Home Letters Third World states are being bullied by private international organizations
For centuries, all of what we know today as the Global South was at the receiving end of domination by a handful of European countries. It took hundreds of years of bloody struggle, including slave rebellions in Berbice (1763), Demerara (1823) and Essequibo (1834) to see the backs of the colonisers.
In countries like Guyana, the Cold War generated a second phase of the struggle for national independence. Formal independence was supposed to have guaranteed out national sovereignty, but, as we are now seeing, even private international organisations are interfering in our affairs.
While we are indeed a sovereign nation, it cannot be said that we live in a world where all states enjoy the same freedoms. This is so because there are global institutions so biased that, instead of rational decision-making being the anchor of global governance, a handful of nations (and one major alliance) continues to define the rules of the game. The P5 of the UN Security Council is the most notable example of a profoundly undemocratic global system of institutionalised power.
Editor, what is even worse is the proliferation of private international organisations – most of them in the ‘West’ – that have arrogated to themselves the right to pronounce on the Third World. These organisations are private, and many of the top executives make CEO-type salaries. While they are called nonprofits, they are often funded through either suspect means, or are secretly sustained by the handful of hegemonic states.
What these organisations, such as Reporters Without Borders and Transparency International, do is contrary to the spirit of a democratically governed world system. These organisations take it upon themselves to first penetrate; then study, classify, monitor, rank, rate, grade and, like an old colonial master, tell us what to do. They function like the colonial overseers of old times by recruiting local collaborators who, for a few pennies and a bit of recognition from the White West, are willing to be the new colonial assistants, selling out their country and their conscience.
Some pick up a scholarship, others accept invitations to a conference in Paris, London, or New York. Still others get ‘funding’ for their favourite local organisations. All of them get regular attention and plenty of praise from Opposition columnists, letter writers, and even a pat on the back by the ‘Foreign.’
I want to go on record and state unequivocally that Reporters Without Borders’ submission on Guyana is biased, empirically wrong; and further, that it is a brazen attack on our national sovereignty. I am using this letter to challenge any one from the Reporters Without Borders (not from Guyana, but the head office) to a debate on press and media freedom. It should be in Georgetown.
Further, I specifically challenge them to point to a single verifiable instance of abuse of anyone in the media/press by President Mohamed Irfaan Ali, Vice President Jagdeo, or any member of the current cabinet.
Private NGO-type organisations have become platforms for career opportunities for many in the Western world, where most of these institutions are located. During the Cold War, many public organisations were conduits for intelligence operations, including overthrow of democratic Governments, Guyana included. Now the private international non-profits are publicly intervening in Third World states, always under the guise of protecting freedom.
These neo-colonial international non-profits continue to work with the civilisational assumption that the White West knows best, that they are the teachers and we are the pupils. We stand in determined resistance against this racial-civilisational bullyism.
Dr Randolph Persaud