ICJ hears border dispute between Guyana and Venezuela

The Hague, Netherlands –Guyana on Tuesday argued that Venezuela has failed to provide adequate evidence to back its position for a dismissal of a final settlement to the ongoing border dispute between the two countries.

“One thing however is abundantly clear, Venezuela does not want to court to determine the merits of Guyana’s claims,” the country’s agent, Carl Greenidge, argued before the International Court of Justice (ICJ) on the final day of public hearings here.

Caracas is against Guyana obtaining obtain a final and binding judgment that the 1899 Arbitral Award, which established the location of the land boundary between then British Guiana and Venezuela, remains valid and that the Essequibo region belongs to Guyana and not Venezuela.

But Greenidge believes that Venezuela is only stalling the much-needed judgement into the border case, saying “one cannot escape the conclusion that it is a desire to continue perpetuating a falsehood rather than a desire to expose and vindicate the truth that underlies Venezuela’s hostility to the Court hearing Guyana’s claims”.

Greenidge said he is also of the opinion that Venezuela does not want the ICJ to preside over the matter because this will validate the 1899 Arbitral Award.

Earlier, two members of Guyana’s legal team, Professors Pierre d’Argent and Philippe Sands told the ICJ that much of Venezuela’s arguments were without evidence after the neighbouring country had raised preliminary objections that halted the adjudication process in the border controversy.

Venezuela has maintained that the United Kingdom (UK) should be a party to the border case given that the British government was party to the 1899 Arbitral Award that determined the land boundary between Venezuela and then British Guiana.

It also posited before that tribunal and those involved in the 1899 Award may have been compromised or engaged in some misconduct. (CMC)

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