Guyana gives special permission for 6-8 flights of oil workers, but no approval for Carter Center

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Guyana’s airports have been shut since March 17, but special permission has been granted for between 6-8 flights of oil workers, Egbert Field, the head of the country’s aviation authority said on Wednesday.

But the pleadings of representatives of international Governments, including the United States, Canada, the EU, and the United Nations, for observers of the Carter Center to return to observe the recount process have been blanked by President David Granger.

Workers on oil ships include those from the Philippines, Germany, Ireland, Singapore, the United States, the United Kingdom, Canada and Ukraine.

While the ports are closed, the Order to prevent the spread of the COVID-19 disease states that the Government can grant approval for outgoing flights, cargo flights, medical evacuation flights, technical stops for fuel only, and “special authorised flights.”

Field told the News Room in a telephone interview that staff for ExxonMobil is rotated every 28 days and the workers come from different countries.

There have been other special flights that were allowed in, such as those to take out foreigners in Guyana.

For a recent flight to take out Americans, the American Government had asked for observers from the Carter Center and others from the International Republic Institute who were providing technical support, to be allowed to board the aircraft coming from Miami. But the request was denied flatly.

“The Government of Guyana requests that its measures to protect its citizens from the disease are respected,” Minister of Foreign Affairs Dr Karen Cummings wrote to the U.S. Ambassador Sarah-Ann Lynch.

She said she was writing on behalf of the President. She chose not to even mention the name of the Carter Center in her response.

And while the oil workers have been allowed in, Guyanese stranded in various countries have been pleading for the Government to allow them to return home, but their requests have also been blanked.

The international community had requested the presence of the Carter Center to observe the recount of votes cast on March 2. The Carter Center had been critical in the return of free and fair elections to Guyana.

While the request was initially denied, there was a request for the Government to reconsider the decision, but there has been no word as yet.

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