Stop politicising border controversy

Dear Editor,
The border controversy between Guyana and Venezuela is a serious matter that requires all Guyanese and all political parties to unite in the truest sense of the word.
To this end, it is commendable that the Government and Opposition have always been united on this issue, and have always treated same in a bipartisan manner.
However, for a long time, certain elements affiliated with the Opposition (APNU/AFC) have always attempted to consistently politicise this issue by casting a series of unfounded aspersions on the General Secretary of the PPP/C, Vice President Dr. Bharrat Jagdeo, accusing him of making proposals to give parts of Guyana’s territory to Venezuela. Conversely, evidence recently surfaced in the public domain which contradicted that notion and vindicated the Vice President.
In this regard, those proposals were made since in 1977 under the PNC Government, for a practical settlement that included the transfer of portions of territory. Hence, it was based on those proposals that the Vice President, when he was the Opposition Leader, was actually referring to without casting any aspersions on the leadership of the APNU/PNC.
Pursuant to the 1899 Geneva Agreement, Guyana’s land border has been demarcated, and as far as we are concerned, fully settled and non-negotiable in the prevailing circumstances. But it is the maritime boundary that has not been fully resolved.
Suffice it to state, in light of the foregoing that is now in the public domain, that small group of Opposition elements who are determined to politicize the border issue have been egregiously irresponsible, and perhaps ignorant of all of the facts on the subject. At the same time, the Vice President and the Government should be commended for their restraint in not responding to those elements reciprocally over the years.
The past and present leadership of the APNU/PNC should also be commended in this regard, but I would like to urge the leadership of the Opposition to encourage its affiliates to desist from doing so forthwith.

Yours respectfully,
Joel Bhagwandin