Granger says ties with U.S, Western Hemisphere remain strong

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As pressure continues to mount on the incumbent APNU+AFC to concede defeat in the March 2, 2020, general and regional elections, the Ministry of the Presidency on Saturday night quoted President David Granger as saying that he is committed to the values of the Western Hemisphere and that the relationship between Guyana and the United States is not in jeopardy.

“Guyana is part of the Western Hemisphere. We have very cordial relations with the United States from defence, economy and security points of view,” the President is quoted in the press release as saying.

According to the release, “Guyana, together with other Caribbean states, cooperates with the US Southern Command through the Caribbean Basin Security Initiative (CBSI), which is aimed at combating drug trafficking and other transnational crimes that threaten regional security.”

The President’s comments come at a time where the party he leads – APNU+AFC – launched a vicious campaign against the United States Ambassador to Guyana Sarah Ann Lynch, the Organisation of American States (OAS), the Caribbean Community (CARICOM) and some of its leaders and others who have commented on Guyana’s elections crisis calling for him to accept defeat and allow a transition of Government.

The press release from the Ministry of the Presidency stated that the President made his comments in “a recent interview” but did not reveal when, where or with who the interview was conducted.

When contacted by the News Room to clarify this, Director of the President’s Press Unit Ariana Gordon informed that the interview was done with an “international media organization” but she cannot reveal the identity of the media outlet since the full interview is yet to be published.

It has been 118 days now since Guyanese went to the polls and to date no winner has been declared even after the Guyana Elections Commission (GECOM) embarked on a 35-day recount and certification of all votes cast.

But despite President Granger previously committing to accepting the recount results, he has refused to accept defeat and has since embarked on a campaign to claim electoral fraud without providing evidence.

The recount exercise was supervised by a high-level three-member CARICOM team which has since determined that the recount results are “completely acceptable” and that the winner should be declared.

President Granger had described the CARICOM scrutineers as the “most legitimate interlocutor” in the Guyana elections but since the CARICOM report was released, he has not addressed the media or the nation.

The recount results show that the Opposition People’s Progressive Party has won the elections by 15,416 votes.

See the full press release below:

President Granger reaffirms strong ties with USA, Western Hemisphere

Georgetown, Guyana (June 27, 2020): President David Granger has reaffirmed Guyana’s commitment to Western Hemispheric values and to the furtherance of mutual goals and ideals.

The Head of State, in a recent interview, emphasised that the United States of America is a friend and has worked closely with Guyana over several decades through several organisations such as The Carter Center, the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and US Agency for International Development (USAID), among others.

“Guyana is part of the Western Hemisphere. We have very cordial relations with the United States from defence, economy and security points of view,” the President said. Guyana, together with other Caribbean states, cooperates with the US Southern Command through the Caribbean Basin Security Initiative (CBSI), which is aimed at combating drug trafficking and other transnational crimes that threaten regional security.

President Granger made it clear that Guyana’s strategic interests in the Western Hemisphere were not in jeopardy. He said Guyana and the USA have enjoyed mutually beneficial defence, economic, political and social relations since Independence. He noted that relations between the two states have deepened through cooperation in the fields of defence, public health, public security, the economy and youth empowerment.

The Head of State emphasised that Guyana remains committed to strengthening its relations with the USA to overcome challenges of the COVID-19 pandemic and to continue to build the groundwork for a peaceful and prosperous Western Hemisphere.

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