GEORGETOWN, Guyana — The Guyana government Wednesday said it had revoked the work permit and extension of stay of a Canadian contractor implementing a pro-democracy project on behalf of the American government, in a row over what officials said is linked to moves by Washington to undermine its tenure in office.
Cabinet and Defense Secretary Roger Luncheon said authorities had decided to send home Canada-born Glen Bradbury who had been implementing the $1.5M Leadership and Democracy Project on behalf of the US since last year.
Despite denials from Ambassador Brent Hardt, government had openly accused the US of channeling money to anti government organizations ahead of long delayed local government elections that are expected this year, dubbing the project as provocative and designed to undermine its authority.
The US and other western governments had been pushing the administration of President Donald Ramotar to organize elections not held for 18 years so as to re-energize highly dormant municipalities some of which have been unable to collect garbage on time and perform other routine tasks.
Luncheon said Bradbury is going home because he breached “the immigration laws of Guyana being offended by Mr. Bradbury and his actions in Guyana,” vowing that government would not participate in the project until implementation is completely stopped and talks about its design and aim are clarified.
The governing party has been perennially suspicious of American administrations in past decades ever since declassified American documents showed that the US CIA had done much to destabilize the PPP government and ferment civil unrest, arson and race riots that left more than 150 people dead in the early 1960s.
Some of the money was being channeled to ground around the country to hold leadership seminars and familiarize themselves with the local government electoral system as a generation has grown up without a clue about such polls.