Biden calls for inclusive economic growth in Guyana

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….commentators say US urgings signal disgruntlement with PPP/C governance

Amid complaints that the government was ruling for just one group of citizens the United States President, Joe Biden has called on the Irfaan Ali administration to promote inclusive economic growth here.

“The United Sates remains a committed partner in working together with Guyana to reinforce democratic values, promote inclusive economic growth, strengthen regional security, and successfully meet challenges posed by the climate crisis,” Biden told Ali in a congratulatory message on Guyana’s 52nd Republic Anniversary celebrated last week Wednesday. Biden added: “We look forward to building upon our shared values to collectively address global challenges and achieve a prosperous future for all.”

Biden’s call come on the heels of the just release USAID Democracy, Human Rights and Governance Assessment Report: 2021, which stated that there needs to be a non-partisan National Development Strategy. “The government and opposition parties must find non-partisan areas of cooperation reaching far beyond political parties to include technical experts and advocates for public spending on health, education, job creation and climate change risks. A participatory effort involving the public and private sectors and providing opportunities for public input can build consensus and public confidence in the equitability of the plan,” a section of the assessment read.

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Weighing in on the issue, Political Scientist, Professor David Hinds said Biden’s statement echoed the tenor of the USAID report. He said taken together, the two statements are in fact telling us that we are on the brink of another implosion if we do not make a swift leap to a functioning Republic. “In any other country, this would have been splashed across the pages and screens of our print and electronic media. But Guyanese, from elites to followers, are experts at silencing the obvious. We don’t just bury our heads in the sand—we bury everything.” Hinds said the Americans make no secret about their interests in Guyana, noting that they have big economic investments in our country. “And consistent with their settled foreign policy thrust they seek to influence Guyana’s internal motion which whether we like it or not is tied up with geo-political considerations. That is why the USA and its allies acted in 2020 at the level of the USA Secretary of State. And that is why Biden and the USAID issued the two statements. And that is also why the USA journalist journeyed to Guyana to plant Mr. Su in our public consciousness.”

Hinds observed that in the coming days “we will be treated to a diet of chat about saving democracy two years ago. Every dog has his day and its bark we are told by folk wisdom. The “foolers” will fool themselves and the gullible. But remember it’s the Americans who first told us that the current government was “installed” and it’s the USAID that described the 2020 election as “disputed”. And it is Biden and the USAID who by calling for the sharing of Guyana’s oil revenues by its ethnic and political groups are hinting that all is not well in the post-2020 regime.”

Meanwhile, commentator and former chairman of the Guyana Gold Board, GHK Lall said Biden’s message is an indication that America is unhappy with how things are in Guyana. Lall said, something in Guyana is contributing to the discomfort of Americans all the way to the White House, which is saying something.

He said for starters, President Joe Biden is caught up and preoccupied with his number one crisis at this moment. It is the long and escalating standoff, stare down if you will, with Russia, over developments in Ukraine. “Matters keep escalating, and this is the kind of situation that the world watches nervously, since one miscalculation, one misinterpretation, and one misstep could lead into the unknown and the uncontrollable.” Lall said the crisis in Ukraine has to be keeping up President Biden at nights; or at least stretching his days by hours that he does not have the luxury of sparing, past the point of the humanly tolerable. “Yet here he is with an eye on and a word for Guyana. I sense a warning word, and though it may be the first from President Biden, it is not the first from America, which is aimed dead center at the PPPC Government and its leaders, and their way of governing this country,” Lall asserted.

He added: “It is too self-centered and self-serving of the interests and prosperities of PPPC leaders in Government and their cronies. It leaves out too many Guyanese, particularly those who need a helping hand the most. And, at the crux of the actions and the contentions that flare from them, it is too divisive and tribal and antagonizing to long-term peace and stability in this country.” According to Lall at the risk of overreach, American leaders at the heights do not have the time for day for Guyana. he noted that back in Cold War days, the spread of communism, and the domino effect prompted intervention and close up rearrangements in Guyana, with U.S. Presidents maintaining a safe and diplomatic distance from the workings of Guyana. “Venezuela over there, and oil right here, influenced rebalancing the priority of Guyana in American eyes. What used to be left to the State Department now finds voice from the White House, even at a time like this. I detect some worry on America’s part. The opposition is too quiet, though agitating a tad more recently. I think that men here and elsewhere are contacting ranking Americans and sharing their fears, and the fears of what could come, if circumstances are left as they are. That is, to let the rampaging and unhearing and unheeding leaders in today’s PPPC Government run amok in almost every area of leadership, politics, and governance. In fact, politics and governance have become so entangled that there is extreme difficulty in determining where one ends and the other begins. That is, if real governance ever begins at any time. Because this is so and raging, from America’s perspective, it is detrimental and dangerous. Detrimental and dangerous for Guyana, which means detrimental and dangerous for Exxon first. And, perhaps even more importantly and relevantly, to America’s visions and interests in the region,” Lall noted.

Lall said using that same blueprint in some respects, Her Excellency, Ambassador Sarah Ann Lynch, has articulated an identical call (and caution) as her President in public forums on at least one occasion that I can recall. ”

Lall said for their part, leaders in the PPPC Government find themselves in a bind. “Having reached for, cultivated, and accepted powerful American backing during the life and death elections season, from beginning to finish line (possibly beyond), they cannot claim the old line of ‘internal meddling’ since they are the primary beneficiaries of such meddling, or whatever it is termed nowadays. They have a choice: continue in the same manner to their peril; or introduce genuine change. Perhaps, it is timely to reintroduce that little hymn that was sung by USAID recently (sharing), which is now echoed by no less a figure than President Joe Biden himself in a variation of the language. The fact that he could be so engaged by what is happening in the Ukraine, and still find time to make a call on Guyana, and about the need for ‘stronger democracy and inclusion’ speaks for itself.”



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Support Village Voice News With a Donation of Your Choice. President Irfaan Ali departed Guyana on Sunday to attend the Thirty-Third Inter-Sessional Meeting of Heads of Government of the Caribbean Community (CARICOM) in San Pedro, Ambergris Caye, Belize. Under the Chairmanship of the Prime Minister of Belize, John Antonio Briceño, the CARICOM Heads of Government meeting is scheduled to take […]

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