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Dr. Stead Williams| Commentary: A Win-Win on the Essequibo: CARICOM's Proactive Path to Regional Prosperity

Dear Dennis,

My understanding was that the payment/offer in USD is sitting at the BOJ in an escrow account. Whether the account is interest bearing or not, I couldn't answer, but it would seem (to me) as if the term 'expropriation' would need some diplomatic refinement.

I do agree with you that the Holness Administration would be much better off to settle with the Venezuelans in an amicable way although the Venezuelan valuation of the refinery was, in my view, more than double its true value and worth. For the refinery to be current, it needed a rebuild, not a renovation, so the land is more valuable as real estate for wharfage and a brand new oil refinery (150-200k bpd) module built. Therefore, with the rethinking, I rather doubt that Venezuela would be interested since they would need a much greater input than the payment in escrow into a new refinery.

Guyana and CARICOM would need to offer more to the Venezuelan government (and people, they voted on the issue) to gain any interest at all. Perhaps the UN and Britain should be leaning into the possibility of a solution - UN, because it should be a United Nation's issue, and Brittain, because they sponsored the discussions and the agreement in 1898 (or thereabouts). Guyana was then British Gianna. 

The resurrection of an ancient land grab may have been because of similar sentiments exuding from Madura's friend happening elsewhere and a diplomatic move to shift sentiments away from themselves to our region. It happened in the Middle-East recently. Just saying.  

Stead M Williams, DMin.

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