Venezuela Invades Guyana to Block Exxon Mobil Oil Exploration – Frances Martel | Breitbart

Venezuela Invades Guyana’s Waters… By Frances Martel | Breitbart

The Venezuelan Navy illegally entered the waters of Guyana this weekend and forced a ship contracted by Exxon Mobil to conduct oil research in the area to vacate, claiming that Guyana’s permission to explore its sovereign territory was not enough for the ship to be legally present in the water.

The incident, which Guyanese authorities angrily denounced and vowed to bring to the attention of the United Nations, reignites a feud Venezuelan socialist dictator Nicolás Maduro began with the neighboring country in 2015, claiming as much as two-thirds of Guyana itself belonged to Venezuela.         

Guyana has repeatedly noted that in 1899 Venezuela signed “… a Full, Perfect, and Final Settlement of ALL Questions Referred to the Arbitrators …. “; and no disputes remain as to who owns that land.

Exxon Mobil made its first of ten major oil discoveries in Guyana in 2015, triggering Maduro’s claims to the territory. Despite being an OPEC member nation and home to one of the world’s largest known oil reserves, Venezuela has been forced to import hundreds of thousands of gallons of refined oil because the socialist state nationalized the nation’s major oil corporations and has replaced experts at Petróleos de Venezuela (PDVSA), the state-run oil company, with Maduro cronies of limited experience in the oil industry.

Reuters identified the vessel intercepted as the Ramform Tethys of Petroleum Geo-Services (PGS), a contractor working on behalf of Exxon Mobil researching seismic activity in the region. Only Venezuela identifies the waters where the incident occurred on Saturday as exclusively Venezuelan; they are Guyanese waters by international law.

The Venezuelan Foreign Ministry nonetheless justified its actions in a statement this weekend, explaining that a Venezuelan navy ship “engaging in its customary patrols in the Venezuelan waters of the Atlantic … identified the unauthorized presence in Venezuelan territorial waters of two seismic exploration ships.” The statement described the Guyanese waters as “within the indisputable sovereignty of Venezuela.”

“Before this flagrant violation of sovereignty, [the Navy] applied proper international protocol for these incidents and safeguarded the sovereignty of the nation with strict adherence to international agreements and treaties,” the Venezuelan government statement continued.

According to Reuters, the Navy approached the exploration ships and questioned their presence in the area. The crew onboard explained that they were in sovereign Guyanese waters and had the permission of the government of Guyana to be there, which the Venezuelan soldiers claimed was not enough.

“It is important to note that … those onboard argued that they had a permit from the Republic of Guyana to operate in this maritime space,” the Venezuelan statement read. “They were informed that this country does not have sovereignty in any of the maritime territory of the Orinoco [River] Delta, which led them to navigate away.”

In its own statement released Sunday, the government of Guyana expressed outrage at the Venezuelan government invading its territory and said it would bring a complaint before the United Nations.

The incident “shows the true threat to economic development of the country posed by its western neighbor,” accusing Venezuela of “violating the sovereignty and territorial integrity of our country.”

“Guyana rejects this illegal, aggressive and hostile act,” the statement asserted.

The U.S. State Department weighed in Sunday in defense of Exxon Mobil and of the sovereignty of Guyana:

“We underscore that Guyana has the sovereign right to explore and exploit resources in its Exclusive Economic Zone. We call on Venezuela to respect international law and the rights of its neighbors,” the short statement read in part.

The incident is the first in years to reignite tensions over a territory called the Essequibo, a sparsely populated, resource-rich region that constitutes two-thirds of the entire territory of the state of Guyana. Maduro announced a campaign to claim the Essequibo in 2015, shortly after Exxon Mobil announced its first discovery of vast oil resources in the waters off the coast of the region. Maduro established an exclusive “maritime zone” that year over Guyanese waters, a declaration of no international legal value, and threatened Exxon Mobil and other companies to stay out of the region unless they explicitly received permission from Caracas.

Guyana’s government responded at the time with confusion and outrage, noting that the issue had been resolved via international agreement in 1899 without controversy.

The Guyanese government’s total rejection of Venezuela’s claims did not stop the Navy from attempting to enforce the “maritime zone”, leading to stern calls from Guyana for Venezuela to exit the region.

