Some folks may be wondering why all this US attention on Russia invading Ukraine when, for the last few years, they’d pivoted against China as the main threat to their superpower status. Well, there’s that small detail of Putin actually ATTACKING the country that the US helped install the Government back in 2014!! How can the US NOT take that personally – especially when the Government ousted was an ally of Russia and the latter retaliated by annexing Crimea??!
It’s clear that Putin was simply biding his time since then, and believes – with the US unwilling to commit American boots to Ukrainian soil – he’ll be able to effect regime change once again, and have Ukraine become the vassal they were since 1783!! So, while the Yanks still see the Chinese Dragon as their #1 threat, they’d be foolish to have Ukraine create a domino effect and have all of Eastern Europe and Eurasia rebuild the formidable Russian Bear. So, it makes sense for the Yanks to remove the western threat, and then return to contain China with their Quad alliance of India, Japan, Australia etc.
So, without troops, what’s Biden to do? Well, the Ukrainians are doing much better than anyone expected, and they might just duplicate Russia’s Afghan disaster back in 1979!! Just as then, the Yanks are providing weapons and training to the guerrilla effort! Then there are the sanctions, which were always gonna be a tough screw to squeeze the Ruskies into submission. But Biden just signalled his seriousness by announcing that, by the end of the year, he’s going to impose a total ban on oil imports from Russia. Now, since this will mean higher prices at the gas pumps for American voters, you know Biden’s gonna try desperately to soften the blowback. That’s how democracies work?!
And finding new sources of crude to make up for the Russian shortfall is the most obvious way to start. So, it shouldn’t have surprised any but the most naive Guyanese when it was revealed that the Americans had sent some top officials to negotiate with Maduro to supply them with oil. But hold it – didn’t the Yanks slap sanctions on Maduro by banning oil imports for screwing around on democratic elections? And they’d announced that Opposition Leader Guaido was the REAL president!!
Well, Maduro demanded removal of all sanctions, and the Americans demanded than some detained Americans be freed. Guaido wasn’t mentioned! Two Yanks were freed, so we’ll wait for the other foot (feet?) to drop. But what about the US’ commitment to Guaido (and us in 2020), of their absolute commitment to democracies rather than autocracies?
Well, there are no permanent friends, are there? Just permanent interests!
President Ali had announced, in no uncertain terms at every forum presented to him: locally, Caricom and the UN, that even though we may be drowning in oil right now, agriculture’s our ace-in-the-hole to survive that dreaded “Dutch Disease” – which evidently is more contagious than Omicron, when that oil comes out of the ground. Plus, of course, with food security being number one on everybody’s agenda, agriculture must be nurtured. So, we can expect him to do whatever it takes to make sure our agriculture option doesn’t die on the vine.
Well, we just heard that paddy farmers have been protesting in Berbice that the price from the millers has fallen below their cost of production. Can’t have this, can we? And the millers’ answer that market prices have dropped doesn’t do anything to their plight. So, what’s to be done? Well, our Government has to do what America – the Mecca of free enterprise – does: offer subsidies!! Which they do to the tune of US$20BILLION!!
And that includes rice!
All politics is local. So, after Rubio criticised Biden: “Rather than produce more American oil, he wants to replace the oil we buy from one murderous dictator with oil from another murderous dictator,” let’s court Rubio.