Remembering the real history of the border conflict between the Bolivarian Republic of Venezuela and the Cooperative Republic of Guyana.
23 June 2015.
By: Freddy Marcial Ramos
"Subject that does not lose validity"
During my approximately 34 years of teaching work as a Prof. in "Comprehensive Education"; despite having graduated from the Pedagogical with the Mention "Education for Work" expert in the industrial sub area "Electricity and electromechanics"; I also dedicated myself during 15 years of my academic experience, to facilitate learning in the social area, specifically in the subjects: history of Venezuela, contemporary history of Venezuela and geography; During all that time, I always guided the young learners to carry out documentary research, in the history and geography texts published by historical authors who were not politically sectarian when expressing their opinions regarding the implicit facts in what happened, from the time of the European invasion, which, as is well known, occurred since Christopher Columbus and his Spanish "Troops of sailors" invaded us along the coasts of the island "Hispaniola" in 1492; insular territory today populated by citizens from the geographical areas of the countries: Dominican Republic and Haiti; then for the year 1498 in his second trip, the Italian native of Naples, Christopher Columbus, steps on South American territory, entering through the coast of Macuro located northeast of Today Sucre State; Among those historian authors of texts, I always recommended: Juan Vicente González, Mario Briceño Iragorry, Mariano Picón Salaz, José Gil Fortul, Ramón Días Sánchez, Augusto Mijares, Miguel Acosta Saignes “Speech on Guayana Esequiba before the Congress of the Republic. In: Recovery of Guayana Esequiba ”. Publications of the Secretariat of the Senate of the Republic. Caracas (1965), among others, since their narratives do not skew the events that actually occurred.
In relation to the real history and geographical definition of what happened with the historical sovereignty that our country exercises over the Essequibo territory, as established in the content of the first Magna Carta of our Republic of Venezuela, approved by the Constituent Congress held on December 21, 1811; in which it was established that the territorial geographic space of the republic was that of the Captaincy General of Venezuela, for when it achieved its absolute independence from the Kingdom of Spain in 1810; This constitutional criterion was based on the legal principle historically known as "Utis Poseudetis Juris"; During the passage of time from 1830 to 1999, a series of anti-homeland diplomatic actions were carried out by Foreign Ministers, which have allowed our nation to be dispossessed by the Colombian, Brazil, and the United Kingdom, who maintained their colonial geographic spaces a land insular and continental until the end of the 20th century; among them those corresponding to Trinidad - Tobago and the now Republic of Guyana; all the historical narrative contained in the texts of History and Geography of Venezuela, is a very dispersed and not very precise information; but since the National Constituent Assembly in 1999, it assumed the historic decision to draft art. 10 of the CRBV, which states that the continental territorial space of our country is the one that corresponded to the Captaincy General of Venezuela, for when the independence of our country is declared in the year 1810, as defined in the Geneva agreement signed between the Kingdom of England and the Republic of Venezuela in the year 1966 and that Chancellor Aristides Calvani regretted when he signed on June 19, 1970 the “Protocol of Port of Spain” at the beginning of the first governmental period of Dr. Rafael Caldera (1969 - 1974); the Kingdom of England is pleased by freezing for 12 years the claim on the right of Venezuela to exercise sovereignty over the Essequibo territory; From that moment on, up-to-date historian experts have published through various information media, some very well-documented investigative works, relating to the events that have occurred since the conflict over the dispute over the Essequibo territory, between the Kingdom of England and today Bolivarian Republic of Venezuela; below I republish a very detailed chronological narrative of those historical events published by the history researcher Jorge Mier Hoffman (+).
Note: This notorious history researcher was vilely murdered in the city of Porlamar Estado Nueva, by criminals from the common underworld in order to assault him, but it is striking that this crime is committed a few days after having published the content of the topic that below (I quote).
