US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo, to visit Guyana this week

  Sep 13, 2020 Kaieteur News

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.

US Secretary of State, Mike Pompeo

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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Comments

  • kamtanblog  On September 13, 2020 at 6:12 am

    USA (CIA) meddling in Guyana affairs !

    Also it’s neighbours !
    Ven
    Braz

    Says simple Simon

  • brandli62  On September 13, 2020 at 7:55 am

    Here my take on his motivations:
    Mike Pompeo is probably looking for a save place where Donald Trump can go into exile after loosing the elections this coming November. As we all know, Trump is facing criminal investigations for serial fraud, tax evasion, sexual assaults, money laundering, and corruption.

    • brandli62  On September 13, 2020 at 10:58 am

      On the serious side: My advice to the Guyanese government is to be friendly but non-committal to the US guest. It is likely that the Trump administration will not longer be in power after January 20, 2021. You do not want to align yourself with an outgoing administration that has antagonized so many allies over the last years its was in power.

      Finally, it was also not very wise by the new government to support regime change in Venezuela in light that you are seeking a solution of the border dispute with the same country at the International Court of Justice in Den Hague. The previous government appears to have been much smarter on this issue. Hard to understand that a veteran politician like Bharrat Jagdeo would make such a cardinal mistake.

    • Kman  On September 13, 2020 at 11:15 am

      Nice deduction, but trumpee can get citizenship in Israel, Saudi Arabia, North Korea, or heck even China!

  • Yvonne-K  On September 13, 2020 at 8:35 am

    I cannot wait to read about the end result of Pompeo’s visit.

  • Lall Hardeen  On September 13, 2020 at 10:15 am

    I am not surprised. Venezuela and a badly polling incumbent President of the US makes it even more imperative that the US gets its way with Venezuela.
    In addition, many Congress persons may have invested in ExxonMobil therefore the necessity to get a finalized deal in terms of the sharing agreement with Guyana. This may be the new version of Colonialism as far as the West is concerned. Buckle up Guyana, here comes the US government squeezing Guyana for some more dividends for the ExxonMobil shareholders.

  • Kman  On September 13, 2020 at 11:17 am

    He is going there to cement the spying on Venezuela. Guyana should stay put as she has her own internal problems.

    • brandli62  On September 14, 2020 at 1:35 pm

      If the US were to spy on Venezuela, wouldn’t they choose Trinidad, Aruba or Curacao instead of Guyana, as these island are located just off the coast of Venezuela?

      • William  On September 15, 2020 at 1:12 am

        Might be interested in putting another air base in Guyana. The Chinese are already making large investments in South America, Latin America and the Caribbean.

      • kamtanblog  On September 15, 2020 at 2:40 am

        Offensive or defensive ?
        Wars are fought with robots and drones !
        1.9b Chinese robots v
        350.000 USA ones !

        WW3 will be economic not military.

        Suggestion
        Why not use ageing populations for future wars … “age culling war “…!

        Worlds population is on decline with ageing (getting old) a concern.
        WW2 reduced “male” population by millions.
        Abortions also. Next ?

        Female war !

        Come on get real !

        Please !

        Kamtan

  • guyaneseonline  On September 13, 2020 at 2:04 pm

    Gov’t urged to disclose Venezuela position ahead of US Secretary of State’s visit
    Michael Pompeo

    .
    By Stabroek News September 13, 2020

    With preparations underway to facilitate a state visit by the United States’ Secretary of State Michael Pompeo to Guyana this week, the Irfaan Ali administration has been urged to make its position known on non-negotiable elements with respect to Venezuela.

    Sunday Stabroek has learnt from well-placed sources that Pompeo is expected to be in Guyana from September 17 to September 18. He would be the highest-ranked US government official to visit Guyana in decades.

    Permanent Secretary of the Foreign Ministry Ambassador Audrey Waddell yesterday confirmed that a visit is expected but indicated that details as to the purpose of the visit are not yet available. “The government will issue a press statement when the information is available,” Waddell said.

    A spokesperson for the US Embassy in Guyana also indicated that “there is no announcement” in relation to the visit.

    Minister of Parliamentary Affairs and Govenance Gail Teixeira, however, described the scheduled visit as “important and significant.”

    “Especially in light of what has happened over the five months and the US government’s support to Guyana during that time this visit is important,” the minister stressed while explaining that she was unaware of whether it was a trip to the Caribbean and Latin America region or to Guyana alone.

    The last time Pompeo visited the Caribbean region – in January – he ran afoul of then Chair of the Caribbean Community (CARICOM) Mia Mottley for failing to engage with all of CARICOM.

