EYEWITNESS: Qualifications…


…on ICJ’s jurisdiction?

Not surprisingly, even as it’s undergoing a State-meltdown, Venezuela continues with its stubborn rear-guard action to prevent a settlement on the border controversy it precipitated in 1962 when it claimed the “full and final settlement” it signed on to in 1899 was “null and void”.

Since then, this claim of “we wuz robbed” by perfidious Albion (Britain) has become an article of faith of all succeeding Venezuelan governments and has even been incorporated into their Constitution.

Over the last few years, as we know, Guyana has slowly made progress by sticking to the terms of the Geneva Agreement which Venezuela signed in 1966 and which spelled out the measures to settle the controversy. We had a Mixed Border Commission…but that didn’t get anywhere.

We had several other interventions – including a moratorium – then lastly, the UN Secretary General “Good Officer Process” which the Venezuelans just allowed to drag on and on and on for decades!!

Didn’t matter to them…but it certainly crimped our development efforts!! Back in the 1970s, Burnham’s big dream of launching a mega-Hydro-electric project in the Mazaruni was stymied by the Venezuelans who blocked us from World Bank funding. Whether we highlighted it or not, this Venezuelan obstreperousness was the reason our oil potential remained ‘potential” up to the turn of the century…while Venezuela raked in the big oil bucks.

The present PNC Government had to concede the strategic wisdom of Janet Jagan to offer Exxon 600 blocks in the Stabroek field in 1999, as a deterrent to Venezuelan revanchism.

Be as it may, as per the terms of the Geneva agreement, “If the means so chosen do not lead to a solution…the Secretary General of the United Nations shall choose another of the means stipulated in Article 33 of the Charter of the United Nations.” Guyana petitioned the UN Secretary General to send the matter to the ICJ for a judicial Settlement – one of the options of Art 33.”

The Secretary General agreed and now Venezuela has the nerve to say the ICJ has no jurisdiction over the case since it (Venezuela) hasn’t consented!

But Venezuela is disingenuously forgetting that Article 36 of the ICJ just doesn’t say, “The jurisdiction of the Court comprises all cases which THE PARTIES refer to it”. It goes on to include: “and all matters specially provided for in the Charter of the United Nations or in TREATIES and conventions in force.” This standard “Compromissory clause” kicks in because Venezuela agreed to the Geneva Agreement!!

Venezuela can’t have its cake and eat it too. While there’s no world government to compel its acceptance of the ICJ’s impending judgement…the rest of the world will!!
And that’s what matters.


The points raised by the PNC partisans on GECOM – their three Commissioners and Granger’s unilaterally-appointed Chairman – on the appointment of a DCEO would be laughable, if their consequences weren’t so dangerous for Guyana. The PNCites are saying don’t bother with the assessment scores of the two candidates – which they themselves helped compile – just throw it out and let the Chairman pretend he’s Solomon!!

The PNCites claim their decision has nothing with the fact their choice is a PNC-partisan – nah!! It has to do with her “academic” qualifications versus those of the other candidate.

And this is where the asininity of their position is revealed. It’s a matter of trite law that so called “facially neutral criteria” for employment MUST be relevant to the job!! Or they just become means for weeding out individuals who may be more capable of ACTUALLY doing the job!
As in this case, where the non-PNC candidate has over a DECADE of experience with ELECTIONS…and the PNCite has ZERO!!

O judgement, thou art fled to brutish beasts!!

…of (Chief?) Justice Patterson

GECOM’s Patterson said it was a ‘slip of the pen’ when he claimed he was once “Chief Justice” of Grenada.

With his pronouncement on the ‘gonads” of the Opposition Leader, is he now arrogating medical credentials??



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