Esequibo Rift Update

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Yesterday, you said tomorrow… so JUST DO IT

One week ago, Nicolas Maduro announced during his weekly TV show that he would address the National Assembly on June 25th, in order to present what he calls “…the official position in defense of the historic claim, the dispute over the Esequibo, and to ask for the national unity…”.

Then the speech was postponed for the following day. And then again for today June 30th. And just hours ago, the long-awaited speech has been postponed yet again for an unspecific date to be announced “opportunely”.

No official reasons have been given for any of the three postponements.

Regardless of what could be causing the delay for something so important, the central government’s core argument over this diplomatic beef with Guyana remains the same though: This is all because of the evil, greedy ExxonMobil. This opinion isn’t shared at all by Elias Daniels, a former Foreign Affairs Ministry Commissioner on Guyana affairs, who said that the current administration is mishandling the issue and that didn’t happen during the pre-Chavez era.

Meanwhile in Georgetown, Guyana’s president David Granger gave assurances to the oil giant to keep working and called Venezuela’s claims “a legal absurdity”. Raphael Trotman, former Parliament speaker and current Governance Minister went even further by saying that “Venezuela knows what it has to do and that is to behave itself”.

Guyana also got the strong backing from its fellow members of the Commonwealth of Nations, via this statement made during the recent visit of its current Secretary-General Kamalesh Sharma to the Cooperative Republic:

“The Commonwealth stands as one and speaks with one voice in our commitment to Guyana’s sovereignty and territorial integrity…

There have been recent developments including a claim by a neighbouring country over Guyana’s land and maritime areas, and the Commonwealth has moved swiftly and appropriately in collective solidarity with Guyana… The Commonwealth remains steadfast in its support for the Government and people of Guyana.”

The subject could be discussed this week during the Caribbean Community (CARICOM) 36th summit in Barbados. For the record, twelve of the fifteen CARICOM full member countries are also members of the Commonwealth.

1 COMMENT

    • The only way you deal with a bully is to pop them right in the face and knock them on their behind. Bully’s at the end of the day are all talk and are usually cowards masquerading under the mask of macho. They usually fold like a house of cards, and then because of their extreme arrogance will say they meant to fall down LOL. It is time for the world to dare Venezuela to make one overt move outside of diplomacy and then they should be sent packing with their two pronged tail between their legs. Venezuela is a political joke in the world today and Masburro and his gang of thugs do not even know the world is laughing at their ridiculous but disgusting antics.
      BAH!!

  1. It will be very interesting to see CARICOM’s response. On one side, their natural tendency is to support Guayana against Venezuela’s bullying, but many of their members are compromised by their participation in PetroCaribe. The result will be a significant indicator of how much influence Venezuela can still wield in the region. Of course they can always issue a wish-washy statement encouraging both sides to negotiate, but anything less than complete and unequivocal support for Venezuela’s government will be a loss for Venezuela and will indicate that the regime can no longer count on the support of their paid-for “allies”.

      • That was back in March, and their response was somewhat equivocal. Now, Venezuela has had time to apply pressure to all the individual PetroCaribe clients. Guyana has had time to organize its response. The U.S. has had time to offer long-term alternatives to PetroCaribe. Brazil has just indicated that they will form short-term alternative arrangements through Petrobras with the Caribbean nations. The stage has been set for CARICOM to be able to tell Venezuela to “stick it” and deliver a complete diplomatic defeat to Maduro. Will they? Let’s see…

  2. The way this dispute is settled or handled will be the precedent for other territorial disputes in the world, and there are many. It is not a simple matter and Maduro has to be very careful what he says which is why I think his speech has been postponed so many times.
    He will most likely listen to more experienced people like the Castro brothers.
    A few Caricom countries have their own border disputes that are still to be taken care of and what goes around comes around so they have to be aware of how they approach this settlement.

  3. Well, the obvious solution is to keep sending those Caricom nations PetroCaribe oil, so they can keep siding with Guyana, all with the Castros’ blessing, of course….

  4. There’s an old Klingon saying: “Never be more trouble than you’re worth.” I fail to understand why Venezuela, at perhaps its weakest diplomatic position in its history would choose to pick this particular fight and put what few remaining friends it has on the spot.

    • There is a tendency of those who have enjoyed power for a long time to begin to believe their own bullshit. You are assuming that the people making the decisions share your facts and evaluations. They do not. They are surrounded by many circles of sycophants who will not dare to give their superiors bad news. Messengers carrying unwelcome news do not fare well in such regimes. As a result, their strategies are flawed and they are making ever more poorly considered decisions.

  5. “No official reasons have been given for any of the three postponements.”

    Because the reasons are:

    1) maburro isn’t called maburro for nothing.

