US democracy in Guyana project on hold for talks

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Associated Press

Posted on May 8, 2014 at 3:06 PM

Updated Thursday, May 8 at 4:34 PM

GEORGETOWN, Guyana (AP) — The U.S. has suspended a democracy-building program in Guyana amid complaints from the government of the South American country.

U.S. Ambassador to Guyana Brendt Hardt and Defense Secretary Roger Luncheon announced at a joint news conference that the Lead and Democracy Project would be put on hold. Hardt and Luncheon said Thursday that the hiatus will allow officials to discuss the scope and intent of the program.

U.S. officials have said the educational program funded with $1.25 million over two years from the U.S. Agency for International Development is intended to promote consensus-building in a politically divided country.

Supporters of President Donald Ramotar suspected the program was being used to support the opposition in the National Assembly. The government last month revoked the work permit of the program director.

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