WASHINGTON, DC - The Secretary General of the Organisation of American States (OAS), Luis Almagro, has criticized Venezuela’s position regarding Guyana’s on going oil auction.
“We vehemently decry intimidatory tactics that seek to undermine the principle of “good neighborliness,” Almargo said in a statement.
Last week the Irfaan Ali administration announced that it had received bids for eight of the country’s oil blocks which are located offshore Guyana.
But in a statement, the Nicolas Maduro government rejected the auction saying “the Bolivarian Republic of Venezuela, strongly rejects the illegal bidding round for oil blocks currently carried out by the Government of the Cooperative Republic of Guyana (Blocks for tender for 2022 – Guyana Licensing Round), since it intends to have maritime areas pending delimitation between the two countries”.
The OAS Secretary General said the hemispheric body recognizes the right of Guyana to welcome investors.
“Guyana must preserve its territorial integrity and security by addressing its case with Venezuela at the ICJ (International Court of Justice),” Almagro said.
Both the Guyana government and the opposition parties condemned Venezuela’s stance with President Ali saying the government of Guyana reserves the right to pursue economic development activities in any portion of its sovereign territory or any appurtenant maritime territories.
“Any unilateral attempt by Venezuela to restrict the exercise by Guyana of its sovereignty and sovereign rights will be wholly inconsistent with the Geneva Agreement and the rule of international law,” Ali added.
Both Guyana and Venezuela have taken their border dispute to the International Court of Justice (ICJU) with Georgetown seeking a final and binding judgement that the 1899 Arbitral Award, which established the location of the land boundary between then British Guiana and Venezuela, remains valid and that the Essequibo region belongs to Guyana and not Venezuela.
In its statement, Caracas also noted that any arbitrary concession granted would be “unacceptable” and that “these actions do not generate any type of rights to third parties who participate in such a process.”