Luis Almagro, Secretary General of the Organization of American States (OAS), took to X (formerly Twitter) to issue a stern warning to Venezuela following the ruling of the International Court of Justice (ICJ).
“We consider [the ICJ] decision as fundamental in requesting Venezuela to refrain from all provocative, warmongering, and illegal actions that encroach on the established boundaries of Guyana’s territory,” he said. “The Court’s decision is binding and must be respected by the Venezuelan regime.”
Guyana had approached the World Court for provisional measures to block questions from Venezuela’s December 3 referendum which seeks to annex the Essequibo – two-thirds of Guyana’s territory.
In its judgment, read by President Joan E. Donoghue, the World Court unanimously granted the following provisional measures to Guyana:
- “Pending a final decision in the case [on the validity of the 1899 Arbitral Award], the Bolivarian Republic of Venezuela shall refrain from taking any action, which would modify the situation that currently prevails in the territory in dispute, whereby the Cooperative Republic of Guyana administers and exercises control over that area.”
- “Both parties shall refrain from any action which might aggravated or extend the dispute before the Court or make it more difficult to resolve.”
The Court did not grant the first three measures sought by Guyana, which would have dealt specifically with Venezuela’s planned referendum. However, the issued measures generally coincide with the fourth and fifth measures Guyana sought, which concern the control of the territory in question and potential aggravation of the controversy.
Venezuela has already signalled its intention to move forward with the referendum.