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Tension between Guyana and Bolivarian Republic of Venezuela a concern for CARICOM

Tension between Guyana and Bolivarian Republic of Venezuela a concern for CARICOM

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Prime minister Dr Ralph Gonsalves has indicated that Caribbean leaders are all hoping for a quick and peaceful resolution to the ongoing rift between Caribbean nation Guyana and its Latin American neighbour, the Bolivarian Republic of Venezuela.

Gonsalves made the statement on Wednesday, during a visit by Venezuela’s Foreign {{more}} Minister Delcy Rodriguez, who is currently visiting CARICOM member countries,engaging leaders and relevant ministers in a bid to settle the long-running controversy amicably.

The two nations have had differences of opinion in relation to territory that borders them both and have been in conflict to determine the ownership of the region since Guyana received independence for the United Kingdom in 1966.

Recent skirmishes have brought the decades old stand-off back on the front burner, prompting CARICOM leaders to look into the matter.

“As you are aware, Venezuela has been actively engaged with CARICOM in discussions on this matter and the vice-president of Venezuela and Delcy herself and other officials have met with a team headed by CARICOM Chair Prime Minister Freundel Stewart. I was part of that team set up by CARICOM to have an ongoing discussion on this matter,” Prime Minister Gonsalves stated during a press briefing held at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs conference room.

“The Foreign Minister of Venezuela is going through the region to brief prime ministers and foreign ministers as to their own views on the matter and the processes and ways forward, and I want to thank Delcy for coming.

“I don’t want to go into details, except to reaffirm that we are all committed to a peaceful resolution of this dispute and as the CARICOM declaration at the end of the summit has said that Venezuela and the Caribbean countries, we are very good friends and the bonds have strengthened immensely since the Bolivarian Republic of Venezuela was established.

“Guyana is a founding signatory of CARICOM and the Guyanese people are a good and heroic people, like the Bolivarian Republic of Venezuela and nobody wants war. What we all want is peace, peace today and peace tomorrow.”

Speaking through an interpreter, Rodriguez echoed the sentiments offered by Gonsalves adding that the current dispute was the residue of the region’s previous leaders. She hinted that while Venezuela hoped for a peaceful solution to the issue, her country intends to maintain its sovereignty during the process.

“This is a colonial imperial wound that we have inherited, so we have undertaken this tour to alert our friends in the Caribbean about the escalation of provocation against Venezuela regarding this topic and we welcome the efforts from our friends in the region to keep this territorial controversy within the framework of international law, particularly the Geneva Accord of 1966.

“We also welcome the fact that we agree that this has to resolved amicably and peacefully,” Rodriguez indicated. 

“We know that the spirit of our people is the will to keep our independence, where our peoples can develop our own models, make our own identities; that is the best shield that we have constructed against imperial factors.

“In this sense, we are committed to treat delicately this integration effort…. I know that this Latin American and Caribbean unity will preserve this territory, because that is the spirit and the wish of our peoples,” she added.

Apart from the bilateral and regional discussions, Rodriguez and her delegation were given a tour of the Argyle International Airport, before continuing on their tour of the region.(JJ)

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