Nov 21, 2023 News
Kaieteur News – Venezuela’s National Electoral Council (CNE), has recorded a high turnout for the nationwide mock Essequibo referendum held on Sunday, November 19, 2023.
Guyana has rejected the planned referendum and has sought the protection of the International Court of Justice against Venezuela’s expansionist claims. Additionally, the Government of Guyana announced on Saturday last that it will carry out a series of activities to counter the referendum scheduled for December 3. “On the 3rd for example, we have a series of activities, the third of December that includes sending a strong national unified message from Guyana to those participating in the referendum,” President Irfaan Ali told reporters during a press conference held at the Arthur Chung Conference Center at Liliendaal, Georgetown
Meanwhile, as a result of the high turnout Sunday, President of the CNE, Dr. Elvis Amoroso instructed that all electoral centres enabled at the national level for the simulation of the Consultative Referendum for Essequibo must remain open until there is not a single voter left in the electoral centres.
Amoroso indicated that the decision was made after electoral officials toured all the voting centres in the country and detected large influx of people who decided to participate in the simulation in order to become familiar with the automated voting system, as well as with the questions that will be asked on December 3 in the Consultative Referendum for Essequibo.
The president of the CNE took the opportunity to congratulate the people of Venezuela on “this great civic day” and invited them to participate, with the same enthusiasm, next Sunday, December 3, in the Consultative Referendum for Essequibo. Finally, he reported that, at the main headquarters of the Electoral Power, in Plaza Caracas, two voting tables were installed so that residents who live nearby can exercise their right.
Meanwhile, Presidential candidate from the Primero Venezuela party, José Brito, defended the Venezuelan people’s resolve to defend their sovereignty and territory. He underscored their fearlessness and determination in the face of any adversarial force.
Another Presidential candidate, Luis Eduardo Martínez from the Acción Democrática party, led the swearing-in of the Raúl Leoni campaign command in preparation for the referendum. Martínez has been on a national tour to encourage citizens’ participation in the forthcoming referendum, placing a significant emphasis on the defense of sovereignty.
Luis Ratti, another influential leader, also participated in the mock election and lauded the electoral organization for its successful conduct. He highlighted the unity of Venezuelans across political lines in defense of the Essequibo territory.
Diosdado Cabello, the First Vice President of the United Socialist Party of Venezuela (PSUV), stated that the government of Guyana seeks to deny Venezuela’s historical claim to the territory west of the Essequibo River. Despite the long lines, Cabello observed great enthusiasm among voters. This included opposition party members, social movements, and first-time voters, all casting their ballots in the name of the Essequibo territory.
Vice President Delcy Rodríguez speaking last week during a hearing into a request by Guyana for the International Court of Justice (ICJ) to order a halt to parts of a consultative referendum in December on the future of the Essequibo region, stated that “Nothing will prevent the referendum scheduled for Dec. 3 from being held,”
Rodríguez told judges at the International Court of Justice too that her appearance at the court’s headquarters in the ornate Peace Palace in The Hague “in no way implies recognition of the jurisdiction of this honorable court over the territorial dispute concerning Guyana.”
The Venezuela referendum on December 3 asks the Venezuelan people to decide on five things:
They are asked to agree or reject the 1899 Arbitral Award. Mr. Reichler argued that most of them may never have heard of the Award.
They are being asked to say whether support the Geneva Agreement as the only means to settle the controversy. The Geneva Agreement was reached in 1966 after Venezuela claimed that the arbitral award was null and void. This was after it participated in the exercise to mark the boundaries (a proceed that ended in 1905 and was ratified in its Parliament.) The agreement, while allowing for dialogue and a diplomatic solution, also allowed for the Secretary-General to seek a final end to the controversy if dialogue failed. Dialogue was carried out over many decades and failed to achieve a solution.
They are being asked if they agree with Venezuela for not recognizing the jurisdiction or the legal right of the Court. The Court has already ruled that it has jurisdiction. And Maduro has already said Venezuela will “never” recognise the court, so Guyana argues the question is pure theatre.
They are being asked to oppose Guyana’s use of its maritime space. Guyana is not asking for provisional measures on this question because the Court has ruled that it cannot entertain matters outside of the Geneva Agreement. Guyana has proposed talks with Venezuela on this question but it has refused. They are being asked to agree with the creation of a “Guayana Esequiba”, essentially the territory of Guyana it claims, and grant Venezuelan citizenship and ID cards and then incorporate the territory on the map of Venezuela.
Keep your eyes on Venezuela!
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