Amid the ongoing border controversy with Guyana, Venezuela’s Ambassador to Saint Lucia has told reporters here her country does not want war.
“We don’t want a war. We don’t want any invasion. Nothing like this,” Leif Escalona told a news conference on Friday.
The Venezuelan diplomat said her country would continue to insist on resolving the conflict through permanent dialogue.
Nevertheless, Escalona also said Venezuela would continue to defend its ‘historical, legal, political, and diplomatic truth.’
Guyana and Venezuela have had a long-standing dispute over their borders, Venezuela laying claim to over two-thirds of its neighbor’s territory in the resource-rich Essequibo region.
The dispute intensified after ExxonMobil’s first oil discovery in the region’s territorial waters eight years ago.
Guyana claims the disputed territory based on an 1899 arbitration award, which Venezuela rejects.
Instead, Caracas insists on a 1966 United Nations-brokered agreement for a negotiated solution.
The Caribbean Community (CARICOM) reiterated its support for the judicial process late last month.
In a statement, CARICOM hoped that Venezuela would engage fully in that process before the International Court of Justice.
The Court has determined that it has the jurisdiction in the case to determine the validity of the 1899 Arbitral Award which Venezuela questions.
According to CARICOM, the Court’s final decision will ensure a peaceful, equitable resolution under international law.