Washington Conference on Guyana a “resounding success”, ends with resolution for US to sanction Jagdeo and Police Force

Conference organizers, delegates and Guyanese Parliamentarians meet former US Speaker Nancy Pelosi

The inaugural Washington Conference on Guyana, convened by the Caribbean Guyana Institute for Democracy (CGID) and the Combined Guyanese Diaspora Organizations in Washington DC, has been hailed as a “resounding success” by organizers. A statement from the body reads thus:

On behalf of all of the delegates and special guests of the conference, we would like to express heartfelt thanks to the Members of Congress who took time from their busy schedules and Congressional responsibilities, amidst an impending government shutdown, to meet with the Parliamentary Opposition team from Guyana and the conference delegates.

The Members of the Congressional Black Caucus (CBC) who met with the delegations include Democratic Leader in Congress, Congressman Hakeem Jeffries, Chairman of the CBC Congressman Steven Horsford, First Vice Chairman of the CBC Congresswoman Yvette Clarke, Congresswoman Maxine Waters, Congresswoman Stacy Plaskett and Congressman Gregory Meeks. We will continue to keep them informed and engaged on Guyana.

We also thank the 120 delegates and presenters for attending and contributing to the tremendous success. Delegates came from 11 states and 6 countries. We especially thank the Opposition Leader of Guyana, Mr. Aubrey Norton, and the 11 other Members of Parliament who attended and provided much needed facts about the political situation on the ground.

Special thanks also to the resource personnel who imparted invaluable expert knowledge to the conference. Mr. Ian Campbell, lobbyist and Democratic Political Strategist, Hon. Prof Dr. Rosalea Hamilton, LLB, Ph.D. Director of the Institute for Law and Economics PJ Patterson Institute for Africa-Caribbean Advocacy, and Mr. Wole Akande International Trade Expert, Consultant on Investments in Oil and Gas and Renewable Energy.

The Conference convened under the theme “Promoting Inclusive Governance And Economic Growth, Equal Justice, Social Equality & Sustainable Development For All Guyanese In The Era Of Oil And Gas.”

The conference highlighted concerns by the diaspora that US policy on Guyana has not sufficiently promoted American values such as inclusive governance, inclusive growth; equal justice; social equality and sustainable development for all Guyanese.

Oil and gas revenues are not used equitably for the benefit and upliftment of all Guyanese. Billions of dollars in Government contracts mostly go to the ethnic supporters of the People’s Progressive Party (PPP) PPP Government; essentially shutting out the African Guyanese population from government contracts, and ensuring the transfer of State wealth to one ethnic group. Endemic Corruption by key Government officials is apparently ignored.

Delegates discussed the fact that racial discrimination and racism appear to drive PPP government policies and practices. Delegates also highlighted political discrimination against Indigenous brothers and sisters as well as Indo Guyanese who do not support the government. The Government is aggressively developing into an autocracy and poses a serious threat to the democratic rights of the citizenry.

Additionally issues were raised regarding the Guyana Police Force being used to target and persecute African Guyanese citizens and other political opponents of the PPP regime, and the Police targeting Guyanese living in the US who criticize the government. The Guyana Police’s commission of transnational repression crimes, joining countries like Russia and China, attracted an extended discussion.

Democratic Leader Hakeem Jeffries and the First Vice Chairman of the Congressional Black Caucus (CBC), Congresswoman Yvette Clarke. addressed delegates on Capitol Hill. Thereafter we outlined the overtly despotic tendencies of the racist PPP regime and its emergence into autocratic ethnocracy, and its incitement of racial hostilities which if remain unchecked by the international community will lead to civil unrest.

Delegates pointed to the blockade of Member of Parliament David Patterson from leaving Guyana to attending the Meeting on Capitol Hill, as evidence of an emerging apartheid dictatorship.

We requested that the Congressional Black Caucus send a fact finding mission to Guyana, and commissions a human rights and democracy assessment of Guyana.

In closed door discussions with US government officials, delegates asked that the US government support, as well as ask CARICOM, the OAS and the United Nations to launch an international investigation into the 1400 young men most of whom were African Guyanese who were allegedly killed by the PPP death squads organized and financed by Bharrat Jagdeo and his government. The need to empower Indigenous Guyanese by providing guidance into business opportunities was also discussed.

The delegates also raised with Members of Congress the situation where the PPP regime is systematically attempting to take away lands and property from African Guyanese. We cited the case where an African Guyanese American businessman had legitimately acquired lands under the Granger Administration in 2018 to build a Hilton Hotel. When the PPP came to power they unlawfully seized the land and distributed it to East Indian supporters.

Under enormous pressure the PPP government awarded this businessman another plot of land at another location. After the businessman spent over $1 million, to develop infrastructure, only to have it unlawfully taken away, although he has the financing and has a pending application for the loan to be guaranteed by US Exim Bank.

Finally, the conference concluded with a resolution, passed unanimously by delegates for the US government to sanction Bharrat Jagdeo and some in the leadership of the Guyana Police Force for crimes against humanity, corruption and transnational repression crimes.

Richard Millington, Esq
Director of Communications
Caribbean Guyana Institute for Democracy (CGID)
September 30, 2023

Feature image: In the unofficial photo below Democratic Leader Hakeem Jeffries chats with confidence delegates Dr. David Hinds, Rickford Burke, Rennie Parris