Distinguished Guyanese scholar Dr Raymond Mark Kirton on Wednesday officially launched his book “Building Bridges in the Amazon: Guyana -Brazil Relations Into the 21st entity.”
The book focuses on the development of the diplomatic, political and economic linkages between Brazil and Guyana. Dr Kirton underwent careful research to critically assess the complex considerations that have characterized relations between the countries.
As such, the book examines the prospects for enhanced social and economic interest for both countries and the rest of the Latin American region.
The book launch took place at the Herdmanston Lodge at Peter Rose Street, Lamaha, Georgetown.
“We need to have reasons and rational dialogue as we develop this type of interaction not only in Brazil, but in South America generally.
“We need to establish ourself as the gateway between CARICOM and Latin America through Brazil,” Dr Kirton said.
The bilateral relation between the two countries dates back to the early twentieth century.
According to the retired University of the West Indies Lecturer in International Relations, the relationship is paramount as Guyana seeks to obtain a judgement for the 1899 Arbitral Award which established the location of the land boundary between then British Giana and Venezuela.
He said that in this regard, Brazil plays a major role in securing relations between Guyana and Latin American states even after the International Court of Justice (ICJ) rules in the court matter.
“I see where it is necessary for Guyana to look to develop the kind of support for the post judgments of the ICJ in relation to Venezuela. I have no doubt that the claims will not be entertained by the ICJ but I think that compliance could be a question that will be raised and therefore even before that judgment is made we should get stronger support from Latin American states to ensure compliance wherever it goes, and that’s why, Brazil, to my mind may be the key player in that,” Dr Kirton suggests.
He also said that there must be a greater interactions at the level of education. He suggests education tourism, sports and trade. He pointed to the current trials for wheat production in Region Eight. The Agriculture Minister Zulfikar Mustapha has said that a technical representative from Embrapa Brazilian Agricultural Research Corporation is assisting with this.
“I think there is a possibility of enhanced collaboration with levels of cooperation and the book, while one might argue its academic thought, I think some recommendations have been provided,” the retired professor said.
Dr Kirton further said that the aim of the book is to get readers to consider and discuss the content.
The book will be translated into Portuguese to launch it in Brazil this year.