The statement further reveals that the Administration of President David Granger has committed to bringing an end to the decades-old border controversy between Guyana and neighbouring Venezuela through judicial intervention, since Venezuela is bent on seeking to prove that it owns part of Guyana, despite the decision handed down by the Arbitral Tribunal.REJECTEDThe Energy and Petroleum Commission of Venezuela has rejected the legality of oil operations ongoing in Guyana’s Essequibo region. Venezuela has, for several decades, been claiming Guyana’s territory, although the border issue has been settled since 1899.According to the El Nacional report, vice-president of the parliamentary body, Deputy for Zulia, Elías Matta, tabled the draft agreement, explaining that, “As stipulated in Article 5 of the Geneva Agreement, no resource can be exploited if there is no agreement between both nations”.“Deputy Matta said the Guyana Government carried out the expansion of oil prospecting operations in May 2015, in which Exxon-Mobil reported a discovery at the Liza-1 well of the Stabroek Block.“Likewise, on November 17, 2016, the commercialisation of the same was announced, estimating its recoverable resources (at) between 800 million and 1.4 billion barrels of high quality crude oil belonging to the coastal waters of the Essequibo”, the report noted.The Venezuelan Parliamentary Commission wants the Venezuelan Government to send this “agreement” to the new UN Good Officer for the Guyana/Venezuela conflict. The Commission also wants the UN official “to immediately suspend all operations carried out within the maritime area corresponding to the territory in claim until the dispute is resolved.” The UN Good Officer has no such powers, according to local officials familiar with the process.The border controversy, which was not on Venezuela’s front burner for several years – after being first officially mooted in 1962 – was reignited when US oil giant ExxonMobil began exploratory works in the Stabroek Block offshore the Essequibo. With Guyana on the verge of becoming a lucrative oil-producing nation, Venezuelan President Nicolás Maduro issued a decree in May 2015, purporting to claim the majority of Guyana’s waters off the Essequibo. The decree was a flagrant violation of international law, and was inconsistent with the principle that all states should respect the sovereignty and territorial integrity of other states.In an effort to defend its sovereignty, Guyana has made it clear to the Venezuelan Government that the Essequibo and the waters offshore belong to Guyana, and has strengthened its push for judicial settlement of the issue, as the Good Offices process had yielded little result.SETTLEDThe border dispute between Guyana and Venezuela was settled by an international tribunal in 1899 in an award the parties, including Venezuela, had agreed would be the final settlement. Since Venezuela began adopting a belligerent attitude towards Guyana, moves have been made by the international community, including the UN Secretary General, to push for a peaceful resolution of the issue.Fifty years ago, shortly before Guyana’s independence in 1966, the Geneva Agreement was signed with the aim of amicably resolving the controversy, which has arisen because Venezuela contends that the Arbitral Award of 1899 in regard to the frontier between Venezuela and what is now the Cooperative Republic of Guyana is null and void.The 1966 Geneva Agreement confers on the Secretary General of the United Nations the power to choose the means of settling this controversy from among those that are contemplated in Article 33 of the United Nations Charter. Guyana-Venezuela border controversy…Venezuela says Exxon oil operations in Guyana violate Geneva agreement Venezuelan newspaper El Nacional has published a report detailing that the Energy and Petroleum Commission of the National Assembly of the Bolivarian Republic of Venezuela is convinced that the oil exploration ongoing in Guyana violates the Geneva Agreement of 1966 and Article 10 of The Bolivarian Constitution of Venezuela, “which clearly establishes the Venezuelan territory”.But in a statement issued to the media on Thursday following publication of the El Nacional article, The Ministry of the Presidency maintains that Guyana has always respected the 1899 Arbitral Tribunal’s Award as being the final settlement of the border controversy, and that President Granger views Venezuela’s claims to Guyana’s territory as “expansionist ambition”.
