The United States Acting Assistant Secretary for Western Hemisphere Affairs, Michael Kozak, has announced that the American Government has expanded its pool of persons facing visa restrictions for undermining Guyana’s democracy, or for being complicit. He also called the David Granger coalition’s position on the elections a “farce” as it has been claiming that the results of the recount, which shows it lost, are not credible.In a press briefing yesterday, Kozak related that the US Government has taken steps to advance democracy in the Western Hemisphere, which he called “the hemisphere for freedom.”
US Secretary of State, Mike Pompeo, had announced the first tranche of restrictions on July 15 “on individuals responsible for or complicit in undermining democracy in Guyana”, after which US Ambassador Sarah-Ann Lynch reiterated the support the US places behind the transparent and credible national vote recount.
The recount results show that the People’s Progressive Party Civic (PPP/C) has won the elections.“The Secretary’s been clear,” Kozak said, “The Granger administration and its allies continue to defy the will of the Guyanese people by refusing to accept the vote count. The count has been certified as valid by international observers OAS and CARICOM, Guyana’s and the Caribbean’s highest courts.”
Kozak pointed to the Inter-American Democratic Charter as the document which binds the countries of the Americas and the Caribbean to democracy.
“We’ve been working with our partners and through the [Organization of American States] OAS,” Kozak said, “to stand up for democracy where it is under threat, and at the same time we’re trying to turn the tide in those countries where democracy is but a dream.”
Kozak said that the US joins the rest of the region “refusing to go along with this farce.”
“We will continue,” he added, “to act until the Granger administration accepts the will of Guyanese voters.”
The announcement came on the same day that Guyana’s Appeal Court made a unanimous ruling which iterated, amongst other things, that the recount results must be used for a final declaration. Despite stating yesterday that he would accept any declaration made by the Chair, Granger’s coalition has signaled its intention to appeal the judgment of the Court, to the Caribbean Court of Justice (CCJ), which could further frustrate a declaration of the final results of the elections. This is despite the electoral process going on for five months. On top of that, the central themes of the coalition’s arguments support getting rid of the recount figures, and making a declaration on the basis of the tainted district declarations, as several other attempts to rig the elections results failed to hold ground.