CARICOM calls for immediate release of Guyanese fishermen held by Venezuela
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–U.S. condemns Maduro’s aggression

CARICOM has expressed grave concern at the escalation of tensions between Guyana and Venezuela, caused by the interception and detention in Guyana’s Exclusive Economic Zone of two Guyanese fishing vessels by a Venezuelan naval vessel on January 21, 2021. Recalling its statement of January 12, 2021, in which it had firmly repudiated any acts of aggression by Venezuela against Guyana, CARICOM urged the Government of the Bolivarian Republic of Venezuela to respect the sovereignty and territorial integrity of Guyana and to desist from aggressive acts that will seriously undermine the peace and security not only of Guyana and Venezuela, but the entire Caribbean region. The Caribbean Community calls for the immediate release of the crew members and vessels. Meanwhile, acting Assistant Secretary for U.S. Department of State’s Bureau of Western Hemisphere Affairs, Julie Chung in a twitter post condemned the action by Venezuela. “The U.S. supports a peaceful resolution of the maritime boundary controversy between Venezuela and Guyana and condemns Maduro’s intimidation through the seizure of the fishing vessels and detention of crew. We echo the OAS Secretariat’s call for their release without delay,” Chung said.

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