RADHICA DE SILVA
Senior Multimedia Reporter
Foreign and Caricom Affairs Minister Dr Amery Browne has hit back at the UNC after two of its MPs called on Prime Minister Dr Keith Rowley to act as a mediator in the Venezuela/Guyanese border dispute.
Responding to the UNC's call via X (formerly Twitter), Dr Browne said: "The UNC is disconnected from CARICOM and incoherent on regional matters."
He further wrote: " The UNC's repeated call for involvement of any third state in negotiations /direct mediation between Guyana and Venezuela on the border issue is in flagrant violation of the national policy of Guyana."
He also accused the UNC of showing disregard to the position taken by Caricom.
"The UNC's public comments on the Guyana/Venezuela border issue completely contradict the unanimous position of CARICOM," he pointed out.
Caricom in a statement last Friday expressed solidarity with the ruling of the International Court of Justice also known as the World Court noting that the Court's order meant that Venezuela has no authority to annex Essequibo from Guyana regardless of the outcome of the referendum held in Venezuela on Sunday, which reportedly showed 95 per cent of the Venezuelan people wanted an annexation of Essiquebo to Venezuela.
Dr Browne accused the UNC of making contradictory statements "whilst incoherently claiming solidarity with the CARICOM position. They consistently try to undermine CARICOM and the foreign policy of T&T," Dr Browne contended.
He added: " Just to be divisive the UNC backed (Juan) Guaido. Bizarrely they now call for mediation and border negotiation when the clear CARICOM/Guyana position is to properly treat with it via the ICJ."
On Saturday, Princes Town MP Barry Padarath called on the T&T government to intervene as a mediator in the ongoing border dispute and develop a comprehensive national strategy to address the looming threat of war.
Highlighting the imperative need for T&T to prepare in the event of war, Padarath underscored Venezuela's disregard for the ruling of the ICJ which unequivocally directed Venezuela last Friday, to refrain from any actions challenging Guyana’s established control over the Essequibo region.
Two weeks earlier, former Ambassador to the United Nations and Naparima MP Rodney Charles raised concerns about the potential vulnerability of T&T to Venezuela's military influence in the future.
He also said T&T could play a pivotal role in mediation between both countries noting that a national policy was needed now to treat migrants, tighten and lock down the borders, a establish an inventory of migrants.
MP Charles emphasized the need for diplomatic intervention, proposing that T&T, as a close friend to Venezuela and Guyana, use its influence to bring the parties to the negotiating table for a peaceful resolution.