Guyana tells Venezuela: Leave Essequibo alone

The content originally appeared on: Trinidad and Tobago Newsday

File photo: Guyana’s President Mohamed Irfaan Ali speaks at the Diplomatic Centre, St Ann’s during his State visit to TT last year.

GUYANA’s National Assembly, with a single voice, has told the Venezuelan government to leave the disputed Essequibo border area between the two countries alone.

The assembly made this call during an extraordinary sitting on Monday in Georgetown, to approve a motion supporting Guyana’s efforts to have this centuries-old border dispute with Venezuela settled once and for all by the International Court of Justice.

In moving the motion , Foreign Affairs Minister Hugh Todd said the government and opposition are united on the position that Venezuela has no legitimate claim to Essequibo.

Todd added that the motion brought before the assembly shows to the world that on this matter Guyana stands united.

“One people. One nation. One destiny.”

In supporting Hilton, opposition MP Khemraj Ramjattan questioned whether a degree of irrationality was filtering into the minds of Venezuela’s Nicolas Maduro government, in pursuing this aimof grabbing Guyana’s resource-rich Essequibo region.

He reminded MPs that Venezuela itself continues to grapple with its own economic, humanitarian and political crises.

He agreed with Todd that all international laws are in Guyana’s favour on the issue.

“It is very clear that Essequibo belongs to us.”