Statement by the Government of the Cooperative Republic of Guyana
For Immediate Release
The Government of the Cooperative Republic of Guyana is compelled to respond to a Communique
issued today by the Government of the Bolivarian Republic of Venezuela which complained of
Guyana’s intention to put up for bid certain oil blocks in the waters adjacent to its coast, and
concluded with a threat to “apply all the necessary measures” to prevent operations licensed by
Guyana in these waters, which Venezuela claims as its own.
Guyana considers this a threat not only to Guyana but to regional and international peace and
security, as well as to all of Guyana’s current and potential investment partners.
Guyana has no doubt that under international law the waters in question form part of its Exclusive
Economic Zone, where Guyana alone enjoys sovereign rights over the resources in the sea and
beneath the seabed. If Venezuela disputes this, then it is obliged by the United Nations Charter and
the Charter of the OAS to employ only peaceful means to seek a resolution. Both Charters prohibit
the threat or use of force against another State.
Guyana therefore implores Venezuela to honor its obligation to pursue only peaceful means to settle
any dispute it may have with Guyana, including adjudication before the International Court Justice,
where Guyana has sought confirmation of the land boundary between the two States. Allowing the
Court to decide any other dispute between the parties would ensure a resolution that is peaceful,
equitable and in accordance with international law.
September 19, 2023