Dear Editor,
Is Venezuela ‘testing the waters’ by using Guyana as a guinea pig? Guyana was once referred to as Guiana.
With the capture of a third ship, Venezuelan authorities are said to be holding the Guyanese fishermen in custody (in hostages?) While awaiting investigation, while accused of fishing in Venezuela’s supposed territorial waters.
Venezuela’s President of the Bolivian Republic Nicolas Maduro earlier this month also issued a presidential decree reinforcing that country’s claim to Guyana’s Essequibo county, and, in a tweet, has promised to “re-conquer” the Essequibo. On the same day, Maduro had written to the UN Secretary General, Antonio Guterres, asking the United Nations to lead direct negotiations between Guyana and Venezuela as an alternative to the ongoing litigation in the ICJ.
The ICJ had, in December 2020, issued a decree stating that it had jurisdiction to hear a Guyana border case filed against neighboring Venezuela. The decree states that the Secretary-General of the United Nations may choose a method of settlement under Article 33 of the United Nations Charter, which includes a judicial settlement. Maduro responded, “We reject the ICJ’s decision. We are determined to protect our Essequibo. ”
The International Community has condemned Venezuela’s action, and called for the release of the fishermen.
Is this threat, or a fishing expedition to Venezuela, with Guyanese fishermen playing into their hands at the appropriate moment? Perhaps Venezuela is deliberately encouraging their fishermen to shelter the waters of Guyana, and hopefully the GDF would take the bait and arrest them.
Venezuelan gang raids on Guyanese may all be part of a secret plan; who can be certain? Some Venezuelan migrants may even be policing their country, and may have been strategically placed throughout Guyana for infiltration purposes!
Venezuela’s aggressive behavior is tolerated by the powerful nations of China and Russia, so Venezuela can flex its muscles in tempting and provoking the United States, knowing that the United States is a big brother to Guyana, and would certainly come to their rescue. Besides, the United States must protect the interests of its American company, ExxonMobil.
Harmon announced in Essequibo, “The outbreak of war!” While President Irfaan Ali says, “Not a blade of grass, not a cuirass.” Former President Granger passed in person, and does not sing with the mass in public.
Venezuela is in a state of turmoil, and suffering from a major economic downturn; with food shortages, unemployment, and a poverty-stricken population fleeing the country by the millions and going to neighboring countries, including Guyana. At one point Guyanese had fled to Venezuela in search of a good life during the dictatorship days of Burnham and the PNC.
Venezuela currently owes China, Russia and Iran more than a hundred billion dollars. The United States has imposed severe economic sanctions on the unruly state of the Maduro Government, refusing to recognize it as the legitimate leader, and favoring Guaido instead.
Now that Trump is no longer the President of the United States, is Maduro testing the foreign policy of new US President Joe Biden early in the game? China may be the player behind the scene.
Venezuela would love to access Guyana’s wealth of natural resources (oil, gold, timber) in order to repay its debts, especially to China. China, on the other hand, wants to gain control of Citgo, Venezuela’s most valuable foreign asset, as a default for payment.
China knocks on the back door to rule and dominate the world through its Belt and Road Initiative. The United States has accused China of this debt trap diplomacy often portrayed as a geopolitical strategy, which captures countries in unsustainable debt and allows China undue influence. Former US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo mentioned this during his visit to Guyana.
Over the weekend, China sent a large number of military aircraft into Taiwan’s air defense identification zone, displaying the provocation of sovereignty. The rehearsals also sent a warning to President Biden. The US State Department immediately responded by issuing a statement to China to “abandon its military, diplomatic and economic pressure against Taiwan, and instead engage in meaningful dialogue” with Taiwan. The statement announced that “the US commitment to Taiwan is rock solid,” according to Ned Price.
Chinese President Xi Jinping has warned global leaders against starting a “new Cold War”, and urged unity in the face of the coronavirus pandemic.
While China’s nominal GDP is slightly smaller than the US, its purchasing power parity (PPP) GDP is larger than the US. It is cheaper to live in China than in the USA.
China and the United States have accused each other of starting the COVID-19 pandemic. China has been moving aggressively to promote its COVID-19 vaccines worldwide – classified diplomacy, but is facing an uphill battle in many countries because of perceptions and reality about how the case was handled in the early days, according to Alexandra Phelan, professor of global health at Georgetown University. China is unhappy and unstable with this obstacle, as it cannot monopoly the worldwide distribution of the vaccine.
Last week on Thursday, a large fire ignited inside the sprawling complex of the Indian Serum Institute, the world’s largest vaccine maker. Is China lurking in the dark, afraid to compete with its neighbor? Earlier this month, there was a skirmish between Indian and Chinese troops in the controversial border area.
Millions of barrels of Venezuelan heavy crude, which have been banned by the United States, have been heading to China in terror. This may be the oil market’s worst kept secret. Cat and mouse games that avoid detection and penalties include ship-to-ship transfers, shell companies, and silent satellite signals.
But there is another aspect of avoidance. It involves “doping” the oil with chemical additives, and changing its name in the paperwork, so it can be sold as a completely different crude, without tracing its Venezuelan roots.

Jai Lall

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