OAS condemns Venezuela’s latest position on border dispute with Guyana
WASHINGTON, (CMC) – The General Secretariat of the Organization of American States (OAS) says it objects to Venezuela’s encroachment on Guyana’s “sovereignty and territorial rights” and called on Caracas to await the ruling by the International Court of Justice (ICJ) on the border dispute between both countries.
In a statement, the general secretariat supported an earlier statement issued by OAS Secretary General Luis Almagro, who criticised Venezuela’s position regarding Guyana’s ongoing oil auction.
The statement on Saturday noted that on September 21, Venezuela’s “National Assembly” unanimously agreed to call a National Public Consultation “so that the people strengthen the defense” and “the inalienable rights of Venezuela” over the territorial dispute with Guyana.
“We condemn this improper use of a referendum because it is illegal according to the 1966 Geneva Agreement, and because similar misuses of this instrument have served as a pretext in the recent past to try to justify the worst actions between States, including the crime of aggression,” the OAS said.
”The General Secretariat of the Organization of American States (OAS) reiterates that Venezuela and Guyana share the responsibility of resolving their dispute in the spirit of good neighbourliness and in accordance with international law and the Geneva Agreement to seek peaceful solutions to the territorial dispute.
”Furthermore, the OAS General Secretariat continues to support the Co-operative Republic of Guyana’s sovereign right to practice its franchise on its established and appurtenant maritime area, in accordance with international law and the principles of the United Nations,” the OAS added.
Earlier this month, Guyana president Irfaan Ali’s administration announced that it had received bids for eight of the country’s oil blocks which are located offshore Guyana.
But in a statement, Venezuela’s government rejected the auction, saying “the Bolivarian Republic of Venezuela strongly rejects the illegal bidding round for oil blocks currently carried out by the Government of the Cooperative Republic of Guyana (Blocks for tender for 2022 – Guyana Licensing Round) since it intends to have maritime areas pending delimitation between the two countries”.
In its statement, Caracas also noted that any arbitrary concession granted would be “unacceptable” and that “these actions do not generate any type of rights to third parties who participate in such a process.”
The OAS General Secretariat said it, “objects to Venezuela’s encroachment on Guyana’s sovereignty and territorial rights through intimidatory and unfounded statements that fail to respect international conventions and the 1899 Arbitral Award, for which the latter is presently under judicial review at the International Court of Justice”.