‘Guyana needs the int’l community; separate sovereignty from politics’ – Greenidge


At a time when the incumbent APNU+AFC is leading a vicious campaign against the international community, former Minister of Foreign Affairs Carl Greenidge on Monday reminded that as a small State, Guyana needs the protection of the international community as it seeks to defend its territory from those who lay claims to it.

In a telephone interview with two members of the incumbent APNU+AFC during a programme on its Facebook Page, Greenidge criticised his fellow Guyanese who in recent months have repeatedly reproved comments by the international community on Guyana’s internal political, governance and elections issues.

His comments come a day before the International Court of Justice (ICJ) hears the Guyana/Venezuela border case while citizens who voted in elections more than 100 days ago await an official declaration from the elections commission and the installation of the new government.

Guyana also has a case before the Caribbean Court of Justice (CCJ) challenging a ruling by the Court of Appeal in the ongoing elections debacle.

But amid these regional and international developments involving Guyana’s sovereignty, supporters of the incumbent APNU+AFC coalition and officials of that party have been very critical of comments coming from the international community which has called for the declaration of the elections results using the official recount figures.

Those international bodies include the Commonwealth, CARICOM, the European Union, the Organization of American States and local diplomats from the United Kingdom, United States of American and Canada, among others.

When asked for his input on these developments, Greenidge said he knows his position is not going to make many Guyanese happy but “you do not have the right to censor other people for pronouncing or giving a view on such matters.”

He said organisations like the Commonwealth has rules about how a Government behaves and if Guyana acted properly then it should not be engaged in “shouting down” outside comments.

“If you had acted properly you don’t have to prove that you acted properly by censoring other people and shouting them down for voicing a view… if you acted properly that then that has to be taken into account by the courts,” he added.

Greenidge, who is also a prominent member of the PNC – the largest party in the coalition – said he has seen comments in the newspapers about sovereignty which he feels are “inappropriate.”

He reminded that Guyana was one of the countries that was most ferocious in the battle against apartheid with its public statements pronouncing on Court action and the lack of action by the Government of South Africa.

“A country’s sovereignty needs to be very clearly separated from the action of any political party.”

“The sovereignty of Guyana has to do with the rights of the people of Guyana to the territory within which they operate,” he added.

He lectured that in 1648 what happened within the borders of Guyana was for the Government and people to manage and no other country could have invaded simply because it didn’t like what was going on.

But since that time the United Nations have adopted of principles governing human rights and rule of law which means that actions taken within borders by Governments can be the subject of international or regional court actions.

“Sovereignty has nothing to do with a Court not being able to pronounce on something taking place in borders… if you are signatory to a treaty, for example, the Treaty of Chaguaramas or Human Rights … or Civil Society agreements then you are subject to those principles which you sign up to,” he added.

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