Guyana Government writes Venezuela over breach of sovereignty

Guyana Government writes Venezuela over breach of sovereignty

The Government of Guyana on Friday stated that it was seeking a diplomatic resolution after it was informed that on Thursday a Venezuelan Navy Vessel crossed over into Guyana’s Exclusive Economic Zone and arrested a vessel which belongs to a company that has been granted a petroleum prospecting licenses by Guyana.

The move comes just over a month after Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro paid an official state visit to Guyana and pledged his Government’s commitment to building good neighborly relations with Guyana.

In a statement issued on Friday morning, the Government of Guyana stated that “at approximately 16:00 hrs on Thursday 10th October, 2013 a Venezuelan Navy frigate, the “Yakuana”, was trailing the seismic vessel, the RV Teknik Perdana which is under contract with Anadarko. The frigate obstructed the research vessel’s passage, requested them to change course and stop surveying. As is known, Anadarko has a petroleum prospecting licence to search for hydrocarbons in the Roraima block offshore Guyana.”

According to the Government statement, the crew of the RV Teknik Perdana explained to the crew of the Venezuelan frigate that they were conducting a multi-beam survey of the seafloor in Guyana’s exclusive economic zone.

“The Venezuelan crew aboard the frigate insisted that the vessel was doing such work in Venezuela’s exclusive economic zone and instructed that the vessel switch off its engines and shut down its seismic equipment”, the statement added.

Reports indicate that the situation became tense and just before 6 pm, the Venezuelan Frigate ordered the RV Teknik Perdana, which was then located at 10 21.0745 N, 57 31.1057W to travel at 5 knots in a westerly direction.

The Government said “At approximately 20:30 hrs, the crew of the RV Teknik Perdana was instructed to increase speed to 7 knots and was given directions to sail to the island of Margarita in Venezuela.  It was then clear that the vessel and its crew were not only being escorted out of Guyana’s waters, but were under arrest.”

The Donald Ramotar administration has described the actions by the Venezuelan frigate as unprecedented in Guyana Venezuela relations.

The Government said “two points are clear.  The first is that the RVTeknik Perdana was in Guyana’s waters when this regrettable incident took place.  In fact, Guyana has been exercising jurisdiction over the said area ever since the extension of the jurisdiction of coastal States was established under international law.  This was in fact made clearer after the passage of the Maritime Boundaries Act of 1977.  The second point is that the Venezuelan Navy vessel acted in contravention of the laws of Guyana and indeed international law when it entered Guyana’s waters and sought to intimidate the crew of the vessel and later ordered that vessel out of Guyana’s waters and escorted the vessel and crew to Venezuela.”

The Government of Guyana stated that it has expressed to the Government of the Bolivarian Republic of Venezuela its grave concern about the incident involving the RV Teknik Perdana.  “Guyana intends to employ all peaceful means to facilitate a return to the status quo ante since neither the Venezuelan frigate, the agents of Venezuela, its Government nor any other State has the authority to exercise any action in Guyana’s territorial waters, its continental shelf or its exclusive economic zone without its express consent.”

The statement added that the Government of Guyana is of the firm belief that the actions taken by the Venezuelan navy vessel constitute a serious threat to the peace of this sub-region and the Government of Guyana therefore strongly condemns the actions taken by the Venezuelan frigate.

“Guyana believes in the peaceful resolution of disagreements amongst States.  It is for that reason that Guyana maintains that since the RV Teknik Perdana was merely collecting seismic data, and it will be some time before actual exploration for hydrocarbons could take place, there was and is ample time for Guyana and Venezuela to discuss any differences of view that may exist in relation to the provisional maritime boundary between the two States.  Guyana however maintains that the application of the principles of international maritime delimitation will vindicate its position that the RV Teknik Perdana was well within its maritime boundary when it was illegally evicted by the Venezuelan frigate.  Indeed so is the Roraima concession block”, the Government of Guyana statement concluded.

You must be logged in to post a comment Login