Nov 20, 2023 News
Kaieteur News – Prime Minister of Barbados, Mia Mottley and Prime Minister of the St Vincent and the Grenadines, Ralph Gonsalves have echoed the support of the Caribbean Community (CARICOM) for Guyana, even as the country takes steps to have its border controversy with Venezuela addressed at the level of the International Court of Justice (ICJ).
“CARICOM has issued a very strong statement in support of Guyana. We as individual countries all have echoed those sentiments , the fact that I have said two weeks before at the conference that Venezuela is also a friend, we would like to see the Caribbean remain a zone of peace. In this particular case in our view, Guyana’s position has been strong, it has been unwavering and it is before the International Court of Justice, and we’ll back them 150 percent with that,” Mottley said at a press conference she shared with Gonsalves at the Grantley Adams International Airport in Barbados on Saturday.
Prime Minister Mottley also expressed hope that the rhetoric and the noise between Venezuela and Guyana, do not convert the Caribbean region into anything that is not a zone of peace.
She continued, “Venezuela is a friend as well and, therefore, we would like to see the Caribbean remain a zone of peace.”
“It matters to us that this Caribbean remains a zone of peace… So we are depending on the two countries to keep the temperatures down even if there is not the settled outcome on the dispute that will be traditionally expected, over Guyana’s 160,000 square kilometer Essequibo County.”
For his part, Gonsalves said Guyana and Venezuela, “must uphold that the region is one of peace and that there will be no force used or threat of force singly or jointly”. He noted too, “CARICOM has always defended the territorial inviolability of Guyana.”
The Vincentian Prime Minister stressed too that, “the only entity to benefit from any clash in any physical sense is imperialism” which acts in its own interest historically.
On Saturday, Guyana’s President Irfaan Ali said that Guyana is committed to resolving the controversy peacefully and legally. He expressed confidence in the international community’s support during a press conference.
Amid concerns of misinformation and excitable social media posts, President Ali reassured the Guyanese public that the government is taking comprehensive action on the border issue. He urged people to rely only on official channels for information and he said the government will seek to work with the media on efforts for national awareness and education on the issue.
He said the government is engaged in extensive diplomatic efforts and continuous contact with international partners to ensure full awareness and support regarding the border controversy. “At different levels, this has not only borne fruit but has enabled us to strengthen our relationship with our partners,” Ali stated.
He highlighted Guyana’s commitment to a peaceful resolution, stating, “Our primary focus is to ensure that this region remains a region of peace.”
However, the President, when asked, appeared to hint at the potential for military support from other countries if Venezuela acts recklessly. While emphasizing Guyana’s desire for peace, he stated, “We have engaged the chief of staff and the senior commander, and continuously engaged with partners across the region, and of course, extra-regionally.”
“I have had engagement with our key strategic partners. And I want to assure you that those engagements have been very fulfilling and comforting for me as head of state. I have no doubt that our international partners and friends will stand steadily and in an unwavering way beside us,” the President stated.
Guyana recently sought provisional measures from the ICJ, to prevent Venezuela from taking actions that would violate South America’s only English-speaking country’s sovereignty.
Venezuela’s planned referendum for December 3, seeks support to reject the 1899 Arbitral Award that established the land boundary between the two countries, to reject the World Court’s jurisdiction, and to annex Guyana’s Essequibo territory.
Guyana views this as a threat to its sovereignty and territorial integrity.
Pres. Ali putting water meters on the citizens in Berbice, and not meters on Exxon oil pumps.
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