Support Village Voice News With a Donation of Your Choice.
Together, the Leader of the Opposition of the Co-operative Republic of Guyana Hon. Aubrey C. Norton and President of the Democratic Labour Party Dr. Ronnie Yearwood condemn Prime Minister of Barbados Mia Mottley’s failure to unequivocally condemn Venezuela’s referendum on the annexation of the Essequibo region in Guyana.
Mr. Norton and Dr. Yearwood are greatly concerned by the statement of Prime Minister Mia Mottley made at the 84th Annual Barbados Labour Party (BLP) conference where she stated that Venezuela “has been a good sister to us [Barbados] and we pray therefore…persons will allow maturity to attend all their actions and conversations”. Prime Minister Mottley then went on to call on Guyana and Venezuela to maintain the peace stating, “I hope that the rhetoric and the noise between Venezuela and Guyana does not turn our Caribbean into anything that is not a zone of peace because it matters to us that this Caribbean remains a zone of peace.”
Mr. Norton and Dr. Yearwood denounce this statement by Prime Minister Mottley because it conflicts with the historical context of the provocation, aggression and the current explicit threat of use of force by Venezuela against Guyana, a sister CARICOM country. Mr. Norton and Dr. Yearwood regret that Prime Minister Mottley’s statement takes a foreign policy position of neutrality on the Guyana-Venezuela territorial controversy, instead of urging Venezuela to abandon its referendum on the annexation of the Essequibo region in Guyana and allow the judicial proceeding before the International Court of Justice (ICJ) to take its course.
Further, Mr. Norton and Dr Yearwood reject the statements made by Prime Minister Mottley and Prime of St Vincent and the Grenadines Ralph Gonsalves that criticisms over their handling of the Guyana – Venezuela controversy were politically motivated. Together, they call on Prime Minister Mottley and Prime Minister Gonsalves not to politicize the issue, but to act in the best interest of defending Guyana’s territorial integrity and sovereignty.
Mr. Norton and Dr. Yearwood reiterate that supporting CARICOM states when their sovereignty is undermined is a fundamental aspect of the foreign policy of the CARICOM. On this basis, they urge Prime Minister Mottley to follow the position of CARICOM in supporting the territorial integrity and sovereignty of Guyana.
Additionally, Mr. Norton and Dr. Yearwood are mindful of the strength of the long-standing diplomatic relationship between Guyana and Barbados. They cite the cooperation between President of Guyana, Forbes Burnham, and Democratic Labour Party founder and Prime Minister of Barbados, Errol Barrow, who were instrumental in negotiating the Dickenson Bay Agreement of 1965 which laid the foundation for the Caribbean Community. This agreement has set the tone for the friendly relations that Guyana and Barbados have enjoyed, and the outstanding working relationship with mutual benefits to both sides. Mr. Norton and Dr. Yearwood further recall that many Barbadians have made their home Guyana, and this has promoted friendly relations between the people of Guyana and Barbados.
Mr. Norton and Dr. Yearwood urge CARICOM countries that are signatories to the Venezuela-Caribbean Petrocaribe oil procurement agreement to resist attempts by Venezuela to use the agreement as leverage to gain support for itself and weaken the solidarity of the Regional Integration Movement in respect of the Territorial Controversy.
Mr. Norton and Dr. Yearwood recall that CARICOM countries have always respected the rule of international law and the judicial decisions of the ICJ. They urge CARICOM countries to unequivocally support Guyana in the defense of its territorial integrity and sovereignty in the case before the ICJ and respect the final decision of the ICJ when it is given.