This Saturday, Venezuelan President Nicolás Maduro announced via social media that the government of Guyana, “in its eagerness to please powerful transnational interests, is turning Guyana into a branch of ExxonMobil.” In a post on his social media, President Maduro responded to a video published hours earlier by Guyananese President Irfaan Ali, stating, “Enough lies and trying to hide the historical truth that weighs on the dispute over the Essequibo territory, whose only means of resolution, as you well know, is the Geneva Agreement of 1966.”
“Enough irresponsibility, manipulation, double talk, hypocrisy, and false victimization. In his [Irfaan Ali] eagerness to please powerful transnational interests, he is turning Guyana into a branch of ExxonMobil,” Maduro wrote.
Presidente Irfaan Ali, basta ya de mentiras y de intentar ocultar la verdad histórica que pesa sobre la controversia por el territorio Esequibo, cuya única vía de resolución, usted bien lo sabe, es el Acuerdo de Ginebra de 1966.
Basta de irresponsabilidad, manipulación, dobles… pic.twitter.com/Shk4vkPIUF
— Nicolás Maduro (@NicolasMaduro) September 23, 2023
President Maduro proposed to Ali to resume the Geneva Agreement. “The steps your government is taking violate international law and jeopardize peace in the region. If your interest in peace is genuine and sincere, I propose a meeting promoted by CARICOM to resume the Geneva Agreement of 1966.”
Maduro urged President Ali not to allow “ExxonMobil, for its undue interests, to lead Guyana to escalate a conflict. Do not allow the US Southern Command to turn your country into a military base against [Simón] Bolívar’s Venezuela.”
In his post, President Maduro showed a screenshot of a video posted on Facebook by President Irfaan Ali the same Saturday. Ali urges the Venezuelan government to abide by the outcome of the trial at the International Court of Justice and notes his “deep concern” about the referendum called by the National Assembly on the Essequibo. According to Ali, the referendum will only increase the tension between the two countries.
In 2018, Guyana unilaterally asked the International Court of Justice (ICJ) to resolve the dispute, violating the 1966 Geneva Agreement stipulating that the resolution of the dispute must be reached by mutual agreement. In 2020, the ICJ declared itself “competent” to examine the border dispute, which was objected to by Venezuela, considering the Geneva Agreement as the only legal framework to resolve the territorial dispute.
This same Saturday, in the Plenary of the 78th Session of the United Nations (UN) General Assembly, Foreign Minister Yván Gil warned that the US Southern Command is trying to create a military base in the disputed Essequibo territory, aiming to consolidate “the plundering of our energy resources.”
Gil stated, “It is not possible to dispose of the disputed territory unilaterally, but the government of the Cooperative Republic of Guyana persists in its illegal conduct,” in clear violation of the Geneva Agreement.
Venezuela rejects Guyana’s decision to authorize the US oil company to exploit natural resources in the disputed area, something also forbidden by the international agreement signed in 1966 unless the result of a mutual agreement.
(Alba Ciudad) with Orinoco Tribune content
Translation: Orinoco Tribune
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