Dr. Riyad Insanally, a former Guyanese diplomat with a long-standing career, recently expressed his insights on U.S. Secretary of State Antony Blinken’s significant trip to Guyana on July 6, 2023. According to Dr. Insanally, this visit, following on the heels of former Secretary Mike Pompeo’s historic 2020 trip, reconfirms the increasing economic and geostrategic value that Guyana holds for the United States.
Dr. Insanally shed light on the reasons behind Guyana’s growing prominence in a commentary, pointing to the nation’s considerable oil reserves and potential role in securing energy for the Americas. Guyana, as per Dr. Insanally, has consequently garnered attention from the world’s leading superpower.
The diplomat emphasized the United States’ reasoning for enhancing its ties with Guyana, considering the shift towards left-wing politics in Latin America, the ongoing trials in neighbouring Venezuela, threats posed by transnational crime syndicates, and the escalating race with China for regional dominance. Amid these developments, the U.S. is keen on strengthening its bond with Guyana, according to Dr. Insanally.
The diplomatic visit also symbolizes U.S. solidarity with Guyana’s democratic principles and acknowledges its emerging status as an oil producer. Dr. Insanally mentioned that Secretary Blinken’s dialogues with President Dr. Irfaan Ali revolved around energy security, climate adaptation, and hard security measures. He asserted that the U.S. aims to elevate the bilateral relationship, focusing on enhanced security, market opportunities, and private sector-led commerce and investment.
Furthermore, Dr. Insanally pointed out that Secretary Blinken validated Guyana’s commitment to counter climate change while leveraging its hydrocarbon resources for the transition to a low carbon development model. This endorsement, he mentioned, holds immense significance in the face of ongoing global discussions on fossil fuels and climate change.
While public mentions of specific issues like the Guyana-Venezuela border dispute were absent, Dr. Insanally inferred that it was likely addressed privately. He also noted that the visit builds on the earlier launched US-Caribbean Partnership to Address the Climate Crisis 2030 (PACC 2030), focusing on energy and food security, and financial accessibility in the region.
Post this visit, Dr. Insanally recommended that Guyana should strive to formulate a definitive framework to boost U.S.-Guyana private sector collaborations, which could also draw investments from the Guyanese-American diaspora.
By nurturing solid alliances and encouraging business activities, Dr. Insanally believes Guyana can address its wider infrastructure and development needs, encompassing economic diversification to sectors like agriculture, fisheries, tourism, and IT. He further suggested that the U.S. could play a crucial role in propelling Guyana’s economic transformation and bringing measurable benefits to its citizens.
To sum up, according to Dr. Insanally, Secretary Blinken’s trip signals an upsurge in strategic collaboration and economic opportunities, prompting Guyana to capitalize on the opportunity and propel its development agenda with U.S. backing.