VENEZUELA’S BREATHTAKING AUDACITY – by Ralph Ramkarran – (maps added)


Venezuelan claims

Venezuelan claims – click to enlarge

Posted on June 13, 2015  – by  – Conversationtree blog

Venezuela’s proclamation of its “Atlantic Coast” on May 27, which includes all of Guyana’s maritime space, having already maintained since 1962 its fictional claim to two-thirds of Guyana’s land territory, is breathtaking in its audacity. Venezuela’s claim violates the Geneva Agreement and international law and threatens the peace, security and stability of the Region.

Oblivious to this fact, the heirs to Hugo Chavez, Venezuela’s late, transformative leader, have damaged the credibility of his legacy. They are attempting to take by force, and at Guyana’s expense, the Atlantic outlet they have always craved and with it Guyana’s newly discovered petroleum resources.  

It was Chavez who in 2004 in Guyana declared that the border controversy was a legacy of colonialism and was the subject of imperialist intrigue to create enmity between Guyana and Venezuela.  In a resoundingly successful and popular visit, he announced to the Guyanese people that Venezuela would no longer object to the economic development of the Essequibo. This policy towards Guyana and the border controversy, based on a wider perspective promoted by Chavez of solidarity among countries of this region, resulted in mutually beneficial economic relations which continue. Chavez’s policy has now been abandoned by the Venezuelan Government and military.

Beset by economic problems and pressured by its military, Venezuela has chosen to victimize Guyana to detract from rising internal dissent. It does this by jingoistically seeking to perpetuate the same legacy of colonialism and imperialism, and big power tactics against the weak, that Chavez denounced. Venezuela’s decree by a supposedly progressive government against a small, peaceful and friendly neighbor is reminiscent of the worst acts of hostility and aggression against Guyana committed by earlier governments, whose rule Chavez had condemned.

Article V (2) of the Geneva Agreement states that “no new claim, or enlargement of an existing claim to territorial sovereignty in those territories shall be asserted while this Agreement is in force, nor shall any claim whatsoever be asserted otherwise than in the Mixed Commission while that Commission is in being.” Venezuela’s claim to Guyana’s Atlantic front is a ‘new claim or enlargement of an existing claim’ which is being ‘asserted’ and therefore violates the Geneva Agreement.

Venezuela’s decree means that Guyana could potentially have no access to ship its exports or receive its imports without Venezuela’s permission, which it can refuse. The Government has given its warships power to stop and search vessels within Guyana’s maritime area. Having already seized the Teknik Perdana in 2013, further aggression against Guyana is to be expected. Venezuela has acquired the power to starve Guyana into submission, if not to retard its development. Its talk about ‘imperial’ exploration is a disingenuous smokescreen to disguise and justify its provocative, belligerent and unlawful act.

Venezuela has never cited any provision in the Geneva Agreement that prohibits, or gives it power to object to, foreign investment in territory which is the subject of the Agreement or in Guyana’s maritime space. Venezuela’s claim that the Geneva Agreement gives it such power is based on hubris and is a complete fabrication.

Venezuela is now inviting Guyana to talk, to go cap in hand, on bended knee. No self-respecting nation will indulge. Former Foreign Minister Carolyn Rodrigues-Birkett has already invited Venezuelan for talks on the issue since 2011 without any success. The only subject, if discourse is to take place, should be the withdrawal of its unlawful decree and settlement by judicial means of Venezuela’s contention that the Arbitral Award of 1899 is null and void, as provided for in the Geneva Agreement. The time for good offices, negotiation or mediation has been brought to an end by Venezuela’s hostile act.

It takes no great perspicacity to understand the reason behind Venezuela’s decree and the dismantling and abandoning of Chavez’s policy of friendship towards Guyana. It is not merely greed for our resources, even though Venezuela already has the largest oil deposits in the world, which it cannot fully exploit. It is more sinister. It needs a diversion from its desperate economic and political crises that a claim of this magnitude against Guyana can provide. It needs to satisfy or appease its military’s militancy over and appetite for Guyana’s territory. It is a cynical ploy, unknown in relations between countries in this modern era.

The objective of intimidating potential investors in the forestry, mining and infrastructural areas east of the Essequibo River was and is also to pressure Guyana to surrender its territory. That having failed, it now brings additional pressure by claiming Guyana’s maritime space. Venezuela seeks to dissuade investors so as to ensure that Guyana remains poor and undeveloped. In this way it hopes that Guyana will eventually succumb to its threats.

Guyana must no longer accept that Venezuela has, or can ever have, while the controversy is maintained by Venezuela, good or honourable intentions, whatever the nature of its government or its platitudes about peace and friendship. Old hands in foreign affairs had been cautious all along about Chavez’s overtures. They believed him but figured that he would not have been president forever. What would happen thereafter, they asked? That question has now been answered.