In July 2015, Venezuela recalled its ambassador to Guyana. Maduro claimed “it takes a lot of patience to process, digest and not vomit when one reads and hears the statements against Venezuela … by the current president (of Guyana)” that his claims to the Essequibo had no international legal basis.

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  • Clyde Duncan  On 12/26/2018 at 12:35 am

    The caption must make every self-respecting Guyana-born person’s blood boil.

    Speaking for myself, I identify as a Canadian citizen for more than 50-years – but me navel string buried back dey!

    Here is the thing: POSSESSION is nine-tenths of the law. Guyana is we own!

    Since 1899, Venezuela has conducted its affairs as though they accepted the Arbitral Agreement.

    n other words, for over 100-years, Venezuela has conducted itself like a good neighbour – as though they accepted the results of the Agreement – respecting the frontier and everything contained in the Agreement ….

    Back in the 1890s, Venezuela asked the USA for assistance to deal with the British regarding the border dispute.

    The USA invoked the Monroe Doctrine to submit they had legal standing as a party to the dispute.

    All parties accepted the conditions leading to the resolution and a Full, Perfect, and Final Settlement in Paris.

    Today, Venezuela is saying, ‘There were NO Venezuelans there to represent us …’

    – Why? Is it because they squandered and mismanaged what they got? Any excuse will do after they screwed up their share.

    Today, Reuters reports that Venezuela calls U.S. comments on Guyana dispute ‘interventionist’

    In 1899, Venezuela asked for assistance and accepted the USA as their representatives and a party to the dispute – perhaps, we misunderstand the caption – perhaps, ‘interventionist’ is a good thing?

    Unless Venezuela changed their mind about that, also? Imagine 100-years after the fact, Venezuela is now saying they did not want the USA speaking for them?

    Since 1899, Venezuela conducted its affairs as if they accepted the Full, Perfect, and Final Settlement of the territorial dispute. Venezuela was a good neighbour, they accepted and respected the existence of Guyana as agreed.

    Today, Venezuela is now converting a legal decision into a political subject.

    In other words, Venezuela is using rhetoric, political sleight-of-hand and contrition to make their case to those who are not paying attention; and to subvert a legal agreement after they squandered and mismanaged what they got.

    To add insult to injury, Venezuela waited until all parties who participated in the arbitral case in 1899 had died, and who could no longer refute the charges that are being made against them, before voicing their objections to the make-up of the “team” – ‘There were NO Venezuelans there to represent us …’, they say.

    Venezuela was a good neighbour – TODAY, not so much….

    Venezuela has invaded Guyana and is still an occupying force in Ankoko Island.

    • Trevor  On 12/30/2018 at 11:10 pm

      It’s difficult for us to get house lot, and even if we do we have stringent terms and deadlines, but Venezuela and foreign countries can take entire islands and nothing happens to them for such acts?!
      There is no justice for the common man as they say at the market these days!

  • guyaneseonline  On 12/26/2018 at 9:59 am

    Britain, Caricom join US in telling Venezuela to back off from Guyana’s territory
    Demerara Waves – Denis Chabrol – December 25, 2018

    Seismic vessel, Ramform Tethys, was intercepted by Venezuela’s Navy in Guyana’ waters offshore Essequibo

    Even as Venezuela scolded the United States (US) not to push its mouth in the Guyana-Venezuela border controversy whose latest spat are over allegations of a maritime incursion by ExxonMobil contracted seismic data collection ships, Britain and the 15-nation Caribbean Community (CARICOM) backed Guyana.

    “The rule of law must be respected and those who have the legitimate permissions to operate and undertake their activities must be allowed the do so,” Britain’s High Commissioner to Guyana, Greg Quinn told Demerara Waves Online News.

    Britain is the second major Western superpower to have in recent days come out strongly in favour of Guyana, after Venezuela’s Navy last Saturday morning attempted to land a helicopter on The Bahamas-flagged Ramform Tethys, a seismic research vessel that ExxonMobil hired from the Norway-based Petro Geological Services to gather data from the western end of the Stabroek Block. Venezuela, on the other hand, said the seismic ship and a Trinidad and Tobago-flagged support vessel had been well within its maritime space in the Orinoco River Delta area over which it has “undisputed sovereignty”.

