Published On: Thu, Nov 5th, 2015

Guyana and US discuss Venezuelan trade embargo, aggression

trotman_power_nagamootoo2MEXICO CITY, Mexico - A recent visit to the Open Government Partnership Global Summit in Mexico City, Mexico, by Guyana’s Prime Minister Moses Nagamootoo and Governance Minister Raphael Trotman afforded the opportunity to hold bilateral talks with Samantha Power, permanent representative of the US to the United Nations, with major discussions focusing on the Guyana-Venezuela border controversy.

Nagamootoo also addressed the forum and informed the many dignitaries about the Venezuela controversy and that the country has now refused to buy Guyana’s rice and sell fuel to his country.

Nagamootoo used the occasion of his address, and talks with Power to raise the threat Venezuela poses to Guyana. He explained that Venezuela has sought to reassert a false claim to five-eighths of Guyana, which includes all of the country’s forest and mineral resources as well its exclusive maritime zone.

He detailed that Venezuela has refused to buy the country’s rice and sell fuel to it. Along this line, the PM explained that Venezuela has even sought to block oil exploration off Guyana’s coast and gold extraction in its own territory, “all in clear violation of international law and treaty obligations,” a point that Samanta Power touched on in her address at the Summit.

The Venezuelan rice market, the PetroCaribe agreement, is set for an official closing on November 16, 2015, as was relayed to the country when Finance Minister Winston Jordan visited Venezuela in July. At the time, the minister was told that Venezuela will not be renewing the ‘oil for rice’ barter under the PetroCaribe agreement.

Venezuela in the meantime turned quickly to Suriname for a rice deal under the same PetroCaribe arrangement. The two heads of state, Venezuela’s Nicolas Maduro and his Surinamese counterpart, Desi Bouterse just concluded an agreement on the deal ‘in principle,’ and which will be finalised very soon.

This news came right after Venezuela decided to stop buying Guyanese rice under a similar arrangement.

Image:Governance Minister Raphael Trotman; Samantha Power, Permanent Representative of the US to the United Nations, and Prime Minister Moses Nagamootoo

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