Guyana/US relations must be premised on mutual respect, understanding, non interference – President, at US independence anniversary

Georgetown, GINA, July 2, 2013

 

As the United States of America conveyed to Guyana and the entire CARICOM region its proud diplomatic association, the Guyana Government remains adamant that such a relationship must be based on mutual respect, understanding and non interference in each other’s affairs.

The latter view was expressed by President Donald Ramotar at a reception this evening to mark the 237th anniversary of the Independence of the US as a reminder to western nations about the way in which Guyana is constantly being perceived and lectured.

President Donald Ramotar and US Ambassador to Guyana Brent Hardt in customary cowboy attire, toast on the occasion of the 237th Independence Day anniversary of the United States

 

Only recently the President had reason to flay what he described as subjective and unfair positions taken about the country’s efforts to tackle corruption and Trafficking In Persons (TIP), particularly in annual US State department reports.

US Ambassador to Guyana Brent Hardt speaking on the occasion of the 237th Independence Day anniversary of the United States

 

This year Guyana was placed on the Tier Two Watch List for TIP; a ranking for countries whose governments fail to fully comply with the minimum standards in the Trafficking Victims Protection Act but are making significant efforts to bring themselves into compliance

 

President Donald Ramotar speaking to a gathering that included US Ambassador to Guyana Brent Hardt, Prime Minister Samuel Hinds and Minister of Foreign Affairs Carolyn Rodrigues- Birkett at the 237th Independence Day anniversary of the United States

It was met with disappointment from President Ramotar who described it as a subjective position that failed to take into account the reports and facts about Guyana and could likely harm the country’s reputation.

At this evening’s toast with US Ambassador to Guyana Brent Hardt at his residence, Cummings Lodge, President Ramotar reminded of the principles laid down by the United Nations (UN) about the right of nations to self determination.

“That is what our early leaders were trying to assert in the struggle for independence and in a post -independent Guyana,” President Ramotar said at the US Ambassador’s residence.

On the other hand, the benefits that would have accrued through the Guyana/US partnership in the area of health, security, disaster preparedness and the economy were met with high praises from the Guyanese Head of State.

 

He made reference to the Caribbean Basin Security Initiative (CBSI) which he said has contributed to Guyana’s national efforts and the regular funding provided through US South Com to the Caribbean Disaster Emergency Management Agency (CDEMA) for humanitarian assistance and programmes.

President Donald Ramotar with US Ambassador to Guyana Brent Hardt, outgoing Deputy Chief of Mission in the US Embassy Thomas Pierce and their spouses all dressed in American cowboy attire

US Ambassador Hardt announced that within months, three patrol vessels will be delivered to the Guyana Defence Force (GDF) for the enhancement of counter drugs and anti-piracy efforts.

The conclusion of an open skies agreement bolstered economic ties between the two countries; major exploration deals were sealed with reputable US oil and gas companies, and recently the US co-sponsored an investment seminar to promote investment opportunities for Guyana.

Through the President’s Emergency Plan for AIDS Relief (PEPFAR), the effort to strengthen health services continues with the fight against HIV/AIDS, a main priority. The opening of a Ministry of Health’s Materials Management Unit warehouse to improve storage and distribution capacity is also credited to the Guyana/US relations.

“Relations between the United States and Guyana and the US and the Caribbean Community have never been closer or more dynamic,” Ambassador Hardt said in his remarks.

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