By Ángel Guerra Cabrera – Jan 28, 2021
We are far from having gotten rid of the old colonialism and its aftermath in our America. This is the case of Venezuela and the current imperialist plans to turn its ancestral component of Guayana Essequibo—rich in natural resources, with an enviable regional geostrategic and geo-economic position—into a tool of permanent provocation against Caracas and a threat to its sovereignty, due to the territorial dispute with neighboring Guyana; a poisoned resource, moreover, to divide the peoples of the Caribbean and, in general, of our America. All of this is accompanied by an anti-Venezuelan media campaign on behalf of the US oil company Anadarko.
Essequibo Guayana was part of the Captaincy General of Venezuela since the 14th century, a fact supported by abundant historical evidence and prolific cartography. Despite Caracas’ irrefutable title to the territory of Essequibo Guayana, explains historian Luis Britto, at the end of the 19th century Venezuelan authorities had suffered a long process of “overreach, usurpation and abuse” by Great Britain and were naïve enough to relinquish the decision on the territory to a foreign arbitration board, which issued the so-called Paris Award of 1899 and handed the territory over to Great Britain.
However, exhaustive documentation presented by Venezuela decades later, in 1966, before the UN General Assembly, led to the Geneva Declaration, by which the international body rejected the Paris Award and ordered the parties (first Venezuela and the United Kingdom, then Venezuela and the newly independent British colony, since then called the Cooperative Republic of Guyana) to find a solution to the territorial dispute through amicable dialogue. The conflict escalated in the 2000s with Guyana illegally granting oil concessions in the disputed area and engaging in serious provocations. Encouraged by the ineffable US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo, the creation of a parallel virtual reality is being promoted to deny Caracas’ rights over the area of several tens of square kilometers.
The situation is aggravated by the fact that Guyana has brought the case before the International Court of Justice in The Hague and that the latter has heard the case, apparently with the agreement of the UN Secretary-General, António Guterres, despite the fact that Venezuela does not recognize this mechanism. An attempt is being made to revive the infamous agreement of 1899.
Faced with such extremely serious facts, the Bolivarian Republic has unleashed a diplomatic offensive before international organizations and governments around the world to explain its reasons and has called on Guterres to make its position on the case clear.
The intervention of the International Court of Justice in The Hague blatantly disregards the 1966 Geneva Declaration and, contrary to its own statute, acts only at Guyana’s request, without Venezuela’s consent. The hierarchy of the UN decision excludes any recourse to settle the conflict other than the Geneva Declaration, to which Venezuela has always adhered. Only the very powerful oil and financial resources that Guyana intends to seize could induce the Guyanese government to claim before the International Court of Justice in The Hague the enforcement of the Paris arbitration award, which Venezuela does not recognize, and has just rejected again last week through a unanimous agreement of the newly elected National Assembly, and through letters from President Nicolás Maduro to Guterres and the president pro tempore of the International Court of Justice in the Hague.
It is essential to keep this conflict within the bounds of diplomacy and constructive dialogue between the parties, as Maduro has stressed, and to avoid letting arms do the talking. To do otherwise would be very damaging to the unity of our America and would only strengthen imperialism. Maduro has proclaimed that Venezuela will take back what belongs to it by peaceful means.
Featured image: File Photo.
Angel Guerra Cabrera
Journalist and Cuban political analyst. He was director of the Juventud Rebelde newspaper (1968-1971), Bohemia magazine (1971-1980) and other Cuban publications. He has worked as a journalist in countries in Asia, Africa, Europe, Latin America and the USA. In Mexico he is a columnist on international issues of the newspapers La Jornada and Excelsior. He is coordinator of the Mexico and the Current World Political Reflection Forum, jointly organized by Casa Lam and La Jornada.
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