NDP supports CARICOM’s position on the Guyana – Venezuela border issue
December 8, 2023
NDP supports CARICOM’s position on the Guyana – Venezuela border issue

The New Democratic Party (NDP) supports the position that CARICOM has taken in the Guyana – Venezuela border issue, that the ruling of the International Court of Justice must be followed.

“This is a very serious regional problem. This is not something we can take lightly. This is a very serious situation and it has become more and more urgent,” President of the NDP Dr Godwin Friday said on Nice Radio this week.

Friday, who is also Leader of the Opposition said that because of the various actions that have been taken by the Maduro government in Venezuela, the matter is before the International Court and should be dealt with there.

In 1899, an arbitration panel set the border between Venezuela and Guyana and Friday said back then it seemed to have been settled, but that is proving not to be the case. He said Venezuela should let the matter be dealt with by the International Court of Justice (ICJ).

“They (The ICJ) have ruled that they have jurisdiction to deal with the issue, and to rule on an arbitral award that was made back, over 100 years ago, in 1899 that says this is Guyana’s borders with Venezuela and this something that had been settled, but now it has arisen and the international community has urged the use of the legal process that is established to have this resolved in accordance with international law and practice.

“You can’t unilaterally just have a referendum and say we want two thirds of a country and if people vote for it and it becomes yours, because if that was the case, you would have chaos. You won’t have any rule of law it’s just the powerful and the mighty would reign supreme,” Friday said on radio.

The opposition leader said that the position that CARICOM has adopted is one that says the international legal process must be followed. He added that the territorial integrity of Guyana is intact and the ruling made by the International Court of justice last Friday should be fully followed until the matter is resolved in its totality.

“…They made a final ruling that the situation should remain as is, the status quo is maintained, and they can’t be any unilateral annexation of any part of Guyana.

“That is a position that the international community supports, a position that the New Democratic Party supports and one that we proclaim is the process that needs to be followed by the parties involved.”

The NDP president said that Guyana has established over the years its willingness to submit to that process, “but its takes two to tango so of course we urge the parties to let that process play out, which is what CARICOM is urging and the international community is urging. … And that is what we urge on behalf of the NDP and certainly the position we know CRAICOM has also adopted,” Friday said.