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Opposition joins govt in condemning Venezuela’s expulsion of seismic research ship

The main opposition A Partnership for National Unity (APNU) on Friday joined government in condemning the Venezuelan Navy’s expulsion of a seismic research vessel from Guyanese waters on Thursday.

“APNU condemns the Venezuelan actions and expresses its unqualified support for a strong response by the Government of Guyana to safeguard this country’s territorial integrity,” the opposition parliamentary coalition said in a statement.

Top officials of the Alliance For Change (AFC) refused to comment on the matter before a scheduled news conference.

APNU expressed its concern over actions by a Corvette of the Armada Bolivariana de Venezuela (Bolivarian Navy of Venezuela) in Guyana’s exclusive economic zone.

 APNU said it understood that the Venezuelan corvette – PC-23 Yekuana – entered Guyana’s waters at about 16:00hrs on Thursday 10th October 2013. A seismic survey vessel – RV Teknik Perdana – was conducting surveys in Guyana’s EEZ at that time. The Yekuana instructed the Perdana to proceed into Venezuelan waters where, it is presumed the vessel and crew were detained.

“APNU believes that the actions of the Bolivarian Navy of Venezuela constitute a threat to international peace.

The party called on the Government of the Bolivarian Republic of Venezuela to fulfill its obligations under Article 33 – for the “Pacific Settlement of Disputes” – of the Charter of the United Nations and to desist from resorting to armed force in its relations with the Cooperative Republic of Guyana.

The Guyana government said it was making every effort to have the ship, which was taken to Margarita, and its crew released.

The Foreign Ministry maintained that the vessel was in Guyanese waters in the Roraima Block where an exploratory licence has been granted to the American-headquartered oil company, Andarko.