Quinta Los Tutis,
Segunda Avenida entre Novena y Decima Transversal, Altamira, Chacao, Caracas,
Telephone: 58-212-267-7095; 58-212-261-7745
Fax: (58) 212 976-3765
Page updated December 2006 - Back to Embassy page
Guyana’s President Bharrat Jagdeo, on August 17, sent a letter of congratulations to President Hugo Chavez Frias of Venezuela following the latter’s success in the recall referendum held on 15 August.
The following is the text of the congratulatory letter:
I would like to extend my warmest congratulations to you on your success in the recently held recall referendum. Once again, the people of Venezuela have demonstrated their faith in your commitment to democracy and social progress.
Your renewed mandate affords you a further opportunity to achieve the goals which were set on your assumption of the Presidency in 1998.
I take this opportunity to convey to you my optimism about our bilateral relations, especially in the wake of your successful visit to Guyana in February of this year. Your continuation in office will undoubtedly provide further possibilities of strengthening the ties of friendship and cooperation which we succeeded in establishing.
Please accept, Excellency, my best wishes for your personal well-being and for the continued progress and prosperity of the people of Venezuela.
President of the Republic of Guyana
Page updated May 2nd. 2004 - Back to Embassy page
Guyana may access Caracas oil deal next month - PM
Stabroek News, Thursday, April 22nd 2004
Guyana could get a supply of 10,000 barrels of oil and petroleum products daily as early as next month if arrangements under the Caracas Energy Accord are finalised.
"There are just a few points to clarify," Prime Minister Samuel Hinds said at an energy conference in Trinidad and Tobago.
"We expect an agreement in a month or two," Hinds was quoted yesterday as saying in an interview with the financial information service Bloomberg.
Hinds said Guyana would purchase the oil under special financial terms and that the amount would almost cover all of Guyana's daily consumption.
Ten Central American and Caribbean countries access oil supplies under the Caracas Energy Accord, which allows countries to pay for 75 per cent of Venezuelan oil at market prices and to finance the rest at two per cent interest over 15 years. The agreement also provides for 25 per cent credit when oil prices are above $30 per barrel.
However, Guyana was negotiating for adjustments to the financing terms because they were incompatible with the country's Highly Indebted Poor Countries (HIPC) commitments.
Guyana had been purchasing its fuel supplies from Venezuela until a strike in that country's oilfields late in 2002. Guyana has since been uplifting supplies at higher prices from Trinidad and Tobago, while trying to finalise arrangements for preferential prices.
The Energy Accord was one of the issues on the agenda when Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez visited Guyana in February.
Chavez invitation to schoolchildren in train
Plans are still in the preparatory stages for the Venezuelan trip promised to schoolchildren who met President Hugo Chavez during his February visit.
Venezuela's Charge d'Affaires Fernando Rincon said the consulate was in the process of collecting the names of the students who met the Bolivarian leader at a State House reception held in his honour. Though Rincon had few details about the trip, he said it was likely to take place during the summer holidays, but he stressed nothing was definite as yet as arrangements had to be finalised in Caracas.
During his whirlwind one-day visit Chavez invited the students to visit him in Caracas as a gesture to start what he called a "love process" with Guyana.
He made a commitment to receive the students on July 25, and gave a detailed description of what they could expect on their trip. He even promised that they could expect to travel on either his presidential jet or a military plane on their way to Venezuela, where he has received students from Colombia, Cuba and Central America.
Atendiendo la invitación formulada por Su Excelencia Bharrat Jagdeo, Presidente de la República de Guyana, Su Excelencia Hugo Chávez Frías, Presidente de la República Bolivariana de Venezuela, realizó una Visita de Estado Guyana el 19 y 20 de febrero de 2004.
2. Durante la Visita de Estado, el Presidente Chávez sostuvo conversaciones con el Presidente Bharrat Jagdeo y miembros del Gabinete Ejecutivo de Guyana, así como entrevistas con el Honorable Hari Narayen Ramkarran, Presidente de la Asamblea Nacional, el Honorable Robert Corbin, M.P., líder de la oposición y con Su Excelencia el Dr. Edwin Carrington, Secretario General de la Comunidad del Caribe.
3. Su Excelencia el Presidente Hugo Chávez Frías se reunió con un grupo de parlamentarios y líderes de la sociedad civil.
