OAS And CARICOM Castigate Venezuela Over Border Dispute With Guyana.

Photo by Dinesh Chandrapal on Unsplash If Venezuela takes the whole of Guyana north of the Essequibo river, there will not be much left of Guyana.
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The Organization of American States  and  CARICOM have condemned the Venezuelan government’s approval of the “Law for the Defense of Essequibo,” which attempts to annex more than two-thirds of Guyana’s territory and make it part of Venezuela.

In a press release issued on Monday, the OAS secretariat stated that this action is contrary to the most basic principles of international law and indicative of the country’s “dictatorial pattern.”

It continued, “International Law condemns the crime of aggression, condemns the threat of aggression, condemns unilateral actions to resolve bilateral problems, condemns non-compliance and violation of current Arbitration Awards, and as an international community, we must condemn bellicose attitudes and intimidation of countries and international actors.”

The OAS once again signalled its backing for Guyana and commended the country’s firm stance in respecting the jurisdiction of the International Court of Justice in this case.

CARICOM has also added to the heap of international condemnation for Venezuela’s expansionist agenda, deeming its latest move an ‘unacceptable’ and ‘potentially dangerous’ escalation of tensions.

“In its adoption of “the Organic Law”, the Government of the Bolivarian Republic of Venezuela has acted unilaterally, precipitously, and potentially, dangerously.  In the process, it has: (i) offended “the Joint Declaration of Argyle for Dialogue and Peace between Guyana and Venezuela” of 14 December 2023; (ii) subverted international law; and (iii) signaled a possible embrace of an unworthy aggression to achieve its own articulated goals or purposes,” the community said in a statement released on Monday.

CARICOM also impressed upon the Venezuelan government to refrain from any further actions that would hinder regional and hemispheric peace and stability.

The community urged patience and calmness, as the two countries await the ruling from the International Court of Justice.

“We insist that dialogue and adherence to international law are the only viable paths to achieve a just and lasting settlement of the issues at hand. The alternatives are too horrific to contemplate.”

On Monday, President Dr Mohamed Irfaan Ali reaffirmed his government’s commitment to the maintenance of peace in the region, and its respect for the principles of international law.

“Guyana’s only ambition and intention is to promote peace. Our concern is to ensure also that whatever we build integrates the countries so that we can have integrated systems and economies. We want a region that is stable and secure; a region in which the people of our countries can enjoy peace and stability,” the president said during an interview on Trinidad and Tobago’s CNC3 Morning Brew.

The longstanding border controversy between Guyana and Venezuela was settled through an Arbitral Award in 1899.

However, during the 1960s, when Guyana was on the brink of gaining independence, Venezuela’s claims to the country’s territory resurfaced.

The case was subsequently taken to the International Court of Justice, where it awaits a ruling.

In the case, Guyana is seeking that the court affirm the validity and binding effect of the 1899 Award.

The territory that Venezuela lays claim to is sparsely populated and has no major cities, but has valuable mineral and oil drilling and quarrying rights.

Source: Guyana Government Information Service.
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