Last Updated on Sunday, 19 November 2023, 10:55 by Denis Chabrol
By Dr. Randy Persaud, Professor Emeritus
Eighteen hundred years before Machiavelli, one the world’s first great realists, Kutilya (350 -283 BC), warned that one of the greatest threats to national security is an internally divided population. I doubt anyone in the APNU-AFC might have read Kutilya, but surely at least Opposition Leader Aubrey Norton must be familiar with the basics of international politics. He taught International Relations at the University of Guyana and must have, at a minimum, reviewed with students the works of writers from Thucydides, Machiavelli, and Hobbes, to Kenneth Waltz, John Mearsheimer and Stephen Walt. They are all realists who have given top priority to preserving internal stability in times when a country’s national security is threatened.
All these writers are adamant that a divided nation is easier to defeat than one that is united. After the terrorist attacks on the United States on September 11, 2001, the number one slogan in that country was United We Stand. The slogan was emblazoned everywhere and on every conceivable object large enough to carry the ‘sign.’
It is not only political realists who know this basic truth. The first lesson taught in anti-colonial struggles, for instance, is that “divided we fall;” and the central strategy of imperialism is to “divide and rule.” While the young bucks in the APNU-AFC may not be familiar with any kind of meaningful struggles in real life, at least Ramjattan and Norton should know better at a time when our very national security is under grave threat. Norton and Ramjattan have shunned the responsibilities of their high offices which is first, and foremost, to protect our territorial integrity.
Instead of doing what is politically and morally expected of them, they have chosen to do the exact opposite. They have a huge, 14-member team, from the United States to come here to look around to see if they can find some racism. Apart from the pure mischief involved here, the APNU-AFC is toying with our national security. Only recently at the Extraordinary Sitting (68th) of the 12th Parliament, Amanza Walton-Desir broke into song in her call for national unity. Norton, Ramjattan, Roysdale Forde, and others, joined the PPPC administration in a commendable moment of United We Stand. Yet, it is obvious that their patriotism takes second place to their love for race politics.
The APNU-AFC should have an extraordinary sitting amongst themselves to decide if the benefits of having another race-inspection event here are greater than what the national interest demands. We need to take stock of things where the Venezuelan threat is concerned. A large delegation from New York was here just recently. They spent several days meeting with individuals, civil society groups, and political parties across the political spectrum. To the best of my knowledge, the New York delegation has not yet filed a report. Why can’t those interested in the situation in Guyana ask the New York delegation about their findings?
When a 14-member delegation lands here they suck up a lot of time and resources. Government officials, including the President, Prime Minister, Vice President, and cabinet members are expected to make themselves available. These are time-consuming affairs. President Ali is now laser-focused on protecting our country from the Bolivarian Imperialist State of Venezuela, and their bus driver president who is the worst leader in Latin America in the past 100 years.
As for the US team, please take this from someone who knows both Guyana and the United States at a professional level. You will come here and look extremely hard to find evidence of what you were told by the APNU-AFC and their instruments in the US. Americans are forthright people, and, in that spirit, I would like to say to you, you will be wasting your time and ours here. No rudeness intended. Allow me to share a remarkably simple fact with you. Some skillful political operatives have duped you. Remember these same folks spent five months in 2020 trying to steal the national and regional elections. These are the same folks who came close to assaulting foreign diplomats, including the US Ambassador, Sarah-Ann Lynch. It was the APNU and AFC that disallowed the Carter Center from entering Guyana during those dark months in 2020.
For a fact-finding mission to be legitimate it must have a basic minimum of diversity, and this, especially when it is embarking on investigating ethnic discrimination. Sadly, the US team arrived with zero diversity. They were also chaperoned by opposition elements many of whom are known to thrive on race-baiting politics. And still more sadly, the team went to carefully selected locales loaded with biased audiences. The one thing we can be thankful for is that the Afro-Guyanese community in Linden has exposed the farce that took place in that town. Without doubt, more skullduggeries will be revealed soon.
I urge the APNU and the AFC to put aside their electoral politics for now and focus on the nation’s national security. United We Stand must be an absolute commitment.
Dr. Randy Persaud is Advisor in the Office of the President, Guyana.