Tag Archives: Orinoco Basin

The Venezuela/Guyana Boundary Question – Analysis By Professor Clifton Child

The Venezuela/Guyana Boundary Question – Analysis By Professor Clifton Child

A dispute between Venezuela and British Guiana ( Great Britain) in the 1800s over the boundary between the two countries led to the Treaty of Washington which created an Arbitration Tribunal to settle the dispute. Both Venezuela and Britain agreed in the Treaty (signed) that the Award will be “full, perfect and final.”

The 5-member Tribunal consisted of 2 American Judges on behalf of Venezuela, 2 British Judges on behalf of British Guiana and a Russian Judge as the President. The Tribunal began hearings in Paris, France, in June 1899 and rendered its Award in October, 1899.

Under the Award, Venezuela received 5,000 square miles of British Guiana’s territory which included the oil-rich Orinoco Basin. The Award was accepted by the Governments of Venezuela and Britain.  Continue reading

The Guyana/Venezuela Boundary – by Peter Halder

The Guyana/Venezuela Boundary

by Peter Halder

      In 1830 Venezuela became independent from Spain. A year later, in 1831, Great Britain united the three colonies of Essequibo, Berbice and Demerara into a single colony – British Guiana. The Dutch founded the colonies of Essequibo and Berbice in the early 17th century and added Demerara later. The colonies changed hands among the Dutch, French and English during European wars. In 1814 they were ceded to Britain.

The independence of Venezuela and the creation of British Guiana led to the need for both countries to define the border between them.

Britain took the initiative to determine and define its western boundary with Venezuela. In 1840, Britain engaged the services of the famous international explorer Robert Schomburgk to traverse the entire county of Essequibo, beginning from the left bank of the Essequibo River, to determine where the boundary should be drawn.       [Read more]