Al revisar las relaciones entre Guyana y Venezuela, sus Excelencias los Presidentes
Bharrat Jadeo y Hugo Chávez Frías, reconocieron el constante
progreso realizado para el fortalecimiento de los lazos de amistad, cooperación
y entendimiento entre ambos países. En particular resaltaron que bajo
el auspicio del Proceso de Buenos Oficios de las Naciones Unidas, para la
búsqueda de una solución pacífica y práctica a
la controversia, de conformidad con el Acuerdo de Ginebra de 1966, el espíritu
de la cordialidad ha impregnado el enfoque del diálogo entre las dos
5. Los Jefes de Estado reiteraron el compromiso de sus países con el Proceso de Buenos Oficios y elogiaron el trabajo del Señor Oliver Jackman, Representante Personal del Secretario General de las Naciones Unidas.
6. Los Presidentes intercambiaron ideas sobre sus programas nacionales de alivio de la pobreza, de justicia social y la profundización de sus respectivos procesos democráticos. Reafirmaron su compromiso con la lucha contra la pobreza, que constituye la principal amenaza para la paz y el desarrollo internacional.
7. Expresaron el permanente apoyo de sus gobiernos a las Metas de Desarrollo fijadas por la Cumbre del Milenio de las Naciones Unidas para reducir la pobreza en un cincuenta por ciento para el año 2015. Sin embargo, reconocieron que si los países donantes no incrementan considerablemente los recursos destinados a los países en desarrollo esta meta no se alcanzará.
8. Los Presidentes decidieron que los programas de cooperación bilateral, deberán estar vinculados con las estrategias y los planes de reducción de la pobreza de ambos Estados.
9. Los Presidentes destacaron que tanto el Nuevo Orden Humano Global como el Fondo Humanitario Internacional, iniciativas que han sido impulsadas por Guyana y Venezuela, respectivamente, tienen objetivos similares y pueden contribuir significativamente con la ejecución de las estrategias para erradicar la pobreza mundial. Acordaron coordinar esfuerzos y acciones con miras a lograr la aceptación y el apoyo internacional de ambas propuestas. Al respecto reconocieron los esfuerzos que ha venido realizando el SELA y la CAF para apoyar los estudios de factibilidad para el establecimiento del Fondo Humanitario Internacional.
10. Los Jefes de Estado reconocieron los esfuerzos destinados a la ejecución de los programas para intensificar la cooperación entre los dos países. Determinaron que deben concretarse estrategias para acelerar el nivel de aplicación de las actividades de cooperación de las distintas Subcomisiones y Grupos de Trabajo establecidos por la Comisión Binacional de Alto Nivel. Encargaron a sus Ministros de Relaciones Exteriores la revisión exhaustiva de los programas de cooperación, su seguimiento y subsecuente ejecución.
11. El Presidente Bharrat Jagdeo informó al Presidente Hugo Chávez Frías la reciente inclusión de Guyana para recibir asistencia de la Iniciativa de Países Pobres Altamente Endeudados (HIPC) y del impacto positivo que esta asistencia podría tener en los programas sociales de reducción de la pobreza en Guyana.
12.Se resaltó que debido a su condición de país beneficiario de la HIPC, Guyana no estará en condiciones de beneficiarse del Acuerdo Cooperación Energética de Caracas. A solicitud de su Excelencia el Presidente de Guyana, el Presidente Chávez acordó que Venezuela examinará favorablemente el ajuste de los términos y condiciones del Acuerdo, para que sea compatible con las obligaciones de Guyana como país HIPC. Acordaron que los funcionarios técnicos competentes realicen una reunión, antes de que finalice marzo de 2004, para solucionar este asunto.
13.El Presidente de Venezuela acordó cancelar la deuda que tiene Guyana con Venezuela. Un grupo técnico de trabajo será establecido para hacer efectiva esta decisión.
14. Los Presidentes enfatizaron la importancia de las reformas constitucionales, el estado de derecho, la participación ciudadana y la consolidación de la gobernabilidad democrática para la estabilidad social y económica de los gobiernos democráticos. En este contexto, intercambiaron puntos de vista sobre las iniciativas trazadas por sus respectivos gobiernos para cimentar el consenso y el diálogo en el espectro político de sus países.
15. El Presidente Jagdeo informó al Presidente Chávez sobre el desarrollo del proceso de integración en la Comunidad del Caribe (CARICOM) y en particular, resaltó el progreso alcanzado para el establecimiento del mercado común y economía única de CARICOM. El Presidente Guyanés señaló que los acuerdos de integración constituyen una sólida base para el desarrollo de la Región y permiten una estrecha coordinación de la política exterior para el tratamiento de los asuntos regionales e internacionales.
