The United States has publicly endorsed Guyana’s sovereign right to utilise its natural resources, in the wake of a statement from Venezuela objecting to Guyana’s offshore licensing round.
Ambassador Brian A. Nichols, Assistant Secretary for Western Hemisphere Affairs at the U.S. Department of State, emphasized that “efforts to infringe upon Guyana’s sovereignty are unacceptable.” Nichols further urged Venezuela to honour international law, referring specifically to the 1899 Arbitral Award, which settled a land boundary dispute which had existed between British Guiana (now Guyana) and Venezuela, and the ongoing International Court of Justice (ICJ) proceedings between the two nations.
The backdrop to this diplomatic call is Venezuela’s recent contentious actions and remarks against Guyana. Venezuelan discontent emerged in response to Guyana’s decision to auction off oil blocks in its territorial waters. President Dr. Mohamed Irfaan Ali of Guyana highlighted these threats in his address to the United Nations General Assembly, considering them detrimental to both regional peace and international security.
This international quarrel has not only seen support for Guyana from the US but also from the Organisation of American States (OAS).