In a bid to address escalating tensions, Guyana’s Minister of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation, Hugh Todd, engaged in a discussion via telephone today with his Venezuelan counterpart Yvan Gill. The conversation was instigated by Carlos Amador Pérez Silva, Venezuela’s Ambassador to Guyana.
According to a statement from the Ministry, Todd wasted no time in expressing profound concern over recent actions stemming from Caracas within the last 24 hours, citing direct violations of the International Court of Justice’s order issued on December 1, 2023.
He fervently reiterated Guyana’s unwavering dedication to resolving the controversy through the ongoing judicial process, emphasizing the importance of Venezuela’s participation in the case before the Court. Underscoring Guyana’s commitment to upholding international law, Minister Todd stressed the imperative nature of “preserving peace and security” within the region. He strongly advocated for the utmost respect toward Guyana’s sovereignty and territorial integrity.
On the other end, the Bolivarian Republic of Venezuela confirmed the telephone conversation.
A communique posted by Gil to X (formerly Twitter) said “The Venezuelan side took the opportunity to update the Guyanese government on the overwhelming participation in the popular consultation, generating an unequivocal mandate for the resolution of this territorial dispute, governed by the Geneva Agreement signed between the parties in 1966. The Venezuelan side expressed the need to halt actions aggravating the controversy in the territory of the Essequibo region and agreed to keep communication channels open.”
It should be noted that it is Venezuela that has assumed an aggressive posture.
Maduro in blatant disregard for the World Court’s ruling not to aggravate the controversy further, on Tuesday evening unveiled a revised map of his nation, incorporating the Essequibo region. Guyana’s President Irfaan Ali has said that his government has alerted the U.S. Southern Command and soon will engage the United Nations Security Council (UNSG).
Alongside this, he issued directives for the formation of fresh administrative bodies responsible for issuing licenses for oil, gas, and mineral exploration in the Essequibo area. Furthermore, he put forth a proposal for enacting legislation aimed at establishing designated environmentally protected zones, potentially serving as hubs for tourism and preserving biodiversity.