America votes and USA-Guyana relations
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AMERICA votes today to choose a President that will preside over the administration of the nation for four years from January 2021. The contest for control of the White House is going down to the wire, although some opinion polls suggest a front-runner in the form of the Democratic challenger Mr Joe Biden against Republican incumbent Mr Donald Trump.  Mr. Trump was known to have come from behind and won in 2016 against the more popular Hillary Clinton. Although Guyana or small developing states has not figured strongly in U.S. foreign policy, the U.S. wields tremendous influence over many of them, especially in the Caribbean and Latin America.

Regardless of the outcome in the presidential contest, U.S.-Guyana relations are on a strong foundation and not likely to be reversed as both countries need one another. Guyana looks to the U.S. for American investment to transform the economy and consolidation of democratic gains following the change of administration on August 2 after five months of political uncertainty related to that brazen attempt to rig the elections. And the U.S. seeks to bring Guyana closer to America for geo-strategic and economic interests, especially since Guyana is now an oil-producing nation.

America is a pre-eminent superpower and the world looks to see who will be elected President. Whoever is elected President will have at his disposal the vast array of powers that comes with the office. The world looks to the U.S. for leadership on a variety of fronts, including helping to protect democracy. In fact, just last March, democratic forces in Guyana and the international community looked to the U.S. to protect our democracy when it appeared that the incumbent regime was all set to change the outcome of free and fair elections in order to remain in office. The U.S. saved the day in Guyana by applying tremendous political pressure on the regime to accept the verdict of the electorate. Wherever there is electoral fraud, countries would turn to the U.S. to protect democracies. But the U.S. not only protects democratic governance, it also offers generous assistance to several developing countries. Guyana has been a major beneficiary of U.S. largesse ever since independence in 1966. Our country is grateful and our two countries enjoy friendly relations. And we look forward for a strengthening of that relationship regardless of which party (Republican or Democrat) or candidate (Republican incumbent Donald Trump or Democratic challenger Joe Biden) captures the White House, the seat and home of the American presidency.

The world eagerly awaits the outcome of the elections. Even here in Guyana, people are following the campaign in America in earnest interest. And of course the hundreds of thousands of Americans with Guyanese roots are also closely watching if not also participating in the electoral process. They recognise the importance of the relationship between the U.S. and Guyana, and we are informed by the Guyanese scholar that this election has the highest Guyanese American voting participation.

The U.S. also seeks closer relations with Guyana. Not since the 1960s has the U.S. focused so much attention on our country. The visit of U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo to Guyana last month signals the importance which Washington places on Guyana. Secretary Pompeo was the first Secretary of State to visit Guyana and the highest official to visit the country.

Everyone seems to want to know the answer to the burning question of, “Who will win?” We learn from various commentaries that the American opinion polls show a very close contest between Mr. Trump and Mr. Biden. So the race can go either way. America-Guyana relations are on a strong footing and regardless of who wins, it is likely to remain this way. Other countries may look for a reset of relations with America.

People are also equally eager to know, “When will the results be known?” Unlike in past U.S. elections when the outcome was known just hours after the poll closed, this year the outcome will take much longer. This year, there is absentee and mail-in ballots, many millions, and these would not be counted until well after the voting ends tonight. Thus, the world may not know who has won the presidency until days later when all the ballots have been counted. Regardless of when it is known, we expect improvement in U.S.-Guyana relations.

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