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Maduro asks UN Chief to appoint new Good Officer

The shade area of Guyana’s map represents the area that Venezuela claims as hers.

Venezuela’s President Nicolas Maduro sent a letter Friday to U.N. Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon asking the U.N. chief to appoint a new Good Officer to diplomatically address the Venezuela-Guyana territorial dispute, according to TelesurTV.

“As it is public knowledge, the new Government of Guyana has ignored, the entry into force of the 1966 Geneva agreement, showing a stubborn and ambivalent attitude and has inflicted serious and grave offenses to my country and my people. That’s why I asked you to begin a process to appoint a new Good Officer,” the document delivered by Foreign Minister Delcy Rodriguez, reads.

Since the death of Professor Norman Girvan in April 2014, no one has been appointed to succeed him.

Guyanese sources have said that Venezuela has been using the Good Officer Process to its advantage to stall efforts to resolve the border controversy over the Essequibo Region. For Guyana’s part, she maintains that the 1899 Arbitral Tribunal Award represents the final settlement in the land border with her western neighbour.

Increasingly, Guyana has been placing greater emphasis  on finding short term diplomatic solutions to Venezuela scrapping its claim to the Atlantic waters off the Essequibo Coast.  Since the eruption of this latest row, Guyana has been advocating a judicial resolution to the border controversy.

Guyana says Decrees 1787 and 1857 are offensive and a threat to peace and security in the Caribbean, although the latter decree has no coordinates.

TelesurTV said the position of Good Officer in the territorial controversy between Venezuela and Guyana was born out of the 1966 Geneva agreement. Two others have served as Good Officers but the post has been vacant since April, 2014. In his letter, the South American leader added that he expects the person selected for the post to hold the same attributes as the the previous ones, including: great ethical attributes, deep academic specialization, and the ability to understand both the culture and the historical moment in the region is undergoing in order to positively contribute to the negotiation process between the two countries.  In an interview with teleSUR, President Maduro called on Guyana’s president to resume talks over a piece of land west of the Essequibo river, which was looted from Venezuela by the British empire for its rich natural resources.

Earlier this week, Maduro announced he was calling back his country’s ambassador in neighboring Guyana for consultations amid the escalating row between both countries.  He ended his letter saying that the building a world of peace and justice is based on the consolidation of the global system of respect for sovereignty and equality between states.