CARICOM pledges “full support” for Guyana after Venezuela navy intercepts ExxonMobil survey vessel in Stabroek Block

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The CARICOM Headquarters, located in Guyana.

The Caribbean Community (CARICOM) on Monday evening said it views with grave concern the “reported interception by the Venezuelan navy on Saturday, 22 December 2018 of a seismic research vessel flagged by the Government of the Commonwealth of The Bahamas, in the Exclusive Economic Zone of the Cooperative Republic of Guyana.”

Hours before the statement was released by CARICOM, OilNOW carried a report in which a former Guyanese government official expressed disdain with the sloth of the regional body in reacting to this latest act of aggression by Venezuela against its South American neighbour.

In the statement, CARICOM said, “Such acts violate the sovereign rights of Guyana under international law, its entitlement to a territorial sea, Exclusive Economic Zone and continental shelf, and pose a threat to Guyana’s economic development and national security.”

The statement further added: “The Caribbean Community reiterates its full support for the sovereignty and territorial integrity of the Cooperative Republic of Guyana, including its right to peacefully explore and exploit its onshore and offshore resources.”

The Bahamas flag-carrying vessel was intercepted by the Venezuelan navy at 10.30 hours on Saturday December 22, 2018 in the western portion of the Stabroek Block offshore Guyana. At the time it had a total of seventy crew members on board including the Captain.