THE REALITY OF THE 'VENEZUELA-GUYANA BORDER DISPUTE'
This noble heir to Simon Bolivar's revolutionary and visionary legacy is greatly feared by the Indo & Afro Guyanese majority, however, and CARICOM governments (and media) appear to be subscribing to the current anti-Venezuela hysteria without an apparrent knowledge of the most important fact in this controversy.
Above and beyond that though, if the worst case scenario prevails - the caribbean community must know that they could never stop a Venezuelan military solution to the dispute. All of the Confederacy's upper level diplomatic contacts in both the United States or the United Kingdom have informed our representatives in private conversations that neither of their countries would actually go to war with a strategically important (world's fourth largest exporter of oil) ally like Venezuela - at the behest of a strategically un-important one like Guyana (unless Chavez nationalized their respective commercial assets or brutally oppressed his people). The best response from the United Nations that Caricom could achieve would be limited economic sanctions on the largest supplier of oil in the Western Hemisphere, if Chavez were to act while the crisis in the Middle East was threatening the G7's oil supply - he would not even face that; more than likely his only real opposition would come from Brazil (south America's military 'superpower'). In which case any shrewd politician would simply agree to carve-up the covetted area and offer his opponent half to placate his concerns - as was done by European powers in both World War's I and II.
A military putsch would not even be necessary, Venezuela need only duplicate the successful formula Brazil utilised to seize one fifth of Bolivia earlier this century; simply encourage hundreds of thousands of your citizens to settle over your weaker neighbor's border - overwhelming them in the process (since they are militarily inferior they would not dare to harm your nationals - and thereby provoke an armed reprisal). In a relatively short time your countrymen would outnumber their unwitting 'hosts' and then you simply extend your borders (through annexation) to accommodate the new ethnographic reality; it worked for Brazil ! If this sounds implausable to you that is because you are probably unaware of Guyana's efforts a few years ago to evict illegal Brazillian settlers on Guyanese territory, an operation that was cancelled after only one month because the Guyana Defence Force - with it's single helicopter - could not afford to continue that mission any longer. Several hundred Brazillians now reside illegally (but happilly) in Guyana's remote areas.
Either way, both Guyana and Venezuela are overlooking the reality of the border dispute; the land in question belongs to neither of them - it belongs to the 9 Amerindian Tribal Nations who were found living there 500 years ago - none of whom were ever conquered and forced to surrendered their territories - and who are still living their today. Any honest well-educated individual with even rudimentary knowledge of International Laws and Conventions concerning indigenous peoples (none of which the Guyana governments have ever ratified) will acknowledge the fact that Amerindians are the true landlords of - not only Guyana - but the ENTIRE Western Hemisphere. They have been here for atleast 15,000 years (the Archaelogically accepted minimum) before any other race (individual isolated exceptions notwithstanding).
Another myth that pretty much imploded on itself over 30 years ago after the first race riots in Guyana - is Guyana's National Motto "one nation, one people, one destiny",when in truth and in fact it is merely another imitation Neo Colonial imitation European styled state in the 'New World' built on the soil of Amerindian Tribal Nations - without their consent - and on the backs of the Amerindian people. Venezuela is no exception - but atleast President Chavez has publicly told his countrymen that they must "never forget that Venezuela belongs to the Amerindians", I am still waiting for President Jagdeo to inform Guyanese of the same truth.
Generally speaking the majority of each race in Guyana has nothing but loathing and contempt for every other race represented in that country, a minority are universal minded and genuinely appreciate their countries' diversity - but virtually all non-Amerindian Guyanese are united in their false belief that they are superior to the Amerindians; this seems amusing to European tourists who find it hard to believe that these late coming ethnic groups who's ancestors were for the most part either slaves or indentured servants to the Europeans - have this superiority complex about them towards the proud and unconquered Amerindians.
When in 1969 the Makushi and Wapishana Tribal Nations rose in armed rebellion to the brutal regime of the stalinist dictator Forbes Linden Burnham - the Venezuelan Army supplied them with weapons & the Venezuelan Airforce actually landed in Guyana and evacuated (prior to the Guyana Defence Force backlash) all the rebels and their families to the safety of Santa Elena in Bolivar State, Venezuela; that entire town was created to provide political asylum for the Amerindians of the 1969 rebellion. To this day there is a standing order in Venezuela to grant political asylum to any Amerindian from the Western side of the Essequibo river in Guyana - whom they consider to be Venezuelan citizens.
If non-Amerindians are so terrified of the Amerindian featured Chavez (he is actually a mix of Amerindian, Black and White) - they certainly have a lot of 'making up to do' if they seriously expect Amerindians not to welcome a possible future Venezuelan central government; as the old saying goes 'the enemy of my enemy is my friend'. The Confederacy enjoys good relations with the governments of Brazil, Venezuela, the United States, England and even the United Nations - but not with the government of Guyana (which refuses to recognise us or even acknowlege our existence); what kind of loyalty do they expect from us in return ? I remain willing to work with the Guyana government in the spirit of peace and co-operation, and I truly believe that we can be mutually beneficial to each other; but the proverbial 'ball' in is their court now - I have made my share of overtures. Once the Guyana government recognises that it has to accept International Law (which the Confederacy is operating under), we will know that they are serious about addressing our many concerns; but whether they ever do or not - we will continue to implement our Internationaly recognised 'inherrent and undeniable right to self-determination' . If necessary, to justify our uncompromisable position - we will table a case at the World Court, which the sitting judge of that illustrious body that we are in contact with has assured us "we will win hands down".
Lastly, I cannot fail to recall the unpleasant meeting I had with a Minister of the Guyana government, when I raised my concern that 'national development' seemed to be at the expense of the Amerindians - whereupon he responded " the concerns of a few thousand Amerindians cannot take precedence over those of 700,000 Guyanese". How ironic would it be if the day came when a Venezuelan Minister says " the concerns of a few thousand Guyanese cannot take precedence over those of 23 million Venezuelans" to justify a reclamation of the Essequibo territory. What goes around comes around they say.
Damon Gerard Corrie
13 Highgate Gardens
Wildey, St. Michael
Tel: (246) 228-0227 Fax: (246) 437-2018
Copyright © 2012 Damon G. Corrie