16. Ambos Presidentes enfatizaron la importancia del comercio para el desarrollo regional y solicitaron la pronta reanudación de las negociaciones destinadas a fortalecer el acuerdo de comercio entre Venezuela y CARICOM.
17. Los Presidentes reconocieron los logros alcanzados por la Asociación de Estados del Caribe (AEC), después de la tercera Cumbre realizada en Margarita, Venezuela, en 2001. Constataron que se ha avanzado significativamente hacia una mayor integración en las áreas de transporte aéreo y turismo. Destacaron la importancia de la Cumbre de Jefes de Estado y de Gobierno de la AEC como el foro apropiado para fortalecer a la Asociación y orientarla hacia los nuevos retos y objetivos.
18.- Expresaron su reconocimiento a la labor del Secretario General saliente, Dr. Norman Girvan, y manifestaron su apoyo al recientemente electo Secretario General, Señor Rubén Arturo Silié.
19.- Los Presidentes de Guyana y Venezuela conversaron sobre la Iniciativa de Integración de la Infraestructura Regional de América del Sur (IIRSA) y reiteraron su compromiso con la ejecución de sus objetivos. Al respecto, respaldaron la propuesta de la carretera Guyana-Venezuela y acordaron buscar conjuntamente los recursos internacionales necesarios para la realización de los estudios de factibilidad que se requieren para la ejecución de este proyecto.
20.- En este contexto los Presidentes reconocieron la importancia de crear un ambiente favorable para el desarrollo del potencial económico de las regiones que surgirán como resultado de la construcción de la carretera. Ambos Presidentes acordaron adoptar políticas y medidas para estimular las actividades económicas, a fin de asegurar la viabilidad de la carretera propuesta.
21.- Los Presidentes reafirmaron su compromiso de continuar trabajando activamente en la Organización del Tratado de Cooperación Amazónica, a fin de desarrollar, consolidar y coordinar estrategias nacionales para la preservación del patrimonio ambiental y el desarrollo sostenible de sus países.
22.- Los Presidentes tomaron nota de las decisiones adoptadas en la Cumbre Especial de las Américas en Monterrey, México. Acordaron que los intereses de las economías más pequeñas del hemisferio deben ser salvaguardadas en todo proyecto de integración económica
23.- Los Jefes de Estado resaltaron el papel de la Organización de Estados Americanos, como organismo regional fundamental para la preservación de la paz y la promoción del desarrollo en las Américas. Al respecto, reconocieron la necesidad de que la OEA fortalezca los mecanismos de lucha contra la pobreza, para lo cual convinieron en trabajar conjuntamente con la Organización, para impulsar la discusión sobre la propuesta de la Carta Social Interamericana.
24.- Los Presidentes decidieron colaborar estrechamente en el Grupo de Río y en la Cumbre América Latina y Caribe - Unión Europea. Reconocieron que estos grupos brindan grandes oportunidades para ampliar el diálogo político y la cooperación económica y social.
25.- Los Presidente Bharrat Jagdeo y Hugo Chávez Frías analizaron el actual sistema de comercio internacional, así como los esfuerzos que se realizan en la Organización Mundial de Comercio para garantizar el desarrollo de un sistema de comercio equilibrado, justo y equitativo, basado en reglas internacionales aceptables para todas las naciones. Resaltaron que el comercio internacional, las inversiones y la cooperación económica son indispensables para el bienestar de todos los Estados, especialmente para aquellos de economías pequeñas y vulnerables.
26.- En un entorno internacional cada vez más desafiante, caracterizado por la liberalización del comercio y por la erosión de las preferencias comerciales, solicitaron a la comunidad internacional que garantice un tratamiento especial y diferenciado que tome en cuenta las diferencias estructurales y las necesidades especiales de los países en desarrollo.
27.- Los Presidentes reafirmaron su compromiso con el multilateralismo como principio fundamental de las relaciones internacionales y expresaron su apoyo a las iniciativas destinadas a la reforma y reestructuración de las Naciones Unidas, por la permanente preeminencia de esta organización en el mantenimiento de la paz y la seguridad internacionales, el fortalecimiento de la cooperación internacional, la promoción del desarrollo económico y social y el respeto al derecho internacional. En este marco, acordaron promover iniciativas, con especial énfasis en los programas sociales llevados a cabo por la organización .
