[www.inewsguyana.com] – Chairman of CARICOM, Prime Minister of Barbados, Freundel Stuart, announced on Saturday evening (July 04) that the Caribbean Community stands in solidarity with Guyana as it relates to the border controversy with Venezuela.
At a press conference at the closing of The 36th Regular Meeting of the Conference of Heads of Government of the Caribbean Community, Prime Minister Stuart said that CARICOM will do everything in its power to ensure that Venezuela “plays by the rules”.
A press release from the Ministry of the Presidency noted that the new CARICOM Chairman added that while the territorial spat between Guyana and Venezuela is not new, CARICOM will do all that it can to ensure that peace and tranquillity is maintained in the region.
“Stuart said both countries are committed to a process and it is the Caribbean Community’s hope that the process will work itself out,” the press release noted.
“What one has to aim for, as the dispute continues, is a cooling of tempers. We do not think that there can be any compromise so far as Guyana’s territorial border is concerned. It is part of a process and that process has to work itself out,” the release quoted the CARICOM Chairman as saying.
He however reiterated that given the fact that Guyana is an original signatory to the Treaty of Chaguramas, CAIRCOM has to stand firmly behind Guyana even as it tries to maintain a good relationship with Venezuela.
According to the release, Prime Minister Stuart said that CARICOM is not prepared to pollute in anyway their good relations between other CARICOM member states and Venezuela. However, he said, thus far both Guyana and Venezuela have committed to maintaining peace and scope exists for an amicable resolution to the dispute.
Going forward, Prime Minister Stuart said, “We have to make sure that the situation does not spin out of control and ensure that level heads are held on both sides”.
Meanwhile, President David Granger, in response to questions about what message he will be taking back to the Guyanese people on the issue, said he will assure them of CARICOM’s support and their commitment for maintaining peace.
At the opening ceremony of the conference, on July 02 last, President David presented Guyana’s position to CARICOM in his inaugural speech to the Heads of Government, clearly making the case for regional involvement and support for maitaining regional security.
CARICOM has now joined the growing chorus of voices which have come out in support of Guyana. Trinidad’s Prime Minister, Ms. Kamla Bissessar stated that her country will not sit idly by and watch Guyana be dispossessed of its exclusive economic zone.
In addition, the United Nations Secretary-General, Ban Ki Moon, who also attended the Conference, has indicated that a mission will be deployed to Guyana with the aim of addressing the issue. The Commonwealth had long signalled its support for Guyana following the May 26, 2014 Decree by Venezuela’s President Nicolas Maduro, which claimed most of Guyana’s economic zone.