With a case management conference set for tomorrow in the Guyana/Venezuela case before the International Court, Foreign Minister Hugh Todd told the National Assembly this afternoon that the Government of Guyana will be sparing no money to ensure the Guyanese public is properly educated and informed on the border issues.
Although most of his budget debate presentation dealt with local politics and not foreign affairs issues, the Minister said when it comes to matters related to Guyana’s territorial integrity, the country stands as one.
He said the Foreign Affairs Ministry intends to launch a massive public relations drive to ensure citizens are aware of the facts related to the border case and issues surrounding Guyana’s territorial integrity.
“Monies will also be allocated to a national public relations committee, a committee that will drive a national pr campaign because it is felt that we need to be very proactive over the next several years by educating our people and this was also raised in the Foreign Relations sub-committee and we all agreed that we should be a massive public relations campaign which includes our grade school children right through to adulthood and to bring everyone onboard to speak with one message and to be able to ensure that each and everyone understands the value of maintaining and protecting our territorial integrity”, the Minister said.
Minister Todd also told the National Assembly that through budgetary allocations, his Ministry will be hosting regular stakeholders meeting on border matters to ensure that national stakeholders are always updated. The first of the stakeholder’s meetings was recently held.
Guyana had cause recently to alert the United Nations and other members of the international community when the Venezuelan Navy made its way into Guyana’s exclusive economic zone and detained 12 Guyanese fishermen.
The fishermen were taken to Venezuela and kept in custody for almost two weeks. They were eventually released on the instruction of the Venezuelan President.
The relationship between Guyana and Venezuela remains tense as Venezuela continues with its claim of Guyana’s land and maritime space, even as Guyana continues to accept Venezuelan migrants fleeing the hardships in their homeland.