The struggle to bring a credible and transparent conclusion to Guyana’s General and Regional Elections has tainted, to some extent, Guyana’s image on the international stage. Importantly, it has evoked tensions and cause for worry in the relationship Guyana has so painstakingly built with major bilateral partners as well as key regional and multilateral organizations, namely, the Commonwealth (54 states), the European Union (27 states), the Organization of American States (35 states), the ABC (America, Britain, and Canada) Countries and even the Caribbean Community (CARICOM).
The same applies to the African, Caribbean and Pacific Group of States (79 states) for which Guyana has provided main spokesmen on issues ranging from trade and agricultural commodities to development finance and the negotiation of the successor agreement which provides most of the Caribbean’s development assistance.
But one of the most crucial missteps in the relationship with these organizations occurred during three days after the March 2 elections were held. At the GECOM Command Centre, Foreign Affairs Minister, Dr. Karen Cummings visited the International Observer Missions and threatened to revoke their accreditation. Her threats were not well received and she was sternly rebuked by former Prime Minister of Barbados, Owen Arthur of Barbados. Subsequent frustration of efforts to have a credible and transparent counting of the ballots even led to the OAS Observer Mission, the Commonwealth Team, the EU team as well as the Caricom team leaving Guyana.
But where was the Foreign Secretary, Carl B. Greenidge in all of this?
Mr Greenidge has been the Campaign Manager of the APNU/AFC in Region Six but has been visibly absent from practically all state and diplomatic or Ministry of Foreign Affairs events which would normally require his presence. He was even absent from the inauguration of the new Ramphal House which was conceived and completed on his watch as former Minister of Foreign Affairs.
Since the aforementioned occurrences associated with the General and Regional Elections , Mr. Greenidge has not only been noticeably absent but silent too. Several calls to Mr. Greenidge to ascertain the reason for same went unanswered. Be that as it may, the Guyana Standard was able to confirm with very reliable sources within the A Partnership for National Unity (APNU), that Greenidge is in “a politically sensitive place at the moment.” Furthermore, APNU’s Joe Harmon has told the media that Greenidge has been given another assignment but he is yet to say what that assignment is.
In the last interview Guyana Standard had with Greenidge around March 20, he indicated that he and a team were working on Guyana’s case to be heard before the International Court of Justice. That oral hearing on the jurisdiction of the ICJ as regard the complaint about Venezuela’s assertion of the invalidity of the 1899 Arbitral Award, has been postponed until further notice in light of the health crisis precipitated by the Coronavirus.
Several observers who spoke with the Guyana Standard hazarded the likelihood that Mr. Greenidge has not been in agreement with the manner in which the government has treated its international partners since he stepped down as Foreign Minister.
Greenidge is also known to have cautioned about the attitude of the international community to constitutional matters on the one hand and the importance of their support for Guyana on the border controversy, on the other.