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Guyana issues stinging rebuke to Venezuela’s govt, opposition on agreement about Essequibo

Last Updated on Wednesday, 8 September 2021, 9:09 by Denis Chabrol

The Guyana government on Wednesday rebuked Venezuela’s government and an opposition coalition for formally agreeing to unite around their country’s longstanding claim to the Essequibo Region an oil-rich swath of neighboring Guyana.

“That agreement is an overt threat to the sovereignty and territorial integrity of Guyana,” government said in response to the accord signed by the administration of President Nicolas Maduro and the Unity Platform of Venezuela in Mexico City on September 6, 2021

Guyana cautioned Venezuela’s political leaders against using the border claim to the mineral, forest and oil-rich Essequibo Region as a negotiating centre-piece while violating International Law.

“Guyana cannot be used as an altar of sacrifice for settlement of Venezuela’s internal political differences. While the Government of Guyana welcomes domestic accord within Venezuela, an agreement defying international law and process is not a basis for mediating harmony,” the Foreign Affairs Ministry said.

The accord reiterates Venezuela’s rejection of the International Court of Justice’s declaration of jurisdiction over the issue, and its urging of Guyana to engage in direct negotiations

But, the Foreign Ministry in Georgetown reiterated that the controversy between Guyana and Venezuela is properly before the International Court of Justice and will remain there for peaceful resolution.

Under the first partial accord, the parties came together around Venezuela’s historical claim to what it calls the Guayana Esequiba, territory which includes offshore oil acreage controlled by Guyana. 

The United States (US) has openly recognised Guyana’s existing borders.

An ExxonMobil-led consortium is currently producing some 120,000 barrels per day of crude from the Stabroek block in the disputed region, and forecasts reaching 800,000 barrels per day in 2025, surpassing 

Venezuela that once produced 3 million barrels per day and is now only pumping around 500,000 per day.