OPINION: Ambassador Lynch has earned a special place of honor in Guyana’s annals

Last Updated on Tuesday, 12 September 2023, 22:42 by Denis Chabrol

by GHK Lall

It finally did come to that time.  So long, Ambassador Sarah Ann Lynch.  It was a hard slog, but one about which the American public could be justifiably proud.  Regarding the reactions of huge blocs of Guyanese, it would not be in such an emotionally sparkling tone, nor I believe what I articulate as my view of a long tour that almost didn’t have a count, like that boxing match of yore.

For this is what American Ambassador Extraordinary (and Plenipotentiary and the rest) ran headlong into when she took up the diplomatic reins of her mission in Guyana.  What was a boxing match quickly deteriorated into a political mudwrestling contest involving opponents with all the bile and bite of Middle Eastern blood feuds and eternal vendettas.  Through it all, Ambassador Lynch held her ground, and managed to keep her shoes clean and her slight smile intact; though strained at times, intact was what she managed to do in the madhouse and snake’s pit and ‘pimpla’ bush that is Guyana.

For that alone, the Ambassador should receive the Medal of Honor.  What she went through and emerged with her head in one piece was nothing but a war.  Unfortunately, Excellency Lynch, it is my conviction that the war has not even begun, and that the real ones are yet ahead.  I don’t think they will be with microphones and videocams; not even on Facebook, but more of what is about faceoffs and throwdowns in less than civilized fashions.  Guyana has some tools and utensils that reek of trouble; too many of them.  Too many hands have what has crossed our porous borders and the visions to match.

When it was not a war, it was of these slightly smaller engagements, the battles that continue to rage today, some three years plus later.  Ambassador Lynch cannot be faulted for a lack of energy or effort.  But as one American to another, she and the US apparatus can be faulted, yet again, for their choice of allies.  The mistakes of Chile and Iran have been resurrected, rinsed of past muck and grime, but it is the same kind of wastrels and scoundrels that have been given passage to operate under American benedictions.  I admit that the pickings were slim, and that the other fellows left a lot to be desired, but the ambassador and her superiors have to know that they have set the stage for dissipation down the line, as have happened in other places.  All I will say is this much: in this country the merest hint, the slightest stirring of what is construed as aggression sends droves scurrying for the barricades and the element of distance.

One side has an intimate knowledge of it, and knows the potency of what is in hand.  It knows that the other side, at the drop of a hat, fears and flinches and flees from any aggression, even in its most muted forms, even in its most innocuous means.  Since those with a say in Guyana have strenuously resisted untangling this Gordian knot, I regret to inform the outgoing American ambassador that this is unfinished business of the tensest, grittiest, part; and with unending implications for this society, none of them on the wholesome side.  All it takes is one leader, all it calls for is one spark.  And with that kind of leader in place, then all bets are off.

Inadvertently, Ambassador Lynch hit the nail plumb in the middle of its head.  In her farewell statement, there was this luscious phrase “now of never” that was incorporated.  Though she may have once harbored ambitions at a singing career, I do not think that Her Excellency was trying to be Elvis Pressley.  The subliminal signal is that Guyana either get this country on the right footing now (as in today); or there is the great risk that it could be too late for the hour would have passed is by to do what is right for the hopeful citizens of this country.  That is, never in all of its blank flatness, and the expanse of its possibly hopeless finality.

 Though I feel as if I have been saying farewell to Ambassador Extraordinaire Sarah-Ann Lynch over and over again, it is fitting that I do so one last time.  Thanks, Excellency for the grand run.  A storied part in the annals of Guyana’s existence has been compiled, and the name Sarah-Ann Lynch has a special place of honor.  That was the now and before and then in those hours of raw crises, in which stellar effort was expended behind the scenes.  For the never not to happen, that is up to the warlike Guyanese that are left behind.

Thanks for walking the rocky road with Guyanese, for leading the way when others faltered, for holding things together.  As much as I have been sharp and scorching at times, there is a deep appreciation of how these things work, the many conflicting elements in motion.  There is some work here for me to do, some pieces for me to pick up and carry, no matter how thorny and heavy they may be.

Stay safe, stay well.  Go with God and maintain the hallowed American Way.