Venezuela and Guyana Stand United Against External Interference in Essequibo Dispute

Foreign Ministers of Venezuela and Guyana Meet in Brasilia

In a meeting on Thursday, January 25th, the Venezuelan and Guyanese foreign ministers convened in Brasilia to discuss their longstanding dispute over the territory of Essequibo. Venezuelan Foreign Minister Yvan Gil met with his Guyanese counterpart, Hugh Hilton Todd, in Brazil’s capital to address this issue diplomatically.

This meeting served as an opportunity for both sides to clarify their positions and reiterate their opposition to any external interference. Previously, a meeting between Venezuelan President Irfaan Ali and his Guyanese counterpart had eased tensions between the two nations, with both parties agreeing not to use force.

Venezuela Calls for Rejecting Third-Party Involvement

At the conclusion of Thursday’s meeting, the Venezuelan minister urged Guyana to reject any possibility of third-party interference or exploitation of the conflict. He also stressed the importance of establishing a roadmap for resolving the territorial dispute through diplomatic channels, calling on his neighbor to reaffirm that neither party will resort to threats or invoke the use of force.

Brazilian Foreign Minister Mauro Vieira was present at the meeting, which enabled both parties to express their differences and respective stances on the issue.

Guyana Prefers International Court of Justice Resolution

  • One key difference between the two countries is that Guyana seeks a solution through the International Court of Justice (ICJ).
  • However, Venezuela does not recognize the ICJ’s jurisdiction and prefers alternative methods of negotiation outside the court.

Venezuela’s Stance on the Geneva Agreement

Caracas, Venezuela’s capital, maintains that the Geneva Agreement of 1966 established the basis for a negotiated settlement that should remain in place. They argue that the Essequibo River was their natural border during the Spanish empire in 1777 and thus should be respected as such.

Significance of the Essequibo Region

The disputed region of Essequibo encompasses an area of 160,000 km2, making it two-thirds of Guyana’s territory and home to around 125,000 people- one-fifth of the country’s population. The area is rich in oil and natural resources, which contributes to its strategic importance for both countries involved in the dispute.

Venezuelan Slogans Reflecting National Sentiment

Supporters of Venezuela’s claim to the contested territory have been known to chant slogans such as “The sun rises over Essequibo,” demonstrating the nation’s continued dedication to regaining control of the area.

Moving Forward with Diplomatic Efforts

Thursday’s meeting between the Venezuelan and Guyanese foreign ministers signifies a continuation of diplomatic efforts to resolve the Essequibo dispute. Both nations have reaffirmed their commitment to peaceful negotiations, rejecting the use of force or external interference.

In the coming days and weeks, further discussions are expected to take place in order to establish a more definitive roadmap for settling the territorial dispute. With both sides standing firm on their respective positions, the challenge lies in finding common ground and mutually acceptable terms that will ensure lasting peace and stability within the region.