About the Author
Dr. Odeen Ishmael, a veteran Guyanese diplomat, is currently the Ambassador of Guyana to the State of Kuwait. Before his current appointment in January 2011, he served for seven years as Ambassador to Venezuela and, before that, from 1993 to 2003 as his country’s Ambassador to the United States and concurrently in that period as Permanent Representative to the Organization of American States (OAS). He had the distinction of serving as Chairman of the Permanent Council of the OAS for two periods —in 1994 and 2003— the only diplomat from the Caribbean region to do so twice.
Up to 2003, he also represented Guyana at the United Nations and at other international forums such as the Organization of the Islamic Conference (OIC), and during 2003-2010 at forums of the Union of South American Nations (UNASUR) and the Latin America and Caribbean Economic System (SELA). He served as Chairman of SELA, headquartered in Venezuela, during 2009-2010.
In his early career, the author worked as a teacher for almost three decades both in Guyana and the Bahamas. Since the 1970s he has been a premier writer on the problems and perspectives of education in Guyana and the wider Caribbean region. He continues to write extensively on Guyanese history and culture and political developments in the Caribbean and Latin America. His writings on these subjects are published in newspapers and journals in Guyana, the wider Caribbean, North America and the Latin American region.
His published books include The Democracy Perspective in the Americas, Problems of the Transition of Education in the Third World, Towards Education Reform in Guyana, Amerindian Legends of Guyana and The Magic Pot: Nansi Stories from the Caribbean.
An Internet edition of his documentary history of the Guyana-Venezuela border controversy, The Trail of Diplomacy, was released in late 1998. Further, he has compiled a lengthy collection of original documents on the Guyana-Venezuela border issue under the title, Guyana’s Western Border, also published on the Internet which also carries an online edition of his history of Guyana, The Guyana Story. In addition, as editor of the online GNI Publications, he has published a series of documents on Guyanese history.
He is the editor of the book, Cheddi Jagan: My Struggle for Guyana’s Freedom, and has written the foreword to From Bondage to Deliverance: Indentured Labour in Mauritius and British Guiana, a book authored by the Indian historian, Dr. Saroja Sundararajan, and published in New Delhi in 2006.
For his work in diplomacy, the author received one of Guyana’s highest honors, the Cacique Crown of Honour, in May 1997. During his stint in the United States, he received the prestigious King Legacy Award for International Service from the International Committee to Commemorate the Life and Legacy of Martin Luther King, Jr. in January 2002. Significantly, the US Congress paid a special tribute to him by a joint resolution in October 2003 just before he completed his service in the United States.