Gobierno refuerza su defensa y nombrará nuevo embajador en Venezuela

El Gobierno de Guyana nombrará nuevo embajador en Venezuela, país vecino con el que mantiene una disputa fronteriza por la región de Esequibo, dentro del plazo de las próximas cuatro semanas como parte de un plan para reforzar las relaciones diplomáticas en la región.

Un portavoz del Gobierno de Guyana confirmó ayer a Efe vía telefónica que su actual embajador en Caracas, Geoffrey Da Silva, se encuentra en proceso de regreso a Georgetown, aunque no precisó la fecha concreta en que volverá el diplomático.

El ministro de Asuntos Exteriores, Carl Greenidge, anunció ayer a través de un comunicado difundido que el nuevo embajador en Venezuela reemplazará a Da Silva, nombrado por el anterior Ejecutivo en 2011.

El funcionario no proveyó más detalles de la decisión que afectará a su legación diplomática en Venezuela, país con el que ha mantenido una tensa relación diplomática durante los pasados meses por la soberanía sobre la región fronteriza de Esequibo.

Greenidge destacó además que con el presupuesto para el año fiscal 2015-2016, de unos 19 millones de dólares, se buscará ampliar la red de representantes diplomáticos en países como Trinidad y Tobago, EE.UU. y varios territorios de Latinoamérica.

A mediados de mayo, la coalición opositora Alianza por el Cambio (AFC) y la Alianza para la Unidad Nacional (APNU), encabezada por Granger, ganó las elecciones generales de Guyana.

Ese mismo mes, la compañía estadounidense Exxon Mobil descubrió un yacimiento petrolífero en las aguas de la costa de Esequibo, una región de 160.000 kilómetros cuadrados que ha sido motivo de disputa por más de un siglo con Venezuela, que reclama su soberanía.

El Gobierno de Guyana también detalló en un comunicado difundido ayer que asignaría 44 millones de dólares para el entrenamiento y fortalecimiento de las Fuerzas de Defensa del país.

El ministro de Estado, Joseph Harmon, indicó que destinará fondos para entrenar a oficiales en Brasil y China, así como para también desarrollar la Marina del país.

El Universal

Govt to announce new Ambassador to Venezuela soon

The A Partnership for National Unity/Alliance for Change Government (APNU/AFC) is still to announce the name of its Ambassador to the Bolivarian Republic of Venezuela, some three months after indicating that it would be removing former head of the Guyana Office for Investment (GO-Invest) Geoffery Da Silva from the post.

Da Silva, who was appointed as Guyana’s envoy to the Spanish-speaking nation back in 2011, was relieved of his duties following the new Government’s ascension to office. He had succeeded Dr Odeen Ishmael.

Meanwhile, Foreign Affairs Minister Carl Greenidge said Government has not yet heard from its Venezuelan counterpart on the way forward regarding its Ambassador here.

Venezuela’s Ambassador to Guyana Reina Margarita Arratia Diaz early last month, had travelled to her home country to hold consultations with President Nicolás Maduro.

While sources at the Embassy here could not say when and if the Ambassador, who had been in Guyana for just a few years, would be returning, they confirmed that her departure was to meet with the President to have discussions over the territorial controversy brewing between the two countries.

Minister Greenidge confirmed that the move by Venezuela is not an anomaly; it was however important that the embassy remain up and running with the responsible resources at its helm. In the absence of the Venezuela Ambassador, the embassy is reportedly being overlooked by Minister Consular Alonso Herrera.

When contacted on Tuesday, Embassy staff said they were unaware of the next move of the President regarding the presence of an Ambassador here. Early last month, President Maduro said he was calling in his country’s Ambassador for consultations amid an escalating squabble over oil exploration in Guyana’s waters.

Venezuela in June demanded that Guyana halt exploration activities being carried out by United States-based ExxonMobil off the coast of Essequibo, weeks after the company said it had discovered oil.

Guyana has pointed out that Venezuela had agreed to accept as a final declaration on the border the ruling of an international tribunal, which in 1899 unanimously decided the border as it currently stands.

Venezuela says the 1899 ruling was unfair and insists the territory belongs to Venezuela, going as far as including it on its maps as the “reclamation zone”. The Essequibo functions as part of Guyana and shows no discernible trace of Venezuelan influence.

At a meeting in Geneva on February 17, 1966, the Governments of British Guiana, the United Kingdom and Venezuela signed the “Agreement to resolve the controversy over the frontier between Venezuela and British Guiana”. The agreement established the regulatory framework to be followed by the parties in order to resolve the spurious Venezuelan contention.

According to the treaty, a Mixed Commission was installed with the purpose of seeking satisfactory solutions for the practical settlement of the border controversy, but the parties never agreed to implement a solution within this Commission due to different interpretations of the treaty.

Guyana argued that prior to starting the negotiations over the border issue, Venezuela should prove that the Arbitral Award of 1899 was null and void. Guyana did not accept that the 1899 decision was invalid, and held that its participation on the Commission was only to resolve Venezuela’s assertions.

However, Venezuela argued that the Commission did not have a judicial nature or purpose, but a dealmaking one, so it should go ahead to find “a practical and satisfactory solution”. Venezuela also claimed that the nullity of the Arbitral Award of 1899 was implicit, or otherwise the existence of the treaty would be meaningless.

The fifth article of the Treaty of Geneva established the status of the territories. The provisions state that no acts or activities taking place on the territory in question while the Agreement is in force “shall constitute a basis for asserting, supporting or denying a claim to territorial sovereignty”. The Treaty also has a provision prohibiting both nations from pursuing the issue except through official inter-Government channels.

Venezuela has over the last few weeks been seeking out the support of individual Caribbean nations, for solidarity on its claims over Guyana’s waters, although a unanimous decision was made by the Caribbean Community (Caricom) recently that it stands behind the decision taken by Guyana.

Guyana Times