Ministry of Foreign Affairs – PRESS STATEMENT
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The Bolivarian Republic of Venezuela has issued a Presidential Decree purporting to annex maritime spaces pertaining to the Cooperative Republic of Guyana under the relevant rules of International Law.
Decree No. 1.787 is a flagrant violation of International Law and is inconsistent with the principle that all States should respect the sovereignty and territorial integrity of other States, large and small. The Cooperative Republic of Guyana rejects this illegality which seeks to undermine our efforts at development through the exploitation of our natural resources off-shore. Guyana will continue, undeterred, to access and develop its resources in accordance with its Constitution and laws in keeping with the principles of International Law.
Guyana denounces this decree which is a violation of international law. It is international law that must reign supreme and not the ambitions of a larger State which wishes to trample upon the rights of a smaller country in order to obstruct the sovereign right of Guyana to develop its natural resources. The land boundary between Guyana and Venezuela which was defined by the Arbitral Award of 1899, is recognized by all States. Venezuela also recognized its border with Guyana as settled for over sixty years having also participated in the demarcation of this established boundary which was completed in 1905.
The Cooperative Republic of Guyana is concerned that the said decree disregards International Law, constitutes a threat to regional peace and security and breaches the Geneva Agreement of 1966. It is therefore imperative that Venezuela adheres to the principles of International Law in seeking to delineate its maritime boundaries with neighbouring States pending actual delimitations.
The Government of the Cooperative Republic of Guyana wishes to make it pellucid that Decree No. 1.787 cannot be applicable to any part of Guyana’s territory and any attempt by the Bolivarian Republic of Venezuela to apply that instrument in an extra-territorial manner will be vigorously resisted by the Cooperative Republic of Guyana. In light of this Guyana will spare no effort in bringing to the attention of the international community this aggressive and illegal act by Venezuela.

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