[www.inewsguyana.com] – In a surprising move on Tuesday, Venezuela’s President Nicolas Maduro withdrew the May 26th Decree that claimed most of Guyana’s exclusive economic zone, but has replaced it with a new one.
According to Former Guyana Ambassador to Venezuela, Odeen Ishmael “the Venezuelan government has withdrawn Decree No. 1787 but a new one No. 1859 has been issued. This new decree does not have any coordinates.”
The decree was published in Official Gazette No. 40,696 on Tuesday, July 07, 2015 according to Ishmael.
Reports from Venezuela media indicate that the Venezuelan government issued a new decree 1,859, replacing 1,787, to support and justify the actions of the Bolivarian National Armed Force (FANB) in defending the newly created Integrated Defense Maritime Zones and Island, which encompasses most of Guyana’s exclusive economic zone, including the oil rich Stabroek Block offshore Essequibo.
“This decree is to set no boundaries, establish boundaries, nor any demarcation process in any way. Its sole purpose and exclusive range of concerns are protection against threats, risks and other vulnerabilities, so that does not mean any ruling on issues concerning territorial or alien by nature,” Venezuelan media states.
In the text, constitutional, legal and doctrinal elements for the performance of any component of the Navy, Air Force and Army in the maritime boundaries of the country are detailed. Also, the specific military functions in the territorial waters are specified.
In Venezuela, the Ministries of Defense and Interior Relations and Justice, according to Article 19, are entitled to the execution and implementation of the decree.
Only recently, President David Granger and CARICOM called on Maduro to withdraw the decree. Chairman of CARICOM, Prime Minister of Barbados, Freundel Stuart, announced on Saturday evening (July 04) that the Caribbean Community stands in solidarity with Guyana as it relates to the border controversy with Venezuela.
At a press conference at the closing of The 36th Regular Meeting of the Conference of Heads of Government of the Caribbean Community, Prime Minister Stuart said that CARICOM will do everything in its power to ensure that Venezuela “plays by the rules”.
A press release from the Ministry of the Presidency noted that the new CARICOM Chairman added that while the territorial spat between Guyana and Venezuela is not new, CARICOM will do all that it can to ensure that peace and tranquillity is maintained in the region.