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Foreign Ministry wary of Venezuela’s possible arm-twisting in G-77

There are fears in some quarters of Guyana’s Foreign Ministry that Venezuela may seek to obstruct Guyana from raising the border controversy and any other bilateral matter in the Group of 77 under the chairmanship of Georgetown.

The official ceremony for the handover of the G-77 chairmanship from Palestine, which served in the capacity in 2019, to Guyana, will be held on 15 January at the United Nations Headquarters in New York.

High-level diplomatic sources told News-Talk Radio Guyana 103.1 FM that while President David Granger has assured that no such undertaking had been given to Caracas, there are fears that Venezuela will cite a “gentleman’s agreement” it claims had been secured.

This, the sources say, can pose difficulties for Guyana in international fora should Georgetown seek to raise any bilateral concerns whether or not they include the border controversy that’s before the International Court of Justice. 

The Ministry of Foreign Affairs has said Guyana secured the chairmanship of G-77 with the support of China, the other 13 independent member nations of the Caribbean Community (CARICOM) and the majority of Latin American nations without any preconditions.

Venezuela, the sources say, did not support Guyana being the chairman of the Group of 77, but in the end Georgetown obtained the support of several nations at the plenary of the Group of Latin America and the Caribbean (GRULAC). 

The sources indicate that Cuba, one of Guyana’s long standing traditional allies, is now backing Venezuela.

The Group of 77 is the largest intergovernmental organization of 134 developing countries in the United Nations, which provides the means for the countries of the South to articulate and promote their collective economic interests.

They also seek to strengthen their joint negotiating capacity on all major international economic issues within the United Nations system, and promote South-South cooperation for development.