Strengthening democracy, security against regional threats high on agenda
…as Pompeo prepares to make historic visit to Guyana, other countries
The US Department of State on Tuesday said that Secretary of State Michael Pompeo’s trip to Guyana and several other countries will highlight the United States’ commitment to defend democracy, combat COVID-19 while revitalising economies in the pandemic’s wake, and strengthen security against regional threats.
According to the State Department, Pompeo will travel to Paramaribo, Suriname; Georgetown, Guyana; Boa Vista, Brazil; Bogota, Colombia; and Plano, Texas, between September 17 and 20, 2020.
In Paramaribo, Secretary Pompeo will celebrate the triumph of democracy by meeting with recently elected Surinamese President Chan Santokhi and his Cabinet to discuss increased bilateral cooperation and opportunities for partnerships in energy and security. While in Georgetown, the US State Department noted that Pompeo will congratulate President Irfaan Ali and his Cabinet, and meet with Caricom Secretary-General Irwin LaRocque. He will reinforce the promise of a values-based US partnership, highlighting opportunities for more responsible and transparent Private Sector investment to increase prosperity for the people of Guyana, particularly in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic.
Meanwhile, in Boa Vista, Brazil, Secretary Pompeo will underscore the importance of US and Brazilian support for the Venezuelan people in their time of need by visiting with Venezuelan migrants fleeing the manmade disaster in Venezuela, the US State Department said.
Secretary Pompeo will then travel to Bogota to meet with Colombian President Ivan Duque to discuss the strong partnership our countries share, including in managing the COVID-19 response, promoting mutual prosperity, and tackling the threats to regional security from narcotraffickers, terror groups, and Maduro’s illegitimate regime.
Pompeo will return to the United States to discuss the Department of State’s priorities at Prestonwood Baptist Church in Plano, Texas.
On Tuesday, Pompeo took to his Twitter account where he stated that his upcoming visit to Guyana and other countries in the western hemisphere is to “celebrate and fight for democracy”.
Pompeo said: “Glad to be visiting Suriname, Guyana, Brazil, Columbia and Texas to celebrate and fight for democracy in the Western Hemisphere. Looking forward to strengthening regional partnerships that will benefit the American people.”
Pompeo is scheduled to arrive in Guyana on September 17. Already, his advance team has arrived in the country and the US officials are already in talks with authorities here on the agenda. The US Secretary of State will spend two days in Guyana.
Pompeo is the highest-ranking US Government official to have ever visited Guyana. Pompeo played a prominent role in pushing for democracy in Guyana, during the tumultuous five months following the March 2 elections.
This role included issuing statements urging the then President David Granger to adhere to the results of the elections.
It was Pompeo who announced visa restrictions against Guyanese officials responsible for undermining democracy. He had also urged President Granger, who at the time was being kept in power by virtue of court cases filed by his party supporters, to step aside.
Earlier this month, Pompeo had reached out to President Dr Irfaan Ali to extend congratulations and to pledge the support of the US to Guyana on developmental issues.