Guyana accuses Canada of seeking to overthrow its government

(CNS) – The Guyana government has accused Canada of complicity in “an attempt to overthrow” a democratically elected government as the fallout continues from the December 21, 2018 motion of no confidence that toppled the David Granger-led coalition government.

In a strongly worded letter to the Canadian High Commission, Foreign Affairs Minister, Carl Greenidge, made reference to the involvement of the High Commission’s Consular Officer in escorting former government back bencher Charrandass Persaud, who is also a Canadian citizen, to the airport and to an aircraft hours after he had voted in support of the opposition People’s Progressive Party (PPP) motion resulting in the collapse of the government.

“The evidence suggests that the High Commission and by extension, the sending State, are complicit in an attempt to overthrow a sitting government which was democratically elected,” Greenidge wrote.

The Foreign Ministry said “it is the view of the Guyana government that this unilateral act is a violation of the Geneva Convention and on diplomatic and consular relations,” adding that it was “unaware of any consular functions” which the Canadian High Commission’s Security Officer, Richard Beliveau was performing on December 22.

It said it was also “unaware of any threat made on the person of Charrandas Persaud that would require Mr. Beliveau to exert consular protection”

Additionally, the Foreign Minister said there were several acts of omissions by the diplomat and those are believed to have been part of the plan “to bring down the sitting government.”

On Wednesday, the Foreign Minister summoned the Canadian High Commission to Guyana, Lillian Chaterjee, to a meeting and made known the government’s concerns to her in person.

The Canadian High Commission has not publicly commented on the development.

The Eugene F. Correia International Airport has since confirmed that Beliveau and PPP member Peter Ramsaroop had obtained protocol passes to accompany Persaud to a Barbados-bound flight with connections to Canada.