Dec 10, 2015 News
A former Guyanese Ambassador to Venezuela said Tuesday, that his Government should engage with
the opposition parties who just won control of the Venezuelan legislature to assess their view on the long-standing border controversy between the two countries.
In a broadcast interview, Odeen Ishmael, said that it will be important for Georgetown to interact with the Democratic Unity Roundtable, known by the Spanish acronym MUD, which won at least 99 of the 167 seats in Sunday’s elections.
“We haven’t heard their opinion on it as yet. And remember, they are the ones who will now be calling the shots in the National Assembly,” Ishmael said.
He pointed out that Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro “stated that they are not interested in the UN Secretary-General deciding to ask the International Court for an opinion” on the territorial dispute.
“If the MUD has a different view, then it will help us to understand how a future MUD administration will act in relation to the border controversy,” Ishmael said.
Ishmael, who served as Georgetown’s envoy to Caracas from 2003 to 2011, noted that even sectors of Maduro’s United Socialist Party of Venezuela prefer a softer approach to the border controversy.
At the same time, the former ambassador cautioned against assuming that MUD would withdraw Venezuela’s claim to Essequibo, a resource-rich area of 167,839 sq. kilometers (64,800 sq. miles) now administered by Guyana.
Sadio Garavini, a former Venezuelan Ambassador to Guyana, favours improving relations with Georgetown, Ishmael said.
“He has always been very keen to cement better relations with Guyana and so it will be useful to initiate conversations with him,” Ishmael said of Garavini, who was posted to Georgetown in the 1980s.
Ishmael said the key is finding out where the Venezuelan opposition stands on taking the quarrel to the International Court of Justice in The Hague.
Guyana hopes to obtain a favourable ruling from the ICJ to reassure potential foreign investors about ventures in Essequibo.
An arbitration panel awarded the territory to Guyana, then still a British colony, in 1899, but more than 60 years later, the U.S. government provided Venezuela with information indicating that the panel’s decision was the result of favoritism.
Based on that information, Venezuela secured a UN resolution calling for negotiations over the status of Essequibo.
The long-simmering boundary controversy took on new urgency May 20, when a subsidiary of U.S.-based ExxonMobil announced the discovery of a significant oil deposit in the coastal waters of Essequibo.
A week later, Maduro issued a decree asserting Venezuelan sovereignty over those waters. (www.laht.com)
Sep 23, 2021South American Junior C/Ship set for October 16 & 17 Kaieteur News – Athletics Guyana (AG) has confirmed that the National Youth & Junior Championship will run off as scheduled this...
By Sir Ronald Sanders The public health and economic impact of the COVID-19 pandemic has rightly focused the attention and... more
Freedom of speech is our core value at Kaieteur News. If the letter/e-mail you sent was not published, and you believe that its contents were not libellous, let us know, please contact us by phone or email.
Feel free to send us your comments and/or criticisms.
Contact: 624-6456; 225-8452; 225-8458; 225-8463; 225-8465; 225-8473 or 225-8491.
Or by Email: [email protected] / [email protected]