Support for US Congressional Visit to Guyana

first_imgDear Editor,This has relevance to the visit to Guyana by the US Congressional delegation (headed by Chairman Bob Goodlatte) and the large military security team. The visit is intended to strengthen relations (in economic, political, and security spheres, and in the general cooperation on all other matters) between our two nations.Guyanese-Americans thank the delegation for undertaking the trip, strongly support the visit, and encourage closer relations between the two countries. Guyanese-Americans would also like to see more visits by officials of the US Government.In a recent study I undertook, Guyanese in Guyana and people of Guyanese descent in America say they have a very positive view of the relations between the two countries, and would like to see improved relations in light of several challenges facing their mother country, especially on matters pertaining to security, democracy, drug trafficking, and human rights.Guyanese say there are cultural, economic (trade, business, investment), military (security), family, migration, political and educational reasons, among others, for Guyana to have closer relations with America. More Guyanese (and people of Guyanese descent) live in the US than in Guyana, and thousands of Guyanese people study in US colleges and universities. In addition, Guyanese- Americans have been sending some US$250 million annually to Guyana over the last several decades.Some 100,000 Guyanese-Americans visit their former homeland every year, spending hundreds of millions of US dollars. Guyanese-Americans and other American businesses invest in Guyana, and many lobby for greater financial assistance to Guyana from Washington. So there are justifiable reasons to have closer relations with the US, with a lot of benefits accruing to Guyana.In the past, relations were defined and influenced by the Cold War and geo-strategic interests. The Cold War ended in 1990, but now there is a new kind of realpolitik in America’s international relations as it relates to Guyana and the greater Caribbean/Latin American region – one defined by economic (energy) interests, especially now that oil has been found off the coast of Guyana, and by the war on terror (especially since wanted terrorists were recently linked to Guyana).American interest is now largely defined and influenced by the war on terror, oil interests, and by business competitors from former socialist nations (like China and Russia). The US is also concerned by increased drug trafficking and migration from Guyana to America – not excluding nationals from other nations (economic refugees) using Guyana as a transit point to migrate to America.The US needs Guyana’s cooperation in all of these areas, and Guyana stands to benefit enormously from such cooperation. In addition, cooperation with America is vital for Guyana’s national security interests.Political and economic interest groups and political parties should encourage more visits of the kind as the one headed by Congressional Chairman Bob Goodlatte to Guyana this week, so as to discuss matters affecting our nation – such as migration to America, economy (oil), security (threat from American competitors), trade, business, investments, war on terror, and neighbouring Venezuela.Yours faithfully,Vishnu Bisramlast_img

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