REMOVING THE ESEQUIBUS
By: Jorge Mier Hoffman
The Guayana Esequiba, also called "Territory of the Essequibo", is the name of a part of the Guiana Shield between the west of the Essequibo River to the top of Mount Roraima. It has an area of 159,542 km2 that the Cooperative Republic of Guyana manages as its own But! whose sovereignty is claimed by Venezuela based on the "Geneva Agreement of February 17, 1966"
To know the historical antecedents of this territory in claim, and that every person born and assimilated to this2) to the land of Bolívar must know, the Essequibo must be removed as shown below:
1) Year 1498: On August 3, Christopher Columbus, during his third trip, reached what is now the town of Macuro, on the coast of Paria, a continental territory that he called "Land of Grace". During this journey along the Atlantic coast, Juan Esquivel, a crew member of one of the ships, spotted a mighty river that discharged its waters into the Atlantic, which they baptized with his name "Essequibo".
2) Year 1777: Alonso de Ojeda, during his navigation through the Gulf of Paria, discovers and takes possession, on behalf of Spain, of the entire coast inhabited by Arawak natives whose territories they called "Guyana" which in their dialect means "Land of Water".
3) Year 1528: The navigators of the city of Nueva Cádiz on the island of Cubagua, maintain trade with the aborigines of the shores of the Orinoco up to the limits of Guyana and Surinam, inhabited by Arawaks, natives jealous of their ancestral territories.
4) Year 1530: Guyana is included in the Marañón Government under the command of the conqueror Digo Ordaz, who goes up the Orinoco to the Meta, to add more territories to the dominions of Spain that were eagerly looking for gold deposits.
5) Year 1536: Juan de Espés is granted the Government of New Andalusia with 200 leagues of coast and 300 of depth in Guyana, as the first step to colonization.
6) Year 1591: The Spanish founded a Fort on the bank of the Essequibo River, at the confluence of the Cuyuní and Mazaruni rivers.
7) Year 1595: Foundation of the city of Santo Tomé de Guyana by Don Antonio de Berrio. Spanish settlers remained on friendly terms with the native population of the area, establishing sugar and cocoa plantations in the Essequibo river basin.
8) Year 1617: The English Sir Walter Raleigh traveled twice to Guyana to look for the mythical Dorado. During his second voyage, in 1617, he sent his son Watt Raleigh on an expedition to the Orinoco River, while he stayed at his camp on the island of Trinidad. His son dies in a confrontation against the Spanish forcing Sir Walter Raleigh to return to England, where King James ordered his beheading for disobeying orders, and generating a conflict with Spain.
9) Year 1623: The myth of El Dorado with its golden cities, brings Dutch immigrants to the region of Guyana who settle on the right bank of the Essequibo River, taking advantage of the natural wealth that the region offers. At the time, Holland was at war with Spain.
10) Year 1648: The Dutch become independent from Spain after 80 years of confrontations. On January 30, by means of the "Treaty of Münster", which sought to end the war with the Netherlands, Spain recognized Holland the possessions that until then they occupied in America. This is how Suriname and Dutch Guyana arose, whose limits with Venezuela will be the Essequibo River.
11) Year 1650: The Dutch, after the search for gold deposits, entered the mouth of the Orinoco, where the English were looking for El Dorado. They were rejected by the Spanish every time they tried to extend beyond the limits of the Essequibo River. Even when they were evicted, but defiant in their expansionist intent and greed for gold, the Dutch took the Moroco River as their boundary for Guiana, 125 miles west of the Orinoco. Improper territorial appropriation rejected by Spain, which recognized possession of the Essequibo up to 185 miles east of the Orinoco.
12) Year 1713: Spain and Great Britain sign the "Treaty of Utrecht", by which England undertook to respect the Spanish occupied territories in America.
13) Year 1777: The Captaincy General of Venezuela arises, created on September 8, through the Royal Certificate of Carlos III, being made up of the following provinces of: Venezuela, Nueva Andalucía or Cumaná, Maracaibo, Guayana, Margarita and Trinidad, becoming this administrative act in a unifying factor in the political, economic and military, of the hitherto separate provinces. With the Royal Cédula the “Venezuelan” nationality arises for all those born in these lands, whose territorial extension in its eastern part between Spain and the Netherlands will be the Essequibo River, from its source to its mouth in the Atlantic Ocean. Thus being established the jurisdiction of Venezuela over the Essequibo Territory.
14) Year 1803: Francisco de Miranda publishes the Geographical Map of South America by the cartographer Cruz Cano y Olmedilla, printed in London, under the patronage of the British Government, in which the Essequibo River appears as the dividing line between Spanish territory and the colonies Dutch.
