Foreign Affairs Minister, Carl Greenidge made further calls during Thursday’s sitting of the National Assembly for Venezuela to cease its intimidatory tactics and respect Guyana’s territory revealing that the Venezuelan Navy on the day of the attack on Exxon Mobil attempted to land a helicopter on the Ramform Tethys (ship).
Greenidge detailed that Exxon Mobil vessels under contract by the company and its partners CNOOC of China and NEX of the USA were performing exploratory seismic work within the Stabroek block area of Guyana’s Exclusive Economic Zone (EEZ) when they were intercepted at about 10:30h on December 22, 2018.
“The vessel was flagged by the Government of the Commonwealth of the Bahamas and had a total of seventy crew members on board including the Captain. It was intercepted in the Exclusive Economic Zone and continental shelf of the Cooperative Republic of Guyana at an approximate distance of 140 kilometres from the nearest point to the provisional equidistant line with Venezuela and some 250 kilometres from Punta Playa, the westernmost point on the land border of Guyana” Greenidge detailed.
Condemning the action, the Minister noted that Venezuela was informed of the works that would be carried out in the said area of the attack and as such, noted that the attack was deliberate despite denial from the Venezuelan Government.
“More than two weeks prior to this interception which the Venezuelan report feigned was a surprise, the world and its mariners, including Venezuela, had been alerted to the intended commencement of seismic work on Guyana’s EEZ. This alert was by way of an Advisory from Guyana. Rather than speak to us, Venezuelan authorities waited, tried to seize the vessel and then sent us a Note Verbal” Greenidge revealed.
The Foreign Affairs Minister made it clear that Guyana has no interest in the Orinoco Delta and it is therefore misleading for Venezuela to claim that the Ranform Tethys was in that area.
As such, with the support of the Opposition, the Guyana Government once again urged Venezuela to cease its military actions and join Guyana in submitting its territorial case to the International Court of Justice (ICJ).
Further, Greenidge called on Venezuela to withdraw its decree against Guyana rights to explore its territory.
“Guyana calls on its sister republic to: immediately withdraw its unilateral decree, cease all uses and threats of military force against unarmed civilian vessels duly licenced by Guyana to engage in offshore exploratory activities, present its case before the ICJ and, in due course, commit to accepting the Court’s Judgment on the validity of the 1899 Arbitral Award and the location of the land boundary” the Minister encouraged.
Greenidge made it clear that Guyana will not be intimidated by Venezuela’s show of bombasity.
That being said, he also noted that Guyana remained open to dialogue with Venezuela, dialogue that does not infringe on the case currently before the ICJ.
“We have reiterated our invitation to Venezuela to join Guyana in seeking a peaceful, just and final resolution of the controversy by participating in the proceedings before the International Court of Justice, presenting all of its claims and defences to the Court, and accepting the final Judgment of the Court, in compliance with Article IV (2) of the Geneva Agreement and the binding decision of the Secretary-General” said the Foreign Affairs Minister.