The government of Venezuela is denying that its National Armed Forces flew two fighter jets over Eteringbang in Region Seven as argued by Guyana and one well-placed source in Caracas has claimed that the existing video raises questions about the claim.
The Guyana government in a protest note sent to Venezuelan government through its Ambassador to Guyana, described the March 2 incident as an act of aggression even as the territorial dispute is before the International Court of Justice.
However, Venezuela has shot back in a statement describing the accusation as “absurd” and intended to generate false versions about the regular patrolling operations of the borders of Venezuela.”
Authorities in Caracas are claiming that an analysis of the video, which has been circulated on social media, shows that the aircraft were actually flying over Venezuelan territory.
They are questioning why “military and police authorities stationed in Eterinbang” did not alert their superiors in Georgetown about the incident in a timely manner and that the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Guyana only issued a statement and Protest Note when the video was made public by a politician.
One senior source says there are also questions about why a single video is being used as the sole basis of the accusation in the absence of any geo-references or coordinates.
There is the suggestion by Venezuelan authorities that, based on the video, the jets appear to be over what is referred to as the “de facto limit” between the two countries – the Cuyuní River with the jets flying from north to south and immediately turning west which would have been deeper into Venezuelan airspace.
The source says a closer examination of the video shows it captures the shores of the Cuyuní River, on its Eastern Bank, and the township of San Martin de Turumbán, in the Sifontes municipality, Bolívar state.
According to the analysis by Venezuelan authorities, the statement from the Guyana’s Foreign Affairs Ministry, says the video was recorded at 1:20pm on March 2nd, at a time when the sun would be over the township. The Caracas source adds that, in the video, “we do not see the shining of the sun given that it points to northwest.”
On Thursday, President Irfaan Ali reiterated Guyana’s commitment to having the border issue resolved amicably. This matter is currently before the International Court of Justice.
“We have reached out to bilateral partners, we have continuously engaged international community, yesterday I would have personally reached out and shared this information, share our concerns,” President Ali said, “the international and regional community have reiterated their strong support for us and their condemnation of what Venezuela is doing, these acts of aggression.”