Venezuelan Vice President Delcy Rodríguez said that the president of Guyana, Irfaan Ali, is beating the drums of war and is threatening the peace of Latin America and the Caribbean, violating CELAC declaration of the region being a zone of peace.
At an event in El Valle parish of Caracas on Saturday, October 28, the Venezuelan Vice President said that the Guyanese president has turned his back on the negotiations mandated by the 1966 Geneva Agreement on the Essequibo territorial dispute. Instead he is following verbatim the plan made by ExxonMobil to sow confrontation between Venezuela and Guyana.
Rodríguez further decried that Guyana has set up a ruling in its favor and “they already say it openly,” and is disposing of the Essequibo territory to multinational oil corporations. “They have already set up this farce to declare that Guyana is the owner of that territory.”
She criticized the government of Guyana for granting concessions and bidding oil blocks in the disputed territorial waters and for handing over those areas to US-based transnational oil companies, “especially to ExxonMobil.”
She accused ExxonMobil of paying for the trial at the International Court of Justice. “Exxonmobil is paying for Guyanese lawyers,” said Rodríguez. “The planes in which Guyanese representatives travel to The Hague are provided by ExxonMobil.”
Rodríguez stated that the president of Venezuela, Nicolás Maduro, has been in contact with leaders of the region, reiterating his call for dialogue and proposing meetings with his Guyanese counterpart. “And President Irfaan Ali’s response is beating the drums of war. We are not going to fall into the provocation of his master, ExxonMobil,” she said.
She reiterated that Venezuela will continue to follow Bolivarian peace diplomacy. “We insist that you have to resume the legal path and sit down to dialogue in accordance with the 1966 Geneva Agreement to peacefully negotiate a solution to this territorial controversy,” she called on the Guyanese authorities.
“Venezuela is a nation of peace but it knows how to defend its rights,” she added.
Defense of Essequibo
Vice President Rodríguez reiterated the call to the Venezuelan people to vote in the consultative referendum in defense of the Essequibo territory, scheduled for December 3.
“Why vote this December 3? For the defense of our historical rights on the Essequibo territory,” she said. “There is no doubt that Essequibo belongs to Venezuela, we have the titles. Guyana has never had rights over that territory; they stole it. They gave it to the British Empire and now intend to claim that every inch of that territory is theirs, every inch as their president said.”
Rodríguez said that Venezuelans will be asked to respond to five questions in the referendum. “In the face of these provocations coming from the authorities of Guyana, the response of the Venezuelan people will be to vote five times on December 3. It is the peaceful defense of our territory,” she said.
She added that Venezuela will not cease its defense until it sees its sovereignty and rights over the Essequibo fully exercised.
Illegal oil concessions
On Friday, October 27, the government of Venezuela called “illegal,” “totally null,” “contrary to international law” and to the principles enshrined in its Constitution, the authorizations granted by the Cooperative Republic of Guyana to transnational companies to explore oil in the disputed waters of the Essequibo region.
Venezuela informa a la Comunidad Internacional y a las empresas transnacionales energéticas que han recibido, de manera ilícita, por parte del Gobierno de Guyana, autorizaciones para explorar y explotar hidrocarburos en un amplio espacio marítimo no delimitado, que tales acciones… pic.twitter.com/XsAPQTH0sz
— Yvan Gil (@yvangil) October 27, 2023
In a statement released by the Foreign Affairs Ministry, Caracas urged “all transnational private actors, formally and categorically, to avoid any incursion into that maritime space, since it constitutes a violation of Venezuela’s sovereign rights, constitutional order, and international law.”
Venezuela accused Guyana of implementing “a reckless policy of association with the US Southern Command for the deployment of unauthorized military exercises in the area,” which from the Venezuelan point of view represents “the greatest threat to peace and stability in the Caribbean region.”
Commenting the Foreign Ministry’s statement, Venezuelan Defense Minister Vladimir Padrino López warned the Guyanese government that such actions “will have a forceful and proportional response from Venezuela.”
The day before, Guyana authorized eight foreign oil companies to undertake drilling work in waters claimed by Venezuela, following the conclusion of the bidding process announced on September 19, which was condemned by the Venezuelan government.
Among the winning companies are an alliance between the French oil company Total, Qatar Energy, and Malaysia’s Petronas; the Nigerian International Group Investment Inc; the Americans Liberty Petroleum Corporation; Hess; ExxonMobil; China National Offshore Oil Corporation (CNOOC), and the Guyanese company SISPRO Inc. However, the deal is not yet officialized.
(Últimas Noticias) by Carlos Eduardo Sánchez, with Orinoco Tribune content
Translation: Orinoco Tribune
orinocotribunehttps://orinocotribune.com/author/orinocotribune/December 9, 2023