Home Top Stories Guyana, UK Govt deny Russian claim of military base construction
The Government of Guyana is calling on Russia to retract statements that suggested that a military base was constructed on the border with Venezuela to train refugees from that country to return home and destabilise the Spanish-speaking nation.
These claims were made on Thursday by Russian Foreign Ministry Spokeswoman Maria Zakharova on the sidelines of the International Youth Forum Eurasia Global in the Russian city of Orenburg.
However, Guyana’s Government on Friday denounced the claims as false.
“The Government of Guyana calls on the Government of the Russian Federation to immediately withdraw this baseless statement which is utterly false,” a missive from the Foreign Affairs Ministry in Georgetown said.
According to the Ministry, this incident is especially unfortunate, given that relations between Guyana and Russia have always been based on mutual respect, trust, and friendship. In fact, it went on to reaffirm the Guyana Government’s unequivocal commitment to the purposes and principles of the United Nations Charter.
“Guyana has always been resolute in its advocacy for several principles of international law including, in particular, the sovereign equality of States. Guyana, therefore, categorically rejects any suggestion that it would allow its sovereign territory to be used in a manner inconsistent with its neighbourly and peaceful relations with Venezuela,” the Foreign Affairs Ministry said.
This allegation comes on the heels of the longstanding Guyana-Venezuela border controversy case being sent to the International Court of Justice as a means for peaceful settlement.
The Foreign Affairs Ministry said Guyana is fully committed to this decision taken by the United Nations back in January 2018. The border controversy arose from Venezuela’s contention that the 1899 Arbitral Award establishing the boundary between British Guiana and Venezuela is “null and void”.
The Russian Spokeswoman said that the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland was “completing the construction of a military base on one of the islands at the mouth of the Essekibo (sic) River under a plausible pretext – supposedly to stop the smuggling of weapons and drugs”.
Zakharova went on to say, “there have already arrived several dozen so-called ‘refugees’ from Venezuela to undergo training as part of reconnaissance and sabotage groups, and then to be dispatched to Venezuelan territory in order to destabilise the situation and carry out appropriate actions – from extremist to terrorist”.
However, Britain’s Defence Ministry on Friday denied the allegations that it was involved in a plot to overthrow the Venezuelan Government using a military base in Guyana to train armed militias.
The United Kingdom-based Morning Star reported a Ministry of Defence (MoD) spokesman as saying, “The claims by the Russian Foreign Ministry are clear disinformation. The UK does not possess, is not building, nor operates from any base in Guyana”.
In recent years, Venezuela has been experiencing worsened economic and political turmoil. In fact, the deteriorated political situation has given birth to a parallel government, putting the nation into unchartered territory – with two presidents. However, many countries around the world now recognise Opposition Leader Juan Guiadó as the interim President following a 2018 elections, which re-elected President Nicolás Maduro. However, a majority of the international community has deemed those elections as fraudulent.
The current crisis engulfing Venezuela is now in its fifth consecutive year and according to a new United Nations report earlier this year, almost a quarter of the once-wealthy South American nation’s population in dire need of help with a whopping 94 per cent Venezuelan living in poverty.