Georgetown, Guyana – (February 10, 2018) As Guyana readies itself to make its case for the resolution of the Guyana/Venezuela border controversy before the International Court of Justice (ICJ), it has been assured of the support for all diplomatic measures including a judicial settlement from the world court by its southern neighbour, Brazil, which has time and time again indicated that it has no interest in changing settled and established boundaries on the continent. Guyana continues to enjoy friendly relations with Brazil and in a tangible demonstration of this commitment, the two countries, in November last year, undertook a project to remark the borders they share. This exercise solidified the friendship between the two countries and a demonstration of mutual respect for territorial integrity and sovereignty. President David Granger described Brazil, over the past 50 years, as being a guarantor of Guyana’s territory.
Brazil’s support for Guyana was again reaffirmed in December last year, when President Granger met with the President of Brazil, Mr. Michel Temer. Following that State Visit and Guyana’s attendance at the MERCOSUR Summit held in Brazil at the same time, Minister Greenidge said that Brazil was updated on Venezuela’s contention that the 1899 Award is null and void, and informed that the country remains resolute in its original position. “The matter was raised with Brazil as per normal. As neighbours, we always have exchanges on this. The President gave them an update as to where we are, and Brazil has not indicated any movement from its traditional position, which is that the boundaries of the sub-continent should remain where they are,” he said.
This past week has been a particularly important for the future relationship of Guyana and Brazil, particularly since both countries are celebrating 50 years of diplomatic ties. On Friday, President Granger said that his conferral of the Cacique’s Crown of Honour, Guyana’s third highest national award, on Brazil’s Defence Minister, Mr. Raul Jungmann Pinto, represents Guyana’s gratitude not only to the Minister for his personal diligence in the strengthening of ties between the two countries but his nation’s show of commitment to the preservation of South America and the Caribbean as a zone of peace, the promotion of respect for international law and the inviolability of treaties, international peace-keeping, humanitarian and disaster relief and the consolidation of defence cooperation with Guyana.
During their visit, Minister Jungmann and his delegation again placed on record Brazil’s support for Guyana. Minister Jungmann said that Brazil has the third largest border in South America and the world at large and it has frontier with 10 countries. He noted that Brazil wants to see the controversy with Venezuela resolved permanently and in a diplomatic manner, which can be achieved at the ICJ. This, he said, is vital for the stability of the South American continent.
In 2015, two decrees issued by Venezuela purported that country’s claim on most of Guyana’s exclusive economic zone, Ambassador Lineu Pupo De Paula of Brazil said, “I firmly believe that in the 21st century there is no place for old territorial disputes. Guyana has the right and I agree that the Government has a duty to seek the development of the country. The common goal should be the welfare of all peoples of the region. South America is a place of peace and will continue to be because Brazil will not accept any turmoil in its borders.”
Meanwhile, with regard to preparatory work on the matter to be taken ICJ, Minister Greenidge said that the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and its advisory team have had meetings with lawyers to map out options.