    High Commissioner Quinn, like the US, stated that “the UK (United Kingdom) is clear that the 1899 Arbitral Award settled the border between Guyana and Venezuela. We support the ongoing work of the UN Secretary General.”

    The Venezuelan military exited the area and the ships have since moved further east.

    CARICOM, for its part, expressed grave concern about Venezuela’s incursion into Guyanese maritime space. “Such acts violate the sovereign rights of Guyana under international law, its entitlement to a territorial sea, Exclusive Economic Zone and continental shelf, and pose a threat to Guyana’s economic development and national security,” Caricom said in a statement Monday evening.

    The Caribbean Community reiterates its full support for the sovereignty and territorial integrity of the Cooperative Republic of Guyana, including its right to peacefully explore and exploit its onshore and offshore resources,” Caricom said.

    In its latest position on this most recent border spat, Venezuela Vice Minister of Foreign Affairs (North America), Carlos Ron “emphatically rejected” the US’ position, suggesting that it was grounded in its support for ExxonMobil. “Instead of trying to ignite conflicts between peaceful neighbours in the name of business interests, the US government should, for the first time, respect international law and Venezuelan sovereignty. Take care of your own problems,” he was quoted by the Foreign Ministry in Caracas as saying.

    US Assistant Secretary of State for Western Hemispheric Affairs, Kimberly Breier has said, “Venezuela’s navy aggressively stopped @exxonmobil vessels Dec 22 that #Guyana authorized to explore & exploit resources in its Exclusive Economic Zone, Guyana’s sovereign right. We call on #Venezuela to respect int’l law and neighbors’ rights”. “We underscore that Guyana has the sovereign right to explore and exploit resources in its Exclusive Economic Zone. We call on Venezuela to respect international law and the rights of its neighbors,” US State Department spokesman, Robert Palladino has also said.

    The incident, according to Guyana, occurred at a position of N 09 deg 17.19 min / W 058 deg 16.20 min at about 140 kilometres from the nearest point to the provisional equidistant line with Venezuela.

    However, Venezuela on Sunday said there were two vessels- the Ramfor Tethys which was located at 09° 17′ 4″ North, 058°15′ 7″ West and the Trinidad and Tobago-flagged Delta Monarch that was located at 058° 17′ 3″ West.

    Venezuela has so far refused to enter a substantial appearance before the International Court of Justice to settle the controversy over the 1899 Arbitral Tribunal Award that Guyana has historically maintained settled the land boundary between the two countries. Instead, Venezuela wants the matter to be dealt with bilaterally through mediation, a 50-year old process that Guyana has said has failed.

  • Clyde Duncan  On 12/26/2018 at 11:06 am

    Guyana Joins Brazil And Colombia In Tightening Venezuelan Border Security

  • Clyde Duncan  On 12/26/2018 at 11:08 am

    From Riches to Rags: Venezuela’s Economic Crisis | The Big Picture

  • walter  On 12/27/2018 at 11:17 am

    When the tables turn and your poor ass cousin comes into big money and your ass now broke, that brings out all the hidden hate and jealously, not only Venezuela, exactly the same with the rest of the Caribbean.This is the turning point in Guyana’s history, the “no more nice guy” period is over. Accept any help but remember you might be standing ALONE!

  • Clyde Duncan  On 12/29/2018 at 6:53 pm

    Venezuelans Stalking Open Seas as Socialist Economy Collapses

    Colin Freeman, Cedros, Trinidad | The Telegraph

    With rich Caribbean fishing grounds on their doorstep, the villagers of Cedros in Trinidad are never short of fishermen’s tales to tell.

    The latest stories to do the rounds though, are not about record-breaking hauls of kingfish. Today the fishermen themselves have become the catch.

    “I was out picking up my nets late one afternoon when a boatload of armed men came at me at full speed,” said Brian Austin, 54. “From about 200 metres away they started firing shots around my boat – it was terrifying. Luckily, I have a high-powered engine, so I managed to speed off, but they took my nets and all the fish in them.”

