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Troop buildup, trespassing in Guyana’s EEZ among Venezuela’s breaches of Argyle Declaration

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See below the full statement issued by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation in Guyana:

At the instance of CARICOM and CELAC, the Presidents of Guyana and Venezuela met at Argyle in St Vincent and the Grenadines on December 14, 2023, to lessen the tensions that had arisen between the two countries consequent upon the actions of Venezuela relating to its referendum and its announcement on December 5, 2023 of its intention to enact legislation to formally incorporate Guyana’s Essequibo Region into Venezuela.

The Joint Declaration of Argyle for Dialogue and Peace between Guyana and Venezuela emanated from those discussions. The Parties agreed to not threaten or use force against one another in any circumstances and to resolve their disagreements in accordance with international law, including the 1966 Geneva Agreement. They also agreed to establish a joint commission of the Foreign Ministers and technical persons from the two States to address matters as mutually agreed.

The expectation that the Declaration would signal a thawing of relations between the two countries was short lived.

Venezuela resorted to a series of unjustified, illegal and aggressive actions against Guyana, including unauthorized overflights and illegal incursions into Guyana’s territory, and detention of its military personnel on the border.

They included the following:

9 February 2024 – Satellite images reveal Venezuela’s troop buildup near the border with Guyana in the Essequibo region.
8 March 2024 – Venezuelan Naval Vessel Guaiqueri (PC-21) was detected in the Exclusive Economic Zone of Guyana at 103.8nm North of the Pomeroon River heading East Northeast (ENE) on a bearing of 063 degrees.
10 March 2024 the same vessel was detected 9nm East of the Western median line and 55.8 nm North of Waini point, still within Guyana’s EEZ on a bearing of 111 degrees ESE) at a speed of 606kts.
15 March 2024 – Two (2) unidentified single engine aircraft were seen overhead Imbotero within Guyana’s airspace. The aircrafts circled the area two (2) times and subsequently left in a westward direction. GDF intelligence suggest that the aircrafts were affiliated with the Bolivarian National Armed Forces (FANB) and that they were engaged in surveillance activities to determine the Guyana Defence Force’s posture on the border
20 March 2024 – Ranks from the Venezuelan military who were operating within Guyana’s territory on an island in the Cuyuni River, stopped and detained Guyana Defence Force Officers who were traversing the river.
22 March 2024 – Venezuela declares the creation of a new state within the disputed Essequibo territory.
26-29 March 2024 – Venezuelan Naval Vessel Guaiqueri (PC-21) was once again detected navigating in the Exclusive Economic Zone of Guyana. The Venezuelans indicated in their response to a protest Note Verbale from Guyana that the vessel was patrolling Guyana’s EEZ.
3 April 2024 – Venezuela promulgated the Organic Law in Defence of Guayana Esequiba further breaching the principles of international law and the Order of the International Court of Justice.
11 January to May 9, 2024 – On 11 January 2024, the Bolivarian National Armed Forces began construction of a bridge connecting the Venezuelan mainland to Ankoko Island, through which the International boundary between Venezuela and Guyana passes: the bridge construction followed Venezuela’s expansion of its military facilities on the Island during November and December 2023. On 27 January 2024, General Domingo Hernandez Larez, the Commander for Strategic Operations of the Bolivarian National Armed Forces, posted Photos of Venezuela’s construction of a new military heliport in the border region under the message: “In development of our Guayana Esequiba!




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