By Jomo Paul
[www.inewsguyana.com] – When Guyana moves to the International Court of Justice (ICJ) to settle the ongoing Guyana/Venezuela controversy, it will not need Venezuela to agree on the planned recourse, says Foreign Affairs Minister and Vice President Carl Greenidge.
Greenidge made the statement at a press conference on Tuesday morning (October 27), where he settled some concerns that were recently raised in the public domain regarding the border controversy.
According to the Vice President, Guyana has two options when it approaches the ICJ, one of which would be for the court to make a decision on the substantive issue and the other for the court to offer an opinion.
Guyana intends to seek the opinion of the court on the 1899 Arbitral Award, which Venezuela for the past 50 years has claimed is invalid. Should the ICJ make a decision in favour of the award, that decision would be definitive, Greenidge explained.
“The options available have all been tried…under one name or another and they have all been found wanting…at the end of the exercise, they left Guyana at a disadvantage,” said the Vice President later adding “Venezuela has been arguing that the 1899 award is null and void; for an award to be deemed null and void it has to be a process of law.”
The Foreign Affairs Minister made it clear that any definitive solution to the problem would include answering the question of whether the award was null and void.
“Unless that contention is withdrawn…all the things that the UN might do will not help one iota,” Greenidge emphasized.
He noted too that Venezuela is clearly not interested in a judicial resolution since such as resolution would definitively settle the controversy.
“Guyana has lived with this dispute for 50 odd years not because it can’t be resolved but because one part has no intention of facilitating a resolution unless they get what they want…it seems we are destined to relive 1899 many times over…” said Greenidge.
Meanwhile, Greenidge was also questioned about Venezuela’s exploits in the Caribbean, which has seen President Nicolas Maduro offering aid to several Caribbean nations.
Despite these attempts, Greenidge is confident that Venezuela “can’t fund the world against Guyana.”