NewsVenezuela and Guyana's conflict escalates over oil-rich Essequibo despite peace agreements

Venezuela and Guyana's conflict escalates over oil‑rich Essequibo despite peace agreements

CARACAS, VENEZUELA - DECEMBER 8: Chavismo supporters march in support of President Maduro in the dispute with Guyana over the Essequibo territory, in Caracas, Venezuela on December 8, 2023. (Photo by Mariela Lopez/Anadolu via Getty Images)
CARACAS, VENEZUELA - DECEMBER 8: Chavismo supporters march in support of President Maduro in the dispute with Guyana over the Essequibo territory, in Caracas, Venezuela on December 8, 2023. (Photo by Mariela Lopez/Anadolu via Getty Images)
Images source: © GETTY | Anadolu

3:12 AM EST, February 11, 2024

Increasing reports confirm the presence of Venezuelan troops near Essequibo, stemming from both Guyanese media and CNN Brasil journalists who cite the Maxar company's satellite images.

Conflict risk on the rise

"Satellite images from January show that military operations are unfolding on the Venezuelan island of Anacoco, located on the Cuyuni River, which borders Guyana," says the Brazilian television station.

Further satellite images supplied by Maxar reveal new infrastructure and an amplified congregation of armored vehicles by the Venezuelan army at the Guyana border.

On Sunday, the Brazilian army announced that they have dispatched over 30 vehicles, including armored transports, towards the country's border with Venezuela and Guyana due to the escalating risk of armed conflict over Essequibo.

On December 4, 2023, Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro declared that authorities in Caracas recognize the referendum held the day before regarding the annexation of Essequibo to Venezuela as binding.

He added that his country dismissed the 1899 ruling by international arbitrators that established the border when Guyana was still a British colonial holding.

Conflict ignited by resource-rich territory

The Essequibo region, covering two-thirds of Guyana's territory, piqued Venezuela's interest after the 2015 discovery of abundant oil and natural gas reserves.

Merely two days after the referendum, Maduro instructed state mining companies to commence natural resource extraction in Essequibo. He also announced a set of measures for Venezuela to occupy the area, including issuing Venezuelan identity documents to residents.

In retaliation to the Caracas regime's decisions, Guyanese authorities announced military exercises near the border with Venezuela.

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