Misión Verdad — Nov 24, 2023
The defense of Venezuelan sovereignty over the Essequibo territory is an issue that should unite all Venezuelans irrespective of their ideological positions.
The Venezuelan government has emphasized the importance of national unity to confront the intentions of US oil corporations that are planning to take over the Essequibo region and exploit its natural resources, using Guyana as a proxy.
Recently, the opposition governor of Cojedes state, Alberto Galíndez, received instructions from the Venezuela Toda campaign and its national coordinator, National Assembly President Jorge Rodríguez, to express his position regarding participation in the consultative referendum to be held on December 3.
Galíndez criticized the error of putting political differences above the national defense of Venezuelan territory and added that “the Essequibo does not belong to the government, the president, the deputies or the mayors in office, but to all Venezuelans.”
The governor of Cojedes and the mayors of that state are joined by new voices of the opposition who will participate in the popular referendum.
Although this is a generalized tendency, there are still some extremist sectors of the opposition which, in spite of their supposed defense of the Essequibo territory, have taken up positions against the defense of the territory just to contradict the Venezuelan government.
The most prominent among such personalities is María Corina Machado, who has tried to justify her lack of commitment to the national cause by stating that in the past she, Leopoldo López, and some former deputies of the National Assembly, such as Juan Guaidó, went to Eterimbán, in the Essequibo, to pose with a banner in defense of that territory.
Their current position is an attempt to minimize the importance of the campaign and the referendum for the recovery of the Essequibo, and they argue that “sovereignty is not consulted, it is exercised.”
This narrative is misleading because the Venezuelan government is not questioning Venezuela’s sovereignty over the Essequibo, the easternmost part of the country. On the contrary, it is following constitutional guidelines and presenting it before the people to decide on the plan to be drawn up to address Venezuela’s legitimate claim of sovereignty.
Hoy, hace 10 años, diputados a la Asamblea Nacional fuimos a Eterimbán, en el Esequibo venezolano, como un acto de soberanía.
— María Corina Machado (@MariaCorinaYA) November 10, 2023
There has been a drastic change in the position of the leader of Vente Venezuela party regarding the defense of the Essequibo. In 2018, Machado issued a statement that aligned with the official position of the Venezuelan State, recognizing the 1966 Geneva Agreement as the only mechanism to resolve the territorial dispute. In addition, she denounced the 1899 Arbitral Award as illegitimate and condemned the intervention of the International Court of Justice (ICJ), stating that it had no jurisdiction in the matter.
Yet, currently Machado is publicly calling for the suspension of the consultative referendum because, according to her, it would harm Venezuela’s defense of the Essequibo at the ICJ. The argument contravenes the defense of the Geneva Agreement since accepting the jurisdiction of the ICJ without mutual agreement between the parties involved, that is, Guyana and Venezuela, completely discards the Agreement as the legal mechanism for the resolution of the territorial dispute, irrespective of the government in power.
Henrique Capriles has a similar position, but is trying to mitigate the image by projecting less extremism. Recently, quoting a publication of another opposition figure, Andrés Caleca, Capriles expressed that Venezuela should submit to the decision of the ICJ.
Muy de acuerdo Andrés. Frente a quien sea y donde sea siempre vamos a ratificar y defender la soberanía y el territorio nacional. Le recordaremos a Maduro y su nefasto Gobierno que el Esequibo es nuestro, de los venezolanos, que es ahora después de 24 años en el poder que se… https://t.co/eUhRQC16zp
— Henrique Capriles R. (@hcapriles) November 9, 2023
Thus, although Caleca and Capriles do not condemn the holding of the referendum, they oppose questions 2, 3 and 5, which deal with the support for the Geneva Agreement, the non-recognition of the ICJ to resolve the dispute, and the creation of the state of Guayana Esequiba and the rights of the population living there, respectively.
However, in 2018, Capriles was indignant upon learning that the UN had referred the Essequibo case to the ICJ, as this jeopardized the consensuses previously reached in the Geneva Agreement.
As for Juan Guaidó and his inner circle, they have no right to an opinion on the national referendum that is being carried out in response to the threats to the territorial integrity of Venezuela. Nevertheless, they have expressed their opinion, in their pursuit of opposing everything coming from the State headed by Nicolás Maduro Moros.
Guaidó, the face of the criminal gang that protagonized the looting of Venezuelan assets abroad, is campaigning against the referendum, using the same insubstantial argument as Machado and the refrain “sovereignty is exercised.”
This coming from him is ironic, since his gang’s way of exercising sovereignty was by refusing the defense of the Essequibo territory in exchange for obtaining more support from the UK for his fake government, as revealed by Vanessa Neumann, Guaidó’s “ambassador” to the UK.
Recuerda Usted a una basurita llamada Juan Guaidó? El que nos robó citgo y los activos. El que salivaba (y saliva) con las sanciones. Aquí su “embajadora” en Reino Unido pic.twitter.com/p6LCvj84G7
— Jorge Rodríguez (@jorgerpsuv) November 1, 2023
This opportunistic change of position of some sectors of the opposition leadership is another example of their hollow national identity, as they continue to serve foreign interests to the detriment of the Venezuelan people.
Individuals who sacrifice national sovereignty only in order to go against the Venezuelan government should not have any control over any State institution and cannot convince the population with false postures of commitment to the country.
Translation: Orinoco Tribune
Misión Verdad is a Venezuelan investigative journalism website with a socialist perspective in defense of the Bolivarian Revolution
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