Trinidad’s, Guyana’s and Suriname’s current relations with Venezuela

Submitted by Dr Kumar Mahabir

In March last year, Trinidad and Tobago’s (T&T’s) relation with Venezuela shot into the spotlight. It was sparked by a secretive and suspicious meeting by Venezuela’s Vice President Delcy Rodriguez with Prime Minister Dr Keith Rowley. Another controversy was sparked by the fuel shipment from T&T’s Paria Fuel Trading Company to Aruba, which was then surprisingly sent to Venezuela.

In Guyana, Venezuela is claiming the Essequibo region and most of the country’s maritime space. This dispute was taken to the International Court of Justice (ICJ) in 2018, with Venezuela arguing that that the ICJ does not have jurisdiction to rule on the matter.

And where does neighbouring Suriname stand in these disputes? Remember that the former Bouterse government had close ties with Venezuela. What will be the new Santokhi government’s approach in this changing geopolitical landscape?

The following are HIGHLIGHTS of a ZOOM public meeting held recently (24/01/2021) on the
topic “Trinidad’s Guyana’s and Suriname’s current relations with Venezuela.” The Pan-
Caribbean meeting was chaired by Sharlene Maharaj and moderated by Bindu Deokinath
Maharaj, both women of Trinidad.

The Speakers were SENATOR ANIL ROBERTS from Trinidad, a former Minister of Sport and
Youth affairs, now opposition senator; PROFESSOR DANIEL GIBRAN from Guyana,
Professor Emeritus of International Security Studies at Tennessee State University in the USA;
and ANGELIQUE ALI HUSSAIN DEL CASTILLO from Suriname, a former Ambassador to
Indonesia and Chair of the Democratic Alternative91 (DA’91) party.

SENATOR ROBERTS from Trinidad said:
“Trinidad and Tobago has become an ‘enabler’ to the illegitimate Venezuelan government
because of the actions of the People’s National Movement’s (PNM) government and Prime
Minister Dr Keith Rowley’s relationship and fraternization with President Nicholas Maduro.
The T&T government was caught allowing Delcy Rodriguez – the vice president of Venezuela –
to enter the country under the pandemic-lockdown. Her immigration papers were signed by the
Minister of National Security, Stuart Young.

Meanwhile, thousands of Trinidadian citizens were locked out of their homeland, suffering,
starving and sleeping in subways with no access to food, clothes and medication. They were kept
out by a regime similar to that of Maduro’s. Rowley and Young have been following Maduro’s
policies and turning T&T into an undemocratic State.”

DR GIBRAN from Guyana said:

“The current and continuing impasse between Guyana and Venezuela over ownership of a
sizeable piece of disputed real estate is traceable to two strategic blunders: one by the British
Government in 1966, and the other by Forbes Burnham also in 1966. Both blunders were
incubated within the larger geopolitical and geostrategic context of the Cold War. And both were
avoidable.

Today, Guyana is facing an existential territorial threat that is at the heart of its existence, a
threat that will not simply disappear into thin air by the waving of a magic wand. In short,
Guyana’s security, the security of the State in the context of its physical space, is threatened by
an unstable, belligerent neighbor that claims two-thirds of its territory. This sharp and heavy
sword of Damocles continues to hang over Guyana.

Venezuela’s claim to the Zona de Reclamation is not simply Maduro’s claim and boisterous
fulminations. It resides in the soul of every Venezuelan citizen. It is a national feeling; unlike
anything we have seen demonstrated in Guyana.

Two strategic blunders – both committed in the same year – have burdened Guyana and stymied
its path to economic development. The Ali-Jagdeo Government is well-placed to strengthen its
relationship with the United States. In doing so, it would also allow the US to unhook itself from
a Venezuela that it once strongly supported, especially during the Cold War.

Today, Washington DC is eager, ready and willing to support and defend Guyana. And the
current governments on both sides of the Atlantic are ready to do business.”

ALI HUSSAIN-DEL CASTILLO from Suriname said:
“In October 2020 when there was an almost universal call for free and fair elections, the
Santokhi coalition party, in its political campaign, had promised that its position towards
Venezuela would be drastically changed.

DA’91 – the political party that I chair – has over the years made many calls to the government
and parliament of Suriname, as well as to the representatives of Venezuela in Suriname, to
condemn and leave the path of destruction and the violation of human rights.

It fell on deaf ears. In recent developments regarding the border issue between Venezuela and
Guyana, Suriname supported Guyana. However, the questions are: Does Suriname support
Guyana’s claim on its land or does Suriname support Guyana’s position that the International
Court of Justice (ICJ) has jurisdiction on the issue?

This is especially important since Suriname still has an important border issue to settle with
Guyana. The expectation of President Santokhi that standing with Guyana will not have any
consequences on its relationship with Venezuela, remains to be seen.”

