We will not be bullied by Venezuela—President Ali

Guyana would not be “the sacrificial lamb” in any negotiations between the Government of Venezuela and its political Opposition over claims of Essequibo says President Irfaan Ali. The President made this statement when he met with residents from Region Two in Essequibo on Friday.

The President maintains that Guyana will continue to respect the rule of law and follow the correct procedure through the International Court of Justice (ICJ).

“We will not be bullied. We will not be used as a sacrificial lamb in any negotiations currently in Venezuela. Our position is very clear. We are very clear,” the Office of the President quoted the President saying.

The ICJ ruled last December that it has jurisdiction to decide Guyana’s claim against Venezuela that the boundary between the two States was fixed in an 1899 Arbitral Award.

Guyana is seeking to obtain a final and binding judgement that will clearly state that the Essequibo region is indisputably part of this country.

Venezuela has been opposed to the ICJ and its ruling and on Monday during a meeting between its Opposition and Government in Mexico City, they agreed that their country has a claim over Guyana’s Essequibo region.

“The International Community is clear, CARICOM is clear that the International Court (ICJ) has jurisdiction to hear the matter. So the propaganda that the court does not have the jurisdiction—we’ve gone past that,” President Ali said.

The President said that his Government will focus on the rule of law and continue to respect it.

“The court has already ruled that they have jurisdiction and that is where all of our efforts are concentrated. There is no sideshow, there is no propaganda. None of that matters. What matters is the court and that is where Guyana is.”

The President noted that Guyana is committed to living peacefully with all of its neighbours and to strengthen the relationships will them all, but it must be reciprocated.

“We’re committed to democracy. We are committed to the rule of law…we don’t waver our principles. We don’t waiver depending on the season, we don’t waver depending on who is in Government… we have always respected the rule of law. We have always worked in accordance with the rule of law, we have always respected the sovereignty and territorial integrity of our neighbours.”