Venezuela Ratifies its Rejection of International Court of Justice Decision on the Essequibo

This Friday, February 26, the Executive Vice President of Venezuela, Delcy Rodríguez, reported that Venezuela has ratified its historical position of non-recognition of the jurisdiction of the International Court of Justice (ICJ) to rule on the territorial controversy over the Essequibo region.

After a virtual hearing with the recently appointed ICJ judge Joan Donoghue, Rodríguez indicated that Nicolás Maduro administration reiterated that there is no basis for ICJ jurisdiction in this case, because Venezuela “has never given its consent.”

The Executive Vice President read an official statement establishing that the Venezuelan nation reiterates its position of recognizing the validity of the 1966 Geneva Agreement in order to reach a practical and mutually satisfactory settlement for both Venezuela and Guyana regarding the Essequibo territory.

“Venezuela has warned that this decision has created a situation the consequences of which must be pondered for sufficient time. It also denounced an instigation by transnational corporations [to fulfil] their ambitions,” stated Rodríguez as part of the communiqué issued by Venezuela.

Below is the full communiqué:

The Bolivarian Republic of Venezuela informs the nation and the international community that today, February 26, 2021, at 11:00 a.m. Caracas time, it responded to an invitation from the recently appointed President of the International Court of Justice , Ms. Joan E. Donoghue, to attend a virtual meeting, derived from the preliminary ruling of December 18 because of a unilateral demand from Guyana, whose decision Venezuela rejects due to its serious errors and irregularities.

Venezuela, respectfully, has confirmed that it has participated as a gesture of courtesy, not as a party to this procedure. It has expressly reaffirmed its historical position of non-recognition of the jurisdiction of the Court to hear the territorial controversy over Guyana Esequiba. On the contrary, it has highlighted the validity of the 1966 Geneva Agreement to reach a practical and mutually satisfactory settlement for the parties, through friendly negotiations.

Venezuela reiterated that there is no basis of jurisdiction for this case given that [the country] has never given its consent, and much less with respect to the unilateral claim of Guyana that damages the meaning, purpose and reason of the Geneva Agreement.

Venezuela took advantage of the cordial occasion to reiterate that it did not appear in the procedure opened by the Court to determine its jurisdiction regarding the claim of the Cooperative Republic of Guyana, because the corresponding decision [of Venezuela] has been to emphasize its opposition, in the absence of its consent to the judicial course that has been granted to the said unilateral action.

The Bolivarian Republic of Venezuela also expressed its concern about the unjustified haste in a preliminary procedure on a secular matter of great importance, at a very difficult time when all of humanity faces one of the most serious pandemics in more than a century.

Venezuela also warned that this decision has led to a de facto situation, the consequences of which must be weighed for a sufficient period of time, so that the sovereign rights of the Republic are best protected as mandated by the Constitution of the Bolivarian Republic of Venezuela, given that, any matter that touches, even tangentially, the territorial integrity of the Republic, calls for its most committed reaction within the framework of International Public Law.

Venezuela warned of the importance of preserving the threshold of equality in the face of objective circumstances such as unilateral coercive measures, which impede the normal development of national life and undermine the capacity to guarantee the rights of the Republic; to which are added the difficulties typical of the time of the unprecedented pandemic.

Venezuela also denounced the instigation and undue interference of the malicious ambition of transnational oil corporations in this controversy over a vast territory full of biological diversity and natural resources, that threatens planetary life, peace and regional security.

Venezuela reported that it has once again asked the UN Secretary General to revive the direct negotiation mechanisms between Guyana and Venezuela, as he himself offered in his last communication dated January 28, 2021.

The Bolivarian Republic of Venezuela reaffirms its commitment and good faith to reach a peaceful and political solution that guarantees peace in our region, and renews the invitation to the Cooperative Republic of Guyana to walk the path of direct negotiations.



Caracas, February 26, 2021


Featured image: Photo courtesy of Prensa Presidencial.

(Ultimas Noticias)

Translation: Orinoco Tribune


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