    On that occasion, Mr Austin was the one that got away. Other local fishermen tell tales of being robbed of their boats, beaten, and even kidnapped – all victims of a new wave of pirates sweeping the Caribbean. Operating with speedboats rather than tall ships, they have made the waters around Trinidad just as perilous as they were in Blackbeard’s day.

    As with Mr Austin’s ordeal, most of the attacks off Trinidad’s coastline take place just before sunset, allowing the culprits to flee under the cover of darkness.

    Nobody, though, has any doubt where they escape to – Venezuela, where years of economic meltdown under socialist President Nicolás Maduro has hundreds of jobless fishermen – and in some cases national coastguard – into buccaneering.

    As the southernmost island in the Caribbean, Trinidad lies just ten miles from the Venezuelan mainland, from where the pirates operate out of impoverished coastal fishing towns like Güiria.

    Once home to a thriving fishing industry, today Güiria has become a modern-day answer to Hispaniola, the Caribbean pirate haven of the 17th century. Many of the pirates are thought to be ex-employees of Venezuela’s tuna fleet, which collapsed after a disastrous nationalisation program imposed by Mr Maduro’s predecessor, Hugo Chavez.

    “Güiria is now a very bad place,” said Jose Gonzalez, a computer technician who left the town to seek work in Trinidad two years ago. He spoke under a pseudonym, fearing reprisals for criticising Mr Maduro’s government. “It is a real shame – the hardship there has changed the people’s mentality.”

    Güiria’s lurch into sea banditry has echoes of the Somali piracy crisis, where impoverished fishermen likewise turned to hijacking passing vessels after the country’s collapse in the 1990s. But while the Somali pirates ranged far out to sea to hijack huge cargo ships, the Venezuelan pirates have so far stuck closer to shore. That means most of their victims are fellow fishermen from Trinidad, who are not much wealthier than they are.

    “I’ve had my nets stolen three times now, which has cost me about $120,000TT (£14,000),” said Mr Austin, who has now given up fishing as a result. “These waters are becoming very dangerous, and it’s us hardworking fishermen who are paying the price.”

    In the nearby Trinidadian village of Icacos, a short drive from Cedros through groves of coconut trees, Esook Ali, a local fishing association leader, said hijackings now take place nearly every week.

    “Sometimes they just get robbed, other times they are taken to the Venezuelan mainland and held prisoner until a ransom is paid,” he said. “The ransom demands started off at just $5,000 or $10,000, but last week we had one for $33,000. People round here struggle to afford that. We’ve asked the coast guard for escorts but they’ve given us nothing.”

    The pirates are also prolific smugglers, running boatloads of cocaine and guns from Venezuela into Trinidad. Many of the firearms are thought to have come from members of Venezuela’s underpaid security forces, who sell them to make ends meet.

    The same smugglers then return to Venezuela loaded up with stockpiles of nappies, cooking oil, and rice – all of which are now in desperately short supply back home. Since hyperinflation hit more than 1,000,000 per cent, such basic commodities can fetch up to four times their value on Venezuela’s black market.

    In a sign of how frayed Venezuela’s institutions have become, hijackings are also being carried out by Venezuelan coast guard patrols, who arrest Trinidadian fishermen on trumped-up charges of illegal fishing.

    “We were fishing in Trinidadian waters one day when the Venezuelan coastguard came and told us we’d strayed into their waters, even though we were nowhere near,” said Vijay Hajarie, 53, from the Trinidad village of Fullerton, where long fishing pirogues line the beach. “They said we could either pay $3,000 there and then or we’d be taken to jail.”

    Unable to pay on the spot, Mr Hajarie and his crewmates ended up spending seven weeks in a squalid Venezuelan prison. “It was terrifying – we were ordinary fishermen in with hardened criminals,” he said. “Our families eventually paid a fine of $500 to get us released, but our boat was confiscated.”

    To counter the threats, many Trinidadian fishermen have taken to fishing only at night with their lights out. Others have upgraded their boat engines from 75hp to 200hp, to improve their chances of a swift getaway.

    But it is not just Trinidad’s fishing communities who are worried. The island’s police fear that the influx of drugs and guns is fuelling violent crime, already near an all-time high.

