Guyana/Venezuela relations further strengthened following state visit of President Maduro-highlighted in joint declaration
A joint declaration by Guyana and Venezuela’s Presidents, Donald Ramotar and Nicolas Maduro Moros respectively, noted the accelerated progress which was being made to enhance the bonds of cooperation, friendship, and understanding between their two countries.
In their review of the relations between Guyana and Venezuela, both Presidents in particular noted that greater impetus was given to the United Nations Good Offices Process since the appointment of the current Personal Representative of the United Nations Secretary General, Professor Norman Girvan and recommitted that the search for a peaceful and practical settlement of the controversy in accordance with the Geneva Agreement of 1966, was one that should be pursued under the Good Offices Process. In this regard, they agreed to pursue with the United Nations Secretary General the reappointment of Professor Girvan for a further term.
New cooperation initiatives proposed
The Heads of State also received the report of the 5th Meeting of the Guyana/ Venezuela High Level Bilateral Commission which was held during the visit, under the areas of Political Consultation; Food and Agriculture; Air, Land and Sea Transportation; Energy; and Education and Culture.
Arising out of these discussions, both Presidents noted with satisfaction the continuity of the exports of rice and paddy to Venezuela and the supply of petroleum to Guyana. Also, they acknowledged the potential cooperation under the Petrocaribe mechanism and the new cooperation initiatives proposed, which include the bilateral drugs agreement, furtherance of the proposals for cultural cooperation and capacity building in the area of Spanish language training for Guyanese and English language training for Venezuelans.
It was agreed by both presidents that a direct air link be established between the two countries through CONVIASA airline, which has the capacity to transport 70 passengers twice weekly.
With the aim of consolidating the airline sector, the Bolivarian Republic offered the Government of Guyana capacity building in the area of training of technicians and flight operations inspectors.
The two leaders also agreed that strategies be developed to hasten the rate of implementation of the outstanding and the new cooperation initiatives under the Guyana/ Venezuela High Level Bilateral Commission. The foreign ministers of both countries will be tasked with executing these activities.
Both Presidents emphasized the importance of trade to regional development and recalled the views expressed by President Maduro at the recently concluded 34th Regular Meeting of the Conference of Heads of Government of the Caribbean Community regarding the strengthening of the trade relations between Venezuela and CARICOM. They noted also the proposals for cooperation between CARICOM and Venezuela including areas such as security, air and sea transportation, energy and the development of a social and cultural plan.
The two presidents expressed optimism for the potential that exists for an enhanced relationship between CARICOM and Venezuela that would redound to the benefit of their peoples.
The achievements of the Petrocaribe mechanism were reviewed and President Ramotar congratulated President Maduro on the initiative by Venezuela to establish the Petrocaribe Economic Zone (PEZ), which has been created to safeguard and manage the resources in the region. The Presidents emphasised the importance of the Petrocaribe Summit of Heads of State and Government as the appropriate forum for strengthening the initiative and guiding it towards the new challenges and objectives that are imminent.
The roles of UNASUR and CELAC in bringing the Latin American and Caribbean region closer together and in providing a voice for the region to address issues of interest and concern, including peace and security, climate change and sustainable development were also highlighted during the high level discussions.
President Maduro commended Guyana on attaining the Associate Membership status of MERCOSUR. Within this context, both Presidents emphasised the importance of MERCOSUR not only with respect to integration in the area of trade, but also in the development of cooperation in many sectors.
Concluding their discussions, both presidents expressed their satisfaction with the results of their dialogue and welcomed its promise for the further enhancement of relations between Guyana and Venezuela. They were convinced that their meeting would give added impetus to cooperation in bilateral, regional and international matters.
President Maduro expressed his gratitude to the Government and People of Guyana for the hospitality afforded him and his delegation during his State visit and extended an invitation to President Ramotar to pay a visit to Venezuela at a mutually convenient time.