Guyana says no to ‘face to face meeting’ with Venezuela’s President

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By Jomo Paul

Minister of Foreign Affairs, Carl Greenidge
Minister of Foreign Affairs, Carl Greenidge

[www.inewsguyana.com] – Vice President and Minister of Foreign Affairs, Carl Greenidge has made it clear that President David Granger is not open for a one on one, face to face meeting with Venezuela’s President Nicolas Maduro.

Reports surfaced on Wednesday, July 29 about a possible September meeting between the Heads of State to discuss issues pertinent to the border controversy which sees Venezuela claiming three quarters of Guyana’s territory.

But when questioned by media operatives, Greenidge said that this was not going to happen.

“We are not meeting one on one, there is no proposal to meet one on one…what would we meet one on one for?” Greenidge questioned.

He said there is room for discussion in an appropriate forum and if that can be done at a United Nations forum or a similar activity, then discussions will be undertaken.

The Vice President also stated that Guyana is open to the option of a team from the UN visiting in an effort to resolve the controversy.

“In response to our letter to him [UN Secretary General] and subsequently Maduro’s complaint…yes, he has informed us on whether we would be interested in receiving an emissary,” said Greenidge adding that the emissary will be arriving “soon.”

President David Granger and President Nicholas Maduro
President David Granger and President Nicholas Maduro

“The Secretary General of the UN has discussed with Mr Granger modalities for moving the process on from where it is currently stuck….I don’t know anything about Maduro inviting anybody; it has nothing to do with Maduro,” Greenidge explained.

Meanwhile, the Guyana Government has moved to issue a proclamation restating its territories including that of the continental shelf and exclusive economic zone.

Greenidge in Parliament on Thursday stated that the restating of Guyana’s territory “was intended to capture the many new developments of maritime law.”

He said that it is in sync with all international laws and agreements and it “allows Guyana to properly safeguard its rights and to meet its obligations,” under such agreements.

“It establishes the area under which national jurisdiction is to be exercised… the proper implementation of the baseline provisions of the Convention by coastal States through, inter alia, their national legislation, will play an important role in the achievement of an adequate balance between the maritime interests of coastal States and those of the international community,” said Greenidge.

 

40 COMMENTS

  1. Mr. Parmanand, I noticed that you ignored the substantive elements of my presentation and instead introduced issues of questionable pertinence. The issues are namely freedom of speech and honesty and decorum in diplomacy.
    Firstly, complete freedom of speech does not exist in any society, as the punitive laws of ‘libel’ and ‘slander’ exert a constraining power. In this regard freedom of speech is not the same as freedom of abuse. Moreover, if the aim of President Maduro is to secure bilateral discussions with his Guyanese counterpart, then engaging in personal abuse, is surely both illogical and also counter-productive.
    Secondly, your conception of diplomacy is unfortunately idealistic and naive. The world would indeed be a much better place if your perception of diplomacy was a reality.
    In the world of ‘real-politik’ diplomacy is often referred to as ‘warfare by other means’. The ancient Byzantium Empire, surrounded by enemies was a masterful practitioner of this type of warfare and over the succeeding centuries this practice has become the standard. The Renaissance diplomat and politician Machiavelli even went so far as to delineate the ethics and methodology of diplomacy and governance in his famous book ‘The Prince’.
    Diplomacy, shorn of all pretence, is essentially concerned with deceit, manipulation, hypocrisy, double-standards, and last but not least ‘intelligence gathering’. Indeed the latter function, is the reason why most diplomats are regarded as spies.
    In the case of weaker states threatened by far more powerful enemies, diplomacy consists of going on the offensive to gain as many allies as possibly, thereby isolating the aggressive state. President Granger has effected this form of diplomacy with consummate skill and should be applauded.
    I am delighted to hear that you support the government in relation to this dispute and other issues.
    Thank you for your solicitude in relation to my health and the cold climate of London. I came to the UK, as a child before Guyana’s independence, therefore I was hardly ‘running away’. I think that I have had more than enough time to become acclimatised, would you not agree?

  2. Thanks ,Rohit . 45% is nearly half ,or one out of two. So, you’re not catering for the other 55% ? I don’t consider that as being fair. Do you ?