28.- Sus Excelencias, los Presidentes Bharrat Jagdeo y Hugo Chávez Frías reconocieron que el terrorismo internacional y otros crímenes transfronterizos, como el tráfico de drogas, de armas y el lavado de dinero, constituyen una amenaza para la seguridad de los Estados. Resaltaron que la pandemia del HIV /SIDA sigue afectando negativamente la salud de la región. Subrayaron la importancia de que se adopte un enfoque integral y coordinado en los foros regionales para que enfrenten efectivamente estos desafíos.
29.- Al concluir sus conversaciones, ambos Presidentes expresaron su satisfacción por el resultado de su diálogo y acogieron con beneplácito su compromiso de profundizar aún más las relaciones entre Guyana y Venezuela. Convinieron en que este encuentro imprimirá un impulso adicional a la cooperación en los asuntos regionales e internacionales.
Su Excelencia el Presidente Hugo Chávez Frías expresó
su agradecimiento al Gobierno y al Pueblo de Guyana por la hospitalidad brindada
a él y a su delegación durante su Visita de Estado y extendió
una invitación a Su Excelencia el Presidente Bharrat Jagdeo para que
realice una Visita de Estado a Venezuela en fecha a convenir mutuamente.
COMMUNIQUÉ ISSUED ON THE CONCLUSION OF THE STATE VISIT TO GUYANA BY HIS EXCELLENCY
HUGO CHÁVEZ FRÍAS, PRESIDENT OF THE BOLIVARIAN REPUBLIC OF VENEZUELA --
GEORGETOWN, FEBRUARY 19-20, 2004
At the invitation of His Excellency Bharrat Jagdeo, President of the Republic of Guyana, His Excellency Hugo Chávez Frías, President of the Bolivarian Republic of Venezuela paid a State Visit to Guyana from February 19-20 2004.
2. During his State Visit, President Chávez held official talks with President Bharrat Jagdeo and members of the Cabinet of Guyana. He received courtesy calls from The Honourable Hari Narayen Ramkarran, Speaker of the National Assembly, The Honourable Robert Corbin, M.P., Leader of the Opposition and His Excellency Dr. Edwin Carrington, Secretary General of the Caribbean Community.
3. His Excellency President Hugo Chávez Frías addressed a gathering of Parliamentarians and Civic Leaders.
4. In their review of the relations between Guyana and Venezuela, Their Excellencies Presidents Bharrat Jagdeo and Hugo Chávez Frías took note of the steady progress which was being made in strengthening the bonds of friendship, cooperation and understanding between their two countries. They noted, in particular, that a spirit of cordiality had permeated the approach to the dialogue between the two sides under the auspices of the United Nations Good Offices Process in the search for a peaceful and practical settlement of the controversy in accordance with the Geneva Agreement of 1966.
5. The Heads of State reiterated their countries' commitment to the Good Offices process and expressed their appreciation for the work of Mr. Oliver Jackman, the Personal Representative of the United Nations Secretary General.
6. The Presidents exchanged ideas on their national programmes for poverty alleviation, social justice and the deepening of their national democratic processes. They reaffirmed their commitment to the fight against poverty which constitutes the main threat to international peace and development.
7. They therefore expressed their Governments' continuing support to the United Nations Millennium Development Goals aimed at reducing poverty by fifty percent by the year 2015. They however noted that if international donor assistance to developing countries does not increase appreciably, the goal of reducing poverty will not be realised.
8. The Presidents decided that the bilateral cooperation programmes should be linked with the poverty alleviation strategies and plans of both states.
9. The Presidents noted that both the New Global Human Order and the International Humanitarian Fund, initiatives that have been promoted by Guyana and Venezuela, respectively, have similar objectives and could make significant contributions towards the realisation of the strategies to eradicate poverty globally. They therefore agreed to coordinate their efforts and activities aimed at achieving international acceptance and support for the objectives of the two proposals. In this respect they recognised the efforts being made through the Latin American Economic System (SELA) and the Andean Cooperation Fund (CAF) to support the feasibility studies for the establishment of the International Humanitarian Fund.
10. The Heads of State reviewed the efforts aimed at the implementation of programmes for the intensification of cooperation between their two countries. They directed that strategies be developed for the acceleration of the rate of implementation of the cooperation activities of the various Subcommittees and Working Groups established under the Guyana/Venezuela High Level Bilateral Commission. They requested their respective Foreign Ministers to conduct a thorough review of the cooperation programmes and to monitor their further execution.
11. President Bharrat Jagdeo briefed President Hugo Chávez Frías on Guyana's recent qualification for assistance under the Highly Indebted Poor Countries (HIPC) Initiative and the positive impact which this assistance could have on the poverty alleviation and social sector programmes in Guyana.
