‘Do not be reckless or adventurous’ – Pres. Ali urges Venezuela to let international law guide its actions


President Dr. Irfaan Ali is attending this year’s global climate talks in Dubai and plans to continue his engagements with Guyana’s partners on the Guyana/ Venezuela border controversy and the Spanish-speaking country’s planned December 3 referendum.

The President is expected to return to Guyana on December 2, after meaningfully participating in the climate talks, COP28.

In an invited comment to the News Room, Dr. Ali said he is urging the Nicolas Maduro government to let international law guide their actions. He advised the government against being “reckless” or “adventurous.”

This has been Guyana’s position, especially now that Venezuela is pursuing a referendum that many fear may be used as a justification to annex the entire Essequibo region.

That region covers two-thirds of Guyana’s landmass and has been claimed by Venezuela even though the boundary between the two countries was settled more than a 100 years ago through the 1899 Arbitral Award.

The border controversy is before the International Court of Justice, where Guyana hopes for a full, final and binding ruling that reaffirms the 1899 Award and proves, once and for all, that Essequibo belongs to Guyana.

Commander in Chief of the Armed Forces and President of Guyana, Dr Irfaan Ali meeting with residents of Mabaruma (Photo: News Room/November 23, 2023)

The judicial process isn’t the only avenue Guyana is pursuing in relation to this controversy. In fact, the country has been locked in bilateral engagements, getting support from bilateral partners and foreign organisations

Countries and organisations like the Caribbean Community (CARICOM), the Organization of American States (OAS) and the Commonwealth have issued statements supporting Guyana and its commitment to the case before the ICJ.

And the President says those bilateral engagements will continue now.

“The government continues to have very positive and reassuring engagements with our international partners.

“In the coming days, I will continue to meet key and strategic partners, all of whom are committed to peace within our region,” President Ali said.

He later added, “Our partners are resolute in their commitment to Guyana.”

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