Venezuela: Let Caricom push Guyana to border talks

Venezuelan President Nicolás Maduro.  -
Venezuelan President Nicolás Maduro. -

THE Government of Venezuela in a communiqué on Thursday seemed unmoved by Caricom's call to let its border dispute with Guyana be determined by the International Court of Justice (ICJ).

Regarding Caricom's call for Venezuela to reject any notion of force to settle the issue, the communiqué alleged aggression by Guyana in the dispute.

Caricom, in a statement on Wednesday, said a December 3 referendum in Venezuela on the oil-rich Essequibo area has no bearing under international law and said it must not encourage the Venezuelan Government to annex the region which constitutes two-thirds of Guyana.

"Caricom earnestly hopes that Venezuela is not raising the prospect of using force or military means to get its own way in this controversy over territory."

"The court’s final decision will ensure a resolution that is peaceful, equitable and in accordance with international law."

The Venezuelan Government said it had taken note of Caricom's statement, but said Venezuela has "historical rights over the Essequibo."

It said at Guyana's declaration of independence, Venezuela had only recognised the territory on the right bank of the Essequibo River.

The communiques claimed that despite such territorial limits of Guyana having been well-established, the Guyana Government has intended to take possession of territory over which it has no title nor legal sources to support its claim, but rather has been "unilaterally disposing of this territory and making abusive use of it."

It claimed this practice was a violation of the Geneva Agreement – which set out a mechanism to resolve the border dispute – while making use of the area's sea even while delimitation was still pending. The Venezuelans urged the matter be solved amicably, in a matter acceptable to both parties.

The communiqué said Venezuela's position for several decades has been that the ICJ "will never reach an equitable solution". It said only the Geneva Agreement could do this. "The President of Guyana Irfaan Ali refuses to dialogue and places the US Southern Command at the head of his attack against Venezuela."

The Venezuelans advised Caricom to "promote and facilitate a direct dialogue between both parties" which would return Guyana to the path of respect for international law by promoting a peaceful and diplomatic route to address the controversy.

"Likewise, Venezuela aspires that Caricom play a construct role in the face of threats by Guyana – in coalition with the US Southern Command – to promote a military aggression against Venezuela. "Venezuela has been, is, and will continue to be a nation of peace, as it has demonstrated throughout its history."


"Venezuela: Let Caricom push Guyana to border talks"

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