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UNITED States Congresswoman Yvette Clarke (D-NY), Co-chair of the Caribbean Cacus in the US House of Representatives, in blistering comments on Monday night, condemned foreign interference in Guyana’s elections process. The Congresswoman said she has been monitoring what has been taking place in Guyana and is eager to get back to Washington to be fully briefed on what the State Department is actually doing in Guyana and is willing to take strong action if necessary.
Clarke, a 14-year incumbent of the US Congress, is the daughter of fiery Jamaican American former member of the New York City Council, Dr. Una Clarke. She lambasted the US government for interfering in the elections. The Congresswoman said that the current United States Administration is being run by “pirates,” and expressed concern about what the State Department and other foreign actors are doing in Guyana. She has threatened to ask for hearings and pass legislation to block such interference from taking place in other places.
The Brooklyn democrat said it is possible that she and her democratic colleagues will hold a press conference in Washington to address the unacceptable interference by foreign actors in Guyana’s elections. Clark’s cutting comments were made in a television interview with the President of the Caribbean Guyana Institute for Democracy (CGID), Rickford Burke, host of the television talk show “Conversation With Rickford Burke,” which was streamd live on Facebook Monday night. Her statements expanded on comments she made last week on Straight Up with Mark Benschop on 107.1 FM Radio in Guyana.
The Congresswoman’s stinging rebuke came amidst a flurry of activities from international actors, including the Organisation of American States (OAS) and the Commonwealth, which have been described as bullying the Guyana Elections Commission (GECOM) to declare inaccurate, fraudulent elections results. Reports are that these international organisations are being heavily lobbied by Mercury Public Affairs, a Trump Campaign political consulting firm, on behalf of Guyana’s opposition People’s Progressive Party (PPP), to undemocratically outs the incumbent APNU+AFC coalition government, led by President David Granger, a retired Army Brigadier.
A recount of votes cast in the controversial March 2, 2020 general elections show the PPP with a 15,000 vote lead over the ruling APNU+AFC coalition. However, the coalition has vehemently insisted that the PPP’s votes contain over 32,0000 fraudulent ballots. The coalition had provided immigration records and death certificates to prove that PPP operatives allegedly manufactured phantom votes by impersonating dead people and persons who have migrated, but whose names remained on the voters list. The names were kept on the list through the legal instrumentality of the PPP. President Granger and several of his coalition top brass, including Prime Minister Moses Nagamootoo, have been demanding that GECOM removes the fraudulent ballots from the elections results.
GECOM’s task grew more complicated on Saturday when Guyana’s Chief Elections Officer (CEO), Keith Lowenfield, submitted his preliminary ballot recount report to GECOM Chairman, retired Justice of Appeal, Claudette Singh. Lowenfield’s report confirmed Guyanese worst fears. It affirmed that the elections were manipulated and riddled with voter impersonation and fraud, which has affected the results. Lowenfield concluded that the “irregularities and instances of voter impersonation identified do not appear to satisfy the criteria of impartiality, fairness, and compliance with provisions of the Constitution and the ROPA Cap1:03. Consequently, on the basis of the votes counted and the information furnished from the recount, it cannot be ascertained that the results meet the standard of fair and credible elections.”
GECOM is deliberating on the report and has made no declaration. Although GECOM is still in the recount process, and facing a mountain of evidence of fraud, the OAS on Monday called for a transition of government. Commonwealth Secretary General, Baroness Patricia Scotland also called for the fraudulent results to be declared. Observers, however, say that Scotland has no credibility as she is currently embroiled in the institution’s biggest corruption scandal in history. The UK government has withdrawn funding for the Commonwealth as a result and has called for her resignation.
Congresswoman Clarke slammed the sustained interference in the elections and emphasised that Guyana must maintain its sovereignty. She said if GECOM is forced into a position by outside forces then Guyana would be moving away from governing itself, and foreign actors will then have the ability to govern Guyana. She said that should never be the case as it is undemocratic. The Congresswoman said that in order for there to be free and fair election, where the people of Guyana choose their own leadership, the US cannot in anyway interfere in the GECOM process. She threatened to hold the US State Department accountable because she’s aware of what’s at stake in Guyana.
“We know what’s at stake in Guyana right now. It’s not just the sovereignty, it’s the wealth. We have some corrupt, I called them pirates governing the United States right now. And I’m very concerned about undue influence of corporations and entities outside of Guyana determining the fate of the Guyanese people. That cannot happen. I would encourage everyone, Guyanese Americans, to let your voices be known, Clarke said.”
Clarke said she’s committed to ensuring that the racist tendency in the current US Administration is not embedded in its international relations. She said while the US projects itself as a beacon of democracy for the countries of the Caribbean Region, it has turned a blind eye to the region and has been racist in its foreign policy. The Congresswoman said that the Caribbean Diaspora in the United States is the most powerful force the nations have in the US. She stressed that while the US dictates policies around the world, the people dictate who the leadership is with their votes.
“If Guyanese Americans want to see the US out of the elections in Guyana they should be ringing the phones down at the State Department. Pompeo should know that you know what he’s up to,” she said, referring to US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo. She also urged Guyanese to write House Speaker Nancy Pelosi and Senate Minor Leader, New York Senator, Chuck Schumer. Asked by Burke how can the US government help the people of Guyana get justice for the hundreds of young black men that were killed by PPP death squads, in light of the world now demanding justice for black lives that have been killed by law enforcement and other state actors, the Congresswoman urged Guyanese nationals to form a movement and bring the evidence of atrocities to Washington. She said she and Members of Congress are willing to have hearings and take action to ensure justice is served. Clarke, and Congress Members Albio Sires and Gregory Meeks visited Guyana in the run up to the elections on a fact-finding mission to ensure that the nation was adequately prepared for elections.