Guyana maintains its position against Venezuela
GEORGETOWN – President David Granger, on the eve of his departure for the three-day CARICOM Summit in Barbados, reiterated that his government remains committed to improving relations with the government of neighbouring Venezuela, but Guyana remains resolute in its stand against the “several illegal and increasingly militant actions of Venezuela directed against Guyana’s sovereignty and territorial integrity”.
In a statement issued just before his departure, Granger added that, “Guyana reasserts that its lawful boundaries that were established 116 years ago are not negotiable. Violation of them on land or at sea is an assault on the tenets of CARICOM and must be condemned as such”.
The aforementioned statement, the president said, will be Guyana’s message to all at the Heads of Government Conference.
Meanwhile, Vice President and Minister of Foreign Affairs Carl Greenidge who is part of the Guyana delegation, stated that, “Our analysis and those of the friendly bilaterals with which we have consulted in the last three weeks, point to the fact that the 1787 decree promulgated by Venezuela, apart from being illegal in international law, seeks to appropriate for Venezuela marine spaces and related resources which currently constitute and are accepted as part of the EEZ of every state in the Eastern Caribbean ranging from St Kitts and Nevis to Grenada as well as Suriname.
The Guyanese foreign minister, in a statement too, explained that the declaration by the neighbouring country also affects states to the west, “and in that regard the Government of Colombia, like that of Guyana has lodged its objection”.
This, he said, will be drawn to the attention of the Heads of the CARICOM States, and “Obviously, it is for those Heads to take appropriate action, whatever the state of their current bilateral relations with Venezuela. Bilateral relations can only continue if you are a state!”
Greenidge emphasised that in a matter as fundamental as this, “silence is not an option if we are to remain independent, let alone as viable states. We have to stoutly and unapologetically represent our interests and pursue fairness in the international arena.”
In responding to a recent report that a Venezuela Government spokesman had claimed there was nothing to be concerned about in relation to the Venezuelan decree, Greenidge said that ” a law calling on a Navy to enforce a security zone and to exclude other states from it is no laughing matter, neither can it be an error if after six weeks it is still in force.
It was further noted by the minister that, “No subsequent amendment has ameliorated to any degree the coercion behind the decree. As of today, it still requires the Venezuelan forces to exclude us as a matter of duty and an obligation from those areas internationally recognised as ours.” (GINA)