12. It was noted that because of its HIPC conditions, Guyana will not be able to access the benefits of the Caracas Energy Cooperation Accord. At the request of H.E. the President of Guyana, President Chávez agreed that Venezuela would favourably consider adjusting the terms and conditions of the Accord so that it can be made compatible with Guyana's HIPC obligations. It was agreed that the relevant technical officials would meet before the end of March 2004 to resolve this issue.
13. The President of Venezuela agreed to a cancellation of the debt owed by Guyana to Venezuela. A Technical Working Group would be established to give effect to this decision.
14. The Presidents emphasised the importance of constitutional reform, the rule of law, citizens' participation, and the consolidation of democratic governance to social and economic stability. In this context, they exchanged views on the initiatives taken by their governments to build consensus and consultation across the political spectrum in their countries.
15. President Jagdeo briefed President Chávez on the developments in the integration process within the Caribbean Community (CARICOM) and highlighted in particular the progress being made towards the establishment of the CARICOM Single Market and Economy. President Jagdeo observed that the integration arrangements would establish a solid basis for the development of the Region and allow for closer foreign policy coordination to address regional and international developments.
16. Both Presidents emphasised the importance of trade to regional development and requested the early resumption of negotiations aimed at strengthening the trade agreement between Venezuela and CARICOM.
17. The Presidents reviewed the achievements of the Association of Caribbean States (ACS) since the Third Summit in Margarita, Venezuela, in 2001. They took note of the fact that significant progress was made towards greater integration in the areas of air transport and tourism. They emphasised the importance of the ACS Summit of Heads of State and Government as the appropriate forum for strengthening the Association and for guiding it towards the new challenges and objectives.
18. They placed on record their appreciation for the services of the outgoing Secretary General, Dr. Norman Girvan, and expressed their support for the newly elected Secretary General, Mr. Ruben Arturo Silié Valdez.
19. The Presidents of Guyana and Venezuela discussed the Integration of Regional Infrastructure of South America (IIRSA) initiative and reiterated their commitment to the realisation of its objectives. In this regard they endorsed the proposal for a Guyana-Venezuela road link and agreed to jointly seek international resources to conduct the feasibility studies needed to implement this proposed project.
20. In this context the Presidents noted the importance of creating an environment to allow for the realisation of the economic potential of the areas that would be opened up as a result of the proposed road link. Both Presidents therefore agreed to adopt policies and measures that would encourage economic activities to ensure the viability of the proposed road link.
21. The Presidents reaffirmed their commitment to continue to play active roles in the Amazonian Cooperation Treaty Organisation to develop, consolidate and coordinate national strategies for the preservation of their environmental heritage and the sustainable development of their countries.
22. The Presidents took note of the decisions adopted at the Special Summit of the Americas held in Monterrey, Mexico. They agreed that the interests of the smaller economies of the hemisphere must be safeguarded in any project of economic integration.
23. The two Heads of State praised the role of the Organisation of American States as a key regional organisation concerned with the preservation of peace and the promotion of development in the Americas. In this regard they recognised the need to strengthen the OAS mechanisms for combating poverty and agreed to jointly work with the Organisation to hasten the consideration of the proposed Inter-American Social Charter.
24. The Presidents agreed to closer collaboration in the context of the Rio Group and the Latin American-Caribbean and European Union processes. It was noted that these groupings offered welcome opportunities for extended political dialogue and wider economic and social partnerships.
25. Presidents Bharrat Jagdeo and Hugo Chávez Frías discussed the current international trading system, and the efforts being made through the Word Trade Organisation to ensure the development of a balanced, fair and equitable trading system that is based on internationally acceptable rules for all nations. They underscored the fact that international trade, investment and economic cooperation are critical to the welfare of all states, especially those with small and vulnerable economies.
26. They called on the international community to guarantee, in an increasingly challenging international environment, characterised by trade liberalisation and the erosion of trade preferences, special and differential treatment that takes into account the structural differences and special needs of developing countries.
27. The Presidents reaffirmed their commitment to multilateralism as a guiding principle in international relations and expressed their support for the initiatives aimed at the reform and restructuring of the United Nations given the continuing relevance of this organisation to the maintenance of international peace and security; the strengthening of international cooperation, the promotion of social and economic development and respect for international law. In this framework, they agreed to promote initiatives, with special emphasis on the social programmes carried out by the United Nations.
28. Their Excellencies Presidents Bharrat Jagdeo and Hugo Chávez Frías recognised the threats to the security of states posed by international terrorism and other trans-boundary crimes, such as drugs and arms trafficking and money laundering. They noted the heavy toll which the HIV/AIDS pandemic continues to take on the region's health. They stressed the importance of a coordinated and integrated approach within regional fora to respond effectively to these challenges.
