THE people of Guyana are in their kitchens, living rooms and backyards scratching their heads and asking numerous questions related to our marathon elections imbroglio. Those questions include: how could foreign countries, organisations and power interests express concern about Mingo’s declaration and see nothing wrong with the wanton fraud unearthed in the national recount? How could the United States of America support a fraudulent process that would allow the ascension to power by a political party that has a clear track record of anti-US posturing and has recently exercised tutelage over a government that allowed criminal activities in every form to rise to a level where it represented a national security threat to the United States? How could decent-minded persons turn a Nelson’s eye to glaring cases of voter impersonation and still demand a government based on fraud? How could powerful nations who claim to passionately embrace democracy find themselves at the opposite end of arguments for credible elections?
The answer is not that complicated; it is the cold, hard pursuit of narrow self- interests.
Whenever any event occurs in the world that requires the involvement of big nations, the first question that is often asked by those in the seat of power is; what is in it for us and which side of the issue will best advance our interests? The answer to that question informs what policies shall govern their conduct on that issue. Hardly likely is there the consideration of high principles or morals; those things take a back seat and unforgiving geopolitical interests and economic muscles take precedence. Sadly, powerful interests are not too concerned if a village dies in the process; they are stone-cold focused on the benefits that may accrue when they come down on a particular side of an issue. These sentiments are not merely my indulgence, these assertions are influenced by the utterances of numerous statesmen, academics, theorists and more.
WHY WAS THIS CHOICE MADE?
In consideration of what has been mentioned thus far, the obvious question is begged; why powerful nations choose to stand on the opposite side of the President and by default on the side of voter impersonation? In the quest to answer this question, the Venezuela situation is perhaps inescapable. At this moment, the most important and burning issue for western countries in this region is Venezuela and the Maduro regime. Thus far, under the leadership of the President, Guyana has maintained its non-aligned foreign-policy posture vis-à-vis the Venezuela situation. Even though Guyana is part of the Lima Group that does not recognise the Maduro regime, it has maintained that it has not recognised Juan Guaido, the leader of the National Assembly who declared himself the interim President of Venezuela on January 23, 2019. It is well known that the Granger doctrine is mostly about being principally non-aligned while pursuing Guyana’s national interests. This posture does not bode well with transactional regimes.
There is the argument that says the western countries are simply concerned about allegations of fraudulent elections and are trying to prevent the rise of dictatorships that does not reflect the will of the people. Such argumentation runs into trouble when one is asked to explain their embrace of the national recount data which has demonstrated irrefutable fraud.
If you look at Guyana’s disputed elections through the prism of par for the geopolitical course, it is difficult if not impossible not to conclude that the pursuit of stone-cold interests is at play.
ARE WE WITNESSING REGIME CHANGE?
Many on the local scene with vast experience in diplomacy have remarked that they have never seen this level of breaking of diplomatic protocols and unapologetic showing of hands by the international community on any issue relating to Guyana. This has led to some applying deep and concentrated analysis and invariably, thoughts of regime change have been conjured. While regime change is principally a military intervention to remove a sitting government, in the age of soft power this is sometimes executed through unconventional methods. However it manifests, it is the vein of the pursuit of interests and proceeds with its well-known consequences.
Sidney J. Harris cautioned a long time ago, ‘History repeats itself, but in such cunning disguise that we never detect the resemblance until the damage is done.’ His warning is quite applicable to the present Guyana electoral circumstance insofar as the geopolitics of this imbroglio is concerned. Even though we are not there yet, all the signposts of the attempt at the installation of an illegitimate satellite regime are with us. Admittedly, the evidence is never available on these matters in the present, one would have to wait for 20-30 years for the release of unclassified documents to prove these assertions beyond the shadow of a doubt, but when it walks like a duck and quacks like a duck, guided by history, it is usually a duck.
The cold, hard pursuit of interests is never too concerned about compelling arguments and evidence submitted; once decisions are made to pursue geopolitical interests, they are pursued to the end. The only way to counter this surge is by conversely hunting your interests with more intense resolve and passion than your adversaries. It also must be noted that powerful nations have no permanent friends and are particularly in love with any side, some are just lucky to temporarily fall on the side of the interests.