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Granger predicts US “retribution” in wake of LEAD Project Head’s visa revocation; Ramjattan to mount lobby

Guyana’s combined political opposition on Wednesday condemned government’s decision to revoke the work permit of the head of the United States- funded Leadership and Democracy (LEAD) project and warned that the Americans could soon react sharply.

Reacting to government’s decision to scrap the work permit issued to Chief of Party of the LEAD Project, Glenn Bradbury, Opposition Leader, David Granger forecast that the American government would reciprocate harshly.

“The United States could not ignore the treatment of its representative and there must be consequences. I am expecting that the Guyana government will have calculated the consequences but there is going to be some form of retribution,” Granger told Demerara Waves Online News.

He described government’s decision as “regrettable” and added that he was almost certain that the principle of reciprocity would be applied. “If you hurt one person, you expect to be hurt in turn,” he said.

Leader of the Alliance For Change (AFC), Khemraj Ramjattan expected that the employment permit revocation would “sour relations” with both the US and Canada. Head of the Presidential Secretariat, Dr Roger Luncheon said the British and Canadian diplomatic missions here have been advised about Bradbury’s reputation and his alleged immigration transgressions.

Bradbury is a Canadian who has been employed by the US-headquartered International Republican Institute (IRI) that has been contacted to implement the three-year US$1.5 million LEAD project

Ramjattan accused the Donald Ramotar administration of “running mad” and engaging in unjustified anti-American hysteria that the US wanted to throw them out of power as they had done in the 1960s. “Their motivation is to bring back the emotional-filled days and the anti-American hysteria and the British and Canadian governments wanting them out of office,” he said.

 Ramjattan planned to lobby the Caribbean Community (Caricom), the US State Department and the Guyanese Diaspora to “condemn and denounce” the Guyana government which they had signed on to and participated in its launch early last year at Cara Lodge, Quamina Street.

The Guyana government had repeatedly demanded that the US suspend the project until the two sides could have agreed to the design. The US has insisted that the Guyana government and all interested stakeholders have been properly consulted.

The embassy here has ruled out suspending the project because of contractual obligations.

The PPP has in the past accused the US of using the project to bolster the opposition’s electoral chances by providing funding and other resources.

The American embassy has always maintained that no money has been provided to any political party, but that support had been provided for awareness sessions on long-awaited local government elections.

According to project documents seen by Demerara Waves, LEAD is aimed at forging closer working relationships among political parties, women and youths in discussing issues and developing ideas that could lead to better policy formulation and constitutional reform. Government has rebuffed any efforts by foreign interests to help advocate constitutional reform in Guyana.