    “As Chairman of CARICOM, it is impossible for me to agree that my Foreign Minister should attend a meeting to which members of CARICOM are not invited,” Mottley said at the time while suggesting that it would be an attempt at divide and rule among CARICOM countries “if some are invited and not all”.

    Over the last month, Pompeo has been touring the world in what the Associated Press has described as an attempt to burnish the foreign policy credentials of President Donald Trump ahead of November’s presidential election.

    He was most recently in Qatar, where the negotiating teams of the Taliban and the Afghan government have begun hammering out a road map for a post-war Afghanistan. These negotiations follow a peace deal the United Sates and the Taliban signed in February in Qatar’s capital of Doha.

    In this region, the US government has been trying to drum up support against the Venezuelan government led by Nicholas Maduro.

    Ahead of planned parliamentary elections in that country, Pompeo announced sanctions against four individuals he claimed were conspiring against free and fair elections. These include Indira Alfonso and Jose Gutierrez, who were appointed earlier this year by the pro-government Supreme Court to oversee the national electoral council, which has called elections for this December.

    Pompeo had also been very vocal during the five-month long delay in the finalisation of Guyana’s general and regional elections process. His voice was one of the loudest calling for the APNU+AFC coalition to concede and allow for the Irfaan Ali to be sworn in as president.

    Ali was sworn in on August 2 and two weeks after the United States’ Assistant Secretary of State Michael Kozak publicly thanked this country for supporting a Lima Group statement which, among other things, reiterated a firm commitment to Venezuela’s Juan Guaidó, who was referred to as interim president, and rejected “the illegitimate regime’s announcement it would hold parliamentary elections without the minimum guarantees and without the participation of all political forces.”

    “Great to see Guyana adds its voice for the call to restore democracy in Venezuela. The US encourages all democratic countries to commit to helping the Venezuelan people achieve a peaceful, prosperous and democratic future,” Kozak had Tweeted.

    Guyana, however, is not listed as one of the countries which signed the joint statement that was issued and no member of the Guyana government has acknowledged its contents.

    This action has been seen by some as an attempt by the US government to steer Guyana’s foreign policy position on Venezuela.

    ‘Non negotiables’

    A statement issued by the Guyana Human Rights Association (GHRA) yesterday urged government “to make public, well in advance of the visit, what are the non-negotiable elements with respect to Venezuela” and “avoid any recklessness devised to interfere with electoral matters.”

    Reminding that Guyana, in the context of the border controversy with Venezue-la, has studiously avoided making any statement or taking any position on the domestic political situation in Venezuela, the GHRA stressed that “any attempt to entangle Guyana in other political initiatives which undermine Guy-ana’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 US candidate to replace the incumbent President of Venezuela is among the leaders of those supporting the illegal claim on Guyana’s territory,” it said, while adding that Guyana has also continued to resist efforts in recent years to be included in the many multi-national initiatives aimed at regime change in Venezuela.

    All-party unity on the Venezuelan issue has been a feature of Guyanese politics over many administrations, the GHRA reminded.

    “This tradition survived recent inter-party tensions with the new administration retaining the services of several senior members of the previous administration in the Ministry of Foreign Affairs responsible for negotiation on the border issue… the inclusion of Guyana’s name in the State Department list of countries supposedly calling for democratic change [therefore] poses serious problems,” it noted.

    The GHRA further noted that there is an expectation in the international community that the Trump administration will attempt an “October surprise” ahead of the November elections.

    The October surprise in American politics is a news event deliberately created or timed to influence the outcome of US presidential elections.

    The GHRA explained that economic and military pressure along with covert operations and disinformation campaigns in Vene-zuela have been reported, involving Colombian and Brazilian military.

    Some form of invasion or uprising has not been ruled out, it said, before reminding that self-determination of Guyana as a State is a matter of fundamental human rights, as indeed, is that of Venezuela.

  • Lall Hardeen  On September 13, 2020 at 6:44 pm

    Any one of the US Presidents can probably live where they choose as in anywhere in the world. My thoughts are with the folks that are in the line of fire in Guyana in terms of making the decisions on the “sharing agreements”. I hope that they consider the long and short term effects that it will affect the Guyanese dispora as a whole and weigh the cost / benefits to the southern hemisphere, now that a Cuban American is the head of the “South American Development Bank” and its programs. Guyanese beware of those that come bearing gifts.

  • Clyde Duncan  On September 13, 2020 at 8:45 pm

    MY DAY – March 22, 1944

    Author: Roosevelt, Eleanor, 1884-1962

    CARACAS, Venezuela, Tuesday — We arrived at Atkinson Field, British Guiana Saturday morning, in time to be greeted by the Governor, Sir Charles Leatham. With Colonel Alan, the commanding officer of the field, he accompanied us to a movie theater where some of our men had assembled. After talking to the men for a few moments, we went back to the officers’ mess for luncheon and the governor bade us goodbye, leaving Colonel Hooker, a very delightful Scotchman, to represent him.

