Guyana Elections: US Congress leaders assure free; fair elections in Guyana

Elected officials, from left, Congressman Gregory Meeks, Dr. Una Clarke, Congresswoman Yvette D. Clarke, Senator Roxanne Persaud, Consul General Barbara Atherly, Shirley Paul, Chinua Duke, and James Richmond, after a community briefing on a congressional visit to Guyana at the Goshen Temple SDA Church Hall, Brooklyn. (Photo by Tangerine Clarke)
BY TANGERINE CLARKE -Caribbean Life News – February 13, 2020 / News

U. S. Congress leaders Yvette D. Clarke and Gregory Meeks, during a comprehensive briefing on Feb. 9 assured Guyanese in Brooklyn that their trip to Guyana was successful, and all concerned in the South American country agreed that the March 2 general and regional elections would be free, fair and without violence.           

The politicians told diasporans at Goshen Temple SDA on Church Avenue, that they met with President David Granger, Opposition Leader Bharrat Jagdeo, civil society, the United States Peace Corps, the Guyana Elections Commission, (GECOM), petroleum companies, the Guyana Chamber of Commerce, and the Carter Center, in one day, and emphasized that the open, honest dialogue with President Granger, assured that the constitution was adhere to, after the “No Confidence” motion.

Clarke, who represents the 9th Congressional District in Brooklyn with a large Guyanese population, said President Granger does not believe there would be any violence, and assured the bad days before Independence would not return.

She dissuaded nationals from sharing age-old circumstances with the new generation of Guyanese and instead share skills that would prepare citizens for Guyana’s development.

“One million barrels of oil were shipped to Houston, Texas, Guyana is now an oil-producing nation, this is where you can can be influential by engaging NGOs, to educate citizens on how not to sell themselves short. Working with civil society, to create entrepreneurial opportunity, to improve infrastructure. Nation building should be a greater cause for Guyanese,” she insisted.

While comparing Guyana’s oil wealth to that of Abu Dhabi, she called on expatriates to find ways for peaceful co-existence after elections.

Meeks who represents the 5th Congressional District in Queens with many Guyanese, and served 21 years in Congress, stressed, “President Granger did everything according to the constitution, and didn’t break any laws. All concerned, including the Carter Center confirmed such.”

Meeks said that Chair of GECOM, Justice Claudette Singh predicted that the party that looses, would ask for a recount, and would have such, without hampering the smooth transition of power, within three-days.

He also dismissed claims that the U.S. government accused the APNU+AFC Coalition of breaching the constitution, but when pressed, said he was speaking only from when he was on the ground in Guyana, and assured that the U.S., EU, and OAS, are playing their part to ensure free and fair elections.

Meeks said he drafted a letter addressed to the USAID, to encourage the body to grasp the golden opportunity in Guyana by sharing technical skills to help Guyanese benefit from the country’s development.

He praised Clarke as a tremendous force in Washington DC, and said, going to Guyana was unique, since she is an expert on the committee of commerce and energy, adding that oil in Guyana could be a blessing or a course, noting elections are important to the government and people, so everyone benefits.

He said Norway’s sovereign wealth fund benefits its people, and warned against situations in Nigeria and Venezuela, that have seen infighting. The diaspora is important to Guyana’s development, he insisted.

The briefing, attended by Guyanese politician, Senator Roxanne Persaud, and Consul General of Guyana to New York, Barbara Atherly who called for unity among Guyanese, and contributions to the homeland, also applauded the U.S. politicians for taking the time to brief Guyanese, noting this was the first of its kind after a visit to the Republic.

The politicians thanked James Richmond, community activist, who helped to plan the briefing, District Leader Sherif Barker, and others, for attending the briefing, and express their hope for a peaceful election, and an opportunity to return for the inauguration of the new government.

The Congress leaders addressed questions from peacekeeping, to America’s role in the electoral process, to Venezuelan immigrants in Guyana, by Guyanese, many who plan to travel to Guyana for the March 2 polls.

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  • kayume baksh  On 02/15/2020 at 12:53 pm

    It’s not encouraging enough to see all or most people in any picture about politics in Guyana belonging to one race. Yes, race matters and has always mattered to date. It’s the same kind of picture that APNU always projects in the media. We badly need to mix it up if we’re to change the Guyanese mindset.

    • Trevor  On 02/15/2020 at 8:04 pm

      They are underrepresented in US Congress.

      They have nothing to do with APNU. They came here as US diplomatic envoys to check on the elections.

      The racist accusations are coming from Jagdeo speaking with the wannabe Saudis inside the rum shops of the University of Uitvlugt campus.

      • Yvonne-K  On 02/16/2020 at 9:32 am

        Exactly Trevor. Baksh is the one that only saw race and not the reality of the U.S. Congress.

      • Kayume Baksh  On 02/16/2020 at 10:14 am

        The delegation should also know what Guyanese are sensitive to and not just impose themselves. Surely, Afro-Americans are not the only ones under-represented in Congress – other races are, too. APNU has been consistently more guilty than the PPP of portraying mostly (95%-plus) Afro-Guyanese in photo-ops. The PPP is not without guilt also. A complete change of mindset is needed or else we will continue to fail.

      • Trevor  On 02/16/2020 at 11:12 am

        First, it’s this topic, and then I went down the rabbit hole and I have confirmed my suspicions all along as to how African-Americans and Black remigrant Guyanese are being treated as either deportees, refugees or APNU agents by the opposition.

        Guyana will never develop with this racial thinking and xenophobic way of thinking.

        If Exxon, an American company, didn’t find oil, most Guyanese who are unfriendly towards African-Americans, Haitians, Venezuelans and remigrant Guyanese would already be packing themselves in suitcases to enter America illegally.

