Venezuela renews request for talks with Guyana on border dispute
CARACAS – Venezuela reiterated a plea for direct discussions with Guyana on the border dispute between the two countries.
A statement came from the government of Nicolas Madura came less than 24 hours after Guyana president Dr Irfaan Ali told the ongoing United Nations general assembly (UNGA) that the dispute remains a threat to his country’s territorial integrity and sovereignty.
Venezuela labelled Georgetown’s account of the dispute that dates several decades as “misrepresentations”.
“Let us not forget that this dispute represents the sad colonial heritage of the United Kingdom to this young nation from the process of decolonisation of the sixties and, like it or not, it must be resolved in a peaceful, friendly and mutually acceptable way for both parties,” the Venezuelan government said in a statement.
Venezuela is claiming 70 per cent of Guyana’s lands in Essequibo, with the land being claimed by the Bolivarian state also covering Guyana’s Exclusive Economic Zone (EEZ) into the lucrative Stabroek Block.
The Venezuelans urged the Guyanese to abandon the move towards the International Court of Justice and accused the oil companies exploring offshore Georgetown of derailing the ties between the two countries.
Venezuela warned that the will of the Venezuelan people is firm, and it will not abdicate its territorial claim.
“The Bolivarian Republic of Venezuela will always assert its legitimate rights over the territory of Guayana Esequiba, through direct negotiations as established in the Geneva Agreement and in the spirit of peace that guides our diplomacy,” the Venezuelan government statement added.
“The Bolivarian Republic of Venezuela must emphasise that in various communiqués, notes and communications delivered to the Cooperative Republic of Guyana and to the UN Secretary General, it has insisted on continuing the negotiations as broadly as possible.
“Venezuela urges Guyana to abandon the unilateral path of the ICJ, which is contrary to the spirit and nature of the 1966 Geneva Agreement, the only valid legal instrument to settle this controversy.”