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Opposition United Democratic Party calls on Venezuela to respect Guyana’s territorial integrity

Posted: Tuesday, October 31, 2023. 2:13 pm CST.

By Aaron Humes: The Opposition United Democratic Party says it has joined “the call by the Caribbean Community (CARICOM) nations amongst others for Venezuela to respect Guyana’s Territorial Integrity.”

In a short statement it said, “In the interest of peace, security and regional stability we encourage Venezuela to yield to International law and resolve this dispute at the International Court of Justice.”

Belize has consistently supported Guyana in its territorial dispute with Venezuela despite solid relations with Caracas due to the Petrocaribe Agreement. Likewise, Guyana and CARICOM have consistently supported Belize against Guatemala’s unfounded claim.

Last week, a CARICOM statement noted the decision of the Venezuelan National Assembly to conduct a popular referendum on defending Venezuela’s claim of the Essequibo Region, which covers two-thirds of Guyana.

If voters agree, Venezuela’s government would be theoretically authorized to embark on annexing this territory and creating it a state of Venezuela.

CARICOM warns that this would violate international law, and based on the language in the questions to be put to referendum, namely an affirmation and implementation of Venezuela’s stance on the issue “by all means, according to/with the Law,” which CARICOM suggests also includes means of force or war, which the organization discouraged on the basis that “it has been the long-standing position of Latin American and Caribbean counties, including Venezuela, that our region must remain a zone of peace.”

CARICOM concludes that the referendum has no validity, bearing or standing except to undermine peace, tranquility, security, and more, in our region, and calls on Venezuela to engage fully in that process before the International Court of Justice which has determined that it has jurisdiction in the case brought before it to determine the validity of the 1899 Arbitral Award which Venezuela questions.

The Court’s final decision will ensure a resolution that is peaceful, equitable and in accordance with International Law, the CARICOM statement concluded.

 

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