In a previous article (Venezuela and Bird Island) I talked about Venezuela’s claim on Aves Island. Now Aves Rock (or Island). This island is about 2 meters above sea level at it’s highest point, and is at times completely submerged. However Venezuela has gone to great lengths to make sure that the island is continually inhabited (In a facility built on stilts). We’ll get into the details of why in a minute. But after some careful checking I found some pictures of the “island” that truly give an idea of how big it is.
First, a view of the island from the side of a ship.
Then a shot of the “Permanent Human Habitation” – Note the rubber dingies on the right for scale.
Finally the reason why Venezuela has gone to all of this trouble. The yellow area shows the Venezuelan Economic space, with the effect of Aves Island/Rock.
Under the International Law Of The Sea Aves Island is classified as a rock which does not get the 200mile economic zone, however Venezuela hasn’t signed the UNLOS treaty. This rock effectively removes a significantly removes most of the OECS’ economic zone. The irony is that if Venezuela finds oil in those waters, they’ll sell it to the OECS on REALLY EASY finance terms under Petro Caribe (but at full cost of course!)
So once again…., What does Mr. Chavez get out of Petro Caribe?