Venezuela’s claim on Essequibo poses significant threat to aviation sector – Edghill

– urges stakeholders to play their role in reinforcing Guyana’s sovereignty

When the National/Aviation Safety Seminar got underway on Monday, professionals in the aviation sector were reminded of the significant threat that Venezuela’s efforts to annex Essequibo, pose not only on Guyana’s sovereignty but the aviation sector itself.
During the seminar, the aviation professionals were addressed by Public Works Minister Juan Edghill.
Edghill’s warnings about the risk to the aviation sector, come against the background of Venezuela’s belligerence towards Guyana and its Essequibo territory, which it is seeking to annex via its planned December 3 referendum.
“If Venezuela is allowed its false and disruptive plan, to take Essequibo by force and the use of unlawful means, it means a significant destruction to our aviation (sector). because Essequibo is the region where most of our aviation activities take place.”
In laying out the importance of the aviation sector, Edghill noted that there are some communities in the hinterland only accessible by air. In fact, he noted that more than 95 per cent of all domestic aviation is between the coastland and the hinterland. Edghill therefore urged the aviation sector to join the Government’s campaign of reinforcing that Essequibo belongs to Guyana.
“In Guyana, as it relates to our domestic aviation, a significant amount of trade takes place between the hinterland and the coastland. The livelihood of many people depends on aviation in the hinterland. There are communities in the hinterland only accessible by air. More than 95 per cent of all domestic aviation, is between the coastland and the hinterland,” the Minister said.
“So, I use this opportunity at this seminar today, to call upon all the aviators to join the Government and people of Guyana, with slogans on your aircraft. Let’s fly it high, throughout the 83,000 square miles of Guyana, that Essequibo belongs to Guyana,” Edghill added.
Guyana’s Spanish-speaking neighbour has laid claim to more than two-thirds of Guyana’s landmass in the Essequibo region, and to a portion of its Exclusive Economic Zone (EEZ) in which nearly 11 billion barrels of oil have been discovered largely by United States oil giant ExxonMobil.
Over the past few weeks, Guyana has been informing regional and international partners of the referendum planned by Venezuela for December 3, which has been criticised by the United States, Caricom, and the Organisation of American States (OAS), as well as several other nations in the Region, including Brazil, for seeking to, among other things, gain a national consensus to annex Essequibo.
In addition to its substantive case at the International Court of Justice (ICJ), Guyana is currently seeking an injunction from the ICJ against Venezuela’s efforts to annex Essequibo via its planned December 3 referendum.
In an effort to stop the referendum from leading to the annexation of Essequibo, the Guyana Government presented its case before the International Court of Justice (ICJ) by urging the Court to not only protect Guyana’s rights but also its own authority which Venezuela is trying to undermine. The Court was also informed of Venezuela’s mobilisation of its military on the border with Guyana. (G-3)