By NAN Staff Writer
News Americas, WASHINGTON, D.C., Mon. Dec. 14, 2015: Now that two-thirds of Venezuela’s National Assembly will be controlled by the Democratic Unity Roundtable (MUD) coalition, what will the future of the South American nation’s relations with its neighbor Guyana and other Caribbean nations look like?
The Washington-D.C.- based organization, Council on Hemispheric Affairs says the future looks very “murky.”
Santiago Baruh and Miguel Salazar, Research Associates at COHA, in a recent piece titled: What lies ahead for Venezuela, Guyana, and the Caribbean, says the main difference will be the opposition’s possible moves to reverse as many of President Nicolás Maduro’s domestic and international economic policies as possible.
Such moves could “further sour Venezuelan-Caribbean relations through the likely dismantlement or alteration of Petrocaribe,” the oil alliance of many Caribbean states with Venezuela to purchase oil on conditions of preferential paymen, COHA said.
Especially as the main role of the National Assembly in foreign policy affairs is the ratification and revision of international treaties.
And what will it mean for the current border dispute between Guyana and Venezuela? Under President Maduro, Venezuela has continued to claim control over five-eighths of Guyanese land (the area spanning from the current border to the Essequibo River in Guyana).
MUD has been very cautious in its response to the border dispute and has consistently opposed Guyana’s calls for the International Court of Justice (ICJ) to resolve the dispute, according to COHA.
Still while MUD has said it will work to change Venezuela’s current domestic and economic policies, it is the president who delegates the nation’s international agenda to the foreign minister so a major shift in the dispute so far may be unlikely.
Guyana’s hope may still hinge on the UN and the Court. A border dispute between Venezuela and Guyana has been escalating since Caracas laid claim to waters off the Essequibo region after a significant offshore oil find announcement by Exxon.