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President frowns on talk of Western Nations’ motive against China; says international trust is key

Last Updated on Sunday, 31 July 2022, 18:17 by Denis Chabrol

President Irfaan Ali on Sunday dismissed a recent suggestion that the United States (US) and other Western Nations were pumping money into Latin America and the Caribbean to only dislodge China rather than help the region as that Asian nation has been doing in Developing Nations.

“(I) saw some headline about this relationship and I went there and the US had ulterior motives in this region. Absolute nonsense!,” he said at the sod-turning for a more than 140 million Euro paediatric and maternal hospital at Ogle, East Coast Demerara.

Former President Donald Ramotar on July 28, 2022 told a public forum that marked the 50th anniversary of Guyana-China relations that it was clear that Western Nations were intent on eliminating Chinese influence in the region rather than providing development finance. “While I appreciate and I am happy that they are coming on board to help developing countries with infrastructure works and other works, as China is doing now, what is of worry for me is the motivation for why they are doing it. They are not saying they are doing it to help the Third World countries; they are doing it to conquer China’s influence in the Third World and that motivation to me is not the best motivation and when you begin from those premises, I think you can end up in all kinds of contradictions and all kinds of struggle,” Mr Ramotar has said.

Concerning his recent signing of a US$2 billion line of credit memorandum of understanding with the US Export-Import (EXIMBANK) during his visit last week to the US, President Ali said, “it’s normal that a US agency- the EXIMBANK would sign an MoU and put an indicative figure inside but it speaks to the seriousness of the relationship and  the bilateral partnership and strategy the US and Guyana are embarking on.”

The President said Guyana would continue to retain relations with many other countries such as Austria, China, United Kingdom, Chile and Cuba as “you are friends, you are partners.” “Ultimately, what we represent is the best interest for Guyana, partners will represent the best interest for their countries and together we represent what is best in our relationship and the development of our relationship,” he added.

According to the Guyanese leader, his government was keen on speaking with big and small nations alike as they are all part of the global community.

He lambasted the media and others for their headlines and “reckless statements” while he and his delegation were busy holding talks in Washington DC.

The Guyanese Leader on Sunday, however, stayed clear of any references to Social Media statements by US Secretary of State Antony Blinken and Vice President Kamala Harris that about the need for transparency, inclusive growth, inclusive democracy and “economic development for all Guyanese. after they held talks with him. At the same time, he cited the need for international trust which he said he has been working very hard to rebuild. “All the bilateral relationship  and everything that we’re doing, we have to be people the w0rld want to trust, we have to be people the world can trust. Unless the world trusts us, the world will not do business with us. The world may do transactions with us but not business,” he said.

Dr. Ali hinted that some of the discussions with the international community is focussed on the March 2020 general and regional election fiasco in which there were a number of declarations by the Guyana Elections Commission before the national vote recount that sought to give a victory to then incumbent A Partnership for National Unity+Alliance For Change (APNU+AFC). “Let me tell the naysayers something: it is not easy to go into a room to hear about your country’s democracy records and election records as a negative against your country and we have to spend hours dismantling that negative or perception about our country,” he said.

That now opposition coalition has, on the other hand, maintained that the People’s Progressive Party Civic has cheated its way into office through voting in the names of migrants and deceased persons.