19 comments

  • I saw a published book on a certain platform written by a Trinidadian indian prior to 1962 claiming that black racism is practiced by Trinidadians on indians, ah wonder when that started happening because it’s a total lie…no wonder people are only finding out about this “dog vomit” as someone put it, 50 years later, the wicked things you do tend to follow you.

    Guyana is part of South America, colonists separated the land mass. Venezuela may soon also claim Triniadad too.

    while yall fighting over land that none of you own, the first people’s of the Americas will get the rights they need to throw everyone of you off their ancestral lands. India is open and so are all the other ancestral countries where colonizers took yall from and which is your original and rightful homes, but everybody trying to pretend they’re white and superior on lands they don’t own.

    degrading the Americas into land disputes to suit narrow objectives will backfire…not taking sides in any of the ignorance but ya should know.

    Like

  • Why would the USA refuse to release monies frozen to purchase vaccines?

    Venezuela trying to purchase COVID vaccines

    https://www.reuters.com/article/us-health-coronavirus-venezuela-idUSKBN2AC07J

    Like

  • Know your enemies, i would stay out of all their confusion. It’s clear where Guyana is located, the map is right in front of our faces. Who want to pretend they can’t see, that’s on them…that’s what caused all of this in the first place, people pretending to be what they’re not and believe they own what’s not theirs…..and want everyone else to believe too, let them have a go at each other.

    https://475382-1493107-1-raikfcquaxqncofqfm.stackpathdns.com/wp-content/uploads/youzify/members/11589/2021/02/3EC265FC-F7DB-4DEE-834C-5DB4B9842B76.png.

    Like

  • Let them enjoy themselves. Black people need not get involved. Just watch the show.

    Like

  • More racist ranting from this demented man on a black-focused bog.

    Like

  • In case of emergency, the USA will defend western Guyana with nuclear weapons because of the oil.

    Whoever sides with Venezuela is a racist who wants to rob the black masses in Guyana. So I see some contradiction in the thinking of our CARICOM ambassador. On the one hand, he is constantly pretending something about Pan-Africanism, and on the other hand, he supports white Venezuela, apparently because of his socialist views.

    Mia Mottley would be well advised to replace the unfortunate ambassador because he is betraying her friendship policy with Guyana!

    Like

  • Seeing them all chased off ancestral lands will be quite a show to watch. They are all acting like the Natives in the Americas don’t know that the land is theirs…

    Like

  • (Quote):
    More racist ranting from this demented man on a black-focused bog. (Unquote).
    ++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++

    You better be careful with your loose-lips ‘mouthings’.

    Doc Mahaby the Hindu avatar (for a West Indian caste system) and regular BU reader has already challenged you to a duel and like a true annoying mouse you backed down out of fear of a visit from one of his UK ‘ratty’ connections.

    You dare not tell that East Indian jumped-up for a brown piece of West Indian shi**te to piss off in true Brit style?

    Doesn’t our own Bajan-born racist John, in harmony with his back-up choir, spew his pro-slavery vomit along with his pro-Trump white supremacist rhetoric on BU too?

    BTW, BU is not only a “black focussed-blog” but also a vehicle in the defence of free speech aimed at exposing and righting the social and economic injustices widely observed in the Bajan society even with the well-informed contributions from those residing in the Diaspora. And that’s why you are so addicted to it.

    “For the cause that lacks assistance, the wrong that needs resistance, for the future in the distance, and the good that [BU] can do.”

    Like

  • Miller February 12, 2021 5:18 PM #: “You better be careful with your loose-lips ‘mouthings’.”

    @ Miller

    Do you agree Hal Austin, (who, by the way, identifies as ‘Black),’ isn’t at all “careful with (his) loose-lips ‘mouthings’,” each time he comes on a “black-focused blog” to call its Black contributors…………

    ……………’savages and wild beasts that should be in the jungle, wild barking dogs, hungry dingoes, buzzards, baboons, slimy pigs, buzzing flies, social vermin and BU hyenas?’

    In your opinion, is that gentleman, who often uses such derogatory and pejorative terms to describe Black people, the appropriate individual to give advice on racism and race related issues?

    Like

  • @Wura
    When will we as a people of COLOUR get beyond the mindset of interpreting everything through the barometer of COLOUR, SHADE, RACE and ETHNICITY?

    Like

  • @WURA
    There is only one race and that is the human race. Hate is a choice. Love is a choice. I choose to love.

    Like

  • What is the difference between Classism and Racism? Now in my humble opinion there is no fundamental difference between Classism and Racism, but Classism is more deeply rooted in the tapestry of the Barbadian society than Racism we are often sensitive to.

    Like

  • “In your opinion, is that gentleman, who often uses such derogatory and pejorative terms to describe Black people, the appropriate individual to give advice on racism and race related issues? “

    Degrading, Degrading and Degrading !!!

