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ICP Asks Maduro If Envoy on Guyana Requires Consent, Why Wasn't Replaced

By Matthew Russell Lee

UNITED NATIONS, July 28 -- When Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro came to the UN and met Secretary General Ban Ki-moon on July 28, his agenda was Guyana and to some degree Exxon Mobil, which he called a troublemaker.

  Inner City Press asked President Maduro if it is Venezuela's position that Ban can name a Good Office envoy without the consent of Guyana, and why the previous envoy was not replaced when he died.

  Maduro noted that three envoy have died, because they have taken up the position when already old. He said that agreement to which both Venezuela and Guyana are signatories is mandatory.

  Inner City Press went and asked Ban's spokesman Stephane Dujarric:

Inner City Press: The President of Venezuela just now at the stakeout said that the UN is sending a commission, at least that is what he said in Spanish, to both countries, to Venezuela and Guyana, and he said that he believes that Guyana accepting the good offices mediation is mandatory under this Geneva agreement of the 1960s.  Did the Secretary-General commit to actually send people and who will they be?

Spokesman Dujarric:  I don’t have an update.  I can’t… I will not offer an opinion on the legality of one thing or another.  I think what the Secretary-General has offered and has repeatedly offered is to send missions to both countries in an effort to jointly craft a way forward, and both Venezuela and Guyana have restated their commitment to the peaceful resolution of the border controversy.  As soon as I have any further details to who and when people will be going, I will share those with you.

  Eleven hours later when this is published, no further information had been provided.

Back on July 10 when UNASUR's Ernesto Samper Pizano held a press conference at 5 pm at the UN, Inner City Press asked him if he had raised to Secretary General Ban Ki-moon in his 4:30 meeting the issues between Venezuela and Guyana. Yes,  Ernesto Samper Pizano said, referring also to Ban's 3 pm meeting with Venezuela's Foreign Minister Delcy Eloina Rodriguez Gomez.

   The UN issued a read-out of Ban's 4:30 pm UNASUR meeting barely an hour after it at 5:42 pm. But the 3 pm Venezuela meeting was not read out until after 8 pm. Then the UN said:

“The Secretary-General met today with the Minister of Foreign Affairs of the Bolivarian Republic of Venezuela, H.E. Ms. Delcy Rodríguez. Minister Rodríguez delivered a letter addressed to the Secretary-General from President Nicolás Maduro regarding the United Nations Good Offices process on the border controversy with Guyana. The Secretary-General took note of the Minister’s views regarding the Guyana-Venezuela border controversy and stated that the UN Secretariat was in contact with both Governments regarding this issue.

“Subsequently, the Secretary-General received today a call from the President of Venezuela, H.E. Mr. Nicolás Maduro. The Secretary-General acknowledged receipt of the President’s letter regarding the Guyana-Venezuela border controversy and reiterated his assurances of the readiness of the UN Secretariat to discuss the way forward with both Governments.”

  While this is less than clear, so too is why Ban never replaced the previous Good Offices representative when he passed away. Inner City Press has asked, without answer. Watch this site.

Footnote: Inner City Press for the Free UN Coalition for Access also asked  UNASUR's Ernesto Samper Pizano if he had raised the issue of the Malvinas Islands. Yes, he said, adding in the isuse of Guantanamo, another “colonial enclave.” But Ban Ki-moon's read-out with  UNASUR's Ernesto Samper Pizano did not mention Malvina, or the Falklands, by name...


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