In response to recent provocations by the Bolivarian Republic of Venezuela, the Caribbean Community (Caricom) has vehemently maintained the sovereignty of the Cooperative Republic of Guyana in a display of unity. The past week has seen a number of threats from Venezuela against Guyana and the oil companies taking part in the nation’s first offshore bidding round.
“The Caribbean Community notes with serious concern the contents of a communiqué issued by the Bolivarian Republic of Venezuela,” Caricom said in a statement. Venezuela’s vow to “apply all necessary measures” is viewed as a threat to use force in violation of international law by Caricom.
In a recent speech to Venezuela’s National Assembly, Jorge Rodriguez called for a referendum on how to proceed with the country’s claim to Guyana’s Essequibo region. He stated: “When someone says that the sun of Venezuela rises in Essequibo, it is because they are ready to give even their lives to defend a territory that belongs to the sons and daughters of Venezuela and the Bolivarian Republic of Venezuela.” The House approved the motion unanimously.
However, Caricom remains steadfast in its position, stressing that Latin American and Caribbean countries “have long taken a position that our region must remain a zone of peace.”
Guyana’s President Mohamed Irfaan Ali highlighted the threat in his September 20 speech to the United Nations General Assembly, saying it would be detrimental to peace in the region. Guyana’s parliamentary opposition has sided with the government. Vice President Bharrat Jagdeo claimed, “This is our sovereign Guyanese territory,” signaling the clear intention that Guyana will not be deterred from awarding oil blocks while the auction process is being completed.
Furthermore, Caricom emphasized its unequivocal support for Guyana, stating: “The Caribbean Community reiterates its full and unequivocal support for the sovereignty and territorial integrity of the Co-operative Republic of Guyana, including its right to peacefully develop the resources of its territory.”
The geopolitical landscape remains charged as the international community keeps a close eye on developments. The Organization of American States (OAS) and the United States have publicly expressed their support for Guyana.