In a press conference, the official said Granger “lied” about the alleged presence of a Venezuelan military ship in Georgetown, capital of Guyana, which was shown in a book published by the Guyanese president and handed out massively at the recent General Assembly of the United Nations.
“The Guyanese president is misleading the international community because that picture of a Venezuelan ship was taken in 2011 in Spain and not in Georgetown as Granger affirms,” said the foreign minister.
Rodriguez added the book was also given to UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon at a recent meeting both Granger and Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro attended in New York.
“Granger has lied to the UN secretary general and accused Venezuela of intimidating Guyana’s peace with the alleged presence of this military ship in his country. It’s clear that he doesn’t want to settle this old dispute with dialogue and respect,” she added.
The Venezuelan minister said her country will send proper documentation to Ban and other delegations at the UN to deny these “misleading accusations” and will talk to other Caribbean governments to “confront a media campaign” regarding the Essequibo issue.
Rodriguez called on Georgetown to respect the 1966 Geneva agreement and cease its “defamation campaign” against Maduro’s government.
Venezuela and Guyana agreed to redeploy their respective ambassadors and begin talks with the mediation of the United Nations after a meeting last month between Maduro and Granger along with the UN secretary general.
Earlier this year, Georgetown authorized U.S. oil giant Exxon Mobil to operate in the Essequibo region, which prompted an immediate response from Caracas which demanded a stop of such actions.
Maduro recalled his country’s ambassador to Guyana in July and halted accreditation for Guyana’s ambassador to Venezuela in September.
The controversy centers on the lands west of the Essequibo River of Guyana, covering about two thirds of the small English-speaking nation where the U.S. company made an offshore oil discovery.
The dispute stems from an 1899 court ruling that required Venezuela to relinquish an undeveloped but resource-rich jungle territory called the Essequibo.
Caracas contends the ruling was invalid after a treaty was signed in 1966 with Guyana and its former colonial power Britain.
The UN has mediated the conflict and assigned a commission to help reach a solution but has failed to solve the dispute.