Venezuela raps Canuck mining in Guyana

David Granger

ProtestGEORGETOWN, Guyana – Venezuela has objected to a Canadian mining company operating in Guyana, telling the company it is infringing on Caracas’ sovereignty.

The move has not gone down well with Guyana’s President David Granger.

Granger told Parliament that, in a move that shows no regard for diplomacy, Venezuela’s ambassador to Ottawa issued a warning letter to Guyana Goldfields Incorporated, claiming its operations are “infringing on the territorial sovereignty of Venezuela.”

Guyana Goldfields has a mining operation in the Cuyuni-Mazaruni Region.

The development comes a month after Granger and his Venezuelan counterpart Nicolás Maduro agreed to work to resolve the issues in the border dispute between the two neighbours.

“Venezuela’s claims are not only illegal; they are injurious to the economic development of Guyana. Venezuela, therefore, must desist from hindering our economic development in an obtrusive and obstructive manner that is tantamount to interference in our internal affairs. It must desist from threatening investors,” Granger said.

He questioned whether Venezuelan leaders derived satisfaction from the prolongation of this controversy and said that, unlike Venezuela, Guyana has always been respectful to the governments and people of neighbouring states.

“Venezuela’s fear is that, once a juridical process could prove that its contention that the Arbitral Award of 1899 was a nullity is proven to be baseless, its 50-year strategy of attrition, aimed at gaining territory from Guyana, stands in jeopardy of the prospect of collapse,” the president added, noting that Guyana favours a juridical settlement through recourse to the International Court of Justice.

Guyana is awaiting the report of the UN Mission that visited Guyana and Venezuela and Granger expressed his full confidence in the capacity of Secretary General Ban Ki-moon to identify solutions that will validate the nature of the Arbitral Tribunal Award of 1899.