Investors should not be “jittery” – Min Indar reinforces that Essequibo belongs to Guyana

– says Guyana has too much invested in Essequibo for it to be stolen

Amid heightened aggressions from neighbouring Venezuela, investors in Guyana are being assured not to worry, with Minister within the Public Works Ministry Deodat Indar reminding that the Essequibo region, historically and legally, belongs to Guyana.
On Wednesday, Minister Indar was the keynote speaker at a ceremony to commemorate the 30th anniversary of the Machinery Incorporated (MACORP). While there, Indar also spoke of the Guyana/Venezuela border controversy and reminded investors that they can rest assured Essequibo belongs to Guyana.
“This country was developed; our resources went into it. Our people in Essequibo, we were born there, we live there, we loved there, we died there, we were buried there. And this happened generation after generation. And here you have an aggressor, coming saying Essequibo belongs to them. That is why we have to let the facts out there,” the Minister said.
“When people post misleading information out there, we can post the facts and say that it is not so. We can clear it up. So, I’m obliged to say this at this podium and any other podium I go to, once this matter is alive and kicking. Guyanese need to know the truth. And the people who come to invest must know Essequibo belongs to Guyana. And we shouldn’t be jittery about it.”
Indar described the backstory of the Guyana-Venezuela border controversy, all the way back to 1899 when the Arbitral Award was made and the border settled. He noted that for years, this was the accepted state of affairs, until Guyana’s independence approached, after which Venezuela suddenly tried to backtrack.
“Just imagine… your great-great-grandfather had a piece of land. And he gave it to your great-grandfather. And your great-grandfather decides to make up the drains, plant up the yard, and cultivate the place. And he gave it to your grandfather. And your grandfather fixes up the house, nice AC, paints up, puts a nice thing at the front,” the Minister further said.
“And then your father adds more to it. Puts security guard at the front, adds barbed wire fence. And now your father is giving it to you. So, 124 years have gone by. And some stranger just walks in and says hoi, that isn’t yours. Its mine. That’s exactly what’s happening here.”
After abiding by the 1899 Arbitral Award for almost half a century, Venezuela in 1962 claimed that the Essequibo area of Guyana belonged inside its borders. Guyana has noted that the boundary between the then-colony of British Guiana and Venezuela was determined by the Arbitral Award as a “full” and “final” settlement.
After years of failed good offices process via the United Nations (UN), Guyana is seeking a final and binding judgement to reinforce that the 1899 Arbitral Award remains valid and binding on all parties, as well as legal affirmation that Guyana’s Essequibo region, which contains much of the country’s natural resources, belongs to Guyana and not Venezuela.
Last month, the Venezuelan National Electoral Council published a list of five questions that it plans to put before the Venezuelan people in a referendum set for December 3, 2023. The referendum will seek the Venezuelan people’s approval to, among other things, annex Essequibo and create a Venezuelan state. It also seeks the citizens’ approval for Venezuela to grant citizenship and identity cards to residents of Essequibo.
Over the past few weeks, Guyana has been informing regional and international partners of Venezuela’s planned referendum, which has been criticized by the United States, Caricom, and the Organization of American States (OAS), as well as several other nations in the Region, including Brazil.
The Guyana Government has, however, already declared its commitment to resolving this longstanding border controversy with Venezuela through the legal process at the World Court. This position was also reaffirmed by Guyana’s National Assembly in a unanimous vote. (G-3)