Guyana has revived, through national discussions, debate on the usefulness of the Caribbean Community (CARICOM) and how the country has benefited from its association in the past decades.
According to the local media outlet, News Room, support both for and against a possible opting out of the regional body by Guyana is linked to Guyana’s recently passed Local Content Laws amid concerns that it shuts out regional citizens from participating in the local oil and gas sector and infringes on Guyana’s obligations under the Revised Treaty of Chaguaramas.
Some have said that if that is the case, Guyana should leave CARICOM – a contention that was supported publicly by attorney and Government Member of Parliament Sanjeev Datadin.
He warned that the treaty obligations seem to allow for a hostile and uncontrollable takeover of the country’s booming oil sector.
The CARICOM Private Sector Organisation (CPSO) has also threatened to challenge Guyana’s Local Content Act.
Former Foreign Affairs Minister Carl Greenidge in recent comments reported in sections of the media on Tuesday cautioned that it could be dangerous if Guyana goes the route of exiting CARICOM.
But President of the Georgetown Chamber of Commerce and Industry (GCCI) Timothy Tucker, who supports Datadin’s position, responded via his Facebook page to Greenidge.
His first contention is that the former minister – now Advisor on Borders – must take some of the blame for the ‘opt-out position’. Tucker argued that Guyanese have suffered from discrimination, ill-treatment, rejection of goods and services by CARICOM member states.