So, who…

…to buddy up with?

In the decades following WWII, we, Third World countries, had to choose between the First World – read the USA – and the Second World – the then USSR, that’s now shrivelled into Russia. Since we happened to be in the US’ backyard, but the govt-of-the-day chose the USSR, realpolitik ensured we paid the price!! Which in our case meant the PNC’s 28-year dictatorship that delivered hunger, homelessness and nakedness – and Guyanese refugees streaming outwards!!
Well, after the USSR imploded and threw in the towel – no mas!! No mas!! – in 1989, governments recovered the plot, even the rump Russia, and fell into line. Yet, amazingly, in the unipolar world, the Yanks decided to build up Communist China – the largest country in the Third World – to First World status!! Death wish?? Naah…it wasn’t done out of altruism or humanitarian imperative, but was guided by that preeminent capitalist value – profits, profits, profits!! And boy, did the US – or rather its top 1% – rake in profits as China became the workshop of America. As well as providing Walmart and other chains with 90% of their merchandise!!
Was the best of both worlds, no?? The Chinese kept shipping real goods, and collected pieces of paper printed by the US called “dollars”!! But you know what the old people say: “Time longer than twine”, and pretty soon, with the Chinese holding TRILLIONS of greenbacks and the American factories having deteriorated into “rustbelts”, the sh*t hit the fan!! Meaning we had an industrialized China that has the wherewithal to create a new bipolar world order – if they decided to flex their muscles. Which they decided to do a decade ago, upon entering the homestretch to replace the US as the largest economy in the world. And we know it’s money that makes that world go ‘round, don’t we?!!
So, here we are, in another global standoff, caught between two behemoths – which we shoulda known would’ve happened sooner or later. Cause we know “two maan-crab cyan live in the same hole”, don’t we?!! China’s strategy is to use its economic heft to integrate its factories with the Third World through a Belt and Road Initiative (B&RI), via which it had access to the latter’s raw materials – paid for with the US greenbacks in its treasury!!!
For a while, the US couldn’t make up their mind whether to stick with profits over national pride and security!! But it looks like they’ve finally decided to confront the Chinese Dragon. They’re busy trying to build alliances across the globe to contain China, and are softening up towards Russia so’s to preclude a Chinese alliance.
So, whether we like it or not, we’re gonna be forced to side with either the Eagle or the Dragon!!

…can we court?
Now, while we gotta tread carefully between the American Eagle and the Chinese Dragon, shouldn’t we take a leaf from the US’ playbook and build our own alliances? There’s always safety in numbers. While we’re members of a host of international groupings, like Caricom and the Commonwealth, we need to tighten linkages with next door Brazil and Suriname — if for no other reason than that some of our soi-disant “friends” in Caricom, like Ralph “Razor Blade” Gonsalves, are making goo-goo eyes at Mad Maduro!!
Hey…no hard feelings…it’s all about “interests”, innit?? While we can’t forget we’re still small potatoes in the grand scheme of things, closer ties with Suriname and Brazil ain’t gonna rile up the US – while offering cover against the covetous Venezies!! The government of Pres Ali has already done most of the heavy lifting to establish good rapport with Lula and Santokhi. We gotta operationalise some of the informal agreements – especially in energy, communications and infrastructure; and especially with Brazil!

…to trade with?
The Trinis turned back some milk exports from local firm DDL – even though for decades we’ve been importing light manufactured goods from them. They now say it was the importer who hadn’t filled out the right forms. Right!!
Non-tariff barriers!!