Your Eyewitness has long been pushing tightening links with our southern behemoth Brazil – which has a population of 400 million; the 10th largest economy, and the 15th largest army in the world. Relations were going hunky dory as the Brazilian economy was just zooming upwards. By 2009, they’d built the Takutu Bridge, so we could move seamlessly between our countries. We were negotiating to surface the entire stretch of the Linden-Lethem Road – which would’ve branched off to the mouth of the Berbice River, where a deep-water harbour would’ve been built.
Without any elaboration, we know that, with just the increased connectivity, we would’ve benefitted tremendously. And what was in it for Brazil?? Well, they had one of their major manufacturing cities – Manaus – smack in the middle of the Amazon, where it takes 15 days just to get stuff to the Atlantic at Belem!! With a highway to Berbice Harbour, this woulda been cut to two days, and bring much closer to Brazil customers in America and Europe. Could you imagine how much we woulda been making just on trucking and harbour fees? Not to mention shipping our own rice etc – and foreign goods – to bordering Roraima State!!
But sadly, a corruption scandal in the upper reaches of their Government made the entire edifice come crashing down – and as Humpty Dumpty discovered – it ain’t easy getting it back together!! But the fundamental points for closer linkages all remain – so your Eyewitness says, let’s “Look South, policymakers!!” Another reason for closer links just bit us on our national bamsie – Mad Maduro rattling his sabres on our western border!! Back in the day, when Venezuela had a dictatorship – which was then followed by a democratic govt – they insisted they were numero uno in Latin America. Brazil always resented this, and looked warily at their pretensions.
When it comes to borders, Brazil has always settled them – including ours – without any rancour. And with Brazil bordering nine of South America’s twelve countries, they sure don’t want old border agreements to be raised from the dead!! As it so happens, a critical marker on our western border with Venezuela is shared with – guess who?? Brazil!! This is at Mt Roraima, which is the common border between our three countries. If Venezuela’s allowed to get away with changing our border, Brazil knows they can be next!!
With all of that, your Eyewitness considers that, out of the dark clouds of Mad Maduro’s warmongering, rebooting closer linkages with Brazil is the silver lining!! Let’s start learning some Portuguese, rather than Spanish. After all, our Portuguese were the first to follow after emancipation!!
We’ll have an ally – based on common interests – in our corner who can manners Mad Maduro!!
…need on Climate Change!
Well, 60,000 persons will be joining our President and VP up in Dubai for the COP28 meet, to find out what’s gonna be done to head off the Global Warming that’s pushing Climate Change we’re witnessing with the hottest weather since we started recording it; entire countries flooded with unseasonal rains; rising seas, etc. And for us, those frightening Atlantic waves a couple of years ago that reminded us we’re three to five feet below sea level.
On a visit to Antarctica ahead of COP28, UN Secretary-General António Guterres warned, “Antarctica has been called the sleeping giant, but it is now being awoken by climate chaos.” He pointed out that Antarctic Sea ice is at an all-time low of 1.5 million square kilometres smaller than the average for the time of year!
“All of this spell’s catastrophe around the world,” he said. “What happens in Antarctica doesn’t stay in Antarctica. And what happens thousands of miles away has a direct impact right here.”
…visit to Brazil
For years, our Jungle Commandos had trained in Brazil – until we got our own Jungle School. So, it’s more than likely our GDF Chief of Staff, Brigadier Omar Khan’s visit to their Ministry of Defence would’ve rekindled old ties. Oorah!!