  • Linda  On 02/15/2020 at 2:46 pm

    Sad to say that the PPP project their East Indian race as well. It’s the people of all races who need to change their mindset at the polls and don’t allow the politicians to manipulate and influence their votes.

  • Kayume Baksh  On 02/16/2020 at 10:20 am

    Yvonne-K, you seem to be quite biased, as it obviously shows: why is he ‘Trevor’ (first name) but I’m Baksh (last name)? Come on, you’re a better Guyanese than you’re making out to be.

    • Yvonne-K  On 02/16/2020 at 4:51 pm

      Baksh…..for you to nit pick at something so trivial shows how small minded you are. I had no such thought in my head. Trevor is always just Trevor. I don’t recall you posting before. Grow up!!!

      • Kayume Baksh  On 02/16/2020 at 7:28 pm

        We’re talking about bias here. Don’t run away from the topic. Meanwhile, GROW UP.

  • Trevor  On 02/16/2020 at 11:25 am

    This is so disheartening. Assuming that US Congress members are APNU agents. What next? Are they refugees coming to “rig the elections”?

    A group of US congressmen and congresswomen came here at their own expense to monitor the democracy of Guyana, and what they get in return is accusations that they are APNU agents. This label has also been used on Haitians and Venezuelans.

    What disturbs me is that America and the American Diaspora have done a lot to contribute to Guyana, yet a growing number of PPP supporters are hating on Black remigrant Guyanese and African-Americans when they come to Guyana. The hatred is as minimal as discrimination to acts of racist violence.

    The moderators should now understand why I used to post the hypothesis that a certain demographic of Guyanese aspire to become the new House of Saud and become insular, racist and hateful.

  • Trevor  On 02/16/2020 at 11:49 am

    Yvonne, the racial tactic is what Jagdeo and his PPP agents use to stoke animosity towards Afro-Guyanese, especially remigrant Guyanese.

    Can you believe that remigrant Guyanese are returning to Guyana to invest in hundreds of thousands of American dollars, only to be treated as deportees and refugees by Bharrat Jagdeo’s supporters wearing slippers and drinking rum inside the rum shops?

    It offends me that the US congresspeople are being labelled with the same bigotry that the Haitians used to get.

  • Trevor  On 02/16/2020 at 11:52 am

    The delegation should also know what Guyanese are sensitive to and not just impose themselves. Surely, Afro-Americans are not the only ones under-represented in Congress – other races are, too.

    Oh yes, the Polish nationalist violently assaulting an Arabian or African couple in Warsaw has the same viewpoints as you do.

    Why are the PPP emulating the white nationalism from Poland?

    Why show disdain for the Guyanese disapora who have become elected officials in the best economy of the world (America)?

    The same people who show disdain and animosity towards the African-American and Guyanese remigrants are the ones who vote PPP, walk barefoot or with slippers in public, drink rum, and constantly dream of becoming a Saudi Arabian dictator. Shame! I can see past your racial motivations.

    • Kayume Baksh  On 02/16/2020 at 2:09 pm

      Trevor, you’ve assumed too much and gone off on too many tangents. Putting the tangential pieces together will form a jumbled picture, not a cohesive one, of what you’re trying to say. Started as a simple point: a photo with 100% Afro-American representation assuring free and fair elections in a race-sensitive Guyana. This much we know; we’ll have to assume anything else. Deductions anyone? I’ve already pointed out that Guyanese need to change their racial mindset, not just APNU or the PPP.

      • Trevor  On 02/16/2020 at 3:08 pm

        You (and the PPP members on Facebook) have come up with a conspiracy that these ELECTED officials from the UNITED STATES OF AMERICA are somehow responsible for the racial issues in GUYANA.

        There is a racial argument in your posts based on a photo-op of elected American officials. The PPP on Facebook have started to spread conspiracy theories regarding race and the APNU.

        It’s because they are “Black”, that they are viewed with animosity, scapegoating and accused of being part of the APNU.

        Remigrant Guyanese and African-Americans have been treated as deportees and refugees for remigrating to Guyana with hundreds of thousands of Yankee dollars. The PPP supporters don’t like Blacks regardless if they have money to spend or not.

        Who does the slipper wearing rum-drinker think he is to show hate towards educated African-Americans?

      • Kayume Baksh  On 02/16/2020 at 7:24 pm

        Check my reply to your previous post.

  • Trevor  On 02/16/2020 at 3:02 pm

    Started as a simple point: a photo with 100% Afro-American representation assuring free and fair elections in a race-sensitive Guyana.

    They are elected officials in America, and what does Guyanese racial issues have to do with that? The PPP wouldn’t have a problem if they were of the Caucasoid or Asiatic races, but because the elected officials somehow are categorised as the “other”, like the Haitians, Afro-Guyanese remigrants and the African-Americans, somewhat this is an APNU conspiracy.

    • Kayume Baksh  On 02/16/2020 at 7:21 pm

      You’re too much… all over the map. No point wasting time to reply.

      • Trevor  On 02/16/2020 at 9:18 pm

        Typical gas lighting. You’re the one who had an issue with a photo of Afro-Guyanese American congressmen coming to Guyana.

  • Yvonne-K  On 02/16/2020 at 10:05 pm

    Baksh that is your opinion and obviously you don’t know the meaning of bias. Just because I named someone by their first name and you by your surname does not make a person bias. I don’t have to agree with your perspective nor does anyone else. You’re obviously looking for something racial in your comment. I have no time with that. As the Brits say…”Do One”!!!

  • Kman  On 02/23/2020 at 12:01 am

    The yanks should worry about their own elections and stop butting in to Guyana’s affairs, they have done tremendous harm in the past, some of which are relevant today.

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