One week ago, Nicolas Maduro announced during his weekly TV show that he would address the National Assembly on June 25th, in order to present what he calls “…the official position in defense of the historic claim, the dispute over the Esequibo, and to ask for the national unity…”.
Then the speech was postponed for the following day. And then again for today June 30th. And just hours ago, the long-awaited speech has been postponed yet again for an unspecific date to be announced “opportunely”.
No official reasons have been given for any of the three postponements.
Regardless of what could be causing the delay for something so important, the central government’s core argument over this diplomatic beef with Guyana remains the same though: This is all because of the evil, greedy ExxonMobil. This opinion isn’t shared at all by Elias Daniels, a former Foreign Affairs Ministry Commissioner on Guyana affairs, who said that the current administration is mishandling the issue and that didn’t happen during the pre-Chavez era.
Meanwhile in Georgetown, Guyana’s president David Granger gave assurances to the oil giant to keep working and called Venezuela’s claims “a legal absurdity”. Raphael Trotman, former Parliament speaker and current Governance Minister went even further by saying that “Venezuela knows what it has to do and that is to behave itself”.
Guyana also got the strong backing from its fellow members of the Commonwealth of Nations, via this statement made during the recent visit of its current Secretary-General Kamalesh Sharma to the Cooperative Republic:
“The Commonwealth stands as one and speaks with one voice in our commitment to Guyana’s sovereignty and territorial integrity…
There have been recent developments including a claim by a neighbouring country over Guyana’s land and maritime areas, and the Commonwealth has moved swiftly and appropriately in collective solidarity with Guyana… The Commonwealth remains steadfast in its support for the Government and people of Guyana.”
The subject could be discussed this week during the Caribbean Community (CARICOM) 36th summit in Barbados. For the record, twelve of the fifteen CARICOM full member countries are also members of the Commonwealth.