    Despite its tourist-friendly image, Trinidad’s capital, Port of Spain, is home to numerous tough ghettoes. In slums like Laventille, where Trinidad’s steel pan music was born, army and police patrols were increased back in the summer to quell a long-running gang war, which pushed this year’s annual murder tally to more than 500. Given that Trinidad has just 1.3m people, it makes the murder rate roughly 20 times that of London.

    Thanks to the island’s proximity to Venezuela, it is already a staging post for Latin American cocaine cartels supplying Europe and America. In 2014, US officials blamed the assassination of a Trinidadian state prosecutor on “transnational” drug cartels, some of whom are believed to have local police and coast guard officials on their payrolls.

    In August, amid rising public concern about the crime rate, the government appointed a former soldier, Gary Griffith, as a new-broom police commissioner.

    He has already won acclaim by vowing to wage war on the gangs, declaring: “If they have no fear of God, I will make sure they have a fear of Gary.”

    Even his supporters, though, concede he has an uphill task. While local police now make regular seizures of Venezuelan drugs and weapons stashes, they are believed to be only a fraction of the total. According to a former British police advisor to the Trinidadian government, corruption is a serious problem.

    “When I was there, the police said that some of their own officers were bringing drugs in,” the advisor told The Telegraph. “The average policeman’s pay is a pittance compared to what the cartels will offer.”

    Meanwhile, there seems little prospect of an end to the crisis in Venezuela, where the US placed fresh sanctions on the government earlier this year after accusing Mr Maduro of winning a second term by vote rigging. With the currency now worthless, shops and hospitals are empty of food and medicines, and with opposition parties banned, many now fear a civil war.

    Already, more than 3 million Venezuelans have fled abroad as refugees, an estimated 40,000 of them to Trinidad. “The only way Maduro will go now is by blood,” added Mr Gonzalez, who is now scratching a living as a watchman in a Trinidad marina. “Life is hard here, but it’s better than Venezuela – there every day is hell.”

  • guyaneseonline  On 12/30/2018 at 1:31 am

    Presidential Decree: Venezuela orders naval force to protect ‘its waters’
    Dec 30, 2018 – Kaieteur News

    Photo: President Nicolas Maduro (L) speaks with Oil Minister Manuel Quevedo during a ceremony in Caracas, Venezuela, Aug. 28, 2018. | Photo: Reuters

    Venezuela on Friday authorised its naval force to protect its waters with the presidential decree expected to impact oil activities in Guyana.

    The decree, signed by President Nicolas Maduro, would be more evidence of a growing aggression by that neighbouring, Spanish-speaking country, and comes days after two exploration ships working for ExxonMobil were stopped from carrying out its work in Guyana waters.

    Venezuela claimed that the area is theirs.
    The Government of Guyana, ExxonMobil and the US government have all denied that the two exploration vessels were in Venezuela waters.

  • Trevor  On 12/30/2018 at 11:08 pm

    Brietbart is a mouthpiece for Trump and Israel:

  • Clyde Duncan  On 12/31/2018 at 10:55 am

    The Editing Process of ‘The Apprentice’ is for Every Hour of Footage You Saw there are 300-hours of Footage ….

    Donald Trump is a poor person’s view of a Rich Person – It is like making the Court Jester the King …..

  • Clyde Duncan  On 12/31/2018 at 5:31 pm

    Michael Moore said he predicted Donald Trump would win the Presidency because he watched ‘The Apprentice’ ….

  • Clyde Duncan  On 01/02/2019 at 12:00 am

  • Clyde Duncan  On 01/02/2019 at 12:11 am

  • Clyde Duncan  On 01/08/2019 at 2:50 pm

    British Military Seeking to Build New Bases Around the World

    AMN Al Masdar News المصدر نيوز

    London is planning to set up new military bases in Southeast Asia and Caribbean after it completes the Brexit process, The Sunday Telegraph reported, citing British Secretary of State of Defence Gavin Williamson.

    He reportedly called Brexit “the biggest moment” for the UK since the end of the Second World War and said that it would allow London to “recast ourselves in a different way” and “play the role on the world stage that the world expects the UK to play”.

    “For so long — literally for decades — so much of our national view point has actually been coloured by a discussion about the European Union. This is our moment to be that true global player once more”, he said.

