Last updated Thursday, 28 January 2021, 8:10 by Denis Chabrol
Venezuela is coming under increasing international pressure to release two Guyanese fishing boats and 11 crew members intercepted by Venezuelan Lynges in the Atlantic waters that two neighboring South American nations claim to own.
The United States (US), the American Provinces Organization (OAS) and the Caribbean Community of 15 separate nations called for the crew and ships, Lady Nayera and Sea Wolf, to be intercepted and transported to Venezuela for release them safely. “The United States supports a peaceful resolution of the maritime border dispute between Venezuela and Guyana and condemns Maduro’s threat by seizing fishing vessels and detaining crew. We echo the OAS Secretariat’s call for immediate release, Assistant U.S. Secretary of State for Western Hemispheric Affairs, Julie Chung, said on Twitter.
ExxonMobil’s oil giant’s offshore oil concession called the Stabroek Block extends westward into the waters off the Essequibo Region that Venezuela claims to be hers.
Earlier on Wednesday, the OAS endorsed Guyana’s position that the fishing boats were in the Guyana Unique Economic Zone on January 21 when they were intercepted and transported to Syria, a port in northeastern Venezuela. The OAS also called for the safe release of crew and boats, warning Venezuela that its decree seeking to extend its maritime border to include the entire Atlantic offshore of the disputed Essequibo Region violated international law . “Any attempt to decriminalize this international legal process, such as the decree issued by the Maduro regime, is contrary to international law and standards, and has no legal significance or significance,” the OAS said in a statement.
CARICOM also called for the release of the fishing crews and boats immediately, even as it disagrees with Venezuela’s assertion that the fishing boats are in Venezuelan waters. The foreign policy and regional trade bloc warned that “tensions are exacerbating: threatening peace in the Caribbean. “CARICOM urges the Government of the Bolivian Republic of Venezuela to respect Guyana’s sovereignty and territorial integrity and to refrain from acts of aggression that will seriously undermine peace and security not only Guyana and Venezuela but the entire Caribbean region,” the regional group said. He said.
Venezuela’s special representative aligned by opposition to the OAS, Gustavo Tarre Briceño has told the Permanent Council that his country has a right to defend its territory. “I do not believe that anyone would nevertheless deny the lawful exercise of a country’s sovereignty so long as it does not affect other states that we should recognize, under international law, Venezuela’s right to protect its community territory for the region. maritime, “he said.
The United States, CARICOM and the OAS have blasted Venezuela for its stance, saying that a Spanish-speaking nation must respect Caracas’ territorial rights and take part in the International Court of Justice (ICJ) case brought by Guyana to determine the validity of the 1899 Arbitration of a Tribunal Award that settled the land border between the two neighboring states of South America.