MADRID, Sep 7 (EUROPE PRESS) –
The president of the National Assembly of Venezuela and self-proclaimed president of the country, Juan Guaidó, has assured that the Assembly has made political efforts at international level to defend Venezuelan sovereignty over Esequibo and has denounced as a distracting maneuver the opening of a criminal investigation in which they accuse Guaidó and several of his collaborators of negotiating the transfer of Esequibo to Guyana.
“Since 2013 the deputies of the National Assembly have been exercising actions and visiting the territory exercising sovereignty that is something that the Maduro government has not done,” said Guaidó from the state of Anzoátegui collected by the newspaper 'El Universal' .
Thus, he has denounced the “distraction tactics” used by Chavismo in reaction to the criminal investigations against him announced by the Attorney General of the Republic, Tareck Williams Saab, for his alleged participation in a negotiation to transfer Esequibo to Guyana in return of political support from the United Kingdom to the Venezuelan opposition.
“The parody of the usurper Prosecutor opened a new investigation. They try to distract the attention of the central. Today the traitors to the homeland are what allow the FARC dissidents, narcoterrorist groups, ELN, paramilitaries, collectives … act freely in Venezuela, that they take our gold, that they smuggle gasoline, that they use Venezuela as a take-off point for drug trafficking, but they will not confuse or distract us, “he has argued.
“The investigation initiated by the prosecutor must begin with the review of the video of the Sao Paulo Forum where Nicolás Maduro can be seen saying that FARC chiefs Iván Márquez and Jesús Santrich are welcome to Venezuela,” he added.
This same Saturday it has been known that the coordinator of the International Office of Guaidó, Manuel Avendaño, has taken refuge in the residence of the Chilean ambassador in Caracas. Avendaño entered the diplomatic residence on Friday after the announcement on Thursday of an investigation by the Venezuelan Prosecutor's Office involving Guaidó, Avendaño and Vanessa Neumann in the negotiations for Esequibo.
Guyana has argued that Caracas resigned its claim for Esequibo after an international court ruling in 1899, but Venezuela then backed down that decision. In January 2018, the United Nations referred the dispute to the International Court of Justice.
The old territorial dispute between Venezuela and Guyana has also been revived in recent years after Exxon discovered more than 5,000 million barrels of oil and gas off the coast of Guyana. In Venezuela, a member of OPEC, by contrast, crude oil production is at its lowest levels in 70 years due to the serious economic and political crisis.
The political crisis in Venezuela worsened on January 23, when the president of the National Assembly, Juan Guaidó, proclaimed himself interim president in response to the start of a new six-year term of the president of Venezuela, Nicolás Maduro.
Guaidó has been recognized as president by the United States, numerous Latin American countries, as well as several Europeans, including Spain. Its objective is to cease “usurpation”, create a transitional government and hold “free elections.”
Meanwhile, more than four million Venezuelans have left the country in recent years because of the humanitarian crisis in the Caribbean nation. The UN warns that, if the trend continues, by the end of 2019 they could add more than five million.