By Tracey Khan – Drakes
[www.inewsguyana.com] – United States Ambassador to Guyana, Brent Hardt views the comments by Minister of Education Priya Manickchand as a personal attack with intent to divert attention from issues that are paramount to the development of Guyana.
“I think you probably notice in the course of the attack, there was no substantive response to the issues that I raised,” Hardt told media operatives when approached for a comment earlier today, Thursday, July 03.
During the US independence celebration last evening at the home of the Ambassador, Minister Manickchand unleashed Government’s wrath, calling his conduct ‘unprofessional and undiplomatic.’
In recent times, Hardt has been pressuring the government, more specifically President Donald Ramotar to set a date for the long overdue local government elections.
More recently, he chastised Ramotar for selectively upholding the constitution of Guyana.
Despite publicly embarrassing him, the outgoing Ambassador said that Manickchand’s attack will not affect the bilateral relationship between the US and Guyana.
He noted that his Government is fully aware that it can make a real contribution and has been doing so over the years and intends to continue this trend.
“Our interest is to build a partnership with Guyana that is democratic, healthy, secure, safe and strong and we’re gonna continue doing that and we have a great embassy, I know I leave the country in very good hands and they will carry forward all the great works and partnership that we are engaged in,” the Ambassador said.
Hardt does not share the view that there is tension between the US and Guyana as he questioned whether so much success between the two States would have been possible if significant tension really did exist.
The outgoing Ambassador said the two sides have differences and tension was not his focus.
“We can overcome any kind of differences that we have but again I think if you look at the scope of the work we do, the scope of the work we have done, you couldn’t do that by an environment characterized by tension so I just don’t share that kind of consensus, we found the ways forward even on the most difficult issues and we will continue to do that, that’s why we’re sent here.”
When asked to respond to his critics about meddling in the affairs of the country, the Ambassador declined to react and instead said he is in Guyana to engage.
“I am confident in the work we do and I sleep well at nights knowing that we have been able to advance those goals and objectives and values in many many ways and I think you have seen the receptivity of the people of Guyana to those efforts and the wrath of which they greet them and that’s what I will take away with me, it’s that great feeling of warm receptivity and the great embrace of the people.”
Today is Hardt’s last day in office.