MIAMI -- The commander of U.S. Southern Command, U.S. Army Gen. Laura Richardson, visited Guyana and Honduras July 25 – 28 and met with military and senior government leaders.
The general also took part in the July 27 closing ceremony for the Guyana-hosted Tradewinds training exercise that included forces from the United States and 20 partner nations.
After arriving on the evening of July 25, Richardson met with Ambassador Sarah-Ann Lynch to discuss the U.S. defense partnership with Guyana and the Caribbean Community (CARICOM) July 26.
Also on the 26th, Richardson and the ambassador met with U.S. and multinational service members participating in Tradewinds at various sites across Guyana. Tradewinds is a Caribbean-focused multinational exercise aimed at increasing the region’s security capacity, strengthening partnerships among participating defense and public-security forces, fostering international cooperation, and promoting human rights.
On July 27, Richardson met with Guyana Defence Force (GDF) Chief of Staff, Brigadier Omar Khan, to discuss the U.S.-Guyana defense partnership. Also during the bilateral meeting, Khan and Richardson signed the Human Rights Framework, committing their organizations to “human rights engagement, cooperation and integration.” (See Embassy Guyana press release)
With the signing of the Framework, Guyana became the thirteenth nation to join SOUTHCOM’s Human Rights Initiative (HRI).
Richardson then met with CARICOM Secretary General Dr. Carla Natalie Barnett to discuss regional security, including cyber security and climate change.
Later on the 27th, Richardson joined senior leaders to take part in the closing ceremony of Tradewinds.
"For 38 years, we have gathered to build partner nation capacity, strengthen partnerships, improve interoperability, and promote human rights,” Richardson said at the closing ceremony. "Multinational partnerships, formed and strengthened through all-domain exercises such as Tradewinds, enhance our ability to confront global security threats, and deter malign actors."
"Strong multi-national partnerships that span the globe not only reflect an enduring promise to one-another, but also to democracy – or what I like to call Team Democracy,” Richardson said.
The U.S. and Guyana enjoy a longstanding security partnership marked by strong collaboration between SOUTHCOM and the GDF.
Richardson arrived in Honduras July 27. On July 28, Richardson met with Honduran President Xiomara Castro and other senior defense officials to discuss continued bilateral cooperation.
The U.S. is committed to remain Honduras’ primary security partner as the two countries share a close and longstanding defense partnership, united by diplomatic, historic, and cultural ties.