  3. No need for any meeting on claims to our territory….. only to improve relationships.Feel confident that the Brits and Uncle Sam will be there in quick time if they try to use force..

  4. Bobby speak for yourself and dont be proud of it.
    About 45% of our citizen speaks some spanish and understands a whole lot.
    LEARNING a second language is life skill that has many returns.
    Get yourself organise buddy.
    For the translation Mr President we are a country that has much respect for the realtionship with our neighbours and in this instance you are not speaking the language of peace and understanding.

  5. Maduro right to free speech is respected and he can call us names and point fingers at our association .
    However we cannot reciprocate the behaviour of Maduro. In diplomacy you stand tall when your language and decorum is purposeful and honest.
    I am a Guyanese and i choose not to run to UK and USA thats my right also ,the same way you choose to go live in UK. That makes me a well intentioned Guyanese and i support the Government on this and several other issues so dont get the impression that we are divided on Essequibo, we never were and never will be.
    Iwould urge that you come home and help us build Guyana Mr Harris. London may be too cold for you.

  6. Jimmer, you seem to think this is a domestic issue. The significance of time and place is the factor here. Let’s meet him in London or Paris with lawyers from both sides. No dead man’s objection to the 1899 settlement will be admissible.

  7. Guyana’s territorial right is non- negeotiable. Venezuela has to stop playing the victimization card and understand that God awarded territory to no one and the Dutch who colonized the Essequibo had done so under the right of the 1648 treaty.
    And, just as New Amsterdam (New York) became British, though years later, so were the Dutch territories of Essequibo, Demerara, and Berbice. By drawing up a map dating 200 years after others have settled and constructed settlements does not make it yours Mr Maduro. That period of history was called the colonial period. That competition is long over. Leave Guyana alone to strive in peace and take care of your 365,000 sqaure miles and the people who elected you.

  8. Face to face with an illogical partner with a recurring century old claim that has long been settled makes no sense. Meet him in an international forum with the terms of the arbitration to which his predecessors agreed. He lacks the historical perspective and thinks that history began with Venezuela’s independence in 1810 and the 1819 map. He has never heard of Kykoveryal, Maruka, the Treaty of Munster. When did Venezuela administered the Essequibo? What settlement did they build?

  9. You are not only arrogant you are an imbecile, President Gerainger is right to hold his ground and not have that greedy thug intimidate him and the Guyanese people the least you can do is be more patriotic and stand with your fellow men don’t be a weak link there is strength in numbers

  10. Rohit Parmanand your comments although well intentioned are somewhat inaccurate and out of date. Some of us Guyanese in the UK have been following this dispute with interest. The Guyanese government has pursued their case with great professionalism and have secured the support of the UK, CARICOM, the Commonwealth and many other polities including the United States. This support was only forthcoming because Guyana has acted within the parameters of international convention.

    President Maduro described the stalwart position of president Granger as one that made him want to ‘vomit’. Further, he has accused the Guyanese Government of turning Essequibo into a base for Israeli spies and American commandos whose intention is that of infiltrating Venezuela. He has also claimed that Exxon-Mobil is responsible for the crisis and that president Granger is a stooge of the company.

    Maduro lacks the charisma, communication skills, and political agility of the late Hugo Chavez. Consequently, his government has made many economic mistakes that have allowed the right wing opposition to greatly increase its power and popularity. Maduro has resorted to the time honoured device of governments in trouble, that of appealing to ‘narrow nationalism’. This is really the genesis of the renewed territorial claim and its extension into the maritime zone following the Exxon-Mobil oil discovery.

    You might not be aware of this, but the oil found in Guyanese waters is of the high quality light grade, much sought after and a grade not produced by Venezuela.

    So this beleaguered president is the man that you wish president Granger to have a one and one meeting with? To what purpose? What could possibly be on the agenda?

    There would have to be a common ‘meeting ground’ for such a meeting not to prove a total waste of time. Venezuela believes in its territorial claim and now has made an additional maritime claim, which it states is part of its defence zone and will be militarily enforced. None of these claims has a shred of legitimacy under international law.

