Guyana has stated that it takes threats to its sovereignty from Venezuela very seriously. President Dr Mohamed Irfaan Ali, addressed the United Nations General Assembly, saying that Venezuela has engaged in making illegal claims, despite the fact that the International Court of Justice (ICJ) continues to deliberate on the matter.
“Venezuela strongly rejects the illegal bidding round for oil blocks currently being carried out by the Government of the Cooperative Republic of Guyana in maritime areas pending delimitation between both countries.”
“The Government of Guyana does not have sovereign rights over these maritime areas and consequently any action within their limits is a violation of International Law, as long as they are not carried out through an agreement with Venezuela” stated the communique.
President Dr Mohamed Irfaan Ali also made it a point to mention that Guyana considers the communique “a threat to regional and international peace and security, as well as to Guyana’s investment partners”.
He went on to add that, “We demand that Venezuela honours its obligation under the Charter to pursue only peaceful means to settle any disputes it may have with Guyana, including adjudication before the International Court of Justice. Allowing the Court to decide would ensure a resolution that is peaceful, equitable and in accordance with international law. Guyana will spare no effort in defending its sovereignty and territorial integrity”.
Ali also showed a large measure of appreciation for Guyana’s international partners, who have stood by the Caribbean nation through this prolonged period of turmoil. Guyana and its allies continue to pursue a peaceful resolution to the issue regardless of attempts being made to block that endeavour.
From reports received on the matter, till this time, it is apparent that Guyana has made it a point to engage with Venezuela and the dispute in a diplomatic manner. Guyana has also made it a point to pursue its claims in accordance with international laws and relevant diplomatic procedures. Venezuela on the other hand has had issues with its claims, including one which sought to bring the United Kingdom into the matter as an additional party due to its history as a colonial power in Guyana.
The claim rested mainly on the fact that Britain had been involved in the process for drawing the borders between the two nations in the past. This demand was rejected though and proceedings continued in accordance with the stipulations of the original case.
The momentum is in favour of Guyana because of the strength of its claims and the fact that it has seen immense international support come its way. Whether that will be enough to sway the decision in their favour or not is yet to be seen.