Friday, July 3, 2009

Jagdeo exposes Thompson's Hypocrisy!

"WE ARE NOT getting all the facts."

So says Guyana's President Bharrat Jagdeo as he spoke to the Press after breaking from the Caucus of 30th Summit Of Heads Of Government Of CARICOM at the Guyana International Conference Centre in Georgetown yesterday.

Addressing the immigration controversy between Barbados and Guyana once again, Jagdeo told reporters, that he did not believe that he was getting all the facts. "We have the names of the people who were deported from Barbados and the figures differ substantially from the ones announced," Jagdeo said.

"And we can deal with this in a rhetorical way. If I was asked to leave and I say I don't want to leave as an option and that I prefer to stay, but you say fine, then I have a choice. But if I am asking you to leave and I don't have an option to stay, you have been deported.

"Whether in their books they are going to treat it that you can return later, that is a different matter, but you are deported at that time because you don't have a choice. It is all rhetoric and I don't want to deal with this through rhetoric," Jagdeo said.

Prime Minister David Thompson said last week Sunday and again two days ago when he arrived in Guyana that only four Guyanese were deported since the amnesty was announced June 1 and that the additional 20plus were "asked to leave" the country.

But Jagedo said yesterday that "the figures are wrong".

"We have the numbers that were sent back [or] deported from Barbados, and this is what was given by our immigration, the receiving state. When I look at what the Prime Minister said it is a totally different number.

"Barbados is claiming that it is a problem of information flow and all of that, so I think we may have to look at it together to see what I can do in this area," he added.

He also said the treatment of Guyanese nationals in Barbados had been described as "Gestapo-like".

"This is what we have to investigate. People have alleged that this has happened and then shipped off to the airport without any process. How do we investigate in Barbados, because that is the allegation being made, but Barbados seems not to know."

He said despite all the assurances that his government had received from the highest political level from time to time, "the situation on the ground was substantially different from the rhetoric or assurances that were being given".

The president said he too had experience ill-treatment from Barbados' Immigration Department, "so no one has to tell me, I have experienced it".

"I have gone to Barbados when I was minister of finance and have had difficulties going through the immigration and I didn't use the diplomatic line . . . . And until they opened my passport and until they saw that I was minister of finance, the questioning was irrelevant, and they treated me already in a sterotype fashion," he said.

However, the Guyanese leader said he recognised that each country had a sovereign right to deal with its immigration policies, "but there are excesses that sometimes we observe and we have documented cases where there have been excess and this concerns us greatly".

"We feel that people should be treated with dignity in the region, particularly Caribbean people, and this sets back the integration movement.

"We can treat people who come to a region sometimes with a little backpack, a slipper and short pants better than we treat people who live in this region. It really undermines the entire integration process," he charged.

When asked about his responsibility to create the kind of environment in Guyana to curb migration, the president said:

"Migration is a fact of life and people will go the economic opportunities that they can find [in] any part of the world. There was a time when Barbadians came to Guyana and they found a welcoming environment.

"We had a very difficult time for 30 years; we did not have any democracy and CARICOM did not do much about it . . . . We had a bad patch. The economy was run down, we had a huge debt situation and over that period a lot of our people migrated.

"Until now, we are still reeling from the effects of that period; so we cannot generate high-paying jobs or enough of them to keep enough of our people. "But that doesn't mean that any country has the right to treat our people in a disparaging fashion," he said.

BELOW are statistics from Guyana's Immigration Office which it said were deportees from Barbados

January 7

February 7

March 16

April 16

May 29

June 24


Numbers who were refused entry into Barbados

January 8

February 3

March 18

April 15

May 7

June 3


1 comment:

  1. It is long known that bajans dont like Guyanese so thompson could talk all he wants but the truth is the truth!

    I like the way Jagdeo is handling this situation.