Venezuelan MP says; announces there is no intention to go to war with Guyana
VENEZUELAN Member of Parliament Jacobo Torres has said that his country will not go to war with Guyana, although there has been heightened aggression from the Bolivarian Republic as the border controversy continues.
One of Venezuela’s latest moves is the announcement of a proposed referendum on Guyana’s Essequibo set for December 3.
However, Guyana has sought provisional measures from the International Court of Justice (ICJ) to prevent the referendum, citing concerns about questions that could threaten its territorial integrity. The ICJ is scheduled to hand down its ruling on Friday, December 1 at 10:00 hrs (local time).
During a panel discussion at Trinidad’s Cipriani College of Labour and Co-operative Studies on Monday, Torres shared his perspectives on the Guyana-Venezuela border controversy, noting: “We will not go to war! We will not invade a country, especially one we share a border with.”
Torres said that the Caribbean and Latin American region must remain a “zone of peace”, and must express resistance from external influences and other “forces”.
“We will not go to war; we will not fall into provocation! We are a people of dialogue; we are a peaceful people! We will not invade a country, especially one we share a border with,” Torres affirmed.
Recently, Venezuela’s opposition candidate for the 2024 presidential elections María Corina Machado has called for the suspension of the referendum.
In a statement released on her official ‘X’ (Twitter) page, Machado asserted, “Sovereignty is exercised; not consulted,” expressing her opposition to the scheduled move.
“The referendum on Essequibo must be suspended,” Machado said as she characterised the mechanism as a “distraction” amid the challenging Venezuelan political, economic, and social climate leading up to the 2024 presidential elections.
She maintained: “It is an error that not only does not contribute to the defence of our territory, but can also harm us in our defence in the International Court of Justice (ICJ).”
The international community and regional stakeholders have called for respect of the judicial process, and they have supported Guyana’s stance in the matter.
The Caribbean Community (CARICOM) has remained steadfast in its support of Guyana amidst the border controversy with Venezuela, and has made it clear that the region must remain “a zone of peace”.
Recently, the Prime Minister of Trinidad and Tobago Dr. Keith Rowley, and Prime Minister of St. Vincent and the Grenadines Dr. Ralph Gonsalves said that CARICOM has always been in support of Guyana’s territorial integrity.
Gonsalves said the ongoing controversy between Venezuela and Guyana is an old one, and that Guyana bases its position on the 1899 Arbitral Award.
Gonsalves said: “CARICOM has always defended the territorial inviolability of Guyana.”
Meanwhile, Prime Minister Mia Mottley said that CARICOM has issued a very strong statement in support of Guyana.
She said that while she stated some weeks back that in spite of the controversy, Venezuela is a friend of the region as well, she would wish to see the region remain one of peace.
Mottley related that this statement has incited condemnation; however, she added: “I have come to public life to promote peace; not division.”
She went on to add that Guyana’s position has been strong and unwavering, and this position has been one that is backed by the region.