President Granger seeking to further strengthen bilateral ties with immediate neighbours
HIGH on the agenda of His Excellency David Granger and his soon-to-be-sworn in Administration will be to accelerate infrastructural and economic developments with CARICOM and Guyana’s other immediate neighbours.During his first official day in Office as Guyana’s 8th Executive President, Brigadier Ret’d Granger held brief meetings with the CARICOM Secretary General, Irwin LaRocque.
According to President Granger, his meeting with Mr. LaRocque was a deliberate decision he made, as he noted the importance of meeting with Guyana’s most important neighbours.
“It was a deliberate decision of mine that we should meet with our most important neighbours first and CARICOM is at the heart of the economic development of Guyana; and in terms of not only courtesy, but also in terms of policy (and) I felt it was my duty to meet with our Caribbean neighbours first.”
The Head-of-State, at the Office of the President, also met with Brazil’s Ambassador to Guyana, His Excellency, Mr. Lineu Pupo de Paula; and Venezuela’s Ambassador to Guyana, Her Excellency Reina Margarita Arratia Diaz.
Speaking of his meeting with the Brazilian Ambassador, President Granger alluded to the fact that the two countries have always had cordial relations and his Administration will be working to strengthen those ties.
“…We would like to accelerate the pace of some of the projects, particularly for infrastructure and other economic ones; I’ve already discussed with Carl Greenidge, who has been identified as the Foreign Minister, to place extraordinary importance on economic relations.”
Brazil, which has the longest land frontier to Guyana, President Granger pointed out, is also a member of the Brazil, Russia, India and China group (BRIC), and has one of the fastest growing economies in the world.
Meanwhile, issues discussed during the President’s meeting with the Venezuela Ambassador include the continuation of the Good Officer Process, that speaks directly to the dealings of territorial matters.
According to President Granger, the Good Officer process forms part of the menu of measures prescribed by the Charter of the United Nations and is very important to both countries.
“As you know, Venezuela is an important neighbour, and in terms of Petro Caribe, the economic importance of Petro Caribe, as well as other strategic dimensions of Guyana/Venezuela relations.”
Summing up the three meetings, President Granger said that they were all extremely important in terms of foreign policies and moreso the internal economic vision and policy of his Administration.
Yesterday’s meeting, for the CARICOM Secretary General, was seen as a very strong signal of Guyana’s commitment to CARICOM’s integration arrangement and to the brotherhood of Caribbean civilisation.
Considering it a great honour to have met with the President on his first day in Office, Mr. La Rocque said the discussion was centred on Guyana’s role in CARICOM and about the integration arrangement.
Like the Brazilian Ambassador, His Excellency Mr. Lineu Pupo de Paula, La Rocque said he is looking forward to working with President Granger and his Administration.
His Excellency Mr. Lineu Pupo de Paula, also opined that he is looking forward to working with the new Administration on some key infrastructural projects, including the Linden to Lethem road, and a hydro plant in the Mazaruni.
Presidente Maduro reafirma voluntad para abordar diferendo territorial con nuevo presidente de Guyana
El presidente de la República Bolivariana de Venezuela, Nicolás Maduro, reafirmó este lunes la voluntad de abordar diferendo territorial con nuevo presidente de Guyana, David Granger, basado en el Derecho Internacional Público.
Así lo expone un comunicado oficial de la Cancillería venezolana en el que se cataloga tal diferendo como un “legado de viejos colonialismos”.
En este sentido, con motivo de la victoria de Granger en los comicios celebrados el lunes 11 de mayo, el Gobierno Bolivariano reafirma su “máxima voluntad de tener relaciones de cooperación y respeto con el nuevo gobierno de Guyana”.
Hasta el pasado sábado, la Comisión de Elecciones de Guyana (GECOM) informó que la coalición de partidos de la oposición ganó las elecciones con lo que dio fin a más de 20 años de mandato del Partido Progresista del Pueblo (PPP).
La soberanía sobre el Esequibo es disputada por Venezuela que busca negociar con Guyana una solución pacífica del conflicto como quedó establecido en el Acuerdo de Ginebra firmado en 1966.
Luego de varias propuestas, en 1989 se da inicio a un acuerdo entre los dos países: el método de los Buenos Oficios con el fin de establecer un acercamiento práctico entre los gobiernos de cada nación para hallar una solución satisfactoria.
En el 2010, se reanudó este mecanismo, luego de dos años paralizados por la muerte del diplomático Oliver Jackman, para proseguir las negociaciones sobre el diferendo limítrofe.
INTEGRACIÓN MÁS ALLÁ DEL CONFLICTO
Durante los últimos años, los gobiernos han buscado que este conflicto no se convierta en un obstáculo para la integración de los pueblos de ambos países.
“No puede haber duda que el estado actual de nuestras relaciones es en hecho sin precedentes. Esta amistad fraternal y de cooperación que existe entre nosotros en este momento no vino por casualidad”, aseveró el Primer Ministro de Guyana, Samuel Hinds, durante la conmemoración del 201º Aniversario de la Independencia de Venezuela.
Así lo reseñó el portal Web de la embajada de Venezuela en Guyana. Hinds atribuyó a las buenas relaciones sostenidas entre ambas naciones “al contacto y al dialogo sostenido con los que hemos sido capaces de lograr al más alto nivel, un compromiso sincero de trabajar para consolidar nuestra relación a través del respeto mutuo y la comprensión mutua”.
