“Diplomatic and peaceful solution,” was requested by Brazilian Foreign Minister Mauro Vieira; speeches took place after the summit in Brasília.
The Minister of Foreign Affairs, Mauro Vieira, maintained on Wednesday 22nd of November, 2023, that the border dispute between Venezuela and Guyana over the Essequibo territory be resolved through dialogue.
“Brazil made an exhortation, with all other countries, for understanding, the diplomatic and peaceful solution of disputes. I had the opportunity to say that Brazil strongly supports negotiations, understandings and arbitration, with appeals to international courts, such as the Court of The Hague, whenever possible”, said the chancellor.
The statements came after a meeting between foreign ministers and defense ministers from South American countries that took place in Brasília.
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Representing Caracas, the Minister of Foreign Affairs, Yván Gil, and the Deputy Minister of Defense, Felix Osorio, were present at the meeting. Guyana sent the Prime Minister, Mark Phillips, second in line to the President, Irfaan Ali.
According to Vieira, “both the Guyanese and Venezuelan delegations expressed their views and positions on the conflict, on the territorial dispute they have and which has been discussed in a bilateral process for at least 120 years.”
“I believe it was an important moment for the two countries to expose their positions, for them to be heard by everyone and for them to have had the opportunity to hear this explanation from Brazil,” said the minister.
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Through social media, the Venezuelan chancellor released excerpts of his speeches during the summit in which he accused Guyana of planning “warlike aggression” against Venezuela.
“We draw attention to Guyana’s obfuscated position of incorporating external actors, such as the USA, in the Essequibo territorial dispute, with the presence and joint military actions of the Southern Command to threaten our country and design plans of warlike aggression against our will. To this end, intend to install military bases in the territory that is the subject of controversy and these actions are simply unacceptable,” he said.
The minister also reiterated Caracas’ position of adhering to the Geneva Agreement to resolve the territorial dispute and said that the Guyanese government could not “give illicit concessions in non-delimited waters.” Guyana had not responded to this comment at the time of writing this article.
Dispute for Essequibo
Venezuela and Guyana are experiencing an escalation of tension over the dispute over the Essequibo territory. With 160 km², the enclave located on the border between the two countries has been the subject of dispute since the 19th century. However, the case became more complex in 2015, after the discovery of huge maritime oil reserves in the region.
The Guyanese government handed over the exploration concessions to the multinational Exxon Mobil, which displeased Caracas, as the region is in dispute and the decision was taken unilaterally.
In 2018, Georgetown decided to take the case to the International Court of Justice (ICJ) – a UN court located in The Hague – a decision contested by Venezuela, which claims the Geneva Agreement, signed in 1966, as the only valid document to resolve the dispute.
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In recent months, countries have raised their tone after Caracas announced the holding of a referendum to seek popular support for its demands. The vote is scheduled for December 3 and will ask voters if they agree, for example, not to recognize the ICJ to judge the case and create a new Venezuelan state in the disputed territory.
The participation of the Venezuelan Armed Forces in the referendum campaign generated condemnation from the Guyanese government, which went so far as to say in The Hague that the vote represents “an existential threat” to the country.
Venezuela condemns the joint military exercises carried out by the Guyanese and US armies on the border and Washington’s promises to “strengthen the defense” of the country against “cross-cutting threats.”
Source: Brasil de Fato