The New York Caribbean Guyana Institute for Democracy is appalled at the refusal of the Prime Minister of Barbados, Mia Mottley, and the Prime Minister of St. Vincent and the Grenadines, Dr. Ralph Gonsalves, to condemn the wanton aggression, and bellicose rhetoric and actions of the Venezuelans government against the people and state of Guyana.
Venezuela has been making baseless and avaricious claims to Guyana’s Essequibo county because of its vast gold and diamond deposits, and other natural resources, as well as the large oil and gas production and reserves located offshore Guyana.
Venezuela currently has thousands of troops as well as military hardware amassed on Guyana’s border. Venezuela’s President, Nicholas Maduro, has scheduled a sham referendum on December 3, allegedly to obtain a so called mandate from the people of Venezuela to invade Guyana and seize Essequibo by force.
Amidst this escalation of a threat of force against Guyana, the two Prime Ministers are hiding behind a CARICOM statement on the controversy. While claiming that they support Guyana’s case before the International Court of Justice and that they purportedly support the CARICOM statement, they simultaneously continue to pursue deeper relations and economic cooperation with Venezuela, which has practically declared war on their sister CARICOM state.
When asked to condemn Venezuela’s aggression against Guyana, they merely reiterated that they support Guyana’s case at the ICJ. Apparently they make up the CARICOM Venezuela appeasement caucus!
There can be no equivocation on this Venezuelan aggression and existential threat to Guyana. Venezuela is in blatant violation of international law by attempting to annex Guyana’s territory.
Therefore, the equivocation and meandering statements by these CARICOM leaders seem treacherous, and demonstrate a shocking level of pusillanimity that undermines regional security and Caribbean integration, which are the foundation and essence of CARICOM.
All CARICOM governments should demonstrate Caribbean solidarity by reaffirming Guyana’s territorial integrity and expressly condemn Venezuela’s aggression and baseless claim to Essequibo.