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Granger dividing Caribbean, says Maduro

Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro has taken a swipe at his Guyanese counterpart, David Granger, as the border dispute between the two countries escalates.

The long-running row came to a head in May after Maduro issued a decree laying claim to all the Atlantic waters off the Essequibo coast, and the matter was among the top agenda items at the recent Caribbean Community (CARICOM) Heads of Government summit.

Maduro has since withdrawn the decree and replaced it with a new declaration.

In an interview today with the Venezuelan television news channel, TeleSUR, he maintained his position that the area belonged to Venezuela, and accused Granger of dividing the Caribbean and disregarding international law.

“We regret deeply in Latin America and the Caribbean that in Guyana, Mr Granger, the newly elected president has come to provoke Venezuela. He is an agent provocateur. His objective is to divide the Caribbean.

Nicholas Maduro.

Nicholas Maduro.

“I do not think he represents the Latin American and Caribbean conscience or the interest of the Guyanese people. He has come to ignore international law, the mechanism to resolve conflict through dialogue, and try to impose a position that totally ignores history, reality, and international law as a whole,” Maduro said through an interpreter.

Earlier this week Venezuela announced it would review of its relations with Guyana, and recalled its ambassador in Georgetown.

The Guyanese Minister of Finance Winston Jordan announced that Caracas had also decided to stop purchasing Guyanense rice, and would instead source its supplies from other countries, including Suriname.

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