Skip to main content

Adrienne Lawrence

Legal analyst, law professor & award-winning author

View Video Library
Share
Opinion

America should care for its own before saving Guyana

Dec 13, 2023

Share

Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro plans to annex and invade Guyana. Guyana has already appealed to the United States for defensive aid and support. Guyana’s request to Americans comes at a time when many Americans cannot afford healthcare, housing, and other basic living necessities, and as the United States continues to support Ukraine against a Russian invasion.

Straight Arrow News contributor Adrienne Lawrence says Americans are indoctrinated to see themselves as world saviors. But she reminds us that there are many urgent needs in our homeland and advocates for more domestic reforms before spending all of our resources on foreign conflicts.

While I am not at all opposed to standing up for someone who has been wronged or a friend in need of help, will there be a point when our nation stops trying to be the savior of other nations and simply start saving itself?

I don’t know about you, but I am tired of having our tax dollars spent on weapons, warheads and warriors devoted to disputes between other countries. Whether it’s Israel or Ukraine, it is utterly exhausting. We profess to be the land of the free, yet it constantly feels like we’re just the land of the fools, indoctrinated about our own greatness and convinced somehow that we must save the world all while our people’s worlds are falling apart.

According to Harvard University’s Joint Center for Housing Studies, last year the estimated average annual income needed to afford the average home rose by 20%, pricing out 2.4 million renters in the United States. Then again, many people don’t even consider owning a home in the United States when they can’t even buy food. An estimated 44.2 million Americans last year experienced food insecurity or lack of access to affordable nutritious diets. And that’s per the Food Research and Access Center.

Of course, folks simply can’t afford to live, it seems. But you know who can? The wealthy. Together, billionaires Jeff Bezos, Bill Gates, Warren Buffett–they hold worth more than the total wealth held by the poorest half of Americans.

Yet this year the Department of Defense was given one and a half trillion tax dollars to allocate to its six sub-components, while the American public can’t even get health care. We are among the top 10 nations that work the most hours, and we’re also the only nation in the top 10 without universal health care.

As though there haven’t been enough violent land grabs in recent years, there’s now one burgeoning in South America. The unpopular president of Venezuela, Nicolas Maduro, is leading an effort to annex a region of its neighboring nation. Yeah, Guyana. Maduro’s goal here is to distract from his wildly unpopular and undemocratic presidency all while robbing Guyana of its mineral-rich resources, particularly oil. And as you may have guessed, Guyana has already called upon the United States for help. They want to thwart this looming invasion by their neighbors. And although we are one continent away, this is as terrifying as it is exhausting. Because at the end of the day, should Venezuela attack Guyana, it will be the United States to the rescue.

 

In fact, last week, we initiated flight operations within Guyana as a show of force to Venezuela. While I am not at all opposed to standing up for someone who has been wronged or a friend in need of help, will there be a point when our nation stops trying to be the savior of other nations and simply start saving itself? I don’t know about you, but I am tired of having our tax dollars spent on weapons, warheads and warriors devoted to disputes between other countries. Whether it’s Israel or Ukraine, it is utterly exhausting. We profess to be the land of the free, yet it constantly feels like we’re just the land of the fools, indoctrinated about our own greatness and convinced somehow that we must save the world all while our people’s worlds are falling apart.

 

According to Harvard University’s Joint Center for Housing Studies, last year, the estimated average annual income needed to afford the average home rose by 20%, pricing out 2.4 million renters in the United States. Then again, many people don’t even consider owning a home in the United States when they can’t even buy food. An estimated 44.2 million Americans last year experienced food insecurity or lack of access to affordable nutritious diets. And that’s per the Food Research and Access Center. Of course, folks simply can’t afford to live, it seems. But you know who can? The wealthy. Together, billionaires Jeff Bezos, Bill Gates, Warren Buffett, they hold worth more than the total wealth held by the poorest half of Americans.

 

Yet this year, the Department of Defense was given one and a half trillion tax dollars to allocate to its six sub-components, while the American public can’t even get health care. We are among the top 10 nations that work the most hours, and we’re also the only nation in the top 10 without universal health care. Tied with Mexico for top two, for example, Costa Rica covers 100% of all of its citizens and permanent residents, medical procedures, appointments, hospital visits and prescription drugs. It only took South Korea some 12 years to achieve universal health care coverage. And according to Article 68 of the Polish Constitution, everyone has a right to have access to health care, and so on.

 

But of course, not in the land of the free and the home of the brave. Instead, we labor so our nation can flex and force its ideals on others. Speaking of flex and force, that brings us back to Venezuela and Guyana, where in the 1970s the United States wasn’t happy with Guyanese policies. So instead of minding our own business, we decided to suspend economic and food aid to Guyana, blocked World Bank loans, and sided with Venezuela over the same territorial dispute that’s at issue today. Yet today, our nation sides with Guyana over that territory, because it doesn’t like how Venezuela’s doing business.

 

From our ongoing housing crisis to unlivable wages, Americans are constantly toiling — but not for the betterment of the people, but for colonial imperialism, a flex that neither feeds nor shelters us. I’m guessing that if welcomed by wisdom, we wouldn’t be in this position. But here we are.

Video Library

Latest Commentary

We know it is important to hear from a diverse range of observers on the complex topics we face and believe our commentary partners will help you reach your own conclusions.

The commentaries published in this section are solely those of the contributors and do not reflect the views of Straight Arrow News.


Latest Opinions

In addition to the facts, we believe it’s vital to hear perspectives from all sides of the political spectrum. We hope these different voices will help you reach your own conclusions.

The opinions published in this section are solely those of the contributors and do not reflect the views of Straight Arrow News.

Weekly Voices

Left Opinion Right Opinion

Monday

Left Opinion Right Opinion

Tuesday

Left Opinion Right Opinion

Wednesday

Left Opinion Right Opinion

Thursday

Left Opinion Right Opinion

Friday

Left Opinion Right Opinion