Barbadian Prime Minister, Mia Mottley, has declared that she is fully supportive of Guyana in the ongoing border controversy with neighbouring Venezuela.
Prime Minister Mottley was criticized recently after calling on both Guyana and Venezuela to ensure the region remains a zone of peace, while reminding Barbadians that Venezuela has been a good “sister” to Barbados.
At a press conference over the weekend, the Prime Minister along with her other CARICOM colleagues, she wanted to make it clear that they are all fully supportive of Guyana and its position.
“In this particular case in our view, Guyana’s position has been strong, it has been unwavering and it is before the International Court of Justice and we have backed them 150% with that. But equally, we understand that where there is not the appropriate opportunity to keep temperatures down. Then things can happen that go beyond our control,” Ms. Mottley said.
Ms. Mottley said her mission is to promote peace and not division.
“CARICOM has issued a very strong statement in support of Guyana, we have all as individual countries issued that, the fact that I have said two weeks ago at my annual conference that in spite of that that Venezuela is a friend and therefore we would wish to see the Caribbean remain a zone of peace seem to have excited condemnation in some quarters,” the Barbadian Prime Minister said.
Meanwhile, Prime Minister of St. Vincent and the Grenadines, Dr. Ralph Gonsalves, who has also been cited for his close ties to Venezuela and mixed messages on the border controversy said he believes that there should be dialogue between the two countries, even though they have different positions on the matter.
On Saturday, President Irfaan Ali said he is not open to any dialogue with Venezuela on the border controversy. But the St. Vincent Prime Minister believes there should be some discussions between the two neighbouring states.
“Guyana and Venezuela are among eight countries that belong to the Amazon Cooperation Treaty, there are things for them still as neighbors to be talking about. There is the question of the delimitation of the seas which is not directly connected to the Arbitral award, but which different countries would wish to see it sequenced in a particular manner,” Dr. Gonsalves said.
The CARICOM Secretariat has repeatedly made clear the region’s strong support of Guyana in the ongoing border row, and has also joined in rejecting the planned Venezuelan referendum on Guyana’s Essequibo region.