The foreign diplomatic contingent
Kaieteur News – The foreign diplomatic missions have been on a bundle of energy locally. The energy has been sustained, the activity constant, something unprecedented in Guyana. Against the context of this remarkable state of affairs, we table some questions triggered by their words on major issues, postures on troubling domestic matters, consistent presences across Guyana. What could be the driving force behind the efforts of the foreign diplomatic leaders here? Where does this lead? What does this mean for Guyana in the short and long term?
The fast and furious engagements of the foreign diplomatic corps took wing in the run-up to this country’s event-filled 2020 elections. From the start of Guyana’s search for solid footing, beginning with the no-confidence motion in December 2018 to the 2020 elections season, and then the raging aftermath, the foreign diplomatic corps was ever-ready to go into action, to be everywhere, and to have the most influential say in how things should be, and what should be the natural result. The senior diplomats all but openly crowned a victorious political group and triumphant leader. They were this involved, and mainly from the Western countries, as they still are today in the forefront of the charge relative to crucial issues. We will still withhold for the moment asking again or answering that fateful question: why?
Since then, the involvement has continued, and strangely there has not been a single whiff of objection from either the ruling part or the opposition. At one time or another, the advice, the push, the stance of the Western diplomatic coalition consisting of ABC&EU has touched such huge and diverse areas as good governance, inclusive governance, transparency, and procurement, to name a few. Most recently, the diplomats issued a joint statement on the duty of the Guyana press to commit to playing a powerful role regarding accountability over oil revenue streams, which are expected to bring a constant cascade of cash to this country’s coffers. The diplomatic call was for journalists to transform into truth seeker, truth finders, and truth revealers. There was embedded in that diplomatic call, the subtle insistence, that the development agenda project and be about including all Guyanese as beneficiaries in this nation’s majestic oil prize.
Once again, we return to that one question from above, and repeat the question: why? Why this energy and to this degree? What is for Guyana, and what is not self-serving? Now we must answer all these questions, face these issues, with the usual frankness that is a characteristic of this publication.
It is all about Guyana’s oil, this foreign diplomatic interest in, this intimate diplomatic nearness to, the affairs of Guyana. Our affairs are messy, even sordid, definitely wretched and barbarous. But oil is the great sanitiser, the great fence remover, the great inciter. To put in the bluntest terms, the ABC&EU are not looking out for Guyana’s interests, but their own. They have a rich and powerful cause that compels their close involvement in the movement of Guyana, its trajectory, and its stability.
When there is calm in this country, and citizens are satisfied that they are getting their share, then the oil powers here are cleared to carry away their fabulously bigger shares. When the press proves capable of holding the government to accountability with oil revenues, then it will pause with the corruption rampages; and the diplomatic community will have ammunition to weigh in further. When the issues of transparency, inclusivity, and unity really register progress, then Exxon, Hess (America), Tullow (UK), Repsol (Spain); others like Total (France) and ENI (Italy) line up to explore and exploit more of Guyana for their headquarters, their shareholders, and their countries. The supporting downstream corporate behemoths of ABC&EU land here, and plunder and revel here. Oil is a magnet that oil majors find irresistible, their diplomats carefully nurture the ground.
Columbus gave the Indians Christianity. Today, ABC&EU gave Guyana free and fair elections, and now insist that democracy’s ideals flourish here, so that their interests will prosper and soar. In many respects, the diplomatic corps holds itself out as good friend, a gift of a partner. In reality, it is the Trojan Horse present in Guyana, one that Guyana naively embraces.