Effects of Guyana/Venezuela controversy on the region 7

The Cuyuni-Mazaruni Region remains one of the richest areas in Guyana with its many natural resources, however, Regional Chairman, Gordon Bradford said the current disagreement between Guyana and the Bolivarian Republic of Venezuela, has had a dampening effect on the exploration of this natural wealth.

The longstanding issue, perpetuated by Venezuela, sees the Spanish speaking nation refusing to accept an award made to Guyana, giving rights to this country’s territorial boundary.This wealth, if exploited, can do so much for the region and the country to a wider extent.

Venezuela has for decades claimed that an 1899 arbitral award was null and void and that the area under contention, is in fact, theirs.

The Cuyuni-Mazaruni district borders the regions of Barima-Waini, (Region One), Pomeroon-Supenaam (Region Two) and Essequibo Islands-West Demerara (Region Three) to the north, the region of Upper Demerara-Berbice (Region 10) to the east, the region of Potaro-Siparuni (Region Eight) and Brazil to the south and Venezuela to the West. It is also a territory under contention by Venezuela.

Most of the residents of the region are involved in mining for gold and diamonds. Other areas of economic activities are found in the logging and tourism sectors.

“We cannot continue to live under threat of war or whatever you want to call it. Our region is considered one of the richest region in this country and it holds so many natural resources, but because of that threat, we are unable to exploit our natural resources to the benefit of the Guyanese nation.”The Regional Chairman said that he hopes Guyana and Venezuela can consult to bring an end to the issue, which he noted, is direly affecting his region.

He is hoping that the matter, currently before the International Court of Justice (ICJ), works out in Guyana’s favour.

“I have to touch on this issue because it is a priority for our nation. But whatever the world court should rule, then we will abide by the ruling of the court.”

He spoke to the fact that Venezuela has refused to be part of the court proceedings, but said whatever has to be done, must be done to bring the issue to an end.

He called on all Guyanese to be “onboard” and “alerted”, since, “if anything should happen, we are among the first that will be affected and so we cannot sweep that issue away from us. We should forever have it in our thoughts,” he said. (Source: DPI)

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