…back to Kansas?
He came, he saw, and he conquered all and sundry (on the PPP side, at least!) with his easy bonhomie and Kansas mid-western charm. Yep! Secty Pompeo’s from the same state from which Dorothy was swept away by that tornado to the wonderful world of Oz! Your Eyewitness wonders what was Pompeo’s reaction to Paramaribo and Georgetown, which would’ve been just as strange as Oz was to Dorothy – with all our quaint wooden houses and all!
That he also handed out some cookies to his hosts didn’t hurt. It wasn’t just the money – US$15 million, almost as large as the “bonus” Trotman “negotiated” for 8 billion barrels of oil! – but also several bilateral agreements. He spontaneously reacted to President Ali’s request that the US reverse its ban on our “catfish”, including our mouthwatering “gillbakka”. He confessed he’d done a lot of catfish fishing as a boy, as anyone growing up in Kansas would’ve done. Maybe we should’ve presented him with a “gillbakka” to take back to Texas, where he’s ultimately headed!!
So, what came out of all the fearmongering that was stirred up: that we’d be shanghaied by Pompeo and transformed into a military base for a US October attack to take out Maduro in Venezuela?? The closest agreement that had to do with anything military was the resuscitation of the Shiprider Agreement that Guyana – along with most of the Caribbean, including TT, Barbados and Jamaica – had signed on to back in the late 1990s.
It’s just about allowing US ships in “hot pursuit” of drug smugglers to be given permission to enter national waters – on condition that officials of the particular country are permitted to be on the ship to ensure that the US doesn’t extend its remit!!
We gotta admit that we’re a big trans-shipment point for cocaine going up North.
But what was refreshing about Pompeo’s interaction is that he didn’t shy away or become coy about discussing the situation in Venezuela. He reiterated that, even more than we experienced with the PNC over the five months between March and August, democracy in Venezuela has been under greater threat. If we appreciate the US taking an interest in the preservation of democracy here – and remember Harmon’s US$40million/month Washington lobbyists? – why shouldn’t the Venezuelan opposition, which has called upon the Americans? And let’s not forget – as the man from Kansas reminded us – the misguided policies of Maduro created the biggest refugee crisis in the history of our continent.
Soon we’ll be receiving the good news on the World Court’s jurisdiction over the Venezuelan border controversy. It’s good to have a (powerful) friend who can stave off the Venezuelan anger!
…leaving PNC at loggerheads
The PNC timed the presentation of their second elections petition to the courts to coincide with Pompeo’s visit. So, they must’ve been apoplectic when the Secretary of State re-emphasised, time and again, the return of democratic norms to Guyana, and bemoaned that it took five months for the results to be declared. He didn’t have to say who were the culprits – the PNC’s elections petition did that!!
It’s clear from their behaviour in Parliament that the PNC’s (there’s no AFC, okay?) gonna be following Trotman’s dictum – when he challenged Hoyte for the leadership back in the day: to oppose, expose and DEPOSE the PPP from office. They’ll disrupt from within, and their allies from the lunatic fringe – which includes what used to be the WPA and some other extremists – will be outside keeping the cauldron of hate boiling, to erupt in violence.
They’re livid with Volda Lawrence for daring to suggest that beating up on fellow citizens who just happen to be Indian-Guyanese isn’t a legitimate form of “protest”.
It’s gonna be hot.
…to a tryst in November
The US will be holding its own elections in November, and it had been speculated that Secretary Pompeo was going to run for a Senate seat.
He didn’t, but his party’s gonna win anyway!!!