See below for a statement from the Parliamentary Opposition on next week’s meeting between President Dr Irfaan Ali and Venezuelan President Nicolás Maduro to be held in St Vincent and the Grenadines on December 14, 2023:
GUYANA/VENEZUELA TERRITORIAL CONTROVERSY MUST NOT BE DISCUSSED DURING PRESIDENT ALI/PRESIDENT MADURO DIALOGUE.
The Parliamentary Opposition welcomes the action being taken by the international community to ensure there is peace between the Cooperative Republic of Guyana and the Bolivarian Republic of Venezuela.
The Parliamentary Opposition wishes to make it quite clear that we are not opposed to dialogue or discussions with the President of Venezuela as this could lead to better relations between the Governments and peoples of our two countries. Indeed, paragraph 3 of the Geneva Agreement recognises that “closer cooperation between British Guiana and Venezuela could bring benefit to both countries.” That is why since independence Guyana has sought and promoted bilateral relations with our Western neighbor across a spectrum of issues including health, education, and other relevant areas of development. It must also be recalled that during the Parliamentary debate on the territorial controversy that the opposition insisted that the door should always be open to dialogue.
We believe that the meeting should seek to ensure the two states recommence bilateral discussions since they will open new vistas for good neighbourliness, and peace between our two states and peoples.
It is the considered view of the Opposition that the two Leaders could continue to explore the expansion of bilateral issues which could improve the lives of the peoples of our two countries and contribute to the peaceful development of the Latin American and Caribbean region.
THE OPPOSITION BELIEVES THAT THERE MUST NOT BE ANY DISCUSSIONS OF THE TERRITORIAL CONTROVERSY BETWEEN OUR TWO COUNTRIES AS THIS MATTER IS PROPERLY BEFORE THE INTERNATIONAL COURT OF JUSTICE (ICJ) AND THIS PROCESS MUST BE ALLOWED TO TAKE ITS COURSE SO THAT IT IS SETTLED WITHIN THE CONFINES OF INTERNATIONAL LAW.
The Parliamentary Opposition remains committed to playing its role in the ongoing relationship between Guyana and Venezuela and will always work towards the protection of the Territorial Integrity and Sovereignty of our nation.