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CARICOM: Venezuela’s referendum threatens regional security

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The Caribbean Community (CARICOM) said Venezuela’s upcoming referendum on the annexation of disputed territory with Guyana is not valid.

CARICOM made the statement as it expressed unwavering support for Guyana in its border dispute with Venezuela.

“CARICOM insists that the Referendum proposed by Venezuela has no validity, bearing, or standing in international law in relation to this controversy; the Referendum is a purely domestic construct, but its summary effect is likely to undermine peace, tranquillity, security, and more, in our region,” the 15 member-integration movement said in a statement on Thursday.

CARICOM expressed concern with the five questions being considered in the referendum.

CARICOM believes that two questions if approved by Venezuelans, would permit the government to embark on the annexation of two-thirds of Guyana’s internationally recognised territory to create a state within Venezuela known as Guyana Essequibo.

“CARICOM reaffirms that international law strictly prohibits the government of one State from unilaterally seizing, annexing or incorporating the territory of another state.  An affirmative vote as aforesaid opens the door to the possible violation of this fundamental tenet of international law,” the group said.

CARICOM expressed support for Guyana’s efforts to have the border dispute finally settled via the International Court of Justice and said it hopes Venezuela would participate in the matter.

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