Unappealing that Govt would hide visit by US Congressmen from the media- Opposition Leader

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…does not believe it involves discussions to rig elections in Guyana

The US congressmen and military officials meeting with the President on Thursday, media operatives were not invited to any of the events hosted

Despite the Opposition being “concerned” about the secrecy surrounding the ongoing visit by United States of America Congressmen to Guyana, the General Secretary of the People’s Progressive Party (PPP) Dr Bharrat Jagdeo does not believe that the meeting has anything to do with rigging the upcoming elections.

“Some people asked me, does this mean that the United States, with what APNU has been saying on the ground that the United States of America will support them for ten years in office and turn a blind eye if they rig the elections and I’ve said to them…I do not believe that any attempt to develop a sinister policy of preventing democratic forces in Guyana to prevail will be done in such an open manner…And so, I say to them, it is not my feeling…I believe they will support democracy,” he said.

During a press conference on Thursday, Jagdeo told media operatives that neither he nor his Party have met with the Congressmen as yet.

He also noted that several questions have been raised especially since Minister of State, Joseph Harmon had disclosed that the meeting with these lawmakers was set up through the Natural Resources Minister, Raphael Trotman.

Opposition Leader, Dr Bharrat Jagdeo

“We did not meet with the Congressmen. There was no request for a meeting but what I find odd about the entire visit, is not just the secrecy which is deplorable in itself, but when Harmon spoke of this visit, he said that he and the Government had learnt of the visit from Mr Trotman…Now a visit of this nature, I expect would be planned with our embassy in Washington. I do not know whether they were informed. A visit of this nature should be planned with the Ministry of Foreign Affairs. They are our interlocutor with the rest of the world…don’t you find it strange that Minister Trotman was the person who was the interlocutor here and the Government of Guyana learnt of this visit from Trotman and that the first call was with a meeting with Trotman, from what I gathered, who is no longer the Minister responsible for the oil and gas sector,” he noted.

However, he posited that he had intentions to speculate about the nature of the visit because the PPP supports “solid short term and long term engagements with the United States of America because we believe that our destinies are intertwined…nearly half of our people live in the United States of America. Some illegally, some as permanent residents and some as citizens and any Government would have to have friendly relations with the United States of America…We share a lot of their, the US’s, philosophy and ideals about free, open Government, a free press, etc, so we will support any engagement.”

Nevertheless, Jagdeo asserted that he found it most unappealing that Government would hide the visit from the media as well as the Opposition.

“…what’s our Government’s reason for hiding the visit from us, not allowing access, not even giving a statement because before these visits are made, they would tend to telegraph what they want to discuss, the delegation that’s visiting, so people are prepared. But all we heard is that the Government learnt of this visit from Trotman, nothing else.” (Ramona Luthi)

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