‘I fear nothing about Maduro’ – Pres. Ali says dignity, humanity of people must be protected


By Kurt Campbell


Delivering a message of love and peace, Guyana’s President Dr. Irfaan Ali said Sunday that he was not fearful of the outcome of the ongoing vote in Venezuela’s referendum on Guyana’s Essequibo.

Dr. Ali said the only concern he has is for the people of Venezuela should President Nicolas Maduro act on his stated intention to seize Guyana’s resource-rich territory.

President Irfaan Ali joins members of the Muslim community for a session dedicated to public awareness and prayer on the Guyana/Venezuela border controversy. [December 03, 2023]
“I fear nothing about Maduro… but I have some concerns and those are around the subject of humanity,” Dr. Ali said while speaking at a session dedicated to public awareness and prayer at the Muslim Youth Organisation in Georgetown.

Attended by government officials, members of the diplomatic community, and a wide cross-section of Guyanese Muslims, the two-hour-long session ended with a call from President Ali that everything must be done on both sides of the border to protect the humanity and dignity of people.

On Friday, the World Court recognized that the Essequibo region has been governed by Guyana for the past 124 years and said Venezuela shall refrain from any action that would modify or change this.

The Head of State said on Sunday that should Maduro ignore this order and other international principles of order and honour, then it will be a great injustice for the people of Venezuela.

“It will lead to suffering in Venezuela, lead in a direction where the prosperity of the people of Venezuela will be affected.

“That path has consequences not only for Guyana but for all in the region,” Dr. Ali said as he pointed to compromised migration and security with worsening socio and economic circumstances.

“Ultimately, it is the people who suffer. It is the people who pay the greatest degree of sacrifice.

“Dishonor is done to people when leadership is weak, poor and unfortunate,” President Ali contended.

But even as Guyana stands on the right side of history and international law, the President said Guyanese must understand their responsibility.

Guyana has been consistent in its global call for peace and justice long before this controversy escalated.

He highlighted that with a threat to peace right at home, he is happy with how Guyanese stood up and came together under the motto of the country “One people, One nation, One destiny.”

He also acknowledged the overwhelming international support for Guyana’s cause and said it is not by accident but by “hard and resilient work.”

The President believes Guyanese have set a new benchmark and model for how these conflicts must be managed and that is through love.

“We must show them undying love, give them undying love. We must separate the selfish desires of those in authority in Venezuela and speak not with hateful tongues but of love and courage.

“Show them more empathy when leaders are not showing them,” Dr. Ali said even as he encouraged Guyanese to lead by example, educate where necessary and never lose the value of friendship with their neigbhours.

He said now more than ever Guyana will co-exist with Venezuela.

And while the objective is peace, he said Guyana is not naïve and will remain vigilant and prepared for any eventually.

The Guyanese leader talked up the defence cooperation between the United States of America and Guyana and said his country would not be caught off-guard.

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