Monday, July 20, 2015

Guyana to 'stoutly resist' Venezuela plans to issue IDs to disputed Essequibo residents

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Guyana on Sunday warned it would “stoutly resist” plans by Venezuela to register residents in Essequibo and issue them identification cards for the neighbouring Spanish-speaking nation. Venezuela claims the region and has launched an aggressive campaign at domestic and international level calling [Guyanese] president David Granger a 'provocateur”.
“We will stoutly resist any effort to have our people issued with cards and things like that, and whatever we need to do as a nation to ensure that we are not distracted in any way from our path of development we are going to do it,” said Minister of State Joseph Harmon. However he did not provide any details. ...
Meanwhile US Political Science Professor, Ivelaw Griffith last recommended that the Guyana government engage in vibrant public diplomacy drive across the country to complement a defence diplomacy strategy.
“It is important to complement that defence diplomacy with a public diplomacy…It is important in my view to have a campaign. Put all the relevant documents on one website, use Social Media..,” he said in delivering a lecture titled “Regime Change and Expectations Management: Crime and other Quotidian Security Challenges Facing Guyana.”
Griffith called on the Guyana government to tap into the wealth of expertise at home and abroad to build the credibility and competence of Guyana’s Defence Diplomacy. “You have got to call back some of those experts, you have got to tap into the Diaspora,” he said.
He recommends public fora to be held across Guyana on the genesis, nature and status of Venezuela’s land and maritime boundary claims. “You got to go and explain to the people what it is all about. People have so many things competing for their attention that some of this is going to be over their heads,” he said.
Labelling Venezuela’s claim unjust, irrational and outrageous, Harmon said government has been engaged in a public awareness campaign to educate Guyanese about its western neighbour’s geographical and economic aggression against the small State of Guyana.
“What we are doing is educating the Guyanese people at home that all of Guyana- 216,000 square kilometres- belong to them and that the Essequibo is no different from Demerara or Berbice. It is one State and it is one country and therefore any effort or any attempt by anyone to violate the integrity of that State, as a nation we will have to stand up for it,” said the minister.

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