Home Letters The Ministry of Citizenship needs guidance
The recent actions of the Ministry of Citizenship are appalling at best. The Ministry has already created a homestead, which they should not have done in the first place, for a group of Venezuelans in Essequibo.
Thus, strengthening their claim on Essequibo while we are in the middle of a dispute in the world court. What’s next? Will this Ministry also issue the Venezuelan ID cards on behalf of the Maduro Government? In our recent history, Maduro was attempting to issue over 200,000 ID cards in Essequibo.
This poorly directed Ministry is now in the process of relocating Venezuelan migrants who have been squatting on the riverbank to a “permanent” location on an old military training base. Not the same “homestead” location, but yet another location where they can stake another claim on our territory.
The action of this Ministry speaks to the level of short-sightedness and lack of consideration for the gravity of our nation’s current border controversy. It is hard to believe that the Ministry of Foreign Affairs is aligned with the current actions being undertaken by the Ministry of Citizenship.
If some of these Venezuelan migrants turn out to be military operatives from Venezuela who are posing to be destitute, our Ministry of Citizenship would have single-handedly enabled the Venezuelan military in infiltrating our nation’s defence system while giving our declared enemy more than one foothold in the event of a war.
Yes, I said War! This was a very present reality for those of us who grew up in the 1980s. Some of our citizens can remember when our country lost half of Ankoko Island in the 1960s via occupation as it is occurring today. This was followed by military action and to date, Guyana has been unsuccessful in recovering this lost territory.
I remember to this day having a long discussion with a military officer who participated in the Ankoko military engagement under President Burnham. He simply said that they were outgunned. As a nation, we should also remember how the Venezuelan Government had supported a plan for secession in the Rupununi around the same time. The GDF had to be called in and eventually were successful in regaining control.
The current situation of our dispute and the independent-mindedness of Maduro should not be taken lightly. The cry of the 1980s “not a blade of grass” has now turned into anything you want you can get. Our nation’s military needs to take charge of this situation and round up all Venezuelan migrants. Transport them to Ankoko Island and release them to the half of the island that was stolen by the Venezuelan military and their Venezuelan citizens.
Stop allowing them to scout our land for potential invasion, do not allow them to assess our military training methods and do not let them forage on our resources. We have many mouths to feed including the unemployed sugar workers and our efforts are best served in strengthening our own citizens. Do not willingly deplete our resources to strengthen our declared enemy.
Otherwise, how are we Guyanese to continue to trust our current leadership with our nation’s independence when such shortsighted actions are being taken. Not only has this Ministry’s actions undermined our nation’s efforts to secure our territory, but they have also gone a step further and offered them an old military installation which can be converted into a paramilitary base for the Venezuelans during a war. Where are the military strategists in the GDF? This nonsense has to be reeled in and done so quickly before it gets further out of control. Maduro has shown his resistance to the USA and his Russian allies have also shown their willingness to support his Administration. If we continue down this current path, we may either be the spark that causes a war in the event of a favourable court ruling, or we may be collateral damage in the event the USA moves from economic embargoes to military action.
Our Government is currently having trouble stopping accidents on the road and has struggled to reel in the criminal activity of those on bicycles. We should not take the Venezuelan criminal organisation of the syndicato and Venezuelan military operatives lightly.
Those two organisations may be one and the same or at least with significant overlap as seen in other parts of the world. The Ministry of Citizenship needs to wake up from its utopian dream and get back to the reality of our nation’s territorial dispute. The President can no longer afford to delegate this important issue and a coordinated effort has to taken to prevent further infiltration while correcting the current situation.