‘We are not naïve; we are very watchful of what is happening’ – Pres. Ali on Venezuela’s latest actions

The content originally appeared on: INews Guyana
President Dr Irfaan Ali and other officials at Guyana’s border

President Dr Irfaan Ali has reiterated Guyana’s commitment to a peaceful outcome of the ongoing border controversy with its South American neighbour – Venezuela but in the same breath, he noted that Guyana is being watchful of the developments in Caracas.

The Guyanese Head of State made these remarks earlier today as he delivered the feature address at the 6th Annual Security Challenges in Latin America Forum on the theme: “Environmental Protection: Land Use in the Amazon Basin and Marine Conservation.”

During a subsequent question and answer segment, President Ali was asked about Venezuela’s latest attempt to annex Guyana’s Essequibo region and its impact on the region.

In response, he said “Guyana’s objective is to ensure that this region remains stable, a region of peace – and our first form of defence…We want peaceful coexistence with our neighbours. We want to ensure that no action is initiated from Guyana that can destabilise the region, that can contribute to the creation of one more problem in the world. We want to help to remove problems from the world.”

“But at the same time, we are not naïve. We are very careful, very watchful about everything that is happening,” the President affirmed.

He added, “we believe in international law. We have called upon our neighbours to participate fully in the ICJ process and to respect the outcome of the ICJ process. But we are a country that is acutely aware of where our borders are. And we are a country that is determined to ensure that all that is contained within our borders, remain within our borders and remain the assets of Guyana.”

Moreover, President Ali made it clear that Guyana has “no intention of converting any other assets from any one of our neighbours. Our only intention is to live peacefully and to develop our country for the Guyanese people, but more importantly, ensuring that our prosperity leads to regional prosperity.”

On Wednesday, President Nicholas Maduro promulgated “the Organic Law for the Defense of Guayana Esequiba.” Maduro said this organic law will guarantee that the December 3, 2023 referendum will be fully implemented in the defense of Venezuela and its territory.