CARICOM Leaders Support Guyana in Territorial Dispute with Venezuela

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Leaders from the Caribbean Community (CARICOM) have recently expressed their firm support for Guyana in its ongoing territorial dispute with Venezuela. The Prime Minister of Barbados, Mia Mottley, and the Prime Minister of St. Vincent and the Grenadines, Dr. Ralph Gonsalves, have both assured the government of Guyana of their unwavering backing, emphasizing the inviolability of Guyana’s borders.

Speaking in Barbados on Saturday, both leaders reinforced the stance that the International Court of Justice (ICJ) should be the platform to resolve the controversy. Prime Minister Mottley, who was at a news conference with Prime Minister Gonsalves, stated that Guyana’s position has been strong and unwavering. She expressed full support for the matter to be addressed by the ICJ.

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CARICOM Leaders Support Guyana in Territorial Dispute with Venezuela 3

Mottley also mentioned the role of CARICOM Chairman, Dominica’s Prime Minister Roosevelt Skerrit, and Dr. Gonsalves, who currently chairs the Community of Latin American and Caribbean States (CELAC), in maintaining stability in the region despite the ongoing dispute over Guyana’s Essequibo County.

Guyana has requested the ICJ to affirm the 1899 Arbitral Tribunal Award as the definitive settlement of the border, a position that Venezuela has historically contested. The ICJ is expected to make a ruling on Guyana’s request to block Venezuela’s proposed referendum, which aims to declare Essequibo a State of Venezuela and grant citizenship to its inhabitants. The referendum also includes a vote to reject the ICJ’s jurisdiction over the territorial dispute.

Prime Minister Gonsalves emphasized the importance of upholding peace in the region, stating that neither force nor the threat of force should be used in this dispute. He reiterated that CARICOM has consistently defended Guyana’s territorial integrity.

This show of support from CARICOM leaders underscores the collective commitment to a peaceful resolution of territorial disputes in the region, respecting international law and the principles of national sovereignty.

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