PM says Dominican gov’t will facilitate dialogue as needed in Essequibo dispute

The area in orange is part of Guyana but is claimed by Venezuela

Prime Minister Roosevelt Skerrit said his government will facilitate necessary dialogue and possible resolution to the longstanding border dispute between Venezuela and Guyana.

The government of Venezuela is making moves to seize and occupy two-thirds of Guyana, known as the Essequibo Region, in a referendum which is scheduled for December 3, 2023. The referendum on the matter, seeking Venezuela’s “defense” of the region, was approved by the Venezuelan National Assembly and was reported by Reuters on September 23.

On Monday 23, October 2023, the National Electoral Council (CNE) of Venezuela unanimously approved five questions for the referendum, one of them asking the Venezuelan people whether they agree to make the Essequibo Region a state of Venezuela and to grant current and future residents Venezuelan citizenship and identification cards.

However, this is not going down well with the government of Guyana, which said such a move would be a violation of international law since the Essequibo Region belongs to Guyana.

“On the Venezuela-Guyana situation we have been in touch with both countries,” Skerrit said while addressing a press conference on Wednesday. “We believe in the territorial sovereignty of all countries and we continue to ensure that there are no conflicts between Guyana and Venezuela in this matter.”

According to him, the Government of Venezuela decided to carry out a referendum, “that is in their right to carry it out.”

“There is a process in place to address this border situation,” he stated. “These are sovereign issues and we are there to support and to facilitate whatever dialogue and possible resolution to this longstanding border situation between Venezuela and Guyana.”

Venezuela has been laying claims to Guyana’s Essequibo region for decades saying that an international boundary treaty dating back to 1899 had robbed it of its rightful land. The matter has a long and complicated history – a direct legacy of colonial powers that ruled over the two nations, Spain in Venezuela and the United Kingdom in Guyana.

The dispute goes back all the way to 1814 when the British bought what is now Guyana (known as British Guiana in colonial times) from the Dutch. At that time there was no defined boundary with Venezuela until 1835 when the British Government commissioned Robert Schomburgk to survey the border region and draw a boundary. He drew what is called the Schomburgk Line which claimed some  30,000 square miles for Guyana.

In 1841 Venezuela disputed the British border, claiming territories established at the time of their independence from Spain. The South American country said its borders extended as far east as the Essequibo River, effectively claiming two-thirds of British Guiana’s territory.

The dispute was further complicated when gold was discovered in the region and the British, seeking to extend their reach, claimed an additional 33,000 square miles west of the Schomburgk Line. Venezuela protested and called on the United States for assistance saying under the Monroe Doctrine, there is justification for US intervention. The United States expressed concerns but did not offer a resolution.

On October 3, 1899, an Arbitral Award was given in favor of British Guiana following the Schomburgk Line. The Venezuelan government expressed its disapproval of the results and maintained its claim on Essequibo saying the award was null and void.

The matter has never been fully resolved. For example, in the 1960s Venezuela went to the United Nations in an attempt to prevent Britain from granting independence to Guyana. In 1966, the Geneva Agreement was signed which gave a mixed commission to arbitrate the dispute but the commission never produced a lasting solution. In 2018, the UN referred the matter to the International Court of Justice (ICJ) but the government of Venezuela refused to recognize the ICJ’s jurisdiction over the matter.

Although the December 3 referendum is non-binding, it will measure popular support among Venezuelans over the sparsely populated region. During his weekly broadcast, President Nicolas Maduro called on the Venezuelan people to vote massively in the referendum.

Many CARICOM countries, including Dominica, have cozy relationships with Caracas. Additionally, Venezuela supplies some CARICOM countries with oil through the PetroCaribe oil program.

An article by the Counter Terrorism Group said CARICOM countries might push for a diplomatic solution rather than a more aggressive confrontation.

In the meantime, many Guyanese are talking about ‘war’ on social media, while government supporters in Venezuela have held demonstrations last month holding signs that said the Essequibo Region belongs to them.

Now it’s just a matter of waiting to see what will happen after Venezuela’s referendum.


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  1. November 27, 2023

    Hello and good afternoon my people. Well the only thing I see happening is that America is going to arm Guyana and have them get into a military confrontation with Venezuela . Then America is going to come in to help Guyana and that’s how they think they will overthrow the Venezuelan government. America will set up a false flag operation on one of the oil companies in Guyana and they will used that as an excuse to put soldiers on Guyana soil by claiming they protecting American business assets. Our Prime Minister doesn’t understand this type of Geo Political issues. Within one year there’s going to be a war with those two countries. America produced a lot of expensive weapons but they can’t fight rather they arm so called allies and have them go and do the fighting. Weapons produces jobs in America Biden told us that earlier this month during the Israel Genocide and war crimes against the Palestinians.

