The Guyanese Diaspora in Queens, Brooklyn, Bronx, New Jersey, and Washington DC turned out in numbers to greet Vice President and Minister of Public Security Khemraj Ramjattan on Sunday September 15th 2019.
The Minister was on his way back to Guyana from official events in Washington DC, where he also met members of the Guyanese diaspora.
The Queens event held at Richi Rich Palace in Richmond Hill saw a full house, packed with members and supporters of the AFC-USA Chapter. The PPP could only muster approximately 15 supporters in the middle of one of their previous strongholds who sought to intimidate our guests and disrupt the meeting. The New York City Police Department were able to keep this small but rowdy bunch in line as the meeting was conducted inside.
Inside, the minister brought the crowd up to date on issues related to Guyana, including that the Coalition Government in 4 years has made remarkable progress with strong foundations to do better in their next term of office. Specifically, the Minister brought us up to date on the status of election preparedness in the aftermath of the CCJ ruling. Minister Ramjattan in great detail explained the steps that the coalition took in approaching the CCJ court leading up to where we are now. He stated that Charandass up to the moment of the vote, was professing his support for the coalition, even stating that he wanted to confront the PPP over its misdeeds. Charandass’ vote in favor of the no confidence motion came as a shock and surprise to the government and he was described as a Judas.
Minister Ramjattan fielded questions about the Exxon contract and why the government settled on a 2 percent royalty and 50% profit sharing. He stated that given the choice of a lower royalty plus profit sharing was better than the higher royalty by itself. He further explained that along with the territorial claims made by Venezuela, the coalition felt it was best to have a large American company exploring and developing in our waters. Minister Ramjattan felt that the Exxon contract was mischaracterized by the press that did not fully explain the benefits to the people of Guyana. He stated that in the hundred plus years that Trinidad has been pumping oil, it has never exceeded 100,000 barrels of oil a day. He said that on the first day of pumping oil, Guyana will exceed 120,000 barrels per day to loud applause.
The meeting crowd of about 65 members, and supporters were happy to hear about the Smart Cities Initiative where cameras were deployed in strategic areas around the country in order to deter and solve crime. Minister Ramjattan explained that crime statistics were going down as a result of the training and other initiatives being employed by his Ministry with the support of the international community.
Later that same day, Minister Ramjattan attended another overflowing event at the Woodbine Hall in Brooklyn, New York. Minister Ramjattan entered the event to the loud and enthusiastic support of the 250 plus guests in the packed ballroom. The event was a cultural affair and variety show, which the Minister took part in. The Minister, wife Seeta, and entourage were welcomed with great hospitality and was able to address the crowd of eager guests.
The AFC has once again demonstrated the multicultural character of its party, as we are able to embrace Guyanese of all ethnicities and in all locations, unlike the PPP who can only attract its traditional supporters. Whether Guyanese reside in Queens or Brooklyn, New Jersey or Washington, we do not reject them because of their ethnicity.