Foreign Secretary Carl Greenidge has slammed a Stabroek News editorial that sought to attribute Guyana’s non-recognition of Venezuela’s Opposition Leader Juan Guaido as Interim-President of the Spanish country as nefarious.
“No state is obliged to pursue policies which are not in its national interest and which threaten its very existence,” said FS Greenidge in a letter in the March 19, 2020 edition of the newspaper.
“While Guyana shares the concerns of the international community about the situation in Venezuela, our response to any question about recognition had to be tempered by the reality of the posture of the Venezuelan National Assembly, led by Guaido,” the Foreign Secretary continued.
According to Greenidge, the posture taken by Guaido is directly related to the Venezuelan’s longstanding antagonism towards the resolution of the Guyana-Venezuela border controversy through legal means.
This antagonism has resulted in Guaido, as Leader of the Opposition in Venezuela’s National Assembly, approving an agreement which has led to the opposition of the border case going to the International Court of Justice (ICJ) for a resolution.
Further, the Foreign Secretary added that Guaido has had his aides make representation for him at a 2017 Lima Group meeting in Canada in which a recording was delivered with Guaido, “against the backdrop of a map with Guyana’s Essequibo as “Zona en Reclamación [translated: Claim Area].”
The Foreign Secretary contends that additional actions by Guaido in his country’s National Assembly in 2018 has also seen an escalation of Venezuela’s claim to Guyana’s sovereignty, beyond the aggressive nature of sitting President Nicholas Maduro.
Greenidge stated, “Decree Number 3.732 of December 28, 2018, a piece of domestic legislation illegally extended to seas and ocean resources outside of Venezuela’s borders and claiming sovereignty over areas not permitted under the Law of the Sea Convention, was promulgated under the hand of Mr. Guaido.”
He posited that neither the Coalition Government nor the People’s Progressive Party has acknowledged Guaido as the Interim President of Venezuela. Therefore, he contended that for Guyana to reiterate its position should not be viewed as one made with ill intentions since the position is not new.
Greenidge described the editorial as mischievous and reiterated that the Government of Guyana remains committed to the legal processes of the ICJ that will to a resolution of the border controversy.