Should a government be established without the blessing of the international organisations that were invited to observe the General and Regional Elections held on March 2, last, then Guyana runs the risk of being ostracised, says Sir Ronald Saunders, a senior Antiguan Barbudan Diplomat.
In his most recent writings, the official said that Guyana could face suspension from the Commonwealth and from the Organisation of American States (OAS) – two of the most important organisations to which it belongs, for breaches of the Commonwealth 1991 Harare Declaration on the protection and promotion of the fundamental political values of the Commonwealth; and the Inter-American Democratic Charter that guides the OAS.
Once the machinery of the Commonwealth and the OAS are invoked, Sir Saunders said that suspension of Guyana from the councils of both organizations will assuredly follow. The Senior Diplomat was keen to note that the European Union will also take separate action that will be directed at suspending normal terms of trade, aid, and investment relations. The latter will have an immediate effect that will be immediately apparent in Guyana, he cautioned.
To those who might say that suspension of Guyana from the councils of the OAS and the Commonwealth is of no account, Sir Saunders said it is worth bearing in mind that these two organizations have been extremely important to Guyana in the defence of its sovereignty and territorial integrity in face of claims by Venezuela.
Sir Saunders said, “When Guyana does not have a voice in these Organisations, it is in no position to argue its case and to secure the support it has received in the past. Note should be taken that, in the OAS, the ostensible representative of Venezuela is Juan Guaidó’s nominee, and the opposition in Venezuela has been especially virulent in its claim to two-thirds of Guyana. Therefore, in the OAS, Guyana will have left the OAS field clear for the Venezuela opposition to sow its seeds.”
Similarly, if the Guyana elections are condemned by the international community, the Senior Fellow at the Institute of Commonwealth Studies said that Guyana’s high moral standing in its case against Venezuela at the International Court of Justice, on the border contention, will be weakened.
Sir Saunders added, “Based on the recommendations of the Commonwealth Ministerial Action Group and the OAS Permanent Council, members of the 55 nation Commonwealth and the 34 nation OAS will be strengthened in taking any individual actions against Guyana that they consider appropriate.”
The envoy was also keen to remind of stern remarks made recently by Mike Pompeo, the US Secretary of State. Pompeo had said, “Individuals who seek to benefit from electoral fraud and form illegitimate governments/regimes will be subject to a variety of serious consequences from the United States.” Sir Saunders said that this is usually the first step before the US unleashes sanctions against the operations of state-owned companies and their operations. He said that Guyana would be hurt by actions taken by individual states from the EU, the Commonwealth, and the OAS.
What is also worse Sir Saunders said is the fact that the CARICOM countries in the Commonwealth and in the OAS that would normally defend and fight for the interest of Guyana, as they have consistently done in the past, will be estopped from doing so following the shabby treatment accorded to CARICOM in its attempt to help to resolve the general elections process at the request of both President David Granger and Opposition leader, Bharat Jagdeo.
Sir Saunders reminded that a CARICOM team was dispatched to supervise tabulation of the votes for 10 regions, but was forced to leave the country after an injunction was granted to halt the process.
“So, there is now the matter of what CARICOM will do. Given all these circumstances, it is unlikely to be business as usual with a government established on the back of elections that is not deemed credible and transparent by any of the international observers, including CARICOM. Even the continuation of the CARICOM Secretariat in Guyana could come into question,” Sir Saunders wrote.
Further to this, the diplomat stressed that no one in CARICOM wishes this fate for Guyana, especially at a time when its fortunes are set to be transformed by oil and gas.
Sir Saunders said he is hopeful that measures can be taken to tabulate the votes in Guyana through a transparent and credible process – with CARICOM re-invited to supervise it.
“If that happens, Guyana will enjoy international respect amid its new-found wealth; if it doesn’t, the path ahead will be strewn with difficulties and hardships,” the official concluded.


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