I dispatched the following letter to the Caribbean media today.
I have been, over the past few days, mulling over in my mind possible motives for the alleged senseless
destruction of Guyana's Ministry of Health via firebombing. While a number of possible scenarios has
emerged, it is difficult to come to any conclusions without credible information and evidence.
Therefore, it was indeed heartening to have read that the US Southern Command (SOUTHCOM) has
offered, and the Guyana Government has accepted assistance with the investigation into this matter. This
for me, is a positive development in US/Caribbean relations and augurs well for future cooperation
in investigations of major crimes and national tragedies in Caribbean nations.
While apparently no timeframe has been set for the completion of the investigation in Guyana, it is my
hope that this process will be undertaken with a sense of urgency without compromising the high
standards and professionalism which it warrants and that SOUTHCOM's involvement will go beyond just
lab tests and analyses.
The announcement of SOUTHCOM's involvement in the investigation will lend credibility to the process
and generate broad public acceptance and support for the eventual findings about the fire. SOUTHCOM
therefore cannot allow its role in the investigation to be a marginal one, and must itself issue a statement
soon as to its scope of work in the process.
SOUTHCOM must, as part of its assistance, seek to determine exactly what transpired regarding the
alleged torture of a suspect by ranks of the Guyana Defence Force (GDF).
"Troy Small, called Cats, was allegedly abducted by ranks of the GDF, and with half of his body hanging
out of a car he was dragged for several miles from Mandela Avenue to the Le Repentir Cemetery where
he was beaten with a hammer," according to newspaper reports.
The Obama Administration has made its position clear on the issue of torture and therefore
SOUTHCOM would have to first determine whether in fact there was torture and if there was, whether this
has impacted the investigation in any way.
I welcome the Guyana government's acceptance of SOUTHCOM's help and look forward to a
professional investigation of this very serious matter-the fire bombing of Guyana's Health Ministry.