Amidst all the outright democratic assaults foisted by APNU on this country in the last two weeks, the statement from Charlene Phoenix, Permanent Secretary of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, is right up there with one of the most dangerous signals of where this country may be heading. Phoenix’s letter to Stabroek News made it explicitly clear that “At no juncture has Guyana Gov’t recognised Juan Guaidó as Interim President of Venezuela” (SN, Mar 14, 2020).
This is a monumental statement from an illegitimate government that has no legal or constitutional business commenting on matters that could implicate Guyana’s national sovereignty and security. It is plain to see that the statement defies the West, which recognizes Guaidó, just as the West has condemned APNU’s election theft. The statement breaches convention that administrations in transition should not pronounce on matters touching national sovereignty and security. Further, this was not a pressing matter of such importance that any kind of comment was warranted at this time. That any illegal official would utter it when the Guyana-Venezuela controversy is coming up next week before the ICJ is catastrophically stupid and inopportune.
No matter how you spin it, this statement is very troubling. APNU is desperate to remain in power. That is unequivocal. APNU has been rebuked and warned by the entire world except the very nations that empower Maduro. The bland attempt at saying that denying Guaidó does not imply support for Maduro is trash when logically examined in the context of the explicit denial of support for Guaidó. Guaidó is the West’s recognized president of Venezuela. This is explicitly saying that this illegal regime does not recognize the West’s choice just when the West is hammering APNU for electoral fraud. This isn’t coincidence. It is much more barefaced.
We know the damning geopolitical and geostrategic game that APNU is playing here. APNU is playing for time until it gets a superpower buffer to the West. It has zero interest in a democratic outcome. The Caricom recount agreement is not about democracy as it is clear APNU will subvert and damage the process by again subjecting it to Gecom’s fraudulent antics. This move played by Granger is really intended to buy time to get heavyweight support to offset the risk presented by the West. The West is running out of time. It has been since the no-confidence vote. It will wake up at some point. The question is whether APNU is prepared to live with the consequences of this frightening game it is now playing?