Caracas, August 3, 2015 (venezuelanalysis.com) – The Venezuelan Foreign Ministry emitted a statement on Friday rejecting a regulation adopted by the Guyanese government extending sovereignty over the disputed Essequibo region claimed by both nations.
In the official statement, Venezuela called on Guyana to rectify Point 1 of the regulation, which fixes the international border between the two countries west of the mouth of the Essequibo river claimed by the Bolivarian Republic.
According to the Venezuelan government, the Guyanese move constitutes a violation of the Geneva Agreement of 1966, which calls for a diplomatic solution to the dispute and designates an internationally appointed Good Officer to mediate the process, a position which has been left vacant since April 2014.
The statement also reiterated Venezuela’s objection to what it termed “the recurrent agressions and provocations of the Guyanese government”, which center on the latter’s decision to grant US oil giant Exxon Mobil a license to drill in the disputed region’s maritime zone. ‘
Guyana, for its part, has rejected the Geneva Agreement, insisting that Venezuela accept the terms of the Arbitral Award of 1899, which granted the then British colony of Guiana soverignty over the entire Essquibo zone. Nonetheless, Venezuela has dismissed the Award as illegitimate, pointing out that no Venezuelan representatives were included in the negotiating process.
Following Venezuelan president Nicolas Maduro’s meeting with UN Secretary General Ban Ki-Moon last week, the latter announced plans to dispatch a team to both countries in order to assist in resolving the century-old dispute.
According to Maduro, the Secretary General expressed willigness to appoint a comission to designate a new Good Officer to mediate further negotiations. Guyana has called on the Secretary General to refer to the case to the International Court of Justice, which it hopes will enforce the 1899 Arbitral Award.
Venezuela Backed By PARLATIN and São Paulo Forum
In its advocacy of a diplomatic solution to the dispute as consistent with the Geneva Agreement, Venezuela has received the support of both the Latin American Parliament (PARLATIN) as well as the São Paulo Forum.
The members of the Panama-based PARLATIN approved a measure on Friday backing Venezuela in its work towards a peaceful, diplomatic, and legal resolution to the dispute.
The intergovernmental organization composed of legislators from 23 countries in Latin America and the Caribbean also issued a call for the creation of a working group composed of Venezuelan and Guyanese parliamentarians aimed at working towards a viable solution to the controversy.
Meeting in Mexico City this past week, the São Paulo Forum also approved an unanimous resolution backing Venezuela in the Essquibo dispute.
According to Rodrigo Cabezas, Vice-President of International Affairs of the PSUV, the Latin American network additionally issued an unequivocal condemnation of Exxon Mobil, which it criticized for creating divisions “between two sister peoples that are obligated to resolve their controversy perserving the peace, unity, and integration of our region”.