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No need for “penny-pinching” on defending Guyana’s territory- Greenidge

FLASH BACK: Foreign Minister Greenidge reports to the National Assembly.
Photo by Adrian Persaud

Guyana’s Foreign Affairs Minister, Carl Greenidge on Wednesday sought to preempt any opposition criticisms of a lot of overseas trips, saying that government could not allow “penny-pinching” as it seeks to resolve the border controversy between Guyana and Venezuela.

“Negotiating in these circumstances is an expensive business,” he said, adding that Guyana’s team at any one time is between 10 and 14 persons including experts on international law, maritime law and constitutional law. “When you look at the budget and you see money spent on travel, it is my view as it was the view of someone that I started working with that you cannot afford to be penny-pinching or to say that you cannot afford to defend your territory.

Top government officials have confirmed that in recent months the Foreign Affairs and Ministry of the Presidency’s travel budgets have been virtually depleted, resulting in a severe cutback in the size of delegations.

Greenidge added that, “You have to be able to find resources to this work and we have tried to do that,” he said., adding that representatives have also been drawn from civil society and the opposition. The Foreign Minister credited the opposition People’s Progressive Party Civic (PPPC) with participating in those talks.

In his contribution to the 2018 National Budget debate, Greenidge announced that he would be meeting with the Ambassador Dag Nylander, who is the United Nations Secretary General’s Special Representative on the controversy, on Friday in Antigua.

Greenidge guardedly disclosed to the House that so far talks with Nylander have centered on proposals, ideas, and concerns about the need for a predictable framework. The minister said Guyana has informed the UN Chief that the exercise has been costly for Guyana and hoped that he would stick to his commitment to send the controversy to the International Court of Justice (ICJ).

Sources familiar with the plans told Demerara Waves Online News that the meeting between Greenidge and Nylander is rather informal and merely has to do with “available venues and convenience”.


Venezuela would not be participating in that meeting in Antigua.

The Foreign Minister said Guyana needed to build alliances with countries like Belize and others in the Indian Ocean that also have border controversies as well as work generally with other countries on embracing other principles.

Guyana is banking on the decision by then United Nations Secretary General, Ban Ki Moon that the border controversy over the 1899 Arbitral Tribunal border award, if unresolved by the end of 2017, would give into Guyana’s demands to take it to the ICJ.

  • Col123

    Defend what ??…with what??

    • Guy and Anna

      Vietnam did not have the military size or equipment like USA, yet they destroyed the US army in the war.

      Its not the size of the dog in the fight, its the size of the fight in the dog.

      I will join to fight and defend this country if another country tries to take our land from us.

      • Col123

        True about Vietnam coming out with a semblance of victory if you want to call it that…Instead of getting into this much….referral to the size of the dog in a fight is putting down all dogs…size is immaterial in any fight.
        First issue, Vietnam destroyed the US Army??…I would rather you ask yourself about the fitness and stomach of any Guyanese to fight in a defensive or offensive position, and what is the experience of Guyanese in a war.
        Second, you need to review the geopolitical players who supported Vietnam….and their ideology!..
        Third…Venezuela can eliminate GDF in one day with their combat aircrafts.
        Fourth…The Russians are backing Venezuela and obviously, the neighboring Latin American countries will side with Venezuela…
        Fifth…who will support Guyana…back to square one with the Americans…The US cannot survive in a protracted war anywhere….they are not trained to be an occupying Force!..
        Have you ever seen the conditions in Vietnam of recent…pay the a visit…and yes, use their dung…their money ..Good luck!

        • rs dasai

          We have our Big Buddy (Braz) and Uncle Trump. We need no more.

          • Col123

            Trump gat spurs in e mouth chap…the dude can’t even sing fuh his suppa… he had five deferments as you know hiding from Vietnam….a place where my cousin did two tours…

  • Muhammad Raoof

    Travelling with 14 man team….FOR informal and merely has to do with “available venues and convenience”. WHAT SIZE TEAM WE GONNA BE IN NEED OF WHEN THE REAL NEGOTIATIONS ARE UPON US.

    Seeing that we had to CUT BACK on the size of the delegations…..that tells us that there was NO NEED for the bid “crowd: in the first place. This is one problem with “Banana Republics”

    John Kerry, the most travelled Secretary of State utilized a team of eight and his diplomatic travels accomplished much.

    • Guy and Anna

      John Kerry also has at his disposal numerous embassy staff in the countries he travel to. For example if he comes with his 8 member team to Guyana, he also has more than 50 US embassy staff here alone. In Antigua, the Guyana consulate only has 3 staff.

      I think your level of thinking begs strong analytical reasoning.

      • Col123

        Guy and Anna… I have empathy for you positions…Guyana is no match to any country in this world in anything…we are now competing with Haiti for the country at the bottom of the barrel …. but since you have that much interest, and I am happy that you do, look at the history of those countries where massa left us in charge to govern…let’s pause a little…look around….what have we achieved as a people, in any nation we governed!
        Let’s stay local and look at Guyana….our forefathers bought villages upon emancipation….whatever is left of it now…we wonder….we governed Guyana for twenty eight years …with a fist …what do we as people of African heritage have to show for it??.
        You will obviously refer to question the accumulation of wealth in other groups… but which groups made more economic advances since independence?…and in those twenty eight years?
        MR knows about what he speaks of…not that I agree with him all the time…

        • Guy and Anna

          I understand your position as well but we keep looking at the past. It has not helped our mental thinking. We cannot keep feeling sorry for oursleves and also decide that what happened for 28 years will happen the next 28 years. We as citizens must change our focus and mental thinking and decide to use what we currently have and make our country great.

          We have a great country whether we have much or little. We keep blaming the politicians but we fail to realize we contribute by voting for the less of two evil parties.

          We complain how bad it is and it never getting better. It is so bad in Trinidad right but speak with a Trini and they would say our country is the best in the world even with all the violence, crime and econonic situation. Same thing for a Jamaican.

          Instead of MAGA lets Make Guyana Great and it begins with our thoughts and words.

          • Col123

            Honestly, I am trying to shed some light on the subject of Guyana, unfortunately it applies to other countries we govern!…the contention of who is economically better off comes in the forefront in Guyana…especially those who show wealth…the puzzle is why those Indians got rich off Burnham policies and we bleck folks didn’t?…that is the 64K $ question…and that is only only one of the main reasons for the animosity, envy..etc that we see on these blog pages…

          • rs dasai

            Actions are better. Thoughts and words are cheap and are valueless unless put into action.

      • Muhammad Raoof

        Trying to insult your way to make a point….the lacking of “analytical reasoning” is in your camp.

        The GOG can’t afford to maintain the cost as pointed out. They had to CUT BACK THE SIZE OF DELEGATIONS. Typical “Banana Republic” mentality…. They cant AFFORD something…BUT they still doing it in GRAND FASHION. So don’t equate Guyana with nations who are established.

        Secondly, this is the INFORMAL stage of these meetings. As pointed out — WHAT SIZE TEAM WE GONNA BE IN NEED OF WHEN THE REAL NEGOTIATIONS ARE UPON US.

        Thirdly, its the overseas diplomatic missions responsibilities to do the “leg” work….when the real deal is going down…then the “head honcho” get into the thick of things with his presence. THAT’S ANOTHER WAY TO SAVE MONEY.

        Fourthly, the size of our mission in Antigua is at the SIZE IT NEEDS TO BE.

        Who is the one lacking in “analytical reasoning” LET’S HEAR YOUR RESPONSE…..

      • rs dasai

        We have more experienced and knowledgeable.staff. Quality is much