St Kitts and Nevis (WINN): On Saturday (January 23) Guyanese officials reported that a Venezuelan navy ship detained two vessels that were fishing in Guyana’s exclusive economic zone.
Guyana’s foreign minister, Hugh Hilton Todd said in a statement that, “The Venezuelan vessel was illegally maneuvering within Guyana’s EEZ and Contiguous Zone when it intercepted, boarded, and commandeered the Guyanese fishing vessels.”
The vessels were intercepted on Thursday (January 21) and taken to Venezuela’s port city of Guiria, where the crew and ships were detained, the statement went on to say.
The Organisation of American States (OAS) on Wednesday (January 27) called on Venezuela to safely release the 11 Guyanese crew members and two fishing boats.
In a statement from the OAS, it was stated that “The General Secretariat demands that the Guyanese citizens are released promptly and safely to Guyanese authorities, as well as the two detained vessels,”
The OAS then called the detention “illegal” because the vessels were within Guyana’s waters describing President Nicolas Maduro administration as a “dictatorship” because of a seemingly unilateral decision to extend Venezuela’s maritime boundary allegedly violating international law.
According to an article on Demerarawaves, since intercepting the vessels on January 21 Venezuela maintained that it would not allow anyone to trespass on its sea space.
Venezuela’s latest acts of aggression against Guyana have followed the International Court of Justice’s (ICJ) decision that it has jurisdiction to hear Guyana’s case. Venezuela maintains that the United Nations court does not have jurisdiction and that the two countries should resume bilateral negotiations, a process that Guyana says has not worked for 50 years.