Venezuela rejects Guyana’s proposal to move on border solution






Venezuelan President, Nicolas Maduro
Venezuela’s President, Nicolas Maduro

[] – In view of a petition made by Guyana’s government to settle the Venezuelan claim over the Essequibo by any other means different from the good offices offered by the United Nations Secretary-General, Venezuelan, experts agree on advising the Venezuelan government to insist on the current mechanism.

In the opinion of retired Colonel Pompeyo Torrealba, the head of the Essequibo Advisory Unit of the Venezuelan Foreign Office, “Venezuela should continue the procedure of the Good Officer because it enables us to hold a direct negotiation, without middlemen. We already know about the results where we have negotiated with intermediaries: we have lost valuable territory.”

November 2014 marked the 25th anniversary of a meeting between then Presidents Carlos Andrés Pérez, of Venezuela, and Desmond Hoyte, of Guyana. Both of them accepted the designation of Alister Mc Intyre as representative of the UN Secretary-General to act as Good Officer. In this way, the good offices started with a view to resolving the Venezuela-Guyana border dispute.

Minister of Foreign Affairs, Carolyn Rodrigues - Birkett.
Minister of Foreign Affairs, Carolyn Rodrigues – Birkett.

“More than 20 years have elapsed since the good offices. If in two decades you cannot see the expected progress and some matters have complicated it, there is the need to review other choices,” Guyanese Foreign Minister Carolyn Rodrigues-Birkett said last December.

Earlier, in September 2014, she had tackled the matter with UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-Moon. The Venezuelan Foreign Office regarded the diplomat’s remarks as an “unfriendly” move and criticized the lack of consultation.


“It seems to me that the good offices is the best choice; just that it has not rendered fruit because Venezuela has not thought it over,” said retired Vice-Admiral, the former head of the Essequibo Advisory Unit of the Venezuelan Foreign Office. In his view, such scheme gives much leeway to negotiate.

“Venezuelan representatives have made no proposals; the current one (Roy Chaderton) has not made any. There must be no fear of holding talks with Guyana, as nothing will be compromised until approved by the governments (involved),” Daniels noted.

Emilio Figueredo, former Venezuela’s ambassador for the implementation of the Geneva Convention from 1984 through 1996, backs the opinion of the lack of diligence.

“No much attention has been paid to the good offices, neither here nor there. It is an assisted negotiation. However, in default of the willing to negotiate by either side, it has been a deadlock. When I took care of that, we would discuss formulas, ideas,” he commented.

The consulted experts agreed on saying that Venezuela’s approval will be always necessary for the case to be compromised and settled at the International Court of Justice in The Hague, or in any other court of competent jurisdiction. Therefore, the petition of the Guyanese Foreign Minister is irrelevant.

In this regard, Daniels suggested a wide debate so that experts can express their opinion. Torrealba, for his part, has proposed an Essequibo recovery project in addition to the negotiation per se, which includes “getting closer, getting to know better, captivating and going into our Essequibo,” so as to stimulate the national conscience of Essequibo residents. [Extracted from El Universal]



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