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GUYANA | APNU/AFC warns: Don't be used as political pawns by any super-power

Opposition Coalition Leader Joseph Harmon Opposition Coalition Leader Joseph Harmon
GEORGETOWN, Guyana, September 19, 2020 – The Opposition APNU/AFC Coalition has cautioned the government to avoid being used or involuntarily coerced by any superpower into taking sides in an emerging bi-polar world.

In a statement today the APNU/AFC said building and maintaining excellent relations with the United States should be a pre-eminent concern of the state of Guyana, and by extension, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, given the development of our petroleum resources by ExxonMobil and the decades old threat to our sovereignty and territorial integrity.

However, the opposition cautioned that “Guyana and China have forged a strong and unbreakable relationship that goes beyond mortar and steel and is now a familial one, a special one, and we cannot be expected to arbitrarily put it aside on the demands of others. They too must understand that Guyana wishes to maintain good, healthy and peaceful relations with all super powers including China, and as before, we can do so without jeopardising individual relationships or compromising values.”

The APNU/AFC statement reminded “that it was Guyana in 1972, that was the first Caribbean country to recognise the People's Republic of China and establish diplomatic relations – something that both Guyana and the Chinese hold dear.”

Irfaan Ali Pompeo 460The Opposition pointed out that “It is against this background that the arrival of Secretary of State Mike Pompeo, the highest ranking sitting United States official to visit Guyana since 1966, though a big positive, must also be recognised as bringing potential risks and hazards, which we have a duty to protect ourselves against.”

It also noted that Guyana, was being involuntarily coerced into taking a side when “Secretary Pompeo made no bones about the fact that Guyana is ‘expected’ to choose American companies over Chinese," and questioned whether this was in Guyana’s best interest.

APNU/AFC said “the timing of the was a cause for worry; given that the presidential election in the US is due within weeks and is “ominously compounded by the ratcheting up of rhetoric against Venezuelan leaders and the moving of military assets and material into the region. Simply put, while we value our friendship with the US, we do not want to be complicit in the ‘October surprise’.

The Opposition observed that "while we have always looked at [Venezuela] with a mixture of trepidation and scepticism, we have never encouraged or developed feelings of hate or ill-will towards Venezuelans, seeing them instead as misguided Southern American brothers and sisters, and wish to keep it so, while having big brothers, the US and Brazil ensure that the peace is maintained.”

“The fact is, there are enough resources for the Guyanese people and for others to benefit – without us having to find ourselves boxed-in and made to trade and do business with a chosen few only so as to avoid the risk of incurring their wrath,” APNU/AFC informed.

“Ironically, the Chinese National Offshore Oil Corporation (CNOOC) owns a 25% stake in the Stabroek Block and it is well known that it was CNOOC which stepped up with financial and other resources to support ExxonMobil to develop the Stabroek Block when other majors felt it was too risky to do so and unlikely to provide profitable returns.

“In the end, and there is always an end, we must not find ourselves with egg on our face when, as they always do, opponents of the present, become friends and allies of the future and those who were forced to pick a side, find themselves ostracized, standing alone like the little piece of cheese.

“At this delicate geo-political juncture, it is imperative that Guyana navigates, with diplomatic astuteness, building and strengthening wide-ranging global and superpower alliances and avoid being an outcast like the proverbial little piece of cheese,” the Guyana Opposition concluded.


  • Countries: Guyana

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