Teixeira urges Venezuelans to reject referendum that will bring ‘greater harm’

Extraordinary sitting of the National Assembly. Here, the lawmakers are denouncing the referendum and reaffirming that the ICJ is the only avenue for a final settlement of the border controversy after other avenues, including decades of bilateral talks, failed.

And Teixeira made it clear that this planned referendum is “contrite” and opined that relations with Venezuela’s, in relation to the decades- old border controversy, are perhaps at their “worst and most menacing.”

So, she said, “I call on the hardworking Venezuela people to reject questions three and five of the referendum… I believe the Venezuelan people are capable of reading through the lines and this decision they are asked to make would not bring greater benefits to their lives, in fact it will bring greater harm.”

The seasoned politician added, “We just have to look at the world right now and see the destruction that annexation unilaterally does.”

Teixeira also noted that there are many in Venezuela who do not agree with their government’s aggressions towards Guyana and claim of the Essequibo region. So she said people must not embrace xenophobia even as Guyana fights off the Venezuelan claim to Guyana’s land.

“… we must be on the side of righteousness and justice not on the side of bullyism and threats. We hope that the Venezuelan government will see the light,” Minister Teixeira said.

Meanwhile, Opposition Parliamentarian Roysdale Forde also echoed the Opposition’s support for the moves to settle the controversy at the ICJ. But he too noted that Guyana has no quarrels with Venezuela; according to him, Guyana only wants to defend what belongs to it.

“We stand united and all Guyanese are united on the fact that Essequibo belongs to Guyana,” Forde said.

Already, Guyana has approached the ICJ, seeking an injunction to prevent Venezuela from taking action through its provocative referendum over Guyana’s territory – Essequibo. There will be a hearing on November 14.

Teixeira said the speed at which the Court is dealing with this referendum should not go unnoticed and should serve as an indication of how seriously the border controversy is being treated.

The borders of Guyana and Venezuela were determined by an arbitral tribunal on October 3, 1899, and Venezuela inherited 13,000 square kilometres of Guyana’s territory (then under British rule).