Well, as old people say, “boat gone a wata…cyaan turn back!” on the eye-pass the Venezuelans have been taking on us for fifty-six years after they claimed two-thirds of Guyana. It was Feb 1962 when they told the UN that the 1899 Arbitral Award that fixed our border, was “null and void”. So its poetic justice that the UN Secretary General decided to send the controversy to the ICJ for a decision.
But not surprisingly, Maduro immediately announced Venezuela won’t be accepting the ICJ’s decision. Meaning, of course, he accepts Guyana’s case is so strong, Venezuela has no chance of coming away with even “a blade of grass”. Maybe with the US ban on our catfishes, we can send Maduro a spring cuirass?!!
So where does this leave us?? In a very strong position to use the upcoming ICJ’s decision as a springboard to remove the Venezuelan sword of Damocles from over our Essequibo forever. As some – including the Venezuelans – have said, the ICJ doesn’t have an enforcement mechanism to enforce its decisions. And countries like the US and Israel flouting its decision have set very bad precedents.
But that’s where real politik comes in. We just have to look at the origin of the controversy to seen how we can end it. After US President Kennedy decided in Oct 1961 that Jagan was a Moscow-friendly communist, he immediately unleashed action on several fronts to head off a “second Cuba” in “his” Hemisphere. Pressuring the Brits to change the electoral system to PR to allow the PNC-UF coalition was one arrow in his foreign policy quiver.
Another was put into play when he flew down to Venezuela in December 1961 to signal the US wouldn’t be displeased if the border controversy was reignited. So said…so done and the rest, as they say, is history. A very frustrating history in which Venezuela blocked the construction of a Hydro Power dam in the seventies that could’ve transformed our economy.
This time, however, the US is in our camp, not only because of the Exxon oil strike here, but because they want Maduro out so bad, it hurts!! And snuffing out the Venezuelan claim to Essequibo can go a long way in undercutting Maduro’s flagging legitimacy.
Secondly, we’ve got to take the lead of Burnham back in the seventies and rally the developing world to condemn the Venezuelan hypocrisy of pretending to be “progressive” when they’re willing to take candy (oil) from a baby (Guyana)!
It will help our case, of course, if the 2020 elections aren’t rigged – since this practice of Burnham’s undermined much of the good will he earned from progressive states.
President Granger was in Bartica over the weekend for the Bartica Regatta and he didn’t miss the opportunity to “big up” his boast about making Bartica into a “green town”. This was kicked off back in Dec 2015 when his environmental advisor announced plans for “a new landfill site for waste disposal; alternative energy supply for Bartica; including solar, green parks; capacity building for the green initiative; restoration of public spaces; a new government complex; a new commercial area; solar powered lighting; solar powering of government buildings; including schools, tree lining of all roads; construction of a modern stelling with a boardwalk for community recreation and tourist activities.After much huffing and puffing.”
But all Granger could mention in his “bigging up” was the new boardwalk and its solar panels!! Nowhere to be seen was the 1.5G power produced by the promised solar farm. But not to worry…the President was able to “show” power!
His people had lugged the Wartsilla plant from Reg 2 to give Bartica power while he was there!!
…the oil contract?
Trotman swore the sky would fall if the oil contract was RENEGOTIATED. But he’S just declared he’s willing to BREAK ever the contract. He says he’ll visit the FPSO when he wants…never mind the contractually mandated 7-day notice!!
What a tough guy!!