Georgetown, Guyana – (September 28, 2015) As Guyana seeks to bring a legal end to the 50 year old Venezuelan territorial threat to Guyana, President Granger met with the United Nations (UN) Secretary General, Ban Ki-moon and President of Venezuela, Nicolás Maduro, last evening. Following the meeting, which was held on the sidelines of the ongoing United Nations General Assembly, President Maduro agreed to allow a UN Delegation to visit Caracas to conduct investigations.
Speaking to local journalists, President Granger said he took the opportunity to lay out simple, facts all of which, President Maduro could not deny. “I pointed out that Venezuela in 1899 received 1300 square kilometers of Guyanese territory and he could not deny that. All we said tonight was factual; about the territory, about the Venezuela aggression, the obstruction of Guyanese development,” President Granger said. He added that the Guyanese delegation also seized the opportunity to stress that there must be a juridical settlement.
According to President Granger, Venezuela was unable to provide any evidence that the 1899 award was null and void. However on the contrary, President Granger maintained that Guyana’s position is that the controversy is essentially a legal one which requires a legal solution.
“It was the Venezuelans who withdrew the ambassador from Georgetown. It was Venezuela, which refused to give our nominee for Ambassador, Ms. Cheryl Miles, agrément. It was Venezuela, which held a military maneuver on the border. It was the Venezuelans [who] promulgated the decree on May 26. It was Venezuela, which sent a naval corvette into our waters on October 10, 2013. All the provocation came from Venezuela. There has not been any lack of conversation on our part,” President Granger added.
The President added that for the first time since the May 26 decree by Venezuela, which sought to annex maritime zones belonging to Guyana, the Venezuelan President has agreed to facilitate a UN Delegation into Caracas to conduct investigations.
Already, Guyana has facilitated a similar team, from the UN, as was promised at the CARICOM Heads of Government meeting, which was held July last, in Barbados. Once these investigations are completed, President Granger said he will be available to have further discussions with the UN Secretary General.
“We are waiting on the Venezuela to resend their ambassador to Georgetown and to grant agrément to the nominee of Guyana to become an ambassador and we are waiting on the UN team to go to Caracas to report back to the Secretary General,” President Granger said. As an outcome of the meeting, it was reported that President Maduro has agreed to resolve the matter of ambassadors between the two States, at the earliest possible time.
Further, the President said he was very grateful to Secretary General Ban Ki-moon for facilitating the meeting, since he believes that the UN has a very significant role to play in the matter.
“We are convinced that under the Geneva agreement and under the charter of the United Nations the Secretary General has specific responsibilities for dealing with this matter and it was logical that we should come back to him,” President Granger said.
He said the meeting provided him and President Maduro with the opportunity to explain their respective positions on the matter. “Venezuela’s position is based on the Geneva agreement and they felt that they were seeking some resolution through the Geneva agreement, but they avoided the fact that the matter was resolved. It was settled finally in 1899,” he added.