Mar 05, 2021 News
– GGDMA issues statement in support of Guyana’s territorial integrity
Kaieteur News – Venezuela has called its aerial patrol over Guyana’s airspace on Tuesday, normal. At least this is what the Venezuelan Foreign Affairs Ministry related in a press statement it released yesterday.
According to that statement, Venezuela accuses Guyana of intending to generate false versions about “its regular patrolling operations of the Venezuelan borders.”
Venezuela added that such “regular patrols” carried out by its armed forces, is strictly limited to non- controversial Venezuelan territory.
On Wednesday, videos surfaced of a fighter jet darting through the skies just over the Eteringbang airstrip. Eteringbang is a community located along the Cuyuni River, Region Seven, which borders San Martin de Turumbang, a Venezuelan community, which sits on opposite end of the river.
The Guyana Foreign Affairs Ministry in a subsequent release that same day, detailed that the jet was one of two Venezuelan army’s Sukhoi SU 30 fighter jets that flew over Eteringbang and its airstrip at around 13:20 hrs. on Tuesday.
Residents of Eteringbang had confirmed too that the jets did fly over their community and circled once before heading away towards Venezuela.
Guyana has since moved to describe the flights over its airspace as the latest act of aggression by the Venezuelan armed forces. Through its Foreign Affairs Ministry, Guyana labelled the move as a clear indication that Venezuela is prepared to use aggression and intimidation to accomplish what cannot be accomplished by legal means – the surrender by Guyana.
Venezuela however, has chosen to accuse Guyana of running a false victimization campaign before the international community. Its Foreign Affairs Ministry stated that Guyana’s claim of Venezuelan fighter jets flying over its air space is unfounded and is only “based on videos published on social networks, without providing the precise and geo-referenced location of the area in question.”
Hence, stated, the Venezuelan Ministry, “Guyana is trying to manipulate the reality with the intention to feed a negative matrix against Venezuela in relation to the territorial controversy over the Essequibo.”
Despite, stating that Guyana’s claims of fighter jets flying over its airspace was unfounded, the Venezuelan ministry saw it fit to mention in its statement that, “since there is a controversy over the Essequibo, neither Guyana or Venezuela can refer to this territory as its own or under its sovereignty and jurisdiction.”
This Venezuela stated, is supported by Article 5 of the 1966 Geneva Agreement. The Geneva Agreement was one that the two countries signed; agreeing that only the United Nations (UN) can solve the Essequibo controversy.
It is quite evident; however, that Venezuela itself has failed to honour this agreement. It was UN Secretary General, who had advised that the matter be brought before the International Court of Justice (ICJ).
On December 18, the ICJ ruled that has jurisdiction to hear the case. 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.
Venezuela on the other hand, has refused to participate in the proceedings and has openly rejected the ICJ’s decision.
In fact, since the court’s ruling, the Venezuelan President, Nicholas Maduro Morro, has been on the offensive against Guyana. He has made aggressive statements and moves, while publicly claiming that Essequibo belongs to his country.
Moreover, on Thursday, Kaieteur News reported as its lead story that a high-ranking Venezuelan official, Herman Escarra, has proposed to include the Essequibo in its constitution. It was also pointed in the report that Venezuela intends to conduct military activity in the Essequibo.
It seems as if the fighter jets flights over Guyana’s airspace might just be part of Venezuela’s most recent plan to carry out military operations in the controversial territory.
Meanwhile, as tensions between the two countries continue over the Essequibo, the Guyana Gold and Diamond Miners’ Association (GGDMA) has come forward to condemn the recent invasion of Guyana’s air space by the Venezuelan armed forces.
GGDMA in a statement it sent out yesterday described the move as an act of intimidation by Venezuela and its flagrant disregard for international law and Guyana.
It stated too that all miners agree that the Essequibo rightfully belongs to Guyana and that it is presumptuous of Venezuela to baselessly claim exclusive sovereign rights over the territory.
The recent incursion by Venezuela into Guyana stated GGDMA clearly threatens the investments of miners and further create a climate of uncertainty, which is undesirable. It went on to mention that the thousands of miners it represents deprecate any actions, which will lead to a breach of the peace and loss of their livelihoods.
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