29 In concluding their discussions both Presidents expressed their satisfaction with the results of their dialogue and welcomed its promise for the further enhancement of relations between Guyana and Venezuela. They were convinced that their meeting would give added impetus to cooperation in regional and international matters.
30. His Excellency President Hugo Chávez Frías expressed his gratitude to the Government and People of Guyana for the hospitality afforded him and his delegation during his State Visit and extended an invitation to His Excellency President Bharrat Jagdeo to pay a state visit to Venezuela at a mutually convenient time.
31. Done and signed on this 19th day of February, 2004, in the English and Spanish languages, both texts being equally authentic.
E. Bharrat Jagdeo
President of the Republic of Guyana
E. Hugo Chávez Frías
President of the Bolivarian
Republic of Venezuela
|GUYANA DELEGATION||DELEGATION OF VENEZUELA|
|His Excellency Bharrat Jagdeo - President of the Republic of Guyana||His Excellency Hugo Chávez Frías - President of the Bolivarian Republic of Venezuela|
|Hon. Samuel Hinds - Prime Minister||Ambassador Jesús Arnaldo Pérez - Minister of External Relations of Venezuela|
|Hon. Samuel R. Insanally - Minister of Foreign Affairs||Minister Counsellor Fernando Rincon - Chargé d'Affaires a.i.|
|Hon. Clement Rohee - Minister of Foreign Trade and International Cooperation||Ing. Rafael Ramirez Carreño - Minister of Energy and Mines|
|Hon. Carl Anthony Xavier - Minister of Transport and Hydraulics||Mr. Wilmar Castro Soteldo - Minister of Production and Commerce|
|Hon. Henry Jeffrey - Minister of Education||Ing. Jesse Chacon Escamillo - Minister of Information and Communication|
|Hon. Dr. Jennifer Westford - Minister of the Public Service and Acting Minister of Health||Dr. Francisco Natera Martinez - Minister of Special Zone of Sustainable Development|
|Dr. Roger Luncheon - Head of the Presidential Secretariat, Office of the President||Ing. Victor Alvarez - Bancoex and Representative of Entrepreneur Sector|
|Ambassador Elisabeth Harper - Director General, Ministry of Foreign Affairs||Ambassador Héctor Azócar - Facilitator of Good Offices Process Between Guyana and Venezuela|
|Ambassador Odeen Ishmael - Ambassador of Guyana to Venezuela||Ambassador Blanca Verlezza - Director General, International Policies - Ministry of External Affairs|
|Mr. Keith George - Head, Frontiers Division, Ministry of Foreign Affairs||Dr. Alexandra Jecrois Madrid - President of INAPESCA|
|Mr. Miguel Pérez Abad - President of FEDEINDUSTRIA|
|Mr. Alejando Uzcategui - President of Venezuelan Entrepreneur|
|Major (EJ) Manuel Barroso Alberto - Director General of the Ministry of Infrastructure|
|Lt. Col. (EJ) Emiro Antonio Brito Valerio - Private Secretary of the President|
|Mr. Gilberto Gimenez - Director of International Relations|
|GB (EJ) Carlos José Mata Figueroa - Head of the Military House of the President|
The week before last a report appeared in the Miami Herald, which said that President Chavez was scheduled to visit this country on January 30-31, to discuss Venezuela's claim to Guyana's land. It cited as the source for this, Minister of Foreign Affairs Rudy Insanally; however, the Minister told this newspaper that although those dates had been mooted, they had not been confirmed. President Chavez did not come, of course, although since actual dates are under discussion perhaps it is not too unrealistic to suppose that he might still do so in the not-so-distant future.
President Chavez, has been preoccupied with domestic matters ever since the failed coup in April 2002, and everything has appeared to have been relatively quiescent on our western frontier since that time - or at least, since the PdVSA strike which began at the end of that year. When boundary matters have obtruded into the political preoccupations of the neighbouring government, they have related to Colombia, rather than to Guyana.
And there have been real tensions on the Colombian-Venezuelan frontier, sections of which are penetrated on a regular basis by Colombian left-wing guerillas, right-wing paramilitaries and criminal elements from both nations. The US has accused President Chavez of giving active assistance to the Colombian guerillas, although this has been strenuously denied by Miraflores. The least that can be said is that there are parts of Venezuela's border with her western neighbour where the writ of Caracas does not run.
