By Ivan Cairo
PARAMARIBO, Suriname — The Organization of American States (OAS) says it is paying close attention to the continuing fallout from the detention by Venezuela of a research vessel last week in Atlantic waters also claimed Guyana.
Assistant Secretary-General of the OAS, Albert Ramdin, says that the OAS Secretariat is monitoring the situation although it has not been informed officially of the diplomatic row between the two South American neighbours.
“The OAS is following the developments very closely and is awaiting the results of the meeting of the foreign affairs ministers of the two countries,” the OAS official told this writer.
He further noted that so far none of the involved parties — who are both member states of the OAS — has sought assistance from the organization in resolving the matter.
“This issue has not been brought to the attention of the Permanent Council. As long as there is no official request or presentation within the OAS by one of the involved countries, the general secretariat will take no action as such,” Ramdin said.
Venezuela’s navy Thursday afternoon seized and detained the Teknik Perdana, a research vessel that was surveying for oil in the Roraima Block, offshore Guyana.
Georgetown immediately demanded the release of the vessel.
Venezuela on Friday demanded an official explanation from Guyana about the presence of the vessel in Atlantic Ocean waters Caracas also claims as its territory.
The ship arrived Sunday at Pampatar, on the island of Margarita, and was placed in the custody of the Public Ministry, to inquire about the presence of the vessel in the disputed area.
“It is very regretful that these situations occur from time to time, especially when it is between two neighbouring countries,” Ramdin said.
“The important thing is that the two countries do not respond emotionally, but explore diplomatic avenues to figure out all the facts.
“On the basis of these engagements and the available information they then continue to work on solutions. There are different modalities and the first and most important is to try to resolve this kind of issues in the bilateral atmosphere,” Ramdin further stated.