Raphael Trotman ,MP
September 14 ,2020
APNU+AFC MP Raphael Trotman today issued a veiled warning to the government not to commit to anything during the upcoming visit of US Secretary of State, Mike Pompeo that could jeopardise Guyana’s pursuit of a judicial settlement of the border controversy with Venezuela.
Without naming Pompeo, Trotman said “Being aware of the imminent arrival of certain foreign dignitaries, we must be careful that in the height of the pomp, no pun intended, and ceremony, we do not lose our dignity and self-respect and trade our sovereignty, statehood and hallowed stance of the right to self-determination and non-interference, in the affairs of other states by agreeing to some unhelpful and unholy agenda that is meant to boost electoral prospects elsewhere.
“We have made tremendous progress in the last five years to achieve a binding and internationally recognisable outcome by getting our controversy (with Venezuela) before the International Court of Justice (ICJ) and our cause is just and highly likely to succeed. We implore you not to turn a controversy, being settled by peaceful means, into a hot dispute that threatens our sovereignty and the peace within the region”.
Trotman was speaking during today’s opening of debate on the 2020 budget at the Arthur Chung Conference Centre.
Pompeo would be the highest ranking US government official to ever visit Guyana. There are concerns that the objective of his mission is to push the Trump administration’s campaign for the removal of the Maduro regime in Caracas and that this would entangle Guyana in a regional crisis when it is in the midst of prosecuting its case at the ICJ against Venezuela.
The government has been tightlipped on the exact purpose of Pompeo’s mission. An advance US government team arrived here for talks yesterday prior to Pompeo’s arrival for the September 17-18 visit.
Pompeo had been vocal about ensuring that Guyana’s March 2nd general elections were not stolen and at one point announced visa sanctions against officials here participating in undermining democracy and also called for the APNU+AFC government to step aside as the recount of the votes had showed that it had lost the elections.