Georgetown, Guyana – September 18, 2015 President David Granger said that the message that he will be taking to the United Nations (UN) General Assembly next week remains unchanged, as it relates to Guyana’s position on Venezuela.
“My message will be that Guyana settled this territorial matter 116 years ago and right now the Venezuelan claim is affecting our development in a serious way. It is scaring away investors and it is creating an atmosphere of tension and suspicion,” the President said during a visit to Linden, yesterday.
The President is slated to meet with UN Secretary General, Ban-Ki-Moon and possibly, Venezuela’s Head of State, Nicholas Maduro during the UN General Assembly’s 70th Session in New York.
President Granger reiterated that Guyana is no longer interested in the sterile good officer process. Instead the country will be seeking to resolve this matter permanently through juridical means. He said, “We will be going to court [to] settle this matter. It is affecting our development…50 years is too long.”
In Early June, President Maduro issued a Decree, claiming most of Guyana’s territorial waters on the Essequibo Coast.
That Decree was subsequently withdrawn and replaced with a new one that supports and justifies the actions of the Bolivarian National Armed Force (FANB) in defending the newly created Integrated Defense Maritime Zones and Island, which encompasses most of Guyana’s exclusive economic zone, including the Stabroek Block, offshore Essequibo, where exploratory works are being conducted by Exxon Mobil, a major oil company from the United States.
Last month, President Granger met with a special UN envoy to discuss this matter with the view of finding the way forward. However, on Wednesday, President Maduro announced that talks with Guyana, regarding the appointment of a new Ambassador, have been suspended indefinitely.