Caribbean News Now!

About Us Contact Us

Countries/Territories

Jump to your country or territory of interest

Advertise with us

Reach our daily visitors from around the Caribbean and throughout the world. Click here for rates and placements.

Contribute

Submit news and opinion for publication

Subscribe

Click here to receive our daily regional news headlines by email.

Archives

Click here to browse our extensive archives going back to 2004

Also, for the convenience of our readers and the online community generally, we have reproduced the complete Caribbean Net News archives from 2004 to 2010 here.

Climate Change Watch

The Caribbean is especially vulnerable to rising sea levels brought about by global warming. Read the latest news and information here...

Travel


Follow Caribbean News Now on Twitter
Connect with Caribbean News Now on Linkedin



News from the Caribbean:


Back To Today's News

US ambassador implements governance project in Guyana despite government objections
Published on December 23, 2013 Email To Friend    Print Version

GEORGETOWN, Guyana (GINA) -- Cabinet Secretary and Head of the Presidential Secretariat in Guyana, Dr Roger Luncheon has sharply criticised the decision by US Ambassador Dr Brent Hardt to implement a governance project or aspects of it, under the auspices of USAID, despite strong objections by the Cabinet.

Addressing the issue during an interview, Luncheon said that the issue was engaging the highest levels of government in no uncertain terms.

“This issue is an affront to Guyana’s sovereignty,” the cabinet secretary said. “It is essentially a challenge by the US ambassador in one, acknowledging that he, they, have ignored Cabinet’s disapproval, and are implementing elements of this project, not in any guise of having a discourse on the matter, but just to inform the government through the media of what position has been adopted by the American authorities. That is what at this point occupies the minds of the Presidency and Cabinet”.

The US ambassador’s resort to the media, in this case the Stabroek News to declare his intentions of pursing the project despite government’s position, borders on the “grossest disrespect and abuse of his diplomatic presence,” according the cabinet secretary.

He noted that all other “antecedent events” about the project can now be considered moot.

“The issue is, the Cabinet of this nation, a sovereign country, indicated to the American ambassador its definitive position on this matter, and according to the reports in the Stabroek News of 19 December, the ambassador in an article, has essentially said, ‘I am going ahead with what I want to go ahead with, and this decision of Cabinet, disapproving this project, I will ignore, I will disregard, indeed he has effectively challenged state power.’” Luncheon said.

The views by some sections of society that the governance project should be entertained and even implemented due to its perceived importance is not the main issue, Luncheon stressed.

“It is not about the project and the US$1.2 million that we’re going to lose, it is not that. Cabinet made a decision, a definitive decision that is where the matter ought to have ended!” he said.

The USAID project was not approved by Cabinet and this was indicated to the relevant authorities on October 26, 2013, formally. Unconfirmed reports later indicated that the 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 between President Donald Ramotar, Luncheon and Hardt. It was noted by Luncheon that “The Ambassador was not categorical in affirming to the President and myself that yes, indeed, I have received confirmation of Cabinet’s disapproval, not withstanding which the American authorities have indeed continued to implement elements of the project. He was not definite in making those two assertions.”

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.

Foreign Affairs Minister Carolyn Rodrigues-Birkett has been mandated by Cabinet to ascertain if indeed the statements made by the US Ambassador are attributed to him, said Luncheon.

“We want the US ambassador to confirm that what was read, that what was said, attributed to him is indeed accurately done by the reporter from Stabroek News. One can hardly expect the ambassador at this stage of the game to disassociate himself from the remarks attributed to him, but for the record, we need a written submission where the ambassador acknowledges the statements reported in the Stabroek News are indeed accurately reflective of the positions that he adumbrated, that it is a factual and accurate report,” he continued.

Once this information is provided, government will “sit with the Americans and discuss this challenge, this flouting of state authority and this challenge to the exercise of authority by the Cabinet”.

The government and Guyana has benefitted from what has been described as a healthy engagement between the US through its USAID programme, according to the Cabinet Secretary. However, he said the actions concerning this specific project are “baffling and perplexing”, noting that the apparent move by the US top diplomat, to challenge the authority of the state and to exert his powers in Guyana, needs to be understood.

The issue of why this specific project is being used to confront the Guyana government and disturb the healthy relationships that have evolved over time between the two governments is one that needs to be addressed, Luncheon said in closing.
 
Reads: 1849





Click here to receive daily news headlines from Caribbean News Now!



Back...

Comments:

No comments on this topic yet. Be the first one to submit a comment.

Back...

Send us your comments!  

Send us your comments on this article. All fields are required.

For your contribution to reach us, you must (a) provide a valid e-mail address and (b) click on the validation link that will be sent to the e-mail address you provide.  If the address is not valid or you don't click on the validation link, we will never see it!

Your Name:

Your Email:

(Validation required)

Comments:
Enter Code





Disclaimer
User comments posted on this website are the sole views and opinions of the comment author and are not representative of Caribbean News Now or its staff. Caribbean News Now accepts no liability and will not be held accountable for user comments.
Caribbean News Now reserves the right to remove, edit or censor any comments. Any content that is considered unsuitable, unlawful or offensive, includes personal details, advertises or promotes products, services or websites or repeats previous comments will not be approved.
Before posting, please refer to our Terms of Use and Privacy Policy.



Other Headlines:



Regional Sports: