Mike Pompeo broke long-established protocol and made a rushed visit to Guyana. This visit was not scheduled. The State Department Dispatch usually published the itinerary for high-ranking officials, months in advance but Guyana was not on the list. Secondly, the United States foreign policy establishment usually needs time to analyze any new Government, its posture, and how that will affect the national interest of the U.S. So why the rush?
It’s clear that the U.S was picking up some intelligence that Guyana might slip into communal violence. Such intelligence would have rapidly escalated to senior officials- after all, it was Clinton who said “90,000 Rwandans were murdered even before he got a full intelligence briefing on the situation.” After the Rwandan Genocide and the Bosnian War, the National Security Council issued several directives regarding ethnic conflicts. The CIA held a multi-day conference entitled “The Challenge of Ethnic Conflict to National and International Order in the 1990s: Geographic Perspectives” featuring “Specialists” in the field. Guyana was specifically mentioned in the 205 -page report. This report was subsequently declassified and made available online.
The last round of ethnic violence had all the pieces of communal violence; the only missing piece was Indian retaliation, and that was about to happen. Importantly, this round of violence was instigated but not carried out by APNU operatives. These were ordinary villagers who believed the lies and began targeting Indians for violence. Had Indians retaliated en masse, the situation would have resembled the 1960s versus village specific, controlled violence orchestrated by the PNC post in 1992.
The second reason why Mr. Pompeo raced down to Georgetown was to befriend the beleaguered PPP who was now in a weakened position and needed Uncle Sam’s help. It is my view that President Ali didn’t even read the MOU he signed with Pompeo’s as these things take months to negotiate, followed by approvals by the Attorney General of each country. President Ali was on the job for just four weeks and didn’t even appoint his own men in the Foreign Ministry who would be tasked to draw up a mutual beneficiary MOU. The United States did not only benefit from Exxon involvement in Guyana but also their companies will be fully protected from expropriation without compensation. The U.S economic interest is now fully protected. as promised by the PPP which will not revisit the Exxon deal that robbed the people of Guyana $55 billion (US).
Mr. Pompeo did not fly blind nor deaf but had a full intelligence briefing including the U.S historic involvement in Guyana, the U.S interest, a profile of all individuals he was scheduled to meet with. His PR handlers prepared him for any uncomfortable questions like the U.S sponsored race riots in the 60s. This was the opportunity for Indian organizations and activists to step up; unfortunately, they’re all stuck in intellectual heaven.
Note: This is eerily similar to the events leading up to the 1992 election, in which the PPP made massive secret deals with the PNC and The United States. I have written on those before but will revisit that in my next article.
Mr. Budhu is based in NY and can be reached at Guyana1838@gmail.com
(P.S. The views expressed by the author are not necessarily that of ICDN.)