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Guyana prez renews call for end to border dispute

From left; Minister of Foreign Affairs Carl B. Greenidge, First Lady Sandra Granger, Sir Shridath S. Ramphal, foreign policy expert and Permanent Representative to the United Nations, Ambassador Rudolph M. Ten Pow (partly hidden back left).
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President of the Republic of Guyana, David A. Granger, renewed his call to the United Nations for a final resolution of the Guyana / Venezuela border dispute during his address to the United Nations General Assembly in New York City, stating that last year he warned of the danger Venezuela posed to the peace and security of “our region not only by its internal instability but by its external assault on Guyana’s sovereignty and territorial integrity.”

While address the 71st Session of the United Nations General Assembly, on Sept. 20, at the UN Headquarters, President Granger said, “I placed hope in the fact that the process for final resolution of Venezuela’s unworthy territorial claims rests now in the hands of the secretary general of the United Nations.”

Now in his second year as head of state, Granger said Guyana stands ready to have the International Court of Justice determine the matter with finality. “We will work resolutely with the secretary general in his final months in office to free Guyana, and his successor, from this surreal burden.”

President Granger was resolute in his demand for Venezuela to relinquish its claim of Guyana’s territory, stating that, Venezuela agreed, in the Geneva Agreement of 1966, that the United Nations’ Secretary General shall decide the means of settlement of this matter, including by judicial settlement. Yet, it defines its every effort to fulfill that commitment.

Reminding the United Nations that Guyana celebrated its 50th year of independence this year, President Granger said that Venezuela, regrettably, acknowledged this anniversary by reasserting its repudiation of a border treaty it has solemnly signed more than 117 years ago and ratified and respected for 60 of those years.

“The United Nations cannot be a dispassionate party to a threat to peace anywhere and a challenge to the law of nations. Venezuela’s territorial claim is such a challenge. It strikes at the heart of the United Nations, its trusteeship of the law of nations and the charter, which, the secretary general upholds,” said the Guyanese president.

“Guyana is a small state, and must look to the United Nationsl for protection against threats to its security, for intervention, for peace and for respect for international law,” said President Granger.

“My plea for international understanding of our plight has noting to do with Venezuela’s internal situation. The ordinary people of Venezuela are our sisters and brother – their agonies touch our hearts and we wish them early relief from their ordeal,” said the president.

“Venezuela, claims however, are a threat to our existence as an independent nation. They are a scandalous revival of the conquistadorial disease that once plagued its own history. They are a crime against our humanity, clothed in the verbiage of national honor,” added the head of state.

Updated 3:05 am, July 10, 2018
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