A September 11, 2020 correspondence between the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and the Guyana Defence Force has made its way into the public and it indicates that the United States Secretary of State, Mike Pompeo, will visit Guyana between Thursday, September 17 to Friday, September 18, 2020.
He will be the highest, serving ranking US official to visit Guyana.
A meeting with President Irfaan Ali is likely, though it is unclear what the purpose of the Secretary’s visit is.
Notably, however, former President David Granger revealed in July that the APNU+AFC government had turned down a request from the US Government to relay broadcasts from Voice of America (VOA) to Venezuela, out of concern that it would destabilize relations between the two countries.
The US has laid sanctions against Venezuela, and is currently working to unseat President Nicolas Maduro, which it styles a dictator, in favour of Juan Guaido, the country’s main opposition leader, whom it recognizes as the rightful President.
Pompeo is expected to be greeted by a grateful Irfaan Ali administration for the part which the US played in protecting Guyana’s democracy during the painful five-month 2020 electoral process, the results of which was held up after the incumbent Coalition of the A Partnership for National Unity + Alliance For Change (APNU+AFC) challenged the results. A recount verified that the People’s Progressive Party/Civic, which lost power in 2015, had won.
Pompeo had paid keen attention to the electoral process, several times releasing statements nudging Guyana to maintain the highest democratic principles.
This culminated in personal sanctions against former government officials and allies who were undermining Guyana’s democracy when attempts at election rigging had gone on for too long.
Shortly after its installment, the new Government backed a US-led international call for the establishment of a transition government in Venezuela for the conduction of free and fair elections. When it did, Guyana received commendation from Pompeo himself when Pompeo tweeted mid-August “Great to see Guyana adds its voice for the call to restore democracy in Venezuela.”
Additionally, the Ali administration has supported the US in its bid for the Presidency of the Inter-American Development Bank (IDB).
Government had thrown its weight behind the US nominee, Mauricio Claver-Carone
“The nomination of Mr. Mauricio Claver-Carone demonstrates the United States’ commitment to leadership in important regional institutions,” Government had said, “and the advancing of prosperity and security in the Western Hemisphere. His leadership of the IDB is expected to strengthen its ability to deliver development impact to the region.”
Vice President Bharrat Jagdeo attended the IDB Special Meeting of the Board of Governors yesterday, during which the Claver-Carone was elected.
The visit of Pompeo would also come when at a time when the Government of Guyana is in talks with the US-owned ExxonMobil over a contentious application for a third phase of offshore development called Payara.
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