Leader of the Opposition and Former Commander of the Guyana Defence Force, Brigadier (rtd.) David Granger believes the Government of Guyana ought to send a “forceful response” to the Government of Venezuela over the visit by armed Venezuelan soldiers and a group of Venezuelans to the Essequibo region which borders with the spanish speaking neighbour last month.
The Venezuelan soldiers came on to Guyanese soil at Eteringbang with their weapons although they were advised not to do so by members of the Guyana Defence Force who are stationed in the area. The soldiers were accompany a group of Venezuelans who claimed they were part of a study of the bordering community.
The incident took place on August 31 which was the same day that the Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro was on an official visit to Guyana.
At a Friday Press Conference, Opposition Leader Granger said “the Government should have been more forceful. The Guyana Defence Force is responsible for the territorial integrity of this country and in my interpretation that was a breach of territorial integrity”
Brigadier Granger believes that it is clear that the incident was undertaken by the Venezuelan soldiers and the group with the aim of insulting the President of Venezuela during his visit and making a declaration of an act of sovereignty.
“An act of sovereignty is meant to create an international incident and demonstrate the attitude of certain persons in Venezuela to the Guyana Government and also to the Maduro administration and so I think the Government should have been much more forceful than it was” , Granger said.
The Guyana Defence Force is probing the incident and the Government is expected to dispatch an official diplomatic complaint over the incident.