By Stephen Kangal
November 21, 2022
Guyana, by the internationally accepted law and principle of state succession today and as an independent state member of the UN/OAS has total authority, sovereignty and exclusive jurisdiction and control above (air space), beyond (maritime) and below (subsoil) the current state of Guyana formerly British Guiana by an Independence Agreement concluded by GB/UK and British Guiana effective from the date of the latter’s independence in 1966.
That was the legal practice adopted consistently by Great Britain when it granted independence to its former colonies beginning with India in 1947.
It did so with T&T on 31 August 1962.
This makes Guyana the succeeding and replacing party to GB in all colonial/pre-independence agreements and international treaties concluded by GB applicable in, related and extending to the new state of Guyana’s jurisdiction that was recognized by Venezuela itself.
Venezuela did not raise any objection to this agreement nor reserved its position.
This Venezuelan argument of bringing GB as a third party into the ICJ Arbitration when it has no current locus standi in the proceedings is another cheap, misleading and uninformed legal nullity being invoked by Venezuela to bring GB into the bilateral international arbitration taking place in the Hague.
It is another unconvincing red herring to delay the current resumed ICJ proceedings as it has done previously.
Venezuela concluded a 1942 Gulf of Paria Treaty with Great Britain establishing its partial maritime submarine boundary with T&T as part of the British Empire.
In 1990 it negotiated with T&T—not Great Britain–to extend the boundary eastwards and indeed conclude two new maritime agreements based on the 1942 Gulf of Paria as the point of origin.
In 1990 it also agreed with T&T to change the location of the original 1942 maritime submarine boundary without any involvement whatsoever in or participation of the UK/GB.
Venezuela cannot pick and choose selectively to promote its delaying agenda.
Venezuela recognized T&T as the succeeding party to this 1942 agreement that it had with GB and the boundaries that were established in 1942.
Venezuela, taking into consideration its legal relations with T&T is estopped from invoking this – GB ruse and position at the International Court of Justice’s Arbitration to bring in GB as a third party.
It has accepted by its previous conduct and practice that States like Guyana and T&T, its nearest neighbours are indeed legitimate successors of the British.
They are currently the only legal parties to previous bilateral agreements concluded with Venezuela that are applicable in these respective former colonies of the UK.
The 1942 Gulf of Paria Treaty Boundary with Venezuela