Pompeo announces US$3M for local initiative to allow citizens involvement in government, democracy


US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo [Photo taken from NCN Facebook Live]
US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo Friday morning announced a significant US$3M for a “locally-led programme for citizens’ involvement in the government” and US$1.5M so that “the youth of Guyana will be involved in democracy as well”.

The funding will come from USAID.

“We know the Guyanese people cherish democracy, they cherish freedom, they value free, fair and transparent elections just as Americans do, just as all people do. I was proud to…support the Guyanese people in their quest to have the results of the election respect…,” the US Secretary of State said, noting that the announcement of the results took longer than anyone would have hoped for.

“But it was worth fighting for,” he said.

Pompeo said Guyana and the US have been “friends” for over five decades, and while this is the first official visit of a US Secretary of State, he committed that “it won’t be another fifty years”.

Pompeo played a prominent role in pushing for democracy in Guyana, during the tumultuous five months following the March 2 elections.

This role included issuing statements urging the then President David Granger to adhere to the results of the elections.

It was Pompeo who announced visa restrictions against Guyanese officials responsible for undermining democracy. He had also urged President Granger, who at the time was being kept in power by virtue of court cases filed by his party supporters, to step aside.