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The inaugural Washington Conference on Guyana, organized by the Caribbean Guyana Institute for Democracy (CGID) and the Combined Guyanese Diaspora Organizations, concluded with a fervent call to action to address alleged governmental discrepancies in Guyana. The event was marked by a unified resolution seeking sanctions and travel restrictions on Bharrat Jagdeo and officials of the Guyana Police Force by the United States government.
The conference, emphasizing “Promoting Inclusive Governance And Economic Growth, Equal Justice, Social Equality & Sustainable Development For All Guyanese In The Era Of Oil And Gas,” became a platform for open discussions on concerns pertaining to racial discrimination, corruption, and the perceived autocratic shift in governance in Guyana. Delegates highlighted the apparent preferential treatment and allocation of governmental contracts and state wealth to ethnic supporters of the People’s Progressive Party (PPP) Government.
The discussions drew attention to the alleged misuse of oil and gas revenues, raising questions about the equitable distribution and benefit for all Guyanese. In-depth dialogues focused on concerns over the Guyana Police Force’s supposed targeting and persecution of African Guyanese citizens, Indigenous communities, and political opponents of the PPP regime.
Congressman Hakeem Jeffries and Congresswoman Yvette Clarke, prominent members of the Congressional Black Caucus (CBC), addressed the delegates, echoing concerns over the rising political tensions, and emphasized the need for international intervention to uphold democracy and civil rights in Guyana. They concurred with the alarming observations presented by the delegates, outlining what were referred to as the despotic tendencies and autocratic emergence of the PPP regime, and its alleged incitement of racial hostilities.
Delegates extensively deliberated on accusations against Bharrat Jagdeo and his government for organizing and financing death squads, allegedly responsible for the killings of 1400 young men, predominantly African Guyanese. The conference provided a platform for participants to discuss the necessity of empowering Indigenous Guyanese and explore solutions to racial and political discrimination against various communities.
Delegates from 11 states and six countries included the Opposition Leader of Guyana, Mr. Aubrey Norton, and other Members of Parliament. They provided insights into the ground realities and pointed to the blockade of Member of Parliament David Patterson as evidence of an emerging apartheid dictatorship in Guyana. It was suggested that lands and property are being systematically taken away from African Guyanese, citing a case of unlawful seizure and reallocation of land acquired by an African Guyanese American businessman.
In light of these alarming revelations and discussions, a unanimous resolution was passed, calling upon the US government, CARICOM, the OAS, and the United Nations to launch an international investigation into the alleged crimes against humanity, corruption, and transnational repression crimes.
Special thanks were extended to resource personnel, including Ian Campbell, Hon. Prof. Dr. Rosalea Hamilton, and Mr. Wole Akande, for imparting expert knowledge, and to Members of Congress for their engagement and commitment to keeping informed on Guyana.
Richard Millington, Esq., the Director of Communications at CGID, conveyed gratitude to all attendees and special guests who contributed to the conference’s success and shared a unified vision for a more inclusive and just Guyanese society.