Last Updated on Sunday, 19 March 2023, 14:20 by Denis Chabrol
By GHK Lall
This is real life and in Guyana. It is not Mr. Smith, a la the quintessential All-American, boy next door, Jimmy Stewart, going to Washington as a freshman senator. It is Congressman Jason Smith, he of the chair of the crucial energy committee, coming to Georgetown. Not tony Georgetown, Washington, DC; but waterlogged, mosquito-infested, corruption-plagued, Georgetown, Guyana. For all intents and purposes, that suits American interests just fine. Just perfectly, as Madame Ambassador, Sarah Ann Lynch, nodded in agreement, and marched in spirited lockstep. Man, I can hear the Star-Spangled Banner soaring in the background, and I must admit, the goosebumps still rise from somewhere deep inside.
Congressman Smith gets to be hailed for his energy security pact, which paves the way for Excellency Lynch to step to the podium and deliver her sortie about sanctity of contract. Energy security and contract sanctity now suddenly possessing all the inseparability of Siamese twins. In all of this, Guyana stands as a puppet in the hands of its American master puppeteers. Move over China, make the way-broader, larger, and smoother-for America in Guyana. Talk about moves and countermoves. Balancing and counterbalancing with Guyana as the ball up in the air, and lost in the middle. China made its move with Iran and Saudi Arabia, American had made the first move with Venezuela and now it is about to tie up Guyana. Talk about arc of control, and sphere of influence! Whew! This is too rich, too rapid fire, more than enough to overwhelm a simple fella like me. Guyanese know now what it feels to be like Mexicans in the days of Sam Houston, Jim Bowie, and those other legends of the then still forming Texas.
What is Guyana getting in return for assuring, being a backstop, for providing mighty America with energy security? For serving as a safe bet to its own fossil supplies and that of Venezuela, Colombia, Canada, and elsewhere around here? For unlike Kenya, there are no Mau Maus in Guyana to create a sustained ruckus; plus, America does not have to worry here about the two holy shrines (Saudi Arabia); or being damned as ‘The Great Satan” (Iran). It is ironic that I once couldn’t see eye to eye with the Arabs and Persians. Today, I now identify much more with their troubles, their distresses. This is made even more emphatic and daunting, when I realize how all is sewed up locally, how all is gone. All anyone has to is study how the President and Vice President of Guyana, hustle even more to jump high before the command could be issued. This is energy security without the worry, the now standing result of Congressman Smith’s great Guyana safari.
The question remains: what is Guyana getting for being a cog in the wheel of the energy security of America? I will tell the world what Guyana gets in return. Guyana gets played. Guyana gets played for a patsy, a trapped, helpless duck, and a pawn in the hands of American operators. Watch how our own leaders stand to attention and salute sanctity of contract. The timing is impeccable, I must say. Talk about dominoes falling into place, connecting to the American Way. James Munroe would have been proud; and, so would have those old, Cold Warriors, like John Foster Dulles and Richard Nixon. “And, the rocket’s red glare….gave proof that our flag was still there….”
First, Congressman Smith, then Ambassador Lynch, both speaking in lilting cadences about what any Guyanese with a little sense left in his or her noggin should bring to the fullest realization. Guyana is now the proud 51st State of the Union; we are paying our dues for admission. American declares the elements of its ambitions, Guyana prepares to surrender its patrimony for a song and dance. It is worse than that, because our leaders in government are dancing, and they do not even know what song they are dancing to; it is how they jump forward to perform their sickly, pitiful parts.
This is what Guyanese savor as their share of democracy, thanks to Americans being given free rein to work their intrusions and invasions into the intimacies of our national elections. The two American oil companies make money hand over fist; America closes out the deal for another significant step on its energy security chessboard. It would have been a reasonable balancing of the scales if Guyanese had gotten, as their share of their oil, something that bears a passing resemblance to economic security. All the Guyanese who still want to erect a statue (I will supply the paint) to American Ambassador Sarah Ann Lynch, I urge to proceed full speed ahead before her extended term of office ends, and she wipes the dust off her feet from Guyana. That is, unless her Excellency follows in the footsteps of a couple of her predecessors to this Guyana outpost, and setup some kind of shop here. After all, the opportunities for many types of business abound in the wide-open oil frontier that is Guyana.
This is it, Guyana: energy security for America; and contract security for American companies. It would have been beautiful if there was some similarly rich economic security for Guyanese, owners of this oil. Then, a better script could not have been written. A more inspiring speech by Ambassador Lynch never given. Two out of three is very good for Americans. Losing the chance for economic security, surrendering the power of national sovereignty could not have been worse for Guyanese.