EYEWITNESS: Getting closer… to Suriname

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Your Eyewitness has railed several times in the past about the terrible burden and distortion done to our psyches by the colonial powers, when they ensured their policies violated the first law of Geography. The said law quite logically declares that “everything is related to everything else, but near things are more related than distant things.” Makes sense, doesn’t it? Common sense! After all, let’s say you and I are sitting next to each other in a bus, wouldn’t sharing a sandwich be easier between us, rather than with the fellas at the back!?!

But the colonials insisted that direct relations with them take priority over everyone else – they were the Mother Countries!! – even though they were thousands of miles away in Europe!! For instance, we in Guyana knew the most picayune details about places in Britain; like, say, the highlands of Scotland, or how they behaved in their pubs!! But right next door to us was Suriname – across a River narrower than our Essequibo – but most of us hadn’t a clue about their country or their people! Things closer to us were LESS related than things further away!

But, at long last, that’s changing, and this came out clearly with the most recent visit of Suriname’s President Santoki earlier this week. He‘d been here just after Pres Ali’s inauguration, and that was soon reciprocated. One could tell the leaders had hit it off at the personal level – and that’s very important going forward. The artificial colonial separation had actually been broken down at the people’s level totally inadvertently during the Burnham dictatorship – when Guyanese fled there and took up residence just to survive.

There was also the “backtrack” in trade, which proved a lifesaver for thousands in Berbice.

President Santoki’s wife, in fact, has Guyanese parents who’d fled to Suriname!! As such, the binds of understanding between the two countries have become very deep at the top!
But these ties are now moving from the personal to the institutional! Take the Corentyne Bridge across the Corentyne River – one of the few riverine borders that aren’t located in the middle of the waterway. Suriname owns the river, all the way to our bank at low tide, but the agreement just signed gives full involvement to us in selecting the bids, and also in the construction!! And likewise with cooperation in health, security, business, petroleum, and power from gas. So, finally, we’re going to live out the true meaning of the law of geography, and become more related with our next-door neighbours!

Quite pertinently, they’re taking the “good neighbour” policy a quantum jump upwards by seeking a conclave with the behemoth to our south – Brazil.

Maybe Lula will be back then?

…to fightin’ words

The panhandler hustler up in Brooklyn – Canarsie? – who organised the anti-PPP rally that headlined his “friend” Congressman Hakeem Jeffries, has just insulted two other senior members of the US Congressional Black Caucus from Houston – Al Green and Sheila Jackson Lee. Now, sure, the latter veterans understand that Jeffries would be pandering to his constituents, but they sure as heck wouldn’t appreciate the grifter announcing that they recognised VP Jagdeo in Houston because they were “paid”!!

Green and Lee have paid their dues in the US Black struggle, with the former, a lawyer who had his own Houston firm, an active member of the NAACP. He took his fight for Fair Housing from that organisation into the halls of Congress. Sheila Lee’s also a lawyer out of Yale, of Jamaican parents, who grew up in Queens, NY. She could teach Jeffries about the nature of racism!

In fact, your Eyewitness thinks they’re going to have a word or two with Jeffries about his gauche “friend”!!

…to the (PNC) split

Back in the day – as old-timer, Granger would know – the “King of Soul”, James Brown, was famous for doing “the split”.

Well, from all the goings-on inside the party, looks like his PNC might just “do a Burnham” and follow suit!!