Border controversy: President Granger calls on UK to show solidarity

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President David Granger addressing guests at the celebration to mark the 89th birthday of Queen Elizabeth 11 at the British High  Commissioner’s residence
President David Granger addressing guests at the celebration to mark the 89th birthday of Queen Elizabeth 11 at the British High Commissioner’s residence

[www.inewsguyana.com] – President David Granger is calling on the United Kingdom to stand in solidarity with Guyana against Venezuela’s continued aggression towards the country’s oil rich territory.

Over the past weeks tensions between Guyana and Venezuela have flared after President Nicholas Maduro issued a decree signalling a new claim to Guyana’s territory following the discovery of oil by US oil giant ExxonMobil.

President Granger, while making a toast to Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II 89th Birthday, pointed out that the territory controversy started since colonial days.

He said “the Government of the Co-operative Republic of Guyana welcomes the United Kingdom’s support for Guyana’s position on the claims being generated by the Bolivarian Republic of Venezuela over our settled borders. Guyana-Venezuela relations, since the independence of Guyana in 1966, have been affected by intermittent and aggressive claims by Venezuela on Guyana’s territory.”

The President said that it has become increasingly clear that Venezuela intends to put Guyana under pressure and stymie its development by its unfriendly actions.

The President has already stated that the U.S Oil giant has nothing to worry about with respect to the integrity of its drilling operations.

When questioned by the media on Wednesday June 10, the President said that he does not believe that the decree poses a threat to the physical integrity of the platform. This is despite the government already stating the decree empowers the Venezuelan Navy to secure the controversial area.

President Granger also stated that he is at odds to ascertain why Venezuela would want to make such a claim on the country’s territory at this point in Guyana’s history.

British High Commissioner to Guyana, James Gregory Quinn has already dismissed Venezuela’s most recent claim on Guyana’s oil rich Essequibo Coast, stating that it lacks solid grounds.

In an invited comment to iNews, Quinn had pointed out that “the UK is clear that the Venezuela-Guyana land border is, and should be, as agreed under the 1899 Arbitration Agreement.”

Quinn contended that the 1966 Geneva Agreement did not change that adding “indeed Article V(2) of that agreement states: ‘No new claim, or enlargement of an existing claim, to territorial sovereignty … shall be asserted while this Agreement is in force, nor shall any claim whatsoever be asserted otherwise than in the Mixed Commission.’

Given these international agreements, Quinn says the claim is baseless.

“Connected to this we see no grounds in international law which would justify recent Venezuelan claims to what we consider to be Guyanese territorial waters,” the High Commissioner stated.

8 COMMENTS

  1. Mr Granger should ask the South African Government for some Solidarity Why Go to the old Master. (Massa)

  2. The brain dead PPP in its last days supported Argentina’s claim to the Falklands Islands which are British territory. Did they not think we would need British support against Venezuela’s claim to our territory. Three cheers for Rodrigues-Birlkett and Harper.

  3. Russia has nothing to do with the government. I very strongly support Russia and believe me they will never get involved in this border issues with Venezuela. the Russian government is a very smart government putin is good friends with Venezuela and he will not damage his friendship with Venezuela for Guyana. Russia had nothing to do with the so call deal in America and Britain were the one responsible . for you information mr. George the deal you were referring to was between America and England NOT Russia you eyes pass Russia. As Russian and there country has NOTHING to do with the mess with Guyana and Venezuela. leave my beloved country and Government OUT of this. GET YOU INFORMATION CORRECT.

  4. Sadly, Guyana cannot defend itself in any armed conflict with neighbouring Venezuela given the current putrid state of the nation’s armed forces whom were starved of resources during the despotic PPP’s reign of terror.

    The Gov’t of Guyana is caught between a rock and a hard place given the fact we simply cannot wage a sustainable war against Venezuela given the fact that it has several large squadrons of American made F16s & C130 hercules, Russian MiGs & Sukhois fighter jets and Chinese radars that were acquired in a massive barter agreement of oil for arms. Guyana and its fellow lukewarm comrades in CARICOM have been suckered into the “PetroCaribe Squeeze” and in Guyana’s case -it is giving rice in exchange for oil.

    Guyana needs to wake up and smell the brutal reality that in this dog eat dog world of international politics – it is survival of the fittest and each man for himself so calling upon the UK, Canada and Uncle Sam to help might only get us so far – we need to come to grips with the painful realities before us and start thinking about a PLAN B just in case PLAN A fizzles out.

  5. Very good point. But very unlikely Russia will support us. Russian oil giant Rosneft signed a 14 billion dollar deal with Venezuela two days after President Maduro passed a decree on Guyana. I hope those who helped the defacto government to power will finish what they started and we wouldn’t end up like Iraq.

  6. According to a man named Severo Mallet-Prevost, this mess was the result of a “political deal” between Britain and Russia. We must not only ask the UK for help but Russia must also support us. The children of Guyana are today faced with this crisis because of the geopolitics at the time, but moreso because Burnham had to do what he was told to do. Venezuela issued several acts of aggression to Guyana prior to this one. The Burnham regime was discouraged from taking anything to the Security Council and by signing the Geneva Agreement (then British Guiana), Guyana accepted that there was/is a border dispute. Furthermore Burnham renewed the acceptance by again signing the Port of Spain Protocol which quieted the issue for another 12 years. The so called Mixed Commission achieved nothing. Cheddi Jagan was strongly against the signing of the Geneva Agreement, of course he couldn’t stop it. He told Burnham to take Venezuela’s acts of aggression to the Security Council. Those propping up Burnham in power did not want this, so Burnham acquiesced. This architecture of this dispute may have taken on a new configuration re: the UN Good Officer etc etc but in many ways we are having a repeat of what happened in 1968. This is what happens when you are helped into power and the defacto government must take note. The Guyanese Leader needs the support of all Guyanese. The border dispute with Venezuela must be resolved at the highest level once and for all.

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