The UNLOS dispute tribunal has come and gone and it’s decision has been made, however one of the root causes of the dispute stems from a treaty between Venezuela and Trinidad agreeing a maritime border. This treaty (if you are interested in the details) is available on line Here:
Now the reasons for a treaty between Venezuela and Trinidad are perfectly logical. The treaty would allow the exploitation of the oil expected to be found in the area. And the successful exploitation of these resources is what underpins much of today’s Trinidadian economy. The boundary agreed by the treaty is shown in the graphic.
However have a look at where the Guyana Venezuela border is…..
The only way that Venezuela could lay any claim to the eastermost part of the line set out in the treaty would be to operate on the basis of it’s claim of all of Guyana west of the Essiquibo River. Now the Venezuelans were consistent in their claim on this, but what is surprising here is that Trinidad would have known full well that in signing this treaty they were validating the Venezuelan’s claim, but they agreed anyway.
Now this treaty opened the door for offshore exploration of the offshore oil fields, and the Trinidadians pushed their claim further to the north to what is indicated as a purple line on the chart. This apparently went unchallenged by both Barbados and Guyana at the time. However the chain of events that started the whole UNLOS dispute, has it’s genesis in the Venezuelan/Guyanese border dispute.
And I bet that you always thought it was about fish….