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GUYANA | US Secretary of State Pompeo for two-day Guyana visit

Featured US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo
MONTEGO BAY,  September 14, 2020 - Following his many threats to sanction those whom he feels were tampering with Guyana’s democracy due to the delay in the election results because of court challenges, US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo is expected to visit Guyana on the 17th and 18th September.

A  US Air Force C-17 military transport aircraft landed at the Cheddi Jagan International Airport (CJIA) on Sunday afternoon, with an advance party of more than two dozen persons in preparation for Pompeo’s visit.

While in Guyana, Pompeo, the highest-ranking United States official to visit that CARICOM country in more than three decades, is expected to hold talks with President Irfaan Ali, Foreign Minister Hugh Todd and the CARICOM Secretary-General, Irwin LaRoque.

He is also expected to sign a number of agreements with President Irfaan Ali.

Pompeo’s visit is coming at a time when the US Government is trying to whip up support in the region in its quest to oust Venezuelan President Nicholas Maduro.

Despite the US Government’s decision not to recognise the Maduro Presidency and the announcement of a wanted bulletin for him along with the issuance of several sanctions, Maduro still sits comfortably as the Venezuelan President enjoying the support of a number of Latin American and other world leaders.

The Government of Guyana in April turned down a request from the US Government to relay the Voice of America (VOA) radio broadcasts to Venezuela.

Former President David Granger in a comment to the media at the time, said the request was refused so as not to further destabilise relations between the two neighbours.

There have been speculations that the US is seeking to set up a base in Guyana to attack neighbouring Venezuela.

The Guyana Human Rights Association (GHRA) has called on the Irfaan Ali-led administration to state what would be the non-negotiables concerning Venezuela in the context of that country’s decades-long claim to the Essequibo Region.

The GHRA has cautioned that the US’ preferred successor to Nicolas Maduro is hostile towards Guyana on the territorial claim of the Essequibo Region and all of the oil-rich Atlantic sea.

The Association said the timing was “ominous” given general elections scheduled for November in the U.S. and the parliamentary elections scheduled for December in Venezuela.

“Rumours of an ‘October surprise’ in the form of pressure on Venezuela prior to elections in both the US and Venezuela have been intensifying for some time. Economic and military pressure along with covert operations and disinformation campaigns have been reported, involving Colombian and Brazilian military. Some form of invasion or uprising has not been ruled out, supposedly timed to impact on the US elections in a manner beneficial to President Trump,” the GHRA noted.

Caracas has been grappling with an intensification of military and economic attacks from Washington.

The GHRA said Guyana was wrongly included in a State Department list of countries in August supposedly calling for ‘regime change’ despite no statement being made by the Guyanese government on the matter to justify inclusion on the list.

“Guyana has also continued to resist efforts in recent years to be included in the many multi-national initiatives aimed at regime change in Venezuela.”

It added: “Self-determination of Guyana as a State is a matter of fundamental human rights, as indeed, is that of Venezuela.”

“The Government of Guyana ought to make public, well in advance of the visit, what are the non-negotiable elements with respect to Venezuela,” GHRA warned.

Back in April the US had deployed warships to the Caribbean to stop illegal drugs.  “We must not let the drug cartels exploit the [coronavirus] pandemic to threaten American lives,” President Donald Trump had said.

The move had come a week after the US charged Venezuelan President Nicolás Maduro and other senior officials in the country with “narco-terrorism”.

It accused them of flooding the US with cocaine and using drugs as a weapon to undermine the health of Americans.

A $15m (£12.5m) reward was offered for information leading to Mr Maduro’s arrest.

The Venezuelan government called the US deployment a “diversion” from the current pandemic spreading around the US – and the world at large.

The US Secretary of State and his Assistant were among the loudest voices pressuring  president Granger and his APNU+AFC coalition to resign in the wake of the stalled election results due to the various court challenges to include the Caribbean Court of Justice CCJ.

Although Pompeo announced sanctions, it appears as though no sanctions were actually issued.

In a visit earlier this year to Jamaica, Pompeo ruffled the feathers of a number of CARICOM leaders after he did not extend an invitation to many of the regional leaders to be part of the meetings in Jamaica.

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