The 15-nation Caribbean Community (CARICOM) on Friday said Venezuela’s recent pronouncement on Guyana’s bid round for offshore blocks amounted to a “threat” to use force.
CARICOM backed Guyana fully in its quest to develop its natural resources. “The Caribbean Community reiterates its full and unequivocal support for the sovereignty and territorial integrity of the Cooperative Republic of Guyana, including its right to peacefully develop the resources of its territory.”
Against the backdrop of a National Assembly decision to hold a referendum on defending Venezuela’s claim, the regional bloc, whose 14 independent states are also members of the Organisation of American States (OAS), appealed to Venezuela to await the decision by the International Court of Justice (ICJ) and abide by international law.
The Organisation of American States Secretary General Luis Almagro and the United States government have already come out in support of Guyana.
Following is the full text of CARICOM’s statement.
The Caribbean Community (CARICOM) notes with grave concern the contents of a Communique emanating from the Bolivarian Republic of Venezuela regarding the announcement made by our sister Member State, the Cooperative Republic of Guyana, about its intention to open bids for certain oil blocks in the waters adjacent to Guyana’s coast.
CARICOM views the stated intention of Venezuela to “apply all the necessary measures” to prevent the operations licensed by Guyana in its waters, as a threat of the use of force contrary to international law. It is also not in keeping with the long-standing position of the Latin American and Caribbean countries that our Region must remain a Zone of Peace.
CARICOM has also taken note of the decision of the Venezuelan National Assembly to conduct a popular referendum on defending Venezuela’s claim. CARICOM expresses the hope that Venezuela will engage fully in the process before the International Court of Justice, which has determined that it has the jurisdiction in the case brought before it. The Court’s final decision will ensure a resolution that is peaceful, equitable and in accordance with international law.
The Caribbean Community reiterates its full and unequivocal support for the sovereignty and territorial integrity of the Cooperative Republic of Guyana, including its right to peacefully develop the resources of its territory.