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Venezuela accuses Guyana of provocation; says no to “unilateral use” of offshore waters

Venezuela’s Foreign Minister Delcy Rodriguez

Venezuela on Tuesday accused Guyana’s newly elected government of provocation at the behest of American oil-giant, Exxon-Mobil, and sought to justify its maritime boundary demarcation in line with its claim of the mineral and forest-rich Essequibo Region.

 “It weighs note that the unique and surprising aggression, is that the government of Guyana has allowed such a powerful transnational as Exxon Mobil venture into disputed territory between the two countries, which in no way seeks to address the right to development of Guyana,” according to an unofficial translation of a statement by Venezuela’s Ministry of External Relations in Spanish.

Reuters News Agency quoted  Venezuela’s Foreign Minister Delcy Rodriguez as saying on television that “Until there is a resolution of the issue of territorial reclamation … there can be no unilateral use of these waters,” Foreign Minister Delcy Rodriguez.

This latest Decree purportedly annexes all of the waters off the Essequibo Coast and now includes the are where Exxon-Mobil last month found a huge reservoir of high quality crude oil.

Venezuela urged the administration led by President David Granger to cease “dangerous policy of provocation” , backed by the imperial power of the United States multinational, Exxon-Mobil, “ which must be rectified in the short term.”

Venezuela publicly called for a meeting with Guyana’s Foreign Affairs Minister Carl Greenidge to discuss the situation

Stressing that Venezuela was abiding by International Law, Geneva Agreement and the United Nations Secretary General’s Good Officer Process in settling its territorial controversy with Guyana, that western neighbour said President Nicolas Maduro’s Decree 1787 gazetted on May 27, 2015 was merely aimed at exercising control.

“Venezuela regrets that an administrative rule directed to organize, with the assistance of the new technologies of information, daily supervision and maritime security within the framework of its unlimited jurisdiction and constitutional exercise which nothing can affect the Cooperative Republic of Guyana – will be exploited to shock and trying to create an artificial crisis, inventing irrational situations against a brother country like Venezuela, using a highly offensive language,” says the External Relations Ministry.

Venezuela objected to Guyana characterizing the Decree as a threaten to regional peace and security.

Guyana on Monday warned Venezuela that any effort to enforce the decree in “an extra-territorial manner will be vigorously resisted.” This former British colony intends to again launch a diplomatic offensive against Venezuela through Caricom, Organisation of American States, Union of South American Nations, United Nations and the Commonwealth.

Guyana maintains that the 1899 Arbitral Tribunal Award that settled the land boundary with Venezuela is the full and final settlement of the border.