Chastanet says the Caribbean Community should reject Venzeula’s claim of Guyana’s Essequibo region until a ruling from the International Court of Justice is delivered. Chastanet, whose administration never recognised Venezuela’s Ambassador to Saint Lucia, doubled down on this position ahead of the mediatory talks to be held on December 14, 2023.
“Venezuela is wrong. It has an ongoing court case. You cannot just unilaterally decide you are going to take over a piece of land while you are still in court,” the Opposition Leader argued. Venezuela contends that the Essequibo region, which makes up more than two-thirds of Guyana, belongs to them and further has historically, never recognised the jurisdication of the ICJ in the matter.
Chastanet says the current administration should not be in support of Venezuela and should side exclusively with Guyana. “Venezuela is a disaster when it comes to its economy. It’s a complete failed state. And for this government to be standing in support of Venezuela at this particular moment…is absolutely insane,” he said.
Prime Minister Pierre, on the other hand, says CARICOM is awaiting the International Court’s ruling. In the interim, he says, the organisation will hold discussions between the two parties in an attempt to maintain peace.
“Guyana is a member of CARICOM and Guyana and Saint Lucia are good friends with Venezuela. It’s a situation where we find ourselves in a quarrel among our friends. Again, we believe that that controversy must be settled peacefully. We are calling for discussion and dialogue. In the meantime, we are asking for the maintenance of the region as a zone of peace,” PM Pierre explained.
Venezuela's President Nicolas Maduro will meet with Guyana President Mohamed Irfaan Ali on Thursday in Saint Vincent and the Grenadines.