Caricom Holds Emergency Meeting on Guyana-Venezuela Essequibo Dispute

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The Caribbean Community (Caricom) is convening an emergency meeting today to address the intensifying dispute between Guyana and Venezuela over the Essequibo region. This longstanding conflict, centered on an oil-rich area, has escalated following a referendum held by Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro, which Guyana perceives as a move towards annexation.

Various Caricom heads of states confirmed this virtual meeting among leaders, emphasizing solidarity with Guyana and the importance of maintaining territorial integrity. He also highlighted the need for maintaining amicable relations with Venezuela, proposing dialogue to tone down aggressive rhetoric.

The International Court of Justice (ICJ) has previously ruled against Venezuela, ordering it not to take actions that would change Guyana’s control over Essequibo. This region has been under Guyana’s administration since the 1899 Paris Arbitral Award. Caricom has welcomed the ICJ’s decision, though it has faced criticism from Venezuela.

In a concerning development, President Maduro has urged Venezuelan companies to start exploiting oil and other natural resources in the Essequibo region. In response, Prime Minister Browne calls for proactive steps in the region to lower tensions, emphasizing the need for responsible leadership to prevent any escalation of the conflict.

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