By Jomo Paul
Guyana’s President David Granger told media operatives at a press conference on Friday, October 2, that coming out of a meeting with UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon he is satisfied that some amount of normalcy can be restored between Guyana and Venezuela.
The President stated that he is hopeful that the United States and Brazil can exert their influences in asking that Venezuela desist from its aggressions towards Guyana.
“The US is unlikely to become more deeply involved because of its foreign policy. I do believe that the United States and Brazil on the North American continent and the South American continent respectively have moral-suasion; they have influence and they can exert that influence to modify the behaviour of smaller state – and they have been able to do that in the past. Whether they want to deploy that suasion to dissuade Venezuela is another matter,” said President Granger.
Tensions between Guyana and Venezuela spiraled after May 26 when Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro issued a decree claiming Guyana’s territory. This decree was followed by a military build up on the Guyana/Venezuela border and Venezuelan naval fleets in the Cuyuni River – Guyana’s territory.
The President said that despite Venezuela drawing back on the rice for oil deal with Guyana’s the rice industry will survive as there are other markets.
“Don’t feel like would end if these agreements come to an end,” said President Granger.
Pointing to Suriname’s recent claim of the New River Triangle, Granger said that the claim made by Surinamese President Desi Bourtese was “spurious.”
“This claim is spurious we have taken measures in the past…It does not change the price of rice….You cannot convene a meeting of your parliament and change the boundaries of your country,” Mr Granger stated.
Agression from Suriname in 2000 had led to Guyana approaching the International Law of the Sea (ITLOS) tribunal, which ruled largely in Guyana’s favour in 2007 in the New River Triangle controversy.