The Government of Guyana has rejected Venezuela’s denial over the shooting incident which occurred two weeks ago in Guyana’s Cuyuni river involving Venezuelan soldiers.
Guyana’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs has responded to the recent statement by the Venezuelan Embassy in Guyana, in which it denied that Venezuelan troops shot at Guyanese mining officials while they were traversing the Cuyuni River.
The Guyana Government challenged Venezuela’s explanation in which it sought to convey the impression that the May 30 incident was a fabrication.
The Venezuelan Embassy over the weekend, denied that Venezuelan soldiers attacked officials of the Guyana Geology and Mines Commission who were at the time traveling in a boat along the river in the Eteringbang area.
The Embassy claimed that following investigations by the Venezuelan military, no exercise was carried out by the Venezuelan military in that area. But the Guyana government said on Sunday that Venezuela’s explanation flies in the face of direct reports from the victims of the shooting incident and explanation that Guyanese authorities had solicited from the Venezuelan Corporal -in-Charge of the six troops who were involved in the incident.
“The Venezuelan authorities would have done well to have checked the troops in question at the observation post La Boca on Ankoko Island who had furnished Guyana’s investigators with an explanation which the Government of Guyana believes and which it has found to involved unacceptable behavior because they assumed that they had rights of policing the river which is in Guyana’s territory,” the statement noted.
Guyana reminded that in the past such actions have led to the loss of lives and believes it is irresponsible to brush off the incident.
The Guyana government said it was also unfortunate that it was not afforded the courtesy of an official response to the diplomatic note which was sent to the Ministry of Foreign Affairs in the neighboring country.
The three mining officers who escaped without injury, reported the ordeal in detail and said they had come under gunfire from Venezuelan soldiers.
According to reports, the Captain of the boat was able to get the attention of the soldiers and they ceased fire. Guyana and Venezuela is currently embroiled in a border controversy where Venezuelan continues to lay claims to Guyana’s Essequibo Region and its oil rich maritime space.
Guyana dismissed Venezuela’s claim that its actions were part of an international media campaign and said it will continue to be a peaceful and law abiding neighbour.