Guyana asks Inter-Parliamentary Union to condemn Venezuela’s planned seizure of Essequibo

Last Updated on Friday, 27 October 2023, 5:42 by Denis Chabrol

Attorney General Anil Nandlall addressing the 147th meeting of the Inter-Parliamentary Union’s General Assembly in Luanda, Angola

Attorney General Anil Nandlall on Thursday called on the Inter-Parliamentary Union (IPU) to condemn Venezuela’s moves to annex Essequibo through a referendum on December 3

Addressing the 147th meeting of the IPU General Assembly in Luanda, Angola under the theme “Parliamentary Action for Peace, Justice and Strongs Institutions” pursuant to Sustainable Development Goal 16 of the United Nations., he demanded that Venezuela respects the legal process of the International Court of Justice (ICJ).

“I wish to place on the record, a situation which is evolving in my country, Guyana, where the Republic of Venezuela proposes to pass a referendum in that country on the 3rd of December 2023, seeking to annex to Venezuela, more than two thirds of Guyana’s sovereign territory. This reckless and unlawful move is intended to further Venezuela’s baseless claim to Guyana’s territory – a dispute long settled by Arbitration in 1899,” he said.

The Attorney General’s Chambers said the delegates from many countries have expressed their support for and solidarity with Guyana in respect of its border controversy with Venezuela. He said efforts would be made to have these expressions of support formalised.

Referring to the December 3 referendum that calls on Venezuela to support the position that bilateral negotiations rather than the International Court of Justice (ICJ) is the only method of resolving the controversy peacefully, Mr Nandlall noted that Venezuela perseveres with  this illegal conduct despite that this issue is pending between the two States at the ICJ upon the direction of the UN Secretary General.

The Attorney General warned against Venezuela pushing ahead with the referendum that also asks Venezuelans to vote to make Guyana’s county, Essequibo, a State of Venezuela and to take care of all current and future residents as well as grant them citizenship and identification cards.   “Actions like these not only undermine public institutions but engender conflicts and violate the very thematic fundamentals of this conference. In the circumstances I call upon the IPU to condemn the actions of the Republic of Venezuela and demand that Venezuela respect the legal process of the International Court of Justice. Time is of the essence!,” he said.

The 15-nation Caribbean Community and the Organisation of American States are among several international organisations that have joined individual countries in condemning Venezuela’s heightened aggression.