Last Updated on Sunday, 19 November 2023, 18:25 by Denis Chabrol
Former President of Colombian President Ivan Duque on Sunday appealed to the international community to assist Guyana, amid Venezuela’s military aggression as part of a wider plot to claim Guyana’s Essequibo County.
“The dictatorship of Nicolás Maduro is mobilizing troops and threatening the Democracy of Guyana. Their idea is to claim the territory of Essequibo in a Referendum and use this situation as a mechanism to manipulate citizens by appealing to false “nationalism.” The international community must support the Democracy of Guyana in the face of this threat of the narco-dictatorship,” Mr Duque said in a post on X, formerly Twitter.
Mr Duque served as Colombia’s President from 2018 to 2022, and he has been well-recognised by the Organisation of American States as a peace advocate.
President Irfaan Ali on Saturday sought to assure Guyanese that his administration has been in contact with regional and other “strategic partners” including member-states of the United Nations Security Council (UNSC).
Dr Ali was confident that Guyana’s strategic partners would be by its side if Venezuela decides to take military action. ““We believe that Venezuela would not act in a reckless way. However, if they do act in a reckless way, we have already, as I said before, engaged our strategic partners,” he said and added that, ““I will not elaborate on strategy and the depth or fullness of what constitutes that support. But what I will say to you is that I’m confident that our partners will be alongside us should Venezuela opt wrongly to act recklessly.”
Venezuela has told the International Court of Justice (ICJ) that it would go ahead with its December 3 referendum that seeks a popular vote to support government’s position that that court does not have jurisdiction to hear Guyana’s case that the 1899 Arbitral Tribunal is the full, perfect and final settlement of the land boundary between the two South American nations. Further the referendum seeks support for government’s decision to declare Essequibo a State of Venezuela, be responsible for current and future residents there, grant them citizenship and issue them national identification cards.
The OAS, Commonwealth, United States, Canada and the Caribbean Community (CARICOM) have all heaped criticism and condemnation on Venezuela.