Venezuela last night re­leased the Guyanese fish­er­men from two Guyanese ves­sels which had been de­tained by Venezuela last month that led to fresh ten­sions be­tween Venezuela and the in­ter­na­tion­al com­mu­ni­ty, Gov­ern­ment con­firmed.

The in­for­ma­tion was con­firmed by For­eign Af­fairs Min­is­ter Dr Amery Browne fol­low­ing the re­lease of the fish­er­men just be­fore 7 pm last night.

Browne said, “This de­vel­op­ment has come as a re­sult of in­tense diplo­mat­ic work by the Cari­com chair­man (T&T’s Prime Min­is­ter Kei­th Row­ley), the Pres­i­dent of Guyana Ir­faan Ali and the re­spec­tive for­eign min­is­ters of both Guyana and Venezuela.”

The two Guyanese fish­ing ves­sels—La­dy Nay­era and Sea Wolf —were in­ter­cept­ed last month by a Venezue­lan naval ves­sel.

The cap­tains of the two ves­sels were in­struct­ed to sail to Port Guiria where they were de­tained.

Guyana claimed the boats were op­er­at­ing off the coast of Wai­ni Point with­in the coun­try’s Ex­clu­sive Eco­nom­ic Zone—some­thing Venezuela de­nied.

Guyana con­demned the de­ten­tion of the cap­tains and crews of the fish­ing ves­sels and called for their im­me­di­ate re­lease.

Venezuela said the in­ci­dent oc­curred in their wa­ters and ac­cused Guyana of “con­spir­ing” with Exxon­Mo­bil and oth­er in­ter­na­tion­al oil com­pa­nies to con­trol Venezue­lan ter­ri­to­ry.

T&T had stepped in on Cari­com’s be­half last month when For­eign and Cari­com Af­fairs Min­is­ter Browne held dis­cus­sions with Venezue­lan Am­bas­sador to T&T, Car­los Pérez Sil­va, on the in­ci­dent.

Browne ex­pressed deep con­cern and urged an im­me­di­ate, peace­ful res­o­lu­tion. Sil­va gave an un­der­tak­ing that Venezuela’s For­eign Af­fairs Min­is­ter would meet vir­tu­al­ly with Guyana’s For­eign Af­fairs Min­is­ter as soon as pos­si­ble in an at­tempt to swift­ly re­solve the is­sue.

The seizure of the ves­sels had been seen as the lat­est dis­play of height­en­ing bor­der ten­sions be­tween Venezuela and Guyana. Guyana re­cent­ly de­ployed troops to safe­guard against pos­si­ble Venezue­lan in­fringe­ment of its bor­ders which Venezuela has been seek­ing to claim. T&T has backed Guyana in the is­sue.

That mat­ter will be dealt with by the In­ter­na­tion­al Court of Jus­tice.

Source: – Trinidad Guardian