While the United States has not officially made known the names of those Guyana Government and other officials who were slapped with visa sanctions, it has stated clearly that the travel restrictions imposed on those persons are with “immediate effect”.
“The visa restrictions took place immediately. People will be informed when they apply for a visa or if they already have one and they plan to travel to the US. They will be informed that their visa has been revoked,” US Ambassador to Guyana, Sarah Ann Lynch, said during a virtual media engagement on Thursday.
US Secretary of State, Mike Pompeo, on Wednesday, announced that visa restrictions have been imposed on top Guyana Government officials and all others who are involved in undermining Guyana’s democracy.
“Today I am announcing visa restrictions on individuals responsible for, or complicit, in the undermining of democracy in Guyana. The immediate family members of such persons may also be subject to restrictions,” Pompeo said during a State Department briefing.
“The Granger Government must respect the results of democratic elections and step aside,” Pompeo asserted.
In a subsequent tweet, Pompeo said that the new visa restrictions imposed on persons involved in electoral fraud sends a clear message of the consequences of subverting democracy and the rule of law.
It is also highly likely that Canadian and United Kingdom authorities will take similar measures soon.
In relation to the timing of Secretary Pompeo’s announcement, Ambassador Lynch reminded that the US has for “several weeks” warned about the serious consequences that would be undertaken by the US authorities should democracy continue to be undermined here.
“So there is nothing coincidental about the date by which he made that statement,” Lynch remarked.
The Ambassador added that the US is not alone regarding the growing intolerance of the international community over attempts to undermine democracy in Guyana.
She said that the US is among over 130 nations that are calling for a swift end to the electoral process, that is credible and a true reflection of the will of the people.
Ambassador Lynch outlined that the national recount was supervised by a CARICOM observer team, along with other local and international observers, who have all concluded that the recount was transparent and the results deriving from that process must be the basis of a declaration of the winner.
The national recount has shown that the Irfaan Ali-led PPP/C has won the elections with 233,336 votes. But Granger and a few of his top aides, with the help of elements within the electoral machinery, are refusing to give up power.