Opposition Leader informs CARICOM about political situation in Guyana

Last Updated on Saturday, 4 March 2023, 9:44 by Denis Chabrol

CARICOM Chairman, The Bahamas’ Prime Minister Phillip ‘Brave’ Davis and Guyana’ Opposition Leader Aubrey Norton.

Opposition Leader Aubrey Norton has informed Caribbean Community (CARICOM) Chairman, The Bahamas’ Prime Minister Phillip ‘Brave’ Davis about the “deteriorating” political situation in Guyana as part of an expanding regional and international lobby.

“I set out to provide CARICOM with the information. What CARICOM will do is their decision. I don’t anticipate that CARICOM will become involved in our political situation but the process of letting the entire Caribbean know that this government is incompetent, it’s corrupt, is racist and to identify the atrocities that they are involved in,” Mr Norton told Demerara Waves Online News.

Asked if The Bahamian Prime Minister said what would be done with the information about the political conditions in Guyana, Mr Norton declined to state. “I wouldn’t comment on that.” At the same time, he expected that his approach to CARICOM feeding into similar lobbies to the American and Canadian governments. “I see his as part of a general foreign policy strategy…Well, I have been meeting with representatives of the United States and Canada and I think it will feed into it in some regard,” he said.

Mr Norton, who is returning from The Bahamas, said he did not expect the 15-nation CARICOM to intervene in Guyana’s internal affairs but said it was necessary to apprise the region about racial and political discrimination, corruption, politicisation and misuse of the Guyana Police Force to charge persons with terrorism and the need for a clean voters list. “I raised all the political issues and the voters list is one that I informed them about,” he told Demerara Waves Online News. “While the government portrays one thing in the public domain, it’s essentially a racist government. I highlighted the high levels of discrimination that are occurring in the society, among other things,” he added.

He explained that once CARICOM is aware of the political situation in Guyana, that should trigger “changes in their approach”. “What I mean is that they will begin to realise that this government is not a democratic government and, therefore, the process of treating them as a government that isn’t in consonance with a democratic approach will emerge,” he said. As a result, the Guyana Opposition Leader suggested that the People’s Progressive Party Civic-led administration would come under increasing pressure. “It will impact the political situation because, as governments across the Caribbean know what is happening, there is likely to be a different approach to the Government of Guyana,” he said.

The Opposition Leader said his complaints to the CARICOM Chairman also included the demolition of houses at Mocha, East Bank Demerara and this week’s dismantling and eviction of the PNCR’s office in Lethem, Region Nine.

Vice President Bharrat Jagdeo on Friday observed that the opposition has “gone back to the old playbook”  of hobnobbing with the international community, align with support groups and write erroneous reports to influence opinions and policymaking in foreign countries. “It’s not going to work now because we are going to be more aggressive in calling people out and we are going to make sure that the international community sees the bodies for what they are, and these individuals,” he told a news conference.