(My appointment as Guyana Facilitator to the Good Officer Process expired with the change of Government. I do not speak for the Government of Guyana. The views herein are my own).


Venezuela-Map -27 May 2015

Click to Enlarge

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  • De Castro  On 06/16/2015 at 5:40 am

    MADuro saber rattling…arrogance of power that is in decline.
    Maybe comrade Jagdeo should join him.

    Glad to read your comments are not that of new kids on block.

    Nice article. Write on my friend….note PPPc about to fall on their sword.


  • Winston Yaw  On 06/16/2015 at 11:38 am

    Ralph Ramkarran has described the situation very succinctly.

  • sirenagx  On 06/16/2015 at 4:50 pm

    Guyana must look elsewhere for an international binding decision on the established Tribunal decision. There is no reason to discuss anything else. Any talks with Venuzuela must be along this lines, not about whether the decision isjbinding or not. Guyana should consider a counter claim for the land lawarded to Venezuela that was prevciously part of British Guyana. Why not ask them if this area will be part of any review that they want. Their reaction should be interesting. That area may have heavy oil reserves. If Iit was why decision I would counter claim for this area and see how they would react .

  • Gigi  On 06/16/2015 at 9:16 pm

    If Chavez was still alive he would have made the exact same move to prevent the US from infringing on sovereign territory. The US has no bloody business sticking its cancerous nose in South America and Guyana’s business. The fraudulent election it concocted was/is aimed at gaining access to Guyana’s resources. The US has long been instigating destabilization in Venezuela since Chavez took power. There has been multiple US led coup attempts in Venezuela to out Maduro – three known ones just in this year.

    Since I was born in Essequibo, does this mean I will legally become a Venezuelan when this part of Guyana is rightfully reverted back to Venezuela? Nice…

    Question for Venezuela. Can I technically identify myself as Venezuelan born instead of Guyanese born? I don’t want to do a Rachel Dolezal and identify as trans-Guyuelan? Too phony and ugly sounding.

    • Joanne  On 06/17/2015 at 12:14 am

      So you were born in Essequibo, Guyana but would prefer if Venezuela took over it so you could become a citizen of Venezuela; and you currently live in the U.S., a country you apparently hate with a passion. Normally, I would feel sorry for someone like you but all I see in you is a racist, selfish and ungrateful human being who has no allegiance to anyone or anything. Guyana should be grateful to have lost you as a citizen and if you’re not careful of your bad mouthing of the U.S., you might find yourself looking for a new place to call home….I doubt it will be Venezuela because they will not want you either.

      • Thinker  On 06/17/2015 at 6:38 am

        Gigi will very quickly lose her Indian identity in Venezuela. If you want to see the death of cricket, go Venezuelean. Will Baigan Choka, Dalpouri roti and channa spread in Caracas? And Bollywood movies? The Joropo will eat up Classical Indian dance. And she should try telling the Venezuelans to change their flage because of the “African” colours similar to Guyana’s.

  • de castro  On 06/16/2015 at 10:41 pm

    There you go again….mixing things up.
    MADuro is not Hugo Chavez.
    US have every right to “comment” about their neighbour s behaviour.
    Putting politics aside.
    If you feel that strongly about ven suggest you move to Caracas.

    The Venezuelan embassy in London has “cultural” events which I attend
    and speak to many Ven and Latinos. Most are not happy with maduro
    but as he was endorsed by Chavez “tolerate” him.
    Chavez was a “peoples person” MADuro is not.
    Chavez heart was with the “poorer” class in the barrios etc which he
    visited regularly to chat with people on how to improve their lives.
    Chavez ruled from below up that’s why he was so revered/idolised by his people.
    They loved/worshiped him…..
    Latinos are not only passionate about their football they are also passionate about their politics.
    Not wishing to “preach” would suggest you refrain from making derogatory remarks without visiting Venezuela.
    However I do like the “fighting” spirit you express in your writings.
    Our struggle for freedom from mental slavery seems everlasting our legacy
    our DNA.😇


  • Deen  On 06/16/2015 at 11:00 pm

    Venezuela has been known for its aggressiveness. In 1966 it occupied and annexed Ankoko Island in a David and Goliath showdown with Guyana. However, although Venezuela has been claiming all of Essequibo as its territory, it has never had any history of control or administration of the land or its people.
    The people of Essequibo were always Guyanese citizens, they voted in Guyana elections, they paid Guyana taxes, they use Guyanese currency, they don’t speak Spanish, Venezuela has never treated them as its citizens. Venezuelans have to go through immigration to go over to Essequibo, illegal Venezuelans in Essequibo can be deported, etc
    Venezuela has no strong claim or Guyana’s territory or else they would have been more vociferous and aggressive over the course of the past one hundred years. Obviously, the recent discovery of oil offshore of Guyana has aroused Venezuela’s territorial greed.

