The Government of Guyana has rejected the issuance of questions by the National Electoral Council of Venezuela in the national referendum related to Guyana’s Essequibo region.
Venezuela has set itself a December date to host a national referendum on its claim to Guyana’s Essequibo region.
The Government of Guyana this evening said the questions to be asked as part of the referendum are intended to further Venezuela’s unlawful and unfounded claim to more than two-thirds of Guyana’s national territory.
According to the statement, one of the questions seeks the approval of the Venezuelan people of the creation of a new Venezuelan State, consisting of Guyana’s Essequibo Region, which would be incorporated into the national territory of Venezuela, and the granting of Venezuelan citizenship to the population.
The Guyana Government described the question as brazen and noted that it amounts to nothing less than the annexation of Guyana’s territory, in blatant violation of the most fundamental rules of the UN Charter, the OAS Charter and general international law.
“Such a seizure of Guyana’s territory would constitute the international crime of aggression. The Government of Guyana categorically rejects any attempt to undermine the territorial integrity of the sovereign State of Guyana. The Government finds abhorrent that the Essequibo region which forms part of the territory of Guyana in accordance with the 1899 Arbitral Award that demarcated the boundaries of the States of Venezuela and then British Guiana, should be ‘created’ into a State within Venezuela”.
The Government said it also rejects the internationally unlawful act to put forward the ‘granting of citizenship and Venezuelan identity cards in accordance with the Geneva Agreement and international law’.
“It is by way of the Geneva Agreement and the principles of international law that the question of the validity of the Arbitral Award of 1899 has been put before the International Court of Justice. That Court has ruled that it has jurisdiction to hear this case. Guyana has repeatedly encouraged Venezuela to participate in the case. The people of Guyana remain resolute against any threats to the sovereignty and territorial integrity of their country”.
The Guyana Government said neither the Government or the people of one country have the right in international law to seize, annexe or take the territory of another country, adding that international law emphatically prohibits this. The Government of Guyana calls the attention of the international community to the actions being carried out by the Government of Venezuela which have the potential to incite violence and to threaten the peace and security of the State of Guyana and by extension the Caribbean region.