Media Center

Press Release

Statement by OAS General Secretariat on Recent Events Regarding the Guyana-Venezuela Dispute

  September 23, 2023

On September 21, 2023, the regime of Venezuela’s “National Assembly” unanimously agreed to call a National Public Consultation “so that the people strengthen the defense” and “the inalienable rights of Venezuela” over the territorial dispute with Guyana. We condemn this improper use of a referendum because it is illegal according to the 1966 Geneva Agreement, and because similar misuses of this instrument have served as a pretext in the recent past to try to justify the worst actions between States, including the crime of aggression.

The General Secretariat of the Organization of American States (OAS) reiterates that Venezuela and Guyana share the responsibility of resolving their dispute in the spirit of good neighborliness and in accordance with international law and the Geneva Agreement to seek peaceful solutions to the territorial dispute.

Furthermore, the OAS General Secretariat continues to support the Co-operative Republic of Guyana’s sovereign right to practice its franchise on its established and appurtenant maritime area, in accordance with international law and the principles of the United Nations.

The OAS General Secretariat objects to Venezuela’s encroachment on Guyana’s sovereignty and territorial rights through intimidatory and unfounded statements that fail to respect international conventions and the 1899 Arbitral Award, for which the latter is presently under judicial review at the International Court of Justice.

Reference: E-056/23