On June 26, 2020, US Senators Jim Risch (R-ID) and Bob Menendez (D-NJ), chairman and ranking member of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, Marco Rubio (R-FL) and Ben Cardin (D-MD), chairman and ranking member of the Subcommittee on Western Hemisphere, Transnational Crime, Civilian Security, Democracy, Human Rights, and Global Women’s Issues, released a statement “encouraging Guyanese authorities to begin a democratic transition of power that reflects the results of the March 2nd general and regional elections”.
“Nearly four months since their national election, the Guyanese people are still waiting for an official result following the general and regional elections in their nation. This is unacceptable,” the Senators said.
The Senate letter goes on to state, “Recent reports suggest questionable maneuvers by interested parties designed to continue forestalling a final declaration of results, which members of the press say indicates a defeat for the incumbent government. President Granger should honor the will of the Guyanese people and concede.
“We extend our support and solidarity to the people of Guyana, who have borne more than their fair share of patience during this process. For their sake, the future of democracy and the rule of law in our hemisphere, the ongoing uncertainty and gamesmanship must end,” the Senate letter says.
In May, the Hindu American Foundation (HAF) sent a letter to US Secretary of State Michael Pompeo urging the United States to “impose target and personal sanctions specifically against those officials in the coalition led by People’s National Congress-Reform and Guyana Elections Commission, who have been identified as subverting the electoral process.”
“We believe that this course of action will help hold those who have committed electoral fraud accountable for their actions and push the country towards implementing democratic reforms without destroying the fragile Guyanese economy [as would applying broader sanctions],” the HAF letter goes on to say.
HAF has been closely monitoring the human rights situation in Guyana for over 15 years and has published an annual human rights report comprehensively detailing human rights violations against Hindus in Guyana — where Hindus constitute 25% of the country’s population. In 2019 HAF conducted an on-the-ground fact-finding mission to Guyana, where HAF officials met with diverse stakeholders.
“HAF welcomes the statement from Senators Risch, Menendez, Rubio, and Cardin calling on President Granger to concede and step down, and we’re pleased to see that our elected officials are taking the situation in Guyana seriously,” stated HAF National Leadership Council Member Fred Stella who led the 2019 HAF mission to Guyana. “HAF will continue to raise these issues until they are properly addressed and we renew our call on Secretary Pompeo and Secretary Mnuchin to take decisive, targeted action if the Guyanese authorities continue to flaunt the will of the people,” Stella said.