Another head of state visits, still no foreign policy

Guyana has no foreign policy. After two years of the installed Jagdeo/Ali regime, nobody knows what principles guide Guyana’s interaction with the global village. It has all been transactional based on the whims and fancies of Bharrat Jagdeo.

The nation’s foreign policy is driven by the mood of the installed Vice President. Despite a plethora of political appointments at the foreign ministry and a figurehead who parades as the Minister of Foreign Affairs, no one knows what to expect from Tabuka Lodge.

Those extremely close to the happenings at the Lodge have alleged that all policies are driven by Robert Persaud communicating with the Vice President. In turn, he instructs Todd and Ali simply falls in line. It is difficult to refute these allegations based on what unfolds in front of our eyes every.

Ali appears to be this cuddly figure who takes pictures with foreign leaders. Persaud appears to be the de facto Minister of Foreign Affairs. Todd appears to be at sea and the Vice President seemingly makes the final call. In this context, there can be no structured approach to handling the affairs of the Guyana state in a structured manner when interacting with global leaders.

The only thing that can be produced from the abovementioned is transnationalism and hare-um scare-um.

It is in this crazy context, that another head of state visits Guyana. On Friday, May 6, President Jair Messias Bolsonaro arrives here after several cancellations. Brazil’s Head of State comes here on one mission: to advance oil and gas interests to benefit his people.

Wherever Jair goes, he walks with his far-right populism and rejection of the liberal international order. We know all about the Bolsanaro Doctrine. We know exactly where he stands, albeit, regrettably so. He rejects multilateralism, multiculturalism and regionalism. He has reshaped Brazil’s foreign policy around a national self-image that promotes anti-globalism, anti-communism and religious nationalism.

In contrast, he will shake the hand of a head of state that possesses only de jure maximum power and is constantly forced to carry all proposals to the de facto head of state. Bolsonaro will sit and discuss matters with a President who has no doctrine, no principles and no discernable interests, save and except for a few good laughs and numerous photos. There is no Ali doctrine. There no Jagdeo/Ali Doctrine. There is no foreign policy. We are at sea. We are simply there for the taking and the photos.

More, In The Ring.