    Guyana has stated that it possesses sovereignty over all of its territories and that sovereignty is recognised under international law. These differences are irreconcilable and cannot be resolved at a bilateral level. If the Venezuelan government seriously wished to resolve this dispute then they should seek a judicial review on the matter. All previous Guyanese governments and indeed the current government, have been prepared to seek judicial arbitration. Venezuela has always shied away from this proposition because they are fully aware that their claims are illegal.

    I wonder also if you are aware that Maduro’s maritime decree has encroached on the waters of several other countries including most notably Colombia, which influenced that country into making a statement supporting Guyana. Venezuela has now retracted their claim re Colombia’s territorial waters and reached an agreement with that country. Fear of Colombia’s formidable military potential was the main factor in this resolution. Venezuela bereft of the wisdom of Chavez has become a predator nation that also has its eyes on Trinidad.The Trinidadian government is well aware of this, hence the steadfast support for Guyana.

    I do not believe in giving uncritical support to any government. However, I am unable to discern any flaw in the position of the Guyanese government and would urge you and all Guyanese to stand fast in unity. Please remember the old adage that ‘a house divided amongst itself cannot stand’.

  11. You guys are so stupid
    Even though I think greenidge should not have a political position. ,because he was a Burnham boy ,he is right why should we suddenly have talk to maduro about our land that is so dumbo

  12. Do you really think that “talking” to the guy is going to keep a rice deal going? He is CLAIMING all our rice and he wants to now CLAIM our OIL to pay for it. So just to keep it straight. Venezuela takes Essequibo and the offshore oil. They then trade us some of that oil for whatever rice we can produce in Berbice. How does that work for you?

  13. This man made a deal with the former government, and I can make a sure bet it involved a promise of some sort, including MONEY! For those who are familiar with the map of Guyana, Venezuela’s claim for Essequibo, can only be because of such a “deal”, since one is on the right and the other on the left. Therefore, no border. So people, the TRUTH is out there somewhere and it’s been buried in the PPP sewer, along with all the other things they’ve done.

  14. The only other Guyanese who feel this way are PPP soup drinkers like you. The sad thing about people like you is that if the PPP is not in charge then let the Venezuelans run the country. There goes patriotism out the door.

  15. No Face To Face With President Madura-Venezuela?

    Diplomacy cannot work if political leaders refuse to meet face to face with their counterparts, to talk, or discuss issues that effect their people or states.

    That is why Embassies, Consulates, and High Commissioners were established. To ensure that an avenue or link is there for immediate communication. Not only in times of crisis, but in peaceful times too.

    I feel Guyana MUST never refuse to have Face To Face Meetings with Mr. Madura, or any other political leader making, claims on our Sovereign Territory.

    FINALLY:

    You have to look the BEAST in the Face and say, NO, NO, No. Not on my watch.

    Derryck S. Griffith.

  16. You’re sure Maduro is the “big bad bully”? There is only 1 big bad bully in this region.

  17. THIS IS ANOTHER BLUNDER BY THE GOVERNMENT. IT DEMONSTRATES A LACK OF UNDERSTANDING OF INTERNATIONAL RELATIONS ON OUR PART. WHAT DO WE LOSE BY TALKING ABOUT THE ISSUES THAT AFFECT OUR RELATIONSHIP? AREN’T WE NATURAL GEOGRAPHIC NEIGHBOURS AND SHOULDN’T WE BE GOOD NEIGHBOURS AT THAT? DO WE TALK ONLY WHEN WE WANT TO SELL OUR PADDY AT THE WORLD’S HIGHEST PRICES ? MR. GREENIGE HAS A VERY PUERILE ATTITUDE AS A FOREIGN MINISTER. HE SHOULD BE FIRED AND REPLACED BY A MORE PRACTICAL PERSON.

  18. I wasn’t aware Maduro called, “Granger a provocateur and agent of the United States”. So it appears not only do Guyanese feel this way but others in the region do as well.

  19. I read the posts and am of the belief that meeting will not negate our right to the essequibo it is ours period.
    Diplomacy is an art of letting someone else have your way!!!
    One time Greenidge said let Maduro deal with Caricom…I found that to be tactless and childs play. Greenidge should have said …and i am putting words in his mouth i voted for the coalition they need to listen…
    Señor Presidente SOMOS UN PUEBLO QUE TENER MUCHO VALOR POR NUESTRO RELACION CON LOS VECINOS Y EN ESTA INSTANCIA USTED NO ESTA HABLANDO LA IDIOMA DE PAZ Y ENTENDIMENTO.

