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An election gimmick by Maduro

Venezuelan President Mr. Maduro must be a special kind of dunce to think that he can annex another country’s territory by referendum. This has no precedent in world affairs and is plainly dumb. It’s an election gimmick opposed by the Venezuelan Opposition. Venezuela’s rigged referendum reminds me of Burnham’s 1978 rigged referendum when he claimed 95% of “yes” votes when a make-believe massive turnout voted for the “House” and not the “Mouse,” endorsing the revamping of the Guyana Constitution to give Burnham and the PNC massive control over the people.

The Guyana-Venezuela controversy is before the International Court of Justice (ICJ). One party cannot go rogue and engage in a frolic of its own to think they can preempt the process and take matter in their own hands. So, at Guyana’s request the ICJ appropriately ruled that Venezuela is out of order. Now, they would be seen as bad people with bad intentions, and that will likely go against them in the final ICJ ruling on the dispute. Guyana will win!

The U.S. State Department said on Monday it supports a peaceful resolution of the dispute and that the issue could not be solved by a referendum. One wonders what was in Mr. Maduro’s head as he conjured up a referendum, when he knows the USA lifted some sanctions on condition that he behaves himself and allow free and fair elections.

As reported by S&P Global, “An escalation by Maduro raises the risk that the US reimpose sanctions on Venezuela. Those sanctions were lifted on Oct. 18 on the condition that Venezuela show some progress in election reforms by the end of November. They have not followed through on their part of the bargain,” the State Department’s Miller said. “There are two additional steps that we want to see them take. We want to see them release political prisoners and we want to see them release wrongfully detained Americans. That was part of the framework agreement that we had come to with them. They have not carried out their part of the agreement. We urge them to do so. But at the same time, we are considering the matter and will suspend some of the sanctions relief that we put in place earlier this year if we determine that adequate progress to the commitments they made to us have not been made.” (“US might reimpose sanctions on Venezuela following vote to annex Guyana territory,”, Dec 4, 2023). Why would a leader take actions that will hurt his country and people if deadly sanctions are reimposed?

For Guyana’s part, both the Government and Opposition PNCR must be congratulated for showing a united front. The PNCR’s Carl Greenidge was Guyana’s Agent at the ICJ. The people of Guyana everywhere marched and assembled in activities to support their Government. Just think what can happen if we similarly mobilise the people to call for a renegotiation of the bad oil contracts. The Government must be commended for activating all the diplomatic channels and the support was overwhelming. Cheap criticisms of why the President was abroad was too nitpicky, as clearly diplomatic action was ongoing on all fronts. Luckily, people ignored the negative rumour- mongering that Venezuela’s troops were massing at the borders ready to invade. I encourage our border communities to stay put and stand strong. As Comrade Cheddi said to us, “Don’t worry, everything will be alright.” Guyana is winning!


Dr. Jerry Jailall

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