Claims Guyana promoting xenophobia against Venezuelans “patently false”, “misleading” – VP Jagdeo – Guyana Times
Vice President Bharrat Jagdeo has rejected statements made by his Venezuelan counterpart, Delcy Rodriguez, saying that she misled the International Court of Justice (ICJ) by claiming that Guyana tolerates the abuse of Venezuelan migrants who are seeking refuge here.
According to Jagdeo, these remarks by the Venezuelan Vice President are a cause for concern. As such, he was questioned on Thursday whether Guyana’s legal team would be filing additional memorandums to the court on this matter.
“I’ve even gone so far as to argue that as a nation that sent people abroad, including into Venezuela, when times were difficult here – they became economic migrants – that beyond international law, we have a moral obligation to treat people fairly when they come here to look for a living – those economic migrants… So, for her to go and tell the court that we’re practising and promoting xenophobia here is patently false and so, our lawyers should address that.”
In fact, only earlier this month, Jagdeo denounced the inhumane treatment of Venezuelans here as reprehensible. This was after a video had circulated on social media in which two migrants, accused of being thieves, were bullied into stripping and walking along the road. The Guyana Police Force has since arrested and charged 37-year-old Ahmad Ally, a joiner, of Peters Hall, East Bank Demerara (EBD), over the matter.
On Thursday, Jagdeo reiterated that Government has and continues to condemn such treatment of Venezuelans – an official policy position of not just the Administration but the People’s Progressive Party/Civic (PPP/C). As a matter of fact, he noted that this posture has even gotten him into trouble with the A Partnership for National Unity (APNU) and the Alliance For Change (AFC) Opposition parties – whenever he condemns xenophobia and maltreatment of migrants.
On September 21, 2023, Venezuela’s National Assembly passed a resolution calling for a referendum regarding Venezuela’s unsubstantiated claim to Essequibo, two-thirds of Guyana’s territory . Subsequently, the Venezuelan National Electoral Council last month published a list of five questions that it plans to put before the Venezuelan people. The referendum will seek the Venezuelan people’s approval to, among other things, annex Guyana’s territory in the Essequibo and create a Venezuelan state. This particular question (#5) also seeks the citizens’ approval for Venezuela granting citizenship and identity cards for residents of Essequibo.
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