The Guyana-Venezuela border controversy

What the people say about…

Interviews and photos by Dreylan Johnson and Bebi Oosman

This week we asked the man/woman in the street about the Guyana-Venezuela border controversy and the decision of the United Nations Secretary General to refer the matter to the World Court.

James Lane -`I am aware of the controversy between the two countries. I know that is our land and we as Guyanese should come together and support the government to fight for it. We should fight it to the court and go back to any evidence that will prove that that is our land. We should not have to give it over to another country when for so many years it was under ownership. I’m happy the matter will be called in the international courts, the evidence are there and we will get what we deserve. Guyana is doing the right thing to go to the international courts’. 

Takhurdyal Basant – `I feel the international court is the best place to go, instead of arguing and fighting between the country let the court settle it. That is Guyana territory and it should remain Guyana territory, we can’t let other countries come and claim it, just now we left them to take it, other countries gone come and claim other parts. So now the international court will settle it once and for all and I believe we will win the end. Maybe all this had to happen like this, so that in the end we can be happy. But at this point, we got to be careful if Venezuela would want to come over and take it over before the case called’.

Claris Jaundoo – `That part of land is Guyana’s own and we should take them to the court and fight for it. I does see it coming over on the news and I does think what will happen. But I glad when I hear on the news that we will go to the international court. I don’t know much about the court thing but that sound like it would be fair and then at the end it can stop. But I think Guyana will get it cause all my life that is Guyana one’.

Kennard Grimmond -`The court is there to sort out the problem and they ought to do what they ought to, if they feel is best we go international court we support them to go against Venezuela.

If it is Guyana property they should fight for it, we just have to make sure that we have all the evidence to produce when the time meet. What belongs to us is ours, our foreparents sweat for it and what belongs to us should remain with us’.

Helon Boodie – `I think it was a good move to go to the international court to settle the issue because the arbitration you would have had to agree to a settlement and say we would have taken so much of the territory and give Venezuela so much. But when they go to the international court most likely they are likely to look back at the settlement that was made and once they are fully satisfied that was a correct judgement they are going to uphold that judgement. We should go all the way to the international so that we won’t have any more dispute with them’. 

Dennon Lewis-`I think Venezuela has not only become a threat to Guyana’s border security but also a threat to its national security. It is important for both countries to take this up with the International Court of Justice in order for a fair and accurate conclusion to be made. There is only so much that both parties can discuss between themselves but legal agreements need to be made to settle the longstanding controversy’.

Denroy L. Tudor – `I felt elated when I heard the United Nations had recommended that the case be referred to the International Court of Justice. This is pivotal in not solely the pressing necessity of the absolute resolution of this contentious border controversy but it offers the opportunity to provide a proverbial ‘clean slate’ as Guyana enters her new chapter with oil beckoning in 2020. We, Guyanese should feel at ease with the direct understanding that we have the sole legal backing in this case and we should look forward positively to the International Court of Justice’s decision’.

Andrea Basdeo – `I haven’t being following what has unfolded in recent days but to my knowledge the Guyana-Venezuela border issue has been around for decades. In school I learnt, Venezuela is claiming the Essequibo region as a part of their own. I am happy that the UN Secretary General made the recommendation for the countries go to the international court. I think here we would be able to settle this issue and move forward. I also think that Guyana should ensure that its borders are well protected against any threat from Venezuela’.

Prince Anthony – `I am aware of this issue and it has been about before I was even born. It is being said that Venezuela is trying to claim that Essequibo is a part of their country but we know Essequibo makes up a large part of Guyana. I think it is greediness have Venezuela like this because it is a small piece of land compare to the size of their country. I heard that the countries are looking to go to the International court to settle this border issue once and for all. For years we have been hearing of this conflict between the neighbouring countries and it would be good for this matter to be settled’.