    The governor said he had a commission in Georgetown visiting him from Great Britain, which was taking testimony on the local education situation. Just before meeting us he had had a parliamentary committee, so he was being kept very busy. I gathered that these committees were like some of our own which go to investigate conditions and are a little trying to residents of faraway places sometimes, because committee members have to be told all the things which the people who are on the spot have taken months to learn. Decisions which have been arrived at by people who have perhaps lived for years in that locality are often misunderstood because visitors have less experience and background on local situations.

    We had a very pleasant lunch with the officers on the field, and then went back to talk to another group that had come into the movie theater from other parts of the field. In anticipation of bombings from the air, the camps are widely scattered and well camouflaged, which was a wise precaution but which does make gathering at any one place a little difficult.

    We drove around the base, stopping at the hospital which had very few patients who were all on the road to recovery. It was rather interesting to see two Brazilians whom Major Art Williams had brought in by air from far outlying ranches on the border between British Guiana and Brazil. They were extremely grateful for the care they had received, and it had a great effect upon the feeling of friendliness which these men in isolated places now have for Americans.
    For two hours in the afternoon, Major Art Williams, a friend of ours who is a character and has lived in this country for 10 years, showed us interesting places in the interior. He was a flier during World War I, and he knows every mountain and stream.

    Around Georgetown and all along the coast, British Guiana is low — practically under water. Rice and sugar grow and there is a certain amount of gardening on drier spots. But the jungle is thick as you get further back, and you see both up-to-date and very primitive gold and diamond mining in occasional clearings, and then high mountains loom before you.

    The rivers are filled with rapids. We hoped to get a glimpse of the highest falls in the world, but the mountains were enveloped in mist. Instead we saw an extraordinary sight, swiftly blowing dark clouds, a lowering and angry sky, and below us, a steaming jungle from which floated upward what might have been clouds, smoke or steam.

    I could only think that it would have been a remarkable illustration from Dante’s Inferno, and we in our little plane might have been the disembodied spirits looking down into the terrifying Hell of Dante’s dream. It was evil looking and yet fascinating, full of hidden things.

    E. R.

    (COPYRIGHT 1944 BY UNITED FEATURE SYNDICATE, INC.)

    FDR did visit British Guiana

  • guyaneseonline  On September 13, 2020 at 9:32 pm

    US Secretary of State’s advance party arrives in Guyana
    Demerara Waves: Denis Chabrol in News, Politics September 13, 2020

    AC-17 military air transport plane arrived at the Cheddi Jagan International Airport.

    A United States (US) military transport aircraft arrived Sunday in preparation for Secretary of State, Michael Pompeo’s visit to Guyana later this week, according to well-placed sources.

    The C-17 US Air Force military transport plane landed at the Cheddi Jagan International Airport (CJIA) at about 5:30 PM bringing with it an advance party of more than two dozen people as part of an advance party for Mr. Pompeo’s visit.

    A number of those persons are expected to participate in preparatory, logistical and security discussions beginning Monday. The Chief-of-Staff of the Guyana Defence Force, Brigadier Godfrey Bess has been invited by the Foreign Affairs Ministry to participate in that meeting.

    Permanent Secretary of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Ambassador Audrey Jardine-Waddell has already confirmed that the US Secretary of State would be visiting Guyana from September 17 – 18, 2020.

    The Guyana government has not provided any details about the agenda of the Mr. Pompeo’s visit, but the Guyana Human Rights Association has called on the Irfaan Ali-led administration to state what would be the non-negotiables concerning Venezuela in the context of that country’s decades-long claim to the Essequibo Region.

    • Brother Man  On September 14, 2020 at 1:05 am

      Pompeo will be out of office soon. What’s the point of his visit this close to the election?

      Brother Man

      • kamtanblog  On September 14, 2020 at 2:30 am

        Nice one
        If not “de-selected”
        SACKED or forced to resign !

        QED

        RIP

        Kamtan uk-ex-EU

      • curtis  On September 14, 2020 at 12:49 pm

        Most people thought Trump would have lost the last election. It’s all about the Electoral College in America not the popular vote. Also, it could very well be that he’s coming with Agreements all drawn up just to be signed off by Ali. Time will tell the real reason for his visit. There’s also that request that President Granger denied for the U.S. to put up a broadcasting station to sow their propaganda seeds to the Venezuelan people. Hopefully this government will also say NO to that.

  • kamtanblog  On September 15, 2020 at 2:47 am

    POLITRICKS !

    QED
    RIP

    Kamtan-uk-ex-EU

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