Leader of the People’s National Congress (PNCR) and former President, David Granger has described Venezuela’s January 7th Presidential Decree No. 4.415 as intimidatory. He said that the Decree was issued twenty days after the International Court of Justice (ICJ) determined that it has jurisdiction to pronounce on the Guyana-Venezuela territorial dispute.
The Party Leader is of the firm belief that the Decree, by which Venezuela claimed sovereign rights in the waters and seabed adjacent to Guyana’s coast, west of the Essequibo River, was intended to frighten international investors, threaten the Guyanese people and hearten the local Venezuelan public in their claim to the Essequibo.
Additionally, he recalled that Venezuela issued Decree No. 1.787 on 26th May 2015, at the onset of petroleum discoveries in Guyana’s maritime zone, when the volume of petroleum resources was realized and felt the need to petrify EXXON Mobil Corporation. He said that Venezuela was following a pattern of intimidation which started with Decree No, 1.152 on 10th July 1968 which also claimed the Essequibo coast and territorial waters.
The Party Leader applauded the decisive roles played by United Nations Secretaries-General Ban Ki-Moon and Antonio Gutteres, who set the territorial question on an irreversible path to a peaceful solution. Venezuela has always been opposed to the ICJ jurisdiction, preferring to adopt direct negotiation to claim what is called the ‘zona en reclamacion.’
Granger urged the Guyana Government to strengthen the public information campaign and to include all stakeholders including the political opposition, trade unions, religious organisations, and civil society to support the reaffirmation of the country’s territorial sovereignty.