UK supports Guyana in Venezuela border controversy

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By Tracey Khan – Drakes

British High Commissioner, James Gregory Quinn. [iNews' Photo]
British High Commissioner, James Gregory Quinn. [iNews’ Photo]
[www.inewsguyana.com] – The age old border controversy between Guyana and Venezuela needs to be approached differently if a solution is to be met, according to newly appointed United Kingdom High Commissioner to Guyana, Gregory James Quinn.

He noted that the Good Offices approach, which was established by the United Nations as a mechanism to assist in resolving Venezuela’s continued claim on a portion of Guyana’s Essequibo coast, has not been as effective as it was intended to be.

“I think it is probably time for a new approach…because the Good Office approach hasn’t actually produced a result and this now has a real impact because the maritime border hasn’t delineated it does have potential impact on Guyana,” the UK envoy told reporters recently.

The High Commissioner pledged the UK’s support of Guyana in this matter and when questioned whether the UK can offer more than just its declaration of support, he responded: “there are other options within the UN system which we can consider as a way of finishing this once and for all and we wouldn’t be seeking to impose ourselves to say what we think is the best way of doing that, but certainly if asked.”

Only recently government through the Ministry of Foreign Affairs announced its intention to opt out of the UN Good Offices process. In explaining the country’s decision and its desire to request a judicial settlement, Minister Carolyn Rodrigues-Birkett pointed out that the process yielded little results over the last 25 years.

She said Guyana was examining other options while at the same time suggesting that Venezuela remained comfortable with the current process. These other options will eventually have to be decided by the UN Secretary General.Venezuela

According to Article 33 of the UN Charter, in addition to “Good Offices,” the other options include the resort to mediation, facilitation, dialogue processes, arbitration and judicial settlement. However, all, except judicial settlement, have already been tried.

This most recent development in the territorial controversy arose just after the Venezuelan Foreign Minister objected to the exploratory drilling for oil by the American company, Exxon Mobil, in the concession granted by Guyana.

Venezuela claimed that the area is its territory despite the fact that the drilling area is deep within Guyana’s maritime economic zone. In response, Guyana’s foreign affairs ministry stated that it requested the Venezuelan government to desist from taking any actions that could only result in hindering the development of Guyana.

 

3 COMMENTS

  1. This is becoming quite ridiculous this process! There is no argument that Essequibo belongs to Guyana and it has reached a stage where the curtain will have come down on this charade by Venezuela over the last quarter of a century. What is concerning to those who are familiar with the history of this border issue is Venezuela firmly believes that massive portion of Guyana belongs to them. On a visit to Venezuela a few years ago I had the opportunity to visit a few government offices, to my utter surprise and amazement was a map of Venezuela with the shaded Essequibo region as part of Venezuela!!! Taking it a step further is that the majority of Venezuelan nationals have been schooled and brain washed for the last 30-40 years into thinking that that region belongs to them and they should fight to keep it. This makes the process an even harder one given the fact that nothing of substance is currently in favour of the said territory out rightly defining that region as Guyana’s! However enough is enough and its decision time, the UN and supporting countries have now to support Guyana with diplomacy and should that not prove effective, a show or sign of aggression that Venezuela needs to back off and stop interfering with the sovereignty of this country. This should be done immediately so as to avoid another Ukraine/Crimea/Russia incident!

  2. Venezuela has no right to more than 1/2 of an English speaking country and 75% of its known resources. There is simply no grounds for it. The Government of Ven needs to get its own house in order and be a better neighbour. A beautiful country with beautiful peoples but with a shambles of a Government.

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