Venezuela has aggressively intensified its claim to two-thirds of Guyana’s territory and President Dr Mohamed Irfaan Ali has reiterated that his government is working with international allies to ensure that the Spanish-speaking country does not act in a ‘reckless’ manner, which can lead to instability in the western hemisphere.
Speaking with the CNN on Wednesday, the head of state assured that every precautionary measure is being explored following Venezuela’s desperate attempts to seize Guyana’s Essequibo County.
Guyana is engaged with its partners in CARICOM, the Commonwealth, the Organisation of American States (OAS), the United States Department of Defense, and the Community of Latin American and Caribbean States (CELAC) among others.
Brazil’s President, Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva has also assured that his country stands strongly with Guyana and has committed that it would not ‘see any reckless behaviour by Venezuela’, President Ali highlighted.
“We’re engaging state departments, we’re engaging the White House, President Lula (Brazil’s President, Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva) and myself had conversations…They’re all engaged in this matter so that they can weigh in, ensuring that Venezuela does not act in a reckless or adventurous manner,” President Ali disclosed to CNN.
Venezuela’s President, Nicolas Maduro ‘went beyond’ on Tuesday when he announced administrative measures to annex Essequibo and give investors three months to exit from Essequibo’s exclusive economic zone.
As a result of this direct infringement of Guyana’s sovereignty, the state has engaged the United Nations Secretary-General, Antonio Guterres, and has officially written to the UN Security Council on the new developments.
“Guyana is a law-abiding country, we believe in the International Court of Justice (ICJ) that is why we’re before the ICJ and we believe the ICJ is where this controversy must be settled, but we are taking every precautionary measure against what is now a desperate attempt to seize our territory,” the president further stated.
Speaking on the investment climate, President Ali assured that investors have nothing to fear about investing in the county since the 1899 Arbitral Award clearly states that the territory belongs to Guyana and the matter is currently before the ICJ.
“That is where it will be settled…We have told our investors they have no fear, we’re on the right side of history, on the right side of law and there’s absolutely no fear in investing in Essequibo, which belongs to Guyana,” President Ali expressed to the international news agency.
The Guyanese leader believes that Venezuela’s recent actions led by President Maduro are an attempt to distract the populace from the internal politics where he is losing popularity amongst his people.
The World Court has ruled that Venezuela should not take any actions to annex Guyana’s Essequibo Region however, the Spanish-speaking country said it does not recognise the court.
Guyana is adamant that the decades-old controversy must be settled peacefully and diplomatically by the ICJ. The Guyana-Venezuela controversy is currently before the ICJ after Guyana filed its application in the court in 2018.