The Steeldogs had planned to outfit their players in Bible-themed jerseys – with books of the Bibles above the jersey number pointing to specific chapters – but nixed that idea when the league threatened a $25,000 fine if they changed uniforms. Instead, they wore them during pregame warmups. The event featured a pregame concert with a testimonial offered by new UAB basketball coach Mike Davis and booths set up outside the arena featuring Bibles and bobblehead dolls of Biblical characters such as Moses and Samuel. “It wasn’t anything very much in anyone’s face or overly evangelical,” Myers said. “It was an opportunity to do something unique and do something entertaining for our fans. Those who wanted to be involved could be involved as much as they wanted to. Those that did not could have avoided everything. “The feedback we’ve received has all been positive.” Count 12-year-old Daniel Morton Jr. among the supporters. The Birmingham youngster raved about the “awesome” concert – before attending his first Steeldogs game with his father and a friend. Sporting a T-shirt with a picture of the cross above the message “Jesus beat the devil with two sticks,” Daniel wasn’t just enamored with the music or the ballgame. “I hope that there are some nonbelievers here and maybe they found Jesus tonight,” he said. “That would be awesome if that happened. It was pretty powerful.” High started Faith Nights with the Nashville Sounds minor league baseball team in 2002. He said the promotions have spread rapidly, with 334 church groups participating in 2002 and 775 last year. Staffers visit each city leading up to Faith Night, drumming up support from churches and religious groups. Faith Nights aren’t just sprouting up in the Bible Belt, either. The Arena Football League’s Las Vegas Gladiators drew an estimated 2,000 fans who hadn’t been to one of their games before, said ticket manager Mike Carosielli, even though the team had to move the game to noon on Palm Sunday. Many were presumably even more focused on God than Goddesses, the Gladiators’ dance team. Jenny Quinlan, pastor of First Good Shepherd Lutheran Church, wasn’t surprised it was such a hit in Vegas. “Just because `Sin City’ is how our city gets its income and its business, there’s Christians here, too,” said Quinlan, whose church brought about 15 people to the game. She said the group included a 17-year-old who had strayed from the church and dropped out of school when his girlfriend got pregnant, but was invited by a friend from the church. “Sports is a huge part of our world,” Quinlan said. “When you use those venues, it’s kind of a backdoor ministry. You use sports to introduce people to Christ or bring them back into that relationship.” But Chap Clark, a professor of youth family and culture at Fuller Theological Seminary in California, is skeptical of the real impact Faith Nights have on non-Christians. “I don’t think it makes much of an impact at all, and I don’t think there’s much relationship between the sports and the event for most kids,” Clark said. “It becomes a way to get the kind of people that wouldn’t come to the sporting event. That’s the marketing side of it. “It’s very similar to what amusement parks and theme parks have done for a long, long time. They had their Christian nights.” UAB’s Davis believes having high-profile sports figures offer their personal testimonials can have a positive impact. “A lot of times, people have a tendency to listen to whoever they look up to or admire, and the message is always right there in front of them all their lives,” the former Indiana coach said. “But whatever it takes to get through to them, I think is good.”160Want local news?Sign up for the Localist and stay informed Something went wrong. Please try again.subscribeCongratulations! You’re all set! BIRMINGHAM, Ala. – The throng of fans cheered, shouted enthusiastic “amens” and waved their arms above their heads to the tunes of a Christian rock band. Nearby, kids checked out the Bible-themed bobblehead dolls and posed with Veggietales characters while parents scanned tables filled with Bibles in a family-friendly brand of pregame tailgating. That scene before a recent Birmingham Steeldogs arenafootball2 game is one of a growing number of “Faith Nights” at sporting events around the country that mix religion and sports, praise and promotion. “We want you to come to a game and have fun and listen to music,” said Brent High, president of Third Coast Sports, which runs and promotes the events. “But at the same time, we’re going to set the table for you with player testimonials and music. It’s a great night for you to reach out to people who don’t have a church home.” AD Quality Auto 360p 720p 1080p Top articles1/5READ MOREBasketball roundup: Sierra Canyon, Birmingham set to face off in tournament quarterfinalsIt’s not a bad way for minor league teams to coax a few extra fans through the gates, either. Nashville, Tenn.-based Third Coast has planned more than 60 events in 40-plus cities this year, even venturing into the major leagues for the first time. The Atlanta Braves have scheduled three Faith Nights this summer, and the Arizona Diamondbacks have one planned in August. High said two NBA teams have expressed interest in similar events for next season. For churches, it’s an opportunity for outreach. For teams, it’s a chance to reach out to new fans. “It’ll be no different than any other group out there,” said Derrick Hall, the Diamondbacks’ executive vice president. “They will promote it at a much greater level than most groups can. As a result, we’ll sell more tickets.” It worked for the Steeldogs, who have two more Faith Nights planned this season. The Friday night game drew 6,156 fans, nearly 1,000 more than the team’s average draw for previous May games, Steeldogs general manager Scott Myers said.