( Demerara Waves) Guyana President Irfaan Ali on Wednesday night, to usher in Guyana’s 56th Independence Anniversary, stood in Essequibo and thumped his nose at Venezuela’s continued disregard for the International Court of Justice’s (ICJ) ability to hear and settle the border controversy over that county.
“We do not intend to deviate from the judicial path which has been taken to address the controversy with the Bolivarian Republic of Venezuela. Our path to peace is paved with good intentions. We are committed to good neighbourly relations,” he said at Damon Square, Anna Regina. The Venezuelan government has repeatedly stated that the ICJ does not have jurisdiction in the matter and has often called for the two countries to settle the issue bilaterally, an approach that Guyana had taken for about 50 years without success.
Dr. Ali also told the thousands of attendees at the first National Flag Raising Ceremony that Guyana would be relying on diplomatic pressure on the border issue. “We’ll continue to marshal the best diplomatic efforts necessary to ensure respect all our territorial space,” he said. he also appealed for national unity on the issue of Guyana’s sovereignty. “Independence impose us the duty to safeguard Guyana’s territorial integrity and national sovereignty. On these issues, Guyana must broker no division. We must continue to stand united in defending our motherland from external threats,” he told thousands of attendees.
Earlier Thursday, the Guyana Defence Force held a parachute display over that area of the Essequibo Coast.
Guyana has long cited the need for Venezuela to respect the ICJ’s decision in the case brought by Guyana to confirm that the 1899 Arbitral Tribunal Award was a full, final and perfect settlement of the land boundary with Venezuela.
Over the years, Venezuela’s Navy has seized Guyanese fishing vessels and seismic research ships and taken them to Venezuela.