It has been announced in the Venezuelan press that President Chavez is to meet President Uribe of Colombia at the end of February to discuss their border problems, so perhaps the neighbouring head of state is in a frontier mode. Where this country is concerned, he may have various motives for being open to discussions now - presuming, of course, that he really does want to come here - given his active role in continental politics, and his stand-off with Washington.
President Chavez, however, has a history with the border controversy which should not be ignored. In the first place, in his early days he showed a certain impatience with the multilateral process, being quoted just before he became President as saying that it might be necessary "to look for other mechanisms [to solve the border controversy]... especially negotiations on a government to government basis." Negotiations between the Colombians and Venezuelans are undertaken on a bilateral basis, but it would be sheer folly for Guyana to buckle to the neighbouring head of state's sense of urgency, and come out from under the shade of the multilateral umbrella.
It should be remembered too, that prior to his preoccupation with domestic difficulties, he had maintained a consistently aggressive stance in relation to our frontier. Early on he had referred to Venezuela's need for "a terriotrial revindication of the wide section of Guyana," and one of his first forays into hemispheric summitry saw him engaged in public advocacy of Venezuela's meretricious claim to Essequibo. This was at the meeting of South American heads of government which had been called by President Cardoso in August 2000. It must be said that on that occasion we went prepared, and President Jagdeo held his own briefing outlining Guyana's case.
During Mr Chavez' presidency there has been more than one incursion into Guyana's air-space by military aircraft, including an incident which occurred on December 24, 1999. Following the inevitable protest, the Venezuelan authorities disingenuously informed their Guyanese counterparts that it was just "the customary New Year salute to the garrisons posted at the frontiers of the Republic."
In another case that same year, the explanation proferred was that the planes were engaged in anti-narcotics exercises.
There were also territorial intrusions, as well as economic aggression, when three oil companies granted exploration licences off the Essequibo coast by Guyana, were pressured by Venezuela into relinquishing them. In the meantime, Venezuela has granted international oil companies licences for three blocks, and invited bids on two others, to explore for hydrocarbons in the Orinoco delta region. Fears have been expressed that one of those blocks - block 5 - might impinge on Guyana's maritime space. Whether this is so or not, has never been clarified by our Ministry of Foreign Affairs, although we did report that they were in discussions with Caracas about it.
Finally, it must also not be forgotten that Venezuela's new constitution introduced under President Chavez incorporates the dubious Article 10, which by implication could repudiate the 1899 Award. While as far as the international domain is concerned, this article has no practical consequence, it is still not something about which Guyana should feel comfortable.
Hopefully, we can presume that the Government of Guyana has not moved from the traditional position that the 1899 Award was a full, perfect and final settlement, and that in the case of Essequibo, joint development with Venezuela is a definite no-no. One hopes too, as said above, that the administration will not be tempted or harried into bilateral negotiations concerning this particular boundary.
As President Chavez has demonstrated over his years in office, he is a man who likes to act quickly. If he does come here, therefore, he might not give State House much notice. Despite the fact that our government has domestic problems of its own at the moment, one can only wish that it ensures that adequate preparation is done in anticipation of his visit, so that our head of state is more than adequately briefed on what remains a complex matter.
(Stabroek News, 1 February 2004)
Page updated January 22nd. 2004 - Back to Embassy page
Coast Guard nabs Venez. trawler
Guyana Defense Force (GDF) Coast Guard on Sunday January 18 nabbed a Venezuelan trawler for illegally fishing in Guyana's waters.
The 'Elizabeth moored at the Guyana Fisheries yesterday.
The 'Elizabeth' was apprehended about 19:00 hrs in the Waini area with approximately 12,000 pounds of mixed fish. .
The captain and five-member crew are: Jesus Farmin (captain), Leonis Jose Mata Ortiz, Habrahan J. Mata, Carlos Alberto Berreta, Estaban Rafael Medina, and Edgar Luis Maza Salazar. .
The 'Elizabeth' is currently moored at the Guyana Fisheries Wharf and the men, who are in custody, are expected to be charged shortly. .
Chronicle, 22 January 2004
Guyana to try for better oil rates under Caracas accord
Guyana is trying to negotiate for lower concessionary rates at which Venezuelan oil supplies can be accessed under the Caracas Energy Accord.
Prime Minister, Samuel Hinds, made this disclosure adding that the current rates on offer were judged to be too high based on the guidelines of the World Bank and the International Monetary Fund (IMF) which restrict Guyana from entering certain loan and credit agreements.
