Govt, media join forces to spread facts on border controversy

The government is working with media entities, in ensuring the dissemination of accurate information in relation to the Guyana/ Venezuela border controversy.

In a further show of solidarity for the protection of Guyana’s territorial integrity, the government engaged editors from various media houses across the country.

Minister within the Office of the Prime Minister with responsibility for Public Affairs, Kwame McCoy addressing the editors of the media houses

News editors were reminded that official information regarding the border controversy should be garnered from official sources, specifically the Office of the Prime Minister and the Ministry of Foreign Affairs.

Minister within the Office of the Prime Minister with responsibility for Public Affairs, Kwame McCoy said he is satisfied with the unity the media houses have exhibited in the dissemination of information, to keep the nation readily informed on the progression and activities regarding the border controversy.

“I have seen a lot of the media houses and individuals on their online platforms carrying the fight. I don’t think we are short of any patriotism with respect to the defence of our borders and therefore, that is commendable that we are all at one and that certainly we can work together on this matter with the right level of aggression and the appropriate manner that we ought to have on display,” Minister McCoy stated. 

Minister McCoy further encouraged the media and citizens to seek information only from the official channels and abstain from misinforming and driving fear into the nation.

“[I would] also caution that we perhaps restrict ourselves to the more official types of channels for information and not be lured into directions that could very well lead us into spreading misinformation and exacerbating fears,” the minister stated.

The media practitioners were also apprised of the current state of affairs at the International Court of Justice and Venezuela’s planned referendum, which the government and opposition maintain is an existential threat to its sovereignty and territorial integrity. The senior media operatives were also presented a detailed account of the historical facts surrounding the controversy.

Foreign Secretary, Robert Persaud during his remarks

Meanwhile, Foreign Secretary, Robert Persaud emphasised the importance of showing unity and strength in addressing the controversy.

“I very much commend you for your steadfastness, [and] your proactiveness on this issue and the efforts that you have put [into] ensuring that what is reflected to the Guyanese community and beyond, is that we are united, we are strong …  this is one issue that brings all our people together; the defense of our territorial integrity and sovereignty.”

Venezuela is planning a referendum on December 3. One of the five questions Venezuelans are voting on is the annexation of Guyana’s Essequibo as a state of Venezuela.

The referendum also seeks to have a final rejection of the 1899 Arbitral Award and to grant Venezuelan citizenship and national identity cards to the population.

Guyana has already petitioned the International Court of Justice to block the referendum in its current form and is awaiting a ruling.

Recently, Guyana’s National Assembly unanimously passed a motion reaffirming the nation’s sovereignty and territorial integrity, and condemning Venezuela’s referendum.

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