Belize Urges Respect for International Law Amid Venezuela-Guyana Tensions

Belize Urges Respect for International Law Amid Venezuela-Guyana Tensions

Another territorial issue that Briceno commented on was the reported high handedness of the Venezuelan government over its neighbor, Guyana.  Despite having a case before the ICJ, Venezuela went to a referendum where the majority voted to reject the court’s jurisdiction.  Belize issued a statement this week, calling for the respect and adherence to the principles of international law.  Prime Minister John Briceno has coined the situation as unfortunate.

Hon. John Briceño, Prime Minister of Belize: “I think that what Venezuela is doing is not right. That Venezuela their borders have been defined from 1899 something like that. It has gone to the ICj they have had treaties, that has been determined long ago. It is unfortunate that Venezuela now is taking the opportunity now at this time to say ‘I want 70% back of Guyana.’ and Belize we believe firmly in the right to self determination, we believe firmly in th rule of law. The ICJ has done a ruling and Guyana is our CARICOM brother and we need to stand by them and we stand by President Ali. I was hoping to go to a meeting tomorrow in Saint Vincent. Prime Minister Ralph Gonsalves is the chair of CELAC and he called a meeting where both Guyana and Venezuela will attend along with President Lula from Brazil and a few of us-  I think Mia Mottley said she would try , well she’s right next door. I asked Minister Courtenay see how we can get there but it would have been impossible and I would have had to have left yesterday, fly to Miami, fly to Panama, fly to Barbados and from Barbados then fly to St.Vincent. It would have been impossible for us to get there. It would have taken me probably six days to go there and to come back for a meeting of a few hours. So I expressed to President Ali, my friend, that I am unable to attend but I made it abundantly clear Belize stands 100% with Guyana.”

Since the referendum, Venezuela’s president, Nicholas Maduro has ordered the creation of a new state called “Guayana Esequiba”, with a plan to grant Venezuelan nationality to the Guyanese living in the disputed area.

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