Min. Greenidge rubbishes social commentary that Guyana is being used by US in war plot against Venezuela

─ Guyana and ExxonMobil have not claimed any land or waters in Venezuela’s acknowledged territory

─ Marxist theory not applicable in Guyana’s circumstances

─ ‘the social media commentary is dangerous’

─ Venezuela will continue to lay claim against Guyana’s territory whether ExxonMobil is operating or not

─ facts ignored for a more convenient mode of analysis to support argument  

DPI, Guyana, Thursday, August 30, 2018

Minister of Foreign Affairs, Carl Greenidge has dismissed a social commentary post which suggests that the United States (US) wants a war with Venezuela and is using Guyana to do so, through the oil company, ExxonMobil.

Minister Greenidge made it clear that Guyana and ExxonMobil have not claimed any land or waters in Venezuela’s acknowledged territory.

He noted that “we’re not trying to rob Venezuela. The [social media] piece is dangerous because by being simple it sounds plausible.”

According to the Foreign Affairs Minister, the commentary by Jinnah Rahman seeks to use Marxist analysis to add credibility to Venezuela. However, the minister noted that while the analysis is relevant and useful in many social and socio-political issues, it is completely inappropriate in the case of the Venezuela-Guyana border controversy.

Minister of Foreign Affairs, Carl Greenidge.

He said it is also irrelevant to ExxonMobil which first came here in 1999. Guyana’s lands were first claimed by Venezuela in 1962, nearly 40 years earlier.

In the social media post, Rahman states that “US imperialist are using Guyana as a platform to destabilise Venezuela… We must not allow ExxonMobil – the US oil Monopoly – to use our country to fight a war with Venezuela.”

Minister Greenidge pointed out that ExxonMobil only began serious exploration in after 2009 when the UNCLOS case with Suriname was settled. He pointed out that it was difficult to say with whom Venezuela was at war because it has attacked Guyana and had its warships seize in 2013, a vessel owned by Anadarko Petroleum Corporation rather than one belonging to ExxonMobil, its declared enemy! The minister cites former President Chavez as suggesting that the 1962 Venezuela claims and subsequent Venezuelan actions against Guyana were related to that country’s anti-communist thrust against Guyana as it approached independence. Since then, the actions have been driven by chauvinist nationalism.

“The issue here has nothing to do with Socialism, any government’s commitment to Socialism or a USA/Guyana war against Venezuela. Venezuela’s problems lie within its own borders and the very international petroleum market which had elevated its income and standard of living to the very high levels it enjoyed until relatively recently,” Minister Greenidge stated.

He added that as soon as radical observers, like Rahman, acknowledge this and come to grips with the fact that Venezuela has moved from claiming two-thirds of Guyana’s land mass to seeking to annex much of the maritime space eleven other Caribbean states, the misuse of Marxist analysis will become evident.

Guyana’s problem with Venezuela is simple, he noted, “Venezuela has a treaty with Guyana concerning our borders which Treaty Venezuela has sought to break along with the 1966 Geneva Agreement using a variety of illegal pretexts and stratagems. It is a simple case of greed. The point is not that Guyana cannot go to war but that it has never been involved with any entity in any war against Venezuela.”

The minister reminded that the 1899 Treaty clearly states that Essequibo is part of Guyana. In 1966, Venezuela agreed to a process to have the controversy resolved.

Although that process is clear Venezuela has refused to adhere to it.

The United Nations (UN) process under the 1966 Agreement failed, hence the Secretary-General’s decision to refer the controversy to the International Court of Justice (ICJ) for judicial settlement.

“It is in the relatively recent matter of the maritime space in which ExxonMobil is relevant but to suggest that the source of that problem with Guyana is the company is wrong too because Venezuela in pursuit of its chauvinistic goals offshore of Guyana has laid claim to the Exclusive Economic Zones of 11 other states in the Caribbean and in the Atlantic,” the minister added.

Some of these eleven countries include Columbia, St. Lucia, St. Vincent and Barbados and Suriname. The minister also believes that a person has to be “more than myopic” to see Exxon’s operation as a scheme between the company and Guyana to deprive Venezuela of anything.

The minister said the Rahman commentary is a case where inconvenient facts are ignored in favour of a more convenient mode of analysis which explains none of the circumstances facing Guyana and Venezuela. 

Stacy Carmichael

Image: Keno George


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