The presidents of Guyana and Venezuela will meet on December 14 in Saint Vincent and the Grenadines in a meeting sponsored by Celac and Caricom to try to alleviate bilateral tension.
The Prime Minister of Saint Vincent and the Grenadines, Ralph Gonsalves, who is also president pro tempore of the Community of Latin American and Caribbean States (Celac), sent a letter to the leaders on Saturday to invite them to talk about the border controversy.
“Taking into account the recent events and circumstances relating to the border dispute, the leaders of CELAC and CARICOM have assessed, in the interest of all concerned (…), the urgent need to de-escalate the conflict and institute a appropriate dialogue,” the letter stated.
The Venezuelan government said earlier that President Nicolás Maduro had spoken with the Secretary General of the UN, Antonio Guterres, and with the president pro tempore of CELAC and received the proposal to meet in the coming days with his counterpart from Guyana.
The appointment, added the Government of Caracas in a statement, “is in order to preserve our aspiration to maintain Latin America and the Caribbean as a zone of peace.”
He added that Venezuela was satisfied and that it accepted this “call with approval and commitment” and that Guterres “committed to promoting efforts in favor of direct dialogue between the parties and recalled that he has always offered his good offices to resolve the controversy.” with Guyana.
Venezuelans rejected the International Court of Justice’s jurisdiction over the country’s long-running territorial dispute with Guyana in a referendum on Sunday and backed the creation of a new state in the Essequibo region.
Minutes later, the Minister of Information of Venezuela, Alfred Nazareth, said on the social network UN and the main leader of the region, @LulaOficial”.
The Planalto Palace had said earlier on Saturday that President Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva spoke with Maduro and “conveyed to him the growing concern of South American countries about the Essequibo issue.”
Maduro presented a legal proposal to Parliament for the creation of the Guayana Esequiba state and under that project he ordered the creation of the PDVSA Essequibo divisions and the iron and steel conglomerate CVG Esequibo.
Although Maduro has repeatedly said the referendum is binding, the ICJ, whose overall ruling on the case could take years, last week barred Venezuela from taking any steps that would change the status quo in the oil-rich region.