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Guyana not a colony of CARICOM

  • Written by Guyana Chronicle
  • Published in Opinion
THE GUYANA CHRONICLE, EDITORIAL, June 29, 2020- THE recent utterances on Guyana’s elections and, by extension, its internal affairs by Barbadian Prime Minister, Mia Mottley, and Prime Minister Ralph Gonsalves of St. Vincent and the Grenadines are a cause for concern not only in Guyana, but in the rest of the CARICOM sub-region. Ms. Mottley’s video statement on Wednesday went to places that Gonsalves did not go. She arrogated unto herself the role of judge and jury in Guyana’s elections impasse. But more than that, she spoke as if the Guyanese people have elected her as their spokesperson and governor.

Indeed, her combative stance threatens to disrupt the amicable intra-CARICOM relations that have generally characterised the regional body. Guyana is a sovereign state bound by its own laws, flag, and constitution. While we have a shared history and culture and we share some institutions, these do not eliminate the sovereignty of member-states. It follows that member states should avoid becoming too entangled in the domestic affairs of each other.

Guyana has always recognised CARICOM’s limitation as far as the domestic affairs of member states are concerned. We have never lectured to a sister country on how to run its internal affairs or overtly and covertly interferedt in their elections. We expect the same from others. Whenever we have asked for CARICOM’s help, we have done so with the understanding that our sovereignty would be respected, and our people be treated with the respect they deserve.

It was in that spirit that President David Granger invited CARICOM to send a team to observe the recent audit of our elections. He did not invite CARICOM to supervise or to referee our elections. He did not invite CARICOM to disrespect our courts or to instruct our elections commission on what to do. That Prime Minister Mottley has assumed the role of our de-facto Prime Minister should never be tolerated. We are forced to ask, where does she draw the authority to become so embroiled in our elections?
Guyana is not a colony of CARICOM or any other regional, global, or hemispheric body. That a CARICOM leader could feel comfortable speaking to the leadership and people of a sister country in the manner that Ms. Mottley has done points to something rotten in our regional spirit. One gets the feeling that some regional leaders may have arrived at the feeling that Guyanese are of lesser value; that we could be kicked around like a political football.

Ms. Mottley’s recent remarks seem to be aimed at bolstering the PPP’Cs attempt to be declared the winner of the election based on a count that includes invalid votes. Her studious avoidance of the Recount Order and the recent ruling of the Court of Appeal speak volumes. She repeats verbatim that party’s narrative. In that regard, she has diminished her standing as a regional stateswoman and in the process reduced CARICOM to a partisan cheerleader. That cannot be tolerated, and its time other regional leaders tell her that is not the CARICOM spirit.

Like Gonsalves, Ms. Mottley’s comments come on the eve of a big moment in the ongoing situation in Guyana. Her statement comes on the eve of a hearing before the regional court, the CCJ. One cannot help but speculate whether her comments are not meant to prejudice those proceedings. It is that very behaviour that has been one of the reasons why the majority of CARICOM member states have not joined the CCJ. They have expressed fears of political interference by our leaders. In her handling of the current Guyana situation, Mia Mottely may have confirmed their fears.

Guyanese should not cower in the face of these attacks. Many Guyanese have taken to social media to express their outrage. It is the right thing to do. We must let our CARICOM leaders know that Guyanese cherish their sovereignty. This publication wants to make clear that it does not support the sexist and homophobic comments that are directed at Ms. Motley. It is uncalled for. We support vigorous protest against the ugliness that has been heaped on Guyana, but we reject personal and political abuse of all forms.


Last modified onMonday, 29 June 2020 10:19
  • Countries: Guyana