Guyana/Venezuela: President Ali says investments safe in Guyana, urges Maduro to correct ‘missteps’

In response to the defiant declarations from the Nicolas Maduro-led Venezuelan government, President Dr. Irfaan Ali says his government is engaging all foreign players, be it the United Nations and its bodies, overseas military partners and other states and organisations.

At the same time, he has made it clear that Guyana is resolving the border controversy through a process backed by international law and the international community and as such, citizens nor those who invest here have anything to fear.

“Our message is very clear, your investment is in a safe, democratic country in which the rule of law prevails.

“Our international partners and the international community are ready to support us, they have assured us of our support and all we want is for these missteps to be corrected by President Maduro,” President Ali said in an address to the nation broadcast live on his Facebook page on Tuesday, just before midnight.

Venezuela went ahead with its sham December 3 referendum that involved Guyana’s Essequibo region even though the International Court of Justice (ICJ) asked it to refrain from taking any actions that would aggravate the situation.

President Maduro revealed on Tuesday a redrawn of his country’s map so that it now includes the Essequibo region. He also ordered the creation of new entities to grant licences for oil, gas and mines exploration in the Essequibo region; he proposed the creation of a new law to establish new environmentally protected areas that could be centres for tourism and biodiversity.

None of these actions will be welcomed by Guyana or the international community, President Ali said.

“They have literally declared themselves an outlaw nation but nothing that they do will stop Guyana from pursuing the case (before) the International Court of Justice.

“We will not allow our territory to be violated nor our territory will be violated,” President Ali declared.

President Ali also told Guyanese that his government has informed the United Nations (UN) Secretary-General António Guterres of Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro’s recent declarations on Guyana’s Essequibo region.

The ICJ, which is presiding over the substantive border case, ruled last Friday that Venezuela shall refrain from seeking to seize control of the Essequibo- a move many believed the Spanish-speaking nation would pursue following its referendum.