Jan 25, 2021 News
Kaieteur News – Two Guyanese fishing vessels, along with its respective crews are currently detained on Venezuelan soil.
The vessels, Lady Nayera and the Sea Wolf, according to the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, were intercepted on Thursday last by the Venezuela Navy Vessel, Commandante Hugo Chavez GC 24.
The vessels were at the time operating in Guyana’ waters just off the coast at Waini Point.
In a release sent out by the Ministry, it stated that captains were instructed by the Venezuelan armed force to navigate their way to Port Guiria where they are being held.The Ministry added that it is currently seeking to ascertain the status and welfare of the Guyanese crew members. In fact, Guyana has called on the Venezuelan Government to release them immediately.
The detention of the Guyanese fishermen follows a series of aggressive statements and moves made by the Venezuelan President, Nicholas Maduro Morro and regime stemming from the Essequibo territorial controversy.
The Essequibo has been caught in a bitter territorial controversy between Guyana and Venezuela for a number of years now. The matter has been brought before the International Court of Justice (ICJ), where it ruled on December 18, 2020 that it has jurisdiction to resolve the issue. Guyana’s argument is that it has sovereign rights over the coast and land territory because it was awarded to the then British Guiana in the 1899 Arbitral Award.
In response, Maduro has chosen an offensive path against Guyana. Just recently during an outreach in San martin, a Venezuelan Indigenous village bordering Guyana, government officials told villagers that they must fight with blood to conquer the Essequibo.
Apart from telling its citizens to fight, the Maduro regime also made some bold statement during recently held press conference in Caracas.
Minister of Defence for the National Armed Forces of the Bolivarian Republic of Venezuela, Vladamir Padrino had said, “Our Bolivarian National Armed Forces will guard every one of the geographic spaces that make up our Venezuela, inch by inch.”
Padrino then went to add, “It has been ordered by instruction of the Commander in Chief, Nicolas Maduro, the constant patrolling of our legal waters, and the permanent observation by air and sea on the Atlantic coast.”
Maduro himself had also issued a presidential decree, which purports to establish a new maritime territory of Venezuela called ‘Territory for the development of the Atlantic Façade’.
The so called Atlantic Façade, according to the Ministry of Foreign Affairs encompasses Guyana’s territorial waters, continental shelf and its land territory to west of the Essequibo River.
Guyana has since condemned all these aggressive acts and called on Maduro and his regime to behave in a manner that is consistent with international law and good neighbourly relations.
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