Dec 28, 2018 News
Venezuela’s Foreign Ministry has insisted that contrary to reports, two ships working for ExxonMobil that were intercepted by that country’s naval authorities, were in that country’s maritime
waters- not Guyana’s.
The statement of that Spanish-speaking country, reported by Prensa Latina, a new agency, would contrast starkly to what ExxonMobil has been reporting.
The exploration vessels, one of which was the Ramform Thetys, a Norwegian-owned seismic vessel, was stopped on December 23 while doing work for ExxonMobil.
The incident happened in Guyana waters, it was reported.
However, Prensa Latina yesterday also reported that the Venezuela government is also regretting what it considers a “one-sided pronouncement” by CARICOM on the issue of oil exploration vessels, hired by Guyana, that intruded into “Venezuelan jurisdictional waters.”
Venezuelan authorities, in a statement issued by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, said that it does not understand how CARICOM discontinued contact with Caracas to “know the position of the other side on the issue” and thus ensure a well-balanced nature in subsequent statements.
Venezuela said it reviewed the events, and has ratified its position to use sovereign rights to deal with events of this nature, while at the same time it expects a more equitable position from CARICOM.
CARICOM, on December 24, expressed “great concern” about the incident and indicated the protocols applied by the Bolivarian National Navy violated Guyana’s sovereign rights and represented a threat to its economic development.
ExxonMobil has since said that its drilling operations have not been affected.
Venezuela has been rattling its sabers, re-awakening a century-old claim to a large part of Essequibo and ocean waters of Guyana, following announcement of a major oil find offshore.
ExxonMobil, the developer, is set to start production in 2020- the first for Guyana.
Guyana has filed a case at the United Nations’ International Court of Justice, in The Hague, to have the border claims by that neighbouring country settled once and for all.
Venezuela is in the throes of a major economic crisis, with food and medicine shortages, leading to clashes between Government authorities and citizens.
Hundreds of Venezuelans from the border areas have fled to Guyana.
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