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    Venezuela's Foreign Affairs Minister Jorge Arreaza at a press conference on Jan. 12 in Caracas. | Photo: Twitter / @CancilleriaVE

Published 12 January 2019

Foreign Affairs Minister Jorge Arreaza formally thanked 10 countries for rectifying an attack on Venezuela's territorial integrity.

Venezuelan Foreign Affairs Minister Jorge Arreaza announced President Nicolas Maduro decided to allow more time for Paraguay and Canada to rectify their position after signing the Lima Group declaration on Jan. 4, which included a provision against Venezuela’s territorial jurisdiction.

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“The Bolivarian diplomacy of peace has triumphed,” Arreaza said in a press conference Saturday, confirming the foreign affairs ministry had received diplomatic notes from 10 countries -including Panama, Guatemala, Costa Rica, Argentina, Chile, Colombia, Brazil, Santa Lucia, Honduras, and Ecuador- ratifying their respect for Venezuela’s territorial integrity.

On Jan. 9, after proving that Exxon Mobile ships from Guayana had illegally entered Venezuelan waters, President Maduro issued a 48 hour deadline for the Lima Group countries that signed the declaration to rectify on provision number nine, which modified the South American nation’s territorial boundaries in favor of Guayana, with which it maintains a territorial dispute over the Esequibo territory.  

Thirteen of the 14 members of the Lima Group signed a declaration expressing "concern" over Venezuela intercepting two Exxon Mobile ships "within Guayana's exclusive economic zone."

The Venezuelan government issued 12 notes of protest over the declaration providing proof that the ships were in Venezuelan territory and that Venezuelan authorities had not boarded the ships as the government of Guyana claimed.

The first country to rectify was Guatemala. Shortly after, the government of Panama also rectified, stressing it upholds international law. Even the governments of Argentina, Brazil, and Colombia that are in the forefront of the diplomatic offensive against Venezuela backtracked.

"It is up to us to insist on dialogue, peace, and non-interference in internal affairs. All of the Lima Group's Jan. 4 declaration is a rude interference in Venezuelan affairs," Arreaza said.

The Lima Group, with the exception of Mexico, issued a declaration disavowing the Venezuelan government and calling for new elections.


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