Govt asks US senators to respect CARICOM observers’ legitimacy, COVID-19 measures

DPI, Guyana, May 15, 2020

The Coalition Government has responded to a communique from five US senators, asking for Guyana’s decisions on the presence of the CARICOM observer team along with the nation’s COVID-19 emergency measures be respected.

Dispatched by Minister of Foreign Affairs Hon. Dr. Karen Cummings under the direction of His Excellency President David Granger, the Government reaffirmed its confidence in the high-level CARICOM team while noting it has primarily been the President’s desire to see a smooth, credible resolution of the March 2 elections.

In the letter, Minister Cummings stated, “The Caribbean Community sees itself as “… the most legitimate interlocutors in the Guyana situation”. Guyana, equally, is confident in the legitimacy, credibility and competence of the CARICOM Team to perform its task.”

Minister Cummings further asked the Senators to be cognisant of Guyana’s efforts to protect its citizens amid the COVID-19 pandemic. Referenced were the emergency measures that have seen closures to the country’s two main international airports along with the implementation of a 6pm-6am curfew.

Concerning the conduct of the elections on March 2, the letter conveyed the Government’s pleasure in reports from International Observer Missions that the elections were, “free, fair and peaceful […] without violence, civil disorder and social disruption.”

Additionally, the Government commended the integrity of the nation’s democratic organs that have been tested throughout the elections process. Minister Cummings posited, “the Constitution, the Supreme Court and the Elections Commission were never threatened.”

The letter was delivered in response to a May 12 letter from five US Senators who requested Guyana allow another international observer team to travel to Guyana with aim of witnessing the ongoing national recount.

Senators Marco Rubio, James E. Risch, Benjamin L. Cardin, Robert Menendez and Tim Kaine were addressed in the Ministry of Foreign Affairs’ correspondence.

Please see below the full correspondence dispatched by the Minister of Foreign Affairs