Statement by the Institute of Chartered Accountants of Guyana on the Venezuela referendum of December 3, 2023

The Institute of Chartered Accountants of Guyana (ICAG) has noted the intentions stated in the various publications by the Bolivarian Republic of Venezuela to conduct a Consultative Referendum on December 3, regarding the legal validity and binding effect of the Arbitral Award of 3 October 1899.

That country’s National Electoral Council has approved the inclusion of several questions in a December 3 Referendum that undermine Guyana’s territorial integrity and sovereignty. Specifically, Question 5 of the Referendum Questions seeks agreement for the creation and development of a Guayana Esequiba state and a plan for present and future generations of the proposed state – effectively an annexation in violation of international law and a threat to the security of all Guyanese and the stability of our country.  

The timing of Venezuela’s referendum seems designed to undermine that effort, create tensions, and threaten regional and international peace.

Our Institute is aware that this matter was resolved close to one hundred and twenty-five years ago. Also, this is currently engaging the International Court of Justice (ICJ).

We recognise and accept the 1899 Arbitral Award as the ‘Full, perfect and final” settlement of the boundary between Guyana and Venezuela.

Our Institute joins with all Guyanese in rejecting Venezuela’s referendum as a provocation and fully supports the actions of our government to defend and protect our country’s sovereignty and territorial integrity.