The United States has denied Venezuela’s new assertion of the maritime border west of Guyana’s Essequibo Coast.
Last week, the Nicolás Maduro Government issued a decree claiming for Venezuela’s sovereignty and exclusive sovereign rights in the waters and seabed off the coast of Guyana, west of the Essequibo River – a move that President Dr Irfaan Ali has made reject it wholeheartedly.
On Sunday, the United States threw its support behind Guyana, saying that Guyana’s application before the International Court of Justice (ICJ) is currently the legal and peaceful way to settle the decades-long border dispute between the neighboring provinces.
On Sunday evening, the US Ambassador to Guyana Sarah-Ann Lynch tweeted, “The United States has long called for a peaceful legal resolution to Guyana’s border dispute with Venezuela and we are repeating that call today.”
The diplomat at the time had shared a post done minutes earlier by US State Department’s Interim Assistant Secretary of the Western Hemisphere Affairs Office, Michael Kozak.
In his tweet, Ambassador Kozak reiterated that the United States supports the ICJ’s December 18, 2020 ruling that it has jurisdiction over Guyana-Venezuela territorial border disputes, which he claimed is the “legal and peaceful way forward.”
“Maduro’s aggressive allegations do not change this, they simply disregard his neighbors and intrigue to the world. law, ”a State Department official posted.
The new decree issued by President Maduro comes days before the world court is scheduled to hold a case management hearing on Guyana’s request for a final and binding settlement of the border debate with Venezuela.
However, President Ali declared on Saturday that although this latest move by the Spanish-speaking nation is “deeply upsetting”, it will not stop Guyana’s decision to seek a final and binding decision in the ICJ.
“We have always chosen a path of peaceful resolution of the Venezuelan issue within international law … I am reminded that Guyana (British Guiana) has been granted sovereignty over this coast, and the land territory to which it is attached. at the time) in the 1899 Arbitration Award, whose legitimacy and legally binding character of Guyana are confident that the International Court of Justice (ICJ) will uphold it unequivocally, ”President Ali asserted during a speech to the nation.
According to the Head of State, Venezuela has violated at least two basic principles of international law, that is, no State can unilaterally set its international borders and the basic principle that “the land dominates the sea”, meaning that sovereignty over the sea and the seabed derives from a title to the land that forms the coastline adjacent to that seas and bed.
To this end, the Guyanese leader called Venezuela’s new border claim “legally void” that will not be recognized by Guyana or any other State in the world.
Meanwhile, President Ali also revealed during the nation’s speech on Saturday that Venezuela’s Head of Mission in Guyana would be summoned to the Ministry of Foreign Affairs over the decree.
Foreign Minister Hugh Todd was instructed to inform the Officer in Charge to convey to Venezuelan authorities in Caracas that Guyana, in accordance with international law, and its assertion of its sovereignty and territorial integrity, completely reject the decree announced by President Maduro.
Nevertheless, President Ali demanded that the Government of Guyana warn the international community, including sister States of the Caribbean Community (Caricom) and in America of the danger to international peace and security threatened by a decree Venezuela last Thursday violated the basic principles of international law.
Venezuela’s decree of sovereign rights to a maritime border off the Essequibo Coast of Guyana came the same day that the Guyana Defense Force (GDF) announced that its US Coast Guard and Coast Guard would begin the first of a series of joint exercises offshore Guyana.
This is part of the implementation of the Shiprider Agreement ratified by Guyana and the US back in September 2020 during the visit of US Secretary of State Michael Pompeo.
The exercise will take place off the coast of Guyana and will focus primarily on illegal, unreported and unregulated fishing. It will be conducted in conjunction with the US Coast Guard Cutter STONE ship, which is currently in the region for a multi-country tour.
In addition, the US Embassy in Guyana announced the same day that the US Southern Command Commander, US Navy Admiral Craig Faller, will visit Guyana from today, January 11 to January 13. He will meet with Government and defense leaders and discussed the bilateral security partnership between the United States and Guyana during the two-day visit.

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