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Regional Briefs

Published:Sunday | December 13, 2020 | 12:17 AM

ICJ to rule on Guyana-Venezuela border issue this week


The International Court of Justice (ICJ) will this week rule whether it has jurisdiction in the border dispute filed by Guyana against Venezuela, which is seeking to confirm full legal validity of the 1899 arbitral award, which established the international boundary between the two countries.

The ICJ said it will hand down the ruling at a public sitting on Friday.

Former Commonwealth Secretary General, Sir Shridath Ramphal had led the Guyana team of lawyers who outlined the country’s case on June 30.

He had argued that Guyana’s collective patrimony is at the very centre of the case and that the people of Guyana were united in the defence of the sovereignty and territorial integrity of their homeland.

But Caracas has maintained its claim to 70 per cent of Guyana’s territory, arguing that the 1899 arbitral award was null and void.

The border dispute went before the ICJ after United Nations Secretary General Antonio Guterres, on January 30, 2018, announced that he was referring the matter to the court for a final and full settlement.

But Venezuela argued that the Secretary-General was not correct in taking the decision, saying that it wanted talks to continue between the two countries.

The South American country has also argued that the ICJ has no jurisdiction and did not participate in the oral hearings in June.

T&T health minister peeved at COVID death after parties


Trinidad and Tobago Health Minister Terrence Deyalsingh yesterday criticised persons who attended three birthday parties in Tobago resulting in one death and numerous other positive cases of the coronavirus as regional countries continued to battle the pandemic.

Speaking at a news conference, Deyalsingh said that 11 persons had tested positive for the virus as a result of the parties.

“Tobago is seeing, in our view, a disturbing and significant upsurge in cases and the contact tracing has revealed a very disturbing series of events that took place in Tobago with the help of people from Trinidad,” Deyalsingh said.

In its latest bulletin, the Ministry of Health said that there are 627 active cases, six people have been discharged from public health facilities and there are 27 newly recovered community cases.

It said that there was no new death with the total remaining at 122.

Virus claims newly elected Belize legislator


Recently elected member of parliament for the Corozal Bay area, David Vega, has died after contracting COVID-19. He was 47.

“It is with a sad heart that I inform the nation of the passing this morning of the Honourable David ‘Dido’ Vega,” Prime Minister John Briceño said Friday as a new members of the Parliament were being sworn into office. “David, known to us as Dido, would have been swearing the same oath as we did earlier.”

Briceño said Vega will be given a state funeral and all flags would be flown at half-mast across the country until the date of the funeral.

The career mathematics teacher was intubated at a private hospital in Belize City since last weekend and despite hopes of recovery, he succumbed on Friday.

A moment of silence was observed by parliamentarians at the inaugural sitting of the House of Representatives and the Senate in Belmopan for the first-time area representative.