Guyana's Minister of Foreign Affairs Carolyn Rodrigues-Birkett termed illegal and spurious Venezuela's claim over Essequibo, which is equivalent to a third of the former British colony territory.
Forty-three years ago, our predecessors met at this honorable House to speak up with one single voice and denounce Venezuela's illegal claim over our sea and land territory, she said in taking the floor during her appearance at Parliament to provide a rationale for the capture by the Venezuelan Navy of a ship engaged in oil prospecting, as ordered by Guyana.
Solutions have been pursued for the problems for us, a small, developing country resulting from Venezuela's spurious claim, she elaborated.
According to the minister, the land border with Venezuela was set under the arbitral award of 1899, deemed as complete, perfect and final.
As everybody knows, Guyana-Venezuela relations, since the independence of Guyana in 1966, have been affected by intermittent attempts: acts of intimidation, confiscation or intended confiscation of the territory, and multiple forms of aggression, all of them perpetrated by Venezuela in a vain attempt at breaking Guyana and forcing her to give in to the illegal claim over the Essequibo region, she sustained.
The diplomat quoted Venezuelan President Nicolás Maduro last August 31, during his visit to Georgetown, as saying that disagreements with regard to the border issue were a legacy that should be settled in a sensible and responsible way.
Rodrigues-Birkett underscored that no matter the good impact of the deals made by her country and Venezuela, Guyana will neither compromise her principles nor sacrifice her national heritage for ephemeral earnings as a result of cooperation.
Concerning the interdiction of Teknik Perdana by the Venezuelan Navy last October 10, the foreign minister argued that the ship was in Guyanese waters.
The Teknik Perdana was found by Yekuana, a Venezuelan patrol boat allegedly in the waters of the Venezuelan Atlantic front, in the projection of the Venezuelan delta, and escorted to Margarita island.
Venezuela protested the ship incursion. According to Guyana, it engaged in oil prospecting in Roraima block. The area was granted by Guyana to US oil company Anadarko under a concession for oil exploration and drilling.