Guyana accuses Venezuela of violating its airspaceThursday, March 04, 2021
GEORGETOWN, Guyana (AFP) — Guyana said on Wednesday that Venezuelan fighter jets had violated its airspace and flown over military and police installations near the border between the two South American countries.
Foreign Minister Hugh Todd summoned Venezuela's ambassador Luis Edgardo Diaz Monclus and handed him a note to "register the government of Guyana's condemnation of the recent violation of Guyana's sovereignty," the foreign ministry said in a statement.
Two Venezuelan Sukhoi Su-30 fighters had flown over Guyana's Eterinbang at a very low altitude, it said.
"The fighter jets then circled the location once before proceeding in an easterly direction," the statement said.
Venezuela rejected the accusations.
"Absurdly, the government of Guyana wants to create false information about regular patrol operations on the Venezuelan borders carried out by the air force," Venezuelan Foreign Minister Jorge Arreaza said in a statement.
These surveillance operations were "strictly limited to Venezuelan territory," he said.
Caracas accuses Guyana of inventing "an alleged act of aggression" and of carrying out "a smear campaign" against Venezuela, in the context of a border dispute that dates back more than a century and which has flared up again with the discovery of oil.
Caracas has been pressing a historic claim to Guyana's Essequibo region, which encompasses two-thirds of the former British colony, since US oil giant Exxon Mobil discovered crude off its coast in 2015.
Guyana maintains that valid land borders were set in 1899 by an arbitration court decision in Paris, a decision Venezuela has never recognized.
Guyana has asked the International Court of Justice to rule on the matter, but Venezuela has said the ICJ has no jurisdiction and will not participate.
Now you can read the Jamaica Observer ePaper anytime, anywhere. The Jamaica Observer ePaper is available to you at home or at work, and is the same edition as the printed copy available at https://bit.ly/epaper-login