Through a statement, the Mixed Commission in Defense of the Venezuelan Sovereignty of the Essequibo Territory and the Atlantic Facade accused the Maduro government of not having the political will to resolve the struggle for the Essequibo. He stressed that the territorial dispute is the result of a process of destruction of public institutions that left Venezuela “without any capacity to respond to situations in which sovereignty is compromised.”
The Mixed Commission in Defense of the Venezuelan Sovereignty of the Essequibo Territory and the Atlantic Facade asked the government of Nicolás Maduro to allow the participation of all sectors of the country to prepare a “serious, responsible and forceful” document for the defense of the territory that is in dispute .
The commission’s call comes after the International Court of Justice (ICJ) ruled against Venezuela in the hearing held this Thursday, April 6, for the dispute with Guyana over the 160,000 square kilometers of the Essequibo territory. The administration of Nicolás Maduro had filed a “preliminary objection” in which several reasons were presented, through written and oral arguments, to “request the Court to resolve and declare that Guyana’s claims are inadmissible.” The body, however, by 14 votes in favor and only one against, rejected such a request and decided to continue the investigation.
The commission requested that it convene and consult historians, diplomats, cartographers, experts in international law, the Academy of History, the military, specialized non-governmental organizations, universities, dense politicians and civil society, to achieve a national consensus “and defend what should never have been prosecuted.”
Through a statement, he stressed that the territorial dispute is the result of a process of destruction of public institutions, “leaving the nation without any capacity to respond to situations in which national sovereignty is compromised.”
«Sectarianism and official blindness have as a result disastrous consequences that in the case of foreign policy have surrounded us, limiting ourselves to defending an outdated and contradictory rhetorical narrative at the same time, a policy that, as in the case of the Essequibo, betrays the thought of Father Liberator, Simón Bolívar, who with his political genius created the utis possideti iuristhe central doctrine of our defense of the Essequibo territory,” he wrote in the document.
He recalled that he has raised on multiple occasions to the Government the need for it to be given State status to the issue.
He warned that the ICJ ruling determines that the instance can decide on the merits of the claim filed by Guyana in 2008, to resolve the territorial dispute. “The Mixed Commission regrets that the ICJ has declared itself competent and has accepted Guyana’s claim as final.”
Reactions after ruling on the Essequibo
After learning of the ICJ ruling, opposition leaders criticized the actions of the Maduro government in the case. Among them, former deputy Juan Guaidó, who through Twitter said that “systematic negligence” is the cause of the risk of Venezuela losing the Essequibo territory. He asserted that neither Maduro nor his leadership are interested in the Essequibo, “because they still cannot loot it.”
For her part, Delsa Solorzano, president of the Encuentro Ciudadano party, emphasized that it is now up to the State to prepare the countermemorandum in which the Venezuelan experts would have to participate.
“This is the second time that Venezuela has lost in this case at the ICJ. The first was when the ICJ declared itself competent to settle the case, and today the preliminary objection is lost. We must emphasize that having reached this stage, among other things, is due to the indifference with which the Chavo Madurista regime treated the issue,” he wrote.
The former parliamentarian stressed that those who are litigating in the ICJ should be prepared to enter the merits phase. «From Encuentro Ciudadano, we put our best experts at the service of the nation to defend ourselves against the theft of 17% of our territory. This is an issue that concerns all Venezuelans equally.
While the leader of Primero Justicia and candidate for the opposition primaries Henrique Capriles He advocated because “the defense of the Essequibo has to be an opportunity for the meeting of all Venezuelans who love our territory, in defense of wealth and of our country.”
Once again, the incompetence of those who have been in power for years, the so-called revolution, leaves our Venezuela in a weak position that puts the territory of our country and all the wealth that belongs to Venezuelans at risk.
— Henrique Capriles R. (@hcapriles) April 6, 2023
The Primero Justicia party blamed Nicolás Maduro for the ruling against Venezuela. He assured that government officials have acted incompetently and very late in this part of the process “which leaves Venezuela in a weak position and puts the national territory at risk.”
For his part, the governor of Zulia state, Manuel Rosales, pointed out that “our sovereignty over the Essequibo is above any political calculation.” In the opinion of the regional president “it is inadmissible that” this sacred right is intended to be twisted through deceitful and truculent legal tinkering.
“We make a categorical call to the international community to remain vigilant against the attempt to deprive us of a vital part of the Venezuelan geography,” he said.
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