Guyana rejects Venezuela’s new border claims; President Ali calls it “legally void”

Guyana President Dr Irfaan Ali Venezuela President Nicolás Maduro

Days before the International Court of Justice (ICJ) is scheduled to hold a case management hearing on Guyana’s bid for a final and binding settlement of the border debate with Venezuela, the NicolásMaduro government announced on January 7, 2021 A new decree to claim for it itself. , land and seabed west of the Essequibo Coast.

In a special address to the Nation, this afternoon (Saturday, January 9, 2021) President Dr. Irfaan Ali firmly refutes this new assertion from Venezuela, calling it “legally void” that it will not be recognized by Guyana or any other state in the world.

According to Ali, Guyana has always chosen to resolve the issue within international law. He, therefore, described the Maduro government’s latest statements as “very upsetting” but made clear that they would not prevent Guyana from seeking a final binding decision in the ICJ.

“It is of great concern to me that, on January 7, the President of Venezuela issued a decree claiming that the sovereignty of Venezuela is a unique sovereign right to the waters and seabed off the coast of Guyana west of the Essequibo river.”

“I am reminded that Guyana, then British Guiana, was awarded sovereignty over this coast and the land to which it is attached in the arbitrary 1899 award, whose authenticity Guyana is confident will be maintained by the ICJ. unquestionably, ”asked the Guyanese Head of State.

Ali explained that Venezuela’s decree violates the basic principles of International law, including the fact that no nation can set its own borders, except by agreement with its neighbors or a ruling by the international court.