The tale of two sisters

Written by on November 25, 2023

Written by: Esther Hamer (Kreative Arts) and Ayanna Waddell

An EdYou FM Production

Granny always told the best stories on the darkest nights. Nights when the moon was on holiday and the stars were too far to lend their light.

Sometimes, the stories were scary of ole higues, canaima, churile and the like.
Sometimes, they told of heroes with tiny beginnings who defeated giants.

Her favourite to tell was a tale of two sisters who lived in a land that was controlled by different kings and queens. The kings and queens had many disagreements and after each disagreement, they split the land for each to share.
The older sister, let’s call her V, was given a section of the great land that was bordered by the sea, well not the sea, but actually the ocean, the Atlantic Ocean. V fought hard for this land and after many many many years, things began to look good in V’s land.

The younger sister, most called her BG, had a smaller section of land also bordered by the sea, well not the sea, but actually the ocean, the Atlantic Ocean. When BG got her section of land, she changed her name. “Call me G,” she said,”for I am now free, free from the B that came before my G.” G also fought hard for the land that was hers and though things weren’t the best, she began to work hard to make her land a success.

A storm began to rage over a part of G’s land and this storm spelt trouble for the two sisters.

The kings of old had divided the lands, and given a colony called Essequibo to BG. This was long long ago in 1831. This caused a disagreement between V and the queen and this disagreement was settled (for now) at a big meeting. The meeting took place in 1899. The argument was great over who should have Essequibo and this is how the story goes:

Long before V and BG were born, the Dutch (people from the Netherlands) had settled in Essequibo. The Spanish crown (V’s mother) had given the Dutch sovereignty over any land they had acquired. Fights with the British (people from Great Britain) led to the Dutch losing Essequibo to the British in 1814.

The British had three colonies, Berbice, Demerara and Essequibo. No one had said, though, how far Berbice, Demerara and Essequibo did go. Into the plot drops Robert Schomburgk, a German surveyor who knew a lot. A lot, that is, about the Essequibo since he had traversed it for 4 years. He began to do some drawing and drew a line. A line to define where Essequibo ended and V’s land began. This line was called the Schomburgk Line and V grabbed an eraser to remove this line.

BG urged V to leave the line and go and no one would live in Essequibo. Off they went, unclaimed she stayed through 1850

But wait!
What right had V to claim we Essequibo
When Britain fought and held rightful claim
Land that her mother, Spain, had allowed the Dutch to attain
Land that the Dutch had formally ceded to we!
The British sent BG to move in again and V protested, she went around and complained. V asked the USA to represent her cause. They all went to Paris and created a pause. A pause in the protests to settle the matter.
Two from Britain, two from the USA and one Russian jurist as President.

In the end (well not the end) they agreed that the Schomburgk Line would not be erased but the mouth of the Orinoco would be given to V.
The decision was unanimous, meaning ALL agreed.
And V stopped her protesting!

All seemed well as we continued our journey
Then in 1962, V decided she again wanted to claim we
And once more started to chant Essequibo belongs to she
Can you imagine V audacity, we were 3 united counties
Berbice, Demerara, and WE Essequibo

United we were ready for V
Off V went to the United Nations, where V cried to everybody
That WE BG steal she resources and territory
The Geneva Agreement was signed to solve the controversy
The line drawn remained de same

1966 GUYANA the Free!
Berbice, Demerara, Essequibo
One People, One Nation, One Destiny

Four more years we fus Mashramani!
De 23rd of February 1970, fireworks bursting in de City
Baps! V with she jealousy!
Use this as a grand opportunity to fire pun we
Bang, Bang, BANG up in Eteringbang
Four days after, big apology
It was a mistake to shoot at we

Here comes de CARIBBEAN Family
The sisters attempt at peace once again
The Protocol of Port-of-Spain
No maps distorting G’s boundaries
No sovereignty claim of we Essequibo
No claim by G of V’s territory
Not a hair, blade, blue sackie or carass

Twelve years pass and not a word
Then V kick de Protocol to de curb
We sister Port-ah-Spain treaty cast aside
Thirty-six years pass and no resolution
V and G not talking to one another… again
De UN say ICJ you try a thing…
V jump in shouting no jurisdiction
Baps de World Court step in
Establishing ICJ power in de matter

Well, Granny has moved on from this plane
And I deh hey with the same refrain:
Yall know we is a peaceful people
Struggling we struggle and we don’t look fuh trouble
So we sitting hey waiting for de ICJ
Flags and voices raised
We ain’t giving up no mountain, we ain’t giving up no tree, we ain’t giving up no river,
ESSEQUIBO BELONG to WE!

 

 


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