viernes, 28 de agosto de 2015

Govt pushes for judicial settlement – Granger

July 1, 2015 By GuyanaTimes

President David Granger
Guyana/Venezuela border controversy
President David Granger has once again committed to bringing an end to the decades-old border controversy between Guyana and neighbouring Venezuela, telling a group of diplomats and business executives that he would be going the route of judicial intervention no matter the cost.

The Head of State made the pronouncement when he addressed members of the Private Sector Commission (PSC), at its Annual General Meeting (AGM) on Monday. Venezuela has been bent on seeking to prove that it owns part of Guyana, despite a decision handed down by the Arbitral Tribunal agreed to by both Venezuela and Great Britain, the colonial masters of British Guyana,   in the 1899 Arbitral Award that determined the border.

“We have to deal with this. One hundred and fifty years ago, this matter was settled …,” the Head of State said, noting that the part of Guyana’s territory being claimed by Venezuela has an abundance of resources.

Guyana had committed to taking the judicial route of action earlier this year, after years of committing to the Good Offices Process. Government had declared that the process was yielding little or no results. In a statement at the opening of Guyana’s 11th Parliament on June 10, Foreign Affairs Minister Carl Greenidge called on Venezuela in joining this nation in moving to the courts to pursue a judicial settlement of the controversy.

“We, therefore, expect them now to join in our approach to the UN Secretary General under the Geneva Agreement for a judicial settlement of their questioning of the validity of the 1899 Award…” Greenidge had said in a subsequent statement. He said Guyana has never strayed from the path of friendship with Venezuela, adding that bringing the matter to an end by due process of international law, as was proposed by Guyana, would be a gift to future generations in both countries

The Foreign Affairs Minister pointed out that for the past 49 years, Guyana has been living under the shadow of Venezuela’s illegal claims. He added that in order to ensure that the country’s sovereignty and territorial integrity are not compromised, a definite solution has to be found that will put Venezuela’s contention of nullity to rest.

The Vice President outlined that the Good Offices Process adopted under the Geneva Agreement of 1966, which has been in place as a means of peaceful settlement of the issue between the two countries, has failed to resolve the territorial issue and with this new decree, the contentious gap between the neighbouring countries has widened. As such, Greenidge opined that the only way forward may be through a judicial settlement.

Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro had last Thursday postponed the session of the National Assembly which he was expected to attend to establish a position in defence of the territorial dispute between his country and Guyana over space in the Essequibo. He had reported his visit to the plenary session “to present the official position to defend the historical claim, the dispute over the Essequibo, and to seek national unity, to ask for support from across the country to face the challenge of ExxonMobil,” reported the state-run AVN news.

“I’m going to denounce international manoeuvre of the right to provoke Venezuela with problems with neighbouring countries, and I’ll summon the civil union and the military to defend our country, our land and our historical positions,” Maduro had said. The decades-old controversy began in the 1800s when Guyana was a colony of the British. A Tribunal of Arbitration finalised its decision on October 3, 1899, awarding unanimously to Britain almost 90 per cent of the disputed territory.

Final settlement
Venezuela, up until now, has not accepted the 1899 Award as a final settlement of the border dispute although it only made its contention international in 1945. In 1949, the US jurist Otto Schoenrich gave the Venezuelan Government a memorandum written by Severo Mallet-Prevost, the Official Secretary of the US-Venezuela delegation in the Tribunal of Arbitration, which was written in 1944 to be published only after his death. Mallet-Prevost, one of the four lawyers who had appeared for Venezuela before the Arbitral Tribunal, surmised from the private behaviour of the judges that there had been a political deal between Great Britain and Russia and for the first time, attacked the Award. This memorandum led to Venezuela’s revival of its claim to Guyana’s territory.

In 1966 in Geneva, Switzerland, the Governments of British Guiana, the United Kingdom and Venezuela signed an agreement to resolve Venezuela’s contentions. Since the issue has sporadically flared up and has not been resolved.

The issue reignited in early March when the Government of Guyana granted access to the United States-based oil exploration company ExxonMobil, allowing it to drill for oil in the Stabroek block offshore Essequibo.

The Venezuelan Government was peeved at this move and made direct contact with the oil company, urging it to discontinue its attempt to carry out drilling activities in the area. Saying it had no part in the territorial issue, the oil company went ahead with its drilling activity. It recently reported the discovery of oil. Maduro later issued a decree on May 26, which purports to ratify maritime sovereignty over waters within 200 miles including the entire Atlantic Ocean off the Essequibo Coast as well as part of Suriname’s maritime territory and an area which is under dispute with Colombia.

2005 La Guayana Esequiba – Zona en Reclamación. Instituto Geográfico Simón Bolívar  Primera Edición

Nota del editor del blog:

Al referenciarse a la República Cooperativa de Guyana se deben de tener en cuenta los 159.500Km2, de territorios ubicados al oeste del río Esequibo conocidos con el nombre de Guayana Esequiba o Zona en Reclamación sujetos al Acuerdo de Ginebra del 17 de febrero de 1966.

Territorios estos sobre los cuales el Gobierno Venezolano en representación de la Nación venezolana se reservo sus derechos sobre los territorios de la Guayana Esequiba en su nota del 26 de mayo de 1966 al reconocerse al nuevo Estado de Guyana:

“...por lo tanto, Venezuela reconoce como territorio del nuevo Estado, el que se sitúa al este de la margen derecha del río Esequibo y reitera ante la comunidad internacional, que se reserva expresamente sus derechos de soberanía territorial sobre la zona que se encuentra en la margen izquierda del precitado río; en consecuencia, el territorio de la Guayana Esequiba sobre el cual Venezuela se reserva expresamente sus derechos soberanos, limita al Este con el nuevo Estado de Guyana, a través de la línea del río Esequibo, tomando éste desde su nacimiento hasta su desembocadura en el Océano Atlántico...”


Terminología sobre cómo referenciar la Zona en Reclamación-Guayana Esequiba.

Mapa que señala el Espacio de Soberanía Marítima Venezolana que se reserva, como Mar Territorial mediante el Decreto Presidencial No 1152 del 09 de Julio de 1968

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