The Bolivarian Republic of Venezuela’s government issued a communique today in which it expressed displeasure over Guyana’s plans to put up for bid some oil blocks in the waters near its coast and threatened to “apply all necessary measures” to stop operations licensed by Guyana in these waters, which Venezuela claims as its own. This forces the Government of the Cooperative Republic of Guyana to respond.
Guyana sees this as a threat to all of its present and future investment partners, as well as to the peace and security of the region and the world.
Guyana has no doubt that under international law the waters in question form part of its Exclusive Economic Zone, where Guyana alone enjoys sovereign rights over the resources in the sea and beneath the seabed. If Venezuela disputes this, then it is obliged by the United Nations Charter and the Charter of the OAS to employ only peaceful means to seek a resolution. Both Charters prohibit the threat or use of force against another State.
Guyana therefore implores Venezuela to honor its obligation to pursue only peaceful means to settle any dispute it may have with Guyana, including adjudication before the International Court Justice, where Guyana has sought confirmation of the land boundary between the two States. Allowing the Court to decide any other dispute between the parties would ensure a resolution that is peaceful, equitable and in accordance with international law.