The United States (U.S.) visa is being used as a “weapon of bullyism”, says Prime Minister (PM), Moses Nagamootoo. His comment comes days after a top U.S. official announced visa restrictions on state and election officials for allegedly playing a role in subverting the will expressed by the Guyanese people in the March 2 General and Regional Elections (GRE).
In his weekly column, “My Turn”, published in the state-run media, Nagamootoo said, “I readily identify with the way Guyanese feel over the use of a foreign visa as a weapon of bullyism; a form of terror diplomacy”.
The PM said that though the electoral process in Guyana is yet to be completed, and a winner not yet declared, the U.S. still went ahead and called for the incumbent regime to step aside, which was buttressed with the imposition of sanctions.
“The apparent rape of Guyana’s sovereignty, and the naked threat of sanctions have elicited an emotional wave of patriotic sentiments. Many Guyanese have identified themselves with, and have posted on social media, the country’s National Pledge. They pledge ‘to be obedient and loyal to Guyana’, and not allow the lure of a foreign visa to be placed around their necks as an instrument of hate and rejection,” he said.
He stressed that the “big stick” method being employed by the U.S. will not work. He instead, advocated for engagement on the national levels between the two main political parties. Failure to accomplish this will result in Guyana undertaking the herculean task of pursuing development as a segregated nation.
He urged: “The most difficult political challenges are ahead. For this, Guyana needs engagement, not isolation, not sanctions. The leaders have to come to the table and work out a post-election détente. The time for this is now!”