The Government of Venezuela has indicated to the International Court of Justice that it will not be participating in the court case to bring an end to the decades old border controversy with Guyana.
The matter was transferred to the International Court by the United Nations Secretary General. Venezuela had objected to that move.
In a statement this morning Venezuela made it clear that it does not plan to be part of the judicial process at the World Court.
The Venezuelan Ministry of Foreign Affairs announced today that “the Venezuelan delegation has informed the president of the court, through a letter signed by the President of the Republic, Nicolás Maduro Moros, of its sovereign decision not to participate in the procedure that Guyana intends to initiate, since the Court manifestly lacks jurisdiction over an action unilaterally proposed by the neighboring country, which does not have the consent of Venezuela”.
The decision was made after a meeting took place at The Hague between the Venezuelan delegation led by Vice President Delcy Rodríguez, accompanied by Foreign Minister Jorge Arreaza, along with President of the ICJ Abdulqawi Ahmed Yusuf.
Venezuela wants the diplomatic channels to be reopened, but Guyana believes that the UN Good Offices process has been exhausted. The Secretary General had made it clear that he would have been referring the matter to the ICJ if the Good Offices process offered no results by the end of 2017. He has stuck to that promise.
The Venezuelan delegation had been invited to the Court to begin filing its proceedings in the matter. A similar invitation was also extended to Guyana, which already has its legal team in place. It’s unclear how the Court will deal with the Venezuelan announcement to no longer participate, but it is likely that the matter could still go ahead.
Guyana has been pushing for a judicial settlement to bring an end to the border controversy. Venezuela has been claiming two-thirds of Guyana’s territory, although the matter was settled back in 1899.