Winning: Venezuela Wins One

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July 13, 2006: Venezuelan bluster and bullying, has finally won a victory. The Commonwealth of Dominica (sometimes called "French Dominica") has apparently conceded Venezuelan sovereignty over Bird Island, a small (375 by 50 meters ), but valuable island in the Caribbean, the ownership of which has long been disputed between the two countries. Although Bird Island lies about 110 kilometers west of the island republic of Dominica, and more than 550 kilometers north north-east of Venezuela, the Venezuelan claim was based on an award made by the Queen of Spain over 140 years ago. Venezuela has occupied the island since 1950, and maintains a small naval station there. Officially a wildlife sanctuary, the island's real importance is that it enormously extends the Venezuelan Exclusive Economic Zone.

 


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