Georgetown, Guyana – (June 2, 2016) President David Granger, yesterday, said that the Guyana Government through the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, has written to the Government of Venezuela seeking an explanation over the latest incident in the ongoing border controversy, involving three mining officers from the Guyana Geology and Mines Commission (GGMC) and the Venezuelan armed forces.
According to reports, on Monday, three mining officers from the GGMC were travelling along the Cuyuni River when the Venezuelan Army opened fire. The officers were forced to lie flat in the boat as the captain attracted the attention of the Venezuelan soldiers to explain the purpose of the traverse. The officers were asked to identify themselves to the soldiers before they were allowed to leave the area.
Despite the reports, President Granger said that Guyana is still seeking clarity on the events that transpired but it appears as though an error had been made.
“The Chief of Staff of the GDF has been in contact with Venezuelan generals about the matter. We have received information that there might have been some error on the part of the Venezuelan’s national armed forces and the matter is now being investigated and we are working towards a resolution of the controversy. We are trying to find out what exactly occurred but I wish to assure you that the situation is not deteriorating and it is not going to degenerate into any confrontation,” President Granger said.
The Head of State further noted that he does not believe that the attack is a continuation of the 1787 Decree, which was issued by Venezuela last year, claiming two thirds of Guyana’s territory.
“I do not think the two incidents are linked and it is too soon to tell. I would like to await information from the Chief of Staff…There have been several incidents over the last 50 years between members of the Venezuelan Armed Forces and the Guyana Defence Force and this is certainly not the worst. I am still trying to get information. The Ministry of the Presidency, which has responsibility for the Guyana Defence Force and the Ministry of Foreign Affairs are working towards a resolution,” President Granger said.