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US ambassador arrogant and contentious, says Guyana government
Published on December 26, 2013 Email To Friend    Print Version

GEORGETOWN, Guyana (GINA) -- The decision by the United States Ambassador Dr Brent Hardt to implement a governance project, or at least aspects of it, by USAID despite strong objections by the government of Guyana has been viewed by the Cabinet as “arrogant and contentious”.

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Cabinet Secretary and Head of the Presidential Secretariat Dr Roger Luncheon
Cabinet secretary and head of the Presidential Secretariat Dr Roger Luncheon, at his weekly post-Cabinet media briefing on Tuesday, said, “Cabinet contends that all other considerations about this project pale into insignificance with regards to the US ambassador’s public utterances. Of some significance was the ambassador’s delay in responding to a formal request from Cabinet for the clarification from the US authorities, specifically with regards to the disapproval of the project. Cabinet was unhappy, to say the least, about the public response in the exclusive interview with Stabroek News when the US ambassador made public his intentions to ignore and disregard Cabinet’s disapproval.”

Reported statements by Hardt about there being prior consultation with government were strongly refuted by Luncheon.

“This project was conceived in the United States, funded by Congress, the procurement of a contractor to implement the project, the National Republican Institute, all of those steps were concluded prior to any engagement with this administration on this project and that took place in late 2012,” Luncheon stated.

“On obtaining the details of that tendering process, the US ambassador’s assertion would be tested because it is our contention that the procurement of the contractor, the date of that activity, that procurement would establish that indeed the US ambassador never consulted, and he came to meet with the administration with a fait accompli, a project already conceived, a project already funded, a project contractor already on the job… I have no hesitation in saying there was no consultation with the government of Guyana,” he emphasised.

The term “consultation” is treated with great respect by government, Luncheon added, and the steps taken by the US ambassador indicated otherwise.

The cabinet secretary, in response to a question, said that USAID and other organisations’ presence locally is based on mutually understood agreements.

“There is a formal agreement that mutually recognises our obligations under the agreement,” he said.

He added that there was no clause or obligation in the bilateral agreement that stipulated that government has to convince any agency or USAID why a project was objected to by government. Except for this one “blemish” government has had, and is continuing to have a mutually beneficial relationship with USAID, Luncheon said.

It was disclosed that the proposed project has four components and one of these proposes to implement public support of political parties, an issue that has never obtained constitutionally, locally and the use of public purse to do so has never been considered locally by any administration, past of present according to the cabinet secretary.

Foreign Affairs Minister Carolyn Rodrigues- Birkett has been mandated by Cabinet to ascertain if indeed the statements made by the US ambassador are attributable to him, but a response is still to be received by her on government’s behalf. A previous letter dispatched by Luncheon, seeking clarification about alleged activities indicating that the project was proceeding, is still to be responded to.

The USAID project was not approved by Cabinet and this was formally indicated to the relevant authorities on October 26, 2013. Unconfirmed reports later indicated that USAID project activities were being implemented and Cabinet wrote to the US ambassador, requesting clarity on the matter.

On December 19, a meeting was convened among President Donald Ramotar, Luncheon and the ambassador. The next day, Stabroek News quoted the same ambassador as saying that the USAID project was being implemented despite the embassy being in receipt of the formal correspondence from Cabinet voicing its disapproval.
 
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Comments:

Dexter Lewis:

Why is this article so obtuse? Why not speak clearly so we may understand?
To what project do you refer? Besides the Government of Guyana wanting everyone and everything to bow to their demands for total control, what is the contention about at its essence.

Please clarify.

Casual Observer:

Are you people going to allow the arrogance of the USA, permeate your society?

You people know that, USAID, is a MISNOMER, if ever there was one! It is EXACTLY as its name implies. AID TO THE USA! Its sole purpose, is to collect, (and pay), DISSIDENTS, INSURGENTS, JACKALS ASSASSINS), to destabilize the elected government of the country selected. And then cause, what they, (the CIA), calls, a 'Regime-Change'. They THEN introduce a Puppet-government, that is totally US-Leaning in character.

THE OTHER Caribbean, Central and South American Countries, (in CARICOM etc.), have thrown USAID, out of their countries for the aforementioned reasons.

WAKE UP AND DO THE CORRECT THING, GUYANA POLITICIONS!

Throw them out NOW, BEFORE it's TOO LATE!

Claude Wharton:

Rather than blather on about the country's sovereignty being impugned, in any case said sovereignty is being slowly ceded to the Chinese government with whom they are in cahoots to pillage our country. Rather they should explain to the Guyanese populace their reason for not engaging with the project. Given this administration's habit of not keeping us informed about the many projects which they are implementing on our behalf, we learn about it from the foreign press. The Amaila Falls, as well as the Timehri airport, not to mention the Marriott Hotel. Hence my cynicism about any venture emanating from this collection of Kleptomaniacs. I am not an admirer of the American Government,yes,they stick their noses in everybody's concern. Respect for country's such as ours is not in their remit, but our collection of kleptomaniacs have done very little over the past twenty (24) years to earn anybody's respect. Aplague on theri houses.


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