US slaps visa restrictions on more senior Guyanese officials
…vows to “act” until Granger’s coalition accepts recount results
The United States Government on Thursday announced more visa restrictions for senior Guyanese officials who are undermining democracy.
This was revealed by acting Assistant Secretary of the Bureau of Western Affairs of the US State Department, Michael Kozak, during a teleconference.
“On July 15, the Secretary announced the imposition of visa restrictions on individuals responsible for, or complicit in undermining democracy in Guyana. Today, we are acting to prevent additional senior individuals from that country from entering the United States,” Kozak said.
He added that the US Secretary of State, Mike Pompeo was clear when he said that the Granger Administration and its allies continued to defy the will of the Guyanese people by refusing to accept the vote count.
“The count has been certified as valid by international observers OAS and Caricom, Guyana’s and the Caribbean’s highest courts. The United States joins the rest of the Region refusing to go along with this farce. We will continue to act until the Granger Administration accepts the will of Guyanese voters,” Kozak noted.
On July 15, Secretary Pompeo announced that visa restrictions have been imposed on top Guyana Government officials and all others who are involved in undermining Guyana’s democracy.
“Today (July 15) 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 further asserted.
In a subsequent tweet, Pompeo said the new visa restrictions imposed on persons involved in electoral fraud sent a clear message of the consequences of subverting democracy and the rule of law.
Meanwhile, two days later, US Ambassador to Guyana, Sarah-Ann Lynch during a virtual media engagement said that 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 They will be informed that their visa has been revoked,” Lynch said. It was noted that the Consular Section at the US Embassy in Georgetown would inform those persons affected by the visa restrictions.
According to the US envoy, her country is not alone regarding the growing intolerance of the international community over attempts to undermine democracy in Guyana. She noted that the US was among more than 130 nations under the umbrella of global organisations that are all calling for a swift end to the electoral process based on the recount results. Among those nations and organisations are the Commonwealth; the European Union (EU); the Organisation of American States (OAS) and the Caribbean Community (Caricom), and she said there were bilateral statements from most continents.
She outlined that the recount exercise was supervised by a Caricom observer team, along with local and international observers, who have all concluded that the process was transparent and the results deriving from that process must be the basis of a declaration of the winner.
As such, Ambassador Lynch noted that the events that unfolded in Guyana since polling day – March 2, 2020 – were “highly disappointing”, and she stressed the need for the will of the Guyanese people to be respected.
With Guyana and the US partnering in the areas of security, governance and prosperity, the diplomat stressed that if the country continued to subvert democracy and the rule of law, then it would pose implicit dangers to the hemisphere.