    The secretary of defence further stated that leaving the EU would allow the UK to forge deeper ties with Australia, Canada, New Zealand, as well as with African and Caribbean states.

    An anonymous source close to Williamson earlier told the newspaper that new bases could be stationed in Singapore or Brunei, and on Montserrat Island or in Guyana within the next few years.

    The UK currently has 15 overseas military bases, including the Falkland Islands, Cyprus, Canada, Gibraltar and British Indian Ocean Territory, but British forces are due to leave their German base in 2019.

    Al-Masdar Al-‘Arabi (The Arab Source / المصدر نيوز) is dedicated to providing the latest news and analysis from the Arab world.

    Contact us:

    One Comment:
    Pay no attention to this overgrown schoolboy.
    No-one in the UK wants foreign bases.
    We’re an ordinary, medium-sized European country and our days of empire are long gone. It’s just that some idiots in the UK ‘Deep State’, the “Integrity Initiative” want to ride along on American coat-tails, still pretending to be a ‘great power’.

  • Clyde Duncan  On 01/08/2019 at 3:11 pm

    ‘They Made a Mess and are Fighting Fires’:

    UK Academic says Integrity Initiative Fatally Hurt by Leaks | RT

    Despite being ignored by Western media, leaks from Integrity Initiative have paralyzed the operations of this UK-funded covert influence network, and could lead to its dismantling, says a leading British academic.

    “This has made a mess of [Integrity Initiative’s] operations, they are spending most of their time now trying to fire-fight on the coverage this is getting. And they are not doing essentially what they are being paid to do, which is to counter the Russians,” David Miller, Professor of Political Sociology at the University of Bristol School for Policy Studies, told RT.

    “The British government is getting bad value for money, if it was ever getting better value.”

    As part of the Working Group on Syria, Propaganda and Media, which studies Western attempts to control media coverage of key international events, Miller has played a crucial role in studying the four tranches of data anonymously uploaded and sourced from the previously little-known group, which has been backed by the UK Foreign Office, NATO and Facebook, to the tune of over £1 million per year.

    The documents, whose authenticity has not been denied, contain details of psyops operations against public figures, of the manipulation of media coverage in leading Western outlets, and have also revealed worldwide networks of prominent journalists and academics, secretly engaged to discredit, at every turn, pro-Moscow points of view and political developments.

    Despite the refusal by all of those named either to admit their connection or to say that there was nothing untoward in their activities, Miller believes that getting rumbled has made it more difficult for them to push and publish anti-Russian content.

    “Most of the people named are trying to pretend that this is not all of great significance, but the revelation of the involvement of the government in manipulating other countries, and the political process in the UK, is extremely damaging for them,” he said, via video link.

    For Miller, the “cardinal sin” from a UK perspective was smearing Labour Party leader Jeremy Corbyn, as a potential Kremlin ally in Whitehall, which would mean that a state-paid intelligence operation was meddling in domestic politics.

    Miller bemoans the absence of coverage of what he calls a “real, genuine scandal” in top English-language news sources, which, he says, are themselves implicated in the fallout.

    But regardless, such is the scope of Integrity Initiative’s ambition – from indoctrinating schoolchildren to infiltrating Hollywood – that it should lead to a national dialogue about the role intelligence agencies should play in public life.

    “Integrity Initiative are beyond the realms of sense. The activities they are engaged in are morally and ethically dubious, and will certainly – as we can see already – backfire on them,” he said.

    “This will result hopefully in the ending of this operation, and if we are lucky, a sensible discussion in parliament about controlling the future British covert operations.”

  • Clyde Duncan  On 01/08/2019 at 3:21 pm

    Augustus Caesar Leader:
    The British population are being treated like mushrooms, kept in the dark and fed on shit.

    truthbe4peace Leader:
    Sounds like America, like mother, like child.

    Tony M Leader:
    Maybe because THEY ARE mushrooms. 90% of world populations are mushrooms, or sheep, or “do not force me to think”.

    Cadawa Waller Leader:
    I hope the exposure to daylight was fatal to this anti-Democratic infection. Who do these people think they are, robbing us of our ability to make informed decisions and our history? Dollar store Darth Vaders.

    Oh well, Integrity Initiative coming to a former colony near you …Hold Strain!

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