– Deputy Brazilian Ambassador says Guyanese have the right of their land
BRAZIL has reaffirmed its support for Guyana in the age old territorial controversy with Venezuela.
“We support Guyana 100 percent on the border [issue] with its neighbouring country; we think the land should not be disputed because this is Guyana,” said Deputy Ambassador of Brazil to Guyana, Ronaldo Vieira during an exclusive interview with the Guyana Chronicle in his office on Monday.
He said Brazil has supported Guyana’s methodology of dealing with the issue, noting that Guyana did well by taking the matter to the United Nations (UN) which then referred the matter to the International Court of Justice (ICJ).
Venezuela had declined to participate in the court action filed by Guyana to the ICJ with respect to the controversy between the two neighbours.
“We support that Guyanese have the right of their land,” Vieira contended, adding that it is a pity that the Venezuelan Government is not willing to participate at the level of the ICJ.
Although Venezuela is also a sister country to Brazil, the ambassador believes that Guyana has the right to its land. Brazil has “big” trade agreements and cooperation with Venezuela but the country has taken Guyana’s side in the controversy.
“The Venezuelan delegation has informed the president of the court, through a letter signed by the President of the Republic, Nicolás Maduro Moros, of its sovereign decision not to participate in the procedure that Guyana intends to initiate, since the Court manifestly lacks jurisdiction over an action unilaterally proposed by the neighboring country, which does not have the consent of Venezuela, “a communiqué issued by the People’s Power Ministry of Foreign Affairs said on Monday June 18 after meeting with President of the International Court of Justice (ICJ) Abdulqawi Ahmed Yusuf.
Earlier this year, United Nations Secretary-General Antonio Gutteres referred the Guyana-Venezuela controversy to the ICJ. He determined that the Good Offices Process had failed to achieve a peaceful settlement of the controversy. Guterres took a formal and binding decision, under Article IV, paragraph 2 of the Agreement, to choose a different means of settlement under Article 33 of the Charter.
Venezuela is claiming that the 1899 Arbitral Tribunal Award, which had given more than 90 percent of an area to then British Guiana (now Guyana), is null and void. Approximately 118 years after that award was issued, Guyana remains resolute in its position that a juridical course of action is the only means through which this matter can be permanently resolved.
In its application to the ICJ, Guyana requested the Court to: “confirm the legal validity and binding effect of the award regarding the boundary between the Colony of British Guiana and the United States of Venezuela, of the 3rd October 1899 (hereinafter the ‘1899 Award’)”.
Guyana contends that the 1899 Award was “a full, perfect, and final settlement” of all questions relating to determining the boundary line between the colony of British Guiana and Venezuela.
Guyana says it intends to proceed with the case, noting that under Article 53 of the Statute of the Court, “whenever one of the parties does not appear before the Court, or fails to defend its case, the other party may call upon the Court to decide in favour of its claim.”
Guyana has also said that it hopes in due course, Venezuela will reconsider its position and decide to appear in Court and defend its case.