Guyana and the United States: More Than 50 Years Of Friendship

“Democracy ultimately prevailed in Guyana. The United States stands ready to work with our Guyanese neighbors after this historic transition.” 

–U.S. Secretary of State Michael R. Pompeo, August 31, 2020

Secretary Pompeo will travel to Georgetown, Guyana, September 17-18.  He will meet with newly elected President Irfaan Ali and his cabinet, as well as CARICOM Secretary-General LaRocque.  Secretary Pompeo will reinforce the promise of a values-based U.S. partnership rooted in inclusive governance, private-sector investment to increase prosperity for the people of Guyana, and greater rule of law, as Guyana grows its economy in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic.


  • The U.S. Guyanese diplomatic relationship is more than 50 years old, and the cultural ties between our countries is exemplified by the thousands of Guyanese diaspora who call the U.S. their home.
  • U.S. support for Guyana’s recent presidential elections, including electoral observation missions, were crucial to ensuring that the election was free, fair, credible, and transparent and reflected the will of the Guyanese people.
  • We stand together with diverse population of Guyana, as inclusive and transparent governance will be key to building a sustainable future.


  • We are committed to helping Guyana build an attractive investment climate with the right regulations and protections in place.
  • The United States is the primary source of Guyana’s imports, worth more than $2 billion. Today’s signing of a Growth in the Americas Memorandum of Understanding seeks to draw more U.S. private sector investment to build Guyana’s physical infrastructure, energy sector, and digital economy, and to do so transparently.
  • The United States supported the development of Guyana’s energy sector through technical partnership on best practices for energy sector policy, regulation, and revenue management. The U.S. Department of the Treasury’s Office of Technical Assistance supports training and development within the Guyana Revenue Authority’s Large Taxpayer Division. These recommendations will help Guyana develop its natural resource wealth in a way that benefits the Guyanese people.
  • U.S. agencies, including the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, USAID, are administering a multi-million dollar regional program of education, prevention, and treatment for those infected and affected by COVID-19 and contributing to the country’s health care capacity. The United States Southern Command has provided $135,000 of personal protective equipment to the various hospitals in Georgetown and Guyana’s interior, and will continue to provide COVID-19 assistance, as needed and requested.


  • Through the Caribbean Basin Security Initiative, the United States works with Guyana on law enforcement professionalization, enhancing the rule of law, and countering trans-national crime. Our recent assistance has focused on enhanced training for crime scene investigators, forensic video analysis, trial advocacy, and the development of a curriculum for continuing education programs for magistrates, in addition to training prosecutors and magistrates on implementing maritime security law. This has led to an increase in criminal prosecutions and convictions, as well as an increase in the speed of adjudications.
  • The Department of State has helped to train Guyana’s Port Control Unit to deter the trafficking of cocaine and other illicit goods through Guyana.  The United States Coast Guard provides training and mentoring to the Maritime Administration Department (MARAD) in order to improve port security. And the United States military provides training of Guyana Defense Forces personnel every year, which includes a current student at the U.S. Coast Guard Academy.
  • Following the Secretary’s visit, a bilateral Shiprider Agreement will come into force, enabling joint maritime and airspace patrols to interdict narcotics. This joins recent donations of $200,000 in equipment and interceptor boat parts to strengthen Guyana‘s ability to patrol its territorial waters.