At the closing of the two-day conference themed “55 Years after the Geneva Agreement: Diplomacy for Peace,” Executive Vice-president Delcy Rodríguez and Foreign Minister Jorge Arreaza reaffirmed that the Bolivarian Republic of Venezuela won’t allow a new seizure of its territory and will defend its legitimate claim over the Guayana Esequiba in all spaces on the basis of the Geneva Agreement as the only valid instrument endorsed to settle the controversy.
The Venezuelan vice-president stressed that Venezuela has no doubt about its inalienable rights to this territory, and it will defend them “strongly, as Liberator Simón Bolívar bequeathed it to us, as Chávez taught us, with courage and standing up, because the historical truth and legality support us.”
Rodríguez recalled that the Guayana Esequiba has been part of the Venezuelan territory since the Captaincy General of Venezuela was created in 1777, it was preserved when Venezuela became a Republic in 1811, and the 1966 Geneva Agreement invalidated the fraudulent 1899 Arbitral Award.
Furthermore, Rodríguez stressed the Cooperative Republic of Guyana had always displayed a delaying policy against Venezuela’s efforts to reach a practical, satisfactory agreement, and it has radicalized this stance since 2015, seduced by energy transnationals seeking to exploit the resources in the Atlantic Façade in dispute.
“They cannot assume that Venezuela is in the same vulnerable conditions it was in the last decade of the 19th century, and that we are going to allow a new territorial seizure and an evident procedural fraud. It won’t happen, and Venezuela will resort to all legal and political instruments to defend its sacred rights to the Guayana Esequiba territory,” stressed Foreign Minister Arreaza in reference to the International Court of Justice’s (ICJ) irregular consideration of the case.
The two-day conference, organized by the Simón Bolívar Institute for Peace and Solidarity among Peoples (ISB), concluded with presentations by experts Manuel Donis, Manuel Carrero and Edgardo Mondolfi, who made a chronological overview of the negotiations before and after the endorsement of the Geneva Agreement, and agreed on Mallet-Prevost’s allegations in his 1944 letter, denouncing that the 1899 award was the result of a political secret deal between powers.
In his lecture “Validity, content and application of the Geneva Agreement,” Doctor of History Manuel Doni pointed out that the 1966 agreement constitutes an acknowledgement by the United Kingdom and Guyana that Venezuela’s claim over the Essequibo is legitimate. Likewise, he noted Venezuela’s unwise position in 1970, when it signed the Protocol of Port-of-Spain, which froze negotiations for 12 years.
Manuel Carrero, a history, geography professor and researcher, gave a lecture titled “The Geneva Agreement 1966-2021: Our historical reasons and value of this document,” and explained this agreement describes Venezuela’s position that the 1899 award is null and void, and it is an official, binding document for the United Kingdom and the Cooperative Republic of Guyana dully deposited in the UN Secretary General’s Office.
Finally, Edgardo Mondolfi, a member of the National Academy of History, titled his lecture “Questions and reflections on the Geneva Agreement,” and defined it as “an intelligent legal agreement” that invalidated the intangibility of the 1899 award.
“It is our major success and our best option,” said Mondolfi, and it has to be defended as the only valid instrument to reach a practical, acceptable solution for both parties.