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Photo surfaces of SVG PM displaying Venezuelan map with Guyana’s Essequibo – Guyana Times

…Guyana asks Gonsalves for explanation

Guyana has asked St Vincent and the Grenadines Prime Minister, Dr Ralph Gonsalves for an explanation over a photograph that appeared on social media with him and his Foreign Affairs Minister, Keisal Melissa Peters, displaying a map of Venezuela that incorporated Guyana’s county of Essequibo.
This comes weeks after Gonsalves, who is the Chairman of the Community of Latin American and Caribbean States (CELAC), brokered talks between Guyana and Venezuela on December 14, 2023 after that country purported to annex Guyana’s Essequibo territory. This resulted in talks between the two Heads of State – President Dr Irfaan Ali and his Venezuelan counterpart, Nicolás Maduro – on December 14, 2023, in Argyle, Saint Vincent and the Grenadines.
Those talks resulted in the Argyle Declaration.

The photograph has led to much criticism about Gonsalves’ role as interlocutor even his term as CELAC Chair continues.
In a social media post, Antigua and Barbuda’s Permanent Representative to the Organisation of American States (OAS), Ronald Sanders, a Guyanese by birth, said that he was of the opinion that Gonsalves was not aware that Essequibo was included in the Venezuelan map that he was displaying.
“I have known and highly regarded Dr Ralph Gonsalves for over 40 years. I cannot be convinced that when he held up this map, showing the Essequibo incorporated into Venezuela, he was made aware of the image,” Saunders said.
He added that the Gonsalves he knows and respects “would not consciously do such a one-sided thing while the world awaits a decision on the Guyana-Venezuela controversy from the International Court of Justice, and while he, himself, is playing the role of CELAC’s honest broker.”

While efforts by <<<Guyana Times>>> to contact Foreign Affairs Ministry officials proved futile, Guyana’s Minister, Hugh Todd is quoted by local online media house Demerara Waves, as saying that the Guyana Government was informed that the photograph was taken in December 2022.
“The photo is dated and we expect clarity on the event itself,” Todd is quoted as saying in the Demerara Waves Online News story.
Venezuela has, in recent months, intensified its threats and aggression towards Guyana. In the Argyle joint declaration, the two Heads of State had agreed that any controversy between the two States would be resolved in accordance with international law.
The two countries have also committed to the pursuance of good neighbourliness, peaceful coexistence, and the unity of Latin America and the Caribbean. It was also agreed that both States would refrain, whether by words or deeds, from escalating any conflict or disagreement arising from any controversy.

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