Caribbean community unites against Venezuela's position
English-speaking Caribbean people formed a common front against Aves Island issue
The English-speaking Caribbean community is developing a series of projects in order to carry out sea negotiations with Venezuela in the best way possible.
The presentation made by Guyana to extend the Caribbean country's continental shelf by 150 nautical miles is part of a common strategy and a front with Caribbean countries in order to reject the insular nature of Aves Island (Isla de Aves), which is an important fact for Venezuela's maritime projection of the relevant coastlines.
A document on the Commonwealth's support to its members during 2008 and 2009, highlights the financial support to two projects. One of them, identified with the acronym PXGUY030, dwells on the support that Guyana received in order to present a request to extend the country's continental shelf. The submission was made in April this year.
Venezuela objected this presentation and stressed that it affects its Atlantic front, and it fails to recognize Venezuelan claim over the Essequibo region.
The other project, identified with the acronym PXOEC019, deals with a financial support to all the governments that belong to the Organization of Eastern Caribbean States (OECS) in order to "harmonize the regional ability to negotiate sea boundaries, firstly with Venezuela."
Another Commonwealth document drafted in June 2010, points out that the delimitation of marine and submarine areas of states that do not belong to the OECS will be the top priority, as well as "maintaining a common position regarding Venezuela's boundaries and that Aves Island shall not have any weight" on the delimitation of maritime boundaries.
A working paper prepared in 2005 by the Caribbean Community (Caricom), calls attention to the need of establishing a common strategy involving Caricom and OECS Secretariats, even though the maritime delimitation "is mostly a bilateral issue between the coastal states involved, the preparation of the negotiation can be done mainly at a multilateral level in some cases." It also quotes as an example that "it is wise that OECS members - which are affected by Aves Island geographical location - have a common position regarding the treatment of that island for the purpose of delimitation with Venezuela."
All this is being done, despite the multiple alliances that the Venezuelan government has developed, such as Petrocaribe, in order to support Caribbean governments financially.
Translated by Karen Daza
José Vicente Rangel clearly said: "We are not conducting negotiations threatened with a gun in the head." He warned behind closed doors in the midst of the social upheaval occurred during the oil strike in 2002 and 2003. Dissenting Timoteo Zambrano answered back that no other option was available: "The thing is that otherwise, you do not negotiate."