Venezuela border controversy: PPP Congress lauds int’l community’s support for Guyana

…takes firm stand against Venezuela’s efforts to encroach on Guyana’s territory

The just concluded People’s Progressive Party (PPP) 32nd congress adopted a number of resolutions, including one expressing support for the government’s handling of the Guyana/Venezuela border controversy and condemning Venezuela’s efforts to claim Essequibo.
In a statement following its conclusion, the congress expressed strong condemnation for Venezuela’s tactics and their apparent disregard for the several agreements and conventions, including the Argyle Agreement that Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro signed last year with President Dr. Irfaan Ali, which saw both countries agreeing to refrain from further provocations.
“This 32nd Congress of the People’s Progressive Party strongly condemns the actions of the Maduro regime in attempting to violate our sovereignty and territorial integrity and supports the Government of Guyana in defending our national territory by all and any means necessary.”
“Additionally, this Congress expresses its total and unqualified support for the wise, calm and mature leadership of the Government of Guyana in maintaining a climate of peace in our country and the region as a whole,” the party said.
It was pointed out by the congress that the boundaries between Guyana and Venezuela were fully and finally settled by the Arbitral Award of 1899 and conclusively demarcated under that Award in 1905.
“The Arbitral Award was recognised by all parties as a ‘full, perfect and final’ settlement of the boundaries between Guyana and Venezuela. Guyana remains faithful to the 1899 Arbitral Award and the Geneva Agreement and opted to utilise the mechanism provided for in the Geneva Agreement to have the matter referred to the ICJ for peaceful resolution, in accordance with International Law.”
“Venezuela, in clear violation of the letter and spirit of the 1899 Arbitral Award and the Geneva Agreement, has taken steps to annex the Essequibo region of Guyana comprising two-thirds of Guyana’s sovereign territory, despite the fact that the matter is currently before the ICJ,” the party also said.
According to the congress, not only has Venezuela been violating the Arbitral award, but also the International Court of Justice’s (ICJ) provisional measures, which were issued last year with the intention of restraining both Venezuela and Guyana from taking any steps to escalate tensions until the matter is heard and determined by the ICJ.
“Further, President Dr. Mohamed Irfaan Ali and his counterpart President Nicholas Maduro have entered in good faith, an accord in Argyle, St. Vincent, not to take any further steps to escalate the controversy. Guyana has scrupulously obeyed the ICJ’s Provisional Measures and has done nothing which would conflict with the Argyle Declaration.”
“Venezuela, on the other hand, in breach of the letter and spirit of the Provisional Measures of the ICJ and the Argyle Accord, recently enacted laws in its Parliament purporting to incorporate Essequibo as a state of Venezuela. These, and other actions of Venezuela, along with its bellicose threats of invasion, are in violation of international law, norms and practices,” the congress also said.
In the wake of Venezuela’s violations, international organisations including the United Nations (UN), the European Union (EU), the Commonwealth, the Organisation of American States (OAS), and the Caribbean Community (CARICOM) have all condemned Venezuela’s actions, and called on the country to comply with international law.
Many governments, including the United States, Canada, Great Britain, Brazil, and those of the Caribbean Region have issued similar statements. In its statement, the congress expressed gratitude to all of these governments and organisations.
“This Congress extends its deep gratitude to the international community and friendly countries, including, the United States, Britain, Canada, France, European Union, CARICOM and OAS Member States in lending support and solidarity to Guyana on this matter of existential importance,” the congress said.
The controversy surrounding the territory was settled through an Arbitral Award in 1899, which both countries agreed to and accepted. However, when Guyana was on the verge of gaining its independence from Great Britain in the early 1960s, Venezuela’s claims to two-thirds of its territory resurged.
The matter was eventually taken to the ICJ, where it currently awaits a ruling. However, Venezuela in December 2023 moved a referendum to annex two-thirds of Guyana’s sovereign territory. The ICJ has issued interim measures restraining Venezuela from taking further steps in this regard. (G3)