Home Editorial The wages of elections fraud: sanctions on APNU/AFC elite
It is clear that the PNC, through its fig leaf APNU/AFC cover, is determined to consummate its barefaced rigging of the elections in the face of worldwide condemnation of the GECOM-manipulated results for Reg 4 by its Returning Officer, Clairmont Mingo. Among the countries and regional blocs that have expressed vehement objection to the sleight of hand are the US, UK, Canada, EU, Norway, the Commonwealth, the OAS and the ACP. These countries represent more than three billion persons.
The most serious warning about the clear breach of the democratic norms to which Guyana is a signatory in several international covenants came from US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo just days ago: “The United States is closely monitoring the tabulation of votes in Guyana….We join the OAS Commonwealth, EU, CARICOM and other democratic partners who are calling for an accurate count…It is important to note that the individuals who seek to benefit from electoral fraud and form illegitimate governments/ regimes will be subject to a variety of serious consequences from the United States”.
Among the “variety of serious consequences” to which the Secretary of State alluded are sanctions. Today, the United States has sanctions in place against more than two dozen countries, and more than 7,000 companies, individuals and groups. That is more than in any other time in U.S. history, and sanctions are seen as a most effective foreign policy tool.
In applying sanctions against countries in furtherance of its foreign policy goals, there are usually four elements the US normally considers for optimal results. Firstly, the demands must be specific; it helps when the country being sanctioned is an ally; it is best to go after the money and not the products of the country, and finally to have other countries aboard. All of these elements are in play against Guyana. Sanctions can take several forms: trade, financial, travel, military, diplomatic, or cultural. In this instance the very specific demand has been that GECOM’s recount be transparent;
Guyana is an ally of the US, which has a very significant economic interest with the discovery of the “world class” oil discovery by ExxonMobil; our financial system is fully integrated with the US system; and finally, there are the host of countries that have made the same specific demand as the US.
The Global Policy Forum succinctly summarizes what would be in store for Guyana: basically, the impact will be most debilitating on the political, military and other elites that created the crisis. Trade sanctions have been found to have a devastating impact on the poor, and in fact the elite actually benefit, because they control and benefit from the underground manoeuvres to beat sanctions.
“In response to the tragic consequences of comprehensive economic sanctions on civilians, an increasingly concerted public discourse has arisen around “targeted” or “smart” sanctions. These targeted sanctions are conceived of as directly affecting the political leaders or those responsible for the breach of peace, while leaving the innocent civilian population alone. Properly targeting sanctions, it is hoped, can eliminate civilian suffering while putting significant pressure on the Government itself, thus bringing sanctions regimes into compliance with human rights and humanitarian law and increasing their chances of success.
“Targeted economic sanctions, especially targeted financial sanctions, have become an international policy focus lately, giving rise to the Interlaken Process… They have been repeatedly endorsed by the Secretary-General, especially in his Millennium Report. Targeted economic sanctions may target the personal foreign assets and access to foreign financial markets of members of the Government, the ruling elite, or members of the military. The assets of Government-owned businesses may also be frozen, and investment in those businesses prohibited. Imports of luxury goods and other goods generally only consumed by the ruling elite can be banned. It is generally advised that lists be drawn up with the names of political and/or military leaders whose assets are to be frozen and who are subject to travel restrictions.”
To the PNC, be warned.