November 17, 2023

Georgetown, Guyana.

For immediate release to all media houses.

Alliance For Change Press statements from the Press Conference

Please find above the link to today’s AFC Presser

AFC delegation meets with the Organisation of World Leaders

Dr. Dee Dawkins-Haigler, who heads a fact-finding team of esteemed elected officials, entrepreneurs and human rights activists from USA met with the leadership of the AFC on Thursday 16th November at the Party’s Headquarters on Railway Line.

This fact-finding team was presented with a number of documents by the AFC’s Leader which evidence ethnic and political discrimination by the PPP Government in the areas of contract awarding, arbitrary termination of public servants’ contracts, appointments of senior posts at the State level, and the distribution of State resources.

The documents presented show that the PPP’s discriminatory practices were not of recent vintage and included a paper by Freddie Kissoon “Ethnic Power and Ideological Racism”, the UN McDougall Report, Economy and Justice in Guyana by Nigel Hughes, IDPADA-G’s responses to the UN Working Group of Experts on People of African Descent, and documents presented by MP’s Juretha Fernandes and Ricky Ramsaroop revealing imbalances and inequity in Budgetary allocations at the Regional Democratic levels.

The team was also informed about the PPP’s non transparency and unaccountability when since 2021 it has sought to hide information as to who have been the recipients of the Covid Relief, the Fisherman’s Relief, the second severance payment to sugar workers, and the Flood Relief. There is every reason to believe that there is massive discrimination against Afro Guyanese and political opponents of the Government in these Relief programs, all the, moreso, as a result of the inflexibility in not wanting to publish the names, addresses and amounts given to each respective recipient.

Additionally, the destruction of the Public Accounts Committee as we knew it, by the alteration of its quorum and modus operandi by the PPP, was received with surprise by

the team, especially when told that this new development has seen over 20 PAC sittings being cancelled. The Party made it known that other guard rails of democracy have been broken and this all reflects a developing elective despotism of the PPP Government. The fact-finding team indicated that it will be in contact via zoom with the leadership of the AFC to get more information and clarity. The leadership indicated its willingness to share whatever is requested of the team and thanked it for coming to Guyana.

Statement on current developments in the Venezuela Border controversy

The Alliance For Change reiterates its unwavering support for the unified national approach being taken by Government and opposition political parties with regards to our border controversy with Venezuela. We support all efforts and the process embarked upon by the International Court of Justice including the submissions and events of this week regarding the inflammatory contents in a referendum Venezuela intends to hold on December 3, 2023.

The Alliance For Change continues to be seriously concerned regarding the PPP Governments’ handling of the illegal influx of Venezuelans into Guyana’s territory which poses a severe existential threat to all Guyana.

Confirmed reports highlight a recent unexplained and definite increase in Venezuelans arriving undocumented in boats, jumping of out of busses after being taken into police custody while at the same time an aggressive international campaign is in motion. The Venezuelan Vice President’s very vocal pronouncements have informed us of their deliberate strategy to annex Guyana’s Essequibo region. No mincing of their words there and to all this, our governments’ response has been nothing less than Luke warm.

In fact, our recent outreaches have highlighted that the citizens of Guyana continue to be very concerned as to what is likely to occur post December 3, and are alarmed at the total lack of engagement by the PPP government on the ground especially in the Essequibo region. This lack of engagement, the absence of information, a plan or approach, unanswered urgent critical questions posed by the AFC, other political parties, the media, concerned NGO groups and individuals are now a slap in the face of all Guyanese.

This has given life to the suggestions that Mr. Jagdeo and his party systematically have allowed Venezuelans into our country without the requisite stringent registration processes and monitoring to pad an already corrupt voters list. Vice President Jagdeo’s recent pronouncement that eligible Venezuelan migrants must be allowed to vote in elections has added fuel to the fire. Well, this PPP plan to stay in power appears to have backfired and now our territorial sovereignty is at risk!

It must be noted again that the PPP’s approach to Venezuelan migrants is vastly different to the treatment meted out to our Haitians brothers and sisters who based on membership are granted free movement within Caricom, but who were forcibly removed, detained for days and cannot enter Guyana without a visa. This duplicitous policy has still not been explained.

Given this worrying situation the Alliance For Change once again recommends the following:

That since Venezuela has clearly “upped the ante” no Venezuelan migrants be allowed to enter Guyana at any official ports of entry or at porous border crossings.

That like the Haitians any other Venezuelan entering Guyana must be granted a visa to enter prior.

That the new ID card programme which will seek to register everyone in Guyana must be immediately halted given the lack of electoral integrity in our systems in Guyana and until this crisis is over. There continues to exist too many loopholes in the system.

That the Opposition must be invited to send a representative on the committee the President referred to and to participate on all national committees and agencies dealing with the border controversy as we continue to promote unity of this issue.