Protest and poor attendance marked two of the three meetings in New York over the weekend that were attended by Guyana’s Prime Minister Moses Nagamootoo, who turned up at the events with an elaborate entourage, escorted by the U.S. Secret Service in heavily-armoured bullet-proof Suburban vehicles.
This has sparked further outrage among New-York based Guyanese who raised concerns about the cost on the taxpayers in Guyana for the elaborate Secret Service escort to the events, in a manner similar to visiting Heads of State and Kings.
Outraged members of the diaspora are of the view that these things are not without costs, and the Guyana Government will more than likely have to foot the expensive bill for Nagamootoo’s elaborate first-class treatment, no doubt at the expense of local taxpayers, many of whom are probably unaware of such a scenario.
At one of the events, more than 100 protesters braved the snow in the South Ozone area in Queens, New York to protest a meeting that was scheduled to be addressed yesterday afternoon by Guyana’s Prime Minister Moses Nagamootoo.
The meeting was scheduled for 5 pm, but a supporter of the AFC (Plumer Paul) informed the protesters that Mr Nagamootoo will not be arriving until the number of protester decrease because there were only a handful of his supporters in the meeting hall.
INews understands that the New York City (NYC) police had to be called in for reinforcement because of the large number of protestors.
It is understood that Mr Nagamootoo subsequently arrived at 7:45 pm at which point the protestors started calling him names, including “a traitor” and “a rubber stamp for a PM”.
Meanwhile, Nagamootoo is reported to have turned up with an elaborate entourage, escorted by Secret Service limousines, at the Richie Rich Catering Hall in Richmond Hill, Queens for a breakfast symposium earlier in the day.
New York-based representatives of the A Partnership for National Unity/Alliance For Change (APNU / AFC) sponsored the symposium, which reportedly failed to attract members from the Diaspora business community, with just a few trickling in for the event.
During the event, concerns were raised about the deteriorating economic situation in Guyana, along with the number of persons who were fired following the change of Government.
Additionally, the businessmen expressed apprehension about returning to Guyana, citing the high level of crime, which serves as a deterrent not only to the Diaspora but tourists.
Notably at the meeting, concerns were also raised about the cost on the taxpayers in Guyana for the Secret Service escort to the event.
GOOD TURNOUT IN JAMAICA PERFORMING ARTS CENTRE
Meanwhile, the disappointing turnout at the above-mentioned two events was not replicated at the other event that the Prime Minister attended in Jamaica Avenue, New York yesterday.
At this event, the Prime Minister spoke to a sizeable gathering at the launch of Guyana’s Golden Jubilee celebrations at the Jamaica Performing Arts Centre in Queens, New York which comprised a gathering of largely U.S.-based Guyanese.
Mr Nagamootoo urged Guyanese who gathered at the forum to work together and to enter the next 50 years with conviction that Guyana comes first.