The Venezuelan Government reaffirmed its commitment to the Geneva Agreement, on Saturday, on the 52nd anniversary of the international treaty being signed in Switzerland.
Venezuelan Foreign Minister Jorge Arreaza released a statement which declared that the Bolivarian nation is fully ready to comply with this agreement, emphasizing the need to generate a meeting through negotiation, "preserving peaceful coexistence between two sister nations."
President Nicolas Maduro has called on the Venezuelan people to defend their "legitimate and non-renounceable” territorial rights over the region.
Defense Minister Vladimir Padrino Lopez, representing the Bolivarian National Armed Forces (FANB), stressed that the Venezuelan people will continue their legitimate claim to the territory.
"The Sun of Venezuela is born in the Essequibo,” he shared through his social media.
A 52 años de la firma del Acuerdo de Ginebra, el Gob. Bolivariano de Venezuela ratifica su firme disposición de defender la integridad territorial de nuestra Patria, en la controversia territorial sobre la Guayana Esequiba. Dentro del Acuerdo de Ginebra, todo; fuera de él, nada pic.twitter.com/LJ7HjL6ew6— Jorge Arreaza M (@jaarreaza) February 17, 2018
The Geneva Agreement was signed by Venezuela and the United Kingdom, which was Guyana’s colonizer at the time, in 1966. The treaty requested that Venezuela and Guyana seek a peaceful solution to the dispute over the conflicted Essequibo territory.
Just last month, UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres announced that he will refer the dispute to the International Court of Justice (ICJ) for settlement.
Both Venezuela and Guyana have committed to increasing dialogue in the past, but intervention by foreign oil companies has prolonged the disagreement.
U.S. oil giant ExxonMobil gave Guyana a US$18 million bonus in legal fees after the company, in 2015, made a significant oil discovery in an area disputed by the two countries. The multinational oil company seeks to sway the court’s decision, in favor of Guyana, to better serve its interests.