One day after Russia’s Foreign Ministry made damning claims that Guyana is facilitating the training of Venezuelans to overthrow the current government in that neighbouring country, Government has called for an immediate retraction.
According to the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, the recent remarks of the Russian spokesperson are baseless and false.
On Thursday, Russia is what was viewed with disbelief by Guyana said that refugees from Venezuela are being trained at local military bases to overthrow the Nicolas Maduro administration.
However, the Government of Guyana is not taking the statements by Russia lightly.
“The Ministry of Foreign Affairs notes with concern a statement made by the spokesperson of the Foreign Ministry of the Russian Federation, M. V. Zakharova, during a briefing on August 15, 2019 on the sidelines of the International Youth Forum Eurasia Global in the Russian city of Orenburg.”
Foreign Affairs pointed out that the spokesperson stated that the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland was “completing the construction of a military base on one of the islands at the mouth of the Essekibo (sic) River under a plausible pretext – supposedly to stop the smuggling of weapons and drugs.”
She went on to say, “There have already arrived several dozen so-called ‘Refugees’ from Venezuela to undergo training as part of reconnaissance and sabotage groups and then to be dispatched to Venezuelan territory in order to destabilize the situation and carry out appropriate actions – from extremist to terrorist.”
The Government of Guyana made it clear that it is calling on the Government of the Russian Federation to immediately withdraw the baseless statement, which is utterly false.
“It is especially unfortunate given that relations between Guyana and Russia have always been based on mutual respect, trust and friendship. The Government of Guyana reaffirms its unequivocal commitment to the purposes and principles of the United Nations Charter. Guyana has always been resolute in its advocacy for several principles of international law including, in particular, the sovereign equality of states.
“Guyana therefore categorically rejects any suggestion that it would allow its sovereign territory to be used in a manner inconsistent with its neighbourly and peaceful relations with Venezuela.”
The Foreign Affairs Ministry also noted that in respect of the controversy arising from Venezuela’s contention that the 1899 Arbitral Award establishing the boundary between British Guiana and Venezuela is “null and void”, Guyana remains fully committed to the January 30, 2018 decision of the United Nations Secretary-General, pursuant to his authority under the 1966 Geneva Agreement, to choose the International Court of Justice as the means for the peaceful settlement of the controversy.
Venezuela’s government, under President Nicolas Maduro, has made it clear that it will not recognize the court’s decision on the boundary case which could be handed down within five years.
Venezuela is facing a severe economic meltdown despite its oil riches.
With runaway inflation, its people have been fleeing in the thousands to neighbouring countries, including to Guyana.
Guyana has been accepting the migrants.
Meanwhile, the British online news, Morningstaronline.co.uk reported yesterday that the country’s defence ministry has denied allegations it was involved in a plot to overthrow the Venezuelan government.
The Star said it contacted the Ministry of Defence regarding allegations made by the Russian Foreign Ministry which claimed to have uncovered secret British plans to arm Venezuelan refugees across the border.
Britain made it clear that it does not have a military base in Guyana, and dismissed Russian claims it was constructing a site on an island in the mouth of the Essequibo River on the pretext of thwarting arms and drugs smugglers.
An MoD spokesman told the Star: “The claims by the Russian Foreign Ministry are clear disinformation. The UK does not possess, is not building nor operates from any base in Guyana.”
Maduro has long-warned of plans to oust him in a coup and assassinate him, with neighbouring Colombia viewed as a likely staging post for military intervention.
Last week seven Colombian paramilitaries were arrested near the border with an arsenal of weapons and communication devices.
The Bolivarian leader said he had uncovered a plot to kill him led by former Colombian president Alvaro Uribe who planned to “enter Venezuela [with] 32 mercenaries to try to assassinate me and other leaders of the revolution.”
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