OPINION: That Carter Center blockage: a thoroughly losing proposition 

Last Updated on Monday, 4 May 2020, 8:52 by Denis Chabrol

by GHK Lall

No matter how I look at this, I am unable to foresee how the caretaker coalition could emerge unsullied from this one re blocking the return of the Carter Center team of observers.  For in this instance of the irresistible force (international community) arrayed and moving against the coalition administration (Guyana), something is going to have to give.  As I think of this, it is going to have to be the coalition in easing its position; there is no other way, with matters now assembled at this unforgiving pass.

I am sure, and I agree, that the coalition would point to and settle for the rights of Guyana as a sovereign nation to be masters of its own destiny; to identify those who are unhelpful to its interests (the country’s, not that of the party); and that it reserves the right to take such action as it deems necessary to protect its dignity and its interests.  Again, that would be the selling point of the country, as piloted by the coalition.  It may go so far as to resist and buck the forces assembled against it by pulling out that once long used, but now in need of some dusting off, ace in the hole called colonialism.  That appealed to and appealing trump card, also locally empowering, of the return of naked and rank colonialism under the sheens of democracy, transparency, and credibility is sure to gain traction in some fevered local circles.  I think it is going down the wrong road with the wrong posture at the wrong time.  Like the many far flung national resistances against anti money-laundering standards and narcotics smuggling, the dredging up and returning to colonial (under whatever camouflage it comes) is a losing proposition.  And that is any way I look at this development.  The coalition just cannot win this fight, as too many big, baaad dogs are gathered against it.  Determined dogs, they are; mad ones, too.  I hope that it would reconsider and early.

I say this because the world has changed in both scale and degree relative to the intensity of the priorities insisted upon by the international community to reorder the world.  As I see it, it is to reorder the world according to Western, but particularly American, philosophies and visions.  The existences and rules of smaller and poorer nations today are dictated to by such ingredients-indeed, requirements-as human rights and democratic rights, which (to some extent) have pushed aside the earlier domestic insistences about sovereign rights and objections to what was called internal meddling and foreign influence and foreign interference.  Though I still hold high regard for those elements, I recognize the world for what it is today, which is that partnerships with those governments that violate current international governance rules are no longer permissible; they will be held accountable.  They will be made to pay a harsh price.  This objection, this blockage, is not winnable; not in the least.

Thus, I plead with the coalition and its leader(s) that there must be sifting through what is a pile-up developing at full speed and on the straightest road in the brightest of lights: do not stay too long on this course to disaster; it would be a collision with the catastrophic.  There would and could be only one loser.  That is Guyana first with the coalition second.  Thus, I recommend respectfully to the president and his inner circle: rethink and rebalance.  Look for a way out of this untenable situation.

I think that way out, if it is at all possible and found to be acceptable, would be to seek a change of faces.  By that I mean that the composition of the team be reconfigured; at least, I think that that should be found reasonable, since there is almost complete lack of confidence on the coalition’s part that it could get a fair shake.  The posture from the coalition side is that some in the Carter Center got so intricately involved locally that it is not a trusted mediator.  That may be denounced, but it is where things are.

I do not like where we are.  I do not like that the international community has, in some senses and at a high and distant level, become the de facto governing apparatus of this country.  I utterly regret that we are so scanty in the required mental acuities to figure out a way, and to commit to that way in working towards the fruition of a destiny that is carved out by local minds and hands.  Now we have outsiders determining how our domestic hearth is to be run and pushing us around in the process.  It should be humiliating to any Guyanese.  It is to me.

But I would like to think that I am wise enough to recognize the changed world in which we live; of the prevailing governance determinants that must be adhered to; and of the Guyanese leadership compromises that represent the only way out.  I am ashamed also that our political process and political players find pride in not finding the wisdom to solve our own problems by ourselves.  Thus, humiliations are heaped upon embarrassments.  For the last time, to the coalition leadership, I say: step back.  Stand down from this Pearl Harbor.