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Everywhere in the world where people are dying or facing threats of conflict emanates from some scatological British decision, born of colonial hubris.
I won’t deal with the technical issues here. Rather, the lynchpin of this crisis is CARICOM must at last demonstrate a capacity for foreign policy!
1. In 2020, when the world abandoned Venezuela and Maduro in particular, CARICOM stood with him; as it did with Chavez before him.
2. Our habit has been to give such support and credence without conditions or leverage cultivation. That – as I wrote – was folly.
3. CARICOM ought to have made a condition of its support an undertaking on this border issue; giving protocol and structure to the actions of either side.
NOW THE MATTER HAS COME TO HEAD, ONLY STRATEGIC OPTIINS AVAIL:
a. CARICOM must form and act as a security alliance within the meaning of the Joint Foreign Affairs plank of CSME
b. Guyana and CARICOM must form an immediate alliance with Brazil; deploy weaponised drones along the Venezuelan/Guyanese border, creating buffer zone, which generates costs to Venezuela for incursion into Guyanese territory.
c. CARICOM must deploy – with Brazilian support – weaponised drones along the border, with geofencing capabilities to mark and monitor actions along the disputed border.
d. As central to the negotiations – now intended – CARICOM must demand establishment of a $1 billion “non-Interfernce Bond”, which is drawn at the expense of the offending party; upon breach of which unlocks a raft of sanctions; including trade limitations and account freezings.
e. CARICOM must avoid settlement of this dispute by American commercial energy interests in Guyana and Venezuela on terms amenable to them but harmful to Guyana.
The disputed area in Guyana constitutes its Rain Forest Land Bank and is part of the “Lungs of Earth”. Guyana and Brazil should align their interests and place these lands in a global commons for all of nature – plants, humans and animals – and CARICOM/Brazil should issue a unilateral joint declaration designating these lands as such, with a protocol for their use in future.
CARICOM must now find a mature footing and bring solutions to this problem beyond mere moist talk and inter-pleading. The options above would universalise the issue, giving the Commonwealth of Humanity a stake in the solution; which CARICOM, Guyana and Brazil could present as a deed done – instead of mere talk – at COP29!