    This question is important in that it determines whether it was intentional. Whether or not the degrading occurs intentionally or not is a factor. Some people are ignorant and they say things without thinking about what they are saying or its effects on others. When done out of ignorance, I often ignore what they are saying or play it off. If it was done intentionally, then more needs to be done.
    Was it malicious? Once again, the question of ignorance comes up. What seems to be a degrading to me may not have been so in their mind. Since people often have different definitions for the same word, or experience, I find I can not always take words at face value. I try to find out what they meant when they degraded me. Since some people are very indirect in communicating things, the degrading comment may have had another purpose. These indirect communicators often say hurtful things as a way to convey their hurts, or to let you know what they are feeling. To immediately take the degrading personally is a mistake. I do not want to take personally messages that are telling me that they are hurt or feeling bad about themselves. Since people are basically selfish, their communication is more about expressing their own emotional state, than it is about attacking or downgrading me.

    Degrading comments also alert me to potential problems. Often times, people are objectified prior to being abused. When the degrading consists of objectifying me or treating me like an object, it lets me know “Danger!” Those who objectify me I try to leave the situation as fast as I can.
    If in checking out whether or not the degrading was malicious or poor communication, it is poor communication, I try to work with them in redirecting their comments or in taking it in context. If they are intentionally being malicious, other strategies are called for.

    In dealing with mean, malicious degrading I do the following: I respond repugnantly.

    Neutralize the message. If only in my own mind, I cancel out the degrading comment. Neutralizing the message is important, even before confronting them. Reacting to comments before neutralizing them adds validity to what they said. When the comments are neutralized, they are much easier to handle in a calm manner. Comments taken personally will often leave you feeling like you have been attacked, so you tend to attack back in a reactive manner.
    Set boundaries. I let them know that what they said is not acceptable, and that I will not accept it.
    If they are amenable to confrontation, I confront them. Some people are too ignorant, of low intelligence or not worth confronting. For confrontations to be effective, the person being confronted needs some intelligence and common sense. In those cases where they have neither, I walk away or break the flow of communication.
    Develop a good sense of humor. There are times I have learned to laugh things off, especially when it is not worth the emotional energy of striving with it.

    Long Life. Start living…

    Like

  • DavidFebruary 12, 2021 8:24 AM Why would the USA refuse to release monies frozen to purchase vaccines?

    It does not say anywhere in the article that the USA is refusing to given permission for the use of the frozen funds.

    I would think that the USA, in the circumstances, would be keen to allow the use of the funds to purchase vaccines and medical supplies, considering that delaying such would only result in many deaths in Venezuela and also if such were for an extended period, provide an opportunity for the virus to mutate in such a population, then escape to the rest of the world, as it surely would, if that arose.

    Now would not be the time for political arm twisting and I cannot see that happening in this circumstance. There is too much at risk.

    Particularly, in the context where even the science people freely admit that they do not know what mutations may occur, what the virus is ultimately capable of.

    Like

  • The blogmasters comment was to anticipate it will not be an issue for the USA to release the frozen monies on humanitarian grounds.

    Like

  • Dompey….

    HATRED/RACISM/CLASSISM =

    knowing your ancestors were brought to the Caribbean as either INDENTURED SERVANTS or the ENSLAVED…

    knowing that the FIRST PEOPLES of the Americas….OWN ALL THAT LAND ON WHICH THEY SQUAT….

    knowing that as long as OIL is found on the land in the Americas…it belongs to THE FIRST PEOPLE’S OF THE AMERICAS it’s their ancestral land….NOT YOURS..

    and although knowing all of this the CROOKS AND RACISTS both indian and black face calling themselves leaders etc……of the Caribbean want to fight for WHAT’S NOT THEIRS…they need to be THROWN OUT OF THE AMERICAS…chased back to their own ancestral lands…

    why don’t the crooked ass indians go fight for land in India
    why don’t the crooked ass blacks with small island power go fight for land in Africa.

    they all need a RUDE AWAKENING.

    Like

  • The nerve on these backward, half-assed indians and ignorant negros who believe they’re on top..

    …THEY KNOW THE LAND WAS STOLEN…but still acting as if it’s theirs…and believe DISASTER won’t follow them..

    Like

  • WURA-War-on-U henceforth known as King Dyal through his insulting and derogatory references to the local population at every opportunity. It must be a very bitter life to live with so much hatred and vitriol for everything and everyone.

    Like

  • Well…..the savages who act inhumane to their own people just like everyone else, just like indian, syrian and whites do….and they are the Black leaders….so what would you call them….and they are uppity too forgeting that they are not only the descendants of the BLACK ENSLAVED…..but the indians…are the DESCENDANTS OF THE INDENTURED SERVANTS…WHO CAME MUCH MUCH LATER,,after my anesctors horror show…….but also keep forgetting that they too were brought from somewhere else…

    even u Fearplay suggested some horror for black people only a couple years ago and i had to pull you up, so which one are you….and what would you call urself……ya guilt is showing..

    Like

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