Guyana’s main parliamentary opposition is convinced that the government is mass-producing the presence of naturalized Guyanese to attain a statistical edge at the next General and Regional Elections. It contends that the People’s Progressive Party/Civic (PPP/C) administration is granting citizenship “wholesale” to Venezuelan migrants in exchange for their ‘X’ at the 2025 polls.

This contention, however, has been rubbished by the Irfaan Ali-led government. The regime claims that those registered or being considered for such provisions are of Guyanese birth, parentage or both. Yet, the People’s National Congress Reform (PNCR)-led opposition remains unconvinced. The opposition’s Alliance for Change (AFC) is also adamant that “mischief” is afoot.

According to the AFC’s Member of Parliament (MP), David Patterson, this alleged plot could have far-reaching consequences if left unabated. According to the former Public Infrastructure Minister, there could possibly come a time when Venezuelan-turn-Guyanese inherit and misuse the highest decision-making forum in the land – the National Assembly.

Patterson said that there is nothing stopping those newly minted Guyanese citizens from establishing their own political party and contesting elections. His concerns come weeks after Opposition Leader, Aubrey Norton expressed worry over the possible establishment of a fifth column -a group of people who undermine a larger group or nation from within, usually in favor of an enemy group or another nation.

Given the high concentrations of Venezuelan migrants in sparsely populated Guyanese hinterland communities, Norton noted that these villages could be overrun by migrants – making Guyanese second-class citizens.

But Patterson was able to go further in this analysis. He said that for three consecutive elections, the PPP and the APNU+AFC have either lost or won by miniscule margins. With the influx of Venezuelans coming to Guyana and obtaining voting powers by virtue of attaining citizenship, Patterson reasoned that those citizens could wield immense power. He even postulated the possibility of a hung parliament and the potential “ceding” of the Essequibo by disloyal Venezuelan-turn-Guyanese legislators.

As the debate continues, the Nicholas Maduro-regime is laying claim to the county of Essequibo – two-thirds of Guyana. Venezuela’s claim intensified back in 2015 when U.S. oil giant, ExxonMobil struck oil in the Stabroek Block, elevating Guyana’s economic prospects to those befitting of a global powerhouse. The country’s troops are now amassing at the border. Videos have surfaced of tanks and other heavy-duty weaponry being mobilized even in areas reportedly Guyanese territory, amidst a looming Venezuelan referendum to determine accumulation of the Essequibo.

Guyana has already appealed to the International Court of Justice (ICJ) for interventions aimed at blocking a Venezuelan intrusion and the possible seizing of the Essequibo. However, Maduro has long aired his disenchantment with the ICJ and his refusal to acknowledge the court as the appropriate entity to end the deadlock. The Venezuelan strongman prefers a United Nations (UN)-appointed “Good Officer” as a means to ending the dispute, although the method failed for more than 25 years to accomplish that singular objective.

Even amidst Maduro’s apparent saber-rattling, the Guyana Government is making significant strides in acquiring support from international blocs in condemning these threats of aggression which could potentially disrupt peace in the region.


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