Venezuelan President Nicolás Maduro gave the order to prepare the army for combat and announced the annexation of the Essequibo region, located in the current territory of neighboring Guyana.
Photo: NOTICIAS DEL ESTE
Venezuelan President Nicolás Maduro gave the order to prepare the army for combat and announced the annexation of the Essequibo region, located in the current territory of neighboring Guyana. According to El País, the Venezuelan leader has already ordered the mobilization of troops and even appointed Major General Alexis Rodríguez Cabello, a member of the United Socialist Party, as temporary head of the disputed region.
The other day a referendum took place in Venezuela that became a historic moment in the country’s political life. More than 95% of citizens were in favor of annexing the Essequibo territory, which makes up much of neighboring Guyana. In his statement, Maduro emphasized that the participation of more than half of the voters in the vote finally “put the country on its feet” and “became a complete success for democracy.”
Three days after the referendum, the deputies of the Venezuelan National Assembly already approved the Essequibo protection law in first reading. During the broadcast of the meeting, Maduro even showed a new map of the country with Essequibo included and noted that it will be sent immediately to all educational institutions. He also announced the launch of a social assistance plan for all residents of the region, a census and the beginning of the issuance of Venezuelan identity cards.
“One of the main objectives of the organic law for the protection of Essequibo is to make the solution that many generations of Venezuelans have dreamed of come true and to create once and for all the state of Guyana-Essequibo, the 24th state of Venezuela.” added the politician.
At the same time, Maduro declared the region a “comprehensive defense zone” and asked foreign oil companies operating there to cease operations within three months. He said he was “open to negotiations” but called for discussion of “a very strict rule prohibiting the awarding of contracts to companies operating under concessions unilaterally granted by Guyana.”
For his part, the president of Guyana, Irfaan Ali, pointed out that the actions of the Venezuelan authorities represent a threat to the territorial integrity of the country and are contrary to international law. He promised to raise this issue in the UN Security Council and notify the International Court of Justice, threatening to use articles 41 and 42 of the organization’s Charter, which provide for the imposition of sanctions or military actions to restore peace and safety.
Ali added that Guyana will also engage its partners, including the United States, Brazil, the United Kingdom and France, to resolve the conflict. US Secretary of State Antony Blinken has already reiterated Washington’s call for a peaceful resolution of the dispute and reaffirmed the “unwavering support of the United States” for Guyana’s sovereignty.
The Brazilian army has also increased its military presence on the borders due to the escalation of the confrontation between Caracas and Georgetown. According to statements from the country’s Ministry of Defense, 20 armored vehicles were sent to the border with Venezuela, called upon to “help guarantee security” if necessary.
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