CIA Director Visits Guyana Amid Protest From Venezuela – St. Lucia Times

The content originally appeared on: St. Lucia Times News

The visit of the United States Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) Director William J. Burns to Guyana this week has sparked protest from Venezuela.

Venezuela’s claim over two-thirds of Guyana’s territory in the resource-rich Essequibo region remains a serious and contentious border issue.

Guyana’s President, Dr. Irfan Ali, and other local officials met with the visiting CIA Director during what Ali’s Facebook page described as a courtesy visit.

Local media reported that the meeting discussed security and other intelligence matters related to Guyana, the Caribbean, and the Latin America region.

On the social network X, formerly Twitter, Venezuela’s Foreign Minister, Yvan Gil, strongly denounced the CIA Director’s visit.

Gil describing it as a provocative act that undermines the spirit of the Argyle Declaration.

The eleven-point declaration emerged from a historic meeting between Guyana’s President Ali and Venezuela’s Nicolas Maduro in December last year.

At the meeting in Saint Vincent, both countries agreed to refrain from escalating any conflict or disagreement arising from any controversy between them, whether by words or deeds.

The border controversy involving Venezuela and Guyana over Essequibo dates back almost two centuries.

But, the discovery of significant oil deposits in the disputed territory revived the issue.

The matter is currently before the International Court of Justice (ICJ).

Guyana’s privately-owned Stabroek News, quoting Foreign Secretary Robert Persaud, reported that the country was preparing to welcome several high-profile visitors.

The online publication said they included former United States President Bill Clinton and a former Prime Minister of the United Kingdom.

It quoted Persaud as saying that evidence shows that Guyana is buzzing with opportunity, as can be seen by the number of high-profile persons visiting since the discovery of oil.