Browne: Caricom heads to talk on Essequibo by Friday

The content originally appeared on: Trinidad and Tobago Newsday

Foreign and Caricom Minister Amery Browne – Photo by Ayanna Kinsale

DR AMERY BROWNE, Minister of Foreign and Caricom Affairs, told Newsday on Wednesday that Caricom leaders will meet virtually by Friday to discuss the situation of the Essequibo region of Guyana, which is being claimed by Venezuela.

After Sunday’s referendum in Venezuela, President Nicolas Maduro sought inroads into the Essequibo on Tuesday by way of promising an administrative structure, oil exploration licences for Venezuelan firms, and a census of residents, amid reports of airstrip construction.

Browne told Newsday via WhatsApp, “I have received updates and exchanged information with Guyana and with Venezuela in the aftermath of the December 3 referendum, and remain in constant contact with the foreign minister of Guyana, with our team in Caracas, and Venezuela’s Ambassador to Port of Spain, with all Caricom counterparts and with key external partners.”

He said Caricom speaks with one voice on this border issue, and that voice, as always, fully includes Trinidad and Tobago.

“We continue to clearly call for respect for international law and the jurisdiction of the International Court of Justice, for peace to be maintained and preserved, and for full respect for the territorial integrity of Guyana and all member states.

“Caricom is currently in the process of convening an emergency session of heads of government via video conference which will take place by this Friday, and will make additional pronouncements at such time.”