Guyana-Venezuela Territorial Dynamics

February 20, 2024 - 6:00 pm

Skylight Room
The Graduate Center, CUNY

The lecture will place the territorial dispute between Guyana and Venezuela in historical context, explain why the stakes are high for the nation’s involved, and examine some of Venezuela’s intimidation efforts and the annexation threat that almost shattered the peace in the region last fall. Moreover, attention will be paid to the involvement of the International Court of Justice, some of the geopolitical implications of the actions of the contending parties, and to the Argyle Declaration of December 2023, which enabled the two South American nations to pull back from the brink of war. 


Ivelaw Lloyd Griffith (Ph.D., The Graduate Center, CUNY) is a Senior Associate at the Center for Strategic and International Studies (CSIS) and a Fellow with the Caribbean Policy Consortium and Global Americans. He introduced the concept of Geonarcotics in the early 1990s, exploring the intricate relationship between drugs, geography, power, and politics. Griffith, a widely published scholar on Caribbean national security, drugs, and crime, authored numerous books, including Challenged Sovereignty (University of Illinois Press, 2024). His upcoming book, Oil and Climate Change in the Guyana-Suriname Petro-Power Basin, is set to be published by Routledge this summer. Recipient of the Perry Award for Excellence in Security and Defense Education, Professor Griffith has held various academic leadership roles and served as Vice Chancellor of the University of Guyana, among others. With a rich history of testifying before the U.S. Congress and consulting for U.S. and international organizations, he brings a wealth of expertise to his role. As a past president of the Caribbean Studies Association, Dr. Griffith has also been a visiting scholar at military institutes in Canada, Germany, and the United States.

Michael Orlando Sharpe (Ph.D., The Graduate Center, CUNY) is a Political Science professor at York College and the Graduate Center, CUNY. He also serves as an adjunct research scholar at Columbia University’s Weatherhead East Asian Institute. His expertise lies in comparative politics and international relations, focusing on migration politics, immigrant political integration, and political transnationalism. Dr. Sharpe authored Postcolonial Citizens and Ethnic Migration: The Netherlands and Japan in the Age of Globalization (Palgrave MacMillan, 2014) and has completed his second book, The Politics of Racism and Antiracism in Japan, contracted with Cambridge University Press. His research extends to remigration policies, boundary-making in democracies, and questions of non-sovereignty and diaspora in the Dutch Caribbean and the EU. Dr. Sharpe has held visiting fellow or scholar positions at various prestigious institutions worldwide, including Leiden University, the University of Aruba, and Sophia University.

Moderator: Michael Orlando Sharpe, York College & The Graduate Center, CUNY

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