NewsMilitary dispatched to the border: Guyana asks for help

Military dispatched to the border: Guyana asks for help

Soldiers from Venezuela
Soldiers from Venezuela
Images source: © Getty Images | Jorge Mantilla
4:33 PM EST, December 6, 2023

Nicolas Maduro, president of Venezuela, has deployed a military force to Puerto Barima, stationed near the border of Guyana and Venezuela. Maduro has laid claim to the Essequibo region, an area abundant in valuable natural resources, asserting it to be part of his country. As a response, Guyana is raising the alert and appealing to international organizations for aid.

The conflict between Venezuela and Guyana shows signs of intensifying. President Nicolas Maduro is establishing a new reality, redefining his country's borders. He publicized the formation of a military zone adjacent to the Essequibo River and exhibited a map that incorporates a segment of Guyanese territory into Venezuela.

Maduro further instructed the confirmation of Venezuelan citizenship to more than 125,000 Guyanese residing in this disputed area. These radical moves were announced following Maduro's victory in a Sunday referendum, where over 95 percent of the voters endorsed his plans concerning the neighboring land.

The disagreement revolves around an area of nearly 61,729 square miles. This issue came up eight years ago, stemming from the discovery of valuable deposits in the border region.

For years, both countries failed to reach consensus. Guyanese authorities argue that the border with Venezuela was finalized by an arbitration tribunal in 1899. Venezuela, on the other hand, contends that the Essequibo River stands as a natural border, recognized much earlier when it gained independence from Spain.

Guyana in fear as Venezuela's president mobilizes the army at the border

Earlier this year, in April, the International Court of Justice addressed the border issue. On Friday, the court ruled demanding the Venezuelan government "refrain from any actions that could alter the current situation" in the Essequibo region. Plus, the parties were cautioned not to proceed with actions leading to an escalation of the dispute. Maduro chose to disregard this ruling.

The abrupt and illegitimate annexation, which Venezuela has been aggressively implementing over the past few days, has sparked fear in Guyana. The Anadolu Agency reported that the country's Attorney General, Mohabir Anil Nandlall, stated on Tuesday that he would implore the UN Security Council for assistance against looting.

The United States has deployed a reconnaissance military mission to Georgetown. Brazil, sharing its border with both countries to the south, has taken anticipatory measures and mobilized additional military forces to its own borders.

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