Sep 19, 2020 News
The United States Secretary of State, Mike Pompeo said that an immediate end must come to the “illegitimate” regime of Venezuelan President, Nicolás Maduro, during a joint press conference with President Irfaan Ali at State House yesterday.
It was during that historical engagement in which Pompeo reminded attendees of the importance of democracy and respecting the will of the people— something the Guyanese and the international community fought arduously for after it was unearthed that the previous regime, the APNU+AFC, had attempted to rig the March 2020 elections. However, that same respecting of the people’s will cannot be said for Guyana’s neighbour to the west, after Maduro was sworn in for his second six-term year under illegitimate and undemocratic terms.
His succession to the presidency was met with widespread condemnation. In fact, minutes after he took the oath, the Organization of American States (OAS) had approved a resolution declaring his presidency illegitimate and had called for new elections. The National Assembly invoked a state of emergency and some nations removed their embassies from Venezuela, with Colombia and the United States saying Maduro was converting Venezuela into a de facto dictatorship.
As of March 2019, over 50 countries, the OAS, and the Lima Group did not recognize Maduro as the legitimate president of Venezuela. Pompeo indicated that during his visit, discussions were conducted with President Ali about the need for democracy in Guyana’s neighbour to the west and bringing an end to the Maduro regime – “the man who’s denying that very democracy that the Guyanese people so love, denying that democracy for the people of Venezuela.”
The US Secretary of State maintained that his visit to Guyana was to congratulate the Guyanese people on the enormous success they had in holding a democratic election and a peaceful transition to power, as he added that it was “quite remarkable to watch.”
“And of course, too,” he said, “we want this for the people of Venezuela as well. We want them to have the very same chance to have a free, fair election, for the rule of law, for democracy, and for human rights in Venezuela. We watch people fleeing – fleeing into Guyana, fleeing into Colombia, fleeing into Peru, Ecuador, people having to flee from Maduro and his brutal regime. We very much want that to change. We want them to have the same opportunities that the people of Guyana have.”
Under Maduro’s regime, hundreds of thousands of Venezuelans have fled the country, with millions more still suffering in their homeland. Thousands of refugees have migrated to Guyana in search of a better life. With the aim of supporting Guyana’s humanitarian efforts towards the Venezuelan refugees, the US has pledged US$5M towards them.
“I’m confident, Mr. President, we’ll keep working together and we’ll do great things alongside each other. I’m grateful to see that you share this view on the importance of our relationship,” Pompeo said.
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