Opposition’s participation in “dubious” Washington DC event organized by wanted criminal raises credibility questions

General Secretary of the People Progressive Party Dr. Bharrat Jagdeo on Thursday criticized the decision of the APNU/AFC Opposition to participate in a conference in Washington DC. organised by Rickford Burke, a controversial figure facing criminal charges in Guyana.

At his weekly press conference at Freedom House, Georgetown, Dr. Jagdeo expressed astonishment at the Opposition’s involvement in the event, which he described as a ‘money-making scheme and an attempt to extort funds from individuals.’

“Imagine the leader of the opposition, Roysdale Forde and Amanza Walton and the whole AFC go to a conference organised by a criminal and sit down…it was pathetic, he said.

Dr Jagdeo went on to say, ‘they didn’t go to an opposition event there, they were led by the nose.”

The General Secretary further stated that the conference was not aimed at discussing Guyana’s political landscape but was instead focused on safeguarding Burke’s interests.

“Burke knows about the charges he is facing here in Guyana where they are documented cases of him extorting people and charges have already been laid against [him] and those individuals because they have them on tape trying to extort business men here using social media.

“So, Rickford Burke is aware that at some point in time that his criminality will catch up with him in the US and I think the US policy makers will start distancing themselves from his extremism,” he said.

He said that attendees, many of whom were non-Guyanese, were misled into believing they would be meeting with government policymakers, only to find themselves listening to opposition leaders.

“This guy told me one of the men approach him, he was told to come there, he had to pay $10,000 because he is interested in investing in Guyana… I’m trying to get more details to see if people will go public,” Dr Jagdeo said.  

The General Secretary pointed out that the opposition had only one resolution on their agenda while in attendance at the conference, is to advocate for banning him from entering the US.

“You would think that a Washington conference on Guyana, at which, 15 persons from the Opposition…they would call on the government for something, they would want something more structural,” he underscored.

Dr. Jagdeo criticized the opposition’s attempt to misinform Washington about the PPP allegedly stealing the 2020 Elections. He emphasized that the US government was well aware of the PNC’s attempts to delegitimize the 2020 elections in Guyana.

He said the opposition’s involvement in such a dubious event only raised questions about their credibility and sincerity.