Guyana is pursuing a path of peace

Loud shouts of Dave Martin & The Tradewinds’ “Essequibo belongs to we” and “Not a blade O’ grass” erupted on Friday afternoon, during a meeting held by the Hon. Bishop Juan Edghill, Minister of Public Works, with leaders and stakeholders: the Neighbourhood and Regional Democratic Councils, religious groups, the business community, local NGOs, community and sporting groups and women and youth organisations.

The Opposition Member of Parliament for Region 10 was also invited but was unavoidably absent.  

The special sensitisation meeting was called with all stakeholders in the region, to outline some key points, and to dissuade rumor-mongering on Venezuela’s current aggression towards Guyana.

Minister Edghill assured those gathered that the Government was not being laid back or taking this serious matter for granted, instead, the Minister noted that the Government in partnership with the Opposition Members of Parliament was taking the lead through well-thought-out and intentional means.

He reminded everyone, that both sides have agreed that Guyana’s sovereignty is of paramount importance and is a matter on which all Guyanese are completely united.

Both the Government and the Opposition have also condemned the blatant violation of the rule of law by Venezuela and agreed that no effort should be spared to resist Venezuela’s persistent posture to undermine Guyana’s sovereignty and territorial integrity.

However, Minister Edghill made it clear that Guyana was pursuing a path of peace, not out to have a war with anybody.

“When you pursue a path of peace you look for a mechanism where we could sit and dialogue, and find answers and solutions,” He explained.

The Minister added that instead of waiting after a war to look for a resolution, as done historically with wars, Guyana sought to find resolution and dialogue before any fighting started.  

“As far as we are concerned, we sat at the table and submitted ourselves to a tribunal way back then, and having heard our case, our borders with Venezuela were decided upon, and with the write up it said it was ‘a full, perfect and final’ settlement of all the questions referred to the Arbitrators. And this was held up for more than 60 years.”

Minister Edghill reiterated that in addition to a path of peace, Guyana also employed diplomacy, and is pursuing international law, as well as have engaged the country’s allies.

“The Vice-President at his press conference made it very clear that we are engaging our allies in the event of any eventuality, and that is all we will say.” 

Minister Edghill in reiterating his call for persons to stop fear-mongering, urged those gathered to only seek information on this matter from official channels.

The 1899 Arbitral Award, which definitively settled the land boundary between Guyana and Venezuela, was the result of a legitimate process that was set in train in 1897. The 1899 Award was also accepted by both parties for nearly sixty-three years.