That same year Great Britain entered the war against Napoleon Bonaparte and French rule.
15) Year 1810: Motivated by the Napoleonic war, Great Britain goes to war against Holland and France, moving the conflict in America to invade the Dutch possessions in the Demerara and Essequibo regions. A map is published in London showing the Venezuelan and Dutch Guiana, with the Essequibo River as the border line. That same year, on April 19, Venezuela broke relations with the Spain of José Bonaparte.
16) Year 1811: The United Provinces of Venezuela declare their independence from Spain on July 5. In its first Constitution, decreed in December that same year, the limits are established in Article 5: "The limits of the United States of Venezuela are the same as in 1810 they corresponded to the former Captaincy General of Venezuela." Delimitation that will appear in subsequent Constitutions.
17) Year 1814: Once the war against Napoleon ended, with the signing of the "Treaty of London", on August 13, Holland was forced to give up its possessions in Demerara, Essequibo and Berbice, of around 51,700 square kilometers. These three ceded territories, all east of the Essequibo River. They are merged under the name "British Guiana" on July 31, 1831.
18) Year 1819: With the triumph of the Battle of Boyacá on August 7, liberated by Simón Bolívar, New Granada is incorporated into the newly created “Republic of Colombia”, maintaining the same limits that Spain had in the Captaincy of Venezuela for the so-called "Province of Venezuela".
19) Year 1821: Simón Bolívar's “Gran Colombia”, which was consecrated with the Battle of Carabobo, signs his Constitution in the Congress of Cúcuta. The new Republic is forced to protest the continuous invasions of English settlers into Venezuelan territory. The Venezuelan Minister in London, Dr. José Rafael Revenga, on the instructions of the Liberator, presented the official complaint to the British authorities in the following terms:
"The settlers of Demerara and Berbice have usurped a large portion of land that according to the latest treaties between Spain and the Netherlands belongs to us on the Essequibo river side. It is absolutely indispensable (...) the Venezuelan diplomat ends by saying (...) that said settlers or put under jurisdiction and obedience to our laws, or withdraw to their former possessions "
In this way, Venezuela defines before Great Britain its border on the Essequibo river line, as the limits that Spain possessed when the Captaincy of Venezuela was created on September 8, 1777.
20) Year 1824: Triumph of the patriots in the Battle of Lake Maracaibo that ends the war on July 24, which led the empire of Great Britain to recognize the independence of Venezuela and Guayana Esequiba as an integral part of the new Republic led by Simón Bolívar El Libertador:
"This beautiful and rich country borders the Essequibo River by the North Sea"
21) Year 1825: Venezuela made known to Great Britain that the border with British Guiana was located with the Essequibo River.
22) Year 1834: While the Páez government signs collaboration agreements with the English, the British Government sends the German explorer Herman Schomburgk to arbitrarily place demarcation landmarks in the jungle as well as in Punta Barima and even in the Boca del Orinoco for its strategic location.
23) Year 1835: A young Prussian naturalist, Robert H. Schomburgk, is sent by the English Government to explore and delimit the Dutch possessions ceded to the British by the Treaty of London in 1814. The map produced by the Schomburgk is presented in the which shows the line of the Essequibo River as the border with British Guiana, as a recognition that the Essequibo belonged to Venezuela.
24) Year 1836: The British Government asks Venezuela to place a Lighthouse in Punta Barima, as another recognition that the "Essequibo Territory" belonged to Venezuela.
26) Year 1842: The British Government, before the just claim of Venezuela, agrees to remove the landmarks that the German explorer Herman Schomburgk arbitrarily placed in the extreme North-South.
27) Year 1850: By an agreement of both governments, the representative of Venezuela, Vicente Lecuna, and the Charge d'Affaires of His British Majesty, Belford Hinton Wilson, who was aide-de-camp of the Liberator and believed to be faithful to Bolívar's legacy, now folded To defend British interests, an agreement is reached that neither party will occupy the disputed territories.
28) Year 1857: The British Government maintains its claim on the Essequibo, for which it publishes new maps demarcated by the line of the German explorer Herman Schomburgk in the extreme North-South, as the maximum British claim.
