U.S Ambassador to Guyana Brent Hardt who has been accused of “meddling in local politics” by the governing People’s Progressive Party has declared that he will not judge any statement because “I am here to do my job and my job has many facets to it”.
The PPP in a statement to mark World Press Freedom Day on Saturday called out the U.S Ambassador for his statements the night before about the need for the state media to offer greater balance in its coverage and for the independent media to stop being referred to as the Opposition media. The PPP said the Ambassador had become a meddler in local politics.
Speaking to reporters on Tuesday afternoon after handing over a fingerprinting equipment to the Police Force, Ambassador Hardt said “we cooperate in many areas as I mentioned in my remarks, from security cooperation to public health to democracy and governance to economic prosperity, we work in all these areas. And our view is that all of these areas are interrelated”.
The Government of Guyana and the US Embassy have been at loggerheads over the implementation of the USAID funded Leadership and Democracy Project. The Government has been calling on the US to put a hold to the project which is meant to educate and inform communities about democratic practices and their rights. Although the agreement that set the stage for the project was signed onto by the Government of Guyana in 2009, the Government now wants to have a greater input in the projects implementation.
The project has been moving ahead without the Government’s support and that move by the U.S resulted in the Government of Guyana revoking the work permit and extension of stay status of the Head of the LEAD project, Glenn Bradbury. The US Embassy has expressed its regret over that move by the Guyanese government and the Ambassador has repeatedly defended the project as one that is needed in Guyana and one that will benefit all the people of Guyana.
President Donald Ramotar over the weekend, declared that there is no need for the LEAD project in Guyana at this time.