[www.inewsguyana.com] – Head of the Presidential Secretariat, Dr. Roger Luncheon noted that Cabinet was outraged at the United States (US) Ambassador Brendt Hardt’s outburst at the celebration recognising World Press Freedom Day 2014.
Ambassador Hardt had pointed out several issues being faced by the Guyanese media and which were highlighted by the International Press Institute (IPI).
These include broadcasting licenses, abuse of state media, the distribution of state advertising, direct intimidation of the press, freedom of information and media standards.
The US Ambassador said the use of the term ‘Opposition Media’ to describe any media institution that is not controlled by the government is demeaning and fails to do justice to the vital role that an independent media must play in a modern, democratic society.
In response, Dr. Luncheon told a news conference that the Ambassador inveigled against the Government of Guyana for not respecting freedom of the press, and for among other things, intimidating the media. He noted that Cabinet’s visceral responses are understandable in the context of such a preposterous and outrageous claim by the US Ambassador.
The HPS observed that the excesses of Kaieteur News and the Stabroek News in letters published are done openly without policy or regret.
He stressed that both newspapers have failed Guyanese with gross untruth and misinformation.
“This the US Ambassador knows, he claims otherwise and those claims fly in the face of reality,” Dr. Luncheon said.
He added that the Ambassador’s claims of intimidation are both hilarious and cynical, “if intimidation is at work, threats of denial of US visas seem more intimidatory to journalists than mere Government criticism.”