    2) maburro is afraid even from a kid that ran into him during his first speech as “pudresidente”, claiming that he could have been shot in front of the whole chaburro cabinet.

    3) And the most important, it could reveal the truth about the corpse just surrendering the Esequibo to Guyana just to have another vote in another useless president convention.

    • 4) For the 2+ years this screwball has been running the government, very few governmental decisions were actually made. What? Sicad? Simadi? Get 7 million anti-Obama signatures? No decisions on the price of gasoline, printing 1,000 and 5,000 Bolivar notes, settling accounts with the airlines, financial decisions relating to the drop in the price of world crude oil, the lack of foreign reserves for pieces/parts for V manufacturer’s, and well, …everything. This government is on auto-pilot, with no one at the controls. He’s a friggen bus driver fer Chrissakes….

  6. This is a long lost battle, not only because is 100 years old but because the endemic and widespread mediocrity of the Venezuelan government.

    Let me explain:

    Guyana awarded the Starbroek block 1 to Exxon in mid 1998 and the PSC (Production Sharing Contract) was signed in 1999. Venezuela did not issue any kind of protest or even acknowledge the offer of the block for exploration. The aeromagnetic surveys where carried in Feb 2000 with consent of Repsol YPF as certain areas were awarded to that company. In June 2000, the Suriname government issued a protest and pushed the withdraw of a exploration drilling rig using gun boats (see line 97 in the link). In that occasion, Exxon invoked the article 24.2 of the PSC to call “force majeure” to the suspension of the exploration program until the Venezuelan and Suriname boundaries were clarified.

    http://www.guyana.org/suriname/guysuri_boundary.html

    CGX Corporation (Canada Based) in society with Repsol YPF completed the 3D seismic acquisition in 2009 after a favorable ruling for Guyana by the International Law of Sea tribunal in 2007.

    http://www.haguejusticeportal.net/Docs/HJJ-JJH/Vol_2(3)/Tanaka%20Guyana-Suriname%20EN.pdf

    http://cgxenergy.ca/Home.aspx

    ExxonMobil completed its 3D seismic acquisition in 2012. Venezuela did not issue any protest when the seismic acquisition program was ongoing. The Venezuelan government also allowed the Deepwater Champion rig (owned by Transocean, the same company of the BP Macondo disaster) to move to the block and spud the well on March 5. By the way, Transocean was the original owner and builder of the Aban Pearl (Transocean Treasure Seeker), the first and last PDVSA offshore rig that sunk in May 2010.

    Thus this is a story of more than 15 years in the making and Maduro is just playing it like they just got to know about…surprise!

  7. “There is a tendency of those who have enjoyed power for a long time to begin to believe their own bullshit.”

    It’s like that tv show called supernanny, the kids who have enjoyed no rules and lack of good parenting at home for years become real tyrants at school. Maduro believes that he can do anything outside Venezuela because he can do anything in Venezuela. It’s basically the same thing.

    Just like this recent news I’ve read at other post about Ortega Diaz telling a UN figure to “shut up”. If that’s what she does every day in Venezuela, what would stop her from doing the same overseas? Those people have no limits! And this is very dangerous for everyone.

    • Yup… bunch of spoiled brats. But, they are spoiled brats with power over our very lives… which is just fricken’ intolerable.

    • Yeah, the Luisa Jinetera Ortega, despicable, horrible wench finally got slammed:

      “Ortega, en sus posterior intervención, señaló que Afiuni nunca había sido violada durante su tiempo recluida, exclamando que con esto esperaba “cerrar la boca” del experto.

      Ante esto, el presidente del Comité Fabián Salvioli le pidió respeto a la venezolana argumentando: “Aquí nadie manda a callar a nadie, el único que puede mandar a callar soy yo”.

      Olivier de Frouville indicó: “Si se nos acusa de complot al Comité no quiero pensar lo que les pasa a los nacionales que critican al Gobierno”.

      “Tal vez como hace 15 años que no participan en el examen han perdido la habitualidad de cómo es el diálogo con todos los países”, afirmó Salvioli.”

      Ahh, the “Delicate Flowers” of Chavismo…

  8. O.T., but the Oppo is in deep doo doo! MB just said on TV that, apart from the extraordinary 3.1mm PSUV Primary voters, there were 400-600m turned away, who wanted to vote, but the colas were too long, and they probably had something urgent to do, like working (Chavista Sunday hard-workers that they are); also, that there were Oppo who voted, for Blanca Eckhout, and Elias Jaua–Arturo was right, why, this Primary was a PSUV tsunami whitewash!

  9. No announcement from Maduro on Esequibo rift? Get a clue from Marianella Salazar latest article. According to her, the magic hand of Raul was at it again.

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