Guyana, Brazil, and the United States are all located in the Western Hemisphere, once known as the New World.
Guyana – formerly British Guiana, until its independence from Great Britain on 26 May 1966 – ranks economically in 160th position among 227 nations of the world (based on GDP in 2010, CIA World Factbook). Its estimated total population of 745,000 people is less than that of the US city of San Francisco and not even a third of the population of Fortaleza, the capital of the northeastern State of Ceará, Brazil.
Although located on the northern coast of the South American continent, Guyana’s language and culture set it apart from the rest of the Spanish- and Portuguese-speaking nations dominating the continent. Back in the colonial
days, the French language taught in high schools suited the British Motherland that hobnobbed with France across the English Channel, but did nothing to help Guyanese to connect with neighboring Brazil, Venezuela, and Suriname (formerly Dutch Guiana). Guyana’s kinship lay with the English-speaking islands in the Caribbean Sea.
A founding-member of the Caribbean Community (CARICOM) in 1973, Guyana finally embraced its South American family of nations on 23 May 2008 when the nation’s president signed the Constitutive Treaty of the Union of South American Nations (UNASUR) in Brasília, Brazil. By aligning with the immense regional block, little Guyana gains a bigger voice.
Brazil– the world’s fifth largest country and population – ranks in 9th position among the nations of the world (based on GDP in 2010, CIA World Factbook). Numbered among the world’s top four emerging economies, Brazil is fast gaining clout on international forums. Fear lurks among many Guyanese that the neighboring Brazilian giant will roll over and smother Guyana. Fear is good… It spawns caution.
Liaisons come with the good and the bad. Ask any American about the Chinese giant, now fully awake and kicking. Products, Made in China, are now anathema for millions of Americans who have lost their jobs to China. Still, American consumers expect more for less. To remain competitive, American companies are doing more with less: increasing their productivity by draining the blood of their lean workforce.
We want to have it all: gain without pain. Something’s gotta give.