by Zena Henry
The government has denied claims by Venezuela’s former Foreign Minister, Jose Vicente Rangel that Guyana is facilitating the infiltration of of Venezuela by international agencies.
The two nations are currently embroiled in an age-old border controversy, and reports out of the Spanish-speaking nation insinuate that Guyana is being used by Venezuela’s foreign ‘unfriendlies’ who want to penetrate their country.
Rangel, also a former journalist, on a television program Tuesday claimed that the Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) of the United States; the British Military Intelligence (MI16) and Israeli intelligence (Mossad) “have been collaborating with the military and intelligence training of troops of Guyana Defense Force”.
He claimed on his TV program, ‘Jose Vicente Hoy (Jose Vicente Today) that US Special Forces are training personnel to raid Venezuelan areas “as part of a social and economic destabilization program in the region, claiming to that, “there is a large flow of weapons from the reclamation area in Essequibo into Venezuela.”
Hours after the report, Minister of State Joseph Harmon stated at Cabinet’s weekly press briefing Wednesday July 8 that there is no such activity happening in Guyana and the country is not facilitating any infiltration.
“I can categorically say that there is no such training taking place in Guyana, sponsored by the State or by any element of the State. And so the El Nacional or any newspaper carrying these types of misinformation can quote me directly to say that, it is not so.”
To the Venezuelan report, Harmon noted that from time to time such things arise, “People try to justify their actions by declaring these things. We don’t have MI5 in Guyana we don’t have MI6…” he insisted.
In the meantime, President David Granger who recently lobbied and got the support of CARICOM against Venezuela in the face of this territorial threat is scheduled to speak on the issue in Parliament on Thursday, July 9, 2015 as Venezuela’s President Nicolás Maduro Moros issued a new decree.
Harmon said that President Granger informed Cabinet of his intention to go to Parliament on Thursday “to address the issue of the decrees made by Venezuela and Guyana’s response to it internationally and within the country.” He said Parliament will be briefed and, “the nation will be advised on the Government of Guyana’s response to these statements made by the Venezuelan President.”
The new decree issued on Tuesday, July 7, 2015 does not have any coordinates, but mandates Venezuela’s military to protect the territorial integrity of that country.
The Venezuela /Guyana border conflict resurfaced weeks ago when American owned oil Exploration Company Exxon Mobil disclosed that it found a significant quantity of oil offshore Guyana. Venezuela itself it’s a major producer of the mineral and supplies the majority of the Caribbean nations under the PetroCaribe oil for rice deal.