Gov’t remains on high alert amid Venezuela’s claim to Guyana’s Essequibo – President Ali tells BBC Radio
In an interview with British Broadcasting Corporation (BBC) Radio Sunday morning, President Dr Mohamed Irfaan Ali reminded that while Guyana has intensely focused on diplomacy and the maintenance of peace regarding the border controversy, the country remains on high alert.
“The rhetoric out of Venezuela and the behaviour and attitude of the President and Vice President necessitate serious concerns, and we cannot be caught wanting. As the President of Guyana, we have to take everything that the President and the military say very seriously, and their rhetoric has not been an encouraging one,” the Guyanese leader asserted.
Further, the president emphasised that Venezuela’s referendum seeks to threaten Guyana’s territorial integrity and sovereignty.
The Venezuelan government, in its continued claims to more than two-thirds of Guyana’s territory, has said that it intends to move forward with its referendum, where it will pose questions to the Venezuelan people, seeking approval for several measures to validate its claim.
These actions seek to create conflict, and President Ali noted that the Guyanese government has urged Venezuela to abide by international law and allow the issue to be settled through legal means.
He assured that the government will spare no effort to protect Guyana’s territory and its people.
“We have been mobilising around the globe. And I must say that the international community has supported Guyana tremendously, and has issued very strong statements; the Commonwealth, CARICOM, the OAS, France, the UK (United Kingdom), Canada, the US government. So, with our partners, we’re not taking this lightly whilst, at the same time, we are monitoring the situation,” President Ali affirmed.
Earlier today, the head of state addressed the nation via a live broadcast, and spent time with residents along the Essequibo Coast, addressing concerns while leading a nationwide awareness campaign.