  2. Francisco Etienne-Dods Telemaque
    November 26, 2023

    “On the Venezuela-Guyana situation we have been in touch with both countries,” Skerrit said while addressing a press conference on Wednesday. “We believe in the territorial sovereignty of all countries and we continue to ensure that there are no conflicts between Guyana and Venezuela in this matter.”(Roosevelt Skerrit).
    Who is this little nobody Roosevelt Skerrit; farting from both sides of his mouth?
    “We believe in the territorial sovereignty of all countries.” (Roosevelt Skerrit).
    Who are “we?”
    This little rat; piping fart, as if he is invited to resolve Guyana, and Venezuela issue; nevertheless: the Venezuelans has without firing one single shot, siege Bird island, and demand that our fishermen do not venture in a our nation waters, and Bird island to catch one single fish nor a turtle, never mind oil and gas.
    Venezuelan are known to shoot at Dominican fishermen with military gun-boats, how come Roosevelt has not challenge the claim of Bird island, rather than talking…

    Well-loved. Like or Dislike: Thumb up 5 Thumb down 0
  3. L C Matthew
    November 25, 2023

    Only thing skerrit is going to facilitate is the annexation of the Esiquibo region by Venezuela. the guy is already compromised and have been bought by Alba. He owes Venezuela! look he his already talking about they have a right to hold referendum. skerrit has been a traitor to democracy, a traitor to OAS, a traitor to Caricom and most of all betrayed Dominica and its constitution. he is a serial law breaker, a kleptokrat on steroids an lies even in parliament. Maduro has been skerrit sugar daddy for so long Roosevelt will behave like those women who would stay in an abusive relationship because they getting a little money every now and then. it is clear petro Carib money and other donations went to the pockets of a few state thieves. only Dominicans allowing themselves to be ran by an ethically bankrupt megalomaniac. skerrit is nothing but a nuisance.

    Well-loved. Like or Dislike: Thumb up 8 Thumb down 0
  4. dissident
    November 24, 2023

    Skerrit should stay away from matters above his head.
    I hope you not seeing this as an opportunity to clean your self image following CBI questions you have yet to answer.
    You doh find we have enough issues here that you should attend to?
    As chairman of CARICOM see how much time have passed with no real solution with Haiti …………where’s your mark as chairman? Is that over your head to?
    do you see something to benefit you?
    let de International criminal court do their work.
    you doh have influence here
    you only in de position to beg
    what can you bring to de table

    Well-loved. Like or Dislike: Thumb up 4 Thumb down 0
  5. Chavez
    November 24, 2023

    your name says it all Lin…CLOwn….how can uwp win ….when all u paying plane loads of people to come in and vote…and also paying their hotel room..idiot….look at the what the pm and his lady are inheriting….look at their houses and walls around…think an aeroplane will land there ….look around instead of new business opening…they are actually closing…open your eyes …clown….these men and ladies brain in this labor party are lazy and empty…

  6. Goodweeed
    November 24, 2023

    While at it, tell Maduro that Birdisland belongs rightfully to Dominica. Tell him in return for our support, give us back our damn bird island. Because that’s some BS

    Well-loved. Like or Dislike: Thumb up 8 Thumb down 1
    • me
      November 24, 2023

      Why is Maduro you are saying this too. It should be Skerrit!

  7. Lin clow
    November 24, 2023

    Chavez,boy go and read instead of making the media whore on q95 make you a Jacka.On September 1st 2021 the government raised the minimum wage.Before that a labourer minimum wage was $4.00 per hour,it is now $7.50.In 2023 about 3,000 public servants received and increase in salary.Before Skerrit there was no Clear Harbour,there was no NEP.There was no yes we care,there was no school bus service.Under Skerrit thousands of non contributors to DSS (65 years and over)are being paid $300 monthly.Under Skerrit and the DLP,thousands of Dominicans are living in $250,00,$300,000 and $400,000 houses and apartments RENT FREE.There are more than 39,000 registered vehicles in Dominica out of a population of 72,000.Lazy,lying,fake news,propaganda,negative supporter of UWP.DON KEY.

  8. Lin clown
    November 24, 2023

    Chavez,you are just another UWP Jacka you know nothing about Dominica and what is happening there.Continue to listen to the media whore on q95 with his fake news,lies and propaganda.One question to you CHAVEZ,if things are so bad in Dominica why have the majority of Dominicans voted Skerrit since 2000,compare to UWP that was kicked out after less than 5 years?Remember UWP told the world ,money was meeting money.Every Dominica was making money,yet UWP was KICKED out of office. WHY? As ole police would say commonsense.I hope MEME is in good health,an educated but ignorant person about Dominica.

    Hot debate. What do you think? Thumb up 3 Thumb down 17
  9. Ash
    November 24, 2023

    Venezuela’s priorities seem to be a little off. Their people are putting their lives on the line and illegally entering the U.S. They are homeless, with no food, no permanent shelter, and no jobs in the U.S. But, their government is more focused on a land dispute. They should be more focus on helping their people.

    Well-loved. Like or Dislike: Thumb up 12 Thumb down 1
  10. smh
    November 24, 2023

    “Many CARICOM countries, including Dominica, have cozy relationships with Caracas. Additionally, Venezuela supplies some CARICOM countries with oil through the PetroCaribe oil program.”

