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Referendum Wrong says President of Guyana as he speaks globally on row with Venezuela over Oil Rich land

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Deandrea Hamilton and Rashaed Esson

Editorial Staff

#Guyana, December 10, 2023 – More tension is brewing between Guyana and Venezuela in an ongoing conflict over territory which world maps say belongs to Guyana; and a recent referendum has drawn suspicion and criticism for the Venezuelan president for asking questions which were off-base.

It has been reported that 95% of those who voted have given the Venezuelan government a clear directive to claim ownership of Essequibo, the region in dispute.  That referendum was held on Sunday December 3,  and was called by the Venezuelan Government, led by President Nicolás Maduro.

Venezuela is now boldly moving to claim sovereignty over Essequibo which is rich in oil and minerals.  Guyana however maintains, unequivocally, that the land has long been theirs.

According to reports, during the voting process for the five-question referendum, only a few voters could be seen at the centres; however, the National Electoral Council claims it counted  more than 10.5 million votes.

Venezuela has been vocal for years, arguing that the territory was stolen when the border was drawn more than a century ago.  But those looking on say the claims are unfounded.

Dr. Irfaan Ali, President of Guyana responded to the referendum during a BBC News interview.

“Our response has always been one that respects international law, one that respects the dignity of people, one that leads to the continuation of peace within this region.”

He continued to express that this is the reason why Guyana went to the International Court of Justice (ICJ) for provisional measures, regarding the referendum.

Ali added that this appeal to the ICJ is not to stop the referendum, as it is Venezuela’s “business.”

The Prime Minister explained that seeking out the ICJ is to have provisional measures against two questions.

“One, that will allow Venezuela to annex Essequibo; and two to allow them to establish their state, and on both these questions the ICJ made it clear that Venezuela is not to act upon the outcome of these two questions or upon the outcome of the referendum, and that Venezuela must respect the status quo as it exists, today in Guyana and that is, Essequibo belongs to Guyana.”

The question in motion now as pointed out during the interview is will Venezuela respect the ICJ’s stance and to this Ali expressed that he believes Venezuela has a responsibility to honour the order and respect the 1899 award.

“In the 1899 award, the boundaries of Guyana and Venezuela were fully settled, and that settlement was jointly agreed to by Venezuela and Guyana,” he maintained.

“Venezuela went on to enact the boundaries within the legal system,” he added.

Despite this reality, Ali admits being concerned that Venezuela may act in a reckless manner, which can lead to more displacement of the already struggling Venezuelan people, and create added regional pressure on issues such as migration.

Ali has also been working to gain support; regional bodies such as CARICOM, the Commonwealth and the Organization of American States have issued very strong statements calling on Venezuela to respect the rule of law as well as the order of the ICJ.

Caribbean News

Trinidad Makes Big Energy Commitment

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Rashaed Esson

Staff Writer

 

#TrinidadandTobago#Energy, February 20th, 2024 – To diversify its energy mix as well as its economy, Trinidad and Tobago is putting focus on energy transition for development, working on a solar project which will potentially change energy production for the nation.

This was announced by Prime Minister Keith Rowley at the opening of the Energy Conference and Supply Chain Expo 2024 in Guyana on February 19th.

Expressing that energy is the center of economic development, Rowley highlights why this development is significant. He says in order to transform the energy system to cater to the growing demand for energy while decreasing global emissions, a broad mix of energy is needed.

He further mentions that this is what’s required of producer economies like Trinidad and Tobago for development.

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Irish Humanitarian Organization in Haiti – Address Hunger Crisis and More

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Rashaed Esson

Staff Writer

 

#Haiti#Crisis#ConcernWorldwide, February 2oth, 2024 – Seeing that Haiti’s humanitarian crisis worsens day by day with too many Haitians, hundreds of thousands, edging the line to severe deprivation of food, Ireland’s largest aid and humanitarian agency Concern Worldwide is addressing major food insecurity. 

 The organization in a release said “ “We are providing food assistance, via electronic vouchers to help families purchase food from local vendors so that they can feed their families and prevent malnutrition in children as the situation worsens.”

They are also working to provide Haitians with clean water and sanitation as the waterborne disease Cholera continues to threaten lives, killing more than 1,150 people in 2023.

And, they provide referrals for cases of sexual and gender based violence in Port au Prince.

Concern is supported by funding from USAID, receiving €2.1 million (euros) to help over 30 thousand people in the hunger crisis as well as €1 million (euros) yearly from the Irish Government for its work in Haiti.

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Caribbean News

Why the Haitian President’s Wife – Martine Moïse – was charged with his 2021 Assassination

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Rashaed Esson

Staff Writer

#Haiti, February 21, 2024 – Martine Moïse, the widow of Haiti’s assassinated President Jovenel Moïse, is being charged for involvement in his July 2021 murder, according to recent reports on Monday February 19th, 2024.

She is charged for complicity and involvement in criminal associations.

In his report, Haitian Judge Walther Wesser Voltaire reveals there were questionable actions related to Martine Moïse as well as statements that simply didn’t add up.

For instance, Voltaire states that she mentions hiding under the marital bed for safety during the attack on her husband, but authorities expressed that this claim is illogical, saying that a giant rat measuring “between 35 and 45 centimeters,” could not fit under the bed.

This is due to the fact that the gap between the bed and the floor was 14 to 18 inches, according to the indictment.

Considering these revelations, Voltaire states that her claims were “so tainted with contradictions that they leave something to be desired and discredit her.”

There are other suspicious actions by Mrs. Moïse, reported by the Judge, as revealed by Lyonel Valbrun, former Secretary General of the National Palace.

Voltiare’s report says Valbrun claimed there was pressure from the late President’s wife to make available to Claude Joseph, former Prime Minister, office space for the organization of a Council of Ministers.  Additionally, Valbrun reported that Martine Moïse dedicated hours to remove objects from the Palace during the days leading up to her husband’s murder.

Joseph, like the former first lady is also being charged for complicity and involvement in criminal associations.  Also, they were both injured during the attack on Jovenel Moïse.

The accusations against Mrs. Moïse, reports say, are also based on information from Joseph Badio, former official in Haiti’s Justice Ministry, who is accused of being involved in planning the Haitian president’s 2021 assassination.

According to the indictment, linked in  Voltaire’s 122 page report highlights Badio “outing” Mrs. Moïse for plotting with others, Joseph included, to kill her husband to gain power.

Joining Joseph and Moïse with charges is Léon Charles, ex-chief of Haiti’s National Police, carrying the worst of the charges including, murder, attempted murder, illegal possession of weapons, conspiracy against the state’s internal security, and involvement in criminal associations.

Haitian-American pastor Christian Emmanuel Sanon, former DEA informant Joseph Vincent, presidential security chief Dimitri Hérard, former senator John Joël Joseph, and judge Windelle Coq, are also among the accused, some already sentenced and some handed over to the US to face Federal charges.

Media reports have exposed that after a two and a half year investigation, there are still unanswered questions.  And, despite going into details about the assassination, it fails to reveal the motive behind it and how it was financed.

A separate case on Moise’s killing is being tried in Miami.

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