Sunday, October 05, 2008
PNC/R comments on Venezuela arms stockpile irrelevant
- Office of the President
THE Office of the President (OP) late yesterday said it considers as irrelevant the call by the People’s National Congress Reform PNCR for the government to state its position on Venezuela’s arms stockpiling.
According to the Government Information Agency (GINA), OP said in a statement that it was only recently that Venezuela built up its arms after purchasing stock from Russia and China.
Noting that PNCR leader, Robert Corbin, at the Party’s weekly press briefing, called the military build-up a threat, and contended that Guyana’s territorial integrity could be jeopardized, GINA quotes OP as saying:
“…the PNC/R is criticising the government for not using diplomatic and other means to reject the Venezuelan build-up in the context of defending Guyana’s national interest,” and that the People’s Progressive Party/Civic Administration “subscribes to the United Nations Charter for territorial integrity and non-interference in the sovereign affairs of nations.”
The statement also made reference to Guyana’s membership of the South American Community of Nations, of which the Bolivarian Republic of Venezuela is also a founding member, saying:
“For us, the issue of arms build-up by nations in UNASUR ought not to be identified and examined for the perspective of the superpower’s dictate.”
Saturday, October 04, 2008
Venezuela arms build-up should raise red flags -PNCR
The stockpiling of arms in Venezuela ought to raise red flags, PNCR Leader Robert Corbin said yesterday, urging the government to state its position.
The party is calling for the Guyana government to declare a policy on the arms build-up, following Venezuela’s recent purchases from both Russia and China. Russia recently said it would loan Venezuela US$1B to buy Russian military hardware. The party is also pushing for the government to put the region on alert, saying Guyana should prepare for defence of its national interest by diplomatic and other means.
Speaking at the party’s weekly press briefing yesterday, Corbin called the build-up a threat. “Guyana’s territorial integrity could be jeopardized,” he said, while recalling that in 1966 the Venezuelan build- up resulted in the Ankoko incursion.
He added that the Ministry of Foreign Affairs is charged with protecting Guyana’s territorial integrity and he lamented that it has not said anything on the issue.
PNCR MP Mervyn Williams told reporters that while Venezuela’s recent arms purchases have attracted regional and international attention, the government has chosen to remain silent. He said the party saw this as a dangerous and ill-advised policy and urged a defined position on the issue. “The policy of inaction has given rise to an alarming psychological condition of passivity”, Williams said.
Williams added that Venezuelan arguments that the arms are for defensive purposes cannot be taken at face value, particularly since an assessment of the stockpiling showed it to be out of proportion to the needs of the Venezuelan nation.
Moreover, it is also a worrying development, he said, in the context of a known controversy between Venezuela and Guyana and the willingness of Caracas to use force when it considers it in its national interest.
He reminded that in November last year two pontoons were blown up by Venezuelan security forces in the Cuyuni River after invading Guyana’s land and air space for which there has never been any satisfactory explanation.