Caracas, Dec 15 (EFE). – The Venezuelan government demanded Friday that British Foreign Minister David Cameron, whom it called “a failure” and ” infamous,” take his hands off Latin America and the Caribbean and mind his own business, after the official expressed his country’s support for Guyana.
” In the name of Venezuela, we ask the failed and infamous David Cameron (…) to take his hands off our Latin America and the Caribbean and mind his own affairs, which are already very complex,” said Foreign Minister Yván Gil.
Gil, who claims that his country is practicing a “Bolivarian diplomacy of peace”, pointed out in X (formerly Twitter) that “the imperialist and colonialist attitude” of the United Kingdom was “the cause of the theft of Guayana Esequiba”, which “left this controversy as a legacy”, which – he assured – will be resolved through “direct dialogue, without malicious interference”.
The Foreign Minister was responding to a social media message from Cameron, who reiterated that the United Kingdom “will continue to work to ensure respect for Guyana’s sovereignty” and announced that the Minister for the Americas and the Caribbean, David Rutley, would be visiting Georgetown “in the coming days” to “further show our support for the Guyanese people on this vital issue”.
The former British Prime Minister welcomed Venezuela’s “statement” that it “will refrain from the use of force and any further escalation”, which “must be followed by concrete actions.”
The commitment not to threaten each other or use force under any circumstances, including in relation to the contentious Essequibo region, was also made by Guyana, according to a joint statement read Thursday after a meeting between Venezuelan President Nicolás Maduro and his Guyanese counterpart Irfaan Ali in St. Vincent and the Grenadines.
The Essequibo, an area of nearly 160,000 square kilometers, was under Venezuelan rule when it gained independence from Spain in 1811, but years later the British expanded into the territory to form British Guiana.
In the face of Venezuela’s protest, the dispute was settled through international arbitration, with the Paris Award of 1899 determining that the territory would remain under British rule.
In 1962, Venezuela protested the award at the United Nations, alleging a political deal that biased the judges in favor of the British, leading to the signing of the Geneva Agreement with the United Kingdom in 1966 to find a negotiated settlement.
The controversy escalated recently after Venezuela approved the annexation of the disputed territory in a unilateral referendum on Dec. 3, which was supposed to be binding, and ordered the establishment of a military division near the disputed territory, which will not cross the current international border for the time being. EFE csm/ics/mcd