Venezuela recalls ambassador in Guyana as border dispute continuesTuesday, July 07, 2015
GEORGETOWN, Guyana (CMC) – Venezuela has recalled its Ambassador in Guyana, Reyna Margarita Arratia, for consultation and is scaling down its staff at the embassy here, in the latest twist to the ongoing border dispute between the two countries.
In an address to his country’s National Assembly on Monday, President Nicolas Maduro also instructed his Minister of Foreign Affairs Delcy Rodriguez to comprehensively review diplomatic relation with Guyana.
President David Granger said he is “not surprised by that because he (Maduro) has been confronted with rejection of his Decree by the entire Caribbean Community so he is just increasing the isolation of his government from the region”.
Maduro issued a Decree on May 26 that includes all the Atlantic waters off the Essequibo Coast.
The purported annexation of the waters off Essequibo now takes in the oil-rich Stabroek Block, where American oil giant Exxon Mobil in May found a "significant" reserve of high quality crude oil.
ExxonMobil said the discovery was made in one of the two wells it dug, in the Liza-1 drill site, which realised more than 295 feet of high-quality oil-bearing sandstone.
At the end of their annual summit in Barbados last week, Caribbean Community (CARICOM) countries reaffirmed the “longstanding, deep and wide-ranging friendship between CARICOM and the Bolivarian Republic of Venezuela”.
But the regional leaders said they had discussed the Decree and “noted in particular the negative implications which the Decree has for the peace, security and development of the Cooperative Republic of Guyana.
“Heads of Government called for adherence to accepted principles of international law in relation to the delineation and delimitation of the Exclusive Economic Zone and Continental Shelf in the region. CARICOM states do not accept any unilateral proclamation which is inconsistent with international law.
“They emphasized that CARICOM states have legitimate territorial and maritime entitlements that conform to international law and that must be respected.
“Heads of Government therefore call upon the Government of the Bolivarian Republic of Venezuela, in the spirit of friendship and cooperation, to withdraw those elements of Decree 1787 insofar as they apply to the territory and maritime space of CARICOM States,” the leaders said in a communiqué.
President Granger, who at the start of the summit last Thursday called on his regional colleagues to send a strongly worded message to Caracas, said he was pleased with the position arrived at by CARICOM on the matter.