Home / Politics / Jagdeo questions if AFC’s partisan comments represents the new approach of Coalition gov’t to border controversy

Jagdeo questions if AFC’s partisan comments represents the new approach of Coalition gov’t to border controversy

The political Opposition is currently looking to see if the Guyana/Venezuela border controversy will now become a partisan issue, according to Opposition Leader, Dr Bharrat Jagdeo, who noted today that he was appalled at the comments by the Alliance For Change (AFC), which were published by the Kaieteur News on February 4, 2018.

“I want to see if the Coalition Government wants to go the route of making this a partisan issue. We are prepared for that,” he declared.

The AFC’s Sunday column – headlined ‘How dare you, Mr. Jagdeo? Watch and learn’ –claims that Jagdeo “had seriously considered surrendering parts of Guyana’s land and sea space to Venezuela ‘just to ease the pressure’ on his government and appease the land-hungry Venezuelans.”

The AFC’s column is not the first time that the Party has misrepresented of comments made by Jagdeo in 2015. At a news conference in October 2015, Jagdeo explained that in addressing the border controversy several internal discussions were held, there was an internal technical analysis and several options were reviewed. When pressed by the media corps on the nature of the options, Jagdeo said: “There was one view, let me say, one view, that you could probably, on the maritime area, give Venezuela a channel out to the sea. So you could have made a concession in the maritime area, but make sure you do not concede any territory that is land based, because the maritime boundaries are still yet to be determined…that was only one view.” However, he also stressed that at no decision was made.

Jagdeo today reiterated that the Coalition Government has the political Opposition’s full support as it moves to defend Guyana’s territorial integrity. He said, “Government has our full support on this matter. The PPP continues to treat this as a matter of national interest and not a partisan matter…this is why I am appalled at AFC column.”

However, he noted that Guyana has seen the People’s National Congress (PNC) undermine national solidarity on border matters before. In 2004, a PNCR delegation travel to Suriname to sign a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) with Desi Bouterse, at a time when Guyana was making progress in moves to resolve the Guyana/Suriname offshore maritime dispute. “They have done it before, in the Suriname issue. The PNC sought to undermine me as president. I am not going to do that in this case,” Jagdeo said.

The Opposition Leader explained that he has refrained from sharing certain views on how the Coalition Government is handling the border issue. “ I have refrained to do this because of fear of undermining national solidarity,” he said.

On that note, he reiterated that the position of the political Opposition remains unchanged, unless the Coalition Government wants to “change their approach” to the matter.

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