Cabe acotar que desde el 25 de enero de 2007 Guyana hace parte del “Acuerdo Energético de Petrocaribe”, por el que Petróleos de Venezuela, S.A. (PDVSA) suministraría 5.200 barriles diarios de hidrocarburos. Esto, se precisa en el citado portal, representa la mitad del consumo diario de ese país.
EXXON DETRÁS DEL TELÓN
Tras el hallazgo de la compañía Exxon Mobil de petróleo en la zona en disputa, específicamente en el bloque Stabroek de una región fronteriza reclamada por Venezuela, fue necesario otro pronunciamiento.
Durante los primeros días de abril, la ministra del Poder Popular para Relaciones Exteriores de Venezuela, Delcy Rodríguez, dirigió una nota escrita al Sr. Jeff Simon, Gerente País de la compañía Esso Exploration and Production Guyana Ltd, en la que rechazó las intenciones de la transnacional de interferir en los asuntos soberanos que desarrollan ambos países.
Rodríguez señaló que “la actuación de la transnacional, subsidiaria de ExxonMobil, contradice el Derecho Internacional Público y revela su intención de subvertirlo, con la pretensión de realizar operaciones no autorizadas dentro del espacio marítimo colindante con Venezuela, lo cual constituye un acto de violación a lo establecido en el Acuerdo de Ginebra de 1966”, según reza una nota de prensa de la Cancillería venezolana.
President Granger names Harmon Minister of State …as new Gov’t meets predecessors over power transfer
HEAD of State Brigadier (rtd) David Granger is in the concluding stages of finalising his Cabinet Council of Ministers and has announced the creation of a new Ministry, naming Head of the Presidential Secretariat (HPS), Lieutenant Colonel (rtd) Joseph Harmon as Minister of State.The announcement came yesterday when President Granger met with staffers at Office of the President.
He has proposed to have the Office encompassing a ‘Ministry of the Presidency.’ And it will be headed by Harmon.
On his re-entrance to the National Assembly, in the 11th Parliament, Harmon will be designated Minister of State, and as such will be Head and hold the portfolio as Minister in charge of the Ministry of the Presidency.
President Granger has also indicated that from time to time, other ministers will be appointed in the Presidency, “but Mr. Harmon will be the person who will be exercising the ministerial function under my directions of this ministry.”
He said, some departments will continue, “some will remain, but the most important thing is that we ensure there is no disruption, simple…Comrade Harmon will be doing the job that Dr. (Roger) Luncheon did, with some exceptions, he won’t be doing NIS, but as far as OP is concerned, he is Minister in charge.”
Ministers will not be officially sworn in until they are first administered the Oath of Office as Members of Parliament.
HPS Harmon yesterday told the Guyana Chronicle that President Granger is looking to having the Parliament convened as early as the first week in next month, at which time the Ministers can be sworn in.
He managed to confirm too that former Finance Minister Carl Greenidge has been identified as the person to hold the Ministerial Portfolio in Charge of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, while former Budget Director, Winston Jordon, has been identified as the next Finance Minister.
According to Harmon, as the administration prepares for the 11th Parliament, work has already been commenced by Jordon, who will be working along with the team from the Budget Office of the Ministry of Finance on the National Estimates for 2015.
HPS Harmon has indicated that former Finance Minister Dr Ashni Singh has indicated a willingness to work along with the team in preparing and finalising the national estimates. HPS Harmon assured that, the preparation process will fully embrace the concept of consultation.
On the matter of the Ministerial portfolios, HPS Harmon said too that Ronald Bulkan will be taking up the portfolio as Minister of Local Government and Regional Development.
Asked about the Ministry of Home Affairs, HPS Harmon told the Guyana Chronicle this portfolio will be one held by the Alliance For Change (AFC) arm of the coalition for which a nomination had not yet been finalised.
Harmon said the coalesced A Partnership for National Unity (APNU) and AFC Government will be looking to have between 14 and 16 Ministries.
Under the Cummingsburg Accord, the AFC is guaranteed 40 per cent of the Ministerial portfolios, including that of Home Affairs.
Former Deputy Speaker of the National Assembly, Attorney-at-Law, Basil Williams, according to the HPS Harmon, will be appointed Minister of Legal Affairs and Attorney General.
Meanwhile, the Government’s transition team, also headed by HPS and Minister of State Harmon, met with their predecessors in a move aimed at the smooth changeover of government, governance and Executive Power.
The Government team also includes, Messrs Carl Greenidge, Nigel Hughes, Raphael Trotman, Noel Holder, Dr. Rupert Roopnarine, Basil Williams and Amna Ally, among other persons.
The Opposition PPP/C delegation is headed by Dr Roger Luncheon and includes Former Presidential Advisor on Governance, Gail Teixeira; and Former Ministers Priya Manickchand and Bishop Juan Edgehill.
Teixeira told the Guyana Chronicle last evening that the PPP/C team is cooperating with the new Government, is respectful, and maintains, “We have nothing to hide.”
President Granger is scheduled to meet tomorrow with all Permanent Secretaries currently attached to the various ministries at the Guyana International Conference Centre.