The New York based Guyana Democracy Project, an organization dedicated to promoting democracy and peace in Guyana, has issued a statement strongly condemning Venezuela’s scheduled December 3 referendum asserting a claim to two thirds of Guyana’s sovereign territory. Its bellicose, threatening statements and actions against Guyana are not warranted under any circumstance as Guyana does not pose a threat to Venezuela or its people. Venezuela reportedly has some 35,000 military personnel and multiple offensive military equipment on Guyana’s border in a threatening position.
NYGDP notes that Guyana has been a friendly, peaceful neighbor with all countries in the western hemisphere including Venezuela, and in recent years Guyana has accepted tens of thousands of Venezuelans as economic migrants who have fled the hardships of their country. They are warmly welcomed and embraced in Guyana.
The NYGDP states that Venezuela’s actions against Guyana are contrary to international law as they are trying to pre-empt the decision of the World Court that is expected very soon. Not only is Venezuela’s machinations a flagrant violation of international law, but they also undermine the principles and values set out in the UN Charter on the behavior of nations.
NYGDP notes that regional organizations such as the OAS, Caricom, Commonwealth and the United States and other countries have condemned Venezuela’s belligerence. The leaders of these regional organizations and the UN and several countries have called on the Venezuelan government to respect international law and the coming resolution of the dispute by the World Court (ICJ).
NYGDP states that Venezuela’s actions are a major threat to regional peace and security, adding that “the protection of the territorial integrity, sovereignty and independence of Guyana is sacrosanct and protected by the UN Charter”.
The NYGDP states further: “We condemn any violation of Guyana’s territorial integrity and the use of threats and intimidation.”
NYGDP notes that the people of Essequibo scornfully reject Venezuela President Maduro’s suggestion that he would grant them Venezuelan citizenship should they invade Guyana. Essequibians are happy being Guyanese; those settled in Venezuela since the 1970s have been returning to their homeland. Venezuelan returnees and other Guyanese have already begun protesting Maduro’s stated move and his threatening statements. They had a rally at Port Kaituma on November 22 and another is planned for Anna Regina on November 24, 2023.
NYGDP is aware that another Guyanese organization plans to hold a rally next weekend where resolutions will be considered and sent to US Congress, UN, NYS Assembly, regional organizations, and Diplomatic Missions accredited to the UN.
NYGDP joins with the US, OAS, Caricom, Commonwealth and other organizations to condemn Venezuela’s planned referendum in which they seek cover to seize two thirds of Guyana. In defiance of international law, they have planned a referendum whose sole purpose is to annex 2/3 of another neighboring country.
NYGDP calls on Venezuela and its government headed by Maduro to immediately and unconditionally cease its military manoevers at Guyana borders and respect international law and wait on the decision on the ICJ.