martes, 11 de diciembre de 2007

Cuyuni invasion Govt will not wait much longer for Venezuelan response -Insanally

Saturday, December 8th 2007
The Guyana government will not wait much longer for a response from Venezuela in relation to the invasion of this country's Cuyuni waters on November 15 by the Venezuelan military.

Speaking with the media at the Guyana International Convention Centre, Liliendaal yesterday prior to the start of the Special Heads of Government Conference of Caricom, Minister of Foreign Affairs Rudy Insanally said the Ministry of Foreign Affairs would be in touch with his Venezuelan counterpart as Guyana would not be waiting "much longer" for a response and would soon be reviewing the situation.

The Venezuelan government had promised that a delegation would visit Guyana this week with a report on the blowing up of two Guyanese dredges in the Cuyuni by its army personnel on November 15, and the subsequent violation of this country's airspace by two of its helicopters, after Guyana had expressed serious concerns in a diplomatic note. The Venezuelan delegation never arrived.

Asked whether the lack of response was evidence of contempt for Guyana on Venezuela's part Insanally replied, "I wouldn't say so."

There might be circumstances, he said, of which he was not aware and which "might have precluded the fulfilment of the promise," adding that this was a busy period.

Venezuela's Ambassador to Guyana, Dario Morandy, had denied that the destruction of the dredges and the subsequent overflights by Venezuelan aircraft had occurred in Guyana's territory, and had given the assurance that a report from Caracas would be forthcoming. After no report was presented, Venezuelan Minister of Foreign Affairs Nicolás Muduro had telephoned Insanally saying that as soon as he returned to Venezuela following an overseas trip, Guyana would be provided with information on the incident. Subsequent to this Insanally announced that based on information from Venezuela a team was to visit Guyana this week to deal with the issue.

Asked what Guyana's next step would be, Insanally reiterated that there were many options, "many possibilities."

However, he added, "We have an otherwise good relationship with Venezuela. It's a neighbour. We will pursue the dialogue."

Asked whether relations with Venezuela would sour if Guyana went to the Organisation of American States (OAS) or the United Nations (UN), Insanally responded that Guyana had already notified the Commonwealth about the issue: "Our sovereignty comes first. We have no qualms about that." He noted that Caricom and the Commonwealth had traditionally supported Guyana on the border controversy with Venezuela.

As to whether the PetroCaribe credit arrangements which Guyana had with Venezuela for the supply of fuel would be affected by the incursions and the manner in which Guyana dealt with them, Insanally replied, "The two things are not linked and have never been."

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