maduro’s December 3rd referendum. The silent sound of Venezuela’s marching army is not mistaken, but this country will not take this matter ‘lying down’. Yet, the soberness of the ICJ’s dictum is keenly anticipated to curb the anxieties of stakeholders in this geo-political drama.
While an anti-climax is preferred to Venezuela’s negative innuendos, in particular those narrated by the illusive President and supported by his errant Vice President, Guyana remains cool, calm, and collected in the heat of the night. Guyana’s President is restrained by remaining on the right side of history, and is subdued by the legal process, choosing the wisdom of the ICJ to prevail over any “don’t get mad, get even” reaction. Guyanese sons and daughters will not defect, but defend every square inch of this mudland, their Mother Land, although Guyana pursues the path of peace prevailing to Venezuela’s preference to pierce the provision of peace.
The days of dictatorship are over in this land of many waters, since the timely intervention of the US in 1992 and also in 2020. Guyana is progressing with an economic engine, empowered by the oil and gas sector and supported by other natural resource industries and an agriculture drive. The IMF has projected Guyana’s 38.4% growth for 2023 to be the fastest-growing country this year. Guyana has some 11 billion barrels of oil in reserve, possibly understated, as more oil continues to be uncovered. More investors from a global market continue to seek opportunities perpetually, and overseas companies want to do more business with this Government. This did not happen overnight, but the successful track record of a progressive Government over the past three years has attracted the engagement for business, commerce and tourism. No wonder Venezuela’s greed is eying the richness of Essequibo!
This country has always been a peaceful nation towards her neighbours, and is quite contented and humble. On the contrary, Venezuela is ranked in 72nd place with its 4.3% GDP growth. “Transparencia Venezuela” reported in 2022 that illegal activities make up 21% of its GDP. Despite being the 8th largest member of OPEC and the 25th largest oil producer in the world, with 300 billion barrels of oil in reserve, the country is plagued by dictatorship, political instability and corruption, with a ruined economy and people living in poverty. Over six million Venezuelan citizens from a population of thirty million ran for their lives to seek greener pastures and the refuge of safety and security in other lands, including over thirty thousand right here in Guyana. Guyana’s border is open to shelter Venezuelans, not shame them; but suspicion cannot be overruled in this sensitive situation.
Being the only ‘English-speaking’ country in South America, Guyana is regarded as much West Indian in the Caribbean as any of the islands. Guyana remains an integral part of Caricom, and plays a significant part in its welfare. Guyana will chair the next phase for Caricom, and also, come January 2024, Guyana will occupy a seat as a non-permanent member of the UN Security Council, contributing towards the maintenance of world peace and security. Guyana is famous as a friendly and favourable nation, and tourists are flocking to this land to enjoy its beauty and tranquility. This country makes peace, not war. Venezuela, on the other hand, is a suspect as a potential threat to disrupt this peace zone.
Only recently, Guyana housed a delegation of Canadian Members of Parliament (MPs). They have been vociferous in praising Guyana, the Government and the citizens. Throughout the year, Guyana found itself having to play host to many international platforms seeking economic alliance and fraternal allegiance. Guyana has been invited to all of the global gatherings, and has been privy to speak as an invitee while chairing many secessions. While Guyana has been subjected to a few selected spurious claims, those unnecessary attacks have been found to be unwarranted, unmerited, and without any evidence of conviction. A couple of prejudiced groups have unsuccessfully attempted to malign the integrity of Guyana, but they have been unable to penetrate the armour of honour as sustained by the PPP/C Government.
Guyana has survived the days and nights of colonialism, slavery, indentureship and independence, and has crafted a future as a republic. This is because Guyana has paid its dues and unshackled itself from dictatorship to democracy. Ingrained in the fertility as ‘One Guyana’, this nation has moulded a national motto with pride as “One People, One Nation, One Destiny.” Guyana’s sovereignty is sustained by generations of ancestors who have sacrificed their blood, sweat and tears for this land of 83,000 square miles, which belongs to all Guyanese. Guyanese will not entertain parting with an inch.
Essequibo belongs to Guyana. Guyana enjoys the support of Caricom, the OAS, the Commonwealth, and the UN. Venezuela cannot stake this claim!

Yours respectfully,
Jai Lall