WASHINGTON, DC – The Institute of Caribbean Studies (ICS) on Friday, January 15, 2021, received a briefing on recent developments concerning the Venezuela/Guyana border controversy, from officials of the Government of the Cooperative Republic of Guyana.
The briefing was conducted over the Zoom virtual platform.
Sharing intelligence and information were Capt. Gerry Gouveia, National Security Advisor to the President of Guyana and Mr. Carl Greenidge, current Advisor on Borders and former Vice President and Minister of Foreign Affairs.
Zone of Peace
Over its more than 25 years of protecting and advocating for the best interests of the Caribbean and its Diaspora in the USA, ICS has always firmly maintained the status of the Caribbean as a Zone of Peace and views as very troubling any development which poses a threat to the peace and stability of the Caribbean and the wider hemisphere.
ICS is aware of Venezuela’s contention that the 1899 Arbitral Award establishing the boundaries between the two countries is not valid. This is currently a matter before the International Court of Justice and is in keeping with the Geneva Agreement of 1966.
Therefore, ICS urges both parties to desist from any action that serves to heighten tensions and generate insecurity among their respective populations.
ICS also views as provocative the issuance of the decree, on Thursday, January 7, 2021, by Venezuela’s President Nicolas Maduro with the support of the Venezuelan National Assembly, which seeks to reinforce Venezuela’s claim to Guyana’s Essequibo Region.
Intelligence shared by the Government of Guyana reveals that, as of Friday, January 15, 2021, Venezuelan warships were in Guyana’s territorial waters and Exclusive Economic Zone.
Reports have been made of unidentified vessels seen off the coast of Grenada. These have been seen cruising through the area thereby giving the impression that there is a military buildup in the region.
ICS condemns these activities as being provocative and reckless
Any action whether carried out on behalf of Guyana’s western neighbor or by another foreign proxy, ought to be stopped immediately.
ICS urges both parties to remain committed to a peaceful settlement of this controversy. This will allow the deliberations of the International Court of Justice to take its course.
We further call on both parties to eschew any action that would disrupt economic activity and development of the two countries.
Attending the briefing in addition to ICS Directors and Members were Caribbean American diaspora leaders. U.S. Congressional staff members and diplomats were invited.