Venezuela warns UN Guyana-U.S. military exercises threaten regional peace in territory under dispute
The Government of the Bolivarian Republic of Venezuela rejected and denounced on Monday the presence of a U.S. coast guard vessel in waters of the territory under dispute with the Cooperative Republic of Guyana and the U.S. Southern Command’s announcement about joint military exercises between the outgoing Trump administration and Irfaan Alí’s government.
At the Miraflores Presidential Palace, and in the company of Foreign Minister Jorge Arreaza and Defense Minister Vladimir Padrino, the Venezuelan Vice-president Delcy Rodríguez told the press that she signed a letter addressed to UN Secretary General António Guterres to warn about the threat to the region’s peace posed by these military exercises in the territory under dispute.
“We call on the high-ranking authorities of the Cooperative Republic of Guyana to use good judgement and not lose their minds, because they already know what they have been doing: promoting their interests through Exxon Mobil to secure the U.S. gross and threatening military support against Venezuela,” stressed Rodríguez.
Likewise, the Venezuelan vice-president extended her call on the Caribbean brotherly nations to be on the alert and concerned about the malice and ill will displayed by the Government of Guyana with these joint military exercises that threaten cooperation relations, the Petrocaribe’s spirit and good relations among sovereign States.
“They have brought an imperial master to our territory to threaten Venezuela,” she warned.
General Vladimir Padrino López recalled that in 2013 and 2018, the Bolivarian National Armed Force intercepted and expelled vessels hired by Exxon Mobil that violated Venezuela’s jurisdictional waters.
According to Venezuela’s defense minister, the already announced military exercises pose a threat to the region’s peace and a clear provocation to Venezuela and its interests.
Padrino announced President Nicolás Maduro ordered air, maritime constant patrolling and permanent observation of Venezuela’s jurisdictional space in the Caribbean Sea, especially in the Atlantic Front, recently decreed as a Special Strategic Zone by the Venezuelan president.
Vice-president Rodríguez reaffirmed the absolute adherence of the Bolivarian Republic of Venezuela to the 1966 Geneva Agreement as the only valid instrument to settle the territorial dispute over the “Guyana Esequiba” with the Cooperative Republic of Guyana, whose authorities she accused of not having the true and real will to reach a practical, satisfying negotiation for both parties as provided for by the Agreement.
In this regard, Rodríguez explained that the Guyanese government proved its lack of will to abide by the Geneva Agreement in 2016, when it signed an agreement with Exxon Mobil to drill in the disputed area, including a $18 million signing bonus to cover legal fees for the case of the territory under dispute with Venezuela before the International Court of Justice (ICJ), which ruled for Guyana, a decision celebrated by officials of the outgoing U.S. administration.
Vice-president Rodríguez pointed out that Venezuela has never recognized, nor has it consented, the ICJ’s jurisdiction to decide on the territorial dispute over the Essequibo.