Kaieteur News – The United States Embassy in Guyana probably knows more about crime and corruption in Guyana than the country’s governments. They probably also know just as much or even more than the country’s intelligence services.
It is not unusual for a country’s intelligence services to withhold information from government. These agencies do not reveal all that they know; this happens not only in Guyana but throughout the world. As such, even of the local intelligence may know certain things this would not necessarily be transmitted to government.
Intelligence agencies also have their political biases. During the funeral tributes to the late Roger Luncheon, the public was told that the intelligence agencies often withheld or misdirected the government. It must also be recalled that during the post 1997 elections protest, the Opposition seemed to have access to state intelligence.
Burnham once released a Head of the Guyana Defence Force because of the military’s failure to know about the fire-bombing of the Ministry of National Mobilization, an act which the PNC pinned on the Working People’s Alliance. Three of the leaders of the WPA, Dr. Water Rodney, Dr. Rupert Roopnarine and Dr. Omawale were charged for that offense.
During the investigation into the visa scandal involving a consular officer at the Embassy Thomas Carroll, the US gathered critical information about some of the players involved.
WIKILEAKS has provided an insight into the line of questioning to which Carroll was subjected to. During the interrogations of Carroll, he was asked repeatedly about an obese Guyanese-born expatriate businessman who is very close with the PPP/C government and who is suspected to be fronting for powerful figures within the PPP/C. The US government is likely still keeping a close eye on this person because of his strong links to government officials.
Burnham found out about some of the spies in his government. But he was smart enough to send some of them away on duties where they no longer could infiltrate his government.
WIKILEAKS has provided information about some of the local “snitches” who voluntarily provide information to the US embassy. The US has numerous sources of information and a bevy of informants who relay sensitive information. It is also quite possible, as in other countries, that the US has its own agents within the government.
But the US does not simply accept information at face value. Instead, it verifies and cross-references the data through their own investigations and often enlists the assistance of local corroborators in Guyana.
The US knows when to strike. It is likely also that the United States was involved in having the Vice News team come to Guyana to investigate the connection between Chinese businessmen and government officials. Despite the change in political administration in the United States, the US government is interested in containing Chinese economic expansionism in the world.
This is why soon after the 2020 elections the US Secretary of State came to Guyana. He came here to signal US expectations about the government’s relations with China. The US is seeking to pull Guyana away from relations with China but it is offering only access to loans and private investment and nothing in the form of grants or official development aid.
The US has also come out early with a statement condemning the recent missive of Venezuela in relation to the oil blocks auction. ExxonMobil is a US company operating in Guyana and the US is therefore early out the blocks in defending, not Guyana, but the interests of its oil company that is operating in the Stabroek block.
Despite this strong economic interest, the US is not likely to overlook the issue of corruption and other illegal activities which may involve the government. The US also has a number of other companies operating in the local oil and gas sector and it will want to see a level playing field. As such, it has already signaled that it wants to see greater transparency within the sector.
Last November, the outgoing US Ambassador to Guyana, during an interview at the Wilson Center in Washington, said that the potential for corruption was a major challenge for Guyana as it navigates it oil wealth. She also stressed that the US government will work with the government in strengthening accountability and transparency.
The US therefore is likely to be keeping a sharp eye on the government and its dealings. The US is not interested in dirtying money and drugs going into its country. But it will also be observing whether dirty money from the United States is being invested in Guyana. But is also wants to ensure that local corruption, including within government, does not place its companies at a disadvantage in doing business in Guyana.
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