World leaders and heads of international organizations have been relaying one consistent message to Guyana’s government; that is, Venezuela’s President, Nicolas Maduro has no intention invading Guyana. At least not any time soon. This is according to Vice President, Dr. Bharrat Jagdeo who said that he and President Dr. Irfaan Ali have been in contact with many leaders who had conversations with Maduro. But VP Jagdeo said this is not enough for Guyana to stand at ease.
Dr. Jagdeo said this during a recent interview with local journalist, Neil Marks.
In addition to what Maduro has been telling his counterparts around the world, Dr. Jagdeo recalled that Venezuela’s lawyer, who appeared before the International Court of Justice (ICJ) on Friday last, also said that Venezuela has no intention invading Guyana.
Nevertheless, Dr. Jagdeo noted that his counterpart in Venezuela, Delcy Rodríguez has been saying that the administration will not turn its back on the outcome of the referendum voted upon on December 3.
Maduro’s administration has been boasting of a victory following the casting of votes in that referendum.. His regime claims that some 95% of the votes cast were in favor of Venezuela taking control of Guyana’s Essequibo. Guyana Standard understands, from sources such as the BBC, that just about two million voters turned out to vote for the offensive referendum that called for Venezuela to violate international law. Those two million voters form part of a 20 million voting population, representing a low voter turnout.
While the low voter turnout signals overall little support for the egregious referendum, it is of little consequence to whether the referendum is considered approved as there was no minimum number of votes required.
Be that as it may, Dr. Jagdeo noted that the referendum still does not give Venezuela any legal standing to take over Guyana’s Essequibo. Also in Guyana’s favour was the recent order by the ICJ, instructing Venezuela to refrain from any action that would affect Guyana’s control over Essequibo.
He said too that based on the predictions of international observers, Venezuela will not invade Guyana. But, “We cannot just take assurances from the Maduro government (given to other leaders) that they will not invade the country.”
The VP said, Guyana has to remain on high alert. “We have to be prepared for any eventuality and we must not let our guard down or let ourselves be less vigilant. We have to be very vigilant in this upcoming period because the Venezuelan leadership has shown itself to be very unpredictable,” said Dr. Jagdeo.
He said that as a consequence, Guyana continues to work with its partners to ensure there is solid defence corporation “so that should the worst come, we can defend our country by all means necessary.”