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….as Venezuela asks ICJ for more time
The International Court of Justice (ICJ) has once again deferred the Case Management Conference for the 1899 Arbitral Award Case – Guyana-v-Venezuela – Village Voice News has been reliably informed.
The world court was scheduled to conduct the Case Management Conference (CMC) on Monday, January 25, 2021, however, Venezuela has rejected the date, and is now demanding that the CMC be pushed to April, 2021 as it seeks to invoke the principle of legal equality of States.
In a statement on Twitter, Venezuela’s Minister of Popular Power for Foreign Affairs, Jorge Arreaza acknowledged the December 18, 2020 decision of the ICJ that it has jurisdiction to determine the validity of the 1899 Arbitral Award, which legally established the land boundary between then British Guiana and Venezuela. However, in doing so, Arreaza registered Venezuela’s dissatisfaction with the ruling, and accused the ICJ of trying to impose Monday’s videoconference on the country.
“Venezuela desires to reiterate once again that it considers this to be a hasty meeting, which does not provide the country with the necessary time to carry out the considerations and consultations that the Venezuelan State demands, before assuming a position on an issue of vital importance,” Arreaza stated.
Initially, the Spanish speaking country had signaled its intention not to participate in the Case, however the country’s Foreign Minister said Venezuela has asked the Court to postpone the videoconference until April 21.
“Today, we reiterate once again this legitimate demand. The disregard of the compelling reasons that lead Venezuela to demand attention to its request could be considered a bad omen in view of the due guaranteed that must be provided for the preservation of the rights of both Parties, in accordance with their Statute and the principle of legal equality of States, as established in the Charter of the United Nations,” the Minister of Popular Power for Foreign Affairs said.
Initially, the Case Management Conference was set for January 15, 2021, however, the court took a decision to defer the matter to January 25. Village Voice News has not been able to confirm the new date set for the CMC.
Venezuela’s push for the hearing of the case to be further delayed comes even as it continues its acts of aggression against Guyana.
Last Thursday, Venezuelan authorities intercepted two Guyanese registered fishing vessels, which were operating within Guyana’s Exclusive Economic Zone (EEZ).
According to Guyana’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs, the two vessels – the Lady Nayera and the Sea Wolf – were operating off the coast of Waini Point within Guyana’s Exclusive Economic Zone, when they were intercepted by Venezuelan naval vessel Commandante Hugo Chavez GC 24.
“The captains were instructed to chart a course to Port Guiria where the boats and crew have been detained,” the Foreign Ministry said.
To date, the Government of Guyana has not been informed by the Government of Venezuela of the detention of its nationals.
“The Venezuelan vessel was illegally manoeuvring within Guyana’s EEZ and Contiguous Zone when it intercepted, boarded and commandeered the Guyanese fishing vessels,” the Foreign Ministry said while noting that it is currently seeking to ascertain the status and welfare of the crew members.
This latest act of aggression by the President Nicolas Maduro Administration has been strongly condemned by the Government and people of Guyana.
“Guyana condemns in the strongest possible terms this wanton act of aggression by the Venezuelan armed forces against Guyana and Guyanese citizens. This Venezuelan action amounts to an interference with the sovereign rights of Guyana in its EEZ, contrary to international law,” the Foreign Affairs Ministry said.
Venezuela’s illegal interception and interference with the sovereign rights of Guyana in its EEZ, comes approximately two weeks after the Spanish speaking country claimed exclusive sovereign rights in the waters and seabed adjacent to Guyana’s coast, west of the Essequibo River, which also form part of the EEZ.
“It is noted that this latest hostility follows closely on the heels of a Decree recently issued by President Nicolas Maduro which purports to establish “a new maritime territory of Venezuela called ‘Territory for the development of the Atlantic Façade’”, encompassing Guyana’s territorial waters, EEZ and continental shelf, as well as its land territory west of the Essequibo River,” the Ministry said while emphatically condemning the Venezuelan Decree as a flagrant violation of Guyana’s sovereignty and sovereign rights, and of fundamental rules of international law.
The Government of Guyana is demanding the immediate release of the crew and vessels. “It further exhorts the Government of Venezuela, and its agents, to behave in a manner consistent with international law and good neighbourly relations,” the Ministry said.
It has pledged to inform the international community on all actions taken by Venezuela to undermine the sovereignty and territorial integrity of Guyana.