  • de castro  On 06/16/2015 at 11:12 pm

    As stated above
    MADuro is so unpopular at home that he is looking for an “outside” distraction.
    Whoever succeeded Hugo Chavez was doomed to fail….maduro was endorsed by chavez …..the chosen “successor” ….chavez will be not only turning in his grave his jumbee will be laughing out loud😀😀😀😀

    Venezuela needs new leadership/change …sooner the better.😇

  • kiskadee70  On 06/17/2015 at 12:14 am

    Deen, I was born in Essequibo 70 years ago. I am aware of all you mentioned and much more. They know that they do not have any legitimate claim over any part of our country. Their aggressiveness towards Guyana is a reflection of their bullish characteristics and exposes their fear and weaknesses. It is a tactic used to destabilize our development plans with the main objective of keeping us down. They see Guyana becoming self-sufficient in energy whether it be from Hydro Power or fossil fuel, in food and shelter, growing out of poverty and truly becoming independent as something of an embarrassment to them. They would begrudge our prosperity while their people live in poverty and squalor despite all their riches and natural resources in the hands of a a handful of greedy bastards.

    At this point I wish to point out that when Nicholas Maduro Moros, the Venezuelan puppet of the bullies of the oil industry there visited Guyana in August 31, 2013 he made a reference about the US saying that “Nothing gives the US the right to be judge and decide the future of another country” Yet this same scumbag has the temerity to dictate to Guyana how we should run our affairs. What a hypocrite!

    Now that our Government has changed, he probably feels threatened that he may not not be able to go to bed with the new Guyana administration as he was with the previous administration. So he is trying hard to take his country’s focus away from his incompetence by picking a fight with poor little Guyana. Does he not know that small axes can cut down big trees? A tsunami will soon settle all disputes, yes when they least expect it.

    I say down with this incompetent bilge rat, hypocrite.

    I trust that President Granger and “Apostles” will not allow this bully to get the better of us. No compromise, please. Our borders were settled over a century ago, end of discussion.

  • de castro  On 06/17/2015 at 3:33 am

    May add….jealousy is a human “curse” mixed with the “arrogance” of power
    is an evil our world can do without. Mussolini or MADouro….when his people
    revolt against his “lunacy”. Que Sera sera

  • de castro  On 06/17/2015 at 9:52 am

    Ha ha 😀😀 in hilarious laughter….think will propose to Gigi as my love for Indian food is “insatiable” …..did not Shakira (miss Guyana/world) marry Michael Kane
    and lived happily ever after.

    Gigi will you ?😄

    Yes or no please no “maybe” s

    Sir kamtan ukplc

  • detow  On 06/17/2015 at 6:17 pm

    Gigi here is your chance to remove the cobweb from your brain. Kamptan is an honorable, intelligent man and can help you lose your hate for humanity. Your opportunity to leave the country that you obviously have a passionate hatred for (USA) and where you obviously live in some state of poverty, both mental and actual. Say yes stupid.

  • de castro  On 06/22/2015 at 9:32 am

    Sorry Gigi too late am now being propositioned by another.
    You are now “second” choice. Opportunity lost.
    But don’t give up just yet many more opportunities
    are out there.
    Que sera

  • VENEZOLANOANGRY  On 06/24/2015 at 1:25 am

    Gigi If you want to be venezolan you can be , all people to born in esequibo is venezolan !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! MMMMMMMMMMM IM VENEZOLAN ! IM NOT MADURISTA !!!!! AND ESEQUIBO IS VENEZOLAN !!!!! IF Want WAR u will get it invasors!!!

    • de castro  On 06/24/2015 at 10:39 am

      Hands off Gigi
      I have first refusal on our wedlock……although my second choice.
      If she says “yes” I can change my mind and make her my first choice.
      What says you “babes”… about it !😇

      Dont upset her ….. Hands off ! 😬
      OK understood.

  • Clyde Duncan  On 06/24/2015 at 12:41 pm

    Comedy Break – I like You Angry Venezuelan!!

  • de castro  On 06/24/2015 at 1:05 pm

    Too much e

  • de castro  On 06/24/2015 at 1:06 pm

    Too much el dorado

  • detow  On 06/24/2015 at 2:44 pm

    Gigi I tried but it looks that de Castro has made alternative arrangements. So now you had better make your immediate move to go to Venezuela before they change their minds also. Not nice to be jilted twice. Run gal, run. 🗿😲

  • de castro  On 06/24/2015 at 4:15 pm

    More charcoal on the BBQ….now have to follow Gigi to Venezuela.

    Song comes to mind…..she ten me money and run Venezuela.😈not my Gigi.

    Now wee chase she away…..
    Que Sera

  • Eko  On 07/28/2015 at 4:11 pm

    Chavez’ legacy had no credibility to lose.

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