Belize has registered its concerns over Venezuelan officials detaining 12 Guyanese nationals and their vessel last week. The detention was done in Guyana’s Exclusive Economic Zone, but much like Belize there are territorial differences that Guyana currently faces with Venezuela. Minister of Foreign Affairs, Eamon Courtenay met with the Venezuelan Ambassador to Belize, His Excellency Gerardo Argote, at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs on January 24, 2021 for an explanation of his Government’s action. In a release from the Belize Government, it noted that Minister Courtenay took the meeting opportunity to condemn this latest flagrant violation of Guyana’s sovereignty and territorial integrity by Venezuela, while Belize has called for the immediate release of the illegally detained Guyanese nationals and their vessels and urged the Government of Venezuela to respect international law and ensure a peaceful resolution of this incident. Minister Courtenay has remained in close contact with his colleague Hon. Hugh Todd, Foreign Minister of Guyana, on this matter. Belize reiterates its unequivocal support for Guyana’s sovereignty and territorial integrity and the process underway before the International Court of Justice to finally and peacefully resolve the controversy between the two countries. The two South American nations have been in a long-running border conflict in which Caracas is claiming much of the eastern Guyana. The dispute has been exacerbated in recent years by Guyana’s development of oil reserves near the disputed area.
Belize has registered its concerns over Venezuelan officials detaining 12 Guyanese nationals and their vessel last week.