    Anybody expecting a strong statement on the issue in favor of our fellow CARICOM member is out of their mind. Our country is bought and paid for anything that Venezuela or China supports, we support also, anything they are against we are also against.

    Well-loved. Like or Dislike: Thumb up 6 Thumb down 0
  11. Aa
    November 23, 2023

    I think you should concentrate on the issues that affect Dominica and let Guyana and Venezuela fight theur battle. Think of Bird Island.
    Think of the many young people dying in Dominica. Causes? Resolutions? Think people would be happier if you put Dominica first.

    Well-loved. Like or Dislike: Thumb up 5 Thumb down 1
  12. Vwais den
    November 23, 2023

    Skerr can only give a neutral response because although Guyana is Dominica’s cousin, Dominica is also Venezuela’s mistress, so how can he support family without stepping on Venezuela’ toes? well he can do so by showing “support” for no one actually. speaking a bunch of useless non-sided words. Well Skerr, it’s time to pick sides. because Venezuela doesn’t agree with the ICJ on their ruling, but was happy enough when bird island was given to them, based upon absurd terms. our bird island which allegedly has oil on it. see the hocus pocus and hypocrisy that exists?

    Well-loved. Like or Dislike: Thumb up 11 Thumb down 0
  13. Chavez
    November 23, 2023

    this man is not real….water and light going up…power cuts in Dominica….no jobs in this not circulating….but government ministers getting big pay rise…this country is pregnant with issues so many dam issues…..but he want to get involve in Guyana and Venezuela issues…..get a life

    Well-loved. Like or Dislike: Thumb up 28 Thumb down 1
    • Francisco Etienne-Dods Telemaque
      November 24, 2023

      Any peasant, any scavenger, any good talking rat who never attended a higher institution of learning can become government minister, and ultimately Prime Minister of Dominica.
      As long as one have a few pence to buy rum and distribute to the majority of the people young and old who are literate, they keep them inebriated, and helpless; programmed to vote for these nobody people, who makes all sorts of promises, of what they are going to do for the country.
      No one asks how are you going to do it; hence, when they get the power, they do not have the ability to do anything; they can’t negotiate with any industrialists and attract them to the country, and that is why Dominica, is so poor and backward!
      Our people are so ignorant they voted for Roosevelt because they say he is handsome and have dimples on his face!
      Almost thirty years past, his dimples all but disappear; he has a balled-head, ugly like a half picked rat, they still voting for him though he has smashed up the country!

      Well-loved. Like or Dislike: Thumb up 15 Thumb down 0
  14. Ibo France
    November 23, 2023

    Everyone knows that Dominica is a one man autocratic government. Roosevelt has said it himself with his ill-advised, pompous words – “I run things”.

    The lone government broadcasting radio station was allowed to comment on the land dispute between Guyana and Venezuela. Listeners were shocked by the conspicuous
    bias in favour of Venezuela. Roosevelt orchestrated that.

    This self appointed mediator (Roosevelt) does not have the oratorical skills, intellectual capacity nor the diplomatic finesse even to de-escalate a conflict between two school boys.

    This is Starboy of Stupidity modus operandi. He always try to grab regional and international headlines, just like with the reserve for the sperm whale, to massage his insatiable ego. The man is as fake as a $3 coin.

    Hot debate. What do you think? Thumb up 6 Thumb down 3
  15. Francisco Etienne-Dods Telemaque
    November 23, 2023

    “Prime Minister Roosevelt Skerrit said his government will facilitate necessary dialogue and possible resolution to the longstanding border dispute between Venezuela and Guyana.” (Roosevelt Skerrit).
    If I never heard of a Roosevelt Skerrit, a bloody moron, a corrupted crook who cannot cannot control his dumb wife and correct her dumb diction made a statement as quoted, I might believe he is serious!

    Facilitating a dialogue means a conversation between two or more groups of people in which trained multi-partial facilitators help settle disputes and other issues, in conversations that are design to address issues at a formative stage in order to prevent an issue such as that in Guyana from escalating beyond a formal process.
    Facilitating dialogue, is an art of creating a container in which people become aware of their assumptions and suspended judgments.
    Neither Roosevelt or any of the idiots in his cabal are trained to be such facilitator!
    Can’t debate Lennox: Now…

    Well-loved. Like or Dislike: Thumb up 10 Thumb down 1
  16. Truth Be Told
    November 23, 2023

    President of Guyana Dr. Mohamed Irfaan Ali, PhD, does not even speak to the Starboy of Stupidity AM PM Dr. Dr. Skerrit in public or at CARICOM meetings. Neither does Barbados Prime Minister Mia Amor Mottley engage with AM PM Dr. Dr. Skerrit in public because I think they are just too underwhelmed by his level of stupidity! Imagine Starboy of Stupidity really believes that Guyana would want him in their mediation! This boy dotish for real!

    Well-loved. Like or Dislike: Thumb up 9 Thumb down 0

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