Border controversy: ‘We will work with our allies to plan for all eventualities’ – VP Jagdeo

Vice President Dr. Bharrat Jagdeo said the government is exploring all options including working with its allies to ensure the country plans for all eventualities.

Speaking at a press conference at the Office of the President on Thursday, Dr Jagdeo firmly stated that Guyana will not bend to Venezuela’s intimidating tactics.

Vice President, Dr Bharrat Jagdeo

Dr. Jagdeo pointed out that Guyana has maintained that the longstanding border controversy with Venezuela must be resolved through diplomatic and peaceful means in the International Court of Justice (ICJ).

In the interim, greater defence cooperation will be explored with several countries as a team from the United States Department of Defence will be visiting Guyana in the new week. 

We are interested in maintaining peace in our country and our borders but we are going to be working with our allies …We will have from the United States Department of Defence next week. [We will have] two visits to Guyana by two teams and then several other visits in the month of December and high-level presence representation from the Department of Defence here,” the Vice President informed media operatives.

In light of the recent calls to maintain peace in the region, VP Jagdeo made it clear that Guyana has never threatened peace as it depends heavily on diplomacy and international law. On the contrary, Venezuela is actively engaged in peddling misinformation, attempting to paint Guyana as the aggressor. 

We have never threatened the peace. Venezuela has been an aggressive country threatening peace…All options available to us to defend our country will be pursued. We’re not an aggressive power…but we have to ensure that we also protect our country against the lies and campaign peddled by misinformation,” the VP further highlighted.

Referring to one such lie, the VP made it clear that the government was never interested in establishing military bases in the country, yet this has been repeated by Venezuela.

He assured that Guyana has the world’s support in the ongoing controversy, as he reminded that the 1899 Arbitral Award and the 1966 Geneva Agreement have already resolved the decade-old controversy. 

“We have the solidarity of the world in this issue. The CARICOM, the Commonwealth, the OAS including the two main parties at the tribunal when it was set up, the United States of America and the United Kingdom,” he underscored.

Dr Jagdeo also condemned Venezuela’s Vice President, Delcy Rodriguez for her vile rhetoric and personal attacks on Guyana’s President, Dr. Mohamed Irfaan Ali.

Further, the Vice President also called out the APNU/AFC opposition for attempting to score political points by politicising the border controversy and fear-mongering. 

“We must not spread rumours to score political points…We must not help here locally to raise anxiety in our people. We must not get into a state of panic and start feeding on ourselves. We are working strongly in the international community,” he stressed.

Guyana is currently awaiting the ruling of the ICJ on its request for provisional measures that would block questions relating to the annexation of two-thirds of Guyana’s territory in the upcoming December 3 referendum by the Venezuelan government.