29) Year 1886: The discovery of important gold deposits in the Essequibo motivated the British Government to publish a new official map in which the Schomburgk line was indicated but traced even further west to add more territory to British Guiana and incorporate the deposits. of gold that belonged to Venezuela ... The new map included Punta Barima and all the territory usurped by the English, also threatening to extend their aspirations to Upata and the mouth of the Orinoco.
30) Year 1887: Venezuela protests the English claim and formally requests the evacuation of the territories occupied by the English, at the time that it breaks relations with Great Britain.
31) Year 1888: Venezuela invokes the Monroe Doctrine, which defends the interests of the American regions against the claims of European countries.
32) Year 1895: Lord Salisbury, Minister of Foreign Affairs of Great Britain, rejects the request for arbitration requested by Venezuela, for the United States of America to act as mediator in the border conflict.
33) Year 1896: The United States Congress appoints a Commission of 6 members to determine the true limits of British Guiana with Venezuela. They are personalities of high international prestige: David Brewer Justice of the Supreme Court, Richard Albey President of the Court of Appeal, F. Coudert Member of the New York Forum, D. Gilman President of the University of Johns Hopkins and Andrew White of the University from Cornell. The Hispanist and Expert in Latin American Law, Severo Mallet-Prevost was appointed Secretary
The British Government, feeling threatened by the borderline verification that the North American Commission intended to carry out, in justice to the original limits that had been arbitrarily modified, agrees to sign an “Arbitration Treaty” with Venezuela, thereby dissolving the Commission American since the border problem moved to Paris.
34) Year 1897: Known as the "Paris Arbitration Award", the United States of Venezuela and Her Majesty the Queen of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Ireland, agree to install a Court with 5 members to delimit the limits of Venezuela and the Guayana Colony British in a land area of 50 thousand square miles.
As Plenipotentiaries José Andrade, for Venezuela, and Sir Julián Pauncefote, a member of the Private Council of her Majesty, were appointed, who constituted a Court of 5 jurists: 2 for Venezuela and 2 for Great Britain; and a fifth member designated by consensus of the 4 jurists, who would act as President. The Tribunal will meet in Paris, with his Excellency Frederick de Martens, Private Counselor of Russia and professor at the University of Cambridge and Edinburgh being appointed as President of the Tribunal.
35) Year 1898: Each jurist presented his pleadings with documents and annexes: Venezuela 3 volumes plus 1 Atlas; Great Britain 7 volumes plus 1 Atlas. And from then on there were 54 working sessions and appeals of 4 hours each.
36) Year 1899: On September 27 Great Britain was represented by 4 English Councilors and Venezuela by another 4 North American Councilors. The deliberations lasted 13 days ... and on October 3, the Arbitration Court issued a unanimous decision known as the “Paris Arbitration Award” to settle the territorial demarcation that demarcates the boundary between the United States of Venezuela and British Guiana.
It was an extremely brief decision, without motivation and legal arguments, which limited itself to describing the border line approved by the Court: Starting at Punta de Playa, about 43 miles east of Punta Barina and Mururuma, to continue south to along the Amacuro river. Judgment that gave Great Britain 90% of the disputed territory, minus the Boca del Orinoco and 500 square miles of the mouth that were recognized for Venezuela.
It was argued that the decision was made to avoid a war, so the judges ruled without taking into account the legal or historical aspects.
38) Year 1902: Venezuela is threatened by the invasion and blockade by England, Germany and Italy, due to war debts.
39) Year 1903: Venezuela denounces before the Courts of The Hague the injustice of the "Arbitration Award of Paris of 1899"
40) Year 1944: The Venezuelan Government, even though it was aware of having been seized from the Essequibo territory that belonged to it, nevertheless praised the participation of Severo Mallet-Prevost, in the “Paris Arbitration Award of 1899”, conferring on him the “Order Del Libertador ”, since he was thanked for his intervention so that Venezuela would at least retain its sovereignty over the Orinoco, which the English also wanted.
Upon his death, Severo Mallet-Prevost left a "Confession" to be published "After my Death" as he ordered:
“Although it is true that in the decision the Court gave Venezuela the most important litigation from the strategic point of view, such as the mouth of the Orinoco, it was unfair to Venezuela and deprived it of a very large and important territory , on which Great Britain had, in my opinion, not the slightest shadow of right "
That same year, during the government of Isaías Medina Angarita, the revision of the "Paris Arbitration Award of 1899" is requested.
