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Venezuela releases Guyanese fishermen after CARICOM intervention 

Posted: Thursday, February 4, 2021. 1:18 pm CST.

By Aaron Humes: According to the Trinidad and Tobago Guardian, the Bolivarian Republic of Venezuela released fishermen held on two vessels detained by Venezuela in January on Tuesday of this week. 

Trinidad and Tobago’s Minister of Foreign Affairs, Dr. Amery Browne, told the paper that his boss, Prime Minister Keith Rowley, who also chairs CARICOM, and President of Guyana Irfaan Ali led “intense” negotiations with the foreign ministers of Guyana and Venezuela. 

The captains of fishing vessels Lady Nayera and Sea Wolf were intercepted by a Venezuela navy vessel and detained after being made to sail to Port Guiria. They were accused of operating illegally in Venezuela waters and being part of a conspiracy between Guyana, ExxonMobil and other companies to control Venezuela territory (both countries have discovered and operated huge oil reserves). 

Guyana claimed the boats were operating off the coast of Waini Point within its Exclusive Economic Zone—something Venezuela denied. 

Browne had discussed the matter with Venezuela’s ambassador to the republic, Carlos Pérez Silva, who gave an undertaking that his country’s foreign minister and that of Guyana would meet virtually to resolve the issue. 

The seizure of the vessels had been seen as the latest display of heightening border tensions between Venezuela and Guyana. Guyana recently deployed troops to safeguard against possible Venezuelan infringement of its borders which Venezuela has been seeking to claim. Trinidad and Tobago and all of CARICOM, including Belize, has backed Guyana in the issue, which will be dealt with by the International Court of Justice. 

 

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