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  • U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo during a controversional visit to Jamaica. January 2020.

    U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo during a controversional visit to Jamaica. January 2020. | Photo: Twitter / @JISNews

Published 13 September 2020
Opinion

Mike Pompeo's upcoming visit to Venezuela's nextdoor neighbor is raising red flags given the timing of the trip.

The Guyana Human Rights Association (GHRA) is warning the new government, headed by Irfaan Ali, to stay out of Venezuela’s politics.

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The advice comes amidst a planned visit to the South American country by United States Secretary of State Mike Pompeo this week.

Political commentators believe the U.S. is trying to leverage Georgetown as a base to attack Venezuela.

“It is being reported that the US Secretary of State is scheduled to visit Guyana between September 17th and 18th 2020. While in the normal course of events such a visit would be welcomed, the timing and circumstances of this visit by Mr. Mike Pompeo are ominous,” the local human rights watchdog warned.

The Association said the timing was “ominous” given general elections scheduled for November in the U.S. and the parliamentary elections scheduled for December in Venezuela.

“Rumours of an ‘October surprise’ in the form of pressure on Venezuela prior to elections in both the US and Venezuela have been intensifying for some time. Economic and military pressure along with covert operations and disinformation campaigns have been reported, involving Colombian and Brazilian military. Some form of invasion or uprising has not been ruled out, supposedly timed to impact on the US elections in a manner beneficial to President Trump,” the GHRA noted.

Caracas has been grappling with an intensification of military and economic attacks from Washington.

On Friday, government officials announced the arrest of a former U.S. marine suspected of spying on national oil companies.

In May, two U.S. citizens were among 40 mercenaries detained while carrying out a plan involving the capture of President Nicolas Maduro in what the masterminds of the plot called ‘Operation Gideon.’

Two months later, Guyana’s former President David Granger rejected a request by the U.S. to use the nation’s medium wave radio frequencies to broadcast Voice of America to Venezuela.

The GHRA said Guyana was wrongly included in a State Department list of countries in August supposedly calling for ‘regime change’ despite no statement being made by the Guyanese government on the matter to justify inclusion on the list.

“Guyana has also continued to resist efforts in recent years to be included in the many multi-national initiatives aimed at regime change in Venezuela.”

It added: “Self-determination of Guyana as a State is a matter of fundamental human rights, as indeed, is that of Venezuela.”

“The Government of Guyana ought to make public, well in advance of the visit, what are the non-negotiable elements with respect to Venezuela,” GHRA warned.

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