41) Year 1948: During the government of Rómulo Betancourt in his intervention at the Inter-American Conference in Bogotá, he denounces the nullity of the "Arbitration Award of Paris of 1899".
41) Year 1951: Foreign Minister Luis Emilio Gómez Ruiz, on behalf of Venezuela, at the IV Meeting of American Foreign Ministers, denounces the nullity of the "Arbitration Award of Paris of 1899", in which the legal and historical aspects were not considered, Instead, an agreement was reached that benefited the English and thus avoid a possible war between the two countries.
42) Year 1962: The Ambassador of Venezuela, Carlos Sosa Rodríguez, denounces in the United Nations the nullity of the "Arbitration Award of Paris of 1899". In March, the Chamber of Deputies supported Venezuela's claim on the Essequibo Territory. And in November, Foreign Minister Marcos Falcón Briceño invokes the nullity of the "Paris Arbitration Award of 1899" before the United Nations.
43) Year 1966: Key year to resolve the border problem between British Guiana and Venezuela:
to. On February 17, an Agreement to resolve the controversy was signed in Geneva, for which a Mixed Commission was set up. The “Geneva Agreement” is a transitory Agreement to reach a definitive solution, and although it invalidates the “Paris Arbitration Award of 1899”, the status quo that it derived is maintained. Therefore, the claimed area is under the authority of the Government of Guyana until something different is resolved under the treaty.
It should be noted that before the discovery of documentation found, after the death of one of the judges who demonstrated how the decision of the Arbitration Tribunal of 1899 was invalid, the Venezuelan containment was admitted, which led to the signing of the Geneva Agreement February 27, 1966 between Venezuela and the United Kingdom, in consultation with the local Government of British Guiana (soon to receive independence), where the territorial controversy west of the Essequibo River is recognized.
b. On March 26, 1966, when Guyana received independence from its settlers, Venezuela recognized the new country but only in its part east of the Essequibo River.
Additionally, on October 12, of that same year, Venezuela occupies Anacoco Island, a fact that was interpreted by the nascent Guyana as an act of annexation and harassment by the neighboring country since it considered that the eastern part of the river island was part of its territory. However, according to Venezuela, the island was not included within the disputed area so it has always been in possession of it.
44) Year 1970: The Geneva Agreement established a period of 4 years for the solution to the border problem, once this period expired, the Protocol of Port of Spain between Guyana, the United Kingdom and Venezuela was signed in 1970, by which part of the Geneva Agreement was “frozen” for a term of 12 years.
44) Year 1982: Venezuela decides not to ratify the Protocol of Port of Spain and returns to the provisions of the Geneva Agreement.
45) Year 1983: Venezuela proposes direct negotiation with Guyana but it does not accept and proposes three alternatives: UN General Assembly, Security Council or International Court of Justice; options that Venezuela rejects.
That same year, at the initiative of Venezuela, the border conflict is carried out under the auspices of the Secretary General of the United Nations in accordance with the provisions of Article IV, paragraph 2 of the agreement and in accordance with Article 33 of the Charter of the United Nations regarding the means of peaceful dispute settlement.
46) Year 1987: Guyana and Venezuela decide to accept the “Good Offices” method that began to function since 1989 in the person of a Good officiant chosen and accepted by the parties. This figure has the function of bringing both governments closer together in order for them to reach a satisfactory solution as dictated by the treaty, for which the Jamaican Norman Girvan was appointed, who has been elected and accepted by both countries with the consent of the Secretary General. from the ONU.
Efforts made by all parties concerned to resolve the conflict on the eve of Guyana's independence in 1966 failed. At present, the dispute remains unresolved, and is in the hands of a delegate of the Secretary-General of the United Nations.
And while the long wait takes more than 200 years for Venezuela, Guyana exploits and grants concessions to exploit the immense mining resources, since the region has the five golds that determine the standard of the dollar and the euro: Blue Gold = Coltan + Black Gold = Oil + Transparent Gold = Gas + Golden Gold = Gold + Radioactive Gold = Uranium
And while Venezuela does not end up imposing its authority on a territory that belongs to it, since it has been part of the Captaincy General of Venezuela since 1777, Guyana exploits the jungles in search of El Dorado causing irreversible damage to nature.