In his inaugural speech at the CARICOM Heads of Government meeting earlier this evening, President David Granger implored the Caribbean Community to reaffirm its collective support for the principles enshrined in international law for safeguarding territorial integrity, sovereignty and national independence.
Making the case for Guyana, the President said even as the country approaches its 50th Independence anniversary with its sister Barbados, it is doing so with a ‘monkey on its back’. That being, what he described as the unbearable burden of an ‘oppressive and obnoxious’ claim to Guyana’s land and sea space by Venezuela.
Guyana, President Granger pointed out, has over the years borne the brunt of having funding for a major hydro-electricity project blocked; investors intimidated; its citizens in border areas harassed and petroleum exploration vessels expelled and seized by gunboats.
President Granger said that Guyana’s border with Venezuela was fixed is 116 years ago, when it was determined, defined, delineated and demarcated by international arbitration. In addition, maps were drawn, atlases were adjusted, border markers were cast in stone, President Granger stated.
“Any state that systematically, cynically and sedulously seeks to repudiate solemn international agreements and to undermine the security and sovereignty of another state must be condemned.