MARKING THE GUYANA-VENEZUELA BOUNDARY
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As a result of the Award, Great Britain lost control of the mouths of the Amakura and the Barima Rivers, in addition to a large tract of territory in the upper Cuyuni basin. However, the Award coincided to a great extent with the Schomburgk Line.
Venezuela, too, did not get all that it wanted, but it obtained control of the mouth of the Orinoco River, described as "the very pith of the award" by American cartographer, Marcus Baker, who had worked for the United States Commission on boundary between Venezuela and British Guiana.
In commenting on the Award, Justice Brewer, a member of the Arbitration Tribunal declared: "Until the last moment I believed a decision was quite impossible, and it was only by the greatest conciliation and mutual concessions that a compromise was arrived at. If any of us had been asked to give an award, each would have given one differing in extent and character. The consequence of this was that we had to adjust our different views, and finally draw a line between what each thought right."
Justice Brewer also expressed the view that the British arbitrators were profoundly impartial and that they displayed a strict sense of justice throughout the entire proceedings of the Tribunal.
Immediately after the Award was made, both Benjamin Harrison and Severo Mallet-Prevost, two of the lawyers who represented Venezuela before the Tribunal, were quoted by the London Times of the 5 October 1899 as declaring that the Award was "Venezuela's victory". Mallet-Prevost was emphatic about the "victory", and stated that the Award was of great value to Venezuela since it granted that country the Orinoco estuary.
The official Venezuelan comment was that of general satisfaction, even though there were some expressions of disappointment with the Award generated by newspapers in that country. The British press also expressed disappointment over what it termed as Britain's "losses".
In a comment on the 7 October 1899, Venezuela's Ambassador to Great Britain, Jose Andrade who was also the brother of the then Venezuelan President declared: "...We were given the exclusive dominion over the Orinoco, which was the principal aim we sought to achieve through arbitration..."
The United States of America was also satisfied. Just two months after the Award, President Mc Kinley, addressing the United States Congress on the 5 December 1899, expressed the view that "the decision appears to be equally satisfactory on both sides".
In keeping with the decision of the Arbitration Tribunal, a Mixed Boundary Commission appointed jointly by Venezuela and Great Britain, carried out a survey and demarcation, between 1901 and 1905, of the boundary as stipulated by the Award. The British Commissioners were Harry Innes Perkins and Charles Wilgress Anderson while those of Venezuela were Dr. Abraham Tirado and Dr. Elias Toro. The resulting boundary line was set out on a map signed by the Boundary Commissioners in Georgetown, British Guiana, on the 7 January 1905. Three days later, the following Agreement was published as a Sessional Paper of the Combined Court of Policy of the Colony of British Guiana:
A concrete and positive acceptance of the boundary line was shown by the Venezuelan Government when in 1911 it published a map signed by F. Aliantaro, the Minister of Internal Relations. This map, published to commemorate the centenary of Venezuelan independence, showed the boundary line as demarcated by the Mixed Boundary Commissioners six years previously. A similar map was published in 1917 by the Venezuelan Government.
In 1931 a boundary commission made up of representatives from Great Britain, Venezuela and Brazil made special astronomical, geodesical and topographical observations on Mount Roraima so as to fix the specific point where the boundaries of Brazil, Venezuela and British Guiana should meet. After diplomatic notes were exchanged among the three nations represented on the commission on the 7 October and 3 November 1932, an agreement was finally reached on the specific location of the meeting point of the boundaries. The matter of the border was then considered permanently settled.