Pres Ali urges US officials to take heed after NY visit provokes divisive rhetoric

– tells those threatening boycotts to come for him, not ordinary Guyanese

President Dr. Irfaan Ali’s successful Brooklyn visit, which saw the Guyanese diaspora warmly welcoming him into their businesses and arms, has also attracted the ire of some in the diaspora who have threatened these businesses with boycotts.
In the wake of this divisive rhetoric, President Ali is speaking out in defence of these Guyanese and urging elected officials in the United States (US), some of whom have close ties to those spewing this rhetoric, to do the same.

President Dr Irfaan Ali was warmly received during his visit to Brooklyn, NY

In a video broadcast on Sunday, President Ali stoutly defended members of the Guyanese diaspora, including businesses who welcomed him during his visit. This comes after an organisation known as the Caribbean Guyana Institute for Democracy (CGID), run by Rickford Burke, issued a statement calling for these businesses to be boycotted.
“It hurts me, to know that people and an organisation that claims to love, can be so divisive, can be so self-centred and selfish. They can issue statements calling for the boycott of businesses and your economic well-being.”
“How low can you get? If you have something against me, come after me with all that you have! Point all your guns and weapons to me. But leave the people out of this. Do not seek to destroy the lives of ordinary people. Do not seek to separate our people,” President Ali said.
In light of the apparent close relations between the organization and United States officials such as Hakeem Jeffries, the Minority Leader of the House of Representatives, Ali also urged them to examine the group’s actions against ordinary Guyanese.
“They are guilty of nothing. All they want is to share their ideas, their vision, share an opportunity to interact. To ensure that the country that they love, that their love for their country is bigger than any one’s selfish desire to divide us,” the Head of State also said.

President Ali and well-wishers in Little Guyana, Queens New York

“No right-thinking person can agree with the narrative, the Burkes or the statements that were issued. And I call on all the elected officials, whether it’s Mr. Hakeem Jeffries or Mr. Meeks, I call on them to examine the action of this group against ordinary Afro-Guyanese.”
Calling the Guyanese diaspora an important part of Guyana, President Ali noted that these officials understand the value of standing on the right side of history. And it was not lost on the President that had he not visited Brooklyn, this would have also prompted criticism.
“Do not belittle these people, do not destroy their characters by saying they are puppets and stooges and they were paid and their businesses should be boycotted. What manner of behaviour is this? Is this what Hakeem Jeffries will support? I do not think so because he should understand how important it is to stand on the right side of history.”
“We have to decide, do we really want honesty, love and unity? Do these persons honestly want love and unity? Look at the hypocrisy. He would have loved for me to come to the US and not go to Brooklyn. Because again, he would have gotten an opportunity to preach the separatist path.”
President Ali assured that his People’s Progressive Party/Civic (PPP/C) government will continue to pursue closer ties with the Guyanese diaspora. He also reminded them of their importance to their homeland.
“The diaspora, you are an important part of our future. You are an important part of building a stronger Guyana. You are an important part of building prosperity. This opportunity gives us a point of honest reflection. It gives you an opportunity to measure these leaders by their actions,” President Ali added.