Pompeo to make questionable visit to Guyana
Bert Wilkinson | 9/17/2020, midnight
Guyana’s government has confirmed the impending visit of American Secretary of State Mike Pompeo to the Caribbean Community nation this week fueling widespread speculation that the visit is linked to protracted efforts by Washington to use the country as some kind of an operating base to deal with neighboring Venezuela.
Foreign Minister spokeswoman Audrey Waddell confirmed Pompeo’s visit for Sept. 17-18.
“We are indeed preparing for a visit sometime this week. You might have seen correspondence to that effect, but yes we are preparing for him,” she said as a plethora of organizations and critics have railed against the visit, calling Pompeo’s intentions sinister.
Pompeo had been very involved in Guyana’s recently concluded and greatly disputed general elections, as he had several times publicly displayed Washington’s preference for the Indo-dominate People’s Progressive Party, which appears to have mended its decades of poor relations with Washington in recent months. The result is that the U.S., Britain, Canada and the European Union all lined up behind the PPP’s campaign, demanding that former president David Granger stepped aside making way for the PPP. The PPP was eventually declared the winner of the general elections, five months after the Guyanese voted in the polls and after a series of court challenges and a 33 day recount of ballots.
Granger’s coalition had publicly said that the U.S. had favored the governing People’s Progressive Party more than the coalition because it turned down a request from the Trump administration to have a stepped up American military presence in Guyana as well as rejected a request for the Voice of America to establish a radio station in Guyana’s northwestern region to broadcast propaganda messages to neighboring Venezuela.
“The truth of the matter is that we always felt that there were other geopolitical interests involving the Americans and Guyana and the current government. We will see what is the outcome of this visit. We hope that the interest of Guyana is placed first and not that of another country,” said opposition spokesman Aubrey Norton.
As an indication of how highly suspicious the visit is being seen, the usually moribund Guyana Human Rights Association has come out swinging against the visit, demanding that Pompeo and local authorities make the agenda of the visit clear to Guyanese and reminding all and sundry that Guyana cannot afford to be entangled in Cold War type hemispheric geo politics with decades of Venezuelan military hostility against Guyana and its claims to two-thirds of the territory.
“Any attempt to entangle Guyana in other political initiatives which undermine Guyana’s position on the border dispute must not be entertained under any circumstances. Aligning Guyana with those seeking regime change not only threatens Guyana’s legal negotiations over the border but it would also be politically absurd, since the current U.S. candidate to replace the incumbent President of Venezuela is among the leaders of those supporting the illegal claim on Guyana’s territory,” the normally reclusive association said in a statement. “The inclusion of Guyana’s name in the State Department list of countries supposedly calling for democratic change therefore poses serious problems,” the rights group noted.
Both Pompeo and his assistant, Mike Kozak, had been congratulating Guyana for its anti-Maduro stance in recent weeks with Kozak tweeting that it was “great to see Guyana adds its voice for the call to restore democracy in Venezuela. The U.S. encourages all democratic countries to commit to helping the Venezuelan people achieve a peaceful, prosperous and democratic future.”
And at the behest of the U.S., Guyana has also been openly supporting Mauricio Claver-Carone to become the head of the Inter American Development Bank while other neighboring Caribbean states have shied away, calling him an American puppet candidate. The candidate is known to be extremely in favor of regime change in Venezuela.