Mar 04, 2021 News
– Powerful Commission discusses Venezuela’s next move with military leaders
– Venezuela to conduct military activity in Essequibo
– Reinforces rejection of ICJ’s jurisdiction in border case
By Kemol King
Kaieteur News – The National Assembly of Venezuela is expected to consider a proposal to include the Essequibo region, referred to as ‘Guayana Esequiba,’ in the country’s Constitution. The amendment, if made, would see the country declaring that there is no dispute over the region, which it purports to have sovereignty over.
The proposal was made by lawmaker, Hermann Escarrá, who was, earlier this year, placed as Chair of the new ‘Special Commission for the Defence of the Guayana Esequiba Territory and Territorial Sovereignty.’ The powerful Venezuelan Commission was formed in January by one of several resolutions passed by the country’s National Assembly, following a decree by President Nicolas Maduro to fulfill his vow to “reconquer” the Essequibo.
The proposal would see the country amending articles 10 and 11 of the Venezuelan Constitution, Escarrá said, “in order to ratify that the Essequibo territory is ours.”
The National Assembly said that two more legislative proposals are being considered, one of which is called the ‘Sovereignty Law’ requested by Maduro himself.
Escarrá’s proposal for a constitutional amendment is one of 100 proposals and recommendations he submitted to the National Assembly on Tuesday, February 23, for the execution of his Commission’s mandate for the “defence of the Guayana Esequiba.”
A release from Venezuela’s National Assembly stated that Escarrá stressed the Commission’s discussions on the confidentiality of the some of the proposals, which relate to Venezuela’s foreign policy. Escarrá said that the Commission would be meeting on the following day, February 24, with the Military High Command, a group constituted by the Minister of Defence and the Commanders of various Venezuelan military departments. The purpose of the meeting, he said, is to discuss the actions to be taken regarding the Essequibo territory.
On the following day, the Assembly said that the meeting took up over four hours with discussions centered on “possible geostrategic actions” to be taken “in defence” of the Essequibo region, at the country’s Federal Legislative Palace in Caracas.
“Fundamental issues were discussed such as the updated geostrategic and geopolitical interpretation of containment,” Escarrá said, “as well as the proposals of each of the components of the Bolivarian National Armed Forces (FANB), which the commission will support in a very determined way. Not only in what has to do with very current proposals in the Essequibo area, but also with what has to do with the effort of national unity and national conscience that must be developed in the country…”
“At the historic meeting, other issues were addressed, such as the presence of the US oil company ExxonMobil in the area, in addition to the possibility of talking with the Secretary General of the United Nations (UN), António Guterres, to present your views directly.”
Venezuela’s National Assembly also reported Escarrá as announcing an “activity to be carried out in Essequibo with the Bolivarian National Armed Forces.” It did not reveal the nature of the intended activity.
The Venezuelan National Assembly said that in the few days following the February 24 meeting of the Military High Command, a document would be prepared and delivered to the Parliaments of Guyana, England and the Netherlands. Neither Guyana’s Parliament nor its Government has announced any such correspondence.
On February 26, Venezuela announced that it responded to an invitation from the President of the International Court of Justice (ICJ) to attend a virtual meeting on the preliminary ruling of December 18 that the Court has the jurisdiction to settle the controversy over the territory. The Venezuelan Government said that it confirmed its participation as a courtesy, not as a party to the procedure, and re-affirmed Venezuela’s position that it does not recognize the Court’s jurisdiction to settle this matter. It prefers direct negotiations with Guyana.
“Venezuela reiterated that there is no basis of jurisdiction for this case given that it has never given its consent,” Venezuela’s Ministry of Information said.
The Ministry also reported denouncing the “instigation and undue interference” in the controversy, of energy transnationals “over such a vast territory full of biological diversity and natural resources, which threatens planetary life, peace and regional security.”
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