Meddling in Guyana's internal affairs
February 1, 2004
I do not know if "phantom" death squads exist in Guyana and if one party or the other or one politician or the other controls them. What I do know is that the diplomatic actions of the US and Canadian missions in Guyana on this file leave much to be desired.
Ambassador Bullen has publicly commented on Mr. Bacchus' allegations and the US Embassy has taken statements from him while the Canadian authorities have revoked Minister Gajraj's visa. These actions may be interpreted as meddling by the US and Canada in the internal affairs of Guyana.
Some Guyanese, too, in their understandable desire for an investigation, may have forgotten that Guyana is a sovereign nation. Surely there exist mechanisms within the Guyanese state to investigate Mr. Bacchus' claims, as there exist mechanisms in the US and Canada to investigate allegations of police brutality for example. As far as I know, allegations of police brutality in Canada and the US are not usually handled by Guyana's missions in those two countries. One may even suggest to the US ambassador that Guyana is a signatory to the Optional Protocol to the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights and that Guyanese can take complaints directly to the UN Human Rights Committee if necessary. Unfortunately, the US has not signed the Optional Protocol.
In Guyana's short and turbulent history many obstacles, some caused by foreign interference, have been overcome and the US and Canada would best be of assistance to Guyana in its predicament by not meddling in its internal affairs.
Jang B. Singh, Ph.D.