Vice President Dr Bharrat Jagdeo has asserted that the impending visit of the United Kingdom (UK) warship, HMS Trent, to Guyana’s waters is a planned and routine deal, and is not intended to be used in any way to threaten Venezuela.
Following reports that the UK is sending its Royal Navy patrol vessel to Guyana as part of a series of engagements in this region, Venezuela’s President Nicolas Maduro said that the deployment of the British ship to Guyana’s waters is in violation of the spirit of the Argyle Agreement between the two countries earlier this month in St Vincent. And the Grenadines.
Maduro also called on Guyanese authorities to have the navy vessel withdrawn – something which Jagdeo has dismissed.
Speaking to a news conference today, the Vice President explained that President Dr Irfaan Ali has been in touch with Prime Minister of St Vincent and the Grenadines Ralph Gonsalves, as interlocutor, where he made it clear that Guyana supports the Argyle Declaration.
“He’s made it clear that we support the Argyle Declaration in letter and spirit, that nothing that we did in the past or we will do in the future is to harm or will affect Venezuela and the territory of Venezuela,” the Vice President outlined.
He added that a lot of these measures are long planned and routine and part of building the country’s defensive capability.
“We don’t plan on invading Venezuela,” Jagdeo asserted, adding that there is also no plan on Guyana’s part to take offensive actions against Venezuela.
Jagdeo further made it clear that Guyana respects the Argyle Declaration that was agreed upon by Presidents Dr Irfaan Ali and Maduro during the historic December 14 meeting that was brokered by Caricom/CELAC/Brazil.
Only Wednesday, Prime Minister Gonsalves, in his role as interlocutor between the two nations, said he had been in contact with both presidents and was given assurances from both sides that they are committed to peace and continued dialogue.
During the historic Argyle meeting, Presidents Ali and Maduro came to several agreements including that Guyana and Venezuela, directly or indirectly, will not threaten or use force against one another in any circumstance, including those consequential to any existing controversies between the two States.