Guyana’s Vice President, Bharrat Jagdeo has made it clear that the country will refrain from responding to the aggressive posturing of top Venezuelan government officials.
“We are not going to be responding on a daily basis to jingoism…the belligerent language that comes out of Venezuela, from various public officials,” he told a news conference on November 2.
“We have seen one from the vice president of Venezuela, very repugnant and it is very aggressive,” he added, explaining that the comment questions the Spanish-speaking nation’s need for the Caribbean Community (CARICOM).
CARICOM came in strong defense of Guyana’s sovereignty, taking aim at the recent provocation from Venezuela. Support has also emerged from The Commonwealth, the Organization of American States (OAS), and the United States (U.S.). Brazil has expressed to Guyana, its support for the International Court of Justice (ICJ) to resolve the controversy.
The ICJ has affirmed its jurisdiction twice to adjudicate on the matter brought before it by Guyana, to confirm the validity of the 1899 Arbitral Award, offering the potential for a final, binding, and equitable settlement under international law. But despite participating in the ICJ proceedings, Venezuela has been attempting to deviate from the process.
President Nicolás Maduro, in September, proposed to meet directly with President Irfaan Ali, as Venezuela ramped up its aggressive posturing because of Guyana’s bid round. That included increased military activities and troop mobilization by Venezuelan forces in proximity to Guyana’s borders. And more recently, Venezuela’s upcoming referendum to gather support among its citizens, to annex the Essequibo region – two-thirds of Guyana’s territory.
But Guyana’s government has repeatedly said it firmly believes that the appropriate platform for addressing Venezuela’s territorial claim is the ICJ.
Guyana turned to the ICJ, seeking orders that would block Venezuela’s referendum. In that request, Guyana is seeking from the Court an order preventing Venezuela from taking any action to seize, acquire, or encroach upon, or assert or exercise sovereignty over, the Essequibo Region or any other part of Guyana’s national territory. This is pending the Court’s final determination of the validity of the 1899 Arbitral Award that established the land boundary between the two States, and the final and binding nature of that boundary.
But Maduro does not share the same view. He recently told the Venezuelan press that “Venezuela has never recognized nor will it recognize the ICJ for the resolution of this issue.”