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A Countermove by the Guyana Government is Likely to Weaken Guyana-Brazil Ties

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19th of September, 2021. Region 9, Guyana, South America

Last updated: September 19, 2021 at 13:29 pm

The Guyana Government has found itself between a rock and a hard place with regards to the recent Guyana/Brazil border controversary. The Brazilian protestors have blocked much-needed food and household supplies from entering Region 9 and are demanding that Brazilians be allowed to cross over into Guyana on selected days.

The Guyana Government now has two choices: subsidize supplies coming from Georgetown or concede to the Brazilians’ demands and allow them to pass on specified days – under restrictions and controlled circumstances of course – such as presenting vaccination cards and negative PR tests. Both options are equally undesirable.

If the Guyana government subsidizes supplies coming from Georgetown – making it just as affordable as Brazilian supplies – then the Brazilian people and government may very well see that as an antagonistic move against the country of Brazil. Of course, the Brazilians and Brazilian government was “supposed” to understand that the Guyana Government is only doing that to protect both countries from a faster spread of the virus – but emotions often overrun logics in scenarios like these. And doubtless, this countermove might very well weaken the bonds of friendship between these two neighboring countries.

On the other hand, if the Guyana government concedes to the demands of the Brazilians, then, as the Guyanese Health Authorities have rightly said, that will jeopardize the lives of both Guyanese and Brazilians with a greater potential for Covid-19 and the Delta Variant to spread. And, as the Minister of Health, Dr. Frank Anthony, has rightly said, Guyana does not have the medical capacity to handle the potential outbreak of the Covid-19 virus.

When this scenario is viewed against a backdrop of Brazil’s role in defending Guyana against a potential Venezuelan incursion, then the decision becomes an even more difficult one to make. On one hand you don’t want to weaken ties with Brazil, and on the other you don’t want to jeopardize the lives of the Guyanese people. The Guyana Government is genuinely caught between a rock and hard a place, and is faced with a decision that must be made with great care.

In this case, choosing the lesser of two evils is easy. The problem is knowing which is the lesser of two evils.

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