Guyana “firmly rejects” agreement in Venezuela border dispute
GEORGETOWN – The Guyana government said on Wednesday it “firmly rejects” an agreement signed between the Venezuela government and an opposition party in the South American country formally agreeing to unite on the question of the long-standing claim to the ownership of a large swathe of Guyana.
Georgetown said the agreement between the Nicolas Maduro government and the Unity Platform of Venezuela was signed on Monday in Mexico City.
“That agreement is an overt threat to the sovereignty and territorial integrity of Guyana,” the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation said in a statement.
“Guyana cannot be used as an altar of sacrifice for settlement of Venezuela’s internal political differences.
“While the government of Guyana welcomes domestic accord within Venezuela, an agreement defying international law and process is not a basis for mediating harmony.”
It said that “the controversy between Guyana and Venezuela is properly before the International Court of Justice (ICJ) and will remain there for peaceful resolution”.
Guyana has on several occasions cautioned Caracas against using the border claim to the mineral, forest and oil-rich Essequibo region as a negotiating centrepiece while violating international law.
Under the first partial accord, the parties came together around Venezuela’s historical claim to what it calls the Guayana Esequiba territory, which includes offshore oil acreage controlled by Guyana.
The United States has openly recognised Guyana’s existing borders, and an ExxonMobil-led consortium is currently producing about 120,000 barrels a day of crude from the Stabroek block in the disputed region, and forecasts reaching 800,000 barrels a day in 2025, surpassing Venezuela that once produced three million barrels a day and it is now only pumping around half-million a day.
Guyana officials have in the past expressed confidence that the ICJ will rule in the country’s favour that the 1899 Arbitral Award, which settled the boundary between then British Guiana and Venezuela, remains valid.