The Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Venezuela issued a statement on Thursday to reject the decision taken by the pro tempore presidency of the Community of Caribbean States (Caricom), in relation to exploration vessels by of the Government of Guyana in Venezuelan territory. “The Bolivarian Republic of Venezuela firmly believes that the assumptions that motivate the pronouncement of the Caricom are absolutely inaccurate. This is the result of having only the version of one of the parties on the facts,” highlights the text.
The document, published by Venezuelan Foreign Minister Jorge Arreaza regrets that, despite the good relations between the South American country and Caricom, the organization has not used the regular channels to address the situation between both nations.
“Venezuela regrets that although there is an excellent diplomatic-political relationship and a smooth communication with CARICOM, its PPT [Pro Tempore President] has not contacted the Venezuelan authorities to know the position of the other party on the issue, thus guaranteeing the best possible balance before issuing an opinion like the one exposed,”says the letter.
On December 22 the oceanic patrol boat Kariña, of the Venezuelan Navy, intercepted the exploratory ship Ramform Tethys, hired by Exxon Mobil and carrying 70 people, who were “in the maritime projection of the Delta of the Orinoco, of undoubted sovereignty of Venezuela.”
The captain of the ship claimed to have a permit from the government of Guyana, to which the Venezuelan Navy informed them that the country has no jurisdiction over the maritime projection of the Orinoco Delta, for which reason “they stoped operations and sailed… “. However, the Minister of Foreign Affairs of Guyana publicly protested the incident, to which the Venezuelan government responded with a first statement.
Here is the full content of the new statement issued this Thursday:
The Bolivarian Republic of Venezuela has been informed of a communiqué of the Pro Tempore Presidency of the Community of Caribbean States (CARICOM), published on December 24, 2018. On this matter, the Bolivarian Republic of Venezuela firmly believes that the assumptions that motivate the pronouncement of the CARICOM PPT are absolutely inaccurate. This is the result of having only the version of one of the parties on the facts.
The Bolivarian Republic of Venezuela regrets that although there is an excellent political-diplomatic relationship and a fluid communication with CARICOM, its PPT has not established contact with the Venezuelan authorities to know the position of the other party on the issue, thus ensuring the best balance possible before issuing an opinion like the one exposed.
On this basis, what the reality reveals has been the incursion, never before warned, of some boats not authorized to enter the waters of the exclusive jurisdiction of Venezuela, within the natural projection of its Delta Amacuro, where they pretended to carry out activities of hydrocarbon exploration facilitated by Guyana.
This fact was detected by Venezuela on 12/22/18 when, as has been its peaceful practice for decades, the Venezuelan Navy was patrolling the Atlantic facade of the natural projection of its Delta Amacuro. The commander of the Venezuelan naval unit, without any interception or boarding, informed those ships that were in waters of Venezuelan jurisdiction where they were not authorized to conduct exploration activities, which is why they proceeded to withdraw.
In spite of the prudence applied by Venezuela, a fact of this nature does not stop being worrisome, as it constitutes an incursion in Venezuelan territorial maritime spaces that has not had precedents, being very sad consequence of the Guyanese pretension to dispose unilaterally of jurisdictional waters from other states.
The Bolivarian Republic of Venezuela will continue to firmly exercise and defend its sovereign rights and, in an unprecedented case like this one, it will do so in an unrestricted manner as well as in accordance with International Law, while at the same time, it hopes for a more balanced CARICOM position, as it has it was in general its tradition, above all in accordance with the truth and in honor of the principles of Public International Law to which absolutely everyone owes us.
Caracas, December 27, 2018
Translated by JRE/AR