Guyana’s maritime capabilities will be boosted with riverine patrol vessels that will be provided by the United States Government, under the Caribbean Basin Security Initiative (CBSI) Commission. US Ambassador Brendt Hardt yesterday said that the vessels are expected to be in Guyana by 2013. This, he said, in terms of military supplies, is one of the main areas of support on the bilateral agenda; however, there are many other areas of cooperation in which the two countries are involved.
In October 2011, Guyana hosted the second meeting of the CBSI Commission, when maritime and aerial domain security cooperation which focuses on improving the maritime security capabilities of the regional forces and partner nations, devising a common strategy for air and maritime operations, and sustaining the capabilities of individual countries were comprehensively addressed.
Additionally, the U.S. is working closely with partner states to implement initiatives such as the Cooperative Sensor and Information Integration programme, information sharing (which led to the procurement of Automated Fingerprint Identification System, AFIS, equipment for six Caribbean countries including Guyana), and providing technical assistance with regard to justice sector reforms for Organisation of Eastern Caribbean States (OECS) countries, among many other vital areas of assistance.
The CBSI was crafted bilaterally by CARICOM and the US Government subsequent to the decisions taken at the Summit of the Americas in Trinidad and Tobago in April 2009.
At that summit, US President Barack Obama announced his country’s intent to pursue a security partnership with the Caribbean. Since then, governments of the region and the U.S. have met on several occasions to jointly define and develop the goals and scope for the CBSI.
Guyana is a signatory to the Declaration of Principles and the Framework Agreement of the CBSI, and has therefore pinned great expectations on the realisation of the objectives within the framework of the commission.