Utterly disgusting that Guyana chose to condemn the Houthi forces that have come to the defense of the Palestinian people

Dear Editor,

On June 6th, 2023, the United Nations General Assembly elected five non-permanent members to the Security Council for a two-year term, beginning January 1st, 2024. The Cooperative Republic of Guyana was elected to serve, as was Algeria, Republic of Korea, Sierra Leone and Slovenia.

In Guyana’s first statement by Permanent Representative, Ambassador Carolyn Rodrigues-Birkett, the PPP Government saw fit to condemn Ansar Allah (Helpers of Allah), otherwise known as “the Houthis” of Yemen, for their attacks on ships carrying Israeli goods in the Red Sea.  It is utterly disgusting and deplorable that Guyana chose to condemn the Houthi forces that have come to the defense of the Palestinian people who are being exterminated before our eyes, while remaining silent on the Nazi-like crimes against humanity committed by the Apartheid State of Israel. Ms. Rodrigues-Birkett is certainly not speaking in our name or in the name of the majority of Guyanese, who are sickened by Israel’s barbarism. Not only did the PPP Government expose its double standards and downright hypocrisy, but it exposed clearly, once again, that the Government of Guyana’s position is determined by the US and EU powers. This further reinforces the prevailing opinion regionally that Guyana is “owned by the US and ExxonMobil”.

Our independence is a farce, and our sovereignty exists only on paper. It is painful to see Guyana, shaped by such world-renowned anti-imperialists as Forbes Burnham, Cheddi Jagan and Walter Rodney, a country once respected for its anti-imperialist stance, demonstrate such grave ideological degeneration and moral bankrupty.

Under the leadership of Forbes Burnham and Cheddi Jagan, Guyana always gave full support to the Palestinian struggle. Yasser Arafat attended the Non-Aligned Foreign Minister’s Conference, held in Guyana in August 1972. It should be noted that a conference of such international importance was held in Guyana because we were once a nation respected on the world stage. Burnham and Arafat held extensive discussions and the PLO subsequently opened an office in Georgetown.

Under Burnham, Israeli goods could not be sold in Guyana. There is a well-known story, related over and over as part of Guyana’s oral history. Burnham was in Fogarty’s, saw products produced in Israel, immediately summoned the management and had them removed from the shelves then and there. Guyana was the first country in CARICOM to establish diplomatic relations with the declared State of Palestine under the Palestine Liberation Organization (PLO).

Currently, a seismic paradigm shift is taking place globally, and sadly for Guyanese, our myopic, cowardly and extremely greedy politicians, on every side of the divide, have chosen to hold onto the tail of the drowning cow. The year 2023 will be remembered as the year that marked the beginning of the fall of the US Empire and Western Europe. Throughout the Global South, the Global Majority is rejecting neo-colonialism and fighting to complete their national liberation. Compliant regimes can no longer be tolerated.
At this historical juncture, in relation to what is taking place in Gaza, there is only one course of action, to not only condemn Israel’s genocide, but also to cut all diplomatic, sporting, cultural and economic ties with this pariah state.

This is very clearly the only course of action in view of the indisputable reality on the ground in Gaza. Indisputable because we are watching the slaughter of thousands of civilians on our screens in real time. As I write, the number of Palestinians killed since October 7th, 2023, is 22,722, with 9,600 of them being children. It is estimated that the figures could exceed 29,000 once those bodies still lying beneath the rubble are recovered. 58,166 have been injured, many of them losing multiple limbs, eyesight, paralyzed, no longer able to function independently. Entire blood lines have been wiped out.

Yemen under the leadership of the Houthis, having been victims of imperialist aggression for years, have chosen the only morally correct course of action, that is, to condemn this genocide and take action against Israel and its partners. Yemen is a poor country and well-aware that their actions will result in a great deal of suffering and sacrifice and yet, despite the consequences, they have demonstrated faith and courage, daring to stand up for what is right and condemn that which is wrong.  An estimated 2 million Yemenis took to the streets a few days ago to support their leaders’ courageous and very effective intervention on behalf of the Palestinians. They have single-handedly challenged the strongest military powers on the earth, disrupting the global maritime shipping system.

The government of South Africa must also be congratulated for bringing Israel before the International Court of Justice (ICJ). In a brilliant 84-page indictment, the South African Government has laid out an irrefutable case against Israel, charging them with war crimes including genocide. The ICJ has issued a press release stating that the case will be heard at the Court’s Seat in the Peace Palace in The Hague on Thursday January 11th, at which time South Africa’s lawyers will present their arguments. The ICJ’s ruling will determine the Court’s credibility. Israel and its accomplices are nervous. As with the Apartheid State of South Africa, there will come a time in the not-too-distant future when every nation and government will be remembered for where they stood when the US, EU and Israel committed genocide in Gaza. Unfortunately, Guyana’s misleaders, those cowardly, neo-colonial stooges, have once again placed our beleaguered nation on the wrong side of history.


Gerald A. Perreira

Organization for the Victory of the People (OVP)

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