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No compromise of Guyana’s territorial sovereignty, says Jagdeo ahead of Secretary of State Pompeo’s visit

Last Updated on Wednesday, 16 September 2020, 20:14 by Denis Chabrol

Vice President Bharrat Jagdeo on Wednesday sought to assure Guyanese that the country’s territorial sovereignty would not be compromised, but he acknowledged that the Guyana government was concerned about the political situation in Venezuela.

“We have grave concerns. We support democracy everywhere. We have grave concerns about democracy anywhere where it is violated including in Venezuela but we will defend Guyana’s interests and what’s good for our people, Guyanese; that is what is foremost in the minds of this administration, our people; their interest comes first,” he said.

The House Speaker Manzoor Nadir on Wednesday again disallowed questions to Foreign Affairs Minister Hugh Todd by the opposition A Partnership for National Unity+Alliance For Change (APNU+AFC) about United States Secretary of State Mike Pompeo’s visit to Guyana from September 17 to 18.

Mr. Todd did not refer to Mr. Pompeo’s visit to Guyana, but in a separate interview released by the Department of Public Information. Mr. Jagdeo stressed that his administration would do nothing to endanger Guyana’s territorial integrity. “You can be assured that we will never do anything that will compromise Guyana’s sovereignty and territorial integrity and we have demonstrated this over the many years by our full support for initiatives by APNU on the border,” he said.

Mr. Jagdeo noted that een in the five-month period when APNU+AFC was “trying to steal the elections” the People’s Progressive Party had still participated in the hearing at the International Court of Justice). “We don’t trifle with our borders. That is not a political issue. We don’t compromise national interest on the border,” he said.

Vice President Jagdeo objected to APNU+AFC asking government to release the agenda of the meeting with the US Secretary of State. He believed that the opposition coalition was upset with the US’ stance and especially that of Mr. Pompeo. “I suspect they are still smarting from the positions taken by the US in that period,” Mr. Jagdeo said in referring to claims by the coalition that the March 2, 2020 general elections had been rigged by the PPP. The US and several sections of the international community had, however, insisted on the use of the national vote recount figures to declare the results which was eventually done on August 2, 2020 and saw the PPP declared the winner.

Mr. Jagdeo recalled that Guyana had given ExxonMobil a “liberal contract” because it was strategic to have an American company in Guyana’s Exclusive Economic Zone because it helped to defend our sovereignty.

Guyana’s Foreign Ministry on Wednesday

Then President David Granger had confirmed turning down a request by the US for Voice of America radio programmes to beamed on Guyana’s allocated medium wave radio frequency spectrum, saying that it was not in this country’s national interest to do so.

The Irfaan Ali-led administration almost immediately on assuming office last month appeared quite cozy with the US.