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….as Guyana objects to invasion of airspace at Eteringbang
Venezuela, in rejecting claims by Guyana that it invaded its airspace last Tuesday, said it was conducting regular patrol operations at its borders.
“Once again, in a wild way, the Government of Guyana tries to generate false versions about the regular patrol operations of the Venezuelan borders, carried out by the Bolivarian National Armed Forces, strictly circumscribed to the undisputed Venezuelan territory, in order to appear alleged “act of aggression” against Sister Guyana,” the Spanish speaking country said in a statement on Wednesday.
The statement came hours after the Guyanese Government issued a Protest Note to Venezuela over the invasion of two Venezuelan Army Jets into Guyana’s airspace. Flying at a very low altitude of 1500 feet, two Venezuelan fighter jets flew over the community of Eteringbang and the air strip on Tuesday.
On Wednesday, Guyana’s Minister of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation, Hugh Todd summoned the Venezuelan Ambassador to Guyana, Luis Edgardo Diaz Monclus to hand over the protest note and register the Government’s condemnation of the recent violation of Guyana’s sovereignty.
But though Ambassador Diaz Monclus appeared apologetic, the Nicolas Maduro Administration, hours later, described the statements by Guyana as false.
“It is disconcerting that, in an effort to promote this repeated campaign of defamation and victimization before the international concert, an unfounded accusation is issued, based on videos published on social networks, without offering the precise and georeferenced location of the area in question,” the Venezuelan Government said.
It is contending that due to the controversy over the Essequibo Region, “none of the parties can refer to this territory as their own, under their sovereignty and jurisdiction, such as set out in Article 5 of the 1966 Geneva Agreement.”
The country said it remains faithful to its position in favor of resuming the spirit and mechanisms to seek a practical, peaceful and mutually satisfactory resolution of the territorial controversy.
The Guyanese Government has said that Tuesday’s incident constitutes a clear violation of Guyana’s territorial space as well as International Laws and Conventions.
Further, the Foreign Minister said this recent act of aggression not only challenged the good neighbourly relations but, by extension peace and stability of the region. He reiterated President Ali’s commitment to engaging with Venezuela in areas of mutual interest for the betterment and prosperity of the people of Guyana and Venezuela.
However, it was keen on pointing out that this latest hostility follows closely on the heels of the Decree recently issued by President Maduro which purports to establish maritime territory for Venezuela which encompasses Guyana’s territorial waters, EEZ and continental shelf, as well as its land territory west of the Essequibo River; and the illegal interception and detention of two Guyanese fishing vessels and their crew in Guyana’s waters.
It also comes after the resolutions of the Special Commission for the Defence of the “Guayana Esequiba” and Territorial Sovereignty which recommended the convening a session of this Special Commission to the Essequibo with the assistance of the Venezuelan armed forces.
Guyana has vowed to inform the international community of all actions undertaken by Venezuela to undermine the sovereignty and territorial integrity of Guyana and threaten the peace and security of the region.