"We will be bringing this to the attention of the Venezuelans through diplomatic lines to see if some adjustments can be made to value it sufficiently concessional," Hinds told Stabroek News on Friday.
Under the Caracas Energy Accord, countries can purchase oil supplies on concessional terms. It complements the terms of the San Jose Agreement, through which Venezuela offers special financial conditions to signatory oil-buying countries.
The Accord will establish a scale of prices for setting preferential percentages for financing long-term, low-interest loans to each country, based on the amount of oil purchased.
The quantum of the loans will range from ten per cent to 25 per cent of the amount paid for the oil, depending on the prices paid, with a one-year grace period and repayments extending over 15 years.
Minister of Foreign Affairs, Rudy Insanally, in an outline of his ministry's plans for 2004 signalled that the Energy Accord would be one of the issues that would be high on the agenda in discussions with Venezuela.
Guyana was expected to begin accessing its oil supplies under the Energy Accord in January last year. However, a strike in the Venezuelan oil fields at the time affected the country's ability to access supplies.
Since then, Guyana has been accessing fuel supplies from Trinidad and Tobago. Gasoline is being purchased from Trinidad at US$44.76 per barrel, dieseline at US$44.7 per barrel and kerosene at US$43.15 per barrel, according to the Free on Board figures provided by the Guyana Energy Agency.
Several Caribbean countries are benefiting from oil supplies under the Accord. A non-official translation of a letter from the Venezuelan Foreign Ministry to Caricom foreign ministries in 2000 said the Venezuelan Government would be willing "to examine the energy situation of each country and to arrange an agreement of this nature, with the sole purpose of contributing to mitigate the impact" of the current international energy scenario.
Stabroek News, 20 January 2004
Page updated January 11th. 2004 - Back to Embassy page
Chavez may visit soon - Insanally
AN IMPENDING visit to Guyana by Venezuelan President, Hugo Chavez, is expected to help put to rest a controversial claim of two-thirds of this country by its western neighbour.
"We are very anxious to reach a stage where we can put that controversy behind our back. And I would want to believe that the visit of the President, when it does take place, will contribute greatly to achieving that," Foreign Minister, Dr Rudy Insanally said Thursday.
He told reporters at his Takuba Lodge, Georgetown base, that President Chavez has been formally invited to Guyana by President Bharrat Jagdeo, and may be coming soon. The exact date will be confirmed through diplomatic communication and Insanally said there has been some indication that "sooner rather than later" a visit might take place.
Guyana and Venezuela late last year resumed a 'Good Officer' process under the aegis of the United Nations to resolve the nearly two-century-old border dispute. Secretary General, Kofi Annan met with Insanally and Venezuelan Foreign Minister, Roy Chaderton-Matos at UN Headquarters in New York in September.
Insanally, Thursday said the sides have kept the process going despite major political problems in Venezuela. "It has been going well, we have extremely cordial relations with Venezuela (and the process will be) accelerated," he noted.
While it would be left to the leaders of the countries to decide what is on the agenda when President Chavez visits, the border controversy would be most likely be the underlying, fundamental issue.
"(They will look at) what could be done bilaterally to perhaps eliminate that problem in the interest of the larger hemispheric good," Insanally said.
The leaders would most likely discuss matters of hemispheric cooperation in which they both have very strong interest. Infrastructure is a key matter in light of Venezuela's proposal for a road link with Guyana, as well as energy. (Chronicle, January 10, 2004)
Page updated January 1st. 2004 - Back to Embassy page
Relations good despite no ambassador
Venezuela is likely to consider appointing a new ambassador to Guyana once its national budget for the coming year is approved. The embassy here has been without an ambassador since July 2002 when Ambassador Jean Francis Pulvenis left the post.
Charge-d'affaires, Fernando Rincon told Stabroek News that the delay in the appointment of a new ambassador does not signal any deterioration in the relations between his country and Guyana: "Sometimes it is not easy to find the right person who wants to go to a particular place."
Rincon added that there were a number of constraints last year including the general strike that imposed some financial constraints in making these appointments.
He explained that Guyana was not the only important post that had been without an ambassador and cited as examples diplomatic missions in Saudi Arabia and Iran, members of the Organisation of Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) that until recently had been without ambassadors.
An official source has told Stabroek News that notwithstanding the desirability of having an ambassador appointed, once there is a Charge d'affaires a.i. appointed to act as head of mission it is business as usual. The official noted too that the absence of an ambassador did not prevent Venezuelan Foreign Minister Roy Chadderton from visiting Guyana earlier this year.
This page is part of Guyana News and Information.