  20. EM it is more serious than it seems on the surface.
    I however see that the coalition is reading me and i think the exact position as stated by me is now been embraced by the Government. Thats a good sign.

  21. This is like Reuven Rivlin claiming the entire Gaza strip, then ask Mahmoud Abbas to meet face to face after for a meeting, unfortunately Mr Granger is not running a pan handling government like Dr Jagdeo. Why couldn’t the PPP workout a deal when they were notified that Venezuela will stop taking paddy from Guyana, especially at a time when Guyana and Venezuela had less tension ? for all those who think a face to face meeting between these two leaders will bare economic fruit at this juncture are seriously mistaken, Venezuela need to first remove the decree, and publicly denounce any effort of the Mudaro government claims to part of Guyana , then a face to meeting will happen, until then stick to UN.

  22. Why should Granger or anyone else for that matter from his government want to reach face to face with him. The decree already states what’s ours. Any other meetings must be through the UN etc. Meeting face to face wouldn’t achieve any progress. We have been doing that for year after independence from the UK what has it accomplished. They, Venezuela, never bothered us after the decree was signed and agreed on and while we were under the British. Not until Guyana had gained independence after which Treats and bullying for decades have continued to date . Granger and company is right to stand on their ground.

  23. yes meet with him why?why? because the big bad bully wants to talk instead of bomb us we should be grateful?Oh and did you all not see that the President said that if the discussions are a UN facilitated one he would be there.Stww who is Maduro just because a bully decides he will let up a bit on you,you must be grateful.Mr president if nothing else when it come to this border issue i’m with my fellow Guyanese who support our integrity all the way.Those who side with Venezuela,Exile them there.

  24. Granger is not snubbing Maduro; he is simply letting it be known what forums are best suited for any talks with a role for the UN or any such body. Guyana does not have to go into an economic tailspin because of no oil from Venezuela. There are other countries with oil and we can negotiate. We have help outside of Venezuela. Trust me.

  25. Maduro cannot draw up maps showing Venezuela owns Guyana’s maritime waters, issue a decree backing up the map, call Granger a provocateur and agent of the United States, then want a face-to-face meeting now that world opinion is against him. He put the cart before the horse and must now walk back his stupidity under the watchful eye of respectable world bodies. No room for secret talks that benefit Venezuela.

  26. BEAUTIFUL , SO NICE TO TELL THEM SOD OFF, WE DO NEED TO MEET WITH ANYONE, THIS IS OUR COUNTRY, AND YOU CANNOT, TAKE ANY PART, WE INTEND TO FIGHT FOR OUR COUNTRY, WE NEED TO RECALL , THE PEOPLES MILITA, TO BACK UP THE , GUYANA DEFENCE FORCE, WE DO NOT WANT A WAR,,,,,,,,,,,,WE INTEND TO DEFEND OUR COUNTRY,AND NOT TO GIVE IN TO THREATS,………..

  27. This kind of confrontational approach is probably not in the best interest of Guyana. If Maduro wants to meet face to face, the govt here should, and see what comes out of it, if anything, but to refuse outright, is probably foolish and appears arrogant.

  28. I dont think this snubbing of the Vene President is the best response to the request to meet. This diplomacy practice by Greenidge is downright flawed and out of sync with international norms. Granger is no Obama nor is Maduro no Khomeni. The meeting should have been facilitated and let Maduro know, tell him in his face that we will be pursing the other mechanisms that were already put in place.Whats wrong with that.
    Greenidge is slipping badly. There are other issues that require urgent discussion with vene Pterocaribe deal renewal.
    Our economy will go into a tail spin without this Petro caribe deal and our paddy exports if not sorted out will kill the rice industry.
    I believe that the talks should be faciliated without fail.
    If they havent requested a meeting then we should request a meeting with him.
    Invite him to Guyana. Our realtionship with Vene is critical to the prosperity of our nations.

  29. An excellent stand Mr. President. President Maduro needs to retract his decree before any productive meetings could be held.

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