Guyana needs international community – Carl Greenidge
…warns against using sovereignty for political convenience
…anticipates ICJ ruling on jurisdiction before year-end
Former Foreign Affairs Minister, Carl Greenidge lashed out against those using Guyana’s sovereignty for political convenience, warning that Guyana needs the international community. During a telephone interview with two APNU/AFC supporters on a live social media programme, Greenidge said that he has seen and heard senior officials in Guyana speak inappropriately about the country’s sovereignty. He noted that one cannot on one hand call on the international community to have Venezuela respect the rule of law internationally but at the same time say that they have domestic legislation and the international community has no right to ask questions of their actions.
He noted that it is in Guyana’s interest that “people” do not do things then argue that the country is a sovereign State, adding that one must be very careful not to invoke issues that suit a specific topic because it may have implications for the country. “…for Guyana, the rule of law internationally is our only protection, this is very very important,” Greenidge pointed out.
Since the March 2, 2020 General and Regional Elections, the APNU/AFC has been very confrontational with the international community which has been calling for credible elections results to be declared in Guyana. The David Granger-led Administration has accused the international community of interfering in the domestic affairs of Guyana.
The unified international community including the US, United Kingdom, Canada and the European Union, has made it abundantly clear that they will not stand for the will of the Guyanese people being subverted.
Greenidge’s comment comes on the heels of Caretaker Prime Minister Moses Nagamootoo criticisism of the international community for speaking out against Chief Elections Officer Keith Lowenfield fraudulent election report. Nagamootoo has asserted that the western powers and regional partners are now part of a grand orchestrated scheme to use Guyana as a pawn in a global political game of chess aimed at toppling the Nicolas Maduro Government in neighbouring Venezuela and are not really interested in democratic elections.
Several APNU/AFC officials including former Director of Sport, Christopher Jones; AFC member Sherod Duncan; APNU General Secretary, Joseph Harmon have been berating the international community for its pro-democracy stance on the current political situation in Guyana.
Meanwhile, Greenidge, who is acting as an ‘agent’ of Guyana in the border controversy case before the International Court of Justice – Arbitral Award of October 3, 1899, on Monday said that Guyana anticipates that the Court will issue its decision on the jurisdictional question before the end of the year.
Greenidge’s statement comes as Guyana prepares to appear in the ICJ today in its case against Venezuela. Today’s hearing is for the sole purpose of addressing the question of the Court’s jurisdiction. The hearing will be by video conference in a move by the Court to keep the wheels of justice turning despite the constraints of COVID-19.
“Should it rule in Guyana’s favour, as we expect, it will then proceed to the next phase of the case, and ultimately decide the question that Guyana has put before it: whether the 1899 boundary that separates the two States, is a lawful and permanent boundary, such that the Essequibo region is confirmed as an integral part of Guyana’s territory for all time,” Greenidge said in a statement. He added that Guyana will continue to do everything in its power to achieve that result, and is confident that the final outcome will be what all Guyanese wish for. He pointed out that Guyana has long valued the opportunity of a judicial settlement of Venezuela’s outrageous claim to nearly three-quarters of Guyana and welcomed the decision of the Secretary General of the United Nations in 2018 (acting under the 1966 Geneva Agreement) that the International Court of Justice shall be the forum of the settlement of the controversy.
Guyana has maintained that the ICJ has jurisdiction to rule on the validity and permanence of that boundary but Venezuela claims that it does not. However, today only Guyana will present its arguments as Venezuela has decided to boycott the hearing.
Guyana filed its case with the World Court on March 29, 2018, seeking a final and binding judgement that the 1899 Arbitral Award which established the location of the land boundary between the then-British Guiana and Venezuela remains valid and binding, and that Guyana’s Essequibo region belongs to Guyana, and not Venezuela as is being claimed by the Spanish-speaking country. The border controversy gained new life when oil giant ExxonMobil announced in 2015 that it had found oil offshore Guyana. Venezuela had inexplicably been against oil exploration in Guyana’s Stabroek Block, where multiple oil deposits were found by ExxonMobil, and had laid claim to the Essequibo region, which represents two-thirds of Guyana’s territory.
After some two years of mediation, the UN announced back in 2018 that it had sent the matter to the ICJ after careful analysis of the good offices process.