Tillerson is Gone: What Does This Mean For Guyana?

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By Sase Singh

What we saw this week is the confirmation of the fact that the US Executive Cabinet serves the President. Constitutionally he is entrusted with the power to fire and nominate whomever he wants to serve the agenda as espoused by the Office of the President that he will continue to occupy until 2020. Some way want Trump to be impeached but that is a fool’s agenda because he will be there until 2020.

In Foggy Bottom, the oil and gas industry had a personal friend in Mr. Tillerson. That aside, the oil and gas industry is no stranger to “K” Street and it’s influence in Congress and the White House. Most politicians in Washington DC are like “dogs in heat” when it comes to cash, they will do anything to get some. But in spite of all its sham and drudgery, there are still a few good politicians in powerful positions in Washington DC who are prepared to stand up to the oil and gas industry and all its business tricks. Losing that friend in the State Department was big blow to the oil and gas industry because the incoming Secretary comes from a different background; he is California boy who became a Kansas man.
The scale is expected to tilt against the oil and gas industry because Mr. Mike Pompeo’s has a different agenda; Trump’s agenda (the Middle East, Asia and Europe). For these trump boys the rest of the world appears to be “something hole places” which are low priorities for them.

This development means a lot for Guyana because Mr. Pompeo will be focused on the agenda of his boss. Between Mr. Pompeo and Mr. Jim Matthias (Defence), they will take the international fight to the Iranians, the North Koreans and anyone else who does not understand that the United States has 11 of the world 20 aircraft carriers with 2 more under construction. The closest rival is China with 2. These Trumpites understand the full meaning of this reality and diplomacy is not their forte.

Whether their agenda is good for the United States is not the remit of this column, rather my focus is on what all of this means for Guyana.

Although Guyana has the potential to produce 500,000 bpd from 2021, most of which will be processed in the USA, this is less than 5% of the America national oil imports. Thus Guyana is not really a strategic priority for the USA on the oil front or for that matter any front. Actually many of the analysts in Washington DC still thinks Guyana is in Africa and was led to independence by Kwame Nkrumah, the independence leader of Ghana.

It was an open secret that Mr. Tillerson had it in for Venezuela after that country nationalized its assets for the paltry sum equal to the book value causing a multi billion financial loss.

Further his successor lost the case to Venezuela in appeal court, so there is 1.4 billion reasons why Mr. Tillerson was going to use Guyana as leverage to buy less from Venezuela and de-fund he Chavistas. With Mr. Pompeo coming to the role, all that flagitious strategy is out the window. This situation creates the window of opportunity for the forces that are struggling for free and fair elections and elections to be free from fear in Guyana to leverage. But there is a big “IF”. Will the PPP who are the clear most organized group against these burgeoning dictatorial actions of the Granger regime deliver on this “IF”.

Can they focus the Pompeo administration by taking the oil question out of the equation by respecting the fact that Team Granger messed up and promise to respect all contracts signed by the Granger administration? “IF” they can promise the Americans that, I am convinced in my conviction, like Hoyte was instructed, Granger will be told firmly that he has to deliver free and fair elections and elections free from fear.

It would especially be important to reflect on the fact that a former CIA man, George H. Bush, was the one who pushes Guyana to democracy in 1988. Guyana again has another CIA man who has the power to deliver the knockout punch to those who are hell bent of stealing elections in Guyana. Can the opposition in Guyana again leverage a friend in Washington DC?

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The views expressed in this column are solely those of the writer and do not necessarily represent the views of the THE WEST INDIAN.

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